Robin Stoltman: “Disability still has the word ‘ability’ in it”

Disability still has the word ‘ability’ in it. Instead of looking at the word as not being able to do something, look at it instead as being able to do something but with modifications. For example, if your eyes are bad, it’s not a disability when you can wear glasses. As a part of our “Unstoppable” […]

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Disability still has the word ‘ability’ in it. Instead of looking at the word as not being able to do something, look at it instead as being able to do something but with modifications. For example, if your eyes are bad, it’s not a disability when you can wear glasses.

As a part of our “Unstoppable” series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Robin Stoltman.

Robin Stoltman is an Intuitive Mindset Expert, Certified Hypnotherapist and the founder and CEO of Healing for the Soul. Her mission is to help parents overcome guilt in order to achieve their personal and professional goals.

Robin was inspired to create her company after surviving multiple childhood traumas, a severe brain injury and then having Minnesota Child Protective Services steal her first son at just four days old without any court orders or proof. Now she helps people in releasing negative emotions, anxiety, and self-limiting beliefs related to any and all of life’s challenges.

In addition to her diploma in Hypnotherapy, Robin is certified in 16 different areas related to behaviors of the mind. She earned a director’s award from the nation’s only accredited college of hypnotherapy, Hypnosis Motivation Institute. She has been featured nationally on Business Talk Radio 1, and NBC/KCAA Radio’s Shelia Mac Show. Locally on Keloland Living, Watertown Public Opinion, Greater Sioux Falls Chamber News. Robin is also statewide resource for mental health in South Dakota’s 211 resource Helpline. She has spoken about healing from within at 1 million cups in Minnesota & South Dakota.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! It is really an honor. Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

Long story short my parents divorced when I was three years old because they never got along. I saw a lot of arguing and fights off and on through my childhood. My mom remarried a total of three times, with her third husband being new in my life when I was only six years old. He was abusive and I did make reports to the police, social workers, and at school but nothing was ever done. Even with a record of this abuse, Douglas County Social Services in Minnesota allowed my mom’s third husband to adopt my sister and I when I was fourteen years old. Divorce like adoptions does affect children way more than many people realize. Adoptions and or divorces are trauma to the unconscious mind of the child at any age they occur as it does affect them for life unless as adults, they choose to get help from someone who is a professional like a hypnotherapist and or talk therapist to overcome the issue to move forward in life. This allows the mind and body to process emotions from these traumatic events instead of covering them up or pushing the emotions away. Emotions are normal to have and do need to be released in a healthy way to have the best life possible.

This experience, coupled with other traumatic events throughout my life like my bicycle accident that led to a brain injury and my first-born living son being taken away by Minnesota Child Protective Services with no proof of harm, led me to becoming the person I am today. These events are what inspired me to become a Certified Hypnotherapist and now I help other parents overcome traumatic events of their own to achieve their personal and professional goals.

Do you feel comfortable sharing with us the story surrounding how you became disabled or became ill? What mental shift did you make to not let that “stop you”?

To get help from the abuse that was occurring when I was sixteen years old, I took matters into my own hands. I knew very little about life and how fast it can change instantly, whether good or bad. In my case it went from bad to worse. I had been grounded from driving my car because I was late coming home one night. (Which of course is ok to help learn the consequences of not being home on time!) With everything going on I decided I did not want to be at home to be abused again later that night while my mom was working. Instead, I went to the garage, got my bicycle, and put my helmet on so I could ride to go see my boyfriend at the time, hoping he could help me. Little did I know that my bicycle chain fell off while I was riding it. I had just approached this huge hill when my bicycle chain fell off and got wrapped around the back tire. I could not stop my bicycle as my brakes were not working. I did the only thing I knew how to do which was to land on my right side as the speed of the bicycle was increasing lightning fast down this huge hill. I started praying and asking God to keep me alive for my future husband, my kids, my mom, and my sister.

I crashed to the ground with my brain flickering off and on like electricity does right before the power goes out. I had landed dead center in a blind spot on the hill where cars could not see me. Thankfully, I had an Angel watching over me as a man who had seen me fall ran over and picked me up off the side of the road right before two cars came flying down the hill at fifty miles an hour. My brain flickered like lighting again and it was like all the power to my body turned back on instantly. Once I was up and moving, I noticed my helmet was cracked from the top middle part to the right ear side of it.

When I did not come home, my mom got worried and came to find me. After finding me and my bicycle on the side of the road, she took me home. Minutes later when my mom was cleaning the blood off of my arms and legs, I suddenly could not remember her or recognize her. Because of that, my mom took me to the emergency room but the CT scanner was broken. The brain works in mysterious ways. The only way I knew who my mom was, was not by her face, but rather by her c-section scar she got when she had my sister. She consistently had to show me that scar while I was at the hospital because I was certain that my mom was not my mom unless I saw that scar.

It really is amazing what we do and don’t remember. In my case my brain knew my sister but not my own mother. Back in 2002, when my bicycle accident occurred, technology wasn’t as advanced as it is today and oftentimes brain injuries didn’t always show up on a CT, MRI or an X-ray. This was the case with my brain injury. I had experienced a closed front right lobe severe traumatic brain injury and it took about two weeks for the amnesia to stop. However, while in the hospital I was told, based on the knowledge of the brain at that time, that I did not have a brain injury. Instead, I was severely over drugged with many medications never approved for anyone under the age of 18.

During this time, I kept speaking up and learning along the way how to be my own advocate. I learned how to adapt and began writing things down to remember them. To this day, I have never received any type of service or help for my brain injury. I have this injury that is invisible to the outside world, but I know it exists and how it affects me.

