Meet our September Scarlight, Lisa M. from New Mexico!
I humbly welcome Lisa to our Scar Power community and I’m so grateful that she has chosen it to share her story. Our April Scarlight, Anita L, a beautiful and amazing supporter of Scar Power and a staple in our Scars to Confidence Facebook Group, referred Lisa to my Scarlight platform. Thank you, Anita, I am so grateful for all that you are and all that you do!
When we can see ourselves inside of others’ stories, it gives us hope that “yes we can” overcome whatever struggles we may be dealing with. Being a conduit in the healing journeys of others is a blessing, and I am grateful to take on that role.
Read Lisa’s incredible story of bravery and resilience below.
Where It All Began
“From 1980 -1997, I worked as a board-certified Music Therapist in a general hospital setting. In the beginning I was creating programs for psychiatry & chemical dependency. I was guided by my intuition & an inner directive, in which I kept saying: “I am my own guinea pig. Maybe if I create an experience that helps me, it will make a difference for someone else.” Early on, I found a book called The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson; and then attended a workshop on “stress management”. This was a brand-new concept in the early 1980’s. At the time, all that was known about the stress response was “fight or flight”, with nothing about the physiology of stress or stress hormones (cortisol.) Both exposures helped set my course.
I started creating programs focused on wellness. This included stress management; relaxation training; fitness; group dynamics; team building; insight & self-discovery; and appreciation awareness (gratitude). As well as program on values clarification and authenticity; recreation/leisure awareness; the “child within”; and new games (fun/play for adults). Eventually I expanded MT services hospital-wide; was promoted to Director of my own department; introduced Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth into labor & delivery (I had my 3 children with MTAC); and developed a national internship training program. Then 1989 hit.
Many hospitals started to down-size. Mine was one of the first. It became a very toxic place to work. Experiencing a lot of pessimism, it robbed me of my joy and made me feel physically ill. For me, nothing was worth sacrificing my well-being – so I quit. I walked away from 10 years of blood, sweat, tears and PASSION. Within 6 months, the entire program was gone. I found another MT position in a 2nd hospital which lasted for 6 years, before it too started down-sizing and became too toxic to stay. This time when I walked away, I made a VOW TO MYSELF … “I would never be an employee again; nor ever allow anyone to treat me in such a degrading way”. I thought to myself, it was time to “go home” to be with my children and husband. This was 1996.
Little did I know that the words “go home” was a trigger; nor that I was setting the stage for a “perfect storm”. Leaving the structure of every-day contact with people and work created a void in my life and fertile ground for my subconscious to start “inserting itself” into my daily life. My EGO was losing its strength; my body making noises; and my soul getting my attention.
Finding My Voice
During 1996-2000, I participated in many transformational workshops. This included the Landmark Education Forum(s); a Bernie Siegel Workshop using powerful art-therapy exercises (oncologist/author of Love, Medicine & Miracles); my last Music Therapy Convention; and a RADIX workshop called “Finding Your Voice” (a body/voice/energy approach). During each of these, I had some unusual, weird, and sometimes “alarming” experiences. I started sensing that “things were not quite right inside of me”. During the “Finding Your Voice” workshop, I actually ‘lost my voice’ during one of the experiences. I could NOT utter a sound! I was astonished & shocked. That was when I set an intention in that moment … that “SOME-DAY” I would work with a professional in this modality.
By 1999 I was ready to get back out into the world. I dipped my toe by signing up to teach a simple, after-school music class for 1st graders. It wasn’t long; however, before I became completely triggered and shattered into a state of extreme panic & anxiety, I was totally blindsided. It felt like I was jumping out of my own skin. I thought I was losing my mind. I became debilitated & dysfunctional and spent a year trying to hide “it” from my husband and children. Oprah & Dr. Phil became my lifeline and daily group-therapy fix. Oprah’s show featured many life coaches. This started to “plant a seed” in my mind – maybe this could be my next step.
I’d experienced “coaching” during the Landmark programs, recognizing its power for transformation. I found a certification program online, enrolled, & spent the next 2 years engrossed in training. Once again, I’d created a “structure” which helped to quell my inner disquietude. It also engaged me in a deep dive learning process focused on personal growth. I started to sense the coaching helping me to reprogram my mindset, which was filled with thoughts of extreme self-hatred & self-loathing.
I was learning to adopt a new language called “self-love”, while being gently guided towards a kinder, more compassionate “way of being” with myself. NOW I KNOW … I was actually “in process” … rewriting the inner scripts/imprints encoded on my brain (the after-effects of extreme abuse). The blank slate of my infant’s pure/unadulterated/unprotected mind was no match for the onslaught for the powerful energy of the verbal attacks from my father. His words took root in my psyche and lived on inside of me for many years to come.
