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Sending the Right Message

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Jay and I want success for our upcoming marriage!

We appreciate all of the tools and attitude adjustments possible to help us make our adventure together into matrimony one that is joyous throughout our lifetime. We each want to do our part to be accountable for what we create. We also want to avoid pitfalls and mistakes of the past.

So last weekend we especially enjoyed attending a workshop, “Sending the Right Message,” (STRM) by John Canaan. We’ve been to a lot of workshops before, individually and as a couple, and this was my first time at this workshop, while a re-take for Jay. He hadn’t told me too much about it, except that it had opened his heart.

We really appreciated what we experienced there and came away feeling empowered and inspired. What struck me most deeply was that my life is really my choice. While I don’t always choose what happens around me, I DO choose my reactions to it. This includes my thoughts and feelings, actions, and how long I hold on to or cycle these.

All of us make mistakes, so we need a way to unburden ourselves from the guilt. We can’t always make restitution for our errors, either. This class is Christ-centered, explaining that Jesus Christ came to earth exactly for the purpose of redeeming us from our sins and paying them for us through His suffering, knowing we couldn’t make amends for everything. [If you are not a Christian, you may turn to your own beliefs and Higher Power to assist you with this concept of relief from guilt.] Christ not only paid for our own sins, but also for those of the people who hurt and betray us. When we hold grudges against them or retaliate, we hurt ourselves more and cause Christ more suffering. By forgiving them, it doesn’t mean that what they did was not wrong, but rather that we leave judgment to God and allow that person their own experience. We also release ourselves from the poison acid of resentment that hurts us more than it affects them. 12893946-closeup-of-a-representation-of-the-jesus-christ-crown-of-thorns-cross-and-nail

Jay and I are NOT perfect people! We have each seen the other get ‘triggered’ (overwhelmed by negative emotions) in various settings. Sometimes it has been by what the other has done, sometimes by others around us. It is important that we have a way to deal with these upsets as they arise, and not allow them to damage our relationship. By accepting Christ’s Atonement, we forgive ourselves for being human with fears and insecurities that trigger us in reminder situations, and we also forgive others when they act as less than their best selves.

I actually got upset during the workshop with reminder symptoms from prior bad relationship experiences. Jay let me cry on his shoulder, and John Canaan had me write about my feelings and thoughts, asking me to record on paper what the situation reminded me of and to describe my feelings and thoughts about that, then what those reminded me of, and so forth. By doing this, I traced it back to childhood hurts and feeling betrayed and abandoned by loved ones then and later.

John said that we are all very good at sending messages! People get exactly what we mean! The problem is that this message is not necessarily very nice. Because our hearts are filled with negative emotions like fear, mistrust, or resentment, we tend to send defensive or offensive messages. The RIGHT message is LOVE. Only when our hearts are filled with LOVE will we send the RIGHT message.

I learned invaluable ways to fill my heart with LOVE, the simplest of which is to BE STILL and connect with God until I feel whole and complete. Then to SERVE. We LOVE those we SERVE.

This is definitely something Jay and I can use to improve our marriage!

John has a wonderful program, and taught us nine Agreements to make with ourselves in order to be accountable for what we create with our own life. I create my world!

Jay and I signed up for the Mastery 10-week program, which gives one week for each of the Agreements with daily support and a class each week. This will be a retake for Jay, and I want to take it with him. It will be interesting to see how my perspective evolves as by then we will be newlyweds of two-and-a-half months.

I am so excited to be on this grand adventure of life and of marriage with Jay. I feel very humble and blessed to have him as my companion, because he dotes on me! Wow! We hope that with these tools we can keep our love as fresh and vibrant as it is now. We cherish our time together. I look forward of sending Jay a lifetime of the RIGHT messages: “I LOVE you!” and “I love SERVING you!” His happiness is my happiness. I delight in ways to bring him greater joy.

