How to Take Control of the Handlebars of Your Life

Growing up in a home with alcoholic parents was chaotic and destructive to my self-esteem.  I always felt on edge, not good enough and alone.  We lived in a community where everyone knew what was going on with people in the neighborhood. 

Some kids made fun of me or bullied me about my mother’s alcoholism.  One kid would always yell “your mother is a drunkard.”  Looking back, he probably didn’t know that that meant because we were in elementary school and then the first part of middle school.  I’m sure he just repeated what he heard his parents say.  I used to want to be part of a different family.  There was always yelling, tension or abuse going on in my house.  I would hide under the bed when my parents fought.  One time my father threw my mother across the room, and she fell into the TV and broke her arm.  She was skinny as a rail from years of drinking. 

My mother died of alcoholism when I was only 12 years old.   You can read about that day here

My father “died” emotionally after that and barely spoke to me, parented me or taught me anything about life.  I didn’t do such a good job and made a lot of bad decisions, some of which got me physically hurt, assaulted and nearly killed. 

I had a lot of work to do to heal from all that trauma and started to do that work in 2005.  I am grateful to God for the peace of mind I have today.  Many people that grew up like I did, don’t ever get there.  From all the work I did on myself to heal, I wrote my first book called the GoPINK Rules of Engagement, 5 Foundational Principles for Taking Control of the Handlebars of Your Life.  These were many of the concepts and principles I used to work through the years of trauma I experienced.

Over the next few blog posts, I’m going to share about those “rules of engagement” and also share about it on Swahili Sunday.  When I wrote the book, I didn’t include any biblical references but have since gone back through the bible and found scriptures that align with these principles.  I will share these as well. 

Whether you believe in what the bible says or not, there are plenty of great strategies to live a happy and fulfilled life in the bible that even the unbeliever can apply. 

What is GoPINK?  I used to be known as the “PINK Biker Chic.”  I’m a Harley rider and have been since 1996.  I’ve ridden all over the US (including Alaska), The Yukon, UK, Europe, Canada, into Mexico and most recently Kenya.

The theme of the book is “take control of the handlebars of your life.”  On a motorcycle if you are riding on the back seat, you can enjoy the ride, but you have no control as to where the bike goes.  In life often times we take a back seat and let someone else do the steering.  It could be a relationship, family member, job or anything else in life that controls us instead of us controlling it. 

Do other people influence you to do things you later wish you hadn’t done?  Maybe you have an addictive personality and that controls you or you may get angry easily or emotional.  Maybe you over commit to things and don’t have time for yourself or your family. It could be any of these, a combination or other things that affect your life.

I met a homeless man the other day who was sitting outside the door of where my UPS store mailbox is located.  He had a can of beer and a couple of bags.  He was a bit drunk and was sharing some of his struggles.  He was letting the beer control his life.  He knew it, he said so.  He had been sober and went back to drinking.  I prayed with him and shared some things.  He’s sitting in the back seat and letting the drinking steer his path.

Taking control of the handlebars of your life means you have gone from the back seat of letting someone or something else steer your path to the front seat.  You have taken control of the handlebars and are now rolling on your throttle to accelerate success.

The PINK in GoPINK stands for Power, Integrity, Negotiation and Knowledge.  PINK is not a color, it’s an attitude.  Power means tapping into that power that God provides you to carry on through the storms and accelerate towards success.  Integrity means doing the right thing even when no one else is looking.  It’s making integrity-based decisions with yourself so you can make integrity-based decisions in every area of your life.

Negotiation is about navigating through life and getting the best deal for yourself while never getting taken advantage of again and finally knowledge is a never-ending journey to keep on learning and verifying the facts presented to ensure they are truthful.  In this day and age of many people getting their facts from media, social media and other unverified sources, it’s important to be informed and factual with your beliefs. 

These are the GoPINK Rules of Engagement that will be covered in future blog posts.

  1. Turn Negative Self Talk to Powerful Self Talk
  2. Release Resentment
  3. Surround Yourself with People who hold you to a Higher Standard
  4. Take Positive Action Towards Your Goals and Dreams
  5. Have Fun!

I will share about this on the next Swahili Sunday and go thru each “rule” over the next few weeks. Feel free to email me at if you have any questions you’d like to ask. 



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