Learn True Health with Ashley James

On Learn True Health, Ashley James interviews today's most successful natural healers. Learn True Health was created for YOU, the health enthusiast. If you are passionate about organic living or struggling with health issues and are looking to gain your health naturally, our holistic podcast is what you have been looking for! Ashley James interviews Naturopathic Doctors and expert holistic health care practitioners to bring you key holistic health information, results based advice and new natural steps you can take to achieve true health, starting NOW! If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, if you are fed up with prescription drug side effects, if you want to live in optimal health but you don't know where to start, this podcast is for you! If you are looking for ACTIONABLE advice from holistic doctors to get you on your path to healing, you will enjoy the wisdom each episode brings. Each practitioner will leave you with a challenge, something that you can do now, and each day, to measurably improve your health, energy, and vitality. Learn about new healing diet strategies, how to boost your immune system, balance your hormones, increase your energy, what supplements to take and why and how to experience your health and stamina in a new way. Ashley James from Learn True Health interviews doctors like Dr. Joel Wallach, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Oz, Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Molly Niedermeyer on Naturopathic Medicine, Homeopathy, Supplements, Meditation, Holistic Health and Alternative Health Strategies for Gaining Optimal Health.
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Now displaying: April, 2019
Apr 29, 2019

Book: Through Thick & Thin: How the Wildfire was a Wake Up Call to Transform my Life! 


How To Lose Weight Naturally

Morbidly obese at 567 pounds, Tony Bussey’s life was “a self-made prison.”  In this episode, be inspired by his experience in the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire and how it flamed the desire for self-improvement to regain a whole new life of physical freedom and more.


[00:00:03] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 350.

I am so excited about today’s interview. We have with us an inspiring man, Tony Bussey. You went viral.

I saw you on Facebook. You went viral, and your story has inspired me. I said I have to get him on my show. I can’t wait for my listeners to learn from Tony.


[00:00:35] Tony Bussey: Thank you.


[00:00:36] Ashley James: I want [inaudible 00:00:37] your show, and I want to dive right into your story because when I saw you went through the Fort McMurray wildfires—I’m originally from Canada. I live in the States now, but I have a lot of friends in Alberta, and I have a lot of friends that were displaced and lost their homes. It was quite tragic.


[00:00:56] Tony Bussey: I’m jealous of the United States right now because it looks like you guys are going to get the Stanley Cup again. You’re Canadian. That’s pretty heartbreaking, but that’s another broadcast.


[00:01:08] Ashley James: [laughs]


[00:01:11] Tony Bussey: I’m very sad right now, but that’s okay.


[00:01:14] Ashley James: I had to explain to my husband why and how hockey is the best sport.


[00:01:19] Tony Bussey: Oh, yeah, by far.


[00:01:20] Ashley James: [laughs] So Tony, you had quite an experience going through the Fort McMurray wildfires. But that’s not the topic for today’s show.

The topic is that you transformed your health and your life because of them. I love for you to take us back and tell us your story. What happened to you that transformed your life?


[00:01:46] Tony Bussey: For years and years, I lived a life that was just horrible, I guess you could say. I like to tell people that I was in a self-made prison.

I’m not that tall. I’m only between 5’8” and 5’9”, but I was over and around 600 pounds. My top weight was 567 pounds, and I was that size for years. Life was horrible at that size. There’s nothing designed for people to live day to day life—to get into a restaurant, to get into a vehicle, to get on a bus, to buy clothes. Everything is a struggle.

Leading up to the fire–I was evacuated twice from that fire. During the second evacuation—because they had flown us back north of Fort McMurray. We weren’t allowed to go back into the city, but I work in a mine north of the city, and the city itself was still a dangerous area, but north of the city at that time was okay. They had the mine shut down, but they’re trying to get everything back up and running. The fire seemed to be dying down quite a bit.

But when we got up there, almost like overnight, it got really bad again. There were a couple of camps up there that was on fire. One completely burned to the ground.

It was during this evacuation, the second evacuation, that my life changed. At that time, we left the camp, and there was a line up to get on this huge coach style bus that they had coming around picking people up like those Greyhound buses. I was in the line-up, and I was in the back of the line, and a gentleman came along—a manager. He came along, and he took me from the back of the line to the very front of the line.

Anybody listening to this that is extremely overweight does understand how anybody that’s obese, you don’t like any extra attention. You’re already stared at enough. You don’t blend in, and that’s all you long for, to blend in with people.

So when he picked me out of the back and put me to the front, right away all of these eyes were on me—”Why is that guy going to the front?”

But looking back on it now, I understood why they did it because you don’t want a man that’s almost 600 pounds in well over 30 degree Celsius heat. I’m not sure what it is in Fahrenheit.


[00:04:21] Ashley James: It’s in the 90s in Fahrenheit.


[00:04:23] Tony Bussey: You don’t want anybody in over 90-degree heat, that size, up there in the middle of nowhere passing out basically. So they put me on the bus, and the bus was packed, except there is an empty seat next to me. But I was spilling over in that seat too much that they couldn’t sit anybody there.

You look out the window of that bus, you can see a long line of people—men, women, somebody’s wife, somebody’s daughter, somebody’s husband, somebody’s son waiting to get ahead of that hill basically, and now somebody has to wait even longer because I’m taking up two seats.

So they brought us up to an airport, and it was the same situation. I had to get on a plane, then all these planes land in another airport. They would land, they would fill up, and take off, and more planes would land. That’s all it was.

When I got on the plane, it was the same thing. The plane was packed. It was full except there was a seat next to me that I was taking up too much of that seat for them to put anybody there.

That was the final straw for me. Everything over the years, every struggle, every sadness, every bit of depression, every bit of hate that I had for myself because I was so huge, it all culminated into that.

And then, I couldn’t get those image of that people out of my head, and I kept thinking, “Okay, now you’re affecting other people.” I knew I always was like my family and stuff, but for some reason, that wasn’t enough. But then through that fire—I mean we didn’t know how bad it was going to get. I didn’t know how long these people were going to have to wait. But because of me, somebody has to wait there even hours, who knows at that time—maybe another day longer.

Everybody got out, thank God, but that had such an effect on me, and then when I got home, I got down to Edmonton, Alberta, that evening—that’s where they flew us to—I had enough. From that moment on, I changed everything.

I changed my eating habits. I think I started walking, [inaudible 00:06:31] the next day, but I changed everything. I haven’t looked back since.


[00:06:37] Ashley James: Now, we’re coming up on the 3rd anniversary of the Fort McMurray fire—it happened in May. Tell me, how long did it take for you to start to lose the weight after you changed your eating habits and started to walk? Tell us about that journey.


[00:06:56] Tony Bussey: It was fairly quick. Now, I was 567 pounds. I couldn’t get on any normal scale to see how big I was. I had to use a warehouse for the company that I work with, one that they would forklifts on. That’s the only thing that I could weigh myself, and when I weighed, I was 567. When they allowed us back into Fort McMurray, I went back to work, and everything was back to normal on June 10th, I believe that was.

I started this both the third week of May, so by the middle of June, I was down 30 pounds. For the first in my life, the scale had gone down and not up. I will never forget it. When I have seen it that day, it was like I won the lottery. What an overwhelming feeling of joy that finally—I keep referencing saying a prison—when you got 30 pounds gone, it’s like somebody has taken a set of keys to that prison door and they’re putting it a little bit closer to you. You’re getting closer to getting yourself free, and that’s the way I felt. I was starting to become free again.

There are two types of freedom in this world that people long for. That’s physical freedom and financial freedom. If you can tame one of those, you have a life that’s more beautiful than ever.

I had 30 pounds gone, and then I had 100 pounds gone by September. That’s when my life started to change. It’s been a beautiful ride ever since.


[00:08:48] Ashley James: Looking at you now, no one would know that you were once almost 600 pounds. You look super healthy, super fit, and you’ve done this within less than three years.


[00:09:02] Tony Bussey: Yes, I think it took me about two years. I’ve been maintaining the weight now for about a year. The thing that I did in the beginning, I do to this day. I eat the same. I go for my walk. I walk 3.5-5 kilometers a day. Now walking to me, it’s more of a mental thing than a physical thing. I’ll get up at 4:00 or 4:30 in the morning, and I’ll go for a walk before I go to work, and I work a 12-hour shift.

That walk in the morning, that crisp air, that alone time, the time to think, just to reflect and remember that three years ago, I couldn’t do that. So I smile, and I start my day, and it’s like a fresh cup of coffee. I miss it if I can’t get out.


[00:09:54] Ashley James: Your walks are like a meditation in motion where you’re bringing in gratitude and reflection into your life.


[00:10:02] Tony Bussey: Oh, yeah. Anything that you might be dealing with it, it just has a way of clearing your head. That weight, that size, for years and years it was my biggest disadvantage because as soon as you would wake up in the morning, you knew how big you were. As soon as you took your first breath, it was a struggle.

That is so ingrained in my memory that now that has become my biggest asset because for years and years and years, I long to be out of that prison like I keep saying. And now that I’m finally out, it’s like a dream come true.


[00:10:41] Ashley James: So while you were overweight, you longed not to be overweight, but what stopped you from taking the actions to accomplish that?


[00:10:50] Tony Bussey: It was mental. I had myself convinced that I didn’t deserve anything else. I had myself convinced that that was my life. I had myself convinced that I was trapped. I would go to bed at night, and there were nights I would go to bed and just pray that I wouldn’t wake up because it was so horrible.

If anybody is listening to this right now that is struggling with their sin, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be weight, it could be drugs, it could be alcohol, it could be anything. But you get to the point of despair where you don’t care about yourself anymore. You get to a point where you don’t care if you live or die. Basically, what I was doing was eating myself into an early grave.

For whatever reason, and I still look back, and I still struggle with the reason why I didn’t start it then. I used to try at times, but it was never successful. But for some reason, seeing those people waiting for that bus and waiting for that plane, something clicked in my brain. There was something that clicked that said, “This is enough, Tony. Now you’re affecting other people. Life is passing you by. Let’s get this changed because you’re not going to have another chance.”

I didn’t think I’d be alive right now to even talk to you if I stayed that size. But now, I wake up in the morning, and I’m not reminded of that life. I wake up in the morning and reminded of a new life, and I smile. I smile every time I put socks on.


[00:12:43] Ashley James: [laughs]


[00:12:45] Tony Bussey: I have had people sending me socks in the mail, and it’s been wonderful. That is my biggest treasure right now, a dresser drawer full of socks that I can wear.


[00:13:03] Ashley James: When you were at your heaviest, could you not put on your socks?


[00:13:06] Tony Bussey: No. I went about three years where I couldn’t put on socks, so to walk without socks on—I work in heavy industry, so I’m wearing work boots without socks on. I would take my work boots and put up on a table, and I would tie them loosely so I can slide my foot down in because I couldn’t bend over to tie up my boots. So I would slide my foot down in them, and then you got a boot on with no socks on, so your foot is sliding around in this all day—just physical pain.

When I could do that, I  think I had about a hundred pounds gone. I mean that first day when I put socks on again, it was—yeah. I’m Canadian, and I have cold winters. It’d be like in the middle of January, andyou get a blast of warm summer air coming against your face for five seconds. Just a feeling of happiness. I was like, “Ah.” It would be like if we won a Stanley Cup again.


[00:14:19] Ashley James: [laughs]


[00:14:23] Tony Bussey: That’s the only way I can describe it. It’s just a feeling of pure joy,


[00:14:29] Ashley James: Tell us about some other times during your journey towards your goal weight where you had those first moments, like the first time you could fit into a booth at a restaurant or go to a movie theater for the first time. Do you have any more of those?


[00:14:49] Tony Bussey: Yeah, like the first time I got in my car. I had a seatbelt extension in my car, and I couldn’t even wear a seatbelt then. So I still keep that seatbelt extension in my car just for a reminder. But the first time I could put a seatbelt on normally—you talk about a movie theater. I used to take my daughter, and we go to the movies. She would have to sit two seats over from me. Now she sits right next to me.

To go to a normal clothing store, nothing is more frustrating or depressing or demoralizing when you go into a Big & Tall, like a George Richards clothing store for big men, and they don’t have clothes to fit you. I used to pray and wished there was a store called Short & Obese, but there wasn’t. It didn’t exist. I would assume that I have to go out and buy a tarp. I was starting to feel horrible.

So when I could go just to a normal clothing store and buy clothes, when you go into a normal grocery store—because for big people, like really big like I was, when you go anywhere where there are crowds, you always get stared at. And when you would go now to places where there are crowds, people don’t give you a second look; you’re just one of thousands. Everybody wants to be extraordinary. Everybody wants to stand out. An obese person wants to blend in.

To finally achieve that, to go to a restaurant and to not have to worry about if they have tables or boots—I can go, and I can fit into a booth now. To get more personal, I went on my first date in years. At that size, you would never go and ask a woman out because you never had nice clothes. You didn’t feel good about yourself, everything that went with that, right?

And to finally be social again, to meet new people, or like I said, to buy socks—to wear socks again, to get up in the morning and take two seconds to put socks on. I bought my first pair of sandals. I never wore sandals before. Right now I’m sitting here wearing shorts. This would be the first summer I wore shorts in about 25 years.


[00:17:12] Ashley James: Wow.


[00:17:13] Tony Bussey: Yeah. I went on my first international trip. I went down to Mexico last November. I’ve never been to the United States before. Years and years ago, before we needed a passport, I drove through northern Michigan, but I’ve never traveled through the United States. I definitely want to see a beautiful country. I want to come down see New York, Washington, San Francisco, all across. I want to travel.

So when you get on a plane, and you can fit into a normal seat, you don’t need a seatbelt extension, you can put the tray table down. And then you see people coming into the aisle, and they’ll sit next to you, and they don’t give you that nasty look like, “Oh, look at that big guy.” They sit next to you as a normal person, and they don’t know your story. You’re filled with so much joy because you’re just normal–just to do every day normal activities.


[00:18:11] Ashley James: So many people take it for granted. But for those who are living in the larger bodies, what other people take for granted, they only wish they could have.


[00:18:24] Tony Bussey: Oh, yeah. Like to call a cab. Before, if I needed to have a cab, cabs didn’t fit me. I couldn’t get into just any car. Now I can call up any cab, and get into and go anywhere. If you get to an airport, one of the things was having trouble fitting on a plane, but you could always buy two seats if you have to. Now, I hardly flew at the time, but the biggest thing was getting to an airport, and if you had to rent a vehicle, what if there are no vehicles big enough for you to rent? Things like that.

I used to worry about getting sick. How would a hospital take care of me? Could I fit in their bathroom? Could I get on a stretcher? Things like that. It’s all of these things that would give you anxiety.

I live alone, so I used to wonder, “What if I had a heart attack? Who’s gonna know?” I had a friend of mine that used to call me because we worked shifts; I wouldn’t see him for a while. But if he didn’t hear from me in two, three days, he would call me or text me and make sure I was okay.


[00:19:33] Ashley James: How many years did you spend living in a larger body?


[00:19:38] Tony Bussey: I was always kind of large. I remember I moved to Fort McMurray in 1999, and I was over and around 300 2,330 pounds, I believe, at the time. It was, I believe, in 2004. I’m originally from Newfoundland on the east coast of Canada, and I drove home then. When I came back, none of my clothes fit.

