Ep. 8: Helané Wahbeh, ND, MCR – How Connecting With Yourself Helps You Heal Better

The way we live and perceive life is very much connected to how we see health and healing.

You’ll probably agree that materialism is (still) at the core of our culture – something shiny on the outside that we keep searching for, working for, waiting for, striving for.

So it’s actually no wonder that our current medical system is designed around the idea that all the answers we need are outside of us.

But luckily this is shifting and one of the amazing researchers and doctors who is helping move us in this direction is Dr. Helané Wahbeh. She is a naturopathic physician, the Director of Research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and a professor at the Department of Neurology at Oregon Health & Science University.

I really resonate so much with her research and what she teaches and practices – that we have the ability to tap into the body’s innate wisdom to improve our healing. Whether it’s PTSD or injury-related trauma, this talk is absolutely essential for learning how to calm the mind and the nervous system, and tune in, and listen, and heal.

Tune in… 

Show notes & links

The show notes are written in chronological order.

  • Dr. Helané Wahbeh’s website: https://noetic.org/
  • Dr. Helané Wahbeh’s books:
  • Wahbeh H, Goodrich E, Goy E, Oken BS. Mechanistic Pathways of Mindfulness Meditation in Combat Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. J Clin Psychol. 2016;72:365-383. [access it here]
  • Wahbeh H. Collective Consciousness and Our Sense of Interconnectedness. Cardiol Vasc Res. 2021; 5(1): 1-7. [access it here]
  • Les Fehmi, PhD | Open Focus – Dr. Fehmi specializes in multi-channel, phase synchrony neurofeedback and he’s the developer of Open Focus™ training.
    • The Open-Focus Brain: Harnessing the Power of Attention to Heal Mind and Body [get the book here]
    • Dissolving Pain: Simple Brain-Training Exercises for Overcoming Chronic Pain [get the book here]

0:00 – excerpt from the episode
1:40 – intro (listen to discover a little more about your host. Martin will tell you a new lesser-known fact about Dr. Maya)

Dr. Maya Novak:
I’m excited about the fact that there’s more and more research being done on alternative medicine, and mind-body medicine… because these kinds of studies are really helping change the conventional medical approach to treating physical trauma. And I’m really looking forward to today’s conversation with Dr. Helané Wahbeh who is the Director of Research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. She’s also a professor at the Department of Neurology at Oregon Health & Science University, and president of the Parapsychological Association. She’s the author of 2 books: Free To Be Me: A Journey of Transformation through Generational Healing, and The Science of Channeling. She’s trained as a naturopathic physician and she’s also published and spoken-on internationally on complementary and alternative medicine, mind-body medicine, extended human capacities, stress, PTSD and other conditions and their relationships to physiology, health, and healing. Helané, thank you for being here.

Dr. Helané Wahbeh:
Thank you so much. It's such a pleasure to be here with you today talking about these topics that you and I both love.

Dr. Maya Novak:
And they are so extremely important and I really cannot wait for us to dive deep into these important topics. But before we do that, can you share a bit about yourself your story.

