Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"Unsung Hero"


This short commercial was played at Togetherness Project's conference during our opening presentation (by Mark Bell, CSAT, in Scottsdale Arizona) and before it was even half way through, I was a bawling mess. It moved me.

Please watch. Please love. Please enjoy.

This is what life is all about. 



P.S. I'll be back to writing more consistently very soon :) I've got some good stuff on the docket, I'm just recuperating from an amazing weekend, and I'm soaking in the nourishment that filled my cup last weekend. xoxo

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Together We Rise Above


Yesterday afternoon I received an email from a dear friend of mine that said this:

"I wrote this on the plane ride home!! I started writing about the weekend at Togetherness and as I was writing I just felt like THIS IS IT!! This is the blog post that needs to be put on your page!"

As I read her words, the tears came and tears fell. Goosebumps covered my whole body. This is a perfect summary of what our weekend at Togetherness in Phoenix was, and what it is meant to be.

Please read.... and enjoy.... rejoice in the growth.... relish in the honesty and vulnerability and sense of belonging.

It is freeing and it is unlike anything else I have ever found, anywhere.

***




Together we really do rise above.
(written by Lovely Light)

Together we really do rise above.

Together we rise out of the yuck, the filth, and the degradation.  Together we experience light, a brightening of our souls, a polishing, and a fortifying strength to press forward.

Together we receive unification in pain and desires, in strife and beauty, in sadness and worth, in anger and peace, in disgust and humor.  Can there be a better friendship in this life?

I got so very much out of the Togetherness Project this weekend.  But it was in the quiet corners of my soul where the greatest impressions came.  It was in those still moments of mindfulness, when I would look around in awe with so much pride to be a “member of the club,” with these women, these amazing women.  It was in the watching, and the soul searching, and the connecting that I found new perspective.  The speakers and therapists were all wonderful, they had great things to say, great tools to utilize, and they set the tone so that we could be real and open and safe.  But it wasn’t the speakers that allowed me to find the greatest healing.  It was the women; women just like me that God used to speak to me.  It was in their sharing.  It was in their vulnerability. It was in the shy girl I approached and literally floored her when I asked,

“So, what’s your story?”

To which she responded, looking at the ground with anxiety, “Well, what story do you mean?” and, “do I have a story?” with twiddling fingers and fidgeting toes.

Then, listening to her as she came up with the first rough-draft of HER STORY; the reason she was here, now. Then less than 24 hours later seeing this same woman across the room laughing, sharing, crying, expressing herself, and blossoming because she had finally found a completely SAFE place to share.  She was finally among friends who understand her.  She was among beautiful women, and she felt normal for the first time since her world fell apart.  Seeing her walk away at the close of the conference as the woman she is; with confidence, determination, steel in her eyes, and with the resolve that things are GOING to be different.  She now knows that she is not ALONE.

She is not alone.

I know that girl so well.  Last year, at the first Togetherness Project, that girl was me.  Six months later, I got to be the one who watched.  And it was so beautiful.  And it did something for me, too.  It showed me that I have made progress.  It showed me that I have embraced my place, right here, right now.  It showed me that I have dug within myself and found my worth as I endured the last 6 months.  It showed me that I am learning and growing in the greatest pain of my life, which makes me echo the words that I have only found recently,

“THIS is worth it.”

The pain, the PAIN, the lies, the crap, the potential loss of spouse, the total loss of all I thought I had, the trauma, the distance from God, the poor parenting, the chaos and confusion, the anger, the waiting, the numbness.  It is all worth it.

God has a plan for me, and I know it.  When I am making progress in His plan, when I am blossoming as a beautiful daughter of God, when I am actually feeling myself become more of who I have always wanted to be, I feel gratitude for my life.  My life just as it is, right now.  And I don’t believe I would have reached this place if I hadn’t had sisters by my side, striving to find this place together.

I am able to “Rise Above” all that yuck, while still somehow being in the midst of it.  I am capable of feeling, giving, and receiving love and empathy.  I am capable of being vulnerable and feeling genuine trust. I am able to actually share the burdens with my sisters and I can feel my heart and my capacity for love growing.  Most of all, I am capable of making a joyful, safe place for myself where I can and will thrive.

