Wake up and Thrive

090: Healing Childhood Wounds: Embracing Self-Love and Authenticity with Dr. Kelly Kessler

April 22, 2024 Kelly Kessler
090: Healing Childhood Wounds: Embracing Self-Love and Authenticity with Dr. Kelly Kessler
Wake up and Thrive
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Wake up and Thrive
090: Healing Childhood Wounds: Embracing Self-Love and Authenticity with Dr. Kelly Kessler
Apr 22, 2024
Kelly Kessler

Send us a Text Message.

Join me for an enlightening chat with Dr. Kelly Kessler on our latest episode of Wake Up and Thrive. We dive deep into the often hidden issue of self-abandonment—those times when we sideline our own needs to meet others' expectations, rooted deep in our past experiences. Through my journey from sobriety to self-discovery, and Dr. Kessler's deep insights as a transformational coach, we’ll equip you with real, grounded strategies to elevate your self-care from a whisper to a guiding voice.

We all know the drill: playing the perfect professional, the always-there parent, or the accommodating partner. This episode peels back those labels to reveal how such roles can really affect our mental and physical health. Yet, there’s a silver lining. Together, we explore ways to redefine what self-worth means and embrace the beautiful, complex beings we truly are, beyond just our achievements.

Dr. Kessler shares the powerful story of a mother who found healing in the chaos of everyday life. It’s a story of hope and a reminder that it’s never too late to prioritize yourself. We also tackle how to better navigate relationships and listen to the important signals our bodies send us.

To wrap up, we invite you to a special virtual group reset breathwork session. It’s designed to help you reconnect with your body and voice, align with your truth, and start your journey toward healing and thriving. This isn’t just another podcast episode—it’s a step towards a life filled with self-love and empowerment.

Ready to join us? Tune in, get inspired, and let’s start this journey together. Here’s where you can listen and join the breathwork session: [Insert Link]

Can’t wait to hear what you think! Let’s connect and dive into this together.

Connect with Dr. Kessler. 

Dr. Kelly Kessler is a licensed physical therapist, transformation coach, host of the globally ranked podcast Rewiring Health™, the owner of Optimal You Health and Wellness, LLC and a mom of two boys. Kelly helps high-achieving women recognize and heal from dysfunctional patterns of abandoning themselves and feeling unrelenting stress. Through nervous system regulation and subconscious mind reprogramming, Kelly guides her clients through a personal transformation to step into their own power, reclaim their worth and honor their health and inner peace. Inspired by her own journey of self-abandonment including perfectionist beliefs and people-pleasing tendencies, Kelly has healed from an eating disorder, chronic back pain, and panic attacks, Kelly helps high-achievers harness their profound ability to shift from survival mode to thriving. Kelly has been featured in Authority Magazine, DailyOM, The Everygirl, and Thrive Global.


Let's Connect.

Free guide: 5 ways to find Calm: Get the guide here
Come find me on Instagram: @findherwildcoaching
Check out my website and my offerings here



Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Join me for an enlightening chat with Dr. Kelly Kessler on our latest episode of Wake Up and Thrive. We dive deep into the often hidden issue of self-abandonment—those times when we sideline our own needs to meet others' expectations, rooted deep in our past experiences. Through my journey from sobriety to self-discovery, and Dr. Kessler's deep insights as a transformational coach, we’ll equip you with real, grounded strategies to elevate your self-care from a whisper to a guiding voice.

We all know the drill: playing the perfect professional, the always-there parent, or the accommodating partner. This episode peels back those labels to reveal how such roles can really affect our mental and physical health. Yet, there’s a silver lining. Together, we explore ways to redefine what self-worth means and embrace the beautiful, complex beings we truly are, beyond just our achievements.

Dr. Kessler shares the powerful story of a mother who found healing in the chaos of everyday life. It’s a story of hope and a reminder that it’s never too late to prioritize yourself. We also tackle how to better navigate relationships and listen to the important signals our bodies send us.

To wrap up, we invite you to a special virtual group reset breathwork session. It’s designed to help you reconnect with your body and voice, align with your truth, and start your journey toward healing and thriving. This isn’t just another podcast episode—it’s a step towards a life filled with self-love and empowerment.

Ready to join us? Tune in, get inspired, and let’s start this journey together. Here’s where you can listen and join the breathwork session: [Insert Link]

Can’t wait to hear what you think! Let’s connect and dive into this together.

Connect with Dr. Kessler. 

