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Finding Purpose

I can remember when I was 32 years old and recovering from my breast cancer. I had no skin on my chest as a result of the radiation. Years ago, they were not precise in how they radiated, so my whole chest was burned, it was bright red and raw. During that same time, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. And just when I thought I was pushed to my limit, I accidentally dropped boiling water on my foot. I took off my sock and my skin with it. I was in so much pain, on so many levels.NDE picture

There are times when life seems unbearable, and we feel broken. I can remember crying out, “My God! Why have You forsaken me?” With that cry, was a lot of tears. I felt alone, abandoned and uncertain.

I had PTSD from a traumatic car accident, Hashimoto disease, breast cancer, Lyme disease, then fistulas, fissures, c-diff and sepsis that launched another version of PTSD along with anxiety and depression. Plus, about 14 surgeries along the way.

After the car accident I devoted years to helping those with traumatic brain injuries, and after my breast cancer, I started a 501c3 nonprofit organization, called Cuddle My Kids. Cuddle provides free support services to families with cancer. I found great service through my life experiences. But during my sepsis, I was very sick and had what I believe was a near-death experience. Now keep in mind, I spent years serving those with TBI’s and then those with cancer. So, I was shocked when I was told, “My daughter Cathleen, it is not your time, there is too much work to be done!” Talk about feeling bummed and forsaken!

Two good things happened as a result of being turned away from the light that day. The first was, I relinquished a lot of fears. I knew I would not die anytime soon because I still had “more work to be done.” And the second was, I realized, my life experiences had prepared me. I was never forsaken. All of those moments I spent in pain, or suffering, I was learning. I was being prepared, to help someone, who may have suffered the same or something different, but either way, I understood what my work would involve.

What I didn’t know the day I cried out to God, was that at that moment I was surrounded and being comforted by all of the angels and Saints I had prayed to for so many years. I had said daily novenas to Our Lady of Lords and Padre Pio and John Neuman. What I came to understand is that prayers are always heard. They may not be answered in the way we want or when we want them. But the answers to my prayers finally came and still come, in ways I never expect.

What I have learned through reflecting on my life experiences, my LFEH studies, my meditation, and connecting to my guides, is that my purpose came from my pain. My purpose is to help others, and my purpose is to relieve suffering and to heal the hurt and the broken-hearted. I have a lot of work to do.

What I have also learned from this LFEH program is that I have to stay grounded and connect, I must find joy, let go of negativity and experience love. I learned that our voices are influential and can change lives and I learned the importance of taking the time in nature and observing the beauty in the life around me, and finally, the importance of connecting daily to Spirit in meditation.

I speak with many people who are wondering if they have a purpose or they are not sure what their purpose is. To find it, you have to find yourself. Take the time, be with yourself daily, reflect, listen, and discern what it is that you are called to do. Ask yourself the question. Chances are, the answer will come, just when it’s least expected.

Here are my 7 Daily Habits that help ease my anxiety and bring me clarity

  1. Connection. Connect to something every day either a person, an animal or nature.
  2. Joy. Find joy in something, even if it is in drinking a cup of hot tea or coffee, or the silence of the morning, but feel and accept a moment of joy.
  3. Positivity. Say something positive about yourself. Acknowledging our self-worth is empowering.
  4. Love. Feel it and give it throughout the day. Imagine a circle of love, coming and going from your heart.
  5. Speak up. Speak up for yourself, for others, say what you mean and mean what you say. But remember to mind your words, they are powerful.
  6. Just see. Sometimes our thoughts interfere with that we see. Our ego, our insecurities can muddle a perfect scene. Take time to look at the nature around you.
  7. Open and quiet your mind. Open your mind to all the possibilities, and feel the connection to a source, greater than yourself through meditation and prayer.
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When a Loved One Anxiety, Depression or PTSD, Help Yourself First

Helping a loved one with Anxiety, Depression or PTSD?

Take self-care first.  I can remember when I saw a doctor for my son who was 8 at the time and using the word suicide.  I was in the office with the doctor alone, and he told me I needed to get my anxiety under control, that I needed to check myself. Well, I lost it, something I had to forgive myself for later, but he was right.  I also learned in the program here with Deborah, that self-care is primary, like putting the oxygen mask on yourself first before your child. It is not about being selfish, it is about surviving.

