On Your Mind | Gail Kauranen Jones | Worthiness

 

Ever feel like a fraud, even though you’ve achieved success? Today, Gail Kauranen Jones, a worthiness expert and coach, dives into the surprising root of this feeling: a lack of worthiness established in childhood. Gail’s pioneering work includes training over 250 HeartMath coaches globally on her signature presentation, “A Journey to the Heart of Worthiness,” emphasizing that worthiness is an inside job and essential for healing and success. Tune in and learn how to rewire your brain, heal your inner child, and finally claim your worthiness to live a life of joy and success.

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Gail Kauranen Jones – Coach, Author, And Worthiness Expert

Gail Kauranen Jones, known as Coach Gail Jones, is a nationally recognized worthiness expert, an intuitive, executive, and personal coach, and an inspiring teacher who has been leading clients through transformation for more than 25 years. She has trained more than 250 HeartMath coaches globally on her signature presentation, A Journey to the Heart of Worthiness.

Gail has appeared as a guest worthiness coach nationally on CBS TV’s Emmy Award-winning talk show, The Doctors. She has been on Sirius XM Radio with celebrity host Larry Flick and in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper. She also has written for Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global and The Wellness Universe. She is a recipient of Brain Magazine’s prestigious CREA Global Award given to creative entrepreneurs making a difference in the field of mental health for her articles on worthiness and self-esteem. Gail is working on her third book, extending her worthiness platform to teens and young adults. Her other two books are Cancer as a Love Story: Developing the Mindset for Living and the book, To Hell and Back: Healing Your Way Through Transition.

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Since you’ve got multiple books, instead of targeting a book, I’m going to ask the opening question, can you tell me a little bit about how you got into the work you do and what drives your passion for it? You then can take us wherever you’d like. You can put as much or as little of your own history in and the nitty-gritty.

I’ve been an executive and personal coach for 23 years. In 2012, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I took an alternative route in combination with conventional medicine. I did have the tumor removed, but I did not do the radiation, tamoxifen, or any drugs. In my alternative path, about a couple of weeks after I started writing my book, Cancer as a Love Story: Developing the Mindset for Living, I moved to Arizona. I’m originally from Boston. I started training with Dr. Joe Dispenza, a neuroscientist on training your mind to heal your body.

I then came across three different healers. 1 was a naturopath doctor, 1 was a shaman, and 1 was an energy healer. Within a couple of weeks of each other, each of them told me that claiming your worthiness to live can extend your longevity and that a lot of us have a subconscious death wish when something happens in our lives. It could be cancer. It could be a financial crisis. It could be divorce. They had a lot of examples of their clients when they’d ask them, “Claim. Do you want to be here?” that some of the tumors shrunk and some of them completely healed. They had to push through a lot of resistance to claim that when they were in a traumatic period of life.

I took a step back and thought, “If claiming your worthiness to live can extend your longevity, what else can it do?” I took a deep dive into my own journey and realized, “I don’t feel very worthy.” Externally, I looked very successful. I was the editor of the award-winning news magazine in college. I was a journalist. I was a high-tech PR exec before I became a coach.

Externally, it looked good. I was coaching on Boston Radio on a public affairs program every Sunday morning. Internally, I was a scared, frightened little girl. What I can say about that is I had a schizophrenic mom. What I learned about that journey is I was always overcompensating. I see that a lot in my clients as well. Externally, they look very successful, but internally, they’re very scared. I had to heal a lot of that.

Also, Dr. Gabor Maté, who has done a lot of work on trauma, says he can tell who’s going to get cancer based on their childhood. I remember when I was first diagnosed. It didn’t matter what the doctors were telling me. I knew that I had been on fight or flight my whole life and that my body crashed. There were extenuating circumstances on top of that. My second opinion breast surgeon and another healer in Boston told me they were seeing a growing trend that the three years before a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, typically, are off to a child’s stressful years. It certainly was the case for me. I was going through a divorce. I was assigned legal guardianship of my schizophrenic mom. I had two teenagers. It was also a recession, so I lost a lot of money. I had every stress that you could have.

What I tell people on healing from cancer, and I’ll get into the worthiness piece further, is that whether you do an alternative path like I did or you do chemo or radiation, and I’ve coached a lot of clients that do the conventional root, you have to deal with the stresses in your body. You have to heal the stresses in your body. You have to release them. I use a tool called Emotional Freedom Technique, an energy psychology tool to help release them.

Going back to the worthiness piece, I dove deep into my own healing for twelve years and came up with the Journey to the Heart of Worthiness. What I learned very deeply and I teach constantly is that worthiness is an inside job. It has nothing to do with externals. We are all born worthy. It’s the first seven years of life when that worthiness is further conditioned in or not conditioned in. You can take all the classes in the world, including mine, and read all the books. My experience of healing my own worthiness and helping my clients heal theirs is you have to be seen, heard, validated, and acknowledged. Witnessing is so key to ingraining a strong sense of worthiness.

