Elise Harboldt - Archives

Rethinking Resolutions by Elise Harboldt

Rethinking Resolutions

December 30, 2016 | Elise Harboldt

Do you have a New Years resolution? I have a track record of failed resolutions. In 2013, I vowed to learn Spanish. In 2014, I promised to stop interrupting people. 2017 has arrived, and I’m embarrassed to say that no hablo español, and I do still interrupt in English.

But some things need to be interrupted, like the way we do resolutions. Perhaps you’re the exception. If your personal growth has risen to new heights with each passing January, stop reading this and go become a motivational speaker or something. But if, like me, you’ve fought a losing battle to become the best version of yourself, keep reading. You’ll discover one thing that can change everything.

Where Did Resolutions Come From?

New Years resolutions are actually quite old. In ancient Babylon, the people made promises to their gods at the beginning of each year, resolving to pay debts and return borrowed items. The Romans made annual promises to Janus (the god of January).

What about the God of Christianity? Does …
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Elise Harboldt

Writer/Producer
Beautiful Minds Medical

Reclaiming Mindfulness by Elise Harboldt

Reclaiming Mindfulness

December 29, 2016 | Elise Harboldt

Hey, you. Yeah, the person staring at the screen.

I’d like to invite you to think about your feet.

They’ve done a lot for you, so take a few minutes to acknowledge your ten-toed reality.  How far have your feet travelled today? Have you ever gone anywhere without them? Do you like them, or do you think they’re gross?

Next, notice what your feet are feeling. Are they cold? Any pain or discomfort? Bare to the air or surrounded by socks? Do your socks match?

All right. Our experiment is done and it’s time to talk about why we just did that. Of all the things in the universe, why should we expend our precious mental energy on feet, unless, of course, we’re clipping our toenails or buying new running shoes. Do we really want our feet to be in our heads? I don’t, but what I shared is a silly example of a habit that I do want to practice, and that’s mindfulness.

Have you heard the buzz about …
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Elise Harboldt

Writer/Producer
Beautiful Minds Medical

Great Expectations by Elise Harboldt

Great Expectations

August 25, 2016 | Elise Harboldt

“This quote is exploding my mind.”

That’s the text I received  this morning from my friend Janessa, whose birthday just happens to be today. Jesus sent Janessa a beautiful birthday sunrise and a quote so epic it’s exploding my mind too.

“Jesus is the fullness of our expectation” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, August 26, 1890).

Expectations are tricky things. Take for example, birthdays. My fourteenth birthday was a letdown. My mom likes to celebrate people, so my childhood birthday memories are filled with parties and cake. But the day I turned fourteen, I realized that the people at my boarding high school didn’t realize what a big deal my birthday really was. We didn’t have a school-wide party. It wasn’t all about me. At the end of the day, I felt embarrassed. It was silly to expect more. I guess I need to lower my expectations.

Managing expectations is a thing, I guess. Self-help books, articles, and counseling sessions are dedicated to this practice, and rightfully so. Why? Because …
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Elise Harboldt

Writer/Producer
Beautiful Minds Medical

Too Dark for Me

Too Dark for Me

March 25, 2016 | Elise Harboldt

“Do you cut yourself?” I ask. “No,” she whispers. “I burn myself.” She pulls up her sleeves to show me dark red lines all the way up her arms. “I use a curling iron.” 

“I took the whole bottle of pills,” he says. “My wife found me passed out and called 911.”

“I want out,” she says. “I can’t promise you I won’t follow through. Life is too dark for me.” 

I work in a mental health practice, and hear these stories over and over. People who often look normal on the outside give a glimpse into their painful inner worlds. The darkness is deep and the stories sad: abuse, trauma, anxiety, depression, addiction, substance abuse, brokenness, and pain.

I’d like to think these stories are anomalies, but they aren’t. Every 16 minutes someone in the United States commits suicide. It’s the tenth leading cause of death in Americans over age 10. At least one in four American adults suffers from a diagnosable mental illness such as depression or anxiety …
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Elise Harboldt

Writer/Producer
Beautiful Minds Medical

May Your Soul Feel Its Worth

May Your Soul Feel Its Worth

December 24, 2015 | Elise Harboldt

I sink down in my pew, cringing to the core. “It’s coming,” I think. “There’s no way she’s gonna make it.”

“Oh night divine. Oh night when Christ was born.”

My palms are sweating. My face is turning red. “Why am I embarrassed? I’m not even the one singing!” But this poor woman is about to commit social suicide. I brace myself for the blow.

“Oh night, DIIIIIIVVVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNE….”

Her shrill voice slides to the high B like a baseball player dirt-diving to home base. She makes it, but barely. The audience breathes a collective sigh of relief.

Oh Holy Night is an iconic Christmas classic. From Josh Groban, to Mariah Carey, to the brave woman singing at church, this powerful piece evokes a strong emotional response. Especially that high note.

But tucked away in the first verse is a short phrase we usually overlook.

“Long lay the world in sin and error pining Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.”

“The soul felt its worth. ” Those five simple words are …
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Elise Harboldt

Writer/Producer
Beautiful Minds Medical

Evange-baggage

Evange-baggage

February 24, 2015 | Elise Harboldt

“I hate evangelism!” my friend Edward said as he wrinkled his nose in disgust.

“No you don’t,” I said. “You just don’t know what it is yet.”

To be honest, I used to think I hated evangelism. To be extra honest, I have a personal preference for the word ministry, but that’s just because I’m working through my own evange-baggage.

The dictionary defines evangelism as “the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness.” 

The reason why Edward thinks he hates evangelism is because all he’s heard about it is that he should go knock on people’s doors and pressure total strangers to start believing the way he’s been told he’s supposed to believe.

Edward’s a pretty socially savvy guy and that whole concept just totally wigs him out. His dilemma makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time. It makes me want to sit him down for a cup of tea and tell him how crazy I used to be.

But Edward is …
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Elise Harboldt

Writer/Producer
Beautiful Minds Medical