It was a big week in New York City. I gathered with my Hay House author colleagues – Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Kris Carr, Gabrielle Bernstein, and many other radiant beings – to speak at the Hay House I Can Do It Ignite conference. My publisher announced that they’re producing a public television special about my work that will appear on PBS stations around the country – and that I’ll be going on a live tour with PBS. Hay House is also going to film a documentary DVD about Writing Your Own Prescription, based on what I teach in Mind Over Medicine.
Plus, the Dr. Oz Show producers met me and asked me to appear on the show to talk about healing health care. O magazine asked to do a feature on my work in the June issue. I spent four hours pow-wowing with supermodel and genius philanthropist Christy Turlington to noodle how we could combine our influence to spread the message of her nonprofit Every Mother Counts, as well as the message of my upcoming book Mind Over Medicine.
Then there were the bright lights of Broadway (we saw Mary Poppins), the buzz of eight million people, my first glimpse of the new World Trade Center tower, the chaos of the Natural History Museum on President’s Day (I think all eight million New Yorkers were in that museum on that one day), and the fact that I wasn’t able to work in my daily meditation or take my daily hike in nature.
It was a lot for this introverted country girl from a teensy little coastal town where the closest grocery store is a 20 minute Highway 1 drive away…
I told a few people that New York tends to “spin me out,” and that putting Lissa in New York City is like dosing Lissa with amphetamines, when Lissa needs Valium.
When Your Body Speaks
After talking about how “spinny” I felt, I hopped on a Virgin America flight back to San Francisco, and about halfway through the flight, I started feeling dizzy – first just a little bit, then very dizzy, so dizzy I felt severely nauseated. The only way I made it through the rest of the flight was by sitting rock still, closing my eyes, and breathing deeply so I wouldn’t throw up. When we got home, the Highway 1 car ride home only made things worse.
I’ve never had vertigo, and I’ve never been airsick, and I’m used to winding country roads that rarely make me motion sick, so the whole thing was disconcerting.
Be Careful How You Speak To Your Body
I asked my body what I usually do when it doesn’t feel well – “What are you trying to tell me?”
My body said, “You told me you felt ‘spinny!’”
Ooh… I know better. When you say things like “I’m prone to colds” or “Cancer runs in my family” or “We tend to get high blood pressure,” your body is happy to prove you right. This was a great reminder to tend the garden of my mind and cleanse my thoughts.
What’s Your Body Communicating?
Caught in my linguistic mistake, I took the next step and asked my body what it was trying to tell me. What might my vertigo mean?
I closed my eyes (still dizzy), got Wordless, and listened to the voice of my Inner Pilot Light.
My Inner Pilot Light said, “The Gremlins are terrified.”
Oooh… yes. This felt wildly true. My Gremlins were PETRIFIED!
So I asked the next question. “What does my body need in order to heal?”
The answer was clear… Get grounded. Deal with the Gremlins. Have faith. And let go.
When The Stakes Are High
I remember vividly the first time I cut open a person, back when I was a third year medical student. And I remember – even scarier – the first time I cut a person open without supervision. I remember the first time I was in charge of the whole Labor & Delivery ward – by myself.
I nearly had a heart attack every time.
Remembering my fears from back then, it puts things into perspective. The stakes were much higher with surgery or delivering babies. People could have died if I failed to perform. This time, if I fail to perform perfectly, nobody dies. But I’d be failing much more publicly, which feels very vulnerable.
I know it’s not all about me, that I’m not in control of how any of this goes. I know that the positive attention coming my way is really about the vision I’ve been charged with bringing into being in the world. It’s about an idea whose time has come and the people who are committed to healing health care and empowering patients to take responsibility for their health.
My Fear Of Success
But when my ego steps in (I call her Victoria Rochester), I feel overwhelmed, and I get scared, and I want to crawl into a cave and make myself small.
Deep down, I’m afraid of failure, but in many ways, like many of us, I’m even more afraid of success. My trip to New York left me staring face-to-face with both my biggest dreams and my biggest fears. It was uncomfortable, and I’m sure it triggered stress responses in my body. And as I wrote about in Mind Over Medicine, two of the most common physiological reactions to stress responses are… you guessed it… dizziness and nausea.
Getting Out Of My Own Way
I know I may come across as pretty darn strong and fearless sometimes. But other times, I feel like a basket case, and I just want to curl up in a little ball, ask someone to wrap their arms around me, and hide from doing scary things that push me out of my comfort zone.
I realize that thoughts like these could lead to self-sabotage. I could get in my own way and put the brakes on all the great things coming my way. I could let the Gremlins win.
But I won’t. Because I’m too committed to my vision. And I’ve worked very hard to bring my dream into being. And I know this work will help many. Plus, it’s damn exciting!
I’ve recently defined my own definition of success, and I realize that, as long as I stay true to this, there’s no reason for me to be afraid. I get to make choices that are aligned with my Inner Pilot Light. It’s my right to set boundaries, and I only need to say yes to things that feel delicious – in my body and in my life.
So move over, Fear. There’s work to be done here, and I don’t have to be in control. The Uni-verse is in charge, and I am merely a vessel for Divine work in the world, if I can free myself from the chains of ego and fear.
Gremlins, be gone. Vertigo, I heard you. You can leave now. Redwood trees, I’m heading your way so I can get grounded. Media and Hay House, thank you for believing in me.
Uni-verse, I am at your service.
Does Your Body Speak To You?
Do you ever get messages like this from your body? Are you afraid of success sometimes, too? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Lissa Rankin, MD: Creator of the health and wellness communities LissaRankin.com and OwningPink.com, author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013), TEDx speaker, and Health Care Evolutionary. Join her newsletter list for free guidance on healing yourself, and check her out on Twitter and Facebook.