Is It Time To Bury The Hatchet?

 

sorry

I recently heard the story of a family whose father was murdered in cold blood. On the date of the sentencing, the victim’s family bore witness as the guilty man’s incarceration record was read aloud in the courtroom. It contained offense after offense of violence. Suddenly, it was time for the son of the deceased to address his father’s murderer. Everyone waited for the young man to speak; to speak of hatred, of disgust, of pain, anger and injustice. Although, to the contrary, he spoke of nothing but forgiveness, hopeful prosperity, compassion and kindness for the accused.

I thought; if this young man, at age nineteen, could reach outside his unfathomable pain and loss to forgive his father’s murderer in nine short months; than we certainly, as neighbors, as family members, as coworkers, peers and otherwise have the power to forgive the lesser wrongdoings of our enemies.

It is said that anyone can judge, but it takes a person with true character to forgive. To forgive, we must first tap into the place where our pain lives, and then allow ourselves to let go of the burden of that pain. Forgiveness isn’t about excusing another’s actions; it’s about releasing those actions so they don’t destroy our hearts.

According to studies, doctors have found that there is a huge relationship between a person’s unwillingness to forgiveness and their health. Being hurt, envious, angry, feeling guilty or suffering loss can profoundly alter your brain waves, create chemical imbalances, distress your muscular-skeletal system, affect your digestion or even make it difficult to sleep.

How is it possible to forgive someone who has wronged you? The process is different for everyone, so here are some questions to think about as you start your own journey of forgiveness:

  • How is the story of this wrongdoing serving me or my enemy?
  • How can I practice compassion towards my enemy?
  • Have I too, at one time, treated someone else unfairly?
  • Is my enemy capable of doing good?
  • Is my ego getting in the way of my willingness to forgive?
  • Is it possible that my enemy did not know the implications of their wrongdoing?
  • How could my life or the lives of my loved ones improve by forgiving this person?

Remember, forgiveness takes time, but can also reap huge rewards.  As philosopher Paul Boese says, “Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.”

Lighten Your Load!

Health and Lifestyle Coach Autumn

(sign up for a no-cost consultation with me to see how you can better your life at http://www.pacificnorthwesthealth.com)

 

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How to Dare Greatly in the 21st Century

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“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly… who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”                                                        -Theodore Roosevelt

Every era has had its handful of great explorers, advocates, daredevils, heroes and trailblazers; people willing to face danger and embrace fear in order to break modern day normalities, challenge human existence and discover new possibilities. In 2012, Felix Baumgartner, set a world record when he skydived at an astonishing 843 miles per hour from 24 miles above the earth’s surface to become the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular power. If that is not fear; if that is not vulnerability; if that is not daring greatly—I don’t know what is.

As humans we are inherently fearful; fearful of failure, of the unknown, of what others will think of us, of change, of vulnerability. One of the tragic ironies of life is that so many of us feel isolated from each other by the same feelings that we all share; failure, procrastination, stress, anger, hurt, anxiety, guilt, shame, unworthiness  and helplessness. So why not embrace these mutual feelings, feel the fear and dare greatly?

You are more likely than not to become successful at something that you have taken the risk to fail at. So don’t walk; run outside your comfort zone! Ask your boss for a raise, have that difficult family talk, reach out to someone who has just experienced loss. Become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Find the courage to embrace your vulnerability and engage with your whole heart. Use your fears as tools to transform your life. Taking action to conquer your fears will give you a higher level of confidence, strength and empowerment within.

The reality is that in life, there are no risk-free guarantees. Helen Keller said, “Security is mostly a superstition…Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.  Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

How will you DARE GREATLY?!

Health Coach Autumn

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey from Depression and Anxiety to Happiness and Health

butterfly

Five years ago, at the height of my health problems, I moved from my busy city life in Florida all the way across the country to a little town on the edge of the Olympic National Forest in Washington State. (Population year round 1500)  Into the woods I went…. away from my job, my friends, my boyfriend, my hobbies… my livelihood.

I had become very ill and could not work any longer. I moved in the hopes that with the help of alternative medicine and my family in Washington State; I could cure my body and become healthy again.

Two weeks into my move I awoke one day to see a family of deer hanging out in my new backyard, eating away at the plants and bushes like there wasn’t a threat in sight.  I listened and couldn’t hear a single sound at all, inside or outside.  The sky looked dark and grey.  This was Washington State after all.  As I lay in bed, I could feel how terrible my sick, exhausted and toxic body felt.  It was in that moment I realized the weight of my decision.

I had picked up my whole life and moved to the middle of nowhere, USA.  Furthermore, I was 27 and living in a community where the average age was 65.  Suddenly, there I was, without a job, without any friends, and with a whole load of health issues that I had no clue where to begin to fix.

What was I to do?  What was my purpose now? Why was I so sick?  Through the years I hadn’t treated my body nearly as bad as most of the people my age.  Why me?

I became depressed.  I became fearful, angry and stressed. I felt like a failure. My health problems got worse.  I felt misunderstood.  Alienated.  Anxious. In fact I was so anxious it took me days to get the courage to do simple tasks, like go to the grocery store.  Every hour of the day became a struggle.  I had moved into a home with a very uncomfortable situation going on.  I became more anxious at home than ever.  To add to everything, my Aunt, Uncle and Grandmother unexpectedly passed away.  My life felt like a pit and I was at the bottom of it.

I decided to take some time and do some soul-searching.  I watched, read, and listened to everything I could to lift my spirits.  I looked for signs from the universe–signs that told me I was on the right path.  I took every medical test, tried every treatment and diet, and saw every doctor I could.  I went outside to exercise, get fresh air and be around nature whenever possible.  I called my friends whom I felt closest too, as hard as it was. I sent cards to those I could not bear to call.  I joined classes for families and friends of addicts.  I joined a meditation class, and started to work on two local committees as a volunteer.  I tried my best to attempt things that scared the living —- out of me.

I would be lying if I said my life changed overnight.  It didn’t.  Although, with time things did start to change.  Step by step I became less afraid, less depressed, less fearful of my life.  My anxiety and shame began to lift.  I brought gratuity and spirituality into my life.  I looked for the “blue skies” in everything.  Slowly but surely I became a happier and happier person. My health even began to prosper!

I stumbled across the Institute for Integrative Nutrition online and decided to sign up.  I than became more excited and hopeful about my future than ever.  On the first day of class, my gut told me my life was going to change forever.

Today, I am a new person.  I am the healthier and happier version of myself.  I continually try to align with my purpose–to inspire, to motivate, to heal, to lead–and to become the best version of myself I can, in every single area of my life.

During my journey I found that one of the tragic ironies of modern-day life is that so many of us feel isolated from each other, by the very same feelings that we all have in common:  Failure. Procrastination. Stress. Anger. Hurt. Anxiety. Depression. Guilt. Shame. Unworthiness. Helplessness. Fear.

We must learn to become larger than our anxiety, fear and shame. We must learn to share with those we trust about how we are feeling. They surely have felt the way we do at sometime in their life.  WE must want to show up– to speak, to act, to learn, to dance, to discover, to dare, to invent, to express, to create, to live!!

We must also continually search for our purpose. You know, that thing in your heart of hearts that you know that you were put on this earth to do.  I  know you know what it is in your gut, your heart and your head.  Stop denying your soul what it truly is here to do.

With that I must say, “Feel the fear, and Do it Anyway!” and also, what is that thing in your heart of hearts that you know you were put here to accomplish?  

Be happy, Be healthy. be well!

Health Coach Autumn