Flying into HER
I am Angela Shelton. This is the story of how I ran away from myself until I flew into HER so that I can help others find her too.
I legally changed my name when I was 18. My birth name is Angie Sturgis, that may be why I like to be on the back of a Harley so much.
I changed my name to Angela Shelton because I did not want to carry the last name of my child rapist biological father. Little did I know at the time that the name I was taking a powerful newly adult move to adopt would become a symbol of resiliency for myself and others.
I love Angela Shelton. I was saved by Angela Shelton. I am an Angela Shelton.
Living in hell can make us run away from everything, including ourselves. I know I did. I ran into the arms of men, mentors, substances, and overworking. I ran away from everything. I didn’t trust anywhere to stay. I figured I’d be left for dead anyway so I always had an escape route. I used to build them as a kid. I always knew the way out, even if it was a path through the backyard, over the fence, and through the woods. There’s a scene in my first film Tumbleweeds about my life with my mom where I’m building an escape out the window and she says I don’t need to do that this time. Yeah right. We most certainly did need an escape.
I wished I could FLY, not just run.
My mother, coming from her own abusive past, told me to write down my emotions when she didn’t know how to help me work through them. That is what made me a writer and then a performer beginning at eight years old. (Thanks mom!)
It wasn’t until I met others who shared stories similar to mine while making the documentary Searching for Angela Shelton that I began to see that I wasn’t alone in my run. I wasn’t alone in living in survival mode either. But learning about the pain of others only made me run more. I wanted to save everyone. I wanted to build escape routes for others and lead them to pathways I had found. We all have our reasons why. Mine was because I am the daughter of a child rapist father and a victim addict mother.
My father in a strange way saved me from himself when he did not choose me as his main victim. I was the funny one who wished she was sexy. Funny that I grew up to be a model and actress and that part of my life was also the height of my self-abuse and self-hatred.
I was so conflicted and confused with my sexuality. If you were sexy, you got raped. If you’re funny, you stay alive. So I was funny while I literally beat myself up. I wrote about it in detail in my book Finding Angela Shelton, about how my love for other Angela Sheltons I met started my process of healing and self-awareness.
Even as a child I was determined to save everyone. I felt like I had an antidote since I came from a virus. I beat up perps in the playground. I cursed out grown men in the street. I even kicked a guy out of a bar once when I was eight years old. But I never did that for myself.
For me, my pain was like I was pierced with a sword and carrying it around, still protruding from my body and re-wounding myself around every corner.
I depleted my own energy, life, and savings to try to save everyone – all while beating myself up for not getting there faster. I flew around the United States, once for 27 days straight in a wheelchair in the worst pain of my entire life working to help others out of their pain, all while I was unable to attend to my own.
After making my documentary and meeting other Angela Sheltons who showed me what resilience looked like I began to meet other “Angela Sheltons” like Maria DiGiovanni. Maria saw my film and found a safe place with me for friendship and reflection. My film sent her down a path of searching for her own name, which led her to finding other women with similar domestic violence and sexual assault stories.
We became mirrors for each other, reflecting our warrior spirits instead of our wounds. We removed our swords, healed the pain, and helped others do the same. In public we both are forces to be reckoned with. Privately we had a safe place to speak the unspeakable, from our sexual fears and desires to our love of God and disdain for typical church dogma that helps silence and shame continue.
Maria put the book God on a Harley into my hands when we met; that was her Bible and her way to talk about Joe instead of God. That book tells the simple and short yet complex story of so many women addicted to pain and chaotic patterns in their lives. The lessons in the book are:
Do not build walls, for they are dangerous. Learn to transcend them.
Live in the moment, for each one is precious and not to be squandered.
Take care of yourself, first and foremost.
Drop the ego. Be real. And watch what happens.
All things are possible all of the time.
Maintain Universal Flow. When someone gives, it is an act of generosity to receive. For in the giving, there is something gained.
We live this way. Every day. And it works.
I had my God on a Harley moment where I was able to let go and trust and it had nothing to do with a man and everything to do with God. I use that word because it is the simplest way for me to explain the power of what I have witnessed to be much bigger and much smaller at the same time.
