Have you ever found yourself totally hopeless with a diagnosis or worse an undiagnosed chronic health condition?
In this episode of the MTM Podcast, Amanda Rodd and I talk about our journeys with healing chronic health conditions.
We also talked about what it took to find freedom, empowerment, and meaning in the experiences we’ve had.
Amanda is a Master Coach and Community Manager in my company. She is also a licensed therapist and certified life coach.
Her 2008 diagnosis with Crohn’s Disease was a journey. It took her from being chained to a hospital bed and being told she’ll never have kids… to living a full life with 3 miraculous children!
After my conversation with Dr. Mindy about miraculous health earlier this week, I wanted to share with you the details about my own health journey with eating disorders.
We also talked about how I healed my relationship with my body.
If you feel like your health is getting in the way of you living the life of your dreams, this episode is for you.
Listen in to hear how Amanda and I turned our health challenges into opportunities.
We created miraculous healing that transformed every area of our lives.
In this episode you’ll hear:
- What finally helped Amanda get unstuck when medication, meditation, and so many other things didn’t work
- How letting go of NEEDING to heal releases resistance and allows for the improvement of chronic health conditions. Amanda and I tell you how we both did it
- What Amanda did to manifest her dream life as a mother even when the path seemed blocked. And she had lost hope she could ever be healthy enough
- How to receive support for manifesting your biggest dreams when it feels so hard to be vulnerable about your health conditions
Lana: [00:03] Welcome to Manifest That Miracle podcast. My name is Lana Shlafer. I bring years of experience as a mindset coach and law of attraction expert to share with you mindset, strategy, and inspiration to do the impossible. My guests and I are ordinary people who have done extraordinary things. My commitment to you is to show up fully and imperfectly so we can learn and grow together. Are you ready to manifest that miracle? Let's get started.
[00:39] I am so excited about today's episode because I have a special guest joining us. Amanda Rodd is here, who is a master coach and community manager at my company. And she's been working with me for the last three years to support our clients. And before that, she was a client. She is a licensed therapist, certified life coach, is trained in NLP, Reiki, and timeline therapy. And on top of it, she has recently become a licensed Zumba instructor and loves supporting children, adolescents in schools as a school psychologist. But how I know her and how we connected is that she joined one of my programs, I think six years ago, or something like that, and ended up having such an incredible transformation that quickly, she became interested in supporting people who were in the program and became a community manager. And then I've been training her for the last three years to do the kind of work that I do.
[01:38] And her story is incredible. And I know you will be so awed and inspired because her journey and interest in health and wellness began after being diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2008. And she has really learned how to use something that was so disempowering. I mean, she was hospitalized, on medication with a lot of times, not a whole lot of hope, and pretty significant and debilitating physical symptoms. She can now see that as something that is a gift and be able to have no limits in her body, which I think is just tremendous and incredible. I know you will love her accent. She is Australian, she lives in New Castle with her husband and three kids. She also has twins, so we connect on many levels, and I am super excited to have a leading-edge conversation today about what is physical healing. I will share a little bit about healing my eating disorder and what that means, Amanda will talk about what healing is for her in the auto-immune disease category, and most importantly, I'm just excited for you to get to know a really incredible person that is so special in my life. And I know you will love her as well. So welcome, Amanda to the Manifest that Miracle podcast.
Amanda: [02:55] Thank you. I'm really, really excited to be here to have just a really nice conversation with one of the people who are so special in my life. Because we have developed such a beautiful friendship over the years and I'm just really excited to be here.
Lana: [03:11] Well, and it's really rare that you sort of start off in a client, sort of coach relationship and then transition to it being collaboration or friendship really. And this has been over years. I do believe personally, and this would be really interesting to hear from you since you are also trained in traditional therapy that there are boundaries that I value and appreciate. So I remember sometimes people reach out to me and want to sort of be friends while they're clients. And I'm very clear like, “Hey, let's wrap up our working relationship in this role and then give it some space.” And for us, it's been really natural. You came into the program-- Well, why don't you tell people how you found me and how we connected and why you decided to join my program at the time?
Amanda: [04:05] Well, I had done a lot of healing and therapy myself, just going through that health journey. And I was at a place where I was thinking, “Okay, well, what's next?” I hadn't healed the disease in my body. I was still experiencing a great deal of pain and discomfort in my body, but I had got to a place where I was able to live my life. And actually, I got introduced to you through a friend. She was going to join your miracle challenge. I forget what it's called now. Seven Day Miracle Challenge I think it was.
Lana: [04:39] Yep.
Amanda: [04:40] And so I said, “Yeah.” I'm the kind of person who just jumps on opportunities. If something is presented to me, I trust that that's the next step in my journey. So I joined the challenge and it literally just blew my mind. It opened my eyes. It was like that moment where, I'm sure other people have had this experience where you just find something that clicks, that just feels so right. And my eyes were just opened to this whole new way of living my life. And so I knew that I just had to join the Master Your Life Academy because it felt so right.
