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Reasons Why I'm Triggered

Welcome to my new blog "Reasons Why I'm Triggered", a place where I share personal recollections and thoughts that have challenged me and pushed me to engage my thinking on a deeper level. In essence, I’ve reached a level of understanding in life that has motivated me to impart another layer of empathy. My name is Leah Anderson, I'm a wife, a mom, and a full-time advocate of self-care, all while coaching women through life‘s triggers and past traumas.


How many times have you been triggered by insensitive comments, unkind acts, or angered by a lack of support from family and friends in your daily life or community? Well, guess what, ME TOO! Yup we all do! Now more than ever with the era of social media, feelings are heightened and responses are transparent and raw. So I decided to write about it. Every week I will share about real-life issues that have triggered a need to think higher and love wiser.


This blog is a place where it's okay to not be okay and it's alright to say, “you know what? I AM bothered”. Let's talk about the reasons why we’ve been triggered and find new ways to collectively move forward peacefully and lovingly.

What triggers me? An Unkind Soul

“I choose to be kind because it makes me happy. But I will defend my boundaries and my loved ones without hesitation. Make no mistake: I am fierce.”~Nanea Hoffman


I can absolutely relate to this statement on so many levels. I consider myself a kind and empathic soul but I also know that it’s very hard for me to accept negative attitudes, gestures and comments from others....especially when it comes to attacking my character and my family. I really just dislike angry people with hateful spirits because we’re all just trying to survive and enjoy our days on this earth.

Why does it seem like that’s so difficult for some people to do?

It can help to know if someone is going through a particularly tough time. It’s easy to deflect anger, hurt, or frustration onto others around us. Sometimes that anger manifests in ways we don’t intend it to.

Yes at times I dislike my own behavior when I allow my emotions to get the best of me.

Some people have been surrounded by unhealthy environments where anger, aggression, and bullying, are the norm.

And some people just don’t want to help themselves to better whatever situation is causing their strife. And rather than be accountable and work through the resolution, there are plenty of scapegoats to be used...ya catch my drift?

So yes, hateful hearts, hateful words, hateful actions all trigger me... I mean why wouldn’t they? They all result in a plethora of negative feelings on the receiving end.

The Marriott Hotel ran a commercial several years ago with the foundation of the golden rule, aka human kindness, as the campaign. Let me tell you that it grips my soul even today.

“It would be great if human beings were great at being human; and if all of mankind were made up of kind women and kind men...it would be glorious if neighbors were neighborly and indifference a forgotten word...”

This rings so solemnly to my ears. And what do I hear it say?

Be kind to others.

Be kind to yourself.

Love one another.

Stop making excuses.

Be grateful for each other, and remember the times that someone once helped you or showed you love...now pay it forward.

We have to do SO much better at leveling-up our humankind. So why not start now? Now when we so desperately need each other in virtually every facet of life.

So may we all desire, seek, and embrace greatness, not just within ourselves, but within all of humankind that surrounds us.


#thinkaboutit


Love and peace,

Coach Leah

What triggers me? Messy Situations

“Life is messy. Being human is messy. It’s not so neat as our shoulds and shouldn’ts would have us believe.”~BR

Life is messy.

Doesn’t life feel messy right now? It sure does to me!

Everywhere we turn there’s turmoil, conflict and devastation. People are losing loved ones, friendships, jobs, sanity, you name it!

We are at our wits end emotionally and physically and that’s not a good combination!

I personally feel like I’ve lost control of certain aspects of my life yet evolved in others...how does that even work?!

My point with this post is that life can really dish out some messy situations! But we have to be mindful of how we handle them. The ways that we stay focused, or lose control, will always determine the end result.

We must also be mindful of how these situations impact the lives of others. Sometimes the ripple effects of what we are going through also trickle down to those around us.

Understanding that “this too shall pass” and choosing to bypass negativity and drama is so incredibly important in getting through messy situations.

Knowing when to, and not to, voice our thoughts and opinions is also important in handling messy situations.

The bottom line is, when life throws us lemons, we have a choice whether or not to throw them back or make delicious lemonade...and I don’t know about you but I LOVE sweet lemonade!

Staying committed to a drama-free, mess-free life isn’t easy because life isn’t at all predictable. BUT committing to making the best of each situation that comes IS within our control!

I encourage you all to evaluate your “mess” and consider how you can be mindful of better ways to handle it. Or, if things are flowing pretty smoothly for you now, how might you make better choices on how to handle those lemons in the future?  


