Trauma and grief are common experiences shared by everyone, whether it’s caused by the loss of a loved one or the end of a relationship, grief touches each of us at one point. In the United States, 10-20% of adults face “complicated grief” which makes daily functioning much more challenging as they feel loss longer, as discussed by The Recovery Village. In this stage, it is extremely difficult to move on from the past without proper support and guidance from an outside source to help move on and build a new future. And that’s where James Peters comes in.
Throughout his life, James didn’t face true adversity and lived what one might call a privileged and comfortable life. “You could say I was quite materialistic,” he shares, and “everything was outside of myself,” in terms of what he regarded as important to or definitive of his character, a common flaw in society. But in 2017, everything changed for him. James experienced the tragedy of losing his Dad to cancer and his son within six months of one another, and shortly after found himself in a criminal investigation for something he did not do that lasted 18 months when the court ruled him not guilty. After a grueling period of dealing with multiple hardships in a short time frame, he decided to rebuild his life from scratch.
James had no tool set to fall back on and became weighed down with depression, which was heightened after spending some time in a prison cell during his criminal investigation. When he was let out, his first thought was suicide. He shut his friends and family out of his life and navigated this chapter of his life alone. Near the end of 2017, he began reaching out to people a little at a time and contacted a 24-hour mental health charity hotline.
“I ended up realizing that I was able to seek help or get help from other people, which I had never thought of before.” He received counseling and later saw a coach who focused on Buddhism and spiritualism which led him to meditation that slowly started to change his mindset.
Meditation was the first step in his recovery journey from depression and it allowed him to change the way he was thinking. Soon after, he began journaling after receiving guidance from a counselor and wrote letters to his son and dad to get all the unsaid words out of his head. These tools, as well as breathwork, made a huge impact on his life and inevitably led him to where he is today.
James’s current self-care routine begins with waking up at 4 am to go outside and connect with his garden. He prays, meditates, and instills gratefulness and gratitude into his day and follows that up with a green juice and mushroom coffee to revive his energy. He then sits down with a spiritual book, like Dr. David Hawkins’s Power Versus Force, and moves into either meditation, visualization, or both. He ends his morning ritual with an hour workout and is then ready to commence the day. His routine keeps him balanced and aligned with his beliefs of a healthy mind and body, something he coaches others to do too.
Since his journey began in 2019, kick-started by David Goggins Can’t Help Me, he has run four ultra-marathons and is headed to the US in September to participate in Navy Seals Hell Week in San Diego. For James, the physical side is equally as important as the mental side and both play a role in improving your life.
“You can do your meditation and your visualizations,” James discusses, but “if you’re going to watch the news, and then going to McDonald’s to eat, you’ve completely sabotaged that work… You can’t do one and not the other.”
James believes that to turn your life around from being in a difficult state, you must lower your brainwaves and thoughts. “You create your reality,” James emphasizes, but more importantly, “your thoughts create your reality.” If you continue to accept and live with negative thoughts, it becomes a cycle and can be very hard to break. Doing small practices like meditating and journaling allows you to transfer your thoughts to a page to understand them and see the patterns. And meditating helps to develop the ability to clear your mind and find inner silence and self-soothe those negative thoughts.
It’s all about having a growth mindset to see changes occur. Investing in yourself is the most important thing to remember by looking to continuously learn and tap into people who have been on a similar journey through workshops, webinars, books, or other avenues. Inspiring individuals that James considers his mentors are Peter Sage, Tony Robbins, and Natasha Graziano.
There will always be challenges along the way, but what James believes to be essential to growth and development is understanding that some people are not meant to continue with you on your path. You must trust the universe and know that some people may come into your life but only for a short time- it’s not always meant to be for a long time. Once you accept and believe this, “you can let go and surrender some of the more challenging situations which come up in life if you believe that things are happening for you instead of against you.” James explains. Since making a vow to not only himself but also his son- in order to live the best life he can, he has kept that promise and now dedicates his professional life to helping others do the same.
If you’re ready to build a new future for yourself, take part in James Peters’s free webinar. Moving on from the past can be a daunting endeavor, but with the right help and guidance, anything is possible.
Samantha Renfro, Writer