In today’s episode of “Healing From Within” your host Sheryl Glick, Intuitive Reiki Practitioner, welcomes special guest Karol Ward, author of “Find Your Inner Voice.” Karol is a New York based psychotherapist, nationally recognized speaker and writer. Her articles have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Experience Life magazine, CosmoGirl, Idea Fitness Journal and Best Body magazine. Her passion is to show people how to link their hearts and heads when making decisions and showing how important the mind – body connection is. Karol offers a Five Step Methodology for finding your intuitive inner voice and for recognizing the signals that our bodies give us so we can know what is right for us and find a pathway to develop all the gifts and joys of a healthy life.
In today’s complicated technological world, it seems everyone could benefit from a mentor, healer, therapist or friend …indeed from a team of supportive people to help realize clarity in our thinking and actions affording us ways to make healthier choices. This begins with a greater awareness of our physical body and our spiritual life needs. Utilizing the mind-body connection allows us to know ourselves and discover our life purpose. We all know the expression, “We do not live by bread alone.” Of course our physical life can only offer us one way to measure the true dynamics of what life is all about. Going “within” to our inner essence or unconscious memories of the soul is the way to experience what is in the moment so we can make the best choices.
Karol will share how she began her life in Manhattan pursuing an acting career while she struggled with childhood issues of body image and self-esteem. She eventually was guided to a therapist whose training was in body-mind psychotherapy which led her in a new direction. Karol learned that the body has the ability to manage emotional pain through muscular tension. Karol was able to further deduce that by releasing the tightness of the muscles, she could be more connected to her emotions. By working with the mind-body connection and the sensations of the body, along with her intuitive inner sense, she was able to recapture much of her childhood intuitive wisdom.
Many people on some levels are aware that their body symptoms or pain and tightness may reflect the physical stresses from poor choices and they may seek out a form of energy balancing or release such as massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, or reflexology because they feel they are only dealing with a physical and not emotional issue. These same people who accept the physical approach may reject modalities like psychotherapy and Reiki, which focus on the mind-body-spirit connection. They want to find relief in the body, but may not be able to address their emotional or childhood patterns of behavior that have lead to these physical conditions. Often poor relationships, poor health, addictions and traumas plague them, and it seems easier to blame these happenings on bad luck or other people. However, unless there is a release of the thoughts or patterns creating the physical pain and dysfunction, allowing for new behaviors to be adopted, there will only be temporary improvement. When we correct the thoughts, emotions and actions that cause bodily symptoms, we have created a healthy scenario. To get rid of the symptoms you have to get rid of what caused it- the body is the servant to the mind.
So let us ask the question, “What stops many people from realizing that the mind-body connection is the key to healing”? Of course fear is the most pervasive block to knowing that true healing is not accomplished by just taking a magic pill or having surgery to fix the bodily symptoms. Stress, tiredness, failure to secure enough of the material necessities of life-food, clothing, shelter and lack of positive human interaction or love, low self esteem, uncontrolled mind chatter and limiting belief systems block the way to seeing other beneficial ways to aid in improving health and life conditions.
Another question asked by so many is, “How do we harness the power between our mind and body connection for making better choices”? By paying more attention to the physical symptoms and sensations of the body, we can access this inner voice or innate guidance system, a sense of our energetic life which is different from our mind or ego view of life. This soul energy which is connected to all of life, is a source of information, intuition or instinct that can help us maneuver all life challenges. If we accept and allow ourselves to truly experience this part of life, extraordinary joy can be felt. Not understanding the power of our physical reactions in guiding us, limits our ability to make progress and change. We are as Karol says only functioning at half mast when only paying attention to our head.
The inner voice or part of you that says “Pay attention to me” is alerting you to be aware of events around you so you can react and protect yourself . Some people say it is your higher self or guidance from Universal Energy or God. Sheryl tells the story of hearing an inner thought one day at the office …..”Take the Money Now” while she was standing at the front desk with the receptionist who received payment from clients. Sheryl, being too busy at the moment didn’t pay attention. The next day she found out the girl had been fired, and her money was gone. How many times have you been nudged or felt a need to do something, but blew it off and as a result something unpleasant or undesirable happened? Many times, I am sure.
As the inner voice includes both instinct and intuition and as these words are often used interchangeably to describe reactions that seem to have very little to do with the mind, Karol suggests that these flickers of instinct and intuition occur quickly and unexpectedly, and we often dismiss them as Sheryl did with the receptionist in her office. Instinct is described as a biological sensation- a quick physical flash or steady nagging feeling whereas intuition seems to just float into our consciousness. The story Sheryl told was an intuition. An instinct is the body’s primal method to navigate the world with immediate biological restrictions for making quick decisions which might even be life saving, such as hitting the brakes when a ball rolls into the street or not hiring a baby sitter even though the references seem fine. INSTINCTS are part of an internal system of self care that helps us manage pleasure, pain and survival ability. This stream of signals and feelings give us an incredible amount of knowledge such as a flutter in the chest, tension in the shoulders or a tingle up the spine. INTUITION seems to appear out of the blue in a moment when you hear or get information that you have no way of confirming at that time. Karol gives an example of her grandmother who woke up one morning and knew she should play Bingo that night and of course she did and won a lot of money.
In recent years there has been talk of the “Other Brain” that resides in the gut. A method of problem-solving based on educated guesses and intuitive judgment, called heuristics, is described by Dr. Gerd Gigerenzer, a social psychologist and researcher. The other brain might also imply our “inner sense of knowing” or spiritual connection to others and to a higher evolving life plan. As sensory beings, our entire body is receiving information via energy imprints. The cells in our gut, heart and brain share the same DNA connecting us to the energy field of everything around us. Some scientists and metaphysicians believe the soul or inner voice is located in the heart, gut or the other brain. We might deduce that this energetic life force can never be terminated, as energy cannot be destroyed only transformed and may be connected to multi-dimensional guidance from higher dimensions. Through instinct and intuition, we are downloading information and guidance from this eternal source of energy.
Karol shares some general areas in the body where people experience similar responses. Karol shows us how to use our body as a “Compass.” Common points to focus on are the eyebrows, neck, chest, stomach and hands. The consequences of not responding to bodily reactions and emotions include destructive behaviors such as overeating, excessive drinking or overworking. When it is hard to access our inner voice, denial sets in and keeps us in a state of avoidance from rectifying destructive behavior. When feelings are not expressed and released, a physiological adjustment occurs in the body. Examples would include holding our breath, locking the backs of our knees, tightening our shoulders, clamping down our jaws and in time this leads to physical pain, disease, or illness.
Change and movement past denial can begin when we start connecting to our continuous flow of instinct and intuition. Much like stretching a muscle, Karol gives a three part breakdown….noticing, exploring and changing. Noticing is warming up to a new approach or idea signaled by feeling restless, anxious or impatient. Exploring entails realizing things need to shift and beginning to investigate what needs to be changed. Changing is when you move out of your comfort zone, expanding beyond the normal range of living. Most of us come to realize that we only have so much energy and it is important to see how we are using our energy in the relationships we are involved in. While it is hard to say goodbye to relationships that served a purpose but no longer do, it is wise to use your body’s awareness so you can decide whether to limit or simply let go of a person in your life. We should never have to sacrifice personality or self-esteem or our health to make a precarious relationship continue. A friendship that is abusive, filled with drama, or no longer represents who you are today must be ended. Your inner voice will help you to take care of yourself and make these necessary changes.. Learning how our physical body, our intuitive and instincts interact to enhance work skills and improve relationship challenges, help us make better use of home and work spaces allowing change to occur. A more joyful, healthy and prosperous life experience can be the reward.