A Haven made just for you
Welcome to Hilary's Health Haven!
My name is Hilary Hamilton-Schmidlin and my intention for creating this space is to provide a haven for you, a sanctuary and refuge, where you can feel supported and nurtured while reading inspirational and informative articles on insights and topics regarding how to experience a truly healthy and vibrant life.
I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach, a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and a Writer who seeks to help others through sharing what I have come to find as the most helpful information while on my own journey to discovering optimal health. I write with the knowledge gained from my teachers and from the wisdom discovered through my own personal life experiences. I am forever thankful for each and every one of them.
The Healthy Haven Steps
Throughout my writings you will find Article's entitled Healthy Haven Steps. Each Step will include a Health Practice to incorporate in your own life that will lead you towards greater health. You can work with the Healthy Haven Steps in any order that is best for you, just take each one slowly and just one step at a time.
I created Healthy Haven Steps with the knowing that we are all our own best Healers with unlimited potential to live a healthy life when we are given the essential information that helps to empower and guide us. As we are all unique individuals with differences such as age, gender, activity levels and so on, it is important to listen to our own inner wisdom that communicates to us in such ways as feelings and body symptoms. Our bodies, minds and spirits let us know on a deeper level if what we are doing and thinking truly is contributing to our greater health. In this intuitive listening, we are able to be our own greatest Guides.
Gandhi once said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world,” so if you want a peaceful world, you need to live a peaceful life. I love how the religion of Buddhism maps out six ways of being in the world that will lead to a peaceful and meaningful life, and I try to keep these ways of being in the world in mind as I navigate through the days.
The first is the practice of Meditation where you sit down with yourself as a simple, open, spacious being with pure potential. As you sit there, you put your awareness on your breathing and any time a thought arises, you simply note in your mind, ”Thinking,” and then return your awareness to your breath. As you continue to do this, you begin to have an experience of being alive beyond your thinking mind, as a sacred being sitting on sacred ground, and without thoughts to fuel your emotions, you are able to experience a deep sense of peace within you that you can then carry out into the world to share with others. Then, as you move about your day and evening, you can continually return your awareness to your breath and the present moment, becoming an active observer of feelings and emotions, cravings and desires, and simply let them go and return to your sacred, peaceful breathing and life experience.
The second is the practice of Generosity. When you are being generous, you are opening a portal to the deep peace within you because being generous feels so good!! And there are so many wonderful ways to be generous - you can be generous with your time (listening to others, serving others, helping others), with your attention (listening to others, giving affection to others), with your understanding (being compassionate with an open mind), with dropping expectations (which brings great peace to others), with offering wisdom from your own life (sharing your sacred story and personal truth), with creating a safe haven for others (a place that is free from fear and judgement and violence), with not needing to always be right (and instead allowing for peaceful space to reign), with giving someone the benefit of the doubt (and practicing in forgiveness and patience), with being a great health example for others (to inspire others to their own greatest health by sharing health information and giving encouragement). Practicing generosity connects you with an inner energy that uplifts you and others and the entire environment in which you live; it is a complete win-win!!
The third is the practice of Patience which is the antidote to aggression. When you are practicing patience, you are practicing in slowing down, taking a deep breath, opening your mind beyond your thoughts, pausing before you react in a habitual way, connecting with the peace within you and relaxing with the hot energy that feelings and emotions can cause within you. By being patient, you are able to act more wisely with greater thought given before taking any action or speaking any words and you are able to bear witness to the truth that no feeling is final - the hot energy will eventually dissipate and evolve into another inner feeling, opening a portal to a more peaceful inner experience.
The fourth is the practice of Enthusiasm which is a self-cultivated inner energy that helps to fuel your life so that you are able to go forward with an open curiosity and zest for living. Living with a sense of enthusiasm uplifts you and others and the entire environment, just as the practice of generosity does. It is another win-win!! When you foster your own enthusiasm, you are fostering growth, creativity and youthfulness; you are strengthening your inner cheerleader that whispers in your ear all of the positives going on that can help to carry you through any situation. My father is a perfect example of an enthusiastic person who uplifts everyone around him. He was even once at a football game at Penn State where he was a supporter of the visiting football team and he began to get heckled by one Penn State school member saying, “Why did you come here? You are going to get so creamed!” And my father very kindly and enthusiastically responded, “Well, I heard what a beautiful campus you had here and so I was so excited to come here and check it out and it is so beautiful!” And the Penn State heckler just fell silent and looked at him, and the heckler’s friends began elbowing the heckler, saying, “Yeah… See! Now, come on and let’s go…” And they all just turned and walked away and all that remained was peace.