Dr. Helané Wahbeh:
I was always fascinated by health, by how our mind affected our physical body, and growing up I had such a strong curiosity about that. You may have noticed my unique name - I was actually named after my great grandmother who was a midwife and healer in her village and people would always say: "Oh you're going to become a doctor; you're going to become a doctor," and I rebelled against that a little bit growing up, but lo and behold, I found as I grew older that that was really where I wanted to go. So I looked at various types of practitioners that I could become and the one that really resonated with me was naturopathic medicine because it has a very holistic view. About ourselves, about health and healing, and it has these beautiful tenets that the body has its own innate ability to heal itself. That we have this natural vital force that supports us to heal. That prevention is important, that the doctor is a healer and a teacher to do the least harm. So with this beautiful philosophy we have a bag of tools - so many different tools that we can use to support people on their path of optimal health. Sow I was really excited to go into this field. I went to medical school and became a general medicine practitioner with a focus on mind-body medicine. I was in private practice and I was able to also include my intuition, what some people might understand as medical intuition, to bring in various ways of wisdom beyond the traditional clinical aspects. So I w as in private practice for quite a while and started getting inspired to go more deeply into the how it works questions and wanted to get back into research. So I applied for and did a couple postdoctoral research fellowships and a master's in clinical research to learn how to answer research questions using the scientific method, and that's what led me to Oregon Health and Science University where I did clinical research on mindfulness meditation and I received a grant from the National Institute of Health to look specifically at post-traumatic stress disorder with combat veterans. That was an incredible study and interviewed over a hundred different combat veterans with PTSD and was made so aware of the complexity and intensity of living your life with those symptoms. We found some incredible results from that study that I can share a little bit more about, but ending up where I am today took a very interesting turn. I established myself as this expert meditation researcher and got invited to go to the Institute of Noetic Sciences where they gathered multiple researchers from around the world to look at the questions that aren't being asked about meditation research. You know, like are there things that are important that aren't being looked at? So I was invited to this workshop and was just amazed that the Institute of Noetic Sciences - IONS its acronym was - covered all these esoteric topics about the intuition pieces that I thought were so important. So I got really excited about that and I expressed interest for joining their team and then a couple years later I ended up being able to join their team and then became director.
And then here I am today being able to ask all these incredible research questions about health and healing and trauma and how we can use this very wide broad gamut of modalities to support us in healing.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Well I have so many follow-up questions because this is quite a resume story, from a little girl to where you are today. So one of the things that you mentioned was PTSD and combat veterans. When we talk about or when we read about PTSD it is very much connected with veterans, but PTSD is not something that only veterans are struggle with. When we talk about physical trauma, when we talk about accidents or injuries, PTSD can be very much presented in those areas as well. So what would you say to someone who might not know if they have PTSD? How do we actually figure out if we have PTSD because of an accident or an injury or not?

Dr. Helané Wahbeh:
That's a great question and I guess it depends why you want to know. There is a clinical diagnosis that has specific diagnostic criteria. So if you went to see a mental health professional they would either do an interview with you or have you fill out some questionnaires to look at a few things. One is what type of symptoms are you having? Are you hyper aroused which means when you hear a door slam is your body going immediately into fight or flight? Do you get triggered really easily? Are you having difficulty sleeping? Is your nervous system kind of revved up and wired to always kind of be jumping or startling, et cetera. There's also a set of symptoms that are more around depressive type symptoms. Are you depressed, lonely, not reaching out, not being social, being avoidant in your behavior so you aren't really connecting with your friends and family anymore? Aren't going out to your normal activities that you would normally do - so that's the numbing and avoiding set of symptoms. Then you also have the re-experiencing set of symptoms. This is where you might have flashbacks of that traumatic event, or you might have nightmares that show up or something reminds you - you might get a smell and then all of a sudden that traumatic event comes to you again. And these can be so profound that the person loses touch with the present moment and is completely deep in their reexperiencing. So those are kind of the three symptom sets of post-traumatic stress disorder. Now the most indicative of a clinical diagnosis is that this blocks the person from actually living their normal life. They aren't able to do their activities of daily living anymore. They aren't able to hold a job, et cetera. So I started answering this question by saying that it depends why you want to know. So if you want to know if you have a clinical diagnosis then reaching out to a mental health professional and having them go through this formal process with you would be really supportive. That being said, you know some people say that everyone on the planet has some level of PTSD or trauma for some reason or another, and so acknowledging the woundedness and the trauma within all of us I think is an incredibly powerful personal growth exercise to heal our nervous system and become more grounded and balanced, and be able to be resilient to change. There's so much change and various things that come at us from the outside that when we process that, it allows us to be able to discern and make decisions more quickly and easily.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, the reason why I ask this is because potentially it's not really important for us to know if we have the diagnosis or not, but I assume that PTSD can affect healing.
So this is my follow-up question: if we have PTSD can our healing be affected and what can we do about this.