He always seems a step ahead of me in serving each other, so it is a fun game we play together. “I win!” when Jay feels loved! And vice versa. Actually, we both win. We win because we both feel loved and supported. This in turn helps all others we interact with to win: our children, my parents (Jay’s are deceased), our grandchildren, our friends and neighbors, even the people we meet on the street or while shopping. Because when we are connected to each other and to God, our hearts are filled with LOVE and we are sending the RIGHT message to each other and to everyone: L-O-V-E.forever-love-holding-shape-together-mean-loving-each-other-36033051

 

Stuck in Oz

Dorothy was so eager to get home! All she could think about in Oz was getting home to Kansas. While she appreciated the friends and support she found in Oz, her heart was set only on going home.

“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home!”

What if the Ruby Slippers hadn’t worked?

There are no Ruby Slippers for my father. My father is stuck in Oz! He wants desperately to get home. But his Kansas is not an option. It is cost-prohibitive to have someone care for him full time in his home, and he requires 24/7 care. Family is not an option either, as his mental conditions include anger and abusiveness. He suffers from dementia and from cognitive disorders caused by microvascular damage to hundreds of blood vessels in his brain, caused by multiple mini-strokes. All he knows is that he wants to go home. Yesterday!

He is instead in a lovely Veterans Home, a spacious facility with his own room, delicious foods, caring staff, and fun activities.FullSizeRender

There is a garden there, with flowers and vegetables. On the patio of his wing there is a lovely planter box waiting for its first plants.

“Let’s plant some chrysanthemums!” I suggest.

“No, I want to plant things at home,” Dad replies. He misses his 3/4 acre with its many nut and fruit trees, ample space for garden and flowers. He wants to tinker on his own property, his own yard and house.

The Veterans Home staff let us know that he needs to have hope of going home, even if it is not a viable option. His mind does not reason logically. He needs hope of getting home, home to his Kansas. So they let him know what he needs to do to go home. He needs to be able to get into his bathtub by himself. He needs to be able to take medications on his own. Dad is content to work on improving these skills, with the goal of getting home. He is happy and patient with his progress, and participates in activities.

It reminds me of my Aunt Grace. She lived in a nearby care facility. Every day that I visited her, she was so excited: she was going home! Her son was picking her up that very afternoon! She was packed and ready to go! And so it went for her, day after day after day. Hope kept her happy and cheerful. She was going home! And finally, she was allowed to go Home. Home to her beloved husband, who departed this life decades ago. Home to her other loved ones on the far side of the veil. Home to health and a perfect mind. Home to the true Kansas.

I have also wanted to go home to my Kansas. When I found out that my first husband, father of our three children, had been living a double life and not the person he pretended to me to be, I wished I could go back! But there was no Kansas for me to go back to. I was also stuck in Oz, in a land not of my choosing, three children with me. When I remarried, the situation for me was much harder, and I wanted still to get back to Kansas! But Kansas was in the past, and I couldn’t get back there, no matter how I tried.

So after raising the three children plus one from the second marriage, I left and began my own new adventures. I no longer want to return to Kansas. That is only a dream of what might have been, a fantasy of lost opportunities and hopes.  Instead, I have my own corner in Oz. I’m finding new friends, new dreams, new opportunities. I’m at home in Oz.

Hopefully my father can come to terms with living in Oz, since this will be his home now. He can’t understand it, but hopefully he can enjoy the time granted him. Even if it is in Oz.

Energy Work Rocks!!!

I Love Energy Work!

Recently I hired an energy coach. Just this week she helped me to release issues that still triggered upset feelings from when I was fifteen: the year I crashed on my bike, was humiliated in front of my friends that I lived with when my family moved, and met my future husband who wore a mask and wasn’t who he pretended to be. In earlier sessions, I released negative emotions and false beliefs from myself with experiences and feelings at ages eight, five, three, and even at conception. Last night as I explained to a friend how much I valued this, they were unfamiliar with energy workers and what they do. Today I’m writing not only to them, but to you so that you too can better understand why ENERGY WORK ROCKS!!!

Why Do We Need Energy Work?

As tiny children and throughout our early lives especially, all of us make judgments about ourselves, those around us, the world, and God as we try to make sense of our experiences. Our three-year-old child inside us still runs a lot of our programs, based on those judgments. Unless we examine those programs and identify false beliefs we adopted as little children, we subconsciously continue to use them as facts which govern our lives. These are not only ideas, but we also carry and store corresponding emotions in various parts of our bodies: trapped emotions never resolved. We were too young, or there were too many things going on during trauma or difficult periods of our lives, to see clearly or to resolve the emotions or judgments. Those can be seeds of dis-ease for wherever the negative emotions get stored in the body.

