Health and Wellness

Healing From Within

Sheryl Glick

EMOTIONAL PHYSICAL SPIRITUAL APPROACHES FOR JOYFUL TRANSFORMATION

Host: Sheryl Glick R.M.T.
Special Guest: Debra Meehl D.D.

In this episode of “Healing From Within” your host Sheryl Glick author of
The Living Spirit: Answers for Healing and Infinite Love is delighted to
welcome Debra Meehl D.D. author of Joyful Transformation which integrates
the principles of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) with the tenets of
the New Thought Movement to guide readers through the 22 key areas of life
transformation.

Listeners of Healing from Within well-know Sheryl and her guests share
intimate experiences with various dimensions of life energy or Universal
Source to create an environment for self-investigation and self-mastery of
emotions in order to improve health, relationships, and a better alliance
with both spiritual and physical life concerns and to truly value life in
all its complexities.

In today’s episode Debra Meehl who is an interdenominational pastoral
counselor, Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills trainer and a Board
Certified Hypnotist is also the founder of the Meehl Foundation a non-
profit residential treatment center in Texas. Debra speaks at national
conferences on the topic of Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality
Disorder with substance abuse. We will discuss finding life’s purpose
defeating debilitating irrational beliefs and negative self-talk and
discover as well as recognize and cope with triggers that derail progress
toward authentic change.

Debra shares the challenges of losing her mother at the age of two and
being raised by grandparents in rather less than optimal conditions yet
suggests that those challenges helped her greatly to trust in her own
intuitiveness and to develop great compassion for others. Sheryl suggests
to us that as nothing in our life plan has been left to chance or luck we
are experiencing a divine path to awakening and remembering our inner soul
being not matter what the outside world looks like.

Debra tells us that Joyful Transformation is a psycho spiritual self-help
guide and tells us what does psycho spiritual means and how does it
applies to transformation. Exploring the words Awareness and Mindfulness
show us how we begin to open up to change and recognizing our own part in
any dysfunctional behavior. She shares that “Awareness is an understanding
of a situation or subject at the present time, based on information or
experience.” I think a more concise definition, for our purposes, would
be: “understanding of a situation at the present time based on
experience.” If we accept this definition, we see then that awareness is
the outward expression of mindfulness. If mindfulness is the ability to
watch your thoughts, awareness a conscious understanding of your reaction
to your thoughts and what is happening to and around you as a result.
Mindfulness is centered on what is happening in you, while awareness is
concerned with what’s happening to you. It’s the difference between what
you experience and what you do with that experience, then my self-talk. Do
I blame others, do I blame god, do I blame myself, my stars, or my birth
order? So, why is this important? Well, in any environment you simply
cannot afford to go through each day blissfully unaware.

Our thoughts and beliefs = our feelings and emotions = our actions and
reactions.
“This is one of those statements that I had to repeat over and over again
in order to ‘get it.’ Part of being aware of our mind, body, and soul is
to become aware of our thoughts and beliefs. Thoughts cause emotions, and
emotions drive us to action. This is the pattern or our human experience,
but your personal experience has a pattern as well. …And being able to
recognize and alter those patterns is precisely why mindfulness and
awareness are so important. By looking for patterns in ourselves, we can
begin to be even more mindful of our lives. Pay close attention to changes
in your mood, demeanor, and body language. Being aware of how subtle
changes enable you to manage and influence situations, perceptions, and
change can help you maintain balance and momentum in your life. Just as
your body warns you of a cold, or stress manifests itself in the
tightening of your neck muscles, your body can serve as an internal
warning system for thoughts and emotions that are out of alignment.’

