The Vision…MY STORY
“What has been in your life up till now…
all the mistakes, all the wrong choices, all the wrong people, all the missed opportunity, all the heartache…
has nothing to do with what still can be”
This Brand New Day was originally founded from a deep desire to reach out to youth and young adults making the wrong decisions about life. The negative decisions span from life-threatening substance abuse and poor health choices to destructive choices about life. Many times this road starts as a result of family turmoil or life crisis. Youth may and frequently do turn to negative ways of coping including substance abuse, crime, and self-injury habits. In addition, they stop going to school, stop communicating with family members, turn to the wrong crowd for acceptance, run away from home, etc. Negative and destructive habits and behaviors lead to depression, difficulty in life, a lack of self-worth and self-esteem, conduct disorders, etc., as well as an unhappy life. Teens and pre-teens are confused by negative life events and/or changes, and can’t seem to envision their future much beyond their present conditions. Many times parents miss the underlying signs and symptoms until the behaviors are out of control.
These kind of challenging life situations often are unexpected and blow into our lives like a tornado. They cause intense stress on family members who are likely thrown into a world they don’t know how to deal with. They are lost in a helpless abyss of not knowing where to turn or what to do. There is no quality of life and often only survival when thrown into this kind of unrelenting turmoil. These traumatized parents are sick from the stress and find themselves needing help just as much as their offspring. Therefore, this program is also offered to adults.
How do I know this…because I lived it.
The vision to start an organization that would help people going through unexpected life crisis during the difficult teen years started with my own experience of what I went through with my children once they reached the pre-teen years. What was so significant about this life-changing chapter was that I could have never anticipated in my wildest imagination the route our lives were about to take.
As a parent, I know the pain and fear of worrying about the possibility of drug overdose, suicide threats, self abuse, dangerous decision making, and the consequences of bad behavioral issues and wrong thinking my children were making. This kind of stress is indescribable, especially if a parent is a single parent. The emotional, mental and physical impact is draining and affects all areas of life.
So why do these events happen? It usually starts with trauma and finding ways to cope. Many times those coping methods are negative and destructive. Does that mean that all parents of these troubled youth are horrible parents? Absolutely not! I’ve known good kids who came from bad parents and bad kids who came from good parents. There are good kids who drift away from their values because they are so sensitive emotionally that they can’t handle the trauma, thus seeking ways to cope that are ultimately negative. And I’ve known kids who start out bad and turn their whole lives around after hitting bottom. There are a multitude of reasons that are so individually unique that there’s no way to anticipate the reactions. In the end, this is life and life happens. It doesn’t matter why it happens; what matters is that these kids are precious and can be helped.
My philosophy is this: Our children matter and we don’t want to lose them. There is no greater love than our children and children are our future. What better reasons are there to reach out to them? Like it or not they sometimes lose focus and drift off in the wrong direction leaving behind a trail of consequences and heartache. But no matter how harmful the past, no matter how deep the destruction, no matter how grueling the consequences, and no matter how broken the heart, there is always tomorrow and tomorrow will be better. Everything you imagine a great life to be is absolutely possible.
The thing about people who go through crisis, especially if the crisis is long term or devastating, is that they don’t always believe this philosophy. When life is frozen as in crisis, it’s normal to think of present circumstances as the only reflection of future circumstances, and that life won’t get any better. Parents and youth going through this kind of stress sink into a deep depression and may feel like giving up. But nothing lasts forever, change happens, reasons appear, opportunity awaits and there is a better future. What I’ve learned is that people going through these difficult life challenges need somewhere to turn for help and answers. This is also especially difficult for single parents who usually find this new kind of stress overwhelming.
During the long and grueling years I spent wading through all of this was not without reason. I knew I had to do something beneficial with my experience. I spent years going through the trials and heartache of life trauma and know what it is like to feel helpless and overwhelmed. I knew my experience would benefit others going through the same kind of crisis. That purpose was to help and encourage youth, parents and families who need it the most with the insight I learned. Had I not gone through what I did, I never would have been able to share what I know. There is no comparison for experience. I met many other parents and youth suffering the confusion of a world turned upside down, and told myself that one day I would dedicate the rest of my life to share what I learned to help others.
“Tree of Life”, by Peter Lik
We can’t change what has happened and we can’t bring back the way life once was. But we can change the way the experience lives in us and see the opportunity and amazing growth that comes from trauma. Coming from a place of experience and the unequaled knowledge that comes from experience, we change. Our soul’s desire then becomes a vision to share and empower others with what we know, and that becomes our purpose. It is through the storms of life that we gain clarity and meaning. I have always known that there was something more and something beautiful I could create from my experience. What I offer through these classes is the best I know to help you live an extraordinary life, no matter how difficult life may be now or may have been in the past.
“I have heard it said, ‘we teach what we need in life.’
Yes, I needed what I teach, and that is why I know how important it is to share what I have learned”
Founder of This Brand New Day