The Healing Code: How to reclaim your health & well-being in three powerful steps

The Healing Code: How to reclaim your health & well-being in three powerful steps

The Healing Code proposes a revolutionary concept of health and healing: That most of our physical symptoms, illness and disease are created by unresolved emotional pain in our heart. While the concept of healing our body through our emotions is certainly not new (e.g. Louise Hay ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ and other great works), the Healing Code provides a simple yet powerful methodology that has been used by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide to heal their emotional pain and heal themselves of illness and disease. Sounds a little too good to be true, right?

I’ve recently been reading a book called The Healing Code (2010) by Dr Alexander Loyd, with Ben Johnson (MD) as co-author. My sister put me onto it after we’d been discussing how much painful emotion I was feeling about a certain issue in my life. She suggested I try the Healing Code, claiming that it would resolve many things for me without me even realizing it. I was a bit reluctant to read yet another self-help book, but I was so intrigued that I bought myself a copy. For the past month or so I’ve been using the method known as the Healing Code. While subtle at first, I’ve most definitely noticed a real change in my mood, energy levels and inner peace since using it. It’s as though a curtain of fog, anxiety and heaviness is slowly being lifted and I’m starting to tap into my inner well of joy, optimism and health again. So much so that I thought I have to share this with you all. The book has a 4.5-star rating (out of 5) on Amazon out of 1500 reviews, and while it’s received a decent amount of backlash and criticism, this is counteracted by a resounding amount of positive feedback and literally hundreds of thousands of testimonials from people who have healed significant issues in their life.

The Healing Code was ‘discovered’ by a doctor called Alex Loyd whose wife suffered severe depression, to the point where she’d contemplated suicide several times. They tried dozens of different therapies, both conventional and alternative, and read a library full of self-help books over ten excruciating years, but nothing seemed to create lasting change for her. In desperation one day he sent a prayer out to the Universe to please help save his wife. That night, Alex had a dream about certain hand positions that could direct healing energy to the body at the four main ‘healing gates’ of the body. He was shown the steps of a healing process that would completely cure his wife’s clinical depression, and as it turns out, has now helped people all around the world heal all kinds of physical problems, sometimes even diseases as severe as cancer.

The Healing Code is a short healing practice that can be done by yourself, to yourself, in around six minutes, three times a day. It involves saying a prayer/request and then directing the energy in your hands to the four main healing gates of your body in a certain sequence (30 seconds on each healing gate), while focusing on ‘truth statements’. I’ll describe each of the three components of the methodology for you.

1. The Four Healing Gates

The four ‘healing gates’ of the body that Dr Loyd was ‘shown’ correspond to the master control centres for every cell in your body. For a short 8-minute demonstration on YouTube of the hand positions you can go here. They appear to work like a hidden fuse box and when the correct switches are flipped on, they will allow healing of almost anything. Directing energy at the healing gates, while focusing on truth statements, removes stress in the body that had switched off the fuse switches. The four areas that are targeted by holding the four specific hand positions are.

Bridge (between the eyes): The pituitary gland (often referred to as the master gland because it controls the major endocrine processes of the body) and the pineal gland.
Temples: The higher functioning left and right brain, the hypothalamus.
Jaw: The reactive emotional brain, including the amygdala and the hippocampus, plus the spinal cord and the central nervous system.
Adam’s apple: The spinal cord and central nervous system, plus the thyroid.

These four centres cover the control centres for every system, organ and every cell of the body. When directing energy towards these ‘gates’, healing energy flows from these centres to everywhere in the body.

Using your own hands to direct energy for healing is not a new concept, it is indeed what underlies all ‘alternative’ healing techniques such as Reiki, Tai Chi, Qi-Gong, acupuncture, emotional freedom techniques (EFT) etc., which all aim to harmonise and correct destructive energy patterns within the body. The healing code appears to heal the destructive energy frequencies, thereby healing both emotional and physical issues. While I have to admit I was a little skeptical at first, using these hand positions while focusing on my truth statements has given me noticeable improvements in my own mood, health and vitality.

2. Truth Statements
Truth statements are sentences you say out loud to yourself, or listen to as a recording (I recorded mine as voice memos on my iPhone), that heal the areas of life where you feel emotional pain or trauma. The truth statements break through what he calls ‘three inhibitors to healing’:

1) Unforgiveness
2) Harmful actions (things you keep doing even though you know they’re bad for you)
3) Negative beliefs.

As Dr Loyd says “These three issues must be addressed and removed from your heart if permanent healing is to take place. If they remain, they will block or inhibit your heart’s ability to heal the rest of the issues in your life”. You can use the truth statements they provide to heal these areas, or you can make your own truth statements that feel more resonant and relevant (I have used a mix of my own and theirs). You can get a copy of their example truth statements on their website by following this link.

There are also 9 virtues that need to be instilled in your heart to enable healing in all areas of your life, which he calls The Core Healing System:

1) Love
2) Joy
3) Peace
4) Patience
5) Kindness
6) Goodness
7) Trust
8) Humility
9) Self-control

So in total there are 12 ‘healing code categories’. To find out which areas are the best ones for you to focus on, you can use their Heart Issues Finder, which is a questionnaire that helps you pinpoint the emotional issues that are biggest in your life at the moment. You can work your way through all of the virtues eventually, but they recommend starting with the most difficult ones.

3. The opening prayer/request

This is the prayer that you use to open your healing session.

“I pray that all known and unknown negative images, unhealthy beliefs, destructive cellular memories and all physical issues related to _______________________ [your problem or illness] be found, opened and healed by filling me with the light, life and love of God. I also pray that the effectiveness of this healing be increased by 100 times or more” (This tells the body to make the healing a priority).

