Search Results for "process"

Mar
12

How (and Why) to Process Your Feelings

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This past week dealt me several shocks, so this weekend I’ll be taking time to process the many emotions that came up.

When my therapist asked me what I was feeling about all that had happened, I mentioned a whole range of emotions, from outrage and shock to relief and gratitude, and more in between.

“That’s a lot of different emotions for your body to process,” she observed. “Each of them is producing different chemicals in your body. You need to make sure you take time over the next few days to intentionally process each of them.” She warned that if I don’t, it could affect my health in a big way.

This of course I knew, from personal experience and working with hundreds of clients on their “heart issues.” Emotions must be processed, because emotions are “energy in motion.” If that energy isn’t processed and healed, it will go into the body and cause havoc.

Still, I needed the reminder to actually take time to process it all.

Years ago, in prayer, these words came to me: “You have to heal it so we (God and I) can heal it.”

However, if you’ve grown up with Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN), you may have no idea how to process an emotion. I’ve learned that while The Healing Codes are great at healing negative emotions, the processing work must come before you actually can heal any negative effects of uncomfortable feelings.

Providentially, this week in a class I was taking, I got a great refresher on how to process an emotion. So I thought I’d pass it on, in case you too can use a little help in this area. Read More→

Oct
26

How to Fully Process a Feeling

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Do you know how to fully process your emotions?

I sure didn’t, for most of my life.  I grew up in a family where emotions were never talked about. (I now know it’s called Childhood Emotional Neglect.) Sometimes people were angry or sad (hardly anything else), but I never saw anyone work through any of it, not even when something really tragic happened. I got the sense that feelings were a great inconvenience to other people. So I just stuffed them.

Making things worse, for me, was that I was born with the trait of High Sensitivity Processing, shared by 15-20% of the population. One of the four main aspects of the trait is “emotional responsiveness.” As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), I was literally wired to be emotional. Yet it was a language that wasn’t spoken. No wonder I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere!

It wasn’t until I met April, in my twenties, that I got a clue that emotions might actually be useful. April was the first truly emotionally healthy person I had ever met up to that point. 

I got to know April really well from being in a small group at my church with her and her husband Bob, among others, for many years. She would regularly ask, “How do you feel about that?” or “How are you really?” And you knew she really cared, so you opened up to her. No surprise that she went on to become a licensed social worker, and a very successful therapist.

I recently saw April, and she spoke openly about what it’s been like to grieve the loss of her wonderful husband, Bob, with whom she had been in love since they were both 13. Bob was very special to my husband and me, as well.

Talking to April again, seeing how thoroughly she was processing her grief, reminded me how important it is to know how to feel and work through emotions so that they are fully processed. I hope what follows will help you in your own healing work. Read More→

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Jan
11

How to Heal and Process an Emotion

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Have you ever wondered what emotions are good for, anyway?

And what happens when you refuse to deal with an emotion?

Let’s say you feel sad about something, now. Growing up, if you showed sadness or cried, it made your parents feel uncomfortable. Feeling sad made you bad for making them feel uncomfortable. (You can substitute any other feeling you “weren’t allowed” to feel.)

If you were male and you cried, you may have been told, one way or another, to toughen up.

If you grew up this way, what are you likely to do with that present sad feeling?

If you let yourself feel it, you might find guilt being added to it (because when you felt sad in childhood and other people didn’t like it, you came to believe your feeling sad made someone else feel bad). Or shame (“I’m bad for feeling sad and causing a problem for someone else”). Read More→

May
18

Mitigate a Key Factor of Disease

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One thing that happens when your focus is living Aligned with your Divine Design is you often get “messages” that seem tailored to you. It’s just what you needed to hear, and often, for emphasis, you may hear the same type of message or information several times within a few days.

One message that has come up for me again and again in the last few days is: the importance of not suppressing emotions.

One source was the book, When the Body Says No by Gabor Maté, M.D. He shows how many diseases have their roots in suppressed emotions. One study that struck me was about lung cancer. Smoking in itself wasn’t as much of a risk factor as smoking along with habitual suppression of emotions, especially anger.

“Heart issues” + lifestyle are the two co-factors that determine your health.

man wearing black shir t

Photo by Antonino Visalli

You’ve heard plenty about lifestyle, and it’s certainly important for staying healthy. But as Gabor Maté has found, it is not the only key factor.

Heart issues must be dealt with, if you want to heal. That is my unequivocal opinion. Difficult feelings need to be felt and processed.