In the book Debra mentions many instrumental guides whose work inspired
and helped her They included Marsha Linehan who created the modality of
dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), Combining insight from her own
experiences and years of clinical research, Linehan blended behavioral
science with Zen concepts such as mindfulness and acceptance to found an
entirely new discipline of psychotherapy that has proven to be invaluable
in the treatment of even the most complicated diagnoses; giving
innumerable people around the world the skills and empowerment to create a
life worth living. Similarly, Albert Ellis developed rational emotive
behavior therapy (REBT). Daniel Amen spearheaded the establishment of
single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging as a diagnostic
tool for mental and physical health. The Amen approach to brain health
underscores many of the health and wellness principals presented in this
book because Debra, Kristin, and the Meehl Foundation have used this
approach to help numerous clients the world over embrace a healthier,
holistic, more vibrant life—a life worth living. Others included Louise
Hay and Ernest Holmes have both left indelible marks on the greater New
Thought movement. Hay and Holmes blazed a trail through the Religious
Science movement, with only the anecdotal evidence of their successes to
prove the brain’s ability to shape our experience of reality. These two
individuals transformed our belief in the power of human thought along
with Wayne Dyer who originated similar subject matter, exploring the
significance of intention and focus. It is the shift of attention and
intention espoused in so many of Dyer’s works that underlines the
neurological approach we take to change.

In Joyful Transformation Debra discuss four ways to react to any problem
in life. There are only four ways to solve any problem:
solve it,
change how you feel,
tolerate it,
or stay miserable.
Understanding the many irrational fears or ideas most people get caught up
with are essential for letting go of beliefs that are untrue and no longer
serve you and is the path to transformation and the creation of new
thoughts actions and lifestyle.

There are also five steps for disputing and eliminating irrational ideas:

1. Write down just the facts of the situation. For example: your husband
is talking and laughing with a woman at a party, versus your husband is
flirting with a woman at a party. One is just fact the other is conjecture.
2. Listen to (and if you can) write down your self-talk. State all of your
judgments, labels, assumptions, beliefs, and predictions of the future.
Look at the list of irrational beliefs above and identify any that fit
this situation.
3. Write down all of your significant emotions. Just one- or two-word
answers, such as:. worry, abandonment, fear, anger, loneliness, etc.

Change your self-talk! Select an irrational idea such as, “It’s not fair
that I should have to suffer with this problem in my life.” Is there any
rational support for this idea? Since everything is as it should be, given
the long sequence of cause and effect, the answer is no, but the problem
must be dealt with just because the conditions existed for it to happen.

Debra goes on to tell us that before you can react effectively to any
problem in life you have to understand how irrational thinking affects
most of us…..If your self-talk is untrue or irrational, you experience
stress and emotional distress. For example, “I can’t take this anymore. I
cannot bear to be alone,” demonstrates the kind of self—talk that leads to
emotional distress. No physically healthy person has ever died merely from
being alone. Being alone may be uncomfortable, undesirable and alienating,
but you can live with it, and live through it. To tell yourself otherwise
is irrational.

Other Irrational thinking may be based on outright misperception or it
might be the by-product of childhood experience. Examples of this first
type include thoughts such as, “I can’t get out of bed;” “Life is not
worth living;” “I will die if I have to . . . ;” or “the money will come
as soon as . . .” Such thoughts arise because our perception of an event
or situation is skewed from reality. So these statements become the
stories we tell ourselves. And because thoughts = emotions = actions,
these stories dictate our interactions with, and ultimately create, our
experience of the world. The second most common type of irrational belief
includes statements such as, “Life is hard;” “people are untrustworthy;”
“People will try to take advantage of you;” or “Having a job you hate is
better than having no job at all.”

At the root of all irrational thinking is the assumption that things are
done to you: “Even not making a choice is choice, because you evaluate the
information available and then decide that neither option is good for you.
You choose to remain indecisive. It goes a little something like this: You
experience an event. You engage in self-talk. You experience an emotional
response. Our thoughts/beliefs = our feelings/emotions = our actions and
reactions.

Much of the difficulty in uncovering irrational self—talk results from the
speed and invisibility of our thoughts. They may be lightning quick and on
the edge of awareness. This is where mindfulness comes into play. Rarely
will you be aware of a full sentence, as in the statement below. But once
you have the ability to slow the mind and become mindful of your thoughts,
you will soon become more aware of your negative self-talk. Then, you can
ask yourself, “Why am I responding this way? What am I afraid of? What
drives this response?”

