Writing is Healing and Opening

“Writing isn’t just being creative, it’s healing and opening.”

Writing my book wasn’t easy. Sharing what had always felt so shameful was scary. Even so, I came to a point where I stopped feeling shameful and started understanding that depression is just as important as any serious illness. Suddenly I realized I was no longer a victim. I was a survivor.

Depression can take your life. Indeed it took over 17 years of my life. People around the world don’t survive. People I love didn’t survive. We are ignoring a world of inner pain, like we ignore a lot of important aspects of our world.
One of the ways I survive is through writing. As long as I’m able, I will write. Even if I’m sitting on the sidewalk with nothing but a marker and a piece of cardboard I will write.
I’m already working on my next book, a different kind of book, but also one that will hopefully help others. Creating this book helped me and creating my new book is helping me. Writing isn’t just being creative, it’s healing and opening. Writing is good for our brains, good for our hearts. Expressing our feelings is a gift to the world. Holding in how we honestly feel is a tear in the world.

I published through Amazon so it’s available as both an e-book and a paperback.  This is not my first book, but it is my most personal. I share my struggles and pain honestly. Openly and honestly sharing healing is my gift to the world. With 1 in 4 people in the USA suffering from mental illness I hope my story will help others to start their own journey to better health.  Unlike a broken bone which heals in a matter of weeks or months, healing mental illness takes much more time and a whole lot of self-love.

If you’re suffering from depression I strongly encourage you to seek help. If you can’t afford a therapist find a supportive mentor, teacher or healer who can help you discover inner peace. Healing is possible IF you are open and willing to commit to a self-care plan. You’re life only  has value if you decide it does.

And it’s okay to stumble and fall along the way. Healing takes time so BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF!

Peace and Hugs, Leah

Want more? Print and enjoy my FREE COLORING BOOKS!

Book Reviews, Writing

From Dove to Phoenix; a Journey by Guest Writer Jasmine Farrell

I first found work by Jasmine on Instagram and immediately fell in love with her words. She has definitely risen from the ashes to grace the world as a phoenix and I hope you enjoy her guest post as much as I did.

My book, Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves is about my journey to self-discovery, self-love, letting go of habits and passed down traditions that hindered me from reaching my core.  PGAGD has poems that highlight my outlook on society, friends, family, and the realization of my new vision that I am a phoenix. Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves is a long title, I know. So here’s the deal:
After leaving Christianity, beginning my journey to self-discovery, self-love and delivering myself from the opinions of others, I realized something- I was groomed to be one way but I was destined to be something else.
I was a pretty little genesis dove. Avoided dancing to secular music (even though I love dancing) hid my voice and avoided addressing my wounds. I hid my heart’s desires in exchange for “God’s desires.” I denied natural desires and what my soul wanted which eventually caused internal damage.
I let go.
The need to please a God who wants me to deny my essence and my core was not it for me.
I’m like a phoenix. I have constantly gone through trials and tribulations, been burned by loved ones, life and my own insecurities. Nonetheless each time, I rose up from my own ashes and started again. I’ve got vibrant wings that make me a bit peculiar and I am boldly living out the best me that I can be (and I’m still growing and learning) without apologies.
However, the road to loving me and self-discovery is a new one.
Since I was a child I loved dancing, music, crystals, gem stones, being inquisitive and freely creative.  As I got older, I added storytelling, erotic novel writing, un-muzzling my voice and speaking out against society’s nonsense through my poetry. The aforementioned statement may sound normal to some of you. However, for those of you whom have a story adjacent to mine: Obtaining confidence and self-love is a no-no. I searched for those two things anyway.
I’ve been following my heart and my gut for a year and a half now.
Following my heart is the reason why I ran out of my comfort zone as though a roach were on my leg. I grew up believing that my heart was deceitful and should not be trusted. I was to trust elders first before trusting my own instincts. However, once I reached 23 years old, I had enough.
I let go of the religious rhetoric and society’s view of how I’m supposed to be. Began to trust my gut and look within for answers.
I am still dealing with cognitive dissonance concerning scriptural passages that pop every now and then (No, it isn’t God. Look up cognitive dissonance) I faced my issues with assistance and found me. I’m a damn phoenix.
I burn brightly through various tribulations and rose up from my own painful ashes, again and again… and again. I will not be silent about it. I will soar boldly in the sky with the other phoenixes. I know there are many of us.
Our hearts were born to be something completely different, yet we were groomed to be something else. Maybe you were raised to be a phoenix and you were meant to be a genesis dove. Maybe you were told that you were supposed to be a lawyer but you knew in your heart that you wanted to a doctor or a painter.
Maybe you were groomed to be a phoenix and you’re really a genesis dove?
Return to yourself and live at peace!

