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Brave Enough to Be Broken | Toni Collier (ep. 510)

Toni Collier

Discussing how to embrace our brokenness and find your worth, John O’Leary welcomes Toni Collier to the Live Inspired Podcast.

We all have moments of trauma, abuse, childhood wounds, or toxic relationships that have broken us. And yet, our past brokenness doesn’t have to stand in the way of a life of filled with hope, joy and peace.

In sharing her own journey of processing brokenness, Toni Collier reminds each of us of the bright light that stands on the other side of healing from shame and suffering.

As a speaker, author and leader of Broken Crayons Still Color ministry, Toni wants others to not only face our demons, but to quash the illusion of our brokenness and live the most colorful life possible.

Today’s conversation will reinspire the belief that you can be broken and worthy.

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  • Seeking safety, protection and validation, Toni’s preteen and early teenage years were plagued with trauma.
  • “We numb to survive.”
  • After graduating high school at 16 and college at 19 and moving across country to start a career with her new husband, Toni’s life was seemingly perfect.
  • When she saw the fear in her daughter’s eyes and began to find a safe community is when Toni began to recognize the importance of getting out of her unhealthy marriage.
  • Community exposes your weaknesses and where you need healing.
  • “Before finding really great community, I had to look in the mirror and see if I was a friend I would want…. Then I had to see who in my life drifts towards toxicity and who is pulling me forward towards hope.”
  • Toni expresses the importance of mentors, those who have the time and capacity to walk alongside, and sponsors, those who facilitate a connection or resource.
  • “When I practice gratitude, I’m able to live life on the offensive, not defense.”
  • “Guilt says I’ve done something bad. Shame says I am bad.”
  • If you can name it, you can heal it: When Toni felt safe enough to share her past with Sam, she was able to get the help needed to thrive.
  • While always vulnerable, being liberated from her past trauma, Toni is able to be transparent in safe spaces and then authentic in all other aspects of life.
  • “I want my daughter to know the depths of the pain I walked through but also to know that I walked out of it with a smile and my head held high. It wasn’t because of how strong I was or am but my willingness to be weak.”
  • For those that are struggling:
    • It’s okay to sit in the valleys. “Some of us don’t want perfection. We want the freedom to be in pain.”
    • You don’t have to stay in the valleys.
  • Get a copy of Toni Collier’s book Brave Enough to Be Broken here.

Did you enjoy today’s episode?

You’ll love my conversation with Nick Vujicic. After being born without arms or legs, Nick faced tremendous obstacles including helplessness and isolation —  until he discovered his purpose. As a New York Times bestselling author, international speaker and an ambassador of hope, Nick reminds each of us that we all can rise above adversity, overcome every disability, and live a life without limits. Hear my conversation with Nick Vujicic on ep. 254.


About our sponsor: Keeley Companies wholeheartedly believes that if you get the people right -the results will follow. They set themselves apart with a forward-thinking culture that empowers their people and fosters loyal partnerships. Keeley Companies are a proud sponsor, partner, and super fan of the Live Inspired Podcast. Learn more about Keeley Companies.



  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. Soul of Shame by Dr. Curt Thompson
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. Seeing the best in others.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. Our marble jar. It has 936 marbles, one for every week you have with your kids until they turn 18.
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. My grandmother.
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. Keep living.
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. You’re enough.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. She knew the kindness of God.