Friday, July 29, 2011


Most mornings I wake up and continue to rest in my bed for about fifteen minutes and during this time I set my intentions for the day.  “Today, I will make a difference!  Today, something AWESOME is going to happen!  Today I will continue to focus on all I am grateful for and thank Spirit!” 

These few minutes every morning are imperative to how my day is going to unfold.  On those days I am running behind and I am unable to practice this routine are the days where everything seems a bit more challenging.  Needless to say – when I experience those challenging days of contrast -  I am then aware of the importance to commit to my early morning intentions meditation.

I didn’t sleep well last night.  I started a new medication a few days ago to assist me with insulin resistance and I’ve been fatigued and very nauseous.  In other words, I have physically felt terrible for three whole days.  As I awoke this morning I began my intentions meditation routine.  “Today I’m feeling better!  Today I will be able to eat!  Today I will make a difference!”

Then as I lay there a while longer….I “listen” to any messages Spirit sends to me and what I “heard” was very surprising.

“You place a large amount of your focus on unnecessary numbers, Lisa.  Every day focusing onunnecessary numbers has a huge affect on your life.  You are focusing on how many days you have felt awful. You focus most mornings on what the scale reads.  You focus on your finances.  You focus on how many miles it will take to arrive at your destination.  You focus on how many hours you were able to sleep.  You focus on how many days you were in the office.  You focus on your calorie intake.  You focus on how far you walked.  What would your life be like if you didn’t place so much focus on unnecessary numbers? 

This was another “ah-ha” moment for me.  Another bright light in my journey!  I DO focus on unnecessary numbers, measurements, time, etc. throughout my day – EVERY day.  Many times when I wake up – I look at the clock to determine how many hours I slept.  I then calculate fifteen minutes for meditations.  I go to the kitchen to get my coffee and I measure out the creamer so I have the correct amount for the allotted calories.  As I sip my coffee I go jump on the scales and write the number on a sheet of paper I keep in the closet. 

I am now aware of how often focusing on unnecessary numbers contributes to my emotional well being.  Will I change some of this behavior to reap the benefits of a more free mind?  Absolutely!  I know awareness is the most important tool to change.  Focusing on unnecessary numbers ALL the time is exhausting!  Today, I am being more patient with myself.  Today I AM feeling better!  Today I DID make a difference in someone else’s life! And today….I was able to eat a delicious and healthy lunch and I have NO idea how many calories it contained!  

Just for today – I’m living another day of beautiful intentions and being guided by Spirit.  Today is a pretty good day.

© Copyright 2011-Lisa A. Hardwick -All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It All Began With A Red Stapler

I’ve been a book writer for over 40 years.  Seriously!  I can recall being up in my bedroom as a small child, sitting at my little white desk with the hutch and matching white chair, the paper, the markers and most importantly… the STAPLER!  You see, once you write and illustrate your project – then you take your magical RED STAPLER and you BAM! BAM! BAM! right down the middle of the pages.  Then “VoilĂ !” You are an author of an amazing BOOK! 

As a child, I had a full library of amazing books that I wrote.  You could find them throughout my room – in my toy box, my closet, my book shelf, in every drawer in my desk and a box of them under my bed.  They were always about something magical like taking an entire orphanage to the circus where they all found parents, or my second grade class building a homeless family an amazing tree house or even turning a haunted house into a happy house! 

I look back at how my young mind and soul imagined and created, and I realize – I haven’t changed much.  I still believe there are solutions to problems, recipes for ailments and high energy vibrations that can overcome human hopelessness.  I still believe there is good in many people – no matter what they demonstrate.  I still believe in Love and that Love is the universal power that is the only energy that will completely and undeniably heal a person, a relationship, a physical body, a country, the planet and the only power that will completely dissolve hate – the root of all dis-ease.   
My young mind was on the right track many years ago – and through many trials and travails where I disconnected from that young soul – I finally found my way back to her.  And so it is.
So the story continues to where the woman (me) found her way back to her inner child (little me) and began a journey.  I was surprised that this journey was a simple one – yet later I realized it was because I didn’t have to be anyone that I was not.  I didn’t have to wear a big heavy mask and conform myself to what I thought society expected of me.  I began living the way that Spirit created me to live – and when I did – my journey became effortless.  All those years of trudging through days in fear were gone the moment I picked up a pen and a journal and allowed myself to be the person I was divinely created to be.  No fears.  No ego.  No pain.  No right.  No wrong.  Just me. 

