“While there are many things in life I cannot control, I always have choices. Even when the body is an absolute victim, the heart and mind are at liberty to believe their best estimate of the truth.”

-Martha Beck: Leaving the Saints, How I Lost the Mormons and Found my Faith                       

This week has been a special opportunity for me.

Happy times...my mother, Sarah, and step-father, John.

For the past year I have been deep in training to learn how to be a Life Coach who specializes in wellness and weight.

The entire year has been devoted to learning new tools to help people find freedom from pain, suffering and limiting beliefs.

This week I got the chance to really put the tools to use…on myself. Nothing like “living it to give it” to demonstrate that these tools can work. I know they can…because I am using them…with success.

I learned several days ago that my dear mother might have cancer. This alone would be scary enough. But couple that with the knowledge that I survived my own cancer 10 years ago – the precise kind of cancer the doctor worried my mother might have. It really felt like all too much.

I felt scared for my Mom…then for my sisters…then for my daughter…all of whom would be at greater risk due to my mother’s potential diagnosis and my own. Then I started fearing for my son’s future daughters…and my daughter’s daughters.  I had a massive pain storm brewing in my brain.

Then I remembered that I am a skilled Life Coach and I have been trained by some of the greatest life coaches in the world – the wonderful, wise and funny Dr. Martha Beck and the brilliant and equally funny Brooke Castillo.

Under Dr. Beck and Brooke Castillo’s tutelage I learned exactly what is mentioned in the quote above.

I get to choose what I think. I am not a victim of circumstance. I may not be able to control my mother’s health but I have control over how I choose to approach this difficult situation.

On any given day the circumstances of my life could be completely out of control, but I get to choose how I think about those circumstances.

Why choose thoughts that cause me further suffering? Why choose additional pain? Why choose thoughts that do not serve me?

The thoughts I have chosen about my mother go like this…”whatever happens was meant to happen”…”we have this moment”…”all is ok”…”I will stay in the present”…”breathe deeply”…”this is what it is”.

These thoughts do not change the circumstance but they change my feelings about the circumstance and allow me to feel a bit of freedom from my pain storm. There are still moments of fear…but I am not debilitated by this feeling.

The next time you are faced with a challenging, painful circumstance remember that you too can embrace choice…choose your thoughts about the circumstance…in doing so you choose freedom…and perhaps less pain.


  1. What a powerful message Abbe. Your positive thoughts will bring strength to all of those around you. Remember, what we send out to the universe will be returned to us – it’s the law! Send thoughts and intentions of a happy healthy family.

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