Choosing To Live My Life, My Way

by Penny Scheenhouwer

In my early 20’s, I made a decision to change my lifestyle. I stopped drinking alcohol and smoking, I cut gluten, dairy, sugar and caffeine from my diet. I also ended a relationship after realising that my partner and I were just going through the motions. He was not interested in what I thought or felt about things and most of the time we spent together revolved around going out and partying. One day, I just decided that I would rather be on my own forever than settle for being with someone who was not really interested in being with me.

Why did I make these choices? My life seemed great. I was earning a lot of money for someone my age, had loads of friends, played sport and had a great social life (which was always about drinking). I also used to have mood swings, cry a lot, get angry for no reason and hated myself. I couldn’t reconcile the fact that I seemed to have what was deemed a great life yet, I felt otherwise on the inside. I decided that things were not working and something had to change. I didn’t really ‘know’ what I was doing but just went with what I felt to do. I started to feel much better about myself, more settled within myself, I had loads more energy and of course my skin looked great and I lost weight. I also started to like myself (wouldn’t go as far as love yet!).

When I made these changes I got some support from family and friends but mostly people got upset with me and gave me a hard time. The biggest issue for most people was that I chose not to drink alcohol. I was constantly pressured to have ‘just one’. As for the food, most people found it weird and a hassle to have me over for meals. A lot of people stopped asking me out. It didn’t take me long to cave into the pressure and go back to living the way I was before, to feel accepted and ok with others again. I have to say it also didn’t take me long to stop noticing how horrible I felt in my body, or that I was moody again and began to put on weight.

I met Serge Benhayon over 10 years ago after a friend recommended having a session with him. At this point in my life I was drinking heavily, smoking cigarettes and taking recreational drugs regularly. I was also married to a wonderful man. We had what we thought was a great relationship, yet most of the time we were drinking and taking drugs.

I remember that first session so clearly. Serge spoke to me about how much love I was amongst other things. That seemed foreign to me at the time but I couldn’t deny how I felt after the session with him. My husband also came that day and loved how he felt. We continued to see Serge for sessions regularly as we knew that the way we felt after a session was something that we didn’t feel normally in our life but wished we could.

Our life was hectic, stressful, we had money issues and of course we used alcohol and drugs to relieve the stress. All the time that we saw Serge, he knew that we drank, took drugs, etc and never once did he tell us to stop or tell us what food we should be eating. He continued to treat us with respect and love and supported us in our way to connect back to Love. It took us a few years, but we eventually made the decision ourselves to change these things. While we started to feel great in our bodies and life, others around us reacted. Having experienced this before, I knew that this was just a part of the process and continued doing what I felt was good for me. That was eight years ago now.

My husband and I are still together (more so, as our connection to ourselves and each other is based on love first) and we have an amazing life (though not perfect!). All those that reacted initially to our changes, now comment on how well we look, how healthy we are and how wonderful our relationship is. They notice that we don’t have a life filled with drama and that we are not exhausted. They ask us for support with their lives, never do we tell them what they should be doing. In fact, we hardly ever speak to them about how we live. We have many friends who are not esoteric students and have great relationships with all of our family members. They are all used to our way of living and respect it, and our choice to not drink alcohol or eat gluten and dairy is not an issue to them now.

Serge Benhayon, his family and Universal Medicine have inspired and encouraged myself and my husband to re-connect back to ourselves, to trust ourselves and trust that we already know what our bodies need and that we are already love. And we in turn, are now inspiring others by our daily living, showing them that they too can make choices for themselves, if and when they are ready.

202 thoughts on “Choosing To Live My Life, My Way

  1. Who would have thought the choice to not drink alcohol (which poisons your body), and cut out foods like gluten (that bloat you and and weigh you down) are such controversial decisions… it’s one of the many ways that human beings live that doesn’t make sense currently.