Jasmine Farrell

Purchase your Copy: https://www.amazon.com/Phoenixes-Groomed-as-Genesis-Doves/dp/0692678662/
Instagram @JustBreatheJasmine
Poetry Blog: www.nezrablog.wordpress.com

Like this post? Please share it with your family and friends!




Are you a Teenage Girl With Something to Say? Are You a Woman With Guidance and Advice to Share?

More Than Just a Girl started as a way for me to encourage girls to become strong and independent so they would not become victims of domestic and dating violence as well as  a resource on sexual assault and self-defense. It turned into a fun interactive book for tweens and a second longer book for older teens. Now it’s evolving into a blog where the girls of today can speak their mind for a stronger tomorrow!

If you are a tween or teen girl who wants to speak out about important issues and show compassion to fellow girls than you can be published on the More Than a Girl blog. Submit your story at mtjg.wordpress.com/your-voice/

Are you an older woman who learned a lesson or two? Do you wish someone had shared honest and valuable advice and guidance when you were younger? We want to hear your stories too! Submit your story at mtjg.wordpress.com/your-voice/

books for girls

feminist writers, learn about feminism, teaching girls feminism, Fierce, Generation of female empowerment



Voice 4 Society 2013 Star Search Writing Contest

Voice 4 Society is hosting a writing contest for all ages.

The theme is Inspirational Stories for Youth.

Hurry up and start writing, the deadline is Dec 22nd.

You can enter more than one essay and it’s free to enter.  More details on the Voice 4 Society Blog.

The give away material prizes and the winner is featured on their site.


Book Reviews, Writing

Marketing My Self Published Book – The book video

There is so much advice on how to market a self published book, but most of it is for very specific genres or only for people who have nothing else to do all day for several months at a time. One piece of advice that wastes time is to” join an authors forum”. That is advice for  networking not marketing. Your readers aren’t hanging out on those threads, it’s just other authors. Remember networking is not the same as marketing. They can be mixed up, but are basically two separate plans for your business.  Slowly I realized that ALL my marketing efforts needed to be focused on places where my readers are.  Since almost all my potential customers are on social sites and video sites like YouTube, I created a video! My previous videos have been sections of my books set to music, but this time I filmed myself.

It’s not the best video I will ever make, but after 9 takes this was the best version of this idea.  I used the video on my friends Mac and uploaded it straight to YouTube. It is a short 30 second post. I post my video on Facebook often reminding my friends that it will continue to be posted until I have as many views as I have “friends”. Right now I have 52 views in the past 2 weeks. That’s good for me. Since my book includes interviews with 16 amazing people I will be asking all of them to create a short video introducing the book and their own organization.  Since this book is the beginning in a series of amazing people creating positive change if these videos are successful, I will continue this marketing idea onward for all future books.

Read all my books at www.Bookemon.com.

What sage advice would you like to share to new authors who are marketing their books?


A Review of 2012 – Thank YOU for Reading and Commenting

Wow 6,400 views is pretty awesome.  Maybe next year it will be 64,000! I am excited to share my stats from 2012. The most popular posts were about my book, I Am More Than Just a Girl. I had visitors from 98 countries. I know a lot of my friends here are from Canada and Australia, but I had no idea there were so many others. I feel special. Thank you for all the love.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 11 years to get that many views. Click here to see the complete report.

What Successes Are You Proud of From 2012?


Book Reviews, Writing

What is Your Story?

My friend Al Bagocius asked a great question on his blog today. He was kind enough to share with his audience, my recent accomplishment of publishing two new books. And he asked a great question.

What would be your message to the world if you were to write a book?


 There are so many amazing stories just waiting to be told. With the ease of self publishing any of us can share ours. Think of the people you can inspire, help or educate. Writing my first book, “I Am More Than Just a Girl” filled me with such a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that I didn’t know writing another book could feel even more amazing.

That is exactly what happened when I published my book “You Can Fight Back, Emotional and Physical Self Defense”. There are of course other books on physical or emotional self-defense, but hardly any that conjoin the two subjects.  Telling about my own personal experiences with violence and how I overcame that was liberating. I have often wanted to help others feel like they could survive violence and stand up to bullies. Becoming a certified self-defense instructor was a start and writing this book was the next step.

It doesn’t end there. Writing also gives me chances to connect with new people, to help those that cannot take a class from me because of their location, and to do something positive in this world. Publishing on Bookemon is an added bonus because my books can be read for free by anyone with an internet connection who understands English. Even though I would love for one of my books to be a best seller,  I don’t write with the intention of selling 10,000 copies. I write with the intention of encouraging independence and sharing resources with others.

 If you have a story to tell than I encourage you to pick up a pen or start typing. You won’t know where it will take you until you take that first step.

A giant THANK YOU to Al and everyone who has been so encouraging. I know that without your support my books would reach fewer people.


These are my two newest books that can be read free online at http://www.bookemon.com/member-home/leahoviedo/151519.

You Can Fight Back: Emotional and Physical Self Defense, is a guide for women and teen girls to learn the skills they need to combat emotional and physical abuse. Bullying has become a terrifying part of many lives because many of us are not taught how to prevent violent behavior and stand up for ourselves. In this book you will learn how to use your intuition and become aware of warning signs set the foundation for fighting back.

Fierce: A New Generation of Female Empowerment, encourages young women to ask questions about important issues, learn critical thinking, solve problems, and create positive change in their lives and their communities. The resources provide the tools to make choices that resonate with individual beliefs so as to take control of our own lives.

 What would be your message to the world if you were to write a book?


Inspiration From Bad Role Models

One again I have been inspired by bad role models. There are so many terribly rude, ignorant, nasty, crass, immoral, greedy people who our culture celebrates for profit.  I don’t want my nieces and nephews and my own future children to grow up idealizing reality tv stars, greedy politicians, unsustainable industry greed-mongers, and millionaire trust fund kids. I don’t want them thinking success is all about looking airbrushed, skinny, and being able to sing or act. Yes entertainment is a wonderful part of life that we need and many entertainers are wonderful role models that use their fame for good. I love that part of celebrity culture,  but I still want future generations to grow up with a wide variety or good role models. They should have this insatiable appetite to cure AIDS or cancer, save the planet, invent clean energy, alleviate poverty, end violence in their communities,  or teach respect and tolerance.  Their idea of success should not be to make the most money, but to make the most positive change. So I am collecting interviews with people who are doing this and I am asking for your help to share your story OR spread the word.

The goal of this book is to share new role models that are not actors or athletes. It will feature everyday smart working role models that are breaking into new industries, such as women in science, and both women and men who are creating positive social change. It will be fairly simple and straightforward with an optimistic tilt that we are all capable of following our dreams. My goal is to have 100 role models featured in the book. It will be free to read on Bookemon.com(just like my other books are) and each interview will be posted on ImpowerYou.org.

If you have any suggestions of others that might be interested in sharing their story I am looking for women and men who are working on the following issues:
Environmental sustainability and clean up
Violence prevention
Poverty alleviation
Peace(ending war, nuclear disarmament)
Health(sex education, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, body image)
LGBTQ equality
Racial equality
Women’s equality
Domestic Violence/ Sexual Assault
Programs that encourage boys and men to treat women respectfully.

I also want to interview women who are successful in the following fields: STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), journalism, media and arts, politics, entrepreneurs, and inventors.

Use the Contact Us page if you would like to be interviewed for this book or to send an email for someone who should be interviewed.


Change Makers Apply Here!

Are you a change maker who wants to share your story so you can inspire others?  Have you overcome abuse, violence or a failed system?  Have you improved your community despite numerous obstacles?  This is your chance to share what positive changes you have made so that others can follow in your footsteps.

Leave a comment or send a message on the Contact Us page. If you know someone who would be a great fit send this link to them today.

  • Your story must tell the what, why, and how you overcame your bad situation. It must contain a sort of blueprint so that when others read it they will be able to use your experience as a tool to improve their own life or community.
  • Non-Fiction only! Fictitious stories will not be considered. Your story needs a photo too.  It can be of you/example of your work/community photos  or one that you designed to illustrate your experiences and anything else that shows what you went through.
  • Grammar is important.  If you send in a story with poor grammar it will not be considered. Stories must be in English.  A misspelled word is fine, but a lot of bad grammar will automatically void your submission.
  • Important Issues: Everybody has a story that matters, but we cannot publish everything.  Below are suggested issues.
  1. Overcoming physical, emotional, and sexual abuse or crime.
  2. Overcoming gangs, pollution, or corruption in your community.
  3. Overcome poverty, migration, racial, sexual, gender, or cultural prejudices.
  4. Activism for the environment, politics, human rights and freedom of speech.

All stories will be reviewed prior to publication and not all stories will make the cut.  Below are the guidelines for submission.

Art, Book Reviews, Writing

Look What’s New

Thank you for reading Impower You.  My hope is that you find the information here useful and that it inspires you to make change in your life or community. I have added new pages to the site with information for everyone.  There is now a page for Critical Thinking, a page of Activism Art to encourage dissenters, a curriculum on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, and a how-to for effective Problem Solving.

There is also a writing program that pays for stories of social action. Whether you overcame abuse or improved your community, you are invited to share a blueprint of your success so others can improve themselves and their communities.  The Survivor-Writer Program is open to anyone with a story to share and hope to give.

Our Indie Artists and Indie Authors pages are a great way to promote your art and books to a broader audience.

I started a fundraising campaign to both pay for the first stories I want to publish AND to further market Impower You to a larger segment of the population. Please join my campaign and consider contributing a $1 at IndieGoGo.co


Leave a comment about one empowering thing that our Impower You community needs?