I now live every day with purpose, gratefulness, forgiveness, love, compassion and an attitude of paying it forward. I wasn’t always like this. I was in a verbally abusive marriage for 14 years and couldn’t stand up for myself. I thought because I didn’t have bruises that it wasn’t that bad. But, as everyone who has been where I’ve been knows, it can be just as painful and hard to recover from.
Hi, I’m Michele Penn, author, inspirational speaker, artist, award-winning photographer and creator of the book, Peace in the Present Moment with Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie. The picture to the left is of me with Eckhart Tolle.
The verbal abuse did become worse over time. But, I got used to it. What I am talking about is intimidating, manipulating, putting down, calling you names, belittling, criticizing, yelling, blaming you for their outbursts or actions, screaming and explosive, strict rules of who your friends are and what you are allowed to tell them. It becomes part of everyday life. I lived in a prepared, on guard state. I lived on hope. I clung to the times when everything seemed normal and believed that, in time, there won’t be so many outbursts. If I tried to discuss my hurt feelings he dismissed them. I don’t know why I kept it such a secret. I was just in fear.
It continued to get worse and eventually in an emotionally violent rage, he threatened to kill me. I finally left him and instead of losing my life, the incident inspired me to find it. Yet for years afterwards I lived with depression, guilt, anger, unforgiveness and blame. I went to therapy and I read as many spiritual, self help, empowerment and verbal abuse books I could. I found I wasn’t alone.
I realized that I needed to take responsibility for my part in the relationship. I taught him to treat me that way. I didn’t know that’s what I was doing, but by letting it happen, I was saying that it was ok to treat me like that. I needed to forgive myself for being weak and not standing up for myself. I realized I didn’t have to live in the past anymore. “You cannot find yourself by going into the past. You can find yourself by coming into the present.” (Eckhart Tolle) Your peace is in the present moment.
Just like the title of my book with Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie, Peace in the Present Moment. Eckhart Tolle taught me to be still. He taught me to trust that inner voice and to not listen to anything outside of myself. Eckhart says “Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.”
I learned to control my thoughts. Well, not really control them but watch them. There are different ways to look at life. It all depends upon your attitude. Once you begin to watch your thoughts you may be amazed at how many negative things you think all day. But, don’t be discouraged because this is the beginning of your awakening.
You have the choice to think a different thought. One that serves you. At first, it will be difficult but with practice you’ll be able to stop that negative thought before more negative thoughts follow and the snowball gets bigger and bigger. Ahead of time, think of something that makes you feel good. What puts a smile on your face? Now that you have that image in your mind, that’s the image you will switch to when a negative thought comes in. Remember, you can’t solve problems when you are in a negative state. Get to that feel good place, be still and inspiration will come. Start listing all the things you ARE grateful for. Before you know it, that’s what will show up in your life – more things to be grateful for.
“Focus attention on the feeling inside you. Know that it is the pain-body. Accept that it is there. Don’t think about it – don’t let the feeling turn into thinking. Don’t judge or analyze. Don’t make an identity for yourself out of it. Stay present, and continue to be the observer of what is happening inside you.
Become aware not only of the emotional pain but also of “the one who observes,” the silent watcher. This is the power of the Now, the power of your own conscious presence. Then see what happens.” Eckhart Tolle
“Whenever anything negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it, although you may not see it at the time.”Eckhart Tolle. When I read that I learned that there is a positive in everything that happens if you look for it. You can wait and see how things turn out or you can look right now into what lessons you will learn from this. Change your perspective and this will keep your vibration high. This will allow all good to flow through you.
“…sometimes letting go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”Eckhart Tolle
“Even a stone, and more easily a FLOWER or a bird, could show you the way back to God, to the Source, to yourself. When you look at it or hold it & let it be without imposing a word of mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you. Its essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you.” Eckhart Tolle This is what happened to me. Flowers brought me to my source. A sense of awe and wonder DID arise in me. My passion is capturing that moment of beauty in a flower and sharing it with the world. My passion is fueled by the feedback I get from helping people everywhere to open their hearts and souls to the beauty of nature, so they are able to look within. I love combining the beauty I capture with inspirational, motivational and meaningful quotes that lift the soul. My passion is to inspire. Everyone deserves to live the life of their dreams.
I have forgiven my ex-husband. His threat on my life was the catalyst that fueled my spiritual desire and I can be grateful for that.
Live the life you always imagined. Anything is possible. If I could inspire Eckhart Tolle to do a book with me, then imagine what you could do. We all have pasts. We are NOT our past. We can survive, conquer our fears and move on to help others heal. I hope I inspire YOU.”
Peace and love, Michele