Author Archives: Christine Arylo

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Let Your Body Be Your Compass

When my literary agent Michele first read Mind Over Medicine, she told me that it changed the whole way she thought about her health. She said, “Before reading your book, Lissa, I honestly thought my body was none of my business. Now, having read it, I know, without a doubt, it is.”

Many of my patients feel the same way. A woman struggling with a health condition once confessed to me that she thought of her body like she thinks about her car. She’s not a car expert, so when her automobile breaks down, she takes it to her auto mechanic, who repairs it and hands it back to her – fixed.

She had the same attitude about her body.  When it broke down, she’d hand her body over to a body expert – a doctor – and pray that the doctor would be skilled enough to fix her.

Is Your Body Your Business?

Is that how you think about your body? Do you believe your body is none of your business? As a physician who spent twelve years of training and ten years of practice learning to become a body expert, I used to believe I knew your body better than you do. I now know that, while I may have a better understanding of the arteries in the leg and I may wield a scalpel more expertly than you, nobody knows your very unique body better than you, and nobody is better equipped to prevent or treat illness than your brilliant inner doctor, which I call your “Inner Pilot Light”.

Your Inner Pilot Light is that part of you that knows what’s true for you and can help you align your life with that truth. When you make life choices that are out of alignment with your truth, the body reacts with physical symptoms that, left unchecked, become disease.

Think back to a time when you knew you were out of alignment in your life. Maybe you were out of alignment in a big way – cheating on your spouse or embezzling from your company or abusing your child. Or maybe you were out of alignment in more subtle ways – selling out your integrity in a soul-sucking job or drinking yourself to sleep every night or staying in a relationship with someone you don’t love. If you can remember how your body felt during those times, chances are good that your body didn’t feel so hot. You may have had headaches or gastrointestinal distress or a flare up of a skin condition or allergies. Or you may have just felt fatigued. But I’ll bet your body was signaling to you that you were off course. 

The Body Compass

Our bodies are brilliant that way. They act as compasses, letting us know when we’re headed in the right direction – and when we’re not.

When Martha Beck and I were training doctors in the Whole Health Medicine Institute, Martha led an exercise to help us get in touch with your body compass.

Heading South

Martha asked us to recall a time in our life when things went really wrong, inviting us to close our eyes and go to that very dark place in our minds and then locate the feeling in our bodies. We then named those feelings – “acid stomach,” “constricted throat,” “clenched chest,” and so on.

Try it. What do you feel? Now give it a name. That feeling is your body’s way of saying “You’re headed due South! Head the other way, pronto!”

Heading North

She then invited us to visualize a moment when everything was going brilliantly right and to locate that feeling in our bodies. We named those feelings too – “butterflies in chest,” “wide open throat,” “belly full of light.”

Try that too. What do you feel? That feeling is your body’s way of saying, “Due North! Go that way!” 

Using Your Body To Make Decisions

Trying to make an important decision? Ask your body compass? Now that you know what due South and due North feel like, see if you can register the more subtle variants. Martha suggests using your body as a metric, with due South being -10 and due North being +10. When a new opportunity arises, check in with your body. What reading do you get? Is it a +4? A -2? Or a completely neutral 0? These somatic sensations can help you make the right decision every time.

When The Body Manifests Physical Symptoms

The body compass exercise registers subtle physical sensations that wouldn’t usually get labeled as symptoms or illness. But what about when you get full fledged symptoms, like a headache, reflux, back pain, nausea, or – as I shared in my personal experience – vertigo?

Are you in touch with what your body is trying to tell you? Can you identify the root cause of your physical symptoms, something deeper in your psyche, or something out of alignment with your Inner Pilot Light?

Let Your Body Be Your Guide

Next time you experience physical symptoms, ask your body what it’s trying to communicate. Not sure what your body is saying? In Mind Over Medicine, I include an exercise intended to help you interpret what your body is telling you. (Preorder Mind Over Medicine here!).

Do you have experience listening to your body’s signals? Share your stories here.

