Book Review: Author Robert Uttaro Share Powerful Stories Regarding Sexual Assault In ‘To The Survivors’

Featured Image Courtesy of  fauxels from Pexels

Disclosure: This book is 100% my views, I was not compensated in exchange for it.

Author, Robert Uttaro didn’t decide to become a basketball or football player, neither did he choose to become a doctor, lawyer, or even a musician when he grew up. The only thing Robert knew was that he wanted to help people. And by helping people, who would have thought that it would have been as a Rape Crisis Counselor at a center, he refers to as “The Healing Place.” 

In the childhood section of his book “To The Survivors,” Robert discusses him taking a knife to a bathroom, getting in the tub, and putting small cuts starting from the elbows all the way down to his wrist. When asked by a friend what happened, he informed her that he fell into some thorns, and sadly she believed him. Without even questioning the whereabouts and/or what happened to make him fall in the first place. This incident had me thinking about various people whom I’ve come into contact with over the years who were maybe not looking so well one day, or they’d come to work, and you notice a strange bruise or even perhaps that something’s off with them. You ask, “Are you okay?” they more than likely will say, “Yes, they are,” or they’d say something like, “You know I was doing such and such and slipped.” And as a society, we take their words as solid truths and not say anything else about the matter. This makes me wonder… 

Could those people have really been in trouble and I not didn’t take notice?

Did I miss the signs or the red flags? 

Photo credit: Bing

Robert’s book is that of true stories (identities and places withheld for personal reasons) and the influential individuals he’s worked with over the years. Heroic individuals who wanted to share their vulnerability and traumatic stories of violence and sexual assault. 

This book is a valuable guide to read, as well as understand the different effects a survivor may be feeling. To me, while this book is regarding survivors of sexual violence. I believe the twenty-three mentioned impacts on an individual’s emotions, such as shame, guilt, loss of control, shock, embarrassment, suicidal tendencies, and many more. It can also be used for someone who experienced a terrible loss or tragedy. These symptoms are sure signs that anyone should be able to look for in an individual and offer help. 

While some people may find the stories within this book hard to read due to its nature and content, others will find it inspiring and motivating. It helps you feel as though you’re NOT alone, as you may even resonate with some of the individual stories. 

I feel everyone should know that there is HOPE and a LIFE after a sexual assault or tragedy. It may not seem like it because when you’re going or have gone through such a traumatic experience, it can feel like you’re the only one facing it or like the walls are closing in on you all at once. I know those feelings all too; well, I’m a sexual assault survivor myself. Moving forward wasn’t easy, but I had to see it as me surviving so that I may help someone else survive. I’m a firm believer that EVERYTHING we go through in life is not just our experiences, but we go through them to help others get through theirs, and in return, maybe they’d turn and help someone else. There’s a purpose for everything, even in damaged goods. You CAN and WILL live a healthy LIFE. You just have to chose if you’re going to allow your past or it’s negativity to KEEP you in a jail of bondage, regret, and shame over it. 

You have to determine when to put an expiration date on it and move forward. 

Photo Credit: Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) from Pexels

And this next word is the icing on the cake that’s going to help you move forward, and that’s FORGIVENESS! I know it’s cliché, but as we know and have heard, “Forgiveness is not for them, but it gives you Peace” Now I know forgiveness is hard, as this is another chapter in Robert’s book that really spoke to me. It’s easier said than done, trust me, I know. But forgiveness is so you can move on and let the chips fall where they may when it comes to the perpetrator. I’m also a believer in seed planting. Plant a bad one, you reap the benefits of whatever grows up from that seed. 

 ‘To The Survivors’ is a perfect example to show that you don’t have to be from the same place as someone else. Neither do you have to have experienced the same thing they’ve experienced? As Robert stated in his book, “Often our lives go in different directions than we plan or expect.”

A road or call from God, I should say, lead Robert Uttaro to a healing place to help bring blessings and healing to others. He answered the call, and because of it, many survivors have shared their stories and have helped others become heroic in sharing theirs. ‘To the Survivors’ is a book of hurt, heroism, and healing. The heroes are the ones that felt compelled to share their stories, but the main protagonist is the man, who felt the call, listened to the request, and acted upon it. Thanks, Robert, for allowing these influential voices to be heard.

If you know someone who has been sexually assaulted, maybe it’s you, perhaps it happened many years ago, and you feel it doesn’t matter now. Well, let me tell you, IT DOES! Your voice matters, it matters for the many women and men that are afraid to SPEAK UP. Your voice could just be the chain reaction that helps someone else get the healing they desperately need.

