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The Power To Heal The Wounds Of Your Past, Create Your Present, And Build Your Future Is in Your Own Hands with Dr. Kate Truitt

Angel Story

Hello beautiful souls! Dr. Kate Truitt was set to be married when just weeks before, her fiance passed away. A world renowned neuroscientist, psychologist and trauma expert, Kate says, “The power to heal the wounds of your past, create your present, and build your future is in your own hands.” Today, she shares her angel story. If you have ever suffered from suicidal thoughts, you might find her insight extraordinarily helpful. I had no idea that once you’ve had suicidal thoughts, your brain will always think of it as a tool in highly stressful times. Please note that I’m not a doctor or medical professional and nothing in this episode constitutes medical advice. PLEASE SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR ALL OF YOUR NEEDS. Today’s episode weaves together powerful angel stories, insights from the field of neuroscience, and personalized self-healing tools. Kate works to help you: 1.) Draw upon your brain’s amazing ability to heal itself. 2.) Build a trusting relationship with your mind and body. 3.) Soothe your nervous system in moments of reactivity. 4.) Create feelings of safety, agency, and personal empowerment.

To learn more about Dr. Kate Truitt:
Dr. Kate’s book Keep Breathing Keep Breathing Keephttps://www.amazon.com/Keep-Breathing-Psychologists-Intimate-Rediscovering/dp/1962305090 Breathing is available at all major book retailers


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Julie Jancius: Beautiful souls. Here’s a preview of today’s discussion.

Dr. Kate Truitt: And so just the larger knowingness that there had to be meaning, there had to be something bigger. That was the through line. That’s what kept me alive. Even when my own brain, when my brain wanted me to exit stage left, as I say, there was always a glimmer. And that’s the angels. That’s the opening and the being in relationship with something so much bigger than who we are.

Julie Jancius: Hello, beautiful souls. You’re listening to the angels and Awakening podcast. I’m your host and author, Julie Jancis. Did you know that you can listen to this show everywhere podcasts are found? It’s true. Now I have three free gifts just for you. First gift, I give away a new reading each week to a person who’s left a five star positive review of this show, then submitted it to me using the contact form@theangelmedium.com. contact I hope I’m calling your number next. Second gift if you’d like a new daily angel message, join me on Insta angelpodcast. Third free gift. If you’d like to know the name of one of your guardian angels so that you can work with them even more closely, go to the homepage of my website, theangelmedium.com, and submit your contact info at the very top. I’ll email you back personally with the name of one of your angels. Okay, as we begin the show, I want you to feel the presence of your angels surrounding you. And just know that the loving, positive messages you resonate with today are messages for you from your angels and loved ones on the other side. Oh, and don’t forget to register for the spiritual retreat because the early bird pricing is ending June 30. We don’t want you to miss it. Sign up over@theangelmedium.com backslash retreat. That’s theangelmedium.com backslash retreat. Hello, beautiful souls. Welcome back to the angels and Awakening podcast. I’m your host and author, Julie Jancius. And friends today we’re here with doctor Kate Truitt, who has a new book. Keep breathing, keep breathing, keep breathing. doctor Kate, welcome to the show.

Dr. Kate Truitt: thank you for having me, Julie. I’m delighted to be here.

Julie Jancius: So you have other books. You’re in the healing space yourself. I always get counselor, therapist, psychologist all mixed up. But I know that you’re in this space and I want to later in our conversation, talk a little about a bit about this because it seems like you’re bridging a lot of mental health with a lot of spiritual components and I think that’s absolutely magical. We’re here talking about your new book, which really dives into a more, more personal story for you where, Oh, here, here we go. Psychologist, applied neuroscience, trauma expert. You went through an unimaginable loss a week before you were to be married. your fiance passed away and so I first welcome to the show. I wish it was under different circumstances, but thank you for sharing your story.

Dr. Kate Truitt: Yeah, well, thank you. And, you know, it’s pain into power and wounds into wisdom. And I’m very honored that we were able to give his passing a, ah, really deep meaning that is having ripple effects and helping people in some pretty important m ways. And that’s what he would have wanted.

Julie Jancius: Yeah. So your fiance, Johnny, and actually, Johnny angel, talk to us about this because I know it’s sudden, it’s gut wrenching, but try and just tell the listener where your story begins.

Dr. Kate Truitt: Well, the book opens with a loving disclaimer to the reader that invites them to settle into the journey. To know that the journey has a positive, beautiful, thriving outcome, and to recognize that the first couple chapters are the reality of being in the trauma. And so chapter one does open up with me going to give the eulogy at John’s future funeral, which more or less would have been our wedding. And so all the way down to the flowers at the ceremony, the harpist who would have been playing to walk me down the aisle, she was there playing his funeral. So it was a really, really difficult, hard experience and that’s how the reader is greeted into my journey and my memoir.

