Archive for May, 2016

Well-Being with Whitney: Walking Helps Thinking – Ideas

Wednesday, 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.

 

 

Renewing Your Mind: Angels and Suicide

Tuesday, 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

Wednesday, 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.

Blessings,

Whitney