Debra goes on to describe how she discovered Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
Eighteen months after marrying her soul mate, Mark, life came to a
crashing halt. There was screaming, fighting, and incidents with him
driving us at 120 miles an hour down the freeway, and him spending money
on our charge cards like a drunken sailor. What I knew at the time—and
what I know now—is that he never wanted to do any of those things. But he
was driven by brain chemistry. I knew the core of this man, and knew he
was the kindest, smartest, most considerate man I knew. I also knew that
he had no emotional regulation and no distress tolerance at times, and he
also had a way of pushing all my buttons until I had none left to
push.Thus began hundreds of hours of research during which I found
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). DBT had an 87% success rate in
treating emotional regulation disorders, but it was so much more than
that; it actually offered step by-step instructions that might allow Mark
to move out of suffering and into joy. Years later, I would realize how
the God of my understanding had led us the entire way, preparing us for
the work that we would do to help others.”

The definition of Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a type of cognitive
process that tries to identify and change negative thinking patterns and
pushes for positive behavioral changes. DBT may be used to treat suicidal
and other destructive behaviors such as bi-polar conditions and borderline
personality syndrome.

Albert Ellis developed a system to attack irrational thinking and belief,
and replace them with realistic statements about the world that we live
in. He called this system Rational Emotive Therapy and introduced this
approach in the “Guide to Rational Living.

Everyone has irrational beliefs in some area of their lives. Some of the
most common are:

1. It is an absolute necessity for an adult to have love and approval from
peers, family and friends. Statements that express this belief are: “I
need others to approve of me;” “I want everyone to like me;” “I find it
hard when others go against what I think;” “When others don’t like me I’m
crushed” or “I need my mother and father/family to approve of me.” versus:
“I like the respect of others but I don’t have to have it.” ‰
2. You must be competent and almost perfect in all that you do. Statements
that express this belief are: “I hate to fail at anything;” “I avoid
things I cannot do well;” “I don’t want to compete if I have no chance to
win;” “it is important to be successful at whatever I do;” “it upsets me
to make mistakes;” “it upsets me when the children make mistakes;” “what
would others think?” or “I become upset over the mistakes of others”
versus: “I seldom blame others for their misdeeds.”
3. Certain people are evil, wicked or villainous and should be punished.
Statements that express this belief are: “Bad people deserve what they
get;” “Immorality should be punished;” “I blame and criticize others when
they are wrong;” “the fear of punishment keeps people good,” or “it is
unfair that ‘the rain falls on the just and unjust alike’—versus: “people
are basically good, but their behavior can be bad” or “I forgive easily.”
4. External events cause most human misery; people simply react as events
trigger their emotions. Statements that express this belief are: “People
cannot be happy under certain circumstance;” “I cause my own bad moods;”
“The more problems people have the more unhappy they will be” or “More
people should face the unpleasantness of life” versus: “Problems are a
great opportunity;” “Man makes his own hell within himself” or “If a
person wants to he can be happy under most circumstances.”
5. I depend on others to make decisions for me. Statements that express
this belief are: “I have to have an authority to make important decisions”
or “I let others decide for me” versus: “I stand on my own two feet;” or
“Other people’s opinions are helpful, but I do what is best for me.”

One may begin the journey to finding their life’s purpose by first
understanding that to face the challenges of a physical life we must learn
more about ourselves and our world and gather tools to sustain the changes
that are inevitable and actually desirable.

