When Rani (who then went by Lisa) was 20, she went to an ashram in India. She asked her spiritual teacher for a new name, a spiritual name. She had just had a powerful series of experiences in the ashram. Some might call them “awakenings.” Whatever they were, they were so evocative, that they led her to devote her life to… Read more →
Paris Latka is an eating psychology coach, nutritionist, therapeutic chef, and yoga teacher. Over the course of 9 months, True Story Works supported Paris in exploring her story with bulimia. Paris stepped into the Transformational Story Journey in order to share the struggles and wisdom that came from having an eating disorder during her teenage and young adult years. Despite having… Read more →
What if telling your story could create powerful shifts in your physical health?
It can! Here’s what happened to an amazing client after she began to tell her story…
One of True Story Works’ clients is a powerful and vibrant 30 year old, with a deep commitment to healthy living.
A nutrition therapist, yoga teacher, and raw food chef, she’s gearing up to rebrand her business and get out in the world in a bigger way.
She’s wanted to share her personal story for awhile, knowing it’s a crucial way to connect with new clients. But she hasn’t known where to start.
Her story is one about food and body image and, like a lot of women, is deep and painful.
Needing some support, she came to True Story Works, ready for the Personal Story Journey – a multiple session experience of video-recorded storytelling and playback.
Our goal was to explore her full story, extract the gems, and create a short video for her website.
What we didn’t know is that the storytelling process would also support her body in a truly incredible way…
During our first conversation, she mentioned off-handedly that she hadn’t menstruated in over a year, and had started seeing a nutritionist to help regulate her body.
We chatted briefly about how this imbalance could be connected to the story she was about to share, and then put it aside, trusting the relationship would reveal itself.
A few weeks later, she came in for her first storytelling session.
We sat across from each other, with the camera turned on in the corner of the room. After a guided meditation and a few prompts, she began narrating.
“Age 7,” she said. “That’s when I first started believing I was fat.”
She wove through her earliest memories of her body…
The moments when she thought she was bigger than other girls.
Her first Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, and cabbage soup diets. Her calorie counting in middle and high school.
When she told me about her first binging and purging experience, tears flooded her eyes and her voice shook.
So, we paused and used the emotional freedom technique (EFT) or “tapping” method.
EFT is a tool designed to support the brain and body’s rewiring. It’s a powerful method to help release and neutralize challenging emotional experiences and beliefs.*
After using the tapping sequence until she felt significant relief and calm, we picked up her story.
During that first session, she narrated for a hour and a half.
And every so often, she would pause and say, “Wow. I’ve never told anyone about this before,” amazed at how tightly she had locked away some of her experiences.
After our session, I walked to my car feeling grateful and in awe…
At how vulnerable she had been. At what she had been holding onto for so long. And how much she had released.
Two days later, as I was making breakfast, I received a text from her.
“Oh my god!! You’ll never believe this. I bled this morning!”
It had been 14 months since her last menses. We were both amazed.
Regulating her body’s bleeding cycle wasn’t a primary intention of our work.
We were in awe that her body had responded to it so dramatically and immediately.
How’d it happen?
I’m not a licensed medical practitioner, but research from neuroscience and somatic therapies can give us a clue as to why she may have started bleeding again.
Eastern and Western healing paradigms, alike, acknowledge that our brain and body are storehouses for stories, beliefs, and emotions.
They are written and re-written in our brain’s neuro-pathways. And our body holds on to unexpressed emotions (i.e., fear, shame, or guilt), which can build up over time.
Old emotions can create blockages in our subtle energetic pathways. Blockages can eventually lead to physical, mental, or emotional disease.
The garden hose analogy is a helpful way to think about it.
The body’s subtle energy pathways are like garden hoses. When a hose gets kinked, the water can’t flow through the tube; the water is blocked.
Just like a hose, when an energy pathway in our body gets kinked from trauma or old pain, we need to unkink it, so our subtle energy can flow in natural harmony and support the full body.
My sense is that for this client, the storytelling and EFT supported her expressing old and unshared emotion.
Sharing her untold experiences likely contributed to opening blockages in her subtle energy system, encouraging a healthy bleeding cycle.
Here’s what this experience reminded me:
- We may not realize how deeply our stories are held in our bodies. This client had been committed to her personal growth and wellbeing for awhile. The primary intention of the storywork was to support her in developing a powerful video story to use for her new website. But she discovered, through the process of sharing, that there were stories held in her body that still wanted to be expressed.
- Memories engulfed in shame and isolation need the opportunity to be told and witnessed. This is especially true if there are stories that never have been spoken aloud. This client had shared her story in bits and pieces before, but there were key moments that she had never told anyone. She was nervous about sharing certain experiences, and scared of being judged, but she did it anyway. Her courage and vulnerability were key!
- Holding the storytelling experience in a reverent and intentional way is paramount. The container in which we share our stories is vital for enabling release, shift, and transformation of memories, patterns, and beliefs. Feeling safe is crucial for the release of the limiting patterns within a story.
- Combining storywork with therapeutic modalities can be incredibly powerful! Storywork can be a highly transformative approach on its own, as it utilizes a handful of dynamic tools. When a whole-person approach is used by combining several modalities at one time, a person can more readily experience optimum health and vitality. I have no doubt that this client’s storywork and nutrition program were powerful complements in regaining her balanced menstruation cycle.
- When we share ourselves whole-heartedly, anything is possible! This client truly committed herself, whole-heartedly, to the story process. Her full engagement with it opened the door for beautiful emotional and physical shifts to occur. She took courageous ownership of the process, which made all the difference.
How do you know if you have a story that, if it were shared, could enhance your wellbeing?
It’s actually pretty simple… just ask!
- For 3-4 consecutive days, find at least 20 minutes of quiet time, just by yourself.
- Let your body totally relax. Breathe deeply. Quiet your mind. There’s no agenda. Simply let yourself be for fifteen minutes.
- After you feel quiet and relaxed, ask yourself: Is there a story that I can share, that if I share it, will enhance my health and joy?
- It may take a few days for a response to come. It may happen in the shower, on the drive to work, or while taking the dog for a walk. Be open to what you receive and how you receive it!
- If you receive a key story or set of experiences that are ready to be shared, then ask: What’s the most appropriate way for me share this story?
- Be open to the information you receive and take action. Maybe you sense that it’s best to share it with a trusted friend, in a time set aside just for you. Maybe you are guided to type it up and send it to someone you value and trust. Maybe you video-record yourself telling the story and then you play it back for yourself. It can be very simple!
The key is to follow through with the information that you get, to allow yourself to share and be witnessed, and to reach out to others if that’s where you’re guided!
And stay tuned…
This amazing client is about to share with the world her powerful and inspirational short video story!
We all have stories.
What are you choosing to do with yours?
Seeking the perfect way to get your story out into the world in a bigger and bolder way?
Want to enhance your dreams, business, vibrancy, and freedom?
Be in touch to set up your free True Story Works consultation today!
*True Story Works uses Gary Craig’s Emotional Freedom Technique.
By 17, there were lots of stories I hadn’t told anyone. There were the deeply painful stories that banged on the doors of each new day, kept hidden just below the mask of “good student” and “good athlete”; the wildly joyful stories that felt like wisps of fairy tales; and the stories that I had locked behind doors in contracted crevices… Read more →