How Does Forgiveness
Affect Your Health?

Do you notice a difference in your body when you are struggling with resentment, sadness or anger?

How does it feel when you are happy and feel connected?

Makes a difference doesn’t it?

It’s been proven that forgiveness or unforgiveness really plays a critical role in our health.

So how does forgiveness affect your health?

Here is an excerpt from a blog written by Colin Tipping, author of the Radical Forgiveness book and an easy tool for you to use to aid in the forgiveness process: “Unforgiveness is classified in medical books as a disease.”

According to Dr. Steven Standiford, chief of surgery at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, refusing to forgive makes people sick and keeps them that way. With that in mind, forgiveness therapy is now being used to help treat diseases, such as cancer.

“It’s important to treat emotional wounds or disorders because they really can hinder someone’s reactions to the treatments, even someone’s willingness to pursue treatment,” Standiford explained.

Of all cancer patients, 61 percent have forgiveness issues. Of those, more than half are severe, according to research by Dr. Michael Barry, a pastor and the author of the book, The Forgiveness Project. “Harboring these negative emotions, this anger and hatred, creates a state of chronic anxiety,” he said.

“Chronic anxiety very predictably produces excess adrenaline and cortisol, which deplete the production of natural killer cells, which is your body’s foot soldier in the fight against cancer,” he explained. The fact is, of course, this applies to everyone, not just cancer patients.

There’s a tool in Radical Forgiveness called the 4-Steps that can be used any time you feel stressed or some irritation comes up. Writing these down or memorizing them is really helpful.

1. Look what I created!
2. I notice my feelings and my judgments but love myself anyway.
3. I am willing to see the perfection in the situation.
4. I choose peace.

It’s amazing how this can transform the situation immediately. Just by being willing to be willing can make a change.

When your heart is broken open…

It’s a struggle. Life is a struggle. What is this moving from head to heart anyway? I’m open. I meditate and do my inner work.

Then why is there sadness? Why is there a heavy feeling in my chest? Why is there a disconnected feeling from my body?

Those were questions that I have been pondering the last few years as I went through one surgery then another then another. What was happening? Then a few months ago more pain and my body going into spasm. After all the training and work that was going on within me I felt betrayed. Again. This time though it wasn’t from somebody else…it was from myself.

Starting a business filets you right open. That’s how it has felt. All the skeletons come out and the beliefs come up and it can feel like the biggest roller coaster ride of your life with no end. At least that’s what my head was saying.

Yet that’s what it is all about. How can I share about forgiveness without understanding fully what forgiveness entails? On all levels.

Making the decision to take a pause in my business and do some deep inner work to help my physical healing was one of those types of roller coaster times. My head going crazy with that self-talk that wasn’t pleasant and down right mean while my heart said “Ahhhh….she’s listening”.

That was it. That moment of moving head to heart.

There were no words as tears softly rolled down my cheeks. It was an understanding at a level where no words were needed.

My heart was broken open. After all the times I tried to get my heart to open on this deeper level that I knew needed healing. Always striving trying to make it happen and being upset when it didn’t. When what was needed was a sweet surrender to make an opening just enough for the light to pour in and allow me to pour out.

What a ride this journey called life. Forgiveness of self for holding our beautiful light back is in order. Having compassion for ourselves when we feel it isn’t happening and really wanting it to happen. It happens when it’s time to happen. And that’s beautiful.

We keep moving forward one step at a time and sometimes we leap. Yet, it isn’t about the striving or proving. It’s about allowing. Feel your heart and let it know you’re ready when it is.

Love,

What part of ‘You’ needs a lift?

It’s almost summer! Most of us have been giving our houses and garages a lift by cleaning things out and organizing.

How about giving ourselves a lift? I’m not just talking weight loss or body sculpturing.

What do I mean by that? Well, through this spring I was realizing that my health needed a lift. My adrenals needed a lift. My heart needed a lift. My relationship needed a lift.

How do we give those parts of us a lift?