Dr. Helané Wahbeh:
That's a great question - can having PTSD block healing? Well, for me I think of it as something that can be healed. So looking at a person holistically, you look at their goals for themselves, about what they want to heal to step into their optimal self. I think that PTSD is one of the things to address. Now, does it need to be addressed first because it's somehow blocking other injuries? I would say yes, because the interesting thing about PTSD symptoms is it really is affecting the nervous system in a way that prevents events the body from going into what's called rest or digest state - the whole parasympathetic activation of the nervous system, which is the one that is nurturing, rejuvenating and supportive. And if we're always in fight or flight then that creates a situation where you always feel like you're running from the tiger. Now if you're always running from the tiger, it doesn't make sense to have rejuvenating, restoring, replenishing processes happening. You don't stop on the side of the road and say: "Hold on tiger, I need to rebuild my muscles and regenerate my liver cells," or etc. You don't do that. The body is in fight or flight and it is very focused on escaping the danger. So absolutely, I think that if there are any PTSD aspects, addressing those is going to dramatically support the healing process on all levels.

Dr. Maya Novak:
And would you also then agree that it's not necessary that PTSD is connected to the injury or to the accident, but potentially any kind of trauma that happened in the past that might still have those claws in us and is affecting our psyche and consequently our bodies as well. So it's not necessary that we are looking just at the accident, but potentially also something that happened, I don't know, years ago or maybe decades ago. Would you agree with that?

Dr. Helané Wahbeh:
Absolutely and often traumas in our current time are triggering traumas from our childhood or previous traumas. So I agree that it's not just about the specific most recent trauma. What's really wonderful is that there are modalities that people are using today that can be used in that way - like if you look at emotional freedom technique which has had incredible results with post-traumatic stress disorder. You can use that technique for a specific triggering incident, but you can also use it for so much more and the process of working with that modality allows those to rise to the surface for you to address them in real time. It also allows you to clear patterns from your system where you don't even know what the triggering event is. It's like sometimes people, whether they have repressed memories or not, they just have this anxiety or this fear that isn't necessarily connected to a specific event. And often those people are really confused because they're like: "I don't know where this is coming from!" But look at our world today. There are many things to be anxious or fearful of. It could just be this general anxiety or fear.
And so you can apply things like EFT or EMDR or many of the modalities within integrative medicine to support your nervous system to just downshift instead of being revving all the time. And we absolutely know about the connection between our nervous system, our psychology, our immune system and our endocrine system. It's all interconnected so there is a flood of hormones when we're in this fight or flight that prevents our other systems from operating in a way that supports health. And it creates inflammation, it creates degeneration in our body which over time creates illness. We were not meant to be in this state of chronic stress. It is deeply debilitating on our system to always be in this revved running from the tiger experience.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, absolutely and then an injury comes and after everything that is already happening in our lives then we have an injury and it's a lot. Now we both agreed that we as human beings are extremely powerful. We have such a healing power within ourselves. But many people are not actually aware of that. Why do you think that a lot of people are not even aware how much power they possess and what they can do with their bodies and with their healing?

Dr. Helané Wahbeh:
What a wonderful and empowering question. You know in the West our culture is set around this dominant paradigm called materialism. And so that puts forth that the only thing that matters is the physical, and our current medical system is designed around that, and we are encouraged to look outside of ourselves for answers about our health. It's just how it's currently designed, so this idea that we have our own innate ability to heal ourselves - that we have this innate capacity for deep inner knowing and wisdom, that we can be in communication with our body, that our body has a voice and if we take the time to listen to it that it will actually speak to us… These qualities are not nurtured in the West and I think that's shifting. That's changing and part of my job is to help that shift and change. But what I've experienced is that when people start to learn about the research that has already been done about this - when they understand the interconnectedness between all the systems of our body, and they empower themselves to tune into that, they don't go back. And that doesn't mean that we don't use the tools of Western medicine because they're quite powerful and useful when applied appropriately. You know, you don't use a hammer for everything, but sometimes a hammer is exactly what you need. So my message is all about empowering individuals to tune into that innate wisdom within themselves, to use their intuitive capacities and know that they are there. That they can tap into them, tune into them and use them in their daily lives to support themselves, especially around health.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah, I love that you also mentioned the times when we need to use the conventional medical approach. Of course we use it. I mean, after my rock climbing accident of course I needed the surgery. Yes, I needed to have 2 screws put into my talus bone. Without that, I could be meditating until the end of my life and the bones just wouldn't be where they should be. So I absolutely agree with that. But what I also know that is happening is after the surgery or after the injury, people are sent home and then wait with fingers crossed and you know, see you in three weeks! This is when it's really on us to take that power back and to realize how much we actually can do in our healing journey. Because then it's about the mind-body connection. It's about what we are doing and you know this best because you've done so much research. So many studies with people. So can you talk a bit about these studies, whether it's on meditation or before also PTSD? Anything that would be really beneficial for the listeners.

