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.

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. Thank you Penny for sharing, I love how you say you and your husband never felt judged by Serge Benhayon, I can also attest to this. Serge has always offered complete and unconditional love and never ever have I once felt judged by him, this in itself is something quite extraordinary as even when people say they don’t judge there is often an underlying tone, whist with Serge there never is. When we are given a space that is free of judgment we are being offered great healing.

  8. I love how Serge treats us all with the same equalness without any judgment or comparison. He lives a simple true loving way of life and has inspired many to make different choices and live a life that is true for each of us.

  9. As more people choose not to drink alcohol and listen to their bodies when choosing what to eat, the balance of ‘normal’ is gradually shifting. By law all food packaging now has to list ingredients so that it is clear what is included so that we can choose. The laws on drink driving and drug driving are becoming clearer and more accepted so that saying ‘no’ to alcohol causes less suspicion and ridicule. The law is catching up with what our bodies have been telling us.

    1. Mary I agree, and the Gluten and Dairy free section in supermarkets is expanding as the demand is increasing, not because it’s trendy but because people are recognising the true health benefits cutting out gluten and dairy offer.

  10. This thing about those around us disliking any decision to change our drinking habits is because it provides them with a reflection on their own choices and that can be uncomfortable as the realisation hits. That may then set off a fear in us of not fitting in, or worse of being ridiculed, even rejected and abandoned – and so we’ll often cave in. But your experience goes to prove that anyone can get used to anything – it just takes time on their part and conviction, commitment and self worth during the layer of turbulence on yours.

  11. I love the power of your honesty expressed here Penny. Making changes in our lives starts with us and the choice to bring responsibility back to the forefront. That is hugely healing and much too appreciate. Thank you.

  12. It is true that Serge Benhayon is showing everyone a true, connected, love filled way to live. He gives everyone the respect and space they need to realise the love that they are. There is story after story of how Serge did not preach or tell anyone what to do, he just presented the way he lives and what that brings to all of us. I could never have imagined the depth of this and the way it goes deeper each day. Years ago I would have imagined making my life great and then keeping it so, dealing with the ups and downs so that I could get back to great. Now I know that life is so much more than that and the deeper understanding that I have now will be nothing to the understanding I will have as my journey progresses.

  13. Is it possible for one man to change the world? As we can see and experience ourselves the answer is yes.
    Serge Benhayon shows us what one true man can do just by being love all of the time.

  14. Living how you are without reservation and without preaching inspires people. No need to offer advice however only given when called/asked for. This is true support and giving people the space to develop in their own time.

  15. What an inspiration Penny! Your sharing of your journey to where you are now is clearly your own choice, no pressure from anyone else, just listening honestly to your inner most. It is great to hear your family and friends accept your decisions to change your life for the better and that you have your Husband who joins you in your amazing changes!

  16. “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.” I love this final paragraph Penny, especially the line ‘when they are ready’. I too have been learning this , as when I first came to Universal Medicine presentations I was so enthusiastic to have found a way that spoke to me with true integrity I became preachy – and of course that went down like a lead balloon! Now I have more understanding – of myself and others – people notice the changes and now ask questions – if they want to know more. And if they don’t, that’s fine too nowadays.

  17. With self-acceptance, we no longer will need to “to feel accepted and ok with others.”
    With appreciation we can strengthen our self-acceptance of ourselves, others and the world we live in.

  18. This is so important Penny, what you have chosen , your way, is the way that serves you. Whatever friend that is yours will allow that no matter what. This shows who true friends are. Friends are not about comfort or comforting , but who are you offering you the pull to forever sing (live) higher than ever before. To continue your way , in a world were many do not, it takes true strength and love to stay and trust your way, but this is what we are all capable of.

  19. This is very exposing Penelope of how our society (still!) interrelates. Instead of welcoming someone who is making clearly loving and wise choices for their health, they are peer-pressured into reverting to the previously harmful ones. Acceptance by the groups we belong to is an easy hook for us to get caught in, and thus succumb to making unhealthy choices once again. I loved that you had felt what was true for your body at such a young age, and then came back to that later on by virtue of support from Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon. What this displays to me is that you have been supported to return to the wisdom you innately knew from the very beginning, and this wisdom is in each of us waiting to be connected to.

  20. lt takes a lot of strength and absoluteness to turn your unhealthy habits around and make them more self loving choices but when you finally do the rewards are worth every moment to of initial struggle. l need to remember this.
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Yes, there will be those that drop away but the ones that really count and truly care are usually those that come full circle and support us all along.

  21. A lovely confirming read Penny. How interesting that so many of your friends struggled when you chose not to drink alcohol. There are some people who have not had an experience of what is is like to be social without drinking alcohol. I didn’t realize this till I stopped drinking. Hopefully over time they get to see how amazing it is to socialize, enjoy good company and feel amazingly bright and focused the next day!!

  22. It can be very uncomfortable for friends and family when we make the choice to give up alcohol, as deep down they have to feel and reflect on their own choices.

  23. I find it beautiful that you have lots of friends besides your esoteric student friendships and that your relationships have a loving quality irrespective of wether they are connected to Universal Medicine or not. I experience the same in my life.

    1. How odd would it be to only have friends who did the same things as you, it is like only ever looking at 1 colour! Life would be so one dimensional. We all have different experiences to bring to one another, that colour comes from sharing and learning with and from each other.

  24. It is a very strong and insidious force that beckons you back once you stop consuming something that is not of your true nature. I too have experienced this and its like the ‘group’ know you are pulling away and are there offering you more than ever to entice you back into the fold. When one is awakened from the stupors of what is not truly who are, they liberate themselves onto the path back home – inspiring a light for all others.

  25. It is interesting how making choices to sell care and result in others feeling uncomfortable, I did not consider this when I decided to look at my diet and connect more to my body and that my choices would be at times provoking for others to witness. Simply it offers a different view and challenges what many of of us consider ‘normal’. Something else I had not considered was true benefits of beginning to refine my diet to support me more, I have the practical increased vitality and steadiness, but also this deepening connection with my inner essence, what I am truly made which has been staggeringly beautiful to experience.

  26. You make some great points here Penny. One of the things that I have really appreciated about Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine is that everyone is free to make their own choices. There are no set rules or criteria for people to abide by and no one is policing others: we are all working out for ourselves what feels right and making changes (or not) in our own time. It can be hard for others around us to understand why we make the choices we do, but over times, the benefits can’t be denied.

  27. It is amazing how when we choose to care for ourselves people react, and when we hold on to it and don’t make ourself less to feel like fitting in, that changes and our livingness is inspiring them.

    1. Ha ha yes! Initially I think it irritates others that ‘we mess up the status quo’. Why do you have to change bread after all this time?! (You can substitute bed time, face creams, exercise routines, whatever you want really). On the whole I can attest to being like most others I have met… There are 2 things that are very confronting; change and responsibility particularly personal responsibility. We need to be the change we want to see in our lives,indeed in the world; it is actually the most empowering opportunity.

    2. Well said Benkt. It stands to reason why we need to get to the point where other peoples opinions don’t matter to us any more.

  28. Penny an honest sharing, and lovely to hear how you transformed your life by choosing to simply love yourself and say no to self abuse and harmful substances. The journey back to our true selves can be lonely, especially when our new choices are misunderstood or ridiculed by family and friends. We gain so much more, by choosing to stand firmly in love,and when we do loneliness diminishes as we reclaim and live life our way. With time, and as you have found, we earn a new found respect from those that once judged or criticised. They can see and feel for themselves the amazing effect our choices have had on health, energy and relationships.

  29. The level of acceptance, allowing and understanding Serge Benhayon has for each human being is beyond words. Never judging our choices but constantly, 24/7, offering us the choice of love by reflecting this.

  30. I also experienced that people turned away from me and commented on how boring it is to not go out and party, drinking alcohol and taking recreational drugs and for sure it is an uncomfortable reflection to them, but we also have to take into consideration that we did not live our true self and that we basically role played another person and that people related to this person and not the true one. So when I changed and started to live from what I truly felt i was not the person anymore they knew and they had decided to relate to before. This is just a reflection of how far removed from our true selves we lived and how empty our relationships were.

  31. I live in a small town where nearly all events revolve around or include alcohol. Drinking alcohol when you go out is a very ingrained behavior in my community as I’m sure it is for others. When I choose not to drink people get really offended and judge me and assume I lead a boring life. Others believe that if they gave up they wouldn’t have anyone to hang out with. They have formed a brotherhood based on alcohol yet none of them appear very happy and there always seems to be some sort of drama going on. I would rather form a brotherhood based on love.

  32. LOVE it Penny. Thanks for sharing how when you were in your 20’s you naturally felt to give up caffeine, sugar, dairy etc.. There are a lot of things in life which do not make sense, and when I chose to not have food like Gluten and dairy I felt so amazing. It made me wonder, why did I not ask the question earlier? Why was i so fixated on what I want in life but not prepared to listen to actually truth and symptoms that I was experiencing, let along the peer pressure that is massive in high school.

