In the last few weeks I have shared how, for fifteen years, I suffered with depression. You may read the posts here:  Part I, Part II, Part III.

With the help of my doctor, medication, and psychologists, but also finding and nurturing my spirit, I was able to overcome it.  All this happened eight years ago and I haven’t had depression since.  Don’t get me wrong, there are still times in my life that I feel a little down and drift back to the deep dark place, but it is ALWAYS because I have been forgetting about ME, and as soon as I return to my spiritual rituals, life is good again, it NEVER fails!

We are so conditioned to only worry about the physical things.  Eat healthy, keep fit, and look after our bodies; that definitely helps;  but that isn’t all there is.   We need to nurture our minds and our spirits as well, especially our spirit!  Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. 

It was learning who I really was and knowing I had the power, but most importantly it was finding and surrendering to something much more powerful than I, that helped me to pass through. 

I share my experience in hopes to help you.  I see so many people being afraid to face their demons and look within.  That is where the light is.  That is where the love is.  That is where the healing begins.  I pray with all my heart and SOUL that you find yours.  Don’t be afraid to step into the light and kick the depression in the butt and find the beautiful flower you are.   Through all the thorns and scrapes and scars, it is there, quietly waiting for you.  All you have to do is open your heart and let it shine through.

To the beauty in you,
Carla


 
 
In previous posts I wrote about how I suffered from depression for fifteen years.  I tried every conventional treatment there was with no relief.  I read many books and studied many success and spiritual gurus to find the answers I was so desperately seeking.  They all said the same thing!  “The answers lie within.  We are spiritual beings, we have the ability to choose our thoughts, and our bodies are just a vessel.

You can read them here:  Part I
and Part II

I finally decided I would take a shot at it, what did I have to lose?  I desperately tried to find this soul that they spoke about.  I didn’t know how to go about it at first and it was really hard work but I kept at it, because the alternative was rather dismal.  I started meditating and writing in a gratitude journal daily.  Huh, that was hard!   What the hell did I have to be grateful for? I started monitoring my thoughts and forced myself to replace the negative, ugly thoughts with good and positive ones.  I started spending time in nature, just sitting and reveling in its beauty.  I played soothing beautiful music; I sat in silence and just listened.  And soon, very soon, my world around me began to change.  I felt more at peace.  I wasn’t as angry as I once was.  The black cloud began to lift and I felt happier.  Hmmmm, maybe there was something to this. 

One day while sitting in the silence I heard a voice say loud and clear!  Your happiness is inside of you!   WOW! Really?  Who the heck is this talking to me?

Through all of this soul searching I had many aha moments but the biggest one that came to me was that I LIVE in a physical body, I HAVE an intellect (mind), but I AM a spiritual being.  My soul is my spirit, and when I took the time to nurture it, listen to it, understand it, and not be afraid of it, my whole life changed!

To be continued….

May you find your soul,
Carla




 
 
This is the second of a series of posts on how I overcame fifteen years of depression. You may read Part I here:   Part I

I wrote of how I suffered through fifteen years of chronic depression.  I thought that losing weight and looking good would bring me happiness but it didn’t.  I didn’t understand the thoughts inside my head.  Every thought I had was negative.  I blamed everyone and everything for my rotten life.  I wallowed in self-pity.  Having my own little pity party gave me a pay back.  People would feel sorry for me.  People would look at me with pity in their eyes and that brought some sort of comfort to me.  It was oh poor me, why do I have to go through this, not realizing that I was choosing to let my demons run my life.  My husband at the time said to me one day, “Carla, you kind of feel sorry for yourself”.  I said “WHAT?!?” How dare you say that to me! And later I learned that he was right.

After many psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, doctors and medications – yup I have tried them all, I decided that these were only band aids to a much deeper problem.  So in desperation I went searching.  There had to be an answer and damn it, I was going to find it even if it killed me because living this way was as good as being dead anyway.