Dr. Helané Wahbeh:
Absolutely! You know I'll talk about the mindfulness meditation study that I did with the combat veterans. First, it was incredible because we didn't see a huge shift in their PTSD symptoms from the mindfulness meditation. But what we did see was a shift in their relationship to them. So let's say that before they learned meditation, if they had a re-experiencing event they would start judging themselves and feeling horrible and becoming angry and really and that would trigger more emotion, more negativity etc. Whereas after they learned the mindfulness meditation, there was less judgment. There was more kindness and compassion to themselves - like "Okay, I had a re-experiencing event. So what. It's now done. I'm going to move on with my life." So there was a much greater gentleness for themselves in the process and that in and of itself improved their quality of life. It was a short follow-up so we didn't get to see how that evolved over time if that supported them. But that skill of present moment awareness and bringing loving kindness to ourselves is revolutionary in any illness or any injury. If we aren't continually beating ourselves over the head with shame and guilt and frustration and anger. It's like "Okay, I broke my leg, I need to be at rest for six weeks. What am I going to do with that?" How do we make the most of that without spiraling out into negativity? I think mindfulness and meditation are very, very useful around that. The other very important piece about the many research studies that I've done is that intention matters. That our intention actually affects the physical world and we've seen this in many, many different areas. We've seen it through the work of psychoneuroimmunology in the way how our mind affects our physical symptoms. We've also seen that when people direct positive healing intension to whether it's cells or plants or animals or human bodies that we see positive change just from intending for positive healing to happen. We see change. This is revolutionary in my opinion. Now does that mean that you're going to be miraculously healed within a couple minutes? Likely not - the effects are small, but it is an effect. So 2 people with the same exact injury - if one of them is visualizing every day the bones are knitted, that it's less inflamed, that it's healthy, that there's beautiful blood flow. They envision themselves walking and dancing and jumping, and they do that every day - that person is going to have a much faster, smoother, easier healing time than the other person who is like "This totally sucks! I can't believe this happened. Oh, this was so horrible." Negative, negative, negative. You know the positive healing and intention person is going to have better outcomes. Now have I done that exact study? No I haven't, but from all the research I've seen thus far I would strongly hypothesize that that positive healing person is going to have much better outcomes and these have been done by laboratories all around the world with very similar results so intention absolutely matters.

Dr. Maya Novak:
So I can raise my hand here because this is exactly what I was doing during my healing and I'm encouraging my clients to do that as well. So even though you haven't done that research yet, I can tell you that there are a lot a lot of people who are doing this and seeing results. So I agree with you that we have to focus on what we want to experience, but sometimes it is challenging because when we go to the doctors or to a surgeon, most likely they will tell us worst case scenarios.
And then we have that picture in our mind. So it's really on us to decide which picture we're going to be focusing on. Thank you for sharing this.

