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Erin
Prewitt
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by Erin Prewitt on July 6th, 2015

I am excited to share that my business has expanded!  Thanks in part to my amazing clients, supportive family and friends and some key opportunity projects that have come my way.  As my business has grown I feel like it is time for me to deal with some very old, yucky, and frustrating thought patterns once and for all!  One thought pattern that has continued to rear its ugly head is my fear of money, and more specifically, the fear of not having enough money.  As I dove into this thought pattern, I noticed (for as long as I can remember) that I have had this consistent worry that I will run out of money and/or never have enough.  I believe that many of you can relate to this angst, and likely carry this same fear.  The reason I wanted to explore this fear and figure out a way to release it is because this past year I have made a promise to myself that I would be someone who is trusting and open to magic and miracles.  After Chris died, I knew I only had two options. One was to be crippled by my fears, not having enough money, being a single parent, being alone and single, and making mistakes.  Or I could be someone who learned to release fear and doubt, master trust, and create a life of abundance, which includes financial security.  You know, the funny thing is, I have always worried about money whether I have had lots of it or very little. This tells me that it is not the “having of money” that makes a difference, but the experience of it.  No matter what my bank account shows I have carried this worry that I will never have enough.  I know this is a reasonable fear, however, I also am aware that the problem for me is when I let fear dominate my thoughts it then begins to dictate my actions.  When my actions are dictated by fear and doubt, magic and miracles do not happen in my life.  It is just that simple.  I know when I can get myself where I am able to stand in a place of trust, when I am feeling, trusting, my actions follow suit and crazy, cool things happen in my life.

So now my challenge is to let go of this thought pattern which is keeping me from what I want; the feeling of trust and the manifestation of magic around my financial security!  Breathing was the very first thing I did to respond to these scared thoughts.  I mean I really breathe!  I take deep belly breaths where my tummy extends out like an expanding balloon on my inhales (fyi I am often alone doing this so I have no fear of people seeing how far out my belly can go!) and long, slow exhales.  Next I tap into appreciation.  Amazing, wise teachers have shared for years how gratitude can swiftly bring us to loving space and I have found that it to be true over and over again.  Finally, for me, I like to find something inspiring.  Two places I go all the time for inspiration are TED talks and my Facebook feed.  Both are packed full of incredibly inspiring individuals.  Some of my favorites are author’s Denise Linn, Eckhart Tolle.  I love blogs from A Mighty Girl, Simon Sinek, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girl Blog and handful of friends and community members who I think have profound views of the world.  I do all this to help me reset and focus on a life I want to create.  These practices help me reconnect with what I know for sure; that is, if I can find peace and happiness this past year I can sure as hell find financial security! 

I am interested in creating magic, and miracles that manifest a life I love and adore, including finical security.   
My recipe to manifesting magic and miracles is,
Breathe (big belly balloon breaths!)
Find and speak gratitude
Get inspired

Life is going to throw me curve balls.  I feel qualified to say this since it already has.  For me waiting in fear of those types of pitches does not make me more likely to hit the ball.  I choose to face those life pitches with a clear and hopeful mind each and every time!

by Erin Prewitt on June 29th, 2015

For me this is a BIG blog, a BIG share!  I think in some ways it is me opening my heart wide open for you to see what is inside (Gulp!)  I just recently watched an incredibly powerful interview about Madonna Badger, Mother of three who lost all three young daughters and her parents in a house fire back in 2011.  I was captured by Madonna’s message of love and felt that her share reflected my own experience after the death of my husband, Chris. 

In the interview Madonna was asked, “How are you able to love after such a great loss?”  I sat with tears rolling down my face as she spoke the words that reflected the song of my heart.  With a soft smile she said, “I can only feel my girls (her three daughters) when I am standing from love…I can feel their spirit but only if I am open to the feeling of love.  I want to feel them, so I stay in a loving space.”  Madonna was then asked, “How do you stay in a loving place?”  Her answer was simple and brilliant, “I found someone to love me.”   She was told by a very wise gentleman that how to heal from a great loss was to “find someone to love you,"  and that is what she did!  Madonna, shortly following the death of her family met and married a lifelong friend.

Like Madonna, I too found someone to love me.  I was never told those wise words nor did I know that my ability to stay open to love after Chris’s death would allow me to again find love, but like Madonna I believe “staying in the space of love” allowed me to meet someone who loves me generously.  What I have learned on my journey with Dennis is that there are parts of me that are still wounded from losing Chris and in some form might always be.  Yet, just because I have these wounded parts does not mean I cannot love again nor does that mean that I am unlovable by anyone else.
 
I recently shared with an audience of cancer survivors that perhaps we as humans are not meant to leave this earth flawless, rather we are meant to leave with dents and dings.  Maybe we are meant to be scared and banged up from life because those are the markings that show we have been bold enough to live and to love!  I came to Dennis dinged, scarred, and banged up.  Along with my dings and dents I also came to our relationship more appreciative, patient, gentle, thoughtful, and generous.  Focusing to stay in the space of love changed me in countless ways which over time softened me.  I never closed my heart after Chris died, I actually opened it up even more.  I believe, like Madonna this allowed me to be open to someone loving me.  The letter below is shared publicly in hopes that we all keep our hearts open to love, to being loved, and to finding someone to love us.
So here is my love letter to Dennis:
 
Dear Dennis,

Thank you for accepting me with all my dings and dents.  For letting me know you find all parts of me beautiful.  Thank you for knowing that I might have been bent, but I was far from broken.  On our first date, I was so nervous, I dropped the contents of my purse in the parking lot.  At that moment, I knew you saw me...really saw me.  You saw a scared (and let’s be honest) clueless widow who hadn’t dated in 20 years.   On the flip side you saw this woman damned and determined to stay open to the possibility of once again finding love.  You walked into my life boldly knowing that the man who came before you was incredible and special and from the very beginning you said, “I can’t be Chris, but I can give you all of me.”  That is exactly what you have done.  You have loved me with a sweetness, a wicked sense of humor, and a belief in me that brings tears my to eyes.  Thank you for giving me all of you, for entrusting me with your heart.  I love you.  I love you Dennis Montgomery.

Erin

by Erin Prewitt on June 21st, 2015

It was a gorgeous day in the Santa Ynez Mountains.  The family and I were enjoying our camping trip and getting some much needed R&R.  I had taken my three boys down to the pool to swim and burn off some of their energy.  The boys started a good ol fashion game of Marco Polo.  They had been playing for 10 or 15 minutes when a new boy came to the pool.  The new boy was roughly the same age, he was alone, and his body language suggested he was a bit unsure of himself.  Instantly I felt an empathetic connection to him…I remembered so many days when I felt the odd guy out.  You know what I am talking about; being one of the last kids chosen to join the team at recess, or trying to fit in at a new school.  Heck, even as an adult there are those awkward moments where you feel a bit insecure in a new setting.  So, from my own experiences, I could tell he wanted to join the game, he sort of watched from the side of the pool.  I couldn’t’t help but initiate the Inclusion by suggesting to my boys that they should invite him to join them.
     
My boys are a tight group, I imagine they could be intimidating to an outsider because they are so close and content with each other.  Together they waded over to the new kid.  They looked the boy in the eye, and asked him if he would like to join them.  At first, the boy was technically in the game, but he was not truly ‘in the game’…he was sort of swimming on the outskirts, his shouting of ‘polo’ was faint and timid.  This went on for a few minutes.   And then it happened, my youngest son Mason touched the new kid, and the dynamic of the game completely shifted.  The new kid was now truly part of the game, you could see his apprehension about fitting in vanish.  He shouted ‘POLO’ with rigor, his smile was wide and genuine.
 
I originally became aware of Inclusion and the Power of Touch while I was participating in a leadership training event at the Colorado State University Ropes Course.  The message was again delivered at a similar course I took at UCLA a few years later.  The message is- in a new game or environment people are generally uncertain of the rules of engagement, and as a result, they tend not to fully participate.  But a simple touch changes the game.  Just like it did in the pool for my boys, my experience with this (in each of the ropes courses) shows that a simple touch brings people in, the boundaries are broken down, and true engagement begins.  
I continued proudly watching from the side line.  My boys and I often talk about what it is like to be the outsider, and how nice it feels when people reach out to include us.  I was delighted at how quickly they opened up their game to the new kid.  But I was just doubled over with pride that it was my youngest son that actually showed his courage by being the person to truly bring the new kid into the game.  As the youngest of 3, he often has two big brothers standing up for him.  He is the baby of the family, and fits many of those stereotypical traits expected from the youngest child.  But on this day, he reached out first, and bravely welcomed a new friend to join the group.

I really treasure these moments as a parent.  It was literally a ‘payday’ for all those other days when I wondered if our messages were actually landing with them.  To see them employ a skill that will benefit them for the rest of their lives was both surreal and rewarding in the greatest sense.  My wife Shelly and I work really hard to guide our boys to be good people.  Early on in our marriage we made a commitment to put our family first.  And when we were blessed with three boys, we made it our parenting mission to “Raise Gentleman”.  That day by the pool I was reminded how important it is to step back at times and trust my sons to make their own choices.  I was both touched, and inspired by my little guy’s gentlemanly behavior and his determination to include a stranger.  


by Erin Prewitt on June 15th, 2015

Earlier this week I was invited to the Restorative Justice Conference here in Ventura County, to share my story of the loss of Chris and how I responded to the woman who killed him. What I find compelling about restorative justice is the opportunity for people like me, who in the eyes of the courts are considered a victim, to have access to more options when addressing the person(s) who victimized them or their loved one.  Following Chris’s death, the only option I was given during the sentencing process was to plead my case with the judge and basically hope for the best.  The District Attorney’s office, recommended Shante (the woman who killed Chris) be sentenced to prison for 4-6 years.  I did not agree with them, I wanted 5 years of probation with intensive services for her and her family, with no prison time.  I was seeking justice.  I was seeking a justice that I felt was appropriate and allowed room for redemption.  However, our County does not currently have “other” practicing options for victims who seek justice the way I was seeking it.  I found it upsetting when I heard from the courts that they would seek justice, asking for prison time, on behalf of me, my daughter, my family, my community.  I was upset because sending this woman to prison was not going to get me any closer to the healing or peace I was seeking.

That day in the courtroom when the judge sentenced Shante to four years in prison was the first time I became seriously pissed off!  Months earlier my husband was killed.  I was coping with the loss of his death and floundering in so many areas of my life.  But there was one area where I felt clear.  As the victim of the crime to my Husband I wanted an impactful say regarding Shante’s sentencing, I wanted my requests to be heard and included.  I was pissed because although the justice I sought was heard by the judge and said to be compelling and even compassionate, in the end it was disregarded, because in the end she was given prison time. 

I see restorative justice as an opportunity for victim’s to have a say.  It gives us opportunity to have a place at the table of justice (if so desired by the victims).  It allows us to participate in the whole process, from the initial sentencing possibly to how to the person that committed the crime reenters the community after serving their sentence.  Restorative justice has elements of healing not only for the direct victims of the crime, but also community members who were impacted by the crime.  I never got a place at the table.  I never got the justice I begged for.  It is my wish and deepest hope (for my community and all the communities across the country) that victims are not only heard, but their requests are actually weighted in the court proceedings.  For me, a life was lost the day my Husband was killed on April 6, 2014.  And sadly, months later another life was lost on June 24th, 2015 when a young 22 year old woman with no prior crimes was sentenced to prison and branded a felon for the rest of her life.  I don’t think my version of justice should be forced on any other victim of a crime, nor should a one size fits all form of justice be forced on me.


by Erin Prewitt on June 1st, 2015

The other night Izzy asked me, “Am I being good?”  This might seem like a benign question from a child; I suppose she could simply be wondering if she is behaving well.  However for me this question felt like something more.  It didn’t seem like an innocent question where she was asking for clarity on her behavior, it seemed more like a question that I have seen so many females grapple with. It took me a few moments to respond, but when I finally did I replied with a question of my own, “Iz, what do you mean are you being good?”  Izzy scrunched her face and gave me a look that said, “Are you kidding me?  You don’t know what I am asking?”  I, (in my usual manner when receiving this type face from my daughter) gave her a look in return that said, “No, I do not, now give me what I want” Non-verbal communication can be so effective because after a couple of seconds she sighed and asked, “You know, am I being good?  Am I acting the way you like?  The way you want me to?”  Now that was the question inside the question I thought I heard, and let me tell you it did not sit well with me.  

I am a single mother who has been in the workforce since attending college.  I have seen so many woman go out of their way to be a “good employee” a ‘good co-worker”, or even a “good manager”.  The kind of “good” Izzy spoke of seemed to me to be more about approval from others.  I admit, early in my career, and many moments since, I sought approval and wanted to be liked first over anything else.  I noticed over time and through my professional experience that this seemed to be more common with females than with our male counter parts. 

I remember a time when I was standing before a group of professional teams in San Francisco.  It was quite a diverse group, from CEOs to the agency managers.  They were attending a training session I was leading which focused on strategic planning. I will never forget, the gentleman sitting in the middle of the room.  I first noticed his scowling face, and that he quickly tossed aside the guide packet I was handing out.  Next, he interrupted me while I was addressing the group, and with an accusatory tone asked, “So why do you think you can help us?  What do you think you have that can make us better?”  I remember being taken off guard, and feeling embarrassed by his question.  Most of all, I realized that though the training had hardly just started, this person had formed an opinion that he did not like me.  I don’t remember what I said, I most likely stumbled through some kind of answer, but I do remember him giving me a hard time and questioning me at every turn the entire morning.  By lunch time I was fried!  I needed to regroup and figure out what to do.  So took a walk outside.  It was then that I discovered I was functioning from a place of seeking approval from this man.  I was bending and twisting myself for him in effort to get him to like me.  In my mind I thought that if he liked me he would then think I was a “good trainer and consultant”.  Once I saw what was driving me I smiled at myself remembering, that I had no control nor business trying to get his approval.  For me, I find I quickly lose my way when I fall to seeking others approval.  

As people came back from lunch I approached the gentleman who had been busting my ovaries all morning, I leaned over his table and in a quiet voice I said, “Let me give it to you straight, you paid to be here to seek my expertise and the tools I am providing.  You can either use the tools and/or my suggestions and make of the most of your time here, or you can leave.  Either way I do not care, because I either way I am getting paid.”  With that I smiled at him and walked away.  The most unexpected thing happened, the guy stayed!  I have no idea why, but I can say he was pretty well behaved following our little one way chat.

So you can see why Izzy’s response triggered this memory and others like it and led me to the thought that I don’t want her to just be “good”.  I thought, well if I don’t want her to be “good” what do I want?  I want her to be honest, most of all to herself, about who she is and what she wants.  I want her to speak up, stand up for what she believes in.  I want her to believe in her own voice and use it powerfully and with as much love as she can conjure at any given moment.  I want her to love and honor herself and know if she does that others will follow suit. 

In that moment with my eight year old looking up at me, I did not say all that, I just said, “Izzy, yes you are being a great listener and doing well following directions.  But my hope is that you don’t feel like you need to be good for others or do what they want.  I hope that you learn that you being YOU, will actually make you a good person.”  She looked at me with a face of annoyance which spoke volumes, her face read something like, “it took you that long to JUST say that?!” and then bounced away before I could say another word.

I laugh in retrospect because she was stuck with me, being me.  Speaking my truth, being empowered by my thoughts and beliefs, and having the self-confidence to share them!