Welcome to 2ndActStory with Colleen Hierath!
My life took a dramatic turn as a result of a car accident that left my body battered and brain scrambled; I was unwilling to accept these circumstances. I survived death 3 times; multiple surgeries and a coma and I felt that I could rally back somehow, some way to my old life. I relearned how to talk, walk, write, and live once again. I fought hard to get my life back. I was determined to reclaim my mind, body, spirit and happiness!
The journey was long and arduous but with grit and grace I restarted my Employment Recruiting and Career Counselling business, was National Sales Director of a Women’s Clothing Company, Managing Director of a business women’s networking franchise, wrote the book “Breathe, How I trained myself back to life” and launched my 2ndActStory speaking and training company. Today I share my story of reinvention and transformation so that people and companies can be inspired to have an amazing second act!
The body has a natural capacity to heal itself if we nurture it with the right ingredients. Exercise makes the body strong, and strong body makes us more confident. A strong body reinforces positive body language that affects DNA the same way positive thoughts do. A strong body becomes more important when we have been through trauma, or have lost any aspect of our health or body functions. We must rally on to build and work with what we have no matter what the limitations are.
Food and proper nutrition fuel the body and brain. It is an important ingredient that can allow us to actively heal ourselves. Mismanaging our fuel or being irresponsible with our choices can damage our results. Perfection is a pressure we don’t need with respect to our diet. What should be considered, is that food is medicine. Food heals, food fuels, and good nutrition is a form of loving ourselves. The body knows what the mind is thinking. The two are interconnected and tapping into this belief can change everything about how the body feels, moves and what it looks like. Change the thoughts you have about your body and health by telling your mind all the positive things about your body. Think it to become it; over and over again.
We have more information than ever before about what to eat to be healthy and properly weighted. And yet we are a nation of over-weighted people. Now more than ever before is there proof that the mindset has to be changed first in order for the body to receive the care and love it needs from us. The abuse of food can only be stopped by the power of the mind and then the power of the plate will no longer dominate your health. You are what you think. Take the power back and have the life you imagined
Act 1 of life for many is full of hope, dreams and promises. Year after year we accomplish more things and our world expands in many wonderful glorious ways. Our nature is to keep moving forward and upward. Then we have families who have hopes and dreams too and we find ourselves living busy lives and then one day we start to wear out just a wee bit.
The conclusion of Act 1 finds many of us tired, overworked, financially stressed, maybe divorced, widowed, rethinking our relationships, imperfect health and weight. Maybe empty nesters(or soon to be)and we have probably lived through aging parents and many of us have experienced the death of loved ones.
In my case, I had all of the above plus a massive car accident that left me severely brain injured, multiple physical injuries and a brain injured baby. I spent Act 1 – 28 years rallying back from those injuries and looking forward to Act 2.
Well I am in Act 2 now….Yippeeeee!!!!!! I discovered the purpose out of all that happened to me and my daughter. It took 15 years to relearn how to read and am now I am a speaker and trainer. My life’s mission is to show others how the power of the mind can change every aspect of your life, health, career and relationships. Our beliefs systems determine how we approach our life journey. We are what we think.
I am the queen of the power of the mind. I used my belief systems to survive 6 critical care trauma units. I used my belief systems to survive 3 deaths, coma and PTSD. I used the power of the mind to teach my brain how to read, write and talk again. I used the power of my mind to tell my body it could walk, swim and run again. Our minds are powerful. We must harness our thoughts, emotions and feelings in a positive way.
I recaptured my career, wrote a book, conquered my fear of telling my story on stages to others. Why? I realized that what I wanted was to make sense of my life journey, stand on my story and share it with others so that they could be inspired to climb their own mountains.
When people ask me what I do, I tell them I climb mountains. I know how to climb big ass mountains. I get to the top no matter what. I know how to do this. When everything is stacked up against me, I know how to get to where I want to go and succeed in reaching my goals. This is my truth and only truth. This is the only thing my mind and body know.
What do you want to be your truth? What do you want to tell your mind and body so that you can climb your next mountain? You are what you think; so dream big!
My resilient nature began at the beginning. I like winning. I am willing to do the work necessary to win. I am ok with second place, but I always trained to win first place. I did not wake up and train to be second. If it happened, I vowed to work harder so that one day I could win first place.
My daughter, Shea saw this picture and said, “why are you so happy in this picture?” She could see my big gleaming smile but thought it was weird I was wearing a suit while standing on the sidewalk at our farm. It was not weird to me; I was already well into working on my 20-year plan… success mindset and success lifestyle.
