The Wednesday Word: GIVE UP

Blessed Ash Wednesday and Lenten Season.

The Wednesday Word (phrase) is: Give Up
During the Lenten season, many people of the Christian faith commit to fasting for a 40 day period as a token of faith symbolizing the account of Jesus’s sacrifice into the desert. This “giving up” of certain luxuries such as TV time, particular foods or drinks and so on for the 40 days is meant to replicate the sacrifice and the chosen tool or path many Christians use during Lenten season. This post is not meant to shame or condemn anyone’s practices or religious rituals, more so a faith awareness of the self. See, I have worn many religious hats in my faith journey. I was raised in all the following churches or religions in my childhood: southern Baptist, ol’ regular Baptist, Salvation Army, Latter Day Saints, Seventh Day Adventist, Church of the Nazarene, Pentecostal, and Unitarian. Then, as an adult I was Unitarian, Catholic, Universalist and now a member of the United Church of Christ. During my thus 48 years on this planet, there is a lot I understand and a lot I do not. One thing I do not understand is Lenten season, as it is ritualized in the modern times. For example, why would I give up red wine as a symbol of sacrifice to Jesus’s sacrifice and journey, only to go right back to drinking it after 40 days? How does that honor the account? To me, it really doesn’t. It is just that, a symbol. Giving up TV for 40 days likely feels like a sacrifice and difficult for some, but does it equate anything truly meaningful? Jesus had to do without a lot on his journey. He had to rely on faith to get him through. He didn’t finish the journey and return to watching his favorite shows. He had a lot of time to think out there. When was the last time you took 40 days to reflect on how your life is this far? Or to reflect on ways you could better yourself? It is my opinion this Lenten season, my 40 days might be best used in giving up old ways of thinking and really working on believing in myself and working on the gifts God gave me to use during this lifetime. We often think we need to give up something materialistic for Lent in order for it to count or for people to hold you accountable. Heaven forbid, a co-worker see you drinking a chocolate shake and remind you there is chocolate in it and you gave up chocolate for Lent. Like a 40 day game of “A-Ha, I Caught You Sinning…” How about, instead, give up something no one can see, but tangible in the mindful/awareness sense? If that same co-worker heard the words you say to yourself in condemnation, would they intervene? Would you? How about giving up calling yourself stupid, ugly, fat, loser, etc.– and keeping with it long after the 40 days passes? I believe it IS what Jesus would do, versus give up red wine, chocolate or TV. What will you give up this Lenten season? Whether you practice within a religion or not, we can all benefit from being better to ourselves. Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become. Blessed Lenten season and blessed life.

