Body, Mind And Spiritual Wellness

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Soul Retrieval- a return to wholeness

Soul Retrieval- a return to wholeness

Soul Retrieval- a return to wholenessSoul retrieval sounds quite scary doesn’t it? But soul retrieval isn’t scary at all, its an essential part of the healing process. We need soul retrieval because something called soul loss can occur when we experience trauma, shock or if we have an accident. Again this sounds concerning but it is important to remember that soul loss is actually a protection mechanism. This is because the soul – or our spirit that inhabits our physical body if that is easier to understand – is delicate. When discussing soul loss and soul retrieval with clients I often use the example of an orange. Your body is the skin of the orange, it contains the soul, which are the juicy segments inside the orange skin. Imagine the segments are full of personality, energy and provide us with the ‘juice’ or the enthusiasm for life. When we experience a trauma or a shock, imagine that some of the segments are shocked out of the body, or the orange skin. These segments of soul….’soul parts’ return to the safety of the earth as protection. Please note this is not a horrible, hellish place, but a safe warm place. We can often read about incidents of soul loss in the newspaper, people will make comments like, ‘When she died it was like a part of me died too,’ or ‘I witness the attack as if I was outside of my own body, viewing what was happening to me from above,’ or, ‘I feel lost,’ “I’m constantly searching for something but can never find it.’ These comments all indicate soul loss has occurred. So, the soul parts leave for protection, not only for the soul itself, but also for the protection of the person. For example, using the example of someone that has been violently attacked, this will be highly traumatic for them, so when the soul parts leave the person is often ‘numbed,’ so that they can better cope with what happened to them.

The difficulty is that in order to fully heal from the incident or shock, the soul parts need Soul Retrieval- a return to wholenessto be returned to the individual, so they are no longer numb, so they have their full energy, personality and juiciness of life back. This is why the soul retrieval process is so important – my teacher used to say it was equivalent to five years of therapy! It is simply not sufficient to heal the trauma of what happened to a person, the process needs to be completed by soul retrieval so that the person is not only healed of the trauma but returned to wholeness. And we don’t have to suffer a huge shock to suffer soul loss either. Soul loss often occurs between the ages of 1- 10 years as a result of emotional or physical trauma, fear, sadness, fright or accident. For example, we have all seen how children act as if they are indestructible and the world is a safe place, but if this notion is challenged – for example, they have an accident, or a parent leaves, it is a shock and not only causes soul loss but also sets up a pattern of soul loss which can continue throughout life. Soul loss can of course occur later in life, but it is also important to understand that soul loss from past lives can also affect us (even if we don’t believe in past lives!). So we may have a perfect life in this lifetime, but we may feel lost, like something is missing, or like we are always searching for something because of soul loss that occurred as a result of trauma in past lives. Additionally, I have seen many instances of soul loss upon incarnation – as if part of us decided not to come here after all and returned home!

The soul retrieval process is very easy for the client – in fact they don’t need to do Soul Retrieval- a return to wholenessanything at all other than relax. I use hypnotherapy techniques to visit the ‘lower world’ the place in the subconscious where the soul parts go to feel safe. The first thing I do when arriving in this dimension is to heal the wounded soul part. Then it is necessary to break any unhelpful contracts (beliefs that are made in times of great emotional distress), before finding the healed soul part. The healed soul part normally helps me to find a gift for the client – something that is going to help them move forward and often a power animal (a power ally which brings its particular characteristics to the client) is brought back to the client to help them on the their healing journey.

These three aspects, the healed soul part, the gift and the power animal is returned to the energy body or ‘aura’ – putting it another way, the juicy segments of the orange are put back into the orange skin. This process is vital, it enhances protection and energy levels, boosts the immune system and returns qualities and power to the person that they may have been without for many years – or lifetimes. To give another example, imagine a child of around five who experiences soul loss – as this person grows into an adult and parent, they may complain of being unable to relate to their children, unsure of how to play with them. This is because their childlike self has been lost as a result of soul loss. When the childlike, playful self is returned, they suddenly the client finds that they can have a completely different relationship with their own children and feel not only able to play with them but also know how to bring play into their own lives. So soul retrieval is a highly beneficial process and I have not come across a person yet who has not needed it! It is important to understand though that the soul parts leave for a reason. Therefore, the initial trauma needs to be healed before the soul retrieval can be done. Putting it another way, imagine a child runs away from home because they are unhappy about something. If I go find them and return them to the home without anything changing, the likelihood is that they will run away again. So soul parts want to come back to a happy home, which is what we create within the person when we heal the initial trauma. Additionally, I often find that when the healing work has been done, the soul part is so eager to return to the person they often come to find me and there is no risk of them leaving the client again. If you feel you may have suffered from soul loss, please do not hesitate to contact me using the contact form on the website. Blessings.

