Dr. Michele Kambolis is a mind-body health specialist, registered therapist, meditation teacher, and an acclaimed author and speaker who has been practicing for more than 20 years. Her second book, When Women Rise, was published in Fall 2021.
In this episode, we discuss how Dr. Michele is an unshakable believer in our innate capacity to self-heal and thrive, while also being wholeheartedly committed to developing evidenced-based resources to help people create the consciously healthy life they were born to live.
Download this episode here or listen wherever you get podcasts!
There are less than 50 days left in the year. This inspires a lot of go-getters, influencers, self-help authors, and leadership coaches to call for some kind of goal-setting push to finish the year strong.
But I want to consider something else.
Instead of doing a hard push, forcing yourself to live up to some imaginary expectation for yourself only YOU are freaking out about, let’s acknowledge what you’ve been through and the coping mechanisms you’ve developed in effort to support you.
No judgment. No shaming.
I’ll go first.
When I’m stressed, I like to numb out with a bag of flavored chips that will make me feel like crap afterwards.
Do I want to do it? No. Is it “healthy” from a physical, mental, or spiritual standpoint? Probably not. But it’s familiar to me. It’s comfort. This coping skill worked when I was younger. It brought me temporary relief and comfort when I was depressed and couldn’t find relief or a way out of the dark hole I had fallen into.
By beating myself up for continuing to fall victim to my coping behavior, I make it worse, and cause more stress… making me more likely to repeat the behavior, perpetuating the cycle of unpleasant feeling, coping, shame, unpleasant feeling, shame, and coping.
So the worst thing I can do, in order to cope with my stress, is to add on more rigidity, more standards to live by, forcing an already stressed out and emotionally dysregulated brain into more dysregulation.
It’s going to backfire. My brain wants to keep me alive, and when things get hard, my brain will find the familiar way out. Every time. It’s what brains do.
You have the freedom to move your body in a way that feels good for you!
If you want to lift weights, lift weights. If you want to run, run. If you want to dance, dance. If you want to practice yoga, practice yoga. If you want to hit snooze, or take a nap, you have freedom to do that too.
Your body loves movement. Our ancestors weren’t sitting in cubicles under artificial lighting all day. Movement is crucial for detoxification, heart health, stress management, sleep support, blood sugar regulation, and all that other stuff other people have already written articles about.
The problem is that because we have all the information and all the experts talking about it, most of us engage in exercise as a “have to,” and not as a “want to.” We let other people tell us what’s best for our bodies, or we use it as punishment for caving into a craving or to beat our bodies into submission to our idealized versions of ourselves.
We get on running kicks, weight lifting kicks, kickboxing kicks, Zumba kicks, or whatever seems to be the trending activity of the season. We go hard on one activity, make our exercise schedule, then don’t sustain it.
This month, we celebrated freedom. Yet I know so many people who live enslaved to other people’s instructions and expectations about what they need to do for their bodies.
I want you to realize that you have freedom to choose what is best for your unique body – in movement, nutrition, activities, routines, relationships, whatever it is you are doing!
You are the expert on your body. Nobody else knows your body like you do, and nobody else has walked the same road that you have walked with your body. Depending on where you are in your life, the movement you choose can change. It can change seasonally. And that is OKAY!
I used to think running was the ultimate exercise for me, and it was therapeutic for me during a season in my life. Now, I like to change it up, and I like to make sure I’m incorporating some kind of movement once a day, most days. Yoga has been a beautiful way for me to tune in with the needs of my body and slow things down. Instead of running away from my problems with cardio, I’m forced into stillness and awareness. I feel the same about walking. I’m tempted to pick up the pace and start jogging, but being intentional with walking, staying present, is a good way to keep my mind engaged and my inhales and exhales in a rhythm.
It isn’t about weight maintenance or about needing to “make up” for what I eat. Some of my favorite benefits of movement that have zero to do with how I look include and everything to with my brain include: endorphins, dopamine, tryptophan, serotonin, BDNF, autophagy, GABA, glutamate, and oxygenation of the prefrontal cortex.
Different life seasons call for different solutions. Movement is a wonderful way to find awareness and peace in the body you have, so find that thing that you love to do… and do it!
Everyone knows creating a healthy marriage means putting in the work, but what work is valuable and what are some good ways to get started?
This episode dives deep into all the important marriage topics – with a brain health twist! Download and listen here or find wherever you get your podcasts.
Bill O’Herron, LCSW, is a corporate executive, practicing therapist, and writer who seeks to use his 33 years of financial sales management experience, 24 years of marriage, 15 years of counseling clients, and 8,500 hours of sitting quietly to help his clients better understand themselves and deepen their relationships.
Male and female brain differences and how that impacts marriage
How the male brain develops differently than the female brain
Healthy emotional self-regulation instead of partner regulation
How relationships are the most important thing in life
Chronic stress’ impact on relationships
Reticular activating system: how it works and how it kills the marriage
How relaxing can trigger old memories and activity causes us to avoid self
Tuning in with your 4th grade self and why that matters
The deeper emotions that anger covers up
Learn more about Bill and his counseling practice at Wholecounseling.com and grab his book, Waking Up Marriage.