  33. I love this story Penny. It just goes to show, that when we allow others to support us to be who we truly are, great things start to happen.

  34. This is a sweet story, the fact that you both went to see Serge together is very warming. Often one partner may sit on the fence and be challenged by the idea of Serge for sometime. Usual the men from my experience and then when they meet him 98% of the time they absolutely fall in love with him too.
    The fact that your husband wanted true self love and wanted to reevaluate his life just as you did is super romantic. Your friends and family all coming around to accept who you both are and how you live is testament to how you would interact with them and sounds like you always meet them as equal no matter what their life style choices.

  35. What I found interesting here Penny is that when you and your husband made the changes in your life from a foundation of love first, it caused less reaction in those around than when you had previously changed your lifestyle, and also with you being so solid in your choices makes you less likely to be concerned about how others may react. I find this very inspiring.

  36. I’ve read this a couple of times now and I always find it rather inspiring. Because you’re just doing what feels good and base your life from that. It’s interesting how people feel threatened when others start making good self loving choices for themselves…

  37. I have had lots of reactions from people for not drinking alcohol. Some people just don´t want to go out with me because not drinking is not fun for their way of life. It is sad, but at the same time if they value alcohol more than relationship, what can I do?

  38. Very cool article. I love your developments ! What I can feel from your writing and developments so far is that the more consistent you are living, the more people around you start to notice that there is another way. Also, is that our consultancy is so important so others can see it is real and not just ‘a right thing’. I love how your family is in harmony with the fact that you both made those choices (not drink alcohol, gluten- and diary free etc.). I guess because you both have increased in health and vitality a lot.. That people can not deny that those choices are actually healthy for you.. For everyone!

  39. Penny thank you for sharing your experience, I also had a very similar experience with my friends when I gave up drinking and changed my diet. I didn’t want to engage in drinking anymore, I was becoming more aware of how my body felt and that drinking alcohol was something my body struggled with to clear through my system. My friends stopped inviting me round because they didn’t know how to be with me. I have hugely felt the benefits of changing my diet and making my own choice not to drink, I now have a relationship with my body, which before I had numbed so much I could hardly feel it.

  40. It is interesting that there is little support for making choices that feel right in your body unless you have a life threatening disease, then it’s ok. I’ve noticed that anyone making these choices is remarkable and remarked upon. That’s a big reflection for our society.
    The more we choose what feels right, guided by the body, the more support others have when they come to considering making those choices.

  41. That’s the way it is done, isn’t it Penny? Our change inspires others and on and on. For quite a long time after I stopped drinking I also stopped socialising, now I am enjoying initiating and nurturing many friendships.

  42. That’s exactly how Serge Benhayon is, he never imposes or tells you what to do. Somehow he just holds you in love and you find your own answers. Being held in such love is really the biggest answer on its own to what we already feel in our lives that is so wrong for us. It’s love that helps us find our way back, not knowledge or following others. That’s why Serge is just love with everyone.

  43. Beautiful sharing. I really love how you describe that you had the feeling for what was right for your body all the time, but that the social pressure made you override this. This happens so often that the so call “normal” takes over and we live abuse as normal. The beauty is how we can through reflection inspire others to choose love as their everyday normal too.

  44. What a revelation… Knowing you and your husband today and seeing your before and after photos, you have made changes for the better – absolutely! If this has all come through inspiration then it’s worth it for people to check out Serge Benhayon and see how he lives. I know my life has totally changed and is so awesome today!

  45. Penny, thank you for sharing the power of making a true choice. It’s great to be reminded of this every now and then, as I am realising how I still hold onto an image of how I would want to see things/people to be and idealise them, and am really appreciating the importance of feeling the truth for myself.

  46. I really enjoyed reading your blog penny. I know what you mean, when you talk about people’s reactions, when you first change your lifestyle choices. The same happened to me. Certain people found it so hard that I didn’t drink alcohol anymore and got upset with me. I even found, they didn’t know how to be around me anymore. What I find sad, is just because someone chooses to not drink alcohol…. that does not make them a different person. We can still have fun and talk just like before. It’s just without the drink. Why does that affect people so? I wonder…. if it is because how we are living reflects back to them how they are living that is not true to themselves. I wonder…..

    1. Great point jodybladin, why does it effect people when we choose not to drink? What are they truly reacting to?

  47. Thankyou Penny for sharing the fact that on the outside many look and project that they are fine and their life is great but on the inside they do not feel that way at all. This is a sad fact of modern day society as evidenced by the escalating rates of depression. By you choosing to be you and doing it your way you inspire everyone else to express and balance that true inside to outside wisdom and awesomeness that we all have innately. Great blog.