The whole premise underlying the Code is that our physical symptoms and illnesses are caused by what they call the ‘issues of the heart’; emotional pain that we carry with us because of negative experiences we have endured in our life. Each time we experience something negative, we create a picture in our mind of that experience, or a ‘destructive memory picture’. These destructive images creates stress in the body. Stress puts the body into ‘fight or flight’, a physiological response that puts all bodily systems on high alert, which is a necessary response to save our lives in emergencies, but should not be maintained for long periods of time. The problem is that the average person in today’s society stays in fight or flight for long periods of time. When that happens, there is one inevitable result; eventually something breaks down and shows up as a symptom. I can personally vouch for the terrible effects stress have had on my body. In my twenties I gradually developed chronic fatigue syndrome (where you get overtaken by viruses and experience complete adrenal exhaustion, among other symptoms) due to the high level of chronic stress present in all areas of my life at the time. When we develop too many symptoms, this can develop into disease, which is simply where the weak link in the chain broke under the pressure called stress.

To help you understand their process, I put together a graphic that helps to summarise and explain how the healing code works.

Emotional Pain and Stress

The codes appear to heal all problems – relationships, mental health, career, performance issues etc. – because they propose that all of these problems have the same source: stress caused by emotional pain in our lives, that led to destructive cellular memories in our unconscious minds. Up until recently it has been very difficult to heal the emotional issues in our heart for three reasons:

  1. People don’t generally want to admit they have them;
  2. If they have emotional pain, they don’t want to talk about it, and;
  3. We haven’t had a way to effectively deal with emotional pain on a medical level.

Emotional pain is stored in your cellular memory, which is memory stored in your cells – all of your cells. For many years, science believed that memories were stored in the brain. However we now know that memory is stored all through our body, which explains why organ transplant recipients sometimes start taking on thoughts, feelings, dreams and personality traits of the organ donor. To have permanent, long-term healing, we need to heal destructive cellular memories. We all have memories in our lives that are full of feelings like anger, sadness, fear, confusion, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness… the list is endless. You know how when you recall a certain situation in life that was very painful, you can actually feel it in your body? You bring the image to mind, and immediately you can feel the effects in your body, the anger, rage, betrayal or other heavy feelings. We can often feel them as a physical sensation. That’s because recalling the ‘destructive cellular memory’ has immediate physical effects on the body.

Trying to find ways to ‘cope’ with these negative memories only makes things worse. Suppressing our destructive cellular memories requires a huge amount of energy, and it’s constant. What is desperately needed, and (the authors claim) will change the face of health forever, is a way to heal the destructive cellular memories as opposed to merely coping with them and trying to suppress them. Once you’ve healed the memory, you will not feel the negative beliefs associated with the memory, your body will not be sent into fight or flight mode, and you will feel greater levels of inner peace and improved health.

The whole book is based on two propositions:

  1. To heal your problems you have to heal the stress. Stress is defined as “any situation that makes you feel frustrated, angry or anxious. What is stressful to one person is not necessarily stressful to another”. Any time we’re feeling strong negative emotions, our body goes into fight or flight mode;
  2. To heal the stress you have to heal your destructive cellular memories, which are the images stored in your unconscious mind from emotional pain that generate negative emotions and hence, stress.

So how do I do the Healing Code?

To start the Healing Code process, you bring to mind an issue that you’re struggling with. This could be ‘my migraines’ or ‘my relationship with my mother’ or ‘I’m constantly being over-looked at work’, for example. While holding this issue in mind, you then say the opening prayer out loud. You then let go of the problem, and start to focus on your truth statements out loud or listen to your recording, while using the hand positions they show you in the book, spending thirty seconds on each healing gate, for a total of six minutes. While doing the Healing Code, I can literally feel my energy lightening and lifting.

The truth statements are so powerful because we often know the truth in our heart the first time we hear or see it. It resonates and uplifts us and we feel it to the deepest core of who we are. That’s because we have a mechanism inside of us called our ‘conscience’, whose sole purpose is to help us find these truths. When there are too many lies in the heart related to a given subject, the voice of the conscience is drowned out, or at least confused, by competing and disagreeing voices. The key is clearing out these misunderstandings of the heart, and that can be done by reciting the ‘truth’ out loud.

If you’re also intrigued by the potential and possibility of the Healing Code, I urge you to get your hands on a copy of the book and start implementing the simple methodology. Enjoy the power and beauty of the truth statements – the ‘honeycomb, sweet and comforting to the soul’ that can be felt as you relax into your meditation. And let me know how you go. I would love to know if you feel a positive shift, as I have done.

In service to helping you live your fullest and brightest life,


Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Career, Life & Business Coach
Helping you find your path & purpose so you can shine and make a difference, doing what you love.
Whispering Heart Coaching

As an interesting side note on cancer, the co-author of the book Dr Ben Johnson has spent his career specialising in cancer research and treatment. In his opinions, cancer is caused by four issues:

  1. Emotional issues
  2. Heavy metals
  3. Acid pH/oxygen deprivation
  4. Viruses

There are increasingly effective medical techniques to deal with issues 2, 3 and 4 in the conventional medical system. However what has been lacking is a way to deal with emotional pain. Could it be possible that this simple methodology for healing emotional pain could be part of the answer to dealing with this? I pray so.

Raw, real & authentic: 5 ways to express your true self more fully

Raw, real & authentic: 5 ways to express your true self more fully

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are”
– Brene Brown

Being authentic (or striving to live an authentic life)  is the most important thing to me these days, right alongside my cherished husband and two little boys. After having spent the first 35 years of my life in complete misalignment with the genuine desires of my heart and soul, I finally realised that I had lived my life trying to live up to the expectations of others, trying to be what I thought others wanted me to be. I struggled and pushed myself relentlessly in studies and a career that weren’t aligned with my strengths, but rather what I thought would win me the validation and approval I desperately craved. I became a master of shape-shifting, able to adapt myself to be what I thought others wanted me to be. I played small and dimmed my light, trying to fit into groups who couldn’t see or appreciate the real me. I didn’t feel as though the world could or would accept the real me. It didn’t feel ‘safe’ to be me, and if the truth be told, I didn’t know how to be me.

