You’ve tried numerous dietary restrictions, have spent thousands on supplements, and have hopped from one natural practitioner to the next… and you’re still chronically ill. Sound familiar? Did you know it never actually ends? The health and wellness industry has convinced us that we’re sick and in need of special diets, numerous natural practitioners, supplement protocols, and cleanses to “fix” ourselves. This is a wolf in sheep’s clothing that I refer to as “toxic wellness culture”. Not only does it keep us over-focused on physical health, it also keeps those of us with trauma stuck in trauma loops — trying to heal the manifestations of emotional, mental, ancestral, and mental trauma solely with physical means. Toxic wellness culture also invalidates trauma and keeps trauma survivors on a constant carousel, going around and around, trying supplements and restrictive diets, seeing little, if any, improvements. Are you ready to get off the carousel?
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In this episode, I…
- bring attention to and define toxic wellness culture
- talk about how toxic wellness culture keeps us on a carousel or hamster wheel of restrictive diets, supplement protocols, practitioner-hopping, cleanses and more in an effort to “heal” us
- explain how toxic wellness culture keeps us stuck and sick
- discuss how this culture invalidates trauma by throwing solely physical “cures” at the mental, emotional, spiritual, and ancestral aspects of trauma
- challenge wellness culture’s dogma that chronic and mysterious health issues require finding the “right” diet, supplement protocol, practitioner, cleanse, healing the gut, etc.
- tear down the idea that our bodies need to be micro-managed in order to function properly
- expose how toxic wellness culture has convinced us that we’re “sick” and causes more trauma because we feel like failures when the cures the culture has promised don’t give us results
- invite you to identify where you have fallen prey to toxic wellness culture in your life
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[INTRO MUSIC] This is episode four of the Holistic Trauma Healing Podcast.
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In this episode, I am going to discuss the phenomenon of toxic wellness culture and how it completely invalidates those of us who are dealing with the physical and mental symptoms of trauma. Okay, so full disclosure. I have been a health food and wellness blogger for the past 10 years. My website is called All The Nourishing Things.com and so many of my faithful readers and long time recipe lovers may be really shocked and surprised by what I’m going to share here today, because for a lot of them, it’s going to completely go against everything that I’ve been saying for about 10 years. So I really am going to be opening my mouth and inserting my foot for a lot of the health and wellness advice that I’ve given over the years. I’m also a certified health coach. And so I know a lot about taking care of the body from the perspective of nourishing it with healthy foods, um, using supplements to enhance or “fix” something that’s in the body, avoiding prescription medications and antibiotics at all costs, et cetera, et cetera. So I never thought that I would be having a conversation about freedom from what I now call toxic wellness culture. Over the past couple of years, however, I have realized that many aspects of the “health and wellness” lifestyle are actually toxic. And even further than them being toxic, they actually invalidate those of us with trauma, because as I’ve discussed in previous podcast episodes, many of us with trauma are dealing with physical symptoms, and we don’t realize that those physical symptoms are actually connected to trauma or abuse that we suffered in childhood or at some other point in our lives. Toxic wellness culture sells the idea that if you find the foods that you’re sensitive or intolerant to and eliminate those, if you figure out what special diet you need to be on, whether that’s paleo or keto or an autoimmune protocol or something like that, if you find the right supplements to take, if you figure out what heavy metals your body is loaded down with and what you need to detox from, and if you just find the right natural practitioner, then you will find the fountain of health. So I see all over Instagram, all over blog comments, both my own blog and other people’s health and wellness blogs and in Instagram stories, and it’s just been perpetuated all over the health and wellness sphere for years and years, which is, “Oh, you have a rash. It’s probably food. You have headaches? You probably need to see a functional doctor. You have white spots on your fingernails? That’s a sign of a nutrient deficiency and you better start a supplement protocol before it gets really bad.” It seems like people are taking these nitpicky things like white spots on their fingernails or zits or something like that and blowing it up into this sort of health crisis. And that’s not to say that people aren’t in health crises. Of course people are in health crises. There is all kinds of chronic and very mysterious illness. And I believe that it is not because of a lack of supplements. It’s not because we haven’t found the right natural practitioner and it’s not because we haven’t figured out what foods we’re intolerant