Host: Sheryl Glick R.M.T.
Special Guest: Leigh Hickombottom
In today’s episode of “Healing From Within”, your host Sheryl Glick, author of The Living Spirit: Answers for Healing and Infinite Love-a book of stories, examples and practical hands on information from Sheryl’s experiences as a spiritual healer/medium for engaging Universal Energy to heal and to attain higher awareness and manifest a creative healthy life journey. Sheryl welcomes Leigh Hickombottom author of And Still I Smile who shares her personal journey of using food as comfort and weight as a crutch to deal with the inner traumatic personal issues of societal and childhood programming and offers listeners a way to begin to realize that with deep inner work it is possible to heal and restore confidence and motivation for creating a joyful healthy life style.
Sheryl tells Leigh that listeners of Healing From Within are aware my guests and I explore our emotional physical and spiritual aspects so we may begin to deal more efficiently with challenges traumas and any event of the outside world going within to draw on inner intuitive wisdom for guidance and support. Through an awareness of Universal Energy and the healing forces available to all of us we begin to remember we are never alone but are connected to Source and each other and can learn to reconnect to a sense of peace balance and harmony changing at the same time our perceptions attitudes and behaviors for creating a better reality.
Leigh who is a fitness model and trainer, author speaker and mother shares how it is possible to recondition your body and mind to restore renew and regain your most valuable asset your health and sense of well being. Leigh works for different charities and makes it her mission to help those in need..
Sheryl asks Leigh to tells us about her childhood and if any event has lead her to her development and the values she now holds dear. Leigh writes “My mother developed complications and was told that one of the children might not survive labor. The doctors asked my father who he would choose to save if there was a choice between us babies and our mother. I don’t know what his answer was, but I must have heard the question and been so determined to show what was possible that I was the first one born, heart beating and determined to live. For the next few weeks, I lived behind hospital walls as the staff helped me to get strong enough for the real world. My twin brother, on the other hand, went home after only a week. I was left in the hands of strangers and my life depended on their services. Looking back, it was my drive to succeed and do what I came here to do for humanity that strengthened me and helped me pull through. There I was, fresh in the world and already having setbacks: being told by others what was and was not possible for me. But here I am today, breathing on my own, with no developmental problems or impediments, a testament to what is possible. I came into this world told I was too weak to survive due to only partially formed organs and other issues many premature babies have to deal with. The smile that I developed early and maintain to this day began when I left the hospital and came home to my family. I thrived when doctors and nurses thought I would fail. If that is not something to smile about then I don’t know what is. That is the spirit of a warrior, and a lesson not to let limiting beliefs or knowledge defeat the power of a spirit that is blessed by the light of God/Source.”
Once here in life Leigh tells us she and her brother were fortunate: We had parents who encouraged us to explore athletics and the creative arts throughout all of our schooling. My mother danced and played the flute when she was younger. My father has always been an athlete.
Leigh tells us that what we see in social media and in print, are small glimpses of who she is. “Although this book And Still I Smile won’t show you everything about me, it will teach you more than you have known during the years of my fitness career. It will show you more about me than anyone has seen. In this memoir, you will gain insights on my vulnerabilities and learn why the girl behind the photographs smiles as she does today.”
Leigh goes on to share a memory from her childhood which has happened to many children and is a continuous problem for society. It turns out a care taker- babysitter turned out to be neither responsible, nor moral. Nor was her sibling, who molested me. How could someone take advantage of a tiny child? What kind of world was I living in? It was a level of abuse totally foreign to me. Having never been exposed to sexual violence, all I knew was that it was wrong. I was forced to return to my babysitter, even though I did not want to for obvious reasons. This was my first experience of lacking trust in people, especially adults. While I will not go into the details of my abuse, as I feel it is unnecessary, I will say that it has taken a lifetime to heal and forgive such deep hurt. You might be wondering if I told my parents what was happening. I told the one person I trusted the most, my father. Twice I communicated this trauma to him; once as a child and once as a teen, and all I remember is silence. I felt his silence was due to shock, fear, and hurt over what was done to his child. My parents eventually pulled away from this sitter but not before great damage was done to my psyche .
Leigh was given ballet classes and while she never performed ballet live on stage, she did gain something by the time she stopped studying it that would prove invaluable to me. With both of these forms of art she realized something: There was, for each, an ideal body that epitomized the art. Even at that early age I was intrigued by what I consider eloquent bodies. I knew this eloquence was what I wanted to bring about in my own body. Leaving the dance behind, I quickly jumped into playing the piano. As a result for not having the body for a ballet dancer, Leigh got into track and realized it was very freeing and an expression of her inner soul connecting with nature. Leigh wrote, “Track was not just a sport to me. Like a finely painted masterpiece to a painter, so to me was track. It was freeing, an expression of the beauty of the human physique eloquently merging with nature, artistically and vividly moving in forward motion. Running track was like falling in love with myself while trying to outrun the wind. This was for me.