Please reach out to a counselor, trusted friend, or family member, or call or find a rape crisis center near you. Robert Uttaro’s book “To The Survivors” is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Kobo.  

Get Inspired to tell your story, Pick up your copy today!

Book Review: 100 Years Lead Author Mark Baynard on A Journey to Free Himself & Generations to Come

Do you know what a generational curse is?

You, like myself I’m sure have either heard the word before or if you’ve done research on your own family history, I’m sure you’ve actually “seen” it in action. While I couldn’t find the word “generational curse” in the dictionary as I figured I wouldn’t. I have my own definition of what this word truly means and that’s this:

A generational curse is an era, period, range, class or lifetime of something being carried down from one generation to another generation.

In other words, if your family has always been known to be alcoholics, maybe that started with your great, great, great, great grandpa or grandma and now, you’ve noticed that everyone in your family can’t seem to “break the spirit of alcoholism.” A generational curse is something your family has always done, what your family is consistently known to do and unfortunately what even your kids will continue to do unless someone stands up and says “enough is enough!”

Believe it or not, while alcoholism is just an example of what some families may struggle with, for others it could be infidelity, lying, cheating, gambling or even prison. Which was the case for author Mark Baynard.

Image Credit: Mark Baynard

Oftentimes I’ve heard about generational curses and wondered what in the heck was it and why were people so interested in discussing the topic. Needless to say, I got my first glimpse of what a generational curse was through T.D. Jakes who once preached a sermon entitled “The Spellbreaker.”

Within that series I got an understanding of what a generational curse was all about, In this series, he began to talk about marriage and looking into the lineage of your spouse, what their like and overall what their family history details, because all those things would end up being passed down to your children. DNA is something else however when it comes to generational curses, it’s something that very few people really do research about to find the real reason why we act and/or do or think the way we do. These actions all stem from the root of someone or something. I believe in order to successfully break a generational curse over your life, you seriously have to do some research on your family history and that is exactly what Mark Baynard did. While a journey of this nature isn’t easy, Mark Baynard shows in his book ‘100 years: A journey to end a vicious cycle’ that it’s totally CAPABLE!

You see, Mark’s family had a generational curse attached to them as well and that was the Prison system. Unfortunately, due to quite a few bad choices, Mark found himself adding to that generational curse lineage, but one thought was about to change it all. Mark Baynard had an epiphany after leaving his probation officer one day. According to Mark, it was something about that visit that made him think about his life-choices as well as his future. A successful future that many of his male family members weren’t experiencing because they were behind bars.

Birth is when our opportunities to value “life” begin, but we have until our lives stop to make and maintain positive changes.”

Mark Baynard – Author “100 Years: A Journey to End A Vicious Cycle”

Mark didn’t know why all of a sudden he became so hungry to know why the male members of this family kept failing; but he had an insatiable urge to find out and what he found out, was like a lightbulb that turned on brighter than it ever had before. This newfound discovery became the changing point in Mark Baynard’s life.

Mark came from a good family, he met his real mother at the age of 5 and began living with her and his other siblings. Mark had lived with his dad and step-mother for quite some time so while this was an adjustment, his mom and dad were very good role models and raised him well, along with his grandmother whom Mark attributes much of his wisdom lessons from.

So, one might say – Well, if family life was so great then what really happened? How can someone from a good family still end up in prison? And Mark has an answer for that, its called “The Crossroads of Life” – A former pastor of mine used to say “The choices you make will determine the life you choose” and unfortunately for Mark as well as the men in his family, these “choices” ultimately landed them all behind bars. The discovery Mark came to realize is that when he wrote down each of his family members that had been to prison, including himself and those currently serving time behind bars – it totaled to ONE HUNDRED YEARS!

While this devasted Mark to his core, he knew that as Sam Cooke once song so beautifully “A Change Is Gonna Come” and that change he determined was going to be through HIMSELF FIRST! and for future generations to come.

“The problem lies not in standing at these crossroads, but in each individual’s response”

Mark Baynard, Author “100 Years: A Journey to End A Vicious Cycle”

This book was so good, I found myself relating to Mark’s story in wanting to be a change agent in regards to my own family history. This includes putting a big stop sign on behavioral choices, old patterns and approaching things differently let’s say than my grandmother, her mother or even my own mother had done for the sake of my own two children.

In Mark’s book, he’ll take you on his very personal journey of ups and downs in his fight to close the gap to the “generational behavioral mindset” his family had come so used too. Mark’s journey to improve himself as well as make a difference in his community is met with lots of heartache and pain but shows Mark’s determination to break barriers and make the necessary changes his family desperately needed.

This book will have you crying, guessing and cheering all at the same time. I honestly couldn’t put it down and you won’t either! Now you know how I do, I can’t give you ALL the details of the book as I want you to read it for yourself. This would be a great book club read and the perfect Christmas gift for yourself, a family member or a friend. “100 Years: A Journey to End A Vicious Cycle” will motivate you to finally put an end to whatever generational family cycle you’re in and show you how to live your best life despite the odds set up against you.

Your past will never dictate your future unless you want it too, your future TRULY CAN change for the better and Mark Baynard is a true; living, breathing, inspirational testimony of that!

You can get both of Mark’s books “100 Years: A Journey to End A Vicious Cycle and 100 Years Part II: Truth Be Told” on >>>>>> Amazon!

You can follow Mark Baynard on his Amazon Author’s Page >>>>> HERE

Movie Review: Just Say Goodbye

Disclaimer: This Indie Film “Just Say Goodbye” was sent to me to view by the writer/producer Layla O’Shea. All comments about the film are 100% my own.

Have you ever had someone to tell you a secret and asked you to promise them that you wouldn’t tell anyone? What if the secret they wanted you to keep was detrimental to their life…? Would you still keep it a secret?

Just Say Goodbye Film is about two teenage best friends Sarah Morin (Katerina Eichenberger) and Jesse Peterson (Max MacKenzie) who have been friends since the age of 6. After the death of his mother, Jesse finds himself growing up feeling a little detached from society, his father is an alcoholic and abuser who wish Jesse would disappear, as looking at him daily reminds him of his mom, who committed suicide.

Jesse begins to wonder, why should he live anyway. No one cares or wants him, but someone does care and that’s Sarah, who fights Jesse’s battles at school as he endures taunts, unwanted fights and bullying from the kids at school, especially one kid by the name of Chase Gibbons (Jesse Walters).

With the constant bullying of Chase, a deceased mom and a dad who could care less about his welfare or wellbeing. Jesse decides the ultimate goal of getting rid of all the pain in his life would be to take his own. A secret he’s kept forever is now a secret shared with his best friend Sarah, who’s struggling to keep Jesse’s secret truly a secret between her or getting someone else involved in order to save her friendship.

What would you do, if Jesse was your Best Friend?

This movie was partly inspired by a true event in writer/producer Layla O’Shea‘s life who had a high school friend to confide in her about his attempted plan to commit suicide during an April vacation which at the time was only a week away!! Layla, who thought it was a joke quickly realized her friend was serious. Not knowing what to do, Layla broke her friend’s trust and got his parents involved in their “secret” conversation.

Secrets can kill. Let’s not keep bullying and depression a secret, speak out now! speaking up can very well save a life.

While her friend was disgusted with her that she betrayed his trust in her, days later after much thought, he embraced her, not saying a word but the hug he gave said it all.

This movie is very powerful and challenges us to think about what’s a good secret to keep and what’s a mind-blowing secret we should tell. With bullying on the rise, we have more teens as well as adults killing themselves daily to get rid of the pain and chokehold of society, but what’s really painful, is the secrets friends, family, co-workers, teachers and etc. may know and don’t SPEAK UP and SPEAK OUT about it.

Long live the days of “What happens in this house, stays in this house” – those are words I heard constantly growing up, from my family as well as my friend’s family around me but what our parents and neighbors fail to realize is what’s not said, can ultimately be a friend or family members demise.

This is a movie of Love, Friendship, Secrets, forgiveness & redemption You’ll have to see it for yourself to see what happens in the end. Did Sarah reveal Jesse’s secret?

Do me a HUGE Favor!! Please share this post and follow Layla O’Shea and find out more about the movie and the cast on the social media outlets below:

Check It Out! >> Just Say Goodbye is now streaming on Amazon Prime! http://amzn.to/2VZTpuk 

Just Say Goodbye is the winner of the Indie Spirit Best Director (Matt Walting) at the Boston International Film Festival. Matt was 18 when he directed this movie, making him the youngest in history to win the award. This movie was also nominated as the Stanley Kubrick Best U.S. Feature Film at the Blow-Up International Arthouse Film Festival in Chicago

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Book Review: Rita Chowdhry Wants to Know “Are You SAAVI?”