Debra wrote, “There is no way to achieve emotional maturity without being
able to adapt to change, and live without symptoms of anxiety. Most of us
though were never actually taught these skills. Even as a pastoral
counselor and an ordained minister (these things, too, have become reality
since I decided to change myself), I can testify that you cannot just
“pray it away” There are actually hundreds of other Distress Tolerance
skills you can consider in any given moment, techniques and thought
patterns that will launch you into emotional maturity and radical
acceptance. Many? Yes, because choosing just one and repeatedly using it,
over and over, and not seeing any results is pretty good evidence that
something is missing; that is, you need many tools in a toolkit, not just
a hammer or a screw driver. That being said, there is a profound comfort
in knowing that you are never alone. Somewhere along the way on my
personal journey I would truly come to know and believe that I was a
divine child of God. I would also come to know that God was way ahead of
me—pulling me forward into a plan that we both wanted.”

One exercise to begin to find your real life path is to start to think of
what interested you when you were younger your dreams goals and
aspirations hobbies interests talents etc….When you were younger, what was
it you wished you could do? Start with anything. It doesn’t matter how
outrageous or silly.

Sheryl says “When I was about 17 years old, I went to a Broadway show “Man
of La Mancha” and heard the song..The Impossible Dream. The show was about
an older man who was very different from others and he wanted to fight the
injustices in the world and help others no matter the cost or difficulty.
The song suggested to me to reach for the stars and go where others were
afraid to go and to live boldly and gloriously.
Sheryl discovered intuitive energy healing work and meditation leading her
to find the source of Creation..She has done exactly what that song
awakened in her although it took some time to put it all together.
Sheryl’s experiences and efforts have been guided towards awakening the
eternal energetic force of creation within and she has experienced many
emotions tied to the unfolding of her soul life.

In her book The Living Spirit Sheryl wrote. “Everyone has spiritual gifts.
But for some it is a life purpose, a call to be an extension of God’s love
in service to humanity. They grow to understand as I did, how difficult
the transition can be from the mind-centered consciousness of this
dimension to realizing our true duality as spiritual beings having a human
experience. When people are first called to do spiritual work—whether
energy healing, mediumship or in my case, a combination of the two—it is
quite common to doubt whether it is real. In fact, they may even doubt
their own sanity. This is exponentially harder when friends and family do
not believe what they are experiencing as real. Then not only do they
think they are going crazy, but that they are going to be crazy and alone.
They don’t yet realize that we are never alone for Spirit is with us
always. “

Other ways to find life purpose may include thinking the following
thoughts:

Do you feel restless about your current job or career?
Do you have the feeling that you should be doing something different in
your life? What might that look like?
How would you like to make a difference in the world? What kind of
difference would you make?
Are you afraid of what others might think of your desire?
Excuses are you telling yourself that holds you back? Are you too smart,
too dumb, too white, too black, too old, too young, too little time, too
little support, etc?
Do you get to whine about your unfulfilled life? Do you get something out
of that?
Are you ready for change?
Can you live with down-sizing?
Are you willing to live without a new car, new clothes, or the latest
high-tech gadget?

“On January 12, 2017 (about the time this book comes out) Mark and I will
have been married for 16 years. It has consisted of both the best and the
worst years of my life. But, on balance, I am doing all right—fulfilling
my life purpose. I am a life coach/pastoral counselor, trained in DBT. I
am a certified clinical hypnotherapist, an Amen Brain Healthy Coach . . .
and I know beyond any shadow of doubt that change is not hard; resistance
is hard. I know that “that which I desire, desires me.” I know that God is
my source and my supply, that no person, place or thing can be my supply.”

Debra reminds us that we live most of our lives in the past, with all of
our past experiences clouding our vision. Our life stories are most likely
made up of good times and bad times, but all too much of the time we focus
on and talk about the bad stuff. This is a great deterrent to living
purposefully and to allowing for joyful change and transformation so it is
to be released as it is harmful for moving ahead.

One must recognize and cope with the triggers that derail progress toward
change. In order to recognize cues and triggers, you will have to be
mindful. To navigate those triggers in a more effective manner, you will
need to use alternate coping techniques (affirmation, meditation, mantras,
etc.). This is called ‘Distress Tolerance.