    1. I agree Suse, there is what i would call a dis-association from the body to feel the honesty of what the body is sharing as opposed to the make believe persona from the head. I see this increasing even more so through the use of social media as a playground to present a picture but not to share what is truly going on.

  48. Thank you for being the inspiration for others in you life Penny Scheenhouwer. We are the role models through the choices that we make and by our way of living as a result of these. These role models are so much needed in our society where there is almost not true refection for people who are looking for another way, as they experience their current life as hard and unbearable for they have numbed themselves with coffee, alcohol, drugs and by indulging in foods for not to feel the atrocities in their lives.

  49. It is amazing how much other people need us to stay the way they have known us to be. You would think becoming happier and healthier would be applauded but somehow it ruffles feathers. I can imagine it was hard to stick to the changes you felt to make when no one supported you. The second time you had felt your inner connection, which would have made the other enticements in life not so appealing.

    1. So true Fiona….you would think becoming happier and healthier would be applauded but for some people it does ruffle feathers as you said. I just know for me…. I would never go back to the way I used to live in this body. I too have felt my inner connection.

      1. I have pondered on this also, and have come to consider that when others make healthier and happier choices, the reason that some react or find it hard to support, is because it can feel uncomfortable and can expose our own choices up to that point. So in a sense, as long as everyone is doing the same thing, we are not exposed in our own behaviours and (often unloving) choices, but as soon as someone makes a different choice, we are presented with the possibility that there is in fact ‘another’ choice. When we are wanting to avoid taking responsibility for our choices, we often look for ways to either avoid or criticise the choices of another, however when we are willing to be honest about our own choices, the choices of another can be super inspiring and supportive because in essence, it simply allows us the opportunity to consider that we also have another choice.

      2. Very true, Angela’s comment is also a great expansion. If we look at smoking it is a great example. Smokers all know what they are doing is harmful to their lungs, there is an honesty there but when they try to give up the relationship changes and the hanging out no longer happens. Relationship groups change as the abusive behaviour no longer becomes a choice.

    2. You are so right Fiona. It is absolutely true. We are aiming to live more healthy and happy, but we often don’t appreciate it or welcome the answers with open arms. This to me then highlights that our resistance is only strong at the beginning stages, because we have given the opposite of health and true harmony a role in our life. We need to claim what is true & what we truly want in life, in order to break this stubborn pattern and possibly arrogance that ‘we all got it’.

    3. It is amazing how others around us can react to changes we make in our lives. Change is difficult for many, and making choices based purely on love can be challenging when we are so used to accepting abusive behaviour as our ‘norm’. It’s so true that when we have a strong inner connection, making loving choices becomes so much easier and we are less likely to be affected by those around us that find it hard to accept.

      1. I have indulged in fear of change and it has played havoc with, much delay, in my life. We cannot evolve without loving and encouraging the consistency of change in our lives.

    4. Beautifully put Fiona. others can be so unsupportive as it brings up jealousy in them.
      They secretly wish they could do it.

  50. I love how you share that in your early 20’s you chose to stop alcohol, gluten and dairy of your own accord and felt so much better. So many people report huge improvements in their health and vitality when they remove these foods that don’t feel good in our bodies (nobody can pretend that they feel vital after a night out drinking!) Yet society, including loving friends and family members, often do not support these beneficial changes – is it because they may have to look at what they are eating and drinking and may have to take responsibility for their choices in life?

    1. Thanks Carmin. Often people react to other people when they are presented with someone making a different choice and it is an offering for them to see something different. And because we are so used to what is normal and have believed that we have to follow what is normal by societies standards, we are shocked to see someone who is ‘abnormal’. But someone making a choice for their health, diagnosed by themselves and truly felt and honoured by them should be normal and it is very disempowering to say otherwise so or that we need science to prove things before we do them. If it is true and is harmonious in a true sense then lets embrace whatever that is I say!

  51. Gorgeous sharing Penny, I too loved how I felt after a healing session or course and wanted more of that in my life. Once you feel the love inside you can’t turn your back on it, as much as we may try to fit in with others it just doesn’t cut it. To feel the love and live to support that feeling becomes at some point more important than what other people think. I am just at the stage where I now aren’t willing to hide how amazing I actually feel compared to where I was 10 years ago, and I am not perfect or joyous everyday – but I know people who are living with joy and harmony in every moment and thats what I am allowing and developing. It’s awesome.

