The past three weeks have been nothing short of a nightmare. I had some serious health issues come on suddenly that led to four emergency room visits, with one ending in an overnight stay in the hospital, and a slew of procedures, tests, biopsies, scans, and x-rays to help the doctors try to make a diagnosis.

I’ve been scared and overwhelmed since my husband, Michael, rushed me to the ER the first time because I was having difficulty breathing while walking short distances and even just standing.

Before we left our home that day, I kissed our dog Amber on the head, thinking it might be the last time I saw her sweet face, and looked around our home and property, wondering if I would see them again while thinking about how much I’ve loved living surrounded by nature.

I felt unsure about my chances of returning home because a CT scan of my chest the day before showed some shocking and devastating findings, and at the time, it felt like I was dying, the life force in me growing weaker by the minute to the point I had to use a wheelchair when we arrived at the ER.

The news has gotten better since that day, but there is still a mystery as to what is causing the serious health issues I’m having so the tests continue.

Last week, while waiting to have one of these tests, sitting in a semi-dark room after a radioactive sugar solution had been injected into my veins, I found it easy not to go to a dark place emotionally and imagine all the horrible, terminal things I could have. But I didn’t have the strength to be positive and allow myself to believe that everything would be okay. It just seemed too far of a reach considering how my body felt, the results of some of the tests, and what I overheard my doctors discussing.

So in that moment, I decided I would stay “neutral” about my situation, and not try to predict any positive or negative outcome. I would stay “neutral” as I took in information and test results as they came. No thinking too far ahead, no jumping to conclusions, no “what ifs,” just taking it one minute at a time.

With this decision, I could feel a heavy burden lift and the overwhelming feelings I was having diminish. Being “neutral” felt doable and lighter than trying to be positive, and it also took much less energy, which I was short on.

My body was struggling not only from what was going on internally but also from being pocked and prodded by doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff. Staying “neutral” allowed me to just be, without the added emotional stress of thinking negative thoughts or depleting my limited energy by forcing myself to stay positive. “Neutral” was a balance point in between the two, where I could rest, relax, and regain my equilibrium.

Making this decision was truly transformational for me!

Being “neutral” in challenging situations when the future is unknown is not something I’ve ever considered doing; I’ve always thought my choices were to face these situations with a positive or negative attitude.

But, man, “neutral” is a really powerful place to rest in to reduce stress, conserve energy, and to be present to take in information and facts from a reality-based place, not from a distorted place that being too positive or too negative can create.

It stops our minds from creating scenarios that are not based on facts, depleting our limited energy and causing unnecessary worry and stress.

There is something I want to clarify, though. Resting in “neutral” is not about surrendering to our circumstances or not participating in our health, healing, or other challenging situation. It’s about finding a place of peace. While we may find it challenging to stay in this place of peace at times, it is the place we should try to focus on and return to when we find ourselves getting lost in grief, or fear, or any other overwhelming feeling.

As I wait for a diagnosis and continue on this journey, if I find myself getting too far ahead of the reality of my situation or if I find myself thinking negative thoughts about “what could be,” I will remind myself to go to the powerful place of “neutral” so I will have the energy I need to face whatever comes next.

If you are facing some unknowns in your life, I hope this place of “neutral” will help you as it has me.

Marie Kukula-Tyner is the author of THE SPIRIT FACTOR: A Relevant, Realistic, and (R)evolutionary Approach to Creating a Life and a World of Unobstructed Spirit (US). She is an expert at identifying, understanding, and explaining obstructions that prevent us from living to our full potential. She is a domestic violence survivor who has faced serious health issues in the past as well as currently, but she continues to find ways to learn and heal from them.

Several years after going through brain surgery in 2000, Marie and her husband Michael left their careers in the publishing and entertainment industries, sold their home and many of their belongings, and moved to a 10-acre ranch in the mountains of Washington state, where they started a business that they still own and operate today. A moment of inspiration one night started Marie on an almost nine-year journey of writing THE SPIRIT FACTOR, finding wisdom from observing nature and translating it into a completely new philosophy for living life to our full potential individually and collectively.

Marie and Michael teach THE SPIRIT FACTOR philosophy to others through speeches and seminars. For more information, go to and follow them on Facebook at The Spirit Factor.

THE SPIRIT FACTOR is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions.