Healing’s a long and winding road.
Sue of Life is a Journey … Not a Guided Tour came by Coach Daddy when Michelle of Lipstick and Laundry wrote a guest post. Actually, Michelle and I teamed up to tackle the problem of Blogstacles. The struggle is real. Sue stuck around, leaving mindful and encouraging comments when my blogs took some blue turns.
Today, Sue’s here to share her journey that began with a desire for weight loss, and evolved into something that would alter the trajectory of her life.
Please give Sue a warm CD welcome.
Hypnosis, in my healing journey
Thank you Eli for inviting me to write a guest post for Coach Daddy.
I am very honored, and thrilled. Writing has always been a way I process my life and the things that go on in it. And almost six years ago, I started blogging as a way of dealing with life and sharing my journey. It’s become a platform of sharing what I’ve learned along the way, and a community of support.
Today I’ll be sharing a bit of how my journey around losing weight evolved into something much bigger.
I ate for about any reason.
While I thought I was trying to tackle a persistent problem of losing weight and keeping it off, what I didn’t know was that this quest would eventually lead me to things that would heal childhood wounds, many of which were hiding in the deep recesses of my mind.
After years of dieting, losing weight, gaining it back, dieting, losing weight, and gaining even more back, I realized that dieting without addressing the underlying cause of why I kept eating when I wasn’t hungry, was not the solution.
I also realized I ate when I was happy and celebrating, I ate when I was bored, I ate when I was frustrated, I ate when I was tired, and I ate for about any reason. I noticed just about the only time I didn’t feel like turning to my friend, food, was when I was extremely sad.
Along the way, I learned of using hypnosis to curb food cravings. Most of what drives our day to day behavior comes from our subconscious mind, and I thought it would be just exactly what I needed: to get at the unconscious feelings driving my eating behavior.
In 2000, I sought out a local hypnotherapist to help. She’d never worked with someone to specifically lose weight (her specialty was past life regressions), so in some ways she was winging it, giving me suggestions to help me want to eat healthfully and exercise.
Over the course of 4 or 5 sessions, I made some progress, joined Weight Watchers, and easily lost almost 50 pounds.
I gained back all the weight and then some.
Then life happened. For years I experienced stressors that triggered my eating. I gained back all the weight and then some. I had moved, gotten married, and had a child who was born early, who experienced developmental delays and had special needs.
And I experienced undiagnosed post-partum depression that became years of depression.
Fast forward to when my son was about 6. I again turned to hypnosis to try to lose weight. I then had some limited success with two other hypnotherapists over the course of a few years, and it was clear that my weight issues were not going to be easily solved.
Choosing life’s challenges
However, along the way, I had some pretty incredible experiences happen during a few hypnosis sessions.
I witnessed, while regressing, being in my mother’s womb, and being a spirit waiting to enter my mother’s womb, and then seeing myself as a spirit being working with a guide, planning life lessons that I wanted to work on during this lifetime.
I actually saw that before I was born, I chose certain challenges to come into my life so I could learn and grow from them. That blew my mind.
We have to reach up and allow someone to grab onto our hand, to help us up and help get us going again.
One epiphany: the realization that every one of us has our path to walk, with joys, celebrations, trials and lessons. There will be times we dance easily along the path, and there will be times that we might slow to a crawl, or life may have us down on our knees.
During the times when we are down on our knees, all we have to do is reach up and allow someone to grab onto our hand, to help us up and help us get going again.
But ultimately, the path and the journey is completely ours and ours alone. At the time that this message came through, my son was having a lot of struggles in his young life, and it was a message for me to understand that my son has his own path in life to walk.
Our children’s struggles: Key for growth
My son will have his own struggles that he has to deal with.
As much as I, as mom, want to take them away, I cannot and should not. They are here for his own growth. I can help him and hold his hand, but he has to take every step himself.
I had some incredible experiences while working with that hypnotherapist, but the way he worked was not the best match for me, and after a handful of sessions I stopped.
I fully realized that food was my “drug of choice” that I was using to feed some unmet need
A few years later, having temporarily shelved my “losing weight” mission, I had gone through some more intense life experiences, including the death of both parents and having a spiritual awakening (most unexpectedly).
