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Relationship, Emotional, and Spiritual Healing
Kendra K. Hurd, MA, LCPC, NCC

A beautiful garden is a joy that millions of Americans spend thousands of dollars and countless hours to achieve. I am inviting you to consider tending the most important garden----that is, the garden of the soul----so that you may produce a rich and hardy soil that can support a life lived with true happiness and serenity. The following "gardening tools" define the necessary steps that will lead to your emotional and spiritual growth. You can use these "change agents" in any order-----preferably the order that "feels" the best for you.

1. Journaling-excavate the negative feelings to get at the positive feelings.

2. Positive Affirmations-dig out old negative tapes and plant positive messages in the garden of your mind.

3. Forgiveness-pull out the weeds that are choking your healing and growth.
Say a "70 X 7" forgiveness pattern. For 70 days straight say "I forgive _______
for any wrong doings done to me intentional or otherwise." You can also say this for
yourself for any wrong doings done to someone.

4. Balanced Life-there are 9 flowers in a balanced life: family, friends, relationship,
hobby, contribution, Higher Power, leisure, personal growth, and career. Over your
lifetime, cultivate these areas and remember that a relationship is only one ninth of a
balanced life. (From "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway." Susan Jeffers).

5. Emotions-feelings are "smoke alarms" that alert you to look deeper in the "soil of
your soul" that gives you the opportunity to take responsibility to develop "response -
ability." In other words, choose to respond differently.

6. Bible Reading-start the day with "fruits and vegetables" in your mind. Thank your
Higher Power in advance for giving you what you need that day and then expect the
best. We tend to get what we expect and what we think we deserve.

7. Attend Church-research shows that people who attend church are healthier than those that don't. There is power in belief.

8. Massage-Massage helps with depression and puts you back in touch with your body.

9. Assertiveness-Being assertive increases self esteem and increases the chances of getting what you want. Use the Win/Win style of communication: When
______________(this happens) I Feel _________________ I Need __________
to happen differently. The purpose of being assertive is to get your feelings out.
If the person changes, that is an extra bonus.

10.Simple Abundance-Find the beauty in everything you do. According to Sarah Ban
Breathnach in "Simple Abundance," gratitude, simplicity, order, harmony, beauty, and
joy are six practical, spiritual principles to live by.

11.Visualization-Focus on what you want in your life rather than thinking about what
you don't have. Your mind is like a satellite dish or radio receiver in that you tend to
draw to yourself what you think about all day. You can't afford the luxury of a
negative thought.

12. Relaxation Response and Meditation-No exercise clothes, no club membership fee.
All you need is a quiet space and a block of time to do diaphragmatic breathing and
focusing on a single word, phrase, or peace and serenity scene, with a passive
observance of intruding thoughts. (Herbert Benson, MD, 1975).

13. Gratitude-Writing in a Gratitude Journal everyday multiplies the things that you have
to be thankful for. Gratitude is the currency of angels.

14. Acceptance-What we resist, persists. Say "Thank You" to your Higher Power for
the frustrations and "Thank You" for the lessons, so that you do not have to repeat
the same "pop quizzes" everyday.

15. Master Mind Group-Where two or more like minds are gathered together and
pray, God hears our prayers and answers them. Always add at the end the statement,
"Or Something Better, Thy Will Be Done." This gives the Universe the opportunity
to give you the highest good.

16. Stress Hardiness-Commitment vs. Alienation, Control vs. Powerlessness, Challenge
vs. Threat, and Closeness vs. Emptiness.

17. Self Esteem-Self Esteem is the "immune system of the soul." (Harvard Medical
School, Mind/Body Medicine) Marianne Williamson's tape "On Self Esteem" gives
a wonderful viewpoint about self esteem.

18. Blessings-To bless means to expand. Send someone that you are experiencing
difficulty with Blessings, and, if you have to, ask your Higher Power to "Help
you Mean It." Sending Blessings is like taking a zipper to Heaven and the "good
stuff" falls out of Heaven on you and the other person.

19. Shadow Side-We are all a composite of "opposites." When we can own the
appropriate and the inappropriate in ourselves, we can accept the appropriate and
the inappropriate in others. When you get upset with someone, ask yourself "What
about them am I denying in myself?"

Copyright 1998

Kendra Hurd is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor in private practice in Springfield, Illinois. She has a Master's Degree from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Ms. Hurd is certified by Harvard Medical School's clinical training program in Mind/Body Medicine-a recognized field of medical research and practice that studies the effects of stress on the human body.


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