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No Shame on the Red Carpet

Morgan James Publishing Red Carpet Event

On Thursday, March 7 I will celebrate the release of my book, The Way Of The Warrior Mama. However, I have mixed feelings. This is not a book on gardening or bird watching; It’s about how to raise a strong daughter and protect her from sexual assault.  Almost daily we learn of news stories about sexual assault– the heart wrenching stories of the decades-long sexual abuse of Catholic nuns by priests in India, the recent release of the documentaries “Surviving R. Kelly” and “Leaving Neverland”, the conviction of Australia’s Cardinal George Pell of sexually abusing two boys and the list goes on. Each time I read about someone being violated, I feel angry and gutted. As I write in my book, there is a delicate balance between staying informed and protecting oneself against triggering news coverage.

While I am proud that I wrote a book, I wish I didn’t have to write this book. I would trade the author title and two-minutes on the red carpet for an adolescence and much of my adulthood free from the weight of repressed shame, low self-esteem and feeling unsafe in my own body.

Then I remember why I wrote this book. I wrote this book to let parents know they can protect their daughters. I wrote this book to let the other mom survivors out there know that they are not alone and that they can heal. I wrote this book for the girls and women, for the boys and the men—for everyone to know that part of preventing future injustices is by breaking the shame cycle and speaking up.  I wish there were no more abuses to write about, but the fact of the matter remains we still have a long way to go.

When I learn about another tragic story of abuse, I remind myself of what has changed both globally and nationally since Tarana Burke first launched the #Metoo movement back in 2006.

In the last year, sexual assault centers and crisis hotlines received a record number of calls. More people are speaking up. The courage of so many named and unnamed survivors to speak up has directly led to the conviction of many sexual predators, raised awareness and caused us to have those difficult conversations.

This is why I will put on that fancy dress and get up on that red carpet.  I will celebrate all of us who dare to tell our story and all those who are willing to listen.

Kind regards,

Sally Clark
Author

Register to join me on the Red Carpet free at: http://www.MorganJamesBookLaunch.com
 
Just in time for International Women’s Day March 8th https://www.internationalwomensday.com/IWD2019

Official Launch Date for The Way of The Warrior Mama

It’s finally here! Today, December 11, 2018 – the official launch date for my book.

The Way of The Warrior Mama

The Way of the Warrior Mama shows parents how to protect their teenage daughter and conquer their own fears in raising her.

If you are a mom, you are worried about your daughter surviving the adolescent years safe and sound. In a culture that encourages kids to be sexy long before they reach puberty, and when one in four college women report surviving rape or attempted rape and one in ten high school girls is the victim of date rape, the prospect of raising a teenage girl can be daunting. By tackling the subject of sexual assault head-on, Sally Clark offers a roadmap to navigating one of the most treacherous parts of the journey from girlhood to womanhood. Sally speaks directly to moms who are overly anxious about keeping their daughters safe and shows them that the crucial element in raising a strong, resilient daughter lies in healing and addressing their own adolescent wounds. Through interviews with experts and leading practitioners in fields ranging from adolescent psychology to mindful self-compassion, The Way of the Warrior Mama teaches proven, concrete, and innovative techniques to dramatically reduce parenting stress and increase mothers’ faith that they can protect their daughter.

Reader Reviews

“I love this book. It is a unique offering for today’s mother in that Sally Clark takes you on a journey of her own personal healing from experiencing sexual trauma as a teenager (and stuffing it down), to beginning a healing journey in her 30’s and moving from survivor to thriving, and facing the unique challenges that life presented her as a mother to two daughters. She does not pretend to have all the answers, instead she shares her own truth and also, utilizing her strength as a trained journalist, investigates and shares the wisdom from other experts in the field who are helping women recover from trauma and raise strong and healthy daughters. If you loved the Red Tent, are interested in goddess culture and creative tools to help you on your own journey, then please take the time to read this treasure of a book.” – Heather Gray

“In this book Sally Clark gives voice to the very real fear, we as mothers and women face. I often worry about how my daughter will manage the first time someone crosses a boundary for her. Hoping beyond hope I have given her the skills to know and own power and be able to manage the situation in a way that keeps her safe and not make to feel shame or small somehow. Bravo on bringing light to a subject we like to avoid and providing guidance for us as mothers to encourage them to be big and fearless.” – Leah C.

“Clark tackles the complexities of being a girl, a woman then a mother in our often brutal culture and sets a path for self discovery that is as serious as it is fun. I very much enjoyed this book and immediately found myself integrating Clark’s practical advice into my daily routine as a mother of a young daughter and son.” – Erin A.

Get your copy now at Amazon!

