Break Free

chain breaks

We carry so much weight on our shoulders

As big as mountains or small like boulders

It prevents us from our happiness and joy

Wanting it gone simply like donating a toy


There is a way for us to make the weight lighter

But you will have to continually be a fighter

It’s not something you can do just one day

Thinking it’s all gone and everything is ok


Depression and anxiety attached to us by chains

Along with sadness, regret, and all of our pains

Freedom is found through the door labeled “Exit”

Only you and not your chains is able to pass through it


You possess the ability to make the chains disappear

It’s actually easier to do than it may appear

We make it difficult because we become so afraid

What our life will be once the change has been made


Now that you know, are you doing it or going to ignore

Having gotten this far to be standing in front of the door

There’s nothing to fear because love is on the other side

This is a decision that only you, no one else, can decide


It’s time for you to break free!!!


What are you thankful for?


With all of the hate, chaos, and negativity seen in the world today… I wanted to share more positive thoughts for you. Just how hate bring outs more hate, the same goes with love and hope. Here are the things I am thankful for in no particular order or ranking.

Shawna Ainslie

She is a wonderful person that is awesome at bringing out the best in someone. She has helped me improve the writing that I share with you. She created the group Link Your Life and helped so many people. She was the first person to guest post on my site. I am honored to know her.

Shareen Mansfield

She is another wonderful person. She has a lot of strength and courage that other people feed off of. She helps others feel empowered as they share their story. She will come to the rescue when someone is being harassed. I would not be where I am today without her reaching out to me first. I am honored to know her too.


I have been working at my current job for about 4 years now and I love it. I am able to have evenings, weekends and holidays off. This allows me to spend a lot more time with my friends and family. This was very difficult to do with my previous job. I plan on working at my current job for a really long time.


For the longest time, I hid from them my mental illness. I was afraid to tell them about my depression and anxiety issues. I thought that they would not believe me and shut me out. The truth is that it was actually the opposite. They understood what I was dealing with and embraced it. Without their love and compassion, I would have given up along time ago.


Yes I struggle with depression and anxiety but that doesn’t mean that my life is worth any less than anyone else. My life has purpose. People have loved and appreciated the many posts I have written. For the longest time, I used to wish I had a different life. After learning about myself more, I cherish my life.


My relationship with GOD may not be perfect but words can not truly explain the things GOD has done for me. Yes I have had losses and heartbreaks but the things GOD has done on the other side of it is unbelievable. The reason that I love and respect everyone is because of my faith. Without my faith, the depression and anxiety would be too much to handle.

Being different

For the longest time, I wanted to be just like everyone else. I would try to fit it physically, fashion wise or even try acting like them. It was very frustrating when I was not able to accomplish it every time that I tried to. I gave up and just embraced everything about who I am. This has been one of the best decisions in my life.

I will add to this as time goes along because it is actually hard to think of what I am thankful for. Plus life does change daily. I would love to see what you are thankful for. If you write a blog post about this, let me know in the comment section below with a link to it. I will add that link to this blog post like these…

Charli Mills Sweet Sixteen

Devon Hall 16 things I am thankful for

Until my next post…. Share. Inspire. Conquer.



Mental health benefits from playing sports

bowling mental health sports

I always look forward to this time of the year. This is because the bowling league I am on begins. I love bowling. It has had a positive impact on my mental health. In my teenage years, it was soccer and wish I could participate in that sport today. I want to share with you how sports, in particular bowling, has helped with my mental health.


It’s well known that any kind of exercise helps improve one’s mental health. The real issue for someone struggling with a mental illness is getting the motivation to start moving. I have gained quite a bit of weight from the time bowling ended in April till now. I have tried multiple times to work out during that time and could not quite get myself to do it.

Now that the league has begun so does the weight loss. Not because of bowling once a week since we all know that little bit of exercise will not be the cause for the loss of weight. It’s because I will now work out so that I can continue to improve my game. I will get stronger along with losing the weight. As my game improves so does my desire to continue the weight loss. This in return dramatically improves my mental health.


One of the real struggles with mental illness is the feeling that no cares about you or no one will miss you. Even though I know that this is false, I still struggle with that feeling from time to time. With bowling, I am reminded each week how much the other bowlers enjoy me being there. It’s not just my team I get this from. I get this reminder from a lot of the bowlers on other teams. The previous bowling season is a great example of this.

Last year I had to take off the first half of the season because I needed to rehab the knee I injured. It sucked but I was also in a lot of pain. When I finally came back, everyone was asking me where I was and what had happened. Then towards the end of the season, my grandmother passed away. When I showed up the following week, so many people came up to me to share their condolences and asked how I was doing. It’s a great feeling and reminder to know that others enjoy my presence.