to. I believe that the majority of the chronic and mysterious health symptoms that people experience are due to trauma and the body is manifesting those symptoms in a physical way. So in toxic wellness culture, it seems like the answer to every symptom lies in restricting more foods, finding the right practitioner or the right supplements. And when it comes to these chronic and mysterious health problems we’re chasing our tails around and around and around trying various diets and food restrictions, hopping from the naturopath to the chiropractor, spending gazillions of dollars on supplements. And we seem to only find ourselves right back where we started. So being able to stand here today as a food blogger with a very successful website, um, it’s taken a lot of introspection and digging deep into my own personal trauma and unhealthy coping skills. And I’ve come to understand that the cycle of special diets and supplements and protocols is actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It looks and feels and sounds healthy and wonderful, but it’s actually perpetuating a cycle of illness and not wellness. And even worse, it is invalidating trauma because in all of the advice to seek out XYZ supplement or doctor so-and-so or eliminate gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, and nuts from your diet, You don’t ever hear any of those foodies, doctors, practitioners, whoever recommending that people get to the root of their trauma and heal it. And so people are on this carousel going around and around and they’re not actually getting better. I think they’re getting sicker. In my own experience, it turned out that the root of my mysterious health issues wasn’t actually in my gut as I had been led to believe, but it was in my mind and it was in my body storing trauma and it manifesting physically. There is no magic pill. There’s no magic diet and there is no magic doctor. But I believed that all of these things existed, I believed there was a magic pill. And because I believe that this or that was the answer to my riddles, I believed that I had some control. Just find the answer to the riddle and it’ll fix the problem. Right? However, both in real life and online, I’ve surrounded myself with groups of people who believe and think and act in the same way that I do. And so no one in my circles was challenging this mindset. For nearly 10 years, I believed I was on the right track that eventually I would find the thing that was the missing piece to my puzzle. And boom, I’d find the Holy grail of health. This toxic culture successfully manipulated me into believing that I am sick, that I should constantly chase symptoms, and that my body needs micromanaging in order to function properly. Toxic wellness culture, I believe, perpetuates this mindset that our bodies can’t self-regulate and so health and wellness are found in the next diet change, in the next protocol, in the next supplement. And so on. And toxic wellness culture has made health and wellness into a billion industry and obsession. I think that over focusing on our health is actually making us sicker and it is absolutely not helping us heal from our trauma. In the last 10 years, I have seen obsession over calories and macros. I’ve seen people obsessing about portion sizes and what time of the day we eat and whether we should be fasting or not. Then after those little things haven’t solved our health problems, I see people obsessing over things like lectins and heavy metals and food sensitivity testing and histamine-producing probiotic strains. No kidding. I’m seeing people obsessed over acne and ridges on our fingernails and bumps and every random sound that our body makes. It’s like every sensation has to mean something and we have to diagnose it. And then, because we are experiencing all of these very real things — and I’m not saying they’re not real — but we’re obsessing over the best supplements or practitioners or protocols to be on to heal everything that we have decided is wrong with us. However, we didn’t actually make that decision on our own. We made that decision with the help, or push, of the culture. And then we’ve convinced ourselves and others that all of this obsessing is for our highest good, because after all, it’s for health and wellness, right? So what happens in a traumatized person who’s experiencing chronic health issues and I listed some chronic health issues in episode two which are things that are all controlled by the autonomic nervous system. So the autonomic nervous system is the part of our nervous system that controls all of the things that we don’t have conscious control over. We don’t have conscious control over our circulation, our digestion, our breathing, our hormone production and balance, or the function of our immune systems. Those things all fall under the jurisdiction of the autonomic nervous system. In people who have experienced trauma, particularly complex trauma, there are a lot of mysterious and chronic health issues that arise because trauma impairs the function of the autonomic nervous system. And so we see people suffering chronically with headaches and migraines, gut issues like IBS and diarrhea and constipation and heartburn, hormone imbalances, and women with PMS, all the gamut of auto immune disease, insomnia and then mental health issues like anxiety and depression. But many of