Birch Bay author to host chronic pain seminar

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An author who lives in Birch Bay and writes about her experiences with chronic pain will be hosting an upcoming seminar and book release in Bellingham.

Julie Hanft will be signing copies of her second book, Don’t Chase Life … Let it Walk With You, on Saturday, January 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Village Books, 1200 11th Street, Bellingham. The 284-page book is being published this month by Covenant Books and features poems, narratives and pictures.

The event at Village Books will feature a seminar about chronic pain, which Hanft has dealt with throughout the course of her life. Following the seminar, there will be a book signing. The first 100 people who purchase Hanft’s new book will receive a copy of her first book, Rising Above the Pain, for free.

“I am someone who faces health challenges and pain every day,” said Hanft. “I have learned that this does not define me, but it brings me to the very depth of who I am. Who we are as we evolve through these challenges is the element of what is left, an undeniable essence of true beauty. I will show you how to tap into your gifts that live within your soul, bringing your mind, body and spirit together. I will show you what I have learned to survive.”

Hanft suffered a traumatic event at age 17, when she was sexually assaulted. Later in life, she was diagnosed with lupus, a long-term autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, pain and swelling in many parts of the body. She has also suffered from a severe heart condition.

Hanft wrote her first book about some of these experiences. After it garnered positive reactions from readers and on social media, she decided to write a second book, which she hopes will help people with chronic pain.

“I have over 800 poems today,” she said. “Many of them are from thoughts on napkins and notebooks of songs I had written many years ago. Every day I write one, and it is exactly why I am alive today. It is how I can get through the pain.”

Hanft is 62 years old and has been married to her husband Eric for 38 years. They have five children and 10 grandchildren. “Today I count my blessings, and I am okay because I was able to have another day,” she said. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

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