  2. Hi Penny, I experience very similar reaction with family and friends when I initially changed my diet and lifestyle some 30 years ago. I found it so strange and very hard to handle the reaction of others but persisted for about 7 years without drugs or alcohol or dairy, or meat for that matter. I was a little radical though taking my family to the extremes of eating raw food and fasting. Because this change was in reaction to how I had been living previously it did not last as I soon swung back to coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, dope and dairy. When I saw how harmful smoking dope was watching my teenage children I gave that up. When my first granddaughter was born I gave up cigarettes. When my body could not handle even one glass of alcohol I gave that up. By the time I came to Universal Medicine I had already made significant changes in my life but the change that the presentations of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine inspired me to make of the greatest significance were on the emotional front. It was the emotional drama that had gone unchecked for a lifetime that needed addressing along with my lack of self worth and low self esteem. This was dealing with hurts in a whole new way; from a place of being love first. I realised that I had not previously really dealt with any of my hurts; I had only ever magnified them by pulling them out at the drop of a hat and then stashing them back in the body to build on the next time round!

  3. Our bodies really do know when enough is enough but we are experts at denying its messages. We do this at our own peril.

  4. Penny you and your husband are simply the best role model ever to let people around you feel and see how beautiful it is to live the way of the livingness.

  5. I think its such a great feeling when we stick to our guns and do what we know feels right for us and our bodies, regardless of whether that leaves us socially isolated, in the end it isn’t worth compromising ourselves to be in relationship with people who only wish your company if you will conform to a set way of being. And as Penny shares, many will come round to seeing how positive the changes are when we live true to what feels best for our health, provided there is not a preaching that this is the way everyone should live. Ultimately it is each persons choice how they wish to live and what they wish to do, as evidence so beautifully by Penny’s sharing the complete lack of judgement of her behaviours by Serge Benhayon.

  6. The beauty of our own connection and the choice to make changes to support ourselves lovingly is magic. Thank you for sharing your experiences and inspiring us all Penny.

  7. Your blog Penny, proves to me once again that we know what is good for us but are not supported in living this accordingly and instead are challenged to live that life in comfort that all others are living. Stepping out of that construct will always give reactions from our family, friends and other people we know. Now we are blessed with Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine who do support us in returning to that way of living we all know is our natural way but have avoided from living for many reasons. He just acknowledge that we are that much more and deep within always have known. His support assist us enormously in standing strong when the reaction of people comes to us when we make the choice to step out of the normally accepted and agreed on patterns based on what we sense is true to us in our hearts.

  8. Thank you for sharing your story, showing us that it isn’t about what’s coming from the outside. But that it is what’s coming from inside of us that matters.

  9. I like how you changed your life style because you could feel there was truth in it and then weren’t able to sustain it, it simply shows that we do not learn to support ourselves to live in a way that feels true to us and then we doubt ourselves instead.

  10. It was only after I came to Universal Medicine that I realised that I had actually hardly ever made choices for myself even though I thought I was in charge of my life. Many choices were made in reaction to the world and people around me. What I have learnt is that I have to get to know myself in essence in order to make choices that are in alignment with the true me.

  11. Everything about this blog was enjoyable, at the risk of sounding like a sycophant it just made me want to meet you and your husband one day. You writing is so accessible, relatable, there is no trying to be anything but who you are. Thank you for taking the time to share your story with everyone.

  12. Good to see and realize where our choices bring us. I also made the experiences to choose alcohol and other ‘things’ like foods and entertainment to not become aware where I and the world was and how it feels. Now while I am ready with alcohol and many other ‘things’ (still not perfect and no pressure to become) I become more and more aware. My life did get better, but also more challenging. Or better said: I become more aware of the challenges and I am more free to make a choice again. To take responsibility again in full is a journey away from the ‘normal’ life of most of us and it feels like I am a pioneer – with all the ups and downs of this position. Thats my way.

  13. Changing your lifestyle when you were younger shows you that you knew, like we all do. Beautiful to read how you connected back to the truth of your body when you felt the loving reflection that Serge Benhayon gave to you and your husband. And now you are a loving inspiration for your family and friends, your love for all is what they get and feel.

  14. Alcohol seems to be a peculiar addiction that has the power to generate the illusion that we are one (when we are under its influence). It also provides a great alibi, if anything goes wrong, alcohol is ythe one to be blamed for (the people choosing to drink it have not responsibility here). Only when one is out of this created reality, one realises that alcohol cannot really help to establish any real foundation for relationships, that the relationships created around it are empty and not true. The veil gets lifted.

  15. I love how so many people, inspired by Serge, choose to connect back to who they are and make choices in honour of that connection and how they feel… trusting their bodies to guide them in a way of living that is deeply supportive and transformational to the point it then inspires others to do the same as if love is contagious. Very cool.

  16. If we change things in our lives because someone tells us too, we are allowing another to be more powerful than we are in our own lives and these changes never work. When we make changes because we have felt the truth and come from a place of love they are far more likely to be the changes that really support us.

  17. This shows so clearly that it is not about pushing anybody into changing their life or tell them what to do but that we are all allowed to have our own rhythm and by letting each other live and living our own life to our own awareness we inspire each other and thus bring change to us all.

  18. Its super interesting how when we come to make some choices that we consider to be healthy but are at odds with the way the rest of the world or our family and friends are living that there is no support. Of course it is very confronting for everyone else because it exposes those same choices in them.

  19. I had a similar experience of uneasiness when I finished university. Everything looked rosy and sorted on the surface in terms of relationship, career, money, fitness, health etc but underneath it all I felt miserable and empty and not content at all. There was a deep unsettlement in my body that did not ease until I re-discovered my connection with my body and my inner heart and started living more truthfully according to how my body felt not what my mind was telling me was the norm.

  20. People reacted to me (a lot more than I cared to admit at the time) when I made choices that supported me but although I felt hurt I didn’t allow it to affect me and go back to how I was living before. The simple changes like going to bed early and cutting out alcohol made such a difference to how I was feeling that I couldn’t go back. As I continue to make changes in my life I too have come to understand that people react in different ways and some hang on to the resistance within themselves and some don’t but no matter what is going on for them I am learning not to react to them but with consistency keep offering love.

  21. It’s really crazy that people react when another makes changes for their own wellbeing and to enhance their quality of life. Yes, it is exposing and asks us to look at our own choices when confronted with someone choosing to live more lovingly, but why attack that with a lure back to patterns being left behind?

  22. It is in the choice for changing our lives for the better. That we inspire others. It is this love for ourselves is showing us our true essence.

  23. I read you blog Penelope and cannot but wonder how many people in the world today are showing facade or particular face to the outside world while they are crying on the inside.

  24. To make self-loving choices in our society today is unfortunately like swimming against the tide, simply because disregard is so wide-spread, however as you share if we manage to hold ourselves steady and not get affected by this general resistance it is very much worth it and eventually people around us will see that too.

  25. To be confirmed in what we deep down know to be true is a gift to receive, it allows oneself to take every step more in the knowing of oneself. It builds trust and confidence.

  26. Penny, this is awesome. I love how much of an inspiration you are to your friends. I have experienced people having difficulty accepting my self loving choices in the past, but then like you, have come around and really embraced it as they see how well I’m doing as a result of it. It’s so important to stay true to yourself, because it can only be a great reflection for others.

  27. Hello Penny and how we see the world is an interesting one. There are some that see nothing wrong with drinking alcohol, there are some that advocate it, there are some that don’t care either way and just think it’s life, there are some that know’s it’s not great but still choose it, there are some that can’t drink it for whatever reason and there are also those that choose not to drink it. You would think that this is a number of different people but in fact we are all the same and simply making different choices.Whether you drink or not that doesn’t define you and just because you have stopped drinking or don’t drink it doesn’t mean you know something or are better then someone who does. If you are seeing or aware of something that someone is not, it’s not our purpose to show them or to have them join us or for them to get it, it is merely up to us to give them a true reflection. In this reflection they will have the space to choose the truth if they are ready and if not then you can see still that they know and equal to you. We often think and still hold that we are better for making choices that are different to others, anything but holding a true reflection or connection is a judgement to another and puts pressure on them. We are not here to give answer, direction and solutions to each other, we are here to live truly connected and from there everything takes care of everything.

  28. It is very exposing of where we are at as a humanity when people not drinking alcohol or numbing themselves with certain foods become abnormal. It’s actually the normal we have settled for that is super abnormal!

