When I was 12, I started experiencing excruciatingly painful migraine headaches.
I still remember the first one, which was very scary since I had no idea what was happening.
I felt dizzy, my vision started to get weird, and I felt numbness on one side of my body.
My mom was scared that maybe I was having a stroke, given the numbness on one side of my body.
A trip to the doctor determined these were migraine headaches…
And a whole new chapter of my life began with most of my teenage years being filled with this headaches that could at times be so bad that they required a trip to the ER for high doses of pain meds.
After the first couple experiences of these debilitating headaches, I became very superstitious about various circumstances that might have caused them.
Since we couldn’t figure out an obvious trigger for them, I started to associate the place I was at when the came on, the thing that I was doing, or especially the lighting of that place as my potential triggers (without real evidence that this was true)…
My world got smaller and smaller as I didn’t want to go back to some places, do certain things, go places with bright or flashing strobe lights and I was TERRIFIED that I’d get another headache resulting in another ER trip.
It wasn’t until I was in college that the intensity and frequency of the headaches went away, as I learned to begin to manage my stress.
While I have long understood that these headaches taught me a great deal about how I could use relaxation to help control and eventually eliminate them from my life, it was only last month that I connected them to something else in my life…
Being an empath and a highly sensitive person.
In preparing a talk with my friend Laura Rowe, who specializes in working with empaths, I had a light bulb moment that my headaches actually could have been a way that I was trying to block out my sensitivities.
Of course not consciously… but on a subconscious level.
You see, being someone who could sense other’s emotions, pick up what wasn’t being said, and who was just sensitive to a world that is loud, sometimes crowded, and often overwhelming, I was often overwhelmed.
In talking to Laura, I realized that it is actually COMMON for empaths to experience headaches because it is like a way to try and block out all the noise we are bombarded with.
Fascinating discovery for me.
And this is EXACTLY what Laura and I will be talking about in our upcoming online class “Unraveling” on December 3.
If you are curious how being an empath or a highly sensitive person might be connected to physical symptoms and health issues, we invite you to join us.
There are some “spiritual” schools of thought that seem to lead us to believe we should always be happy, upbeat, joyful, grateful, and only things that are positive.
And that if we feel anything less than that, well we aren’t doing our work or that we are doing something “wrong.”
Yet this constant false positivity is dangerous because it doesn’t allow us to acknowledge where we are at in the present moment and that it is part of being human to sometimes feel less than amazing.
I believe it can even contribute to things like illness when we are constantly suppressing how we feel.
We all experience up and down cycles within our emotional and mental states.
It would be unreasonable to think we should always be positive, upbeat and happy and never experience feelings of sadness, frustration, or depression.
In my own life, I have come to observe this pattern where after weeks of feeling good about life, in the flow, and happy, then I hit a low patch.
In the low, everything feels heavier, more challenging, more emotionally overwhelming. Feelings of sadness, grief, or frustration can come to the surface. The low definitely doesn’t feel so good.
In fact, right now, I am in a little bit of a low.
Yet when I start getting into thinking that I should resist the low, force myself out of it, or when I judge or blame myself for experiencing the low, that is when things get worse.
It is natural to experience this ebb and flow cycle in life and the more we push against the low, get frustrated by it, or judge or blame ourselves for feeling it, the harder it becomes to move through it.
Resisting the low or thinking negative thoughts about ourselves because of the low doesn’t honor that it is a part of our natural cycles of life AND it also makes certain feelings and emotions seem WRONG.
If you are sad and down, allow yourself to feel those feelings.
If you are frustrated and feel stuck, again allow yourself to feel those feelings too.
ALL EMOTIONS ARE JUST ENERGY.
When we give ourselves space to simply be present with what we are experiencing and we get curious about if there is a deeper meaning or message to how we are feeling that we need to examine, things can begin to move and shift in a very natural way.
When we fight the feelings or we suppress them, the energy of them often grows stronger and it becomes harder for it to dissipate.
It is only when we become stuck in the negative and spiral downwards over a longer period of time that it becomes problematic.
