Archive for My Healing Story

In a recent post, I mentioned how on my walk one day, a thought dropped into my mind: “You create a lot of your own stress, you know.”

The voice was not judgmental; it was just an observation. A message from my deeper self (or God) that came in the context of a wake-up call that I needed to deal with the stress in my life.

If I did not, I sensed, it was quite possible some health crisis could happen to me, like the heart attack that Dr. Mark Virkler had, despite his “doing everything right.”

I’m finding that, if we keep on a path of healing, we will heal at ever deeper levels. This message from my heart was an invitation to observe the ways I might be creating my own stress. To examine the beliefs and ways of thinking that, when indulged, disturb my peace and create the ripple effects of stress on spirit, soul and body.

The biggest way I create my own stress came down to this: trying to create the ideal.

Have you ever noticed that often your greatest strength can become your biggest liability? One of my great strengths is the ability to see possibilities–for myself and others.

I automatically see potential in everything, as well as the exact steps needed to achieve that potential.

Of course, this is helpful for my clients. I can see the possibilities they can’t when they’re mired in “heart issues.”

For me personally, though, it can be a liability. If I let the possibility I see become an expectation, I set myself up for stress.

Because I can see what could be, I can slip into feeling less content with what is. I set myself up for unhealthy control–trying to make that ideal outcome happen. Read More→

I just lost my dear friend and spiritual brother, Dr. Ron Arko, as he went back to heaven.

I’ve known Ron and Dori Arko for almost 7 years. My husband and I spent a delightful day with them in 2014 in their home in Newport Beach, California. We’ve talked nearly every two weeks for those past 7 years–heart to heart talks.

Dr. Ron and I shared a love for people. a passion for seeing them healed, a delight in God and his ways, a fascination with quantum physics and true science, and so much more. We agreed we were more than friends; we were truly spiritual brother and sister, our hearts knit together by God himself.

Ron was a very wise and gifted therapist, and a great encourager. He always knew how to build up a person. He made you feel like you were his favorite. He cherished his wife, Dori, in such a tender way, it made you want to weep and do whatever it takes to have that, too. He counseled a lot of couples and people in ministry, too.

I confessed to Ron a few weeks ago, as he was wasting away with cancer, that I was not afraid to die. I was afraid of the process of dying.

Yet, seeing how Ron handled his impending departure from this world, with an unwavering faith in God’s goodness, with love and peace and even joy, and absolutely no bitterness, patiently enduring the pain–it changed me.

When he got his diagnosis of terminal cancer, one of the first things Ron did was write his obituary. I edited it several times. It never occurred to me to write my own obit, but it was a wonderful exercise for him to review his life and tell what he thought was important. He seemed to actually have fun writing it. It was the most interesting obituary I’d ever read (or edited)!

Something else changed me: what he shared about what happened when he died for 10 minutes at age 15 and went to heaven.

He told me about this heavenly vision just a few weeks ago, as he was getting weaker and weaker from the cancer. He had never told anyone but Dori until recently. Now he has shared it publicly.

You can watch him talk about his trip to heaven and get a sense of his beautiful life, at http://newheart.org.

“Once you have experienced the glory of God,” he said, “you never see life the same again. You don’t have any fear, and you don’t hang onto things of this world.”

I had always wondered how Ron handled the many traumas of his life so well. How he could be so loving, kind and generous, and have such a loving relationship with his wife, when nothing in his background equipped him for that.

Now I knew.

Ron helped me overcome my fear of dying. He died of a particularly gruesome form of cancer. In his last days of life, Ron told me that because he had already had God’s glory and love shoot through him when he was in heaven the first time, he believed it changed him on a cellular level and that’s why he always had such a high tolerance for pain. He told me God would prepare me for whatever I would face, just as he had prepared Ron. I could trust in God’s goodness for the means of my death. And now i finally believe it.

“God is good, all the time,” Ron always said. He never wavered in that.

I believe it now, Ron. I believe it. . . . Thank you. Thank you for showing me how to live life as though everything is a miracle. I know this is, as you said, only a temporary separation. I look forward to our reunion, and I can feel you cheering me on from heaven, just as you did from earth.

 

 

Pivotal Memories

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People often ask me what kinds of memories to start with to get the fastest, deepest healing. 