The journal entries turned into a manuscript and the manuscript was turned into a submission and the submission turned into a dream come true.  BAM! BAM! BAM!  I have the most amazing agent in the world in my opinion.  He always – ALWAYS – delivers more than I expect.  Vincent Harris, CEO of Beckworth Publications was my stepping stone to becoming a published author.  He was my magical RED STAPLER come to life. 

From the moment my first book was released, my life changed dramatically in so many amazing ways.  I wanted EVERYONE to feel this elation!  I wanted EVERYONE to experience this amazing feeling of accomplishment!  I wanted EVERYONE who had a story to tell with a message of hope or a recipe for an abundant life to have the opportunity to share with the world – to be able to do their part to heal the world.  If each person just gave a little of ourselves to the good of humanity – I believe we would heal the planet. 
Writing was healing for me.  When I would find myself “off balance” during my journey (and I did)…I became aware that all I had to do was to sit down and begin writing and before I knew it – I was connected with a divinity that would quickly put me back in balance again.  Many times I would look at the words and say to myself “Did those words really come from me?”  What I learned is that as I was connected with divine love as I wrote – the words became offered by a divinity who assisted me with a deeper healing – as well as assisted others with their healing.  It was magical. 

You know the saying -  “If you want to make God laugh – tell God your plans”?  It’s amazing how humorous yet true that is.  I figured that since I had finally found my calling (again) and my path connected me to this agent and I was expected to write another book before the end of the fiscal year – that I would continue to grow as an author and speaker year after year, book after book, presentation after presentation.  This was how it was suppose to go – right? 

Well the Universe had different, even deeper plans for me.  What in the world could be better than writing books and presenting at events?  If you would have asked me before “the plan” was presented to me – I wouldn’t have been able to come up with something more perfect than what I thought had been Spirit’s “plan” of writing and presenting.  But I shouldn’t be surprised by the many gifts Spirit places at my feet – however, each and every time I experience it, I have this undeniable urge to wear a great big smile! 

A couple of things happen when you become a published author – and one of those things is that you are approached by every single person you have met throughout your entire life who has an inspiring message that they know is their responsibility to share.  “How did you do it?  Did you send your manuscript off to like a million publishing companies?  How did you find an agent?  What are the steps you took?  Would you help me to do what you did?” 

Many may think there is luck involved with becoming an author.  I don’t believe in luck or being lucky.  Sometimes when I write a note or a card to someone and I automatically write “Good Luck!” – I just cringe.  Why did I write that?  That’s not what I believe.  What I do believe in is when people are in balance and living their purpose and their hearts are open – opportunities present themselves through divine love – and everything comes together --- juuuust like Spirit planned. 

Many of those who approached me with questions were living a life of balance, living their purpose and had come to me with an open heart.  But exactly how could I help them?  The publisher was not personally investing in any more projects other than those to which they were already committed, yet these people had important messages!  These people were living their purpose! 

There had to be a way.  I contacted Vincent and we had a very long discussion as to how his publishing company might be able to assist these amazing people.  After many hours of calls, emailing, creating and then revising a plan – Beckworth Publications created a multi-author book division and assigned me to oversee it.  Wow!  Yes, Spirit had a deeper plan.  I now assist those who have amazing stories, inspiring messages and creative souls to share their works with the world!  I assist them to become published authors!  I not only have my own messages to heal the world one soul at a time – yet I also assist MANY to do the same thing!  Do you remember when I told you I was living the dream when my first book was released?  Well, this is EVEN BETTER! 