  52. This is a very inspiring story you share Penny I love how it is now for you that “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.” As what you have expressed here is that you hold no push in you to have others to be like you, instead what I feel is the acceptance of others for where they are at, while equally holding them in the same love you hold yourself. Just beautiful.

  53. Thank you Penny for sharing how you knew in your 20’s the changes you needed to make in your life but were unable to sustain them because of the pressure you were put under to ‘conform to the norm’. It is inspiring to hear how you and your husband have transformed your lives and the positive impact that this has had on your relationship with each other but also with those around you.

  54. That is true inspiration Penny, you changed the way that you live to what you feel to do, and not because anyone has told you to. It’s interesting how you already made the same choices years ago – you already felt the truth in that way of living!

    1. Agree Melissa, it’s very lovely to build a trust in ourselves and let that be our first go-to for advice.

  55. It’s really interesting that when someone starts to make positive choices that others get angry with them, or want them to go back to old ways and will even hassle them to go back to old ways. This is most often at the difficult point of breaking an old habit, in the early days where the patterns and cravings are being stopped. It doesn’t just come from people around us, but also from society, with ads on television, in newspapers, and when we walk down the street past cafés and restaurants, or even through the supermarket. There’s this constant bombardment with advertising and visual stimulation to consume alcohol, caffeinated drinks and foods high in sugar and fat. It’s no wonder that as a society there are so many problems with obesity, food addiction and excessive alcohol consumption. I don’t feel the health care system and, in general, society, are really understanding the impact of all of these products, not only on our physical health, but mostly our mental health. I’m so grateful for the inspiration from Serge Benhayon to begin to feel my body and feel what it really wants, then develop the self love to actually make the choice to take care of my body.

  56. Thanks for sharing Penny. I love the way Serge Benhayon operates, he just lives a deeply loving way and shares that love with everyone he meets equally and consistently. That naturally inspires us to develop that in ourselves.

    1. Yes I love that too katechorley, it is really inspiring how Serge Benhayon never tells anyone what to do.

  57. Very powerful Penny, thank-you for sharing so honestly… The strongest impression I am left with from your blog, is of the ‘heart cranking open’ – bit by bit, accepting that greatness of love that Serge Benhayon spoke of in your first session.
    This brings home to me so much of what I have also heard from Serge’s presentations, and that is, that it is ‘all there within us’…
    How deeply we can resist this great love, do our darnedest to deny its existence, and yet, how profoundly our lives can change when we commit to the way of ‘re-opening’ our hearts, ‘cranking open’ those forgotten hanger doors… What astounds me to this day, is how amazing it feels, even to allow the smallest opening, allowed by letting go of what has hurt in life that had left the doors well and truly shut.
    We are indeed so much more than we would, by and large, want to give ourselves credit for, so much more…

    1. I love the way you describe the doors to our protected hearts as “‘cranking open’ those forgotten hanger doors”, that just hints at the enormous love that has sat there, waiting to be restored into our lives.

      1. Exactly Rosanna. And how it is the shared experience of so very many people, particularly since coming to the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, that those old, neglected ‘hanger doors’ over our hearts have indeed been ‘cranking open’ – most definitely so! The love that awaits is at once profound and amazingly powerful, and then so very natural.
        Experiencing this, it becomes such a crazy notion that we would ever have constructed barriers to this love. Holding onto such hurt most surely is something we needn’t feel enchained to.

    2. Yes Victoria, it astounds me too at how amazing it feels to open up, let go of what has hurt and embrace love again. Letting people in is a big part of that for me.

      1. Me too Harry. And the fact that we are aware of the fact that we can go deeper and ‘crank the doors open’ to letting people in, and allowing our own love ‘out’, is something to celebrate in itself. This marks a commitment to people and life that the world so deeply needs. I stand beside anyone so committed in nothing but celebration – for it is with such heartfelt intent that the world will change, and our interactions open up to the love each and every one of us is capable of.

  58. Now this is more than a ‘good news story’! This is something worth celebrating day in day out, (by the feel of it you already are) truly inspiring Penny.

  59. Thanks for sharing your beautiful story Penny. It’s inspiring to read about the connection ( to the love you naturally are) you and your husband felt after your first session with Serge Benhayon, and the commitment you both had to continue with the sessions eventhough it caused a reaction with those around you. The amazing thing is that you both provide such a beautiful reflection to them all now.