In 2003, I became a certified Life Coach, started my coaching business, and actively pursued working with a Bioenergetic Therapist (like Radix … body, voice, energy work, in a soundproof room). One month later my mother died. After her funeral, I returned to therapy and declared I no longer believed my process was about “freeing” my inner child’s singing voice. Intuitively I knew … the synchronicity and juxtaposition of my mother’s death meant my work had to be some “THING” which had to do with me & my family. I knew I was in the right place, doing the right therapy, but had no clue what it was all about.
During my work with the psychiatric units, I became very clear that – personally – I would never seek out therapy with a traditional “TALK THERAPY” approach. I didn’t ever want anyone labeling me or drugging me out. Besides “I already knew what I already knew”; it was what I didn’t know that I was determined to find out.
In one session, my inner soul parts allowed a Freudian slip. I found myself saying, “Besides … I KNOW I don’t have anything like sexual abuse in my history”. Little did I know that this was exactly the door I would be opening. I also made a comment about “knowing” I was doing the right kind of work & felt committed to the process … “no matter where it took me!” This was critical! It sent the message to my soul parts that I was ready to do the work and finally in the right place with an expert “therapist/witness” who could provide the support we would need (me & my parts) for them to feel safe in revealing themselves. Our subconscious is our best friend, and our SOUL very much in the driver’s seat.
FOUR MONTHS LATER, I achieved an energetic breakthrough; a “full body” vibration. It felt like a dam bursting in my root chakra. “Trapped” trauma energy came flying out of my mouth, i.e. “blood-curdling” screams, which went on & on & on & on. Now I know … this was just the beginning. What I was experiencing were the sounds of childhood terror, anger and rage; emotions which were suppressed and never allowed to be expressed at the time, during the abuse. My screaming continued in almost every session for the next 5 years.
My Inner Children
During my bioenergetic years I met most of my inner child parts … the fetus, newborn, 3-year-old (my divine child), 5-year-old (“LOVEY”), 9-year-old (my inner warrior); my 16- & 17-year old’s; up to my 50-year-old (the last incident with my father). At 50, I still did not know anything about my past. After my “breakthrough” session in February 2004 … and very early on in my process … my “baby voice” revealed that I had a “soul-contract” with GOD (I was tape-recording my sessions). Her words revealed that my goal was to put an end to the generational abuse which had been coming down the pike for generations. (The movie “Braveheart” is a metaphor for my family history … our lineage going back to the Bruce Clan). Knowing “THIS” actually provided me with much comfort and inspiration – especially during some of my darkest times.
My Bioenergetic years were a time of deep suffering. It felt like my life had been turned upside down and inside out. I had no conscious memories of all of the things my body & voice were re-enacting. I never knew who or what was going to come to the surface. For years I lived with horrible stomach aches, 24/7. Eventually I figured out that … it was a part of me wanting to be released. I spent a lot of time doing my own work at home. With tape recorder in hand, I’d lie on my bed and allow my legs to shake (violently), while making an AHHH sound. Finally, a soul voice would emerge and reveal yet another puzzle piece of my past.
All The Parts
I have total AMNESIA. I have no conscious memories (pictures in my mind’s eye) about my past. Even though I don’t see “visuals”, I do know everything that happened to me. Over the years my soul-parts revealed it all. (I spent another 5 years doing EMDR when I got majorly triggered by my coaching). Today, the AMNESIA is still protecting me. If I would ever start to “SEE” my life’s experiences, it might be like a video loop that would never end. It might send me down a rabbit hole, never to return.
You might say that I AM a “MODERN-DAY SYBIL” … with one HUGE difference. When Sybil “dissociated” into one of her multiple personalities, her “HOST” self was completely gone, and her part took over her consciousness. However, when my parts started revealing themselves to me, I was always present (and still am). I am totally cognizant/aware of them and what they are saying or doing. Even to this day, my parts are with me; they still have a job to do – holding the visuals of my past. Even now they are very much present within me, reacting & responding to what’s going on in my everyday life. It’s “as if” I am in communication with my soul – which is channeling new information, insights, & guidance.
Finally, my personal experiences with soul-fracturing and soul-retrieval work have given me a NEW PERSPECTIVE about the STRESS RESPONSE. I believe GOD builds us all with a miraculous, innate GIFT for SURVIVAL that is within every one of us, inherent in our GOD DNA. For me, the STRESS RESPONSE goes beyond a mere 4 F’s (fight-flight-freeze-fawn). My paradigm is “THE 6 F’s”:
- FRIEND (being in a place of calm and homeostasis)
- FIGHT (systems activated)
- FLIGHT (run for your life)
- FREEZE (dissociate)
- FAWN or FLOP (submit to survive)
- FRACTURE (soul fracturing & amnesia).