From then on, from 2004 up to about 2016 is when I put on all that weight. And I would say from 2006, 2016, I was getting big. It seems like once you hit a certain level, whether it’s 350 or 400 pounds—I didn’t like weighing myself much then—but the weight would snowball. As soon as you hit a certain amount, then you go up, and you go up even faster because what happens is you care less, and you do less and less activity because it becomes more of a strain on your body to do so. And then you get depressed more, so you’d turn more and more to junk food to feel a little bit of happiness. And then it becomes a vicious cycle.


[00:20:56] Ashley James: There’s a TV show with a doctor named Dr. Nowzaradan.


[00:21:00] Tony Bussey: Oh, yes. I watched.


[00:21:02] Ashley James: It’s “My 600-Lb Life,” and he says that at this weight, like you said around 400 pounds, you’re either gaining or losing. It’s very difficult to maintain. In his experience, he sees that you’ve gone to maintain momentum in your weight loss or else you’ll start gaining again. How did you maintain your momentum?

Did you ever have an experience where you go on the scale and you didn’t lose weight, or maybe you gained a few pounds, or the weight loss wasn’t as significant as you thought it would be? Because there are those moments where people end up giving up in a program, where they get on a scale or they measure themselves, and they’re dissatisfied with the result, and they throw in the towel. Did you ever come up against those moments?


[00:21:56] Tony Bussey: Well, there were times where—when you work night shifts like I work night shifts, that could screw up your metabolism. So if you weighed yourself after doing six- or seven-night shifts, you wouldn’t be down any weight. And then about three, four days later you would have five pounds gone type of thing.

But overall, no, because the scales are just one aspect. I didn’t even own a scale for the first two and a half years of my weight loss because people get so concentrated on a scale that if they do have a bad day or so, they would get too discouraged and they would go back to their old ways. A scale, in my opinion, in the beginning, is the worst thing that you can have.

What I would do, I would go down through the hospital and weigh, or I would sneak up into one of the floors and use a scale in the hallway. I’m sure the doctor used to wonder what I was doing every couple of weeks, but I show up and weigh myself and take off. But I didn’t want to have that scale in the house. So then if you did have a day or whatever, or maybe you never got out for a walk or something, you were feeling a little bloated, you didn’t have the scale there to discourage you. I would weigh once every two or three weeks, and that was it.


[00:23:21] Ashley James: Smart. Did you ever come up against though, like a number you weren’t happy with and then after you wrestle with that little voice in your head that said, “What’s the point? What’s the use?” Did you ever have any of those moments?


[00:23:37] Tony Bussey: I can honestly say no. The only thing I measured myself by—I didn’t own a scale—I would go by my belt. I would go for walks, and when I could wear jeans again, I started wearing jeans, and I had my belt. As long as I didn’t have to go up a notch, I knew I was okay, and I will keep going. And then when I would have to, I will get a knife and create another hole in my belt. And that’s when sometimes when I would go and weigh. I still have that belt this day.

But those memories of being 567 pounds, we’re so seared in my head that even if I stayed the same at the scale, I wasn’t back to that old weight. I still have the ability to do things, to walk, and I kept eating right and everything.

You’re not going to gain weight by eating apples and bananas. You’re not going to gain weight by eating healthy. To this day, I don’t touch junk food. It’s been now almost three years since I’ve had any junk food. I don’t have a cake on my birthday. I don’t have candy. I don’t have chocolate. I don’t have chips. I don’t have ice cream. I don’t have anything.


[00:24:53] Ashley James: That’s interesting. I’d like to expand upon that. You said you don’t have cake on your birthday, and I see some people, they’ll eat healthily, but then they’ll say, “Life is so short. We should have the cake on our birthday, and we should allow ourselves to have whatever we want at Thanksgiving as long as we eat healthy through the year.” Why do you think that that is a trap? Why do you avoid that behavior, and you choose to eat healthy 365 days a year?


[00:25:28] Tony Bussey: I would look back at those people, and I would say, ”Would a cocaine addict go and snort a line once a month to celebrate a birthday?”


[00:25:37] Ashley James: [laughs]


[00:25:38] Tony Bussey: Right? Would an alcoholic go every Saturday and say, “I’m going to have a drink today for a treat.”?