Dr. Kelly Kessler is a licensed physical therapist, transformation coach, host of the globally ranked podcast Rewiring Health™, the owner of Optimal You Health and Wellness, LLC and a mom of two boys. Kelly helps high-achieving women recognize and heal from dysfunctional patterns of abandoning themselves and feeling unrelenting stress. Through nervous system regulation and subconscious mind reprogramming, Kelly guides her clients through a personal transformation to step into their own power, reclaim their worth and honor their health and inner peace. Inspired by her own journey of self-abandonment including perfectionist beliefs and people-pleasing tendencies, Kelly has healed from an eating disorder, chronic back pain, and panic attacks, Kelly helps high-achievers harness their profound ability to shift from survival mode to thriving. Kelly has been featured in Authority Magazine, DailyOM, The Everygirl, and Thrive Global.


Let's Connect.

Free guide: 5 ways to find Calm: Get the guide here
Come find me on Instagram: @findherwildcoaching
Check out my website and my offerings here



Speaker 1:

Today's conversation is going to be incredibly powerful and I know speak to so many of you because I speak to many of you and we all are experiencing something called the abandonment wound or not all of us, but many of us and that might manifest in your relationships by showing up and struggling with people pleasing or codependency, or fears or insecurities. It can show up in lots of different ways but ultimately we can trace it back to a core abandonment wound, and that wound is most likely from our childhood, from our caregivers, from those in our life who neglected or abandoned either our entire experience or aspects of it. But there's a bigger root of abandonment that I don't see talked about enough, and so today's conversation is going to be specifically around the small and subtle ways that we self-abandon on a daily basis, whether that's in our own self-care practices and daily life, or whether that's within relationships and not speaking up, not saying our truth, not bringing our needs and desires forward. But the more and more that we self-abandon, the more and more we will project that abandonment wound onto those in our life. So if you struggle with people pleasing, codependency or fear of abandonment, this episode is for you. Grab a journal, plug in those earphones and let's dive in.

Speaker 1:

Hi, my name is Bridget and this is my podcast, wake Up and Thrive. My intention for this space is to help women around the world live more awake, aligned and truly alive. I believe wholeheartedly that we are designed to live, feel and experience the full range that life has to offer, and in doing so, we can live fully turned on in all areas. My story began with sobriety and has since been an initiation into rediscovering parts of myself that I forgot about or had abandoned. Learning to reclaim all of who I am has been the greatest gift of living awake, and together we will go on a journey of helping you to do the same. You can expect to learn practical tools to help you connect deeper to yourself, your purpose and those in your life. All you need is an open heart and an open mind. So if you're ready, it's time. It's time to wake up and thrive.

Speaker 1:

Hello everybody, and welcome back to Wake Up and Thrive. I'm so excited for my guest today. Hello everybody, and welcome back to Wake Up and Thrive. I'm so excited for my guest today. I have Dr Kelly Kessler on with me, and Kelly is a licensed physical therapist, transformational coach, host of the globally ranked podcast Rewiring Health. The owner of Optimal U Health and Wellness and a mom of two boys, kelly helps high-achieving women recognize and heal from dysfunctional patterns of abandoning themselves and feeling unrelenting stress through nervous system regulation and subconscious mind programming.

Speaker 1:

And I know there's many more that you do as well. So, yes, yes to all of this. I'm so excited to dive into this conversation today on self-abandonment, but I want to first just say hello and welcome today on self-abandonment. But I want to first just say hello and welcome and if you would like to give a brief introduction of again sort of who you are but most importantly, what like I'm. So I'm so curious about the physical therapist and coach, how those worlds sort of melded, so I'd love to hear your story of how you got to where you are today.

Speaker 2:

Yes, well, first of all, thank you so much for having me on and I'm so honored to speak about this because it's something that has deeply impacted me and I can talk about that, about that physical aspect and the self-abandonment and how that played a huge role in my life. I will say I was not even aware I was abandoning myself for years. It was just what I knew and how it showed up physically for me and I again I through this. I did not realize I was abandoning myself, but I struggled through an eating disorder in my early twenties. I experienced chronic back pain through my twenties to early thirties.

Speaker 2:

I had panic attacks for quite some time and it kept showing up in different ways, but the underlying reason was that I was literally putting myself last in everything I did in my life. I was trying to make sure everybody was okay. I was that high achieving person that was pouring my heart and soul and energy into everything in my life and basing my value off of things that were external to myself. And it was that underlying feeling that I'm never good enough and really that feeling and feeling like I was constantly searching for something outside myself to feel whole created this stress response in my body, and so the eating disorder really was trying to seek worthiness through looking a certain way that I ended up healing from but did not heal the wounds from it internally.

