Believe in YOU!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Hello Wellness Seekers:

This is my new post after a long hiatus. I’ve been so busy with writing my next book, Your Moment of T.R.U.T.H., that I’ve sorely neglected my website posts. For those of you who are still checking in on a regular basis for new posts, I want to thank you for your loyalty to this website. Your support means everything to me.

For this holiday season, I want to encourage you to believe. Believe in yourself and believe that you will do wonderful things, such as listening for positive messages, remembering your great memories, doing good things for others, and believing in universal peace. At a time of prolonged pandemics, we need to concentrate on the beauty in our lives, like catching a snowflake on our tongue, seeing all the bright lights of the season, keeping warm against winter’s icy chill. If we forget — we have nothing.

Winters here in Minnesota are long and arduous.

I spent yesterday shoveling our driveway. I stopped at one point to listen to the snow falling. Many people believe that there’s no sound when snowflakes fall, but I BELIEVE I can hear them. It’s a silence so profound that it makes me tear up. When I sit at my computer, all I have to do is look to the right and I can see deer strolling through our backyard. This makes me smile. In my office, I have a very big sign that says, Believe, because this is such a special word for me, and it always will be.

Fall in Canada

I visited Canada this past fall and explored Banff and Lake Louise. I even went on a four-mile hike up the St. Agnes Tearoom trail. It took us two and a half hours to scale and two hours to come back down. There were many times I wanted to stop, but after a rest, we continued. This was the most difficult hike in my life and yet I made it. ME! Me who climbed the mountain, survived Stage IV colon cancer — twice, had two near-death experiences, and have had insulin-dependent diabetes for almost 50 years. I’m not only a believer, I’m also an achiever. I’m proud of my accomplishments and I truly believe in my strength, courage, and love. Yet, I know I’m no different than many of you. As wellness seekers, you’re on a journey to climb those mountain trails, bike across your state, and look for the good in everything.

If you’re feeling depressed or anxious during this time of year, remember to believe in yourself, because if you believe you’ll experience the very good in this life. Happy holidays!

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Alexis Acker-Halbur is an award-winning author and medical miracle. Child abuse made her seriously ill and put her in harm’s way many times. She survived and shares her experiences and tools with women and men who have been traumatized. To order her book, Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illnessclick here, or her newly published fictional novel, THE BEAR: In the Middle of Between click here.

 

The History of Advent They Don’t Teach You in Schools

The History of Advent They Don’t Teach You in Schools

A traditional advent wreath

[This article was published by the Universal Life Church newsletter@getordained.org  and posted on November 20, 2022. I thank them for allowing me to reprint this article here.]

Christmas is often seen as a Christian holiday, but when you know the history, you’ll understand why this isn’t so. We need to give our ancestors the right to claim what was created by them. Some people call these ancestors “Pagans,” but I know they were/are our ancestors. I hope this article enlightens you.

“With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, many Americans are now excitedly preparing for the holiday season. Millions of Christians know this season as Advent (from the Latin word meaning “arrival”), where they spend the weeks leading up to Christmas preparing for the Nativity of Christ.

Wreaths, trees, candles, advent calendars… these are all symbols intertwined with Christmas even to non-Christian observers. But did you know they actually have ancient symbolic meanings that go beyond Christianity?

In fact, many of these symbols are, ahem, “borrowed,” and you’ll never guess who from.

Okay, you got it. Pagans (Ancestors). It’s always the pagans.

A Very Pagan Christmas

You might recall that Christmas itself has some distinctly pagan origins, and that many of the modern Christmas traditions can be traced back to ancient Nordic cultures.

Long, long before Christianity, pagans were celebrating the winter solstice and the end of the harvest season. This was called Yule, and many ancient Yule traditions – singing, bonfires, feasting – are still celebrated today. Still, some, like dousing oneself in the blood of sacrificed animals, didn’t make it to the 21st century.

When you think about it, it makes sense that many Advent traditions are lifted from ancient pagan customs. After all, wreaths, trees, and candles make a lot more sense in a pagan context than in a Christian one.

Centuries-Old Symbols

Mistletoe is a great example of this. For centuries, mistletoe was closely associated with the Norse love goddess Frigga. As a gesture of peace, Nordic warriors used to hang a bough of mistletoe and lay down their weapons underneath of it when they came together for peace talks. As you’re surely familiar, we do something slightly different under the mistletoe now – but the core idea lingers!