Female Friendships Nurture

pexels-photo-1206059When female friendships run deep, they can be some of the most rewarding, satisfying relationships a woman will ever have. And sisterhood takes friendship to a whole new level. It is the notion that instead of just having one or two close friends and/or a small posse of friends and then distrusting everyone else, you can still have your closest friends and posse and also join a larger tribe of women whom you can rely on and trust implicitly as a form of support. This support can be like a cradle to nurture you as a mother. The support is like a giant safety net to catch you when you feel like you may fall into the abyss of isolation, depression, or anger.

This is a short excerpt from The Way of The Warrior Mama.

Overcoming Obstacles

andreas-fidler-400356-unsplashWorking with women has shown me that the healing path can often be a rocky one. However, it is my hope that after reading these steps, you find that while you once equated raising your daughter through adolescence unscathed to a death-defying, daunting climb up Mount Everest, now you envision it more like a slow, steady climb of a majestic, but safer mountain. As far as your own healing is concerned, you may have once thought all the healing you could do was done, or worse, you thought that you could heal the cracks in the porcelain only so far. You now see that you can regenerate and renew your mind, body, and soul.

But old habits die hard, sister. As all the research shows, those habits of mind whether they are tired, old phrases you say to yourself or old habits of not fully taking care of yourself, those thoughts and feelings have taken years to carve neuropathways into your brain. Some experts say it takes anywhere from 45-66 days to develop new habits. When you have a number of different habits, it can be daunting to take it all on at once.

One of the greatest obstacles is doubt. As a survivor, you may have internalized your pain to the extent that you doubt your value as a person. You are so comfortable with doubt that life will feel funny without this security blanket to carry around with you to protect you from fully opening up. You have lived years doubting yourself and doubting that you can achieve full happiness. Have faith in yourself by looking at all of your sisters who have overcome tremendous excruciating pain. You can do this.

I have found that working with women in circle is one of the most powerful ways to heal. However, if you feel more comfortable you can enlist the help of a friend who is also on the path to self-healing. Develop a system where you hold each other accountable for self-care on all fronts. At the beginning of your journey, map out your goals, either visually through drawing a mind map (a diagram using images and words to brainstorm) and/or writing down what you wish to manifest in your life and what you wish to manifest for your daughter.

While it can take time to find women with whom you truly connect, finding sisterhood is possible. I have found in my work that there is power in finding real in person sisters, but online sisterhood can be very healing as well.

This is a short excerpt from the book, The Way of The Warrior Mama. Official book launch date is December 11, 2018. Get your copy now!

Sisterhood

sisterhoodFor some, the word sisterhood might conjure up images of naked women dancing around a fire (maybe not such a bad thing until you try it? Something to put on the bucket list?) and/or women who float around their daily existence calling every female sister and loving everyone. While I believe there are some individuals out there, past and present, who have done such an intense amount of healing and inner work that they really feel a sense of love and gratitude for every being, the rest of us still have our egos and our particular likes and dislikes. Sisterhood does not mean you have to like every woman you meet, but you could try respecting them. When did it become accepted in the common culture that women are catty? That we all gossip about one another? That we are so hard on one another? If there was equal pay for equal work, if women held at least half of all political positions and CEO jobs, if women were valued first for their minds and souls rather than their beauty—basically if women were not suppressed—would they feel this negativity, this self-hatred, and this need to tear their sisters down?

Without dwelling on cultural causes and blaming the patriarchy, how about we stop putting ourselves and our sisters down and stop reinforcing the stereotype? What if we as women were to start propping each other up more, and when we think something negative about another woman, we hold our tongues? This taps into the abundance mindset rather than having a scarcity mindset. At a young age, we learn a scarcity mindset, such as the teacher will only give out so many As, there are only four spots on the basketball team, only a select few students get into Harvard. And as we become women, it appears that only a select few make it to positions of leadership. We have the mindset that there are only so many pieces of the pie, so we had better look out for ourselves and watch out that another woman doesn’t take our place.

This is a short excerpt from the book, The Way of the Warrior Mama.

Red Tent Mindset

Red Tent MovementFor me, the ultimate healing moment came inside a Red Tent. The womb-like comforting yet sensual vibe of the surroundings felt incredibly safe for me. But clearly we can’t spend all our days inside a Red Tent. How can we carry this feeling inside our minds? We need to create a Red Tent-like mindset where we create a safe place inside ourselves. Visualizing an imaginary or real physical space, whether it’s a beautiful beach or lake side you have visited or your favorite reading nook in your current or former home, can help you create that inner safe, cozy place where no invader can come in. When you are imagining this space, make sure that all the soothing colors you love are in there. Images of nature help.

As with visualization techniques that Olympic athletes and others use, it is best if you incorporate as many senses as possible. Is it a warm spring day, or are you inside a cozy room at night? Do you smell anything that is appealing and soothing to you? Do you hear gentle music or the sound of birds or crickets in the background? Are your bare feet touching the sand, or are you surrounded by soft blankets and plush carpets? Whatever it is, start to visualize this image.