As I sat quietly, soaking in all I could, like a sponge thrown in water, I felt God.  I received answers.  I felt a deep conviction that I have a beautiful life.

Yes, even married to a sex addict (in recovery) I have a beautiful life.  And it will only continue to get better because I choose.  I choose when I will rise out of being victim and make choices for myself, for my safety, and for my children.  I choose how I will work through the darkness as it comes.

I choose.

I am not a victim.

I rise above.

I break chains.

I change faulty traditions and bad habits and my own addictions from weaknesses into strengths.

And I do it with God, and my WoPA sisters.

Together we rise above.

~Lovely Light
(you can follow Lovely’s story at www.chainsoflight.blogspot.com)




Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Brave Warrior Women and Channel 12 News





























One of my dear friends titled me a "Brave Warrior Woman" on Facebook last night for being featured  on the news, discussing why I started The Togetherness Project and our upcoming event in Phoenix.

I couldn't help but get a smirk on my face when I read the words "Brave Warrior Woman". I'm not sure if I'm deserving of such a robust and honorable title but, wow!, I'll take it :)

But in all seriousness, people, going on the news is scary.

Like, terrifying.

I thought my nerves were going to paralyze me.

I wanted to back out.

I wanted to call the reporter and say "Thanks but no thanks! Sorry!"

I was ready to have an anxiety attack at any moment.

What if people don't like it?

What if they morph what I say into something that I didn't really say?

What if people say mean things?

What if I say something stupid?

What if I screw up?

The unknown of it all made me really, really, uncomfortable.

But at 10:00pm last night, I sat nervously on the couch, Seth by my side, and we waited for the quick story to air. I had sweaty taco armpits even before my clip came on. Eeeeeek. Me, my story, the project.... on the NEWS.

I was just flat out terrified.

Once the story came on, this weird feeling of peace came over me.

It turned out okay and life kept on moving. One minute of exposure and it was over.  Weird how the anxiety feelings went away as soon as it ended.

After the clip aired, people started posting the link on my Facebook page on commenting on a job well done. It was really thoughtful the things that were being said and it meant so much.

But as I processed it, I realized that I'm not necessarily "brave" per se.....  I'm just speaking truth. And maybe that's where the bravery comes in? But really, what I am, and what I am doing is just saying it like it is. This is what happened, love it or hate it, this is MY story.

Sometimes we don't want to talk about the truth and it is incredibly hard be open about the things that hurt us (especially something as taboo and uncomfortable as sex addiction/porn addiction, betrayal). You fear of being labeled, judged, laughed at, criticized, mocked, challenged, whatever it may be. It is scary to allow people, people you don't know, into your life, into your heart, into the things that matter most to you.

But you guys, regardless of all those risks, I cannot NOT speak the truth. I cannot NOT try and help others with my story because that's the only way my story and what happened seems to make any sense. You can't make sense of the unexplainable, and so I HAVE to give some sort of sense.... and my sense is trying to help, unite and empower others.

Too many lives are being traumatized, too many families are being jeopardized, both men and women are getting caught in the addiction trap, and it is undeniably happening in more homes and relationships than we could ever fathom. Let's start TALKING more about the HARD and LESS about the froo freaking froo.

Let's talk about what REALLY matters, and what is really happening with our walls down and our vulnerability and compassion in gear.

I cannot tell you how many women I hear from. How many people have reached out spilling their heartbreaking/difficult realities that no one in their world knows of. Many people have said

"I've never told this to anyone before you."

And it's not all just addiction/betrayal. People are hurting for a myriad of different reasons and the HARD proves HARD to talk about openly (or at all really).

But as I watched the short clip last night, I came to this conclusion:

I am who I am today, because of what happened in my life.

It wasn't ideal.

It wasn't pretty.

It SUCKS.

But, because of those hellish and life altering experiences, something as beautiful as The Togetherness Project and the most amazing aspect of healing in my life-- Sisterhood-- were born.

Out of something that made me feel as weak, worthless, and hopeless as humanly possible, I have found something of great value: The Truth Shall Set You Free.

Hiding never does anyone ANY good. And so, here is my truth.

When I help others, I heal. I want to help give other women what I have been given because it has changed my life.

It's about moving onward and upward. Not in fear, or treading backward.

So my brave warrior women, speak truth.



p.s. "Fairy Tale Man" is Seth's NEW title I think. How hilarious is THAT!? haha!