those people have done the macro balancing and the carb cycling and the intermittent fasting and the high intensity interval training and the keto. And they still haven’t attained the healing that was promised to them if they just did these things. And they bought, we I’m grouping myself into this because I’ve been there too. We’ve bought into every direct sales multi-level marketing supplement, shake, and fitness program, and the only thing that’s leaner is our bank account. We’ve invested in naturopaths and functional medicine providers and chiropractors, and we’re still sick and tired and in pain and anxious and depressed and not sleeping. Toxic wellness culture tells us that it’s our fault. We just haven’t found the thing yet. And so we start that cycle back over again, and we do it over and over assuming we haven’t done something right. We haven’t found the thing yet. And we have to continue on our quest for the Holy grail of health. This is toxic wellness culture. Our health is our greatest asset so, of course, we want to protect it and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with eating high quality food, breathing clean air, getting enough sleep ,and moving our bodies. Yes. We need to be doing those things, but toxic wellness culture is not those things. Toxic wellness culture is the idea that true health and the answers to our chronic and mysterious health issues are found in more practitioners, more supplements, more detoxes, more diet restrictions, more cleanses, more fasts, keto diet, paleo diet, being a vegan. We’re stressed out about histamine and lectins and FODMAPs, heavy metals, stealth pathogens, mold, candida, and on and on and on. And it never ends. Have you noticed that it never ends? I’m not saying that avoiding lectins or histamine or grains or dairy or FODMAPs or anything else won’t help you feel better. I’m not saying that you don’t have mold in your house or that you don’t have a stealth pathogen or heavy metal toxicity. The point is toxic wellness culture keeps us constantly chasing our tails for the answers. And yesterday it was heavy metals and candida. And today it’s lectins and carbs, and tomorrow it’s going to be something else. Personally, I’ve knocked on all of those doors, convinced that whatever the culture told me was the next thing was the next thing. But the truth is I never actually arrived. And neither will you. Because toxic wellness culture is a carousel and we only ever go around and around. And then the culture tells us we need to blame ourselves when we haven’t gotten anywhere. In episode three, I shared my mantra, “I am comfortable being uncomfortable”. And while I started that mantra by doing cold plunges, that has translated into being able to sit and be with physical pain when I feel physical pain that has no explanation. We don’t have the patience to sit with pain or discomfort. We don’t want to tune in and truly listen to what our bodies are telling us. We don’t want to entertain the idea that what’s wrong with us can’t be explained with medical tests, can’t be shown on an x-ray or some other type of imaging, and can’t be fixed with a supplement or a diet change or a protocol. So we believe we have to rush about looking for our magic fix. And we’re so busy looking for answers outside of ourselves. That one, we don’t see how we’re actually harming ourselves. Two, we aren’t acknowledging that perhaps what’s wrong with us isn’t actually physical; it is actually an energetic and physical manifestation of trauma that’s been stored in our bodies for years. And three, we don’t realize that the answer is actually within ourselves. It’s very, very difficult to recognize something as harmful when you truly believe you’re doing it for your own good and in the name of health and wellness. So, how do you know if you even entered into toxic wellness culture? Right? It’s like a, it’s like a cult people don’t realize they’re in a cult until they’re out of the cult. And then they’re like, “Holy shit. I just came out of a cult!” I feel like toxic wellness culture is really the same way. Here are some ways to know when you’ve entered into the cult of toxic wellness culture. Um, we restrict entire food groups because we believe these foods to be the enemy. So we restrict an entire food groups like grains or dairy or whatever, because somebody somewhere told us that eating these things was wrong. And again, I’m not saying that you’re not sensitive to dairy or grains. I’m just saying, well, just keep listening. And I think it’ll all come together. Um, another way to know that we’ve entered into toxic wellness culture is when our focus is on counting calories, points, carbs, or macros or on giving ourselves some kind of a label like I’m keto or I’m a vegan or whatever. And, we don’t actually eat what makes us feel good. We eat what we perceive others say will make us feel good. Another huge red flag for being in toxic wellness culture is we exercise and ways that we hate. Um, overtraining and overusing our bodies and wearing ourselves out to the point of exhaustion. And not resting and just doing it over and over day after day, because that’s what we think is good for us because somebody told us it was. Another one is just believing that the answer for health exists out there somewhere and we just haven’t found it yet. And then another one and man, am I guilty of this? Um, I spend used to spend a big portion of my time researching health issues and how to fix them. The truth is if we believe we’re unhealthy, then we are unhealthy. Okay, like mindset is the biggest piece of the puzzle. If we believe we are unhealthy then we are unhealthy, because we created that reality with the energy of our thoughts and there’s no diet or practitioner, there’s no supplement and there’s no exercise that can change that belief if that is what we believe. And toxic wellness culture has taught us that our bodies need micromanagement. That there is this thing, this practitioner, this protocol, this diet and this exercise, this supplement out there that will heal me and allow me to achieve the glowing, skinny, kale-eating goddess standard of health that everyone seems to picture in their heads when they think of health and wellness. We don’t accept that our bodies are amazingly capable of self-regulating. We believe we have to obsess and restrict and control in order to make ourselves healthy. And y’all, I’m just going to come out and say it. Our bodies do not need us to micromanage them. If we are experiencing physical symptoms that are chronic and mysterious, and we’ve tried all the things and we’re still in that space of chronic and mysterious illness, then doing more of the same is not going to get us any further in our journey. We have to think outside the box. We have to step outside of the box of toxic wellness culture and the belief that the answer we seek is in a diet or a supplement or a protocol or a cleanse or whatever. We have to step outside of that. But because our culture, and especially toxic wellness culture, is so obsessed with categorizing something. Oh, you feel. stomach pain after you eat? What was it that you ate? You probably need to eliminate that thing from your diet. When really it may have nothing to do with what you ate. Really, it may have everything to do with an energy that’s passing through your body because you were triggered earlier in the day. And it triggered your fight or flight response, even if it was subtle, that’s totally possible. But yet we don’t get that as an option. We never received that as an option. The option always has to be. Well, whatever’s wrong with you, you need to physically fix that. So take more probiotics and heal your gut. Drink, bone broth and heal your gut. I mean, have you not ever noticed it always comes back to healing your gut? Whatever’s wrong with you, it has to be in your gut, right? I disagree. Are you done with the intermittent fasting and the carb cycling and macro balancing and eating low fat? Are you done eliminating grains, gluten and dairy and beans and corn and soy and nuts and seeds and potatoes and whatever else from your diet? Are you done spending your money on the next multilevel marketing thing that your neighbor is selling? You’re done with plexus and AdvoCare and Thrive and all the other magic potions. You’re done going paleo. I love how everybody uses the word going like, “Oh yeah, I’m going keto, I’m going paleo, I’m going vegan”. Like, are you done with that? Are you done going everywhere? Are you ready to just stay put for a while? Are you done trying all the forms of rigorous exercise that you hate and feeling like shit because you’re tired? Are you done hopping from practitioner to practitioner doing protocol after protocol, getting more lab work and more of this and more of that? Are you done feeling the guilt and the shame that is involved after you’ve taken each one of these steps to achieve the body and the health that toxic wellness culture promised you would achieve? And yet you’re still not there. Are you done with that? Has being part of this culture stopped your obsession over weight or food or health? Has it made you happier? Has it decreased your stress or even your symptoms? Have you achieved whatever state it is that you’re holding in your head as the expectation or the standard? Have you achieved it? And the most important question I think is, has this culture made you love yourself or your body more? And I think if we’re all being honest with ourselves, the answer to those questions is, is no. Like, no, being part of this culture didn’t make me happier or healthier. It didn’t stop me from obsessing over weight or food or whatever. It didn’t stop or decrease the symptoms. It didn’t reduce my stress. And it certainly didn’t make me love myself or my body more. And even further, are you still operating under the same mental and emotional programs that you were operating under before you embarked on this toxic wellness culture express? Changing our diets, taking supplements, finding natural practitioners — none of those things is bad. I’m not going to tell you don’t do those things. But what I am going to say is that none of those things addresses trauma. None of those things addresses the abuse and neglect that we suffered as children. Those things don’t address our fight, flight, freeze, and fawn responses and teach us how to respond differently. Those things definitely don’t address a mindset that is hell bent on self hate and self destruction. Which many trauma sufferers are. In my opinion, toxic wellness culture isn’t just toxic for everybody, but it also completely invalidates trauma because it keeps you on the carousel of hopping from one thing to the next, to the next, never