  29. Most people initially have an opinion about whether I drink or not, (why not?) or don’t have dairy or gluten ! When I express the fact that my body feels so much better without these things and the response I often get is about how difficult and limiting it must be for me to enjoy my food. I did miss some items of food when I chose not to have them anymore, but not for long!

  30. Thank you Penny for sharing. It is our life to choose how we lead, but if it’s not Love that we know and feel in our body, then it’s not the full us we are bringing anyway. This can sound a bit blithe or rather blunt but the more I honor this, the more I can see there is no substitute for truth: that is we are all made to live with stillness, appreciation, openness and grace – anything less is just a mirage.

  31. It is strange how much peer pressure there is to not make loving choices and not expose all that does not work in this life.

  32. It is truly a conundrum how much people react when they see someone they know making healthy choices. The pull for them to do the same is very present and must feel super uncomfortable when they ignore it for old familiar unhealthy ways.

  33. It can show how little our relationships with friends and family are based on love when they actually encourage others to drink alcohol and change their diet back to unhealthy ways, supposedly to be social and fit in. Love actually supports people where they are at and let’s them be – no imposition. Serge Benhayon is a great example of that love.

  34. When there is a constant present of some crutch, whether it be drugs, alcohol, or huge consumption of food (amongst many other things) this must tell us something isn’t right. It surely must say: “there is something inside you are not wanting to feel or address”. For those who are willing to say “I want to be me, and I want to get rid of that crutch” – Serge Benhayon offers insights that are invaluable in supporting that change.

  35. I can relate to the knowing of what feels right but then not being able to live it. It is powerful and very confirming to meet someone like Serge Benhayon who simply lives his truth no matter what the world is living or saying otherwise. A true blessing, a reflection we so very much need in this world as it all helps us to build trust in ourselves again and to live what we know is true.

  36. It is fascinating that people give you a ‘hard time’ for giving UP alcohol and other harmful drugs… they should be giving us a hard time for taking them up in the first place and continuing to use them despite the in-your-face obvious ill-effects. We have it completely upside down.

  37. “They are all used to our way of living and respect it, and our choice to not drink alcohol or eat gluten and dairy is not an issue to them now.” It makes such a difference in your relationships when you claim what is true for you.

  38. I have also had the experience of changing many things in my life for the better (sometimes only temporarily) but still not feeling completely satisfied or settled. It was only when I started to connect to a love and stillness inside of me (with the support and inspiration of Serge Benhayon) that I realised that I am ok as I am, and then this sense of settlement or ease in my body was really there and then it became much easier and more permanent to make my life how I wanted it to be and feel.

  39. One thing that has happened since starting to make choices from my heart and being solid and steady in those choices – some friends move away and even family members can go distant, and this was not the intention but simply to live more truly myself. It’s more a reflection of what perhaps those friendships were based on – something which was not true to begin with, but this doesn’t mean there is judgement or hardship.

  40. It’s crazy that when we make loving choices this can trigger so many people, sometimes the reflection is too much for them to handle and they feel exposed in their loveless choices even though you haven’t said a word or judged them in anyway it has rocked their comfort – in a good way.

  41. I am noticing that the more loving a choice I make the more other people seem to react. i have also noticed that the way other people react seems related to my ability to appreciate and accept my own choices without apology. If I am steady in myself I am rarely questioned about my choices.

  42. What is becoming clear to me is my response to another when they are in reaction to me and how the response is dictated by the choices I have made previously eg. when I am in the momentum of listening and honouring myself I am less likely to react but if I am rushing or listening to doubtful thoughts in my read then I am more likely to react. Developing a momentum where my choices are loving builds a foundation of love and the more steady the foundation is the less likely I am to harm myself by reacting.

  43. What you share here is beautiful Penny, I can relate with this part and am choosing this too, ‘to re-connect back to ourselves, to trust ourselves and trust that we already know what our bodies need and that we are already love.’ Absolutely.

