Archive for gratitude

Nov
21

Grief, Grace, Gratitude, and Grit

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My mother left this earth on November 19, 2020. Marie Boos Filakovsky was 88.

There is grief. It’s showing up as lethargy, insomnia, fatigue, and sadness. I am always amazed at how strong the mother-daughter bond is.

Mom and I had a complicated relationship. The product of Childhood Emotional Neglect herself, she passed that on. She married a good man, my father, and lived out the 1950s script of a good Catholic girl, wife, and mother.

Mom and me, Aug. 2017

I never knew who she really was.

Until she was 78.

That’s when I started giving her custom Healing Codes. And I watched her change.

The changes in my mother solidified for me the power of The Healing Codes.

I can still remember the day she asked me how I was doing—and meant it. Before that, our weekly calls were mostly about her. It didn’t feel like she really was interested in me. Until that day.

From then on, she opened her heart more and more. I discovered to my astonishment that she had a tender, sensitive heart. For most of her life, she had hidden it under layers of socialization. Once she said to me, “You are giving me what I should have given you,” i.e. emotional support.

Then she had a stroke. And a second one, in 2017. After that, communication was very difficult. In a way, I lost the mother I’d just found.

A few weeks ago she was put on palliative care, and it was really difficult not to go out there. But with COVID-19, I just couldn’t risk flying out, for her sake and mine. I was told that it was too taxing for her to talk on the phone.

It was so hard, being cut off from her in her last days. Read More→

A friend of mine said something to me I’ve been mulling over ever since.

This friend, Clare Masters, has had incredible health challenges (read her gofundme posts here). Botched surgeries, constant pain, and the pressure of trying to live on $4000/year could easily have stolen her life.

While every day is a challenge for Clare, you would never know it if you talked to her. She is always positive, always looking for ways to give back. She’s the kind of person you want to help out as much as you can. She never complains (though if you ask and really want to know, she’ll be honest), and she’s always looking for ways to give to you.

At a recent hospital stay, a nurse asked her how she is able to stay so positive. Why wasn’t she bitter about the cards life handed her? Read More→

After my daughter was born, in 1995, I fell into a pretty severe post-partem depression.

It was probably caused by a combination of taking my thyroid medication at the wrong time, hormone imbalances, and lack of sleep.

This was way before The Healing Codes came into my life. I didn’t know what to do. I did seek medical help, but oddly, I didn’t get any. All I remember is the doctor saying, “Your color is good” (did he ever hear of makeup?), and basically doing nothing. I was too exhausted and depressed to keep seeking help.

So what I did was pray. And God gave me His prescription, which was pretty simple.

God’s Prescription for My Depression

Just three steps.

1. Write “morning pages” first thing when I wake up. Three pages of longhand in a 9×11 lined notebook. Brain dumping, whatever comes into my head.

I’ve been doing that every single day, just about, since 1995.

The effect is wonderful. I get all the junk out, first thing every day. Sometimes I write down dreams. Only occasionally do I get a few good ideas that I can use in my work. Mostly it’s stream-of-consciousness dribble I doubt anyone would find remotely interesting.

I realized later, though, how clever and efficient God is. Not only did this practice stand in for a more expensive counselor; it also made me a better, more fluent writer. I have not experienced writer’s block for decades.

2. Walk every day in the morning. This is the second thing God told me to do for my depression. Later I read that many studies say this is at least as effective as medication. God knew that already!

3. The third thing was to notice the gifts of each day, and write them down. Many people keep “gratitude journals,” but this felt a little different. I was to deliberately connect God to it: What felt like a gift from God that day?

The more I looked, the more I saw. I challenged myself to find at least 3 gifts every day.

Many people keep “gratitude journals,” and that is a very good practice. But for me, thinking of it as a “gifts journal” makes it “gratitude plus.” Noticing and writing down things that feel like gifts from God–somehow it takes gratitude to a whole new level.

For me, it takes gratitude out of the realm of “principle” (gratitude is good for you because it focuses you on the positive, which of course is true), to the personal. When you keep a gifts journal, it’s all about noticing and fully receiving what the supreme Giver has given to you. These are connection points, in time and space, when you received something from a Person that you can’t see. The gifts are footprints of God’s presence in your life.

I started keeping that “gifts journal” in 1995, and in a couple of years I had enough to fill a book. The book of my heart, Abundant Gifts, was published first by Tyndale House in 1999 and then republished in 2004 by New Hope Publishers, after famous author Jan Karon said, “God speaks to me from Diane’s pen.”

