What exactly do you mean when you use the word “healing?”
Healing begins when you can slow down on the inside and your awareness starts to open. This is the beginning of making a genuine inner shift. It does not mean returning to “normal,” but instead it means growing, evolving and getting well. When you are able to learn your most important life lessons, your symptoms - at least to a large extent - drop away. Healing is a natural process. Despite contrary belief, getting better does not require using willpower.
If I don’t rely on my willpower, how am I supposed to help myself?
Using willpower requires a lot of energy and can leave you feeling exhausted and beat down. There are certain problems - such as eating disorders, addictions, anxiety, depression and other mental health problems – that require something deeper and more natural than willpower in order to heal. What is needed is to get in touch with your will, and it is very different from using willpower. Your will is always on your own side and it innately knows what is right for you. That’s why once you experience it, letting go of unhealthy or hurtful life patterns comes more naturally and you begin to trust yourself.
You say not to battle my problems. Can you give some specific examples of what battling my problems may be?
“Battling” your problem can take on many different forms. You may recognize some of these as techniques that you've used in an attempt to help yourself. It can mean: repeating positive affirmations, summoning more willpower, changing negative thoughts to positive ones, creating a plan to cut back on eating, drinking, spending, etc., keeping busy, distracting yourself, telling yourself you like yourself, berating yourself for your bad behaviour or imperfections, acting “as if” you are happy or confident, needing other people or things to make you happy or keep you in check, and the list goes on. If you find yourself relying on these techniques without nurturing your inner self, you may be limiting your natural ability to heal.
What do you mean when you say “inner self?”
“Self” is a popular word used by many mental health professionals these days. But what does it really mean? It’s natural to want to ask questions and know more about what the self is. That being said, the only way to know your self is to experience it. The self is much more than just a concept or idea. It is a real, lived experience. One of the most important goals of our work together will be the discovery of your real self.
Did you really get better from your eating disorder? How much better?
Yes. I was told by many professionals that, at best, I would be able to “manage my symptoms” but that I would always be “in recovery” – and that was at best! I was told that even if I did recover, I would have to be careful for the rest of my life, especially in difficult or stressful times not to fall back into my eating problems. The idea of living this way made me feel extremely depressed. I finally found help with Viola Fodor, a psychotherapist who healed from an eating disorder herself. She was the first person I met who suggested I could be well. Having done my inner work now, I no longer obsess about food or my body. I can listen to my body, enjoy eating and then go about my day in any way I choose, without any lingering thoughts or feelings about what I’ve eaten. In other words, I have inner freedom. Inner freedom is available to you too.
What about your depression?
Yes, that dropped away too. Once I started doing my inner work my depression lifted rather quickly, to my surprise.