These are the best reminders because they are stored in memory and I also have them at home to look at almost every day. I have kept awards that I won from previous employment. This is to remind me that my peers felt I was the one that deserved it most. This is a wonderful feeling especially when you don’t think you deserve it. No matter what your current struggles may be, you always deserve the positive things that happen it your life.

Then there are the ones I earned from bowling. I have bowled 2 perfect games (300’s), been part of a team that won the league championship and also proof of my personal best series. This is to remind me that I can accomplish anything with hard work, dedication and patience. I have learned a lot about bowling to improve my game.

Here are 2 examples of the positive impact of sports

There are so many other examples I could share with you. The positive impact sports played in those 2 examples is astounding. You can’t miss the positive impact on their mental health either. If you like playing sports and can’t get yourself out of bed or off the couch, then I suggest you narrow down your list of sports to just one. One that you enjoy playing so much that you are still excited to do it even when you are not playing your best. It doesn’t matter to me whether I bowl a 148 game or a 248 game.

What really matters is that I am in a situation that gets me away from my depression, even it is just once a week. This is the first and most important step for us to overcome our struggles. If we don’t change our situation or surroundings, then nothing else we do will have the impact we desire and need. Until my next post…Share. Inspire. Conquer.


How groups play an important role in your development


There are endless “self-help” books and online courses that we can read till the end of time. These can help us see our life from a different perspective and show us the correct path to take towards our dreams. Once you have read them, the only support and accountability provided is from yourself. After some time, you might give up because the struggle may be too much to handle anymore. This is where a group comes in and fills that void. I know because the group I am part of has improved my overall development.

Before the group…

I created this website a little over 4 years ago with a mission to create positive change in the world. As anything we do that is new, I started off with a lot of energy, ideas and excitement. As time passed, things became frustrating and discouraging. I didn’t have many followers on the Facebook page and not much engagement within the website. I kept writing and sharing positive stuff every day even though it all seemed pointless. Then the most amazing thing happened.

Accepted into a group…

The wonderful Shareen Mansfield found me on twitter and added me to a Facebook group that she had started with her cousin. The group is #LinkYourLife Connection and at first I was very hesitate in participating in the group. This was because I felt I didn’t belong in this group based on the amazing blog posts others were writing. Even though I felt like I couldn’t contribute anything, I stayed in the group to learn about other members. I learned a lot.

This group was exactly what I needed to be successful. The members in this group were like minded and had the same goal. To be compassionate towards others while trying to make a positive change in the world. Even though each member has something they are overcoming, they are also very supportive and excellent in lifting others up when needed. This is just how I am every day. Being accepted into this group was a true blessing and I am grateful for it every single day.

Since then…

I have seen how important my site and the things I write are to others. Any time I forget how important my role is to our world, there is someone in the group to remind me. I have embraced who I am more because of the group. I have found the fire that started this site again. Been able to write some difficult things that happened in the past. Sharing personal experiences to help others understand they are not alone.

I was lucky to have my first guest post on my site.  Decided to use my passion and creativity to design a shirt and coffee mug with all the profits being donated. I plan to increase my designs in order to help reach more people that need the help. I have been fortunate to have others use and promote my hashtag #ShareInspireConquer.

All of this positive development in my life would not be possible without a great group of people. I have gone from feeling alone in my battles of depression / anxiety to accepting my depression / anxiety and using it to help others. None of this would be accomplished without Shareen in my life and the impact she has had on me. I hope that she never forgets about the hope, love and encouragement she gives towards others during their dark time. I also hope she always know how much she is loved and cherished.

If you are not in a group that encourages you to grow positively, I suggest you look for one today. It will have a bigger impact on your personal development and growth. It always allows a safe place for you to seek help from others that can relate to the current problem you are dealing with. I hope you find the same success that I have. Till my next post…Share. Inspire. Conquer.


3 important things we can learn from nature about life


There are many things nature can teach us about life. We just have to take the time out of our busy lives to see them. This is very hard nowadays because of social media, smartphones, work, family, etc… I would like to help you by sharing 3 things I realized recently while taking a moment outside. I hope that this will encourage you to stop what you are doing and step outside more.

Seasons of life are inevitable

I understand that this might be hard for you to agree with if you are someone like me that has been through a lot recently. Through my struggles of depression / anxiety and the loss of loved ones, the seasons are hard to accept sometimes. Nature, on the other hand, shows us why it’s needed and that it can actually be a positive thing.