1.) We recognize the parts by being really honest with ourselves and taking a few minutes to sit with our bodies and minds and see what comes up. Do you feel happy or sad? Do you wake up energized or not? Have there been thoughts of changing your eating or exercising? Keep a journal for a day or two to see what kinds of thoughts are coming up.

2.) Choose one of those areas. The one you think of most often. I know we want to fix them all yet that could be setting ourselves up for disappointment and that could be an all too familiar pattern for some of us. We want to not feed that one.

3.) Make 3 action steps that are doable. Keyword is doable. Things that are simple and you are willing to do.

An example would be:

Adrenals – take supplements from the Naturopath, clear some things off my calendar, rest during the day, water therapy.

Heart – step away from the computer & go outside and walk; call a friend to talk or have coffee; cuddle with your kids or partner; put your hand over your heart and tell yourself how you appreciate you for being willing to pause a moment and take care of yourself.

Relationship – set a time to talk about how you are feeling; go for a walk together; go on a date – something fun and different; hold hands – yes, touch is the #1 thing we need as humans. Whether this is a romantic relationship or friendship – relationships are key to our existence.

Try it for a week and see how happier you feel. More connected you may feel. More Alive you may feel. Say YES to you!

Giving ourselves a lift isn’t rocket science even though my head will tell me it is and come up with excuses not to do it by saying it’s too easy. It needs to be more challenging. Not!

Let’s move out of our own way . Get back to basics. Reconnect with ourselves so we can then connect with each other.

Happy lifting!

What is your wake-up call?

It feels like we have many wake-up calls on our journey. Some are huge and some seem insignificant. Yet, they are all vital as it takes us to our next level of growth or experience.

Almost 2 months ago, I started getting my own wake-up call with my body spasming and the pain was debilitating. As I always look for meaning in things, I was thinking it was probably nervousness as I’ve become more visible in the business and was about to embark on a couple new speaking opportunities. Yet, as those passed the pain didn’t get better.

I’ve always been a driven person especially being passionate about something. And guiding people through the forgiveness process and building this business has been my passion as I so deeply wanted to share this life changing process with others.

My awareness increased about the message my body was giving me yet I continued on not totally heeding the message which has been a pattern for me in my life called ‘pushing through’ or what we learn in the forgiveness work called a belief of ‘not being good enough’ or ‘needing to prove myself’.

I was taking care of myself with getting help to ease the spasming yet I wasn’t listening to the deeper message which was “Stop” and “Listen”, there’s something here for you to learn and release.

See, it’s been a tight rope with my adrenals since my brain surgery 2 years ago which put me into adrenal fatigue borderline failure. And within a short period of time after surgery I was back in training and classes. Not the best decision I have made yet felt driven to do it at that time. Through all the excitement of helping others I momentarily lost track of me. Can you relate? And that has been quite a dance for me ever since.

Recently after preparing for a new 5 week series, workshop and speaking opportunity then attending 4 days of workshops and classes myself, my body finally said “enough”. It’s like it was saying “I tried to tell you and since you didn’t listen, you’re down for the count and maybe now you’ll listen”.

So now…I’m listening.

I made one of what felt like the hardest decisions to make since starting my business and that was to cancel the new 5 week Foundations of Forgiveness course that was to start this week and also cancelled the workshop in June. And if you know me, I absolutely love that workshop and how it changes people’s lives.

It became clear to me that it was time to take a “pause” in parts of my business and focus on what I teach others to do and that is to take care of them first and foremost. Putting the oxygen mask on first.

The pause in my business is in not taking on new clients or facilitating events for now. Allowing myself time for some deep healing and self-forgiveness/acceptance work for sure.

I have a feeling that there will be much to share with you through this process as we usually get to experience what we are here to teach. That has been so true throughout my life.

There is more to come and will be shared through this newsletter and on Facebook.

Sending you energetic hugs and deep appreciation.

The Courage to be Authentic – Risk Taking

What could be riskier than diving out of an airplane or climbing a glacier-covered peak or accelerating a race car into a curve at the Indy 500?

