I had the pleasure of connecting with Hillary over at The Smart Lioness and was given the opportunity to join in with her 8 week course “Unapologetically Me” on understanding your self worth, self appreciation and self care.
Sometimes we can all struggle to be ourselves in a world full of judgement and societal preset beliefs, The Smart Lioness helps us to be ourselves unapologetically. I have thrown myself into this course and if I am honest I have been a bit scared of just being me around myself. I do spend a lot of time struggling to keep my head afloat of my own emotions, I have a war raging within myself because it took me a long time to like myself enough to not give a flying F what other people think of me, yet I have taken a beating over the last couple of years from family members and that has shaken me pretty deeply. So it is definitely time to claim myself back for me and ultimately those that love me to get the Stephie they loved before all this personal crap got in the way.
So why is Hillary “The Smart Lioness” qualified to tell us about ourselves?
She has a Bachelors Degree in Human Development and Family studies, a Minor in Social Work and a Masters’ Degree in Clinical Mental Health. She also has experience working with clients in sex and porn addictions, trauma, abuse and domestic violence; which fuels her heart towards working with women who have been in domestic violence based relationships.
What lead me to want to help and empower women was the fact that I was in an abusive relationship for four years. It took me time to even realize I was being abused believe it or not. He wasn’t hitting me, but his words were killing me one sentence at a time. It completely changed me and who I was. After I finally got out of the relationship I didn’t even know who I was anymore. How could I? He told me who I was. Now I had the ability to think for myself and, I didn’t know how to!
However, I had some amazingly supportive friends (the ones I hadn’t completely isolated myself from) that helped get me back to reality. And was in school at Auburn for Human Development and Family studies, and learned so much from my classes. But I also participated in therapy and starting dealing with “my stuff.” I learned about myself, figured out my values, and who I really was after I washed off all of that toxic layer of shit I had allowed myself to believe. And in doing so I was able to begin feeling like a real human again, and with time and work on myself with the help of multiple therapists and friends I turned my nightmare of a past into something I can use to help others. If I can help other women avoid getting into a relationship like I did, or if they were unable to avoid it and have been in a toxic relationship or are currently in a toxic relationship then I want to help them get out and get their identities back. Because it gets lost somewhere along the way.
That’s kind of where “The Smart Lioness” comes from, its kind of like my vision of the end result of the transformation from a woman who is lost and hurt into this beautiful, intelligent, and powerful lioness who is capable of anything. Its more of a symbol of hope or of that goal that you seek but never actually completely reach because its a personal development goal and hopefully personal development and growth never ends. To stay truly mentally healthy we should always be learning and growing.
The course is compromised of four sections: Lovable Lioness Lessons, Lively Lioness, Lioness Lessons and Lucky Lioness. Each was added to each week so we Lionesses could work at our own pace since we all started when the course was launched in October.
Lovable Lioness Lessons: this section is where you find out about yourself and your values which Hilary touches on in her Dare To Roar course which I also have done as if I’m honest I really struggled to work out what my values were!
Lively Lioness: this section is filled with Yoga that is lead by Laura Lee Stjerstrom who teaches online classes at LLJ Yoga Online Laura has been teaching Yoga since 2001. There are also Gut Health and Nutrition information from Meagan over at Family Health Tips.
Lioness Lessons: this section has live videos from Hillary herself.
Lucky Lioness: this section has super cute colouring pages you can print out and help you relax in a sea of colour. It has been noted by many people the effects that colouring has on the mind and body.
In one of the lessons she asked you to find a motto or an affirmation to memorise and I came up with this:
I found some of the lessons made me really think about myself and what makes me tick; I tried to answer some questions quickly without over thinking and I put more thought into others. I felt that I wanted to hear what my brain really thought and what my heart really felt; I’m not one of those quiet reflection types so writing the first thing that came to mind helped.
I did find that the yoga was a bit too fast for me being really a complete novice, but I wore my hernia support wear and just persevered. I did realise that I carry my stress in my neck and shoulders as they ached afterwards. Even though it was quick paced some of the regular moves were consistent through the videos which allowed me to regain some of where I felt like I wasn’t doing well.
I desperately have needed to find some focus in my life that was on me for a change that wasn’t my blog; something that could help me feel less lost like I mentioned in this A Little Get To Know Me Post. I have really appreciated Hillary chatting away to me on messenger and trying to help me work through some of my past and more recent stuff. I can honestly say that if you are feeling lost and are struggling to find yourself and what you stand for this course is definitely something for you. Within the coursecraft website you have access to the Dare to Roar and the Know your Why course which are all intertwined and can help you find you.