[00:25:46] Ashley James: It’s a slippery slope.


[00:25:48] Tony Bussey: Why go back to the very thing that took away your happinessfor so many years? It’s like getting punched in the face, and then finally having your black eye healed up, and then going back to that guy and saying, “Punch me again.” Why would people do that?

We got to stop treating food as an award, as a treat. There are other treats out there. Buying clothes, going for walks, going on trips, meeting new people.

Now I admit I was at the extreme side of waking, but for me, I have to treat it as an addiction. I’ve come to the realization that for the rest of my life, I will never have junk food. And right now I don’t crave it. I don’t want it. I mean if you or I was sitting here right now, and you were sitting down with a bag of chips and a chocolate bar, it wouldn’t bother me one bit. I look at that stuff, and I get angry at it.


[00:26:56] Ashley James: Interesting. Tell us about your strategy. You get angry at the foods that harm your body.


[00:27:03] Tony Bussey: Yeah, because I look at that stuff and it put me in a prison. It almost took away my life. It took away my freedom. It took away my relationships. It took away a social aspect. It took away any joy. It took away any love. It took away years and years off my life. It took away memories. It took away trips. It took away money. It took away health. It took everything from me.

Now, it was my fault. I don’t blame anybody. Nobody forced me to eat the way I did. I choose that. But I also choose now never to have it again. And now, I don’t look at, “Poor Tony can’t have cake. He can’t have chips.” I might’ve lost that, but I’ve gained freedom. I’ve gained happiness. I’ve gained friendships. I’ve gained a social life. I’ve gained the ability to be free and travel. I’ve gained so much.

I’ve lost over 330 pounds, but I’ve gained a whole new life. Like I’ll go into convenience stores, and I’ll look at all that stuff, all it does is bring back those memories to me.


[00:28:20] Ashley James: Some people would think, “I don’t want to be deprived. I don’t want to feel deprived.” Do you feel deprived when you eat apples, bananas, and vegetables when you eat? When you eat healthy food, do you feel deprived or have you discovered that eating whole real healthy food tastes amazing? Have you discovered a whole new—were you surprised? As someone who ate junk food all the time, we think junk food is delicious, right? But then we get into eating vegetables. You Go, “Oh, my God. I didn’t know how delicious vegetables were until you get into it.” Have you discovered how delicious healthy food is?


[00:29:03] Tony Bussey: It’s amazing. I love those huge big apples. You sit down with a nice crisp, cold apple, that’s not raw and all in the middle, and you open it up, and it’s just delicious. It’s refreshing. You don’t get the sugar. I used to get a sugar high, and then you would crash after. I don’t get any of that anymore.

But the natural food that comes from the earth gives you such a natural feeling. There’s no crashing. There are no bad side effects. It gives you the energy to go and have a beautiful life. I tell people when I get talking to friends and stuff, and I’ve used this example: if you’re 18 years old or 16 years old, you have your license, and your father or mother comes up to you and says, “Here you go. Here’s a vehicle. Here’s a brand new car for you. But the only drawback is that’s the only vehicle you can have for the rest of your life.”


[00:30:10] Ashley James: [laughs] You’d baby that dude. Oil changes every thousand miles.


[00:30:18] Tony Bussey: Yes, the best fuel. You would have that car detailed inside and out. You would avoid all the puddles. You would have the best tires on it. There wouldn’t be a scratch on that vehicle.


[00:30:30] Ashley James: Amazing.


[00:30:32] Tony Bussey: We should treat our bodies the same way. Life is so short. Life has gone like a warm summer breeze before you know it is over. Why live filling ourselves up with junk?


[00:30:47] Ashley James: That’s very beautifully said. I love it. You touched on that you noticed that when you did that 12 days in a row of night shifts or 5 or 12 days in a row of night shifts that you hadn’t lost any weight, but then you would get back into routine for day shifts and you’d lose weight. Is that because you had sleep deprivation? What do you think changes us when we do night shifts, or when we lose sleep that has stopped losing weight?