Featured Image: Rita Chowdhry – Created by Roshonda – B Creative

Disclosure: This book was gifted to me by Rita Chowdhry’s publishing company in exchange for my honest review. All views concerning this book are 100% my own and not of anyone else’s.

In order to gain success, you first have to get SAVVI!

This is a term that acronym that author, entrepreneur and award-winning coach and trainer Rita Chowdhry discovered she needed in her own life if she indeed wanted to experience exponential growth in her life and business. The acronym SAAVI is also what she coaches her own clients to adopt in their lives as well.

So what does SAAVI mean?… SAVVI MEANS

S-Self Awareness (exploit your strengths and overcome your weaknesses)
A-Achiever’s Mindset (developing the right mindset to achieve your life and work goals)
V-Values & Beliefs (understand your values and belief systems and how they ultimately influence your performance)
V-Verbal Communication (learn how to adapt your communication for successful outcomes)
I-Inspire & Motivate (know-how and where to get yourself and others motivated and inspired)

Chowdhry learned the principals of being SAAVI 30,000 feet in the air on a plane ride to India to tend to a tragic family matter. That plane ride changed the trajectory of her life and while Chowdhry was in a state of misery getting on the plane, getting off the plane she was in victory, victory over the pains of her life that she’d constantly been indwelled in. It was a new day and it started by her changing her mindset regarding her personal world and the world of her clients.

Photo Credit: Bing

In her book ‘Get SAAVI’ – Chowdhry speaks of the many fears and emotional barriers within her own life that kept her stagnant and unfulfilled successfully, she shares stories of her upbringing in Northern India, the community and her strong father who was a leader and trailblazer in his own right and how his ethics helped her to become a strong woman in her young early life. However, after her father died tragically in a taxi accident, Chowdhry’s life wasn’t the same. Dealing with her father’s death and her mother’s emotional downfall of losing a husband. Chowdhry became a worrier and unsure of herself as well as her future.

After her father’s death, Chowdhry and her family had to turn all their independence on their community to dictate and make decisions for her mom, herself and siblings. A lifestyle that Chowdry adapted too. Being, 30,000 feet high Chowdhry had, had enough and decided that she needed to do something different. This time she was going to take life into her own hands and steer it the way she wanted it to go.

Photo Credit: Bing

While SAVVI had now become Chowdry’s newfound life. Her book details the story of a real family that she’s helped to adopt the SAAVI principal. A family composed of a wife, husband, and son that looked good on the outside in front of people but who were detached and suffering miserably behind closed doors. Chowdhry began helping the wife and everything changed.

I really loved this book because I wouldn’t have thought of it as adopting a specific principal entitled “SAAVI” but I do believe and am a FIRM believer of putting expiration dates on our past. For quite some time, just life Chowdhry (different circumstances) I too allowed the voices of others to dictate my life and keep me in a box. I was always afraid of speaking up, it didn’t matter how small or big the situation was, I couldn’t do it and therefore succumbed to other people doing it for me, which negatively impacted the outlook I had on myself.

Photo Credit: Bing

I allowed people to run over me and I also allowed the issues of my childhood to dictate how my future would be, which lead me down a wrong path of unfulfilled relationships in which I allowed myself to stay in WAYYYY to long. The SAAVI principal is not just for “past” relationships but you can also use these principals going forward into your future.

Ultimately we are the “enemies” of our own life, which means the choices we make or choose to hold on too, determine our outcome whether we move forward, stay stagnant or continue to be the little 5yr old boy or girl whose now 30 yrs old and still reeling over the fact that your dad walked out on you and that’s the reason why you’re making the bad choices you are in life. NOOOOOOOO, yes those things affect us. It affected me when my dad walked out and was never apart of my life and I used that excuse for years to continue in a behavior that wasn’t great for me. But like Rita I had to decide differently and say, Enough is Enough! How am I going to change this situation around for the better?

You Can Only Play the Victim but For So Long! – Roshonda N. Blackmon

If you want to be SAAVI and/or learn the principals that Rita Chowdhry has detailed in her book (because I just scratched the surface =) then you’d really want to get a copy! Rita’s story of tragedy to triumph is a REAL inspiration and the outcome of the family is truly amazing.

Get SAAVI, Get Successful & Get Moving into 2020 with a SAVVI NEW YOU!

Rita Chowdhry’s book ‘Get SAVVI’ is available right now for sale on Amazon!

