#270 How Your Little Self Can Support Your Healing After Breast Cancer

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In today's episode, we dive into an area that you will surely resonate with - the profound emotional journey that accompanies physical healing.  

It's incredible to realize that, unlike physical pain from a past event, emotional pain resurfaces powerfully when we recall it.  

For example, most of us are carrying little 'T' traumas from impactful childhood experiences that are affecting our health and relationships today. 

Understanding and processing these emotions can lead to profound healing. 

In this episode, we'll explore how these memories influence our adult selves and how we can nurture our younger selves, offering them the comfort and understanding they craved and that will serve us now. 

Join me in this episode as we navigate this delicate emotional landscape, encouraging self-awareness, compassion, and holistic healing.  

If you've ever felt that tug at your heartstrings when recalling a past event, this episode is a must-listen!

Referred to in this episode: 

Better Than Before Breast Cancer Life Coaching Membership 

Humans Are Good 




Read the full transcript below:

Laura Lummer  00:00

You're listening to the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I'm a Certified Life health and nutrition coach, and I'm also a breast cancer thriver. If you're trying to figure out how to move past the trauma and the emotional toll of breast cancer, you've come to the right place. In this podcast, I will give you the tools and the insights to create a life that's even better than before breast cancer. Well, let's get started.


Laura Lummer  00:32

Hello, friends, you're listening to Episode 270 have better than before breast cancer with the breast cancer recovery coach. That's me, Laura Lummer Welcome back, if you are a returning listener, and welcome to the show, if you are new to the show, and just finding it. And I gotta say, it's been really exciting lately, what I'm seeing happen with the podcast. I remember reading, I think it was a book called The Tipping Point. It's a definitely a Malcolm Gladwell book, I'm pretty sure it's called the tipping point. And I remember reading in it, how he talks about people who become experts on things like for instance, how the Beatles practice for 10,000 hours how certain hockey players practice for 10,000 hours, and there's this, this point that you get to was whatever you're doing, or whatever you're focusing on, if you're doing it consistently, and you're putting all this time in that it gets to this point, and it just starts to just be bigger, you know, it just starts to take on a life of its own. And I do feel like that's something that's been happening with the podcasts lately. I'm hearing so many people sending me messages sending me emails saying they've just found the show or that they're sharing the show with other people. And the listenership is just growing and growing. And it's so exciting. It's, it's so exciting to see 1000s and 1000s of people from around the world, coming here for support every week, now twice a week. So thank you for that, because you are a part of that we're connected, you're the family. So thank you so much. And if you get something out of the podcast, please do share it with others share with other survivors, because I know support is so badly needed. And what I'm going to talk about today, I think really digs into that this emotional support component. And I so often hear from women who reached out to me and say, I just didn't think this would be so hard on me emotionally. And it's a very important thing for us to address. And I think that this podcast, I know that this podcast does give a lot of support and validation to the fact that our emotions are strong, they're powerful, and they deserve space, they deserve us to be there to witness them, to hold space for them, and to process them. And in doing that, we are doing something so important for our healing. And I don't just mean like if you have active disease, and you need to heal, I just mean our overall healing as a human being as a spiritual being, that our wellness, our emotional wellness, our physical wellness is so rooted in being able to process our emotions, and sit with our emotions in a very healthy way. So I want to share a story with you that I went through recently, and I relate this so much to the experiences I have with clients that I coach. So in fact, I'll start there. So when I'm coaching people, I very, very often will see that a topic comes up, or memory comes up. And I can see the emotion rising, you can picture that right, you're talking to somebody and you can see they're starting to get emotional, and then you can see where it stops. And where it stops is right in their throat. Right. And I bet you've experienced that too. I know I have, we feel it Coming up, we feel it coming to our throat. And isn't it amazing, it just aligns with this throat chakra the energy that we have around our throat and expressing ourselves. And here comes motion. And we either don't know how to express it, we're not comfortable expressing it, we do not want other people to see it. We don't want to feel it. We don't want to acknowledge it. I mean, I could go on there's a list. And so we just hold it right there, we clench it and it gets stuck in their throat and will often say You know, you're choked up, think about that. Think about the language there. It feels like choking because that emotion is choking you it's constricting the throat, and I'll talk to my clients and I'll ask them when I see this happening and I'll say, tell me what's going on there. I see that emotion coming up. What are you feeling? Where are you experiencing it? And they'll say, right here in my throat I feel like I'm choking. Right this is important and I'm we're gonna get to why this is important as a as a background. So, here I am. I'm going through my