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Imposter Syndrome

The American Psychological Association says about 82% of people have imposter syndrome. Going along in your career, you get this huge promotion and then you don’t think you’re worthy of it. You don’t think you’re enough. You’re scared. You think you’re a fraud. Often, when I coach clients on that, a lot of them are PhDs. They are very well-established and well-trained, but they were never seen, heard, validated, and acknowledged for who they are, not what they do. That is the key to worthiness.

I tell the parents that I coach, “Please make sure you see, hear, validate, and acknowledge the kids for who they are, not just what they do.” I know we have a mental health crisis in the country, and I don’t like to give a lot of attention to it. For teens, it’s getting a lot of attention because of Jonathan Haidt’s new book, The Anxious Generation, where he has some shocking statistics about what social media has done to pre-teens, teens, and young adults. He says it’s creating mental illness. He’s a social scientist. It’s all data-based. That’s maybe part of it, but if those first seven years you don’t feel worthy and you’re carrying that underneath the subconscious, that’s another element. It didn’t start with social media. It started a lot earlier in social media and made the problem worse.

In my worthiness platform and seeing all the success I’ve had with adults, I started bringing my program to younger people. Some of the parents I coached would send their college students to me during the pandemic. I realized that I help clients rewire their brains based on my training in neuroscience, but why aren’t we giving this to youth right away so that when they start their lives, they make better choices based on knowing they’re worthy? They make better career choices and choose better partners.”

Rewiring The Brain

In other words, they’re wiring their brains more productively and lovingly incorrectly so it doesn’t have to be rewired later from a negative, self-loathing perspective.

You said that beautifully. Thank you. I love how you said that. What’s interesting is that neuroscientists, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Dr. Caroline Leaf, and others say it can take between 45 and 63 days to change 1 of these subconscious limiting beliefs such as worthiness, not enough, don’t matter, and not lovable. It could take longer or shorter depending on your age. When I’ve coached the eighteen-year-olds, they get it pretty quickly. Also, if someone’s had trauma in their life, and I know you’ve done a lot of work with PTSD and other kinds of trauma, it is going to take longer. They have other issues besides not getting the right conditioning in the first seven years of life.

The interesting thing about instilling a stronger sense of worthiness is, in some ways, it’s simple, but people don’t want to do it because it’s boring. It’s repetitive. It’s saying the new belief, “I allow myself to know I’m worthy,” over and over again. I do a couple of things. One is, and I don’t know if you use it in your work, that a lot of people use affirmations. Those are great, but I don’t like them right away.

If you are creating a new neural pathway in the brain and you say, “I am worthy,” and you don’t feel it, you’re going to resist it. I use allowing statements, like, “I allow myself to know I’m worthy. I allow myself to know I’m lovable. I allow myself to know I matter.” It’s a bridge to the new neural pathway forming. It also allows the whole universe to support you.

I remember when my first book came out in 2004. I didn’t know what I was doing even though I had been a journalist, but I had never written a book or tried to promote it. If I said, “I am a best-selling author,” automatically, I’m met with resistance. When I say, “I allow myself to be a best-selling author,” I allow the bridge to form. Also, I allow the whole universe to support me. It’s not my will. It’s not putting the stake in the ground, “I got this.” The universe often has a bigger plan for us than we ourselves know. I find allowing statements extremely important.

The universe often has a bigger plan for us than we ourselves know. Share on X

What I tell my clients is the first 5 minutes in the morning and the 5 minutes before you go to bed at night are the most important times of your day to do this rewiring. You start in the morning with a clean slate. When you go to bed at night, it’s like downloading the software into the brain. That’s going to stay with you. It could be saying, “I allow myself to know I’m worthy,” first thing in the morning and then before you go to bed at night.

The other thing I share is when my kids were little, and this was before I was even a coach, but I learned it somewhere but I love it and share it with other people, I would read them a book, tuck them in, and then ask them, “What was the best part of your day?” That’s what went into their brain. They could come home from school and could have been upset that they didn’t make the team or something bad happened, but when they went to bed at night, it was, “What was the best part of your day?” I have two very optimistic Millennials. They’ve been through challenging times in the world too, but a lot of that impacted them learning that.

The other thing about worthiness besides repeating it is tracking evidence of it. When you allow yourself to know you’re worthy and you track daily the evidence of it, like, “Am I dating a higher quality person? Am I making more money or able to ask for what I’m worth? Am I living in the environment I want to live in?” tracking evidence of that teaches the brain to look for more of that.

On Your Mind | Gail Kauranen Jones | Worthiness

Worthiness: When you allow yourself to believe you’re worthy and track daily evidence of it, this teaches your brain to look for more of that.

 

Another thing is when we are rewiring the brain or expanding our sense of self and worth, it is, “What would my life look like if I knew I was worthy?” I have a guided meditation on the homepage of my website that people can listen to to get them dreaming again. Often, we are living our lives based on what was handed to us or based on past conditioning, but if I knew I was worthy, what would it look like? Start dreaming.

