Dear Ella,

This month, I am so excited to announce the launch of our new monthly newsletter, The Village Compass. I am filled with a mixture of emotions as I reflect on this moment. For twelve years, I have written this newsletter on my own, all the while witnessing this community of strong, resilient women grow and support each other through incredible challenges. Today, I hand over the reins to a brilliant team of women who are here to inspire and guide you. They are living proof of the healing power of community after enduring profound suffering. Their dedication to helping others navigate their path after abuse is a testament to the strength and compassion that define our village.

This issue of our newsletter focuses on "Blooming" – a theme that resonates deeply with the journey of growth and recovery we all share. The articles submitted by our members are exceptional, and I am immensely proud of them.

While our mission has always been to stand against oppression and support those in need, it is impossible to ignore the heartbreaking events unfolding around the world. We are witnessing unimaginable suffering, particularly affecting innocent children who are caught in the crossfire of conflicts beyond their control. As a community committed to compassion and justice, we must acknowledge this humanitarian crisis and find ways to extend our support.

We do not engage in political or religious debates, as these can be divisive. Abuse doesn't discriminate, nor do we. Instead, we focus on the humanitarian aspect – the starvation, the brutalization, and the preventable loss of innocent lives. Our work is about fighting against bullying, abuse, and oppression in all its forms.

As you read through this issue, I hope you find inspiration and strength in the stories shared by our incredible members. The inspiring pieces in this newsletter speak of healing after abuse and trauma, serving as a light post for other women who are desperately looking to find their voices. Together, we can make a difference. By standing united and extending our compassion, we can support those who are suffering and work towards a world where everyone has the opportunity to bloom.

With deep gratitude and hope,

Ella Hicks is a seasoned trauma and mindfulness coach dedicated to guiding women from all around the world on their healing journeys. As a survivor of domestic violence, she deeply understands the complexities of the healing process. As the founder of Rebel Thriver, she uses her expertise to serve as a guide and sounding board for women working to overcome the aftermath of abuse, empowering them to embrace a brighter future.

Our Village is Blooming!

Our private online community, the Village, is a dream come true for so many women because it is a safe place to heal, and it is free for all. It's hard as

a survivor to find a space to gather that is safe, and where everyone speaks

the same language. It is an oasis in the

midst of inauthentic social media platforms. Women from all over the world come together in the Village to learn, heal, find support, and build a vibrant community.

Join the Village

Blooming Through Adversity -

The Resilience of the Human Spirit

By Jacqui F.

In the landscape of human experience, trauma often stands as an immutable force, capable of casting long shadows over our lives. Yet, amidst the darkness, there exists a remarkable phenomenon – the capacity for growth and renewal. Like delicate flowers pushing through concrete, individuals have the innate ability to bloom even in the wake of profound adversity. This is the transformative journey of blooming after trauma, illustrating the resilience of the human spirit in the face of profound challenges.

Understanding Trauma:

Trauma encompasses a spectrum of experiences, ranging from acute events such as accidents or violence to chronic stressors like abuse or neglect. Regardless of its form, trauma penetrates deep into the psyche, leaving indelible marks on the individual’s sense of self and worldview. Its aftermath can manifest in a myriad of ways, from psychological scars to physical ailments, reshaping the trajectory of one’s life.

The Seeds of Resilience:

Yet, within the darkness of trauma lies the dormant seeds of resilience. Resilience, defined as the ability to bounce back from adversity, is not a fixed trait but a dynamic process shaped by both internal and external factors. These seeds of resilience may lie dormant for years, overshadowed by the trauma’s enormity, but they persist, waiting for the right conditions to sprout.

Nurturing Growth:

The journey of blooming after trauma is often arduous, requiring patience, support, and self-compassion. Like a tender seedling, we must be nurtured and cared for, provided with the nourishment needed for growth. This may entail seeking professional help, engaging in therapy, or finding solace in supportive relationships or communities. Each step forward, no matter how small, is a testament to this resilience.


As time passes and healing takes root, the once-barren landscape of trauma begins to transform. Like a field of wildflowers in bloom, we can discover our strength, our wisdom, and a purpose emerging from the ashes of their past. The scars that once marked our journey become symbols of resilience, reminders of the beauty that can emerge from our experiences.