Living With Toxicity 

Hello and thank you for this opportunity. My name is Nora Knople. I am a board certified hypnotist in Norwalk, Ohio, specializing in helping clients diagnosed with autoimmune disorders. This niche began after my own journey with autoimmune. It has been a taxing journey. One I still work through, daily, as I am living with toxicity. I made a conscientious choice to work to live my best life, despite being toxic. You see, years ago, my parents made a choice, along with my dentist to use amalgam fillings in my teeth. I was plagued with dental caries, as a child and still bore the ramifications today. I also want to state I am not an anti-vaxxer, however it was after my one and only flu shot that I was able to be diagnosed properly and subsequently treated, putting me on a road to recovery. Because I am living with toxicity I am not able to get flu shots, as the benefits do not outweigh the risks for me. It has been a lengthy process of balancing life, being aware of reality versus perception and stepping outside the pain and anguish to experience life fully and wholly. Prior to being diagnosed with mercury poisoning, I surely thought I was dying. This thought was familiar, as I had beat cancer twice and allowed that thought to flutter in on occasion to remind myself I was actually, quite alive, as it were. I did this to connect back to self and reality bc so much of what I was going through at that time felt so much like an out of body experience, and today, faintly like I experienced it at all. Like a parallel lifetime. I see versions of it but it’s like watching a movie. Like I was not a part of the story at all. I would go through the motions but I was not living. I felt like I was floating on a bubble within the ethereal atmosphere. Even the day the doctor who I sought for a second opinion suspected I had heavy metal toxicity felt foreign to me. I was on nine different meds by my family doctor, to treat symptoms of asymptomatic occurrences. I certainly was not my respectful, stoic self. I had become argumentative, uncertain and paranoid. And I felt like my family doctor stopped listening. In actuality, he had, giving credit to each new symptom as a result of depression and mental illness. Reality, well, it looked very different to me, than it actually was. I was and am sane. Despite it all, somehow, within myself, I managed to function. Like a marionette, my body danced along to the rhythm of life despite the disease. Once diagnosed and given a plan of treatment, the new doctor took me off all my meds, actually ran tests the family doctor did not. I was diagnosed with RA factor, mercury poisoning and had a rare tumor growing in my middle ear, which had been growing for 13 years and masked by the overload of meds I didn’t need. My entire body was toxic. This new plan lifted a cloud from me that weighed me down for years. I felt confident and in control, yet I was anything but. Most importantly, I felt, for the first time, hope and I felt listened to. The subsequent specialist appointments to formulate treatment plans felt liberating and rounds of chelation therapy worked wonders, but my body was still on a trajectory toward despair. Stress, even superficial, caused a spiral of doom. Reality was scary. The physical was being cared for. I needed to care for every level of me in order to heal. It was then I returned to my roots in complementary care, and also saw a highly qualified counselor, who helped me understand I was not only not crazy, but not my illnesses. Add in meditation, yoga, hypnosis, massage, physical therapy and more – all aided me to restore my authenticity and focus on actual reality, leaving fear and pain in the peripheral. I am evolving toward a goal of eroding the fear and pain, but I can tell you, though some symptoms remain, my life is no longer a struggle and living present to the moment has allowed me to live no longer overwhelmed and given me a profound presence and quality of life with deeper awareness of self and deeper connections to the outside world. When battling mercury poisoning, stepping into the outside world required every part of my personality to function as individual marionettes to play their part, embodying the whole. Failure to do so would quickly escalate to full blown meltdown causing me to implode. Now, I embody the here and now, presently. Understanding my body is a vehicle for that purpose and fully aware of the responsibility, care and maintenance required to keep me going strong. I am happy to say, I am now living fully – no longer the marionette, but, now, the puppeteer. I took control of my life and having a well-rounded plan for wellness was the answer for me. My new doctor was open to discuss combining complementary care as a protocol for treatment. For me, it was necessary. I, not unlike many who are plagued with pain, was caught up in the emotional and cognitive realms of pain. Much of my pain was not real, just perceived. I found my way through it and these processes help me balance other emotions as they arise: grief, sadness, overly-joyful, etc. We need balance to function best. So much of the work I do with clients as a board certified hypnotist is centered on a subconscious uncoupling on the sensory realm of the pain itself. In doing so, the results are usually quick, and the process allows the intensity of those senses to be less debilitating, allowing the client to develop a more accurate interpretation of the senses through awareness. To some degree, despite some feeling paralyzed by fear embedded in the pain, the awareness of the pain itself lessens, offering respite to the clients, liberating them from fear and more intune with the emotions attached to the pain. This awareness allows for a deeper connection to the self, by tuning into each sensation within the body, mind, spirit and energy and accepting, without judgment, what truly ‘is’ and what truly ‘isn’t’. This disciplined exercise of the self is not easy, nor for everyone. However, if able and open to it, can assist clients in showing up more presently in their lives, eroding the once overwhelming fear and pain and contribute to a better quality of life. However, most importantly, I listen. As my clients often know themselves better than I. I provide a safe space and opportunity for them to explore what that means and teach them how to best operate their vehicle of self and all its bells and whistles. This is best practices and aids to their quality of life. While I am still toxic, I am less so, now.

I consciously choose to place my focus on living, instead of dying. Complementary care helped me have a better quality of life. Said practices are being sought, often when nothing else works. I believe, together, with traditional medical care and therapies, where applicable, wellness practitioners, as we are, can and do fulfill exquisite needs to caring for clients and/or patients, holistically and wholly. Consider these collaborations not just as means to aid the clients/patients, but to build a foundation of best practices for self and business, too. Thank you.