And while I’ve come a long way, I still find it very difficult in many situations to be the real me. I still find myself shape-shifting to fit in with certain people or groups, and as Brene Brown’s quote says above, authenticity is “a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real”. I need to very consciously choose to be real. I often don’t say or do something because I’m worried about how it could be perceived. And sadly, while I want more than anything to be true to my deepest beliefs and desires, quite often I’m not. It’s not that easy. We’ve been conditioned and taught by our culture and society that it’s more important to be liked and to fit in than it is to be who we truly are. On top of that, many of us assume that who we are is not good enough and so we’re constantly trying to act like those who we think are better, or we dim ourselves down to match those around us so that we don’t stand out and attract unwanted resentment or judgment.

Imagine if we could all be incredibly proud of our unique personality, warts and all? Imagine how it would be if we all felt safe to shine brightly and show everyone the beautifully imperfect person that we are? To be courageously and unapologetically ourselves. My vision for my coaching business at Whispering Heart is to “support each other to find our own authentic voices, be true to our hearts and to joyfully bring our unique gifts into the world”. And if this is the case, I need to make a fierce commitment to live authentically myself. And so, for this month’s blog post, I decided to take a closer look at what being ‘authentic’ actually means.
The O magazine recently posted a great article on authenticity by Mike Robbins, author of Be Yourself, Everybody Else is Already Taken. He outlines five guiding principles that I thought serve as great guide posts.
Here they are:

The five guiding principles of authenticity

1. Know yourself
“Knowing ourselves, like being authentic, is a lifelong journey and process, and is an essential ingredient in the ability to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life. The more deliberate we are about knowing ourselves, the more we can grow and evolve consciously”, says Mike Robbins. Knowing ourselves means being honest about who we truly are, understanding how our past has shaped our personality and our beliefs, confronting the parts of ourselves that we don’t particularly like and would rather avoid – you know, those bits that we might be a bit ashamed of but nonetheless form a part of who we are and how we think and behave. One of the most effective tools I know of for getting to know yourself deeply is The Enneagram, an ancient system for classifying the nine different personality types; it is an elegant system for understanding your strengths and ‘shadows’, and provides a road map to greater self-mastery. You can find out more at The Enneagram Institute

2. Transform your fear
“Being who we really are, expressing ourselves honestly, being bold and going for what we want in life can cause a great deal of fear in us”, says Robbins. It’s natural to feel fearful about showing our real selves to those around us, and of expressing ourselves in a way that is unapologetically real. Personally I find it really scary to put my real self out there. The first time I wrote a blog post I experienced a ridiculous level of fear and to be honest I still do each time I publish something. By daring to speak out about our true feelings and views, we put ourselves in a vulnerable possible and expose ourselves to possible attack. There will always be people who love and appreciate what you have to say, who you are or are striving to be, and there will always be some people who dislike or despise what you have to say or do. It’s an unfortunate fact of life. But if you spend your life being fearful of being real and authentic, you’ll never experience the joy and freedom of authentic self expression.

3. Express yourself
Expressing yourself freely is the cornerstone of authenticity. It means speaking up about your views when appropriate and having the courage to challenge others respectfully when you disagree. It means having the courage to express the real you through your appearance, activities, home design and any other aspect of life that is an expression of you. Robbins says “When we’re willing to passionately, vulnerably and boldly speak up and express ourselves, we tap into our power in an authentic way.”

4. Be bold
Being bold, while scary and challenging for many of us, is essential if we’re going to live an authentic life. “Boldness is about stepping up and stepping out onto our “edge” in life—pushing the limits of what we think is possible or appropriate. It’s about living, speaking and acting in ways that are both courageous and true to who we really are”, says Robbins.

5. Celebrate who you are
“From a place of true self-appreciation and self-love, the fear behind our worries and the motivation for our goals dramatically changes from something we have to avoid or produce in order to be accepted and valued, to something we’re genuinely concerned about or really want to accomplish” says Robbins. Give yourself genuine appreciation for all the things you do, how you show up in life and your noble intentions. Celebrate the wonderful person you are, and forgive yourself lovingly for the areas where you feel you fall short. You’re only human after all. Appreciating yourself is a wonderful way to strengthen your ability to express yourself authentically; you’re no longer dependent on the approval or validation of others because you’re coming from a strong place of self love and appreciation. When you’re no longer motivated by the approval of others, now you are finally free to express yourself freely and unapologetically.

In addition to these 5 guiding principles above, Robbins suggests that being authentic includes the following elements.

Being authentic means you…

  • Live true to your values, expressing yourself, taking risks, focusing on what matters.
  • When you have a conflict with someone, you talk with him/her about it directly.
  • When you need help or support, you reach out and ask for it.
  • You know what matters most in your life, and you live consistently according to your priorities.
  • When you don’t understand something, you admit it and ask for clarification.
  • When someone challenges or disagrees with you, you don’t back down if you know it’s your own personal truth.
  • You are not strongly influenced by the opinions of those around you – your heart is your most important guiding compass.
  • You usually feel safe speaking up and sharing your true feelings, even if they’re negative.
  • You don’t worry about making mistakes and letting people down – you certainly don’t let that stop you doing anything.
  • You are aware of your strengths and feel grateful for them.
  • When you make a mistake, you have compassion for yourself.
  • When you don’t want to do something, you say no.
  • You go after what you want and you’re willing to take risks to get it.
  • You’re willing to admit when you’re wrong, and apologise accordingly.
  • You embrace all your feelings, even the ones you don’t like.

And here’s something that feels really liberating to do! Robbins suggests that if you’re serious about stepping up and being authentic, why not write a letter to the old you and tell them you’re moving on – a sort of break up letter to your old, less-than-real self. It can go something like this.

The break up letter – This is where I leave you

(I’ve written my own specific parts of Robbin’s recommended letter in italics below. If you’re tired of playing small and hiding your true self from the world, write out this letter and substitute your own words in the italic sections!)