Blooming after trauma is not a linear process but a journey marked by setbacks and triumphs, despair and hope. It is a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there exists the potential for growth and renewal. As we navigate the complexities of our own lives, we can draw inspiration from the flowers that bloom amidst the ruins, and we may find solace in the knowledge that within us lies the power to overcome even the greatest of challenges with hope, hard work, knowledge, and community.

Become a Lifeline for a Survivor Today!

My Sister's Keeper is not merely a fundraising campaign; it's a lifeline for those survivors teetering on the edge of returning to the abuse they fought so hard to escape.

Imagine the journey these survivors have to undertake—the daunting path to freedom, often filled with hardships and many uncertainties. Shockingly, survivors return to their abusers an average of 7-8 times before breaking free for good, highlighting the pressing need for a solution so they can remain free.

Our emergency fund serves as a vital safety net, providing survivors in our community with immediate support for essential needs such as transportation, cell phone payments, temporary housing, daycare, and more. With your support, we become a lifeline, empowering survivors to build a healthy and safe future, liberated from the shackles of abuse.


Join us in making a profound difference, ensuring they never return to the darkness they fought so hard to escape.

Together, we will break the cycle of abuse.

Always with gratitude and much love, 

Ella xx

To learn more please click here: My Sister's Keeper

We are excited to announce that we are making it easier for you to donate!

Be a Lifeline

Bloom by Setting Boundaries

By Lilianny Merhi

How many times have you said “Yes”

or allowed destructive behavior towards you when your heart and mind were telling you “No”? In your mind, you

may hear yourself screaming that you can't tolerate this, yet to please others and see smiles on their faces or avoid arguments, you accept intolerable behavior, only to sacrifice yourself.

The smiles are temporary. Others benefit at your expense. The feelings rushing through your body soon fade into a sensation of bitterness at losing yourself.

This feeling of denying yourself is not temporary. It accumulates, leaving you lost and in the dark. This pattern is so familiar. As it repeats, it becomes routine.

The key question is...How much of yourself are you willing to lose?

I’ve learned there's a price to pay for not being able to set boundaries. The hurtful words we swallow shatter us into bruised and broken pieces of ourselves. We fade, lose our petals, and forget what kind of flower we are. We don’t see the sun because we were pushed into such a dark place. We get no water from those around us, and we are so thirsty.

In an act of self-love, put yourself first by setting boundaries. It’s not being selfish. It’s being assertive and transparent to yourself and those around you. Boundaries allow you to take back your power, and ultimately, control of your life. When you free yourself from all the external demands and toxic behaviors, you will feel a sense of peace. You can breathe freely.

This is a process, so try not to be hard on yourself. Allow yourself to heal in your own time, at your own pace. It’s you who gets to decide now. This may feel unfamiliar, but that usually means you are on the right track. Spread this energy!

You didn’t give up on yourself or your needs. You finally align with all that you are. No one can take advantage of you when you set and stick to your boundaries. Use your voice. When you take care of yourself, you can give from a safe place, when you choose to give. Plant the seed that your heart desires. This is when you finally bloom again!

When we feel strong in our bodies, it deepens our belief in ourselves. It gives us the courage to trust our boundaries, our decisions, our thoughts, and our true nature. Being able to anchor in our own strength helps us adapt and adjust our sails to life’s ever changing seas.

But sometimes it’s hard to slow down and feel. We might realize just how disconnected we are. We are all courageous in this village. Why not turn the courage inward to feel, to heal, and to able to stand firm in our innate feminine power?

Our intention is to create a brave space where you can feel supported and nourished along your journey. We will use yoga, breath work, meditation, mudra, somatic movements, dance and the many tools that have been proven to support our way to hardwiring wholeness. We'd love to see you at our first class on June 28th at 2pm EST with Kyra as your teacher. * Free for all members of the Village.

Brushstrokes of Courage

by Brenda Loza

With every stroke of the brush,

She paints away the pain and the hush.

The silence that once held her tight,

Begins to fade as color takes flight.

Her canvas a mirror to her soul,

Reflecting the beauty she’s yet to unfold.

A story of resilience, of strength untold.

A testament to the heart that’s made of gold.

The colors blend, the emotions flow.

As she finds her voice, and begins to grow,

The chains of trauma, they start to break,

As she creates, and her spirit starts to make.

With every word, with every line,

She writes her truth and reclaims her shine.