Speaker 2:

And then the stress response from feeling like I was constantly searching for some purpose and meaning in my life and exhausting myself in all ways showed up as chronic back pain and carrying undue stress. Yeah, and I literally was living in a chronic stress state and had no idea, because when you live like that for so long, it becomes your new norm, and so you almost dissociate from what's it like to not have stress, what's it like to not live for other people, and so I literally became very dissociated from myself. In the process, I lost my ability to even know what my body needed, know what I needed, who was I, what was my driving force, what brought me joy. I literally lost myself in the whole process.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Wait, can I pause you real quick? I want to hear, I want to continue on with the story, but for those listening, how would they relate to what you said? Like I was just in chronic stress. You said I was disconnected from my body. Obviously, in the moment you don't know that. So how are you describing yourself? Are you busy? Are you spread thin? Like what are the terms that you're hearing? Just so that my, my listeners can sort of resonate, because I know so many people felt that way, but I just don't think they they can. They say it that way. You know what I mean.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I was always going for the next big goal. So I, you know, first it was a degree, got the degree, didn't feel like it was enough, let me go for another one. Got the degree Wasn't enough, went for another degree Wasn't enough, got the job Wasn't enough. I kept striving for the next thing and it was like the finish line kept feeling like it was moving.

Speaker 2:

So, no matter what I did and how much I poured into it and I was, you know, that person is like very much a perfectionist, trying to go all in, pouring everything into achievement and it felt like it kept moving and it just never felt like enough. It was like I was constantly busy, so I always spread myself thin. I was always looking out for other people in my life, so prioritizing their emotions over my own, so making sure oh, are you okay? Okay, I'll take care of you. Oh, yes, I'll say yes. I had zero boundaries. I literally was the yes man, the go-to person, I was the person who could get it all done and I did not realize the cost because that's the only way I knew to live back then.

Speaker 1:

Well, and so that's the only way you need to live. But what also? Like what were you seeking, right? Because obviously this, you said physically it, it, it hit its limit with your back pain and the eating disorder. Um, but yeah, what? Yeah, I don't know. I don't know if you could answer that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I was seeking fulfillment. I wanted to feel fulfilled. I wanted a sense of purpose. I wanted some joy in my life. Like I felt like I was constantly criticizing myself, looking at the negative of it, and it was very difficult to ever see how far I've come, because I was always looking at how much more I had to do. So I would never celebrate myself. I never honored anything that I wanted. I didn't even know what I wanted in life. Like I remember back in um it's probably after grad school, and someone was like what do you like to do for fun? And I'm like I have no idea. I honestly don't even know what I enjoy in my life. It was that feeling I'm like I don't even know myself, like all I know is to work, and so I literally felt like, like to not be able to answer that question was a big wake up call. I'm like what are my hobbies? What do I enjoy? Who am I? And so it was that like that lack of like. Who am I without this work? Who am I without being?

Speaker 1:

that person, and so there's a big loss of identity through all that, for sure, for sure. And I think it sounds so noble that you were constantly taking care of people around you, and but I love how you ended it with, where it was like what was the cost? And the truth was the cost that it had on you. It did impact them as well. So why? Why do you find that women often take care of other people's needs before themselves? Is it the fulfillment again, or what?

Speaker 2:

Well, I think it's a nail on the head, it's celebrated. So how many times do you hear you're so selfless. You're always the person who takes care of everybody. That's amazing. You're always the person who gets things done. I don't know what I would do without you. You know it's so.

Speaker 2:

You know, like thinking about how many times you hear that and you're like, oh okay, so when you get rewarded over and over and over again for being that person, the thought of not being that person can just incite fear in you, like, if I'm not that person, then who am I? And so when you are celebrated for that and to remove yourself from that, it can really be a big identity shift and it's very fearful and you're going into the unknown. And a lot of times when you're doing that and being that go-to person, the person who says, yes, you don't know the cost until it starts to accumulate, because you're like, well, isn't everybody stressed? Isn't everybody tired? Isn't everybody worn thin? Like, doesn't everyone live like this? And there's a lot of messaging around that that confirms that.

Speaker 2:

And so it becomes normalized, especially for women, that you're the jack of all trades, you should be able to work full-time, you should be able to take care of your trades. You should be able to work full time. You should be able to take care of your kids. You should be able to do the self-care Like you should be able to do all the things. But is that reality? And so, when that's normalized, what do we do? We turn on ourself like what's wrong with me. Everybody else can seem to do it. Why can't I?