Dear Fake Me,

It wasn’t all bad. We had a good run. I know you were trying to protect me when you kept me from admitting that I wanted to break free from the life I had created for myself, that I wasn’t living in alignment with my heart and soul, and that I wanted to make radical changes in my life. And I know you were trying to protect me when you got me out of saying no to that voice in my head that really wanted to drop everything and follow my heart, which would have made life really uncomfortable. (Remember? We just quietly seethed inside instead. Good times!)

Plus, there were all those times we spent running around after other people, doing things we didn’t really want to be doing, to please others. And you stopped me from following my heart, by making sure I was too afraid. That’s what’s really held us together all this time, you know? Fear. Of being seen. Of being disliked. Of not being loved for who I amOf not making my parents proud. Of not being seen as ‘successful’.

But now – and I hope you won’t take this personally – we’ve grown apart. Remember that time you said I couldn’t show my real self to the world? That’s it’s not safe to be me, fully, that’s it’s not safe to shine my light … even though I wanted to so much? I always thought you were looking out for me. But really, you were controlling me. I was too scared to tell the difference.

And now here we are.

We’re through. I’m ready to start speaking up. I’m ready to be the version of me that shares and shows what’s REALLY going on inside of me, that never says or does anything to try to appease others. I’m ready to stop being inauthentic and start being myself fully, brilliantly, as flawed as I am, in all my imperfect glory. I don’t want to keep my feelings bottled up when I’m with my family and friends, and when I feel as though someone will be uncomfortable with what I have to say, and every time someone tries to shame me.

But most of all, I plan never again to fake it – to pretend I’m somebody I am not, or to pretend I’m OK with superficial, inauthentic conversations, when really I just want to be real, and for everybody else to be real.

You served a purpose in my life, but we want different things. It’s not you, it’s that you’re not me.

So take care of yourself, you won’t hear from me again.



Wow – it feels so good to write that! I feel the power surging within me already! It feels amazing to take a stand for nothing less than becoming my true, authentic self.

So come on, let’s all usher in the new year with an intention to be real, genuine and unapologetically authentic. Are you in?

Want to know more about me and my journey? This recent post will update you on my journey for authenticity.

In service to helping you live your fullest and brightest life,

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Life Coach & Career Strategist
Why some people are ‘toxic’, and how to make sure you’re not!

Why some people are ‘toxic’, and how to make sure you’re not!

There have been a lot of posts circulating recently about ‘toxic people’ and how to deal with them. Many sources outline how to identify these people as early as possible and how to cut them out of our lives, which is easier said than done in most cases, especially if these ‘toxic’ people are family, colleagues or other people we live or work closely with. We’ve all been around those people who can leave us feeling drained or a bit ‘off’ after an encounter with them. Others leave us feeling downright irritated or annoyed, or some people leave us feeling really bad about ourselves. There are many different ways of displaying ‘toxicity’, but they all have one thing in common: So-called ‘toxic’ people need to bring someone else down in order to boost their own feelings of self-worth.

The first thing you need to realise if you’re dealing with someone like this is this: Their behaviour towards you has nothing to do with you. Psychotherapist and life coach Jodie Gale says “Often the person is deeply wounded and for whatever reason, they are not yet able to take responsibility for their wounding, their feelings, their needs and their subsequent problems in life” (see footnote 1). So it’s not that these people are toxic themselves (no-one is inherently bad unless they’re a diagnosed sociopath) – they’re wounded. But the way they unconsciously act out their wounds towards others can be labeled ‘toxic’ because their behaviour is hurtful and damaging to others. Often they’re completely unaware that they feel the need to hurt others because they don’t feel good about themselves. But that doesn’t excuse their hurtful behaviour. They will find ways to bring others down – intentionally or unintentionally – because it feels like the only way they can lift themselves ‘up’. And the effects on those around them is damaging.

Some of these people go to extraordinary lengths to hurt others as a way to make themselves feel better, which can be really painful if this person is a family member or someone who you had thought was a ‘friend’. They don’t yet have enough self-awareness to take responsibility for their own feelings and their unfulfilled needs, so they look to the outside to release their pent up frustration and ill feelings. If you happen to be the target of someone’s subversive, toxic behaviour, it’s quite likely that you trigger one of these emotions in them:

Perhaps you have or are something that they want to have or be. They may not even be aware of it; in their eyes you probably just ‘get their hackles up’, but underneath their irritation may be feelings of envy, resentment or bitterness that you have what they want but feel they can’t get.

You may threaten their position somehow. Perhaps they’ve worked hard to create feelings of safety and superiority (to cover up their feelings of inferiority), and you threaten this position in some way. If this is the case, they’ll need to hurt you to try to get you out of the way and to retain their sense of control.

Perhaps they feel you aren’t paying them enough attention, or aren’t making them feel special enough, as a result of their own feelings of unworthiness. So they’ll try to hurt you back to make themselves feel better.

The fact is, whatever the dark feelings are that you trigger within them, it’s up to them to take responsibility for these feelings and to do the inner work to clear them. You’re simply acting as a mirror, reflecting back to them where they’re wounded and unhappy. We all know how painful and unpleasant it is when we’re the target of someone’s toxic behaviour. That’s why it’s so important that each and every one of us have the courage to face our own shadows. By shadows I mean the not-so-nice parts inside of us, the dark and the ugly parts, the parts we would rather deny, disown or push underground. If we don’t face these dark parts of ourselves, own them and do the work to transform them, our darkness ‘oozes’ out towards other people in the form of toxic behaviours.

Author Mark Matousek (author of Sex, Death, Enlightenment) talks about seven ‘shadows’ that hide our inner light, obscuring our pure and original essence of love and compassion. We’re all born as pure love; we know this to be true when we’re with a baby. We all love babies because they’re pure and not yet been wounded by life. The main ‘shadow’ emotions that hide our inner light are:

1.   Shame
Somehow in our childhood we’re all made to feel ashamed of something. I felt ashamed of my strawberry blonde hair as a child after someone called me a ‘carrot top’ in school. I was ashamed of the fact that I didn’t grow breasts until many years after my girlfriends first grew theirs; and later I was ashamed of many of the reckless things I did in my teens when I was trying so hard to be cool and accepted. Many of us harbour shame but we don’t really know it. When I first started seeing a therapist during a very difficult phase of my life many years ago, the first thing she said was “I can see you feel shame around many things”. My first reaction was “Shame? I don’t feel any shame”. But as she probed deeper, I started to cry and cry as I realised just how much shame I had been holding onto. This was the first critical step in my own healing, to acknowledge my shame and to love and forgive myself for all these things I felt shame around – I’m only human after all. If we don’t recognise and release our own shame, it unconsciously leaks out onto others in ‘toxic behaviours’.

