The Universe always works in a dynamic exchange with your body, mind, and environment. In nature, giving and receiving different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe are what permit the continual bounty we enjoy and is what we call life.

As Buddha shared, “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Just like the candle, when we share our happiness, it doesn’t mean we lose any of our own personal happiness. By sharing, I actually find my happiness and joy grows.

Kelly Childs smiling for the camera
….As I look back on 2012 and reflect on my life, there’s a huge wave of a blur that goes through my mind at 150mph. Life has been crazy for me (and my family). Besides renovating and opening a new business called Kelly’s Bake Shoppe and restructuring and re-branding our restaurant LettuceLove Cafe (now called Lettuce Love Cafe), there have been a zillion other things going on to distract me. Things like creating new recipes, launching new recipes, studying new health ideas, answering emails from people needing change in their lives, writing new blog posts, making videos, daily Social Media connections for eight accounts, web designs on three businesses, articles for papers and blogs, working with literary agents and PR people, and taking on a million other challenges, and oh heck! Moving into a new home too and renovating that as well! As you can see, the most IMPORTANT thing that I’ve been trying to achieve right now is ‘balance’.

I’m sure many of you can relate to a hectic life and what I’m doing is making it a priority to improve my life by growing in a more spiritual way. I don’t want to miss anymore of it. I want to be this person that helps people live in a more deeply conscious way and to help enable us all to shed the things that are holding us back or are blocking us from achieving this. Do any of you feel that way? “How did I get here?”, “What day of the week is it?”, “It’s Christmas already??!”. You know the feeling. It really is 2013 and I feel like I just got woken up from a drug-induced coma (maybe in my case a ‘stress-induced” one) and just opened my eyes to “wow”……I’m HERE!!!! It really is 2013 now. “Where did all the time go?”.

This is what I’m working on. “Living in the moment”.

I’m a little frustrated and sad that I really sort of missed out on some great things happening, be it if I was ‘too busy’, ‘too tired’ or ‘too much on my plate’ and I just craved any spare minute to be spent catching up on my lack of sleep or hanging out with Ken in bed watching the Food Network. My life seemed to speed past me so quickly with all the craziness going on and I didn’t know how to slow it down. So this is what my post is about today…..I wanted to share a part of my life with all of you – I want you to know that none of us are perfect. I’m a crazy human like everyone else and have a ‘breakdown’ button too. On this beautiful planet we all call home, we are ALL doing the best we can with the cards that have been dealt to us. Our biological DNA, our grandparents, parents, siblings, our lifetime of teachers, money or lack thereof of it, health – good or bad, where we live, etc all affect who we become. Really. If any of us thought we could DO better, we would have done so already and we WOULD be doing so. If any of us thought we could BE BETTER people, we would be that too – with whatever resources and tools we may have at that particular time.

I’ve been practicing trying to reprogram my cellular DNA (the memory imprints of all of our life experiences), to try to fade the images of significant events that happened when I was a little girl that have now moulded my reaction to things. Impatient? That’s me. Passionate? That’s me. Agitated easily? Both of my hands are up. People think I’m hard on them with my driven perfectionism and try to control all situations but what they don’t realize is that as much as I’m hard on those close to me, I’m even harder on myself. As difficult as they may think I am with them, I put a million times more pressure on me. It’s to protect anything that may go out of line if I let go and am fearful others may mess up my ‘order’ of things and hence, lose control.

What I’ve learned is that a perfectionist is usually born out of rejection or abandonment or trauma in our childhood and for us, its the need for self-control to keep our world safe, for the chance that someone will love us, find us valuable.

As a little girl, I was brutally sexually attacked by a complete stranger who had stalked me for weeks prior (as the police determined). At 12 years of age, no one should ever have to endure the terrifying experience that I did. The frightening scars linger on. The self-blame stifles me. The embarrassment makes my stomach turn in circles. Not to mention, after the incident, I felt equally humiliated and completely alone. My safety net was gone. My childhood was gone. Unknowingly too, my trust in other people was gone with the world. But with a brave face as a young girl, I continued on with life and pretended it never happened, after the police left, we, as a family, never really spoke of it again. Not with anyone- not even with my mom and dad…..ever. I was too ashamed.

I do know this now, that from some bad experiences in life ….can come a lot of good. It shapes us in a unique way to utilize our inherently awesome talents. It molds us in ways that we would never have been or achieved, had we not dealt with those hurtful moments. It sometimes hardens us though too and makes us people we really don’t NEED to be. Scared of rejection or abandonment, needing recognition, arguing for no reason. The ‘bad’ person or circumstance that caused us pain may be gone. We are older and all grown up but the scars stay on. “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not lovable”, “I have no value”, “I just can’t trust anyone”. These repressed memories keep growing and growing and become more and more validated until our subconscious makes them ‘TRUTHS” in our mind’s eye and makes us into people we don’t really want to be. What I’m starting to learn though is it just doesn’t have to be so.