Lana: [05:18] Well, it was interesting because the first call, as we've talked about privately many times since then, was right when your mom transitioned. So you joined the program, and at the time it had a start date and an end date, right? So let's say you joined and it was supposed to start two weeks later. And in between that period and right before the first call, your mom sort of unexpectedly transitioned, and it's really vivid in my memory still. I don't know how you experience this now - we've actually never talked about this - but when there is a huge emotion happening with a client that I am supporting, I almost imagine needing to root deeper. I remember exactly where I was sitting and I remember you saying, “My mom just transitioned.” I think you said, “I don't know if I can participate,” something like that. And I remember just almost imagining growing deeper roots. I had to get bigger than this moment to really create a safe and loving space for this emotion. And it was such a powerful call because we ended up doing a blessing for you and your mom. And it was a gift to everybody in that experience. And it led into conversations about what is death and how do you live life fully as a result and the biggest fears that we have, which tends to be death and all that. I mean, what do you remember of that time?
Amanda: [06:41] The feeling. The biggest memory for me, which I had never experienced before was the overwhelming support and love that I received from complete strangers that I had never met before. I joined this Facebook group, and these people didn't know me, but their hearts were so open and so abundant with love and support. And I just remember everyone lit a candle from Mama and I, and they were posting the pictures of the candles that they'd lit and the little prayers and thoughts that they had given me. And it really was just so overwhelming and so beautiful to receive that kind of support at one of the most difficult times in my life. I mean, I couldn't even imagine living without my mom, and just to have that community and support around me at that time was such a gift.
Lana: [07:34] It’s an honor. I love the way that we come together in my programs and my communities because I really feel like that is a gift for everybody. I'm really grateful that you opened up and allowed us to support you. So, you start off with sort of this momentous experience, fill us in with where you were with your journey with your body up until that point, and then as you did the work in the program… well, really all the way up until now, because it's still something that's ongoing, where you are with it now. So take us through your journey with your relationship with your body and with Crohn’s and what really helped you to get to a place where you are today and what is that place today?
Amanda: [08:20] Well, I was in the prime of my life when I got diagnosed with Crohn's disease, I was in my mid-twenties. I had just met my then soon to be husband. We were living together. I landed a job that I'd been training for at university for four years. I was a music and dance teacher in a high school. I was teaching dance in a private studio, which, you know, dance is my passion. So I was doing all the things that I love. My life on the outside seemed perfect, but on the inside, I was so exhausted, like that exhaustion that's to your bones. And I was also experiencing anxiety and occasional panic attacks. And so there was something not quite right, but I didn't have the awareness at the time, and the connection with my body. I wasn't even connected to my body at the time. And I received some warning signs like my body was trying to communicate with me. I got a chest infection, which left me laying on my back for seven days. I got a sinus infection, but I just didn't know how to change things. I didn't know how to make a decision or make that change because everything in my life I wanted to keep. I didn't want to let anything go. And so in the end, my body gave me this experience to completely stop and reset. And at the time, I didn't realize that because I resisted it. I was in pain. As you said, I was hospitalized more than a dozen times, trialing new medications, trying to get my symptoms under control.
Lana: [10:01] And what were the symptoms? Because until I met you, I didn't know that much about Crohn's. And so I couldn't even tell you what were the daily sort of challenges that somebody might deal with. So what were the symptoms, especially at their worst?
Amanda: [10:19] Yeah. And so Crohn's disease is inflammation in your bowel. So I had inflammation all over my large bowel. And what happens is that you have diarrhea, and on occasion, you can have blood in your bowel motions because of all of the inflammation. And so at my worst, like at the peak of my painful experiences, I was going to the toilet with diarrhea more than 20 times a day, all through the night, I couldn't sleep. I couldn't leave the house because I was so scared that I would have an accident. And if I did have to leave the house, I would take a bag with me with spare clothes just in case. And so I had to give up work, obviously, I was in and out of hospital. I had pain in my belly that I just thought, “This must be what childbirth is like and labor pains,” because I would be doubled over. I can just remember picturing myself doubled over in the kitchen. I couldn't walk because it was just so painful in my belly. And there were days when I just thought, “I don't know how I'm going to get through the next hour, let alone the next day.” I was literally exhausted from the pain and the symptoms and it really took me to rock bottom.
Lana: [11:35] And how did you move through that? What did you find to help? What were the things that you have learned over the years? And I know it's hard to summarize such a big journey and transformation in a few sentences, but how did you make the shift? I mean, I imagine at first it wasn't about a mindset shift. It was just about finding an immediate relief. And so what were the steps that you took and how did you figure out how to feel better and be able to just function in your normal life, be able to leave the house, be able to work, and eventually have kids as well, because I know that's an incredible miracle for you.
Amanda: [12:20] Yeah, absolutely. And it was. It was about finding relief in the beginning. And I actually built a support system around me of therapists and practitioners. So I was on medication, so I used the medical model, but I also coupled that with natural therapies. So I went all-in to that to welcoming support. I had a psychologist who was helping me, a kinesiologist. I did acupuncture, massage, I learned meditation.
Lana: [12:53] What gave you the permission to do it? Was it just because it was rock bottom and you're like, “I want to live”?
