As a survivor myself, and a coach who works with survivors, I am always honored to meet and talk to those who have overcome a traumatic past and are now using their story to help inspire others. Hearing them share the harrowing experiences of a past that many could never even fathom, and then seeing how they have come out of the depths and into a word of freedom, is just beyond inspiring.

It’s not about a rag to riches story, or that one story is worse or not as worse, as another; rather it is about the sheer will of the human spirit to keep fighting in spite of seemingly insurmountable odds. It’s about realizing that your past doesn’t have to define your future, and that you are capable of great things regardless of what’s happened in your life before.

Rukshana-Triem_400x400-Guest Podcast-Rewriting Your StoryMy guest on Ep. 60 of the Beyond Your Past Podcast, is Rukshana Triem, and she is certainly no stranger to trials and tribulations that come from a childhood full of trauma.

Rukshana is former refugee from Mozambique who came to the United States in 1990s. She overcame childhood sexual abuse during her time in the refugee camp and is now an advocate for parents and child care providers to support them on their healing journey. She is also the C.E.O of her Women’s Lifestyle coaching business where she helps women overcome their rough past and create their beautiful life through Nature Retreats and online coaching programs and communities.

Rukshana holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Human Development and worked as an Early Childhood Teacher, Trainer, Mentor, Social worker, and now a Lifestyle Coach for women.

When she’s not working she’s spending time with her husband, her girls who are currently in college, and volunteering taking women on outdoor adventures, including hiking and backpacking.

During our time on the podcast, Rukshana and I discuss things such as:

  • Some of the past of living in the refugee camp, and the trauma that she endured, and how she uses those experiences to help others overcome their pasts?
  • How did she change her story from Trauma to Success?
  • When did you get to the point that you said its time to change your story from Victim to Victory?
  • How did her journey lead into a career in entrepreneurship?
  • What she would like to share with others who are stuck in their old story?
  • How long did this journey take to heal the Trauma, and what other steps did she take to heal her wounds?


One of the resounding theme’s that comes through as you listen to her share during the podcast, is that she had to develop a mindset that enough was enough. No longer could she continue to feel like she was destined to not be successful, or that she would never amount to anything. She never gave herself permission to even consider the alternative…that she was indeed capable of overcoming that past.

The key is to believe in yourself as you rewrite your story. In order to rewrite your story, you first have to write the old story. You have to be able to tell the tale of where you came from and all of the events that you no longer wish to dwell on. Get it all out and be honest with yourself and your past.

Then you begin to change your mind set by writing your new story. This is the life that you want to live, the things that you want to do, the confidence that you want to have in yourself and your abilities…and then begin taking steps towards that life.

Everyone’s new story is different and unique, and it doesn’t matter what your new story looks like, it just matters that you take the initiative to start changing what you can change in small steps.

Another important topic that we discuss, and something that I always tell my clients, and remind myself of too…healing is ongoing, lifetime commitment.

As we discuss, this doesn’t mean that if you are a survivor, that you are doomed to a life sentence of misery and never feeling better…it just means that no matter how much healing work you do, there are going to be circumstances and events that come up in your life that will dredge up memories of the past. Just when you think things are good and you’re humming along; an old habit, a negative mindset, a self-defeating attitude, or a bad memory rears it’s ugly head again. Then it’s time to decide how you are going to handle it.

It’s just inevitable; triggers are everywhere…but when you put in the hard work to heal, you find out that you are capable of handling those triggers in a more healthy, self-compassionate way. When you get knocked down, you aren’t down as long. Your resiliency grows and you are more empowered and more self-aware of the importance of taking care of yourself not only physically, but emotionally as well.

You can’t help but feel inspired as you listen to Rukshana, and I know for me personally I left feeling so inspired by this survivor who overcame so much and is now living her new story.

If you’d like to learn more about Rukshana’s story, her retreats, and her coaching business, be sure and head over to  You can also learn more about joining her Facebook group and catching her Facebook Live videos.


-Matthew Pappas, CLC



If you’d like more information on working with a certified life coach, or if you have questions about how working with a life coach might be right for you… go for it and schedule your free intro session!   Always remember, You Are Worth It, and there is hope for moving forward from what holds you back.



This post and podcast is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, mental health counseling, diagnosis, or treatment.

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