Your Life Still Counts Book Launch TODAY!

 

Tracie - God did not turn His back on me.  He was

A little over a year ago, I was fortunate enough to be working a booth at the She Speaks conference. I was approached by Tracie Miles that weekend and asked if I would consider sharing my story in her new book. Honestly, I thought nothing would come of it….but I was so wrong.

 

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The part of my story that I was asked to share is one that always held great shame for me. I kept it hidden for years because it was the darkest of darkest secrets. I allowed myself to be rendered practically useless, existing from day-to-day rather than truly living. I was broken, beaten, bruised and in my eyes, worthless.

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I am living, breathing proof that hurt can be used for glory and that beauty can come from the ashes. God found me in the deepest depths of my wallowing pit and raised me up as He had always intended me to be. You see, my failures did not come as a shock, nor did they derail His plan. He is ready, willing and able to work us over to be the lively and passionate people we were made to be at ANY time….so long as we accept Him.

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I kept this part of my story a secret from those dearest to me for over a decade. The amazing thing is that life itself began to open up the moment I did. My life is forever changed.

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If my story can affect just one person, then it was worth the pain. You do matter! The voices that tell you otherwise are liars. Call them into the light, confront them with the truth and the TRUTH will set you free.

Tracie’s book, Your Life Still Counts, launches today. You can find information on loads of prizes and freebies HERE. Check it out, but a few copies for your friends, read through the stories of women JUST LIKE YOU, and become empowered in your life.

I offer my heartfelt thanks to Tracie for choosing my story, to my husband for ALWAYS being there for me, and to my dad for teaching me to be an adult :)

Michelle x0x0x0x0

What If We Really Were REAL…

I’m coming off a testing and rewarding trip to the She Speaks Conference in Concord, NC. The whole trip up there we had tunes from Chris Tomlin, Britt Nicole, Lecrae, Toby Mac, Jaime Grace, and Mandisa. The song What If We Were Real, by Mandisa, kept playing over and over. If you haven’t experienced it, check it out HERE. This song became the theme of the trip and opened up some tight spaces in my own mind.

It made me beg the question, “What if we really were REAL?”

Do you understand the weight of that question? You see, I was at a conference for Christian speakers and writers, all women. In fact, 650 women. That is a LOT of estrogen in one venue! My first morning was challenging to say the least. I entered with the anticipation of a school girl. I was ready to open up and make new and lasting friendships. This anticipation was quickly met with glares and stares, followed by shuns when I attempted to speak. Was it in my head? I would have thought that except when I placed my back down next to another woman in the foyer and said, “This looks like a great place to dig through our goodies”, to which she responded, “Sure”. Then she promptly packed up her bag and walked away. I found her at a chair in the back of the hotel. Not in the mood for making friends I assume.

So what was the deal? Was it Satan himself making me feel as though I didn’t belong? In reality, I don’t think Satan even has to try in this arena anymore. Women are so full of insecurities and judgement that it frees up the darker forces to focus on bigger things… What if that could change?

So, what would real look like? I spoke with a publishing agent at the conference and at the end of our brief time she thanked me for being willing to be so transparent. She stated that she had not seen that kind of real transparency in a long time. Being real takes a level of vulnerability that most of us are unwilling to tap into. We carry the weight of the world and the expectations of perfection on our shoulders to the point where we couldn’t point out real if it was on our nose! We live pre-rehearsed lives, always thinking of our reactions and the worst case scenarios. What is real?

What would happen if we were open to admitting our insecurities? What if we fessed up to feeling less than stellar? What if we chose to state that we are intimidated? What if we admit that when we see a beautiful woman who seems to have it all together, we feel less about ourselves? And, what if we confess that when we see that same woman with toilet paper stuck to her shoe, we feel a bit better?

I have found in my short life that women can hold other women down far better than any other force on Earth. Think about grade school and junior high. OK, stop crying, it will be ok…. :) WHat if WE could initiate a change in the world? What if we all woke up one day and began behaving a little differently? What if we let the real shine through?

My daughter had to deal with her first run of female competitiveness and nastiness this past school year. I had to lay the harsh reality that it does not end after school is over. Think about it: why is it so important for females to have a gaggle of friends? We NEED teammates!!!! We need to know that we have some double X’s on our side. Why do we struggle against each other?

Perhaps it is the innate and primal need to be loved. I have a little eye opener on that one: there is NOBODY and NOTHING on this Earth that can love you more than your Heavenly Father. Seek FIRST, then everything you need will be added. It took me several decades to learn that. So, why do we as women judge harshly? Philippians 4 gives us the instruction on how we should speak. We are to let no harmful speech escape our mouths, but only that which builds others up. In other words, if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all. Why do we struggle?