Amanda: [12:59] Yep, it was. I was pushed by the pain in the beginning, definitely. It was survival mode. I wanted to feel better. And so, yeah, it was definitely that in the beginning. And once I did start to feel some relief, the next thing for me was forgiving myself. It started off as forgiveness because that was the next step because I felt like I had done something wrong to manifest this. I started to learn about manifestation, and I started to judge myself and really blame myself for creating this experience. And so I started off with forgiveness, but then, in the end, I realized that there was nothing to forgive because this experience had taken me on a whole journey of discovering myself and connecting with my body and really coming into a place where I now honor myself and my body. So it did start off as forgiving myself for manifesting this experience but then realizing that there was nothing to forgive. And now I feel such gratitude and appreciation for the disease and my body. And that was definitely a huge journey.
Lana: [14:15] So tell us what were the breakthroughs that you had in the program after you joined? Because you were already in a pretty good place. You know, the people that I tend to work with went from not okay to okay. But now they want to go from okay to extraordinary to optimal to miraculous. So what were the most important things that you learned through the mindset principles that I was sharing, and what's made the biggest difference for you in that way?
Amanda: [14:43] Yeah. There's an exercise that we do and it's actually part of the Miracle Mindset program is the wild dreams. And I had a dream to manifest remission from Crohn's disease. I wanted to be symptom-free. I thought that that would bring me freedom to live my life and would make me happy. And what you helped me realize was that was conditional. So I was placing a condition on my happiness and feeling healthy and well in my body was actually conditioned on something else outside of me, that the symptoms had to go in order for me to feel happy and well. And that was a huge mindset shift for me to realize that I sort of opened myself up to the possibility, “Well, what if I could achieve that or experience happiness and wellness with the disease,” you know? And that I didn't actually have to get rid of it in order to have an amazing and extraordinary life. And you just opened my mind to that possibility. And then I just started to think, “Okay, well, what if this is a possibility that I don't have to get rid of this disease in order to be happy and well?” And so that was mind-blowing to me at that time because I never even pondered or thought that that was possible. And now--
Lana: [16:04] Yeah, I want to interject for a second because I feel like this is so common. As people say, “Well, I can't be free until I have this money” or “until I lose this weight” or “I won't be able to be happy until I'm in a different house” or [inaudible 16:17]. And that's all handy dandy. If you want to create anything that you want to create, I'm all for it. But the being miserable until you get there part is a double whammy because; A, you are putting your happiness outside of yourself and this carrot very, very far away from yourself, and that carrot will keep moving. Because even if you get to that manifestation, how much practice have you had actually being fulfilled free and happy? So let's say you manifest remission, but now you've had no practice actually being connected to your body, satisfied with where you are. So you will automatically find the next carrot and that happiness and that fulfillment is always outside of you, tied to some condition that you are never really going to reach and be able to pause and enjoy. And so my whole theory is yes, work towards all of those things, but also can we find joy now? What is possible now, with the conditions?
[17:17] I talked about, in an earlier solo episode - number three - about how I had to feel grateful for the house I had or for the tiny apartment I had in order to get more of what I wanted. And it's kind of the same thing here. So I love what you're saying because that mindset shift might seem like, in theory, a small one, but in a practical application, it sets you in a totally [opposite] direction. Like if you were heading east and now you're heading north, it puts you on a totally new course. And I want to add to this that, with my eating disorders that I had from the time I was really in high school, like 16, 17, and really, I feel like the last part of the eating disorder, if I can even name that, because I feel like it's a gradient, but it sort of tapered out when I was pregnant with the twins. But so for over 10 years, I had an element which I understand now to be not being in a healthy, wonderful, reciprocal, respectful, honoring relationship with my body, which for me, manifested in binge eating, body dysmorphia. No matter what size I was, I thought I was huge and I was ugly and I was wrong. I had a ton of baggage about that from my family of origin. My mom didn't particularly grow up loving her body because that was in her environment. And I essentially look like my mom, right, so I passed that on. And it was also a way for me to try to control what I couldn't control and stuff down my emotions.
[18:52] And I remember kind of my rock bottom, as you were talking, I was thinking of mine, was sitting in college and I was sort of forced by my parents to live with my brother who at that time, I didn't realize was also having major, major mental health challenges, but I didn't know that at the time. And we were both struggling, and I would stuff myself with food. I remember eating peanut butter on, like, I would just take out cold bread and spread peanut butter and put jelly on it and stuff it in my mouth. And then another piece. And I remember laying on the floor crying because my stomach hurt so much and forcing myself to stuff more food because I ultimately - I could always tear up - I wanted to stuff the hatred and the disconnect and the not forgiveness that you are describing that I felt. And now looking back, I have such love and such compassion for that me, sitting on that floor in college stuffing down the peanut butter and jelly because she was doing the best that she could with what she knew. And these painful ways-- I mean, my scheduling and my day was down to 15 minutes. I had written down in a planner, everything that I needed to eat and everything I needed to do sometimes down to five minutes. I mean, I tried to control the heck out of my life because I couldn't feel comfortable being myself.
