People left the Inspiring Women’s Luncheon Nov. 28 with some strategies to gain inner balance and mental strength to get them through setbacks and distractions.

Sharon Campbell Rayment was the guest speaker at the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce event at the Haliburton Legion last Thursday.

She shared the story of how a fall from her beloved horse, Malachi, led to an acquired brain injury that rendered her one of only 60 people in the world to have Foreign Accent Syndrome. She now speaks with a Scottish brogue.

At one point, she was diagnosed as being “completely disabled.”

She said that after the accident about 10 years ago, she struggled to speak and stuttered. She was no longer a busy, thriving entrepreneur, wife and mother. Instead, she was anxious, overwhelmed, depressed, frustrated, and pining for her old life.

She said she erupted one day, from tiredness and anger, while working in the barn. She then went out to the horses and Malachi came right up to her.

“He put his chin on my shoulder, slowly and gently lifted it over my head to the other side. He pressed his neck to my ear and I could hear his heart beat. And it was strong. And it was true. And I swear I heard … ‘I know you’re lonely. I know you’re angry. And I know you’re frustrated but I’m right here. I’m as close to you as that heartbeat, as that breath, and in that moment I knew that if I had not fallen I would have missed the very rhythm of life,” Campbell Rayment told a hushed audience.

“And what is the rhythm of life? To me it’s being present. Present to where you are. Present to whom you’re with and what you’re doing.”

She said that prior to her accident, she filled her life with busyness, spending a lot of time physically in one place, but always thinking about another.

She has worked ever since on rewiring her brain and designed something called the NeuroMindSHIFT process.

“After three years of struggle and research, I have confirmed that we can change our brains to help the mind overcome the anxiety and common traps that distract, disrupt, and lock us into ineffectiveness” her website says.

She walked the audience through a guided mediation, got them to get up and move to deal with their anxious “fight or flight” response, to yawn to release tension and taught them to use a pressure point in their hand.

“Because we all experience stress, don’t we?” She said the only time there is no stress is “when the undertaker undertakes to take you under.” The woman, who continues to work with horses, ended her talk by wishing the audience, “may the horse be with you.”

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