Learning to listen,

Lissa

 

Lissa Rankin, MD: Creator of the health and wellness communities LissaRankin.com anOwningPink.com, author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013), TEDx speaker, and Health Care Evolutionary.

Join her newsletter list for free guidance on healing yourself, and check her out on Twitter and Facebook

Doing Best You Can

Overwhelmed, Overworked and Over It! Giving Up the Addiction to Do, Be and Have It All

In honor of International Women’s Day (3/8), a day that should be celebrated through the entire month of March!

Start a company, support your family, save the world, all while looking no older than 25. And by the way, don’t break a sweat while doing it…after all other women seem to be keeping it together, what’s wrong with you?

That’s the mind chatter that’s been stamped into our brains as 21st century super women who look like we have it all together, but are really smiling the stress away gritting our teeth. Behind the façade of perfection is the reality that almost every woman feels completely overwhelmed and overworked, without a clue how to manage her life any differently. Although few of us would ever openly admit just how stretched and full of self-doubt we are, the truth is that most of us are overworked, overwhelmed, and over it!

Dig even deeper behind the mask, and you will reveal that as insane as it may be, most of us super women wear our busyness like a badge of honor, trying to prove to ourselves and others that we are worthy because we can get so much done.

It’s important to realize that this insanity of our lives is not totally our fault. We didn’t start off as achievement junkies, doing addicts, and obsessive perfectionists—we were conditioned to behave like this; we were not born this way. After decades of receiving the message of self-esteem, girls and women today have more self-confidence, and independence than any generation of women before. We have more choices than our mothers and grandmothers combined, but with those choices have also come mountains of stress and more self-criticism, without the pay off of more happiness—a fact backed up by a study conducted by Rockefeller Foundation and Time Magazine in 2009[1] which compared the level of women’s happiness in the 1970s to that of women today. The results were revealing. Yes, women have more opportunity and equality but we aren’t happier. More work and less happiness. What a raw deal!

So yes, women have been liberated in many ways, but in the process, we became trapped in a new jail cell, with a nameplate bearing the motto we all live by—and unknowingly teach our daughters:

“I feel empowered to do, be, and have anything, but I feel pressured to do, be, and have everything.”

The solutions thus far have been focused on giving girls and women around the world self-esteem, teaching the message, “You can do anything.” And there lies the problem. The focus is on ‘doing.’ While self-esteem has been a critical step for raising the confidence of women and girls around this country, the unintended impact is a generation who defines themselves and their value by what they ‘do.’

We have conditioned our selves and our girls to believe that if we are not doing everything, then we are failing, ultimately leading to the damaging and crushing belief that “You are not enough.” The unintended impact of the over value on self-esteem and the under value on things like self-compassion and self-care. Sure we say we want to relax, take good care of ourselves, but when you look at our actions and how we spend our time, money and energy, we are not.

No matter how much a woman or girl does, she will never feel like she is enough, and therefore she will never attain the happiness she works so hard for.

So what is the new solution?

Self-Love.

How is self-love different than self-esteem?

Self-love has nothing to do with what you ‘do’ but everything to do with how you respect and honor yourself. Self-love, when you have it, doesn’t measure your worth by what you’ve accomplished, but by the measure of, “Have you treated yourself and others with unconditional love and respect?”

The definition of self-love posted on dictionary.com is “conceit, vanity and narcissism,” a testament to how our society currently views self-love. Is it surprising that most women feel guilty when they take time away from the doing to take care of themselves? Or that they don’t value the ability to relax, find inner peace or just ‘be’ like they value the ability to get it all done?

Our patterns, habits and beliefs as 21st century women have been formed based on valuing ourselves by what we can do instead of by who we are, regardless of what we accomplish. If we ever hope to have lives that sustain us versus drain us, we must rewire our thought patterns and change what we value.

The ticket out of the overwhelm and overwork is not another downward dog pose, a new time management system or the holy grail of balance. The ticket out is your belief that you are enough simply because you are, and that is the act of self-love.