For one person it might be quitting a secure, well-paying job to go back to school. For another, it could be deciding to leave a marriage after 18 years or reporting that the company they work for is endangering the environment or people’s lives.

Though it may not appear so at first glance, psychological risks that summon us to put our personal values and beliefs on the line may ultimately feel more dangerous than those of physical derring-do. Yet these are the challenges that we are asked to face time and again if we are to continue to grow as individuals. Each time we take a risk that contributes to our personal growth or enhances our self-esteem or enriches our lives, we make the choice to stretch ourselves, knowing there are no guarantees and chancing possible failure.

Growth-producing risks generally fall into three categories.

Self-Improvement Risks

These are the risks you take when you want to get ahead, learn something new or make a distant dream a reality. You take on the venture with hopes of enriching your life. Maybe you want to change careers, or take singing lessons, or learn to speak French. On one side of the risk is the person you are and, on the other, the person you want to become.

Commitment Risks

All commitment risks have emotional stakes whether you pledge yourself to a person or a relationship or to a cause, a career, or a value. As you have probably read many times, if you avoid making emotional commitments, you all but guarantee that your emotional growth will be stunted.

Self-Disclosure Risks

Communication risks fall into the category of self-disclosure. Anytime you tell someone how you really feel you’re taking the chance of self-disclosure. When you open up to others and reveal who you really are, how you feel and what you want and need, you make yourself vulnerable. It is impossible to be assertive without doing so.

All risks carry with them the possibility of failure. Often significant sacrifices must be made before any real benefits are realized. Routines may have to change; the familiar may have to be released. You may face the feelings of rejection. In the case of commitment to a value, personal safety may be in danger. Consider those who stand up for what they believe in or put their own health and well-being on the line in the name of a cause. Challenging yourself is often the key to personal growth and development.

Are you a risk-taker? Ask yourself the following questions:

Does every decision involve endless debates with yourself?
Do you accept less than what you should because you’re afraid to speak up?
Do you have difficulty making emotional commitments to others?
Do you make up excuses that stop you from taking advantage of opportunities for self-improvement?
Does fear of disapproval keep you from doing what you’d really like to do?
A “yes” answer to these questions indicates a reluctance to take risks, which may mean you tend to play it safe and reject change.

Consider this: to fulfill your potential, to discover your real self and live an authentic life, you must take risks. And while security may appear to be the absence of change, the only genuine security lies in taking risks. And it is a risk really worth taking. There’s nothing more heart opening and exhilarating than living life your way.

Getting curious is a wonderful way to discover new ways of being. Let’s get curious together.

~~Brenda

Don’t Let Fear Stop You

Fear talks to people. And when they listen, this is what can happen:

Sheila loved to dance but she wouldn’t go out on the dance floor with her fiancé because she thought she’d look clumsy and ridiculous.

Arnie knew he deserved a raise, but he was so nervous about approaching his boss, he never asked for one.

Delia’s fear of bears was so great that she wouldn’t go on a camping trip with her friends. And their campsite wasn’t even in bear territory.

Fear is that voice inside our heads that says, you can’t, you shouldn’t, what if…. Fear keeps us from taking risks that might enrich our life or holds us back from doing some things we need to do. Experience new and exciting vistas? Accomplish something really great? Fear says, “Not on your life.”

This isn’t to say that fear is all bad. At its best it’s an instinctive, natural ability to help us survive. Without fear we might attempt to stroll across freeways or scratch behind a lion’s ears. But given the upper hand, fear can dominate our life and make even the innocuous—taking a walk or answering the phone—a daunting experience.

Ninety-nine percent of what we worry about never happens, according to Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. “There’s a voice inside our heads that’s always heralding doom and disaster even before we get started on something,” she says.

On its own, fear won’t disappear. Following are some strategies to help you deal with fears that might be holding you back from something you want or need to do.