(You can buy the above picture HERE)

XOXO

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Feel Better Challenge (Week 6) and Some Live TV

Challengers! GOOD MORNING! Afternoon... whatever time it is in your neck of the woods :)

This post is getting up late because I was up at 5:30am so that I could be downtown Phoenix for a little segment on a morning talk show. YAY! I was terrified. Absolutely terrified. But, I think it went pretty good, considering :)

Here's a photo my friend snapped and sent to me from her living room :) Ack! It's always hard to see yourself, isn't it? But, there you have it :)






























As for The Feel Better Challenge, holy cow! WE ARE ALMOST DONE! I am plugging away and I feel good. I am still tired.... not sure why.... but, I do love being active!

HOW ARE YOU DOING?

I wanted to share mine and Seth's favorite summer spinach shake recipe today. Yesterday we dusted off the ol' blender and whipped it up. It is AMAZING! I got it off Dr. Oz last year and we have been hooked ever since.



























Ingredients
Makes 1 1/2 servings 
3 cups spinach 
2 cups ice 
1/2 banana 
2 tbsp of peanut butter 
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (we use Whey Cookies and Cream and it is delicious!) 
3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk 

Directions
Add all ingredients to blender and blend on high speed, until completely mixed.
Pour shake into glass and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Drew Manning- original recipe found here


**Because it gets SO hot here, shakes have become our best friends.... what are your favorite recipes? Will you please share them with me? Having the same one over and over gets really old :)**


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Join Our FREE Togetherness Community!


Oh my gosh you guys!

The Togetherness Project isn't soley about conferences anymore (although, our conferences are ah-mazing!). We are now more than that.... We are uniting women EVERYWHERE and providing the best education, encouragement and community!

Committed individuals from the Togetherness team have paired up with the guys from a really cool online platform called LearnCast and have made something remarkable.

We're calling it:














The primary purpose of Our Togetherness Community is to provide unity and healing to women who suffer from Betrayal Trauma (typically from a pornography/sexual addiction and/or infidelity of a loved one). 


You can join our community. Yes, YOU. As long as you are female and have access to internet, you can join!

By joining our Community, here's what you'll receive:

  • Access to an online platform that provides weekly messages of education, healing and hope-- specifically focusing on healing from betrayal trauma.
  • A monthly lesson provided by a sexual addiction therapist (some will include text, audio and video).
  • The opportunity to join local guided Togetherness Chapters that meet once a month with other women in the area to discuss the lessons.

HOW AWESOME IS THIS?

I tell you what! It is divinely inspired I think. After months or trial and preparations and a lot of things just falling together, we are ready to take the nation by storm and unite women EVERYWHERE!






























HOW TO SIGN UP?:

You need to do TWO things:

1) Text the word "Togetherness" to the phone number 878787.

You will be sent a link. Follow the link, click on the locked content. From there, you'll be ask to either login or register to view the content. REGISTER by provding your information (don't worry it will stay within our organization). Once you've done this, you'll be able to re-login, see the archives, and you'll be notified of upcoming future lessons that happen every Monday.

2) Email us at community@togethernessproject.org and let us know if you're interested in being part of our local chapters. From there, we can give you specific details of our existing local chapter groups, how to start a group if there isn't one in your area, and other Togetherness details that are "special" :)

Our platform works BEST on a tablet or a smart phone but it can be accessed online, from a computer, as well. If you do not have a smart phone or tablet, you can also register online by following this link .

Many days, weeks and hard working months have gone into making this happen and we are so excited to finally launch it! We have the best of the best therapists/professionals helping us with this, we have many devoted women facilitating monthly meetings in their areas and we have brave and beautiful women donating their time to do what it takes to actually run the back end of this thing (which is A LOT of work!).

It's a beautiful, beautiful thing to watch it all fall into place.

Please share the love. 

Share this page. 

Share this FREE community with anyone and EVERYONE! 

You never know who may be silently suffering alone and no one needs to be alone.... there is a whole community of women out there! 

This is a WONDERFUL place to start. Even if you just want to lurk online through the archives of content, and not join the in-person groups quite yet, you are welcome to do so :)

I've said it before, and by golly I'll say it again.... this is just the beginning.

