Processing Through Life Challenges

Darkness was strangling me. I was inside a cocoon of fear. I tried to think good thoughts and write down positive affirmations, but the web was just too thick to escape. It had been a full year since I resigned after fifteen years working in corporate America. I had left to pursue my dream of coaching, speaking, teaching yoga, and writing. I was passionate about helping people to love themselves. During that year I had a journey of getting in touch with my own heart. I had put myself under enormous pressure to succeed, to figure out my destiny. I also had big hopes of finding my soul mate. I had a boatload of fear about not knowing my future or how to make it all happen.

Those of you who have gone through a life transition understand the questions: “How am I going to support myself?” “What exactly am I going to be doing?” I didn’t trust life enough; I didn’t trust myself enough. I thought I was the one in control of my destiny. I put walls of fear around myself. I was spiraling downward in a desperate state, with no idea what to do. Feeling as though I was falling apart, I didn’t want to be alone anymore. I went to a holistic medical doctor to have blood tests to make sure I was physically healthy—I was. When, with deep sadness, I said to the doctor, “I don’t understand what is happening to me,” she asked me, “Have you ever heard the term ‘nervous breakdown’?” I looked at her and replied, “This is a nervous breakdown?” Not having experienced one before, I found the words terribly serious and frightening.

I began to see clearly that it was my perception of my life that had driven me into the frantic state I had found myself in. And in such a state of despair, I wasn’t sleeping well, so my mind and body felt exhausted all the time, while my nervous system was in overdrive.
My transformation began through my awareness of my behavior and of the way I perceived my life. And as my vision of myself began changing, I stopped worrying about the future and started to love myself more and appreciate my daily journey. I began to have an inner knowing that I would be okay. I was taking a deep journey into my own heart!

This event occurred years ago, and I can honestly say, I’m blessed to have had that experience in my life. It really taught me about living in the moment, trusting life, having faith and self-love.

Challenging situations in our life are like little mirrors reflecting back to us areas that we are not at full peace with in our lives. It’s within the questions themselves that are the gifts. Uncovering the answers to those questions, allows for healing, allows for us to declare to the universe through our intentions what is acceptable, what we need to let go of, what we need to accept and make peace with. And, you can do this.

Since you are reading this, you are most likely seeking support, and I want you to know that you are not alone. And, if you feel that you are in a dark place right now, and you can’t see the light, I understand, I was in a dark place too. I know how scary it can be. I promise you, the light is there, and I hold this knowing for you!
Here are several steps to take for processing challenges:
Give yourself some time to go through these steps, and use very loving language and internal dialogue:

1. Decide that you will not allow an illness or situation to take your light away from you anymore- you will not take on the title of victim to a disease or any other life challenge. You are not the disease; it’s a situation you are processing through. Decide that you will not live in fear. You are much more than this current or past situation. You are made of pure light, and you have the ability to heal.
Say out loud, “I intend to be in my power and decipher why this situation occurred. I intend to see the gifts this situation brought to me. I intend to see how this situation was a mirror showing me where I do not value myself. I intend to learn from this and value myself. I intend to be me and allow my light to shine. I choose to be healed from this challenge. I intend to love that part of me that needs it most right now.”
Decide that you are going to make lemonade out of the lemons. You are not going to be the lemon, you are the lemonade!
2. Meditate daily: Sit or lie quietly and relax. “I ask and intend to connect with the frequency of creator source.” Visualize this frequency of love, healing, peace, joy coming into you. “I ask and intend to breathe this into every cell of my body. “My intention is to heal, seek the truth of what needs to heal, and find out what my body needs from me?”
Allow yourself time to process your feelings. You may want to write them down, talk to a good friend or hire a reputable person like a psychologist, counselor or certified life coach.
3. When you are ready, sit quiet, go within and ask yourself questions, such as: What am I disappointed about in my life? What issues in my past have I not made peace with yet? Are there any unhealthy relationships in my life?
4. Who do I need to forgive? Have I fully accepted the challenge? Do I need to release feelings of shame or blame?
5. Try doing the energy technique called Emotional Freedom Technique. If you need help, I’m available for telephone coaching services to help you learn EFT and process the challenge.
6. Embrace and love all parts of you, and live fully in the moment. Say, “I love and embrace all parts of myself, I am proud of who I am today.”
7. Are you ready to be grateful for the challenge? Can you see how it may have helped you be stronger within yourself? Has it helped you open your heart? Connect with others? Go in a new direction? Do something you never thought you were capable of? Learn new information and help others?

This story was an excerpt from her book, Smile Across Your Heart, The Process of Building Self-Love. To purchase an autographed copy, please visit the Smile Shop.

Laurie Martin is the published author of the book, Smile Across Your Heart, The Process of Building Self-Love.

Laurie is a speaker, and certified Life Coach. She writes for several magazines, and is the “Ask Laurie” columnist for Pulse Magazine. Laurie’s weekly Inner Wisdom Gatherings are every Thursday.

To hear Laurie speak, she invites you to attend her upcoming Telephone Class— September 17, 6:00 – 7:00 pm EST, Processing Life Challenges – From A Lemon to Lemonade!

Please visit her website,, or email her:

She is available for telephone coaching sessions.