The power of art, it sets her free,

A phoenix rising, wild and carefree.

Join me for Wildflowers in July!

Like the lotus flower that is born out of mud, we must honor the darkest parts of ourselves, and the most painful of our life’s experiences, because they are what allows us to birth, our most beautiful self. -Debbie Ford

Sisters, I invite you to embark with me on a soulful journey of rediscovery and reclamation. In a world where women often feel adrift and untethered, isn't it time to reconnect with the resilience of our lineages, and the wisdom or our grandmothers? It's time we unearth and reclaim all that the patriarchy has taken from us over the centuries. Are you

ready to join this sacred journey to rediscover yourself and honor the

legacy of your foremothers?

Learn More & Register Here

Plant Seeds to Let Yourself Bloom

By Kyra Strasberg

I’ve been thinking about the word bloom, and how it relates to our lives as human beings and as survivors. As a survivor, finding my way back to bloom has been tricky. Mindfulness and patience have been very helpful for me. I realize these practices may also be triggering, so I want to tread softly here. I am not preaching, poking, or prodding, I am simply offering my thoughts.

One of the hardest things for me has been to reclaim or, maybe for the first time, find my confidence, intelligence, and belief in my natural gifts. It’s been hard to “do me.” Not knowing who I am after what I went through and the free-floating discomfort of not knowing feels like being in limbo. Does this sound familiar? Here’s the deal: we each have gifts to share with the world. Each of us has something very special to offer. I was made to believe that my gifts were dirty, unclean, and ungodly. It was part of the put down that kept me in the cycle of abuse. I have another view now

and I want to share it with you.

Every day there are seeds we can plant. Instead of triggers, I have glimmers. Walking out of the grocery store after speaking to strangers and giggling, passing the same person by the canned goods, cereal, and fruit, I feel a lightness like never before. That is a glimmer. The question is what to do with those glimmers. What would happen if we thought of them as seeds. Seeds that we plant and nourish. Seeds that will bloom if we keep watering them and believing in them.

My favorite spiritual teacher, Jack Kornfield, shares his thoughts in his 2017 article “Your Mind: Friend or Foe.” An untrained mind can lead us into the darkness. A mind that studies itself can help us see the world with fresh eyes full of loving awareness. It is so hard to turn away from the familiarity of the darkness. When we tend our garden, plant our seeds, and take good care of them, we create a brighter future for ourselves.

I invite you to find a word, a phrase, or a scripture if that's your jam, and feed it. Maybe it’s the word 'hope', 'freedom' or 'safety'. Maybe it's the phrase 'I can', or 'I am worthy', or 'I will'. Give it your undivided attention once every day to start, then increase it to a few times a day. Give yourself permission to prioritize taking care of your seedling. Whatever it is, tend it. Love it. Make it just as important as taking your kids to school or walking your dog. Connect with it. And maybe, just maybe, hold yourself with loving kindness while you do. Not an “Oh gosh I haven't done this enough today” thing, but a moment of deep connection with your own innate beauty. A moment of 'Yes, this. Ahhhhh.'

For some of us, it’s a big step. Guess what? We’re all here to help each other thrive. If you can do it, share it with us. If you’re having a hard time doing it, share that with us too. We can nourish each other right here in the beautiful soil of the Village that Ella created for us. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’s important. Yes, you can! By doing so, you help yourself and many others! Can we try this? Can we each try this for even a day? 

In this Community You Never Need to Walk Alone.

Every night at 9pm we post a goodnight message across all of our platforms. Most nights it begins with something like this, "If you are struggling tonight please know that you are not alone." This has been one of the hallmarks of Rebel Thriver for over 12 years.

When people reach out to us about this post, as they always do, it is to say thank you for helping them survive a very hard time in their lives. They say it is because of this nightly post that they were able to hold on. Community is the center of everything for us. Community is where we come to support, learn, inspire, grow, laugh, cry, and be supported. It is where we heal together. We will keep posting our goodnight post and leaving a light on, and a door open for anyone who needs a safe harbor.

Please remember that Rebel Thriver is a nonprofit organization. We need your help to continue the life saving work that we do 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We simply cannot offer the support that we do without your donations, which by the way, are tax deductible. Please consider becoming a lifeline to the women of our community, and thank you in advance for your support.

Be a Lifeline

"We're all just walking each other home." - Ram Dass

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