  44. When I stopped drinking alcohol (which was a few years before coming across Universal Medicine) I too experienced the pressure from friends and family to ‘just have one drink’, and this is something I too have done to others for loving choices they have made which I am jealous of or find exposing. And this is the nub of it isn’t it? We trundle along in our relationships where we have unspoken rules and arrangements about how we behave and interact. If someone then ‘breaks’ the rules, the others will feel disturbed, disrupted, uncomfortable, exposed and instead of celebrating the one who has chosen to step off the numbing hamster-wheel and allow ourselves to be inspired, many, if not most of us instead feel anger, jealousy, rage even, and will do whatever we can to sabotage the loving choice of another so we don’t have to feel the lovelessness in our own choices. As soon as they are back playing within the rules of the game, we relax back into our comfortable arrangement. I’m pretty sure there aren’t many of us who would consciously choose to do this, so why do we unconsciously choose it? Could it be that we will go to any lengths to protect ourselves from being exposed in the irresponsibility we choose to live in?

  45. ‘I couldn’t reconcile the fact that I seemed to have what was deemed a great life yet, I felt otherwise on the inside’. This is something many no doubt can relate to that exposes that it is not about improving life on the outside but going deeper within…irrespective of what everybody else is doing.

  46. The words that spring to me at this moment Penny is true commitment. Appreciating the movements made to strengthen your living foundation and trusting that everything you need is right there within you to support the changes is super inspirational. When we stop and observe the choices made without perfection, true healing starts to unfold. Thank you for sharing.

  47. If we are ‘told’ what to do we are inclined to rebel but when we are inspired by another by the choices they are making and can feel the difference then we feel free to choose to make changes to the way we live.

  48. I love how it is not about needing to know everything before taking the first step, but rather honouring what we do know and learning along the way…

  49. What a beautiful testimony of how developing a loving relationship with ourselves, living in connection to our love and truth within, is what truly guides us live our lives with far greater enrichment. This is what offers real inspiration, being met with a loving way of being that is naturally lived, representing the truth who we all are in essence.

  50. I was at a Universal Medicine event yesterday and I observed over a hundred people looking really well, joy full and very few over weight. They were all interacting with each other and enjoying the connection. I went to a conference recently and where I observed three quarters of the room being over weight, most looked very unwell and miserable. No one were really connecting to each other, rather sitting alone drinking coffee. The two gatherings were like chalk and cheese.

  51. What a world we live in when a person who is truly loving stands out, as this is how we are to be with each other naturally so it says a lot about how we conduct ourselves with each other in general.

  52. Whilst we all know what feels right in our own body we do not always adhere to this. The big question is why don’t we listen to the body and what is it that we get out of abusing ourselves because we definitely do get something out of it. What I have learned for myself is that when I do the right thing by myself it asks me to be more and more responsible and it is this responsibility that we run away from.

  53. Funny how when someone goes to make changes in their life, friends and family can be properly challenged by it and so are unable to support them and instead become critical because of the reflection if brings up for their own lives. Its an important observation Penny, and prepares one better for when this does happen, allowing more understanding of what is going on.

  54. Gosh, reflecting on my life 8 years ago this is the picture I get, on edge and stressed all of the time, searching spiritual new age for answers and getting only relief, I was drinking and smoking, anxious and unfulfilled. I had lengthy holidays to exotic places, owned my own home, had a boyfriend and spent plenty of time socialising with friends. My life ticked the boxes but it wasn’t true. Now, I may not fit in to the ‘norm’ in the same way as I use to but the quality of life I now have is incomparable, I feel vibrant and joyful, I have a growing business which I love, the relationships I have with others are deepening and I feel content within myself. There is not one bit of me that could go back to the way I was living and I don’t think my body would let me, even if I wanted to.

  55. When it came to food, emotions, relationships, well everything really that Serge has presented from lived experience it has all made sense. At first when I started listening to my body again and giving myself permission to go with it, I reacted a lot because I could feel how long I had not allowed myself to make certain changes in my life. To my family and friends it would have come across as controlling and extreme initially but over time they could see a consistency and stability in me that didn’t waver. For example there are certain activities and food that I would never be swayed to do again which I see people around me trust and know.

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