I’m also creating high self-esteem kids. It’s not only just dreaming, “What would my life look like if I knew I was worthy?” It’s, “What contribution do I want to make?” It’s not putting on a vision board the fancy car, the big house, or whatever. It is how you want to live in the greatest version of yourself in contribution to this world. That’s very different. Those are some of the tips on instilling worthiness.

I have to echo your point about meeting resistance to affirmations because years ago when I first started learning the EFT tapping, the Emotional Freedom Technique, I would get a lot of pushback from people either in my individual sessions or in classes I would teach of it when the original statement is, “I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” People would say, “That’s a lie. I don’t believe that. I’m not even going to say that.” Sometimes, they’d have a visceral response pushing back against saying that.

People who worked with me learned we needed to start backpedaling sometimes 2 or 3 steps away from it so people would be more comfortable saying, “I’d like to learn to love and accept myself,” or, “I’m going to pretend I’ll be able to learn to love and accept myself.” We’ll have people say, “Even though I have this problem, I’m going to pretend it can get better even though I don’t know how.” They’re easing into that softening of the deep resistance that’s built from this negative belief they’re holding onto that has been programmed into them. It’s a really good thing to understand, “If I can stir up that negative stuff to where it starts to show up consciously, now I can deal with it. If it stays hidden in that unconscious level, I feel this resistance to the positive and I don’t know why.”

I love how you phrase that. I love those statements. Those are beautiful, how you do the softening process.

EFT Tapping

It grew out of working with people. We’d say, “If you can’t say that, what can you say?” These are different things people would throw out, some of them work for some people or some of them work for others. That’s why I appreciate the flexibility of the EFT tapping tool. I say to people, “It’s a way to give yourself an acupressure treatment for whatever bothers you physically, mentally, or emotionally.” You can craft it to whatever the individual needs at that moment.

I like how you said that too because a lot of people will take EFT and download a script off of Google or whatever. You and I both know that EFT works best when the statements are specific. Coaching a client at 11:00, the client at 1:00 isn’t going to hear the same statements. The other thing is in neuroscience, one of the simplest ways of saying the rewiring piece is a clear intention plus an elevated emotion is how we create anew.

First of all, it could take a while to get a clear intention. When I do my own vision board based on neuroscience, I might take four months to create it to get really clear on what I want in my life on all levels. With the elevated emotion, when you’re in a transition or you’re going through a challenging time, you don’t know what the elevated emotions are. You know that you’re feeling angst and uncomfortable.

When I do EFT, I’ll help them clear the negative, which we have to bring to the surface, but then, I’ll tap into empowering new words like, “I allow myself to know I’m worthy,” or, “I allow myself to feel more joy or more happiness, more awe, or more wonder.” I tap in words that they might not even have in front of them right now. I spend as much time instilling the positive as I do releasing the negative.

It brings to mind the idea that so many people I deal with, when they’re sitting in a session and I’ll say, “I notice a change,” or, “You seem to be welling up with emotion. What are you feeling right now?” They look at me like I’m from Mars. As we talk about it, some grown intelligent adults have no idea what that phrase means. They’re like, “I’m feeling you should get on with this session,” and these are all thoughts. They’re not in an embodied state where they can have words for it and describe it to me. They can’t describe it to me if they aren’t aware of it themselves.

Many of us haven’t been raised by people who coached us into having the words to match the physical sensations that arise during a period of time when something we don’t like is happening. That whole constellation of things, if we haven’t been trained into it, we don’t learn it. We’re not born knowing the words for these emotional states.

Healing The Inner Child

I’m glad you brought that up too because another part I believe in instilling worthiness is doing the inner child work. One of the things I teach has met with a lot of resistance at the beginning, especially with some of my executive clients. They don’t want to talk about the inner child. They’re like, “Why are you bringing this in?” I’ve learned not to bring it in for a while until they really trust me.

You have a relationship with that inner child. We have an inner girl and an inner boy within each of us. You have that relationship for the rest of your life. You can believe externally that you’re worthy, but if that child doesn’t feel seen, heard, validated, and acknowledged, you have to re-parent that child your whole life. I’ll give you an example.

When I was coming out with my worthiness platform, I was the first coach, I believe, on national TV to introduce the worthiness piece in 2020 as a platform. I was on a CBS show at the time, The Doctors. It was an Emmy Award-winning TV talk show. It has since gone off the air, but I was the first person coming on. I had studied deeply about my worthiness platform. I taught it. I used it in my own life, and the people I knew, I shared it with them.

I felt confident in my message, but I had to reassure my inner child or my little girl that it was going to be safe. In order to really share the authenticity of how I came to my passion and mission for this, I had to share that I had a schizophrenic mom. I never talked about that publicly. I didn’t talk about it anywhere. I was risking that family members wouldn’t talk to me again because when I was growing up, mental illness wasn’t talked about. Nobody acknowledged that I even had a schizophrenic mom. None of the family members. It was not discussed. I knew it was important because how did I not get worthiness? It goes back to those first seven years.

