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#045 Authentic Relating Revolution with Sara Ness

In this episode of IMperfectly Healthy, Faith interviews Sara Ness, the Founder and Chief Instigator of Authentic Revolution. She began teaching Authentic Relating in 2012, founding a thousands-strong learning community in Austin, Texas and going on to train over 350 leaders and help found 30+ other communities worldwide. Sara is passionate about exposing the joy of human connection and exploring our creative potential through relationship. She has facilitated at schools, companies, yoga studios, a funeral, Burning Man, and more, bringing playful social technology into the mainstream and the….non-mainstream.

In this episode, you are going to hear Sara share:

  • her own journey of finding and expressing her authentic self, which led to her creating Authentic Revolution to assist others in doing the same.
  • how social conditioning impacts your self-expression
  • how AR offers a brave space to explore your true expression and creating deeper connections with others
  • the common experience of social anxiety
  • how and why we show up differently depending on the group we are with
  • how to bring these practices into your everyday life and interactions with others.
  • discerning the sweet spot of truth telling and honoring the other.
  • how being authentic can be mistaken for demanding to be seen.
  • the health effects of loneliness and inauthenticity
  • who social media consumption is not connection
  • the connection of authentic relating, the social engagement nervous system and health & wellness
  • how to bring these practices into your own community in a fun, inviting way
  • communication skills you will learn in AR communities

Website – https://www.authrev.org/

Join a group at https://www.authrev.org/connect-events

Follow Sara and Authentic Revolution on Facebook 

Follow Sara on YouTube

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#044 Beyond the Label with Dr. Christina Bjorndal

In this episode of IMperfectly Health, Faith interviews her friend and naturopathic doctor, Dr.Christina Bjorndal. Dr. Chris is considered an authority in the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders and eating disorders using a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual approach.  Having overcome many mental health challenges, Dr. Chris is a gifted speaker and writer and has shared her wellness philosophy with audiences from platforms such as the Jenny McCarthy show, the International Bipolar Foundation, and many health summits and docuseries. She is recognized as a top ND to follow by two independent organizations. Her book “Beyond the Label” is a comprehensive guide to naturopathic mental health.

Mental Health Books:

Courses:

Retreat:

In this episode, you are going to hear Dr. Chris share expertise and experience around:

  • her own journey of transforming depression, anxiety, eating disorder, bipolar disorder and multiple suicide attempts through holistic, root cause solutions
  • how “the label” impacted her experience in managing her challenges
  • how being an overachiever was part of the underlying cause of her mental health illness
  • how she experienced several maniac psychotic episodes  and suicide attempts while being on psych meds.
  • how self-love, self-acceptance and her connection to God was key to her healing
  • some of possible contributing factors or roots that lead to mental health challenges
  • how infancy can set the stage for mental health illness or wellness
  • how trauma is biggest missing piece in truly healing mental illness
  • what typically precedes a mental breakdown 
  • why genes cannot be blamed
  • how soul contracts are involved in your individual life path
  • how toxicity impacts mental health
  • the importance of accepting the full human experience
  • how to support the 3 macro-systems of physical level of health when addressing mental health

Website – https://drchristinabjorndal.com/ 

Follow Dr. Chris on Facebook 

Follow Dr. Chris on IG

Follow Dr. Chris on YouTube 

Mentioned in the show:

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson.

Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss

Eckhart Tolle – A New Earth

The Autism Enigma Documentary

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#043 Healthy Attachment could Heal the World w/ Dr. Aimie Apigian

In this episode of IMperfectly Health, Faith interviews Dr. Aimie Apigian, a physician, speaker and founder of Trauma Healing Accelerated and Family Challenge Camps. After a few years in a traditional general surgery residency in Portland, OR, she decided to forge her career path as a Trauma, Attachment and Addiction Medicine Physician.  Inspired by her experience with adoption and foster care, her mission is to help others accelerate their healing of attachment trauma through evidence-based tools and experiences to rewire the nervous system and change the belief systems of those struggling with attachment trauma.  Having personally experienced the challenges of parenting a child with effects from attachment trauma, she is intensely invested on finding what actually works practically and the fastest to bring lasting change to those affected by trauma and attachment issues. 

She is the Founder and Director for Family Challenge Camps, a non-profit organization founded in 2011 providing an experiential transformative intensive for families with children with trauma and attachment issues. After working for a decade and now hundreds of adults and families with attachment trauma, she has expanded her practice to addressing the downstream effects of attachment trauma including addictions and chronic stress and related health symptoms.