What Is an Energy Worker? Why Do I Need One?

An “energy worker” is simply someone who helps us identify those areas and beliefs and resolve them, bringing to light the false belief and helping us decide to release (forgive, repent of) the negative energy we’ve carried. Hence, “energy” worker. You can identify your own areas, but that is like being your own doctor when you are wounded. It is helpful to have a third party, skilled observer guiding the process of identifying and releasing the false belief. It is an accountability, examining what we’ve always assumed to be true with an unbiased person who can more clearly see the falseness of the belief, because they do not have the emotional baggage associated with it.

What Does an Energy Worker Do?

An energy worker help us recognize the falseness of a belief (we all carry some false core beliefs, such as: I am unlovable. I am unworthy. I am not good enough. I am not smart enough.). An energy worker notices things that “trigger” us, or which cause us to become emotional, such as sad, weepy, angry, etc. when thinking of the past, and then aids us in deciding to release the false judgment and negative emotion.

Is Energy Work Valid?

I am not trained as an energy worker, but in my opinion what the good ones do is every bit as scientific and valid as a licensed therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist. In my experience, energy work has been much more effective. Because energy workers are not licensed or regulated, one needs to be careful in selecting someone with the Spirit of truth, light and discernment, as well as skilled at getting to the root of emotional and health energy blockages. There are many different training schools and modalities. I was only on the receiving end, benefiting from the experience and training of others. I know this worked much better and faster for me than traditional therapy, which I also tried. Cognitive recognition helped but didn’t release the attached emotions. A lot of traditional therapy seemed to be about discussing why I was messed up and what happened to mess me up without really solving anything or giving me hope I could ever be any better. It was more like a blaming session (it’s my parents’ fault!) than about understanding myself and seeing others and the situations with love and compassion, as I do during energy sessions.

How to Find an Energy Worker

It is easy to Google just about anything you want, but I personally like a referral from people I know when seeking a health practitioner, whether traditional or alternative. If no one you know uses energy workers, some places to start are Reiki, Dr. Bradley Nelson’s Emotion Code and Body Code, and programs such as The Awakening, which I took with my mother to clear generational issues. Best wishes to you on your own path to healing and wholeness!

Energy Work Works!

When I was fifteen and crashed on my bike, I made subconscious judgments, blaming my friends whom I was racing to catch up to for abandoning me, leaving me behind. I felt humiliated when my friends silently witnessed a boy who previously liked me telling me in front of them that he was no longer interested in me in any romantic way. I was deceived by my first husband right from the time I met him, and later judged myself as stupid for not noticing his personality changes and seeing through his disguise.

This week I realized for the first time, with help from my experienced energy worker, that these issues still bothered me and were blocking my self-acceptance and ability to move forward with confidence. With her help, I let go of anger and judgments not only against myself and the people involved, but against God. I subconsciously blamed Him and didn’t trust Him to help me since He allowed these things to happen! I didn’t even realize until working with my energy coach how I blamed God for so many things! I let go of those feelings and judgments against Him, myself, and others.

Energy work is a healing process, with layers. It’s interesting to me that I’ve had issues come up from conception (I felt abandoned by my sister for not coming to earth with me as my twin–she decided to let me go first, following me sixteen months later; no wonder I was always jealous of twins!), as well as a young girl. This week was all about being fifteen, of which I hadn’t given much conscious thought. Another layer of judgments and negative emotions resolved! Whoo hoo!

After my sessions, during which I usually cry off all my makeup, I feel lighter, with more energy and peace! I feel healthier, as I’ve just released negative emotions from my BODY, as well as judgments from my MIND! I have renewed HOPE! My body is strengthened by dumping toxic emotions! I can change! I am NOT trapped by my past! I have a NEW, JOYFUL LIFE!

Thank you for letting me tell you why ENERGY WORK ROCKS!!!

