407: Heal Your Relationship With Yourself
Kerri Hummingbird And Ashley James
- How to heal your relationship with yourself
- How to let go of the mind chatter and negative self-talk
- How to shift the mindset
- What the listening piece is
- How important support is
- How to practice self-mastery, emotional mastery and spiritual mastery
- What the Skills Not Pills movement is
In this episode, Kerri Hummingbird shares with us how she healed her relationship with herself, how switching from judgment to curiosity opened up new possibilities in her life. She also shares with us that staying away from the negative environment and surrounding yourself with positive people that believes your story helps in healing yourself.
[0:00] Intro: Hello true health seeker and welcome to another episode of Learn True Health podcast. You're going to love today's interview. It's so beautiful. We get into some beautiful healing of the heart and the mind and the spirit. It's very motivational, uplifting and deep. I just think it's so so beautiful. I'm really excited to bring you this interview today.
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You could also join the Learn True Health Facebook group because anytime Kristen gives us a special, I announce it in the Facebook group as well. So that's a great place to go to stay on top of these great deals. There's other health companies that let me know about specials. So I always let you guys know because I love these products.
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Speaking of the coupon code LTH, if you've been a listener for a while you've heard but if you're new listener welcome to the show. It's great to have you here. You should totally join our community by going to LearnTrueHealth.com/group or search Learn True Health on Facebook. It’d be great to have you join our community. I believe we're up to 3600 members now. It's a very active and supportive Facebook group that loves to talk about holistic medicine. We'd love to have you there if you're not already there.
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You don't have to give up your meat, if you want to stay paleo, if you want to stay whatever you're doing, my goal is to teach you how to eat more whole foods and more plants. Now, if you want to go 100% whole food plant-based and eat this very nutrient-dense cleansing diet, I give you the tools for how to do that. If you just want to add more wonderful fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains and legumes into your life, you're going to learn how to do that as well. We are dairy-free, gluten-free and we do teach how to avoid allergens.
We also teach how to make healthy food for kids because I have a small child and Naomi, who's my friend who we've been filming all these wonderful videos with, she has three boys. We also have husbands and so we have many palates that we have to figure out how to provide delicious but healthy foods for. We do that and they’re whole foods so there's no processed food, there's no chemicals. You know what? It's pretty amazing that even the pickiest of children are loving these recipes. So, we teach you how to feed the masses, feed your children, feed your families and feed yourself healthy whole foods and also learn how to cook more efficiently so you're saving time, you're saving money.
I can't believe how much money I've saved actually since I started cooking all my meals at home and then packing and taking meals out with me instead of buying food when I'm out. I'm saving a ton of money but I'm also saving a lot of time because I figured out how to cook in a way that saves time because I'm busy like you. Wouldn't we like to all eat three really healthy meals a day that are delicious that didn't take us a lot of time to cook? Then notice that the health results come that you have more energy, that you have more mental clarity that you jump out of bed, that you notice aches and pains have gone. Naomi's mom shares a great story in one of our videos. Her arthritis is gone after eating this way for, I believe she started – it was like she ate this way for six or seven weeks and then was like, “Wow. My arthritis is totally gone. All my pains are gone. My aches and pains are gone.” That's the kind of wonderful thing that happens when people add more plants to their life. It's detoxifying, its nutrifiying, it's anti-inflammatory. So there's wonderful things you can learn.
Please go to LearnTrueHealth.com/homekitchen. Use coupon code LTH to get the big listener discount. You could just go to LearnTrueHealth.com and right there at the top of the menu it says “Home Kitchen” and click there. Awesome. If you have any questions at all please feel free to reach out to me. You can reach out to me in Facebook in the Facebook group Learn True Health Facebook group or you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you. Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing these episodes with your friends. I know you're going to share today's interview because it really touched my heart and I know it'll touch yours as well. Enjoy today's interview.
Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 407.
[0:09:47] Ashley James: I am so excited for today's guest. We have Kerri Hummingbird on the show. Her website’s KeriHummingbird.com. That's easy to remember. Kerri with an I. Of course, links to everything that Kerri does is going to be in the show notes of today's podcast at LearnTrueHealth.com. Kerri, I know my listeners are going to love today's interview. This is going to be one of those really positive, uplifting, inspiring interviews. We've had some pretty heavy ones lately so this is going to be a really nice break to help us, to motivate us and release the guilt and the shame and all the negative emotions. Just let it go. You have so many beautiful things to teach us today. I'm just so excited to get started. Welcome to the show.
[0:10:33] Kerri Hummingbird: Thank you so much, Ashley, for having me on. I'm really looking forward to providing as much as I can in service to your listeners.
[0:10:40] Ashley James: Absolutely. Before we get started, because we talked a little bit before we hit record, you're going to teach us so many beautiful things about opening to being present to the flow where your brilliance is, where connection is made and letting go of that mind chatter the negative self-talk. Also discussing the idea of your identity around your diagnosis. We really do take on this idea that we are broken. Letting that go and reinventing what our identity is to see that we are whole, complete and perfect. There's so many studies showing that your mindset is directly related to your ability to heal or your ability to hold on to illness. So, I love that you're going to help us to shift our mindset into a healing and really just beautiful peaceful joyful place.
Before we get started though, learning about that, I'm really curious what happened in your life that led you to become an expert in this area teaching us how to transcend the human drama?
[0:11:56] Kerri Hummingbird: Absolutely. Well, I actually find it ironic because I guide people now in their journeys through their psychology, through their consciousness. I do it in an alternative way. I do it in a spiritual way, but that's not how I started the journey. I actually began the journey through exploring my own psychology, sitting on the couch in weekly psychotherapy sessions. I did that for decades trying to fix myself from this idea that I was broken, that there was something wrong with me that was making me unacceptable to the people that were closest to me, that was making me need to work on myself to be better around them. While some of that was true, there was definitely some self-mastery to learn around how to handle emotional energy, for example.
There was also just a lot of misunderstanding that I experienced in the psychology field around different personal types, different types of people and how they process life experience and maybe even the tools and practices that would support people in better processing their life experience so that they don't have the sort of behavior that would then get characterized or diagnosed in the various ways that are out there. So, at the beginning of the 20 years, was when I was 15, I had been acting out as I don't know most teenagers do. In this case, my mom got really scared because I did well what many teenagers today are doing is that I was doing some self-harm. The self-harm that I was doing was dating a lot of boys and I'm really not respecting or honoring myself. That was leading me to feel pretty bad about myself. I'm sure you've got some listeners who understand that process. Budding sexuality and this culture and trying to figure out who you are.
My experience was also triggered by my early childhood. So, I think you probably talk about in this show a lot as well. Early childhood experience and how that affects your mental paradigm and your mental conditioning and the kinds of things that come up and surface in your life. I believe now they come up for healing. So, I had an early experience at 15 of that where I felt so low about myself when my dad walked in and caught me at home with a boy that I was being sexual with. I had such an incredible shame about that not only just in the moment but it triggered a lot of other things from my history. I ended up feeling so bad about myself and my dad not wanting to talk to me and wanting me to kind of stay in my room while he processed what happened. That I ended up taking a whole bottle of Tylenol-Codeine.
I ended up going to the hospital, had my stomach pumped. The result of that was my first entry into the psychology field where I had a really excellent psychiatrist actually, which back in the day psychiatrists spoke to you and tried to help you understand yourself. It wasn't about medicine and medication. He was the first person who started to help me to understand my psychology and the emotional energy that I was processing and what I was doing with it that wasn't in service of myself.
So there was a long journey of that. As helpful as it was to see this man, it also planted a seed that there was something wrong with me because he gave me a diagnosis. He said, “We're going to call you manic-depressive. I would call you bipolar but I don't want to put that on your record.” Now, I’m almost like, “Uh oh.” Like you're really broken inside. It gave me that idea. It triggered a lot of fear in my mom. So that began a set of stories about me. That there was something really really wrong with me. My mom could instantly see that there were things from my early childhood that were very traumatic that could be responsible for making me broken.
