From Cowgirl to Crusader, Part 1

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When I was four years old I lived with my young parents in a small apartment behind the laundry my dad owned. He worked in it 12-16 hours a day six days a week to build a better life for us. I lived in my Play World, which included playing Cowboys and Indians, gladiator with armor and sword, reading fairy tales, and hiking with my folks at Palo Duro Canyon when we could get away. In the small backyard on the hard-packed earth I would ride my broomstick horse. Like my hero, John Wayne, I stood up for what’s right and fought off the bad guys. From humorist Will Rogers, a friend of my great uncle and aunt, I learned, “A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”

Through the years I learned the basics of nutritious eating from my parents and all four of my grandparents. As an eight year old I noticed that most of my classmates either did not eat breakfast or had only a donut. I felt so sad for them! By then I had three younger siblings. My mom fixed us a hot breakfast every day before school, such as oatmeal and orange juice, egg and whole wheat toast, or hotcakes, fruit and homemade grape jelly, all from scratch. She said, “I want you kids to be strong and healthy so you can have plenty of energy and learn well.” It stuck.

Willie Nelson croons in one song “My heroes have always been cowboys.” Who are your heroes? I recently wrote down several people who have mentored and truly inspired me through the years, including my parents, the Lone Ranger, Superman, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty’s prince, Pinocchio, Shirley Temple, Grandmother Baland, Jesus Christ, certain fairy tales and my Uncle Andy (a young Air Force pilot who took me out for chocolate malts at the drugstore when he was home on leave). More recent ones include Jonathan Sprinkles “Your Connection Coach,” James Malinchak, “The Secret Millionaire,” and Francie White, my eating disorders trainer from Santa Barbara.

Who are your favorite heroes or mentors? How have they impacted your life? One thing I explore with my clients includes what positive and negative scripts might you subconsciously follow? (I credit my mentor  marriage counselor Heather Carlile with this). Maybe you didn’t have positive role models or parents growing up. No problem – that is if you consciously choose new positive ones! Find out more in my next blog: FROM COWGIRL TO CRUSADER! Part 2.


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