finding the answers that you’re seeking, feeling hefty doses of shame and guilt when the results that you were supposed to get don’t happen. And yet you’re still operating under the same mental and emotional programs that you were when you started and maybe even worse. Maybe even traumatized by the toxic wellness culture, because maybe before you started, you didn’t actually hate yourself, but because the culture told you that all these things were wrong with you and you just had to fix them, now you believe that something’s wrong with you all the time. The answer to this is perhaps it’s not clear. Obviously, we have to heal our trauma. You cannot show me a person with a mysterious or chronic health condition who doesn’t have trauma. I don’t believe that person exists. I truly don’t. But practically, I mean, obviously we’re not going to heal our trauma in one podcast, right? But this is not just about fixing something because that’s what toxic wellness culture tries to do. It tries to fix us. tries to tell us there’s something wrong so we can fix ourselves. And then we try to fix everybody else in our family. I remember whenever I first started eating healthy and taking supplements and doing all the research, like I immediately started diagnosing family members and putting my family members on protocols, like putting my kids on various supplements and various diet changes and all that. Because toxic wellness culture tells us so much that the answer is out there instead of in here. Then the co-dependents in us who don’t have healthy boundaries and who want to fix everybody — because codependents are fixers; that’s a trauma response — we then try to do for everybody else, what we’re trying to do for ourselves. And, you know, I’m grateful that along the way, I learned how to eat healthy. Okay. I grew up on Toaster Strudels and Pop Tarts and Hot Pockets. And like, I didn’t eat broccoli until I was 28. So I am grateful that learning how to eat healthy is a product of this culture that I’ve been through. I’ll always be thankful for that. But overall, other than teaching me how to eat healthy for my own body, the culture hasn’t really taught me much else. It hasn’t really given me anything else. So on a practical level, how do we get out of toxic wellness culture? Well, first we have to choose to stop obsessing about our own symptoms and health issues. If you have chronic and mysterious health issues, obsessing over them only makes them worse. Just in case you didn’t know that it does. Also, if you have chronic and mysterious health issues, you very likely have trauma. So obsessing over the issues isn’t going to fix the issues. You have to get to the root of the issue, which is the trauma. And for that, we have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable because addressing our trauma is not a comfortable, cozy situation. We also have to stop obsessing over our weight and our food and our exercise and realize that if our bodies are holding onto weight, they’re trying to protect us from something. The body doesn’t hold on to weight for no reason. If our bodies hurt, there’s a reason. It’s not for nothing. And it’s probably not because you’re eating potatoes. So we have to stop obsessing about it. And then we have to stop obsessing over supplements and protocols and diet restrictions and, and all the things, because the obsession is what fuels the machine. Okay, if the carousel needs gas to go, then obsession is the gas in toxic wellness culture. That’s what makes the culture keep going. When we remove our obsession, when we disengage from the culture and we choose our own path of, “Okay. I’m in pain today. Okay. My stomach hurts today. I have a migraine today. Whatever. I’m going to be comfortable in this discomfort. I can do hard things. And I’m healing my trauma.” So I can hear you now. Um, cause I’ve been there too, and you’re probably saying, yeah, Lindsey that’s all well and good, but I just don’t feel comfortable in my body. And I feel like what you’re saying doesn’t really apply. Like it’s great for everyone else, but my situation is special. My situation is unique. I’ve been diagnosed with this thing and I have to live with it for the rest of my life. And there’s nothing I can do about it. This is genetic for me. So my situation is different because it’s genetic.” You guys I’ve heard it all. Everybody has a special circumstance that they want to use, and I’m just going to say it, as the free pass to stay in the prison that they’re in. And it really is a prison. Toxic wellness culture is sticks us in a prison, a box, a prison, whatever you want to call it. It keeps us confined to that thing. And it lies to us. And it tells us that if we just stay in that long enough, then the answers we seek will be found. So, no don’t entertain it. Don’t keep giving it the fuel. You have to remove your obsession and you absolutely do not have to accept that just because something has been this way always that that’s how it’s going to be forever. You also don’t have to accept that because you’ve been diagnosed with something that it’s going to be something that you have to deal with for the rest of your life. That is not always true. Miracles happen. I’ve seen them happen. And I believe in them, and I don’t think anyone is an exception to that. So am I saying that you shouldn’t try to resolve your health