  60. Such a beautiful sharing with us all Penny – thank you. So often I find when others including family and friends know that you do not drink or eat certain foods how many like to tempt you – ‘Go on just one won’t hurt’ they say! They then either go to one extreme of hiding away when consuming their chosen drink/food or exaggerate their choices in front of me. The one thing I am not doing is judging them – their choice. Underneath I know that they can feel all their choices in their body. So can I.

  61. Such a great sharing here with us all Penny – the point when you mention the pressure of others/friends trying to ‘tempt you away’ from your way of eating or not drinking alcohol I can so relate too. Overtime the more I supported myself and the benefits felt in my body I became less easily persuaded and know that others could feel this too.

  62. The fact that one day while you were having a great life (seemingly so from the outside) but nonetheless you decided to put a stop to it, carries an enormous weight. Recognising that one is not settled in the body and say no to it is something that not everybody is capable of doing and yet, amazingly, is something very easily reacted against. This is a marker you never forget and at some point returns to.

    1. It’s true emfeldman. Often it is a crisis in life that has us looking to make changes but for me all seemed well, in fact fantastic to most. It was of course a crisis within myself and how I felt about myself and life, and for me this was a way I could no longer live. The rest is history as they say, for today I live a life that is full of so much love and playfulness and my relationships with everyone, including the friends I partied with back then, are more open and loving than ever before.

  63. We don’t need to talk about what we do differently, just living the love reflects so much to others, that eventually they can ‘t but align in the future, whenever humanity is ready.

    1. Absolutely Steffi ‘just living the love reflects so much to others’. Reflection is so powerful and then when people want to know more they will naturally ask.

  64. This was really beautiful to read Penny. A life of tears and mood swings to inspiring others by the way you live is an incredible transformation. This vast contrast is something I too can appreciate since being inspired by my sessions with Serge Benhayon and the unwavering love and support he offered me. I look back only wishing that I had chosen to connect to the love within myself much sooner rather than hide in a life of recreational escape to hide the misery I was in. Thank you for reminding me how deeply appreciative I am to Serge and the choices I have since made for myself.

  65. A walk down memory lane. Those changes and the Love that Penny and I have now almost 3 years on from when this was written has been ever increasing. We have become the walking proof that there is a different way.

    1. It’s true Mick. Choosing to live the truth of who we are has meant that our relationship continues to deepen and that the love that we have does not have an end point but is always asking us to be more individually and together.

    2. Beautifully expressed Mick, you two are walking proof that there is another way; a way of life that’s built on a true foundation of love. Thank you for sharing; you and Penny are so beautiful.

    3. What an amazing couple you and Penny are Mick. You both are an awesome reflection for all of humanity….true role models.

  66. Penny, I love that you knew in your 20’s what you needed to do to support you. It doesn’t matter that you went back on that, because frankly the world wasn’t ready to support you with those choices, so it would have been extremely hard to keep that up on your own. Even more amazing is that you came across Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine later in life to revisit what you already knew… this time packaged with the support you needed.

  67. Wonderful Penny that is a great story thank you so much for writing this amazing blog. I made the same experience like you – that it is sometimes hard for people around me if I change. For me that is normal because the people around me then cannot stay in their comfort anymore.

  68. Wow Penny – you have come so far – we all have – after reading your story I am in deep appreciation for all UniMed and Serge Benhayon has offered us and very inspired to feel that this is now what we offer all others in life too. Thank you.

    1. I agree Gemma. What has and is continually being reflected by and offered to everyone by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine is the opportunity to know who we truly are and that a life lived based on love is in fact our natural way of being. As you say we now offer this same reflection to others by simply being all of who we are in our every day.

  69. Hi Penny, thank you for telling your story, I can relate to the fact that people often find when we change our diets or habits such as drinking others find this somehow uncomfortable to be around. It is often thought that to be gluten and dairy free also makes life difficult also. All it takes is a little adjusting to and changing our mindset, buying different ingredients but still quite easy to delete gluten from our diets and remove milk etc. and all very worthwhile.

  70. Penny I also found that “The biggest issue for most people was that I chose not to drink alcohol”. It definitely takes really knowing who you are and sticking with what feels right for you no matter what the outside pressures are. What helps me is to realize that the pressure comes from people who are uncomfortable with seeing someone make a healthy choice that they know they are not making for themselves (while secretly wishing they were), and wanting everyone else to drink alcohol too so they can feel comfortable. Which means they do know the truth! And therefore the most loving and supportive thing to do, not only for ourselves, but for them also, is to keep showing that truth by sticking to our healthy choices. And you did it! Thanks for sharing your inspiring story.

  71. Hi Penny, beautiful to read how you have transformed your life, through the choices you have made, having been inspired and supported by Serge Benhayon.

  72. Your title “Choosing To Live My Life, My Way” is the answer. Adding “with Love”. Thank you for sharing how you did just that – by choosing love in your life.

  73. Thank you for sharing, Penny, that un-common fact of what pressure we are put under when we take that so important step of making a better choice… to trust that choice completely. Trust ourselves that we can constantly and consistently make as many choices as we feel to – really go for it – and trust each choice that is made for, and from, the body, and not from pre-conceived ideals of “what is the best or right thing to do”. Learning and experiencing feeling great, not needing another or anything to fit in, what feels right and committing in full…

  74. Thanks Penny, I have enjoyed reading this blog and how you and your husband have transformed your lives by choosing to reconnect to that love within us all and how we can offer to others a true refection of who they are.

  75. Having come from the same I can very much relate to the lifestyle you had Penny. Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine have indeed supported you, me and thousands of others to eliminate such self destructive habits with absolutely no imposition… Instead allowing us the grace to unfold, come to and feel the truth for ourselves before finally making the self-loving choices to eliminate such harmful habits.

  76. Penny I love how you describe that the changes you’ve made have been your choice but lovingly supported by sessions with Serge Benhayon. For me this is one of the key points of difference to Universal Medicine and the esoteric modalities, they are not needed to keep feeling better because you are supported to connect to the love that is naturally inside and so life simply becomes more enjoyable, symptoms fade away as does the weight, and the unloving choices that were easily made.

  77. A very gentle way of changing habits with love and support, without judgement or pressure. That is why you can say you can support others to do the same “if and when they are ready”.

  78. I enjoyed reading how you and your husband recognised this feeling you had after your sessions with Serge Benhayon, a feeling that you did not otherwise have in your life but wished you could. And then how later on this feeling has become normal to you, proving the fact that we make the changes and ultimately live the lives our choices create.

  79. This is a great story, Penny. It can be all too easy to impose our ways onto others. You show how much more powerful it is just to be there for family and friends, with no imposition. It is also a testament to how you changed your life over time and slowly worked out what was working for you in your life and what wasn’t. It certainly makes me feel more patient and understanding with myself.

  80. Great story Penny – I have also made many changes in my life without necessarily being focussed on giving up anything in particular. The focus was on coming back to love which is so simple, anything that does not support this eventually stands out and is not needed anymore. So rather than feeling like I am giving up anything there is more and more love in my world.

    1. So very true what you say here Nicole, The focus was on coming back to love which is so simple, anything that does not support this eventually stands out and is not needed anymore. I have found this also, that with choosing more love for myself, your body just naturally tells you, this is not needed anymore. Love certainly gives you an okayness around anything that you choose to let go of, and as you say, there is more and more love to be had, as a result.

  81. Wow, awesome Penny. I can really relate to the mood swings, crying, getting angry for no reason and hating myself then having all that change when I too made most of the choices you have depicted above… But I really like how you have shared what your like with others. I’m always like ‘hey you should try this and this and this and that’ which I realise isn’t the best thing to do. It’s quite pushy actually.

  82. Thank you Penny – I loved reading this. Practitioners associated with Universal Medicine are the most unimposing practitioners I have ever come across and I have seen many! Reading this I was reminded of the way you supported me to make my own choices to stop drinking, smoking and partying with the same grace and acceptance you describe experiencing with Serge Benhayon. It is awesome to feel.

  83. It was very familiar reading that you made all the changes once, really changing the way you were living… but that it did not stick because the underlying issues were still there, and once you caved in to the peer pressure you slowly slipped back into what is seen as normal.
    The benefit of Universal Medicine is that there is the support, from Serge Benhayon, from the Universal Medicine Practitioners, and from a wider student community to bring those issues to our attention, to help us, to inspire us and to point out when we take a backward step. It is that support that truly helps us develop

    1. Yes Simon this was the missing ingredient for me originally. Understanding that true change comes from addressing the underlying issue was the key. Also the ongoing support you talk of, from Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine and the incredible community that we, are has allowed me to know that no matter where I am at or what is going on I will always be supported to connect back to the truth of who I am.

  84. I just love reading about people being their own scientist, first by being honest with where they are at (regardless of what the “picture” looks like) and then the courage to make true and lasting changes, step by step – all the while keeping the “scientific honesty” of where they are at and where to next. Thank you Penny

  85. I too chose to stop drinking alcohol many years ago. Even this Christmas I still got offered a drink from someone who knows very well I don’t drink. The pressure from society is very strong, but never stronger than my choice to honour me and what I feel.