#thinkaboutit


Love and peace,

Coach Leah

What triggers me? COVID-19

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.’”-Unknown


When January 1st, 2020 arrived I was READY! I’m not usually the person who makes a ton of new resolutions at the beginning of a new year, but this year felt different.

2019 dished out a lot of really tough experiences and extremely happy experiences for me and my family...I lost my mother in February, my grandmother in May, all while learning that I had Papillary Carcinoma-Thyroid cancer. The cancer was removed in June via a total Thyroidectomy and I embarked on a very, exhausting recovery. My oldest daughter graduated high school and I married in October, then traveled to my dream destination for an amazing honeymoon with my beautiful wife.

2019 thrust me into my emotions and yanked me around like a rag doll for the ENTIRE year...I felt excited, sad, devastated, disappointed, anxious, happy, depleted, relieved and blissful...in that order.

So 2020 was supposed to be the year that confirmed that life goes on after hard times but I deserve to experience effortless happiness going forward!

Well...that’s not how it went.

COVID-19 happened. And my life has drastically changed over the last 6 months.

My household has grown, my marriage has been tested, my relationships have strengthened and some have even dissolved, my career has evolved but my time management has suffered. I’ve had to learn how to work where I sleep, or is it vice versa? I’ve constantly worried about the next day/week/month and what it will bring, or not bring.

It’s been HARD! And just when I thought I had life really figured out, it changed.

So WHY does COVID-19 trigger me? Because with it has come a whole new set of challenges that I’m not, and wasn’t, ready for. Call me selfish but I didn’t ask for this, my family didn’t ask for this, my friends, employers and employees everywhere and everyone who has suffered from this didn’t ask for it. And that makes me really angry and endlessly frustrated!

Then I remember that we weren’t put on this earth just to suffer our entire lives.

This really is survival of the fittest, and we are ALL the fittest!

Yes COVID-19 has been one big devastating pain in the ass, but there have been positive changes too! We have all found ourselves having to reevaluate what’s important to us, what we do with our time and how we react in extreme situations.

I don’t know about you but I’ve bonded on a deeper level with my family and learned how we can truly depend on each other! My creative juices have been flowing, I birthed a mini-series on IGTV, created this very blog and landed a 3-show spot on an internationally syndicated radio station.

I’ve had to re-learn who Leah is. What are her passions? Where is her heart? What is the depth of her strength? Can she survive this too?

So when I say that COVID-19 triggers me, it’s because my heart hurts for the hurt, pain and loss that it’s caused, and is continuing to cause. But it also triggers me to appreciate the ways that my life and soul have evolved from this chapter of survival in my life.

My heart is with all who have experienced loss and heartbreak during this time. And I encourage everyone who is surviving each day to remember that there IS hope at the end of this road; it’s currently leading you to your own beautiful destination. Don’t give up. Don’t look back. And don’t forget that you ARE strong enough to get through this too!


#thinkaboutit


Love and peace,

Coach Leah

What triggers me? Too many opinions!

“...I hear people say ‘let’s agree to disagree’. I look forward to a time, so open-minded, I’ll hear people say ‘I’m right and you can be too.’”-Paula Heller Garland

Can I be completely honest with you? I really can’t stand all the conflict that consumes news articles, social media and every-day conversations anymore.

What happened to being able to agree to disagree? After all, as adults, isn’t that the wisdom that we learned as children and adolescents? Aren’t we taught to accept others for our differences and love our fellow neighbor regardless?

Ok, for lack of better words, maybe that feels a bit cliche but seriously, WHAT is the problem people?

I’ll tell you what the problem is. We’ve become so engrossed in convincing ourselves that “our way is the only way”, that we’ve lost touch with the beauty of letting bygones be bygones.

I’m a lesbian woman in an interracial marriage who grew up in a very conservative Christian home. There are A LOT of people who don’t agree with my values, beliefs or lifestyle. I’ve been judged beyond measure by people who were once my friends, I’ve been mom-shamed for “allowing” domestic violence situations to occur around my children. I’ve been stereotyped as a white woman and I’ve been labeled to associate with societal standards that have nothing to do with who I am as a human being.

And at the end of the day, I CHOOSE to let go of the irritation, frustration, anger and even hurt that’s been slung my way in the name of a differing opinion.

I am ME. And that’s all I can be! I can’t control how others act, think or the values that they choose to live by.