Dr. Helané Wahbeh:
Ah, absolutely. And I just want to clarify I haven't done that specific study with the 2 people with the broken bone, but there is a huge literature of studies that have been done directing positive healing and intention to these various targets. What hasn't been done, and it's because of an ethical reason, is we haven't had a control group thinking negatively, because you don't want that. So we only have the positive versus nothing, rather than the negative versus the positive. So I just wanted to clarify that, and that's not to say that you don't take in the surgeon's information. You know you hear it and you say, "Thank you for sharing, and I'm going to hold this vision." And this is really tricky sometimes for people to understand, because they say that's just wishful thinking. That's just Pollyanna thinking and there is a nuanced difference between just putting like a positive band-aid on things and actually physically envisioning the outcome. Our mind is so powerful and there have been studies on this too that you can create a physiological response in your body through your imagination. So it's not that you're just Pollyanna saying, "Oh yeah, it's gonna be fine." That doesn't work. What works is actually visualizing feeling that you are healthy and well. I hope that makes sense, but it's a very important point and it's a very nuanced point about what positive healing and intention is.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Absolutely and thank you so much for clarifying this. Now Helen, a lot of your work is about intuition. So Can you talk a bit about how you think this is connected to trauma and injuries, please?

Dr. Helané Wahbeh:
Absolutely. So I talked about this, innate capacity for intuition and our innate ability to heal ourselves. We're all born with the ability to do this and so the invitation is to not get information from outside of you, but to look to your own internal wisdom first. So let's say you had an injury. I'm just going to make up an example: you broke your arm. See if you're able to find a still place to tune in, even if it's just for 5 minutes, and you take nice deep breaths and I'll guide us in a little process around this in a little bit, and you connect with that part of your body. You can do that in whatever way works for you. Maybe you envisioned that part has an avatar. Like this broken arm has an avatar that looks in a specific way or has a specific voice and you begin dialoguing with it. “You know what do you need? Is there a lesson I needed to learn here? What's going to support you the most?” Even if it's as simple as breathing in and out of that area. Bring your attention to it. Bring your positive intention to it. “I love you. I forgive you. We're going to be okay.” You know it's like speaking to a young child to gain whatever information you can, and to be in a positive healthy relationship with that part of your body now. You can take that one step further. Let's say that you're presented with multiple different treatment options. Let's say the surgeon or the doctor says you need to have a surgical consult. And then they say you have these 3 options: either we just do this cast, or we do this type of immobilization, or we do surgery. And you're overwhelmed. And they give you their expert opinion and then you go talk to friends and family and then your head's going to explode because you don't know what the right answer is. So we can use our intuition. We go to that quiet still place again and then we ask. We say, “Hey body,” or higher self, or whatever you want to connect with or call it - it's this innate wisdom. “What is going to be in my highest interest to support my healing?” And then you wait you listen. And that might show up for you as an image or a sound or a sensation. When people first begin practicing this type of exercise, it's often nice just to have a yes/no or 2 choices, because yeses often feel very joyful and opening, and nos often feel you know, contracting or clenching. And so you could say, “Is it my highest and best interest to have surgery?” And then you see if you’re feeling expanded or feeling contract. I talk about this in my book and in all my work. So little tips like this to support yourself, to tune into this inner wisdom, to learn what is in your highest and best interest and the next step. This can also change over time. But you're just in that moment checking in with what's in your highest and best interest.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Helané, this makes my heart sing, because what you just shared is so important. And I love that you started by connecting – suggesting that the person connects with that injured body part. Because I can tell you that many injured people are so angry at that injured body part that they don't want to see it or feel it or talk to it. They have resentment, so it’s important to really connect with the body, but also because this is a part of you. This is so extremely important. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this. Now, you said that you're going to also guide us through a beautiful meditation. But before we started recording, we decided that it's best to do this at the end so that we can go through the things that we want to discuss. Now I would like to ask you if you had to choose just one advice and give it to an injured person, what would it be?

Dr. Helané Wahbeh:
As best they can to be present with all aspects of themselves to it. That's it and I could explode that out. Like where am I right now? In this moment, where are my emotions? Where are my physical sensations, where are my thoughts? How am I breathing? To just be fully in the now and as best they can, compassionate and loving and kind. Whatever that looks like, even if it's ugly and horrible and full of intense emotions. Just love that Anger. Love that resentment. Love it all in that present moment, breathing in and out.