Speaker 1:

Yes, Heck, yeah I. I mean that's a huge part of what we talk about in the space, what I do with my clients in helping them just connect back to daily pleasure, daily joy, Like it doesn't have to be this big audacious thing like we're taught to seek. It can be, which is what we all crave. We just want to be able to be present and like be in celebration of those little moments. But you're right, You're 100%, it is praise. Even me trying so hard not to praise achievement in my kids, because of who I, because of the adults I work with. Now you can't help it. You can't help but like get praised and excited and reward. And that is the messaging. And yeah, it's just, it's incredible. So I sort of interrupted your story but I would love, like what was the breaking point for you when you finally said you know I have. So I guess my two questions are what was the breaking point? And then, what was your first step in the body and the nervous system, or what did that path look like for you?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I wish that all those things I went through were my wake up call. Unfortunately, they were not. I went through much, much more and really the wake-up call was the pandemic, and I know this is such a common theme for many people. You have that moment of pause so I can just share. What happened prior to the pandemic is that I got married in 2018, found out I was pregnant a few months after we got married. We bought property. We moved in with my parents temporarily while we were building the house. We were the general contractors of our house. We moved property. We moved in with my parents temporarily while we were building the house. We were the general contractors of our house. We moved states.

Speaker 2:

I was working full-time an hour away. My husband was also working full-time an hour away. I took on another part-time job. I had my son while we were in the middle of building our house. What could have gone wrong went wrong. During the house build Spent far more than we anticipated wrong during the house build spent far more than we anticipated and I was really in the most and I realize now the heightened survival mode. I literally was just trying to survive every single day and I was in such a negative mental space.

Speaker 2:

The moment where it became pivotal is literally during the pandemic. I got furloughed, so I was home with my son and I was sitting on the floor. It's like I literally remember this moment. I sit on the floor and I'm like he was nine months at that point and I'm like I don't even remember the last nine months of his life, like I don't even. It was like a blur, like I was physically there, but I'm like looking at pictures and it was almost like I was looking at somebody else's pictures.

Speaker 2:

And that was literally the moment. I'm like I am not present with him, I am not here, I'm not enjoying this, like why am I not present with my son? And it was like I can't let more time go, like I know how precious that time is, especially when you have a newborn. You're supposed to be like savoring all these moments, and here I was just in survival mode and so at that moment I did not know how I was going to change that, but it was literally like I don't want to live like this anymore. I cannot live like this. You know, I was not sleeping. I had chronic pain at that point. Still, I was experiencing panic attacks through it all, like it was an awful way to live and it was like I will figure some way out, and so that was really like my determining factor. I'm gonna figure this out. I don't know how, I knew no path, um, but I actually ended up watching this documentary called Heal on Netflix, oh good, and that was like the first breadcrumb.

Speaker 2:

So I was like, okay, like you know, here I am a physical therapist. I've done all the work you know for musculoskeletal, the body work, but I'm like gosh, I missed the piece. The mind-body connection, like, is huge. So that was my first breadcrumb. Then I started, like you know what I don't need to do, these intense workouts that I was still doing, even through the pain. So I started just engaging in some yoga. I started doing some breath work. I started reading books I never considered myself to be a reader, I did it for school but never for myself.

Speaker 2:

Started reading, I started my own business, started doing other like I just started taking the breadcrumbs and it became, you know, when I opened one door, another one open and I just it, just stepwise my way to figuring out another way to live.

Speaker 2:

And it was really at that point I realized like, oh my gosh, there is another way to live. And I think, having that realization that there's another way to experience life, and I was starting to feel a little lighter, I was starting to like, enjoy those little moments. I feel like I could just breathe for a minute, like, which is, you know, sounds crazy, but like sometimes you just feel like you can never let your guard down, and it felt like for the first time, I could just let my guard down and I'm like I want more of this. I want more of this in my life and I just went full in. I'm like I am investing in myself and I did that for quite a long time and it's just transformed me into who I am today and I'm so, so grateful to the person I was years ago who made the choice to start investing in myself.

Speaker 1:

Yes, oh, wow. I like goosebumps listening to your story. I already know handful of clients who I've worked with that have very similar stories and what I love that you shared was your experience with your baby. Like how vulnerable is that share? And yet that is something that women are struggling with.

Speaker 1:

I'm also a postpartum nurse and they struggle with it. I mean, from day one. They're expected to enjoy and it's like your body just went through trauma, like I watched the way that we are. Anyways, that's a whole nother story, but the point is, from day one we're setting moms up for this, whether they go back to work full time or their home, and it is this constant question of I'm not present and I'm not enjoying. And while I sort of separate them because I do think you can be present and not be enjoying it Like I do I think that we have that ability, but to be able to have both to be able to be present and to be experiencing true joy is like like a miracle for every single woman on here.