Like all publishing companies, Beckworth Publication incurs costs to create a product – and like all publishing companies, they have a budget as to the number of projects they develop.  Therefore, the new multi-author division created a plan whereby those costs could be shared by each contributing author. 

Now you may be thinking – "Well, I am just “buying” my way into being a published author."  No you can't, because all of Beckworth Publications submissions are juried – not necessarily for the quality of “writing”, but for the “core message.”  Since Beckworth Publications have editors to assist you with your writing, they are looking for authors whose core message is compatible with the theme of the compilation book.  Beckworth Publications is not a self-publishing company.  Therefore, if you are one of those that are interested in sharing yourself with the world – you must submit your section to the project at hand, and it must be accepted by the Publishing Board. 

The majority of the authors in our latest two multi-author books are certified teachers and/or coaches of Heal Your Life® as well as some very famous spirituality presenters and authors.  We are currently privileged to be working with three celebrity authors, and all of us on the Beckworth Publications team are honored to assist each of them with their own section and to discover authors whose messages will compliment the "theme" of the celebrity message.

Are you someone who has aspired to share your message with the world?  Someone who has a message burning inside that you know would assist your brothers and sisters in their healing, thereby assisting the world to heal?  Whether you envision yourself being featured in an inspiring book with other authors, or if you have a dream of writing your very own book, we may be just the ones to make your dream come true.  If you are ready to take the next step toward your dream, email me: for more information.  The world is waiting for the motivation and healing that only YOUR words can bring!

© Copyright 2011-Lisa A. Hardwick -All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Choosing To Live Life At A Higher Frequency

Did you know good things and opportunities present themselves to people who have a higher frequency?

“But Lisa…you have NO idea of all of the things that I am going through!  How am I suppose to have a higher frequency with all the negative stuff going on in my life?!” 

Did you know that by raising your frequency you will immunize yourself against that lower frequency!
  YOU must change…. then…and ONLY then…. your LIFE will change.

You know the saying “Life isn’t HAPPENING to you – Life is RESPONDING to you.”  This is so true.  We witness daily those who are consistently running on a lower frequency – First they have THIS happening to them, then they have THAT happening to them, then THIS person did THIS and later THAT person did THAT.  It’s ALWAYS something or ALWAYS somebody else that is creating the drama in their lives.  The people living with a lower frequency seem to never be happy with their lives, their job, their relationships, their body, their finances….they are never happy with any one thing for a considerable length of time.  It’s one dramatic problem after another. 

Do you know someone like this?  If you knew me quite a few years ago – then you did know someone who lived life daily on a low frequency.  You’d never guess I was the same person if you were to meet me today.  Did I have negative things, unfair things happen to me and negative people in my life?  Yes.  I played the victim card and the blame game whenever I could – which was often.  I didn’t realize I had a powerful, wise and rational voice of reason I had yet to meet and utilize.

I was fortunate enough to have been given information which resulted in the knowledge of choosing to live on a higher frequency level and to be introduced to my own amazing, nurturing and rational voice. 

I chose to act upon this newfound knowledge which resulted in attracting awesome people, wonderful things and exciting opportunities!

Do I have days where things don’t go my way?  Oh, you bet!  Do I attract people once in a while who are of lower frequency?  Yes I do.  However I have learned that when those things happen or when those people present themselves to me – I have a choice to maintain my higher frequency level. 

Surrounding myself for any length of time to those who are of a lower frequency is detrimental to my quality of life.  Even if I may love those people (and I love ALL people), I limit my time with them as much as possible.  I consciously make these choices whether they are popular to the masses or not, for I know the affects in regards to my quality of life. 

Did you know that when you are living in a lower frequency that you are closing the door to positive opportunities, things and people?

You might ask “Lisa, what exactly do you mean by lower frequency?” 