In addition to her traditional medical training, she is also a Functional Medicine physician and has training and certifications specifically in nutrition and genetics for addictions, mental health, mood and behavioral disorders.

In this episode, you are going to hear Dr. Aimie share expertise and experience around:

  • her own experience of adopting a foster child, healing his attachment trauma and her own, and how she helps others transform their lives and health by rewiring healthy attachment. 
  • what attachment is: secure vs insecure and how it is the future of health
  • signs of attachment trauma in kids
  • how attachment styles are passed on generation to generation
  • how 75-80% of the US population have an insecure attachment style
  • how the common “freeze” pattern shows up
  • the 3 biological precursors to attachment trauma
  • the impact attachment trauma has on an adult – health, purpose, relationships, communication and more.
  • the link between common issues such as anxiety, tension, depression, being dramatic, chronic disease and addictions, and early insecure attachment.
  • the “healthy” practices that actually reinforce insecure attachment patterns like “freeze” and disassociation.
  • why mindset or cognitive work alone will NOT heal this.
  • why its never too late to rewire your attachment from insecure to secure/health.
  • how Dr. Aimie guides parents and kids in healing attachment trauma in a safe way, step by step.
  • the key measure of knowing if what you are doing is working or not.

Website – https://www.traumahealingaccelerated.com/ 

Follow Dr. Aimie on Facebook 

Follow Dr. Aimie on IG

Follow Dr. Aimie on YouTube 

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Are you confusing positive thinking with positive “avoiding”?

Is positive thinking the answer to everything?  Can one truly create the life of their dreams by simply thinking positive thoughts? 

You may have heard…

  • You are your thoughts.
  • You create more of what you think about.
  • What you focus on expands.

This may all be true.  However, can positive thinking be confused with “positive” avoidance?  

Sometimes, it is just “easier” to think positive when we really don’t want to look at an issue.  Whether it be anger, shame, or grief that we are feeling, when we tell ourselves to just “think positive”, it could be that we are wanting to avoid, or bypass, looking at a part of ourselves that needs healing.  

In a sense, we could be denying the truth of a situation.  We are denying our experience, and our feelings about it.  And that doesn’t feel good does it? Even if you positively think the heck out of it….right? It doesn’t actually work.

If we ignore a wound and take meds to mask the pain, the wound is still there and most likely getting worse.  At some point, you have to look at the wound, clean it out, and treat it so it can heal. Then you move on and forget it.

When to use positive thinking…

  • To shift your perspective on a situation, to change the filter in which you view your life experience.  You are not ignoring the truth of the experience or your feelings about it. You are seeing the challenge as an opportunity that is serving you. 
  • Positive thinking is when you don’t allow negative thinking to take over. Living in a dream world is not going to change anything. You need to face reality and honor your truth, but keep a positive, optimistic outlook on your life.
  • After you have worked through and cleared something dark or painful (an experience or belief), practice positive thinking to anchor in your new outlook.

How to recognize denial or avoidance…

  • When the same issue keeps showing up despite your practice of positive thinking, affirmations, and/or positive mantras, you may be in avoidance.  It keeps showing up because it wants to be acknowledged, felt and let go of. 
  • If you have to post and plaster certain affirmations all over your home, car, at work, etc. there may be deeper work to do to heal the issue.
  • If you are always forcing yourself to “put on a happy face”.

The thoughts won’t change until the emotion is cleared and the belief is changed.  All the affirmations and positive mantras in the world won’t resolve the issue because the source is the belief.  

Changing the beliefs and feeling then releasing the emotions will change the thoughts.  Use positive thinking and affirmations to anchor in the new belief. 

If we choose to see that everything serves us, we can welcome the pain or struggle and embrace the lesson within it. 

It is not that we want to get stuck and wallow in the negativity and self-pity. That is something different and is not useful.  Playing victim or being attached to a story is a self-defeating and self-destructive pattern. 

The goal here is to fully acknowledge our truth, even when it feels dark, to see the opportunity. Then we can do the work to face it, feel it to heal it, and move beyond it.  

When we face our wounds head on, and see the something negative or “ugly” through, we grow.  Our lives can improve as a result of what we learned through the experience.

If we chose to avoid, and try to positively think the issue away, we waste our vital energy in the process.  We don’t get anywhere by doing that. Because it won’t go away. It will always be there, as a thorn in our side. 