Speaker 1:

So I love that you shared that. Thank you for being so vulnerable and for you, like what was cause I I'm also. I love how you described the journey as breadcrumbs and as one door opened another. I always describe mine as a very intuitive journey. If I could draw a map of who I talked to and then what book they, you know, sent me, and then I read the book and from the book I found the podcast and from the pot right, what book they, you know, sent me, and then I read the book and from the book I found the podcast, and from the pot right.

Speaker 1:

Yes, that is my experience. A hundred percent, yeah. So this might be sort of a hard question to answer, but I'm curious for you when the awareness started to sort of come online about a how you've been showing up and B that there was a, you say another choice like when did that awareness start to come out? What was like one of the first things you started to like kind of reel back in, if you will.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I really think one thing that was really pivotal is like I never gave myself permission to actually take care of myself. Like I feel like I had to get permission from somebody, like and they obviously would never come because it has to come from yourself. But in 2021, I invested on a business coach and part of that business coach was like a big self-care routine that's in that. And so I invested all this money and I'm like, well, I have to do all the things. So it became this non-negotiable because I had financially invested, that it became a non-negotiable that like now, this is my time, I get to invest in myself. So I carved out all that time to commit to myself and that was such a big game changer for me because it became that release of like oh, I get to do this, like this is interesting how we can make time for what we do.

Speaker 2:

And it's like I. I realized I had been making excuses like, well, no, I just need to do dishes, then I'll do that. Okay, no, but I have to just take care of this list and then I'll do it. And you can live your whole life like that. But like by investing in myself, this is literally the first time I'm like I felt like I was investing in myself. I'm like, oh my gosh, like this is, this is what I get to do. So part of that your body, every day Part of it was reflection journaling.

Speaker 2:

I mean, there were so many aspects of it and just by doing it and committing to it and it was for 90 days that you commit to it I'm like I felt like a whole different person after just 90 days and I'm like there's no going back and it was literally that was the catalyst. I'm like this is the new me, this is, these are the habits that I do, this is what I do, this is how I show up. It was that transformation of identity that I'm someone who shows up for myself. I'm not the person that says I'll do it when it's convenient. Yes, was it a group program? Yeah, it was a group coaching.

Speaker 1:

I love hearing how people got into coaching and how their experience was, but that's amazing. And what were some of the ways so I love, yeah, we do, we make you don't have to make more time. You have to make more decisions on what to do with your time. Right, like what? What becomes the most important to you in this season, and it gets to shift. So, as you started to step into caring for yourself, what were the ways you noticed that you were self-abandoning, like? What are like real examples of what that?

Speaker 2:

was so one big way was emotionally. I'm a very emotionally like sensitive person, like I can sense people's emotions, like you walk in the room, like it like hits me, you know. And so one way I realized is that like when I would sense that I would totally shift everything I was doing to make sure whoever I was sensing that from was like taken care of.

Speaker 1:

And by doing that.

Speaker 2:

It put a stress on me, and so it would take me a few days to feel like I recovered from that emotionally, because it just would impact me. It was someone very close to me and this would happen over and over again and you know, I was almost taking those emotions on as my own at that moment and I realized like I'm abandoning myself, but not by not honoring my own emotions in this state and not realizing it's not about me, that is their stuff and this is not my stuff. So that was one way that impacted me deeply, that I would literally abandon myself to make sure somebody else was emotionally okay. Yes, I want to go back to that one, yeah, absolutely. Another way was that I would just put myself in the back burner. So like I would not. You know, I was as far as like self-care, like that became that, became a non-negotiable, but for a long time it was like this is something I would like to do and but the day would just get filled up with everything else and I get to the end of the day and be like I'll do it tomorrow, and so that was another way, like I was abandoning myself because I didn't even give myself a few minutes during the day, like it was a realization, like I can't even give myself five or ten minutes in this day, like that. That was big eye opener, because if I can't even give myself 10 minutes in the whole 24 hours, there's a problem here. And so this becomes a cycle when you just go through the days and you realize you've done nothing for yourself. So that was another way.

Speaker 2:

I was self-abandoning, always making sure that I was the yes person, so I had no boundaries. I was very uncomfortable with saying no to anybody. I was always worrying about what other people would think. So that was another way that I learned to start setting boundaries for myself. Where is my energy? And really getting in tune with my energy has really helped me with that. I started viewing myself almost like a bank account and if I'm going to invest all this energy into myself through all my routines, would I let somebody just drain my bank account? No, like I'm going to stop to it. The more I invested in myself, the more I was like you do not get to withdraw from my bank account anymore. So that became huge for me and just setting boundaries, because the more I put into myself, the less I tolerance I have for people not get to withdraw from my bank account anymore. So that became huge for me. And just setting boundaries because the more I put into myself, the less I tolerance I have for people who didn't. So that was big.

Speaker 2:

Perfectionism was another way I self abandoned myself. So thinking that I had to show up perfect, thinking that I had to wait to put anything out there until it was perfect, thinking that, like, um, I held myself to such a high standard that was obviously unachievable, that's abandoning myself because that's not reality. So I wasn't living in a reality of realizing that failure and mistakes are part of the lessons and the loving of yourself, that you can learn from these and not to expect that everything is going to be perfect. So that was another way. But there's I mean I could go on for days the ways I've abandoned myself and did not realize that it all surfaced.

Speaker 1:

I think this is a great list. Well, first, I always say I wish I had like a touch of perfectionism in me. I feel like I can use a little balance there. But. But you said something in both examples the example of the boundary and then your first example of sort of caring caring for the person that you notice is having an emotional experience, and I think this conversation is really interesting.

Speaker 1:

So I'm curious your thoughts, because I work with women so much in their relationships and almost I mean if I could put a percentage on it like over 75% of the clients I work with, their biggest fear is abandonment of the person, and so they do what you said they don't have boundaries. This could be within their merits, this could be within friendships, this could be family, right and they're. They're bypassing their needs and desires over and over and over again. And I love this view that, while our fear is that they will abandon me, we're, we're what's the like, eloquent way of saying it in order to like, avoid that at all costs, we self-abandon and and actually, in fact, if we tracked it back, we probably were the first person that created the abandonment wound.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, a hundred percent, and that that was a big one for me because I realized there was so much fear. I mean in hindsight I did not realize when I was doing it, but subconsciously there was fear because I worried that the minute I advocated for myself or the minute I spoke up or the minute I didn't try to soothe the problem, that the relationship would change. And that was really a subconscious fear because the person was very close to me and as I started to elevate my own self-worth and realize, like I am worthy of having relationships that are reciprocal, that I can give energy and also receive energy and that's a healthy relationship, this relationship started to become very one way, so I would pour energy in and it became a very much an energy drain. And again, as I poured energy into myself and started to realize I'm worthy of having relationships like that, I did start to change my behavior. And I would like to say that the fear I had initially wasn't true, but it did change that relationship significantly. But I do not regret it and that is the biggest thing, what's up and you survived, I survived. I do not regret it. I am very proud of myself for changing the my behavior and the way I spoke up for myself, advocating for myself, living my truth, living authentically, and I can stand in my power now.

Speaker 2:

Um, it was challenging and I think that's one thing that people need to realize. That's like when that's happening, you're making a shift in yourself. It's not like roses and cupcakes and everything's fine, like it's really hard. It's really hard to shift that energy in yourself and realize you're worthy of more. And then it sometimes does come at the cost of that relationship. But for me, a relationship outside of myself is losing. That is a lesser cost than losing the relationship with myself, and for me that was worth more. Is this like across the board? Yeah, yeah, I mean I. For me, the, my connection with myself and my inner peace and my own worth is the most important thing.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yes. Well, thank you for bringing up that non-glamorous part of healing Cause it, it, it is. It isn't always sexy, it's not always um fun and feel good, especially even though you're doing something really good. You're coming back to yourself, you're not abandoning yourself anymore, but other. It is a dynamic Everything's that. Everything's a relationship relationship to money, relationship to health, food, relationships to people and everything. As you shift, everything shifts, and so I think that's a beautiful reminder that you on the other side of it, is so much freedom. I mean, that's really what I hear, like as you sort of tell your story. It was like, quite literally, your body was bound up, you were experiencing, you know, tension and pain and constriction, and, yeah, what happened with the pain? I'm kind of curious about that.

Speaker 2:

So, ironically, literally I lived with pain from 25 is when it started coming on, and around that time, when we were building the house, I was about 34.

Speaker 2:

And so almost nine years living with chronic pain and had done all the things, went through physical therapy, school with it and not saying it was like on all time, but it would ebb and flow in intensity and, um, when I started doing some of that work and slowing down and taking care of myself in a different way, it literally started dissipating and I have not had that pain since.

Speaker 2:

Oh, not to say I'm like a hundred percent healed, but I have not. I would say I live 90% of my life pain-free. So I mean pretty incredible from going from when I literally was in pain in my twenties, having a hard time tying my shoe or driving an hour to work without having to stop. So now I'm you know, I'm throwing my kids up in the air I went back, I played field hockey. I mean I was living my life again. So the power of that mind body connection, I think it's so important for people to realize when you have pain and it's chronic, it is not necessarily mean that there's something going on musculoskeletally, your brain, the pain is in your brain and your brain is going to be on protection mode and that's part of that. It becomes very heightened to things because it's literally in survival mode.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yeah, and I think what a lot of people don't realize is that the brain gets into heightened mode and maybe you can speak to this normally in response to the body. So it's normally like the body sending off signals and then the brain starts looking around and finding a solution and what's going on and how that? Is it that person? Is that this person? Would you? Is that what your understanding is too?