Studying the Chakra’s taught me about our personal energy field, the layers of it and ways to balance, clear and cleanse our system. It not only healed me physically but also mentally.  One of the most important things I learned was that our field, our personal space, can affect those around us, just as another person’s field, energy or personal space can affect our own in a negative way.

There are a number of ways to protect your personal energy field, your personal space.  The first thing I recommend is to keep a clear distance, respect your space and the space of others.  

I can remember when my son was locked in his room.  I kept wanting to go in and check on him, give him a hug.  But I realized these were all the things I needed, not necessarily what he wanted.  He needed his space, from me and I did not know it at the time, but I needed my space from him. It was a necessary protection. The more we were around each other during his bouts with anxiety and depression, the more the anxiety and depression circled between us. I unknowingly triggered him, and he the same with me. Remember to keep a loving, necessary space when needed.

I have found that some people tend to go off to their own room or space when they are not feeling well. I can remember being a mess, thinking what could be happening in there! Some good advice I received was to periodically say from outside the door, “I know you need your space, so I want you to have it.  I will be downstairs if you need me”.  When he/she comes down, acknowledge how impressed you are with them getting out of their own way, on their own. Let them pick themselves up off the floor.  People are powerful, even if they suffer from anxiety and depression or PTSD.  The key is finding it, even if for a split second, let them use their own power and pick themselves up.

People with ADP need help, but they also need to help themselves and then realize they were powerful enough to get out of those moments. Doing so will create more power and knowledge. If they get themselves up once, they can get themselves up a second time.

Energy, and feelings are contagious.  People often ask how they can get their loved one get over whatever it is that is holding them back or to be a certain way and my answer is for them to be, just what they want from the other person. Be present, be joyful, be powerful, be loving, be truthful, be open, be connected.

 

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Where there is despair, Hope

and-then-there-was-hopeShe wanted to go. Really she did. I always ask for a surprise. Today there was nothing big, no a-ha. There was no superlative symbol, because her life was in no way anything close to superlative. That is how I knew who came today. I saw her feet with chipped paint and rough hard edges, her hands the picture of a working homemaker, her tank top, her limited personal items and her space. She showed me and I knew the bright eyed, loving soul and remembered she really gave it all to others and still survived.

She showed me herself sitting, hands on her head. Listening, but not really. When she was spoken to it was rough, harsh and crisp sounds. She heard nothing after some time. She knew she was not who she was. There were hardships and challenges that caused a rift in her home when she was young. There were painful experiences that broke her childhood in many ways. She was not like them, though she tried. Her whole life was about fleeing. She once had her ways to ease the pain and emotional, physical suffering. When her typical escapes became impossible, she went back inside. She no longer looked for the better outside, so instead she escaped to her mind and dreamed and wished and then hoped she would finally become.

Hope is what follows the emotion, the root cause of sadness that eventually turned to despair. I don’t want to have to hope. She didn’t want to have to hope. Hope is one or the other. Hope is for better or hope is for worse. Hope, when you are in, or when you are out. Hope is for, or against. Hope is light or dark. Hope is for greater or lesser good, hope is a new beginning, or a new end. Her despair became hope. She hoped for better. She hoped to be in the light. She hoped to be her greatest self and hoped for a new beginning.

Life needs just those important things to survive. Food, shelter, water, air. Check. She had all of the requirements to be a human and survive. She had what she needed to survive but not what she needed to live. I would rather die, then live to survive just as she did.  Over time, her experiences became feelings, her feelings became her sadness. Her sadness became anger and her anger, eventually rage. She raged inside her head, until she let go of it all.  I believe to know that she let go, of her feelings, her experiences, her anger and her rage yet her soul intended her to live.

I firmly believe, and it is my opinion, that if we can’t become our true self while on the earth, our true self will find it’s own way to emerge without your approval or acknowledgement. She really had no way out. I will be the first to say as a young growing woman I had the belief that abused women could leave, should leave, that if you are not happy, than you are choosing so. For the first time, that belief is a challenge to me. I just don’t quite know because I never had the difficult choice. I never had to survive. I realize now, that she was not weak, pitiful or not incapable. She was not submissive, but for certain I know she was not happy.