My mom was most likely to succeed. She was a brilliant woman. It’s tragic, but I didn’t get that nurturance. I didn’t get that sense of safety. I was always winging it. I had to really spend time with my little girl and tell her, “I’m going to be here for you no matter what happens on that TV show. I’m going to cheer you on. You’re safe with me.” That was as much part of the prep for the show as the script, getting the hair done, and all of that. When I look at some very successful people that I coach who have a lack of worthiness or are so driven, which used to be me, I’m like, “What is driving you? What is the unmet need you didn’t get as a child?” I help them identify that unmet need, and then they have something to work with in re-parenting themselves.

You can have the neuroscience piece, the clear intention, plus the elevated emotion. You can have the allowing statements, which is really important. Can you do them every day for 45 to 63 days, tracking the evidence? You have a relationship with your inner child for the rest of your life. It might even be like, “What does she need today?” or, “What does he need today?” That child might need a nap. That child might need quiet. That child needs play. A lot of us adults have forgotten to play. When you ask the child what it needs and you sit in silence, it will tell you. That’s an important piece that I integrate into the worthiness.

Over the years of doing this work, there are different ways to look at what you’re calling the inner child piece. It’s important, as we talked about before with the EFT tapping, to make it individualized. It’s important to find a way to talk about it so that whoever I’m working with can resonate with it.

Some people like the parts work from the Internal Family Systems work with Richard Schwartz. Some people like the inner child work. Some people have to stay away from all the jargon and get conditioned into their ability to build the ability to know what they’re feeling at different levels and then give that feeling of voice. It’s all the same work. I have to have this congruence from whatever the unconscious part of me is with the conscious part in order to move forward effectively. Otherwise, it’s like driving with a couple of flat tires. It’s not going smoothly.

I love how you described the congruence there. I’m a different type of coach. I have all these certifications and training, but it’s extremely intuitive. When you’ve lived through a lot and have spent 40 years healing your own child, you have a lot of inner wisdom from different modalities that you’ve integrated and learned. With intuition, it is really important to honor it.

I’ve worked with other coaches. Everybody has a different style. My style might not be for everybody either, but I really believe love and compassion are what heal. Every time I see a client, I always see them in the highest version of themselves no matter what they’re coming to me with, and that builds trust. I do honor them with love and compassion every step of the way. You probably know this as well. When you become very successful, that’s painful too.

If you read the book, The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks, when you elevate, people are going to go away. We know that saying, “It’s lonely at the top.” It really is lonely at the top when you first start elevating because people subconsciously around you are threatened by that. You have to re-parent yourself. Be your best friend. Give yourself love and compassion. That also ties into the imposter syndrome. The 82% of people that have imposter syndrome have those anxious feelings when they get promoted. I’m curious what you think about imposter syndrome.

On Your Mind | Gail Kauranen Jones | Worthiness

Worthiness: When you first start elevating, people subconsciously around you are threatened by that. You have to re-parent yourself. Be your best friend. Give yourself love and compassion.

 

It’s very pervasive. I don’t personally know anybody who hasn’t achieved anything above average in their work and who doesn’t have that experience either actively or in their past. It probably comes up in a conversation a couple of times a week, whether it’s in my personal life or in my caseload of people. One of the things that I like in the clarification that’s happening is when you first started talking about it that we have to have this validation, support, and nurturance, a lot of people start to believe, “If I didn’t have that when I was living my life in my first seven years, now I have to go get it from somewhere outside of me.”

My experience has been the opposite is true. If I didn’t get it in my first seven years, I have to give it to my younger self. I have to do the internal work. It doesn’t matter how many people I surround myself with who tell me that I’m brilliant, handsome, funny, sexy, charming, and creative because my inner belief system, which you might call the inner child, a part of yourself, or a core set of beliefs, can’t hear that stuff coming from the outside. There’s a direct line from my thoughts and words to them and from their thoughts and words to my receptive center, but nothing from the outside gets in.

I love how you described that they can’t hear it. Since they can’t hear it, it’s like this hole. You’re always looking to fill it. You can’t hear it when it’s trying to be filled, so you do have to give it to yourself to hear it. Sometimes, that kind of work is a lot of dark nights of the soul too, looking at grieving what you didn’t get. We’re not here to beat up any parents or anything like that. They didn’t get it either. It is grieving that you lost that or that you didn’t get that.

Grief work is a part of most of the people I work with at some level. The other aspect of it is you mentioned the dark night of the soul. One of my favorite books is The Way of Mastery. It says it’s the dark night of the ego and the awakening of the soul or the awakening of the awareness of the soul. Richard Schwartz talks about your core self. He has these eight words that begin with the letter C to represent the core self. You can know when a thought or a reaction you have is coming from your true core self. If it’s Creative, Connected, Calm, Centered, Compassionate, or if it’s anything else, it’s a false wounded part. It’s a false thought of belief systems.