When we embrace the thorn, we embrace all of ourselves.  With that acceptance, we can heal and step closer into the life we dream of, our wholeness.  Seeing the value of all challenges brings us closer to peace and joy. 


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#042 How to Recode Your Adrenals for Harmony and Well-being with Christa Orecchio

In this episode of IMperfectly Health, I interview my friend and fellow wellness warrior, Christa Orecchio – a clinical and holistic nutritionist and founder of The Whole Journey. She helps people heal from the root cause, using food as their medicine along with a mind-body-spirit approach to improving health. Christa is a bestselling author, TV show host, and is super passionate about helping you heal your adrenals, thyroid, and nervous system in the most holistic way.

Get access to Christa’s FREE MINI COURSE to start shifting this right away. 

In this episode, you are going to hear Christa share expertise and experience around:

  • her own beliefs and stories that were driving her chronic stress patterns and how that lead to creating the adrenal recode approach. 
  • how to know if you are running on stress hormones.
  • how and why most people are addicted to being stressed out.
  • why all dis-ease starts in the nervous system, not the gut.
  • why eating all the right foods does nothing when your cells can properly utilize the nutrients.
  • why most thyroid issues are being wrongly managed
  • her 6 pillar clinical strategy to heal the thyroid, brain, adrenals and nervous system back to harmony.
  • why keto is the worst diet for someone under chronic stress.
  • how to find the sweet spot with exercise that supports you vs. stresses and depletes you.
  • why you must learn to anticipate AND prioritize your own needs which is being counter-cultural.
  • the need for emotional re-patterning to get true results.
  • how common it is for empaths, people pleasers and over-givers to end up in nervous system chaos.
  • some of the common limiting beliefs that drive this pattern.
  • how to start healing this whole pattern! 

Start feeling better now and SIGN UP FOR CHRISTA’s FREE MINI COURSE  

Listen to Christa’s First Time on the Show #022

JOIN a VIRTUAL SACRED BODY CIRCLE this FALL. SIGN UP HERE

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#041 Free Yourself from Chronic Stress and Nervous System Dysfunction with Suzanne Gundersen

In this episode of IMperfectly Health, Faith interviews her personal coach Suzanne Gundersen, who is a holistic stress relief mentor, energy tapping expert, and advanced TRE provider. 

Her own early developmental trauma led her to seek holistic approaches that helped her shed layers of dysfunction, drop hundreds of pounds and use of anxiety medication.  Along the journey she uncovered her value to live with self-honor, compassion and grace. She then made a commitment to dedicate the rest of her professional life to helping others transform their stress, and connect with themselves, genuinely and deeply so they live life with real aliveness!   

In this episode, you are going to hear Suzanne share expertise and experience around:

  • her own experience with early trauma, chronic weight and anxiety struggles and how she discovered the path to her authentic self.
  • the importance of our early developmental years and how meeting our primary needs as infants shapes our entire life.
  • how stress plays out in the nervous system; fight, flight or freeze
  • how freeze leads to chronic health issues
  • how my own journey of unfreezing
  • how and why we learn to give up authenticity for attachment
  • the 3 M’s of transforming your limiting patterns.
  • steps to unraveling your survival patterns.
  • importance of addressing the mind/body/energy levels.
  • how and why we attached to our limiting stories and toxic stress patterns.
  • how our intuition is connected to the nervous system.
  • how 50% of what we tell about the past isn’t true.

Website – https://www.transformedconnections.com/ 

Follow Suzanne on Facebook 

Follow Suzanne on IG 

Resources mentioned:

Matt Kahn, Dr. Gabor Mate, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Robert Smith of Faster EFT 

JOIN a VIRTUAL SACRED BODY CIRCLE this FALL. SIGN UP HERE

Connect with Faith at www.faithshevlin.com

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#040 Fab Fertile: Infertility is a symptom with Sarah Clark

In this episode of IMperfectly Health, Faith interviews Sarah Clark, a health and life coach who uses the tools of functional medicine and natural fertility solutions to reverse infertility and help couples create the family they desire. 

She is the author of Fabulously Fertile – Supercharge your Fertility Naturally, Fabulously Fertile Cookbook and Fertility Preparation Program. She is super proud of her Signature Fertility Coaching Program, which includes functional lab testing, supports couples to make diet and lifestyle changes that dramatically improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy and baby!

On her Get Pregnant Naturally Podcast she shares that with functional medicine and natural fertility solutions we can eventually reverse infertility. 

