The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us. It is no new news that our culture and society tends to focus much attention on the gift-giving aspect of Christmas. The stress and pressure of shopping for the perfect gifts accompanied by overspending is, frankly, exhausting. There is an awkward presence, between the polarities of greed and generosity, which fills the air as we struggle to find our balance and peace in the true meaning of Christmas. Somehow, somewhere, at some time, we moved away from simplicity. We have forgotten that the greatest gifts of all lie within the very essence of who we are. The valuable gifts we each possess are easy to overlook. It is difficult for us to see our true selves and believe we have something worthwhile to offer. We each, do indeed, have unique and special gifts that no one else in this world can duplicate. There is only one You. And You are needed to take your place in the beautiful canvas of life called humanity. Our gifts do not need to be deemed grand or extravagant. They do not need to be on the front page of Fortune 500, appear on the New York Times best-seller list, or make headline news. What if your gift is packing groceries? Shoveling snow? Walking dogs? What about the gift of kindness..., the gift of being a good listener..., the gift of organization..., or even humor!? These are all precious gifts that we can extend to one another. They are not only deeply treasured and appreciated, but needed. Being You is enough. Sometimes more than enough!
Let me share a story....
Many years ago now, in May of 2001, I experienced a very traumatic, life-changing event. At full-term pregnancy, I delivered a stillborn baby girl. I found myself in the depths of the most agony, grief, and heartache ever imagined. The first person to rush to my hospital bedside was a woman named Rose. She was a lovely, caring, and wise woman who supervised a large women's group in which I participated. Although not a close and intimate friend, I found comfort in her guided presence. She was intent on giving me 2 pieces of advice that day. The 1st ... 'There is no greater loss than the loss of a child.' True. The 2nd ... 'People will say stupid things.' Also true. These simple words from Rose were a gift in itself and enabled me to maintain a high level of strength, grace, and composure as I navigated the coming days. When I found myself subjected to many failed attempts of sympathy and understanding, the voice of Rose would usher in. She taught me that most people were just trying to come to terms with such a traumatic situation and process their own shock and confusion as to why such a thing would happen. At the same time, these same people were also looking for a way to somehow relate to what I was going through by reflecting on their own experiences.
Earlier that same spring, just shortly before my due date, we hired an ordinary, down-to-earth, hardworking man to trim the hedges and bushes around our home. He wasn't necessarily educated. He wasn't necessarily polished or eloquent. And by the look of his rusty old pick-up truck, not necessarily 'rich'. But he did a fantastic job trimming bushes at a fantastic price. Last he saw, I was a very pregnant expectant mother. Months passed and in the fall, he knocked on our front door. He was driving by and noticed our hedges could use a little sprucing up. He stopped unannounced to ask if we would like this work done. There was a shift in conversation as he quickly remembered we had been expecting a baby. Excitably, he exclaimed, "Hey! The last time I was here you were getting ready to have a baby! What did you have? A boy or a girl?!" Ugghhhh - my heavy heart sank to the big black hole of grief. ‘Here we go again ...', I thought to myself. It was a common question I had uncomfortably answered many times by now. I took a deep breath and prepared to peel back the Band-Aid on a still fresh wound. I gently replied, "We had a baby girl. But she died." His face dropped. He looked to the floor of the porch of where we stood. I could see that this simple man who was already short on words, quickly could find none. He was stunned. There was a rise of awkwardness as the air became tense. After a few moments, he said "Boy…, I've had some tough times as well. My back sure has been bothering me a lot lately ... having all sorts of trouble,…" and he reached to place his hand on his lower back while stretching and moaning. Really?! You're comparing your sore back to the death of my child?! But as quickly as I was offended, I heard a subtle whisper of the wise words shared by my dear friend Rose ..."People will say stupid things"... and grace took over.
I told him that I wasn't sure if it was in the budget to have any work done and that I would check with my husband and let him know. We said a blundering goodbye and I closed the door, still dismayed by what had just taken place.
Moments later, I was walking through the house when something out the window caught my eye. It was him. Trimming bushes! The nerve!! Did he not hear that I would get back to him?! Not only had he inadequately acknowledged the painful loss of my baby girl, but had now taken it upon himself to do the work I had not approved!! I quickly scurried to the porch and loudly clarified that I had told him not to do any work that day! After my frantic attempt to stop him, he looked up and said, "oh ... no ... it's ok ... I'm just going to do it ... there's no charge ..." I stood silent and in awe, deeply touched, and I understood. This simple ordinary man, who had been gifted with the not-so-desirable art of trimming bushes, gave to me the greatest gift of all. He did not have the words to heal my broken heart. He did not have the capacity to truly understand my pain. But he gave all that he had, all that he could, through his skillful talent as a bush-trimmer and gave of himself in a pure expression of love and compassion. That gesture, above any other gesture that has been extended to me, meant more to me than anything else anyone has ever done. We have long since moved away from the area. I do not remember his name. He has no idea the impact that his simple offering made on me, and to this day, still cherish.