An Inside Job

His work resonates with a lot of people that I work with simply because he recognized, “I don’t have to go get this from outside me. I’ve got this core self. I may benefit from some coaching about how to tap into that core self and how to use it to dismantle these false negative beliefs. Yet, it all has to be an inside job.”

We’re not taught that. In our education system, everything teaches us to look externally. Some people feel like it feels self-centered. I love this, and it’s not my quote. I wish I knew who said it. It is, “Being centered in the self is not the same as being self-centered.” Being centered on the self is the greatest gift we can give somebody else because we take responsibility for our own behavior and our own wounding. You come to that level of presence with somebody else. That’s a real gift.

On Your Mind | Gail Kauranen Jones | Worthiness

Worthiness: Being centered on the self is the greatest gift we can give somebody else because we take responsibility for our own behavior and our own wounding, and that’s a real gift.

 

We have a lot of people that we work with that are parents or they’re heads of teams and they wonder how they can teach this to somebody else. The way we teach is that 80% of whatever anybody learns from me, whether it’s my kids or somebody else, is going to come from how I live my life. They’re going to be modeling whatever I’ve demonstrated. If I want to give it to somebody else, I have to have it first. I have to create that pattern within myself.

Rewire, Repattern, And Reparent

It takes discipline to rewire yourself, re-pattern, and re-parent. I want to share one other thing too. I later got certified in high self-esteem for parents, educators, and kids. There was one of the things that really surprised me, which might not have surprised you based on your training. I was never taught this. I wasn’t taught it as a coach and I certainly wasn’t taught it growing up. It is that the low self-esteem states are fear, anger, and sadness.

We usually have a predominant one. I would suggest during the pandemic, we had all of them, for many of us. I always share with my client, “It’s really important to feel your feelings.” I will never tell a client to squelch their feelings ever like they’re gold. Sometimes, they’re feeling them for the first time when they come to coaching. It’s important that they’re witnessed, seen, heard, validated, and acknowledged.

Gratitude, Forgiveness, Empathy

The high self-esteem states surprised me because when people think of high self-esteem, they might think of Tony Robbins on a stage or Taylor Swift performing. You see it as a performance space, but self-esteem is gratitude, forgiveness, and empathy. That threw me way off from what I learned or what I perceived as high self-esteem. When you are in a low self-esteem state and you want to get out of it after you’ve taken time to feel those feelings, you can choose which of those high self-esteem states you are going to go to. Who can you have empathy for? Who can you forgive? Often, that could be yourself.

Gratitude is one of the greatest ways to manifest anew. My morning routine is I meditate every morning, and then I don’t get out of bed until I write down ten things I’m grateful for. It can be something as simple as my green tea and shake, looking at the clouds, a beautiful day, coming on this show, or making a new connection. It doesn’t have to be anything big. It could be somebody that helped me or I helped. In those first five minutes in the morning, if you can’t get up and go to your to-do list, all of a sudden, you lose that precious space to claim your worthiness and be grateful for something that can rewire you for the whole day.

The other morning thing that is important, and these take discipline but you can get into this practice so it builds every day, is to start your day by doing something that brings you joy. If you wait until the end of the day, you might not get to it. I’ve created my schedule. I walk in the morning often. I see clients in the early evening anyway because they’re working all day. That brings me great joy to be in nature. There is hardly a day that goes by that I’m not in nature. What brings you joy? If you create a joy list and start doing something on your joy list, you’re showing yourself that you are worthy of having joy in your life.

I would echo everything you said. It brings to mind the old statement. I’ve heard it for a lot of years. It is, “I can’t find a way to be grateful for everything that happens in my life. There’s always going to be something that I don’t really want or that’s a struggle to accommodate. Yet, I can always find something to be grateful for.”

This practice of gratitude is something that even if I’m in great pain, I can be grateful for the fact that I’m still breathing, that I still have awareness, and that I’m living in a place where there’s whatever level of medical care is available to me. Practicing that, as you’ve talked about from the beginning of our call, is a way to train the brain into that certain pattern. There’s the old adage, “Neurons that fire together wire together.”

There’s all the wonderful research that’s been coming out since the ‘90s about memory reconsolidation. All the way through most of my graduate school training and certainly all my undergrad training, we were taught that when you have an event happen and you log memories about it, it’s there forever. It’s wired in. It’s not going to change. The brain doesn’t change that way.

There was a whole movement to say one part of the brain is responsible for a specific level of function, which goes against the idea of neuroplasticity and the idea that our brains are changing and growing. It’s only been the past several years that it has been widely acknowledged without going against the flow. People tried to do it, but they got shouted down and their papers weren’t published before that.