Forgiving Father

My dad is seventy-six years old. He currently resides in a rehabilitation center, where he’s been regaining strength in his arms and legs to hopefully live on his own again. This week the staff there informed us that living on his own is not a viable option for him, because of his cognitive difficulties. He has dementia. This is only one problem of many.

Dad struggled the past fifteen or so years with the sensation of having bugs in his skin, crawling, itching, and hoping someone could verify their existence. He thought he got the bugs from some kittens he had at the time, which all died soon after he started itching. Dad went to dermatologists, emergency rooms, physicians, and psychiatrists repeatedly over the years hoping for relief. Blood tests and examinations found no markers for parasites of any kind. Dad went to all lengths to kill the bugs he thought lived inside his skin. He put Lysol in his bathwater (don’t do this!), scrubbing at his skin for hours every day. He refused to let family members touch him, for fear he was highly contagious. He tried swimming in the Great Salt Lake, hoping the salts would heal and disinfect. He insisted on a blanket covering car seats he sat on, requesting we wash coverings as soon as we got home. He wiped off chairs in his house before we were allowed to sit. He withdrew from grandchildren, terrified they could catch parasitical bugs. Despite being told by dermatologists that he was safe to be around, or to swim with, Dad held fast to his fear of being highly contagious.

Dad thought anyone who disagreed with his self-diagnosis of bugs were in on a conspiracy against him. He also thought people were stealing from him. He claimed people were coming into his home, replacing his nice things with old versions. He had elaborate theories of why neighbors and others would do this, and stories of what they had done. He opened nearly half a dozen bank accounts, closing one whenever he thought it compromised and opening another. He hoarded possessions. He put multiple locks on his doors. One hospital psychologist told me in passing that Dad was paranoid delusional.

After my parents separated, when I was nine, Dad insisted on psychological examinations for himself and for my mother, hoping to prove he was a more fit parent and should receive full custody. Although my mother suffered from depression, the profile showed that my father had multiple personalities.

I didn’t learn this until I was an adult. I knew as a child that my dad was sometimes Santa, happy, loving and giving. Other times he was Mad Dad, scary and mean–to my mother especially, but also to my sister, brother and me. Dad grew up mainly in foster homes, Grandpa taking him at times until drinking and beating my dad, who was just a boy. It was the kind of home Grandpa grew up in, and Grandpa ran away for good when he was only twelve. Alcoholism went back to my great-great grandfather, with mean drunks, abuse, and divorce. But Dad doesn’t remember bad things he said, the beatings of my mother. He doesn’t understand why she left and destroyed his perfect family.

Now my father is not to live on his own, because it isn’t safe. Neither is it safe to have him in our homes. He still succumbs to temper outbursts. This crossroad is heartbreaking. I feel we have come around full circle. Where once we were dependent upon Dad for our sustenance, he now depends on us to manage his bills, his finances, help him get groceries, and now we decide where he will live.

He won’t want to be anywhere other than home. He wants to keep his house to pass on to my brother. He has no long-term-care insurance. He has some savings, but those could deplete over the years. There is no way that we can satisfy all my father’s desires: to be at home, independent, and in control.

This isn’t just about deciding where my father will live. It is about forgiving Father. It is about understanding his pain, his heartaches and fears throughout his life. It is about recognizing that Santa Dad is my true father, his true heart revealed. Mad Dad is his alter-ego, the suppressed side of fearful anger, the wounded inner child of generations lashing out. It is feeling his anguish, his desires to be a great husband and father, and how life screwed him over as a young child to the point where he couldn’t ever completely sort it out or heal. But he tried. He truly tried.

Santa Dad taught me to tell time, to dive off the edge of the pool, to ride a bicycle. Santa Dad taught me to stay away from drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Santa Dad taught me to be a virtuous woman. He likened me to a butterfly, encouraging me not to let others rub off the pretty colors from my wings. Santa Dad lived his life for his children. He wanted to keep them safe, keep them healthy, keep them happy.

Father still loves our mother. Two years ago she dreamed about what he’ll be like in heaven, and that when he is healed she will want to be with him again. I too have hope for him to heal in heaven. When Jesus walked the earth, he cast out devils, made the blind from birth to see, cured leprosy, made the lame walk. I know He will heal my father: “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).