I am strong in my values and personal beliefs and every day that I wake up I am also CONFIDENT in who I am.

I’m very comfortable in my skin!

So why would I allow someone who very likely speaks these same truths about themselves kill MY vibe?

In my opinion, we’re BOTH right! Because they are who they are, their experiences and belief systems make them unique and are theirs to own, not mine. And rather than feast on the negativity behind proving my point or calling someone out for not being like me, I choose to let it go and agree to disagree.

It takes much more energy and mindfulness to welcome peace in our lives and most importantly, in our souls. That’s energy VERY well spent in my opinion!

So if you’re someone who finds yourself always on the defensive, I challenge YOU to try harder to confidently embrace who you are without so vigorously defending who you are.

Wish your naysayers well, and send some good vibes their way. Chances are, they need just as much peace in their lives and souls as you...but the most important part to remember is that YOUR peace and wellbeing are what matter the most. 


#thinkaboutit


Love and peace,

Coach Leah

What triggers me? A child’s broken heart.

“I know that I will continue to apologize to my children because I will continue to be human.”~Gina LaPapa


Once upon a time, there was a young single mother, raising three young daughters, who was trying to figure out how to love herself in a lonely world by finding “love” in all the wrong places...and in all the WRONG people.

That young mother was me. Many moons ago I was lost, lonely, working full time, earning my degree AND my coaching credentials simultaneously and volunteering in the community regularly all while raising my 3 young daughters by myself.

All of the above was a perfect recipe for me to fall into the hands of a “love” that promised to help me and take care of me yet ultimately broke me down to my lowest of lows...while my daughters' lives were greatly impacted and their little eyes and ears were soaking in every devastating moment.

As a woman who has survived domestic violence more than once, let’s just say I’ve had my fair share of transparent conversations with my daughters about the experiences in THEIR lives because ultimately my decisions have always impacted THEM first.

One thing that I understand as a parent, through many difficult situations and hard lessons learned, is that it’s solely MY responsibility to talk to my kids about the realities that life brings us...and when those realities bring dysfunction, and affect my children’s lives in negative ways, it’s solely my responsibility to acknowledge it, fix it, and make necessary changes in my life.

Fast forward to today, me and my daughters are NOT living in the dysfunction that we once did and thankfully we haven’t in many years. But that doesn’t mean that it’s ok for me to forget it or to erase it.

And it absolutely doesn’t mean that I’m “too good” to apologize for allowing the past to transpire in the ways that it did, even if I wasn’t consciously trying to allow the dysfunction to evolve back then in the first place.

You see, the moment we bring children into the world, we are no longer in a position to be above saying I’m sorry or to not have to acknowledge that we may very well hurt the little hearts and souls that we are raising.

My children know my heart, have seen my struggle, and have heard my apologies time and time again.

Of course with every lesson, I’ve grown and embraced more wisdom as a parent than before; but even so, I still have learning and growing to do, as my daughters approach the ages of becoming young adults.

We must try our best to lead by example and do our best to make decisions in our lives that will benefit and positively shape the future of our children...and when we slip up and mess up because as humans we WILL do that from time to time, we can never be above saying “I’m sorry”.

I don’t know about you, but the worst feeling in the world as a parent is knowing that I’ve caused my children pain. But the best feeling in the world is wrapping them in my love, admitting that I could’ve done better, and ensuring them that I’ll try harder.

So for all of the parents reading this, my message to you is: don’t be afraid to show your children that you are human, things happen and we certainly aren’t perfect! But also don’t be afraid to be honest and transparent with your children. After all, they look up to you, need guidance from you and love you unconditionally...I really don’t think they’ll fault you for owning up to your own faults.


#thinkaboutit


Love and peace,

Coach Leah

What triggers me? A victimized mentality.

“I survived because the fire within me burned brighter than the fire around me.”~Joshua Grahamy


Chances are, if you’re reading this right now, you’ve probably been a victim at some point in your life.


Unfortunately, many of us have suffered at the hands of the words and actions of others. Traumatic situations, emotional wounds, and sometimes even physical scars can leave lifelong memories imprinted in our souls of things we’d rather forget.


It’s ok to acknowledge that you’ve been a victim. But at what point does a victimized person become a survivor of their circumstances?


I can tell you right now that even the victims who are currently living through the hardest situations in their lives are also CURRENTLY surviving those situations!


How can I possibly say that with such certainty?


I was a victim of sexual assault but had to put on the face of a survivor to endure it.