In this episode, you are going to hear Sarah share expertise and experience around:

  • her own experience with infertility, chronic health issues and how she discovered functional health and life coaching after she had her kids
  • why she works with couples and not only the women wanting to get pregnant
  • the importance diet plays in getting pregnant
  • how the gut and fertility are connected
  • what labs she uses to solve the infertility puzzle
  • why it is incredibly important for couples to get support going through this journey
  • the importance of reducing environmental toxin exposure
  • how stress of any kind will halt fertility
  • how she guides her kids in making healthy choices for themselves
  • the common health concerns causes by food intolerances

Website – https://fabfertile.com/ 

Follow Sarah on Facebook  

Resources mentioned:Secret Ingredients Documentary 

Connect with Faith at www.faithshevlin.com

Join the IMperfectly Healthy Community FB Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/IMperfectlyhealthycommunity/

Get my 5 Ways to Overcome Your Food Cravings FREE.

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2 Ways to Regulate Your Nervous System

I am stopping by today to share a tiny bit about what I have been diving deep into personally this past year, and how my work is becoming more focused in this area…the stress response, health and the nervous system.  While this blog is a little longer than I would like, there is SO much more I want to share about this topic. It was hard to cut it down to what is below…Let me know how it lands with you!

Your nervous system’s ability to handle stress is THE key factor that determines your well-being and health. Each of us has a unique capacity to handle stress based on a few factors; which we won’t get into here (another topic for another day).

Illness and dis-ease often manifests when your body is unable to self-regulate and complete the stress response, therefore leaving your body “stuck” in a state of fight, flight or freeze. Anything incomplete stays…meaning, it gets stored in your body.

Imagine wanting to stand up to someone that is treating you unfairly, but being too afraid to. You have the impulse to lay a boundary and say something, but worry about the consequences. So you stay quiet, move onto the next thing and “let it go”.  While you tell yourself you “let it go”, your body says otherwise. The energy of that impulse to “fight” has nowhere to go and is held within your body. Imagine how much energy gets trapped when this is a repeat experience with a boss or maybe a family member. Then multiply it by all the other stressful situations in your life where you feel you have to suppress your authentic expression.

Over time, stored stress builds up leading to dis-ease (physical or mental) like digestive issues, chronic anxiety, poor immune health, heachaches, chronic fatigue, heart disease and so on.

In a highly overstimulating and triggering world full of stressors, this is everything. One of the first steps to regulation (and building capacity) is to connect with your body and be present to what you are experiencing, without judgment or story. You have to tune into your body in order to sense what your body needs in order to regulate.  

Is your body needing to rest and relax?  Or express and release? (ps – it’s not always about “calming down”)

BEing with your experience is key. Become aware and present to your feelings, the sensations in your body, and your impulses.

Here are 2 of my favorite ways to assist my nervous system in regulating:

1.Lower Belly Breathing:

Breathing quickly and shallowly in and out of the mouth from your chest is what happens when you are stressed, and your fight/flight system (sympathetic nervous system) is activated. The issue is that many people are breathing this way everyday, ALL day long.

Use the following breath pattern to shift your body into your parasympathetic NS (rest/digest/heal mode) and connect deeper within.

Start in a comfortable position, sitting up or laying down.  Place one hand on your heart and one on your belly. Close your eyes and bring awareness to your breath.  Breathe normally and notice what your hands do.

Is one moving more than the other? Which one? Are you breathing out of your nose or mouth?

Next start to intentionally take medium breaths from your lower belly, in and out of your nose.   You want the hand on your belly and rise on the inhale and fall on the exhale. Breathe deeply into your lower belly, expanding this area 360 degrees, including your whole pelvis region.

Take 10 medium-to-full breaths and see how you feel.  To further calm your nervous system, extend your exhales to be longer than your inhales. Ex. inhale for a count of 4 and exhale for a count of 6-8.

2. Get on All Fours:

Get in a table top position on the floor, like in yoga. Ensure you have a soft surface below you. Feel your hands, knees and feet connected to the ground below you and how they are supporting your body in this position.  Allow your neck to soften and your head to hang heavy. Do this slowly allowing your head and neck to relax as much as possible.

Feel the tension release to the floor. Now do the same with your belly. Allow it to completely relax.  The key here is to move very slowly. Focus on how this feels in your body. Notice your breath.

Feel free to stay here as long as you like.   Follow any other organic movements or stretches your body is asking for – sway side-to-side, roll your neck or hips, push back into a child’s pose, dip one shoulder than the other.

