THOUGHTS ON CHANGE, STAYING POSITIVE, AND BEING GRATEFUL – WENDY BLANCHARD, M.S., CHHC

When I was a young girl, I couldn’t wait to get older…and, here I am. Be careful what you wish for. LOL

Over the past few years as I have continued to “age,” I have noticed so much about myself physically, mentally and spiritually. I wish I hadn’t rushed the years.

My body has gone through so much change. Physically I am unable to work out in the way that I did just 6 months ago, and will never be able to again, but I am blessed to be able to walk every day. I always count my miracles and blessings! Walking has become my natural anti-depressant activity and my cardio each day to sustain my body and my mind wellness!

My body has lost so much of its muscle just over the past year that is irreplaceable, but I am a beautiful soul on the inside. I look so different, and it has taken some getting used to as I reflect upon my younger self and observe the difference in my physical appearance. And…I FEEL BEAUTIFUL ON THE INSIDE, and I believe that loving myself unconditionally, practicing self care including exercise and healthy food choices, loving relationships, and self acceptance, a positive mindset, setting boundaries, practicing daily gratitude for all of my blessings, staying connected to my loving children and loving friends as well as to God/Universe/Spirit, offering love and support to others, and being of service, all contribute to how happy, healthy and beautiful I feel from the inside out. Prior to my recovery six years ago, all that I practiced was self loathing…I’ve worked hard on myself for 6 years to finally arrive at a joyful, peaceful and loving place…by me, for me, and which I can now offer to others.

I have come to depend upon my faith more than anything else, and I know that I am always lovingly supported and never alone. My spiritual practice has deepened over the past couple of years, and is most definitely my main artery to living. It is my lifeline. The Universe has always provided me with everything that I need, and everything that I have prayed for at the perfect time. The most important information that I can share with you is that every single time that I face adversity or challenge, and there has been an abundance of that as of late, God/Universe/Spirit has worked diligently to provide me with answers and solutions. The moment that I begin to feel stressed, I remind myself that every past experience that seemed as if there was no solution, worked itself out as I listened beyond my physical limitations in prayer and meditation for guidance and direction, and took action. It is always about being connected, awake, grateful, and the willingness to be open.

Recently, I lived through a serious health challenge that looked so bleak, and I am back into remission after a few short months. I was unable to walk or use my hands, and will no longer able to exercise the way I’d like to, but the Universe kept reminding me that I just needed to work hard at taking care of myself, and to have faith, and that I would recover. And, although I have had to make modifications in my lifestyle, including moving to a new home that is ground level to make it easier on sustaining my mobility and flexibility, I am living with minor restrictions in remission from the disease.

My mental strength is always getting a workout through it all. And, that is how we build muscle! I am incredibly proud of the way I have navigated through my most recent challenges. I have used all of the natural and organic means that I have come to depend upon over the past 6 years of my Substance Use Disorder recovery to sustain my mental and physical health successfully. It is truly telling of what a significant role our mind plays in not only our thought process, but in our behavior and in our actions. Yes, I had my moments of crying and worry, but it is my resilience through all of my hard work and knowledge of self care and wellness, and my spiritual practice, in addition to loving relationships/friendships, and daily self care, that carried me through this challenging time. These have been life lessons that I can use as a compass in the future, as well as to share with others as they face similar obstacles. As I continue my work with those living with a mental illness and Substance Use Disorder, and with youth in providing prevention and awareness strategies for self care and wellness, I am able to guide them lovingly and authentically through their challenges based on my experiences, mindset, and a variety of holistic tools and strategies that I have used to navigate through my own wellness practices. I believe that the Universe challenges us with assignments to continue to build our mental muscle (which is directly correlated with our physical health) so that we are able to thrive as we become more and more self reliant as we are guided spiritually, and subsequently offer the lesson to others as a building block in their own lives offering hope and wellness.

So, I have learned through wishing as a young girl to grow up, to be older, and now having learned such profound lessons through my experiences, to be in the present moment and to appreciate all that I currently have…to not rush the moment, or the day, or the year.

Having the ability to remain in the present moment, regardless of the cacophony of noise and emotions, and to be able to observe all that is happening with an open mind…a wise mind, and noticing the lessons and embracing them, being open to making necessary modifications and changes to further enhance my life, as well as being grateful for every moment that I am blessed to live in peace, in joy, and in love, to me, is the epitome of self care, self love, and wellness…and…

Wellness is where we stand in our power, and where we stand in our power, we have the ability to pay it forward in a ripple of effect…of wellness, throughout our community.

Love and blessings,

Wendy

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