I told my daughter, “I was happy because I loved winning.” She said, “Winning what?” She did not notice that I was wearing my medals around my neck, so I said, “these were medals I won from gymnastics. I’m smiling because winning makes me happy.” She said, “yes mum, I know winning makes you happy.”
I have every report card; every award where I got the medal for the highest grades in my class; every ribbon I won for every track meet event, my swimming and lifeguard awards and my 10K medals. I like winning. But the real story is that I had to work for it. There were kids that were bigger than me, more talented than me and smarter than me. But I could outwork anyone. I was always determined and willing to do whatever it takes to win, no matter how long it takes. There is no surprise that I have tenacity, I am the youngest of eight children and happened to be the runt of the litter. I would play basketball with them and no one lowered the net for me; I had to shoot the ball into the real net. Every year I challenged my mother to a race. I wanted to beat my mother, who was very fast. She never let me win. I knew if I worked at it, I would win one day. That day came and it was great because I had to work for that win. My mother was happy for me.
I have had some great ups in my life because of my hard work ethic and I am proud of those. I am even more proud of the downs and how I fought back to get back up. I know how to fight and work hard to win. I applied this tenacity to doing the work I needed to win again. When you dust yourself off and get back into the game no matter what; no matter the pain, scrapes, and cuts; you build resilience. You can start building resilience at any stage of life. Everyone can build resilience. We need resilience for life. Stuff happens and we need to pull up our big girl panties and soldier on.
I build resilience every day that I drag my butt out to the stairs and run 3000 up and down; I am building my resilience; my bulletproof mindset. Yes, I get fit! That is the by-product of physicality. But when I am finished running the stairs, I know I can go out and do what I need to do in my life no matter how challenging the daily tasks might be to accomplish my goals.
When you are stuck mentally or emotionally, go out and move. The mind and body are connected. Use the power of movement to build emotional resilience. Our minds know what our bodies are thinking. Move the body and the mind will follow.
Resistance outwits the amateur by using their own enthusiasm against themselves. Resistance tempts the amateur to dive into projects with over-ambitiousness and unrealistic timetables. Resistance seduces the amateur and knows that they can not sustain that level of intensity and will burn out. Resistance will assume any form to keep amateurs from doing their work. Resistance has no conscience; it thrives on mediocrity and self-doubt.
The professional outwits resistance with patience, order, practice, focus, energy, and concentrates on preparation at the deepest level. The pro does their work out of love. Loving the work/art/calling or enterprise turns a hard day’s work into purposeful satisfaction. This is what shifts the odds of success in the pro’s favor. A pro loves the practice, the striving, the training, the diligent, time-consuming pursuit of the advantage.
Living the life you imagined requires all of us to live our life like a pro. Overcoming any obstacles, barriers or setbacks requires us to be more pro-minded than anyone else. We don’t have time to be average if our goals, dreams, happiness, and health depend on us to taking our lives seriously.
As you can see from my website, I took my recovery seriously and lived my life above the line, like a pro, training for the most important race of my life. My ability to dedicate myself to the daily training no matter the time, effort or pain determined whether I was going to win or lose the game of life. I wanted to be able to walk again, but I wanted more; I was not satisfied with walking, I wanted to run again. And when I achieved that I wanted to run 3000 stairs a day. 3000 stairs a day is not what an amateur does. It is what a pro does. I am pro-minded. I do not subscribe to the mindset of mediocrity. I would still be bedridden and would still struggle with my ability to read and write. Although I am not still a work in progress I am determined to keep striving.
Sharing this with you is meant to inspire you to rally back, to move forward with gusto and if you have not been thrown off the horse, so to speak…..than seriously saddle up and get going. The world needs more pros!
We must be our own best cheerleader, the one who believes in our own dreams the most and in ourselves the most. When we are our own champion, we have more confidence and that attracts more amazing people and things in our lives. But when things are bleak or when we are just tired and overwhelmed with all that we must accomplish or overcome in life and especially if we do not feel well and have some health obstacles in our way; then self talk is critical to creating positive energy and generating energy when we need it the most. It really becomes as simple as… say it to become it. But it has to be said all the time with no negative self talk or thoughts swirling around in our brain space to negate all those good thoughts. Did you know that it can now be shown that when a negative though enters your brain, a neuron explodes! Well I need all my neurons…..this alone is motivating enough to encourage people to put positive self talk tips into our daily routines. Here are some of the things I say every day. Please write ones that work for you and go big with these…..don’t be modest…..there is no time for this when you are rewiring your own self beliefs.
I am the best at ….