So, it started this whole path. While I am very gifted by everything I've learned on that journey thoroughly deeply exploring thought tunnels and self-shame and guilt and all of those things, at the end of the day, what I clearly see now is that labeling people with a diagnosis gives them some temporary sense that they understand what's happening to them but it also can trap them like a spider traps a fly in a web. It can be very damaging to a person’s psychology to have those kinds of things happen. So, the long story short is after decades of psychotherapy, it wasn't getting better. Because what am I doing? I'm going into the office and I'm telling my story. I'm just telling the latest version of how I'm broken because the universe keeps sending me more of that, right?
[0:17:30] Ashley James: Because that's your filter. That's your belief system about yourself.
[0:17:34] Kerri Hummingbird: That's my belief system and it's being reinforced at home with my mom who has a lot of fear and guilt over the early childhood trauma. So, it's just a story that gets perpetuated. Then I self-perpetuate. Then I chose a partner who shared a lot of the same, I don’t know, personality traits as my mother. So, I just brought more of the same to me for 20 years in that relationship and with these weekly psychotherapy sessions basically saying I'm responsible for all the problems in the family. It's all me. It's me. I'm causing all the problems. That is not sustainable for a person. No person can carry the weight of that their entire life and feel good about themselves. Those two you don't go together.
So, the culmination of that story is that at the very end of all of that paradigm, the diagnosis was I was borderline personality disorder. I can tell you when I looked it up on Wikipedia back in circa 2009 or something, it wasn't a very friendly description. It’s sort of like you're like Glenn Close in that movie. Boiling a rabbit in her boyfriend's home. It was not very kind and it wasn't true either, but I couldn't see it then. I didn't have the self-awareness or the belief in myself because the story was so strong that I was broken and I was the problem in my family that I didn't see it.
So, it really took me deciding, ironically enough, to be bad to say, “Well, then I guess I'm just bad if after all this time I'm still broken and you can't fix me and this is the only method you have to fix me. Then I guess I'm just going to be bad.” I left my marriage and I walked out. That first night in my new house I felt instantly better. It was like relief. I'm not going to try that anymore. I'm just done with that.
So, really really quickly what happened, this is the turning point that I really hope the listeners hear. What happened was I stopped believing the authorities about me. I started opening to something bigger that was inside of me. I switched from judgment to curiosity. When I got into curiosity, like I wonder my life might be like without all this judgment? I ended up getting some spiritual teachers that help me guide along that path. I started finding out about all kinds of alternative healing, which I also know you explore in this show which is so exciting. Alternative healing, spiritual healing, energy healing. These were things that I had no concept of before and yet that was exactly the pathway that I got to feeling love within myself, which has been about an eight-year journey now. From the end of my marriage and the rock bottom and I guess I'll just you know go off in a corner and die to hear where I'm on your show and I'm serving as an inspiration to people.
[0:20:44] Ashley James: I love it. So, when did you first move into your house? Your new house after leaving your husband and walking away – the stories that it's like you're walking out of this Jell-O that you're living in where everything was reinforcing this old belief about you and you walk out of it. Now you're in your new life switching from judgment to curiosity. When was that? How many years ago was that?
[0:21:15] Kerri Hummingbird: That was 2011 in the summer.
[0:21:20] Ashley James: Since then you have been on this journey of curiosity. I love that you said from judgment to curiosity because it's in the question. It's staying in the questions that allow us to stay open and gather more information and go deeper. It's when we stop asking the questions that we really shut ourselves off from possibility. So, you were like, “What would happen if…” Can you give me some examples of some of the first thoughts that you had that allowed you to dive into curiosity? Some of the first questions.
[0:21:54] Kerri Hummingbird: Well, I think I'll just go to a metaphor of dieting because I'm sure that a lot of listeners can relate to the idea of dieting. So, in my experience of dieting, if you restrict yourself and you continue to restrict yourself in a punitive way, what ends up happening is sooner or later you bust open the cookie bag and you eat them. You just can't do it anymore. You just can't force yourself anymore to punish yourself into compliance with some goal that you have.
So, in the same way, just expand that metaphor into all aspects of your life and that's what I was experiencing. I had so restricted myself through punishment in this belief that I was broken and I was the problem. I was walking on so many eggshells inside of myself that I was apologizing for my existence at every turn. That led to a place where I just felt so bad about myself that any little bit of attention I got from anybody I would just go for it.
So, at the end of my marriage I was cheating on my husband because men were looking at me and they were attracted and it felt good and it was the only thing that felt good and so I went for it because I'm starving. I'm starving for love. I'm just absolutely starving for love and I need to fill my cup. So, when I decided to be bad, I filled my cup for a while. I had a lot of men on text and getting really full on the attention and like, “Okay. Yeah. This feels really good.” But it wasn't very long. It was about six months until I got connected with yoga and I went to my first yoga class. My yoga teacher was really cool, of course because I needed it to be cool. He had hair down to his hips. He played Led Zeppelin for vinyasa. I was like, “Now, this is my style. I can do this.” Pretty soon, I got curious about him. I thought, “Huh. He's his website says he's a spiritual counselor. Well, I wonder if that's different than psychology because I'm not going back to a psychotherapist.” So, not to blame psychotherapists because I know the field has changed a lot but the ones that I had been seeing were keeping me and my story, they weren't breaking me out of it and I knew I needed something but I knew I didn't need that.
So, he met with me and we had a session together. I said, “Can you help me?” And he said, “Yeah. I think I can.” So, the first session we had together I went in like I had gone into every other psychotherapy session in my life. I went in and I started complaining about the person that wasn't giving me what I needed and then I felt bad about myself and it was all their fault. I went into that story and he stopped me. He interrupted the pattern and he said, “That's you.” I, “What?” I felt so insulted at first, but I knew it was true. It was like he was speaking truth and it hurt but it went right to my heart and it made me wake up. I said, “Oh my God. How do I stop doing that?” That's where the journey really began. The question, “How do I stop doing that? Because I don't want to do that anymore. What is that? Why am I doing that? Where does that come from?” All these questions started in my consciousness. Pretty soon I got led to the next teacher and the next teacher.
Then I had a shamanic spiritual healing. That woke me up big time because I thought I was one thing. I thought I was this solid thing called Kerri like there was just one thing. When I was in the middle of this healing session, I realized, “Oh my gosh. There's multiple aspects of me. There's energy that can be taken out. I can feel it being removed. I can feel it go over there in the burning sage and it disappears and I'm here. This is more true. So what is all that stuff in me that's cluttering up me? That's not me. What is that stuff?” It's like I instantly had this awareness that I was filled up with a bunch of gunk that was not my true self, that it was a bunch of stuff. I didn't know what it was but it was gunk and it was cluttering me. I had that instant knowing of that. I felt different after 45 minutes. He took this energy out of my heart that had been there since my whole life, that always felt like the only way I can describe it really is a menstrual cramp but like around my heart. It would ache anytime I thought somebody hated me or didn't like me or they looked at me funny or I felt inadequate or I was like reviewing my past performance of something at work, my heart would ache. He took it out. It's gone. I never had that feeling since. He just removed it. I mean I thought, “Wow. 45 minutes and that can happen? I'm doing that. I don't care what that is. I'm learning how to do that.” That's what started me really on my path to becoming what I am today.
[0:26:53] Ashley James: Oh. So cool. I've had that experience before. My first time doing an NLP session with someone back in 2004-2005. I did a NLP breakthrough sessions about eight hours long. We did timeline therapy. She also did some huna work, which is the Hawaiian spiritual practice. So, she does the energy work but it was NLP timeline therapy hypnosis. We did this whole session and I walked out of there. I felt weight lifted off my shoulders that I had carried most of my life. I walked around with this weight, this heaviness pushing down on me physically. Physically I could feel it. After the session I physically felt it removed. It was just taken off my shoulders. That was also when I completed my grieving. I was in depression and grief from losing my mother two years before.