My soul-parts came into being to allow me to survive. They protected me then, and they still do. They “hold the visuals” of the excruciating experiences I endured, which otherwise might derail me (re-traumatize me). It is because of my parts that I’ve been able to get on with my life, thriving, and enjoying it to the fullest. We all have inner child parts inside. They are nothing to be afraid of, but rather parts of our soul/self to embrace and celebrate.
To heal, I did have to get down to the ROOT CAUSE for my shattering; expose the truth for my fracturing; experience the deadly D’s … despair, despondency, depression, debilitation, and dysfunction. But once my shadow side was exposed and brought to the “LIGHT” for healing, I was set free. Compassion & self-love were the “master ingredients” for the “healing balm”. Our mission in life is our 19” journey from the head to the heart; back home to our soul/self and the authentic US. This allows us to reclaim our true life, our soul-power and achieve a state of “inner calm”, peace, & joie-de-vivre!
It has been 22 years since then. I’m finally 100% on the other side of the “dark night of the soul”. As I look back, I can see the process I went through, putting the puzzle pieces together, into a new “gestalt” to heal. Knowledge is power; and self-awareness/personal growth, empowering.”
Questions for Lisa
- Why do you want to be featured in a Scarlight?
“I have been on a healing journey ~ through the “Dark Night of the Soul” ~ for 20+ years. In the beginning I had no idea what was going on with me or why. After having lived for 48 years with extreme success, enthusiasm, joy, & passion … I was totally blindsided when my body “shattered” into a state of extreme panic and anxiety. The “not knowing” caused so much pain & suffering. Now that I’m on the other side – healed, transformed and understanding everything about what I’ve been through ~ I want to share my wisdom & knowledge with others. I want to help alleviate emotional pain & suffering and shine a light on “hope for healing” for those who are still dealing with the aftereffects of childhood abuse, terror and trauma.”
- How has your story shaped your life’s perspective?
“My personal healing journey totally transformed me and my life.
Although I spent years in the trenches; traversing treacherous waters; and suffering the excruciating pain of the deadly D’s (which took me to the brink of feeling suicidal) … I would not change a thing. My journey has been imbued with deep, rich, magical, mystical, spiritual experiences that delight me and my inner child’s heart.
I am so “full” of deep appreciation and love for GOD, the DIVINE, my angels, Jesus, Mother Mary, the Ascended Masters, all my dogs who passed on (my earth angel/healers) … and for all the loved ones who have been helping me from the other side.
Today my life is guided by 2 powerful words … COMPASSION and SACRED.
Through compassion, I’ve come home to my heart and an inner balance in body/mind. I am no longer dominated by masculine energy, fighting for my life … but … have been able to experience the sacred energy of the DIVINE FEMININE. It’s been a process of a visceral “softening” within, letting go of inner tensions I did not even know existed. Everything in life has become SACRED. Every action a sacred practice. Every intention – divinely inspired and guided.
Back in 2003-2004, when I first started coaching, I was working on my website. My first iteration was called “Journey Back to Joy”. This then morphed into “Free Your Soul to Sing”. TODAY, almost 20 years later, my mantra is… “FREE YOUR SOUL TO SOAR” … the ultimate gift of healing.”
- What steps did you take and/or tools did you use to overcome how you felt about your scars? If you have not yet, why?
“Ever since childhood, I was always aware of my “inner world” – my “inside thinking”. Perhaps you might say, I was tuned into my intuition, listening to the inner whispers and making decisions/choices based on internal guidance. I think I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum, answering “the call” of my soul. This became extremely important; however, when it came time for me to pursue therapy, it was my body, gut, instincts & intuition propelling me forward. When I would “get a “hit”, I’d think … “I believe I am supposed to” … go there, do that, attend that workshop, say YES to this opportunity, buy this book, follow that hunch … or … WORK WITH THAT PERSON!
Over the years I’ve probably worked with 70+ people … coaches, therapists, teachers, trainers, shamans, psychics, spiritual counselors, gifted bodyworkers, massage therapists, music therapists, and many other types of healers, guides and mentors. I’ve participated in hundreds of workshops, classes, courses, trainings, and certifications … all while gathering “pearls of wisdom” to tuck away into my personal toolbox. At one point I called my car “The UNIVERSITY of LIFE!” I was hooked up & plugged in 24/7 to audio recordings from the library. All of my education, work experience, & information gathering served me well when it was time to deal with my breakthrough, into the secrets of my subconscious and the horrors of my abuse. Now that I’m on the other side, I see that I did tap into key concepts & approaches which served me well.