I read tons of books on how to be happy.  I went to retreats and seminars. I studied many success and spiritual gurus and I found one common theme among all of them.  I heard many times how we are body, mind and spirit but thought this was all weird hippy talk and didn’t want any part of it.   It all sounded too scary to me.  I learned that as humans we not only have a body, but we have thoughts, and we are 100% responsible for the thoughts we choose.  We are also spiritual beings.  What is this thing they called a soul?   They all said, “Connect with your spirit because that is who you are, that is where the answers are, and they will never lie.”  These gurus were even crazier than I was! 


To be continued….

Here's to finding your soul,
Carla  
 
 
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!  I have had it.  I am so angry at this disease we call depression that is robbing so many people of their lives!  It is all around us.  People I LOVE are suffering; people in the millions are suffering! It is as prevalent as cancer and poverty but no one wants to acknowledge it.  We sweep it under the rug hoping it will go away, but it will never go away until we stand up, look it in eye, and kick it out the door for good. 

This post is Part 1 of a series to tell you how I kicked depression in the butt.  It would be far too long to include everything in one.  It’s going to be real and raw and maybe even offensive to some.  It is the only way I know to fight back and give hope to so many who are feeling helpless and lifeless.  It is the only way I know how to help other’s who are suffering, just like I did.

I know this disease very well.  I lived with it for many agonizing painful years.  Yes, it IS VERY PAINFUL!   More painful than any physical pain I ever felt.  For fifteen years my life was worthless and meaningless.  It was like I was living in a dark black cloud.  I could see people all around me smiling and laughing and living these wonderful happy lives and I couldn’t understand why my life couldn’t be like theirs.  I was jealous and envious of happy people.  I put walls up around me so no one could get in.  Even the people who loved me the most could not get near me.  I wouldn’t let them in for fear that this bubble around me would break and I would be exposed and broken open.

Well folks, that is exactly what I needed to do to get out of the misery.  I had to break myself OPEN!  I had to stand up and not let the beast control me any longer.  I had to open my heart and walk through the veil into the light and slam the door on the demons that over took me for so long.

When I was depressed all I focused on was my physical world and physical body.  When I looked in the mirror I hated the person looking back at me!  I was morbidly obese.  I thought that if I could just lose some weight my life would be wonderful and I would be happy.  I did lose the weight but my life didn’t magically switch to being wonderful like I thought it would.  I was still miserable.  I couldn’t understand it.  My physical world all around me was beautiful.  I lived in a lovely little cottage at the lake.  I had all the toys and material things that money could buy.  Life was all about the rat race; possessions and money and looking good; that’s what would make me happy..., or so I thought. 

To be continued….

Carla Lindgren Coates

www.throughthornsIthrive.com

 
 
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If you don't know me by now, I am all about manifesting and creating my own life.  I know how important it is to choose my thoughts and know without a doubt that my thoughts create my reality.  It has been proven to me time and time again.  I focus on something and keep the faith that it will happen for me and it does time and time again!

I did it when I became a #1 Best Selling Author.  I knew without a doubt it would happen.  I put all of my focus on it, did the work that was required, kept the faith, and it happened. 

The picture you see above is a painting of my childhood home where I grew up.   This is my next "BIG" manifestation.
Why do I have to manifest it?  Well my parents no longer own it.  I WILL own and live in this house again! Although it looks nothing like this picture.  It was torn down and rebuilt by the current owners.   It has not been in the family for ten years or more.  Luckily though, Mom and Dad sold it to a friend of mine. 

It is a little beyond my financial capability at the moment, but that does not deter me from my dream.  I am constantly seeing my self and my family living there again.  I see us having family reunions and Christmas's that we had when we were growing up.  My mind never falters or doubts that at the time my friend is ready to sell, I will be able to buy it.   Every thing I do and every goal I make is in preparation to be in a position to buy it and live there again.

