Tag Archives: abuse; communication; help; relationships; rebirth;poetry

Holiday Hopes

Dear Friends,

My wish for you this holiday season is the gift of hope: that no matter what has happened in this last year for you, that the coming year will surpass your expectations for happiness, supply, abundance, joy and peace.

2011 has been a challenging year for so many. Yet many of us are witnessing and experiencing a new movement of consciousness in which more and more people are waking up to the fact that the old ways of greed, avarice, materialism at all costs, disrespect and violence are not working. For this I am deeply grateful and hopeful.

I hope this year has brought you many gifts , both internal and external. I hope you found the joy in the simple moments, relished the quiet or the noise, saw the beauty in the sun or the rain, felt the presence of hope and possibility.

Each year brings with it new and different challenges, we all know that. I’m just like you, some challenges feel like obstacles I don’t see a solution for. Yet now near the end of another year, I have to say that each seeming obstacle has been an opportunity for me to learn something new about myself, or see something again that I am still learning.

People talk with me all the time about their “mistakes.” Like a person who stayed in a relationship in which they didn’t feel respected or appreciated, long after their instinct told them to go; or another, facing large financial hurdles and feeling so very alone in it all.  I certainly have had my share of them, too, the “mistakes” I have made. Like the choice to leave the rented home I cherished several years ago because I was in the throws of an emotional storm with the owner ( a parent, no less.) Or investing in some business or personal venture that didn’t bring forth the outcome intended. Or choices I made in relationships and parenting, before I learned all that I have come to learn.

But I have to tell you, and maybe it will resonate with you, even just a little bit: as much as choices led me to really different chapters in life than I had ever anticipated, I have grown so incredibly much through each and every experience.

It is easy to look back at a choice and say, “ I wish I had done that differently.” (That’s why we all understand the saying, “ hind sight is 20/20.” )After the fact, when you see all the consequences and ramifications of what happened, it is easy to play armchair strategist and consider what you could have done differently.

But the truth is, you have absolutely no idea what would have happened if you had done anything differently. And, if you had known to do it differently at the time, you would have. You couldn’t do what you didn’t know to do.  I know I couldn’t.

Any thought I have about  “ what it would be like now” is nothing more than a fantasy I am making up about it. Because at the end of the day, I am here now, this is the way it is now, I am better, stronger, wiser, more informed, much smarter, and much more confident.

Certainly I am less innocent. Certainly I assess things differently now. That is a very positive outcome of learning , and of learning the hard way. I don’t know too many people who learn really big life lessons the easy way. Do you? And there is no question in my mind that I am better, stronger, wiser, more informed, smarter, and much more confident as a result of having not just survived but internally thrived in spite of  it all.

This is the greatest gift we can give ourselves this holiday: the gift of believing that no matter how hard it was, how much we have cried, how much things changed and that was uncomfortable, we have not just survived, we have internally thrived. Things may not look in the outside quite like we ultimately want them to yet, but we are on my way. And that is a good place to be.

Two of my favorite inspirational sources, Neale Donald Walsh and Esther & Jerry Hicks and Abraham, sent these to their folks this week.  ( By the way, Jerry Hicks made his transition to the other side of the Veil recently. Esther is handling this with exquisite grace. I know millions of us hold both of them in our hearts and prayers.)  These messages resonated so much with me that I wanted to share them with you.

..that all change is change for the better.

There is no such thing as “change for the worse.”Change is the process of Life Itself, and that process could be called by the name “evolution.” And evolution moves in only one direction: forward, and toward improvement. Therefore, when change visits your life, you can be sure things are turning for the better. It may not look that way in the very moment change arrives, but if you will wait a while and have faith in the process, you will see that this is true.

                                                                                                                Neale Donald Walsh

We are really advocates of just getting as happy as you can be—which takes care of everything. Even if you don’t have reason to be happy—make it up. Fantasize it. Make a decision that you’re going to be happy one way or another—no matter what. “No matter what, I’m going to be happy! If I have to ignore everybody; if I have to never watch television again; if I have to never pick up a newspaper again, I’m going to be happy. If I never have to see that person’s face again, I’m going to be happy. If I have to see that person’s face, I’m going to find something to see in that person’s face that makes me happy. I’m going to be happy. I’m going to be happy. I’m going to be happy.”