Lower frequency is all fear based and result in symptoms.  Fear based symptoms are toxic to your quality of life.   Living in high frequency however means living in LOVE!

 For example – let’s say that you are feeling impatient which is a lower frequency, fear based symptom.  What would be the contrast to being impatient?  Yes, patient.  Okay, let’s do another one.  Let’s assume you are distracted.  What would be the contrast to distracted?  Yes, being present!  (You’re getting good at this!)  Can you think of other lower frequency symptoms and their contrast?  Un-giving and Generous, Insecure and Confident, Humble and Arrogant.  I’m sure you could come up with many more. 

The more you live in Love – the more you close the door to the toxic symptoms of Fear.  The more you live in higher frequency – the more you will repel the lower frequency in your life.

But Lisa…..” 

No, no more “Buts”.  I know of many wonderful people who chose to live at a higher frequency and they have experienced a loss in their childhood due to abuse, lost a job, lost a spouse, buried a child.  This is a “choice” – there are no “buts”.  Some will choose to make this choice, others will not.  Others choices are not up to you to make.  This is a decision you must make on your own.

Let’s see where you are in your frequency by asking yourself a few of these questions.

·         Do you find yourself criticizing others?

·         Do you find yourself being defensive?

·         Have you noticed that you seem to over react?

·         Do you worry often?

·         How are your relationships?

·         How is your job?

·         How are your finances?

·         Are you healthy?

·         Do you get angry easily?

·         Are those you are spending most of your time with living in fear?

Think about these questions and just by being aware of your answers you will be able to realize what frequency you are presently living your life.

                                    When you become aware of a lower frequency (fear), now is the time to call in your nurturing and rational voice of reason (love).

What are you fearful of? 

In Sonia Choquoette’s recent works she assisted her audience with rational approaches to their fears.  Here is one of her examples:

1.       I am fearful of not being able to pay my bills because more is going out than what is coming in.

2.       I am fearful of not being able to pay my bills because I haven’t been receiving any child support. 

3.       I am fearful of not being able to pay my bills because they are laying people off at my place of employment.

4.       I am fearful of not being able to pay my bills because my children’s college education is so expensive.

Now let’s call in your nurturing voice of reason to come up with rational approaches to deal with each of the above.

1.       I can put myself on a budget

2.       I can put away a small amount from each paycheck so that I have an emergency fund to fall back on.

3.       I can rent out a room in my home.

4.       My children can apply for grants and scholarships.

What are the worst-case scenarios?  What are you most fearful of?  Is the worst-case scenario realistic? 
Even if the worst-case scenario DID happen – you would still be okay.  You might not be thrilled with the outcome but you would be okay. 

Ask yourself questions in regards to all of your fears and continue to bring forth your rational voice of reason until you have covered everything you can think of. 

Do you notice you are at a higher frequency now since you have rationally approached each fearful area?  If you do find yourself still afraid – ask yourself if these feelings are really yours or are they someone else’s. 

This is about YOU.  This is YOUR life.  You DO have a nurturing and rational voice of reason and it loves for you to call upon it!  Continue to practice to live your life in love, live your life in a higher frequency and when you continue to do so –  you will be presented with awesome people, wonderful things and exciting opportunities.  No “buts”!

© Copyright 2011-Lisa A. Hardwick -All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Everything Is A Relationship

Everything is a relationship. Everything. You have a relationship with the people in your life. You have a relationship with objects, food, nature and all things. All of these relationships mirror the relationship
you have with yourself, and the relationship you have with yourself is a result of the relationships you had as a child with the adults who were in your life.

How the adults reacted to you when you were a child is most likely the way you act towards yourself now.
How do you scold yourself? Most likely it is the same way your parents scolded you. When they would praise you, what would they say? I bet they are the same words you say to yourself.

What if you were the child who no adult praised? You wouldn’t know how to praise yourself, would you? Or perhaps you do not believe there is anything about yourself worth praising. Are you getting a better understanding of the how’s and why’s of your behavior now?

