Gratitude is defined as a sense of happiness and thankfulness in response to a fortunate…
Have you ever had an experience that transformed your life? I have! This transformation occurred over time as I gradually learned, despite fear of the unknown, to honestly confront difficult and painful aspects of my life and make necessary changes.
My transformation has led to a keen awareness of the power of the present moment; a sense of peace that comes from acceptance of the is-ness of life- taking things as they are, not as I want them; a passionate desire to share my journey as a way of helping others who deserve to live their best lives and my new career as founder of Inside Out Health Coaching, LLC.
Life can be hard. We all face difficulties. By sharing my story, I hope others who are going through difficult life circumstances, feel less alone and are inspired to seek solutions they need to live the life they desire and deserve.
It was January 7, 2018, a sunshiny clear but cold Sunday morning when my mother died. My eight siblings and I kissed and prepared our mom for her new life…our last intimate, intensely quiet act of love. Together we laughed, cried, yelled, hugged. I thought I had experienced every emotion known to humankind. But I was wrong…who could have predicted that in just a few short hours I would learn of my husband’s infidelity?
My story is 60 years in the making, but I point to that day of infamy because of the intense, visceral pain I felt in my entire being. Without going into brutal detail, suffice it to say, over the next two years my health and life spiraled into a desperate state. My counselor, my only confidant, couldn’t help me. I felt alone. To cope with unimaginable grief, I found normalcy through the familiar, by doing what I knew. I kept up appearances and showed up for others. I tried to work things out with my husband, I protected my children, I fulfilled my responsibilities at work, and kept my commitments to family and friends.
But inside, I was suffering. I felt shame that I had failed. I believed that if I could just hold everything together on the outside, everything would be okay. It wasn’t, I wasn’t. Unfortunately, my habit and preferred coping mechanism, drinking wine, became excessive and took a toll on my mind, body, and spirit. The result was weight gain, lack of sleep, and being ruled by anxiety and anger. The strain on my family relationships was too much. I hit my proverbial bottom.
Then, in 2020, just before Covid shut everything down, I attended my weekly church service. The sermon that day from Romans counseled, “Do not conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
I couldn’t stop thinking about the meaning of this verse. “What are the patterns of this world? Am I conforming to them? How do I renew my mind? Can I really know God’s will?
And at that same time, I realized that the truths contained in Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now were percolating deep in my soul. The Power of Now explores presence, thinking, and spirituality and how pain and suffering can be reduced by living in the present.
Little did I realize that the Covid-imposed isolation would soon become my sweet solitude. It gave me space and opportunity to answer my questions through prayer, studying Tolle’s teachings, and diving into other literature. Before I knew it, I was on a healing journey! In learning, practicing, and sharing these things, slowly but surely, my mental-emotional-physical suffering began to ease. I was being transformed from the inside out.
This healing experience is now the basis for how I live my life, and it is the foundation of my health coaching program. My life isn’t pain-free…no one’s is! But I’m living in the present and dealing with all the ups and downs of life including progressing through a divorce, a recent layoff, starting a business, and my son’s diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia in April 2022. Through it all, I have learned the important practice of being aware of and choosing to
honor life, as it is now. Challenging circumstances will come, but they lose power when you learn to receive and accept them as they are. I have embraced this life principle. And now, I share this article with you, not in the absence of continued challenges, but with the knowledge that I have the capacity to live life well. So, remember, through life’s difficulties you too can experience the beauty of changed habits, improved health, and life lived well.
Virginia (Ginger) Baker is the founder of Inside Out Health Coaching, LLC. As a certified health coach, registered nurse, mother, and grandmother, my passion for health and wellness is a driving force in my life. I am honored to share my knowledge and experience to educate, equip, and inspire others to achieve their health and wellness goals.