Anyways, she was telling me one of her kids has a stutter, and this isn't as uncommon as people may think. Another close friend of mine has a child that has a stutter, as well. If I remember correctly I had a stutter as a child, and then it went away only to reappear at 22 with a vengeance and a desire to destroy my emotional well-being by embarrassing me with a variety of words. B, D, and P words followed by a longer vowel sound. Even jiu jitsu is hard for me to say. Oh my gawds, JESSICA is hard to say.
"M'am, may I get your first and last name?"
"Sure, Juh-Jessica Sunier."
"I'm sorry? Can you repeat that?"
People may not notice it as much because over the last 11 years my adult brain found a way around it. I simply choose different words that mean the same but are easier for me to say. This took a lot of practice at first, but eventually it started to flow.
Stuttering primarily occurs when there is a lot of energy. Excitement. Panic. Anxiety. It doesn't matter. If it's not a calm energy then words become more difficult. Why? From what I understand when that anxious energy starts my brain releases dopamine to calm me back down. That dopamine collects in the frontal lobe where your speech centers are located, and we develop a blockage. That blockage can usually develop into a headache. I know that my worst stutter instances have occurred with a headache as its companion.
Here is what not to tell someone who has a stutter:
These are only some strategies that have helped me. If any of these work with you or your kids then that is all I can ask for, honestly. Lets be real, people can be really shitty toward one another. Discovering ways to communicate more effectively helps our entire race in the long run.
For those of you who do not know, I created this blog because it was time to separate Jessica Sunier from FitPOWER. However, when you create a business and it becomes your baby, you have never truly separated yourself. FitPOWER is as much a physical, emotional, and mental entity, as the people in my life. I used to look at this negatively because people who were not taking the risk of building a business told me that people (meaning "them") were more important than what has now become my life's work. I wanted to scream at them time and time again, "But don't you know how fulfilling this is for me? That by me building this I am becoming a better version of myself, and all of my successes and failures will make me a better person for my people (them) and community." I do not think they truly heard me. But many of "them" are not around anymore, and that is ok.
Then I sighed and thought to myself, "Well, fuck." I will say I am not a religious person, but I have always thought of myself as spiritual. Not tarot reading spiritual. Just a feeling of truth in my heart and gut that the universe had more to offer than what I could simply see with my eyes. Our creators could be another alien race for all I care. We should just not be so arrogant to think we are all that is.....but I digress.
What did my tarot reading reveal, you may be wondering? A whole lot of "how'd you know that" specifics about myself and my business. I won't break down what my reading was, but I do suggest that if it is something that interests you then by all means, have a reading done. The more I researched about tarot the more I realized that it is simply a guide for your intuition. I don't believe in the whole "tell you future" part of tarot mysticism. But I do feel they can be a valuable tool when it comes to influencing decisions and making choices. Placebo affect or not, it's fun. And I'll tell you what, that reading stopped me from dragging my feet about my business and it encouraged me to be a little more bold. The second I got back from New Orleans I set my wheels in motion and FitPOWER has taken off in the last 4 months alone. There is something to be said about that, and I'll embrace a little mysticism in my life if it creates a new way to observe my world in a positive light.
There is so much more I could write as I get deeper into what my business was and what my business is becoming, but I honestly hope you'll just ride this wave with me. If you'd like to help see FitPOWER grow, or just watch it's progress here are a few things you can do:
Here's to hoping my pre-teen business doesn't develop an attitude! Cheers!
When I was 21 years old my dad bought me my first digital camera. Back in my day we didn't have those fancy pants touch screen phones that did all the work for you. If you wanted quality pics that you could download to your computer using a cable, digital was the way to go. Long story short, I was shocked that my dad bought me something that I didn't need. I was thankful enough that he got to see my last year of college ball in Myrtle Beach, but for some reason the camera stuck with me. I remember telling my coach how nice my dad was for getting me something so expensive as a "just because" gift and what my coach told me next I have never forgotten. He said, "Jessica, people are going to want to do nice things for you."
For the majority of my life I lived by the rule of "don't let anyone do anything for you, because then you owe them something. I have no idea where that complex came from, but I can take a stab at it. In a nutshell, I didn't like attention on me from peers because for many years of my life it was negative. As long as I could keep attention off of me I could coast through life peacefully. Sadly, when you don't put yourself out there, the universe gives you peanuts in return.
Something incredible happened in my life the other day during jiu jitsu. A woman who I deeply admire. Someone I fight for, and have altered my life path for, gave me a sincere compliment without even knowing what she had done. This person is my teammate now, and if I really think on it, she has always been my teammate. There is a special bond I feel between many of the women in my state, and even moreso in my city. I don't think sisterhood is my word for it, since that word doesn't carry as much weight now that it has become watered down. But it is definitely a bond. A pull toward protecting them as they succeed and fail. Lifting them up and helping them carry themselves, and in return, they help me stand taller and braver.
This woman asked my opinion on what she could do to improve.....and I felt my heart explode. Yes, because a black belt was asking me my opinion. But also yes because I had earned both a mental and emotional trust that I could have insight into her game. What a beautiful gift.
Change of scene to coffee with another teammates' parents. It was a beautiful fall day, and it is always a pleasure to see this particular family together, and in one of my favorite places, the Milwaukee Public Market. If you didn't know, I love my city.
Only about 4 people know about a special project myself and others have worked on over the past couple months. Everything about it gives back to our city. I'd love to provide more details, but you will all see soon.
I must correct myself. Six people know about the project, because we told my teammates parents. We explained how it could benefit the youth in our community, especially those from lower income households, and how there was possibly nothing in it for us besides the satisfaction that some kid, some where in our city, will have a place to go. That a parent, or parents, or guardians can know that their child will be safe for a few hours a day, and gain discipline and a second family.
My teammates parents told us that when it all gets up and running they hope to make a donation to the funds we are raising. When I heard this the world did the vacuum thing and the floor tilted slightly, because I could not believe what I was hearing. Twenty one year old Jess came back into my head and thought, "But why?"
I told that girl what my coach told her 12 years ago, "Because people are going to want to do nice things for you."
For me. For you. For the community.
What I learned is that when you start giving the universe a little bit more of your heart, it returns the favor and helps it overflow. That's some real Grinch Stole Christmas sh*t, right there.
Thoughts on Vacation Coffee
The world is brighter, the moments sweeter, and the coffee bolder while on vacation. Vacation coffee is the slowness of the morning before the world wakes up. It is the smell of your favorite roast and the rustling of crisp pages turning in a book.