Now, I know you’re probably saying that you do build others up, but my question is this: do you build up those outside of your circle? Better yet, do you build up those you differ with? Even more, do you build up yourself?

I know I have given a lot of food for thought here and I promise it will not go unanswered. Throughout the following weeks we will be looking into our hearts and starting our own revolution. This will be a revolution to end all revolutions in my opinion. It is time to put down the fiery words and pick up our inheritance that is promised. It is time for a true change that rips throughout an entire generation. Are you ready to change the world? It starts in the heart of each of us.

Michelle

Just a Little Something Personal

Dear readers,

This is about a life altering situation and how it has literally changed everything. Just warning ya! For those interested in what I’m doing here:

How Beach Body is giving me my life back

Michelle Carlson

 

I haven’t been a coach for very long, but I feel like I need to share this. You see, I’ve known about Beach Body and their products for over a decade now. I was introduced to them as most people are: through late night infomercials! I purchased Yoga Booty Ballet once I had the funds and thought that workout would kill me. It’s weird to think of that now. Since those infomercial watching, wishful days I have shed over 100 pounds off of my 5’6″ frame. When you accomplish something like that you feel as though it is your testimony. You so badly want others to feel this energy and grab life before it passes them by… Naturally, my path eventually took me into fitness where I became a fitness instructor, a personal trainer, and then a nutritionist. As happy as I was with what I was doing, there was always something missing. I could only motivate so many and I could only teach so much. On top of all the motivating was the heart crushing realization that behind the excuses it seemed like people really just did NOT care.

Fast forward a bit to this past fall of 2011. I became pregnant with my third child. Our other 2 are 12 and 10 and yes, this was planned because we’re a little crazy like that! I was excited and our entire family was extremely hopeful. Everything was running smoothly and tests were coming back with great news. The doctor even remarked that this baby was growing very strong, very fast. I like to think of it as super baby! Into my second trimester (I was sick as a DOG and bedridden for months!) I went in for a routine visit. There was no heartbeat. The baby had died for no known reasons and suddenly ALL of my dreams, plans, and goals for the future seemed to come to a crashing halt. After all was said and done, I lay face down sobbing on my bathroom floor telling my loving husband that I no longer believed God had a plan for me. My Purpose in life was gone, and with that a piece of me as well.

It took a few weeks to come back into the land of the living and it was not pretty. I drank heavily to numb the pain and I simply sat around for a while. I had nothing left to give, or so I thought. The beach body coaching opportunity was brought to my attention a couple of years ago when I purchased Turbo Fire, but I never gave it much thought. Well, since I was down for the count, I began reading through all my old stuff in my home office. I was seriously considering leaving health and fitness forever. I came across the team beach body info and one night I told my husband I wanted to look into it. I even contacted Jenell Summers, who was extremely helpful and very patient with me! My husband is my grounding force and I asked him to check it out before I pursued it any further. While waiting for all of this I started moving again. I dusted off my old Chalean Extreme DVDs and popped in the Turbo Fire (thought it would kill me the first time back!). I began to LIVE again. Well, my husband did the research and concluded that it looked like a legit business opportunity and he was fine if I wanted to move forward. And boy did I…

There was a lot that happened my first 2 weeks. I made Emerald and got 32 success club points before I knew what success club was! The great thing is that success isn’t the point. I know it might sound cheesy to say that a business opportunity gave me my life back, but it did. You see, I was working out more and harder. I stopped drinking and I dealt with my feelings the way I always had: through a puddle of sweat. Not only did Beach Body coaching restore my sense of purpose, it gave my kids their mom back. I’ll never forget the day my son said, “I’m glad you’re finally ok”. They were used to a mom that fought. My kids know a mom that got up early to work out so that she could live long enough to see them grow up to be healthy, happy people (that’s another part of my story: my mom died at the age of 42). My husband got his confident wife back and guess what? HE signed on to be a coach! He has no fitness background, but he digs what Beach Body is trying to do. P90X2 just came in the mail and we’ve committed to doing the full 90 days together. I’m happy again.

I believe in purpose once more and I know that God is not done with me yet. I will never know why baby Alex didn’t get to stay with us, but I know there is always a reason and I know that SOMEBODY needs to hear this story. NEVER QUIT… You have a purpose and a plan. You have a unique story and niche to fill.  Beach body has afforded me a way to reach even more people for HEALTH. Bikini picas are awesome, but for me it’s about living for my family and fighting for every single day I can get.

My next goals? My husband and I are going to Summit in June and I do plan on being diamond. Also, I’m working on my own core training system to help even more people get in shape AND feel accomplished and awesome.

Keep on moving and you’re always moving forward!

Michelle C

www.michellecfitness.com