RISE UP — Every Day is a Gift

author_picphoto (1)-001Sooner or later we will each face difficult journeys in life, some of which are more painful than others. Although my writing has largely focused on the trials and triumphs inherent in cancer, Alzheimer’s and military deployment, the emotions experienced in one struggle often mirror another. What is revealed inside the struggle is far more important than the struggle itself. Despite the many scratches and nicks we experience in life, every day is a gift. I treasure meeting people, such as Tammy, who magnify their own gifts to make the world a better place.

Our guest blogger today, Tammy Stamps created the program RISE UP (Regain Inner Self-Esteem Using Power), while working with Domestic Violence Victims in Wichita, Kansas. Several years ago, Tammy experienced a sudden shift in her thinking as she looked into the eyes of those battered women. “It was as though they were dead inside” even though they stood there in front of her.  In that moment, Tammy resolved to “not allow one more person to take the power of another.” Knowing she had to do something about the plight of thousands of women, including herself, Tammy created RISE UP. The bully prevention, personal empowerment program engages a combination of martial arts, music and inspiring stories of powerful women who have overcome huge obstacles. Master Tammy Stamps is a 5th degree black belt in Taekwondo and Choi Kwang Do. Through the years her RISE UP program has evolved to help children, as well as adults, by giving them tools to gain the emotional and physical confidence for better quality of life.

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tammystampsNow, Rise Up with Tammy Stamps … 

I am a survivor of long-term abuse. I had my power taken away by my Father. I was actually still being abused at the time I created the RISE UP program. Even though I was aware that I was being abused, I had somehow grown cold to it. When I started hearing stories from other people who were being abused, it opened up “Pandora’s Box” for me.  Their stories shifted something inside of me. A seed deep in my soul that had begun to die started growing again. That seed was trying to remind me I had untapped power in those feelings of anger and rage. Even then, I denied its existence by shoving it down. That seed was my self-esteem, my spirit and my power.

My eyes, like so many I had seen, were dead and I was blind. Then one day, someone else cared enough to look into my eyes and see what I thought was lost.  That moment changed my life. I rediscovered my power. I took it back. Within one week, I left my situation and have not looked back since.

Through my situation, I have learned that we can let life define who we are or we can define our own lives one breath at a time. Right now, there is so much hurt in this world and sadly, we have become a detached, technological society which has lost sight of what really matters — love and one another. We must realize that we share the goal of wanting to be loved and respected, while enjoying the freedom to live with peace and joy. Love is limitless, but unfortunately, so is hate. Which one will you choose? You will get back whatever you put out. Energy is a powerful thing — it has no boundaries.

We have this moment to regain our power, to RISE UP and make our lives, family, community, country and the world a place we are proud to call home. We are here only for a short time. 

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RISE UP and take control of your thoughts, feelings and actions. Don’t give your power away to another. We all have the right to be here. Live out loud and care enough to really look into someone’s eyes. You have the power to save someone’s life, and that life could be your own.

In closing, Tammy shared a few whimsical facts about herself:  She loves to perform her music. Her favorite food is Mexican. And, she enjoys working outside, martial arts and absolutely loves animals!

To experience Tammy’s music and learn more about RISE UP — click HERE to visit her website.

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