Julie Jancius: Talk to us a little bit about, you know, I always say that when you go through grief, and I’ve experienced grief in different ways, I don’t think it’s the same for all people. I didn’t expect when my dad passed to feel what I did because we were estranged at the time, but it just felt like I was under 30ft of water at the bottom of the sea. I couldn’t hear people well, I didn’t totally understand everything that was happening around me, but I was functioning and it wasn’t easy to just even think clearly. I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. And is that the nervous system that as you’re kind of getting hit with this challenge, I mean, it’s really just wreaking havoc on your nervous.

Dr. Kate Truitt: Yeah, it’s a full mind body experience. In the book, I talk a lot about what I call the case for grief, which is our c is the cognitions, the a is our odd, and the s is the somatosensory elements, and the e is the emotions. And grief really does rearrange our entire central nervous system and our experience of the world. And I appreciate you sharing what you did there, Julie, about the loss with your dad, because grief has so many different forms and there’s so many different experiences of grief that we have as humans. And even, I would say, more so when we are estranged from somebody, there is a reckoning that our brain is doing with the what should have been but wasn’t, the loss of what could have been in the future. And that is all then tied into the grieving process. And it’s so emotionally complicated and heavy. And being underwater, my version, I felt like I was wrapped in a steel blanket and then buried in an entire is how it felt for me. Just full immersion into the darkness after the loss. It’s hard.

Julie Jancius: So where do you even begin to your book’s title point, to keep breathing? It’s hard to keep breathing in those moments.

Dr. Kate Truitt: Yeah. Well, and I think the beauty of breath is it’s the simplest, most loving act that our system is designed to do organically, and oxygen is the fuel. And so, when we can partner with our system in a state of loving awareness and give ourselves permission to know that sometimes breath is the only thing available, and that’s okay, that is just enough as we can breathe through to another moment.

Dr. Kate Truitt: And just giving ourselves the permission to know that, to strip off the pressures and the expectations. Because in grief, we’re not going to be who we used to be and who we used to be may never exist again. And what if that’s okay? But our brain has to learn a new way of being. Our soul is learning a new way of being in this world when we’ve lost something that we deeply care about.

Julie Jancius: Yeah. And when you continue to breathe and you find your way into this new way of being, I think you have such a wildly unique perspective from what you went through with your background as a psychologist. And I know that you know a lot about neuroplasticity as well. And I’m wondering if, as you’re going through this, you had those tools at the time and you’re able to kind of better rely on them, or if you’re hit, like every other human being with this grief. And it’s hard, even as a healer sometimes, to use the tools that you know, because the body is just taking over in such a different direction. You’ve never gone before yeah, well, and I.

Dr. Kate Truitt: One of the reasons I wrote the book is to highlight that beautiful point that you just made. We may, quote unquote, know what we’re supposed to be doing, but notice that word supposed to, that doesn’t mean that we have the reserves or the energy or the access to use those tools, and when the knowingness is knowledge or information. So I’m an expert, I’m a neuroscientist who’s an expert in traumatic stress and resilience, as well as a clinical psychologist. I’ve got degrees for days. Largely, that’s my compensating for my young child self, who was bidding for worth and value. But I knew a lot and I still developed complex grief, I still developed PTSD, I’ve still struggled with severe depression and anxiety. It didn’t matter what I knew. The wisdom was not available. My soul had been rendered just ripped apart.

Julie Jancius: Yeah.

Dr. Kate Truitt: And so the knowingness and being the expert didn’t matter, which, you know, can feel so frustrating for those of us who are healers or who do this type of work. We’re like, holding ourselves accountable to this experience of who we used to be. And it’s like, no, no, no, no. That person’s somewhere back there, but that’s not main stage right now. Main stage is the pain and the loss and the grieving, and let’s allow for that.

Julie Jancius: And I’m sure that that takes many different shapes and phases and time to just step through all of those different layers. What did you find was most helpful at that time? And what kind of. Were some of those deeper layers that you moved through?

Dr. Kate Truitt: Yeah, well, and for context for the listeners, I’d been with my fiance for ten years. We’d met when we were. I was 19, so, just a little baby moving to LA, and I met him with him basically my first week in Los Angeles. And we grew up together. And a lot of our childhood trauma responses found a safe space in one another. And so we really had commingled and become an entity. You kind of joke, John and Katie. Katie and Johnny. And when he passed, the sense of self that I’d finally been able to create after coming out of a very complicated childhood was missing. It was gone. also being an expert in this space, like, the layers were the not knowing what to do or what was happening, the layer of feeling, like a part of me just disappeared. He had been sick. We had no awareness that he would die. I was the one who found him and I was unable to save his life. A picture of me at, 29 years old, all our wedding stuff’s in the room, and I’m trying to save his life, and I can’t. And also being a psychologist who had worked in the spaces of. He was a victim of the opioid epidemic. He was abusing pain medication and benzos to manage a very real illness. And I was an addiction specialist. I worked in that space. And so there were so many layers about who I thought I was that completely got ripped away. I had failed him. I had failed myself. I had failed the family. I had failed myself as a professional, because love is so different versus who we are professionally. When we’re caring for somebody, we make so many more sacrifices for love than we would when we’re saying, I’m taking care of this person as my patient. So the layers were so deep and so profound, which doesn’t really. I mean, you tell me, Julia, I don’t think those nuances get really talked about. And so to use my story as a way to normalize, hey, when we love somebody, we make choices that we might regret later. When we love somebody, we can lose ourselves in that love and not know who we are. When that love goes away, whether it be death or a breakup, a divorce, whatever it might be. And how do we find a way forward?