Speaker 2:

absolutely, yeah, I mean, it's a two-way street. So your, your brain, sends your body, sends signals to your mind saying that there's a reason why we're in, we're in pain. So when you're experiencing tension throughout your body, specifically your fascia, which is your connective throughout your body, connective tissue is highly sensitized, so there's a lot of nerves throughout that. So when that becomes very taught, it's telling your body we're tensed up, there must be a threat out here, because the only reason we would be tensed up is if we were going to run from it, fight it or freeze.

Speaker 1:

So there must be a threat.

Speaker 2:

And your mind also says I'm having all these negative thoughts, I'm experiencing this. There must be a threat. So you know what I'm going to do. I'm going to send signals into my body to tense it up and sense it, sensitize it, so it's prepared to run, fight or freeze. And so this becomes that vicious loop of like. You have all the thoughts, your body's experiencing this and until something breaks that loop and says, hey, you are actually safe in this moment, it will just continue.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So how do you teach your clients If someone's listening and they're like, okay, I'm definitely self-abandoning? That's definitely me. Perfectionism, no boundaries. What would be like maybe I don't know like three small steps they can start to take to sort of, like you said, leave the bread or lead breadcrumbs.

Speaker 2:

I think the biggest thing is just awareness, so bringing awareness to what you're experiencing in a very neutral sense. So what does your day look like in a neutral sense, you know, don't say it's bad or good Like, what are you doing on a daily basis and what are some of your belief systems that you currently have? And, again in very neutral sense, do you believe that everybody has to be taken care of before yourself? Is that something that's going on? So, looking at your subconscious beliefs and a lot of these have been formed from our childhood, so ages zero to seven is where many of these beliefs come from, and they ride below the surface, so we're not even aware of them. So we have beliefs that are driving our behaviors from years ago that we didn't create. So we're living off of beliefs from our authority figures, from our parents or whoever, our caregiver or teachers from then.

Speaker 2:

So bringing awareness to some of these is really important, just to start. And then understanding what are your values and your vision. What do you actually want in your life and this is a really hard question to answer for somebody who has been self-abandoning, because you have been living much of your life for other people. So then, to look inward and be like what do I want my life to be? What's my story, without having to worry about everybody else's story, can be really challenging. But just starting to ask yourself some of these questions and you may not have the answers initially, but by asking yourself, like, what do I want in my life, what brings me joy, and then allow your brain to just process that, if you never ask the questions, you're never gonna get any of these answers.

Speaker 2:

So starting to come into terms with who you are and what you want.

Speaker 1:

I love that. I was just gonna. I was gonna just suggest cause it kind of came to me as you were talking is, start small, like what do I want to eat for breakfast today? Yeah, sounds really good to me. Okay, eat it. And then like tune in was that really what your body was saying it wanted? And that is building trust, like that's something my nutritionist is having me do now. Anyways, sorry, go ahead, but that's like yeah that's exactly it.

Speaker 2:

Or like am I thirsty right now? Okay, I'm thirsty, even though I'm in the middle of a project. I should probably honor myself by getting some water than ignoring myself for two hours. Because again it is. It's all about that trust that when your body and your mind are sending you signals, you start listening to yourself. It's like if you had a child that was asking you for something and you're like, yeah, yeah, and you ignore them day in and day out for weeks on end. The child would stop trusting that you, that you're going to take care of them.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, or it gets louder.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, or it gets louder, yes, but either way there becomes a lack of trust within the system. So if you're not honoring even those small needs, you're a hundred percent right. You're never going to honor those big needs. So it is starting small. And then again, part of that is is using your body to even release your mind enough to be able to see things differently.

Speaker 2:

So using some nervous system regulation techniques, like even just deep breathing, some vagal nerve techniques, something to just release the body stress response, to teach it that it's not an immediate danger, allows the mind to open up to some kind of different possibility. So if your body is constantly in a stress response and you do nothing through the body or you don't allow it to release at all, the mind's going to have a hard time saying you know, I'm going to think differently, like if you had a line in front of you. You're not going to be like, oh, what are my values? Yeah, I'm important. You have to first teach your body that the line is far away. You don't have to worry about that right now. Let's just figure out something that we can do differently.

Speaker 1:

Love that, love that. So, yeah, okay. So those were two really, yeah, I love those steps, those are beautiful. So, if you had to sum them up, what was number one again?