A recent study, published in the journal NeuroImage: Clinical, co-authored by Farb and Segal, along with Ph.D. student Philip Desormeau, found that “suppressing or blocking out physical sensations related to emotions such as sadness can hinder recovery from depression symptoms and may cause a relapse into depression.”

And, the study found, we have to feel the emotions in the body: “blocking out sensation is related to a greater risk of depressive relapse. . . . Our research explains why working to keep feeling is so important. It lays the groundwork for seeing that emotional stress actually robs us of sensation—and to undo stress, one must counter this inhibitory effect.”

I find it fascinating that in the Bible, more than one-third of the book of Psalms are “Psalms of lament”–more than any other category of psalms. Clearly, Aligned Living includes examples of how to express a full range of feelings, including such “negative” feelings as anger, despair, sorrow, revenge and hatred. (The Maker knows how we are made and what we need to stay healthy!)

If you grew up with Childhood Emotional Neglect, or had any other kind of Adverse Childhood Events such as death, divorce, neglect or other traumas, you are much more likely to suffer from a variety of chronic diseases and behavioral challenges, including obesity, autoimmune disease, depression and alcoholism. The greater the number of ACEs, the greater the risk for negative outcomes, according to the famous ACEs study.

However, the very good news is that you can heal these things. The traumas live in your body as cellular memories, and these have a negative frequency, and The Healing Codes address all that and neutralize or even change them to positive.

a woman sits alone against a wall holding her head

Photo by Tammy Gann

The first step is to allow yourself to identify and feel the negative emotions. You might want to turn to some of the Psalms of Lament as examples of how emotions can be expressed in the presence of God.

I have also written several articles on how to process your emotions. If this is something you struggle with, check out any of these articles to get started–especially the first three.

Another benefit of processing negative emotions is that you increase your capacity to feel all emotions, including the positive ones!

I vividly remember the day I was talking to my mother on our weekly calls in which I’d give her a custom Healing Code. She had always told me she “couldn’t remember” her childhood, and that she had no positive memories from childhood.

After she’d been doing my custom Healing Codes for maybe a couple of years by then, and that one day she started telling me all about how, when she was a child, the family used to go to her uncle’s farm and have the greatest time.

I stopped her and said, “MOM! Do you realize this is the first happy childhood memory you’ve ever told me?’’

She said in a surprised voice, “Really?” and then nonchalantly went on to recount more happy childhood memories.

That’s the power of healing heart issues.

And if you want to heal your heart issues and align with YOUR Divine Design, check out my program and fill out a Clarity Questionnaire.

Apr
27

The Hidden Danger of Doing Healing Codes

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If you do Healing Codes, why do you do them?

Obviously, you want to heal something in your life. Have you ever stopped to ask what is the underlying belief that motivates you to do The Healing Codes (or any other self-help practice, for that matter)?

Often, it’s the belief that “there’s something wrong with me that needs fixing.”

a close up of a person with a frowning look on their face

Photo by engin akyurt

Now, this is a tricky thing. Because if there weren’t something “wrong,” you wouldn’t feel any need to take action, right?

However, there are two little words in that statement that may actually be a subtle lie that could block you from complete healing.

Can you guess what those words are? Read More→

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My neighbor and I were chatting about facing medical challenges.

Bobbi was an operating room nurse until a sudden medical condition forced her to retire earlier than she wanted. She also took care of both parents who had dementia. She has faced lots of end-of-life issues, personally and professionally.

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande on AmazonBobbi told me about a book that was very helpful to her and her father, called Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande.

I haven’t read the book myself, but was struck by three questions Bobbi shared from the book that she and her father found very helpful:

  • What is your understanding of your situation?

  • What are your fears?

  • What do you want?

I too am finding these questions helpful my husband and I ponder and discuss medical and other issues of aging (mentioned in another post).

Talking through key questions with family members can go a long way toward preventing confusion, anxiety, and misunderstandings.

Navigating Life’s Final Journey by Pat O’ConnorAnother very helpful little book for clarifying end-of-life decisions is Navigating Life’s Final Journey, by Pat O’Connor. Pat was an Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner specializing in Primary Care as well as Hospice and Palliative Care. (She also was my college roommate for 3 ½ years—one of God’s best gifts to me!)

Pat’s book is both moving and practical. She shares stories from her own experience with patients, and also gives very straightforward advice on the kind of decisions to be made, documents you need to ensure your wishes are honored, how and when to have conversations with family members and your medical staff, and resources available such as palliative care and hospice (and the differences between these).