When I learned things such as how I would scold or praise myself and where it derived from, it was a sigh of relief to me. In most cases, every relationship we have is a mirror of the relationship we have had with either our mother or our father. I knew I had to heal those relationships before I would ever be able to create what I
wanted in relationships.

I have learned that all the relationships I have obtained in my life were a mirror of myself. What I attracted always mirrored what I knew about relationships. I made many unhealthy choices when it came to the relationships I attracted throughout my life up to my personal moment of awakening. Yet, this is what I knew. I am not blaming my parents. Remember, we are all victims of victims. Everyone is doing the best they can with what they know.

All of us attract relationships that mirror us. Our friends, our lovers, our spouse, our boss, our employees are people we attract. If there are things you don’t like about the people you attract, that is because their conditioning is the same as your conditioning in some area of their person. The part you don’t love.

Let’s take for example a friend who is not someone you could trust and disappoints you. Now close your eyes, look deep inside of you and ask yourself “Am I someone I can trust?” Answer honestly. Then
ask yourself “Am I willing to remove this part of myself?” When you make a commitment to remove these beliefs from your thoughts, the other person will change or move on from your life.

If you have a lover who is manipulative and cold, look inside yourself and see if one of your parents was manipulative and cold. Perhaps you have a child who has a behavior towards certain things that gets
under your skin. I am most certain they are your behaviors. The only way your child can learn is by imitating those adults they are around. Reprogram your thoughts and remove it from within you, and you
will find your child will remove it automatically.

I learned the only way to change others was to change myself. When I changed myself, my relationships changed and then lo and behold I created the life I envisioned.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Your Remarkable Mental Authority

I had been introduced to the term Mind/Body Connection but I really didn’t understand the interrelated concept. As far I was concerned the Mind/Body Connection experience was reserved for those with dreadlocks or those who sported clothing with peace signs and smiley faces. I had apprehension in regards to learning something new that may be in conflict with the spiritual foundation I had been taught since my youth. However, my consternation was quickly laid to rest when I found others from my same spiritual foundation as well as those with different beliefs who taught and lived the Mind/Body Connection. This strengthened my desire to conduct further research. Upon my earliest introduction I had thought the Mind was one thing and the Body was another. Later it would be revealed they are very much the same.

How our lives are shaped
After much research, speaking with certified professionals, accredited physicians and taking specialized classes—I learned the Mind/Body Connection in a nutshell is about how our thoughts create our lives, including our physical health. My life during this research was still a mess, but I knew I was learning valuable information. I had been diagnosed with severe clinical depression, post traumatic stress syndrome, and morbid obesity. All the ways I used to numb pain were no longer working—you know, the food, the relationships, the prescriptions as well as a few other methods, depending on my mood at that time.

The more I read about the Mind/Body Connection, the more hopeful I became. When I learned that the body responds to the way you think, feel and act, I was like, “Well, no wonder I’ve been depressed and obese most of my life!” When your emotional health is out of balance, physical signs such as the following may show up to alert you:

~ Weight Gain 
~ Weight Loss
~ Headaches 
~ Back Pain
~ Stiff Neck 
~ Acne
~ Constipation 
~ Diarrhea
~ Loss of Energy 
~ Cancer
~ Migraines 
~ Increase of Appetite
~ Depression 
~ Anorexia
~ Ulcers 
~ Blurred Vision

There can be multiple physical ailments, discomforts and diseases as a result of your thoughts. After gaining this knowledge, I determined that if our thoughts really do affect our life, our peace and our health, I could really change my life once and for all.

~Our thoughts create our lives, including our physical health~

“Ah ha” moments
A couple of “ah ha” moments for me while I was in the beginning stages of learning about the power of the mind happened during another trip I took to visit my brother in Montana. My brother, Cory Benge, is very athletic and he bases an enormous amount of importance on his health, including his daily exercise and nutrition.