Many historians also believe the classic Yule log could have some Pagan connections. It’s unclear exactly when or where the tradition was started, but research has shown that prior to the Yule log being brought into the house and burned by German Christians, yule logs were often burned around the solstice as a symbol of the sun’s warmth, and the ashes scattered across fields as the pagan people believed it would increase the abundance of their next harvest.

A traditional advent wreath
A traditional Advent wreath

Another example is the Advent wreath. An iconic Christmas decoration made of fir branches, decorative ribbons, and holly strung together in a circular shape.

Believers place candles on the wreath and light them throughout Advent, symbolizing Christ’s endless and everlasting grace and love.

While Christians have been making wreaths and lighting candles for centuries, this tradition actually traces back to paganism. In the dark, unforgiving Scandinavian winter, pagans would light candles and place them around a wheel in an appeal to the gods for warmer days ahead, particularly around the winter solstice as a plea for the sun to return.

And long before the circle of the wreath came to symbolize Christian eternal life, it was embraced by many pagan people as a symbol of protection. Some historians even believe hung on doors.

So Advent wreaths and Advent candles are taken from ancient pagan traditions. But what about the season’s most recognizable decoration?

An Evergreen Holiday

Sorry, even the iconic Christmas tree isn’t a Christian original. Evergreen trees were used as a winter solstice decoration thousands of years before Christianity, and ancient pagans decorated their temples with fir branches and their homes with fir trees.

Why? Fir trees represented fertility (of both human and earth) to many ancient European cultures, as did the first ‘Christmas tree decorations’ – flowers, nuts, and fruits.

In fact, when you boil it down to the essentials, just about everything was about sex, warmth, or food. Maybe some things never change.

As it turns out, Christmas trees as we know them now didn’t really exist until the 16th century, when German nobility started decorating royal courts with them, complete with a golden leaf on top.

As late as the 1800s, Christmas trees were viewed as a pagan custom by some cultures – including by many people in the United States. That, of course, has changed.

It turns out even gift-giving could have a connection to some ancient faiths! While many link the annual giving of gifts at Christmas to the story of the 3 Wise Men bringing gifts to the infant Jesus, historians have made an even older link with the ancient Roman festival of Siggilaria.

While the festival was originally set up so that people could visit the market to buy small pieces of pottery with candles in them (called sigilla) as an offering to the god Saturn, over time the festival grew and as the Romans became more wealthy they started buying and selling gifts for one another at the Siggilaria market.

Old Gods and the New

And of course, the entire Advent season culminates in Christmas on December 25th. By now, you surely aren’t surprised to learn that even that particular date has some Pagan connections!

December 25th, history teaches us, was initially selected as the date for Christmas each year because it was also the date that many ancient people had for generations celebrated the re-birth of the god of the sun, Sol.

The early Catholic church figured that by sliding in the birth of the Son of God on the same day as the birth of the God of the sun, it would be a cinch to get people to start celebrating the newer Christian holiday. It took a few years and some occasional chastising from early popes, but eventually, most people got the message and transitioned over.

So this Advent season, as you’re hanging the wreath, lighting the candles, and decorating the tree, take a moment to acknowledge how holiday traditions have evolved. These customs we hold so dear grow, change, and even merge with one another over time.

Much has changed during the past millennium, but by the same token, much has also stayed the same – it’s simply been repackaged.”

Seasons Greetings from the Never Give Up Institute!

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Alexis Acker-Halbur is an award-winning author and medical miracle. Child abuse made her seriously ill and put her in harm’s way many times. She survived and shares her experiences and tools with women and men who have been traumatized. 

In the Beginning There was Chaos

In the Beginning There was Chaos

In the Beginning There was Chaos!

There was nothing but darkness—absolute blackness. No light, no sound, no energy. There were only eternal nights without stars. Many theories have tried to explain the beginning of our universe, so I will begin with explaining the top three: the big bang theory, evolution, and the story of Adam and Eve. These theories lead to my belief that our universe began in trauma and we have come to the decisive moment.

