"Robin's wonderful stories illustrate her challenges and how she has been able to turn these challenges into personal victories and inspirational nuggets of hope for other people. I am happy to recommend this book to anyone who needs encouragement, hope, and direction to take their lives to the next level, to live life to the fullest with love, empowerment, and integrity."
--Stacey Toupin, Life and Career Coach
"Framing a Family teaches parents around the world the value of family, union, and unity. She both guides us and gives us tools and skills. The way she raises her children is a inspiration and we can all learn valuable lessons from her experiences. Robin is a hardworking, fun-loving, wise mother. I have found all of Robin's books and talks to be empowering and uplifting."
--Mia Bredenkamp, Bultfontein, FS, South Africa
Robin Marvel is a multi-published author and speaker in the field of self-development. Despite a childhood filled with abuse, homelessness, and teen pregnancy, Robin has overcome many challenges to make her life one of purpose. Today she has devoted her life to show others how to do the same. Using her story, books, and workshops as tools, she is inspiring others to break cycles and choose to live the life they desire.
Learn more at www.RobinMarvel.com
Another empowering book from Marvelous Spirit Press
|Publisher:||Loving Healing Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.18(d)|
About the Author
Upon finding out she was having a girl, she made the choice that they would not be a statistic. She knew she would have to work hard and continue to work hard to make sure that would become her truth.
Read an Excerpt
Architect of Your Life: Discovering Self
The confidence you have in self determines the level of confidence your family maintains.
As a mother of five girls, I can attest to the fact that parenting can be overwhelming, confusing, and sometimes hard. We are given the ultimate responsibility — to our children and the rest of the world — to teach values that will create decent human beings. We have to balance the urge to hover and protect while allowing and encouraging them to be true to who they are and to spread their wings and fly. We are always facing new situations and have to choose the best response that will balance that line between parent and friend.
There are lessons constantly being learned, challenges to face, moments of growth, and grand reward when we see our children shine. Those golden moments when you get a glimpse of all the lessons throughout the years coming out in their decisions.
Your family is a reflection of you. The actions you take, the words you speak to yourself, and the choices you make have a direct effect on your family. It is of utmost importance to be sure of who you are in order to have a successful life and family. You can only give what you have, and if you are unsure of yourself then your outside life will reflect that.
Being confident in the person you have chosen to be will allow you to share that with your family and pass to it along to your children.
In each family, there are certain roles each person fulfills. It is similar to how a business is set up: each person having their specific job that keeps the company running smoothly. In order for a family to be successful, each person must be working, contributing, and taking care of business. If one person is not putting their best forward, then it can shake the whole system. While we are taking care of business, making sure everyone survives, we can lose sight of who we really are. This is where confidence comes into play. Every person in the family must be sure of who they are in order to give the very best of themselves.
Take a moment and ask yourself, who are you? Not the parent, the coworker, the breadwinner — I mean the real you that stands in the mirror, the person you are when you are all alone.
1-1: Defining Me
Take a piece of paper and draw a circle. Write your name in the center. Use the space around it to brainstorm about you. Write down all things that come to your mind that you believe define you. Use this as a starting point to figure out who you are.
Grab your journal and think about who you are. Or who you want to be. Write five action steps you can start doing right now to get you to where you want to be.
Doing these activities above will encourage you to start looking within and in turn building a strong, confident foundation for yourself. Your self-worth determines how you see yourself, your family and the world. If you do not see the value of yourself, you will have a hard time teaching that confidence to your children. We live in a society where it is so easy to slap on a fake smile and walk out into the world doing our day-to-day tasks completely numb. We self-medicate with alcohol, food, drugs, and whatever we can find that makes it okay to continue living the way we are, just to make it through each day. We go through the motions so well that soon we start to believe it is okay when the truth is that we are dying inside, reaching for a lifeline, hoping our kids do not see how lost we really are. Kids are very susceptible and realize who you are even if you do not. They can sense our unhappiness and that plays an important part in their lives. You cannot give them a sense of security if you are insecure and unsure of who you are.
I grew up in a very unstable, turbulent environment. There was a lot of domestic violence, homelessness, and drug abuse. As a kid, I never knew what each day would hold. Would the power be off when I got home? Would we leave in the middle of the night for a new state? Would my mom be beaten today? As you can imagine, this left me with little self-esteem. I was not surrounded by strong individuals, only those struggling each day. This affected how I saw myself. As a young girl, I started to seek out attention anywhere I could find it. In my case that meant drinking and partying, and eventually, teen pregnancy. Raising Emillie made me grow up, but I was still lacking that sense of worth. I had no idea who I was or where I wanted to go. The only thing I did know was that my child was not going to live in an unstable environment.
Unfortunately, my past experiences affected the choices I was making for her. We struggled. I was lost in life. I went through the motions like this for many years until I realized I needed to start loving myself. If I ever wanted to be a good example and give my daughter what she needed, I had to discover it within. I started to look at myself in the mirror, learn to love myself and share that with my child. The first thing I did was tape the words "I love you" on the bathroom mirror. I would stand there and say those three words to myself. At first I was negative and found a million reasons why I shouldn't love who I was. I would have to stop myself from the self-hate and replace those negatives with positives. I slowly began to reprogram my thoughts, to forgive myself and to take responsibility for my life right now. It wasn't easy, but it was so worth it. By finding myself I was able to start instilling a sense of self-love and self-respect into my children.
1-2: I Am What I Choose To Be
Today you start. You decide who you want to be, the example you want to set for your family. Taking the time to honor your truth, loving who you are will give permission to all the people in your life to do the same.
Take a moment right now and go stand in front of the mirror. Look at yourself and say the words
Listen to your inner voice, pay attention to what you are saying to yourself.
How you take care of yourself is so important. Taking physical and mental care of yourself goes along with loving yourself.
I haven't ever been the type to take time for myself. Ever since I was old enough to help others, that is what I have done. I am kind of a fixer — I see a problem, unhappy person, anyone in need, and I grab my cape and proceed to do anything I can to help — sometimes spreading myself too thin. I realized, as I learned more about myself, that my need to be a fixer had a lot to do with wanting people to like me. The more I did for others, the more they needed me, and in my head that meant they liked me. It all linked back to my self-worth. I needed to be liked in order to feel I was worth anything, which meant people pleasing — a very negative cycle to be stuck in.
I had to learn how to take care of myself. Including how to value myself and say "no," even to my husband and kids, and take a moment to rejuvenate from the inside out. At first it was hard, not just for me, but also for those people that never heard me say no before. To them it was a personal attack; it was me saying they weren't my number one priority. This was a challenge that I had to learn to overcome. Anyone who knows me knows that my girls are the most important thing and most amazing people I have ever met. When taking a few moments to reboot, it is not because I am sick of them or that I need more in my life; it is because I want to be the best for them. When you work a nine-to-five job, you leave when the day is done and you get a vacation once a year. When you are a stay-at-home mom, there are no off-times and you certainly do not get a vacation. It is work to be on all the time. It is the best kind of work, but nevertheless it is still demanding and wanting to take a few hours to unwind, to read your favorite book, to just veg out and watch Gilmore Girls is okay. It doesn't make you less of a person or mean that you love your family any less.
It means that in order to be the best for your family, you have to be in the best personal condition. That means taking time to do the things that you enjoy, the things that spark your soul and feed your individuality.
1-3: Affirmation of Self Care
*Post this affirmation and use when needed:
Yes I am a mom/dad/parent and spouse. I am also a person and I have purpose, goals, and aspirations for myself too. It is very important that I take the time to nurture myself so I can give the best to my family.
1-4: Personal Checklist
Make a list of the things you enjoy doing for you.
My list of things I do for me goes something like this:
Reading – I have a book addiction for sure.
Sitting on the riverbank in peace
Learning about the heritage of my town
Make a list of things you would like to be doing for you.
My list of things I would like to do for me:
Attend more self-improvement seminars
Take a spa day
Spend an entire day taking an adventure
Make a commitment to do at least one of those things on your list this month.
The commitment I will make this month is to schedule a day of empowerment at an upcoming self-improvement seminar
Be prepared for the feelings of guilt, but remember that this change will add so much to every facet of your life. It will enhance you personally and as a family. The thoughts of: am I good mom? If I take this time, how will my house survive? Will all the kids still love me? Am I giving up on my family? Insert your programmed excuse here.
These are normal thoughts and are to be expected. For me, I know that I want to be the best possible person and an example for my family, and that means that I have to nurture myself so I can give back to them. There is no good that comes from a burnt-out parent struggling to hold it all together while falling apart inside. You become lost, your zest for life is gone, and it affects the entire family. Your patience is gone, your temper is high, and the environment is toxic for everyone. No one is happy in this situation.
Imagine for a moment a balloon, full of air. And this balloon is you: you are full of life and ready to embrace all that comes your way. As you go through life, giving and giving, forgetting to take what you need, you start to deflate. Your ambition and excitement start to fade each day as you stop taking time for your personal well-being, leaving you depressed, insecure, and unsettled.
1-5: Priority is Me
Make yourself a priority. Find something that makes you feel alive and focus on that.
Start small and take 5 minutes a day for you. Use this time to just breathe, be still and, rejuvenate.
Make a list of hobbies you would like to start. Start one today.
Strive to be your personal best, giving yourself the opportunity to build a strong foundation within and watching that confidence pour into your children. Encourage everyone in your family to follow suit, respecting themselves first so they can share and live, being all that they can be always.
Blueprint: Being the Example
Your power is in your actions. Your family may not hear what you are saying but they do see what you are doing. This is where they learn.