own process of working on the metabolic approach to cancer meaning addressing all of the terrain 10 aspects that I've been training in with Naisha winters, really digging into this stuff and more than just what Acia teachers are what I'm learning. They're just the overall working on every aspect available, when it comes to what I can do to support my body's ability to heal. Now, we all gravitate to food, right diet and exercise. And that's super important. And I think a lot of people don't stop, though, to acknowledge the importance of our emotions behind food, our thoughts, buying food and exercise, because those are really important too. But what's even more meaningful, is that as you start to do this work, as you start to work on the emotions that you hold on to the emotions that you're trying to let go of, that you'd like to let go of, but don't know how to. What's fascinating is to see how strong and how powerful they are. When the right thing comes up. You know, we talk about the right experience, and these emotions come up. And I've often marveled at it over the years marveled at this and just said, Isn't it interesting? Like we can remember physical pain and childbirth, a broken leg? A surgery, right? waking up from a surgery, we can remember physical pain, but if you stop and you think about it, like oh, yeah, that hurts so bad. This is what I did. And this is what happened. And we couldn't recall that we were in pain, but our body doesn't start to hurt again. Right? Our body, I don't feel my broken leg. Again, I don't actually feel labor and delivery pain again. But I can recall that it was difficult. But when we talk about emotional pain, when we recall the circumstance for emotional pain, here comes these waves of actual pain, we recreate them for ourselves, right? It friggin hurts. It's uncomfortable, it's painful. It's so fascinating. And it gives so much validation to things like the book, The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Vander Kolk, and other emotional training so much emotional training, that just speaks to the fact that we hold emotions in our body, massage therapy, trigger point therapy, there's so many therapies that when we release the body, we release emotion. And in doing so, we heal ourselves on so many different levels. So I think that it's absolutely fascinating. And I want to speak specifically to an experience that I had, and how I can relate this to what I shared with you about my clients, and that I think we could all use a little more space for a little more gentleness in. So let's get into that. One of the things that I do, as a part of my process is I work with a terrain advocate. So this is someone who's been trained by nature winters, the same training program that I've gone through. And I work with a naturopathic oncologist who has also been trained by nature winters. And I do this because I believe in the process. And I also do it because I want the patient experience. Because I want to understand what my clients are going through. And we'll be going through as they have the patient experience. So I hired this amazing nature of path, and I'll put a link to her in the show notes for this episode, the breast cancer recovery coach forward slash 270. And part of her package is there are X amount of clinical appointments and their X amount of therapeutic appointments. Because in the train 10, just as in radical remission, and again, in any other healing practice that you find, looking at your emotions, and really allowing your emotions to come up and be processed is a huge part of this is a huge part of the way we support ourselves. And I don't think we give enough credit to it. But it's so powerful. So something for me, that I asked myself all the time is, is there something in there that I haven't turned over yet? Is there something in me that I'm not recognizing, not willing to recognize not wanting to talk about, and I want to work with someone to help draw that out of me because my goal is to help my body heal. And I don't want to leave any stone unturned no matter how heavy that stone is, no matter how uncomfortable that stone is. And some of them are friggin uncomfortable, right? But I'm all in and I'm going to do it no matter what. So I have my therapy appointment with my oncologist. And she starts to take me through this process. And it's fascinating because in part of the metabolic advocate training that I do, there is a whole emotional program that I went through with a company called humans are good to learn this emotional training. There's a process they go through, which is very similar to what I did with my naturopath. So, we're going through this process, which is basically identifying a really powerful emotion that you have are noticing something that is always there like maybe it's sadness, maybe it's anxiety, maybe it's unworthiness, maybe it's anger. or just something and I feel like most of us have a predominant emotion, some predominant insecurity or just pain point on that emotional level. And it's a really interesting process that I highly recommend everybody goes through, because it really helped me to, I don't know, just get this clear understanding of how powerful even the smallest thing can still be, when it comes to how emotions impact our body. So this is a big oversimplification of this process, because it's a process that you really need to go through an experience personally, but the oversimplified version of it is, you're going to identify this emotion. And then ask yourself, what was the first time you remember feeling that now most of us will be able to go back really far in our lives. And you might start by going back 10 years, and then 20 years, then 30 years, but what's the earliest time you can remember feeling that, and I think a lot of us might come up with something like fear or powerlessness or anger. And when we think about when was the very first time we felt this, or we can remember feeling this,