This is the first “listener request” episode! Many listeners asked for an episode on the topic of dealing with narcissists, and this one is powerful! Download and listen here or get wherever you get podcasts.
Sandra Beck is an author, coach, speaker, radio, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and also an expert on narcissism. She has done countless trainings and written much on the subject.
I have been so ready for this latest episode of the podcast to air! If you are a parent, caregiver, teacher, or if you have any proximity to kids at all – download this episode ASAP!
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge is a mental health trailblazer who Forbes has called “The leader in children’s mental health.” She has helped thousands reverse the most challenging conditions, such as ADHD, anxiety, mood, autism, learning disability, Lyme, and PANS/PANDAS using proven holistic therapies.
In this episode, we discuss the anxiety epidemic affecting our children, why it has been happening, and what we can do about it.
As mental health issues in teens continue to rise, increased substance abuse can be a side effect.
Richard Capriola spent 11 years working as an addictions counselor for Menninger Clinic, one of the top ten psychiatric hospitals in the US, before retiring in 2019. During his tenure there he worked in the Adolescent Treatment program and the adult Comprehensive Psychiatric Assessment and Stabilization program.
Download and listen to the episode here, or find wherever you get podcasts.
I recently heard that it may be helpful to write a letter as a way to process grief and loss.
Because loss comes in many different forms and there is no one size fits all to grief, I want to say goodbye to you and process my losses in a way that makes sense to me. Since I’m writing to an inanimate object, I will try not to get bogged down by my perpetual fear of offending anyone or hurting anyone’s feelings.
You know the song lyric that goes, “You don’t know what you got til its gone?” 2020, you made those lyrics realer than anything. As I have been processing my grief since March, I realized that most of the things I lost, I didn’t appreciate until they were gone.
The first thing I lost this year is the belief that I don’t have to pick a side. You taught me that the lines are tattooed into the sand so tightly that we must choose. I thought I could avoid that. But it’s not true. We must pick sides, and we must use extreme assumptions. For example: If I believe that black lives matter, I’m a Marxist. If I am pro-medical freedom and body autonomy, I don’t care about other people. If I question Fauci, I’m a conspiracy theorist. If I do my own research, I’m anti-science. If I don’t vote for Trump, I’m not a Christian. If I do vote for Trump, I’m a racist. There is no middle ground, no exception, no gray areas. You are the year that forced us to believe we must all play your twisted version of Red Rover.
At some point during your reign of terror, maybe around May, I lost the silly notion that as humans, we can assume the best about each other and offer one another the benefit of the doubt. These days, thanks to the ease of social media, I see that we only assume the worst, then swiftly cut contact, de-friend, unfollow, cancel anything that we disagree with. We make posts that start with, “I’m about to get real, and if you don’t like it, block me and unfriend me.” I’m grieving the belief that I have the option to share that which offers encouragement and hope, not division and dissent. Many times, what I thought would be encouraging, was offensive.
The other big loss I experienced this year, something I didn’t know was a luxury until now, is the loss of smiles. Thanks to the cooler weather, I’ve started walking and running outside again, and it is such a gift to receive a real life toothy smile from a stranger as I’m passing by. Many people walk by expressionless, not saying a word to me. Were they like that before? I don’t know. But 2020, you have made me hyperaware of how other people interact, or fail to interact, with one another. I really miss smiling. Facial expressions are important to my psychological well-being, and I didn’t know it until now.
December is never an easy month for me. Even in the years I decide to get a head start on my “seasonal lows,” I often end up getting hit by an intense overwhelm at some point during the month. This year, thanks to the added Covid-related stress, it feels like my winter blues got a superboost.
That’s why I was so grateful to get to speak to Licensed Professional Counselor Michael Sweeney on the latest episode of my podcast. Not gonna lie – it felt like free therapy. I realized that these intense feelings I am experiencing right now, on a more intense level than usual, are related to grief. Grief isn’t just losing a person – it can be any kind of loss.
There are many misconceptions to grief. I didn’t realize that my distractibility and lack of focus can also be signs that my nervous system is struggling to process grief while also stay here in the present. I don’t often find myself at a loss for words, but in this episode I definitely was. We cover why holiday grief is so common, how grief doesn’t always take the form we expect, how we need to stop comparing our grief, and ways we can process and manage our grief that is helpful to us!
Download and listen wherever you get podcasts, or listen here.
Everyone has experienced trauma in some form in their lifetimes. The fact that trauma is stored in the body is well-documented, and the various tools and therapies being developed for healing continue to amaze me. This is why I was so excited to take an entire podcast episode and devote it to one revolutionary healing method!
Zach Herrin is a Licensed Professional Counselor trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). In this powerful episode, we discuss how trauma impacts our lives, the affect of grief, and how EMDR can be a powerful tool for healing. Download here or find it wherever you get podcasts!
Why is a trauma focus important in counseling?
How do you know if you have trauma?
The connection between grief and trauma
The history and science behind EMDR
Who can benefit from EMDR
The methodology behind EMDR
Kids and EMDR
The importance of emotional vulnerability
Learn more about Zach’s practice at solacecounselingcenter.com.