My parents both express desire to be together in heaven. I’ve told each of them my lifelong plan: that when they die, I will have them sealed together by proxy as husband and wife, and then I will be sealed to them, too (see Matthew 18:18). This to me is the ultimate forgiveness. That imperfect people, living imperfect lives, have hope of being cleansed, purified and healed in Christ, to live together as a truly happy family.

I not only plan where my father will spend the rest of his mortal days, but prepare a place in my heart for him in heaven. I have forgiven Father.

MY CHILD HAS A TUMOR

Today my daughter gets a biopsy done on a tumor. How does a parent deal with something like this? It isn’t the first time she had a tumor, either. A benign tumor in the same spot was successfully removed seven years ago. It peeled miraculously off the nerve to her left arm, and hundreds of tentacles relaxed to allow the whole thing to be pulled from her body. But another grew in its place.

The first time she got a tumor was while she was in massage therapy school. She didn’t tell her parents about it for six months, until she was graduating. She named the lump, “Squish-Squish.” The doctor I took her to see said that the marble-sized lump, above her collar bone, was a fatty lipoma. I went with her to see a surgeon to remove it. Under local anesthetic, the surgeon probed with his gloved hand into her body. As he kept probing, I put my head between my knees, because I suddenly realized he wasn’t finding the end of it, and I could feel my daughter’s discomfort from his finger poking into her un-anesthetized body. I felt nauseous, anxious. She was sent to get CT and MRI scans.

Last week she got another MRI scan. Just last year, she was a new bride. The next month, another tumor appeared. It was egg-sized, below her left collar bone. I wanted her to go see a doctor right away. It can be frustrating to be the parent of an adult child, wanting the best and encouraging but knowing they will do what they want. I waited while she made her decisions and focused on her schoolwork. She got her Associate degree in December with a 4.0 GPA. She finally saw a doctor in December.

Meanwhile, the tumor grew. This one she named, “Lumpy.” It grew to about baseball size, a lump above her left breast. This one had more substance above the skin–the last tumor grew mainly inside the body, where doctors worried it would encroach on her heart. Hopefully “Lumpy” is all above the body, or mostly, and easily removed. My hope is that this one will also be benign, will also peel miraculously from the nerve to her left arm with no stress to the nerve, and that the tentacles will ALL relax, as before, and allow the entire mass to be pulled from her body.

The only difference I hope for in outcome, is that there never be any other mass to take its place. That this is the end of the tumors in her body.

Right now, she is waiting for the doctor. He’s putting her under anesthesia during the biopsy, which is very wise. Like her mother, medical procedures make her nauseous. Even getting her ears pierced as a young teenager, she got sick to her stomach and we had to cancel our planned lunch celebration.

I think one of the hardest parts of having a tumor is the waiting, the not knowing. Trying not to imagine the worst, but still wanting to be able to face whatever will happen. I am learning faith through this experience. Faith to me means exercising my thoughts to believe in the very best outcome, that this will turn out well. That this will go as well as last time. And that this is the last time.

KatieAnne on her wedding day

KatieAnne on her wedding day

Where Do You Turn for Healing?

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Where do you turn for healing? In the last post I mentioned that psychotherapy and personal development helped heal my mind and heart. What about physical dis-ease?

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Western medicine can’t be beat for putting people back together after an auto accident or a fall, being burned, or to save premature babies. Expert intervention saves lives, improving the quality of those lives. My daughter’s tumor removal surgery by an expert surgeon extended her years and her quality of life.

Acute medical conditions call for a doctor! Yet even years of scientific study, licensing and practice does not make doctors omnipotent. They still “practice” medicine. Other sources may best help in chronic cases. Reviewing results of traditional medical treatment versus alternative methods for a particular issue may be enlightening.

For example, some in the past put down alternative healers as “quacks,” which I heard doctors of chiropractic called when I was a girl. Now chiropractors are accepted into the mainstream, included on health plans, and respected. I wish they’d been acceptable to my parents when I landed on my chin at ages 3 and 15. A Doctor of Chiropractic may have corrected the curvature of my neck from those accidents, before a vertabra set backwards.