You are the first role model your children will ever have. Your opinion means the most to them; your words and choices create their life from the moment they are born.
The statement that children do not hear what you say, but do what you do is of absolute truth. So many times I have overheard my girls talking and they are saying things that I have said to them or that I have said to others. It is a great reminder to me to be aware of what I am saying because they are listening and learning. How many families do you know where the kids behave just like their parents? I know a lot. I catch myself saying well that's so-and-so's son or daughter, they act just like their mother/father.
This is how it usually goes, because we are the first and most important role model, not just when they are infants, but at all ages. Think about when you first heard your parents' words come out of your mouth. Most of the time this happens in mid-life. See, it sticks with us! The first years of their life are spent watching what you do, hearing what you say, soaking up all that you are. Your actions set boundaries, teach kindness, help them develop their strengths and weaknesses, building a foundation.
I remember the first time I realized I was being watched by my girls. We were in a local Rite Aid and one of my daughters had a dollar. She bought a candy bar and received five cents back. I started to leave and when we got just about to the door, she stopped me and ran back to the counter and put her leftover money in the little Children's Miracle container. My heart swelled with pride. I knew in that moment that each time I had given to a cause, I was setting an example for her. I liked seeing that!
The reason we have such an influence is because your children trust you way before they trust themselves. You are their example of how a person behaves, succeeds, reacts, and treats others in this world. You are also their example in how they treat themselves. They will base this off how you treat yourself. That's a pretty tall order when you really think about it. So what kind of person do you want to share with the world? What kind of legacy do you want to leave in your children?
When my oldest daughter was around sixteen, one day we were on our way back from grocery shopping. We were talking about the steps she was taking to build a business in the music industry. As we were talking, she looked at me and said, "I have never felt like I am unable to do anything. Having no limits has always been normal to me." She continued to say that it really surprised her friends who see limits. It has also played a huge part in her confidence and personal success. I am working hard to make sure this wisdom is instilled in all four of my younger daughters too. It can make or break their future.
It was a moment that stops you in your tracks as a parent. A moment where you know that you have set a good example with your own actions and making an impact. By living my life taking risks, defying limits, I have shown my girls that they too are limitless and can accomplish anything they set out to do. Living without limits has designed my life in many ways.
The first book I wrote was Awakening Consciousness: A Girl's Guide! The reason I wrote this book is because I did not grow up with a positive self-image and I had no one to teach the importance of loving yourself and building a strong foundation. I decided I wanted to give my girls a book that would give them that and get them doing hands-on activities to empower their lives. I searched online for days and could not find what I was looking for. I remember the day I decided to write it. My girls were sitting at the table doing school work and I turned to them and said, "I cannot find what I am looking for so I am going to write it!" The girls all said, "Yeah, you should do it!" So I started writing it, contacted a publisher in Michigan, and he believed in it, and there you go. If I had been worried about limits, I never would have taken the risks and made my dream come true.
I am confident that when you set out to have a family, you are doing it with the best intentions. We believe that if we talk enough to our kids about being good people, it will catch on. We think that if we lay down the rules and tell them how to be, they will follow orders. You know the statement all parents have said to their offspring at one time or another, "Do what I say, not what I do." Unfortunately for you, your children will almost always do what you do before they do what you say! Kids are smart; they read between the lines and pick up on everything. We must be the people we want our children to be.
2-1: Setting Your Example
What example are you setting? What language are you using when you speak to yourself?
Take a moment to think about the words you are using on a daily basis as you speak to yourself.
What things are you saying about yourself, about life, about others? Are they positive, hopeful, encouraging?
How you treat yourself is so important and sets a bar for your family. We cannot just be encouraging in our words to our kids; we have to be encouraging when speaking to ourselves too. For example, I see so many mothers who want their children to love who they are and love their bodies but they are constantly bashing and degrading themselves in front of their children. They have a scale in the kitchen and weigh themselves each day before they eat and sigh with disgust as they see their weight; then punish themselves in front of their kids for how they look and then disrespect themselves with harsh words in front of their friends. How can you expect your ten-year-old daughter to love her body and feel good about herself when the number one lady in her life hates herself?
Excerpted from "Framing a Family"
Copyright © 2016 Robin Marvel.
Excerpted by permission of Loving Healing Press, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
From The Marvel Girls (Plus One),
A Marvelous Family Tale,
Chapter 1 - Architect of Your Life: Discovering Self,
Chapter 2 - Blueprint: Being the Example,
Chapter 3 - Gathering The Tools – Knowledge Is Power,
Chapter 4 - Hard Hat – Personal Responsibility,
Chapter 5 - Bridging – Forgiveness,
Chapter 6 - Curb Appeal – Gratitude,
Chapter 7 - Landscaping – Kindness,
Chapter 8 - Punch List,
About the Author,