Getting physically larger, I decided again to work with another hypnotherapist I discovered through a local spiritual healing center, with the end goal of losing weight. I fully realized that food was my “drug of choice” that I was using to feed some unmet need.
I saw that food for me was actually an addiction.
I hit the jackpot!
But unlike other addictions that you can quit, like alcohol and drugs, you can’t quit eating forever. I had to find a way to unplug my triggers and be able to eat without it filling other emotional needs.
This time I hit the jackpot! My hypnotherapist is a wonderful match for me.
She combined training in hypnotherapy, years of experience as a licensed therapist, with spiritual training to develop a way of working that has helped me uncover triggers and heal lifetimes of emotional beliefs active in me, driving me to act out by eating.
Nonspecific discomfort kept coming back again and again.
I am learning that as I unplug the energy of triggers and they no longer affect me, it’s a thousand times easier to break old bad food habits.
One session that created healing for me around food was one in which I was directed to tune into an uncomfortable feeling I’d noticed lately in my life, that would come up, and in response to it, I’d eat away the discomfort.
This nonspecific discomfort kept coming back again and again. I was able to recognize that eating was just my way of numbing this feeling, and it wasn’t doing me any good.
‘The scene appeared in my mind’
My hypnotherapist took me through the induction phase of the session, where I became very relaxed but focused, and my conscious mind quieted down so I could access my subconscious mind.
She asked me to tune into this uncomfortable feeling, then travel back in time to the very first time I felt this same feeling. After a few moments, the scene appeared in my mind.
I am 2 years old. My mother is yelling at me again. Her energy is so big it cuts right through me like a knife, causing my solar plexus and gut to tighten into a ball. All I want to do is curl up in the fetal position and disappear.
Food somehow dampens the overwhelm.
I realized that my body is extremely sensitive to energy. I can feel people’s emotions wafting off their body. My sensors are my solar plexus and my gut.
In a flash the epiphany hits me and I recognize that when I am eating is about the only time that my tummy doesn’t overload on sensing other people’s feelings because it’s busy digesting food. Food somehow dampens the overwhelm.
This time that I am dining is a respite and a break for my tummy antenna. Food is my friend. It helps keep me sane.
It’s not because of anything you’ve done
My hypnotherapist has the adult me come into the scene with my younger self. Adult me talks to the younger me and shares her wisdom. The wisdom is shared: your mother is mentally ill and when she yells at you it is not because of anything you have done.
You are not bad. It’s not about you. She is not entirely in control of her emotions and uses you as her verbal battering ram. You are a perfect, beautiful little girl. There is nothing wrong with you. You are an exquisitely sensitive and very smart girl.
Then adult me gave little me a big hug.
I saw the young me become very happy, joyous, in fact.
My young self grasped the dynamics of what happened and was immediately released from carrying around the belief that there was something wrong with her and that it was somehow her fault that her mother would verbally assault her.
The relief was immediate. I saw the young me become very happy, joyous in fact.
Once this enlightenment was complete, the little girl whose belief had been stuck in time was once again free to be her true self: happy.
A session to heal cravings
The incongruity between what she believed as true, that she is defective, and what my own core truth actually is, that I am beautiful and amazing, was resolved.
That one session shifted a lot of unconscious things in me that I might never fully comprehend, but one of the outcomes that I experience every day now is being completely unplugged from a lifelong craving for pasta.
After that session, I still noticed cravings specifically around sugar and bread, and very recently had a session to heal those cravings with great success.
I’m conscious enough now about my feelings to detect the connection pretty quickly.
I now use hypnosis by addressing an unwanted behavior or emotion that pops up in my life; something that isn’t serving me well. It’s something like frustration or anger that I notice keeps rearing its ugly head, and when it comes up, I react by wanting to eat it away.
I’m conscious enough now about my feelings to detect the connection pretty quickly.
I love using this healing modality (there are many different modalities out there) is that it goes directly to my subconscious mind, where all these old programs are acting from, and I can unplug triggers and rewrite old active programs so incredibly easily and quickly.