Julie Jancius: So, how did you find a way forward?

Dr. Kate Truitt: Oh, that’s the book. Yeah. You know, it was. I kept breathing. So, speaking to angels, there were amazing moments where the universe brought me people that were so profoundly impactful.

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Dr. Kate Truitt: There were moments where I could honestly feel the presence of Johnny walking alongside me and just the knowingness of his presence. He would leave me little roses when we were together, and the roses always had a point, like, he’d put a rose on my tire, and I would reach out to him. This was AOL instant messenger days. So I’d aim him when I got back to the dorm room and be like, what’s the rose for? And he’s like, your tire needs air. He was just so symbolic. And when he passed, I continue to this day to find roses as messages. And so just the larger knowingness that there had to be meaning, there had to be something bigger. Ah, that was the through line. That’s what kept me alive. Even when my own brain. And there were some really, really dark, dark, dark moments when my brain wanted me to exit stage left. As I say, there was always a glimmer. And that’s the angels, that’s the opening and the being in relationship with something so much bigger than who we are.

Julie Jancius: Let’s go there. Because I don’t often find people too, who had that experience. So you said exit stage left. And by that, I’m assuming, just those deep thoughts of, do I even want to be here anymore? And they can morph pretty quickly. I’ve had those here and there throughout my life. Ah. The listeners know that anytime I take a medication, that says, may cause suicidal thoughts, I go from happy down way far, and it’s really hard to get myself back out. And what I found, and maybe you can speak to this, too, is that just telling someone and having somebody, like, having the courage to just say, I’ve, never felt this way before. I don’t know what is happening to me. I definitely need some help, but I don’t even know where to go because sometimes this is taboo, too. Like, you know, it’s supposed. You’re supposed to be normal and you’re not supposed to feel this way and. But it happens.

Dr. Kate Truitt: It happens. And it’s human. Yeah, it’s human. And one of the very last stories that I put in the book, much to my publishers dismay, but they were very supportive of it, was a story about being around 1011 years old and struggling with suicidal considerations. And I didn’t know if. I didn’t know, as a professional and an expert, if I felt psychologically safe to put that story in the book. And I had a moment, a, deep reckoning and a very dear friend reflected something very powerful to me about authenticity. And I knew in that moment I had to put that in the book. These experiences can be so scary and so heavy and really what you just said is so real. We feel like we’re not allowed to express when our brain feels like it’s trying to hurt us.

Dr. Kate Truitt: And fundamentally, when we’re having those thoughts, and that’s one of my areas of expertise, is working and supporting, people, individuals who are struggling and doing suicide intervention and prevention programs. Our brain is saying, this is so big and so heavy, I have to get out. And those thoughts, in a way, are the brain going, there’s a little bit of a space right now. Now, of course, if those thoughts continue, they can be very scary. When you said about the medication I was on, Accutane as a little girl, I had cystic acne, and Accutane is renowned for really deepening depression for those of us who already struggle. And I know that that played a significant role for me. But once those little neural pathways get laid down, our brain, is that what it is? It can be part of it, yeah, because our brain goes, oh, that’s now the go to response. When things feel so big and so heavy, the brain can learn, oh, this is the pathway I go on. It’s a specific type of neuroplasticity called stress induced structural plasticity. Our brain chooses that pathway, and to this day, my brain will still go to these thoughts. Where it goes, I just want to die. Yeah, I hope it’s okay. I hope this is okay.

Julie Jancius: Absolutely. Absolutely. No, actually, it’s very healing for me to have this conversation because it’s something that I’ve struggled with for a long time and that actually is putting together puzzle pieces for me because it happened when I was younger, again, like 14 years old, on ADHD medication. And I can remember it took me to such a deep, dark place, and I am normally a happier than normal threshold, but it took me so far down into this black hole that I remember, just sitting on my kitchen floor with, ah, a knife in my hand to my wrists. And just like, I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t feel comfortable at the time talking to my grandparents who were we were living with, like, about it, or talking to my mom about it. So I just found ways in my own life to cope. But then it happened again when I would be in my twenties and I was on different medications. Happened a couple of years ago too, as I was kind of working with some, PMDD and perimenopause medications. But it does come back every once in a while under those incredibly, like, stressful situations, which also, you know, you’re an ambitious person. You’re, you’re like wanting to share your message with the world with as many people who can hear it. And I feel that exact same way. And sometimes it makes me think, like, well, is it not worth it? Like, is it not worth it to put myself in those incredibly stressful situations? Because my brain does not handle stress the same way that other people’s does.