Laura Lummer  11:18

I have yet to meet someone who cannot go all the way back to one of their earliest childhood memories, some very, very, very young memories. So in my experience, we went through this process, and mine was this powerlessness. And it brought me back to an experience and I don't know exactly how old I was. But I do know that where it took place, which house it took place when we were growing up. And I do know that we moved out of that house when I was in fourth grade. And this is much earlier than fourth grade. So it's pretty young memories, right? It's kind of amazing how much we can remember. But anyway, I start to think back on when did I first experienced this feeling? And basically, it's a very simple thing, right? It's this simple. Well, when I was a kid, I had to eat everything on my plate. I'm sure many people out there could identify with that. If you're in my age range, you get that right, your parents don't have a lot of money. Hey, we bust our butt to get this food and put it on the table and you're going to eat everything we put in front of you. Boom, that's it, right. And I didn't like vegetables. I hated peas. I hated lima beans, I am still traumatized by lima beans. But I go back to this memory. And I just remember thinking feeling really powerless because I had to sit at the table until all my food was done. And I was so frustrated inside, I can feel the constriction. I didn't want to sit there. I didn't want to be made to do something I didn't want to do. So here's the amazing thing. As we think back on this now, certainly, I'm 59 years old, I've raised four children. I understand why my parents thought that I understand why my parents did that. I have no animosity towards my parents for doing that. I know that they thought they were doing the right thing and parenting in the best way. But it's just my own experience of that feeling that we're looking at. It's not who's to blame or who did wrong or could they have done better. It's just realizing that sometimes we carry with us and store in our body, this thing from way, way, way back when, from our earliest childhood memories. And it still affects us today, in our lives, in our relationships, and maybe even in our health. So when we went through this exercise when I went through it with my naturopath and I remember this experience. I felt so much emotion come up. So many tears came up that it was startling for me. I thought Why is this so powerful? Why am I feeling this frustration so intensely? Why am I feeling this powerlessness so intensely, and it was amazing to me. And I wasn't angry in the moment. Again, I wasn't holding anyone else responsible for it. What we were doing was just practicing holding space for that emotion. What does that mean? I hear this all the time. I tell people you got to process that emotion and say how do I do that? We do it by not stopping it when it hits our throat. We do it by when it comes up. We don't have to talk over it. We don't have to justify it. We don't have to make it okay. It isn't about blame, right or wrong. It's about allowing yourself to notice, whoa, I have this powerful emotion in me. Let me examine that. Let me let it be there. And as it comes up, we just allow it give yourself permission to say like, all emotions are welcome here in this space. Right I want to understand My body, I want to understand my mind, I want to understand my ability to heal. So what is in here? And when we're going to process these things, we're holding space for it, meaning we're not going to shut it down. We're going to let it be there. So here it is. Here's this powerful emotion, this powerlessness from little Laura. Right? Little Laura, maybe seven years old, six years old, five years old, I don't know, but really, really young, right. And she felt so powerless, because she had to eat the damn lima beans, and she didn't want to right. Now, here I am 59 years old, and realizing that thread and how that emotion has threaded itself through my life, how much I resist putting myself in positions where I might feel powerless, how many walls and defenses I've put up against that feeling of being powerless. I don't like I don't like I don't think anybody likes feeling powerless. But it's fascinating when we talk about processing our emotions and getting to know our emotions, even as an adult, how much of it comes from our little self. Because when it's that strong, when we're young, whatever it is, you went through, you know, we talk about big T traumas and little T traumas, big T traumas being really big, devastating things. Abuse, you know, that goes just beyond the day to day, Hey, sit at the table and eat called peace. I mean, we're talking about not even insinuating that that's abuse. We're talking about real abuse, when we talk about a big T trauma, grief, loss of a loved one, sexual abuse, physical abuse, violence, I mean, the horrible things, right, traumatic things, not little tease, we talked about this as a little tea, right, me being a little kid being angry or frustrated, because I was worried to do something I didn't want to do. But those little teas, we take a lot of those with us from our childhood, our little selves, hold on to those little T's. And they don't, I don't think ever become big T's in our lives, they become a really big heavy bag of little teas. And they become a lot of responses and emotional triggers to things and repressed emotions that are not serving us and helping us. So what do we do with that? What do we do? And we notice, wow, when I think back on my little self, and I hold space for that little self, and I feel these emotions that she had that are so strong.