[20:18]And looking back, that was my portal into all of the growth and all of the miracles that I'm living now. Had that not been so painful-- You know, Michael Beckwith has a saying, “You're pushed by pain until you're pulled by a vision.” And what you are describing now is that shift from being pushed by pain, where you're like, “There's got to be something better.” I mean, it led me into all of the mindset things that I'm doing because I was just so miserable and no, what I did, I couldn't get out of that misery. The solution for me was actually loving myself where I was. And that continued into loving myself all the way to a miraculous, joyful, fulfilling life now. But the loving started with the symptoms and the discomfort and the internal turmoil that I was experiencing. So I love that you are bringing this up and I want to sort of bring the story forward for both of us. Let's talk about your pregnancy because that was something that was really miraculous for you. How do you think you were able to have kids when you're told-- Well, I'm already getting ahead of the story. You were told that you probably wouldn't be able to given this condition.
Amanda: [21:30] Yeah. So, the year after, it was actually a month, after my husband now who proposed to me, a month later, I got diagnosed. And so we were planning our wedding and planning a family at the same time as I'm going through this really painful experience. And at the time when we wanted to have kids, my specialist said to me, “Look, your body is in distress. It's very unlikely that you're going to fall pregnant. And if you do, your body is going to reject the pregnancy because it's trying to just deal with all of this stuff that's going on.” And I just knew deep in my heart that I was meant to be a mum. I just knew that that was my path. And so I said, “Okay, I'm going to give myself every opportunity that I possibly can to experience being a mum.” And what I wanted to do was nurture. I just had this abundance of love and nurturing that I wanted to give. And so at the time, we bought a puppy, which was amazing. So I got to be a fur mum.
Lana: [22:31] Isn’t that so brilliant? Like whether you knew it or not, you really placed yourself in the energy of maternal presence, puppy or baby, that's genius.
Amanda: [22:42] Yeah. And I also let go of the way that it was going to come to me. So my husband, Brendan, and I, we ended up filling in the applications to adopt and we were open to however this child was going to come to us, whether it was through me, through someone else. And so we started the adoption process. We filled in the application and we paid the registration money, and we were ready to go on that path if that was where we were taken. And we also started to plan our own family. So all of that together, I fell pregnant the first month of trying with not only one baby, but two, which was miraculous.
Lana: [23:21] Truly.
Amanda: [23:22] Yeah, I know, exactly. And it wasn't without its challenges. Obviously, they were monitoring me very closely. I was taking medications, so we had to be very careful with that. The twins were born eight weeks early, but through all of that, I was able to manifest two healthy, beautiful babies, they are truly miraculous. And then with my daughter, she came in the second month of trying, and again, it was-- I contracted cytomegalovirus because I was on medication that suppresses my immune system. I contracted this virus at 16 weeks and it actually was transmuted to her as well. So she had the virus, and it can cause all sorts of birth defects. They were telling me that possibly she could have hearing loss, vision loss, cognitive deficits, things like this. And again, I had to believe in myself that no matter what I manifested, it was for me and for her, that this experience was going to empower us and really fill our lives with our desires and exactly what we had been asking for. And in the end, none of that manifested, she is a beautiful, healthy, vibrant child. And so, it really is going really facing your fears. I mean, that was another huge miracle that I manifested through your programs is really facing your fears head-on. Instead of running away, just facing them head-on and knowing that we will manifest the support and the love. And there will be so much support that will flow in that really you can feel bigger than any experience that comes your way.
Lana: [25:05] Well, let’s talk about the how, because you, out of all the people really know the how, because you run the programs alongside me. So you really have an inside knowledge, a personal knowledge, and then seeing dozens and hundreds of clients that have been supported in this way. So let's break it down to somebody who might be listening and saying, “Yeah, well you did this and you just had this faith and you believe everything works out for you, but I am not there.” What would you say to yourself or to someone who feels like it is impossible, and they don't know the how, and maybe they've even tried some of the things that you tried? Because by the time you came to me, you have done a lot. And it had helped you to a degree from traditional therapy to energy work to the holistic side of things and the Western medicine side of things. And there were still moments of hopelessness that you had. And we did real work. I would call this trauma work. This is how I call it, but I use the word trauma very loosely, meaning anything that created a strong impact on your psyche and your physical self. It doesn't have to be a war zone or some sort of severe abuse. We even rename it in the program as a formative life experience. But it formed you, and it's still active because if you're still remembering it now, it's active. So can you break down a little bit how you did this and how the process of healing as you understand it now, works?
Amanda: [26:38] Absolutely. And as I mentioned before, I had experienced anxiety quite significantly in my twenties. And I spent a lot of time trying to distract myself and do anything that I possibly could, not to be in my body when I was anxious because it felt uncomfortable. And I feel like I really gently at first, allowed that part of me that felt scared, I allowed that part of me to be present. And I started to connect with my body more and more in a safe way so that I could have all of me show up. We kind of say, “Be welcome,” that all parts of us can be welcome in our experience. And to be able to lovingly hold space for that part of you that feels scared, that feels anxious, or that things aren't going to go right or “I'm not going to be okay,” to lovingly connect with yourself and hold yourself with that compassion.