So, I went all kinds of therapists because I was seeking how to grieve healthfully. What I really saw in the therapy field, at the time every therapist I went to it was either you are broken or you're normal. You're either abnormal or you're normal. There was no focus on let's strive for excellence because I wanted to grieve in the healthiest way possible. I wanted to achieve like excellence around grieving. There was no like, “All right. Let's make you like the most excellent human griever. Let's do it in the most healthy way.” No it was like you're either broken up and abnormal or you're normal and you don't have to come here anymore. I thought that was really interesting.
So, when I learn more about NLP, neuro-linguistic programming, that they designed it. That Richard Bandler and John Grinder back in the 60s and 70s originally designed it out of this exact same observation that they saw that in the therapy field in the United States, which culturally the people in the United States are always striving to be the best. That's part of the American Dream. Strive for absolute excellence. Achieve the maximum. Be the best basketball player you can be. Be the best trader on Wall Street you could be. Whatever it is, be the best cyclist you can be or the runner. In those fields, that’s considered normal to want to be the best that you can and go and find a coach to help you be the best you can. But when it came to mental health, that wasn't the perception back in the 60s and 70s. It was either you’re normal or you’re abnormal. There was zero focus on excellence, on achieving excellence around emotional and mental health. It wasn't a thing.
So, they created neuro-linguistic programming to bring about a toolset that had people just throw out that old system of you're either broken or you're normal. We don't need to put ourselves in that box. We don't need to live in that story. Instead, we're all human beings and let's create the most excellent experience we can, excellent emotional and mental health we can. It's a bunch of tools basically that you can learn to help you be in your excellence.
So, I dove into that. Actually then out of that experience, my first night walking out feeling like that weight was lifted off me that was taken out of me and off me I said, “I have to learn how to do this.” So, I went and took all the trainings and became a master practitioner and trainer of NLP and timeline therapy and hypnosis. I thought that was just, I mean that was like a whole world opened up. I couldn't believe that just like you, this whole world opens up and you're like I've been in therapy for 20 years and now it's like, “Why didn’t someone tell me about this. That there's a spiritual healing and mental healing on a whole new level.”
So you broke free from this old system. I love that you had the really solid experience of both systems because I am sure that therapy is very effective for people. You have to sort of find the right tool for you, find the right tool for the job. Some people really thrive in seeking out Freudian therapy. 200 hours on the couch and that's what they needed. Other people need behavioral psychology or cognitive therapy. Then you get to that point where you want to break free from the stories and you want to transform how you relate to yourself, how you relate to the world and switch over from judgment to curiosity. I love that. I love that you had that very clear transition. It's really beautiful. So now you have broken free. How do you go back though? There’s the people in your life who still relate to you as the old Kerri? How do you transform how people relate to you?
[0:32:04] Kerri Hummingbird: Well, so that's a very good question. The answer is that everyone is sovereign. Every person is sovereign. As such, every person's really responsible for their own perceptions and the stories they choose to tell. Sometimes those stories they choose to tell they like to hold on to for a lot of reasons. So, let's just explore that topic for a second.
So, in my case the story that my closest people liked to tell was that I was responsible for all the problems in the family.
[0:32:44] Ashley James: That’s convenient.
[0:32:45] Kerri Hummingbird: So, that's pretty convenient. So, nobody wants to change that story but me. Okay. So, that's been one of the major hurdles in my life is that I've gotten the opportunity to heal myself all the way down to the core identity. If you think about it, your parents, your mother gives you your core identity because that's the one whose body you were birthed in. That's the one who is nurturing you and caring for you. That's the person whose opinion you really care about the most as a little child. You really want your mommy to love you. All of us do. When that isn't possible in the way that you need it, then the opportunity is to learn how to give that to yourself.
The body of work that I'm working on right now is called Love is Fierce: Healing the Mother Wound. So the work I've been doing in private with clients is healing that last vestige of doubt inside. That you're worthy of love. That comes from a lot of ideas in our heads, a lot of information that comes in the form of not necessarily words but just feelings and sensations and perceptions and even psychic knowings about how our mother feels about us and about herself. That really impacts our psychology especially as a woman. I know that boys are also affected by that because I am a mother and I had a mother wound and I passed it on to my sons. As soon as I've become aware of this, I've been doing everything I can to help them to assert their own identity and have a really strong knowing that their mom’s okay.
There's just so many psychological uncertainties that get kicked up when you as a child perceive a number of things. Like if you perceive that your mom's irritated by you. If you perceive that you're not really wanted. If you perceive that you're a nuisance. If you perceive that your mom's not okay, that she's got emotional problems or she doesn't seem to be able to show up for you. There's a lot of ways that this presents itself, but all of that stuff it gets in a way of you knowing that you're okay inside of you. You actually don't feel okay because of it. Sometimes, like you said like how do you deal with your family who wants to keep telling the same story about you? There are family systems that get constructed around this entire dynamic to hold it in place.
So, when you start rocking the boat and trying to change it what happens is push back. Because if you change, everybody else in the ocean has to change. If you change the story, they either have to clutch their story tighter or they have to meet you partway and start seeing something new. A lot of people, if you change that means something in the dynamic has changed and now they own some piece of it.
[0:36:04] Ashley James: It's like enforcing healthy boundaries.
[0:36:08] Kerri Hummingbird: Yeah. Healthy boundaries. Like you don't tell me who I am. Here was the crux of my issue. My whole life and I'm only now breaking free because it's a really deep wound. It's like there is a splinter that gets placed inside your consciousness. Really young if you're having this kind of situation like I experienced. Then a whole bunch of layers and stories and stuff authenticates it. Then it gets bigger and bigger and the crust around it grows. Pretty soon you know you can't even decide, “Should I choose option A or B? I'm not sure about myself. I don't know which one to pick.” Yeah. We don't even know what we want or how to direct our way through life. We're so out of touch with ourselves that we just don't know what to do.
So, this is about identity. It's about identity and about reclaiming identity and deciding that nobody can tell you who you are, not even your mother. Nobody can tell you who you are. That you are safe in becoming curious and exploring who you really are and letting yourself do that. Along the path of doing that, I faced all kinds of things like mysterious feelings of being choked, like body sensations. I mean just old memories in my body. All kinds of fears that came up about speaking. When I started speaking on podcasts all these fears came up. I would start having really unconscious self-sabotaging behavior because I knew I was telling on mom and that was really dangerous.
There was just a lot of things that came up for me that were true for me as a little child but are totally not true for me as an adult. So, this is really the process of becoming a mature person and owning the psychology inside of you and taking ownership of becoming your own mother, taking ownership of becoming your own father and really guiding your own life and giving yourself permission to be who you are and who you choose to be no matter what anybody else says about you. Even if they're your closest people and they're your family. It’s that deep.
[0:38:27] Ashley James: You said that no one else can determine or can say who you are. I would take it one step further and say even your belief systems don't have the right to tell you who you are because –
[0:38:41] Kerri Hummingbird: The conditioning.
[0:38:42] Ashley James: The old belief systems. Yeah. The old conditioning comes from the decisions that we made as children. Something happened like we got spanked and we decided that we're not loved or we got yelled at because we did something as a child and we decided we're not good enough, we're not worthy, we're not smart, we're not beautiful, we're fat we're ugly, we're unwanted. All these unconscious limiting decisions that we built as our identity and that become our filters in life that don't let us see. That's how the unconscious mind works. It's how the brain works in forming our reality.