The consequences that came out of that horrific experience was that I never thought I was worthy of being anything and that I lacked any kind of value. As a wife, a girlfriend, a mother, daughter, business woman, let alone be a crazy baker and chef with a hugely successful business with her beautiful daughter and family….. Me? I deserve this?? The lack of love for myself, fear of rejection, built up frustration, sadness and anger, and perfectionism, etc. have always been inside me but on a positive note, these attributes and pain have also co-created who I am today. This tenacious, spit-fire that’s ‘spicy’ (as my mom and Ken call me) and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in this life to date and what I’m capable of doing still and have many, many, many, more things to do on my bucket list.

All we need to be happy is within us. Many people seek happiness in food, drugs, alcohol, shopping, partying, sex…..because they’re seeking external happiness. They don’t realize the tools for happiness aren’t outside them. They’re right inside all of us: mindfulness, gratitude, compassion, thoughtfulness, the ability to create and do something meaningful, even if it’s in a small way.
I work on myself and my mind daily now. I have love notes for myself stuck on my vanity mirror and other mirrors so when I get ready for work I can read them to myself. I have a ‘positive intention’ “love note” to myself in my bra drawer so that every day it’s opened I get to read it (“LettuceLove Cafe is loved by everyone” “Kelly’s Bake Shoppe is loved by everyone too””I’m helping people live healthier every day”). My ‘grateful journal’ (you can read it at the end of this post) is on my bedside table and religiously I write everything I’m so humbly grateful for. I practice re-programming my subconscious and re-affirm all positive intentions towards me and the world through meditation. I read too. I love Marianne Williamson and books on Quantum Physics and spiritual awakenings and surround myself with other peaceful warriors that support the feminine. I contribute and support other women that have been hurt and that don’t get an equal chance on this planet with charities like, “Because I’m A Girl”.

The way I see it is that this is MY responsibility or duties required of me. My personal experiences in life have made it my obligation to be a leader to women and protect them and nurture them (with food and cupcakes at times) and give them the strength they need to make a difference in their life in ALL aspects of it, be it health, relationships, self worth, love, business and work, food and nourishment (of the mind, body and soul).

Women, I’ve realized as the years go by, are the strongest species on the planet (I’m sure I will get some flack on this statement and men to challenge me on this, but this is my belief). The ones who don’t challenge me and do embrace the females in their life with love and respect and surrender to their own feminine spirit in them, are the ones enjoying true love and joy. As women, we can do anything. We intuitively heal others, we nurture deeply and selflessly, we love, give of ourselves unconditionally, we stay up all night to heal broken hearts and broken bones, we make babies and hate wars, we open healthy bakeries and restaurants too and try to heal people with food and love. We can accomplish so much, but together we are unstoppable. I believe in the spirit of the feminine connection and that we are all one. When one of us is suffering, we all suffer with her and inherently, we all know this too.

This is what I tell myself every day.

I give myself permission:

  • to make a difference in this world through simple kindness.
  • to LAUGH.
  • to LOVE.
  • to BE loved.
  • to RELAX without guilt.
  • to DO NOTHING.
  • give up pushing myself.
  • to FORGIVE those who have been harsh with me as they were treated that way themselves (there will always be cruel people and ‘haters’ but it’s awesome to learn how to send them love).
  • to LOVE my life and LOVE myself and who I am (without comparing myself to others)
  • to LIVE a BALANCED life
  • to TRUST myself and I can TRUST others.
  • to ELIMINATE FEAR – I CAN DO IT!
  • to know that I’m VALUABLE!!!

I believe that happiness depends on circumstances and joy comes in spite of circumstances. So I now choose JOY.

For those of you who have never tried this, it works in a wondrous way and helps to surround you with the joy you deserve to have in every moment in your life. xo

2013 is the year it comes together for us all.

A page from my “Grateful Journal”

I read this when I wake up and before I go to bed:

I am grateful I saw the sky this morning.

I am grateful I stood in the snow last night with my big boots and my feet felt warm.
I am grateful for my warm bed with my cuddly husband and his unconditional love and undying support.
I am grateful for my brilliant and patient daughter and her unconditional love.
I am grateful Erinn has found love and respect in Mike, whom I adore.
I am grateful for LettuceLove Cafe and Kelly’s Bake Shoppe
I am grateful for the people that love us and support us with kind words and love.
I am grateful for my artistic talents and my tenacity from my dad.
I am grateful for all he taught me.
I am grateful for my dear sweet mom and what she taught me through my life so far.
I am grateful for my sister and her ‘best friend’ love.
I am grateful my sister has love in her life with her wonderful husband and beautiful kids.
I’m grateful for my dearest, sweetest friends that surround me with comfort and love.