Speaker 2:

Number one was bringing awareness to yourself, understanding the beliefs, honoring some of your needs and then using your body to release the mind. Beautiful.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I loved that you. I love that you brought up the body, yeah, so this is really, this is really amazing. And then I guess my last question for you is we're moving away from self-abandonment. What would you term maybe it's like a very obvious term, I just can't think of it what's the opposite of self-abandonment? What does it look like, now that you you sort of told us with your self-care, but like in your relationships? What does that look like? What's the opposite of?

Speaker 2:

yeah, yeah, I mean, I would say self-love. I know it's something that gets thrown around, but I really believe it's self-love, like, and that's even a question you could say like you know, it's something that I'll ask myself from time to time, like what would Kelly, who loves herself, say at this moment? And so that really is the essence of self-love. And I know that gets thrown around. They're like oh, just love yourself, go have a spa day. It's so much deeper. It is honoring yourself.

Speaker 2:

If I love myself, I'm not going to leave myself thirsty for four hours. If I love myself, I'm going to feed myself in this moment. If I love myself, I'm not going to feel like my worth is attached to my achievements. So there's a lot of depth to self-love and it's just that, that deep, deep love. And you think about people in your life that you love. You know you can often overlook some of those things that maybe are not perfect about them and you don't even care because there's such a deep love for them. And it's harnessing that feeling towards yourself, like don't expect perfection from yourself. You're not going to say everything right, you're not going. You're going to probably react to your kids. Sometimes it's going to happen, but can you at least say that, like I'm here for myself, I honor some honor myself, I love myself and I'm listening to myself and starting to trust myself again.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I love that it is it's self-love and it's self-trust. You're right. You're a hundred percent right. It's so intertwined. And so that's what we're inviting everyone listening into is to to really start to begin to shift away from self-abandoning. On the little itty bitty moments, like rushing through your meal yeah, holding your pee for two hours, like whatever it is to radical self-love and self-trust. Be a stewardess of your word, like what you say. Stand by that. What boundaries you need to be put in place? Stand behind those. So I love this. This feels like such an empowering conversation. What I would love to end with is just if there's any last minute thoughts that you'd love to give my listeners on, specifically on self-abandonment or anything that you've learned on your journey, and then where everyone can find you and connect with you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So one thing that's really resonated with me and helped me through my journey was this saying I don't even know where I heard it from but you get more of what you tolerate. And that was so eyeopening to me because I started to realize like, oh my gosh, I am literally tolerating these things in my life, and until I take a stand and I say no, I'm not tolerating anymore, you're going to get more of it. And so that was a really big one.

Speaker 2:

Another one is you what you appreciate, appreciates, showing gratitude towards the things that you do have in your life. You look for those little moments, even if it's just sitting in the grass and feeling the breeze. Take a moment to really appreciate that, because you're going to get more of those little moments in your life and you're going to start to rewire your brain to see more things that you appreciate. And that's truly the power of it that no matter how your patterns in your brain have been wired and no matter how long you've been dealing with this, your brain is neuroplastic and it can change at any time. So everything you feed it and the way you look at the world will literally filter and change the way you see the world. So that is the beauty of it. So, for people who want to find me, I'm on social media under Dr Kelly Kessler. You can also visit me at my website, optimal you Y-O-U health and wellnesscom.

Speaker 1:

Love it. Love it and do you? You talked about a quiz in the beginning when we were talking. Tell us about the quiz.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So actually I have a quiz that is are you abandoning for achievement? So are you banning yourself for achievement? So it brings you through 10 questions to really see if you truly are abandoning yourself, and then I have some steps on how you can start to shift that um in the results page.

Speaker 1:

Yay, okay, I love that we can get that on your Instagram, right? Yes, okay, amazing, all right. Well, kelly, thank you so much for your time and your wisdom. I really appreciate it and, yeah, I definitely learned a lot today.

Speaker 2:

Oh well, thank you so much for having me, You're welcome.

Speaker 1:

I hope you enjoyed today's conversation, and I know for me. So often we self-abandon when we are both disconnected from our body and disconnected from our voice. So I want to invite you to an incredible opportunity taking place at the end of this month, on April 28th, all from the comfort of your own home. You can register in the show notes below and come and join me for virtual group reset breath work. It's going to allow you to really connect to the truth of your body and reclaim your voice within yourself and then within your relationships. I hope to see you there. If you enjoyed today's episode, be sure to share it and tag both me and Dr Kelly, leave a review, rate it and I hope you'll come back next week.

Self-Abandonment and Healing Conversation
Breaking Free
Journey to Self-Transformation
Navigating Relationships and Physical Healing
Overcoming Self-Abandonment Through Self-Love
Reclaim Your Body and Voice