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Panic attacks – don’t panic about them!

Panic attacks – don’t panic about them!

Panic attacks – don_t panic about themOver the years, countless people have asked me for help with panic attacks. Panic, or anxiety attacks are highly unpleasant, we sweat and shake, our hearts go crazy, we feel unable to breathe and we feel dizzy and highly anxious. Often, panic attacks can arise from nowhere and can pounce when we are feeling fine, when things are actually going well, and we struggle to understand what triggered them off. However panic attacks are often misunderstood and seen as negative occurrences when in fact I believe they are positive occurrences. I suffered from panic attacks myself for many years, so I am not underestimating how intense and scary they can be. Through my work worldwide as a hypnotherapist, I have found that panic attacks are in fact intense healing episodes. If you’ve noticed the timing of panic attacks, you may recognize that we don’t actually suffer them when we are going through times of stress or trauma, they often occur after -often years after – the period of trauma or emotional upheaval has passed. In fact they normally occur when we have started to feel happier, when we are moving forward with our lives, which serves to make them even more confusing! What is actually occurring is that the body is taking advantage of the fact that you are in a happier place by releasing the trapped energy and emotion of past trauma. I have recognised through my work that the body is highly intelligent and opportunistic and it will take any opportunity to heal that it can. Your body knows that holding onto the effects of past trauma is not healthy for you, therefore, it triggers a panic attack which allows the intense energy and emotion of the past that is trapped within to be released.

I have helped many people to heal from panic attacks – the attacks aren’t anything that Panic attacks – don_t panic about themrequire healing in themselves we stop them occurring by healing any difficult past experiences, clearing any heavy energy resulting from these experiences from the energy body , and returning a person to wholeness through power retrieval and soul retrieval practices Once this work is complete, then the panic attacks cease as the hypnotherapy work has already cleared the emotional and energetic ‘debris.’ What I have also noticed with clients suffering from panic attacks is that they develop severe anxiety about actually having a panic attack – which in a way negates the benefit of panic attacks as the client is storing up more emotional and energetic ‘debris’ which will have to be cleared by the body at some point in the future – normally by having….yes, you’ve guessed it, a panic attack! So the best thing to do is try to understand that panic attacks – although unpleasant – are just your body’s way of healing itself, they are a sign that you would benefit from doing some personal healing work. It is important to remember that panic attacks do not arise when we are stressed, and that they can be managed. Those of you who have had panic attacks will recognise the signs that one is on its way. The best thing to do in this instance is to first of all accept that this is a positive thing, secondly, the best thing is to try to relax – to not get panicked about the panic attack. If it happens, it will pass, normally quite quickly. You can help it to pass more easily by regulating your breathing. There is a technique I teach my clients to use which I call the ‘Mind breath.’ It’s quite easy, you breathe in to the count of seven, hold the breath for the count of seven, breathe out for the count of seven, hold for the count of seven. Alternatively, you can practice a short, slow breath in through the nose and then breathe out sloooooowly, for as long as you can, until your lungs are empty, then the shortest possible breath in, the out slooooowly -try to breathe out counting to eight or ten.

Panic attacks – don_t panic about themWhen we panic we breathe very quickly and shallowly into our upper lungs. This makes the panic attack much worse as the breath indicates to the body that there is something to be very worried about! But if you have ever watched a baby sleeping, you will see that its tummy, not its chest, goes up and down. When we breathe low into our abdomen, it tricks the body into feeling reassured that everything is ok, so using breathing techniques can help reduce or stop a panic attack in its tracks. However, please remember that the panic attack arose for a reason therefore even if you prevent the panic attack from occurring you should make arrangements to heal any past issues or difficult experiences as quickly as possible. If I can assist you on your healing journey, please do not hesitate to contact me.

8 Things Not to Say to Someone Struggling With Anxiety

By Lori Deschene

How You Can Help the People You Love When They Need It Most

Sometimes just being there is enough – Unknown

It felt like I couldn’t breathe. Like someone was holding me by the neck, against a wall, and the floor might drop from beneath us at any moment. I’m describing a panic attack, but this has actually happened to me before—being held by the neck against a wall, that is, not the other part. Growing up I experienced many moments like that, moments when I felt unsafe, physically and emotionally.