Our unconscious limiting decisions are the filters that will negate positive information. It's called the reticular activating system. It's a filter in the unconscious near the brainstem. It won't let us see things that go against our belief system. So, if I believe I'm not loved and Kerri says, “Ashley, I love you.” My brain won't accept it. I will make a decision. Either I'll ignore it, I won't hear it. We delete, distort and generalize. I'll delete it entirely. We won't even hear the person say it. Or in my brain I'll go, “Oh. She's just saying that because she wants something,” or “She's just saying that because she because she thinks she's being nice,” or whatever. My brain will negate it because we won't allow for positive information to come into our conscious and form our reality when we have these filters.
We often then believe that that is reality when it's not. It is a distorted, it's like looking through a kaleidoscope but the kaleidoscope is made up of all the negative emotions and living decisions from our childhood that we've been filtering our life through. So, when you said no one has a right to tell you who your identity is. What I got heavily is and neither does your belief system.
[0:41:02] Kerri Hummingbird: Neither. Yeah. You have to become aware of it, which is why it's so important to have presence. Because in presence things quiet down and we get out of the story. A lot of people are addicted to the story and I completely understand that. Remember, I spent 20 years telling my story on a couch so I get it. That doesn't serve us. Well, let's just say it doesn't serve us if we want to transform and evolve. If we want to stay where we are it serves us quite well because that's what it does. It keeps us where we are. If we want things to change, then we need to stop believing our story and start becoming curious about it. Also curious like, “Is that my story or is that something else?” I'll give an example.
I had a first stepfather who was very violent and didn't like children apparently. That's the story I have about it. There was this feeling of not liking kids that got into me. Like not liking and being playful and boisterous got you in trouble. So, I experienced some of this and throughout my childhood. Well, so then recently I have my own sons, but since I woke up, I would say since I woke up since 2011, in the last four years I've been with my new husband who has two younger children. So, I got a chance to revisit some of this. What I noticed was that as the young children were being very boisterous, I would hear this voice in my head that said, “Damn kids.” I had enough presence of mind to go, “Wow. Where is that coming from?” Whereas before it might have just been part of the background noise and I wouldn't even have heard it. I'm sure it was there when I was raising my children because it didn't just pop up out of nowhere.
Wow. Where did that come from? I was so unaware of it before but it was operating me. It was driving me. It was part of the conditioning that I had in my brain. So, now that I have presence, I heard that voice. I heard it distinctly. I asked myself, “Wow. Where is that coming from?” I sat with myself for a while until the answer bubbled up. It kind of bubbles up from inside when you sit with presence. It was that first stepfather who didn't like kids and it has made a big impression on me. That somehow being a kid was wrong and it was bad and it was annoying and all of these things. So, I think that when we have presence, when we're willing to stop telling the story and start listening to ourselves inside we can learn a lot about what's driving the story we're so emphatic to tell.
[0:44:02] Ashley James: Can you teach us how if we've never had the ability to have presence? How do you start to formulate presence so that we can slow down the self-talk in order to process it, in order to get curious and dive deeper?
[0:44:19] Kerri Hummingbird: Absolutely. Well, there's a number of pathways that I experienced. Yoga was certainly one of them. Working with the breath. Putting breath into anything slows things down. You're focusing on breathing, you're focusing on the in-breath. The in-breath, the out-breath, the way it feels as it goes through your body. For me though I need a little bit more than that because I had a very chattery mind, really super chattery. I was not really able to sit and meditate. People kept saying, “Oh. Well, just sit and meditate and you'll quiet down.” I thought, “Oh. I sit and meditate and it gets louder.” There's a lot of noise in there. It's uncomfortable. I can't sit still. I don't like being with all that.
So for me, what I ended up doing was learning about shamanic drumming. The interesting thing about drum journey music is that the ancient people always knew that certain beats of the drum actually stimulate your brain to go into a different state of mind, a trance if you will activates a different frequency in your brain. Instead of it being beta, which is super busy busy busy, it activates theta state and alpha state, which are more relaxed. The theta state is more of a dreaming state. You can even access gamma state, which is pretty cool. That's where you have transcendent visions. But the drumbeat and working with the drum actually really helped me to ground myself in my body and to quiet my mind. I was able to start having visions even and information.
So, you build on what you have. So, any little tiny little wiggle space of quiet that you have, whatever worked to get that you just keep doing more of that and building out that space and sort of building that muscle of quiet within you where you can listen and receive. The more you work on that muscle the greater the muscle gets. All of my training in energy healing I got certified from the Four Winds Light Body School of Medicine. A lot of that training has to do with listening to the client, listening to their energy field and what messages are coming up? What are you feeling in your body empathically from their body and their experience? There's a lot of listening.
After all of these training and all these working with clients and channeling information for them, I started channeling in groups. It opened up in front of a lot of people. Now I wrote a book last year that the whole book was channeled. I literally sat down, didn't think at all. The words just came out and I just channeled it. That's a flow. I found that that's where that's brilliant. My friends are like, “Oh. That book is brilliant.” and I am like, “Thank you.” It's like I feel like I didn't do it because I just channeled it but actually in a way I did it because I was able to get quiet. I was able to open myself up to let the flow come through. That flow that's tapped into all that is.
So, I hope that answers your question but I feel like it's a muscle. You've got to exercise it every day. The more you exercise it the better you get at it and then miraculous things can happen like I experienced.
[0:47:54] Ashley James: If you didn't consciously write the book then who wrote the book?
[0:47:59] Kerri Hummingbird: I feel like it was my higher self, my guide. For that book I feel like – everyone has their own belief systems around this but I really believe that we are souls having a human experience. The human part, the ego part, can be really delicious in the fact that it gets to have all these experiences that feel really real and gets to feel pain and an excitement and suffering and also gets to have a lot of chattering mind and thoughts and gets to feel and create. There is another aspect of us though that is really timeless, eternal, wise, connected to all that is. I would call that the soul. When we can do a dance with the soul so that us the personality, the personality self and the soul self can be together in one consciousness, in one moment in the now, together in the now, then amazing things can happen. That as a personality self, there's no way I could have done that.
The book I wrote, I just don't see that happening in the timeframe that it happened. With the ease and grace that happened without the dance of my soul. The dance of my soul is what manifested that into being. It's my willingness to listen.
It's just amazing every time I let it out. I just did a weekend. I got the opportunity to do a weekend presentation at the Evolutionary Business Council. I decided to do that in the presentation, just let go. Don't script it, just let go. So, I let go. I had written the speech. I'd written everything and I tossed it out. I just said, “Okay.” My soul I call white eagle. So I said, “Okay white eagle. Take it. Take it and run with it. Let's do this.” It was amazing. It was like, “Whoa.” Everybody was engaged. Everybody took action. They all were like, “Yes. This is exactly right. Because when I step into that space, which I've been practicing in my healing sessions and with clients and groups, when I step into that space of the flow and of my soul like brilliance comes out. It's pretty awesome to experience because that part of you is wise and eternal like they know everything. So, I don't know. That’s just my experience out of it. It's amazing. It's profound.
[0:50:26] Ashley James: I know what you're talking about but I don't think everyone does. In the training that I've done with becoming an NLP trainer and even before that with Landmark Education, you get to a place where you create so much peace inside yourself. In NLP we call it generate. You just generate so you could stand there and just start talking. It's coming from this very pure place inside you where you don’t have to think about it before you say it. You don't have to plan. You don't even necessarily know what you're going to say until you start saying it. It's so brilliant. The brilliance that comes out comes from this very beautiful authentic place inside you like it's not ego. You definitely feel connected to God, you feel connected to spirit, your soul. You feel grounded. You feel very grounded but at the same time you just start to feel like you're phasing. Your energy is vibrating on a little bit of a different wavelength like you're not here, present. You feel a little bit like you're high.
[0:51:45] Kerri Hummingbird: Yes.