First you can do this visualization technique at home in a quiet spot and imagine yourself feeling, breathing, and seeing safety all around you. At first you may need to imagine that you are inside a bulletproof Wonder-Woman–like invisible airplane where no one can hurt you, where no one can see you, and you are free and safe. As you get used to visualizing this image at home in a state of quiet and calm, you can call upon this image when you out in the world driving or doing errands or at work. To help remind yourself of this image of safety, you can draw a small image of it and carry it with you in your purse, or print out a picture of a similar scene of nature from the Internet or screen save an image for your cell phone or desktop. These are tricks to remind yourself to stay in the conversation of how you can feel safe and strong. For more in-depth exercises that incorporate visualization and other techniques to help you feel safe, deal with lingering feelings of unworthiness or shame, and help you feel more resilient about handling life’s stresses, I have found the website of Linda Graham, a psychotherapist trained in mindfulness, to be an excellent resource for recorded exercises. I often like to use these guided visualizations as well as my own when in circle with other women.

This is excerpted from my upcoming book, The Way of The Warrior Mama.

Foster Self-Love

Foster self-loveOne way to foster self-love is to join a group of women or sister goddess mamas among whom bragging is not just encouraged, it’s expected. One key component of the training in the networking groups that sprang from the former Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership in Women, founded by Naomi Wolf, is teaching women how to openly talk about their accomplishments and strengths and to commend their female peers for doing so. They encourage speaking about one another by sharing their female colleagues’ assets and skills with another person. In other words, networking.

The ideology behind Woodhull and other women’s leadership groups is for women to achieve full equality in the workplace and elsewhere where they have to learn the same skills their male counterparts learn from an earlier age. For example: how to negotiate a salary, why competition can be a good thing, how to public speak, etc. Forcing yourself to talk about your strengths is a great way to start liking yourself. In Mama Gena’s weekly classes, we had to come with a brag each week. Anything from, I took a luscious bath or I bought myself some expensive lingerie to I got a new job, and then everyone would applaud. It was such a good way to boost each other up. That kind of stuff starts to seep in!

This is an excerpt from the book, The Way of The Warrior Mama, to be released December 11, 2018.

The Path to Protection

Domestic Violence Awareness MonthIn honor of October being National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, here’s a short excerpt from Chapter 3 of my book, The Way of The Warrior Mama.

You do not need have to have experienced rape or sexual trauma to feel scared and anxious about how to protect your teenage daughter. You and I know all too well that my story and that of countless other females (and males) is far too common. Where is the middle ground between burying our heads in the sand and hoping our daughters emerge from adolescence relatively unscathed (which, sadly, means still probably experiencing an unwanted, demeaning touch, remark, or cat call in the street by virtue of being female), and being in a perpetual state of panic and policing our girls, forever anticipating the worst and sheltering them from every possible danger? The question remains: how do we protect our daughters? After speaking with experts, wise older crone mamas, and younger mamas—some trauma survivors, some not—and learning from my own healing journey, I’ve created a general roadmap with major landmarks to guide you and help keep you and your daughter on track.

Our desire to protect our young starts in utero. Even before our child is born, we parents are in protection mode, worrying about how to keep the unborn fetus safe from all the various evils, including unhealthy diet, BPA products, raw seafood, etc. While there are many different parenting philosophies rest assured that if you want some guidance, you can find a book to help you. You can find many books on how to parent an adolescent, too. What parenting experts, therapists, experienced mothers, and women survivors all emphasize is teaching your children boundaries and using their voice. Girls need to know that their voices will be heard early on, long before the teenage years.

Learn more about my book here.

 

Received Merit Award at the CIPA EVVY Awards August 25, 2018

2018 CIPA EVVY Merit AwardOn August 25, 2018, The Way of The Warrior Mama received the CIPA EVVY Merit award in both the Parenting and Family category and the Self-help category. The awards dinner was fun and a nice validation. I also connected with a fellow author. So over all, it was well worth attending the awards dinner!

Learn more about the book and how to stay connected here.

Media Boundaries

discuss issues with your daughterSit down with your daughter and watch her favorite TV show, then discuss the issues raised in the show. Know what media she is consuming. When she is at an appropriate age, watch films and documentaries with her that address serious issues from human trafficking in films like Taken to the exploitation of teenage girls in the international modeling industry in the documentary Girl Model. 

Joining or creating a mother/daughter book club is another way to select media that matters. It also makes it easier to talk about issues by talking about them through the characters.

This is a short excerpt from my book, The Way of the Warrior Mama: The Guide to Raising and Protecting Strong Daughters.