I was the victim of domestic violence, multiple times, but had to embrace the strength of a survivor to make it out alive.


I was the victim of cancer but had to tap into the courage and bravery of a survivor to fight it.


While we haven’t experienced the same exact traumatic situations, we have all survived them...and were surviving them fervently even as we felt victimized in the moment.


You see, for me, when I think about having been a victim, I think of negative connotations connected to the word...helpless, hopeless, having given up, or having been conquered.


But when I think of surviving, and considering myself a survivor, I think of positive connotations such as strength, endurance, resilience, courage, and bravery.


We choose whether or not to embrace a victimized mentality or that of a survivor. And our choice will determine the future trajectory of our thoughts, emotions, words, and actions.


We choose to take our negative situations and either dwell on the victimization or turn them into a learning experience and one that guides our evolution as human beings.


#thinkaboutit


Love and peace,

Coach Leah

“What triggers me? Co-parenting struggles.

“The best security blanket a child can have is two parents who respect each other.”~Jane Blaustone

Co-parenting...ohhhh the struggle!

As parents, when we choose to end the relationship with the mother/father of our child, we lose the right to comment on anything that goes on in their lives going forward, right? WRONG!

Even when two people choose to go separate ways in life, yet share a child or children together, communication will always be key to a successful co-parenting relationship!

Chances are these two parents will live different lifestyles in their separate homes, but that doesn’t mean that there is no longer a responsibility of coming together for the good of the child.

Children need to feel loved, and cared for, on both sides! And when two parents do not respect each other, trust me, the child ALWAYS picks up on that tension and may very likely live out that relational dysfunction in their adulthood!

It is absolutely the responsibility of each parent to put in the effort to meet the other halfway. They won’t always see eye to eye and when they don’t, again communication is KEY.

Just because you don’t live with the other parent anymore doesn’t mean the common goal of raising your child effectively is gone with the wind.

Want your child(ren) to understand what a healthy relationship looks like for their future? Be the examples they need to see!

This is not a foreign subject for me personally, and after many stressful, sleepless nights and tiring visits to the courthouse, at the end of the day the other parent in my children’s lives and I were able to reconcile our differences and put our kiddos first.

The most eye-opening part of it all? When the opposing attorney sent me a kind email and displayed gratitude towards both of us for putting our personal differences aside and embracing the needs of our children first.

The most disheartening part of it all? When that attorney said that this kind of co-parenting behavior has rarely happened in his career.

So, to all my co-parents who are reading this right now, remember: BE THE EXAMPLE YOU WANT YOUR CHILDREN TO LIVE BY!

Trust me, after all is said and done, and they’re off to experience adulthood, they’ll thank you both for understanding that THEIR needs were most important along the way!


#thinkaboutit


Love and peace,

Coach Leah

What triggers me? A world without love.

"In the end nothing we do or say in this lifetime will matter as much as the way we have loved one another.” ~Daphne Rose Kingma

The world around us is in short supply of love today. We crave to be accepted, not judged, by those around us yet we often see our differences unfold in divisive ways.


So how can we truly and unconditionally love our fellow man?


In other words, how can we better cultivate love?


This invites us to look for opportunities to connect more deeply with others in all of our relationships. Sometimes it will mean putting more energy into being present or generous, even when you don’t feel like it. Sometimes it will look like reaching within to strengthen your own self-love to better understand how to love others.


Loving also means listening. There are few things as generous as listening deeply to someone with your whole mind and whole body, receiving their words and thoughts with your complete presence. It’s so easy to “listen” to someone all while crafting your reply/opinion/advice WHILE they’re still talking and we are all guilty of it!

To listen deeply is to accept the depth of the message you’re being told. It’s applying empathy and compassion where needed and it’s also removing your ego from the equation.


So how DO we change the way we cultivate love?


Questions to ask yourself are:


~How do I show love to others?

~Do they feel and understand my love for them?

~Does my love come with conditions?

~Do I listen intently to others?

~Do I listen with compassion or do I pass judgment?

~What are actions that I can take to strengthen my self-love?


This is an area that we can ALL grow in! Especially in the moments when others disappoint us, or when we disappoint ourselves...or when we don’t see eye to eye with others as well. How can we show more love when it seems too difficult to do or when we feel unworthy?


Cultivating love is a necessity in our world today! So how can YOU do your part in your life and in your community to give and receive a more authentic love language?

#thinkaboutit


Love and peace,

Coach Leah