I am grateful that I get to share my story with the world.
I am grateful I can help others live an AWESOME life.
I AM grateful for MY story. It is unique and I’m not afraid to share it.
I am grateful for my love for myself….xo

Author

Kelly is the co-founder and co-owner (with her daughter Erinn) of the ever popular, Kelly's Bake Shoppe, where 1000's flock to on a weekly basis. She lives in downtown Burlington with her husband Ken. You can find Kelly developing new content and recipes, creating marketing content and building new business ideas with her daughter Erinn. They are now writing their 2nd cookbook that is due to come out in 2020.

18 Comments

  1. Kelly, we know that what you do takes an incredible amount of courage. Not only have you put yourself out there but you've created two amazing businesses for people to come and enjoy, and really change their lives physically and spiritually.
    I'd be the first to admit that, I'm scared of my own shadow sometimes (which mostly comes from that self-doubt I carry), which is why I'm so grateful that I have an fantastic support group to fall back on when I feel that way. SO to see what you can accomplish in your life inspires me to be a better person, boyfriend, brother, friend, in hopes that I can be as influential as you are one day!
    You ROCK Kelly Childs, don't stop what your doing!
    I can't wait to see what 2013 brings!
    Thanks for always being there for me,
    xo Michael

  2. WOW.
    You are such an inspiration.
    You are such an incredible Mother.
    I can't even imagine the strength that it took to write something so powerful and personal about yourself.
    I love you so much.
    xo
    Erinn

  3. Catherine Stewart Reply

    very honest and open. women have a champion in you. Thank you! here's to your continued journey and success!

  4. Victoria Desiree Young Reply

    kelly this is amazing. brought a tear to my eye that you can be this open and strong to share a powerful story like this. you've done amazing for you & your family!

  5. Pauline Elizabeth Reply

    So brave and insprirational Reading this helped me today and many others I am sure as well

  6. Julie Kalanfilis Reply

    So brave. So inspirational. I printed and posted into my journal. Will refer to it daily as well xo. From my heart and belly to yours co

  7. Jessica Freeborn Reply

    Absoluteloy LOVE your blog. So inspirational and always teaching new wonderful lessons

  8. Rana-Sukhi Dhillon Reply

    Very inspiring words. For a tiny woman, you have a huge heart and soul. May you, your family and businesses be blessed with nothing less than pure joy, and happiness and be surrounded by unconditional love from all (including your faithful customers)!

  9. A very inspiring article. I am happy that you survived and became a successful, and inspiring woman.

  10. Really enjoyed reading your blog.
    Couldn't help but think of a wonderful book by Rhonda Britten called Fearless Living…..

    It ties in so closely to what you have written….it's a great read….and great kick start to helping anyone use the tools to live their life fearlessly…..

  11. This is one of your greatest pieces of writing yet. So proud to call you my friend now and always. Love, love, love you.

  12. Ken Childs Reply

    You are a tough cookie, but as I know you, soft and sweet on the inside. You are always looking out for your family and others. That awful day shaped you into a butterfly, and we are all very grateful for sharing and teaching compassion, empathy and kindness with all of us. You are deeply loved. Your One love, Ken

  13. Kelly – this was a beautiful post. Some of this must have been difficult for your to share, and I thank you for opening up to us.

    I too am a perfectionist and work to be happy with things the way they are and strive to do better in realistic ways – sometimes it is hard…

    You are a truly beautiful person inside and out and I am utterly grateful for you and all you do!

  14. An insightful and revealing look into the persona that is Kelly. I trust that sharing is cathartic. Much love to you and trust your journey is a happy one. You bring so much joy and love to myself and my family. For that I am so grateful.
    Love
    Tim

  15. I came across your site but have been to your bakery many times! I myself have experienced a very similar situation and will always have fears, doubts, bad days I like yourself tell myself that I don’t have to be afraid, that it is ok to say no!, I can walk safe, laugh and enjoy the company of others! As women we need to stick up for each other! And turn one awful experience into a blessing! It didn’t happen because we were weak, it happen because we are strong and can speak for others!

    You go girl for speaking up for those who can’t! Take time for you!

    • Thank you Maggie for reaching out to me.
      We do need to stick together – it’s amazing how strong we are isn’t it? xo

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