[0:51:46] Ashley James: You know what I mean? You're a little high. You're going in a brain is in a different wavelength and it's really beautiful. I love it. This is something that I don't think about. I just do but I developed it over years and years and years working with Landmark and then in NLP and being an NLP trainer and then doing this podcast.
When I first started the podcast it was so funny. I was nervous I was writing. I was studying and writing down 20 questions and worrying, “Do I have enough questions to write down?” The first maybe 10 episodes I was scripted. I have my questions that I'd asked them, but I soon realized very quickly that I could not do these interviews with questions written down beforehand because the second they started talking like my brain would go, “What about this, what about that? Let's explore this.” The interviews weren't this wonderful flow. Their flow wasn't there. It was totally cut off because I wanted to script it and ask these questions that were pre-created.
So, I had to let go. It was like walking a tightrope and saying, “Okay. You could take the safety net away now.” I went in blind to the interviews. I went in totally blind. Just knowing a little bit about the person and their background with no questions pre-created and it was brilliant. I was so nervous. The thought came to me. It was like, “What if I can't think of anything to ask? The answer I got was you just start talking, just start having a conversation and be in the moment with them. Be present and generate and it'll come to you. So I started to just talk to these people as I interviewed them with no questions written down. The flow was so different. The energy was so different. It was about being present with them and the questions would just come from my higher self, would come from somewhere.
So, I get it. When you're at present in the moment and you're listening and you're tapped in, you generate. It's beautiful creativity. Your identity kind of melts away. You're not in that story anymore, are you?
[0:54:11] Kerri Hummingbird: No, you're not. That's really the secret if you want to change your life is you change this story you tell about yourself, you change your identity. I experienced this over the last eight years. I mean, eight years ago, think about it, I was a woman with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. I have been sleeping around on my husband with a lot of strangers at art shows when I was on the weekend doing my art shows. Anybody would look at me and say, “Yup. She's crazy.” Pretty much. People might say that about me today but for a totally different reason and I'm okay with it.
So today, I'm on podcast with people like you who are really conscious, enlightened leaders trying to help people to see another way. I've got an international bestseller for you know 25 weeks now running. It's kind of amazing. It's blowing my mind. All of this stuff is amazing to me. It happened because I was willing to let go of my identity. I mean, I was thankful to let go of it to be quite honest. I think I got to the bottom of the pit and I said, “You know what, I don't want to be whatever I've been being so far. Whatever that story is that's creating that I don't want that.” When my yogi said, “Hey. You're creating this.” I looked at him and some deep part of me knew that I was. I said, “Yeah. You're right and I'm going to stop doing that.”
I got fed up with my story. I think that you've got to get fed up with your story to the point where you're willing to change everything in your life just to have a better story. That's the place to be and then you can create magic. You can really reinvent yourself. I've really good friends who have had terminal cancer diagnosis. They've healed themselves through a lot of inner work, a lot of inner work, a lot of treatment options, various combinations of options but the end being that they did it because they decided they were fed up with the story that they had cancer and they weren't going to go out that way. They made sure that they healed themselves. One of my friends, stage five cancer. That's it, right? That's the last stop. For the month that she was supposed to die, she only had like maybe four weeks to live or something, she imagined that she was traveling, which was her favorite thing to do. She made it real. She traveled. She could only go, she couldn't actually go anywhere, but she pretended she was in France. She made it real for herself. She convinced her brain that she was traveling and enjoying herself in France and that tumor subsided. She actually lived. She's alive today and she's out speaking about it.
So, I know that people have had these experiences this isn't like bunk, this is real. Our brains are so powerful. We have to open to that deep wise one within us in order to change our lives’ circumstances. To do that, we have to release the identity. We have to release the story about ourselves while we're in the middle of the story, which is super challenging, to release the identity and the story of ourselves while we're still experiencing the effects of the story we've been telling. That's the challenging part, Ashley, isn't it?
[0:57:26] Ashley James: I want to interview your friend. Can you hook me up with her information? I'm actually crying right now. In my 20s, I was at a point in my early 20s where was suffering emotionally. I’d lost my mom. I was suffering. I was in an abusive relationship in an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship, but I didn't know it because you don't know it when you're in the relationship.
[0:57:56] Kerri Hummingbird: You don’t know it.
[0:57:57] Ashley James: Well, because they're really good at making you think that you're the problem when they're clearly emotionally and mentally abusive. At my mom's funeral, he pulled me aside and yelled at me for not paying enough attention to him. I apologized. I mean at my mother's funeral, he made me feel guilty. I say the word made me feel because now I get that no one can make me feel anything. My language back then was he made me feel this way. I get now. I put myself in that position to be in that relationship and I got out of it. Then I went, “Oh my gosh. I can't believe.” I started to look back at the whole five-six years with him and I realized that it was very emotionally manipulative, emotionally abusive and a very unhealthy relationship. But at the time, it was like you can't see the air you're breathing.
So, my early 20s, I was in a very bad place emotionally, mentally and physically. I had a lot of diseases. According to the doctors, I was told I'd be on these medications my whole life. I was told I'd never have kids. I had polycystic ovarian syndrome. I had type 2 diabetes. I had chronic adrenal fatigue. I had chronic infections for which I took monthly antibiotics for. I felt like a prisoner in my own body. I couldn't wake up in the morning. I couldn't actually understand human language in the morning. My brain could not process human language. I was so broken. I felt so broken.
Every morning I woke up with a hangover, although I did not drink alcohol because of my physical state was so sick. So, I'd wake up every morning with all the symptoms of a hangover. Feeling like I partied the entire night although I didn't. I only started to feel normal in the evenings and that's because my cortisol levels were so extremely low that they just started to creep up in the evenings. Then it was hard to get to bed at night because that's when I actually started to have my brain back and start to have energy.
I was eating the standard American or standard Canadian diet. In a bad place emotionally, but I was trying to get out of it. I was living in the identity that I was diabetic. I was living in the identity that I am, I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, I am infertile or whatever the identity the doctors diagnosed me with. The diagnosis becomes an identity. At first, and you said this earlier, at first the diagnosis is a relief. There's this feeling of relief that washes over you after months or years of suffering. You're finally given this label because then it's like, “Look. People are acknowledging my internal suffering. I'm not crazy. They see it. This label proves that my suffering is real and others can finally get that it's real.” But then it becomes the cage that we live in.
[1:01:16] Kerri Hummingbird: Yes. It becomes a cage. It's exactly right. I realized in my case, and I don't know how you feel about yours, that I realized I was the spider spinning the web around myself. I was a spider, the web and the fly.
[1:01:35] Ashley James: You’re everything.
[1:01:37] Kerri Hummingbird: Like it’s a closed system. I’m doing it to myself. So, it took a long time to unweave and unwire that. But the first decision was no matter what it takes I don't care. Whatever it takes I'm going to be what I really want to be. So I said, “What do I really want to be?” So, I picked the first thing that inspired me. So, this is another little tip. Pick the first thing that inspires you because that's probably true. Inspiration is true. I believe inspiration is true. For me, it was a vision I had. It was my first mystical vision.
I was doing a drum journey, meditation with my drum in my little apartment I was renting. I was manifesting my home that I currently live in now. I wanted to buy this home. My real estate agent had said, “Well, they're already under contract and they've been back and forth a couple times. Usually, almost always in that case, you're not going to get the house. I said, “I know that's my house.” So, I did this drum journey and I started visualizing, “Okay. I'm in my house. I’m in my house. I’m in my house.” I saw myself in there and I saw my grandparents who have deceased. I saw them come and visit in the house. We were talking about how beautiful it was. I was making the whole thing up in my brain, imagining it until the very end. When I'm standing in the house in my dream, in my vision looking in the kitchen, looking out the back window and all of a sudden a rainbow light hummingbird whoosh in the back window and hovers there and space expands. All I could do is just go, “Wow.” I'm not making that happen. That's amazing. What is that? I love that. Oh my god. It's a rainbow hummingbird. Wow.