The fifth practice is Discipline which helps provide us with structure so that we have support and strength for our training in meditation, generosity, patience and enthusiasm. This is the discipline of feeding ourselves in a healthy way, moving our bodies every day, practicing self-love, self-nurturance, self-care and self-compassion. It is the discipline of remembering to return to gentleness in our speech and actions and thoughts, of seeing the beauty and richness in the simple things of life, of returning to our sacred ground. It is the discipline of continuing to open to life and not shut down, of clearing the mind to remember that the only thing constant in life is change and transformation. It is the discipline of remembering to put space in one’s life, to slow down and be silent and sacred and spacious, where only pure life aliveness can be experienced beyond all thought as this is where true peace resides.
The sixth practice is Knowledge or Unconditional Wisdom which is the practice of listening to the innate wisdom that lives within us all that knows what is truly the right thing to do in any given situation for the highest good for all. It is the wisdom that is pre-thought, pre-belief and pre-conception. This wisdom tells us that it is best to be flexible and open in one’s life, that all is impermanent and changing so every moment is a precious happening that will never happen again in that exact way, and that our human lives are amazingly precious and sacred and should be treated as such. It is the wisdom that cuts through suffering because it sees that all is in process and that all is in perfect order just the way that it is. It is the wisdom that tells you to treat yourself in the healthiest way possible because you are a sacred, spiritual being with many gifts to offer the world. It is the wisdom that tells you that living a life of peace is of the highest order and will bring the greatest meaning to your life and the greatest of happiness. It is a silent, knowing wisdom that leads you on in a gentle, noble way to a life of great integrity and wonder.
These six ways of being in the world are also called the Six Paramitas or the Six Ways of Compassionate Living or the Six Transcendent Activities or the Six Activities of the Servants of Peace. They all mean that these practices will help evolve and uplift and transform your entire life in the greatest of ways. Each practice takes us beyond our own fear of letting go, beyond aversion and attachment, beyond small thinking and small living. When you practice, you are helping evolve and uplift and transform the world and people around you in the most positive ways, and what could be any better than this for us all?
Peace and Love, Hilary
With every choice we make and every thought that we think in the present moment, we are creating our future selves. We can ask ourselves before eating or drinking or taking on any new beliefs, “Will this help me cultivate a healthy future self?” We can also use our thoughts to create a visualization of our future selves to become a guide for how we live our lives now.
The word vision comes from the latin word visionem, meaning wisdom. When we are actively practicing visualization, we are using our inner wisdom to cultivate that which we wish to experience in our lives.
Many individuals, such as scientists and scholars, have testified to this wisdom power of positive visualization. One of my greatest inspirations, Louise Hay, a successful author and influential book publisher who lived until her 90th year as a healthy and energetic woman, was a well-known spokesperson for the importance of affirmations and visualizations for creating your future self.
Numerous professional athletes are also great practitioners of using vivid, highly detailed internal mind images to run-through their performances before taking any physical actions. Wimbledon Champion Billy Jean King actively used positive visualization to prepare for her tennis matches and strongly believed that this was what made athletes Champions; World Champion Golfer, Jack Nicklaus has been quoted as saying, “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp in-focus picture of it in my head.”
I’ve experienced this amazing power of visualization in my own life, as I can remember a time, over twenty years ago, when I was feeling unhealthy and needing to make change in my life. At that time, I began to create a vision of my future self in my mind of who I wanted to become - someone who was beautiful, strong, healthy and vital. Using this vision as my guide, I began to slowly replace unhealthy habits with healthy habits. As I continued to practice positive visualization, people and opportunities came into my life to assist me on my journey, and with each new day, I began to feel better, have clearer thoughts, and could see more and more how the practice of visualization truly did make a positive impact in my life.
Today, I am a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and Certified Health Coach, continuing to grow and be amazed at the infinite possibilities before me. It is now with great excitement that I practice in the co-creation of my future self. I actively visualize how I want to look in my elder years, picturing the beautiful wrinkles on my face that have been created from years of laughing and living in joy; I also visualize how I want to feel, with an energy radiating out from my body that is full of love and compassion and gratitude. I vision myself continuing to grow and evolve, surrounded by wonderful friendships and community, and being a healing, positive, inspirational force in the world. I strongly encourage you to do the same!!
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” – Buddha