Holy crap. Did I mention how awesome this tribe is? Everyone, meet Rachael Newman. A newbie to The Hook this past February, she came in to the group purposeful and curious. But, not purposeful like you think .. purposeful in the most contagiously authentic way. She reminded me that MommaStrong attracts and retains women who are willing to be themselves and who are not signing up to carve away any part of themselves, but instead settle more wholly into themselves. That's just awesome. (humble nod) Can we keep you, Rachael?
My name is Rachael Newman. I have always had an adventurous spirit, an inquisitive mind, a creative need and a tender heart. At age eight is when I also got a “fat girl” identity. I wasn’t super fat, but my belly was round and my body had a layer of chub. My parents went into high alert and put me on diets and exercise programs (they did have good intentions, but their methods were madness). My peers started calling me the names that chubby kids get called. I got the Big Scarlet “F” across my forehead! In the years that followed, I wasn’t always actually fat, in fact some years I was quite slender. I have never been obese. I would however, always carry with me the imprint of that identity. The imprint of that early, painful wound.
The thing about wounds is that they often inform our life’s work. They have the potential to propel us into our hero’s journey. That is what happened to me. I have spent my life trying to find my way back to myself. Trying to find my way back to a sense of knowing when I was okay. If at a young age you hear that you aren’t okay, then you lose your sense of discernment. Maybe you never really get to develop it. There is a lot of starting fresh, and a lot of beginning again (to borrow from Momma Strong). It is harder to start anything when you don’t feel acceptable. It is harder to begin again when you feel unworthy. But it is worth trying. It really is.
Now, at age 43, my work as a Therapist is to help others as they travel their own hero’s journey, as they find ways to heal their own wounds. I feel blessed to have work that is so personally meaningful, and I feel honored to be trusted with others’ tender hearts.
Courtney didn’t ask me to write my life story here, so I’ll try to wrap it up. I did however want to share my origins with you because it makes me who I am today. After years of hating myself for being “the fat girl”, I am now at a place where I feel compassion for her, for me. I also don’t feel like I have to be trapped in that identity anymore. I am not entirely free, but am no longer in shackles. I have done countless hours of personal therapy and embodied work. All of it in service of learning to accept myself just as I am, while also striving to work toward my goals. My road has not been linear, but it has been rich and deep. I feel brave, strong and filled with gratitude.
*I am mother to Micah, wife to Scott and friend to many. I forgive my parents, and have dynamic,honest relationships with both of them. I reside in Petaluma, CA. I am currently ReLaunching my professional career as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and Expressive Arts Therapist after being a full time mother for the past 3+yrs. Website and Blog are on the horizon, so check back for updates if you’re so inclined. Workshops and a Blog are on the horizon.
When do you, Rachael, feel strong?
~~~~I feel most Strong when I show up as my Authentic Self, and don’t apologize for it. ~~~~~