I am posting this now as proof that manifesting is real and that when you ask for something, the Universe will do whatever it takes to make your dreams and wishes come true, as long as you remain focused and keep the faith.  There is no doubt in my mind that I will be living here in a couple years and we will have those family reunions and Christmas's that we hold so dear.  In two years, I will refer back to this post and prove to you that my manifestation did become reality.  I have already made plans with my family.  Christmas 2018 will be at the old farm house, "our house".  Mark my words!

Keep the vision,
Carla




 
 
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The last few months have been challenging for my family and I, to say the least.  We have had loved ones pass away, we have had to put our mother in a nursing home, we have had siblings diagnosed with cancer, and other life changes which sometimes makes it down right difficult to be thankful for anything.  Needless to say, I have been experiencing a rather low time in my life. 

Although it isn't fun going through the low times, I have learned that it is a normal process.  We all have low periods.  It is the ebb and flow of life.  I now know that I need to be grateful for them just as I am the good times.   It is a signal that we need to slow down, relax, and take time to reflect.  It means we are doing too much and need to stop and smell the roses.  It also is a period of growth and rejuvenation.   I always know that once I am through it, something new and wonderful is waiting for me on the horizon.  

A few years ago, I started a Gratitude Journal to help me cope with depression.  That one amazing tool and daily practice, totally transformed my life.

During my recent “low” time I was forgetting to be grateful.  My life was just too busy and spinning out of control.  My daily practice of gratitude had been non-existent.  Luckily I realized it and I immediately began to focus on what was good in my life and give thanks.  And yes, very quickly, it changed my life – again!  I am now feeling so much better and my attitude of gratitude has made my life rosey once again.

This weekend as we celebrate Thanksgiving, I wonder why it is celebrated only once a year?  Shouldn’t we celebrate and give thanks EVERY day?

Be grateful for the small things, big things and everything in between.  Don't just leave it for one day a year.  Be grateful EVERY day!  It WILL change your life!

Wishing you abundance in every way, and hope you and your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

In gratitude,
Carla


 
 
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My sisters are my best friends in the world and luckily I have five of them.  With our lives being so busy it is hard to get together and keep in touch. This past weekend was one that for the most part was unplanned, but turned out to be one of the best we have had together in a long time.

It started out when I received a message from one sister that her daughter had been injured and was being taken to hospital.  They didn't know the extent of her injuries but it sounded very serious. Now I know that doesn't sound good, and you are probably wondering how that would have contributed to a good weekend, but let me explain.

I headed to the hospital where my niece was being transported.  It was out of town so I would need to make arrangements to spend the night at another sister's who lived near the hospital.  When I arrived, and although my niece was deeply sedated the whole time and didn't know I was there, I was happy to be able to be there for my sister.  She had been there most of the night before and all day and she was happy that her sisters were there to sit with her to pass the time while her daughter slept.  It turned out that the injuries were not as extensive as they initially thought, and although my niece will be in pain and have a few bruises for awhile, she was a very lucky girl.  So the outcome was very good, it could have been a lot worse.  Thank you God! 

That evening after leaving the hospital I spent the night at another sister's as it was a two hour drive home and I was planning on going there the next day anyway.  Over a bottle of wine we chatted late into the night, something the two of use hadn't been able to do in a very long time.  It felt so good just to talk and share what was happening in our lives.

The next day, we had made plans to do the CIBC Run For the Cure for Breast Cancer together in support of another sister who has recently been diagnosed.  So on Sunday my sisters and I, along with our nieces and nephews, walked the 5km walk, in solidarity.  It was a very special time, and although it is not always under the best circumstances, we are always there to support and love each other through thick and thin.

To my amazing sisters, thank you for being the loving, caring, supportive and strong women that you are.  I love you with all my heart and even though we don't see each other as often as we'd like, I am grateful to have you in my life.  You are my best friends!

In solidarity,

Carla

 
 
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I marvel at how God is always present and shows Himself in the most perfect moments.  He is watching, in the midst of all the chaos, waiting for us to turn to Him so that He may prove His love over and over again.