As soon as I stopped the drum journey because I was just profound, the phone rang. It was my real-estate agent and she said, “Oh. The deal fell through so they went your offer. You can have the house.” So, that really inspired me, Ashley. I got to say, that was a mystical vision experience. I thought, “Okay. What does hummingbird mean?” So I looked it up in the animal guide, animal spirits what does that mean? I had learned about animal spirits. I didn't know about it before, eight years ago. But I looked up this guide and I said, “Okay. Hummingbird.” Everything it said, anything is possible. Yes. I've always known that. I've always known inside of me that anything is possible. There's this part of me that was so fiercely knowing that. That's what got me through all this hellacious sitting in psychotherapy for 20 years. I knew that anything is possible. I knew that it didn't have to be this way.
So, I kept looking for the answer to solve the problem because I knew that that wasn't the way my life had to be. So, I thought, “Yes. That's me, hummingbird [unintelligible] of spirit. Yes, I opened to that. Yes, I want that.” So, really shortly after that I started calling myself Kerri Hummingbird. I even changed it on social media, which at first was really awkward because my friends were saying, “What are you doing? What is that? But then people started saying, “You know what Kerri, that really is you. That is you. That's more true. That's actually more true than the last name you had. That's true for you.
So, it became my truth. So, what I did was I created this vision board about Kerri Hummingbird. I put it on my wall and I just kept looking at that. Any time I had a challenge I would ask myself, “Well, what would Kerri Hummingbird do about that? How would Kerri Hummingbird respond to that?” It's like I was tapping into this more true aspect of myself, this future self even. You could even think of it that way. Tapping into the future person I am today and saying, “Kerri Hummingbird, what would you do right now because I'm not quite you yet but I want to be you.”
[1:05:37] Ashley James: Oh, I love that.
[1:05:38] Kerri Hummingbird: What do I want to be? I want to be me. I was trying to be me the whole time but I had to find me underneath all that crap that got placed on me by all the conditioning and all the stories that I told and all the stories that everybody else told. All the story story story story story story story, which is why I say presence. Presence and inspiration, that's the place to be.
[1:06:01] Ashley James: Oh, I love. I love that. I have this technique I learned from – who knows where I learned this from. One of my passions since I was a teenager has been personal growth and development so I picked this up somewhere. This idea that when you set a goal, so for me because I'm hitting the gym pretty hard this year with my husband, and I really dialed in my diet in the last two years. I'm really really happy with the nutrition, the quality of nutrition my body is getting. I decided I want to sculpt my body in a different way. In a really healthy way but I've finally figured out what I want to look like and what I want to feel like in my body.
So, we're going to the gym with this very specific intention. I found some really great videos on YouTube. We're following these exercises I've never seen before. It's really cool. Actually, today at the gym, someone came up to us and said, he's 76 years old he goes, “I’ve been were working out my whole life. I've never seen that exercise. It looks really neat. How did you figure that out?” So, we're doing some fun things in the gym but. What I learned is you imagine your goal. So, let's say Ashley a year from now. I'm imagining my goal and the person I create myself to be a year from now after spending 365 days in the gym, for example. I stand there in my mind in the future Ashley and then what I do is I look back to now. So, having achieved my goal I stand there in my body, my newly sculpted body, having achieved the goal looking back to now and I see all the steps I had to take to get here.
So, it's similar to what you're saying. It's like talk to your future self. Talk to the person you are. What would future Ashley say? The Ashley that's hit the gym and sculpted her body, what would she say? She'd be like, “Get out of bed. It’s 7:30. Let’s go. What are you doing?” When I am in doubt, what do I do? What do I do here? I start asking myself, what would rock-hard-ab Ashley say?
[1:08:28] Kerri Hummingbird: Yeah. I love it. I mean, this is really cool because basically everybody can see that in any moment you have choice A or choice B and maybe even choice C, right? So, you could predict that there's one Ashley in the future that didn't do any of that stuff, but there's another Ashley that totally did do all that stuff. So, you want to tap into the Ashley that did all the stuff in order to become the person you want to be, right? Then exactly, ask her. What were the choice points? What were the choice?
Part of manifestation is doing exactly what you did, imagining yourself in the future point as if it's now, having accomplished exactly everything you want to accomplish, feeling what you're going to feel, knowing it happened. How does it feel? Receiving all of that, how does it feel, that accomplishment feeling? What are the things going on in your brain? Who are you being in order to be that person? All of that is really real. It manifested it. It plants a seed, but we actually also you've got to take the actions. So, it's not just about dreaming it, it's about becoming it through action.
So, I love that you said you look back and say, “Okay. What were all the actions I took in order to get to that person I'm standing at now.”
[1:09:38] Ashley James: Right. Right. Because I think the New Age gets a bad rap because it's like you can't just imagine yourself into wealth or health, but that is the first step. You have to shift your belief system and that's what I had to do. When I was suffering, there was this point there was this moment that occurred around 2004 for me. I was sitting at home suffering like I had every day emotionally, mentally, physically trapped on a prison of illness. There was a moment where I had this realization. It was actually watching What The Bleep Do We Know, which I think everyone needs to watch twice. So, I had the DVD. I watched What The Bleep Do We Know and tip hot tears were just constantly coming out of my eyes the entire time. I think it was around 11:00 PM I finished watching it and I immediately hit play again. I had to watch it twice. It was hitting me so hard. I was ready to receive that information.
So, I watched What The Bleep twice in a row. What I got because I felt so stuck, I felt so stuck in the broken identity of the diagnosis, of all the diagnosis that I had been given. I had taken that on as my identity. I had taken on this world of suffering as my only truth. By the time I was done watching What The Bleep Do We Know twice, I got that I can choose a different reality, different from the reality I was living in. So, that moment of shifting my mindset, the very next morning, everything began to fall into place.
I was applying for a loan, a loan that was going to help me to pay for the trainings to start this as a business, to become an NLP trainer. It was a no the day before. I shifted my mindset. That next morning I get a phone call it was a yes. It was like one piece after another. Everything. The housing because I had to move to the states over the summer to do all these trainings, that came into place. The transportation came to me. Everything just started clicking. Everything started clicking because my belief system was that it was 100% possible. But I went from this desperation in my mind that none of it's possible to it 100% is possible.
So, that mindset thing. You have to have the mindset first. You have to envision yourself succeeding first and then take the actionable steps. I love that you talk about you got to be present and open to the flow. Takes breaths, slow things down so that you can begin to identify the negative self-talk that you might be believing is true but it’s not. Then you have to get that you're not broken, that you are not your diagnosis and that you can break free from that. Because I got that my mindset, I all of a sudden shifted and went, “Wow. I am not these things. This is not my box anymore.” That I was able to then take the actionable steps to heal my body and now I no longer have any of those issues. But I wouldn't have even taken the actual steps had I not started with my mindset.
[1:13:08] Kerri Hummingbird: Yeah. I agree with you. The mindset is key. It continues to be key because it is a self-mastery with your mindset. There is a way of overemphasizing the mindset because it's not the only thing. You can have an excellent mindset and then it still doesn't shift. Then you're like, “Well, what's wrong with my mindset? How come it's not shifting?” It's because there's stuff in your subconscious that needs listening to. So, there is a listening piece is really important. So, I just wanted to raise that up, the listening piece. Because sometimes the stuff that's getting in your way is stuff that you inherited from your ancestry that you might not have even known those people. It’s in your ancestry. It's a repeating pattern. We all know that we have repeating patterns in our own lives, but they also go across ancestry, across generations. So, some of this stuff is beyond you. So, that's why it's important to get really good at listening inside and discerning and opening up to the possibilities of all the things it could be that’s keeping you where you are so that you can shift it, really shift it, like absolutely to stop the pattern. Like you said, what you did that day that was enough for you. There wasn't anything else in the way. So, your clear decision, your very clear decision stopped the pattern for you in that day and bam it was one moment and then you started recovering and going on your way. That can happen with everything.