I always look for the “fractal memories”–those memories in which the core beliefs/feelings will repeat themselves and branch out to affect your life in all kinds of ways afterward. Heal these, and the ripple effects of healing begin effortlessly  to penetrate into all the areas of life affected by that memory.

In another post I talked about foundational memories. They are one kind of important fractal memory.

Another kind of fractal memory is what I call a pivotal memory. This would be a memory, usually conscious, that changed the course of your life. Something happened and you came to believe something about yourself that forever after influenced your life. Such memories can form your identity–for better or worse.

On the “better side,” pivotal memories can be quite positive. One important pivotal memory that shaped my entire future happened in college, when I fell in love with publishing. I was always a bibliophile and a writer, and the field fascinated me, so I decided I would major in English, but not teach. I would make a career in publishing.

Everyone told me, “It’s practically impossible to break into publishing.” Especially since I didn’t know anyone, even by the time I was a senior in college. Also, this was at a time when people with PhDs in English were driving taxi cabs. 

No matter. Publishing was my passion and I would find a way. When my pastor suggested I go out to Illinois to study in the C.S. Lewis Wade Collection for my Honors thesis on Lewis, he added, “There are a lot of Christian publishing houses out there, too.”

I spent my mid-semester break in Wheaton, Illinois, and interviewed at three Christian publishing houses. One of them hired me, for a job they created for me. I still thrill to the fact that I had a job lined up in my chosen field before graduation, and before any of my friends with more sure degrees (like nursing) even had a job offer. That first job, in which I interviewed authors and created radio spots, remains one of my favorite jobs I’ve ever held, and led to other opportunities.

Positive pivotal experiences can lead the way to success in many areas. Use these memories as a focus point when you’re doing a Healing Code for a success issue; it will increase your confidence and shift your energy and focus in a big way.

Negative Pivotal Experiences obviously need to be healed. The lies and perhaps even vows that result from such memories must be changed to truth, or you will remain stuck.

To find a negative pivotal memory, look for an area in

your life where you feel blocked.

I’ll give an example from my own life.

In fifth grade, I had two teachers who seemed to love to pick on students. I was one of them. But my worst memory of these teachers came not from them bullying me, but another student.

One day I witnessed them verbally attacking  a male student in the hallway. (Not sure why I was there, but I was the only other witness, and the teachers seemed oblivious to my presence, so intent were they on their tearing apart that boy’s self-esteem.)

As the teachers lit into this boy, who I now realize was a Highly Sensitive Person, Richard cried. That just made the teachers belittle him more. I saw him stand there, helplessly crying more and more, while the teachers mercilessly ridiculed him.

Up to that point, I, too, was a person who felt deeply and cried easily. In fact, I desperately wanted to cry about what I just saw. I almost burst into tears on the spot, but somehow I stopped myself.

I stopped myself by making a vow, right then and there. I vowed that nobody would ever do something like that to me. If this is what happens when you show your emotions, I would never show my emotions again.

That day, I learned how not to cry. I learned how to turn off my high sensitivity. (Or so I thought.)

The problem was, I turned off all emotions. For a long, long time, I went through life feeling very little. I was what the Yerkoviches (How We Love, Expanded Edition: Discover Your Love Style, Enhance Your Marriage) identify as a classic Avoider in their Love Styles quiz. Having grown up in a home where emotions were pretty much absent, and I’d been ridiculed for being “too sensitive,” it felt right and comfortable to go through life not feeling.

Except . . .

Except that turning off the negative emotions also turned off the positive ones, like joy and tenderness and letting myself be moved by art or music.

Except . . . I am a Highly Sensitive Person, and one of the inborn traits is that we can’t help but feel and be emotionally reactive. 

As it does for most people who are Avoiders, the negative energy went into my body. The energy of emotion must go somewhere (e-motion = energy in motion). If you allow yourself to feel it, it will be processed. It won’t get stuck in brain and/or body.

If you don’t . . . you set yourself up for all kinds of problems. Dr. Gabor Mate says, “When you shut down emotion, you’re also affecting your immune system, your nervous system. So the repression of emotions, which is a survival strategy, then becomes a source of physiological illness later on.

That’s what happened to me. I developed an autoimmune disease.

Oddly, even though I went through therapy for a while, no one ever really helped me to understand and process my emotions. Maybe I just wasn’t getting it. It was The Healing Codes that started me on the path to actually healing the heart issues at the source (and also, quelling the physical issues).