The past few months have been very stressful, hectic and a rather low time for me, and the reason I have not kept up with my writing.  I have been feeling overwhelmed, run down,It has been an adjustment period to say the least.  First with my step-dad passing, then my mom’s progressive decline with Alzheimer’s disease and having to be placed in a home, then getting custody of my fiancé Mark’s two young children.  I must say, although I have grown to love them dearly it has definitely changed my life (and theirs) a great deal. I was also dealing with a lot of stress from work.

In the happiest times of my life, I have always put God first.  Recently though, with all the changes in my life, I seemed to have forgotten or didn’t seem to have time for my daily gratitude and meditation rituals.  As I was reaching the point where I felt like my life was spiraling out of control, as it has before, I realized that I haven’t been doing the one thing that I know is so important for living a healthy, joyful, spiritual life.  I had not been connecting with God.

 Thankfully, I reached out.  I sat down and I prayed.  I asked Him to take back control of my life, I thanked Him for all the blessings in my life, and apologized for putting Him on the back burner.

IMMEDIATELY I began to see Him appear in everything I did.  He was on Facebook in a friend’s message, He was in a movie I sat down to watch, He was in a book I was asked to review for a friend.  Luckily I recognized it, and luckily I embraced it and now, once again give thanks for every moment in my day.

A short time later during some vacation time from work, my fiancé Mark and I made plans to go camping for a few days.  The kids were with their mom so I knew it would be a good time for me to de-stress and relax which was exactly what I needed.  We were first going to spend the time at a Camp-In-Town campground so we could have all the modern conveniences.  As luck would have it, or as God planned it, “there was no room at the inn”, so we made the decision to stay at a near by lake.  The little lake we chose was deep in the woods with nothing in sight but the trees.  No hookups, just nature, unplugged and untouched.  It was beautiful and so peaceful. 

The first couple of days I spent some quality time with my sister, who has been going through some major life changes of her own.  Mark and I also had time to be a couple again, and enjoy each others company.  The last couple of days I had a lot of time alone to reflect, as Mark was working during the day. 

I picked up a book, which I haven’t done in months, and reading is one of my favorite things to do.  And wouldn’t you know it, God was in that book too!

I spent time outside, sitting in the sun, and listening to the sounds of nature and marveling at the beauty and peacefulness all around me.

In that peacefulness, I realized that everything that had happened to me recently was all part of His great plan.  It was meant to teach me to value my family, especially my new found family. 

Since my divorce  I was used to being on my own and having time for me, doing anything I wanted and having no one to answer to or be responsible for, but I was lonely.

I prayed to have a good man come in to my life.  I wanted someone who would love me deeply and be a committed partner, someone who would stand beside me, someone I could grow, prosper and make lifetime goals with.  I also prayed that I would have a second chance at being a mom because I had been missing my step-son and don't see him often enough.  Ask and you shall receive!  Not long after Mark, Hailey and Tyson came into my life.  They are exactly what I had prayed for! I have a family again that I love and adore.  ME time has become WE time, and sitting in the silence, in the middle of nowhere, God showed me that… and I am eternally grateful!

Many Blessings!
Carla

 
 
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Have you ever thought about how games are a metaphor for life? 

Wiki’s definition of a game is "a structured activity usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes also used as an educational tool. Key components of games are goals, rules, challenge, and interactivity. Games generally involve mental or physical stimulation, and often both. Many games help develop practical skills, serve as a form of exercise, or otherwise perform an educational, simulational or psychological role. Games are a universal part of human experience and present in all cultures."

Think about the game of hockey for example.

It is a team sport, the more goals you make the better.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you loose.  Haven’t we been told or tell our kids, it’s how you play the game that counts.  When you win, the entire team feels very proud of themselves, but it depends on "how" you win.  When you lose, you might feel bad, but you get over it and try better next time. Games where you slaughter the other team are not much fun at all. 