Get SAAVI, Get Successful! – Rita Chowdhry, Author of ‘Get SAAVI’

Book Review: Jacqueline Pirtle says Getting to Happiness in 365 days, Is Literally a Piece of Cake!

Featured Image: Jacqueline Pirtle/Bing

Disclosure: This book was gifted to me by Jacqueline’s publishing company in exchange for my honest review. All views concerning this book are 100% my own and not of anyone else’s.

Jacqueline Pirtle’s book, “365 Days of Happiness” is a real sweet tooth and I mean, literally! after just reading the first two pages, my energy arose, my vibrations began to rumble on the inside of me and I immediately reached over and grabbed the oatmeal cream pie  I brought along with me as I knew I was in for a treat….where was this feeling coming from.?

Had I just awakened my own Happiness??

In Pirtle’s self-help guide she speaks of Happiness as a person, a companion, a lover and friend in whom you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with. Pirtle, who’s widely known as a freaky healer is also a Mindfulness and Happiness coach. Trust me when I say, you’ll be able to feel her energy as well as her enthusiasm as she takes you step-by-step each day into an incredible session of discovering your own happiness all while guiding you into an energy realm of consciousness. Pirtle teaches you how to pay attention to your own energy vibrations. Pirtle believes in the law of attraction and therefore believes that everyone is and has positive energies inside of them that’s just waiting to be tapped into.

Okay, now I know that was a little deep but honestly, Pirtle’s book is a delight! You’ll have to read it for yourself to get served dinner, I’m just giving you an appetizer of what’s to come or I guess I should say, a little dessert before the main course. This is not just a book that tells you want happiness is, this is a powerful book that pushes and challenges you to act upon happiness. Pirtle asks you to do simple gestures to help you dig up your happiness (should it be buried), shake hands with it, get to know it and have candid conversations with it.

“365 Days of Happiness” will cause you to look deep within your heart, mind, soul and body for answers. As each plays a dynamic part in our happiness. While you may think this is a book for adults; it’s simple, short and yet transforming steps can be used for the entire family, children included. Pirtle makes this evident on day 82 when she asks that you allow your children to enjoy their treats such as ice cream consciously by really taking time to feel, taste and experience its coldness and how it affects our senses.

“Not only will they think it’s fun, they will also learn a lot about themselves and be more grounded because of it”

Jacqueline Pirtle – 365 Days of Happiness

I love how at the end of each step, Pirtle states “This is Happiness” reminding us that happiness while simple in statement is BIG, BOLD and EASY to discover if we’d give it a chance. There were so many steps that I loved, could relate too and brought out new discoveries within myself that I hadn’t known was there, such as fully looking at myself in a mirror (in which I’d been afraid to face in the past) and feel the words “I Love all of ME!” Yes. I’ve said these words before, but I’ve never felt them, breathed them nor tasted what these words truly meant….until this book in which now made me whisper these words with great intent and action. I realized I failed these words in the past when I chose to see myself differently than what I projected.

So, you might ask or have asked. What is happiness? & How must one obtain it. Well, Happiness is indeed a process no worries, as Pirtle will be by your side, every step of the way, every day for 365 days pushing you, coaching you and healing you throughout. Oh and by chance should you feel the need to pick up a little something sweet half way thru? Do It! because as Pirtle states: “Happiness is truly a piece of cake”

You can get your slice by picking this book up today! Your mind, body, soul and sweet tooth will thank you later! “365 Days of Happiness” is available for sale on Amazon or you can download the “365 Days of Happiness” eBook for free here:http://freakyhealer.com/free-book

About the Author

Jacqueline Pirtle spent every day of 2017 devoted to her own happiness. She wrote every single day about the things she did to honor her joy and used those writings to create this 365 day step-by-step guide. Jacqueline’s passion for happiness shines through in all of her work as an accomplished energy healer, mindfulness-happiness coach, and author of 365 Days of Happiness. She has helped hundreds of clients shift into a “high for life” frequency where they can reach happiness anywhere at any time.

Jacqueline’s professional background is in health, wellness, holistic medicine, energy healing, law of attraction, and happiness. She holds international wellness degrees and is internationally certified as a Reiki Master.  Jacqueline Pirtle a.k.a FreakyHealer has been leading life-changing workshops, talks, and private sessions since 2006. Her passion for “sprinkling happiness” and being “high for life” shines through in all of her work as an energy healer, mindfulness and happiness coach, and author of 365 Days of Happiness. She was born in Switzerland and now makes her home in the United States. To learn more, go to http://www.freakyhealer.com/