2.   Rage
We’re told from a young age that anger and rage are bad emotions; “Don’t get angry, it’s not nice”. But in fact anger is a very necessary emotion that tells us where we feel our boundaries have been violated. It’s telling us something important about ourselves. Perhaps it’s telling you that you need more privacy, or that you need to articulate your boundaries more clearly, or that you need people to respect your needs. If you feel angry about something that’s happened to you, what is the anger caused by? Usually there is grief or sadness underneath the anger. If we were taught to listen to and honour our anger as children, to ask what it’s trying to tell us, the world would be a different place. We wouldn’t be ashamed of this valuable emotion and we would know how to process it. As Mark Matousek says “It’s humbling to admit our anger. It gets us off our self-righteousness, off our soapboxes, to admit I have anger, I have shame, I have rage, I have greed and the rest of it. It makes us human. It brings us into contact with the rest of the human race. Compassion is to feel with the suffering of a person. If we don’t accept our own suffering, we can’t possibly have compassion for the suffering of others.”

3.   Envy
We’re told that we’re not supposed to feel envious, that we should appreciate what we have and be joyful for others. But again, envy is an emotion that can teach us about what we really desire ourselves. If you feel envious towards someone, it’s because they have something that you dearly want. Rather than become bitter and resentful towards that person, let it tell you where you desire things in your own life. And then take responsibility for creating those things in your own life. Envy is very useful for helping us understand how and where we want to improve things for ourselves.

4.   Greed
Greed is another ‘shadow’ emotion that can cause us to act out in toxic ways, if left unacknowledged. If you feel insatiable in some areas of your life, Mark suggests “Ask yourself, why do you feel like you’re not enough or like there is never enough? Where do you feel like there is not enough in your life? Why when you get what you think you wanted, are you not satisfied? Why is that? What is that? That’s greed. Don’t judge yourself for it. Just acknowledge it because what that greed is telling you is that your desire cannot be satisfied if it’s coming from external things. True satisfaction has to come from within. Unless you’re coming from a position of wholeness and sufficiency within yourself, greed will always be active in your life.” True fulfilment comes from knowing ourselves deeply, from clearing our wounds and learning to love ourselves and our life. It also comes from orienting ourselves towards service to others; becoming someone who gives rather than just takes. To be able to receive in life, we must also learn how to give.

5.   Lust
Most of us are afraid to even admit to feelings of lust. As Mark says, we’re terrified of lust because we believe that it’s stronger than we are, we’re scared of where it’s going to lead us. But if we can admit to our lust and try to understand what it is telling us, it can diffuse the power within it, and we see that it’s connected to passion, which is a wonderful, life-affirming power. Mark says “Remember that passion is key to our own well-being and to our spiritual awakening. We need our passions. They’re part of what give our life meaning. It’s part of what gives us our humanity”.

6.    Fear
All of the above emotions are connected to fear in some way – fear that we aren’t enough, fear that we won’t have enough, fear that we will be consumed by our dark emotions so we push them underground where they become toxic. Ask yourself, where is fear holding you back? Where is fear preventing you from fully enjoying your life? What are you afraid of in desiring what you truly want? Acknowledging our fears and embracing them, rather than suppressing them, is the only way to diffuse their power and to move back towards love. As my healer used to always say “There is only fear or love. Always choose love”.

7.    Grief
Another emotion that most of work hard to suppress is grief. Grief can be a beautiful thing if it isn’t pushed underground and subverted. It is precious because as Mark says “it’s proof of your heart, it’s proof of your caring, and it’s proof of your compassion. The wound is proof of humanity”. Inside most of our wounds we can find grief at some level. So ask yourself where you feel grief in your life. Where have you suppressed grief so that it’s turned to sadness, bitterness or depression?

None of these emotions I have outlined above are bad. They become harmful when they’re denied, disowned or suppressed. We all have these emotions; it’s part of the human experience. But instead of trying to push these bad feelings aside, we need to move towards them, embrace them, ask what they’re trying to tell us, and where we need to allow ourselves to heal. The more we try to ignore them and pretend they’re not there, the more they will leak out unconsciously in toxic behaviours towards others, harming or hurting those we spend our lives with.

The next time you’re in a situation where someone has triggered one of these feelings in you – anger, shame, envy, greed, lust, fear or grief – pause for a moment and ask yourself why? Which feeling has been triggered in you? What is this feeling trying to tell you? Is there somewhere in your life you feel you need or want something that you don’t have? Does this person trigger your own feelings of unworthiness? Where do you need to heal yourself so that you can feel more whole and peaceful? It’s not always easy navigating our own emotions. If you’re stuck in negative emotions triggered by someone else, reach out to someone who is trained to help in this area – a therapist, a coach or a healer. Heal the wounds that lie underneath these shadow emotions. Try not to lash out at others with your negative reactions. Otherwise you run the risk of hurting others, perhaps someone you love. We owe it to ourselves, and we it to everyone in our lives, to own our own shadow feelings, to process them and to take radical responsibility for creating our own happiness. Try to be a positive influence in the lives of others – that is where we will find true happiness and fulfillment.

