Have you ever found yourself in darkness?

Have you ever found yourself in darkness? That deep darkness, so heavy that it feels like you’ll never find your way back to the serenity of lightness. These times come to us in different forms—a terminally-ill loved one, the loss of a job, a broken heart from a relationship are just a few of life’s challenges that we all can relate to. But the big question is: how do you deal with it? Actually, an even better question is: what healthy way can you lift your mind-body-spirit to the lightness—and keep yourself there? Not sure? Take a look inside your toolbox

A year-and-a-half ago, I found myself in the darkness. The deep, heart-wrenching kind of darkness that came from a relationship ending. One look in my toolbox and you would have found alcohol negative self-talk, fear, unworthiness, and a whole lot of resistance. The pattern was well-established.

Drown the sorrow. Drown the FEELINGS! Replay the scenario in my head over and over. I knew what I was doing wasn’t a healthy way of dealing with my pain. Let’s face it—it was self-inflicted suffering. I wasn’t happy no matter how much

I drank or talked through my pain with friends.

I wanted to be happy again.

My self-defeating “tools” were not helping me correct my unhealthy path. I knew if anything was going to change, the change had to begin with me. I needed a different approach, and different tools, to find my peace again. Slowly I began filling my toolbox with useful and positive tools and I would like to share with you what helped my journey back to peace and self-love. It is my sincere hope that it can help someone else, too.

1. Find an inspiring spiritual leader. A spiritual leader looks different for everyone. When I was in the depths of my darkness, I didn’t want to leave my bed, let alone the house. But thanks to the internet, I didn’t have to. I found help through the teachings of Dr. Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins, Louise Hay, Abraham Hicks, Joel Osteen, and Dr. Joe Dispenza. You can find all of them on Youtube.com. Type in their name and a description of what you’re going through, and the right topic video will appear. I found so many healing practices by simply listening to their loving approach to life.

2. Meditate. A common thread through all of these leaders is meditation. You’ve never meditated? It’s ok! There are so many helpful tools to guide you into learning how to develop your practice. One tool is an app called Insight Timer. In this app, you can learn to meditate through guided meditations. There are also spiritual teachers on the app offering classes for specific healing guidance. All of them are screened for authenticity and are very reasonably priced. I bought “Coming Home” by Sarah Blondin for only $5! It was 10 classes and you go at your own pace. It was very helpful to my healing.

3. Check your circle of friends.

When you are healing, it is so important to surround yourself with loving and supportive people. If you find that your friends are not encouraging and supporting your healing journey, help yourself by cutting ties. Through my healing journey, I have learned to be my own best friend and to love myself again.

4. Find a supportive group of like-minded people. I am very grateful to have found a meditation studio where I can retreat weekly to meditate. It’s a place where I feel supported and loved by everyone there. My loving oasis is Avi Om Studio in Flushing, MI. Avianna Castro and her husband Christopher are inspiring spiritual leaders, and they welcome everyone with open arms. They also hold classes besides meditation for spiritual growth and awareness. No experience necessary. You can find them on Facebook at Avianna Castro or Avi Om Studio for a calendar of their events. They also share enlightening podcasts on Spotify, iTunes, or iPhone podcasts app.

5. Nourish yourself. Just as your spirit needs nourishment, so does your body. Making healthy food choices is so important to healing the mind, body, and spirit. Look, I love chocolate! I will not deny myself of its sweet, delightful goodness.

However, I make fruit, vegetables, and healthy proteins an everyday decision. Even during those dark times when you struggle to get up and move, and you surely don’t feel like cooking, eat something! A piece of fruit, a handful of nuts, a protein bar, a glass of water or cup of tea. Something!

6. Get up and get out into nature. Make yourself get out of the house and go for a walk. If you don’t feel like driving to your favorite beach or trail, take a walk around the block. Find things to appreciate like the birds singing, the squirrels running amok, beautiful flowers in bloom, or the sunny sky. As I am sitting here and writing this piece, I am looking outside at a gray sky and snow-covered landscape. The temperature is in the 30s.

So what is there to appreciate?

Ahh, the trees are missing their leaves, and I’m appreciating their endurance to sustain through winter. I’m appreciating their form. If I look at them upside down, they look like the interior of a lung. The trunk is the bronchial tube, the big branches are the bronchi, with the smallest branches being the bronchioles.

My point?

You can find things to appreciate even in your darkest hour! All you have to do is do it. Please understand that healing is a process. Not one thing is going

to “cure” you. I have learned that it’s a compilation of healthy mindful tools that leads one back into the light.

My toolbox is now full of inspiration, gratitude, love, self-love, worthiness, and meditation. I need to dig in there daily to ensure I’m filling myself up with good feelings, supportive thoughts, and positive choices. I wish you peace and love on your journey.

By Angie Kulhanek

Kudos Magazine Volume 5.1

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