Keeping track of the things that feel like gifts has been totally life-changing for me.

Just yesterday, I got another “abundant gift.” My office chair needed replacing; it was starting to affect my back. My husband also needed one.

Well, my son came home with two free chairs from his office! But here’s the real gift: someone in our neighborhood was giving away an office chair–the same day. That was the one that suited me best. God picked out my new office chair! In one day, God supplied, for free, office chairs for me, my husband and son.

Some people call these “gifts from the Universe.” If that’s your belief, fine. But to me, it’s much more personal than that. I’d rather receive from “the Father of lights”: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). Isn’t that beautiful?

Keeping a gifts journal pulled me out of depression, and led to a book that blessed thousands. Whenever I’m down, I get back to keeping my gifts journal.

I hope you will consider doing the same. Look for at least 3 things every day that felt like gifts. The more you look, the more you’ll find!

And oh–don’t forget to thank the Giver. That completes the blessing. The Giver loves to be acknowledged and thanked, just as we do.

If you would like to download the same “Abundant Gifts Journal” I use, for free, go here.

And if you would like some coaching to make a better connection with the Giver and become more Aligned with your divine design, check out my coaching.

 

 

Jan
27

From Fear to Peace

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There’s a lot of fear out there these days.

I have noticed with clients that their own fears have been triggered by what’s going on in the world. The Highly Sensitive among us are especially susceptible to picking up on fear from others, adding to their own fears.

Back in 1933, the U.S. was facing another fearful time: the Great Depression. In President Frnaklin Delano Roosevelt’s Inaugural speech, he uttered the famous words, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” While one may quibble with that sentiment, there is truth, I think, to the idea that fear is a force that itself can bring on no good thing.

As mentioned in The Healing Code, the fear or stress response dumbs us down; makes us sick; drains our energy; suppresses our immune system; increases our pain; raises our blood pressure; destroys relationships; causes anger, depression, shame, and worth and identity issues; and causes us to do everything from a negative perspective.

So how do you resist fear without sticking your head in the sand? Here are my suggestions. Read More→

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Sep
01

Give Thanks for–Bee Stings?

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Several months ago, I posted about the incredible stresses my family has experienced all at once.

That was back in December.

Things only got worse after that. Much worse. And they’ve continued until … now.

I honestly don’t know where I’d be without The Healing Codes during this time. That, and the things I mentioned in that earlier post.

It’s been a life-lab showing me exactly how The Healing Codes help you deal with stress.

The Healing Codes don’t do anything to prevent the kinds of outward stresses I’m facing (death of a loved one, financial pressures, major upheavals in schedule and living, technology hassles, betrayal by friends, legal issues, blah blah blah).

What they do for me is keep me current with reality. Because so much has already healed, I wasn’t “triggered” as much as I would otherwise have been.

When I was triggered–when something bothered me way more than the situation warranted–then I looked for the “heart issue” to heal.

When you’re healed, you have much more energy to deal with current reality, and you’re dealing ONLY with current reality.

So, for instance, if you’re rejected by someone (or you perceive you are), if you have unhealed rejection memories the recent rejection will feel like you’re being stung by a hive of bees. Each “bee sting” would be an unhealed memory of rejection.

But when those memories are healed, that recent rejection will be just like one bee sting. Unpleasant, but you can deal with it.

As these multiple stresses come at me, I can tell which ones are triggering an unhealed memory and which are not. I go to work on addressing the unhealed memories that get triggered. And before long, I am back to dealing just with the current stressor.

The one bee sting.

And either way, I thank God.

I thank God when I am able to deal with just an issue at hand. I thank Him for the healing I’ve received already in that area.

When I do get triggered, I thank God for the stressor because it is uncovering an issue that can now be healed.

Gratitude is a beautiful thing. I speeds healing. I encourage you to add it to your healing work.

Nov
22

Thanksgiving: Good for Your Health

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“Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.”
— John Henry Jowett

What if you could improve your marriage, find it easier to exercise, feel less depressed, sleep better, have a healthier heart, more life satisfaction, and increase your chances of living longer–just by a very simple practice?

I’m talking about doing what I hope you’ll do on this Thanksgiving, but all the time. No, not the eating (or overeating). I’m talking about consciously practicing gratitude. Looking for the blessings and thanking someone for them.
A growing body of research shows that gratitude is truly amazing in its physical and psychosocial benefits. Drs. Blair and Rita Justice report the following research finding on their blog. Read More→
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