Dr. Maya Novak:
This is beautiful and so important because a lot of times we try to run away from the present moment because it feels uncomfortable. So we try to do whatever we can - either just be on a phone and scrolling through gazillion of posts, just so that we don't connect with the turmoil that is happening internally. So this advice is beautiful.

Dr. Helané Wahbeh:
What's amazing about this, and you learn this through mindfulness training, is the emotions are temporary. The pain is transient and I know many people are in very intense chronic pain. I want to acknowledge that too. But in general, it's temporary. It passes, and so many of us are taught and our culture supports this avoidance and looking outside of ourselves and to escape and to fill it with, like you said, scrolling or shopping or video games... But the simple act of paying attention to where we're at right now is so profound. I have I have children and my youngest is 10 and I taught him from when he was a young child if he'd fall down and get hurt, I told him we'd stop and then we'd say let's breathe into the pain. Let's just focus on it and breathe into the pain and invariably it shifts.
And it gets better. There's also a profound meditation technique by Les Fehmi called Open Focus which is specifically for dissolving pain. So if any of your listeners are struggling with intractable chronic pain I would highly recommend checking out Les Fehmi's work.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Perfect. We're going to put this in the show notes and we're going to link it. So anybody who is listening and is not on my website mayanovak.com/podcast, please go there because it's going to be under this audio and video. Now. Helané, I have 1 fun question before we slowly wrap up and go into the meditation: if you were stuck on a desert island with an injury and you could bring only 1 thing with you that would help you heal amazingly, what would that be and why would you decide to take that thing?

Dr. Helané Wahbeh:
Ah, such a great question. The first thing that came to mind was clean, clear water because I don't know what this island's going to be like and I would find that so incredibly important - to stay hydrated. You know people underestimate the incredible healing power of water in and of itself. So that was the first thing that came to mind and I'm going to stick with that.

Dr. Maya Novak:
That's perfect. I mean just before we started recording we both did 2 big sips and we were like, “Okay, now we are ready to record the interview”
Where can people, those who would like to, discover more about you about your work? What is the best way to connect with you or to just look into your work?

Dr. Helané Wahbeh:
Absolutely - we have a wonderful website at Noetic.org where you will find all of our research projects, our publications, and we have free Webinars where we talk about these various topics. A wealth of information and a community that you can plug into if you choose to.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Fabulous, Helané, I am so excited now about this guided meditation that you so kindly offered. So the stage is yours. I mean it's been yours for almost the last hour but please... Would you be so kind to guide us through this now?

Dr. Helané Wahbeh:
Absolutely and before I begin I'll just share a minute or two about tips for meditating in general because often when people think of meditating they feel overwhelmed because they're like, “Oh I have to sit quietly for an hour and I can't do that and it's challenging.” I invite people to start out with really small tiny baby steps. With the combat veterans, meditating for more than a few minutes was deeply uncomfortable for them. So we'd say just do it for 30 seconds, just do it for 1 minute so you can even start with just a very short time period. If you say you’re going to spend 1 minute a day being still and as best you can quieting your mind, you'll be amazed at how quickly that amount of time will grow. Other people will say, “Well my mind just isn't quiet.” You don't need your mind to be quiet to meditate. It is not a requirement. You can have a very busy mind and still be in a meditative state. It's really about the intention of being still. Being quiet and supporting yourself to be in this more internal state. Some people do it while they're hiking or out in nature or drumming - there's so many different ways that people step into this altered state of consciousness that really supports them to go within.
So I'm going to guide you now in a unique type of meditation because I'm going to walk you through various steps, and you should feel free to use these in your own life. I've found these very helpful for me to get grounded and calm and nurture that parasympathetic nervous system that I shared with you before. So I invite you all now to just close your eyes if that feels comfortable to you and take a nice deep breath. Finding yourself in a comfortable posture with your hands resting in your lap, either palms up or palms down. And inviting your mind to let go of everything that has come to pass for you to be sitting here right now. Inviting it to trust that all the information I shared is just getting soaked into your system without you having to do anything with it.

And inviting your mind to let go of the future, this list of things to do - just setting that aside for the next ten minutes or so that you can be fully present right now.