In service to helping you find greater levels of peace, flow and happiness in your life,

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Life Coach & Career Strategist
Whispering Heart Coaching

Footnote #1:

Are you struggling to forgive? Try a little ‘radical forgiveness’

Are you struggling to forgive? Try a little ‘radical forgiveness’

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you”
– Lewis B. Smedes

I’ve always felt a slight resistance to those who advise that the key to happiness and inner peace is to release and forgive all the people who have wronged or wounded us. It sounds noble and virtuous and I’m sure all of us would love to be able to release our painful emotional wounds through forgiveness in a heartbeat. But it’s surprisingly difficult to do and feels somewhat like an emotional bypass when we try to sweep away our deep and painful feelings with a magic wand. Simply trying to forgive others has often left me feeling worse despite my best intentions, when I feel the same old painful feelings of victim-hood, pain and anger arising, leaving me feeling like a ‘bad person’ because I’m unable to just forgive everything.

After many years of working through my own layers of emotional pain, I think I finally I understand why it can be so difficult to ‘just forgive’. Last week I came across Colin Tipping’s Radical Forgiveness philosophy, which summarises beautifully how we need to work through the forgiveness process in order to feel true, authentic and lasting forgiveness. Radical Forgiveness is a five step process to move through the different stages required to release ourselves from our story of pain and hurt, and to move into a state where we’re able to see the bigger picture and even understand the value and gift that the situation has given us. This requires a willingness to hold an open mind to new possibilities of viewing the situation, which in itself may take time, patience and courage. But the rewards are beautiful if we’re able to do this.

Each of the five steps to the Radical Forgiveness process are critical, they need to be worked through in the right order and the process won’t work if you skip a step. Here are the steps in a nutshell:

1. Tell the story

It is important to have your story heard, witnessed and validated, as this is the first step to being able to let it go. Personally I have always found this step to be very healing when done with either a coach, therapist or good friend, however you can also do this step through the use of a Radical Forgiveness worksheet that Colin makes available on his website for free. It works just as effectively working through this step by writing out your story.

2. Feel the feelings

For me this had been the missing piece! In order to be able to release and forgive someone, we first need to get inside and really feel every single emotion that wells inside of us when we recall the situation. As Colin rightly says, “You cannot heal what you don’t feel. When people access their pain, this is the beginning of their healing”. This is why the forgiveness process hadn’t worked too well for me in the past. Attempting to sweep away my negative pain and feelings under the mask of ‘forgiveness’ is skipping the most crucial element needed to heal: feeling.

3. Collapse the story

As Colin says “This is where we make a conscious choice to withdraw the energy we have given the story and begin to realise that the story is mostly our interpretation of events based on our limited perception of reality, and since there is more to it than meets the eye, it is largely an illusion”. Yes! This has been key for me too, realising that there are so many angles from which to view a situation, and we have chosen only one, constructing our own story about how the other person wounded us and why. But what if there is the possibility that this is only our perspective, and there are many other possible ways to view the situation?

4. Reframe the story

This is a big one. Take a deep breath, and consider…. that maybe, just maybe, the situation was not a tragedy or cruel twist of nastiness on behalf of the other person, but rather it was exactly what we wanted (and needed) to experience for our soul growth and in that sense, was absolutely perfect. Could it be so?

Can you feel the sense of lightness and peace that starts percolating inwards as you consider this possibility? This step has personally been an immense sense of comfort to me on my own journey, being able to view all my ‘woundings’ as beautiful, sacred events that have helped me become the person I am today. As Rumi says “The wound is the place where the light enters you”. Could it have been a perfect sequence of events that we experienced to bring us closer to our true essence and soul?

5. Integrate

This means letting this possibility filter into your being, allowing it to reach you at a deep, cellular level, such that it can re-program your heart and mind and begin the true process of authentic, lasting forgiveness. This may take a moment, or it may take several weeks or months, but if you’ve worked through the steps, you will eventually experience the lightness and inner peace that true forgiveness brings.

The beauty of this process is the way it allows us to reach in, touch and feel all the emotions we’ve been harboring inside over all the years. By leaning into our feelings and giving them space to be seen and heard, instead of trying to sweep them away with our magic wand, we can open ourselves to the possibility of healing and emotional release. Opening our hearts and minds to the possibility of viewing the situation differently allows us to release our story of victim-hood and to see the higher purpose and gift in the wounding, in all its perfection.

So if you feel the burden of being unable to forgive someone, try a little radical forgiveness. And please let me know how you go, I would love to know!

In service to helping you live your fullest and brightest life,

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Professional Coach & Founder
Whispering Heart Coaching
Forget IQ tests. Here are the real reasons why people succeed.

Forget IQ tests. Here are the real reasons why people succeed.

“The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us I here for.”
– Oscar Wilde

Have you ever felt constrained by a label? Or been unfairly compared to others? I felt compelled to write this article because I’ve seen the destructive forces of labels playing out in the lives of many people close to me and I’ve felt them acutely myself. Labels put us into artificial boxes that don’t exist and they limit — or over-inflate — the way we feel about ourselves. Plus, they can become self-fulfilling prophecies in that what we believe about ourselves tends to become our reality. Labels can hold us back. By comparing ourselves to others, we feel less-than. And they don’t allow for the ever-changing nature of our authentic self to unfold and flourish.

As a coach, one of the biggest hurdles I experience when coaching people to unlock their full potential is their own internal beliefs about themselves. I see them get all excited and lit up by a vision they hold for their future, and then I see the fear and inner gremlins creep in that tell them they’re not good enough, or ‘smart enough’ to make it happen. In this article, I describe why IQ tests are not necessarily an indicator of your potential and the four real reasons why people succeed. I describe how you can apply these four principles in your own life to thrive and love life.

“In the 40-plus years that I have worked with children, I continue to be in awe of each young soul whom I am privileged to get to know. I have learned a great deal about each Self. I’ve experienced their emotions, anxieties, joys, passions and ambitions, and I see that each Self is perfect in itself. It is only when we start comparing them to each other that we begin to see imperfection.”
— Annemarie Roeper, quoted in Ungifted, by Scott Barry Kaufman.