Dr. Kate Truitt: Yeah. And, you know, that’s been such a profound part of my journey as well, is really leaning into the purpose driven work. One of my dear friends and mentors, Doctor Steven Rudin, has a powerful line. He says, the purpose of purpose is purpose. And in those moments where I’m looking inward and going, this is so much. This is so overwhelming, and my. My brain is going down those old pathways. When I remember the purpose of purpose as purpose, I can come back to myself and say, wait a minute, brain, that’s an old thought tied to an experience as a child where you felt like there was no other way out. And, when I can hold my inner self and my inner child and turn to her with loving care and honor, that back then, she didn’t know. She didn’t have a way. There were no resources, there was no voice for her to safely use. That, creates a space of very deep internal tenderness that then allows for me to step back and look around at the world that’s been created to call upon my Johnny, my nana, who’s no longer with us, my boppy, like, my. My own larger kind of posse of amazing, you know, spiritual beings, and say, okay, what do I need? How? Hey, help me. What am I missing? There’s something else here. Because when we’re in those dark spaces, it’s like that. The light can get so dim, and that’s the power and the opportunity of a healthy village knowing who we can reach out to. And also the larger picture. That’s why our brain is designed for spirituality. Literally, we are designed to experience and seek something bigger.

Julie Jancius: Yeah, absolutely. Well, and it’s interesting that you talk about that purpose, because I found that in my own journey as well, that holding on to purpose itself was like, fuel driving me forward and allowing me to continue and to have that hope and that faith. I saw something on social media last week where somebody, you know, where they’ll do, like, a dual video so that they’ll show, like, what somebody said before, and then they’ll, like, talk to it. Well, this woman was talking about, like, how we don’t need purpose at all. And I go, ooh. In my heart, I was thinking, oh, like, and it had 73,000 likes. And I thought to myself, no, this is not the message that we want to send. You don’t have to beat yourself. Up with purpose, you know, and overdo it. It. But purpose for so many people gives them, something, some energy in this life to hold on to.

Dr. Kate Truitt: Yeah, well, and the through line of the book keep, breathing is we keep breathing. And then there’s this continual search for meaning. And the, after Johnny passed, I just had this thought, there has to be meaning in this that flowed through everything. And finding that meaning is what led me to the, what’s known as the havening techniques and writing my first book, and now being a developer of these modalities and really finding a different opportunity for how we can help humanity. And in helping humanity, it’s also that turning it around, and it’s as though I’m taking care of and giving my little ten year old, 14 year old, 18 year old self of what wasn’t available to her. And that becomes the meaning making piece. And so if we maybe purpose isn’t the right word for everybody. And as humans, we’re symbolic, we’re narrative. We are meaning making creatures. And our brain will make meaning of the world no matter what.

Julie Jancius: I love that. I love that. And I want to hop into that havening technique. I want to hop into that next. but I was wondering if you’ve ever heard about this, because I had this earth angel come into my life and I can’t prescribe medicine. Talk to your doctor about this. but there’s a over the counter version of a natural supplement called lithium. I think it’s orotate that you can get. I just get it on Amazon and I talk. Take the smallest dose, which is just 1 day, but it’s, it takes away suicidal thoughts they found by like 95. But I know it interacts with other medications and you can’t drink on it or do anything else on it. So it’s definitely something that people have to consult their own doctors about. But I consistently take 1 that every single day because it just helps when I’m in that dark space to come back.

Dr. Kate Truitt: Yeah, yeah. Ah. And I can’t, I mean, it’s outside my scope of practice to speak to any supplements or medications. And I think there’s a larger experience of, recognizing that medications can be exceptionally helpful in very specific situations and supplements can be. And to your point, we have a holistic, medicine practitioner, a functional medicine practitioner on my team, who’s amazing. Ah, doctor Jill Filo. She’s incredible. And that’s why I brought her on board rather than an MD is when we look at, it’s so important to expand beyond what and especially in the western world, is the prescribed possibility for healing. And when I was in my own healing journey, I started doing a lot of acupuncture and acupressure. And I had an experience where I developed a brain virus about eight months after John died that almost killed me. And it’s called encephalitis. It took me 18 months to start to come out on the other side, and I didn’t know what it was. It’s one of those moments where the universe was, in a way, reenacting my journey that I’ve been on with John through his illness, because nobody knew what he had.

Julie Jancius: Wow.

Dr. Kate Truitt: But at least I had the wherewithal to know. And I don’t like opioids and benzos anyway. I’m not taking that stuff.

Julie Jancius: Yeah.

Dr. Kate Truitt: But I didn’t know what to do. And I was living in a space where there was a very holistic approach to healthcare. I started doing a lot of eastern medicine. I worked at the chinese medicine doctor, did acupuncture. Acupuncture. And when the havening techniques were brought up to me, I was like, this sounds interesting.