Get information. In an information void, fear clicks in to do what it thinks is its job. But when you find out about what scares you, you replace fear with knowledge.
Learn how to do it. If there’s something you’d like to do, but you’re afraid to try, take lessons. We’re not born knowing how to ride horses or make pottery.
Find models. Let someone who’s not afraid model courage for you. Just as fearful behavior breeds the jitters, courageous behavior invites confidence.
Talk about your fears. Keeping your fears bottled up inside magnifies them. Taking them out into the light can shrink them. Find a good listener who won’t pooh-pooh your fears or make judgments.
Talk to yourself. Self-talk filled with positive messages can change fear energy into positive energy. Eliminate the cant’s, shouldnt’s and ought-tos from your self-talk vocabulary.
Use your imagination. Before you arrive at the party, imagine the other guests are as frightened as you are. Or see your audience as people who really want the information you have. Visualize yourself doing what you are afraid to do; see yourself as graceful, strong and capable.
Focus on the little things. Keep your mind on the details, not the Big Picture. Complete the report word by word, pay the bills one by one, see the group individual by individual.
Expand your comfort zone. Take a small risk each day. Make one phone call, ask for one thing you want, go to one new place. Little by little your confidence will expand, too.
Relax and breathe. Sometimes the physical response to fear creates even more fear. Physically relax your body and breathe in and out to release tension.
Ask for help. If your fears are pervasive or severe, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder, in which case you should definitely seek help. If your fears are not debilitating, but still get in the way of doing what you need or want to do, asking for help can make all the difference.
We can also have past life experiences that are showing up in this life adding to our fears or beliefs that we carry that aren’t even ours. Having an Akashic reading is a great way to get some information.

Getting curious is a wonderful way to discover new ways of being. Let’s get curious together.

~~Brenda

Are You Living with a “Victim” Mentality?

Old-fashioned melodramas featured hapless heroines who always seemed to find themselves tied to a railroad track or evicted from home into a fierce storm as the villain twirled his oily mustache. Only a white-hatted hero or the cavalry could rescue them as they cried, “Woe is me!”

Times of stress or a need to respond to fearful situations can stir up the victim in all of us.

No one likes to think of themselves as victims. It’s not a fun thought. I have found throughout my life that I have lived in that mentality. It serves a purpose for a time being yet it isn’t a place to stay. Do you agree?

Here’s a Thriving quiz to help you see if you’ve been carrying around a victim mentality that may be robbing you of your sense of personal power. Answer true or false to the following statements.

T /F – My first response to a setback is to blame someone else for what’s happened.

T /F – No matter what I do, things are not really going to change for me.

T /F – I often find myself beginning thoughts with phrases like “I can’t…,” “I’m no good at…” or “I’ve never been able to….”

T /F – When things go wrong, I tend to beat myself up.

T /F – Sometimes I’m lucky, but when bad things happen it’s because I messed up.

T /F – When angry, I rarely begin sentences with “I.”

T /F – Conversations with friends are often about how hard my life is.

T /F – When friends offer advice, I usually counter it with “Yes, but…” since they can’t know how difficult my situation really is.

T /F – I spend a fair amount of my time thinking about past failures and mistakes.

T /F – Other people usually cause me to feel the way I do. I’d be more centered if it weren’t for them.

T /F – I’m always so busy with work and the things I need to do to survive that I just don’t have time to do things I want to do for myself.

T /F – I’d like to exercise more and eat in a healthier way, but I just can’t right now.

T /F – If I weren’t tied down to all these obligations, I could really do some of the things I always think about doing.

T /F – Someday I’ll find a new partner who will really change my life. In the meantime, all I can do is hope.

T /F – I must have done something really horrible in a past life because nothing I do ever works out.

T /F – If only I had had more support, I could have… (fill in the blank.)

“Victimhood” is usually a way of staying stuck in old patterns and can be an externalizing way of dealing with unacknowledged anger or fear of change. If you answered true to more than a couple of these questions, chances are you’d benefit from a closer look at what’s happening in your life right now.

Getting curious is a wonderful way to discover new ways of being. Let’s get curious together.