So, we just have to realize that this is the puzzle. So, it's like you slipped into a thumbprint suit that had all these little hidden gems and things like a video game and you have to find it all. Well, some of it’s going to be easy to find. Some of its going to be really hard to find depending on your level of mastery. So, don't give up the game. Keep playing the game and realize that the object of the game is to get up the pyramid. So, Maslow's hierarchy of need. Hanging out on the bottom row on, on survival, that's not the goal of the game. The goal of the game is to climb the mountain. The goal of the game is to get all the way at the top of the pyramid of self-actualization. That's the goal of the game.
It's possible for everybody on the planet. What you need is support. It's really helpful to have the help of people like Ashley that's why it's great you guys are listening to the show. Every week you're getting filled up with beautiful insights that help you on your journey up the mountain, up the pyramid. Keep doing that. Keep taking the steps. You got to keep taking the steps and solving the puzzle. If you get a little discouraged, it’s fine to have a time-out when you get frustrated and have temper tantrum. That's all good. We're human. We're going to get frustrated, but then practice the self-mastery, practice your mental mastery, practice your emotional mastery, practice your spiritual mastery. Practice all these things and pull yourself up the mountain and give yourself support. We are the sum of the five people we hang out with the most, right? So, hang out with different people. Hang out with people that have gotten up further up the mountain than you. Their collective energy is going to lift you up. That's going to bring you up.
So, circling back to that conversation around what do you do with your family? Well, what do you do with your family if they want to keep you stuck in the old pattern? If the only way your family will love you is if you go along with being the one who's broken and wrong, well, I think you need a new family for now. You need to find your home in community of people that can see the beauty that you are because when you feel like you've got this diagnosis and your life is stuck and everything's going wrong and nobody in your current environment is supporting you, they're all kind of keeping you stuck in that story of you, you've got to put yourself outside of your condition. You've got to change fish tanks. Get out of that stinky water fish tank and hop on over to the next one where the water is clean and start hanging out with different people that can show you different aspects of yourself. Then when you're really strong in your new identity and I would like to say when you're really strong in your soul eventually, it takes a little while to get there, but when you're really self-actualized, you can be around anybody and it won't matter. You can really flex that muscle of being you, being authentically you around everybody and just letting everybody have their own opinion. It doesn't matter what they think. It won't matter to you anymore. You can love them anyway. You can love them no matter what they say or think or do about you. You can get to that place.
Along the journey you need to give yourself spaces for incubation, incubation space where you can really percolate in the new energy and get strong in the new energy so that you can find your voice and find your truth inside of you without all those old stories. If you get retriggered into old stories, if you keep putting yourself in the old environment, it's really hard to break free of it. It's hard to get in the new energy when you keep putting yourself in the old energy. So, for a little while it's helpful to incubate someplace positive to get filled up with good energy. Then it's good to go back and flex the muscle because when you're stronger and you know who you are more then you can make it even stronger by putting yourself in the challenge again so you get strong again there. Then you know where you got to do your work.
So, I call it plugging up the holes. Once you get your cup full enough you can start to see where are the leaks in my ship If you could start plugging them up.
[1:18:38] Ashley James: So, take yourself out of the bad environment, put yourself in a really positive environment, surround yourself with a new community that's very positive that sees you as the person you really are inside without all the story. Then once you've really strengthened this resolve within you that you have shed, you've healed and shed a lot of the old that you've become the person you know you are deep inside, you're more authentically you, then go back to the old environment in order to see what gets triggered, in order to see what you can heal. Because you go back when you're strong enough to be able to be unshakable and then start as you then look, “Oh. Wow. They triggered me here. I got to work on this.” Not a point of blaming them like they did it to me but a point of, “Oh. Wow. That was a button for me. I need to work on that.” While you're doing that, you can also transmute. Begin to work on and see if you can start to create new healthy relationships with those people in your life. Maybe they'll be ready. Maybe they'll be ready to see, to relate to you as the authentic person you are instead of your old story. It does take enforcing boundaries.
[1:19:57] Kerri Hummingbird: It does. It takes boundaries. Also, there's a guilty little secret that we end up having to admit to ourselves, which is that we're also holding them in a story about who they are to you.
[1:20:06] Ashley James: Yes. Yes.
[1:20:08] Kerri Hummingbird: We have to let go of that too.
[1:20:11] Ashley James: Yes. I'm so glad you brought that up. When I heard that Carl Jung and this is an abbreviation of one of his quotes but that we marry our unconscious mind and project onto them all of our unconscious unresolved material. When I got that, I had to repeat it over and over and over. It hit me so deeply that all the while I've been pointing my finger at everyone else going, “You don't get me. You don't get me. You don't see the authentic me.” I'm like, “Holy crow. I don't see the authentic them.” We’ll never actually know who our husband is or who our mom is or her sister is. We never will actually know because we are projecting onto them all of our stuff and our beliefs about them.
[1:20:57] Kerri Hummingbird: Our memories. Our stories.
[1:21:00] Ashley James: Yeah. We have to forgive. Right. All of our memories and the stories. Right. So, we can be forgiving in that aspect. We can go, “Okay. Maybe I can be a bit more gentle with the people in my life that have been triggering me.” I've been upset with people in my life because they're not seeing who I really am but at the same time I haven't been seeing who they really are. So, it is a two-way street.
[1:21:29] Kerri Hummingbird: Yeah. I like the thumbprint suit analogy that I got from my higher intelligence because it really does explain a lot. I mean, if you're inside a thumbprint suit that has its own perspectives and perceptual windows through which you experience life and ancestral patterns and all this information about your soul. It's unique, right? The thumbprint, there's no two thumbprints alike. So, we might have a little overlap in our Venn diagrams but we're really never going to understand each other ever. We will understand overlapping pieces and feel really good about that.
Then we have like, “Yay. Somebody understands me,” for like 10 minutes. Then they say something that is totally not aligned with us. Then we go all upset like, “Oh no. You're one of them.” I mean, we're all unique. That's the thing is we're built that way. We’re all pieces of the rainbow. If you think about the rainbow, look how many dots like infinite numbers of dots are available on the rainbow on the spectrum. Like infinite number of dots. So, maybe dots on the opposite sides of the spectrum, they don't get along very well because they don't share a whole lot in common, but they're all part of the same rainbow. So, I love that too. So, think about your thumbprint. Think about, “Well, they're not inside my thumbprint suit. They totally don't understand so how can they tell me a story about me that's more accurate than my story about me because I'm the one that's in here all the time listening to everything. So, I think I know what's true for me. I'm the only one in here as far as I know.”
[1:22:59] Ashley James: Are there any steps that you can give us around really seeing? When you're in it it's hard to see it but then all of a sudden you get it. All of a sudden you go, “Wow. I see it.” So, are there any steps or advice or homework you can give us so that we can start to see the limiting story that we've come up with ourselves? That this is this box that we've created like the idea that we're broken. Be able to see it and go, “Oh. Wow. This isn't actually my entire reality, it's made-up. I made it up in my head. It's not it's not real. I'm not actually broken. I do have a chance to be someone who is healthy, someone who is whole.”
[1:23:54] Kerri Hummingbird: Yeah. So, what I like to do is I do think journaling is really helpful because you get to see it in print. Thoughts in your mind, they drift by really fast. The sneaky ones slide under the surface before you can hook them back. The ones that are really damaging are the ones that hide in the dark waters. So, whenever you grab a hold of one immediately write it down. Then that way you can explore it with your conscious mind because that's really the goal. We want to explore with our conscious mind.