There were countless experiences that reinforced to me, over the years, that I couldn’t let my guard down, because at any moment I could be hurt. So I learned to be constantly anxious, eternally on guard, ever ready for a threat. I learned to be tightly wound, my fight-or-flight response permanently triggered. And I learned to see minor threats as major problems, because that’s another thing I learned as a kid: Sometimes seemingly small things could make other people snap. Unsurprisingly, I grew into an adult who snapped over small things all the time. Got bleach on my interview outfit? No one will ever hire me now! She doesn’t want to be my friend? Why doesn’t anyone love me? Found a suspicious lump? I’m going to die!

Alt text hereAnxiety can adversely affect a person’s life


Okay, so that last one isn’t actually a “small thing,” but the point is I was constantly scared. Life was a string of lions to tame, and I lived in a land without chairs. I believe my early experiences, being bullied in varied environments, led to my years of depression and anxiety. For you or your loved one, there may be other causes. Some people are genetically predisposed to anxiety, some struggle because of stressful circumstances, and for some, physical conditions play a role. But this isn’t a post about what causes anxiety. This is a post about what not to say when someone’s panicking.

What Can You do to Help Someone Experiencing an Anxiety Attack?

Anxiety can completely overwhelm your mind and body, and we often exacerbate our pain by being cruel to ourselves in our head. “Get it together!” we scream at ourselves. “What’s wrong with you? Why are you such a mess?” But none of these thoughts are helpful. Though the people who love us are generally not as cruel, they sometimes say less than helpful things as well, solely because they don’t know any better.

Alt text hereBeing tough on ourselves only makes it worse


Even as someone who has experienced anxiety, I have said some of the things below to people who were struggling, because I felt powerless. And when you feel powerless, it’s hard to think straight. All you know is that you want to fix it for them. You want to have answers. But sometimes when we’re in fix-it mode, despite our best intentions, we inadvertently add fuel to the fire.

So, as someone who’s been on both sides of the coin, I’d like to share some phrases to avoid when someone is dealing with anxiety, and offer a little insight into what actually helps.

Things Not to Say to Someone Who’s Struggling with Anxiety

1. What you’re stressing about won’t even matter in a year.

In many cases, this is true. If someone’s worrying about a minor car accident, it’s entirely likely what they’re stressing about won’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. But this isn’t a universally true statement. A minor accident could lead to major car trouble, which could lead to missing work, which could lead to lost pay, which could lead to getting evicted. And that could very well matter in a year. Is this chain of events likely? No, but it’s still possible.

Alt text hereValidating fears and affirming that the person is safe is helpful for someone having a panic attack


It’s not reassuring to tell someone the worst-case scenario won’t happen because sometimes, it does. But more importantly, in that moment when someone is in the midst of anxiety, it feels catastrophic, and you can’t rationalize those feelings away—at least not immediately. When someone is panicking, they don’t need logic; they need validation. They need validation that yes, life is uncertain and “bad” things do happen, and validation that it’s okay to feel scared.

They also need a reminder that in this moment, they are safe. And that’s all they need to think about right now: breathing and grounding themselves in this moment in time. 

2. Life’s too short to worry. 

All this does is create more anxiety, because in addition to whatever that person was initially stressing about, they now have to worry that they’re missing out on life because of an emotional response that feels beyond their control.

Alt text hereAnxiety can leave us feeling stuck


Yes, life is short. And we all naturally want to make the most of it. But you wouldn’t tell a diabetic “Life is too short to have too much sugar in your blood.” Sure, you’d encourage them to make healthy food choices, but you’d realize this phrasing would vastly oversimplify the effort required from them to manage their condition and maintain healthy habits. The same is true of anxiety. Anyone who’s struggled with it understands there are far better ways to live, and this knowledge pains them. What they may not know is how to help themselves.

3. Calm down.

“Calm down” is the goal, not the action step. It’s what we all want to do when we’re panicking. It’s the shore in the distance, and it can feel miles away as we gasp for air in the undertow of emotion and struggle to stay afloat.

Alt text hereSomeone overwhelmed by anxiety will likely not be able to comprehend advice


If you know any good methods that help you calm yourself—deep breathing exercises, for example—by all means, share them. But it’s probably best not to get into much detail in the moment when someone is panicking. Imagine someone hanging off a cliff, about to fall into a pit full of tigers. That’s what anxiety can feel like.

If you were to stand at the edge and scream, “COME TO YOGA WITH ME TOMORROW! DID YOU KNOW THAT YOGA CAN HELP YOU…” that person would likely be too consumed by their terror to hear you or your convincing argument. What they need to hear in that moment is “Take my hand!” And the same is true of anxiety. Hold their hand. Help them breathe. Help them come back into the moment. Then, when they feel safe, that’s a good time to tell them what’s helped you.

That’s another important thing to remember: We all want to hear what’s helped other people deal, not what someone who’s never experienced our struggles has read about. Share your experience, not your expertise. None of us need a guru; we need friends who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable.