It wasn’t easy to heal that Pivotal Memory. I had to identify the lies and the vow. My heart was fearful of being hurt, or humiliated like poor Richard was. (He was never the same after that incident. I noticed.) By understanding both High Sensitivity and Childhood Emotional Neglect, and by identifying the lies and replacing them with truth and images of how to handle emotions in a healthy way, I have found healing and a new way of being.

What Pivotal Memories do you need to heal?

You will greatly speed and deepen your healing when you identify and heal both foundational and pivotal memories. You will also remove many blocks that have held you back in many areas of life. Start today!

And if you need any help, check out both the free and personalized coaching from HealingCodesCoaching.com.

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In my coaching, as I listen to clients tell me what’s bothering them most (the starting point for finding heart issues), I want to find the deepest issue their heart is ready to heal at this point in their healing journey.

I’m listening for what I think of as “the keywords to the heart.” These are words that have the most energy, that seem to encapsulate the essence of the heart issue.

When you put these “keywords” into your prayer of intention, your heart, like a search engine, will come up with the memories that need to be healed.

Your “keywords to your heart” could be one or more feelings. Or a phrase (see below for an example).

It could include one or more beliefs. Or a relationship. Or a harmful action–something they’re doing to numb the pain.

Or–all 4! In fact, I call these four areas the 4-part program: feelings, beliefs, relational context, and harmful actions. Most issues have at least three of these elements (not all issues have the Harmful Actions component).

If you want to speed your healing:

1. Identify your issue–what’s bothering you most? It might be a relationship issue, a health issue, a financial or success issue. Just jot down what’s bothering you most.

Important: Note how you feel about this, or any phrase that comes to mind about this issue. (We will come back to this later.)

2. Explore your issue a little further. Look for the 4 components of your issue: feelings, beliefs, relationship context. (Does this issue involve just you and how you feel about yourself, or some other person, or even God?) Are there any Harmful Actions or behaviors you do because of this issue? The obvious ones are taking substances to numb the pain, but there are many other ways to distract yourself or numb the pain. Working (too much) was always one of my harmful actions. Because I love what I do so much, it was easy to avoid unpleasant feelings and situations by working more.

3. Some people find it helpful to rate how much the issue bothers them, on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being unbearable and 1 being hardly bothersome at all. This can be useful to track your healing after doing a Healing Code. Other people, however, find it stressful to try to rate an issue. If it works for you, do it. If not, feel free to skip this step.

4. Tune in to your body for a moment as you think about your issue. Where do you feel that feeling/belief in your body? Again, if this is too hard, skip it. But it’s useful to keep trying. It will train your heart and your body to tune in to each other.

Now, as you hold that feeling and/or body sensation in your awareness, ask yourself, “When have I ever felt this before? What does this remind me of?”

Often what will come to mind is a memory. However, not always. If you’ve grown up with Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN), for instance, memories might be few. Pay attention to whatever comes up. These will be the “keywords to your heart.” Put these into the Prayer of Intention, and just like putting keywords into a search engine, your heart will come up with all the associations with those keywords–and heal them!

Sometimes the keywords can lead you into the 4-part program. Let me give you an example from my own recent Healing Code session.

I knew I was working on some kind of grief or sadness issue. In fact, I began to cry. As tears rolled down my face, I heard the words in my mind, “What’s wrong with you, that this bothers you so much?”

I don’t remember any specific times when this was said to me, but it sure was the tenor of my experience in my family. The beliefs I came to hold (which I am healing now) were, “I can’t have my feelings. Feelings make others reject you. Feelings are dangerous. Feelings slow you down. You don’t have time for feelings.” Harmful action: avoiding feelings. (When I took the Love Styles quiz, not surprisingly, I scored high in Avoider. I come from a family of Avoiders.)

The “keywords” that led to the beliefs and grief were, “What’s wrong with you, that this bothers you so much?” I realize now that my Highly Sensitive nature made me feel things at a depth that many others don’t. I didn’t know that then, though. Reactions from others to my highly sensitive nature led to much shame, guilt, and wrong beliefs.

But the good news is–I am healing these now! And you can, too. You can heal whatever “heart issues” are holding you back from the things you want most in life–the loving relationships (including with yourself and God), the success in fulfilling your destiny, and the good health your body is always seeking.