Dr. Kate Truitt: And for anybody out there who is a clinical practitioner or a scientist, we have incredible research, behind it, which is amazing. And also it has evolved out of eye movement desensitization, reprocessing and tapping thought field therapy. But it was a different way of working with the mind body system. And it allows us to harness our brain. Embodies natural opportunity for healing that is inherent in all of us.

Julie Jancius: Okay.

Dr. Kate Truitt: But we’ve gotten so used to outsourcing our healing to the experts, which is, again, is why I wrote keep breathing is like, hey, experts are human. Like, what’s an expert? We’re just a human who knows a little bit more about something else and.

Julie Jancius: Can kind of be your guide as you go through it. But when we’re going through it, we need our own guide.

Dr. Kate Truitt: Exactly. And to normalize that for everybody, we don’t walk alone, and there’s no one size fits all opportunity for healing. But when we can partner with our brain, and that’s a huge part of everything I do, is brain partnership, it’s saying, hi, self. Hi, brain. I see you. What’s going on today? Rather than going, I’m broken, I’m crazy, I’m out of control. It’s like, oh, whoa, my brain’s having a really hard time. So when we find ourselves in your version, I know my version of that kitchen floor moment as a little girl, rather than spiraling we can say, hey, brain. Hey, self, how can I help you? What do you need? I’m here.

Julie Jancius: Now, is that different from the havening technique or is that the havening technique?

Dr. Kate Truitt: The havening. Well, so now I’m a developer of havening, so there’s a lot of commingling that’s happened. so the havening techniques and of themselves are based in gentle, mindful touch as a primary mechanism of action to create change, which, Julie, if you saw somebody you loved having a hard time, what might you do as you approach them?

Julie Jancius: Oh, give them a hug. My daughter just comb through her hair with my hands. Absolutely.

Dr. Kate Truitt: Yeah, yeah. You know, we hold their hand, we connect. So the reason we are drawn to do that organically as humans is we have, I’m going to get very sciency here just for a second. Little receptors in our skin that respond to slow, gentle, soothing touch. And those receptors, when we experience slow, gentle, soothing, safe touch, release oxytocin and serotonin and other feel good molecules that down regulate our brain and help us feel safe, which is why it’s called havening, to put into a safe place. A haven is a safe place. And so we work with that soothing touch. And then where doctors Ron and Steve Rudin are the founders, have invited me to walk alongside them and be a developer with them. I then bring in a lot of different specific protocols to bring in the brain partnership and guide our own healing journey, which is what my first book is all about, healing in your hands. And it’s an entire program that helps people partner with themselves, understand their brain. And it’s literally an ode to my young self. What did I wish she had had? And, here’s the program for brain partnership and self care and compassion and love, fundamentally that utilizes that gentle, soothing touch as the healing mechanism.

Julie Jancius: Well, I think what’s fascinating about that, too, is it requires some level of intuitive development as well, because you’re not just asking your brain in that egoic mind, part of you, that monkey mind, that’s just talking all day long, when you say, like, go in and ask your brain, okay, where are we at today? What do I need today? It’s really tuning in to that inner wisdom and that soft, still inner voice, which I believe is always guiding us in this loving, positive way. So how do you help people kind of bring out more of that hearing piece of it? Because does anybody ever come to you and go, okay, I’m trying to talk to my brain doctor, Kate, but I’m not hearing anything?

Dr. Kate Truitt: Oh, yeah, or even worse, my brain hates me. Oh, right. I mean, and how often, for those of us who’ve, you know, experience struggles in mental health, that’s also. That is so real.

Julie Jancius: Yeah.

Dr. Kate Truitt: And so that. That gentle inner voice, that’s where I talk a lot about Amy, the amygdala in my work. And so the amygdala m technically, is two little clusters of nuclei we have in our brain that are ancient, ancient, ancient, ancient brain parts, and they have a primary job of keeping us alive and ever. About 25 years ago, I started thinking about Amy. The amygdala. Amy is a huge part of that inner voice that is saying, take care of yourself. I will keep you safe. This is how I’ve learned to be in the world and how we respond to data. A lot of people think about that part of our brain. They’d call it the inner critic, or, this part’s really mean to me, or beating me up. The amygdala, because it’s so ancient, is really just focusing on, what have I learned about how to keep you alive? And the opportunity is, in helping m uplevel our amygdala as adults, to say, hey, high five, amy, you did the thing. You kept us alive. Awesome. And let’s learn some new things. Because neuroplasticity means our brain is changing. It’s, able to grow and learn new things across the course of our life. And so when we partner with our brain, then we can come back to self. And then when our brain is quiet, like, when we’re. Like, there’s no self, which is real. Especially when I work with people with complex trauma, we struggle with dissociation. It can feel like, who am I? I don’t exist. or when our brain is constantly yelling at us, there’s a different, self compassionate, loving way we can start to experience those symptoms, as this is our brain taking care of us in the old way, and let’s build a new way forward and connect those dots, as what you said is so real, it can feel really hard when. That’s why I ended up writing. That’s why I was invited to write the book. That’s why I was approached, like, write this book by my publisher. People don’t know about these brain experiences and what’s so possible for all of us when we have the tools and the knowledge and then the guide, and it’s awesome to be able to introduce that to the world.

