Wellness with Whitney: Walking Helps Thinking – Ideas

May 25th, 2016

Need a fresh idea? Take a walk.

The simple act of walking rejuvenates your mind as well as your body. A Stanford University research study found that people boosted their creative inspiration by an average of 60 percent just by walking.

Many of my best writing ideas have come to me while I was walking. If I’m struggling with writer’s block, I’ll take an office break for about 20 minutes to walk. Always, I return to my desk afterward with a breakthrough idea. Sometimes solutions to problems will come to me on one of the walks I take around my neighborhood regularly. At other times, my mind will make new connections between the details of my life, helping me understand situations better as I walk.

How often have you noticed new insights coming to you during a walk? Whether you’re hiking through a park or simply strolling down a hallway, your mind is a magnet for new ideas because walking promotes clear thinking. That’s why some people pace back and forth across a room while they’re trying to figure something out.

So get creative about how you can combine walking and thinking in your life. Consider:

  • Praying or meditating while you walk
  • Walking around your workplace (or outside it) to reflect on a current project
  • Mulling over a problem in your personal life (such as a broken relationship, financial stress, or a health issue) during a walk
  • Hiking outside in nature and making note afterward of insights that come to you

When you move your body, your mind moves forward, too.

— Whitney

Whitney Hopler writes about how to pursue wellness in body, mind, and spirit.

 

Renewing Your Mind: Angels and Suicide

May 17th, 2016

What happens in the afterlife to people who commit suicide? Do suicide victims go to heaven? Or do their souls go to hell because they killed themselves? Suicide and heaven is a painful topic for grieving family and friends who hope their loved ones have gone to heaven after death.

My loving great uncle shot himself after finding out that he had cancer. A wonderful woman I knew from church helped many other people in need yet didn’t reach out for help when she needed it, and then ended her life. All I can know for sure about what happened to them in the afterlife is that it depended on their faith — and if they truly did have faith, that was truly enough.

In the past, I’ve worried about the eternal destinations of the good people I’ve known who made that bad final choice. We’re often quick to judge people in pain and assume we know where they stand with God. Really, though, only God knows that state of souls who have died by suicide. It may be better than we think.

The good news is that angels reach out to everyone who dies from suicide. Here’s how angels help suicide victims:

Escorting them to the Afterlife
At the moment of death, angels are there for people who commit suicide, just as they are for all people. Guardian angels, who are constantly present with the people God has assigned them to watch over, always escort dying people into the afterlife, no matter how they die. They supervise the soul separating from the body and guide the soul across time and space from one dimension to another.

Just like suicide victims’ human loved ones grieve their loss, their guardian angels also grieve for them. Angels experience emotions such as sorrow and anger just like humans do after people kill themselves. Guardian angels who see the people they have been caring for end their lives prematurely feel an especially profound sense of loss. They had devoted themselves to trying to protect, encourage, and guide those people, only to see some of God’s purposes for their lives go unfulfilled due to their premature departures.

However, as much as they may disagree with the choices suicide victims make to end their lives, angels continue to love them unconditionally. The mistake of suicide as a final act doesn’t change the fact that those who commit that act are God’s beloved children.

Guiding them through Life Reviews
Next, angels guide suicide victims through the process of learning from their earthly lives through life reviews. Angels accompany people as they experience everything they said or did – every situation from birth through death – that angels have recorded in the universe’s official records. Then angels teach them lessons about the impact and significance of the choices they made. As people relive the scenes of their lives, they understand the thoughts and feel the emotions of everyone who was affected by their decisions.

They can perceive all the good and bad results of their decisions. They also feel the intense pain that the tragedy of their suicide caused their loved ones. In the process, they feel a deep sense of regret for not realizing how valuable they truly were and still are to others. They understand how they cut short what could have been in their lives, and left voids in other people’s lives due to their emotions.

The souls of those who have committed suicide are in a state of anguish when they enter the afterlife because of their tragic last choice. During their life reviews, the pain intensifies as they realize the full impact of that choice and feel guilty and ashamed.

The good news is that angels don’t condemn suicide victims for their mistakes. Instead, angels help them learn from those mistakes in ways that lead to healing and growth for their souls. Angels act as guidance counselors during life reviews. They don’t sugarcoat the truth; they come alongside people with compassion to help them face it honestly. Angels respectfully listen to people express themselves, absorbing their thoughts and feelings and sending them love back and forth, through telepathy.

Directing them to Heaven or Hell
The destination of each soul in the afterlife depends on whether or not that person chose to say “yes” to God during his or her earthly lifetime. Those who have decided to pursue relationships with God go to the heaven, while those who have chosen to live separately from God go to hell – regardless of how they died. Suicide is tragic and considered a sin because it involves rejecting God’s will that people continue to live for their full lifetimes. However, people don’t automatically go to hell because they’ve killed themselves. It is possible for suicide victims to go to heaven. What determines their fate isn’t their final action, but their love, or lack of love, for God.