We all love the summer time because we are most active during this time. Imagine if it was always summer where you live. Your community would slowly turn into a desert and it would become very difficult to survive. Same thing would happen if it was always winter except that everything would be frozen. That’s why there are 4 seasons. To help nature transition from one state to another.

Our lives do the same kind of transitions. We would not grow if we stayed at a high (summer time) our whole lives. Lessons would be lost because there is no reason to find and learn them. We also would not see beauty if we stayed at a low (winter time). Remember, the prettiest flowers grow because of the ones that grew before it. Embrace the spring and fall times of your life, that’s where the true growth is seen.

Change is necessary

This is another one that is hard to swallow at times. There are days that I just wish certain things could stay consistent. Nature shows us beauty and growth can only happen with change. Without rain, there would be no flowers to admire in the sunshine. Without winter, there’s no more beautiful colors to appreciate during the fall months.

The saying “Things happen for a reason” is very true. I can’t answer any questions of “Why?” because I haven’t answered it myself. I just know from personal experiences that the saying is correct. All we can do is accept it, learn from it and then move on. Yes I know that this is almost impossible because I haven’t fully moved on yet from certain experiences. Reason for this is because I am still trying to learn everything I can from it.

I understand that terrible things may have occurred in your life that you might not be able to move on from. You may feel there is no reason it should have happened to you or that there is nothing to learn from it. I would like to offer a different perspective for you in this question… What if someone in the world is in the same situation as you and feels lost, hopeless, alone, etc… without any kind of support?

Our world needs you

Everything plant and animal is necessary for nature to survive. If you take one thing away, you negatively impact the survival of the others immensely. Without trees, there would be no homes for others animals or even for us. Imagine what our houses would be like without trees.

You are desperately needed. Your life has a bigger impact on others than you might know. Whether you know it or not, there are people (like me) that always looks forward to seeing and talking to you. We enjoy hearing your voice, laughter, and jokes. We are also here to help you any way that we can. If you need to talk, cry on a shoulder, need support, etc…there is someone that you can reach out to.

Walk outside and close your eyes if you still feel like you are alone. Listen and feel everything around you. There isn’t one thing you could remove from your surrounding that wouldn’t have a negative impact. This is exactly how your life is to others. We cherish every moment we can get with you.

This post was written after I sat outside for just 10 minutes with my eyes closed. Imagine what else we can learn if we spent more time outside disconnected from technology. There is so much more things that can be taught from nature. We just need to take the time to listen and learn. I encourage you to step away now and find you peace. Till my next post…. Share. Inspire. Conquer.


The awesome truth about you


Truth and nothing but the truth is what this post is all about. You may not believe what I share with you at first but its honest and not like the lies our world is telling you. I have shared below a video I made a few months ago. I came up with the idea for this while I was sitting outside. The wind was causing the trees to move and I could hear the animals going about their business. Why is it that we are so quick to compliment the beauty of nature and not of ourselves? How come we will share the awesome power of nature and not about the people on our lives?

With all of the chaos and negativity that has begun to consume the world, I wanted to brighten your day. We need to start sharing more positive thoughts and ideas with others. Here is my contribution towards it.

Are you ready to hear the truth?

Now its your turn. Are you sharing your positive thoughts and ideas? If not, I encourage you to do it because it is the best way to create change. If you are, I would love to hear about it. Share in the comments below how you are making a positive change. I might share in on my social media accounts to help spread the news with others. Until my next post… Share. Inspire. Conquer.


I am the author of my story

author survivor story

I always have a choice. I may not be able to prevent negative events in my life, but I can choose how I respond to them.

As an adult, I have chosen to view my childhood adversity from the angle of my overcoming. This doesn’t erase my personal history or the existence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in my life, but it does take me from a victim mentality (this is still happening and it will never end) to a survivor mentality (even if this is still happening, I will persevere).

That shift: victim to survivor

It’s a doozie. Most of us slip back and forth between the two roles, often wearing both at once. But “survivor” is a present-tense positive. It is an action. And it is my choice.

For me, surviving means writing. It means sorting my baggage and cleaning it up on the page. Every time I bring my fingertips to the keyboard or pen to paper, I get to choose the words with which my story is told, and which parts are most important. With a few swift keystrokes, my story is transformed from personal horror to personal victory.

I teach writing for the same purpose. My classes and private coaching are designed to support individuals in transforming trauma by releasing it on the page. Recovery happens when we own our stories. Releasing our trauma is the first step in recovering our joy.