Laura Lummer  17:43

How do I take care of that? What do I do? Well, when we hold the space for it, as I just discussed, we allow ourselves to feel that way, and don't shut it down. And don't minimize it and don't say that's just ridiculous. Why would I feel upset over a little piece when I was seven years old, or reading a little pile of peas, doesn't matter, it's there. And so a part of that healing process is allowing it, the bigger than that is to be able to recognize now that you don't have to bring the little T's from our little selves forward anymore. That we can give ourselves permission and we can say to our little selves, it's okay, now, I can take care of you now. I have agency now, I have power now. I have the ability to choose now, I have the ability to make decisions in my life, that result in caring for myself, in being gentle with myself. And that we can recognize that taking care of that little part of ourselves, that little version of ourselves. We can bring that forward in our life and look at how we treat ourselves now. And if we think about our little self, we think about that little kid that was sitting there at the table is so upset because she had deep he's what would I say to her now? In the most gentle way? Right? How would I treat her what I want to say? And I think that this is so important because we are so damn hard on ourselves all the time. And when we look at ourselves as adults, I don't know we hold ourselves to these imaginary standards of perfection and strength and warriors and all of that crap. But if we can stop and look at ourselves as these little people and realize what we experienced as little people, and notice that it's still in us now. Then I think we can cultivate more gentleness, we can cultivate gentleness towards that child in us. We can let that child in us know it's okay. We're here now we've got her, but we can bring it forward and treat ourselves with that same gentleness now. This is part of the emotional healing process. A lot allowing ourselves to feel everything we feel, and to be gentle with ourselves. Now, to see that we still are that little kid, like maybe our bodies grew, maybe things happen, but don't you ever come across people I know I do, where I'll meet people. And I'll see them reacting so strongly and so powerfully to something that happened as a young teenager as a young child. And I'll just marvel at it, I think the human brain is so amazing. We store all this stuff in the body. And then here at 50 6070, I know people were well over 80 years old, and I'll watch them. And I'll notice, wow, the body grew, the body aged, life changed. But there's that little kid, I just saw their face right there. Right, we never gave that little kid the space to process what they didn't have power over, we never stopped to say, I have power over that. Now. Now I can let that go. And this is the important thing. Remember, I've said this a couple of times, because I really want to emphasize it. This is about processing, powerful, harmful emotions that we store in our body and releasing them. This is not about finding people to blame. Now, there's a whole when we're talking about big T traumas and things of that nature, get the help you need and find a licensed professional to work with, because that is some big major stuff. And it definitely absolutely can contribute to all kinds of different, they can have a lot of impact on your health, right? I don't know exactly how I want to word that. But it can have a huge impact on your health today, just as the little T traumas can. But we should always be open to seeking that support and professional help, especially if we have really deep big T traumas, okay, even little D dramas to get any support that you need always. But most of all, I wanted to talk about this on the show, because I don't think that we hold space a lot of times for her little selves. And it's a very interesting practice. So I've been taken through this exercise a couple times now in my own training, and then in my own experience with my doctor. So I offer it to you. And maybe you think it sounds silly, maybe think Leave that stuff in the past. But it isn't about digging up the past, it's about realizing that you never let go of it. It's about realizing that somewhere inside of you, you're still holding on to that. Because you haven't allowed yourself space to process it and let it go. So I offer you that exercise. And I think that an excellent resource for doing this kind of work is humans are good. I'll put a link to them in the show notes for this episode as well. And again, there's so much more to the emotional training component in the emotional coaching and conditioning that gets done in these programs. This is just a tiny little bit a tiny little experience and a very oversimplified experience of one of these exercises, even though it's just a little peek into it. It's a powerful piece. And something I hope you'll consider because there's no doubt in my mind, from my own experience and all the women that I worked with, that when we can be kind to that little version of ourselves, then we can learn to be kinder to the current version of ourself, and without question, that's a hugely important thing to creating the healthiest possible lifestyle. All right, my friends, I am also here to support you in anything that you need. You can find my programs and coaching opportunities on my website, the breast cancer recovery coach.com You can join my free Facebook group the breast cancer recovery group and talk with other breast cancer survivors who can encourage and inspire and motivate and hold space for you because they understand what you've been through as well. All right, take care and I will talk to you again very soon


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