An understanding of Quantum Physics … Everything is energy!
Metaphysics: We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Our journey in life is to live, learn, grow, evolve … make mistakes (fail, hurt, experience pain) … heal, transform, self-actualize, self-express … and ascend. Our mission in life is to share our own unique, unrepeatable version of LOVE in the world.
Energy Medicine/Energy Psychology hold the MASTER KEYS to resolving, transmuting, and transforming energy – especially trapped trauma energy. The field is exploding – with powerful technologies being born every day. These approaches can help release & resolve the psychic wounds of the inner child. I know. I am a POSTER CHILD for energy healing; without it I never would have been able to access the truth of my past and set myself free. Examples: Bioenergetics, EMDR, hypnotherapy, RADIX, somatic body work, HBLU (healing from the body level up), Donna Eden Energy Medicine, EFT (emotional freedom techniques), tapping, sound healing, guided imagery & music … & much, much more!
Music Therapy … was always a personal choice for love, comfort, soothing, and healing. Many technical terms from quantum physics & energy medicine derive from Music terminology: resonance, entrainment, vibrations, dissonance, harmony, conflict/resolution … and more. Music as energy is a readily available tool for anyone – when used with intention and consciousness – to bring us home to a state of inner peace, equilibrium, and harmony.
ART THERAPY… a powerful modality to tap into the subconscious and expose “things” living down-under, below the surface of our consciousness. I have many examples of art work that my SOUL-PARTS drew (while “my eyes” were closed). One in particular actually saved my life! (but that is another story). They provide powerful, visual representations of “real-life incidents” I experienced but do not remember. Also a chronicle for my pathway to healing.
The SOUL’S ODYSSEY … “waking up” to consciousness and to our innate spiritual essence. This brings us home to our heart; reunited with our true self; and our core soul-power.
BOOKS BOOKS and MORE BOOKS … always my source for education, inspiration and transformation. I will always surround myself with my library of books … my teachers, mentors, guides and therapists!
JOURNALING … especially with your inner child … using your nondominant hand. A powerful technique to communicate with your subconscious and find out what is really going on.”
- What is the most important thing you have learned about yourself through your journey?
“I AM … “MY CHILD’s HEART”!
It is who I’ve always known myself to be and how I always described myself. Even at age 70, I still have a very “VISCERAL” connection to my young, inner child’s heart. It feels very real and full … an “expansive” sensation of love & compassion for everything. This “KNOWING” has always been with me; perhaps the most important key to my survival during my darkest, despairing times. I recently came across a journal entry I wrote (but do not remember writing).
It said …
“GOD SAID ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! I need a strong, powerful, amazon woman with a HUGE HEART who can withstand the EXTREME (torment, torture & abuse) and STILL SURVIVE!”
In 2015, when I was working with a powerful psychic/healer (soon after my father’s death), she experienced a spiritual download during the session. She heard, “Your father’s energy was like Jack-the-Ripper. If you had not taken him on, he would have perpetrated much more abuse, on many more people.”
- What is one lesson that you can share with others that will inspire them?
“My signature talk is called “The Pathway Forward: 12 Pillars to Healing from Childhood Abuse & Trauma.”
There is a PATHWAY forward and one can heal, no matter how difficult or treacherous a life endured. We all have everything we need inside to reclaim our natural birthright – to return home to our innate state of love, joy, & peace – if we are willing to accept the challenge. This is YOUR LIFE. It is all about YOU. Truly, there is nothing to be afraid of. Though the journey be not for the faint of heart, we all have everything we need to succeed inside. However, it will require us to have faith, hope, love, & compassion …and… a whole lot of help and support! No man/woman is an island. We all need each other. And it takes a lot of courage to dare to come out of hiding and ask for help. BUT …
You are worth it.
You deserve it.
There are POWERFUL healers, helpers, coaches, therapists … tools, techniques, and approaches … ready and waiting to assist you; to walk by your side, on your sacred path of inner healing. There has never been a better time, nor more powerful tools to help heal & you get to the other side.
Please say YES to yourself!
We all have psychic wounds within … but … they do not have to become a life sentence.
From my heart to yours …
I wish you God speed, safe harbors, and a gentle landing within; back home to your center … to your gentle, kind, loving, compassionate heart within.”
You can reach Lisa at email@example.com or LinkedIn.com/in/lisa-LoveLight-0187797 if you would like to connect!
Wow, what a journey! I had to take a few minutes after reading this to really let it all sink in. Lisa has been through so much, but she still found the courage within to keep going and doing the inner work.
Lisa, I applaud you and I thank you again and again for being our September Scarlight and choosing Scar Power to share your story.
You are an inspiration to many!