-N. Knople 2-19-2020 Integrative Healthcare Symposium

I Am She

For years I tried to hide. Mostly out of fear of repercussions of disappointing my family on a collosial scale. It was around age 47, or yesterday, when I realized that no longer mattered. I am who I am. I am no longer who I was or who others needed or expected me to be. I. Just. Am. – for the very first time in my life, and it feels good. You see, each new now, as I am learning, is a new opportunity for failure, flaws, repercussions, disagreements, disappointments and pain. In between and beyond those moments are growth, strength, imperfection, positive reinforcement, reinvention of the self, honesty, unexpected opportunities, healing, vulnerability and most importantly, truth and authenticity. If you’re reading this, you survived 100% of your worst days. You also only truly experienced about 75% of your best days, maybe less. Largely because being anything other than authentically you is a vast waste of resources. We miss out on opportunities for success, love, joy and more, by spending far too much time online or sulking, complaining, being self-deprecating, and so on, to accept the goodness within and around. There is an abundance of it, if we choose to look up and let it in. That is part of living authentically. Be who you are. But also choose to be kind and compassionate.

Last August, I had the opportunity to speak my truth and live authentically, while at Hypnothoughts Live in Las Vegas. It was the first time I had ever traveled alone without really knowing anyone at my destination. I had an opportunity to be scared or to embrace the situation as if I’d traveled for work all my life and was comfortable in my skin. I was not and did not. However, no one would know the difference except me. So I did. I played the part; there in that now, of the successful business woman in Las Vegas on business. And so, I was.

While on this trip, I had the privilege to attend a class with my friend and colleague, Mercedes Herman. We just met in person for the first time in this class. The class was Hypnosis & the LGBTQ Community by Greg Beckett. Great class! I had no idea within this class, nor did anyone attending, that THIS class would begin to shape my journey of living more authentically than I was at that time. Up to this point I still wore masks. Instead of these masks being necessary to hide and avoid familial repercussions, they were out of my sense of self-imposed shame and shame put upon me by generations before me. As class discussions unfolded, each person who chose to speak stated their connection, if any, to the LGBTQ community. In my moment there was zero hesitation. I just spoke, as if the words were matter of fact and always my truth. And they were!

“I am Nora. I am a hypnotist in Ohio. I have four daughters, one straight, one bisexual, one gay and one still finding her way in the world and hasn’t had a significant relationship yet. I’m in this class to really learn how to speak to and connect all my kids. But I guess I’ve always known how. I, myself am bisexual. I am in a monogamous relationship with my husband and he is aware. He might be the only one, besides you all, now.” I spoke, for the first time professionally, my truth. “I am she – a bisexual, happily married mother and grandmother – hypnotist, artist and author.”

The tears gentle left my eyes and traveled down my cheeks, carrying 47 years of anguish and shame. Once outside the conference room though, I wept. I called my kids. I just needed them to know I loved them and was proud of them. Proud as they were, as they are and as they’ll be. And to know that none of that matters if they are proud of themselves.

I learned more than how to talk to myself or others. I learned we can recover from ourselves and our lives if we want it. We are often worse on ourselves than others. It is true. Want your do-over? Start with living authentically and accepting this now, and each now, as they come. Exercise necessary change when you’re able, let go of what you can’t and hold onto the stillness, life and laughter. Those are the moments we miss out on when we hide from the truth and cower away in the shadows. There is only suffocating in the darkness of the shadows.

Ready to start living the life you deserve?

Take a big breath in, exhale and blow the cobwebs away. Allow the light in. Your light. The one that creeps under the locked doors of your subconscious and shines a spotlight on your authenticity. Remember: You are NOT a bad person. That is the shame taking. Shame lies to you. You are a PERSON. Remember that. You define you. No one else. Everyone gets another opportunity to make life right for them, until they don’t.

You are not your mistakes, your sins or your illnesses. Who you are at the core is not a mistake or a sin or an illness. Mistakes are opportunities for growth. Sin comes from syntax error, just missing the mark. Whose mark? If God created us all in His likeness, then isn’t living authentically Godly? I believe so. Stop saying, “My RA or My fibromyalgia or My cancer. You do not posses it nor it posses you. Posses only identities within your organic authenticity. You only get this go around once. Make it count.

So, ladies, gentlemen and anyone identifying otherwise, I am Nora. I am she and all she is. What she was is in the past. What she will be remains to be seen. Stay tuned. <3