The idea that we can practice and build new patterns of thought and new beliefs and we can undo the old negative conditioning is a relatively new concept. The ways to do it are still developing. People are coming up with good, new, and better ways. Some are more efficient. The idea of memory reconsolidation and the ability to access a negative memory and the trauma energy associated with it and create that window of 4 to 5 hours during which period of time I can rewrite that set of associations is powerful. It’s not the same as repeating affirmations. It’s taking into account everything you’re talking about. It’s recognizing, “I might have a lot of pushback. If I have a pushback, I have to address that. I have to find a way to see that what’s negative in me is false.”

What’s negative in me is false. Share on X

Reclaiming Worthiness After Trauma

I love that line, “What’s negative in me is false.” I’m curious. Maybe you could share it with me. I know you do a lot of work with PTSD. When you’re coaching somebody through PTSD, is there anything specific you share with them to reclaim their worthiness after the trauma or through the trauma? I bring this up because I’m working on a book on bringing my worthiness platform to teens and young adults. I’m interviewing 50 to 100 of them.

One of the beautiful young women is nineteen. I don’t share her name in the book. I’m not going to share it here either. She was sharing the impact of the pandemic and social media. When she was 15 to 17, she was on social media looking great in this relationship with this guy. It’s a big thing that they all compare the relationship. Her boyfriend would go see what another guy was doing and do that with her. They all look great, but behind closed doors, she was being sexually abused. She shared this story because she really wanted to encourage other teens to get off of social media.

She has PTSD. She was going to college to be a lawyer. Now, she’s going to be a therapist, using her healing journey. She’s a classical violinist. She’s a volunteer. She speaks French. She said she wished people would see her for the wholeness of who she is, not as someone with PTSD, which she believes she’s going to have for the rest of her life. I’m curious what you would tell somebody with the worthiness piece in this issue.

The first thing is I’d come right to the last thing you said. I would encourage her to understand that someone with PTSD is not something she’s going to have and be for the rest of her life and that there are really good ways to move through. We were talking about one. It’s called memory reconsolidation. Memory reconsolidation is not a specific technique. It’s the understanding of the way the brain functions and a variety of different techniques which include things like EFT tapping. It includes things like the EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing work. It includes things like brain spotting.

It includes a host of other trauma resolution techniques including the Bio-Acoustical Utilization Device, the neuro-emotional technique, and others that can move people from this intense experience of having their post-traumatic stress symptoms being activated in them and driving a lot of what happens within their daily interactions multiple times a day.

They can be consciously aware of it as they’re living their lives that here’s this under-the-conscious level turbulence they’re feeling to a place where it is a memory for the most part. They go through situations where they say, “This is interesting. I went through this situation, and that would’ve been impossible for me before,” or, “I would’ve had to be fighting anxiety through that whole thing.” It’s a memory. That’s the first thing I would say to somebody like that to help with the worthiness.

With Rapid Transformational Therapy, there was, in my estimation, a genius creative individual who created this pattern for hypnosis. Unfortunately, you had to have his level of creativity and the way your mind works to do that, like Erickson with hypnosis. Some of the things I learned from that were so important, like the idea of context. It is the idea of remembering, “This thing happened, but it wasn’t me that it happened to. There’s a part of me that had this happen.”

If people say, “He stuck that in me,” do you say that’s what happens when a dentist works on you or somebody puts something in you? No. You say, “They put something in my mouth. They touch this part.” You get this separation of a part of you from the core of you. You used the word soul before, your essence. You strengthen that awareness that even though these things have happened to your body in events in the past, that’s not who you are now. You start building that with people. That is one of the keys to re-establishing their awareness of their worthiness, which has never been diminished.

I love that, and I love how you give great hope. You started out right away that she’s not going to have this rest of her life, which she believes because it’s still pretty fresh and healing. That also brings me to another point. With all the news about the mental health crisis for teens and young adults and the statistics, there are some therapists and other people who believe that the emphasis placed on this is creating more crises. Some kids who might be depressed because their boyfriend broke up with them think they have severe depression because of all the attention on this crisis.

What I have found so far in interviewing kids 13 to 26 is they’re a lot more optimistic than it looks in the media. We have to teach kids, which is why I’m so glad to be on this show with you and your brilliance, to have hope again. The one message I give everybody, whether it’s a CEO or whether it’s a college student, is, “You are not your circumstances.” I love how you bring it back to the soul. Too much is placed on the circumstances. We’re getting zapped every day with the news, but that’s not who we are.

You are not your circumstances. Share on X

When I talk to these kids and I’m interviewing them, what’s really amazing after the interview process is that they feel much better afterward. What I realized is it’s being seen, heard, validated, and acknowledged. I’m not trying to do it, but they are so happy to share their stories. They really want to help other young adults and teens through some of these things. When I interview a 26-year-old, they want to help somebody who’s 13 see what they learned. They are more optimistic than what’s being portrayed by those I’ve interviewed.