I, on the other hand, had never been athletic besides an occasional stroll to the stop sign at the end of the street and back while most often losing my breath at the halfway mark. That “stroll plan” had a commitment stage that lasted sometimes three days at the most.

I usually make a few trips a year from my home in Illinois to Montana to simply help my brother who is a single parent. A typical visit consists of Cory picking me up from the airport and taking me to his home where I clean, cook, shop for their needs (ok, ok, things my nephew needs like toys…lots of toys), redecorate a few rooms, cook a Thanksgiving Dinner or put up their Christmas tree, buy and wrap presents, and the best part of all, take care of and play with my nephew. 

One evening during this particular visit, Cory told me we are going to go hiking up a mountain the next day. Just Cory, my little nephew, who was about three years old at the time, and myself. I figured if my nephew could hike, then just maybe I could do it too, yet, even though I didn’t tell my brother, I was terrified because I was in very poor physical shape and I was fairly certain I would not be able to enjoy this activity the way he seemed so certain I would.

That night after I put my nephew to bed, I climbed the stairs to my room and I could feel the stinging of the tears emerging stronger with each step. “I don’t want to go hiking tomorrow. What if I can‘t do it! What if my brother gets upset with me and rolls his eyes and I ruin the entire day for everyone!” I was certain I would be anxious for the rest of the night and probably wouldn’t even sleep. I was scared. I didn’t want to let myself down. I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of two people I love. I didn’t want to disappoint my brother.

Even as I write this, I weep for the woman who was climbing those stairs. The woman who always put herself down and was so worried about disappointing everyone. The woman who would numb her pain with food or perhaps another new relationship. The woman who always thought she deserved men who would dismiss her and roll their eyes. The woman who was exhausted by being a people pleaser to everyone so she could “earn” her worth. I thank God every day I am no longer that woman.

I got into bed that night and turned on the small lamp on the nightstand. I picked up one of the many books I had brought about the mind, or the brain, or science. I was so fearful about the next day I didn’t even know if I would be able to concentrate. I opened my randomly chosen book to no particular marked place and read
something to the affect, “The brain cannot process fear and gratitude at the same time. All negative emotions are fear based, so if you want to eliminate fear in your life, meditate on all you are grateful for….”

I had read this many times before in a variety of books regarding science and the brain. Yet that night, God opened that book to exactly where I needed to read. I put some soothing music on my iPod, turned out the lights and started thinking about all that I was grateful for. My sons, my parents, my brother and nephew, my friends, my awareness of my past conditioning and my commitment to heal for myself and those I love…Every so often a thought or a vision would enter my mind that was a “put down” or of someone from my past who had hurt me or who I had hurt, and I would ever so gently acknowledge it and think…I acknowledge you, and I am going to send you away, and if you come back to my thoughts while I am focusing on all that I am grateful for, I will continue to acknowledge you are there then gently push you away.… 

After a while of meditation and breathing and focusing my thoughts on all I was grateful for, my fear was gone,
completely vanished. I lay there with a slight smile on my face as I drifted off to a peaceful sleep while dreaming of all I was grateful for.

The next morning I was awakened by my little nephew who was so excited about the day. We made breakfast together, got dressed in our hiking gear and made our way to the mountain. Once in the parking
lot of our destination, my brother began putting on his “hiking papoose” to carry my nephew within it. The combined weight of the carrier we named the “hiking papoose” and my nephew would mean my brother would be hiking this gigantic mountain with over 80 lbs strapped to his back. 

My brother explained there are two ways to hike up the mountain...straight up or diagonal. We took the
diagonal, which had eight “switchbacks”. This way was less difficult yet much longer because you would go back and forth across the mountain. The other way had sections, looked like it was straight up when viewing it from the ground and was a much more difficult way to climb. I noticed the few people who were on it looked like advanced professional athletes. We were preparing to hike the less difficult, longer way of course because, well, you know the story about my stroll to the stop sign and back. Cory allowed my nephew to start the hike without being confined to his back in the “papoose”.

The little guy knew exactly where to go as he began to climb the first switchback trail with what seemed little effort (it certainly seemed this way since he was running at full speed and laughing!). My brother and I laughed at his already developed athletic ability. He was most certainly a chip off the old block.

We were about halfway up the first switchback when it happened. I couldn’t breathe. Cory and my nephew were quite a bit ahead of me, yet I could see them. I started having what felt like a panic attack, and my chest started to restrict. I found the strength to call out “Cory!” He didn’t hear me. “Cory!” I tried desperately again. I continued to look his way and watch him. He was preoccupied, keeping a close eye on his son while maneuvering his own self up the steep trail. He finally glanced back and saw me. He called to my nephew, and I watched as they both effortlessly ran back to where I was standing. I felt defeated. I was embarrassed. My negative thought conditioning was taking over, and it was winning.

“You okay, sis?” he asked.
“I can’t do it. I can’t breathe. My lungs won’t fill with air,” I replied
while my eyes filled with tears. 

My thoughts went to, “I’m such a loser. All those times of overeating, lying around, smoking cigarettes
and being a complete loser are ruining everyone’s day. A three year old can run up this mountain, and I think I need to quit at only halfway up the first switchback trail. Hell, I’m just destined to be a
fat, morbidly obese, depressed woman who has no talent and will always come in last. I’m so different than anyone else.”

For the first time in our adult lives, my brother looked me in the eyes and said, “Well, first of all, you need to stop talking to yourself that way. You CAN do this. Your thoughts are the key to anything you can or cannot accomplish. Second of all, we WILL make it up this mountain even if it takes all day. Third, hold your arms like this and breathe. This will fill your lungs with air.”

I did as he told me to, and I began to feel a little better, but a part of me still just wanted to quit and go back to the car. We started up the switchback trail again before I could tell him I thought I wanted to quit and that I’d changed my mind. This time we went much slower while my nephew was right by my side and my brother on my other side, reminding me to talk to myself. “I can make it up this mountain.”
He said, “Even if you don’t believe it, say it anyway.”

My nephew looked up and across me to my brother. “Are we going slow because of Aunt Lisa?” My brother and I both laughed out loud.

My nephew continued, “It’s okay, Aunt Lisa, you can do it!”

For the first time in my life, I didn’t see my brother as a little brother. He was a wise adult man. Did he always know how do to this—how to think like this? I always figured it came naturally to him. That it was just a part of his genetic makeup and I missed out on those particular genes. Perhaps he got what I was supposed to have. Yet remembering my research, someone had to teach him. These weren’t the thoughts he or I were conditioned to have. Something or someone in his past assisted him with this power through their positive
conditioning in this area. Perhaps it was a former football coach, or a college professor or a hunting buddy.

One day I was having a discussion with a friend of mine, Lisa Donahue, explaining how my brother and I had lived the same childhood and I could not understand why I turned out the way I did—and he didn’t.
She looked at me and spoke with her gentle voice. “You didn’t live the same lives. You were brought into this world under completely different circumstances. Your parents were at a different age and maturity level when you were each born. You were not the same gender. You had different experiences, both positive and negative, in which you were both conditioned differently. You most certainly did not have the same childhoods. You have developed your coping skills, both healthy and unhealthy, and he has developed his own coping skills, both healthy and unhealthy. You both have always done the best that you could, but you most certainly have not lived the same lives.”

She was right. I had never thought about it that way. That day on the mountain, my brother shared with me one of his healthy coping skills, and for this, I am grateful and I couldn’t be more proud of him for practicing such positive thought processes, for himself, for his son, for me. This was just another stepping stone to my clarity—to my self-discovery.

Hiking up the trails became more difficult. My brother told my nephew it was time to get in the “papoose”. Of course my nephew showed us he was very upset about this by pursing his little lips and crossing his arms, however he did what he was told. He was promised he would be able to see the view so much better, and I encouraged him to tell me about all that he saw. I kept talking to myself, “You can make it
up the mountain. You can make it to the top.”