Julie Jancius: Yes, well, and one question I have about neuroplasticity is when we’re kind of finding our way forward in life, I’ve always thought to myself, other people are doing it better. Just figure out how other people are doing it. And what I’ve learned from being a seeker, I think, since my teenage years, is that nobody’s doing it better. You’re doing the best that you can. Your consciousness is unfolding at the rate that is safe for you to unfold into and evolve and grow and just have acceptance and surrender with that peace. But it almost feels like we spiral upwards with growth. It’s not like a, graph or a chart where it’s just this red line in the middle going up, up, up. It’s this spiral that ups and downs and ups and downs, but eventually gets higher and higher and higher. So with that neuroplasticity, I think that as we’re growing, one of the most frustrating things is when we relapse back into that old way of thinking or old patterns or old habits and then being like, oh, I always do this. You know, I always fall back. But how do we normalize that and be like, nope, this is not a setback. This is not me always being bad or getting things wrong. I am just in a moment of retrograde before the circle swings up and, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Kate Truitt: Because, and that’s actually a critical part of the growth process. The, the downswings are the opportunities for deeper wisdom. M and so in those downswings, when a line I use a lot is, we turn to the past to learn, not return. Now, Doctor Louis Cosalino, who is a brilliant psychologist, highlights that 90% of every present moment is being defined by the experiences of our past. So that’s a profound percentage, 90%. And that’s how our brain has to function. But when we’re in that downswing, when we’re in the retrograde, it can feel like, oh, I’m failing, screwing up. I’m doing everything wrong again. And the truth is, that means our brain is using some old tools and is ready for more resources. It could be a moment of self awareness to say, what have I taken on that doesn’t feel quite right? Have I allowed a boundary crossing that is getting my brain all in a tizzy because it doesn’t know how to show up in an appropriate way right now? Have I activated something older? So, if we get really curious and look at it as an opportunity for learning rather than spiraling into judgment, we can then harness it and, help elevate our brain into a new way.

Julie Jancius: And is that what’s needed? Because sometimes I’ve been going to counseling off and on since I was probably 14, too. And sometimes you catch yourself coming back and you’re like, oh. Like, oh, shit, I was just talking about this, like, the last five times. You know, I really need to do something about this. Or is it just that we’re going so fast in our society today, we’ve got so much going on that we just don’t have room within our lives to make all of the changes?

Dr. Kate Truitt: I would say both and.

Julie Jancius: Yeah, both.

Dr. Kate Truitt: And we being mindfully present in our world as it exists today, in of itself, is a skill. For those of us who had complicated childhoods. Mindful presence wasn’t necessarily a part of our upbringing anyway. Vigilance or hypervigilance was our survival strategy, or even dissociation in extreme cases. And so, in moments of overwhelm or flooding, our brain will go to what it knows best. And that’s, again, our brain trying its best to keep us alive. Which, rather than judging or shaming, we go, okay, high five, brain. You went back to the old way. That’s worked, that kept us alive. You did the thing and what’s next and the opening up. And sometimes it takes the repetition of multiple exposures, which allow for the aha moment. And that’s normal, too, because we’re unwinding old stuff and creating new ways forward.

Julie Jancius: What are the best tools? And. And maybe it is the piece that you were talking about before when it comes to neuroplasticity and actually allowing yourself to see a different future or see that purpose and want to head in that direction.

Dr. Kate Truitt: My. My favorite is a protocol I created called CPR for the amygdala. CPR stands for creating personal resilience. So have you ever been in a moment where you feel like you’re stuck and ruminating? Like you’re just. You can’t stop thinking about something, chewing on it?

Julie Jancius: Of course. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Kate Truitt: And, like, I have long winded debates with conversations that should have happened a year and a half, two years ago. Like, I am so good at those silent, ruminating debates in my head about all the things I wish I would have said.

Julie Jancius: Yes.

Dr. Kate Truitt: and what’s happening in those moments is our brain is actually strengthening those neural pathways and creating greater anxiety or worry or depression or whatever it is. Later, when we use CPR for the amygdala, it’s like we’re saying, hey, Amy, I see that you’re starting to really worry about something, and we can help downregulate our brain and our system so that we’re not stuck on it, and we can have access to the rest of our thinking brain, because when our amygdala takes over, our thinking gets very, very cloudy. We’re in that fight, flight, or free state. It’s not available. What’s beautiful about our amygdala is it’s ancient. And so the tool is pretty simple, because our ancient brain doesn’t require a lot of complexity. It’s applying gentle, mindful touch. So imagining you’re washing your hands under warm water and rubbing your palms together, or as you said, when you go to your daughter, if she was having a hard time, you give her a big hug. Imagine you’re giving yourself a moving hug, huh? Fingertips on your shoulders, moving down your arms, and just repeating that gentle, soothing motion. These are going to engage those receptors. And then we give our brain a different job by singing songs or doing breath counts or doing different brain games, looking around the room and finding different colors for every color of the rainbow. The combo of, the distractions plus that hate, that soothing touch actually will de link our brain from, and specifically our amygdala from whatever created that activated emotional state and create more space for our thinking wise brain to come online and help us out. And it’s so simple, and our brain is designed for it. It just kind of got lost in the shuffle of healing.

Julie Jancius: Incredible. So when you’re in that stuck rumination, spinning cycle, you can just come in, really activate. And when you were doing that for the people who aren’t watching, it’s kind of like you’re giving yourself a hug, you’ve got your hands on both shoulders, and then it’s like you’re moving your hands and your fingers up and down, just soothing both of your arms. And that, along probably with just the breath, is bringing your nervous system back to a place where we can access our own inner wisdom and just reconnect.

Dr. Kate Truitt: Yeah. Like doing, counting, doing breath counts is a great distraction for people who are comfortable doing breath work. And, some people are not comfortable with breath work, and that’s where we can use just different distractions in the environment. Or if humming is comfortable. Humming is a wonderful distraction because it also engages our polyvagal nerve so that just, there’s a lot of different ways we can downregulate. And why I love the exercise is it’s not just soothing and calming, it’s proactively healing our brain. And this is the first modality where I’ve actually seen that, where we can actually heal our system. And it’s been. You know, my first book is all about it. That’s what it literally is, how to do that. And then in my own healing, and from traumatic grief and PTSD and chronic pain and illness, these tools have been transformative. And because it’s healing in your hands, it’s agency. It’s saying, I’ve got my own back.

Julie Jancius: I love that. You know, you have just such an amazing perspective right now within the mental health emotional health space, which really comes from very much more scientific perspective and looking and kind of forecasting 510, 15 years into the future, can you see a day where we’re all going to therapists? Or maybe there’s just more talk about it, of their spiritual energy, healing therapists who kind of bridge all of these modalities together.

Dr. Kate Truitt: My vision and mission in life, my purpose is to create a space where we can talk about mental health, to destigmatize it, to take the shame off the table. And, so if I’m doing my job right, in 510 years, those conversations will be available. My second, or, I mean, they go hand in hand. Purpose is. It’s so important to recognize that therapy is a privilege. Not everybody has access for a whole variety of reasons. And yet mental health and wellness is a human right. Everything. A number of our initiatives, and especially I wrote the first book, is all about teaching these tools and putting them into people’s hands so that they’re not relying on somebody else to be the expert. Which is exactly why I wrote the memoir as well. It’s saying you can be an expert and still have your world blow up, because that’s just being human.

Dr. Kate Truitt: So how do we, as a human coalition, come together and say, hard things happen? And what if we can have those conversations and have the tools available to help our minds and our bodies not just heal, but also be present now and also build the futures we want to live within.

Julie Jancius: Amazing. I know that you have angel stories that you shared, you know, about feeling, presence and the roses. But I wonder if you have any other angel stories of connecting with Johnny and just him letting you know from the other side that he’s okay.

Dr. Kate Truitt: Ah, so many.

Julie Jancius: Yay. So many.

Dr. Kate Truitt: You know, this is a story that I share in the book. I had a necklace that actually. I’ll tell you the story of the necklace I’m wearing, if those of you can watch the screen. diamond solitaire. This is actually the engagement ring that Johnny gave me when he asked me to marry him. And last year, my now husband gifted it to me. And said, johnny’s always with you. You should wear this. And I hadn’t known what to do with the diamond. It felt so personal. And I also wanted to be tender with my marriage. I am very blessed to be now married to an amazing man. And now, lets backtrack to two weeks before Johnny died. We had a big fight, and he said, if anything were to happen to me, youll find love again, and ill let you know. And I was so mad that he said that because he was sick and I was worried. I didnt have any sense that he would die. It was two weeks before our wedding. I had no sense that he would die, but those words embedded in my brain, and at the time, I had a much smaller version of this diamond, that John had given me as a, promise, basically a promise ring. But it was a necklace that I wore, and I hadn’t taken it off since he’d given it to me. And that was years before, like, six, seven, eight years before the morning of my first date with my now husband, Nas, I’m in physical therapy, and I see my trainer, Susan, like, lunge across the room, and she grabs something out of the air, and I’m like, are you okay? And she’s. And the necklace had fallen off, and I hadn’t taken the necklace off. It had never come off my neck since he died.

Julie Jancius: Wow.

Dr. Kate Truitt: And it just fell off. And I wasn’t going to go out with my husband. I had very severe PTSD. I wasn’t dating at all. And Susan’s just like, is there something you’re supposed to do today? Because she knew the story.

Julie Jancius: Yeah.

Dr. Kate Truitt: And that was the. Those. It was her. And then that symbolic, that sense. Okay.

Julie Jancius: That symbol of him releasing himself so that you could be with someone else.

Dr. Kate Truitt: Yeah. And also kind of hitting me over the head and saying, pay attention. Go live your life. Live your life. I’m here. I’ve got you. Live your life.