— Abraham  (Excerpted from the workshop of Esther and Jerry Hicks, in Sacramento, CA on Saturday, March 15th, 2003 # 292)

I want to offer you a gift from my heart to yours this holiday season: If you have not taken up my previous limited offer for the free download of   I Will Do What It Takes, my e- mini book,  please write to me within the next week at kathryn@nextboldstep.com and I will joyfully send you your free download.

I also  thought you might like to listen in to an interesting interview  I had last week with Richard Spaskoff, world known psychic medium.  https://rcpt.yousendit.com/1320204626/762bcf52c0c30b68bdaba07bf92af5cb

Or a very special conversation on CBS Radio “ The Business of Wisdom” with Dr. Alvin Jones

www.dralvinjones.com/content/01 Kathryn Tull.wma

May your days be merry and bright, even if shadows pull at your heart strings. Choose to find a ray of sunshine or something that brings you warmth and happiness to see, to focus on, to think about. Although it seems simplistic, it works. What you choose to think about will affect the direction of your emotions profoundly. I know that pain and the memories created by pain can overshadow or distort any potentially happy or positive situation. I have been there so many times myself. I tell myself whenever that tries to happen – which is still can – “ Just breathe this moment. I can choose for just this moment to think about something else, something better.” I purposely redirect my thoughts, and keep doing it, over and over again.

It works. The more you do it, the better you will get at doing it. Over time, the effect  will last a little longer, then a little longer.

Give yourself the gift of self-love this year. Let yourself see the growth you have experienced, do something good for yourself, no matter how seemingly small. A piece of chocolate, a hot bath, a walk in the brisk air, a nap. Or something bigger if you can: a whole day off, a weekend away, a vacation. Something to tangibly say to yourself, “ I love you. You matter. No matter what any one else says or thinks, you matter to me!”

And you matter to me. May your holidays be blessed and peaceful. Ring in the new year with hope and expectation for a bright tomorrow. You deserve it!

To your Next Bold Step with my love and Holiday Hopes,


Author, Speaker, Psychotherapist, Communications Coach

Real solutions for your relationships and families



What is Independence?

It is good to be back in touch. It has been a very busy time, working diligently to get The Next Bold Step through the last of the publishing process. Hip Hip Hooray, it is complete! I am so excited to share that with you! And now it is Independence Day already, how appropriate.

Independence means different things to different people. This holiday means different things for different people. It has meant so many different things to me over the course of my life that now I have a memory bank just entitled  4th of July I think. So many memories. Many sweet stories. Now Independence looks so different – and I have to consciously choose not to get lost in the “what was” instead of the What Is.  Have you ever felt like that?
Independence has taken on a whole new meaning for me now, living alone for the first period of time in my life. Now independence means getting to do things for myself, sleeping in when I create the time and the context, following my own schedule instead of other people’s, even choosing to spend a day alone. Until pretty recently, these kinds of choices were not even in my thoughts.
When I first awoke at 6:30 this morning I was flooded with memories of holidays from the 1990’s when my children were young and I was married. We would have big parties – 20,30,50 people. Preparing for days, up at the crack of dawn to decorate my kids’ wagon or bikes or outfits to be in the parade. Decorate the house and yard, and get tickets for the local Fireworks show. The Fair in the Park first, hot dogs for lunch. They were sweet days. I love those memories. I loved rollerblading in the parade, keeping up with my kids. One in the Marching Band, one on a Float for the Ballet Company, one on his decorated bike. God, it was sweet.
The memories are sweet, as long as I don’t throw the shadow of the unspoken reality over them: no one saw the personal price that was paid by me and the kids for the gorgeous entertaining we did, the price of their father’s moods, and living up to his expectations. There was nothing sweet about that. That tarnished everything in its path.
Or the years after, when Independence came to mean that we were out on our own, I had finally had enough, I fought our way out, we were safe, we were free. Hometown Parade, red, white and blue clothes, fireworks at the High School where all but one of us graduated.Then unforeseen family friction, no peace to be had in our sweet life, more choices to make, more upheaval, more ripping apart, more pain, more growth.  More change…
Even now, so many years later, I have to work with myself to not let the shadows get me down. So many memories, so many holidays and special days and ordinary days tarnished to remember…I have to choose not to let that destroy all that was wonderful.  As I said earlier, so many memories. Many sweet stories. Now Independence looks so different – and I  consciously choose not to get lost in the “what was” instead of the What Is.
What does Independence mean to you?
And very importantly: What would you like it to mean?
Give yourself a gift today of contemplating that question: What would you like it to mean?
No matter what circumstances and conditions look like on the outside of you, go within. Turn to your own heart. Ask yourself: What would I like Independence to mean?
What would I like Freedom to mean?
What would I like it to feel like?
Then pick one thing, one desire, one vision, one idea, or one goal, large or small to go for. No matter what your vision is, pick one idea to go for. This is Your time. In the smallest way and in the largest way, this is your time. Make it your own. Allow a vision to birth itself to your awareness today, Independence Day. Give it life. Give it attention. Give it care. Give it love. Let it flourish and bloom. That is Freedom. And that is a Bold Step.
I send strength, hope and belief in your Bold Step today.
Mine is now ready for you to share.
With my love,
The Next Bold Step is now ready for order! Get your personally signed copy today at http://www.nextboldstep.com and fine online retailers.