Angels, God’s messengers, express God’s mercy to souls who have committed suicide. They express compassion for the pain suicide victims have endured, and understand how factors such as depression and substance abuse may have influenced their ability to make healthy choices. They are always kind when they carry out their duties directing souls where they have freely chosen to go. Varying levels of energy vibrations – from the highest in the top levels of heaven to the lowest in the bottom levels of hell – match the energy levels of the souls who reside there. Angels lead people to the place that matches the spiritual state of their souls.

Praying for Souls and their Living Loved Ones
Finally, angels pray for the souls of suicide victims to learn lessons in the afterlife that may help them grow closer to God and other souls in bonds of love. Angels also pray for the needs of living family and friends who are grieving the deaths of suicide victims.

Those who have killed themselves yet still accepted God’s love and grace end up in heaven because of their relationships with God. In heaven, they have many opportunities to work with angels to heal from the negativity that led them to suicide and embrace positive thoughts that strengthen their souls.
Loved ones who are left behind after suicide can count on angels helping them heal, as well. Angels never stop reaching out to help hurting people however they can.

Renewing Your Mind: Natural Prayer Partners

May 4th, 2016

While hiking through the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park, I noticed a memorial to a woman who had passed away. Some of her loved ones had placed her photo, a note, and a cross inside a pocket in the trunk of a towering Sitka spruce tree. The tree stood in the ancient forest as a silent sentinel, bearing witness to all humans who passed by on the forest path over many years. Its service as a symbol of God’s constant presence and solid strength inspired me, and likely many others, including the woman’s family who had chosen it as a place to honor her.

The tree inspired people to pray, and even seemed to be praising its Creator, just as people do.

The scene brought to mind a passage from the Bible: “Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lordfor he comes to judge the earth. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (1 Chronicles 16:33-34).

We often find ourselves motivated to spend time with God in prayer when we’re outside in nature. In their own ways, other parts of creation like trees, water, and rocks are also praying, through the energy vibrations they’re sending out.

The unity of all living things praising their Creator is especially evident in heaven, according to reports from near-death experience survivors who come back with stories of active natural resources there. But we don’t  have to wait until we get to heaven to benefit from natural prayer partners. Anytime we let nature inspire us to pray, we’re growing closer to God.

Do you have a story about how God used nature to bring you into contact with an angel, to answer one of your prayers through a miracle? If so, consider sending your angel story or miracle story to me to post on the About.com site to bless others.

Blessings,

Whitney

Renewing Your Mind: Angels and Addiction

April 20th, 2016

Addiction is a widespread issue in our society. We’re all prone to developing addictions, because we’re all tempted to seek fulfillment in someone or something else besides God. The list of what we can become addicted to is long: food, sex, gambling, alcohol, shopping, cigarettes, work, the Internet, etc.

I used to silently judge people who got drunk, smugly taking pride in the fact that I barely drank any alcohol at all. But then I realized that I had just as much of a problem with compulsively eating chocolate. None of us is immune to falling into addictive behavior. We all have to choose, day by day, to devote ourselves more to God than to anything or anyone else.

Angels, who are God’s messengers, are valuable allies to have in the fight against addiction. That’s why I’m writing a series on angels and addiction for About.com, covering such addictions as pornographyfood, and alcohol and other drugs. Hope you find the articles helpful! And if God or one of his angels have helped you recover from an addiction, please send me your miracle story or angel story to post on the site to inspire others.

Thanks, and Blessings,

Whitney

aboutangelsmiracles@gmail.com

Renewing Your Mind: Body, Mind, and Spirit Connections

April 6th, 2016

Emotional stress can lead to physical pain. The body, mind, and spirit are connected in ways that affect each other when there’s a problem with one part of the system. Fortunately, the angels who answer our prayers are also closely connected, so when we pray about a health issue, God may send us help from different angels working together. The archangels Michael and Raphael often join forces in healing work, since Michael is a master of empowering us to overcome fear (which causes stress) and Raphael is an expert at sending us guidance for the physical healing process.

I discovered how well Michael and Raphael work together when I woke up with pain in my jaw during a particularly stressful season in my life. While sleeping, I had been grinding my teeth because of anxiety caused by stress, putting pressure on my jaw and causing the pain in the process. I asked God to assign both Michael and Raphael to help me. Later, not only did my jaw feel better, but my mind was more at peace, as well.

How can angels help you with your own health right now?

If you’ve ever had an angel answer a prayer about your health, consider sharing your story about the experience on the About.com angels and miracles site to help others.

Blessings,

Whitney

Renewing Your Mind: Spiritual Energy in a Place

March 23rd, 2016

As soon as I walked into a certain section of a restaurant where I was eating dinner with my husband, I felt uncomfortable. The longer I stayed, the more feelings of stress and even fear came over me. It seemed like I was being threatened, but there was no visible reason for me to feel that way. I was about to learn that the reason had to do with spiritual energy attaching to a place.