The term “trigger” refers to any stimulus (such as an event, smell, sound,
sight, etc.) which evokes feelings of emotional dysregulation. Those
poorly chosen words—the ones that ignite hidden feelings and emotions—or
the anxiety-laced event that leaves you ready to bolt at the first
available moment are triggers which are both insidious and, at times,
pervasive. They have the ability to control or affect the lives of
everyone in their vicinity. They may be caused by minor events, such as
picking up a dirty sock, or major events such as a death in the family.
All of the events, subjects, thoughts and conversations in between these
two extremes may serve as potential triggers.

There are always three elements to triggers: chemical, physical, and
emotional. Understanding each of these elements and the role they play is
important in your ability to control, reduce and eliminate many of the
triggers in your life. Awareness plays a critical role in recognizing the
manifestation of each of these elements early, allowing each aware person
to be proactive in taking control of the triggers that so often intrude
upon life. The physical manifestation of a trigger is the most important
element to observe and become aware of. Be it a nervous tick, a furrowed
brow, or a twitching finger, there is often a physical reaction to a
trigger—a sign that something is not right. The emotional outburst, the
rage and anger, the confusion, the anxiety, and fluctuation in your
emotions are the final (and most damaging) reaction to a trigger. When you
react to the trigger, the neuronal connections (synapses) fire and wire
together, reinforcing your subconscious reaction to the trigger.

Rarely is the obvious trigger the real cause. The real, underlying,
bottom-line trigger hides among the chaos of emotions, beliefs and stories
we have created and needs to be uncovered and pulled from under the rock
that is your subconscious. It is also fear of losing something: our
personal power, our security, or our self-esteem.

By identifying the triggers (the subjects and the causes) you can
recognize the situations that set you on edge, avoid them where you can,
and have a plan to minimize their damage when they do occur.

Debra also shares ways to improve our physical health by detailing the
toxic effects of nicotine caffeine and alcohol all of which derail the
chemical balance in our brain responsible for emotional processing,
interpersonal bonding and rewarding social interactions, moral judgment,
and the ability to understand the mental states of others. Care for
ourselves through good nutrition, exercise, sleep habits, and times to
rest and relax are all important elements in your joyful transformation
program

In summarizing today’s episode of “Healing From Within” Debra Meehl has
successfully lived through challenging times and as a result her
understanding of physical challenges, mental, chemical imbalances has led
her to effectively use the process of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and
an Amen Brain Healthy Program which realize the need and value of
meditation, spiritual awareness, mindfulness, and gratitude, as a force
for multi-dimensional healing and the creation of Joyful Transformation.
Our health or lack of health are opportunities to discover the true nature
of physical and spiritual energy.

As Debra wrote “Life is for me.” “I am thriving and loved in a universe
that conspires to help me.”

“ Another way to respond to situations which cannot be changed—one which I
feel warrants its own separate chapter—is acceptance. Some call it radical
acceptance, others call it reality acceptance. Regardless of the moniker
you choose, the concept remains the same—complete and total acceptance of
reality. We all have to accept the actual facts of life. We are all
limited by our biology and our environment, by our own past behavior, and
by known inevitabilities. Everything in the universe is governed by the
law of cause and effect. Clawing against this cosmic order will only bring
you more pain, frustration, resentment, and suffering.…….Despair,
resentment, guilt, and shame are all, generally, the result of failing or
refusing to accept the reality of existing facts and instead choosing to
struggle against the facts of reality . . . or accepting distorted facts
which have no evidentiary justification. You do not have to accept things
that are not true. …….You can maintain your values, your beliefs, your
drive, your integrity and still accept the position you are in right at
that moment. Similarly, you can acknowledge your inability to change the
situation immediately without abandoning hope of ever changing it at all.”

Debra and I would have you know that circumstances that present themselves
or are already evident in our life story are not there randomly or
purposelessly but are the means to remembering our true magnificent nature
as spiritual beings having a physical life and the help that may come to
us when we become aware and open to change and the possibilities for real
growth.

Guest: Debra Meehl D.D.
http://www.meehlfoundation.org/
www.amazon.com <http://sherylglick.com/radio_shows/www.amazon.com>