It took going to a classmate’s funeral at 29 years old for me to realize I was not as sick as the doctor’s told me I was to get that much needed shift in my mindset. I decided that day I did not have cancer like my classmate did. That was a huge turning point in my life, even beyond what Child Protection Services in Douglas County did by taking my first living son away without any court orders or proof at just 4 days old. It was then that I decided to become unstoppable.

Can you tell our readers about the accomplishments you have been able to make despite your disability or illness ?

Despite my injury and what occurred with Child Protection in Minnesota, I had another child during my open case and left for South Dakota where I have never had any issues with child protection. I am still in South Dakota with three sons total and another baby due December 25, 2020. I did this by finding hope on my way to becoming unstoppable. I started healing when I turned to natural alternatives over traditional methods of talk therapy. I had tried that for 16 years and it just did not work for me. When I found out about Hypnosis in 2018, I had just hit rock bottom after having postpartum with my second son and I was instantly hooked.

My husband knew I needed help and something to live for so I took a four-day training course in a hotel about hypnosis that did not teach near enough to help anyone. My husband and I were upset because money was wasted but I decided to not let that stop me. I went on to find Hypnosis Motivation Institute, out of Tarzana, California. I was accepted into college and earned my diploma in April 2019 in Hypnotherapy after earning 300 classroom hours. I went on to complete 200 supervised hours in hypnotherapy later to become certified through the Hypnotherapists Union Local 472 in October 2019. While I was in college, my husband and I had another son.

My children and being married to my soul mate are the greatest achievements in my life. Many people with brain injuries, specifically my type, do not have what I do. I am so fortunate that I can drive, have my own family, and be my own boss while helping others to overcome their own life challenges like I am using hypnotherapy and other skills I have learned. I am thankful every day I never gave up even on the days I have wanted to. I am still working on undoing what Child Protective Services did to my family and as a mother, I will never give up hope on having my family completely reunited.

What advice would you give to other people who have disabilities or limitations?

The biggest advice is to keep going no matter what. Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot do something because they do not always see your plans the way you do. The smartest thing I recently heard was a quote by Albert Einstein. “Imagination is everything, it’s the preview of life’s coming attractions.” This quote is the very definition of what I am talking about here. No one see’s life from the lens of the person with the disability, they only see it through their own lens. I value people with disabilities so much more because I understand them in a way that no one else does. We bring a different set of values to this world and when given some time, we all do succeed in our own ways at our own pace.

My disability and the neurocognitive effects it brings are mild now in 2020 compared to how it was when it first happened in 2002. Since then, I have kept going believing I could be more and knowing there was and still is more to life. The people who inspired me to keep going are the ones I have met with down syndrome and have autism. I have one son with Sensory Processing Disorder which is on the Autism spectrum, they really know how to enjoy life. Some days when I get down on myself, I look at others with these issues and I ask God to let me see life the way they do. I admire how full of joy they are, that wonderment simply from being alive.

And at the end of the day, I try to always be thankful. Thankful for my ability to walk, my ability to see even though I have glasses, and my ability to talk, as not everyone has these abilities after suffering from a brain injury. Afterall, what the mind focuses on the mind gets.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

I have a quite a few people who helped me get where I am: my mom, my sister, my husband, my children, Palmer Blevins (my hypnotherapist), Hypnosis Motivation Institute (changed my life in ways I never knew existed until I went), Glen Henderson, Elizabeth Price, Jamie Aslagson, Chris Winfield, Jen Gottlieb, Todd Falcone, a few friends on Facebook, and certainly not last at all and the most influential in my life is God.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I keep sharing my own vulnerabilities, my own issues and traumas, and all the feelings that go along with them to show and tell others anything is possible. I had a severe brain injury and now it only mildly affects my day-to-day life. That is the power of the mind. I had severe complex PTSD and now I am free of it after finding and using hypnotherapy, and mental and emotional release therapy. I am free of fibromyalgia. These successes among many others I share to give hope and to let people know they do not have to suffer. They can choose to have the life they deserve at any given moment even if it needs to be modified to achieve their goals.

Can you share “5 things I wish people understood or knew about people with physical limitations” and why.

  1. Do not judge the physical limitation just because it may not appear to exist. I have had 19 surgeries so far and there are days I can walk fine and other days I cannot.
  2. Give us reasonable time based on our issues to do the tasks you want us to do. This is one I am still working on myself when dealing with my own internal voice.
  3. Disability still has the word ‘ability’ in it. Instead of looking at the word as not being able to do something, look at it instead as being able to do something but with modifications. For example, if your eyes are bad, it’s not a disability when you can wear glasses.
  4. We are human too and deserve to have the best life we can live.
  5. Think before you complain about who is in the handicap spot at the store. I have had this happen numerous times before. What you don’t see is that I have had two hip surgeries, surgeries on both knees, and live with heart conditions. They are all invisible to the naked eye, just like my brain injury.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?

“Power of life and death is the tongue.”

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂

Steve Harvey. I would love to meet him in person, that would be the most amazing gift. Steve Harvey has saved my life more than once with his YouTube videos of Motivation. To thank him and have him personally give me hope to never give up on getting my son back would be the best gift I could ever receive in this world.

I am thankful for this opportunity to do this interview with Authority Magazine as this is part of my mission to help others see life from a disabled teenager to a career mom with all young toddlers working hard still to be off social security. I know someday I will be off social security and my business will flourish.

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