Pain to Power

Health problems, infertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and weight gain affect how we feel about ourselves. For healing to take place we must start with healing these thoughts and feelings! I am pleased to introduce Penelope Gordon as she shares her story and journey to self-acceptance.

“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.”


I had brain surgery on November, 21st, 2017.

Brain surgery is no joke (shocker alert!) but if you absolutely have to have it then this is the kind you would want. Through the nose, not through the skull. 

Being a visitor in the Neuro ICU is a very sobering experience. It is a very, very quiet place. Not much activity. Patients like me are the lucky ones with only a brief visit.

I had the world’s smallest tumor. 2 mm. But hells bells that little blighter caused some serious havoc with my body and with my life.  

Within hours of waking up from surgery, I looked different. Felt different. And it wasn’t long before the changes in me were so drastic and so obvious. The relief and celebration in our family was palpable. 

How do you explain a veil of darkness being lifted from your entire being? How do you explain the power of the light that you now feel around you? I was on my knees in gratitude for the healing that just cannot be expressed with words. I felt so light like I could fly. My soul was dancing in the clouds. Pure joy.

I. Am. In. Remission.

The relief, the joy was all-encompassing. I was weeping as I wrote about it. It is a victory that brings you closer to God and to yourself. I saw the blue sky, I saw the beautiful trees, I felt the sun on my back and every single moment felt different to me.

I stared down at the new scar on my right thigh… a fascia graft had been taken to ‘plug’ up the hole made between my sinus area into the opening to my brain. I loved my new scar, it was my battle wound for the world to see, something that will forever serve as a reminder of the greatest fight of my life.

 So poignant that one part of my body was used to patch up and heal another. Pondering on my physical scars, I was all too aware of the deeper, more painful emotional wounds that would need healing too. Not yet, I thought. Not yet. Let me bask in the light of being in remission.

I had told people close to me that I knew exactly what this lesson was about. Self-acceptance. Self-celebration. Self-love. It was about finally changing my inner dialogue, changing how I saw myself and treated myself. I assumed that since I knew what this life-experience was about, that just the realization was enough to start shifting. But no my girlie… not so fast.

Healing begins with clarity, yes, and as such, it is a powerful starting point in the process of growth. Clarity is the beginning of the healing journey, where information starts to slowly rise from your subconscious into your conscious mind and is no longer buried deep within you.

The moment you start to allow that magical process is when the stuff you had buried starts to lose its control over you.

Understanding what something is about doesn’t mean you’re healing the wounds. Clarity had formed such an enormous part of this journey for me thus far, but it wasn’t the end of my story.

I realized that I still had so much more work to do. How was I going to shift things forward? How was I going to heal from such a devastating loss of myself, of time? I knew I needed to finally heal those parts of myself that were broken.

But before I was even given the chance…

“I’m sorry. We’re broken again.” I whisper to myself as I’m tracing the veins in my left wrist with my finger. As tears rolled down my face, I had to admit I was relapsing. I still silently begged God to make this not be happening again.

At that moment I just needed to be devastated. To feel the crushing blow that I had relapsed and I would ultimately be headed in the direction of having organs removed. I was scared shitless to put it lightly. It felt at that moment that I would never live a normal life.

I had Cushing’s Disease, (CD). An abnormal production of cortisol caused by a hormonal brain tumor. Cortisol is the stress hormone produced by your adrenal glands and it literally keeps you alive. In someone with CD the excess cortisol slowly starts to destroy every organ and bodily function and ultimately carries a significant cardiac mortality risk & danger to your mental health.

In just a few years I went from a thriving fit & healthy mom of three to being bedridden, unable to drive or even walk most days. I gained 100lbs. I was pre-diabetic, had dangerously high triglycerides, heart arrhythmia, cognitive decline akin to being an 80-year old, bowel problems, extreme swings of anxiety & depression. The list goes on.

My relapse hit hard & fast. I was way sicker the second time around. It took me a further four months of testing to get re-diagnosed (CD is one of the hardest clinical diagnoses in medicine). Since there was no clear target on my MRI, my only option was to have my adrenal glands removed. It was a sobering realization and one that I struggled to make peace with initially.