I’ve had a bee in my bonnet about the concept of human intelligence ever since I can remember and the idea that some people are inherently more ‘intelligent’ than others. I’ve simply always felt it’s not necessarily accurate. I’ve always believed (and experienced) that we’re all equally intelligent, but in radically different ways. When I was about nine years old I was made to sit a test called PEAC (primary extension and challenge), based on IQ (‘intelligence quotient’) measurement. I was very surprised that I scored highly on that particular test, because I knew very well that I wasn’t any more or less intelligent than my classmates. I was under no illusion and knew that my classmates were very good at some things that I wasn’t, and vice versa. We were all different and clever in our own, very different way. My mind just seemed to work in a way that made me score high on this particular IQ test.

As a result, I was labeled ‘gifted’ and channeled into after-school extension classes. Suddenly my afternoons that were once filled with play time were spent sitting in a classroom learning about electronics, meteorology, ancient mythology and Italian. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I really didn’t enjoy those classes (except Italian, which I loved). It became a real source of anxiety for me to attend them. Plus, the label ‘gifted’ was very uncomfortable for me among my peers as well as at home among my siblings and created all kinds of unwanted tension. Comparison really is the beginning of all problems.

Then there is the story of Scott Barry Kaufman, author of the wonderful book Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined [1], who at a very young age was diagnosed as having a learning disability based on IQ tests, and was channeled into special classes for the learning disabled. Like me, he knew that he wasn’t any more or less intelligent than the others, but his particular kind of intelligence wasn’t fully quantifiable in an IQ test. He tried and tried to escape the label of ‘learning disabled’, which affected him in immeasurable ways (as you can imagine), and it wasn’t until one particular teacher in high school took a chance on him and allowed him to enter her ‘normal’ classroom. Scott went on to prove his school psychologist (and countless others) wrong by graduating from high school and he eventually completed a Ph.D in Cognitive Psychology at one of America’s most prestigious universities, Yale. He is now one of the most respected Psychologists in the field of human intelligence and is a wonderful example of how labels can be proven utterly wrong.

“We don’t have standardized minds, so why do we have standardized tests?” 
— Scott Barry Kaufman

Kaufman’s book highlights the real limitations of IQ testing. He discusses how the first modern IQ test was developed in France by Alfred Binet in 1905, who was given the task of inventing a test that would distinguish ‘fast learners’ from ‘slow learners’ in a school environment. The IQ-test that Binet developed was quite effective at doing so, but Binet himself knew the limitations of the test. After working with hundreds of children and their test results, he knew that the outcome of the test was not 100% reproducible and depended on a number of factors including the level of anxiety of the child at the time of the test, their current level of maturity, their environment, how motivated they were to do well in the test and the amount of stimulation they received until that point. He knew that it was not a direct sign of potential, which depends on a myriad of other factors. He said himself “With practice, training and above all, method, we manage to increase our attention, our memory, our judgment and literally to become more intelligent than we were before.”

And yet despite his public statements about the limitations of the test, the test was fervently adopted for measuring human intelligence worldwide. Lewis Terman, a professor of psychology at Stanford University in the USA was smitten with the Binet test and with some modifications developed the Stanford-Binet test in 1916, which went on to propel the IQ-test forward as the gold standard for human intelligence testing and remained America’s test of choice for half a century (Kaufman, 2013). Terman and his team believed that intelligence is fixed, enduring and hereditary (which we now know is not the case). His labels influenced a whole new generation of IQ classification schemes. Interestingly, as Kaufman discusses in his book, Terman’s impact surprised even himself. As he noted about fifteen years after the first edition of his test was published “I knew that revision of Binet’s tests was superior to others then available, but I did not foresee the vogue it was to have an imagined that it would probably be displaced by something much better within a few years.”

Well, as Kaufman says, it wasn’t. It’s still the basis behind most intelligence testing used worldwide today. In his book Ungifted, Kaufman refers to research by Kevin McGrew which showed that IQ tests are “fallible predictors of academic achievement.” He explains how for any given IQ test score, half of the students will end up obtaining final achievement scores at or below their IQ score. Conversely, and frequently not recognized, is that for any given test score, half of the students will end up obtaining final achievement scores at or above their IQ score [2]. So as you can see, IQ tests are not a be-all-and-end-all summary of your potential. They simply “measure an important but limited slice of intellectual functioning in a very limited test environment”, as Kaufman says.

So what is intelligence then?

I’m a big fan of Nicholas Lore’s definition of intelligence in his book The Pathfinder: How to choose or change your career for a lifetime of satisfaction and success. Lore says:

“Intelligence is a natural gift for doing anything well.”

We all have a natural gift for doing something well. And therefore, we are all intelligent. Each of us is unique, with a very distinct and particular zone of what I call natural genius; a particular set of skills, gifts and talents that are unique to us. And who are we to judge whether one set of skills and abilities makes us more intelligent than someone with a completely different set of talents and abilities? I call the things you do naturally well your natural genius because I believe that the term genius shouldn’t be reserved only for those who become successful and wildly famous because of their specific gifts. It should be acknowledged that we all have a specific kind of genius, and the only things that separate you from a well-known ‘genius’ are these following things:

· The right conditions, environment and support to nurture and develop your particular zone of genius;
· The belief that you have a very unique and particular zone of genius;
· An attitude of ‘grit’, a term gaining popularity to describe “A passion and perseverance for long-term goals” (defined by Angela Lee Duckworth);
· A passion and love for something that allows you to sustain and fuel an attitude of grit, which in turn allows you to develop and express your genius to its fullest extent.

In her famous book Wishcraft, Barbara Sher discusses how we’re all born with a ‘seed’ of genius that contains the maximum potential of our fully expressed life; a bit like the acorn contains the blueprint of the fully developed oak tree. But that acorn will not become a fully developed oak tree unless it is nurtured in the right conditions with nutritious soil, water, sunshine and air. Your natural genius needs a special kind of nurturing too with regards to the environment you grow up in and live in. Sher explains that all accomplished ‘geniuses’ received the right conditions to nurture their particular genius, including support from their environment, encouragement, stimulation and opportunity. Kaufman (2013) says that a nurturing family environment is a necessity to help a child flourish, just as a fish needs water to swim and survive. And one of the most important discoveries in recent years is that the environment you’re in triggers gene expression. This means that some talents lie dormant in all of us, waiting for the perfect environmental conditions to trigger them. So a supportive and stimulating environment is critical to the development of your own unique intelligence.