Leigh and Sheryl go on to discuss how fear, limitation or addiction is an inner reaction to past programming and ways we dealt with uncomfortable situations or feelings when we were younger. Being programmed by our parents teachers and culture to behave in expected ways that were not always good for our own individual needs and goals has remained the way we often still react to similar situations and fears that arise as they did when we were children and did not have the wisdom or skills to act in a way that was better adapted to the problem at hand.
Sheryl relates to Leigh… “I grew up in a family where appearances were very important…how I dressed and wearing makeup and maintaining a certain weight were watched by my perfectionist father and mother. Of course they meant well and thought these were important aspects to health well being and success in life but as I later found may have been an exaggeration highlighting physical traits but not giving the same attention to inner essence or soul development..not perhaps understanding who we are as spiritual beings having a physical life…Now in my personal development being attractive and intelligent has been a great help in all my life undertakings but beyond that hard work perseverance consistency and a moral discipline have added my success in enjoying life. In my earlier days I invested a lot of energy effort and time into the physical aspects of living… but as I began more aware of energy and soul presence it became easier to balance both sides of the coin and I now make an effort to resist and eliminate earlier thoughts and programming about focusing mostly on seeing only the physical . As an energy healer and medium I am now able to see clearly and value people and situations past the judgments of my family and societal values…Looking within means connecting to energy and knowing who we truly are…So who do you believe you are and what values are most important to you?”
During Leigh’s teenage years, like many young adults, she wanted authentic answers to her questions and her developing awareness to her personal connection to God. Leigh knew she was born to help others, heal and discover their greatest potential. But instead this was seemed as being confrontational to the system and to the rules as they were presented to Leigh. Leigh discovered that she was devoted to a moralistic approach to life and loving God and being of service to people, it became apparent to her that sometimes when she spoke out against injustice it was not appreciated by those around her. This further diminished her self confidence.
Leigh noticed that her unbending resolve to deal with the truth of her spirit was more important to her than being criticized by others, even teachers, when they did not act in the best interest for a student or accordingly to higher values.
As Leigh matured and developed still holding on to her spirit and higher values Leigh was able to reprogram her body and mind and was able to gain confidence in many ways such as:
- Discipline—not allowing food to take over and choosing a healthy way of eating but having a cheat day on weekends.
- Visualization—Consistently creating the image you want to see in the mirror
- Believing in yourself
- Putting in the work
- Using Crystal
- Inner Reflection
- Loving Yourself
Leigh was able to build her body strength, and gain confidence. “I worked at the gym for a couple of years and was so rewarded in spirit that I had extra energy to expel. This began my time and passion for working out. From this point on, my physique, training, and proper eating regimen became very important to me. I cared how I looked. I didn’t want to be someone who worked at a gym and did not look the part. I started exercising three days a week. My workouts mostly consisted of cardiovascular work and some light weight lifting. I trained to tone the body. I also gym hopped, and still do today. I loved the motivation I gained by moving from one environment to another. It was very inspiring.”
At the gym Leigh met a woman named Holly who was very interested in having the best body. Leigh wanted to look just like her. After that, Leigh started doing local pictures and worked as an exotic dancer for a year, leaving the gym scene behind. At first, the lifestyle looked fun and was supposed to bring in great money. But as she worked, she realized it was not as glamorous as I had thought.
Leigh did not give up in an industry that was once racist where very few women of color were seen on magazine covers. She writes, “In a day and age where it is still rare to see women of color on magazine covers, (Oxygen) Bobby worked to get me there. Publishers were still under the illusion that a black model would not sell their magazine to a Caucasian readership. Bobby ignored that. He was very fair and had a great eye for talent. He aimed for universality with the look of his covers. I admired that. To me, he was a living legend with fairness in his heart and a soft, authoritative wisdom his eyes. He has helped inspire me to live all of my dreams and remain authentic to myself. In part, he is why I am creating this autobiography, as well as pursuing other endeavors.”
Leigh says, “I loved the years in Corpus Christi for a number of reasons. First, because I always had access to the ocean, and this city, located on the Gulf of Mexico, was where my intuitive gifts and connection to higher spiritual planes were born. The school settled me and gave me a good grounding. Throughout the years spent here, I began to question what I was being taught about God. By the end of sixth grade, I had developed my own relationship with Source. I was blessed to have diverse teachers. I learned about Archangel Michael and found that he was always at my side. He has never left me since. I did not develop a connection with Archangel Michael early on. I simply knew he was around me and openly accepted his presence. I felt an urge and need to heal others, but I had a mental dilemma that was tugging away at me, conflicting with my heart’s truth. You see, I listened to the stories, rules, and lessons about God and Jesus I was being told, but I could not understand how God could cause harm or desire for another to live in pain. Why were we being taught to fear God when my experience was so positive in my connection with God? Jesus had walked our great Earth making miracles happen daily, and if the Bible was true, he had said we could do this, too, yet we were being taught that only Jesus, God’s son, could perform such astonishing miracles. This baffled me. So I listened and silently held reservations on the beliefs we were taught. The church seemed full of judgment and collection baskets, which they upgraded to envelopes with our names on them as we got older in order to keep tabs on who was donating. I did not feel as if it was a true gift to donate because they expected it on top of the tuition my parents paid for me to attend the school. What Jesus and God did was for free.”
