How We Made It Back from the Toughest Year of Our Lives (and you can too)


Last year we were knocked flat to the floor by what we in New Thought love to dress up as “challenges.” In this case, a life-threatening health situation was resolved in late summer only to be followed shortly after by an unexpected lay off. It was heartbreaking.

Let’s get real. We have all experienced those moments despite working on our consciousness and stacking earnest affirmation upon earnest affirmation. Calling those events “challenges” is putting lipstick on a pig. As our friend, Rev. Steve Walling, says “sometimes life comes at you at the speed of life.”

Nine months later we are back feeling better than ever and excited by multiple opportunities. What made the difference? We couldn’t just affirm and pray ourselves off the floor. The key was learning that happiness and a positive attitude depend first on physical health. That means enough sleep, exercise, and the right foods to shift our brain chemistry.  These insights were due to Drs. James and Debra Rouse, life coaches and health and wellness experts. We were honored to lend a hand to the good doctors with Dr. James’s new book The Ruckus Makers’ Guide to Mind Body Life Mastery.

What’s a Ruckus Maker? Positive moods are contagious, says Dr. James. Our passion for life positively affects those we love and even strangers. Your capacity to serve others with your positivity is the essence of being a Ruckus Maker. The welcome work on this inspiring book changed our lives.

Let’s start with the results:

  • Jogging for the first time in more than 20 years (at 8,000 foot elevation!)
  • Hiking easily—again at high elevation
  • Eating more healthy foods
  • Getting more work done in less time with the best approach to productivity we have found
  • And, most importantly, the mindset to imagine possibilities and see opportunities

Diane and Harv Bishop

The biggest difference for us was actually doing the processes in Dr. James’ book manuscript! Harv’s version of reading a self-help book is falling in love with the ideas in the book and then filing the learning exercises into a someday to-do file. It’s too easy to think “Yeah, I know that,” when reading personal growth and skip the essential experiential exercises says our friend Mitch Horowitz, author of The Miracle of a Definite Chief Aim.

For instance, we meditate and have for years and Dr. James recommends meditation. In the past, we would have said, “check, got that part covered.” But Dr. James sequences his program for maximum results with a minimal time investment. And mornings are key. Reviewing our mission and motivation first thing in the morning starts the cascade of neural goodness, exercise boosts positive brain chemistry and primes the mind for mediation, which equals more bio-chemical fertilizer for the brain. A healthy breakfast seals the deal.

Yes, we have meditated for some time, but our meditation practice has soared by including it in this sequence. Our days go so much better and we have way more energy with Dr. James’s morning mastery practice. He has practices for hacking all parts of your day and overall lifestyle.

We’re not going to pretend that reversing years of unhealthy habits, sporadic exercise, late nights and digital device and social media addictions was easy. When we started a couple months after Diane’s fourth major surgery in six months, exercise consisted of walking to the car to pick up some fast food or running to the fridge between commercials. TV binge watching was a new phenomenon for us, but we quickly mastered it. When we were finished with that we turned to our iPads and Kindles for our digital fixes.

Visioning, prayer and meditation were part of our daily practice, but we didn’t have the energy to implement our dreams. Honestly, we didn’t even have the energy to dream, since what we thought our future would look like had been taken away.

Then Harv started working on The Ruckus Makers’ Guide to Mind Body Life Mastery. Dr. James’s blend of medical expertise, best practices and boundless enthusiasm got Harv so fired up he couldn’t wait to try out some of the recommendations, especially the morning mastery practice. Diane reluctantly agreed, figuring Harv would abandon this new plan in a couple days and she could go back to sleeping in.

But that’s not what happened.

The first morning stunk. Movement hurt and Diane almost fell asleep during the meditation portion (did we mention Dr. James likes you to start your mornings EARLY?). By afternoon, though, we were both feeling energized. That was novel enough for us to agree to try it again the next day.

Day 2 did not stink as bad. We agreed to try it for a few more days. By the end of the week we were looking forward to our morning mastery time. We enjoyed our days more because we had more energy. Best of all, as our energy grew, so did our ability to dream and create. Sifting among the ashes of our pain and grief, we were able to find the embers of hope, faith and compassion. We found ourselves able to show up in our own life story in powerful and loving ways.

The program is not easy. But it is worth it.

For information on Dr. James’s online Mind Body Life Mastery course (which includes The Ruckus Makers’ Guide to Mind Body Life Mastery e-book) click here.  You can get a free taste of what this is all about via Dr. James’s Facebook page with his inspirational and valuable short videos direct from his tree house in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. These videos are loaded with practical steps you can implement today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 thoughts on “How We Made It Back from the Toughest Year of Our Lives (and you can too)

  1. I have had the wonderful gift of getting to know Harvey, His and Diane’s journey has been a wonder of spiritual faith in the action of life. I do believe that life does come at us at the speed of life and our challenge, if you will, is in the expressing Life through us in such a way that we honor the gift that we are. I am looking forward to reading Mind Body Life Mastery for surely it has proved itself as a guide for two really special beings. Thanks Harv for the sharing!

    • Thank you Rev. Steve. Both Diane and I appreciate your prayers and support over the last year!