If you've ever driven someplace that you often go and then you end up there. Then you're wondering, “How did I get here? Oh my goodness. I don't remember even driving here.” That's because your unconscious mind took over for you. Well, your unconscious mind takes over for you in a lot of things. Your unconscious mind takes over for you in a story you tell about yourself. When you meet somebody new the story you tell or on these broadcasts it's a great experience because I get asked the same questions a lot of times. “What’s your history? What's your story in a nutshell?”
So, what I like to do now is I like to play around and tell it different every time. So, I have this little task for myself or a little game or a challenge I give myself to tell the story different. So, you could try that. You could say, “Well, I notice I'm telling that same story,” and right in the middle of the sentence you could say, “Um, excuse me. I'd like to start over. I could tell a different story.” Right then and there you tell a different story. You tell it differently. So, it's a process. It takes a lot of self-mastery and self-awareness and it takes time. But you can whittle down these pieces and become aware of what's in the background. Like Ashley and I, I really recommend doing some alternative practices like working with energy if you've never tried that. Branch outside and see if you can shift it in a different way that you never expected.
So, try like a lot of different things. Say yes. There's actually a challenge where you say yes to everything. Somebody invites you something you say yes. I think that's a great one because it gets you outside of your box of what will work and what won't work? It's like you'll just say yes to everything and you'll find out. Think about it like an experiment. I think what's really challenging with things like diets is that we say, “Well, Forever. Forever I am going to have no more dessert.” Well, that doesn't work very well. So, it's easier to say I'm going to run an experiment. For one week I'm not going to have dessert. I'm going to see what it feels like. How does my body feel? How does my mind feel? I'm going to do an honest assessment of myself before and after. I'm going to see what the results are. If I get a beneficial result, I will contemplate if I want to run the experiment longer.
So, it's just a way of liberating yourself from too rigid of a structure with your goals and plans on what you want to achieve in your life. Be a little more playful with it. Give yourself some space and graze.
[1:26:57] Ashley James: Beautiful. Brilliant. Now, you're the founder of Skills Not Pills movement. What is that?
[1:27:06] Kerri Hummingbird: Well, it's a movement that I started because I had experienced psychotherapy, psychotropic pills in order to make me not feel, which then we're supposed to fix me, but actually all the emotions that I was feeling in my life were stuffed under there it's just that I was unaware of them. So, it just sort of suppressed the emotional experience underneath my awareness. When I finally came out of that fog, I had a lot of backed-up, pent-up emotional energy to process and I still had a diagnosis, all right. So, I thought, “Well, this doesn't really work.” For me anyway. Everyone has to decide for themselves. Of course, you're encouraged to consult with the doctor. But my idea was, why can't we share with people alternatives to traditional Western medicine? Why can't we share with people that energy healing is a thing? That you could shift the energy of something and it might actually just go away. I mean, why can't we share with people NLP? Why can't we share all these alternative modalities with people so that their first solution isn't getting a pill? Maybe their last solution is to get a pill. Maybe there's a whole other range of options before you get the pill. Maybe that's not number one. Maybe it's number 100 thing you try.
So, I'm just suggesting we flip it and we stop going to the pill first because it's easy and convenient. Because in the long run it really isn't. Just like littering seems easy and convenient, but in the long run we have to clean up the mess on our planet. So, I think that the whole goal with Skills Not Pills is to inspire people that there's a whole lot of other ways of going about your life challenges than just taking a pill.
[1:28:45] Ashley James: Right. There's times when we want them to temporarily take it like if there's a difference between being suicidal or going off the you know. If a pill can help someone just get stable, we want that. It's not that we're saying never, no pills. There's times when medication can be life-saving. We always want people to be healthy. The problem is 90 something percent of the time medication is just overprescribed. It's given for everything. I remember my friend had a panic attack. Went to the hospital because she doesn’t know what was wrong with her. They sent her home with an anti-anxiety medication. They didn't do any tests. She didn't even know it was a panic attack. She's like, “My heart's pounding. I feel like I'm going to faint. I don't know what's wrong with me.” She was very healthy, very healthy girl. We were maybe 19 at the time. She goes to hospital thinking she's having a heart attack and they just send her home with anti-anxiety meds. Is that really helpful? Is that really helpful to just, “Here, take some meds. You'll be fine. Just numb those feelings you'll be fine.”
So, you're saying that a lot of the time, and I've actually done a lot of interviews. Listeners can go to LearnTrueHealth.com and search ADHD. There's some interviews I've done where the guests have shared that ADHD meds just made it much worse. They gave a lot of symptoms. The side-effects and they didn't get to heal it. They didn't get to work on it. They actually chose to get off of them and then work on it and figure out how to heal.
So, I love that you bring this up. I love that you're an advocate for helping people to gain more skills, more life skills emotionally, mentally and spiritually so they can really actualize the beings that they are inside and let go of the stories and the limitations that have been imposed upon them or self-imposed I should say.
Kerri Hummingbird, it's been such a pleasure having you on the show. Your website is kerrihummingbird.com and you have a free gift, Love Mastery Game that you're giving us. Listeners can go to kerrihummingbird.com/play for that. Is there anything you'd like to say to wrap up today's interview?
[1:31:09] Kerri Hummingbird: Yes. I really encourage everybody to take a look at your thumbprint every day and remind yourself that you are living in a unique puzzle that was built just for you. If you don't get curious about it and start discovering all about it inside of you, it'll never go discovered. It'll be just the lost puzzle that never got solved. So, it's really up to each one of us to solve that puzzle that we are, that life plan, that thumbprint suit and figure out everything about it. Look at Ashley's life, so amazing. You went through all that journey and my life. I mean, on the other side of what you think is horrible is actually an incredible journey of discovery. So, I just welcome everybody to take that journey for themselves.
[1:31:54] Ashley James: Beautiful. Thank you so much, Kerri.
[1:31:56] Kerri Hummingbird: Thank you.
[1:31:57] Outro: Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition? How we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity. Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and to figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business, support people in their success? Do you love helping people?
You might be the perfect candidate to become a health coach. I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I just spent the last year in their health coaching certification program. And it really blew me away. It was so amazing. I learned over a hundred dietary theories. I learned all about nutrition, but from a standpoint of how we can help people to shift their life and shift their lifestyle to gain true holistic health. I definitely recommend you check them out. You can Google Institute for Integrative Nutrition or IIN and give them a call. Or you can go to learntruehealth.com/coach and you can receive a free module of their training to check it out and see if it’s something that you’d be interested in. Be sure to mention my name Ashley James and the Learn True Health podcast because I made a deal with them that they will give you the best price possible. I highly recommend checking it out. It really changed my life to be in their program. And I’m such a big advocate that I wanted to spread this information.
We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field. So many health coaches are getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic offices, doctors’ offices, you can work in hospitals. You can work online through Skype and help people around the world. You can become an author. You can go into the school system and help your local schools shift their programs to help children be healthier. You can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them in their success and their health goals. There are so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach.
So check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Mention my name, get the best deal. Give them a call and they’ll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you. Classes are starting soon. The next round of classes are starting at the end of the month. So you’re going to want to call them now and check it out. And if you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding and you get to help so many people.
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Health Coach, Podcast Creator, Homeschooling Mom, Passionate About God & Healing
Ashley James is a Holistic Health Coach, Podcaster, Rapid Anxiety Cessation Expert, and avid Whole Food Plant-Based Home Chef. Since 2005 Ashley has worked with clients to transform their lives as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming.
Her health struggles led her to study under the world’s top holistic doctors, where she reversed her type 2 diabetes, PCOS, infertility, chronic infections, and debilitating adrenal fatigue.
In 2016, Ashley launched her podcast Learn True Health with Ashley James to spread the TRUTH about health and healing. You no longer need to suffer; your body CAN and WILL heal itself when we give it what it needs and stop what is harming it!
The Learn True Health Podcast has been celebrated as one of the top holistic health shows today because of Ashley’s passion for extracting the right information from leading experts and doctors of holistic health and Naturopathic medicine
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