Magical Mindfulness

Magical Mindfulness – the joy of creating magic by staying present in your life.

kid riding bike

Mindfulness is the act of being present, staying present, and being aware of what is happening right now. Some people enjoy living in the future, focusing on where they’re going in life, stressing about tomorrow’s meeting, while others relive the past, recalling the “good ol’ days,” wishing they were still living there. I would like to see us shift to living in the present moment, not worrying about what’s next or reliving the past, but, actually being present with what is going on – right now – in our lives.

For myself, mindfulness is something I have struggled with my entire adult life. I really love living in the future – I like the planning for tomorrow, next week, next year. I like the excitement of what’s next, always anticipating how great it’s going to be. Unfortunately, in living this way, I sometimes miss the excitement and the greatness happening right now!

mindfulnessdefn4

I have decided to challenge myself with becoming more present, or mindful, during each day for the month of November. I’ll probably need to set an alarm just to keep myself accountable! Then, during those moments I will be photographing the thing that is making my heart happy and still. I’ll post daily to Facebook and Instagram, so be sure to follow along! You’ll find those links below.

I know I’m not alone in struggling with mindfulness, so, I challenge you to join me. Whether you take up yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or want to join me in snapping photos to capture the present moment, I invite you to take a step towards mindfulness. It’s my desire to help you create a life of joy, for all of us to be present for the greatness that is right now, and to find a way to acknowledge the beauty around us every moment.

Mindfulness rose

I’m also tagging these photos “Magical Mindfulness” because deep inside I believe we are creating magic and living in joy when we find the beauty of the present moment. I look forward to seeing what inspires you in your journey to Magical Mindfulness.

Mindfully blooming,
Julie
Facebook | Julie Seimears Highley
Instagram | Juliedhighley

 

Physical Healing

Bloom

Your health has many components, including the physical, emotional, and spiritual. Most of us take our physical health for granted, well, right until the moment it begins to fail us. This can be a scary time, creating feelings of helpless no matter the strength of one’s emotional or spiritual health.

I clearly remember the moment my doctor told me something was “up” with my liver and the best I could hope for was a Celiac diagnosis. My immediate response was an internal monologue well known to anyone who’s sat in a doctor’s office with such news: “Are you kidding me?! I don’t need another “something” going on in my body! I focus on mental and spiritual work, I’m a good person! How did this happen? My dad just died…isn’t that enough trauma right now?? Please tell me, why the hell is this happening to me? No, really! Why?!” I lived in this state of fear and anxiety as I endured lab tests, an ultrasound, and a biopsy of the liver to find out I have a second auto-immune condition called Primary Biliary Cirrhosis. Well, here’s what I knew at that point: the liver has the word “live” in it, so clearly I needed it to stay alive.

After several months mourning the diagnosis, I pulled myself together and began researching ways to turn this around. One of my core beliefs is that the body can heal itself if given the proper support and tools. And another is that I refuse to feel like a victim. I spent the year playing with healthy eating and exercise as I tried to figure out what was best for me and my health. Somewhere during all of that I was given the name of a nutritionist who practices functional medicine and I gave her a call. (There’s nothing like random moments that become major life points to remind us to be grateful for the little things every day.)

colorful food

I will never forget my first visit with her. You see, I may have still been a bit resistant, but I was quickly drawn in by our shared belief about food as medicine. At the end of our session, I agreed to start adding vegetables to my intake, as many as I could tolerate. Well, in truth – and typical Julie fashion, I woke up the following morning and somewhere in my sleep decided I would give up dairy, grains, sugars, and beans, with the added caveat that I had to understand everything on the label of any pre-made foods. I suppose it’s just that moment when you finally wake up and shout “enough!” and take back control. Well, those first two weeks were definitely a white-knuckle experience, and needless to say my second session with the nutritionist was humourous considering the goal after the first session was just to add some vegetables!

My body quickly released about 40 pounds of fat and inflammation. I had energy and clarity unlike ever before. I had turned the corner of not just eating for weight loss, but eating for my health and healing. I’ve been eating this way mostly for a year and a half now, and through this process I’ve regained control over food. And from this control comes a stillness to really listen to what the body needs. What it needs now? Green juice! And more of it! And apparently cardio kick-boxing classes, too! I like to go fast, heal fast, move fast, and stay in motion, so now my cells are begging for the energy to keep up.

beautiful boxer woman

While many parts of my body have healed, there’s still more physical healing to go, in addition to always improving the emotional and spiritual sides of my health, ever blooming into new health and new life. Will you join me? What are your health goals? Do you feel like you struggle with change and fall short of achieving desired outcomes? Are you ready to take control? Let’s talk!

Still Blooming,
Julie

 

Together We Bloom

I am very excited to present my first Heal Your Life online workshop, based on the practice and teachings of Louise Hay. As I’ve been preparing, I’ve relived a bit of my personal journey: the joys and the struggles that have molded me and the subsequent layers that needed to be peeled away to reveal the health and vitality beneath. I remain grateful for the work and the clarity provided and I am thankful for the friends, family members, and healers who have been brave enough to stand with me on the journey.

Four years ago, I had my first experience with a Heal Your Life workshop when I was training to become a certified Louise Hay workshop leader and teacher. I spent a week in beautiful San Diego, California as I explored healing for some childhood sexual abuse (from outside my nuclear family) as well as facing the grief of losing my beloved father. Who knows why I thought it was a good idea to tackle such diverse yet equally traumatizing events at the same time. I will tell you, there were moments I thought I would stay in the fetal position and never come out as I worked through the fear, sadness, guilt, and shame of it all. However, the Heal Your Life workshop is a process that allows you to access those sometimes overwhelming feelings and work through them to develop a new level of healing for your heart and soul. The journey of that week was transformative and the friends I made during that week from around the world are still present, supportive figures in my life.

hands of two female

One idea that grabbed hold of me and has yet to let go, is the recognition we are more alike than we are different. As I sat in a room of men, women, straight, gay, American, Mexican, Turkish, Indonesian, Canadian, I realized our hurt, our pain, and our sorrow all looked and felt the same. As I held their hands and listened to their stories, I realized their stories sounded remarkably similar to mine. There is healing in telling the story; there is strength and power in realizing you are not alone in your pain.

Another truth that I continue to embrace is the idea that in order to truly heal, you have to learn to love yourself exactly as you are…right now. I can hear your thoughts from here on that, but, it’s the truth. You have to love the part of you that isn’t perfect, that is overweight, that is unhealthy, that is anorexic, that wants to escape via all kinds of addictions, the part of you that is judgmental, the part that is spiritually challenged, the part of you that doesn’t want to take a risk. EVERY. LAST. PART. When you can look at yourself in the mirror and claim the love for yourself, you have taken the biggest step in your healing journey. I still practice this in my life, and there are some days it is harder than others, but that’s when I offer myself a little grace and continue moving forward.

baby mirror kiss

It doesn’t matter how much personal healing work I’ve done on my life, my heart, my soul, it appears there is always another layer to work through. Recently, while preparing to lead the upcoming workshop, I realized there were yet more layers I needed to clear off myself. Of course, if you want to hear those stories…you are most welcome to join me online.

I want to offer you the encouragement that as you walk the path to a healthier version of you, you are not alone. I will stand with you, hold you in your pain and shame, and celebrate and dance with you through your victories.

Together we heal…together we bloom.

Bloom

If you are interested in joining me online for the upcoming workshop, click here. If you have any questions, please reach out to me at Julie@juliehighley.com

 

Blooming…

I love roses – absolutely adore them, and have all my life. I grew up on a remote farm in the Flint Hills of Kansas, and we had these old-fashioned rose bushes that I loved to watch bloom every summer. In fact, one of my nicknames growing up was Rosebud. So you might say roses have always been my favorite flower! Beautiful, tender, a little prickly if not handled properly…just like me; just like most of us.

Rose Bud

Like a rosebud – my life, heart, and Spirit were fairly closed off – refusing to open to the sun, love, and light all around. Sometimes I would be brave enough to open a petal here or there, only to be hurt and curl back up.

This type of living isn’t healthy mentally, physically, or spiritually and by my mid-thirties I was physically very ill. I went to some excellent physicians, who kept taking organs and giving me diagnoses with the promise that I would begin to feel better soon. Unfortunately, with each surgery, each promise I felt worse and I faced even more surgeries and diagnoses.

During this season of life, something deep inside cried out – AND I LISTENED!

I listened to this place deep inside – my intuition, my Spirit. And from this place, I heard it tell me to stop the craziness of surgeries and find a new medical path. A path that would support healing and not just address a symptom, but get to the root cause. A path that would eventually save my life – physically, mentally, and spiritually.

So, for maybe the first time in my life I put myself first. I dove deep into discovering and learning about the body, how it works, and how it can heal. I surrounded myself with some brilliant holistic doctors and practitioners. I learned about the importance of health at a cellular level. How epigenetics, part of the DNA we inherit from our families, can influence your physical body as well as your emotional body. How the word holistic really represents the term whole-istic for me…the entire body…every single cell. With each new piece of knowledge I was able to choose medicine, massage and holistic practices that helped me heal.

For the first time, I was really beginning to BLOOM.

During the journey of exploring and learning, I decided to train in a couple of hands-on modalities so I could work on myself at home to expedite the healing process. It was during this time I discovered I had a Gift…one of healing.  Not only could I help my body heal, I could help others. I have an innate ability to communicate with other people’s bodies and facilitate healing.

It’s been a ten-year journey of taking back my health, and the journey required me to become an advocate for myself, instead of passively letting someone else tell me what was best for my health. I eat healthy foods, exercise, meditate, pray, practice yoga, and maintain a great relationship with all of my doctors. Above all, I focus on FUN…it’s essential!

However, the most crucial step in taking back my health – physically, mentally, and spiritually – is learning to love and accept myself…just as I am.  I have had to embrace that I am uniquely created. I have energy. I feel incredible. I am happy.

Bloom

The beautiful rose inside me continues to bloom and, as I continue my journey on this Earth, I know there are a few more petals to open up.

Thank you for reading and sharing this post with your family and friends and check back every few weeks for a new post. If I can help you on your journey or you just want more information, reach out to me here on the website. I would love to hear from you.

Wishing the best for you,
Julie