Everybody has a different issue. Some are pretty happy dealing with trauma. There was one boy who was amazing. His dad committed suicide during the pandemic. He’s still healing. It’s a deep grief. He ended up changing his major. Software engineering was the training he should have gone to. Now, he is training at a trade school to work in a race car pit, changing the tires. That’s his passion. That’s his joy. He grew up loving going to car shows. Car is his thing. The fact that he lost his dad, his best friend, at such a young age made him realize the preciousness of life. He didn’t want to wait for many years later to go after his dream.

The one thread that seems to be common that they’re feeling from those I’ve interviewed is that they’ve lost their sense of being able to make a living. They are very concerned about the economy. I interviewed a woman who has 2 degrees, a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree, and she doesn’t think she’s ever going to be able to own a home. That seems to be a common thread like, “We are not going to be able to do what you did.”

It’s really important we create hope in them again because when they’re talking to me and they share their stories, they are expressing their inner greatness. They know their greatness. They’re not a statistic. That’s the key message I want to get out for Mental Health Awareness Month. They are not a statistic. They are full human beings with a beautiful soul. They know how to express it, and we’re not giving enough attention to that.

The thing that comes to mind as you’re talking is the idea of these labels. The media loves a label. It loves a syndrome. It loves a disorder. It loves a diagnosis. People aren’t these labels. The best people that I’ve been drawn to in this field over the years are people who don’t want to live in the world of labels, diagnoses, and syndromes. They understand those. They’ll study them, but they’re looking at the people they’re dealing with as a whole person in front of them. They’re not treating the symptoms. They’re not treating the pattern or disorder. They’re interacting with a person.

That goes all the way back to Marshall Rosenberg with his nonviolent communication work. He’d be invited into these hospitals where they’re like, “Go in and interview this person and tell us what you think their diagnosis is based on your nonviolent communication model.” He says, “I don’t do that. I’ll go in and I’ll try to find out what their needs are, what their hopes are, and what their goals are. I’m not going to go in and come back and tell you, “Here’s a label.” That’s one of the biggest things that our media promotes. It’s by default. I don’t think there’s anything nefarious about it. It’s what gets ratings, right?

That’s right. We really need to help them build hope again, the youth, and tap into their greatness. I want to go back to those high self-esteem states for a second, the gratitude, forgiveness, and empathy. There is one key thing to know about forgiveness and why it’s important to find it for somebody else and yourself besides the obvious reasons.

Going back to the thread of, and it doesn’t link to this, the ability to make money and be able to buy a home, if you hold a grievance, you block abundance. It does have a material impact by holding a grievance. I know it’s really courageous work. It’s hard work to forgive somebody who has hurt you. Sometimes, it’s hard to forgive ourselves, but it blocks many other things besides that relationship. That’s important to know.

If you hold a grievance, you block abundance. Share on X

With the empathy piece, there is a lot of cruelty expressed in the world with the young people. They share the bullying that happens in school. I know it’s a leap, but it is important to understand when somebody is being a bully and somebody is attacking someone else, it’s because they have low self-esteem. They don’t know they’re worthy. If you can find empathy that they are in a lot of pain to be acting that way, it can take the pressure off of you and help the relationship a little better.

It’s the ancient wisdom that says if we could know the secret pain and suffering of our enemy, it would be enough to dismantle all hostility and aggression. Glennon Doyle has a podcast called We Can Do Hard Things. One of the things they’ve done on it is to write a letter of unconditional love. She has worked with Elizabeth Gilbert. Glennon’s letter that she eventually got to and wrote talks about forgiveness. The key to that beautiful writing, which you can get a transcript of if you go to their websites, is that forgiveness is about perspective.

If I could back up to this 30,000-foot perspective and see the wounded history of the person that I’m calling the bully or the enemy, I would see all the suffering they had to go through to move from being a helpless infant when they were born to somebody who could do something harmful to somebody else. That perspective is enough to dismantle what I’m using to generate my anger, my vengeance, and my bitterness, which is what some people call forgiveness. Others would call it pardoning.

The idea of this perspective or the idea of recognizing that anger can’t come out of a person unless there’s pain, fear, or sadness in them, that’s me and that’s everybody else. I learned to understand that whatever comes out of the mouth of anybody else is always going to tell me more about them than it’s ever going to tell me about me or anybody else around them. I also understand that what comes out of me is the compass or Geiger counter to my pain, fear, and sadness when it’s negative.

Love And Acceptance

There is one of the ways on a practical level that on a daily basis is something I practice. I’m not always great at it, but I try. We’re conditioned to be judging and critical. It’s a way we guard ourselves sometimes. If I meet somebody new and focus on offering them love and acceptance, internally, I’m going to offer them love and acceptance. Even when somebody’s being a little difficult, if I can say, “Love and acceptance,” I’m always amazed at what transforms versus judging and criticizing them for being that way. We are hardwired to judge and criticize to keep ourselves safe.