problems? Am I saying you should just accept? Okay. Well, I have these chronic and mysterious health conditions and there’s just nothing I can do about it. So I’m going to resign myself to living a life of pain and fatigue and hormone imbalance and depression and anxiety. And, I just shouldn’t try to heal. No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. You’re still focused on the problems, the symptoms, if that’s your mindset. You see symptoms as something to be gotten rid of or fixed because toxic wellness culture and conventional, allopathic medicine are both insanely symptom focused. And they tell us that symptoms need to be fixed. That they need to be gotten rid of because they’re uncomfortable and we don’t like them. But I propose that we see symptoms as our bodies miraculous way of communicating with us. Like our bodies are so amazingly capable of adjusting a million times throughout the day to accommodate whatever it is we put them through that by the time we’re experiencing symptoms, that’s our body saying, “Hey, I’ve adjusted a million times today. And I’ve done a pretty good job, but I reached the threshold and I can’t adjust anymore. So I’m sending you a red flag and it’s a headache or joint pain or back pain or it’s nausea or it’s fatigue because I’m letting you know that I can’t maintain homeostasis by myself anymore.” That’s what symptoms are. They’re miraculous. If you still believe that the answer you seek is outside yourself, then you are still trying to justify micromanaging your body and you’re calling it health and wellness. But it’s really not health and wellness. It’s really obsession and micromanagement. What I’m saying requires a complete paradigm shift. This requires us to think in a completely different way than we’ve ever thought before. So if your current paradigm is, “I don’t have what I need to be well. It exists somewhere out there. And with enough research and money and time, I’ll eventually find it. And then I can be well”. Or if your current paradigm is, “I would love to believe what you’re saying, but I have this genetic thing. I have this diagnosed condition, and this is just not applying to me because my circumstance is special”. You need to acknowledge the mindset. Acknowledging that mindset is your first step out of being a victim and into being empowered. You cannot move forward without acknowledging where you are today. And if where you are today is stuck in your old paradigm, that’s okay. There’s no judgment. Just having the awareness of it is huge. If you believe that the answer lies in the next practitioner, the next food restriction, the next blood test or the next protocol or whatever, then you’re still in toxic wellness culture. And that doesn’t mean that those things can’t serve us or be beneficial to us. They absolutely can be. Your desire to be well isn’t wrong. The desire to be pain-free isn’t wrong. Even being comfortable isn’t wrong. But above all, we have to know that what we truly need to heal is found within us and not out there. The answer you’re looking for has never, ever been in a bottle of supplements or cleanse or diet or fast or a practitioner or a protocol. It’s never been there. It’s always been inside. We have to stop focusing on the food and the supplements and the symptoms and focus just on loving ourselves and accepting where we are today. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Make peace with where you’re at today, even if where you’re at today is in a lot of pain mentally or physically, even if where you’re at today is super overweight and unable to move because of the weight. Even if where you’re at today is auto-immune disease or hormone imbalance, or PMS or insomnia or dizziness Accept it right now because fighting it doesn’t change it. Accept the pain. Accept the symptoms, accept whatever it is and stop resisting it because resisting creates suffering. By resisting what’s in your body, you are creating your own suffering. And resisting is not the same as hoping to be well. Okay? Hoping to be well and fighting against what is, are two different things. So stop resisting. And then, day by day moment by moment even, release the fears, expectations, and impossible standards of what you think health looks or feels like. So let go of the fear and it is fear and it’s also a pronouncement over yourself. Let go of, “this is how I’ll always be” or “I’m just resigned to live this way forever”, or “this just runs in my family and there’s nothing I can do about it”. Let go of that. Let go of whatever the voice is inside your head that says you’ll never get there. And only when you have let go of the desire to control what is ultimately uncontrollable. I mean, our health is uncontrollable, you guys, it really is. The human experience is hard and these bodies wear out and some people’s bodies wear out faster than others. And when we let go of the desire to control what’s uncontrollable, then we can get off of the toxic wellness culture carousel. If you cannot love yourself, in this moment just as you are symptoms and all, you will still not be able to love yourself, even if you find the Holy grail of health. So when I say that the answer is within you, I mean that every event, situation and trauma, from the moment of your conception to this very moment that you’re listening to this podcast, has contributed to what you’re feeling and dealing with today. Your body has kept the score. If you haven’t read Bessel Van Der Kolk’s book, The Body Keeps the Score