  86. I have enjoyed reading how your choices have brought such huge changes to you and your family; in fact, everyone you come in to contact with. Having met you personally, I am inspired by you and your husband. You are filled with such joy!

  87. It is crazy how we cave into peer pressure despite how we feel when we do conform. But this blog is a great example and inspiring of how choosing to live in our own personal way is far more supportive than going with the crowd.

    1. I had the same thought – why do we all conform to the trends and what is around us rather than choosing our own lives? This is a perfect example of the benefits of following your own heart and choosing a different way to live.

  88. It is great reading about how you’ve claimed to live your life in the way you know is true for you. From regularly using alcohol and drugs myself when I made the decision to stop it was very uncomfortable for many friends at the time. Looking back, it was such a big part of life and any interaction I had with people – it just became normal. With the inspiration of Universal Medicine what I consider normal has most certainly changed back to being far more loving and caring of myself.

  89. This is beautiful Penny, I can relate to a lot of what you say. Alcohol and drugs has played a big role within my family and I know how destructive it can be to the lives of the taker and the family members. It’s great to read that you and your husband have found your way back and live a much fuller life, without the need of the drugs and alcohol.

  90. Interesting to read this now – only little earlier today I was listening to Radio 4 (London) briefly and a man was talking about peer pressure and how in his youth he could see he was going down the destructive path, because if he tried to be different (meaning normal) he would be, and I quote: ‘eaten for breakfast by his peers’. It is obviously huge for most if not all of us. Connecting to that inner-strength, is the best and most loving thing any one of us can do. It may bring some unpleasantness at the time, (as you described Penny) but it sure pays off big time to be true to ourselves and to make loving choices.

    1. Thanks Dragana, I can attest to this as I’m sure many if not all can. Peer pressure and changing ourselves to fit in is a very big part of growing up (as it currently is). It is good to remember this because it brings back awareness of things that I just wanted to shut out and didn’t want to feel, like the attack that came from not following the trend, but I was just being what is naturally me. Peer pressure is even rife at University and this time its more subtle because everyone is developed in their intellectual capacity. I strive to be aware all the time of the peer pressure that controls humanity. It obviously isn’t working just by taking one look and from personal experience it hurts a lot to succumb to peer pressure, so I would never choose again.

  91. Penny, thank you for allowing us to appreciate how each and everyone has their own pace and tempo to their lives, and for explaining how your commitment to making loving choices for yourselves is stronger and simpler when you are being allowed and supported in this natural rhythm.

    1. I agree Rosanna, I’ve only more recently realised how important it truly is to be exactly myself and do things exactly as I feel and when, never copy anyone else, because we all bring something different that adds to a bigger whole.

    2. Such an important point Rosanna, that everyone has their own timing and space in which to come to feel what’s right and what works for them. What I have found is that this path is always fast-tracked when I connect more deeply back to my own body, because it’s in this that I can feel truth. Serge Benhayon has been and continues to be, an amazing inspiration and role model in that regard.

  92. Yes I can also relate to the peer pressure of parties and drinking as it is ‘the done thing’ and also in most cases seen to be the best avenue in which to not remain single, and in which to catch a man/husband/partner etc… and then go on to live a ‘normal life’, and do ‘normal things’ so that everyone can see that you are ‘normal’. What your article has shown is that to break away from all the or everyone’s perceived ‘normalness’ can actually lead to an amazing life with great and true relationships and that this way of living naturally, is in fact the real normal and furthermore that this way can inspire others. Thank you Penny.

  93. Penny – you obviously knew what worked for you but like so many caved in to peer pressure as it appears easier to fit in and do what everyone else is doing and have a so called normal life. It is not until you were able to feel you were worth so much more that you were able to stand firm in you choices to be more loving and from there grow into the amazing person that you are. A person that others now look to for support as they can see and feel that what you have is different but making all the difference to your health, life and relationships.
    How many of us know inside that the way we are living simply doesn’t feel right yet lack the courage to break the mould, buck the trend and try a different way?
    It is wonderful that people like you are willing to say no I deserve more and live that as an example that life can be different and fulfilling and loving so others can say I am worth more too.

  94. Absolutely beautiful Penny – wow (there were some things I didn’t know about you and would never have guessed based on the amazing woman I have known you to be)! It is beautiful that you honoured what felt true in your body and made choices based on this, and not because anyone (including Serge) told you to do so, or imposed on you. It is indeed such a loving way to live and so true that we are able to inspire others by our daily living, simple really!

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