I know you’re probably familiar with Dr. David Hawkins’ work with the scales of consciousness. When I first was healing from breast cancer, I used to teach guided meditation circles based a little bit on Dr. Joe Dispenza’s work. Also, my goal was to help people get to 500 or above. For the readers, Dr. David Hawkins has a scale of consciousness from 0 to 1,000. Those who are 540 or above have a love-based consciousness. When I set the intention for those guided meditation circles for people to come in love and be in love, it was amazing some of the things that manifested. There were amazing things being held in that love.

Even when I was in the Mind Body Program for Cancer at Mass General Hospital, which is affiliated with Harvard University, so it was a database program, we had to meditate twenty minutes a day and journal on it, and then they would review our journals. That data is that those are in a mind-body program versus a support group, we never even talked about cancer. Except when somebody was getting treatment or had surgery, we would send a pink blanket of love around that person at that time of their scheduled appointment. One of the things they shared was that those who are in a mind-body program, and it was love-based, can extend their longevity two and a half times longer than the prognosis.

I wish data like that was shared more often because when people understand that they can get into a love state and when we do it collectively, it’s so powerful. That was the hard part about the pandemic when people were so isolated. You lost that group dynamic. We have Zoom, and it’s great, but it’s still not the same as being in the energy of other people. I know you can raise the vibe on Zoom, but when you’re in that energy in a circle, it’s really beautiful.

One of the problems we have is that people will hear something like what you said and they’ll be hearing it as an either-or. You have to either do the allopathic medical model for treating your illness, whether it’s cancer or whatever else, or you do a love-based thing. They’re not either-or. These are nothing like mutually exclusive.

The thing I wanted to mention is, to my eye and ear, how beautifully Pierre Pradervand works with his book, The Gentle Art of Blessing, and his other book, 365 Blessings to Heal Myself and the World. The Gentle Art of Blessing book is one of the more powerful books that I’ve ever encountered as I’ve seen it have ripple effects for different people that I work with in different groups. I have to recommend that. I realize that we’re really stretching the time here. I wonder if you could get centered, take a breath, and review what we’ve talked about so far. See if there’s something you want to go back and highlight or something we haven’t mentioned yet that you want to get in before we wrap up.

Innate Greatness

I would like to stress that we all have an innate greatness and to really focus on our souls versus external circumstances. Do not give your power to externals. From that greatness and from that connection to your soul, you will be led. You will be guided. It’s a different level of trust than we’ve been taught. To commit to having an inner connection with yourself for the rest of your life is so important. There is so much wisdom in that connection. That’s the key message I would like to stress. Especially for young people, there’s innate greatness, and they know their greatness. Stay in tune with that greatness.

Commit to having an inner connection with yourself for the rest of your life, for there is so much wisdom in that connection. Share on X

Please mention again the 2 books that you’ve already published and the 1 that’s in process.

My first book is called To Hell and Back: Healing Your Way Through Transition. It guides adults through four transitions, career change, and for me, becoming a mother, caregiving, and coping with death. The second book is called Cancer As a Love Story: Developing the Mindset for Living. That’s based on my journey healing from cancer and also my training with Dr. Joe Dispenza.

It teaches some neuroscience tips and tips from naturopath doctors, but it’s written like a journal. People tell me there’s a lot of technical information in the sidebars, but it’s a very easy read. People have also told me that that book has helped them even in retirement or another transition. You don’t have to be going through cancer to learn how to develop a mindset for living and thriving. The book I’m working on is going to be changed, but my focus is Building Worthy Teens and Young Adults.

If people want to find you, is there a specific website you direct them to?

My website is called ClaimYourWorthiness.com. On LinkedIn, it’s Gail Kauranen Jones. On Instagram and Facebook, it’s @CoachGailJones.

Thank you so much for being with us. It’s been delightful.

Thank you. I love the conversation. It’s very engaging. Thank you.

 

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About Gail Kauranen Jones

On Your Mind | Gail Kauranen Jones | WorthinessGail Kauranen (Pronounced KA-RA-NIN) Jones (known as “Coach Gail Jones”) is a nationally recognized worthiness expert, intuitive executive/personal coach, and inspiring teacher who has been leading clients through transformation for more than twenty-five years.

She has trained more than 250 HeartMath coaches globally on her signature presentation, “ A journey to the heart of worthiness.”

Gail also has appeared as a guest “worthiness coach” nationally on CBS TV’s Emmy award- winning talk show The Doctors, on Sirius XM Radio with celebrity host Larry Flick, and in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper. She also has written for Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global and The Wellness Universe.

She is a recipient of Brainz Magazine’s prestigious CREA global award given to creative entrepreneurs making a difference in the field of mental health, for her articles on worthiness and self-esteem.

Gail is currently working on her third book, extending her worthiness platform to teens and young adults. Her other two books are: Cancer as a Love Story: Developing the Mindset for Living, and To Hell and Back… Healing Your Way through Transition.

 

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