To understand whether your own zone of natural genius was nurtured as you were growing up, try to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the following questions [source Wishcraft]:

Was your natural genius carefully nurtured while growing up?

1. When you were a child, were you treated as though you have a unique kind of genius that was loved and respected?
2. Were you told that you can do or be anything you want, and that you would be loved and admired no matter what that was?
3. Were you given real encouragement in finding out what you wanted to do, and how to do it?
4. Were you encouraged to explore all your talents and interests even if they changed regularly?
5. Were you allowed to complain when the going got tough, and were you given sympathy?
6. Were you rescued when you got in over your head, without being punished or reprimanded?
7. Were you surrounded by happy, fulfilled people who were pleased when you succeeded?

If you answered ‘no’ to four or more of these questions, then it’s likely your natural genius wasn’t provided with the optimal conditions to fully unfold and develop. It’s possible that you don’t know what your natural genius is and perhaps you feel skeptical about even having one. On the other hand, if you answered ‘yes’ to four or more of these questions, it’s likely that your natural genius ‘seed’ was nurtured very well and allowed to germinate, perhaps grow into a seedling, or perhaps even into a fully developed tree. It’s likely that you have a clear and healthy sense of your own abilities and your unique gifts and talents. That’s a wonderful thing; you’re very fortunate!

If you’re not sure what your particular genius is, I cover tips and strategies for uncovering this is my free E-Book Pathfinding: How to find and start living your unique calling. One of the best places to start looking to uncover your natural genius is in your childhood. What are the things you loved doing as a child, what did you naturally gravitate towards and what would others say you were naturally good at? And what do you love doing? The seeds of your natural genius will be hidden in there.

“Who you are isn’t passive or static or unchanging. It is a vital design that needs to unfold and express itself through the medium of your whole life. And the unique pattern of talents and gifts that lie hidden in the things you love doing is also the map to your own life path.”
— Barbara Sher, Wishcraft

There are many, many different kinds of intelligence and an infinite number of ways in which these types of intelligence can interact and complement each other within each of us. Commonly referred to as ‘talent stacks’, different combinations of talents can result in very different and powerful abilities. Thankfully today there are numerous approaches, systems and tests for discovering your own particular innate strengths, which can help you understand the best professions and environments that suit and nurture your particular genius. I’ve highlighted just some of the many different ways the innate abilities can be classified in Table 1 at the end of this article. What’s important is that you recognize that you have a zone of natural genius. In her book Coach Yourself To A New Career, Talane Miedaner says “Our inherent abilities are so much a part of our makeup that they can be like breathing; we may take them completely for granted and not even recognize them as special talents and abilities”.

You will know you’re operating in your zone of natural genius if:
· It feels fun and easy;
· You can do it for hours and you are more energized afterwards, not less;
· Time collapses around you — you lose track of the hours when you’re engaged in your natural talent;
· You create superior results with less effort;
· You add value effortlessly to those around you;
· It is easy to be successful;
· You are happy and fulfilled;
· You feel fully alive and self-expressed (Miedaner, 2010).

So how do we realise our maximum potential and full self-expression?

The four essential ingredients of success – Grit. Perseverance. Belief. Passion.

Potential, Kaufman says in Ungifted, is a constantly moving target. The more we engage in something, the more we develop our brain capacity in that area and the more our potential grows. In his book Brain Rules, John Medina describes how what you do and learn in life physically changes what your brain looks like — it literally rewires it. So you can absolutely develop intelligence in an area, depending on how much time you dedicate to something.

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”
– Stephen King

In her compelling TED talk, Angela Lee Duckworth describes how in study after study, she found that the most telling factor for success was grit (passion and perseverance for long-term goals). Talent and success are usually unrelated or even inversely related. She argues that it’s all about perseverance and follow-through. She says “There are lots of brilliant people but it’s the ones who stay true to themselves and follow through that make it. The key to success is setting a goal and pacing yourself. It’s staying true to that goal even when life gets messy and when it’s inconvenient.”

This brings me to what I believe is the number one essential ingredient for developing your potential — PASSION. Passion is what fuels and sustains grit and follow-through. When you’re passionate about something, it means you care very deeply about it. But being passionate about something doesn’t guarantee that you’ll always feels upbeat and joyful. In fact, in Joseph Campbell’s famous book The Power of Myth he explains that the Greek root of the word passion translates to suffering. Annabelle Parr describes beautifully that “Following your passion means choosing a vocation that is so important to you, so vital to your being that you’re willing to suffer for it.” She goes on to define passion as being “where fulfillment, growth, joy and change exist”. Your passion will push you to your growth edge and force you to fully develop and express your gifts which can feel scary, challenging and very difficult at times. But through this unfolding of your full potential, while being in service to something you care about, you’ll naturally feel deeply fulfilled and satisfied throughout this process of growth and change. Many studies have shown that people who feel most fulfilled are those who are giving their gifts in service to something larger than themselves. Find your passion and you will discover your capacity for grit, which will allow you to develop your intelligence and proficiency to follow your dream.

So please, if you ever feel those inner gremlins creeping in that tell you haven’t got what it takes to fulfill your dreams, I am here to remind you of this:

· You are a genius in your very individual, unique way. Don’t let an IQ test result, or anything else for that matter, stand in the way between you and your dream;
· The world needs your specific gifts.
· The way to develop and express your full potential is to forge ahead with grit, perseverance and belief in yourself.
· Find your PASSION and let it fuel and sustain your grit and perseverance, and take you to the most fully-expressed, happy and fulfilled version of yourself you came here to be.

“Greatness is not born, but takes time to develop, and there are many paths to greatness.”
— Scott Barry Kaufman

In service to helping you live your fullest and brightest life,
Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Life Coach & Career Strategist
Whispering Heart Coaching