Stepping into our joy

That’s my goal when I talk about surviving our stories. It is also the miracle I see in #ShareInspireConquer. We have a choice: we can stay committed to the same patterns and stories, or we can transform our stories in order to create positivity for ourselves and others. #ShareInspireConquer is a positive social movement that encourages us to pay our triumphs forward, to survive our stories on a global scale in hopes of reaching one other person who is trying to make that leap from victim to survivor.

How are you surviving your story? Is it with the help of inspirational bloggers like Thomas Ives? Use #ShareInspireConquer and #SurviveYourStory on Twitter to share the positive choices you have made in authoring your own story. Remember, you get to choose what’s important.

Shawna Ayoub Ainslie is a writer and coach who teaches expressive writing for release and recovery. This post is part of her Survive Your Story Guest Exchange on The Honeyed Quill. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, Mogul, Stigma Fighters, Role Reboot, [wherever] and The Manifest-Station among other places. When she’s not editing Open Thought Vortex Magazine, you can find on TwitterFacebook or hosting #LinkYourLife.


My struggle with wanting to be ‘normal’


This is something I have battled with since my childhood. Always wondering what was wrong with me. Thinking that my life was valued less than my brothers. The struggle is just as tough as an adult now. I look back at the mistakes I have made and wonder “If I was normal, would I still make those same mistakes?” The head games begin every time I ask myself this.

What is normal?

Based on the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the simple definition is:

  • usual or ordinary : not strange
  • mentally and physically healthy

If you ask my family, they will tell you that I am far from being ordinary. They will describe me as crazy, silly, animated, and other funny descriptions. Have been told that my sense of humor is corny and strange. As you can see, so far I don’t fit into the first definition of being normal and yet society continues to push it onto all of us.

If you have followed my blog, you will also know that I don’t fit into the second definition either. My daily battles with depression and anxiety make me mentally unhealthy. I don’t think or react like others do. My mental illness is the reason for this but every time I try to explain this it sounds more like an excuse. Which is farthest from the truth. Trust me if I could get rid of it, I would have a long time ago. I may not be normal in the eyes of society but to certain communities I am normal.

So what does normal truly mean?

Since we are all unique individuals, the true definition depends on that person’s perceptions. This means that what I define as normal will not necessarily be the same as you. Our generation needs to realize this more today than we have had to in the past. We have changed as humans and have also learned more about the human body than we did 50 years ago.

We have come a long way in understanding depression, PTSD and all the other mental illnesses. Yet we still have a long to go in truly accepting the ones that are suffering with it. I know this firsthand. In the past, others would tease me when I was depressed and tell me that I was just looking for attention. Instead of taking the time to help me out of it, they decided to judge me and push deeper into depression.

Even though battling with my depression and anxiety is not normal in the eyes of some, I am still a normal person. I have feelings and emotions just like everyone else. Desire for love and acceptance is the same as you. The inside of my body along with the DNA makeup is exactly like everyone in the world and yet I am still not considered normal. How is that ok?

They are wrong!

The new definition should be someone who:

  • Shows compassion, acceptance and love towards others
  • Woks on improving their life and/or the lives of others
  • Is the person reflected back in the mirror

This one I agree with, of course. I fit into all 3 of them and you do too. The most important factor is the person looking back at you in the mirror. You are normal, no matter what you are struggling with right now. I understand that this might be hard to believe but it’s the truth. You must accept this first and foremost before anyone else can.

Society is always changing the way it sees what is to be considered normal. Look back just 10 years and remember what was not acceptable by others. Things may have changed for the better but we are not completely there yet. The one thing that has stayed constant through the years is the real person you see in the mirror. That person is awesome, amazing, important and loved.

Smile really big the next time someone shuts you out or turns their back on you because of your struggle. You don’t need them and they are not worthy of being associated with you. This is what I have done in my life. You are more valuable than some word in the dictionary. In the midst of your struggles, you are a warrior not a sufferer. Until my next blog post….SHARE. INSPIRE. CONQUER.


4 ways to create positive change


We just had the Orlando shooting, Stanford rape case, suicide bombers in the middle east and other horrific crimes happen recently. As I read about these, they cause my depression and anxiety issues to be magnified. So much so that I start to ponder “Why exactly have I never gone through with the suicidal thoughts in the past?”. I take a moment to find peace within this struggle and remind myself of my purpose. I will not let the chaos of the world stop me from bringing light into someone else’s darkness. So here are four things that can be done to create positive change.

1. Donate

There are approximately 7 billion in the world today. Imagine what could be accomplished if each person would donate just $1 each month to a different organization. That would mean in a one year time span we would provide $7 billion dollars to 12 different organizations that help others in need. Imagine how many lives we could not only save but also improve their overall life. There are so many people that need our help. There are also wonderful organizations that need our help also. I encourage you to do your research and find a proper organization to donate to.