It’s not pleasant to face the fact that we will inevitably come to the end of this life. At least for me, though, I feel more peace in knowing I’ve faced the decisions, gotten things in order, and that family members understand what I and my husband desire in terms of the final phase of my life on earth.

Thinking through these kinds of issues clarifies what you really value. Since I don’t fear death so much as the process of dying, my decisions are based more on quality of life than length of life. Facing these questions and decisions head on gives a sense of empowerment.

Making sure your life ends your way, to the extent that you can, is your final act of autonomy.

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Feb
24

A Beautiful Story Of Healing

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A reader whom I’ll call Joyce has been sharing her healing journey with me over the past couple of months. Recently she wrote to me about the major breakthrough she experienced on two fronts.

The first breakthrough is too personal to share, except to say that for all her life (Joyce  is in her eighties) she suffered from a childhood trauma she couldn’t really remember. After doing The Healing Code (from the book) diligently, she had many breakthroughs from the beginning.

brown and white bed linen

Photo by Rehina Sultanova

When she started with The Healing Code, all she wanted to do was escape in sleep. At that time, she told me, “With the help of The Healing Code I am now finding the courage to face my guilt and anger – but there is a titanic battle raging between my subconscious and conscious.  The former wants me to get back into bed, stay there 24/7, be safe, but lose.  The latter wants me to stay awake, however hard it is, do the Code and win.”

I encouraged her to stick with it, and she did, step by step. She is definitely a fighter!

She shared about her strange physical responses after doing The Healing Code (“yawning, passing wind non-stop, itching non-stop, coughing, eyes streaming . . .”). I assured her these were good signs of nervous system release of trauma.

Some days all she could do was sleep. I encouraged her to do so; her system was processing the healing. I also suggested she slow down on doing the Code as often or as long, when she felt like all she could do is sleep.

Joyce carried on. Read More→

I just read an article in Bottom Line Personal called “You Can Think Your Way to Better Health.” BLP interviewed Ellen Langer, PhD and author of The Mindful Body, who cited numerous studies to show how just reframing the way you think about exercise, eating, diagnoses, and symptoms can drastically affect outcomes.

For instance:

  • In one of Dr. Langer’s studies, researchers encouraged a group of hotel chambermaids to view their everyday work as exercise. Result: those chambermaids lost weight and experienced reduced blood pressure compared to the chambermaids that were not instructed to think of their work as exercise.

  • Other research from Stanford University further found that people who don’t perceive themselves as physically active have significantly higher mortality rates than those who do perceive themselves to be active—regardless of how active they actually are.

How physically active do you think YOU are? You might want to up that perception. Take into account all the housework, yard work, shopping, etc., not just what is normally considered “exercise.” I recently remarked to my husband that if we ever moved to a house with less stairs, as people “of age” are suggested to do, maybe it wouldn’t actually be as good for us.

I love this one: you can imagine yourself eating your favorite, but not necessarily healthiest, foods—and actually reduce your desire to eat. Imagining eating and actually eating are not all that different to the brain. So if you imagine yourself eating, for example, cheese, as test subjects did, you will likely eat less of it if offered, because you would feel fairly full already from just imagining eating it.

The authors suggest next time you’re tempted to eat something you know isn’t good for you, imagine in great detail the experience of eating it. I love pizza, but it’s “death on a plate” for me, with everything that doesn’t agree with me: gluten, cheese, tomato sauce. I can try imagining not only the taste, but the smell, the warmth of the cheese, and the feel of the crust in my mouth. (Yum!)

What about your view of medical matters in general, about the state of your own health, and about how (and whether) the body can heal?

According to Dr. Langer, how you view your medical diagnoses, such as borderline test results and chronic symptoms, can influence your health outcomes.

I often tell my clients who have been handed a devastating diagnosis, “This is just a label for some observations people have made about a group of symptoms. They cite statistics from large groups of people. You are an individual. You can control a number of factors that will determine YOUR ultimate outcome.”

A big part of that control is how you view your health status.

“Compared to other people your age, would you say your health is: poor, fair, good, very good, or excellent?”

This was a question I was asked at my recent Medicare wellness checkup.

I answered “good,” despite my various “diagnoses,” and my doctor agreed. She told me that because of my lifestyle (and perhaps, attitude), I have a very different health trajectory than many people she sees that are my age with my “conditions.”