On the way out, I discovered from reading a sign about the restaurant’s history that a tragic event accompanied by strong emotions had happened there. Years ago, when the section of the building I was in had been a private home, a husband had discovered his wife in bed there with another man. Enraged, the husband shot the man, murdering him in the place right around where I had been.

I felt better immediately when we left the restaurant — and even better still after I prayed about it.

By contrast, I’ve had the opposite experience of feeling waves of joy wash over me in some places of worship as soon as I’ve entered and joined people gathered there to pray. All the positive energy being expressed there through prayer was tangible in the atmosphere of the room.

Both negative and positive spiritual energy can attach to certain locations where it’s expressed in emotionally intense ways. Thankfully, angels can help clear negative energy out of places (like our homes) and bring positive energy in when we pray. So now that it’s a spring and we’re cleaning house physically, let’s do some spiritual spring cleaning with angels, as well.

Blessings,

Whitney

Renewing Your Mind: A Friendship with Your Guardian Angel

March 9th, 2016

We most often think of people as our best friends. Yet each of us has angels who are lifelong companions and would make great close friends once we get to know them: our guardian angels.

For years, I thought of my guardian angel as a nice yet distant being who was ready to jump into my life during a crisis to protect me from danger, but otherwise focused on other work as needed in heaven. Now I know that God intends the guardian angels and people he pairs up to be in regular contact with each other. Since angels don’t interfere with free will, they wait patiently for us to show interest in developing a friendship with them. If we do, they respond. If we don’t, they must be content with just working in the background of our lives.

Learning about the close friendships that saints (like Padre Pio, Gemma Galgani, and St. Patrick) had with their guardian angels has inspired me even more to get to know my guardian angel better through prayer. Hope you’re inspired, too! If you’d like to share a story of how your guardian angel has helped you, please send it in for me to post on About.com to inspire others.

Blessings,

Whitney

 

Renewing Your Mind: Loving Thoughts Have Energy

February 24th, 2016

The electrical energy of our thoughts is so powerful that it can cross through dimensions, sending signals between us and those who have died. As we think of them in this earthly dimension and they think of us in heaven, those thought signals go back and forth, and sometimes they’re strong enough to break through in ways we can perceive. What strengthens thoughts the most? Love.

While researching a series of articles on animals in heaven and the signs and messages they may send us, I discovered that for pets, just like for people, bonds of love become thought energy that fuels communication and connection back and forth.

My daughter’s beloved cat Liberty died on the day I started working on that series. Liberty was a sweetheart through and through, and she had a special place in my heart, as well. I miss Liberty tremendously — but I know that she still exists, and that sending my love to her now is as simple as saying a prayer, asking God to deliver the message to her. Liberty has sent her love, as well, by appearing in one of my dreams.

If you’re grieving the death of a person or a pet, you can be confident that the love between you will never die.

Blessings,

Whitney

Renewing Your Mind: Love that Transcends Romance

February 10th, 2016

Every Valentine’s Day, society turns the spotlight on romantic love. But as exciting as romance can be, it’s only one aspect of love. Love, in its fullest expression, connects us to God. It’s God’s pure, complete, and unconditional love that truly is the greatest love of all, because God is the source from which all love flows.

The story of why St. Valentine is the patron saint of love reflects that reality. It was ultimately Valentine’s love for God, not just the way he helped romantic couples, that made him the saint who inspired love’s holiday.

So whether or not your romantic life is going well this year, you still have a lot to celebrate on Valentine’s Day. God’s love is for everyone!  As I write this, I’m blessed to have a good marriage and a loving husband. But my deepest love goes beyond my marriage, and my number one guy is God, no matter what.

Blessings,

Whitney

Renewing Your Mind: Keeping Your Legacy in Mind

January 27th, 2016

I like to read the obituaries of people who have recently died. This habit of mine sometimes strikes others as creepy, but for me, it’s a fascinating way to learn about the legacies people leave behind after their earthly lives have ended. It’s also a powerful reminder of the importance of using the time I have left in my own life to focus on what truly matters most.

What information do others who knew deceased people consider important enough to include in their obituaries? Sometimes it’s only what a resume would mention (lists of accomplishments from careers and volunteer work). But sometimes, the obituaries include information that goes deeper, describing something about who the people were in terms of their character, what they believed, and how they acted on those beliefs. I always wonder if the souls of those people can read their own obituaries from the afterlife — and if so, what they think about how their loved ones have presented the stories of their lives.

Doing lots of research into the afterlife lately for my stories on near-death experiences on the About.com Angels and Miracles site, I’m even more convinced that those of us who are still in the throes of everyday living have many valuable lessons to learn from the dead. The most important one? Live every day that God gives us in light of what matters most — eternal values — so we can leave the best legacy behind when it’s our turn to go.

Have you had a near-death experience and would be willing to share you story to help others looking for inspiration and encouragement? If so, please consider sending me your story to post on the About.com site.

Blessings,

Whitney