Brain cancer did not take her. Cancer did not win. She won. She won, on her terms, in her own head, and her own plan. And just according to her plan, he suffered and will continue to. She has all that she needs to live and he has just what is needed to survive. And boy is she happy.

What I learned today…

  1. Where there is darkness, there is light
  2. Where there is despair, hope
  3. In dying, we are born to eternal life
  4. Live, don’t just survive
  5. You will become who you were meant to be, on your terms or not.
  6. Sometimes, there is no way out. Don’t judge what you don’t have to survive.
  7. Cancer does not win, first your soul and then your Source, your God brings life
“Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.”
My Healing Blog

Forgive me, but I have not sinned

praying-child-1668636_1920I never believed I was an individual, possibly because I was born a twin and my life of giving and sharing life’s necessities began unconsciously. As a twin, a part of all my existence was shared. I shared time getting a turn at the bottle, space in one crib, room to grow in one bed, and so much more. I did not know any different, although I lost some of which I know I wanted and needed, it just was what is was, I was a part of a whole. But my part, my me, never felt fit in. It was a world of pretend.

I never pretended to care. I loved helping people, animals, and teachers, anyone who needed something. It brought me joy, peace and just felt comfortable. Somewhere along the time, I learned that people liked a child that was there at just the right moment to assist them. So I was there. I learned that an act of kindness was followed by a wink of acknowledgement. I was kind. I learned that I could give, as long as a give needed. So I gave endlessly. I learned that when the giver, stops giving, the world stops acknowledging, appreciating, knowing or caring. I was too young to learn that receiving, can be expected and giving cannot be from the heart. I pretended, and gave because I just didn’t know any different.

I should have cared that I only had a generic Barbie, or some great original, more than slightly used Playschool toys. I should have spent time playing nurse instead of being nurse. I should have cared less, but I didn’t because I cared. I cared about being loved and love came from giving, caring, selfless acts. So I learned. I learned to give to receive and I learned that one is not in the same. The receive was possible even with a constant unrelenting give.

Caring about myself never brought any acknowledgment only distain. Caring for myself, was expected to be confessed, caring for myself, was just not something, to be done except for the sinner. So I surrendered to the give, to be loved or to be loved not. There was a chance to feel love, so I gave on.

I knew I was called to serve at a young age. I was terrified that I was being called to become a nun. I always felt close to Jesus, but didn’t want to be his “wife” and I always feared My Father and the Holy Ghost. My Catholic education instilled the ever present, unfortunate possibility of judgment then punishment. Sister Geraldine, my absolute favorite teacher, would tell her 1st graders that Jesus knew us, loved us unconditionally and I felt it to be true.

I always heard His loving voice.. It was His voice that told me He loved me. His voice said you matter. It was His voice that said, “I care about you” just as much as the person you are caring for. I will forever remember His acknowledgement of me. I will never forget the first time I felt true gratitude.

I was educated in Catholic Schools. This I will always believe to be a blessing and a gift. At times it was filled with contradiction. I was to be meek, humble and selfless, so I was told. I could never tell them that Jesus told me different when He said, “my burden would not be light, but I would be loved, I would be held and I would be cared for, regardless of what I did or not. I was forgiven, before I sinned, because I was loved. ”

What was hard as a young person was knowing I was different. I was closer to Him than the rest. We had quiet, deep conversations. When I knew things, I struggled with believing my thoughts and believing a human could not possibly have any connection to the Divine. I silently treasured what no one else knew. I never shared that we were forgiven. I never shared that I new that hell was life on earth. I never told anyone that I was connected to people who no longer walked earth and that the angels were by best invisible friends. I never told the nuns, my parents or the priests that I did not need to “learn” about Him because I already knew Him.

My knowledge came with self-judgment, and at times I ignored what I knew and heard. I acted as if a sinner needing repentance. I fixed my buckle shoes, combed my short locks, walked with hands folded, sang intently during mass, and was everything that I was told to be, good. And still at 7, 8, 9, 10 years old, I acted as a sinner and confessed, to all types of menial sins. I confess now, to lying in confession. I was so afraid, uncertain and confused, I admit I confessed possible sins, not sure if they even occurred, but just to be safe and save my soul and feel love-able, I confessed.

I confess now, I can’t remember my last confession, to someone other than the Divine. And I must confess, that I give only from the heart, that I am worthy of care, concern, compassion and love. Because I confess to knowing, that I am you. And I care.

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Learning Something New

bible-1058296_640It is funny when you learn about defense mechanisms. I never knew about the idea or meaning until I started digging into the root of myself. I kind of knew all along I was who I was supposed to be. I knew I was what made me feel loved. I couldn’t even think of what my own beliefs were at 45 years old. I just believed in what was right as so I was told. I was so agreeable. I also think I knew, I was dying piece-by-piece inside. I imagine it looking like I was walking on a sidewalk, and making an effort to not step over a crack. So from a distance my stride down the path was uneasy. With every big step I had to take to miss a crack, those places I practically jumped over, were missed life experiences meant for me. Maybe that piece of the path was just where I was supposed to land but out of fear, I stepped over it. I am sad in retrospect knowing there were life should have been moments that I did not step into.

But then, I do not believe that I missed all of what was expected for me. Maybe there were options but I believe that God has a plan for me and for all of us. But I have to believe there is a back up, just incase we don’t actually chose what he has planned. I realized that I was not going according to His plan because the same life experiences kept happening, over and over. I stopped dead in my stride as soon as I knew I needed a new way.

Think about it. Almost all of us have said at one time or another, I am in a rut or under a cloud, or things never work out for me. Like the record keeps going round and round and round. How many times have we all given the same advice to the same people about the same things? Sometimes in life we end up just back where we started. Life in general or on a board game is one in the same. You get sent back to where you started. And in both, it is not about luck it is about strategy, about thinking and observing where you have been and where you can go and who or what is in your way. I was terrible at games. I was also a terrible player in my own game of life.

I have imagined God looking down on me and shaking His head, rubbing His forehead and sighing in pure frustration and sorrow. The path to the highest point, the sidewalk to my soul, was actually a straight smooth line. As I tripped and fell and went uneasily ahead, I continued to follow, the way, of the others.

When I cried out, “My God why have you forsaken me”, my tears and despair must have shut out His voice, as He said back, my Daughter, why have you forsaken me? I gave you your own path. It was not I; it was you who took the harder road.

I know the whole time He was watching, making sure my journey was not more unbearable than He knew possible for me. And then, I hit the inevitable roadblock. Despair. That is what changes life. That is what changed my life.

You believe you can succumb to despair, and align with the evils of life that will keep you down. Those evils aid you in remaining hopeless; they nurture your desperation and toast you in your anguish. Some people live happily in despair and get a dis-ease as they unfortunately, unknowingly and unconsciously choose.

I was at unease. I knew I was not going the way I was supposed to. I knew why, because I was lost, I was confused and really didn’t know anything about the path I was on. I didn’t know anything but only that I was on the road of supposed to. Because I had no idea who I was, or had thoughts of my own, or opinions about where and why I was on that path, except someone was told me, this was the right way, and to follow. So I did, for years.

I didn’t know for so many years. I assumed I was so fortunate to have been told the secret to heavens gates, I didn’t know why people would chose to live with out the possibility of eternal life and chose the other ways. But man, they were having fun. They lived; they walked easily but with challenges associated with all travel. They actually had answers. They lived, they saw, they experienced, they knew, a lot more than I did. Or not.

I can tell you where my journey started and where it derailed, when the turn was optional and when it hit a dead end.

My journey started with a bag full of fear. I had carried for so long the weight of judgment, and judgment is a magnet that sticks to every life experience. Letting go of judgment would have let go of fear, insecurities, and loss of love, loss of acceptance, loss of identity. I was hooked on Judgment like a hopeless crack addict. I did not know what it would be like and the fear of wanting to me be me, made me much more true to the values of which no one would judge. I was a prisoner of a feeling and emotion that essentially caused disease, upset and much loss. And as I went along my weight of judgment, fear becoming my sadness and my rage into despair, until I dropped the weight of my journey with judgment.

