Many of us have gone through – or are going through — difficult and dramatic struggles in our own lives that have the capacity to bring us to our knees.  These can be impossible times when the only solution seems to be to put an end to it all.  I should know.  I’m a suicide survivor who has wrestled with bipolar disorder since I was a boy.

I’ll tell you my story – but first – let me tell you that you will emerge into the light.  You will reach the surface again and take a life affirming breath.  By embracing your personal mind, body, spirit connection, you will succeed and survive.

I’m an off-road race car driver who has won races all over the world.  Aside from some occasional challenges, my life is mostly good.  However, one day, for no apparent reason, I drove up to the top of a mountain in my Jeep, took out my gun, got out of the car and put my loaded gun to my head.  I pulled the trigger and – click – the gun didn’t go off.

I couldn’t believe it. I was ready to die, but was given a second chance at life.  I took the bullet out of the chamber and saw that, yes, it had been struck, but it didn’t fire for some reason.  I decided that I was going to find out what that reason was, and today, I think I’ve found it.

After my near death suicide experience, I began to tell my story to help others who are suffering from depression and mental health issues, including bipolar disorder.  I’m an ambassador for Mental Health America, and I’m proud to work with them to assist others who are in the dark place that I once was.  I still struggle with my bipolar disorder, but now I have a support network and the tools to survive when times get tough.  Here are some of the things that I’ve learned along the way.

Our emotions have a huge impact on our health.  When the mind, body and spirit are out of whack, our energy can begin to work against us.  But when we connect these three elements, and our energy is flowing, it can have a positive impact on us and our well-being.  When we’re in tune, we may even begin to feel warmth, eurphoria and bliss.

One way to keep our mind, body and spirit in tune is to write down our thoughts, perhaps in a journal. The simple act of writing can release blockages – both physical and mental

— inform our mind and ultimately, promote healing in our spirit.

Another way to heal yourself is to listen to our body, to take a body scan, which can be done during meditation.  When you get comfortable and relax, and simply notice where your discomfort lies, you can release the tension and banish the negative emotions that often follow stressful feelings.  Once again, you’re regaining control.

Finally, it’s important to be open to spirit.  We are constantly interconnected with other people who are around us, and we’re communicating in many ways we’re not even aware of in the moment.  If we remind ourselves that we’re not alone, and that everything we do has the potential to affect others, and vice versa, we can finally relax into our own sense of well-being.

Life is a constant challenge.  But by being aware of your own mind, body, spirit connection, and how this connection can have a major impact on your well-being, you can finally take control of your life and your emotions – even when times get rough.  Take it from me – there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  You just have to be open to making the internal mind, body, spirit journey to find it.