So as you worry, fret, and frantically search for the perfect gifts this holiday, do not underestimate the power you have by being Simply You. You and Your gifts are of value. They are needed. 'Tis the season to pause, reflect, and take inventory of the gifts that you have within. Acknowledge them. Honor them. Celebrate them. Wrap them up with love and give them back to the world.
Hi, I’m Kristin Hendricks, owner and founder of Simply You. I find it hard to write ‘my story’. Not because I don’t know it, but where exactly does it begin? And it certainly has no end. I also wish I could share one pivotal and profound AH-HA moment which defined my path. Rather, it has been an accumulation of many life events that have brought me to this point of, well, simply me. For life is a continual series of experiences that precede our memory and transcend beyond time. Our human existence is full of lessons that can be found throughout our day-to-day life, but it is the unpredictable challenging times that test our very being. I have found that the most trying and traumatic of times transform into being the most beautiful strokes on the canvas of life. The human journey is, in fact, a healing journey that offers countless opportunities for growth and evolution as we strive to live out the most authentic version of our self.
A cherished mentor once told me, “Healing is a journey, not a destination.” It is a never-ending lifelong process that I have found to be true and the theme for my life. Sometimes the opportunity to heal comes in the form of illness or dis-ease; it can be prompted as tremendous heartache or found amidst a significant life event. But all too often it is the subtle shift and change of our thoughts and actions as we let go of what no longer supports our highest good. It holds unlimited possibilities and invites us to surrender to what is. And we always … always … have a choice of how we respond. My personal life events have taught me many divine truths and guided me into, and through, much "healing". I have overcome a number of fated trials including the devastation of delivering a full-term stillborn baby; maneuvering through a difficult relationship that led to divorce; and most recently, steering through the complexity of breast cancer. And just as for all of you, in between the "big" events there have been all sorts of smaller obstacles. We also learn through the roles and relationships we participate in. Some of my greatest teachers have been found in the reflection of family ties, motherhood, friendships, and working relations. From the challenges and sufferings to the celebrations and joys, I have embraced the art of navigating life’s events from my heart, rather than my head, and have understood their place in the evolution of my soul.
I have discovered that it is imperative to nourish and support all aspects of the self to usher in true healing. Whether healing through an emotional trauma, chronic illness, or dealing with an overwhelming situation, our mind, body, soul, and other energy systems are always connected and cannot be separated. If we are experiencing an emotional upset, our body and mind are also being affected. If we are battling a health crisis, our mind and soul are also at play. In fact, I would go as far as to state that many of our physical conditions are rooted in thoughts, belief systems, emotional turmoil and energetic states that create imbalances. Our soul is housed in our physical body. Oftentimes, the soul will vie for our attention by sending signals through the body in the form of symptoms and dysfunction. A dear colleague once said, "By the time something presents itself as a physical condition, it’s usually something that we’re ready to deal with and be done with.” I wholeheartedly agree. We cannot truly heal one part of ourselves without simultaneously healing the others. Throughout the creation of my personal path, I have become very familiar with a wide range of resources to assist in the wellness of our whole self.
Perhaps the most valuable wisdom I have gained is that we all have the innate ability to navigate through any life occurrence by utilizing our inner guidance system, our intuition. This sacred space is what illuminates the unfolding and discovery of our highest potential. The path to Simply You! When we follow our intuitive compass, we can be certain that we will be directed to the steps that are necessary for our personal evolution. The intention of these impulses will be for the highest good. Does that mean that it will take us down the easiest route of least resistance? Not necessarily and not likely. It means that we will be given the openings to transform and heal what is needed at the time. And even if we cannot completely "heal" from a particular disease or dysfunction, we can definitely support ourselves by acknowledging it, understanding it, and setting forth to heal the many energies and layers attached to it. This allows for healing of the soul – which is the most important outcome of all. For all of us, the body will eventually fade, but the soul will live on and take forward all that we were able to "heal" and transform in this lifetime.
My greatest passion has always been to become all that I’m meant to become. Be careful what you ask for, as I have been told by my personal teachers that I have gotten just that! Becoming the best version of ourselves requires much undoing, and perhaps more being. It requires perseverance, commitment, and dedication. It requires turbulent waters of unknown territories. It requires traveling a road of both traumas and triumph. But it is worth it, oh so worth it. It is now my absolute heart’s desire to offer guidance and counsel for my clients by inspiring heart-centered soul-level healing! My certification in natural health, combined with real life experiences and wisdom of the soul, give way for me to facilitate the necessary components to assist in one’s healing process. My work is dedicated to empowering others to honor their unique gifts and set forth on the discovery of … Simply You!