There were areas within the switchbacks that were straight up. When we would get to those particular places, my brother knew what would more than likely go through my thoughts. He yelled out at me with a grin, “Now before you start talking yourself out of it, let me tell you how to do this.” I watched him as he put his “fingers in this cranny” and his “left foot on this tiny ledge” while his “right hand grabbed a root over there” and hoisted himself up to the next level. Remember, he had a toddler and 80lbs on his back and a sister who suffered from low self-confidence that he was most likely thinking about.

It was now my turn. I said to myself, “I can do this. There is a way to do this, and I am going to listen to his instructions and get up this cliff!” And I did. And I was proud. And I was slowly gaining some self-assurance and self-confidence. 

I laugh now as I think about looking up one of the cliffs at my brother who was giving me instructions as to what to do next, and saw him bending over with his hands on his knees looking down at me while I looked directly above him and noticed my nephew in the “papoose”. His head was above my brother’s with his little elbows on my brother’s shoulders, and he was resting his cheeks in his own miniature hands. His little body
language looked as if he was saying, “I’m so bored. Jeesh, come on. Don’t you realize this is fun? It’s not fair I have to sit up here in this papoose’ while you get to climb this cliff.”

We reached the seventh switchback, and it was more difficult than anything I had ever tried physically or athletically, which wasn’t much. My brother told me to give him my arm, and he tucked it under his massive, muscular bicep and practically pulled and dragged me up to almost the top.

“We’re almost there, Sissy,” he encouraged me. “We’re almost to the top!”

Right before the top, Cory released my arm, which allowed me to make my own way to the top of this mountain. I stopped and overlooked the city of Bozeman, Montana and felt an exhilaration I will never forget. My thoughts, my very own thoughts, though guided with the assistance of my brother and encouragement from my nephew, got me to the top of this mountain. I stood in awe of all that I had learned thus far on my healing journey.

We all began to make our way back down the mountain which, though still difficult, was much easier than hiking up. When we had just a couple of switchbacks to go, Cory let my nephew out of his carrier and let him run alongside of him to the bottom. I took my time to avoid falling and laughed while I watched my toddler nephew seem “to hold his own” with his dad.

Down the last switchback, my nephew cheered me on, smacking his little hands on his upper legs, yelling, “Come on, Aunt Lisa, you’re almost there, you can do it!” obviously amusing the bystanders with his genuine enthusiasm.

As we met at the bottom, my brother instructed me to go ahead and take my nephew home and he would meet up with us later. Cory let me know he was going to “run” up the mountain again on the difficult side.

“Are you kidding me?” I asked him.
“No, I try to do it every day,” he replied.

I strapped my nephew in his car seat and began driving to the opening of the parking lot, but then my intuition told me to turn back around. I was just learning to trust my intuition, so I turned the car around and parked in an area where I could see the difficult sections up the mountain. There I watched my brother running, digging in his hiking shoes, arms pumping back and forth, muscles flexing, breathing hard.

But do you know what I saw that was more awesome than anything?

I saw my younger brother, my brother who was now a man to me, talking to himself. He talked to himself while he passed other athletic hikers and runners, over roots and large rocks that were in his path, right up that mountain. His mountain. My mountain. Your mountain.

I have learned if someone has the physical ability to climb a mountain but doesn’t have the mental ability, they won’t make it to the top.

And I also learned if someone has the mental ability but doesn’t necessarily have the physical ability, they can STILL make it to the top. 

Today, I have learned so much about the body and mind, how the mind works, and I have made tremendous strides from that day on that mountain. 

Today, I have the ability to make it to the top of any mountain I choose, whether it be in Montana, in my office or whatever “mountain” just so happens to be presenting itself in my life.

From Chapter 2 of the book "From Broken To Beautiful"