If, instead, we feel our feelings, whether we see them as positive or negative, and we let them show us what we need to see, that is where true healing and transformation can occur.
I think that many of us have the belief that people like teachers, leaders, and healers have things “figured out.” Like they have gotten to the end goal somehow and their healing is “done”…
Today, I want to share that although this is something we think and maybe we WANT to believe this, it really isn’t the case. Healing and evolving is ongoing for ALL humans while we are here on earth.
I’d like to share one of my own recent (and still ongoing) challenges and growth experiences.
Over the past few months, I have been dealing with some fairly severe pain in my mouth. The first day it came as sharp stabbing pain in the roots of a couple teeth and went away. Then it built to pain moving from place to place in my mouth and feeling like my gums felt very angry.
In working with dentists, it seems like I’ve developed a pretty strong clenching/grinding pattern. My bigger question is WHY this has come up because I don’t think it is for no reason.
I’ve been left these past couple months working on practicing what I teach—listening to my body and what it is saying to me through this pain I’ve been experiencing—which has been very slow to resolve.
To be transparent, some days, the process isn’t easy and I get frustrated and just think “Make it go away now!” A couple weeks ago, I almost took my husband up on his offer of a leftover Vicodin. But I didn’t because that’s not how I want to treat my body.
The process of understanding this pain is like a trail of breadcrumbs that is leading me to messages that my own body’s wisdom and my own higher self are trying to bring to my attention.
Through working through the healing process with other practitioners, I’ve had insights into how some of the pain in my face connects to feeling like I wear a mask at times (and sometimes that mask doesn’t even feel like it is MINE), how I hold myself back from feeling all the joy that is available to me, and most recently, that much of this pattern is about speaking my truth.
Some of you may say “Oh you seem visible and you share your message and your truth here” but there are parts of it that I don’t share—words that it feels like I literally bite back—in my relationships, in my business, even in my connection to myself.
This pain is calling me to go deeper and deeper into the process of being ALL of me, feeling like it is safe to share even the struggles (WHILE I’m in them instead of after I’ve gone through them and feel like I’m clear on the message), and to speak my own truth without apology or fear.
Two weeks ago, a dear friend of mine held space for me. I thought I was just going to be getting some bodywork but instead in our conversation, she asked me how my breathwork practice was going and how it was helping with this pain.
I replied “I haven’t really been doing it because it hurts my mouth when I do the breathing.”
She said I want to hold space for you and be with you here while you do this. I had been feeling that I have NEEDED to do the breathing but when I’m in my own space and the pain surfaces, it is too much and I stop.
By having someone hold sacred space for me, I was able to breathe and face the discomfort.
And what surfaced in that breathing was a profound realization about something that I have hidden from saying to anyone for 15 years. I spoke it out loud, to my friend, and could feel a deep healing begin to occur.
I’m not quite ready to share what came up YET but I realized this is a key piece of my story that I cannot hide if I am telling my own journey. I’m allowing the healing to continue with the part of myself that I let go of 15 years ago before I share this piece of my story publicly but I did hear strong guidance that this is crucial to share when I am telling my story.
So to all of you who think I’ve got it all “figured out” or that I’m so far ahead of you, the reality is, it is still a journey and a process.
Another healer friend describes the process of healing like a spiral… sometimes we come back to deeper layers of something we thought we had healed and there is another layer to address.
Wherever you are on your journey, honor it. Don’t think that you haven’t made strides in your process because you HAVE. But also, don’t look at someone like a healer or a teacher as someone who is done with the process because the Truth is, we aren’t. We might be some steps ahead of you but we are still walking our paths.
How many times have you judged your emotions (or even if it is a specific emotion, like anger) as being a “bad thing”?
In our Western world, many of us have been raised to think of various emotions or being “too emotional” as a negative thing and therefore we judge ourselves and get frustrated when we feel emotions, or instead we are driven to suppress our emotions.
I’d like to share a little mindset shifting philosophy with you, in case you hold this all-to-common belief that emotions (at least some of them) can be “bad.”
