I had an amazing conversation with Chana Studley. She is a woman who has taken her chronic pain & fear and and has turned them into a force for healing.
Chana was violently mugged 3 different times in the 1980's when she was living in England. The first time she was mugged, her skull was fractured and she still has a reminder of that incident when she puts her finger to that part of her head where she can feel where the bones re-joined. The second time she was attacked, it was by 3 men who drug her to the ground and beat the living snot out of her. She literally thought she was going to die as they left her lying there in a pile of her own blood, tears and pain. The third time, she was cycling when a 16 year old decided to throw a bicycle at her head and her neck was broken because of it. She didn't know that her neck was broken until 2 years later when all of these physical traumas culminated into a deep mental and physical darkness that kept her in prison.
"It was in the early 80s. And PTSD was only just going into the DSM at that time the psychologists and social workers use for diagnosis. So all I got was a cup of tea and go home. Basically, that was you know, that was my treatment. And consequently I got stuck in in really awful thinking very dark places. You know, terrified to leave the house, I wasn't eating and sleeping properly, probably drinking too much and just punching the wall, they call that self harm now. At the time, I was just, you know, in total frustration, total anger, although I didn't know it, because I had no one to talk to and didn't know what was happening. So, it took me a long time to understand why I didn't ask for help earlier. And I think it was because I had trained as a counselor, I think I was, you know, I had the story in my head that people come to me with their problems, I should be able to cope, I should be I didn't want to tell people that I was suffering and struggling so much. So I think my, my pride conspired with my training, and, you know, I just sucked it up." - Chana Studley
Finally, after a few years of being terrified to leave her home and living in a secret misery Chana found a group of people that she could trust and they allowed her wonder if the world perhaps wasn't as scary as what she had been thinking up until this point. One woman in her new group of friends asked her one day "Are you ready to let go of your story?"
"And at first, I was very offended. But what I heard and what she said, were two different things, which I now know. What I heard her saying was, it didn't happen, it didn't hurt and get over it. Yeah, in my head, I was screaming, it DID happen, it DID hurt. And I CAN'T get over it. I had tried so many methods and techniques over the years. What she was actually saying to me was, 'your story is not who you are, that what happened to you is not who you are.' That set me on a path of, getting well, and letting go of the story and finding out who I really was. And in that, in that healing journey, I started to get a bit braver and a bit stronger."
Chana has such an amazing story of working through her own healing and now sharing her wisdom with others.
She went on from there to have a very successful career in hollywood where she won an academy award. She worked on several movies where she created the special effects and made things that were not real.....real. Chana ties in how her work in hollywood is similar to what our minds do every moment of every day:
"We have a special effects department in our minds, that's better than anything me or Steven Spielberg could come up with my mind can convince me of things that aren't true all the time."
"My whole identity was around these stories. And then as I started letting go of them, I started finding out who I really was. In the back of my head, there was an idea that I'm not academic, (because of childhood experiences) I thought that I could never write a thesis and I couldn't, do anything with words or anything like that. And here I am, I've just published my second novel. So one of the one of the stories I had in my head is like, I'm not a writer. I've stood in on stage and spoken in front of thousands of people and I've had to argue my case with John Travolta and all kinds of other actors, and yet, showing someone else my writing was terrifying, because I felt so vulnerable." Chana
Once Chana took the risk and did the terrifying thing of letting go of the story that she wasn't a writer, the very next day, she woke up with the idea for four more books!
Chana was in chronic and debilitating pain for years until she started to wake up to the connection between her mind and her body. She has been pain free for 7 years now and uses her time to help others and share her story.
Our mind can either be our prison or our mind can be our liberator. It's a tool and depending on how we use it will determine our experience in this lifetime.
It's amazing what happens when we start to challenge the lies that we have been telling ourselves....for a time they may have worked for us, until they start blocking ourselves and holding our life back. To hear more about how Chana was able to let go of her stories to become an author of 2 novels, and to be helping people from all across the globe start to become aware of the mind body connection go here:
You can also watch the entire show HERE:
"And what I KNOW NOW.... I am happiness, I am courage, I am wisdom. I don't have to go somewhere to go find those things. They are who we are. Because God doesn't make garbage." Chana
Hey you! What would your life be like if you knew your purpose? How would you show up for yourself differently? Find out HERE: https://bit.ly/karmatodharma
Check out Chana's two published books:
The Myth of Low Self Esteem, a novel about Trauma, Hollywood and Healing. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1790894573 and Painless, a novel about Chronic Pain and the Mindbody Connection. https://www.amazon.com/Painless-novel-Chronic-Mind-Body-Connection/dp/B08PM27MJF
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What would your life be like if you knew your purpose? How would you show up for yourself differently? Find out HERE: https://bit.ly/karmatodharma