, you absolutely need to. It’s scientific proof that our physical bodies keep the score of the traumas that we have endured. The car wreck your mom had when she was pregnant with you. Your parents divorce when you were a young child. The bully in middle school. The concussion you got playing football. The sexual assault you endured in college. The death of your best friend or your grandparent or your pet. Your pregnancies and your births. Every round of antibiotics, every vaccine, every stressful event, every loss and grief and death and head injury and emotional blow. Your nervous system is the referee. And your symptoms are your scorecard. That’s what I mean by the body keeps the score. That’s what Bessel van der Kolk means by the body keeps the score. This is why we’ve chased our tails and have gotten nowhere. This is why we’ve spent money on practitioners and supplements and exercise equipment and we don’t feel like our investments are paying off. It’s why our fix isn’t in the next multi-level marketing supplement miracle or bottle of essential oils or supplements. Just this knowing, just this awareness is enough to kickstart the paradigm shift and set you free from toxic wellness culture. If this is resonating at all. I encourage you to just hold space for it, even if it feels uncomfortable, even if you’re offended by what I’ve said. Please just sit with it for awhile. Maybe journal about it and see where your higher self takes you. The thing is, is I’m not offering any answers here because I don’t have the answers. I’m still on my own holistic trauma healing journey. And it is my own very difficult experience with toxic wellness culture that allows me to say the things I’m saying today. For 10 years, I sought health in supplements and practitioners and protocols and cleanses and fasts and diet restrictions. And I was just going around and around. I was only chasing my tail. I didn’t start experiencing relief from the physical issues until I started getting uncomfortable and dealing with the traumas. The mental, the emotional, the spiritual, and the ancestral traumas that were in my life. If it resonates, hold space for it. You don’t have to do anything about it today. This isn’t like something that you’re just gonna wake up tomorrow and everything’s going to be different. It is a conscious choice you can make. You can consciously choose to get off the carousel, but your brain is already programmed to be on the carousel. So it’s just like breaking a habit. It’s going to take consistent effort and practice in the beginning. And then over time it becomes easier and easier. Where am I at in my own journey? I’ve certainly had some positive shifts over the years. As I said earlier, I’m grateful that this culture taught me how to nourish my body and eat in a way that feels good for me. I have had positive shifts, especially in the last couple of years. And it’s also been in the last couple of years that I’ve gained an awareness of toxic wellness culture. So I think there’s something to be said for that. But I do still experience symptoms. I still deal with physical pain. I still carry tension in my body. I still deal with insomnia sometimes. And that’s the worst symptom of all. The difference is though is not that the culture changed. It’s not that my symptoms changed. It’s that I changed. My higher self was awakened. And I’ve been able to recognize my humanity, that my body is not going to last forever. And each of our bodies shows age, decline, and decay in different ways. I still eat healthy, but it’s not because I’m trying to solve a puzzle, it’s because I love nourishing foods. And that’s not going to change. Now I’m eating many of the things that toxic wellness culture told me I wasn’t supposed to eat, like gluten. I had no gluten in my diet for years and I’m eating it now. And I’m fine. I’m able to sit with uncomfortable symptoms now rather than fighting them or trying to fix them. And I most definitely want to support my body in any way that I can. But it no longer feels like an obsession. It’s not ruling my life anymore. It feels natural rather than forced. That awareness came from within me. I could not get off the carousel until I realized I was on it. And I had the paradigm of toxic wellness culture for far too long. And now I no longer hold the limiting belief that my health or healing lies outside of me. The answer was in accepting my humanity. The answer was in listening to my intuition about anything and everything that I put on or in my body. And most of all the answer was in accepting the present moment and loving myself in that moment. Just as I am. Symptoms and all. I know there’s no magic pill, no quick fix, no dietary restriction, no cleanse, and no practitioner that I need more than the inner peace that the answer for my chronic and mysterious health issues ultimately lies within me. And your answers lie within you. It lies in digging deep and getting to the roots of the chronic health issues by holistically healing trauma. If you enjoyed this episode, I would love to meet you and get to know you. You can follow me on Instagram @iamlindseylockett
, and you can subscribe to future episodes of this podcast at lindseylockett.com/podcast. [OUTRO MUSIC]