Running the Stairs
Recovery from Brain Trauma
Telling my Story
Having a happy life
Being a mother
Sharing with others how I recovered
Being a Speaker about Overcoming Head Injury
Having Strong Healthy Body
Having Vibrant Brain
Having an Excellent Memory
Having Healthy and Happy Children
As you can see….. go big or go bigger! Write your “I am the best at” statements and watch your dreams come true.
The first time I decided to run stairs instead of running the roads I knew it was going to be an “uphill” climb in every sense of that. So I did what I have done for years, I visualized myself going up the stairs as my body and leg muscles adapted to a whole new movement for me. I visualized myself getting fit and having more ease in accomplishing this daunting physical expression. I visualized myself at the top and then I saw myself running faster with better body posture and getting more fit with each stair and each flight.
On the way down the stairs, I visualized myself releasing toxins, the ones that were held deep in the cellular level of my body. I spoke the words release out loud and with each flight down I said mantras like release the scar tissue; release the stories from my body; release the worries, the fears, the weight and the pain. This freed the energy and space in my body so that I had new space for the new visual images of my healthy body, brain, and life.
The body knows what the mind is thinking. We hold our stories at a cellular level. First thing must do on our road to recovery or climbing our next mountain is the release beliefs that no longer serve us. Our bodies are energy and they can hold toxic energy or they can hold energy full of vitality, faith hope and love. But love and fear can no co-exist in our bodies at the same time. It is not possible to reap the rewards of our hard work if we are still holding on to our stories, emotions, thoughts, actions and deeds at a cellular level. Think of your mind and body as a glass full of water, there is no more room to add new fresh water. The new water will spill out, there is no room. If you are holding on to beliefs and emotions that no longer serve you then first you must release those and then you can imprint your new beliefs, emotions and dreams on your mind and body at a cellular level
Tap into the power of “you are what you think”. The future is yours to see, feel, and create when your mind and body only have this ‘new truth’ imprinted inside of yourself.
Be all in or get out of the way. There is no half way
Everything you are going through is preparing you for what you asked for
Getting knocked down is a part of life. Getting up and moving forward is a choice
Surround yourself with people who reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel. Positive energies are contagious.
We don’t meet people by accident, they are meant to cross our paths for a reason
If you want something you never had you have to do something you have never done
You know you are on the right track when you have no interest in looking back
Don’t let the sadness of your past and the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present
All great changes are preceded by chaos
If you want the rainbow you have to put up with the rain
I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become
Throw me to the wolves and I will come back leading the pack
Not my circus, not my monkeys
- Laughing at predicaments we find ourselves in and asking for help to get out of them.
- Making new friends and bringing them into our web of possibilities
- Lowering our expectations of non-brain injured people
- Outworking everyone
- Making lists, and remembering where we put the list
- Not caring about mistakes we make
- Doing it anyway
- Repeating ourselves to ourselves
- Confusing others
- Saying “I don’t remember” even when we remember!!!
- Saying “I don’t understand” even when we understand!!!
- “Can you help me”…… you get where I’m going with this. LOL
- Living life large!
- Imperfection, perfection is highly over-rated
- Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. Don’t pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. Cry if you need to.
- Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Life’s curve balls are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough, but reflect back on those negative curveballs from the past. You’ll often see that eventually, they led you to a better place, person, state of mind or situation
- Stop spending time with the wrong people. Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. The people that stand by your side when you’re not at your best, are you true friends.
- Stop worrying about the journey. Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out.
- Stop running from your problems. Face them head on. This is the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
The time is now to go get what you want. Build your vision board, write your affirmations, get your body moving, live a healthy lifestyle, write out your plan to achieve your goals and live life at full speed.
Motion generates more motion. Energy generates more energy; be the power source, the light to all the possibilities that can be created in your life. Stopping all that movement takes more energy than creating more motion. Putting the brakes on in your life has a bigger impact then the jump start need to get your life moving forward. Negative thoughts chews up more energy than the positive thoughts you are putting into your brain. Resistance is hard, flow is easy; which one are you choosing?
Being stuck, stubborn, difficult and resistant wastes all of your personal energy. So why do it? It is not our natural animal instinct to stay stuck, frozen or paralyzed with fear or indecision. This behavior would cause us to be eaten by a predator, drowned in a river, or starves to death in our natural environments. We must not go against nature; it is unnatural for us to do this. There just is no sense to staying stuck in a resistant mindset. We are meant to move, to forage, to provide and to go out and get the food we need to survive. We are natural survivors, hunters and protectors. Resistance is death. Give up resistance; it does not serve you in moving towards what you need and what you want.