Emotions are just energy and they are meant to be in motion… They actually are quite powerful forces that our bodies can use as fuel for action, healing, and many other things. It is really only when our emotions get stuck or when we push them down and suppress them that they become a problem.
In the Chinese Medicine philosophy, each emotion is seen as designed to help with a particular movement/action in the bodymind.
The emotion of worry, for example, is designed to help us think and problem solve. It is only when we get stuck in it that we can fall into confusion, which often results in anxiety.
The emotion of anger is actually designed to be fuel to move forward in our lives (when coupled with the planning energy of our Liver, it is powerful at this). However, when anger becomes imbalanced or suppressed, that is when we get to the explosiveness stage that many people are familiar with and often afraid of.
Grief is all about letting go of things. It serves the energy of releasing what we no longer need but if we don’t allow it to move, then we often fall apart.
The next time that you find yourself wanting to label certain emotions as “negative” or “bad” or you feel the desire to push them down, remind yourself instead that they are fuel for your body to use and each one has its own intelligent purpose.
Allow the energy of the emotion to move, as it is intended to do, and see what happens.
When we allow the healthy movement and expression of ALL of our emotions, our bodies don’t have to also find places to hold onto them, to store them in our tissues, which is often what causes pain in areas of the body that seemingly comes “out of nowhere.”
Recently I was guest on the “Learn True Health” podcast with Ashley James! We had a GREAT conversation about listening to the body’s wisdom rather than always reaching for a medication to silence symptoms and so much more!
Other topics include:
- my own story of chronic illness and my misdiagnosis with leukemia at age 25
- my exploration of alternative healing including biofeedback and therapeutic yoga
- my discovery of BodyTalk
- my book, “You Are Not Your Diagnosis”
- a simple technique to help YOU listen to your body
To listen to this episode, click on the image below!
BodyTalk Access is a powerful, one day class where you will learn a simple but highly effective routine that you can use on a regular basis to help support your overall health and well-being.
Today, I’d like to share my top 5 reasons why you need BodyTalk Access in your life.
1, Learning the immune system balancing technique is worth the cost of admission alone!
Think of how many times you end up with a cold each fall/winter/spring. Think of how easily you pick-up any bug going around or if you are a parent, how often your kids pick it up and then bring it home to spread it throughout the household.
How much do you spend on Nyquil, cough medicine, cough drops? How much do you lose on sick days and time off? Or taking time off work to take care of sick kids?
No one likes to catch every bug going around and with this technique, you will learn how to help your immune system stay optimized so that it can easily and effectively fight of what is going around– and you can use it to help your whole family do the same!
If you do start to come down with something, using this technique frequently during that time can dramatically help your body recover faster!
2. You might think you are staying hydrated by drinking your 8 glasses of water a day but you might not actually be absorbing the water into your cells!
This is a fascinating thing to learn, right? We can drink PLENTY of water and yet still be dehydrated!
You might even be thinking of times when you have been drinking enough water but you still feel dehydrated. I know I’ve felt that way many times- like I just can’t drink enough water to feel good.
With this technique that you will learn, you can help all of your cells take in the water that you are drinking daily. Sometimes, due to a variety of reasons that you’ll learn more about in the class, we can drink water but it doesn’t actually get into the cells! With this technique, that is a problem no longer!
3. You will learn one of the most effective ways to balance and optimize how your brain is functioning on a daily basis!
Do you sometimes lack mental focus and concentration? Do you find it hard to do certain cognitive tasks? Want to be able to better concentrate for important meetings, phone calls, or other activities?
When you learn the cortices technique in the BodyTalk Access class, you learn a technique that you can use daily to help give your brain’s functioning a boost!
This technique also has the added side benefit of helping to diminish cold spots, which are areas of lower blood supply in the brain. If we have a physical injury or illness, this issue is actually reflected in our brains as a cold spot so by helping decrease cold spots, we also help the area of illness or injury.