Alt text hereOnce someone is ready, it can be helpful to hear what has helped you through your own similar experience

4. It’s no big deal. 

This comes back to the first point: In that moment, it feels like a big deal. A very big deal. It feels like the biggest, scariest, worst thing that could happen, and you can’t turn that fear off like a switch.

When someone says, “It’s not a big deal,” the anxious mind translates this as “You’re overreacting—which is further proof that you’re broken.” Instead, try, “I know it’s hard. And scary. But you’re not alone. I’m here to help you get through this.” It’s amazing how much it helps when someone reinforces that it’s okay to be scared—it’s human, even—but we don’t have to face it alone.

5. It’s all in your head. 

Yes, thoughts and fears all originate in our head, but that doesn’t make our feelings any less real. The anxious mind translates “It’s all in your head” as “Your head is defective,” because knowing that thoughts fuel anxiety doesn’t make it any easier to stop thinking anxious thoughts.

Alt text hereInstead of fighting our anxious thoughts, try accepting and disengaging from them


When we’re thinking anxious thoughts, what we need is a reminder that they often arise naturally—for all of us. We don’t need to worry about changing them. We just need to practice accepting them when they arise and disengaging from them. So try this instead: “I can understand why you’re thinking those thoughts. I’d probably think some of the same things if I were in your shoes. If you want, you can tell me all your anxious thoughts. They’re trying to protect you in their own way, so maybe they just need to be heard and then they’ll quiet a bit.”

6. Let it go.

I have, over the years, written many posts with advice on letting go. I believe it’s healthy to strive to let go of anger, resentment, fears, the past, and anything else that compromises our ability to be happy and loving in the present.

Alt text hereLetting go is a constant practise


I think, though, letting go is something we may need to do repeatedly. It’s a practice, not a one-time decision, and certainly not something we’re well equipped to do in a moment when we’re gripped by fear. Jon Kabat-Zinn wrote,

It’s not a matter of letting go—you would if you could. Instead of ‘Let it go’ we should probably say ‘Let it be’.

That’s what we need in the moment when we’re panicking: We need to give those feelings permission to exist. We need to give ourselves permissions to be a human being experiencing those feelings. And we need to know the people around us love us enough to accept us as we are—even if it might make them feel more comfortable if we were better able to just “let it go.”

7. Things could be so much worse.

Yes, things could always be worse, we all know this. Like many statements on this list, this phrase does little other than evoke guilt. And for the anxious mind, guilt can lead to more anxiety.

Alt text hereGuilt only exacerbates anxiety


Now, on top of their initial fears, they’re worrying that they’re not a good person because they can’t rationalize their anxiety away with gratitude. I’m not suggesting that it never helps to put things in perspective, but coming from someone else, this almost always sounds condescending. Condescension leads most of us to feel inferior, and it’s even worse when we’re already feeling ashamed because of our struggle, as many of us do.

8. Be positive. 

Anxiety isn’t just about negativity. For many of us, like me, it’s a learned response from a traumatic past in which we felt persistently unsafe. You can train your brain to be more optimistic, and in doing so, minimize anxious thoughts. But this involves far more time, effort, and support than the phrase “be positive” conveys.

Alt text hereIt’s not easy to switch to positivity when you’re consumed by anxiety


Also, “be positive” suggests that “positive” is something one can become—permanently—which ignores the reality that lows are inevitable in life. No one is positive all the time, and often the people who seem to be are actually being passive-aggressive. Phrases like “Look on the bright side” and “See the glass as half full” can seem incredibly patronizing when you’re hurting. They minimize just how hard it can be to see the world optimistically, especially when you’ve experienced trauma.

So instead, show them what it looks like to be positive. Be loving and open and calm and accepting and supportive and present. This probably won’t heal them of their struggle or banish their anxiety in the moment when they’re panicking, but it’s amazing how you can affect someone for the better by being a healthy mirror.

Alt text hereCompassion and a listening ear go a long way


After reading this list, you might think I’m suggesting there is no way to heal from anxiety; we just need to help people accept it and get through it. But that’s not actually my point. There are tools out there to help people. I personally recommend therapy, yoga, and meditation, as these three tools combined have helped me learn to better regulate my emotions. My point is that even when someone is making the efforts to help themselves, it takes time; they may still struggle, and in those moments they simply need love, acceptance, and, support.

If you’ve said some of these things in the past, know that we recognize you’re imperfect, just like us, but we still appreciate all that you do. We also appreciate that you read articles like this to better understand and support us. The world can be a scary place, but knowing that people like you care enough to help us, makes it feel a whole lot safer.

By Lori Deschene