If you like this, if it means something to you, if you're already a community member, will you please share so here (if you're comfortable!). I want women to KNOW that they are not alone. That there are others searching for healing, hope and clarity too.

God is good. 

Words cannot express how rewarding this project is. It is marvelous to see what determination, compassion and love can build. 

Thanks to everyone who has made this possible and free for anyone to access! What a blessing that is :)

JOIN TODAY!

XOXO



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Simple Things on a Sunday



























































I'd love to hear some of the reasons that make you happy... What are you living for today? What are you finding joy in today?

Me?

I am reveling in new friendships, new life as spring emerges, and new beginnings.

Wishing you all a peaceful and happy Sabbath!

p.s. you can buy the top picture, here. Cute, right!?


Thursday, April 10, 2014

BABY GIVEAWAY WINNERS!


The winner of the UNISEX gift is.....

MANDA





























The winner of the BOY gift is.....

SHANDRA





















The winner of the GIRL gift is.....

KW 



















**Ladies, email me at jacyleeclemons@gmail.com within 24 hours of this posting and we will work out shipping details :)

Thanks for participating everyone and congratulations to the lucky people out there! They really are SO ADORABLE..... if I do say so myself :)

All my love to you today!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Feel Better Challenge (Week 6) and a RECIPE

Challengers!

HOW'S IT GOING FOR YOU?

I love seeing your photo's on Instagram (#feelbetterchallenge). It has been SO fun to feel connected with some of you in this :)

I've been doing okay. Ha! I am getting my activity in, and I'm not drinking any soda, but I'm just lagging. Dead tired. I've been told it could be allergies weighing me down. Who knows? But, I'm still trying to be as active as I possibly can.

I'm not beating myself up too much... because the goal is to feel better, and not be crazy obsessive.

So!

As promised, here is that delicious salad I was telling you about last week.

In November, Seth and I went to a Cancer Wellness Gala/Fundraiser in downtown Phoenix. We just so happened to go and support the cause on the very same day that Seth's sister Megan died of Leukemia 3 years prior (Seth was her bone marrow donor, to read the amazing story go here).

It was such an honor to be there, remembering her on that day, and being surrounded by so many amazing people who supported the cause. 























As part of the gala, we were able to eat some of the most delicious cancer fighting foods and one was a 
Red Quinoa Tabbouleh with Beets and Strawberries and it was to die for. We gobbled it up and went back for more. YUM! Who knew I liked quinoa?


We've made this recipe a few times, even on Christmas and it was a SMASH hit! It's so fresh and just plain delightful.

So! Here is the recipe for you: (I am not a photographer and I have found that it is REALLY hard to make food look yummy with an iPhone camera... haha.. sorry!)
















Red Quinoa Tabbouleh with Beets and Strawberries and Pomegranates
adapted from True Food Kitchen by Andrew Weil via Natural Health Magazine

serves 4-6

1 pound beets (red or golden)
2 cups red quinoa or tri-color quinoa
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of red pepper flake
1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
2 ounces arugula, chopped roughly
10-12 strawberries, chopped or 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/3 cup chopped almonds or walnuts

Roast and peel your beets, then chop into bite sized pieces. Meanwhile, bring four cups of salted water to a boil and add quinoa. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until quinoa is dry and fluffy. Let cool.

In a salad bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes. Add beets, quinoa, parsley, mint, scallions and arugula and
 toss well; chill until cool.

divide onto serving plates and top with strawberries or pomegranate seeds and almonds (I just tossed these in with the rest of the salad, but if you want real crunch from the nuts just top it like the recipe states). 


** I'd LOVE to hear what some of your favorite HEALTHY recipes are! DO TELL!

To another week of exercising :)

XO

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Simple Things on a Sunday





















I posted this on Facebook yesterday, and it's a quote I have heard before, but for some reason or another, I found myself going back and reading it over and over again.

What an incredible truth it holds.

Some of us bear visible scars, while others bear invisible scars, but that is not to be compared. The profound truth is that we are strong souls, and we bear massive character. This is what personal struggle, intense suffering, and deep loss will allow for-- for us to EMERGE and be more lionhearted and powerful than before.

I love, love, love this. I love what it means to me.

xoxo


Friday, April 4, 2014

Make Good Choices





























Yesterday as I was dropping Little Dude off at school, I over heard something so simple. So sweet. So perfectly timed.

