How to transition from your stressed-out “lizard” brain to your prefrontal cortex

Every single one of us has been a recipient of the trauma someone else imposed on us — every single one, whether you realize it or not.

Often, clients come to me with so much grief and negative energy affecting their every move, every thought, every decision about life. They want to feel happy, but they actually feel quite sad. They want to feel motivated but they instead feel fatigued beyond belief and don’t think their efforts will amount to much. They want to like themselves but they can’t stop the self-deprecating tape playing in their mind: “you aren’t good enough”, “you’ll never be pretty enough”, “you’re dirty”, “you’re not smart enough”, “you need to atone for the sin that is you”, “things will never work out in your favor”. Or they feel they are going at life alone because no one is on the same page as them. 

They don’t understand why they are feeling this way because they’ve had a “good” life, or they have a “good” spouse, or they are doing their best to change their diet for the better. 

Here’s the thing: it’s not your fault.

We are players in a bigger system that we have not had control over until this moment in time. Our current reality is the sum total of what has happened to others before us and how the cycle has repeated to this day. Last October was a huge “breaking of the dam” watershed moment in time and we are being given the option to stop the secrets and the culture of silent pain. It is an unraveling and undoing of the way things have always been done and it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to confront the problems so they no longer make your body and spirit sick. 

Unhealthy cycles are not broken until someone consciously chooses to break them. Until someone says something about the problems, or until someone does something radically different from what was done to them, the toxic cycle will continue.

Breaking unhealthy cycles is one of the hardest things you will ever do because other people may actively work to prevent the change since it feels too scary to them. Pain is all they have known and it is familiar; unacknowledged pain allows them to maintain power or control; it allows them to keep pretending the choices they made were okay; it keeps them from the pain of regret or guilt. It prevents you from being able to rise into the shining being you really are. And it makes you consistently strengthen activity in certain regions of the brain that make this cycle worse over time. 

Here’s what you need to know for your health: because of trauma you are operating out of your “lizard” brain or Amygdala. The Amygdalae which are so primitive, they’re often called the “lizard” remnants of the brain, are two almond-shaped sections of nervous tissue located in the temporal lobe. Amygdalae are part of the limbic system which is responsible for emotions, survival, instincts, mood, sexuality, addictions, and memory. It’s function has been linked to neuropsychiatric disorders that involve anxiety and fears. 

You will have dominant Amygdala function whether your trauma has been acknowledged thus far, or whether it still remains in the subconscious corners of your mind. The Amygdala is the fight-or-flight, reactivity, fear center of the brain. It remembers most every misdeed others have done to us so that we can constantly be on the defense in order to protect ourselves. It is a coping mechanism and survival tactic that, while once essential, has overstayed it’s welcome. In large part, we’re not hunter-gatherers needing to protect ourselves from apex predators or starvation. It’s making us sick from the stress. 

Sounds a bit like adrenal fatigue or hypothyroidism, right?: frazzled, stressed, broken, in states of heightened awareness, in the red, on the defense constantly because we need to protect ourselves from perceived threats. If you are operating out of the Amygdala as a fear center every day, imagine the repercussions for your hormonal health – constantly in a state of flux, constantly swinging from high to low, or just getting so burnt out that your T4, T3, TSH, cortisol, estrogen, and testosterone and completely out of whack. Imagine the repercussions for your immune health – chronically infected with yeast, bacteria, parasites, or your body may be engaged in an autoimmune response where it is attacking anything and everything that is a non-existent threat (food proteins, your own tissues, etc). 

There is a solution.

The solution is learning to tap into a vastly different area of your brain that, instead of relying on old bad memories to create our future reality, it relies on problem-solving, solution-seeking, future-oriented goal setting, and personal behavioral modification. It’s called the prefrontal cortex

The prefrontal cortex is located in the frontal lobe — right where the sixth chakra or intuitive “third eye” is located — at the front of the forehead. There is a scientific link between your will to live, personality, and the functions of the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex has been implicated in planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making, processing, updating, redirecting, and moderating social behavior. Activity in this brain region is in large part a collection of thoughts and actions in accordance with your internal goals. It also helps one differentiate between various thoughts in order to come to reasonable conclusions that will benefit you in the future and are not based in reactivity and fear. In other words, it helps us plan and seek future, positive experiences instead of constantly reacting to old problems. 

Here’s how to tap into your prefrontal cortex:

  • identify your subconscious triggers (I do this for clients in Energy Reading sessions)
  • work through your problems/sin/karma (what you choose to call it doesn’t matter)
  • learn cause and effect – how your actions affect others and how others actions affect you
  • enact the laws of cause and effect in your life
  • stop the negative cycles you have inherited from others
  • map out and visualize the future that you want for yourself
  • find solutions to get the future health and self you desire, then pursue them hardcore until you get the results you want
  • strengthen your own energy through prayer, positive affirmations, meditation, Energy Readings, reiki, acupuncture, yoga or gentle forms of exercise, close friendships with people who know how to reciprocate, doing hobbies you enjoy, etc. 
  • figure out which diet you should be eating for your unique gene mutations and health problems
  • get rid of toxic people or energy vampires in your life (relationships that drain you or in which there are strings attached for purposes of power, control, and manipulation)
  • learn about or discover your true personality, apart from what others expect or demand of you
  • stand your ground and do not be moved – remember that no one deserves to elicit your stress response

Remember, we are not lizards. We are mammals with a spiritual lineage and the fear center that was once essential for survival is overreacting to your detriment. It doesn’t jive with our modern world. While there may be legitimate threats to your well-being (car accidents, money troubles, relationship problems), you are more than a reptilian stalking prey or finding ways to prevent becoming the prey. You are more than that. You have to remember this essential part of your soul in order to stop the cyclical fear patterns that are making you stressed and sick. You can transition to a new thought process, it is possible. When you do, watch how your health and life improve dramatically for the better. 

Ready to reclaim your health and self? Click here to learn more about Nutrition Consultations, Energy Readings, and Body Readings. 

 

 

 

 

The healing you seek is right in front of you

Until you understand yourself, you will never understand your health. I have found this to be true time and time again both for myself and my clients over the last seven years. I will tell you the truth: your body is a metaphor for all you have lived, all you have experienced (the good and bad), and all of the trauma you have suppressed or internalized. The answers you seek are right in front of you. 

That ache in your back, the tightness in your throat, the gait with which you walk, the way you carry your shoulders, the food allergies, the stomach bloat, the chronic fatigue, the brain fog — it is all a cue and clue as to the greater analogy of who you are, what you have been through, and how your body handled it all. 

Think of your health as a poem. A left-brained critical thinker (aka: doctor) may take a look at the words (aka: your body) and assume prescriptions are the solution for any and everything that ails you. That is all they have been trained to do and they do not function outside of these boundaries because it feels scary to them. It is a trek into unknown, uncharted waters. To them, you are black and white, cut and cry, no gray area or room for discussion. Anything else would imply they don’t have all the answers.

Modern medicine has relegated health and wellness into the realm of the left-brained scientist: “Only they can be trusted, only they can be believed, only they have the answers I seek.” This just isn’t true. It takes a right-brained creative thinker that knows no bounds, is comfortable with free thought, and understands you are a limitless individual with limitless solutions available to you to find the answers to your pressing, painful health complaints. It takes a poet, an artist, an inventor to say, “there is more to the story. I know this because I can read between the lines.” Yes, we’ve been doing it all wrong. 

What if instead of medicating (which never gets to the root of why you are experiencing the health problem in the first place) we began to “read” you to deconstruct the meaning behind it all? What if we unraveled, line by line, symptom by symptom, the meaning of you? What if we went so deep into you that we solved the mysteries?

Chronic illness does not have one cause. Yet thyroid diseases and autoimmune conditions are diagnosed and treated as though they do come from a singular cause. Medication, testing, adjusting of dosage, more testing, more adjusting. Round and round we go on this hamster wheel. You end up so frustrated or defeated that you give up trying to improve things altogether. Let me tell you this: it is not you, it is them

I think of each client as a unique mystery begging to be solved. How did they get here? What is their potential for healing? What do we need to do to get them there quickly? I know there are always solutions because I healed my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and put it into unmedicated remission despite medical professionals telling me it wasn’t possible. They couldn’t read between the lines, but I could. And I did. 

I have worked with clients at the end of their rope with their health. I have seen women with Graves’ disease go medication-free and keep their labs in check with specific, tailored nutrition and deep mind-body work; Graves’ Disease! — an illness that can literally kill someone. They came to me eating a gluten-free and dairy-free diet because that’s what they’d read big-name left-brained doctors and internet stars say they had to do. It wasn’t getting them anywhere. You see, diseases happen for “cluster” reasons. Once we understand the cluster, we deconstruct it to stop it.

This means they didn’t just have a genetic predisposition to autoimmunity or hyperthyroidism — they had 10 or more issues that were compounding to create the Graves’ disease state:

  • histamine intolerance
  • large consumption of thyroid-stimulating foods (coconut, avocado, and brazil nuts, for example)
  • leaky gut syndrome
  • Epstein-Barr infections
  • Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
  • adrenal fatigue or high/low cortisol
  • erratic blood sugar
  • too little cholesterol in their diet and way too much plant-based saturated fat (thanks to big name doctors promoting a low-cholesterol, high saturated fat Paleo diet)
  • nervous system dysregulation
  • stored chaotic energy
  • abuse or neglect
  • little to no self-care
  • “screaming” to be heard their entire lives 

What happens when you deconstruct and remedy the cluster? You stop the disease state. 

But keep in mind, this is only a template. It’s like the stanzas in a poem. The words will be unique to you, despite the outline of the rhythm being the same. Until you understand your unique cluster, you will never halt the health problems. 

The answers you seek are literally and figuratively right in front of you. You must find someone to help you deconstruct the metaphor that is you.

Ready to reclaim your health and self? Click here to learn more about Nutrition Consultations, Energy Readings, and Body Readings. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anything you say can and will be used against you

The other night I was indulging in an episode of trashy reality television. Cat fights, gossip, stilettos — the whole bit. It’s not often I watch these shows because of how sensitive my stress response is, plus I’m just not proud of it, but it’s one of the few guilty pleasures I still can’t shake because it’s so darn ridiculous.

In this episode, one of the cast was arrested and taken into court before a judge. While the judge was executing orders, the charged woman tried to ask a question. The judge cut her off and quickly replied, “Don’t speak. Anything you say can and will be used against you.” Even though this statement shouldn’t seem remarkable, it struck me.

Sure, we’ve all heard those words before (hopefully not in the same circumstances as this woman) but this time it reminded me of something: expression, freedom, the thyroid gland, silence. “Anything you say can and will be used against you.”

Many of the thyroid clients I work with have never (and I do mean never) learned to speak because of how scary it feels. I don’t mean the mechanics of speaking here because of course they do know how to string words together. Rather, I mean the intention of speaking: putting forth new ideas, vulnerable sharing of experiences, speaking off the cuff and from the hip, creation, sussing it out for as long as it takes, and change making.

Why are we so scared to speak?

The fifth chakra of the body governs several things, including the thyroid gland, the throat, the voice box, and the neck. The thyroid gland, which operates as the “master” controlling one’s metabolism, is not separate from your voice. While they may be anatomically distinct systems, they share an energy center which is acting out tension patterns every single day whether we know it or not. This energy pattern usually originates in childhood (or after trauma) and will either be over-developed or underdeveloped based on the adaptation strategies we have learned in order to get the love and care we desire — or, in order to avoid certain punishments from those who prefer we do not speak.

In some ways, developing your fifth chakra abilities is like a baby learning to make its first audible sounds. At first the noises come out as indecipherable vowels and consonants, squeals, shrieks, and growls. Eventually though, through immersion, the child learns to form words, then sentences, and eventually masters written and spoken communication to the point where it is effortless.

So too is our relationship with speaking the truth and our thyroid gland. When you speak authentically, you will release excess tension in that area or you will build-up energy where there was none. Too much energy can indicate hyperthyroid tendencies, and too little can indicate hypothyroid. (I have observed that those with thyroid nodules or comorbid thyroid conditions tend to have a little bit of both.) Knowing when and how to speak is a balancing act that can be remedied in a split second or it may take years depending on the internalized trauma one has endured. Only through practice can we get to the point where we trust our “first” or instinctual voice.

In order to communicate freely, you must address why you were not vocalizing things in the first place. If you take a step back, think about how many times you were scared to speak. Think about how many times you were given “the look” by those in authority. Think about how many times you were spanked, ignored, neglected, ridiculed, guilted, shamed, or had something taken away when you said something others did not like. Is it still happening? Who is doing this to you? It may surprise you that even those closest to us, those whom we love and whom we know love us, are perpetually acting out the silencing.

In many ways, dysregulation of thyroid chakra energy (whether it be too much or too little), points us back to that warning: “anything you say can and will be used against you.” Because it absolutely categorically has been used against us and we have had to learn this lesson over and over to our own detriment. Chances are you have learned to associate speaking with withdrawal, retribution, embarrassment, deprivation, rejection, imperfection, and penance due.

I know you have done these things because I have too. After being silenced for 32 years of my life, I now choose to speak. I choose to speak against the odds, against retaliation, against judgment, against isolation or scapegoating, and against whatever hatred may ensue. I no longer care about the punishment because I have seen the dire consequences of not speaking. I have seen how physically sickened people can become when they turn off this life-giving part of themselves. I have seen how small and miserable it can make people feel when they have no voice.

Your voice is your power. It corrects, it acknowledges, it processes, it prevents, it brings about justice, it plans, it feels, it enjoys, and it releases. When you learn to speak without judging your speech, the power others once had over you no longer activates the sympathetic fight-or-flight response because you see that you are too powerful to be silent for them. You can no longer cater to their desires in martyrdom of your own. In fact, chances are, you were probably so powerful to begin with that your voice was silenced to make life easier for others. Think about that for a minute.

We all get to decide when, how, and to what degree we will speak. Know this: there may always be punishment lurking around the corner. There may always be someone ready to play “gotcha”, ready to argue, ready to tell you it’s your fault because you said something, ready to tell you off. Let me ask you this question: does it matter? Once you activate your fifth chakra, these things no longer hold so much weight because you are fully capable of defending and protecting whatever you have said in truth and honesty to begin with.

Yes, “anything you say can and will be used against you” but whatever is bubbling up to the surface for you to talk about is as necessary to the spirit as pure water is to the body. It may be used against you but how much longer will your body and soul allow you to remain silent?

Ready to reclaim your health and self? Click here to learn more about Nutrition Consultations, Energy Readings, and Body Readings.