Why? Because I live as healthy a lifestyle and I can, and because of how I view the body and health.

Image of rusty car, to illustrate one view of the body: that it's mechanical and will rust outimage of thriving plant, to illustrate how the body heals when you respect and support its intelligenceI wrote a blog post called “How the Body Heals: Two Views” in which I contrast the modern Western mechanistic view of the body with a more organic approach. Read it here.

Which view do you adopt? Your answer to this, and the other question about your comparative health, could affect the trajectory of your own health outcomes.

What about symptoms?

What is a healthy way to view symptoms, especially if you have chronic health issues?

The typical way symptoms are viewed is that it’s something gone wrong with the body (mechanistic view), and that the answer is to medicate away the symptom.

The trouble is, medications often cause side effects, which are then treated as symptoms to be relieved. Thus you fall into the medical mill where you’re taking multiple medications to treat symptoms often caused by the medications themselves, while no one bothers to find out what the root causes of the symptoms were.

The Bottom Line Personal article talks about being mindful of symptom variability—the fact that symptoms rise and fall. This can help you be less bothered by them and thus, avoid triggering a fear loop that makes everything worse (and could cause neuroplastic pain).

I would add, there is another perspective, one that views symptoms not as signs of disease but signs of healing. The figure below summarizes the process. I wrote more about it here. 

What if symptoms were also messages from your body? Messages that, if heeded and decoded, could point you to ways to improve your health? I wrote about various aspects of that as well on my blog. The end of this article gives that list.

Could merely adopting the views that symptoms are messages from the body and/or signs of regeneration, rather than being a cause for alarm, affect the outcome?

I believe it can. When I first started doing The Healing Codes, all kinds of symptoms cropped up. That first year, I was running often to the doctor (not having made the transition fully to the organic view of the body). Slowly I began giving myself more and more time for the symptoms to resolve before going to the doctor. Invariably the symptoms would subside as I kept doing my healing work.

Important note: I am not saying don’t seek medical advice or treatment. I usually try my healing tools first, and give that time (healing often takes time). My experience has been that when I do that, often the medical interventions are not needed.

I did and do seek medical intervention when it seems warranted. Recently I had an issue that all my healing tools could not fix, because it was an anatomical problem. I had a surgery that drastically improved the quality of my life. AND I’m finding that I still need to use my healing tools to detox from the surgery and treatments themselves, because the medications used were heavy duty and I am sensitive to medications. My Truth Focus Statement for this is, “I am fully recovering in all ways from the surgery and all side effects from the medications.”

Dr. Ellen Langer and Dr. Gabor Maté. author of When the Body Says No, and no doubt other experts, say, “The body and mind are one entity.”

Who knew that our minds and hearts—and what we believe—could be so powerful?

(Trick question: I believe you already know, because you’re reading this. But it’s always encouraging to get independent confirmation from credible people, isn’t it?)

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Feb
10

The Real Reason People Retire?

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I wish an elder had told me the truth about aging—and what is perhaps the real reason people retire.

I never wanted to retire. I am one of the fortunate ones who loves what I do and feels a sense of calling, which motivates me afresh whenever my resolve wanes.

And it’s waning more and more. Not because I don’t love my work, but because of the demands of the current season of my life.

Demands I wish someone had told me ahead of time.

woman sitting on seashore

Photo by sk

But you see, in Western culture, we don’t like to talk about aging. Nor do we respect the wisdom of elders, by and large. Old age is seen as a time of decline, of growing less and less useful, of more dependency.

I don’t think it has to be that way. It’s each elder’s responsibility to do all we can to age well.

It’s quite possible. But it’s also more time-consuming than I ever imagined. Read More→

Dec
09

“Is This Issue Really Mine?”

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I spoke with a client who shared a “heart issue” she was working on. “I’ve had this issue my whole life,” she reported. She also mentioned that her mother had also wrestled all her life with the same problem.

That got me to thinking. How many of our issues are really ours? How many stem from what we may have energetically “absorbed” from a close relationship? Is the real reason physical, psychological, or emotional issues “run in families” because of DNA, or energetic patterns absorbed until they are our own?

Well, I can do my subtle energy testing for those things. In the case of my client, she did have a generational memory from her mother. We now know that traumas at least (and who knows what else) can be passed down in the genes. The famous “mouse study” showed that a trauma in one generation can be passed down to subsequent generations. There have been other studies as well; this one on prisoners of war from the Civil War is fascinating. Read More→

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