4. You will learn how to optimize your response to stress
Many of us find ourselves feeling stressed out and overwhelmed on a daily basis. Our brains and bodies shut down from reacting to every little stressor in our daily lives and with a simple technique called Switching, you will find yourself less reactive to stress and more able to use challenges as a fuel for success!
I’ll also be sharing cool new research about how stress doesn’t have to be bad for us- that part of it is our mindset about stress!
5. Learn a quick technique to help with minor or major emergencies
Maybe you stub your toe on something… Or one of your kids falls down and scrapes up a knee… Maybe you just witnessed a horrific car accident and you find yourself in a state of shock…
With the Fast Aid technique, we can help the physical, mental, and emotional parts of ourselves handle anything from a little cut in the kitchen to experiencing a life-changing trauma.
For example, I’ve used this technique to help a family member who banged her hand and had it swell up to at least double its normal size quickly reduce inflammation and pain and by later that day, there was no pain, swelling or bruising! It is AMAZING!
If you think that this sounds like something you need in your life, I invite you to sign up for my upcoming BodyTalk Access classes in the Portland, OR area or find a class near you at www.bodytalksystem.com/seminars/
Last week I was interviewed by Kole Hansen on her Warrior Women with a Purpose Podcast and it was SUCH a great interview that I wanted to share it with you all!
Kole is also a healer with an amazing story (which she tells on one of the podcast episodes) and we really jammed about the wisdom of our bodies, how things like illness are a wakeup call from the universe and more.
I hope you’ll take a listen and if you enjoyed it, leave a 5 star review on iTunes for the podcast!
Last week I returned from the International BodyTalk Association conference in Florida. This was my second time attending their conference (both have been amazing experiences!) and I want to take a little time to share with you a particularly profound experience I had while attending the conference.
On the instructor’s day of the conference, I was asked by one of the speakers, Tracey Clark, if I would be willing to be the volunteer person she used during her talk the next day. Since I have a deep love of the BodyTalk system and am always up for receiving a session, of course I said yes!
Before the end of that day, Tracey gave me an intake form to complete and asked me to bring it with me the next day and so I did.
The next day, Tracey began her talk, which was based on her doctoral research about the power of observing possibilities and potentials for change in creating healing. After she shared the fascinating results, she called for me to come to the stage.
Tracey then did an initial assessment of range of motion using different osteopathic range of motion tests. The range of motion showed some limits in my left arm and shoulder, heaviness and tension in my legs, and restrictions in breathing.
After getting the baseline, Tracey handed me the first half of my intake forms, which was the portion that focused on my health issues and symptoms and the negative impact they have on my life. She asked me to tuck those forms into the waistband of pants and then did a reassessment of the same measures of rang of motion she had just done.
What do you think happened to my range of motion?
It actually got worse! I could feel it, Tracey could feel it, and so did the other person she brought on stage to do all of the assessments along with me. Even the people in the audience could observe the difference.
This was the power of focusing on the negatives of health challenges…
After completing the range of motion tests, Tracey then asked me to remove the first part of the intake from my waistband and then gave me the second half of the intake to tuck into my waistband. The second half of the forms focused on questions like “Do you believe your body can heal itself?” and “What will your life be like when these health problems are no longer an issue for you?”
After I had tucked the papers into my pants, Tracey once again reassessed using the same range of motion tests.
What do you think happened this time?
My range of motion DRAMATICALLY improved! My left shoulder, which typically feels a bit of discomfort with certain movements, did not hurt at all. My legs became much easier to lift. My breathing improved.
My low back, which had been hurting since the day before, when from about a 6 out of 10 to a zero! Several people told me my whole complexion changed.
This was WITHOUT any actual “treatment” through a BodyTalk session. This was the power of simply focusing on the potential for healing and improvement.
My mind (and the mind of many others) was definitely a bit blown by the power of simply observing possibilities! And this was in a room full of BodyTalk practitioners who observe powerful transformations on a regular basis!
I hope that sharing this has inspired you to realize the power of simply being open to possibilities for positive changes in our lives AND focusing on the positive outcome we are desiring!
Learn more about how the Water Element is associated with the Kidneys, Bladder and Fear in this short video.