Leigh has met many mentors or guides who have supported her growth and healing journey. Leigh continued reading spiritual books and asking the angels to guide her to what was mostly needed of her. She read many books about intuition, lost souls, how to project herself astrally to different places and parts of the world, to see auras and the unseen.
Leigh tells us the first time she had an encounter with a passed soul. It was her grandmother Dorothy, known as Dotty. Leigh tells us of that experience. “I was lying in bed at my parents’ house and felt someone rubbing one of my eyebrows, awakening me from my sleep. However, when I opened my eyes I saw no one. I closed my eyes and yet again someone’s finger was rubbing my eyebrow. This time I also felt a warm sensation on my thigh and smelled a faint scent somewhat like the patchouli or frankincense that I often burned. In my head, I heard, “Relax your vision.” I opened my eyes and to my utter surprise I saw a huge white light with sparkling lights around it. I wasn’t scared, but I had so much adrenaline running through my blood that I ran to go tell my dad.”
Leigh also tells us an experience she had with a new woman she met at work. “One day a new girl arrived at my job. She handed me a crystal that was pointed on one side and when I touched it, it gave me sharp pains in my head. A little fearfully, I graciously asked her why she was giving it to me. She explained how her guides told her to give it to me, as her own gifts would be closing down due to her lifestyle choices. I looked at her as though she was speaking like a person who had too many drinks. But somehow, looking into her eyes, I knew she was speaking the truth. That experience left me with a number of realizations. One, I was healing my environment by listening—and yes, by smiling. Two, from the moment I looked into her eyes and for the rest of my life I knew I would be able to see, feel, and know the truth while people spoke to me. In my earlier years of opening to my spiritual gifts, I would either call someone out for their lack of truth or couldn’t bear to look them in the eyes while they spoke falsely. It would hurt me to know that what they were speaking was not truth. Today, I observe and do not take it personally, as someone else’s lie has nothing to do with me, but with their inner issues. Lastly, I now possessed a beautiful crystal that caused me pain when I touched it. It would sit among my things for the next seven years before I cleared it by passing it along as a gift to someone else.”
Leigh tells us the “Greatest gifts you can take from the material you are about to read are mastery of self-love and knowledge of your connection to everything that has ever existed or ever will exist. You will come to see that the journey has always been about going within. It is from here that we are connected to, and manifesting from the universal and nonjudgmental love of God/Source. You are the pure essence of God in a human form. Embrace all that you are in this moment and each experience that has brought you to your current state of being. On top of that, know that you can be even more. You are greater than you have ever imagined. Journey with me and see life through my eyes as a consciously aware, multidimensional being of light.”
In the final chapter of the book, Leigh shares messages she has channeled from angels, ascended masters and God/Source that enlighten and encourage her continued journey of self healing and love in the world.
You win when you realize the real fight is within not outside.
You win when you get past judging others and accepting that their truth may not be that of your truth and that this truth is acceptable for their journey.
You win when controlling another or a situation is not your Goal
You win when you surrender to the healing, all encompassing
power of love . . . love in its true form of divinity and light . . . one love.
Leigh Hickombottom has shared her courageous and open minded and open hearted journey to Self Love and to finding the inner strength for change and to realize awareness of both the human and spiritual components to health and a joyous life experience. Leigh and Sheryl have explored the way it is possible to take a look at the influences of the past: of our childhood and early life conditioning to recognize the fears or issues of abandonment a loss of trust, loneliness, sadness, depression loss of self-esteem or confidence to find the true reality of our being—our soul essence and the spiritual qualities we all possess which can make a difference in our perceptions and in how we determine what our soul journey is all about and how we can make the changes to improve the quality of our thoughts, behaviors and actions and find joy happiness health and a genuine love of ourselves and life in general… The key we have discovered is to go beyond the structures and interests of others to find what is important to us, to believe in us, and to continue to smile, to say yes, to say “I Can” and to try repeatedly till you conquer any inner or outer resistance and are happy with the results you create over time and with effort.
Leigh and Sheryl would have you inspire yourself by knowing that life is good and to channel the goodness within your heart into the world and your daily experiences brings new meaning to every event you participate in and it is not in the doing but in the being and sharing of love that true happiness and success reside….