Some people use both traditional and alternative healers. This is the view that I prefer, not one or the other, but whichever is more likely to contribute to healing in that particular instance.

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There are also faith healings, such as those by Jesus Christ (Matthew 9:35), performing miracles. After my daughter’s tumor removal, the surgeon came back in complete awe. I’d told him beforehand that many people fasted and prayed for her, and for him. Afterwards he told me that the tumor came out in one piece, peeling off the carefully-monitored nerve to her left arm with NO stress to the nerve. Hundreds of little tentacles relaxed, allowing the entire tumor to be lifted from her chest cavity. Also her father secretly prayed that the doctor would NOT need to cut through her collarbone to access the tumor, which would have caused many more months of healing. The surgeon said he had thought of a way to access the tumor without cutting her collarbone. He co-created a miraculous surgery!

People may have faith but not be healed (see Doctrine and Covenants 42:43), such as the Apostle Paul, who stated that his “thorn in the flesh” was not removed (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Then the challenge becomes living with the infirmity, or dis-ease. Faith, prayers, and priesthood blessings can help provide comfort, peace, and answers. Pain may be alleviated with medications, herbs, or meditations.

How do you decide where to turn for healing? Different dis-eases may be addressed individually. Is the dis-ease a problem for which traditional medicine can best help? What is the track record of traditional medicine for this dis-ease? Are there other sources for alleviating this particular health crisis? Generally, when different kinds of healers agree, there is more credibility, with greater confidence in the results. Each person may take responsibility for their own health, searching out their own answers. These are some of my views on physical healing, based on my own experiences and knowledge. I hope that someday traditional and alternative healers will work together in harmony for the best interest of the patient, supplying the best of all available care for the particular needs of that individual.

Why I Pursue Personal Development

Why do I pursue Personal Development courses, books, seminars?  Why invest the time and money? How do they help me fulfill my mission here on earth?

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I, like Nephi, “was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father” (1 Nephi 1:1), and then learned in high school and at college while acquiring my bachelor’s degree. In fact, while attending Brigham Young University I learned the AIMS of a BYU Education: “(1) spiritually strengthening, (2) intellectually enlarging, and (3) character building, leading to (4) lifelong learning and service.” Brigham Young said, “Education is the power to think clearly, the power to act well in the world’s work, and the power to appreciate life.” Personal development helps me to be of greater service to my family, friends, community, church, and professionally.

What is Personal Development, anyway? Wikipedia says it is, “activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations.” A long Wikipedia list follows of ways personal development can assist a person’s well-being, effectiveness, and contributions.

There are many sources for Personal Development. I enjoy reading good books, going to seminars, and listening to audio recordings of books or talks by, those who practice what I want to learn. Recently I listened to Sonya Lyubomirsky’s THE HOW OF HAPPINESS: A SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO GETTING THE LIFE YOU WANT.

The 12 recommendations for improving happiness are:         Image

  1. Expressing gratitude

  2. Cultivating optimism

  3. Avoiding overthinking and social comparison

  4. Practicing acts of kindness

  5. Nurturing relationships

  6. Developing strategies for coping

  7. Learning to forgive

  8. Doing more activities that truly engage you

  9. Savoring life’s joys

  10. Committing to your goals

  11. Practicing religion and spirituality

  12. Taking care of your body

Just listening helped me feel happier, as I realized that I control my happiness! I already did so many of these things! I realized these ways to be happier simply put religious teachings into practice, giving me more confidence in the religious views that helped me overcome so much.

One reason I pursue Personal Development is to overcome effects of past abuse and trauma. I find it much more cost- and time-effective than traditional psychotherapy (I’ve used that too, and it has its place). Seminars with activities such as ropes courses, walking barefoot over hot burning coals, and sky diving all helped me to overcome fears and learn that my body can go forward even when the mind is fearful. Getting through the fear, going forward anyway, is powerful in extending my comfort zone. I find a lot of healing in this, and empowerment to know that I am not my past experiences! I have intrinsic and profound worth as a daughter of God.

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I am grateful for the Personal Development gained so far, and intend to continue learning, growing, and stretching throughout my life, to become all I can be in fulfilling my mortal mission.