There is no way you can do this wrong. Simply feel, breath and let your body move as it wishes. Make sound if you feel the urge. If emotion comes up, let it move you. You could even practice embodying a four-legged animal you resonate with and tap into your primal instincts. Feel free to put on some music to enhance the experience.

(note: if you have any neck issues, be cautious and avoid any movements that could cause pain or injury)

If you feel called to try one of these, go slow.  The nervous system is delicate and responds best to tiny baby steps. This is not something to push yourself in. The whole point is to slow yourself down and be present.

PS: I am not an expert on the nervous system (working on it!).  It has been a huge area of interest for me personally and professionally over the last year, and I have to share.  Here are some of the experts whose work I have been following:

  • Irene Lyon, Nervous System Specialist
  • Suzanne Gunderzen of Transformed Connections
  • Dr. Gabor Mate, author of When the Body Says No
  • EastWest Healing; Jeanne and Josh Rubin
  • Kimberly Johnson of MagaMama
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#039 Drop the Rules and Live the Free Life with Karen Diaz, RD


In this episode of IMperfectly Health, I interview fellow Dietitian, Karen Diaz – a registered dietitian certified in intuitive eating who helps women overcome eating and body image struggles. She earned her bachelor of science in dietetics from James Madison University and completed her dietetic internship at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s Cornell Campus. After graduating, Karen gained experience in pediatrics, food allergies, and weight management both at UMDNJ University Hospital and the research department at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. She also worked at the Renfrew Center. Currently she assists women through her signature program, Break Free, which you can learn more about at TheFreeLife.com

In this episode, you are going to hear Karen share expertise and experience around:

  • her own experience growing up around addiction and food/body challenges
  • how most women to some degree struggle with food and their body
  • all she learned about the roots of food/body challenges by running an eating disorder clinic
  • how personal boundaries and being assertive are connected to emotional eating
  • How women are starving to be seen and heard
  • the themes of control, envy and not good enough are operating under the food/body struggle
  • how she guides women to become intuitive eaters with confidence and ease
  • how self trust and being your own authority in life is KEY to end the food obsession
  • why your mind needs rest just like your body
  • her insights on diet culture and the body positivity movement
  • how you can harness your “inner rebel” in a positive way towards something other than food
  • how young girls learn to struggle with food and their body by watching the women in their lives struggle as well
  • how she teaches her kids to have a healthy relationship with food.
  • the power of creating a family manifesto

Karen’s Website – http://thefreelife.com/

Karen’s Podcast – http://thefreelife.com/podcast/

Karen’s Book – Within, http://thefreelife.com/shop/ 

Follow Karen on Facebook  

Resources mentioned:

HAES – healthy at every size – https://www.sizediversityandhealth.org/content.asp?id=19 

Intuitive Eating Book – Intuitive Eating

Connect with Faith at www.faithshevlin.com

Join the IMperfectly Healthy Community FB Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/IMperfectlyhealthycommunity/

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#038 Breathe Your Way to Your BEST Life with Cory Ostroot and Jessica Waala

In this episode of IMperfectly Health, I interview my new friends and breathwork teachers Jessica Waala, RYT and Cory Ostroot, ND. Also known as The Healing Couple, Jessica and Cory are Breathwork teachers, healers, and coaches. Their mission is to guide busy professionals and entrepreneurs to connect to their mind, body, and soul, so that together we can heal and transform the world. This power couple is deeply committed to inspiring millions of lives through their life-changing events, coaching, and private healing sessions.

In this episode, you are going to hear Cory and Jessica share their expertise and experience around:

  • their own life struggles and areas of transformation leading to the work they offer the world today
  • how and why breathwork is their greatest tool for transformation and healing
  • how has it changed each of their lives
  • the experiences their clients and students have during a session or circle
  • the benefits reported by clients that have sessions regularly
  • what is happening in the body to produce these amazing results
  • how breathwork has helped their relationship as a couple
  • other modalities, teachers, tools that have been key on their journey’s to fullest expression
  • what they have learned through their relationship as a couple. 
  • what they see as the some of the main root causes of human suffering, disease, and destruction, and what to do about it

Learn more about The Healing Couple Here 

In-person and virtual breath circles Here 

Follow The Healing Couple on Instagram

Resources mentioned in the show:

The Art of Living Foundation

Nihue rao Retreats in Peru

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** Leave a Review of the Show!! Thank you! **