So I invite you now to bring your awareness to your body sensations. Just notice if there's any body sensations that you can feel. Perhaps you can notice the chair against your body or your clothes against your skin. Just keeping your focused attention on your body sensations. I mean if any of those are uncomfortable just do your best to breathe into them without judgment, just noticing their quality. The texture. Sometimes there's a color.
If your mind wanders, that's totally fine, just notice that it does and then bring your awareness back to the focus right now which is the body sensations.
And I invite you now to switch your attention from your body sensations to any sounds you can hear around you. Just bring your attention to your faculty of hearing. What can you hear? Just notice any sounds coming in and if you aren't hearing anything that's fine. Just keep listening.
And then letting go of the sounds and bringing your focused attention now to your breath and this process called breathing. Just experience the breath moving in and out of your body whether it's rise and fall of your chest or belly or the air moving in and out of your nostrils - just pick one of those and focus on the breath.

Each inhalation and exhalation.

And again, if your mind wanders which it likely will, just notice what took you away and then bring your awareness back to your breath.

And shifting your awareness from your breath to your emotions. Just ask yourself, “Am I feeling any emotions right now?” And notice what arises for you. And you may not and that's totally fine. But if you do, just notice what they are. They may not have a name but just see if you can just rest in the feelings. If you can name them, that's great to do. Also sometimes they show up as color or a sensation in your body. Just notice what's going on with your emotions right now.

And then shifting your awareness from your emotions to your thoughts. Pay attention to your thoughts. They are like our mental events just rising and falling in the mind. Some people like to think of it like bubbles in a soda. They just rise up and pop.

See if you can just observe your thoughts without getting attached to any one thought but just seeing it rise and then fall away.

And if you get caught by a thought train that's totally fine. Just notice when you get pulled away and bring your attention back to the present moment, rising and falling away the thoughts.

And so up until now we've had focused attention on a specific aspect of ourselves in the present moment. So I'm going to invite you now to broaden your attention to encompass all of the present moment. All at the same time. Imagine it like a flashlight beam that is just widening, widening, widening until it includes all of it. Your body, sensations, your emotions, your thoughts, your breath, the sounds... All there.

And you just observe each moment by moment of who you are right now and then right now. Over and over again. And when you get pulled away from the now you just bring it back with love and kindness. “Oh you were in the past, let's bring you back to the present. Oh you're thinking about the future. Let's bring it back to the now.”

And so in this now moment I would like to ask you if there is any energy or any aspect of you that you are ready to clear and release, that it shall be cleared and released now. Envision this wave moving from your feet up through your whole body out through the top of your head. Any energy any patterns any trauma any negativity that you are ready to clear, let it be cleared now and just envision that leaving your field.

And when that feels complete I invite you to call back all aspects of yourself – mental, emotional, spiritual, physical - any aspect of yourself that has split off through your trauma or otherwise just daily dealings with people. Call that back. Envision that coming back through a golden filter at the top of your head. All this energy's coming back through this golden filter and filling every cell in your body. It feels right to envision that being so right now.

And from this present moment state where you're cleared ungrounded I invite you to set an intention for yourself. Whether it's about your health and healing or your day. Intention can be a quality of being you'd like to hold or a prayer wish you have for yourself. You just set that intention and hold that in your heart.

And then when you're ready, taking a nice deep breath and gently opening your eyes, wiggling your body and coming back to your daily awareness.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Thank you, Helané. This was beautiful.

Dr. Helané Wahbeh:
You're welcome.

Dr. Maya Novak:
I’ll very gently say thank you too, my listeners, who tuned into today’s episode with Dr. Helané Wahbeh. I hope this beautiful guided meditation has given you exactly what you need in this moment. And please know that it’s always here for you - whenever you need it.
As mentioned before, to access not only the audio of this podcast, but also show notes, links, transcript, and video of today’s conversation, please visit mayanovak.com/podcast.

Love and gratitude xx
Dr. Maya

Do you think this episode would help anyone you know? Please share it with them.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *