I think I am finally ready to write about this. Usually, I like to write when everything has been sorted out and there is an assured happy ending, but even where there is struggle, there is always a good lesson!

I lead a life coaching company, Handel Group® Life Coaching, that prides itself on “walking its talk.” I have to remember that means I act in accordance with what I teach: I face my fears, I tackle my “inner brat,” and I keep moving forward toward bigger and bigger dreams.

It does not mean that I am perfect. Right now, I am very imperfect. In fact, I literally itch all over, basically, all the time. And it has been almost nine months of trying to fix it. A lot of solutions I have tried have not worked. Some even turned out to be harmful, and that has made me scared and a little hopeless. I am now covered in red splotches, scabs, and scars on many parts of my body from the scratching. It’s not just uncomfortable, embarrassing, distracting, and unsightly, it’s also mentally and physically exhausting. Most nights, I am up in the middle of the night for more than an hour. My husband says he wakes to the sound of scratching. I could laugh as much as cry, truly. It reminds me of being up in the night with a newborn who needs my attention, except now it’s me who needs my attention.

Please, don’t get distracted by what this “illness” might be or mean or what advice you might provide for me in terms of support. I am being advised by the greatest experts across Western, Eastern, emotional, spiritual, and metaphysical disciplines, and I am getting somewhere, just wait!

But here is where I want YOU to think about your own persistent affliction, whether it is emotional or physical or both. That way, you’ll get something out of my story.

I know I will be healed because I will heal myself with the help of these amazing practices, supplements, resources, and guides. I can finally say this because a few days ago, something shifted.

I surrendered.

Leila, one of my healers, told me to start being grateful for this challenge and to ask for its message. I had heard this concept before, and even bought it, but I was not practicing it. Instead of gouging my skin with my sharp, long nails every time I felt the itch, she told me to cut them and use an oil to rub into my skin, lovingly instead. As I rubbed, I was to say “I love you” or “thank you.” I’ll admit, it was a bit out of character, but if you want a different result…

It made ALL the difference. I kept running her words over in my mind “cut your nails.” I thought about how it applied to so many other areas of my life where I was punitive instead of loving: how I talked to myself if I didn’t accomplish a business goal, how I talked to my staff members if they weren’t doing what I wanted, how, at times, I angrily instructed my children to behave more graciously (yes, I get the irony!). I was doing harm, hurting myself and others, and my body was screaming at me to pay more attention to this and to stop it. Now I have the chance to practice, several times every hour, turning a violent urge into a loving one. Wow, thank you, challenge.

I have become positively positive. I think I had no choice. Seeing myself as a victim, powerless, just wasn’t going to work anymore. Being grateful for my challenge did. It changed reality. And I know this from having proved it many times before. My thoughts create my reality: A positive context leads to positive actions, thoughts, and feelings, which lead to positive results.

My itch is not yet fully gone, but my faith is restored and my acceptance of my own power is in full gear.

Where can you own the power of your thoughts today? What can you shift by just shifting your perspective?

You have brilliance inside you, asking to be heard, but you have to come home and listen.

Laurie Gerber is President of Handel Group® Life Coaching, an international coaching company, which specializes in teaching individuals to take focused and powerful action in every area of their lives. Passionate about personal development, Laurie has dedicated more than fifteen years to coaching hundreds of individuals and leading large groups at Kripalu Center, Esalen Institute, Equinox Fitness, Soho House, the JCC of Manhattan, Natural Health Magazine’s Women’s Wellness Weekends, and Menla Mountain Retreat. Laurie’s rigorous, yet loving, coaching style was showcased in MTV’s True Life Special, I’m Getting A Second Chance, and she has appeared in Elle, Origin, and Experience Life magazines. Follow Laurie on Facebook and Twitter.