Q&A with Sara Schulting-Kranz: Learning to Forgive
Q. What did the healing and forgiveness process look like, and is it ongoing?
My healing and forgiveness journey involved three important words: Truth, Inspiration, and Hope. I needed to get to the truth of my story and the truth of me. When we have lived a lifetime of what we thought to be true, but found out it wasn’t what we thought it was, we need to be able to trust ourselves and our own truth once again. We need to go all of the way back and ask ourselves, “What do I know to be true from my mind, heart, spirit, and body?” I worked on this truth every day, and I still do. Triggers will happen when I question my own truth, even today. And when that does happen, I remind myself that only I know what I know to be true within myself. Am I a good human being? Am I living in integrity? Am I living in my values, with intention and purpose? This is the birthplace of resiliency.
Now, when it comes to inspiration, I needed to find a reason to get up in the morning. What inspired me to continue on the journey? What gave me the courage to face my deepest fear and find safety in my days? I found inspiration in nature. Every day I would take time for myself, paddling four miles out on the Pacific Ocean, or running trails. I would sit with butterflies, watch sunrises and sunsets, talk with sea lions and dolphins, creatures and birds. It was in nature that my mind would calm itself down, and my heart would open to the surroundings. The Universe and the energy that surrounds us is far greater than our problems. Love is what keeps this world moving. Hate is what destroys the very essence of who we are. It was in nature that I found the ability to love myself more, and to practice forgiveness for myself, those who have hurt me, and the world.
Hope is such a powerful tool. So many people believe that hope is an external force that we hold with others. “I hope that my grade will go up in science class.” But hope is an internal force from within. It is created from our heart and soul, the ability to manifest our greatest potential and desires in life. Hope is the foundation of the flame that lights the path for our future. It was in nature that I could experience hope, not just have hope. For example, I was paddling on the Pacific Ocean one day and found myself four-miles offshore with an unexpected fog bank surrounding me. Yes, I could have accessed fear at that moment. But what I did access instead was trust within myself to get me back to shore. And when I did make it back to shore, with the help of a few dolphins, might I add, what I found awaiting me was hope. It was at that moment I realized that I had everything I needed in this lifetime to move forward.
These three words guide me every day. Truth, inspiration, and hope. Healing and forgiveness are practices that I work on every day. It’s not a one and done. We are humans, which means that we will all have things happen to us in our lifetimes, regardless of age. Loss and joy are forever in our path.
Q. The healing power of nature has impacted your life-how so?
I was so angry, lost, confused, and heartbroken – SO HEARTBROKEN – eight years ago. My body was constantly in fight, flight, or freeze, while immersed in a pool of shame. I felt lifeless. Dead, really. There was little direction out of anything that I was living, because NO ONE was talking about what I was living in. There were Facebook groups that I was a part of, but even those were closed and not shared with the public. I felt like I was living a secret life in hell. How could anyone support me, my former husband, or our kids without anyone knowing what was going on? It was a messy time. And so getting out in nature provided me space to see more clearly. I wasn’t attached to the who, what, when, why, or how. I was finding myself ALIVE again in nature! What I learned was that the path out of trauma was to create new, alive moments in the present, not attached to what was or wasn’t truth from my past. Every moment that I felt alive in the present, I gathered more truth, inspiration, and hope for my future. It is a process of creating a new foundation after your old foundation has been destroyed. The biggest, most beautiful thing I found in nature? Freedom from my shame. I didn’t ask to experience trauma. No one in this world “asks” for pain. And yet, according to the National Center for PTSD, 60% of men and 50% of women experience at least one trauma in their lives. The tool I accessed over and over again was self-forgiveness. And I still practice this today. When I am in a shame spiral, feeling regret for something I did or didn’t do, I practice self-forgiveness and remind myself that life is happening for me, not to me.
Q. Can you tell us about your programs and your message of self-empowerment?
I wrote Walk Through This: Harness the Healing Power of Nature and Travel the Road to Forgiveness, as a beautiful book and manual to guide readers back to who they are. When not 1:1 coaching or speaking, I am guiding clients through the Grand Canyon or Alaska on nature healing retreats. These three-month programs and immersive healing and transformational retreats include weekly coaching, adventure, meditation, reiki, land, and water healing. These retreats are for men and women looking to transform from their everyday existence and take their life to the next level.
I also run an online healing program called The Trail: A Community for Truth, Inspiration, Hope and Healing. I LOVE this online community where we bring in monthly guest speakers, I lead a live training, and we have a group coaching session. This is for anyone looking for support, accountability, learning new tools, while diving into who they are as a human being.
What’s next for Sara?!
More happiness. More love for living. More embracing of my family, and continuing on this journey. I am taking this message to the stage through speaking engagements and larger venues. I am bringing this to the corporate world, because everyone is going through something, regardless of who we are. Using nature and practicing forgiveness as tools in our everyday life creates happier, healthier, more authentic human beings. And, a better world.
Sara Schulting-Kranz is an author, keynote speaker, trauma and personal leadership authority, wilderness guide, and expert in utilizing nature healing. As a multiple trauma survivor, Sara Schulting Kranz, like millions of others in this world, suffered from severe Complex-PTSD that almost took her life, and could have left her three children motherless. She navigated through her anger, pain, and grief while hiking 14,000 ft mountains and paddling 4-miles out to sea with whales and dolphins. Through this process, she found that the most important relationship you can have is the one within yourself. Sara harnessed the healing power of nature through her own PTSD and intense trauma recovery, which included somatically healing through nature while practicing the art of forgiveness for herself, others, and the world. Now Sara coaches clients, leadership executives, and organizations on the necessity and benefits of using nature for mental and emotional health. You will find Sara speaking to businesses, corporations, and running executive leadership workshops, in addition to leading healing, transformational, and leadership retreats in nature. Sara has become an expert guide in using nature for trauma recovery, and she also has an intense passion for getting people outdoors to deal with the lasting post-traumatic symptoms we’ve been experiencing for the last 2 years. Sara’s book, WALK THROUGH THIS: Harness the Healing Power of Nature and Travel the Road to Forgiveness, was released in November 2020 by Harper Horizon.
You can find Sara at:
- Instagram: @saraschultingkranz
- Facebook: Sara Schulting-Kranz
- Website: https://www.saraschultingkranz.com
- Live Boldly Book for purchase: https://www.saraschultingkranz.com/walk-through-this
- Free Resources: https://www.saraschultingkranz.com/sign-up/
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