The Power of Empathy: Unlocking Deeper Connections and Spiritual Significance

Empathy involves immersing oneself in the emotional landscape of another person. It requires actively listening, observing, and recognizing the emotions and perspectives of others without judgment. By doing so, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of another person's experiences and connect on a profound level. Empathy creates a safe space for individuals to share their vulnerabilities and feel genuinely understood. It is concerned with recognizing the human potential to feel emotions, rather than relying on one's own personal experience of emotions. Empathy necessitates placing oneself in another's shoes, demonstrating concern and understanding for their emotions. It entails the ability to communicate effectively and even lead by comprehending others' feelings, thoughts, and perspectives. 

Building a Good Life with Self-Awareness and Self-Regulation

No matter what your definition of a good life is, there are certain skills and habits that can help you achieve it. In this article, we'll explore the power of self-awareness and self-regulation, as well as other important factors that can help you build a good life. Overall, building a good life is about finding balance and fulfillment in different areas of your life. By investing in meaningful relationships, pursuing your passions, engaging in continuous learning, and cultivating gratitude, you can create a fulfilling and meaningful life for yourself.

How Self-Awareness and Self-Regulation Can Help You Grow Your Faith

Faith is an essential aspect of our lives, as it gives us meaning and purpose. It helps us find a sense of belonging and provides guidance in difficult times. However, growing in our faith is not always easy. It requires intentional effort, and self-awareness and self-regulation can play a significant role in helping us achieve spiritual growth. Self-awareness involves understanding our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It's about being honest with ourselves and taking responsibility for our ...

How Self-Regulation Can Benefit Your Decision-Making: Tips for Developing this Essential Skill

Self-regulation is an essential skill that can have a profound impact on many areas of our lives, including our decision-making abilities, problem-solving skills, creativity, and overall well-being. By learning to manage our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, we can make better choices, avoid impulsive decisions, and stay focused on our long-term goals and values. Developing self-regulation skills can also enhance our spiritual lives, helping us cultivate inner peace, a connection to a higher power, and a deeper sense of purpose and meaning. Whether through mindfulness meditation, prayer, or other spiritual practices, self-regulation can support our spiritual growth and help us develop virtues such as compassion, gratitude, and patience.

Self-Regulation: The Key to Self-Awareness and Spiritual Growth

Self-regulation is crucial for self-awareness because it allows us to observe and manage our thoughts and emotions without being controlled by them. By developing self-regulation skills, we can avoid negative thought patterns and behaviors that can hinder our self-awareness and personal growth. Self-regulation also helps us to stay focused on our goals and values, which is essential for self-awareness, and thus to growing spiritually and emotionally.

10 Methods To Grow Your Self-Awareness

Developing self-awareness is a lifelong process that requires ongoing effort and reflection. By practicing mindfulness, journaling, seeking feedback, and engaging in therapy or coaching, you can become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and how they impact your life. Through self-reflection, you can continue to grow and develop, achieving greater personal and spiritual fulfillment.

4 Spiritual Benefits Of Self-Awareness

But self-awareness is not just about understanding yourself on a surface level. It also involves a deep understanding of your spiritual self, which can have profound benefits for your overall well-being. Self-awareness is a crucial part of personal growth and development, with important spiritual benefits. By developing self-awareness, you can improve your emotional intelligence, increase self-acceptance, make better decisions, and develop greater resilience. These benefits can help you lead a more fulfilling life and deepen your connection to your spirituality.

Cultivate a Grateful Attitude with These Inspiring Quotes and Affirmations

Gratitude is more than just saying "thank you." It's a powerful force that can positively impact every aspect of our lives. Despite being readily available and free, it's often under-appreciated. However, when we cultivate gratitude, it can bring blessings, abundance, love, and positivity into our lives and the lives of those around us.

Developing a Gratitude Habit: Simple Ways to Make it Stick

Gratitude has not only impacted my spiritual well-being, but it has also improved my overall mental health and outlook on life. It has helped me become more resilient in the face of challenges and has allowed me to approach life with a more positive and grateful attitude. Of course, developing a habit of gratitude isn't always easy. Our minds have a natural bias towards negativity, and it can be all too easy to fall into patterns of complaining and negativity. But by consciously training our brains to focus on the positive, we can begin to rewire our thought patterns and cultivate a more grateful outlook. Here are powerful ways to develop a habit of gratitude.

How Gratitude Leads To Happiness

Research confirms that practicing gratitude daily can lead to increased well-being and several positive benefits, including optimism, enthusiasm, increased concentration, satisfaction, better sleep, and greater quality of relationships with others. In this blog post, we explore how gratitude can be a beneficial spiritual gift that enhances our ability to see the goodness, boosts our self-esteem and self-confidence, enables us to cope with stress and bounce back from trauma, strengthens relationships, and inhibits negative emotions like anger, bitterness, and envy.

9 Ways To Live a Worry-Free Life

Worrying can be a draining and debilitating experience, affecting not only our mental and physical well-being but also our spiritual health. Worrying can cause us to lose faith, feel disconnected from the world around us, and lose touch with our sense of purpose. However, by cultivating spiritual practices and trust in a higher power, we can reduce our worry and increase our spiritual resilience. In this article, we will explore five practical and spiritual strategies to help us stop worrying and increase our sense of inner peace and well-being.

8 Tips to Get and Maintain Inner Peace

Inner peace is something that we all crave, especially in today's fast-paced, stress-filled world. It's that sense of calm and contentment that comes from within, a feeling of serenity that allows us to navigate life's ups and downs with grace and ease. But how do we get there? And how do we maintain it? In this post, we'll explore some practical strategies for cultivating inner peace, as well as the spiritual dimensions of this quest.

5 Actions to Take if You're Going Through an Upheaval

Life is not guaranteed. You're going about your routine one minute, and the next thing you know, everything has come to a complete stop. Everything in your life has now become overwhelming as you are left to flounder. You're going through a crisis and don't know what to do. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do right away to help you gain more perspective and improve your ability to cope with any disaster. To help you regain your composure, try the following quick tips: Put the ...

Six Realistic Steps to Stop Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk can have serious spiritual effects. It can lead to feelings of unworthiness, shame, guilt, and depression, all of which can lead to further issues, such as decreased motivation and a lack of faith in oneself. It can also lead to a lack of trust in God and a lack of connection with one's spiritual self. Negative self-talk can also lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can lead to further spiritual distress. Therefore, It's important to address this habit and change it - the sooner the better.

Why Is Mindfulness So Vital?

At some point in your life, you've probably heard that leading a healthy, happy life requires being mindful. However, you might be wondering why this is the case. Mindfulness has the power to alter a wide range of aspects of your life.

Becoming More Forgiving

Anyone can learn to become more forgiving, regardless of upbringing, personality, belief system, or any of a hundred other differences. When we think of forgiving others, the process might seem daunting at first. Start with these tips to learn how we can become more forgiving.

Why We Struggle To Forgive Ourselves

There are many different reasons why we might struggle to forgive ourselves. It can be a lot more complicated in some ways than forgiving others. You’re not only up against a lot of emotions, but you’re also battling your entire history, how you see yourself, and the self-talk you’re in the habit of listening to. What makes this even more complicated is how skewed we sometimes are in our thinking when we consider what we think of ourselves. Let's look at some of the more common reasons we struggle with self-forgiveness.

Why We Struggle To Forgive Others

There are many reasons why we struggle to forgive others. To forgive someone else, you first need something to forgive. This means you've been betrayed, let down, treated badly, or hurt by those around you or even by yourself. Let's take a moment to examine how we interact with this pain and how it keeps us from moving forward.

Effects Of Forgiveness

Physically, there is a lot to be said for the effects of forgiveness. According to some studies, forgiveness can even add years to your life. How?

The Power Of Forgiveness

The problem is, we all think we know what forgiveness is. Yet it's easily misunderstood and we miss experiencing the power of forgiveness. To our way of thinking, forgiveness means letting go of something bad which happened, stepping somehow beyond it. We equate it with forgetting all about what happened, but this isn't what forgiveness is at all. Forgiveness is an understanding that the emotions of that event are binding you, and you want to unbind yourself from that event and the emotions it evokes. Forgiveness is coming to a place where you can think back on the event and NOT feel the heavy emotions any longer.

What You Think About Your Emotions Matters

Yes, emotional decisions can be troublesome in and of themselves. But they also offer a very big roadmap to keep us from harm, if we’re willing to acknowledge our experiences. People that make you feel sad about yourself are dangerous. Ignoring what your emotions are communicating, or hiding them away from others, can allow further pain or suffering to continue. Those who live in tune with their emotions often have the ability to see the true character of negative situations before others might accept it.

The Top Five Traits Of a Good Listener

If you want to become a good listener, there are certain traits and skills you will need to learn. Listening is an exceptional skill to develop and it can improve all areas of your life. People love to talk and are always looking for someone to listen to them.

4 Steps To Process Difficult Emotions

Difficult emotions can be highly complex and tough to process. Difficult emotions are usually negative emotions such as anger, loneliness, sadness, jealousy, fear, rejection, or self-criticism. At face value, these emotions are hard. If these emotions are not processed, they can become destructive and highly harmful. 

10 Steps To A Happier Life

There's a lot written about "superfoods" that contribute to the function of our bodies, let's consider 10 "power emotions" that combat the negative emotions and enable us to enjoy more enjoyment and abundance. To learn more about this topic, and about mastering your emotions, check out my Inner Healing Ebook. As we do so, please remember that spirituality and emotional health are two sides of the same coin. That is to say, that engaging in spiritual practices like prayer and meditation will multiply your efforts to grow emotionally. Likewise, intentional effort in growing emotionally will supercharge your spiritual life and practice. They grow together.

Good Emotional Health: What It Is and Why You Should Care

Individuals who have good emotional health are in control of their behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. They can tackle life’s challenges, bounce back from any roadblocks or setbacks, and can keep problems in perspective. They do not allow themselves to be consumed by the negative and do not wallow in self-pity. Those with good emotional health can cultivate and keep strong relationships with others while keeping a sense of positive self-worth. 

How To Have Faith In Adversity

This is the faith that Paul describes. Human development experts tell us we are usually in our thirties before we have access to this level of faith development. Our twenties are characterized by outgrowing the faith of our childhood and running away from God and chasing our own demons. Ultimately, the troubles and suffering that took us away brings us back. And we know and trust that at our very core, God dwells. Cutting through the many layers of ourselves to access that Presence gets easier as we go.

Amazing Side Effects of Gratitude

Have you ever felt grumpy? Or angry? Or worried? It's impossible to feel happy when you feel negative emotions. The fastest way to shake a bad mood is to count your blessings. Gratitude refocuses us on what we have. Anger, worry, grumpiness, and other negative emotions usually center around what we don't have or what might come in the future. Gratitude brings us into the present moment and returns our focus to what we have, what is good, and what is well. If you want one thing that can dramatically change your life, practice gratitude. Gratitude effects extend far beyond our mood. Gratitude empowers health mentally, emotionally, physically, and especially spiritually. Read on for the amazing ways gratitude brings about positive health in your life.

5 Reasons You Attract Toxic People And What To Do About It

I hear phrases like this all the time. Especially on social media. Everybody advises getting rid of toxic people. Cut off those relationships. I will concede, that at times, this is necessary - but not often. If you are being abused - GET OUT. Immediately. Most of the time, discussions about toxic people don't include abuse, just difficult human behaviors. Perhaps a better course of action, before cutting off a relationship, might be to ask yourself, "Why do I attract toxic people?" A person who has a pattern of cutting off relationships, or attracting toxic people, might have some unresolved emotional pain that is driving this behavior. If you struggle to maintain relationships when there is conflict, or when difficult issues and situations crop up, it may be worth looking within yourself at what is lying dormant that can be addressed and resolved. 

The Amazing Power of Daily Routines

I like to plan new routines with one goal at a time in three different areas: physical health, spiritual practice, and time management. If you are new to creating routines or looking to create a more meaningful one, this is a good place to begin. For example, a physical routine might include drinking more water or taking a walk. A spiritual practice might include meditation, writing in a journal, or practicing gratitude. A time management goal might include planning out your day, using your calendar more effectively, or using timers. Start with ONE goal in each area to begin. Read on about how routines are beneficial.

How To Rebuild Faith After Heartbreak

When the sun shines and the wind is at your back and love is in the air, faith comes naturally. When life is great, it's easy to believe in a God/Higher Power/Spirit that is love. Faith gets difficult when life gets dicey and things don't go our way - or even implode on us completely! Have you had your heart broken? Have you experienced trauma? Have you received violence? All of these events can profoundly affect and even disrupt one's faith. But that doesn't have to be the end of the story. You can heal yourself and grow your faith.

Emotional Intelligence: What It Is, What's In It For You, and How To Get It

Emotional intelligence and spiritual practices build upon the other. Growing spiritually, empowers emotional growth, as growing emotionally, fuels spiritual growth. If we look to Christ as the epitome of self-actualization, he is both emotionally and spiritually intelligent. As you continue to grow your faith and spiritual practices, you can also take the following steps to grow your emotional intelligence.

Healthy Ways To Deal With Anger

Anger, while unhealthy, is familiar. We know what anger is and how to bear it. Though it isn't good for us to hang onto, it is a familiar burden. Sometimes, what we name as anger or choose to feel as anger may be something else that we are afraid of. Anger can be an imposter, hiding more intense emotions like fear, shame, grief, or guilt. These other emotions are big and can be frightening to sit with. However, once we name them for what they are, we can rid ourselves of them. 

Find Contentment Through Emotional Health

Many of us spare little time or thought for our spiritual and emotional health. This pertains to the ability to recognize and manage your emotions, both negative and positive. People with good emotional health have developed strategies to deal with their daily emotions or even larger emotions for traumatic events, such as losing a job or the death of a loved one. 

Stop Being Overwhelmed By Hard-Hitting Emotions

When emotions begin to overwhelm us, it can feel like normal functioning is impossible. From the interactions with your closest relationships to mundane tasks at work, an inability to process can leave you feeling paralyzed, emotionally drained, and psychologically blocked. In this headspace, it might feel like you’re simply subservient to these feelings. However, there are methods you can use in these situations, to regain control, and come out from under it. 

7 Reasons Your Emotions Matter

Emotions are a conscious experience. They help us identify our responses and trigger our actions to events and circumstances. Emotions allow us to find an infinite pool of social information, which allows us to communicate our needs to others and realize the needs of others. They give us the ability to experience the ups and downs of life and can help us create, maintain, and navigate our relationships with others, and to connect with God/Higher Power/Spirit. Emotions help us survive. They have the ability to trigger our body’s fight-or-flight response. 

5 Reasons You Can't Get Your Needs Met

The foundation for having your needs met is a strong spiritual connection. Whether you are religious or not, spirituality is a significant factor in your overall health and well-being. Often what you feel is an undefined restlessness that you seek to resolve. For instance, you may take on a project to experience fulfillment. At the completion of a project, you commonly do experience fulfillment, but it is fleeting. Tending to your spiritual life rounds us out in a way like no other. A healthy and vital inner-life brings peace. It gives us purpose and direction. It connects us to other people, causes, and strength that transcends our individual experience.

5 Strategies For Living a Simpler Life

Something happens in our soul when we let go of extra things - whether they are emotional or physical. We feel lighter. We breathe easier. Who doesn’t want that?

10 Basics For A Fulfilling Life

Nobody wants to look back on their life with regrets. You might have some regrets about the mistakes you have made or things you have done or opportunities you lost. But you can make a conscious decision to minimize your regrets by leading a more fulfilling life. Below, you will find 10 basic rules for leading a fulfilling life.

How to Love and Accept Yourself

Everybody has quirks. There is something “different” about every human on this planet. We aren’t robots with predictable programming. What a boring world that would be! Instead, we all have a distinct set of characteristics with boundless capabilities!

Adaptability Is a Skill That Comes From Trying New Things

When you are willing to try new things and push the boundaries of your comfort zone, you develop the skills and the mental muscle to tackle obstacles and adapt quickly. In these instances, your body doesn't go into fight or flight mode and you are able to stay present to what you are doing and think clearly to problem solve. 

How To Leverage Mini-Habits to Grow Your Spiritual Health

Think, for example, of what would happen if you prayed/meditated for 10 minutes everyday? Did 10m minutes of cardio every day? Practiced gratitude for 3 minutes? Before you know it, these would begin to add up and you would be experiencing improvements in your body, mind, and spirit. Mini-habits don’t stop there though. Not only can your mini-habit change how you get things done, but they impact you in other ways as well. Read on to discover the powerful benefits of mini-habits.

6 Benefits Of Praying/Meditating For 10 Minutes Daily

When we pray or meditate for 10 minutes a day, it is going to change our life in huge ways. In fact, it's going to have some profound effects on our bodies. We are connected physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and enacting something in one realm of that affects all the others. If we do something in our physical bodies, it's going to affect us mentally, emotionally, spiritually. And if we do something spiritually is going to affect us in those other ways as well. We are accustomed to thinking of these as separate entities, but they are all manifestations of us. In other words, they are one and the same. 

Free Yourself From Negative Thoughts

We can make bold declarations about ourselves. We can be people who prioritize our spiritual lives, we can be people who prioritize our physical health. We can make bold declarations about ourselves, and then make it a habit. Write a note if you have to, or write out an affirmation to make these declarations throughout your day so that they become a habit. They will become hardwired into your mind and into the choices you make for your life.

The ONE THING That Transforms Your Life

When we have feelings that control us from past hurts, then we know that there's some forgiveness work that's necessary. Forgiveness is not letting telling the other person that they get a 'get out of jail free card,' it is not saying, 'hey, everything is fine.' It's a freeing of yourself from that emotional prison that you've locked yourself into.

Why Discipline Is Better Than Motivation

It's easy to give into the temptation of giving in when we "don't feel like it," but that doesn't provide us the life we want. To build a life we look forward to living involves putting in the work to create it. I'm not an advocate of all work and no play, life is about finding that healthy balance after all, and being able to enjoy the fruits of our labor. But the life we want isn't going to come and find us; it's something we build. In the building of it, we clarify what's important to us and what we can let go of. 

Nursing Is Hard. Nursing During COVID Is Crushing Part 2

Be a part of giving life back to these burdened saints who have given so much. Click here and show YOUR nurse they are loved and appreciated. 

Nursing Is Hard. Nursing During COVID Is Crushing Part I

Nursing is a gut-wrenching profession. In non-COVID times nurses experience a lot that the rest of us don't. In the next blog I will share how we can be a part of giving back to these wounded saints and help them heal from the trauma they've experienced. 

Nurses Are Rock Stars

In the best of times, nurses are the overworked, under-appreciated backbone of our healthcare system. When I have been in the hospital as a patient, a family member, a pastor, or a friend nurses kept the ball rolling. RNs, LPNs, CNAs - we would be hopeless without their contributions. And when a pandemic comes...  they show their commitment and dedication for caring for us in heroic ways.

What Is Guilt And How Does It Affect Us?

Feeling guilt is a heavy burden. Walking through life with the weight of the world on your shoulders is no way to live. Feeling guilty causes people to operate out of shame or undue obligation. Guilt-based actions are not always genuine and deplete people of their confidence and right standing. If you are operating under the weight of guilt, you may not be doing things because you want to. You may also be suffering needlessly, and resolution may be the only thing standing in your way.

What Is Emotional Wellness?

Emotional wellness plays a significant role in our lives. It provides us with a sense of self-empathy and allows us to have an awareness of feelings. This awareness of feelings extends not only to others in our lives, but it starts with self-appreciation. Emotional well-being can serve as a boost to our self-esteem and enables us to be resilient. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), well-being is a vital component of mental health. Emotional wellness motivates us to feel happy, take an interest in life, and gives us an extraordinary sense of satisfaction (NIH, 2015). We are productive, and we are positive beings.


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Hello Friends!

Hi, my name is Melissa Ebken, and I'm so glad you found your way here. 

I am at home in the difficult spaces of peoples’ lives, willing to listen and to support those who work to grow themselves. I am a trained coach and have consulted with churches in conflict. Not your stereotypical minister, I embrace the Gospel with joy and laughter as I seek to help those around me grow in faith and understanding, always striving to leave people better than they came. An agent of wholeness, I create a safe space for people, especially those who have been marginalized, where they can understand how ridiculously loved and valued they are by God/Higher Power/Spirit, and to experience the difference that makes in life. 

I started the Pursuing Uncomfortable Podcast to share the stories of people who have faced life's most difficult challenges, to inspire you to lean into and overcome your own. It's helpful to know that you're not alone in your struggles and to see how others have navigated similar circumstances. You can listen to it here.

Here's what I can do for and with you.


  • Coaching - this is a one-time or ongoing supportive relationship focused on you and your goals and hopes for the future




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