We consider the Big Bang Theory the leading explanation for how our universe began. Through the multitude of discoveries in astronomy and physics, scientists believe, beyond a reasonable doubt, that our universe did in fact have a beginning. Somehow, a spark was lit and chaos began. Lightning, explosions, the birth of pristine stars and planets all began at once. Asteroids slamming into each other created atoms of fury and life. The first new day of the universe had begun, but in its wake was destruction and pandemonium. Some scientists believe it took over 13.8 billion years to get where we are today, and our universe is still growing through chaos.

Evolution (also known as the theory of natural selection) is one of the fundamental keystones of modern biological theory. According to an article published on June 7, 2019, by the National Geographic Society:

“The theory of [evolution] natural selection, comprises of organisms who produce more offspring than can survive in their environment. Those that are better physically equipped to survive, grow to maturity, and reproduce. Those that are lacking in such fitness either do not reach an age when they can reproduce or produce fewer offspring than their counterparts. We sometimes sum natural selection as ‘survival of the fittest’ because the ‘fittest’ organisms—those most suited to their environment—are the ones that reproduce more successfully, and are likely to pass on their traits to the next generation.”

Survival of the fittest states that the weak ones die or are devoured by the stronger. “Only the strong survive” is a traumatic proverb.

In the Bible, Adam and Eve are the first human couple created by God on the sixth day of Creation, and are the ancestors of all of humanity. In the perfect setting of the Garden of Eden, God told Adam and Eve they could eat any of the fruit in Eden, but forbade them from eating the fruit on the Tree of Knowledge. Satan transformed himself into a serpent and enticed the couple to eat the fruit. This resulted in God’s banishment of Adam and Eve from Eden. He sent them into a world of hostile beasts, poisonous reptiles, and dangerous weather, casting them into trauma.

Whatever theory you choose to believe, trauma started from our very beginning of time and is a well-known concept of biology and science. Even in religious sectors, they cannot deny that it thrust Adam and Eve into trauma.

This research has led me to the belief that all traumas began at the moment a spark flew and ignited our descent into suffering and pain. With trauma living in our cells, bones, organs, and muscles, it is no wonder why we have a conundrum of ways to treat trauma. Medical professionals use medication, psychiatrists use talk therapy and drugs, and religious orders use prayer and exorcism. All are trying to eliminate the effects of trauma, so much so that healing has become a billion dollar business in America.

I am convinced we can do better. This is why I created Your Moment of T.R.U.T.H. (The Road to Unresolved Trauma). We do not need to spend billions of dollars to heal from chaos and trauma. Put your money in the belief that you can, and will, eliminate stress and depression. The key is to focus on yourself and find the fuel to cope, and even wipe away, your doubts. Believe in healing—it is in your hands.

You can purchase my book and workbook by clicking here.  YMT is available on Kindle.

_____________________________
Alexis Acker-Halbur is an award-winning author and medical miracle. Child abuse made her seriously ill and put her in harm’s way many times. She survived and shares her experiences and tools with women and men who have been traumatized. 

Election Exhaustion

Hello Wellness Seekers!

Oh, I’m so happy the mid-term elections are “almost” over. The hatred expressed by some candidates and parties was appalling. Can’t people just get along together? Why does every commercial, ad, and network have to rip people’s lives apart? The “dirt” doesn’t help anyone, yet adds more hatred. We’ve got to come together as a country. And, yes, I voted!

Okay, I needed to get that out! It’s amazing to feel less stress and I’m actually looking forward to the holiday season. What? The holiday season? Luckily, I only have a few gatherings, so the season should be nice.

Are you stressed out? Now is the time to pick up and read my book, Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illness. To order click here. You’ll get more tips and suggestions for getting through the holiday season. Why put yourself in harm’s way? Stress causes illness like the flu andA Book title Never Give Up COVID. Since our emotions are still raw from the elections, it’s best to concentrate on your healAmazonAmazonAmazonth and wellbeing. You’ll enjoy the holidays so much more. From personal experience I learned how to avoid depression, anxiety, moodiness, and painful holiday memories and you can too!

My past posts also provide you with insight on ways to stay away from Winter’s darkness. Sit by a warm fire and drink apple cider while watching the snowflakes fall. I find it so peaceful to see the flakes swirl around and cling to the windows and trees. If I go outside, I can actually hear the snowflakes fall. Can you?