Emotions have great energy, and if we don’t “feel and deal” with emotions, especially those long buried, they will erupt in physical symptoms. But that’s the subject of another article….

Download the free “4-part program Tracking Form” I use with my clients. If you would like help in identifying the “keywords to your heart,” check out my coaching at https://HealingCodesCoaching.com.

One of the things that fascinated me from the beginning about The Healing Codes  is the correlation between the different body systems and what Alex Loyd calls “the nine virtues” (love, joy, peace,patience, goodness, kindness, trust, humility, self-control).

If, for instance, you have a thyroid condition, it’s likely that you have a love issue that needs healing. Thyroid falls under the endocrine system, and the endocrine system is correlated with the Love category. (The full discussion is in The Healing Code book and the Healing Codes Manual.)

In this system, then, your physical symptoms can be a clue as to which heart issues need healing.

I have found this to be very true, and very useful. When strange skins spots showed up, I asked myself, “Do I have a joy issue going on?” (Joy is correlated with the skin.) Sure enough, I did identify a joy issue. As I worked on healing the memories and unhealthy beliefs, the skin spots disappeared.

The opposite is also true. If you have an issue with, say, patience, healing that can help your immune system immensely, as that’s the category that correlates with the immune system. If you don’t address the issue, it’s quite likely some kind of immune system disorder will show up.

Illness as Metaphor

If you have an illness or a disease, your body might be trying to tell you something even more specific. Illness can often be a metaphor: your body is trying to tell you something important about what needs to heal.

Read More→

A friend of mine said something to me I’ve been mulling over ever since.

This friend, Clare Masters, has had incredible health challenges (read her gofundme posts here). Botched surgeries, constant pain, and the pressure of trying to live on $4000/year could easily have stolen her life.

While every day is a challenge for Clare, you would never know it if you talked to her. She is always positive, always looking for ways to give back. She’s the kind of person you want to help out as much as you can. She never complains (though if you ask and really want to know, she’ll be honest), and she’s always looking for ways to give to you.

At a recent hospital stay, a nurse asked her how she is able to stay so positive. Why wasn’t she bitter about the cards life handed her? Read More→

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→

When I was a child, I somehow got the idea from my family that I couldn’t have what I wanted.

When I asked for gymnastic lessons, my mother couldn’t be bothered with taking me back and forth to lessons.

When I asked if I could learn to play the piano, she said crossly, “Where would we fit a piano in this house?”

I’ve written about how I was triggered on Fourth of July by memories of never getting a helium balloon at the parade, and how that and other things led to my forming the beliefs, “I can’t have what I desire. Other people will think I’m selfish and reject me if I do or ask for what feels right for me.”

Which eventually led to a feeling of guilt and shame for even desiring anything pleasurable. Which eventually shut me down.

Hearing teachings by various spiritual leaders only reinforced the idea: It’s selfish to seek what I desire, wrong to seek pleasure and avoid pain. One renowned religious radio teacher even said repeatedly, “If you have a choice between the easy way and the hard way, always choose the hard way” (because it will build character).

Being part of the 15-20% of the population whose nervous system is programmed differently only made things worse. Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) are literally wired to feel both pleasure and pain even more acutely than others. To deny us the pleasure and say we shouldn’t avoid the pain cuts us off from the essence of who we are. Also, to shame us when what we desire or need is different is also very damaging. (I was called “Little Miss Fuss-Budget” by my father because things bothered me that didn’t bother other people, like scratchy clothing. I was supposed to endure things that bothered me because I “wasn’t supposed to” be bothered by them.)

Was it any wonder that I had trouble feeling joy, or indeed, anything?

And was it any wonder that I developed poor boundaries, allowing other people to take advantage of me because I was ignoring the emotions that warned me to avoid pain? (Uneasiness, anxiousness, outrage, disgust.)

Well, I’m healing from all that. Here’s what I’m doing.

Steps to Healing

The first step is to recognize the lies.

As human beings, we were created to seek fulfillment, to go after pleasure and avoid pain.

We seek the pleasure of eating, so we are nourished. We seek the pleasure of relationship, so we seek community, we bond and procreate.

Of course we can seek pleasure in ways that are ultimately destructive. When we seek only our own desires, at the expense of others, we harm them and ourselves. We can try to avoid pain through destructive means, too. But that doesn’t negate the validity of  seeking to fulfill our desires and avoid pain in legitimate ways.

