“I began to explore who I was beyond my diagnosis and to develop more life-affirming aspects of myself.”

Growing up with a mental illness I know all too well the crushing effects of diagnoses. You are handed a set of behavior patterns, personality traits and future predictions based solely on your label. You define yourself as such and create your life in line with it. In the process self-exploration ceases, bigger dreams of achievement dim and your self-evolution gets narrowed down to managing your illness. I lived from this limited perspective for years. I took consolation in that I had achieved a stable emotional state but deep down I knew there was more to living then stability. Empowered by a holistic psychiatrist at age 20, I began to explore who I was beyond my diagnosis and to develop more life-affirming aspects of myself. An amazing sixteen-year journey followed which was filled with healing from self-judgment, cultivating self-awareness and shifting my life target from surviving to thriving. What did I learn along the way? Question everything. Never settle for what someone tells you is so. Seek out those with useful information who empower and inspire you; but know that you are the only one with the power to change your life. And most importantly, things are not always what them seem.

(The following is a book excerpt from The Other Side of Bipolar)

You’re Not Crazy. You’re Remembering.

My belly flutters. I wonder what we’re going to explore today? As I sit in Dr. P’s waiting room I remember my hesitation at seeing a therapist again, but my chiropractor suggested I come. My neck adjustments aren’t holding and she thinks it’s because of unresolved emotional issues.

So I consent to go and quickly discover that Dr. P and her “Energy Psychology” are very different from the talk therapy I did for years. I don’t run circles in my mind anymore. Instead, something very different happens here.

My reflection is interrupted as Dr. P opens her office door, “Lauren, I’m ready for you.” Her red curls bounce as she turns around, inviting me to follow. I smile as I enter her office. Between the orange leather couch and shag rug I feel like I’ve stepped back into the ‘70s.

“How’s it going?” Dr. P asks.

“Okay. I’ve been thinking a lot about my need to stay hidden. I always thought this came from having a bipolar diagnosis. I didn’t want people to know I was crazy. I thought if I hid I would be safer from judgment. I’m really ready to change this. I don’t want to stay hidden. Can we clear this?”

“Of course we can. Let’s start with some NET and go from there.”

Dr. P uses a variety of different tools in our work together. NET (Neuro Emotional Technique) uses muscle testing to tap into my body’s knowledge. It helps us identify — and release — the emotions I’m holding in my body, from the past decades and even from past lifetimes!

This approach is a real stretch for me: past lives? I had learned about reincarnation in yoga and even though this is weird, I’m seeing shifts already in our short time together. My mind is more relaxed and I’m discovering that my body is really wise.

Dr. P also uses tools from Access Consciousness™. In our first session together she introduced me to something called the “Light/Heavy Tool.” She asked me questions and then invited me to tune into the energy in my body and in the space around me: did I feel light or heavy? A “light” sensation is a ‘yes’ or a truth for me. A “heavy” sensation is a ‘no’ or an un-truth.

After decades of seeing doctors who claimed to know more than me and told me what was going on with my body, I’m now learning how to listen to what my body and I know. I’m being asked the questions. I’m the one finding out what is true for me. I’m becoming my own expert on me.

Dr. P sits next to me and invites me to hold my arm out straight. Using the NET technique she alternates between asking questions and gently pressing down on my arm. My arm either stays in place or it falls down. This is the NET version of the Light and Heavy tool.

“So repeat after me, ‘It’s safe for me to be seen.’” I repeat this statement and she pushes gently down on my arm. My arm falls.

She asks more questions and we discover that all of this is connected to a past life where it wasn’t safe for me to be seen.

“So what comes up for you? What are you aware of?” Dr. P asks.

“Mmm…,” I pause. I have a sense of something, but it’s not from this lifetime. How could that be? Am I making it up? I share with her what I’m aware of, “It feels like I was killed or sent away when I was seen.”

“Okay,” Dr. P nods, as though all of this is very normal and not make-believe. “Were you doing something or being something you weren’t supposed to?”

I smile at the answer that pops in my head. Do I dare say this out loud? “I was a witch. Or at least they thought I was one.”

“And what happened?”

“I was sent away.”

“So what happens when you are seen?”

“I get ostracized and sent away.”

We sit in silence for a moment, looking at each other. Then Dr. P continues with asking questions, testing my arm strength, and touching specific points on my body that help release the blocked emotion and memories from this past lifetime.

Lauren Polly, Life Coach and author of The Other Side of Bipolar, shares her own journey to help others find the life they desire without limitations. Lauren is a catalyst for people who are living their life on autopilot; she helps others shift from surviving to thriving through dynamic healing, self-empowerment, and life-changing tools in her cutting-edge classes and 1:1 coaching. She hosts a weekly radio show called, Beyond Speech, Limitless Communication, and is a Certified Access Consciousness® Facilitator, Certified Talk to the Entities® Facilitator, ASHA Certified Medical Speech-Language Pathologist, and is a registered Yoga Instructor. Lauren has shown thousands of people around the world how to engage boldly with themselves, their body, and the world to create the life they desire.

· Website: http://laurenpolly.com/

· Twitter: @LPollyLifeCoach

· Facebook: LaurenPollyCoaching

Originally published at www.beliefnet.com.

Originally published at medium.com