Why I Created the Metamorphosis Program

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Photo by Joy Kennedy.

We marched around the backyard single file, all six of us, with me at the front. When I stopped in the middle of the yard, all the other kids looked at me expectedly. I had no idea what to do.

I was five years old. I knew I wanted to take my classmates on an adventure at my house – I rarely had groups of friends over, and never had birthday parties because of my shared-with-Jesus/Santa Christmas birthday. I felt a surge as I led us forward, but then I was at a loss of what to do. I felt trapped, exposed, alone. As if I had done something wrong, and now I had to pay for it.

The beauty of being an adult is that we can look back and understand things that we didn’t as children. I can see now that I was afraid to fail, that I didn’t trust myself, that my introvert nature and genetically higher level of anxiety led to a brain freeze. I berated myself for not knowing clearly what to do next, even as a five year old. This is a lesson I’ve had to face time and time again in my life, feeling bad, wrong, at a loss for words, a bit ridiculous sometimes. Not understanding that I work more slowly, that if I give myself time, things always emerge. I also didn’t know one of my strengths was to draw a group in and lift each of them up as I held space for them to grow.

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I never fully felt like I ‘fit in’ – too much time around other people would increase my anxiety, make me irritable, or just provide that desperate feeling of wanting to run away (which I now know was my fight or flight stress response). This was true in grade school up until after I graduated from college, when one day, my stomach fell out. And it took years to recover.

The summer of 2000, within a month of graduating from college, I had lost 15 pounds. While some of that could be attributed to fewer beers and less late night pizza now that I had a full-time job, it had more to do with the fact that all of a sudden, nothing was staying in my body. I was diagnosed with the all encompassing and not-at-all-helpful IBS; I cut down on dairy and hoped for nearby bathrooms whenever I went out.

In September, I made the cross-country drive with my friend Megan from Chapel Hill to Oakland. It didn’t take long for me to become vegetarian, then vegan (and at one point, raw foodist) after being exposed to a whole new set of beliefs and food in the Bay Area. Some of those changes helped temporarily, some didn’t; some of them made my health worse in the long run.

Years of seeing a range of regular doctors, alternative practitioners, and tons of personal research, plus trying every dietary approach possible, led me to the Holistic Health Education program at John F. Kennedy University in 2004. It was then that I began to get an inkling of my purpose, and why I was contending with a stomach that wouldn’t quit at what felt to me like the hugely unfair time of my early-mid 20s. Hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, systemic candida – you name it, I was told I probably have it.

It took a long time for me to really get on a gut level (pun intended) that all of those physical manifestations had deep emotional roots in my stress response, my introversion that I failed to respect, my distrust of myself. I will continue to untangle these connections for the rest of my life, though I’m so thankful I can now do so with a lot more joy, less angst, and a much bigger picture view.

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Healing isn’t a definitive statement. It’s why I never use the word ‘healed’. We are all on our own path of healing in our lives, for different reasons with different historical roots. Family dynamics, genetics, past lives (yep), environment, culture, and a myriad of things we don’t even know about yet impact our health every single day.

Metamorphosis is no 21 day program, or even one month program, because I know and understand that real changes don’t happen in that amount of time. It’s an easy sell for people to fork over their money, but you won’t experience true long-term changes that quickly. You need to settle in for a while, build a new support community (which has been shown as one of the most important aspects of maintaining changes that you make), discover, and tweak. And continue to unpack the layers over time, as life tends to bring us the same issues again and again in different ways (look out for a post about the ‘spiral’ phenomenon, which I’ll be posting soon).

The Meta program is a culmination of my personal, scholastic, and professional experience since I began this journey at the tender age of 23 (of course, I’ve really been on it my whole life – but consciously since my 20s). What began as a supposed six month trial of a new diet led to years of talk therapy, bodywork therapy, workshops, meditation retreats, a certification in Nutrition Education from Bauman College, and a Masters in Holistic Health Education from JFKU. I understand that to uncover your truth – which is where you shine your brightest and discover a sense of true purpose – you need to approach your mind, body, emotional world, energetics, and soul calling.

Particularly if you suffer from a physical issue, you can’t just use one approach – trust me, I tried FOR YEARS to battle it mostly with dietary changes and bodywork. I was missing the necessary components of the energetic level and ultimately, my soul’s work.

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There is so much I enjoy in teaching Meta, but my favorite piece is the magical tool kit each person gets at the end. After learning about a dozen healing techniques throughout the program, you get to choose the 3-5 methods that most called to you, that helped shift your worldview and view of self. You are then gifted with the tool kit at the last class, so that you are able to use these tools as you move forward in life, accessing them daily, weekly, monthly, or when you need a reminder of what helped you get through a tough moment.

I think we all need a magical tool kit when we hit a wall and can’t see our way up, down, or around it.

To learn more about the live Metamorphosis program, go here. Stay tuned for information about our online Meta program, coming this fall.

 

 

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