You Matter!

Dear One,
I wish you love this Valentine’s Week. I  wish you love for yourself, the most important love that you can have. Whomever else there may be in your life, whether children, parent, partner, neighbor or friend, today I wish you love for you.
Valentine’s Day is heavily marketed to a particular audience, but they are missing the point. They are missing the most essential love there is: love for yourself, as a perfect expression of Universal love that holds no judgment, needs no gift. You are that expression. You are perfect, whole and complete. You matter! Whether there is anyone else in your daily life that recognizes that right now, it is the truth, today and every day.
You matter! You have a unique and divine purpose here this day.The world is a better place because you are here. You have gifts and talents that no one else brings to the planet in quite the same way. You are a perfect expression of you!  Celebrate yourself today. Celebrate that love begins with you. Loves lives in you, and with you, always.  We have been long taught to understand love when it comes from others. That misses the most important piece in the equation: love comes from within you .
What can you do for yourself today to give yourself that love? Even if it is something that takes just a few minutes, do something special for yourself today. Take a few quiet minutes , make a cup of tea, and sit with yourself to remember who you are. You are not the labels of what you do, of how much you earn, or how much education you have, how many children you do have or do not have, whether you are single or married. You are a precious, perfect expression of the single entity in this Universe that is you!
Take a clean piece of paper and write down two sentences about yourself- who you are – to recognize your own value today. This is very important, your brain needs to captain this thought team. You matter, no matter what any one else says or does not say.
Create in your own thoughts two loving statements to celebrate yourself, and write them down. Read them out loud to yourself. Don’t be surprised if tears come up when you try to do this, or if you find that you stop yourself, or feel embarrassed. Particularly if you have experienced someone that told you otherwise, hurt you, or harmed you ,  it may feel wrong in some way to affirm yourself. But take back your power!  Don’t let them own your ability to love yourself. If you are willing to be a little playful, place a nice kiss right next to those two loving statements.
Place this declaration of your specialness and your love within in a prominent place where you can see it! Read it to yourself today and every day for the next ten days. On the tenth day, add one more statement.  Read these three out loud to yourself. Love and celebrate yourself this way every day for the next twenty-one days.  You matter! You deserve this gift, and it is free!
Take this bold step: love yourself. Value yourself. You are perfect, whole and complete. You are Love.
With my love to you today,

How is the new year so far?

It is the end of the first month of the new decade. I am astonished, to be truthful, at where the time has gone. The holidays were happy and bittersweet. I’ll tell you more about that later. I hope yours were safe, and you had happiness. Even within imperfect circumstances, it is still very possible to find happiness and blessings. That is more important than all the money in the world.
I say my holidays were happy and bittersweet, and they have been every year since my family life blew up. Have you had that kind of feeling?  You may have already heard my history, but if not, I will explain a little:  in 1999 I finally took my children and left my married life to an abusive husband ; later that same year, my mother, who was my greatest fan, role model, and best friend, passed away after a slow decline that had lasted many years. A couple of years later, my father found a new love for his life, and decided I was not to be a part of his life any more. That loss has been very difficult to adapt to, but I am doing it, one day at a time. In the process, I have discovered and gotten to truly know and appreciate me!
That is why I understand how you may feel with the challenges you face. In addition to being a professionally trained clinical psychotherapist, with specific expertise in working with survivors of trauma, I have lived a life rich in experience, happy and sad. Eleven years out from a long-term abusive marriage, I still experience post traumatic stress disorder -PTSD – around loud, sudden noises, people crying or yelling, violence on TV or in movies, keeping a watchful eye in case harm is around the corner. Several years out from a non-understandable rejection by my remaining parent, I understand what it feels like to wake up sometimes with depressed thoughts of complete aloneness, or lack of desire to get on with the day.
One day at a time I have fought back against the efforts of depressive thoughts that tried to run my life and keep me from fulfilling my potential.  Did you know that is what happens?  The thought patterns become embedded and work very hard to keep functioning as they are accustomed to, keeping you depressed, sad, scared, alone, unfulfilled.
I have had it with those thought patterns. I am not willing to live my life afraid any more. I am not willing to cooperate with the bitterness, resentment, and the other angry  emotions I had felt so vividly for a long time. They held me back, and I’m done with tolerating that. We all deserve to live a rich, full life – especially you! I have been working for the past several years to develop and refine techniques that work . You can get your thoughts and feelings to work for you, not against you.
Join me this year to break these old habits and shed the thoughts and feelings that keep depression anchored in your heart and mind. I am forming a bi-coastal group of women that will meet every other week to share their stories and hearts, support each other, learn new strategies and techniques for leaving the sadness behind, and create the brighter life that you deserve!
Space will be limited, so you need to let me know within two weeks if you are interested, to reserve a spot. It will be affordable, important, inspiring, healing and uplifting. All you will need is long-distance service and an open heart. Come heal, grow, expand and create the life you deserve and desire. Get ready to receive !!
With love and blessings,

My Friends,

Some years ago I wrote a poem, as I was healing from my abusive relationship/marriage that lasted seventeen years. It was published in an international collection of poetry.  I would like to give it to you as a gift, if you would like to have it.

With that man, I bore two children, supported his career to be an internationally known and traveled performer, helped him become a man well liked and respected by his friends and the community, built a successful life  (or so it looked) in a community  in which I carefully crafted and protected his ( and our) reputation.  During all those years, we were living a double life. So were my children. In truth, it felt like a long, dark tunnel with no end.

Now, it is ten years later. It is hard for me to conceive of it, but more than a decade has passed since I left.  I have cried more than a million tears, along the way, I am sure. There were plenty of days when I felt like I had no idea how to do anything. But I kept going, and still do, one day at a time. Because I learned that my growth occurs now, in this moment, in every moment, when I allow it to. That, by itself, is a miracle!

My life now is a bouquet of blessings, opportunities, achievements, adventures and new friends. My three children are now all grown, and launched. ( I have an older son from my first marriage, and they are all very close with each other.) Each one of the three of them is creating a life of success, discovery, trial and error, love and exploration. Each one of them has traveled a different, and sometimes difficult road as a result of their young lives in an abusive home; but they are all blossoming in such beautiful ways. And so am I.

I want to share with you this very important fact: recovery from abuse is possible. It is very possible. Being in relationships that are not abusive is also possible.

It may not be easy. It may not come quickly. But it is entirely possible. And I want you to know that.

Whether you are now, or have been, or are thinking that you may be, in any abusive relationship, you can learn the skills to detect, understand, and respond proactively so that you can regain your life.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing more information with you about this.

For now, I wish you a gentle Spring of re-birth within yourself, knowing that you are as beautiful as a rose in the morning, deserving of tender love, warm light and sweet care.   If you would like to have my poem, just copy and paste the link below into your web browser.

With my love,


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