I’ve learned that when we are very young, when something doesn’t make sense to our child brain, we create a scenario that makes sense to us in that moment in time. Once our child logic figures out the “why” of something, a belief has been created.
Because I grew up with a mentally ill, unstable mother, I created the logic that the reason she would go off on me from time to time when she was manic, and would essentially abandon me when she was depressed, was that there was something wrong with me.
The way I acted caused her behavior. I must be defective and bad, or she wouldn’t yell at me or ignore me. That made sense to my young brain. No one explained to me otherwise. Once the belief was created, I knew there must be something wrong with me.
This was the perfect petri dish for food addiction.
As I grew up, food was my friend, my savior, protecting me from the extreme emotions and verbal abuse of my mother. As her moods rose and fell, and she felt that she was not okay, the old belief that I created about being defective was alive and well inside of me.
This was the perfect petri dish for food addiction: the belief that I was defective, and the physical and emotional relief that came from eating (especially certain foods).
By doing this work over the past few years, I’ve been unplugging food triggers and other emotional triggers, and even healing physical illness. I’m letting go of a lifetime of judgment that I took on from others, and misbeliefs created in an attempt to survive.
Judgment belongs to someone else
I’m reclaiming lost bits and pieces of myself, creating healthy emotional boundaries, letting go of all sorts of shame, lifetimes of anger, terror, anguish and other strong negative emotions.
I am reminded that at my core, I am an amazing, beautiful being, filled with love and unconditional acceptance.
Any time I notice feeling anything other than love and acceptance, like when judgment creeps in, all I have to do is remember that it belongs to someone else, and is not the true, authentic me. In doing so, I experience a huge amount of peace in my heart.
Life doesn’t knock me over and wipe me out nearly as much.
Today, as I walk through the world, stuff still happens: people still die, shit still rains down, life still happens, but when it does, with so many old beliefs healed and no longer acting up or acting out, life doesn’t knock me over and wipe me out nearly as much.
I can move through the world with a lot more grace and ease.
Is my food addiction completely healed? Not completely, but I now know that it has only been a vehicle through which I’m discovering that my true essence, my true self, is the divine, unconditional, non-judgmental, compassionate love that I know and experience as God: the source of us all.
A bit of a paradox
As I heal, I’m moving closer and closer to this true loving self. (My interpretation and experience of God is that we are all a part of/ a piece of God, a spark of the Divine, and at the same time, I perceive God as outside of myself. A bit of a paradox.)
If you are suffering from childhood trauma, abuse, or having been raised with judgment (that last one covers about everyone), you might notice being set off by different things in your life.
People create all sorts of beliefs when they are little and trying to make sense of things that don’t make sense. Just because these beliefs make sense to a 2-, 3-, or 4-year-old brain, doesn’t make them true.
At our core, every one of us is a beautiful, intelligent, amazing, divine being.
But they are true for that little girl or boy still inside of you. At our core, every one of us is a beautiful, intelligent, amazing, divine being, and when we carry beliefs deep within us that are contradictory to this core truth, they become activated by life.
Our child does something and sets us off. We are driving in traffic and become set off. We are treated unfairly and react. We see an interaction between two people we don’t even know and are set off. Someone gets angry with us and we react and lash out.
Begin to notice being triggered, being set off, or when you become reactive. Know that when this happens, the person or event that triggered you is not to blame. Know that they are merely the catalyst creating an opportunity for you to discover an old unhealed belief deep within you.
Heal old unwanted, unconscious beliefs
There are several ways to access and heal old unwanted, unconscious beliefs, including hypnotherapy, meditation, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) also called Tapping, shamanic soul retrieval work, Matrix Energetics and other forms of Energy Therapy.
Traditional talk therapy can be very useful as well, but depending on the training and skill of the therapist, it might take years to uncover things that other modalities access much more quickly and easily.
And there are some things I’ve been able to discover such as pre-birth planning, and things I’ve healed such past life energies that were still affecting me in this current lifetime, that a traditional therapist will never access or heal.
Take what I have learned about myself and know that it is true for you too: at your core, you are truly beautiful, loving, amazing, and creative.