A student, 5th grade I'm guessing, was getting out of his mom's car.

See ya, mom!

he said

The mom replied,

I love you. Make good choices!

I couldn't help but smile. As I walked Little Dude up to the kindergarten check in gate, I leaned over, kissed his cheek, and said,

I love you. Have a good day today. Make good choices!

What kind of choices would we make everyday if that was the first thing we thought of in the morning?  To make GOOD choices?

I loved this. Simply loved it.

I think it's one of my new personal motto's.

Make. Good. Choices.

Imagine how much better our relationships, our homes, our neighborhoods, our schools, our communities, our towns/cities, our states, our nation and the world at large would be if we all consciously committed to making GOOD choices.

It really does start with us. We can make a difference.


Have a wonderful spring weekend everyone!

Thanks for being here.

XOXO

Image Credit



Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Cutest Baby Gift EVER and a Giveaway!


I have a confession to make: I love buying and creating little baby things... so much so that I got a little carried away this week and bought way more than I needed! As I dragged all of my bags in the house yesterday Seth was like

"Uh..... who's all that for?"

I replied with

"Uh... I'm not sure yet... :)"

So I got a little carried away.... But seriously, how ADORABLE are these little egg carton sock gifts?


I've been doing this little sock/egg gift for years and I used to just use regular egg cartons and do a dozen socks in them. They were equally as cute. But, about 5 years ago I finally splurged and bought a bulk case of these little half dozen plastic containers.  And, if I do say so myself, they're always a big hit at baby showers because they're so unique and different :) 

So... while I was out shopping, I thought it would be fun to do a little giveaway today!

Yay!

Here's the deal.... You can enter for yourself if you are preggy or have a brand new baby, or you can enter to win for someone else and give it as a gift. I don't really care if it's for you or someone else... just as long as you think they're as cute as I do :)

Drum roll please....

Here is the GIRL GIFT






















Here is the BOY GIFT














And here is the UNISEX GIFT
(I know it's a rooster, and it should technically be a hen, but it was so adorable anyway that I couldn't resist :)


How to ENTER:

  • Leave a comment telling me which one you'd like (BOY, GIRL, or UNISEX)
  • Like My Name is Jacy on Facebook (if you don't have FB, just let me know.  You can still enter :)
  • If you SHARE on Instagram or FB or both, you'll get an extra entry (or two)- so make sure you tell me :)

The winner will be drawn at random and announced next Thursday on the blog. 

For shipping reasons, you can only be eligible to win if you live in the U.S.

**And for one of my favorite people ever, my dear friend Kami (at Finding My Niche)- who is probably in labor today- this last one is for you :) I went to buy all the supplies to make one for just you, and only you, and ended up with everything above... haha! Good luck with the delivery and I can't wait to hear the birth story and see pictures of the little bambino :)


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Feel Better Challenge (Week 5)


Alright Challengers... it has been one whole month since our Feel Better Challenge began!

So... the big question is.... ARE YOU FEELING BETTER? 

Tell me all about how it's going for you because oh my goodness I AM FEELING BETTER! My muscles are sore... which means I'm working out enough to *feel* it... and even though it hurts, I LOVE IT!





























I cannot tell you how much better my life is with more water, and without carbonation. My pants just fit better, I don't feel sick all the time, and I know it's because the bloating has subsided. And, I just feel good when I'm either out in the sun breathing the fresh air, or sweating like crazy in the gym.

Being active feels AMAZING!

I'm still a BIG believer in all things in moderation and so, this is definitely not taking over my life, but I do feel like I've made some positive changes and I like it ;)

30 minutes of activity 5-6 days per week does a body, mind and soul GOOD!

Keep up the great work!

Tell me how you're feeling!

Keep posting to Instagram (#feelbetterchallenge).

Just the other day a friend of mine said.... "Even though I don't post to Instagram or comment on your blog, the challenge keeps me motivated, especially knowing that other people are doing this with me!"

Happy "Feel Better" Wednesday :)

XOXO

p.s.  I am making the most delicious, HEALTHY, salad this weekend. I'll be sure to share it with you all next Wednesday :) It involved roasted beets... and maybe some pomegranates :) Yum!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...