In fact, I believe God puts desires into our hearts so that he can feel the pleasure of fulfilling them.

Think about how how you try to find the perfect gift that will really make the recipient feel loved, special, known. Isn’t that what God does for us? I believe he finds joy when we receive his gifts with pleasure and joy. (I wrote a whole book, Abundant Gifts, about the transforming power of looking for and receiving God’s gifts.)

And doesn’t God try to warn us to avoid things that will cause us pain? The Word of God is filled with cautions not to do certain things because he knows they would be bad for us.

The second step was to renounce the lies, and embrace the truth. I did Healing Codes to heal the memories that led to my believing the lies. I infused the truth that it’s OK and good to let my legitimate desires and needs be more of a priority, and to take better care of myself.

The third step was to incorporate the new beliefs into my everyday life. I made a list of things that give me pleasure, and I incorporate those into my life whenever possible. I focus on savoring the simple things.

Not surprisingly, I’m finding my stress load lessening dramatically. My joy is increasing.

Also, I took a good look at what was causing me pain. A couple of key relationships that now felt toxic to me came to mind. Painful as it was, I cut off those relationships.

Again, my stress load lessened by quite a bit. I did Healing Codes to help heal the grief of letting go of the relationships.

I believe that a big part of healing and mastering the stress in our lives has to do with seeking pleasure and avoiding pain in life-giving ways.

The key is recognizing temporary vs. more lasting pleasure and pain, and to find life-giving ways to do both.

Life-giving is key. It often means we may give up a temporary pleasure for a more lasting satisfaction. We’re still seeking pleasure, but it’s a more permanent pleasure. And sometimes that includes embracing a little pain, but again, you’re exchanging temporary pain for lasting pleasure.

An example might be teaching your child to clean his room. He may act ornery, and as if he hates you even, but you are willing to put up with that because you set your gaze on the more lasting pleasure of having a child who knows how to take care of things. (And in the long run, it means less work for you.)

If you can relate to what I’ve been saying, I encourage you to list what gives you pleasure, what is causing pain. Look at the beliefs you might have that are blocking you from embracing pleasure and/or avoiding pain in legitimate ways. See if you can identify memories attached to those lies. Use The Healing Codes or healing prayer to heal those memories.

Then, add as much pleasure, avoid as much pain as you can. Life has enough suffering that we can’t avoid. Let’s not let guilt or shame or a false sense of what it means to be a “good person” keep us from embracing the abundant life God has for us (John 10:10).

And if you need any help with identifying and healing those lies and memories, I’m always available for custom coaching with The Healing Codes at HealingCodesCoaching.com.

It slipped out of me when talking to a friend on the Fourth of July weekend when she  mentioned that she was going to the parade the next day.

“I hate parades!” I said.

Where did that come from?

Then the memory came. Every year my family attended the parade. Every year there were two things I wanted that so many other children seemed to have: a helium balloon, and a soft pretzel. As a very young child, I thought brightly colored helium balloons were almost magical. I wanted one so badly.

I asked my parents: “Can I have a helium balloon?”

“No.” They may have added, “If I got one for you, I’d have to buy one for your brothers, too. We can’t afford it.”

One time perhaps wouldn’t have made a difference. But always it was the same, year after year. I never did get a helium balloon that I can remember, not even on my birthday. I suppose at some point I quit asking, so perhaps they never knew how much I wanted one.

Like the “Popsicle memory” mentioned in The Healing Code, such a memory seems trivial, almost embarrassing to recount. I’m sure had I not read that book, I never would have understood that such memories plant destructive seeds based on lies that grow and choke out out the good fruit of life.

This particular lie grew into beliefs that “I can’t get what I want,” “I don’t deserve nice things,” “It’s wrong to ask for what I want,” “Life is all about the practical,” “I can’t have anything special or too expensive” and probably others.

When unhealthy beliefs are formed at a very young age, especially before age 6 when the brain develops more maturity, they become “hard-wired” into our core belief system and go underground, says Alex Loyd in The Healing Code. And according to Dr. Bruce Lipton in The Biology of Belief, it’s these unconscious memories that are truly at the root of at least 98% of illnesses. It’s the environment of the cell that determines its health, and that environment is created by our beliefs, not our DNA. Read More→

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