2. Hugs

There are also a lot of people that desire a little compassion. What better way to do this than by giving them a genuine hug, with their permission / consent. The power of a simple hug is truly amazing. It’s an action that gives someone a moment of peace and love away from their everyday struggles. We are all struggling with something. Some of us are able to handle it better than others. These are the people that need our compassion the most. Imagine for moment how much the world would improve if we gave hugs instead of turning to violence, in certain situations of course.

3. Compliments

When was the last time someone told you something positive about yourself? If it has happened in the last 24 hrs. , then consider yourself lucky. There are many of us that are constantly being torn down by others and we start to believe what they tell us even though we may know that it’s all lies. What is stopping you from taking a moment in your day to give others some positivity? Even though we are all unique, there’s still something positive to tell someone. We need to stop kicking others down just to make ourselves look better. What if we all decided to bring someone along with us on our journey towards success?

4. Create dialogue

This is the easiest to do. All you have to do is open your mouth and ask a question. That’s it and yet it is the hardest thing to do for some. Take the time to learn the truth about others instead of passing judgment on something that is different than your life. Think someone’s religion is wrong? Take a moment and ask that person about it and not what you see or hear from others. Don’t agree with someone’s lifestyle? Again, ask that person about it. I could go on and on with these type of questions. Don’t be afraid to put yourself in their shoes for that short but important moment. It’s ok to disagree. It’s not ok to be ignorant towards others. How awesome would the world be if we took the time to truly understand one another for who they are?

It’s the small actions that produce big changes. It all starts with just one person to get the ball rolling. Will that one person be you? If not, then think about this quote:

“Don’t let the evil of a few stop you from showing love and compassion towards the many.”

Thank you for reading and until my next blog post….. Share. Inspire. Conquer.



Have we forgotten about humanity?


The world has increasingly become more hateful, violent, selfish, negative, etc… We are our own biggest threat towards extinction and also our only hope of surviving. We, as a civilization, need to start making more small positive changes right away. The human race depends on it and seems that we have forgotten about humanity.

Yes, the human race. Not just the whites or blacks, Christian or Muslims, man or woman, tall or short, etc… Everything that has happened and will happen in the world affects everyone, no matter who you are. With that being said…we can’t let the fear mongering people continue to take us down the dark and evil road that we are currently on. There is a difference between fact and fear. Fact is clear and logical whereas fear is emotional and illogical.

Here’s what I mean

I am a 5’4” white Christian man that lives paycheck to paycheck. You know who scares me the most? Bad people!!! That’s right, doesn’t matter color, race, religion, sex, or any of the other things that we use to separate us from others. Am I concerned about ISIS and other terrorist threats? Heck ya I am! I am not too concerned about Muslims or the refugees. You might be thinking that I am crazy but look at it this way.

There was recently a white man that shot up and killed some people at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado. I do not condone that and never will. Just because I am the same color skin as him doesn’t mean that I will do the same thing. Also… if there were groups going around killing people and I felt it was not safe to live there anymore, I would hope and pray that I would find shelter without any kind of prejudice. How would you feel? How would you handle it?


The one word that has the biggest impact in our lives. Great things are accomplished with it and chaos is fueled when it is absent. I have many people in my life that are of different color, race and religion. We get along great because we have respect for each other. We see each other as a human and not a description. There are many white men that are scumbags but I am not them or a scumbag. ISIS may be “Muslim” but not all Muslims are like them. The ones I have come across are funny, polite, caring and want the world to be a better place. Yes, there are Muslims that do inflict harm on others but there are also whites, black, Christian, Catholic, Asian, etc…. that do the same thing too!

It up to you

Yes that is correct! People are stupid and think illogically because majority of the time they do/say whatever the masses tell them. A person is intelligent, logical, and empowered. A person has the super natural powers of making their own decisions and thoughts. This is the beauty of having free will. The positive changes that need to be done begins with you and only you. All it takes is just one person to get the ball rolling. Will that one person be you?

We can’t let the current and future events to cause us to forget about humanity. One by one, we need to start locking arms and telling the world that we stand together for what is right. We will no longer be controlled by the bad people in the world. This might seem impossible to you but look at all the great accomplishments that had been made throughout history. One last thing before you go….a challenge. Take a moment today when looking at people and repeat the following:

True self lives in “Who am I” not “What am I”

Be sure to show compassion, patience and hope towards others. Till my next post…Share. Inspire. Conquer.



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