The leaves have dropped off the trees and the colorful Autumn has passed. To heal my sadness, I bought a beautiful Autumn canvas to hang on my wall. It’s so refreshing to get lost in all those colors. I feel great when I look upon this canvas. If you can, find an awesome picture/poster to hang in your room. When the cold wind blasts outside, you can bask in the glow of tranquility.

Remember, NEVER GIVE UP!

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Alexis Acker-Halbur is an award-winning author and medical miracle. Child abuse made her seriously ill and put her in harm’s way many times. She survived and shares her experiences and tools with women and men who have been traumatized. 

 

Retired but Not Gone!

Dear Wellness Seekers,

On May 3 of this year I decided to retire. After 65 years of life, I decided it was time for me to relax and truly enjoy this freedom. I do not intend to stop writing my posts (yes, it’s been a long time since I last posted) or writing books. Writing helps me and I hope it helps you to find your path out of trauma.

The past few months I’ve been traveling around the U.S., going to places I’ve never seen before: Charleston, SC and San Antonio, TX. We’ve also been camping and will be leaving on Monday to camp at Banning State Park, where THE BEAR: In the Middle of Between, begins. If you haven’t read it yet, you can click on kirkhousepublishers.com and purchase it. I’d be grateful if you did. Also, you can find T.R.U.T.H.: The Road to Unresolved Trauma Healing, a book and workbook, on Kindle.

Keep healing and find your truth. You’ll be amazed at all the beauty in this world.

_____________________________
Alexis Acker-Halbur is an award-winning author and medical miracle. Child abuse made her seriously ill and put her in harm’s way many times. She survived and shares her experiences and tools with women and men who have been traumatized. 

 

10 Rules to Refuel Your Health During the Pandemic of War

Hello Wellness Seekers:

Have you ever thought that war is a pandemic? Since the beginning of time, man has used war to show off their power and greed. Even the Catholic church produced its “holy wars” to change people’s religious beliefs. Like COVID-19, we need to stop the wars in our world—now!

To change this war pandemic, we must first look at ourselves and cultivate healthy attitudes and hope. Here are some tips you can make sense of a better tomorrow—starting today!

  1. Cultivate a peaceful surrounding in your home and community. Pick up garbage along the road, keep your sidewalks clear of snow and ice, and always say ‘hello’ to and smile at your neighbors.
  2. Alleviate stress and depression by reducing your exposure to bad news in the newspapers and on radios. There is so much trauma in our world that escaping the unhealthy effects can lead to depression, stress, and anxiety. To overcome these conditions, see your doctor or counselor for help.
  3. Eliminate the alcohol and drugs you use to ease your pain. This results in addiction, and in my view, this is just as bad as war. While your body is trying to maintain your health, drugs and alcohol can have dramatic and detrimental lifelong effects on your mind, body, and spirit.
  4. Apologize for the mistakes you make. Can you imagine what would happen if Putin apologized to Ukraine for the devastation and human lives that are lost each day? We could usher in a new day. Putin will never do this because he views it as a loss of his power.
  5. Change your attitude. This may seem impossible, but we can do this. We have so many issues with race, sexual orientation (don’t say ‘gay’), religion, females vs. males, poverty, and so forth. This just fills our lives with more stress and anxiety.
  6. Let men know that women and children are not property. They are human beings created in equal partnership. Men have no right to abuse women and children. Our justice system must stop the sexual and physical assaults that happen every day. Sexual abuse is a pandemic across the globe.
  7. Find comfort in reading uplifting books, movies, and podcasts. There are plenty of avenues to clean your soul with happy and hopeful messages.
  8. Become a role model for everyone you meet. We’re all looking for people who can raise our spirits and morale. You can do this! We can do this!
  9. Stop the negativity. Negativity spreads like wildfire and is difficult to squash. Be your own best friend and give this kindness to others.
  10. Make every day your best day—ever! You can change our world by becoming the person you have always wanted to be. Laugh, sing, dance, raise your voice in joy, and never give up! You are the cure to all the world’s evils.

I implore you to take these rules seriously. Your voice can lead others in their voicesand we’ve got a lot to say. Join me in this movement to stop all wars.

Thanks a million!

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Alexis Acker-Halbur is an award-winning author and medical miracle. Child abuse made her seriously ill and put her in harm’s way many times. She survived and shares her experiences and tools with women and men who have been traumatized. To order her book, Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illnessclick here, or her newly published fictional novel, THE BEAR: In the Middle of Between click here.