Julie Jancius: And I think that that’s one of the hardest energies that I feel when I work, bringing through messages from the other side. Only imagine that some people who lose their partner or child just feel like they can’t go forward. I think when I first entered into this work, I thought, well, it’s easy, you know, you just find purpose, and you just move forward. And spirit has come in and said, when you lose that part of you, it’s like you’ve, lost your home, but not the roof over your head. This sense of safety and security and home that you just can’t get by finding another house and walking into another place, it’s just. It’s not here. And my heart goes out to everybody who’s felt that, because I can’t imagine just how hard it would be to find some way to pick yourself up again and open up your heart with that PTSD of loss experience, to open yourself up to finding a new heart home.

Dr. Kate Truitt: Yeah. And I love that reflection of it. It’s a new heart home. It doesn’t mean that the old heart home isn’t still a part of the journey. And that was really such a critical part of my reconciling was. And my husband just so generously and graciously embraced, the entirety of my story. And obviously, is even just giving the necklace and just like, it’s a part of you. Yeah, I’m blessed in that. I’m very blessed in that. And I think such a critical part is when we’re healing and through grief, there’s no replacement for what we’ve had, and we can find new ways to be in relationship with. There was a line, I remember when I wrote the line and keep breathing, I was like, if we’re alive before death, we will be alive after, because we live on within each other and whatever realm it is, we live on within each other.

Julie Jancius: Yeah. thank you so much for being here today, Doctor Kate, and sharing your story and your books. Keep breathing. And, we’re going to put links to both of your books below and your website, but tell everybody where they can find you and your book.

Dr. Kate Truitt: So, wherever you can find a book, most people go to Amazon these days, so, both books are on Amazon. My first book has also been released in German and French. It’s actually a number one international bestseller now, which is such a joy to know that people are using the tools and partnering with their brain. It’s just so humbling. I have a YouTube channel. I’m extremely shareware. And so if you want to learn more about the exercise, I shared CPR for the amygdala. There’s an entire playlist that talks about the neuroscience and guided exercises. And my YouTube channel is just full of videos that are to help all of us be healthier, happier humans. So talk about pain and trauma, anxiety, and I’m otherwise on all the media, social media, Instagram, all the things. If you go to drkatechewa.com, comma, there’s also some free resources. Go check it out. Or we also do free. We a lot of free, not, free works. We do a lot of workshops through my educational institute. And so if you want to come and sit with me, come to one of our workshops and love to see everybody there.

Julie Jancius: Oh, beautiful. Thank you so much for just taking time out of your day to be here.

Dr. Kate Truitt: Well, thank you for having me and thank you for the work you do, Julie.

Julie Jancius: Thank you too, Kate. Friends, I need your help reaching as many people as possible. If you’d like to support this podcast and help us spread more hope to the world, please book a session with me, join my angel membership or take my angel Reiki school. What’s the difference? If you’d like to know what messages your angels and loved ones have for you, you’ll want to book a session with me. The angel membership is all about your own personal spiritual healing. The membership takes you on a spiritual journey that teaches you how to create your own heaven on earth. And the Angel Reiki school is for those who want to get certified in mediumship, angel messages and energy healing all at once. These are three ways you can help us share a message of hope and love with more people than ever before. Register for one or all three at ah theangelmedium.com. that’s theangelmedium.com. now m let’s pray together as we do. I want you to pray in a way where you feel as though everything you want for yourself and the world has already come true and you’re giving thanks. Why? Because this is the best way to manifest. So let’s begin. God, universe source thank you. We’re so grateful that you’ve blessed this world with calm and peace for all. This calm and peace has spread like ripples soothing the hearts of every soul. Thank you for opening our hearts to abundance, allowing each of us to live our most authentic life and helping us to create our own heaven on earth. We thank you for the love and deep heart to heart connection that surrounds us us every day in our relationships. We thank you for the abundance of health and aliveness we feel radiating from every cell in our and our families bodies. Thank you for the gift of walking this life with us and guiding us every step of the way. Through your messages. We hear you through our own intuition and we feel you walking right by our side and we overflow with gratitude. Thank you for financial abundance and abundance of opportunities, miracles, blessings and prosperity in every way. We know that you want us to succeed so that we can show others how you want them to succeed too. Thank you for the boundless love, kindness, empathy and compassion that binds us all together. Thank you for the laughter, fun, moments of pure delight that fill us every day, especially today. God universe source thank you for blessing us beyond measure and allowing us to use our souls, gifts, talents, skills and abilities to serve the world. We love you. I love you. And in this we pray. Amen. Friends, we’re working on some pretty major things over here, and if you wouldn’t mind saying a little prayer that these things come to fruition, if they’re God’s will, we’d so appreciate it. And please add a little prayer in for any specific thing you need right now too. Have a beautiful, blessed day, and don’t forget to submit your contact info@theangelmedium.com. if you’d like me to channel the name of one of your angels for you, sending you peace, bliss and many blessings.

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