Now I show escape routes from a different place. I direct people to pathways that worked for me and others without having to get into their story. We’ve got the fishing pole with a light at the end of the line dropped down into the dark well of pain. We don’t have to go down there. We provide signposts to paths we took that worked. We reformed our lives and now show others how we did it.
For me it was my love of, respect for, and inspiration from other Angela Sheltons that kept me going. After over two decades of traveling and meeting other Angela Shelton’s in name and spirit I thought if everyone in my phone knew everyone else in my phone the world would be a better place. All of these amazing humans from all walks of life, all genders, all beliefs, who share similar wounds as well as similar missions are Rockstars. We are Reformers.
I started the Rockstar Reformers network and in four days it took off and now barely 4 months in we have a powerful network of networks expanding and elevating each others lives. Each of us makes a difference. Together we make impact on the world.
I began all of my work in the trauma and recovery world by being radically honest and revealing with my own healing process. I use the vision of the sword of trauma to represent how we keep ourselves stuck long after whatever trauma happened. For decades I have researched and studied and shared ways to heal the wounds after you remove the sword. Now myself and Rockstar Reformers show how to wield the swords with love instead of vengeance so that together we answer the call of the children still trapped in what we escaped from.
Maria has used my Sword of Trauma Workbook and Courses in her own work for years.
Maria is the force behind FoRe! Living Royal and the Heart and Soul Tour in Greece!
Yes, Greece! Everything is full circle and everything is connected. For me when I was going through the heavy work of rewiring my negative thought patterns that I was an unworthy damaged piece of crap I switched my thoughts to say that I was a goddess. I even had Greek goddess pictures done of myself to represent and remind myself of the power of changing my mindset.
I was a Goddess Warrior with a sword of revival.
For Maria Greece was connected to God on Harley. Her ride to escaping domestic violence and child sexual abuse led her to a healing journey in Greece. It led her to Ms. Mary who runs the only Women and children’s shelter on the island of Crete. Ms. Mary is to Maria what Maria is to others – the protector we never had. The mother of all mothers. The safe place to come in broken and step out whole.
I had my own Ms. Mary and her name was Fiona. She was to me what I am to others – a beacon of light in the storm and a place you can always return to for a reminder that you are magnificent. Even though Fiona has left this Earth her power will always be with me. When I leave this Earth, my gift is being Angela Shelton, a Rockstar Reformer who connected others so that together they saved themselves and our children.
Maria brought my documentary to Greece to help Ms.Mary help more women and children in need. It was translated and has helped bring awareness for a decade.
Now for the 10 year anniversary myself, Maria, and other Rockstar Reformers are flying to Greece for the Heart and Soul tour where during one of the events Maria is crowning me. A crown?? I’m a tomboy in the tree, I’m not a crowned woman Living Royally. Oh but wait, yes I am.
Maria is crowning me and presenting me with an actual sword. It is the sword of survival to revival! It’s heavy and gorgeous and Badass, representing us and what we are doing worldwide. I even had a tattoo done on my arm of the Joan of Arc sword with the crown to remind me daily of how I went from beating myself up because of what others did to me to living a Royal gorgeous life that it is an honor to be a Rockstar in.
After running from her, re-wounding her, and not seeing the beauty of her – we are all now flying into HER! We are literally flying into HER. That’s the airport code for the Island of Crete. HER. You can’t make this shit up.
One of our Reformers Kim Mayer even has a retreat called FLY: First Love Yourself.
First love yourself and then fly into her.
We have learned to FLY!
This is our first international journey that we take together in honor of our own inner little girls, our own Angela Shelton, and our Warrior Goddess Rockstar selves. We are flying into HER to show others the escape routes out of hell.
This trip is for every wounded, abused, and abandoned child both literally and inwardly. Ms. Mary is the mother of all mothers who takes care of all of us. Now we take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others and gift all those in need of their own inner peace with their own Ms. Mary, with their own swords of revival, and their own crowns.
Me and Maria are spending a month in Greece and yes, we will ride a Harley. I thank God for you, Maria.
I was born Angie Sturgis. I became Angela Shelton, a sexy powerful Goddess Rockstar Reformer Badass.
Flying into HER is magnificent.
My favorite moment I witnessed outside of my own spiritual journey moments solo was watching these girls listen to the speech:
It’s an honor to teach how I did it.