Lana: [27:39] So how did you do that? Because I feel like we're talking about the what, but I want to break it down to what is the how and what gave you the permission or the ability to do it. Because lots of people say, “Sure, I want to connect with my body. Okay. How do I do that?”
Amanda: [27:53] At first, I had someone do it for me. So we've done one-on-one coaching together. I had people in my life who would do this for me because I feel like that was really important to have someone hold space and make me feel safe, or not make me, but it created that safe place for me to connect.
Lana: [28:12] Yeah. It's creating that container, right. My favorite analogy of this is that, “If you have the rock, the bed of the river, then you can be the river and flow with your emotions, and you know that it's going to stay in that path.” And it's hard to be both the rock and the river like to be the banks of the river and the river itself. And so I am a huge believer nowadays, and I really didn't use to feel this way. I think that I thought you sound like you felt the same way and we've talked about it where it's like, “Well, I can do this on my own.” And it's this idea that if I can't do it on my own, there's something wrong with me. And one of my biggest breakthroughs that is something that keeps paying dividends is that I realized that the level of success and the level of happiness really and fulfillment in my life really is strongly correlated to the level of support I can allow. And now I am thrilled to pay someone or to ask someone or invite someone to support me. I see it as a beautiful win-win experience for both. I mean, if I didn't, I wouldn't do it. But when I can create a win-win experience, I receive that kind of support from all of the healers and coaches that I have.
[29:31] And my journey through the eating disorder was a lot of therapy and a lot of bodywork. And really, doing the mind-body psychotherapy as a client while I was in graduate school studying it was a huge shift for me. And especially because I got pregnant in grad school. And so I was going to my somatic psychology and my Hakomi therapy and my transpersonal psychology. We were required to do a ton of therapy with licensed therapists and with each other as well. And all of that really gave me an example, a template, an experience that I could then practice on my own. And until then, I didn't have that experience of feeling safe. So I'm a big believer in needing somebody, something to hold space for us in things that we simply did not learn. And I think that's a big no-no in being an independent woman and not needing anyone. In my mind, those two did not equate. Did you struggle with that, needing support and at the same time resisting the needing and feeling like it made you less than in some way?
Amanda: [30:47] Absolutely. Yes. I had a lot of difficulty welcoming support because as you say, I was independent. I was working and holding a household together and all of this sort of stuff. And it really did feel like I should have all of this figured out, especially, you know--
Lana: [31:02] Should. Should is the keyword, right?
Amanda: [31:03] Yeah, should.
Lana: [31:05] Yeah. Shoulding all over ourselves with our shoulds and it's so insipid. It's so penetrated in our minds, especially as women, I find, where we assume that if we can't do it on our own, that we are not enough and there's something wrong and it is something shameful. And instead of just saying, “Well, if I don't know how to, I don't know, make pasta from scratch, I'm just going to go take a cooking class and have somebody show me and practice,” or whatever it may be that we want to learn. It's allowing ourselves to have the open mind, open heart, and the other part is to really invest. And I've seen you do this so well, and I really want to give you credit because you did invest - you invested in my program, you invested in other healing modalities. You are really good about investing in yourself. And is that something that you feel is a direct result of the Crohn’s and the journey that you've had, or do you feel like you were always good at that?
Amanda: [32:10] No, I wasn't always good at it. I definitely feel like it became easier when I started to develop a relationship with myself, with my body, with loving myself in a way that I couldn't even have imagined because I was so disconnected with myself. And I really saw it as a way of giving to me. And there were some kinks that I needed to work out because as a mom, I felt guilty at first about taking time out from the family and from my marriage and things like that to spend time on myself. And I really had to shift my mindset and perspective around it to realize that when I did take that time for me, that it was actually giving to my family and to my husband, and it was an additive thing. Really, when I filled my own cup, I was able to show up as the best version of me and really give to my family in that way, because that was something that I had to transform and change that mindset because that was a limit that I had placed on myself. But once I did that, and really, as I said before, I'm someone who goes all into experiences, and then I was able to, yeah, just really see it as a benefit because when I love myself and my body, when I created that loving connection with myself, that was a way of giving to me. And it felt really nourishing and nurturing to do that.
Lana: [33:39] Yeah. So we're going to do an exercise together here because I do want to give you guys some of the how of what Amanda and I are talking about, and really, you can read my book, Manifest That Miracle to learn some of the process. And essentially, I think it's hard for us to describe it step-by-step because it's not necessarily a linear journey, but it is a process of getting more and more able to feel safe and secure within yourself, to hear your inner language, and understand it, and to be able to not just hear, but also listen and respond to the one partnership that you will have for the rest of your life is your body, right? You cannot leave your body. I mean, you could, then this life is over, right? So to really invest in developing a really beautiful and life-giving, life-enhancing relationship with your body has been so key for me. And it's essentially what pulled me out… pulled me out is the wrong word. The eating disorder was a symptom and it was representing the root of what I was actually needing, which is to do the inner healing work so that I learned to embrace myself. And it is difficult sometimes still for me to embrace the fact that I am very intense and very loud and very passionate and very sensitive and very, very, very, very. I'm kind of a very person and the too much person. And so the feeling not enough was equated with that. But the journey that I've taken, and I know Amanda has taken is now something that is going to pay dividends for the rest of my life. And for me, it was so important to do that.
[35:19] When I got pregnant, it's like a switch went off because I was like, “Now, and with twins, I have two sets of eyes watching everything I'm doing and how I'm being and they're going to learn the patterns from me,” and I knew that I wanted to create new family dynamics and new family myths and belief systems than the ones that I received. And that was a really strong driver for me. And I kind of want to catch us up to where we are now, as we sort of wrap up and do this exercise. For me, there's so much I want to share, and I really would need much more time. And if you guys have more questions about this, then let me know so that I could do future episodes about any of the specifics of this. But for me, now the way that I feel is, I actually joked with my husband maybe a couple of years ago, I was like, “Man, I’m feeling so many emotions and I really don't want to feel them. I really wish I could still binge eat.” And I just couldn't. I cannot mistreat my body now. And it is an incredible place to be in, that I feel like I've got my own back, holding my own hand. And I love myself. I love the inside of every cell and what it does for me. I love that my heart beats for me 24/7 and doesn't ask for anything in return. I love my kidneys. I love my liver. I love my spleen. I love my hips. I love my toes, my feet that are wide and strong. I used to hate my feet because I have sort of a wider sole. And now I'm like, “I am grounded. I'm connecting to the earth.”
[36:57] When I was pregnant, I would do some of my dance videos and my feet were really swollen and people would comment like I have Hobbit feet and stuff like that. And I remember at that time thinking, “Well, how sad that this is what they see instead of my body giving life.” I love my stretch marks. I love my scars. I love everything about me because I am unlike anybody else that has ever been or ever will be. And I feel like, with the way that my body takes care of me and the way that I take care of it, there is such a love story that is happening daily, constantly in my life. And that is something that I take as a high priority and nourishes everything else in my life. So I can talk about more details about what has gotten me here in future episodes, but the journey has been a mindset and internal one for me personally, much more than a medical one or, “This is the behavior that I changed. I stopped eating this or I started doing this.” What about you, Amanda? Where are you now with everything having to do with your body and with Crohn's? And what are the edges for you now? What are you looking forward to going forward?
Amanda: [38:17] I loved just listening to the gratitude and appreciation that you have for your body because that was definitely one of the practices that I did. And at the time, I wasn't connected with Crohn's disease and my bowels, but now I look at Crohn's disease as my friend, my co-creator, and it reminds me every day to take time for myself, to really nurture and nourish my body and my mind and my spirit and it really is there as my co-creator and I never imagined that I could have this kind of relationship with a disease. And I still have symptoms today that I live with but it's really interesting, two of my doctors have said to me previously, “I don't know how you do what you do,” because I'm working full-time, I have family, I have a very full life, with the symptoms. And so for me, it really is that gratitude and appreciation and developing that relationship, that it is a partnership, your body. And now the disease is a partnership for me as well. And that has been really pivotal in being able to seemingly transcend my physical experience and really, I can truly say that I feel genuinely happy and healthy and full of vibrancy because I really have developed this relationship and a partnership with my body and the disease.
Lana: [39:51] So if you could wave a magic wand now and make the disease disappear, would you?
Amanda: [39:58] That’s a very good question. I don't need it to go away. So I would not say that if I had a magic wand and I could get rid of the disease, I wouldn't. I am open to this relationship staying for as long as it needs to or as it wants to. This has only really happened in the last year maybe, not even that, maybe the last couple of months that I have been pondering this like, “Do I want to continue to focus on being rid of the symptoms or can I live a life with my disease?” And I truly have no attachment to the outcome of it because I have shown myself that it is possible to live with symptoms and have an extraordinary life. So there are no conditions now and I am open to whatever experience continues or doesn't continue.
Lana: [40:55] Well, you've told me before that I just find so extraordinary is that you're like, “I want an epic life.” I hope you don't mind me saying this because I think it's a huge compliment, but you and your husband have a phenomenal sex life for example. And I've listened to that sometimes and I'm like, “Whoa, that's amazing. I don't have that, and I don't have any of the symptoms that you have.” I've sort of been inspired by the way that you're able to show up physically in your life with the dance and the exercises and the nutrition and with the partnership and intimacy and taking care of your kids and with work. Nobody looking at the outside of you would say that you are not an extremely energetic and productive human being living fully in every way. And you have had this condition that has been a huge part of your journey into yourself, not despite the condition but because of the condition. And where I know you are heading and your intentions is more life, more miracles, more connection, more intimacy, more happiness, more purpose, more impact. We've had conversations recently about how else you may want to share your story and create more impact. And so whatever the path is there, I feel you are so aligned with it.
[42:25] Whether the path is remission or not is not really the most interesting or important part of that journey. It's where you're going. And I just find that so incredible and I feel like you've taken all of the work that I share and that we've done together and applied it to your health and your body in a way that because I don't have a condition that I could really apply it to, I just find so inspiring. And we haven't had a chance to talk about this but maybe this is another episode, the way that you have developed a relationship with your mom in the non-physical and parallel to this, has been another thing that I really admire about you. And my parents are both still alive and so are my husband's parents and I know that's not forever. Death is going to happen. Somebody someday was going to die, that's for sure. And the way that I've seen you back in the day from holding space for you in a call and having you essentially have an opportunity to receive our love and support and feel your mom's energy, not in a physical presence, but in a non-physical presence and how you have been able to develop a real two-way relationship with your mom now from the non-physical side is something that I'm just so touched by and inspired.
[43:51]I'm so happy for you, Amanda, and I'm so deeply honored that I get to co-create with you basically every day. There's nobody else I would want to be having these conversations with. You’re really an extraordinary person, and we've talked about this, we consider each other sisters now. With the last few years working really intimately together and everything that I've gone through in my life with a lot of ups and downs and even moving to Puerto Rico and a lot of the challenges that have come with such big transitions, we've just gotten so much closer. And the way that we tag team to support our clients is something that I couldn't have even dreamed up. Honestly, it's beyond my dreams. I just admire you, I adore you. I'm so grateful that you shared your story. Is there anything else you want to add? I just talked for a very long time.
Amanda: [44:45] No, I just want to say thank you. Just thank you for giving me this opportunity to really talk about these things. And I love the tagline in your podcast. It's about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It really warms me to know that this is possible for anybody. Because I'm not special. I'm just a normal person but I've been able to create such an extraordinary experience with my body and my health. So I really love that this is for everyone, everyone can experience this.
Lana: [45:16] Yes indeed. Yes indeed. So let's go into an exercise that we wanted to offer you guys. And that's something that we do as part of my programs, especially when we are able to hold space for a client. So let's see if we can do this virtually with you. Whenever you are listening to this, if you can allow yourself to feel like we are there with you, and maybe you can put on some calming music or candle or something that allows you to sort of feel that you are able to be present, and we're going to write something. So having writing equipment, whether you type it or write it by hand with pen and paper. The first, most important part is to create a space where you feel grounded and safe. And the next part is to write a letter expressing to your body how you view it and being honest about it. You might start with something like, “I don't really know you. I want to know you but I'm uncomfortable and you bring me pain.” Or it might be, “You're okay, but I wish you could be better.” So to allow yourself to really express in the first portion of this exercise. Just opening a dialogue just saying, “Hey stranger, I see you, and I'm going to start this dialogue. And here's how I feel about you.” And then allowing yourself to take a pause and think how your body might view you. How does your body feel about how you take care of it? So if this were a relationship, you would say how you feel about your partner and your partner would have a chance to say, “Hey, you're awesome and maybe you could put your laundry away,” or whatever it is.
[47:08] So if your body messages might show up that you sit with it for a second and realize that you are not really going to sleep early, and your body is tired all the time and it is maybe saying. “Hey, I need more rest in order to take care of you and operate optimally. And I would like some more water. That would be great. That would allow us to take care of each other.” So the first part of the exercise is expressing how you feel to your body and listening and seeing. And don't stress about this too much if you're not getting a whole lot of messages because it takes a while to warm up and again, sometimes you really need a partner in this for somebody to hold a safe and therapeutic container to feel safe. Especially if you have a lot of pain and trauma in your body, it can unsafe to have this communication and hear these messages. So do what you can.
[48:02] And the next part of this is starting to write what you appreciate about your body. So imagine that your body is working on your behalf. Every moment of every day, it has thousands of workers in each cell doing metabolic processes and beating your heart and pumping your blood and releasing antibodies and all of these processes that our subconscious and autonomous and are happening on your behalf. And as you start appreciating the fact that your body is doing all of this for you, you may also start to feel things like, “I'm grateful that I can walk, that my legs move. And I'm grateful that I have eyes that I can see with. And I'm grateful that my body maybe gave birth or went through this type of surgery” or “I'm grateful that my body has recovered from these challenges.” And to really say, “Thank you, body. Thank you for supporting me. Here's what I appreciate.” You might list things that bring you pleasure, the fact that you can breathe fresh air and fill the lungs or your taste buds or your sensuality and your sexuality, the pleasure that your body can bring you, to allow yourself to really focus on what is here and the appreciation of it.
[49:21] And the third part of this exercise after you've expressed and opened up communication how you feel about your body and listened to how it felt, after you have really appreciated the parts of your body and the functions of your body that make your life quite literally possible and enjoyable, this is the time to really listen to your body's needs and maybe tune in to what are some ways that you can take better care of yourself. So this would be some sort of maybe a gentle promise to yourself. Maybe, “I promise to slow down when I'm starting to get a headache or when I have digestion problems. “Thank you, body, for indicating to me that I really need to slow down, and for giving me those alarm bells so I can take care of myself.” Or you can make a promise to yourself to get more rest or to take naps or to do some dry brushing to stimulate your skin and your lymph nodes or whatever it is that you feel is a one-degree shift, it’s a small step that you can take. You're not saying, “I'm going to do this every day for the rest of my life.” You're just saying, “Hey, I'm showing up.”
[50:32] And this communication, this back-and-forth and exchange with your body at first may start off quite slow and might even express things that you're not really particularly wanting to hear but that's how the process of healing happens in a relationship where you say, “Hey, I own my part of maybe how I've shown up, I want you to own your part. Now, can we create a “we” with a goal that is a common goal for us?” So your body feels great, and you feel great and you feel like you are really taking care of each other. Amanda, anything else you want to add to this exercise?
Amanda: [51:09] I was just sitting there basking in all of that, such a beautiful way to connect with yourself. And like you said, I would just emphasize that the one-degree shifts that is the way that you know, it feels manageable in that way and you're more likely to create habits just by changing one small thing, just focusing on one area. Like you want to drink more water or as you said, you want to take more rest breaks, do more stretches at your desk, that's one of mine. If I'm sitting down for a long period of time, just getting up and taking a five-minute break. It's those small changes that you can make that add up to the big shifts.
Lana: [51:51] I couldn't agree more. It's the theory that the journey of a thousand miles, it’s not the theory, it's the truth, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” And it's just taking that one step, after next step, after next step, after next step, and you'll be amazed at the progress that you will make when you just put one foot in front of the other. And same thing applies to building a relationship with yourself in a way that you maybe were never taught. I hope that something in what we've shared here inspires you to really think about your health and your relationship with your body in a new way. For me, my healing of the eating disorder has been more or less complete in a traditional sense. I feel like I really accepted that I will always have challenges with eating and exercises and body dysmorphia. And then I just took one step, one step, one step, one step, and before I know it, I don't. I just think maybe I have body dysmorphia the other way now. I just think I'm the most beautiful.
[52:59] I will sometimes stand with my kids, especially when they were babies and we all come out of the shower or something, and I would just be, “Look at how beautiful we are.” And I'd be like, “I have the most beautiful belly and I love my body so much.” I would just do that with myself in the mirror just because my kids were there and I wanted them to get that feeling, and winking at myself and all of that, and I feel like it-- Again, I didn't think that it would happen. I just took one foot in front of the other. And, Amanda, with you, I feel like you haven't had this kind of remission sort of healing what most people maybe in a medical model will be like, “Okay, I guess that just went away completely,” but you have had something that I think is even more tremendous and more powerful. You're like, “I don't need it to go away. As a matter of fact, I'm more powerful and more impactful and more fulfilled whether it's here or not. It's really unconditional.” And so the condition may go away or may stay or it may change but you get the fulfillment and the happiness and the full life regardless. How priceless is that?
Amanda: [54:15] So priceless. And I just wanted to say thank you to you because, without the help of your programs and your friendship and your support, this would not have been possible. And it really has been life-changing, life-altering to have joined your program and been on this journey of discovering myself and learning new ways of looking at life. It truly has made the most significant impact in my life. I've done a lot of different things as we've discussed but your programs and you have been the most integral part of my journey and I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for being you and thank you for showing up in this way and sharing this with everybody. I couldn't be more appreciative of what you've done.
Lana: [55:08] Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. As I like to encourage others, I'm going to practice to say I fully receive that. Thank you. I hope this conversation has in some way made you think about things in a new and got you excited about what's possible with your health, with your physical apparatus, and that you enjoyed this exercise of connecting with your body. Please share with us. We will put Amanda's social media info as well. Please find us on social media and tag us as you do this exercise or with your ahas or insights or anything else that you want to share. Maybe just sharing your journey, and we can offer some and support your way as you go from wherever you are to creating a truly miraculous healing and miraculous life. And we've been doing this for a long time. We have amazing programs, amazing clients, I feel like I've built quite an incredible life. But the reason that I'm sharing it through the podcast now is because I feel like I want it spread everywhere. I want everyone to know that this is possible. I will not stop talking about it. And so if you feel inspired to tag someone, to share this with somebody who needs to hear, please do so, so that more people really realize just what an extraordinary life experience is possible for them and that they don't need to be someone different in order to have it.
[56:45] The process of healing is possible for anyone, that they are not inherently broken or incapable of it, that it really is just about learning the tools and the principles and taking the steps and really investing in yourself, both emotionally and mentally, time-wise, energy-wise, money-wise so that you can create a relationship with yourself that is the foundation for all other relationships including your relationship to reality and your relationship to life. So I'm really grateful for this conversation, Amanda. Thank you for being here. And I can't wait to hear the responses to this episode. I know you will get a lot of people really celebrating with you your incredible journey and where you are now, and I'm excited for the next steps of your journey and health and well-being and we'll keep sharing that with our listeners as things evolve for you and for me with our health journeys, So thank you for being here again.
Amanda: [57:52] Thank you so much for having me.
Lana: [57:55] Thank you for tuning in. I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Manifest That Miracle podcast. I'd love to hear your reflections and any questions, so feel free to find me on social media and let me know. If you'd like to hear more, please subscribe on iTunes, or wherever you listen to podcasts. And if you're ready to learn why you don't have what you want, and how to get it, get a copy of my best-selling book, Manifest That Miracle, at www.manifestthatmiracle.com.
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