On August 7th, 2018 they removed my adrenal organs. I was finally cured of Cushing’s disease! Now I had the opposite problem of being dependent on 3 medications for life. Sometimes I manage my medication hour by hour. I have to constantly and closely listen to what my body needs through symptoms. This is because your bodies’ needs for cortisol and electrolyte balancing is a constant juggling act affected by stress, menstrual cycle, and climate.

I had told people close to me that I knew exactly what this lesson was about. Self-acceptance. Self-celebration. Self-love. It was about finally changing my inner dialogue, changing how I saw myself and treated myself. I assumed that since I knew what this life-experience was about, that just the realization was enough to start shifting. But no my girlie… not so fast.

As a young child, I experienced extreme rejection, abandonment and criticism. What I learned about myself was that I was not enough, that I was embarrassingly imperfect, that I should be ashamed of who I was and what I looked like.

But you are who you are, right? You have no reference point of comparison. Until that inevitable day when God gives you an opportunity to learn. A life challenge. A trauma. Heartbreak. Pain.

Those are the opportunities you are given to grow into a new and better version of yourself. They are a chance at a new beginning.

If you want your life to change, you have to change.

The solution to your problems lies in changing yourself.

If you keep repeating the same patterns and doing things in the same way, what is showing up for you won’t change.

It is not a coincidence that this broken soul, who suffered through decades of continuing the self-worth bashing that she had been taught, attracted a rare disease that is referred to as The Fat Ugly Disease, because it literally distorts your body to where you are unrecognizable.

I did not appreciate my health when I had it. I did not appreciate the gorgeous brain, body and personality God blessed me with. I suffered from body dysmorphia and I chose to continue the cycle of self-hate I was taught.

But every time life has thrown me trauma curve balls (of which I have many more stories!), I have risen up to dig deep and become a better version of myself. I have transformed my pain into my power.

And now? A year since my big surgery…

I am strong. I am resilient. I am a warrior. I am beautiful. I am well. I am happy. I am at peace. I am so grateful. I am perfect. I am alive.

Through my pain, I have emerged from that cocoon of hell, not just transformed but transmuted. I have literally begun changing shape again. Metamorphosing into the new me.

I now feel the changes in my heart, in my bones, in my spirit.

I love myself. Every square inch of myself. That chapter in my life was now closed, and this being, this body, is now healing and rejoicing in life.

I had told people close to me that I knew exactly what this lesson was about. Self-acceptance. Self-celebration. Self-love. It is about finally changing my inner dialogue, changing how I see myself and treat myself.


Rediscover Hope & Lasting Happiness
Let Me Show You How!
In this training I’ll coach you through 7 life-changing tools that will help you to shift out of your stuck state of suffering & begin to reimagine you!

Penelope has a free gift for you to turn your pain into power with her 7-day mini-course.

About Penelope

Hi, I’m Penelope. I’m an empowerment coach, mentor, and certified hypnotherapist. 
Evouq is my dream 20 years in the making and it means to provoke, arouse, awaken, inspire! In my coaching, I follow The Evouq Evolution Method which is a 3-pronged approach to personal evolution: Discover, Heal, Evolve. I use a brain-based coaching/mentoring approach to personal development by combining proven techniques like Subconscious Reprogramming, Positive Psychology, Guided Visual Meditation & NLP Techniques.

I help women to transform their pain into their power so that they can move past being stuck in suffering of any kind into their most thriving self to attract the life and love they deserve!

I have a long list of personal victories against painful life challenges: Losing love and then finding love, transforming shame and non-existent self-worth into solid self-confidence and self-esteem, losing my life savings while immigrating countries through to manifesting my dream home a few years later, infertility to having three beautiful children including naturally conceived identical twin girls, and most recently overcoming a rare and chronic hormonal disease through having brain surgery and then removal of my adrenal organs – Phew!

Life challenges offer a gateway through which we can learn and grow and ultimately (hopefully!) transition into a new and better era of our lives.

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