However, if you’re my nine-year-old nephew Jesse you might look at it a different way. Jesse was the goalie for his hockey team during a tournament. When the tournament was over, his mom asked what was his favorite game?  Totally unexpectedly he said, “The one we lost 14 to 1”.  She said, “Really? Why” He smiled proudly and said, “Because I made 56 saves in that game!”  Now that is a positive attitude!

Baseball is another example.  Sometimes you hit a home run, sometimes you score one base at a time, and sometimes you strike out.  The pitcher makes every attempt to strike you out, and the basemen are trying to put you out, but you continue to do your best.

Then there’s Tennis, there’s a lot of love in tennis.

Life is also like that.  It takes a team.  You can’t do it on your own or you would be the only person here on earth.  You should always strive to reach your goals and make your dreams come true.  Like hockey, baseball or tennis, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, there are always ups and downs and challenges, but you continue to improve your skills.  It’s your attitude during these times that makes the difference.

When you do win it is gratifying, the more goals you can achieve the more successful you are.  You feel proud of your accomplishments.  But sometimes you lose.  You can let the losses get you down, or you can learn from them and grow.

It is your decision how you play this game called “life”.    Do you want to sit on the bench, on the sidelines or in the dug out? Do you want to watch it go by as if on a TV screen?  Do you want to be a spectator or a player?    Choosing to participate, be a team player, set goals, and be grateful for the wins and the loses, scores a life that’s rosey.

Enjoy the game!
Carla



 
 
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So often I hear people say how others have upset them, or done them wrong, or ruined their lives, etc.  I used to be one of these people.  I blamed everyone, and everything for my rotten life.  After much soul searching, personal development, and reading the book Reframe Your Blame by my mentor and friend Jay Fiset, I have been able to take responsibility for my life and I realize that everything that happens is because I have created it.  Here are a few lessons I have learned, and by doing so, I have released resentment, worry, judgment, anger, hurt and fear. 

1.  No one can ruin your life.  Just like your thoughts and actions, you choose your feelings.  You choose how you feel and react to others.  I have learnt that if someone hurts me, it is my issue, not theirs.  It is my insecurity, or fear, or unwillingness to accept the truth.  I try to see what it is I am learning from it and don’t hold it against the other person.  When someone upsets me I tell myself “bless them, change me”.  It works every time.

2.  Stop worrying what others think of you.  What other’s think of you is none of your business.  I stopped worrying about what others think of me.  It is their issues and beliefs; it does not mean that it is my truth.  Live your life according to your morales, beliefs and values.  If others don’t agree, it is their choice.

3.  Stop blaming others for your unhappiness.  No one is responsible to make you happy.  This is your responsibility.  Once I learned this my life changed completely. 

4.  How you react is your own choice.  If you get upset over something someone else has said or done, it is your own emotions and feelings that dictate how you react to it.  I do not “feed the fire” by “getting the last word”.  I allow them to react how they choose to.  How I react is my own issue.  I deal with them and move on.

5.  Start being accountable for your actions.  Take responsibility for your choices.  You life is a result of your actions, no one else’s.  If something isn’t the way you want it to be change it.  If you make a mistake, admit it, apologize for it, and move on.

6.  Stop being a victim.  Stuff happens.  Let the experience teach you and make you a stronger person.  By overcoming challenges and helping others who may have experienced the same, you become the victor.

7.  Stop hanging out with negative people.  Negative people bring you down.  That’s all I need to say about this one.

8.  Don’t worry about things you can’t control.  You cannot control everything that happens or what others do or say.  Ninety-five percent of what you worry about never happens.  If you can’t change it, accept it.  It is what it is.  How you react to it is your choice.  What you can’t change it, let go.

Once I was able to change my perspective and learn that my feelings, reations, thoughts and emotions are things that I control, and by realizing that what others do, think and say has nothing to do with me, I have become a much less judgemental, more compassionate, accepting, and loving person, and because of that my life is much more rosey.

Living life on my terms,
Carla