3 Acts of Self-Love You Can Start Today:

Stop wearing your busyness and overwhelm like a badge of honor.

Give up saying things like “I am SO busy. I have SO much to do.” Stop looking for sympathy and acknowledgement for your busyness. If you feel overwhelmed or too busy, don’t be a martyr, instead take your life back. Go through your calendar and say “No” to previous “Yes’.” Renegotiate promises and deadlines. You’ll be amazed how the world just gives you the space you ask for when you stop valuing yourself for being so darn busy.

Stop acknowledging other women for their super human feats of multi-tasking.

When a woman flashes her busy badge of honor – whether your are face-to-face or facebooking – instead of congratulating or commiserating with her, either ignore the invitation to collude, or invite her to put less pressure on herself by sharing your personal experience of transforming your own overwhelm into self-love.

Start your morning by asking, “What do I need to take care of me today?” How you start your day is how you will live your day, so before you even get out of bed, close your eyes and ask yourself what you really need that day to take care of yourself. Listen to what your intuition tells you. No matter what, keep that promise to yourself, even if that means doing nothing!



[1] Time Magazine, October 26, 2009, Justin Wolfers, co-author of The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness

Self Love Quote

Don’t Let Your Inner Critic Steal Your Dreams or Gifts for the world

Inside of you are offerings that you want to give to the world this year — and we want you to give them. We need you to give them – because you are the only one who can. And sometimes, we also know your inner critic can try and stop you – filling your head with all kinds of self doubt and other negative noise. Watch this love letter video with me, Christine Arylo, and one of the best inner critic transformers I know, Amy Ahlers, best-selling author of Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves, and co-founder with me of Inner Mean Girl Reform School.

If you are ready for more self empowerment and inner critic transformation make sure to join us for the self-love concert on self-love day!

Register for free at www.selfloveconcert.com.

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possibilities

Take Your Dream From Idea to Reality… Step Through The Magical Door of Possibility

Dreams are lived realities made possible by believing in the possible and by acknowledging the magic that is happening all around you. 

Watch this self love video with one of YOUR dreams in mind – I’ll be sharing one of mine – and together we will step through to new possibilities for the reality of your dream being true. 


I taped this video at a very special magical place called The Palace of the Soul – the home and studio of my friend, visionary artist Elizabeth Gibbons


The door you see behind me is called The Door Of Possibiliites – Elizabeth created this door as an expression of a transformation she went through, as one dream died and another began – she’ll tell you about it in the video. 


I’ve been thinking a lot about dreams this past two weeks – and today’s love blog is aninvitation for you to stop waiting for your dreams to become real and start experiencing your dreams as reality today

Otherwise you are missing your dream life… not because your dream life hasn’t “happened yet” but because it is literally manifesting under your nose and you aren’t experiencing it happening. 

I just got back from a trip visiting a friend who I witnessed have an event happen that she has been ‘dreaming’ about for over two years – it wasn’t the end all be all of her vision, but it was a clear sign from the Divine that things were moving in the right direction. But instead of being able to see and celebrate how her life was becoming her dream life, she mostly saw how much more there was to do. This made my heart so sad. I wanted my friend to experience the joy of living her dream, not feel even more burdened. 

And I totally understood – maybe you do too? I know I can get so stuck on the vision I have in my head about something and so consumed with driving to that vision that I fail to see that I am actually manifesting and receiving what I desire, it’s just not all coming at one time. Because as it turns out, that’s not how big dreams and big visions manifest. They manifest one small step at a time. 

And sometimes dreams and visions can seem so big that you can’t see the possibility of HOW it could happen, so again you miss that you are already experiencing the manifestation of your dreams in small ways.



TAKE A DREAM FROM IDEA TO REALITY
Use the Magical Door of Possibility to See How Your Dreams Can Begin Manifesting Right Now

The more you recognize and see the physical signs of what you dream for your life – even if not in the packaging or timing you wanted, the more real that dream can become.

Be bold and share the dream you are living into reality every day right here on the blog…