Shedding. That’s another new term. I had not heard or knew the meaning before this time in my life. Suddenly, the levels needed to peel off. I never thought the shedding could be painful. And I never thought it could be cold, and hard being different than who I thought I was. I was freezing. I am freezing. It is cold and dark but now I can see the light.

So here I am. 46 years old. I feel like I am grasping in the air for all of my life I missed. I am so scared at the same time. I do not know the way, but I do know God is with me. I am alone on this journey, because the way intended for me is different than those I had followed. I had to go back. I had to go to the root of the seed of my soul and start over again.

I am different. Every fall, scrape, and uneasy unbalanced step I took was alone, was often in sadness, in uncertainty and in breath alone. I was alone even though I was with everyone else. Isolation is possible in large groups. That reality was my despair.

Today I know that my whole life I gave for acceptance, love and appreciation. I was a good girl, because it made me feel loved. I journeyed to acceptance without judgment. Judgment meant, I was not good, I was not what was supposed to be, I was not smart, I had bad manners, I wasn’t a lady, I wasn’t clean enough or my appearance wasn’t appropriate. Everything I did was to avoid being judged. If someone judged me, it meant I was wrong. I did something, and I needed to fix it and prove to them, I was what I was expected to be. I could do no wrong, until I couldn’t anymore.

I will be shedding. I am shedding. It scares me. I don’t see people the same. My reality is clear and the fog has lifted. I made a choice to be ok with what I believe is God’s plan for me. I do believe that part of it is learning to live beyond judgment and fear. Getting to accept my choice, it often hard. Every now and then, I give in, to the expectation. I feel hurt, even when I know I shouldn’t. What hurts the most is knowing just how different I always was and how indifferent others have always been. Shedding is tough, but I know in the end, my holding on to what was, would hold me down. So I continue to shed the skin of others energy and intent that is not meant to be aligned with who I was intended. With every learning experience, I realize whom I let go. And for a time, I mourn their departure in my life and then embrace my new skin.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mission, Intention, Vision

Our Mission

The Gabrielsen Center mission is to Heal, Balance, Clear, Guide and Empower individuals and the community by using a wide variety of healing modalities and services promoting physical, personal, emotional, overall well-being.

Our Intention

The Gabrielsen Healing Center Intention is to assist individuals in finding the root cause of their pain, anxiety, depression and the obstruction from ones happiness and success.

Our Vision

The Gabrielsen Healing Center was founded to bring to the community a safe and alternative approach to improving ones physical, emotional, spiritual and overall health. Our Vision of providing alternatives to health and healing based on is an idea whose time has come, and it has fulfilled its promise admirably.

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I finally grew

cropped-praying-child-1668636_19201.jpg

 

How blessed is the way, to the root of it all.

Take a trip and travel deep into your garden.

You will find…your whole world.

 

Imagine a flower growing to bloom, just in the wrong direction. Sounds impossible, but I found it to be true. We all were given the seed to our soul. What we did with it was in our own hands. I listened to the directions on “how to grow my seed” and followed accordingly. Except my seed, the seed of my soul,  appeared to be a dud.

Here I was given this seed, to plant, cultivate and ultimately find pure joy in all that it was. I did everything right. I followed the instructions given. I followed the beliefs attached to the directions. I followed what the other gardeners were doing. For years I waited for my flower to appear as I tended not just my seed, but the whole garden.

I was always determined in life, yet sad, confused. My soul seed survived the harshest winters; the hottest summers and forever-running river of unshed tears. The garden started to get the better of me.

I decided to take another look at the instructions I received, turned them upside down and flipped the attached beliefs to a language my seed understood. I then bulldozed my way down, deep to the root of it. And there she was, waiting in all her beautiful bounty. And it was exactly the flower I had believed it would be.

I had such a tough seed! For so long, I just thought my seed was just a harder one to grow. I also felt so forsaken. I paid such good attention to the garden of life but didn’t realize I had been forsaking my hopeful flower! It was alive and in bloom all along.

I let go of everything and traveled deep within. Along my journey to find my flower, I found love, and light, the flow of life. And just at the roots I found what I knew to be mine. It was waiting for me all along.