Living an authentic life, something I think most of us can agree is important. When we are being true to ourselves, living life in a way that is congruent with our beliefs, values, morals, and yes “just feels right”, it shows in how we interact with the world and how we treat ourselves.

It’s not always easy though, and quite honestly can be especially difficult when your past involves abuse of any type, or other trauma’s that have affected you on a deep level. Understanding how those adverse childhood experiences play a role in all aspects of your growth and development is key to being able to understand what living authentically means for you.

It’s also important to understand that while those experiences do play a huge role in your life, there is hope in healing through neuroplasticity, awareness, education, and being in tune with yourself on a very deep level. By doing so, you can learn to process and overcome past trauma and other adverse experiences and live your life the way you want too, not the way you feel has been pre-determined by your past.

leslie peters rn - adverse childhood experiences and living life authentically - podcast on beyond your past radioOur guest on this episode of the podcast is Leslie Peters, RN. Leslie is a registered nurse, who left a career she loved, to step out of her comfort zone and start following her intuition and her heart, by sharing her story as a speaker, self-love strategist and accountability partner in self-care.

Leslie Peters is a woman who has spent a lifetime asking, listening and learning from others. The only person she never listened to was herself; she grew up, married and raised men with addictions. She trusted unhealthy people who loved her more than she trusted herself. Leslie says that this is actually the “Gift of her story”. She felt no connection to her parents or husband – being an intuitive she knew she needed to feel connected for her survival. When she was 16, with the freedom of a drivers license, Leslie went in search of connection.

She quickly learned that on the other side of the door of her home was a world where she could let her true self-free. The world became her home and the people walking down them her family. She routinely asked strangers thought-provoking questions about themselves; Leslie always found a way to relate. Their answers confirmed that she was not alone in her story and that she was indeed part of something bigger than her own small world – the greater good.

During our chat with Leslie, we cover areas including:

  • What is living life with H.E.A.R.T., and how she discovered this way of living is not always easy, but so important.
    • Leslie shares the struggles she experienced in trying to live this way, and how she’s been able to work through those challenges.
  • Releasing the shame and anger she was holding onto for allowing herself to becomes something she wasn’t, just to make others happy.
  • How the ACES Study, (Adverse Childhood Experiences) plays a key role in all aspects of development; physically, emotionally, and cognitively.
    • Understanding your ACES score and how it affects not only you but others in your life.
    • Leslie’s shares her score and what it’s meant to her personally and in working with clients to help them understand their score.
  • The healing that comes through neuroplasticity, awareness, education, and being in tune with yourself on a very deep level.

If you’re not familiar with ACES, we encourage you to google “aces score” or go to and other similar sites for more information on this groundbreaking study originally conducted by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente, and learn more about your aces score.

You can reach Leslie through email:  Info at LesliePetersRN dot com and on LinkedIn

Please consider sharing this episode with someone who might need it, and don’t forget to rate the podcast and leave a review on your favorite podcasting app!

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP & Joanne Cipressi, CHt, CNLP


All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on, and is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above-mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.


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