Press & Media
The Difficulty with Our Culture
Jill woke up one day three months ago and immediately had a panic attack. While a year ago she’d been enjoying her job as a regional manager for a large women’s clothing manufacturer, COVID-19 had her locked down at home with her family. This was a particularly brutal day to have a panic attack because she had to attend a socially-distanced funeral later that morning. One of her teenage son’s best friends had died by suicide the week before—in fact, he was the fourth teenager at the high school to do so that year.
Later, she had a phone call scheduled with her daughter Jenna, who was trying to get into medical school but had test anxiety and kept bombing the MCATs. Jenna was utterly depressed, had lost her self-confidence, and was talking about moving home.
Jill ran a shaky hand through her hair. She rolled over and reached out for her husband, but he wasn’t there. She remembered with a start that he had his annual physical that morning and prayed that the doctor would find an easy fix for his racing heart episode last week. Heart disease ran on her husband’s side of the family, and even though she’d been nagging him to quit again, he’d restarted his smoking habit to try to deal with the anxiety that lockdown had caused since closing his restaurant. He was in constant pain, increasingly stiff and tight, with his back often going out on him.
Jill shook her head and took her anti-anxiety meds. She opened the Amazon app on her phone to check the status of a package that was supposed to arrive that day. And that’s when she saw an ad for Your Best Health by Friday 2ndEdition: How to Overcome Anxiety, Depression, Stress, Trauma, PTSD, and Chronic Illness.
It was understandable that Jill felt so stressed. Months of unrelenting pressure and living life within the same four walls was getting to everyone around the globe, leading to an epidemic in increased anxiety, depression, stress, and suicide rates.
Not only that, but our culture focuses on the conscious and tends to ignore the unconscious. The rise of smart phones and video games has only made it easier to avoid processing the subconscious root of our negative feelings. Further, the unconscious is resistant to change and that can prevent the conscious mind from ever addressing underlying issues.
Research has shown that somewhere between 50% to 90% of all behavior is driven by the unconscious. While you think the conscious self that you know is the driving force behind your life, much of your life experience is being hidden from you. You don’t even know what you don’t know. Your unconscious hides things to protect you, and it is pulling many of the strings.
How You Can Heal, Too
The year was 2010. I lay in my bed in agony, every nerve ending in my body feeling like it was exploding. I was exhausted. This kept happening to me, I didn’t know why, and neither my doctor nor the doctors at the local emergency room had a clue what to do to help me. I was only forty-six, but I felt like ninety-six. My joints and muscles ached. The night before I’d sent up a prayer: “Please God, just take me. I’m done. I can’t take it anymore,” but I’d woken up the next morning the same as usual. I felt guilty that I’d asked God to be taken. My two young sons needed me. I had to be stronger. That night I sent up a different prayer. “Please God, if I can’t leave, then let me find the answers for what’s wrong with me. It would make everything I’ve gone through worth it if I can just help others avoid all this pain.”
I’d chosen a husband who recreated the pathology of my childhood. I’d grown up with an active duty combat vet for a dad, who vented his PTSD-level rage on me, my mom, and my younger sister. I could never please my dad, and I could never please my husband. Stress kept mounting because I was a perfectionistic people-pleaser. My husband kept threatening to end the marriage and I tried harder and harder to make things work. Eventually my stress caught up with me. I had fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and if I didn’t figure out how to heal, I was at greater risk of lymphoma and other scary diseases. I felt like I was dying; I couldn’t see how I was going to be around long enough to see my boys grow up.
In that moment, however, I realized something incredibly important, and within a couple of years, I had ended that marriage, started dating an incredible man, went to hot yoga three times a week (and could outlast most of the twenty and thirty year-olds there), had a turnaround on pain and stress, arthritis symptoms, spinal stenosis, brain fog, and big improvements on focus, concentration, energy, and joy, joy, joy. The one realization that caused such an amazing transformation for me has led to equally amazing outcomes for the clients I help, improving health, focus, concentration, test results, direction, happiness, peace, and joy, and is the basis of the work I do with clients.
I spent most of my childhood with my stomach tied up in one knot after the other. But things changed for me when I made that discovery in my forties. Suddenly I had a growing toolkit, and I started to use it regularly. My health got better and better. Eventually, I knew it was time to share what I’d learned with the world.
I realized I needed to get training in what had helped me most, so I could demonstrate it to audiences. It turned out that I was good at it and enjoyed helping others. Since those days, I’ve helped hundreds of people get the lives they wanted:
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve completely transformed my life in the years since first making these discoveries, going from being so ill with autoimmune illness that I felt like I was dying to the vibrantly healthy woman I am today.
And Jill? She reached out to me, began educating her unconscious, and reduced her stress and anxiety. It helped turn around her life and that of her family as well. She sent her son to a psychologist and to me too, to help him cope with the trauma of losing his friend. She sent her daughter to me for help with test-taking and she just found out that Jenna did well enough on the MCAT to get into medical school. She sent her husband to me for help with stress reduction and he’s successfully quit smoking again. His stiffness has stopped, and his back stays comfortable between chiropractic visits.
What Most People Have Overlooked
There are many people like Jill who are perfectionists, people-pleasers, or type A overachievers. They often struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. And what many people with these issues often do to overcome them is try harder and attempt to control more. In a sense, this becomes a cascading failure, for this approach just doesn’t work. You can’t control life, no matter how much you try to pretend you can. Furthermore, the unconscious is always waiting to step in and mess up any attempts you make to change.
But what can you do instead? If becoming more controlling is flawed because it eventually burns through the adrenals, destroys digestion, and leaves you a sitting duck for whatever your genetic weak links are, then you can begin to be calmer and start leading a happier life if you instead educate your unconscious.
In our culture, we act as if the conscious mind is the only mind to educate, yet the education of the unconscious mind is what will determine our illness or wellness, our academic ability, our ultimate success or failure in business, and the quality of the relationships we attract into our life. To achieve good health, academic and business success, and attract great relationships you must educate your unconscious mind. And in working with me, you will learn how to educate your unconscious in a way that will create buy-in, so that change will become easier and easier.
You likely remember how Jill went from suffering panic attacks to reeducating her unconscious. What was it that Jill did? She worked with me to overcome her fear of change and get her unconscious on board with her life goals.
Now people don’t show up at conferences I’m speaking at or read my book because they care about knowledge. They do so because they care about the possibility of change. And it was the possibility that Jill was being prevented from changing by her own unconscious that sparked her to pick up the phone and give me a call for help. I helped Jill by looking for where I could see she favored one side of the body or the other, knowing it is linked to trauma. I asked Jill for internal feedback on how it felt in her body when she walked, bent down, stood on her toes, swayed forward and back and side to side while she thought about her goal. Through self-observation, acupressure, and other techniques, these areas correct themselves. And by explaining the goal in a different way from the conscious mind's perspective, we educate the unconscious and help to overcome its fear of change. Once the unconscious understands a goal fully and integrates it, then we will have its cooperation.
The simple truth is you will achieve good health, academic and business success, and attract great relationships when you educate your unconscious mind.
Educating the Unconscious
But who ever heard of educating the unconscious?! And what does that involve?
I had a client who was a talented upper level manager at an international corporation. We’ll call him Joe. He had to have been putting in a hundred hours a week at his job. And over the years, he kept seeing the same number over and over in different contexts, 10:54 or 1054. He said it always preceded something horrible happening to him, like a car accident or life-threatening illness. Lately, he had begun to see that number every day—on the clock, on the computer, on paperwork. It kept him up at night, worrying about what might happen to him. He wanted to know what it meant and if there was anything he could do about it. I did some research before his appointment and found out 10-54 is police code for possible dead body. A tall, slim man with a shock of blond hair, Joe looked both exhausted and like he hadn’t been eating or exercising enough. I told him of the meaning I’d discovered and asked if that made sense to him. He slumped in the chair, shocked at the echo of his innermost thoughts: he was so overworked and overwhelmed that he could barely feel his body anymore. I helped him come up with a goal that he liked, “I effortlessly create work/life balance,” and asked him to walk and notice sensations within his body. We cleared away resistance to the goal—those unconscious beliefs that kept him working harder than he needed to because he felt unworthy of success—and he left a different man: energized, vital, and hopeful.
Now most people would probably prefer to just dip a little deeper into the wine vat rather than explore the Pandora’s box of the unconscious. Instead, they’d double down on trying to control themselves and their behavior more, or that of their spouse or children. But that’s what you’ve always tried, and it doesn’t work. It just adds another layer of stress. You overcome your greatest struggles not by imposing protocols on yourself but by asking the body what it needs to heal.
When my clients embraced the concept that they could partner with their unconscious to produce change, everything clicked, and they saw a night and day difference of how much better they felt, how productive they were, and how much less stress they felt.