[00:31:21] Tony Bussey: I had a friend of mine, she was a nurse, and she used to tell me that your metabolism will slow down. People are not meant to work nighttime. Your body is meant to be sleeping and everything. It just screws everything up. I’m not sure the exact science of it, but if anybody is listening to this right now going through their weight loss journey, a bit of advice I would give you is never to weigh yourself after a night shift. The scale won’t show anything, and I wouldn’t want them to be discouraged and say, “I ate great for a week, and I haven’t lost a pound. Screw it. I’m going to go back, eating ice cream.” Your body does different things. That’s all. It could be [inaudible 00:32:07] food longer, all kinds of different things. But night shift screws you right up.


[00:32:15] Ashley James: I noticed that. I used to be diabetic, and I used food and natural medicine to reverse. Type 2 diabetes is 100% reversible. What I noticed is that when I had poor sleep, I had really bad blood sugar, and I would eat more. I’d have stronger hunger the next day. I’d want to eat more food. And if I didn’t get enough sleep, there was a direct correlation between how much sleep I got and how many calories I consumed the next day.

And so, on times where I had a wonderful sleep, I ate less food. I was less hungry. My blood sugar was more balanced. I was just wondering if you noticed that when you work the night shift, it screwed with your sleep, so you didn’t get enough rest, and your body was hungry, so you’re eating more food, and maybe you didn’t get enough exercising because you’re tired. It’s how sleep affects our ability to stay on track with our goals.


[00:33:17] Tony Bussey: Oh, yeah. Like I’ll do 12-hour night shifts, so I’ll usually eat around 10:30 or 11, then I’ll snack for the rest of the night, and I’ll have a bit of fruit at five in the morning. And then that’d be it until I wake up at two or three in the afternoon. But then I’ll go for a long walk, and then I’ll come back and make an omelet, and then I’m good to go. But, oh yeah, definitely I wake up and I’m hungry, but sleep is a huge thing with health. Your body needs a certain amount of sleep, and I still struggle with that to this day. I think I drink too much coffee, but that’s Canadian in me. I’m a Tim Horton’s addict.


[00:33:58] Ashley James: Right? They don’t know Tim Horton’s where I am.


[00:34:01] Tony Bussey: That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.


[00:34:04] Ashley James: Isn’t that the saddest thing ever? The closest Tim Horton’s is about three hours north of me. So yeah, I have to deal with that here. I think all Canadians are addicted to Tim Horton’s.


[00:34:15] Tony Bussey: Oh, yeah. It’s the only thing that’s keeping Canada from breaking up. [laughs]


[00:34:24] Ashley James: So Tony, you’ve mentioned that you’ve done this by eating healthy and going on your walks, but what does eating healthy look like to you? There are so many diets out there that are conflicting. What did you discover that works best for you?


[00:34:42] Tony Bussey: I will tell you what I ate before first. For example, there’ll be some evenings I would get off work, and I would go and get five pieces of fried chicken, a couple of large things of rings, two large root beers. I would eat that. And then about 20 minutes later, I would get a coffee with three sugar, three cream, three or four donuts, and I would go for a little drive. And then about 20 minutes, a half hour after that, I will get a large bag of chips, three or four ice cream sandwiches, and a couple of chocolate bars.

This was within a two-hour span, and this was practically every other day. I wouldn’t come home unless I had junk food in the house. I drank a lot of pop. I was drinking 10, 11 cans of diet pop a day. A lot of chips, a lot of chocolate, a lot of ice cream. I love ice cream. It could get minus 30 up here, and I’d be sitting down with an ice cream sandwich.

But now I cut out, for example, I still drink coffee by drinking black. I go to Tim Horton’s now, for example, here in Canada, now I either get a black coffee or just half a cream, but no sugar. I stay away from all processed sugar. I eat eggs. I’ll have cheese. Usually, I’ll make it three eggs with cheese and mushroom, make an omelet. I’ll have steak. I’ll have chicken or salmon. I eat a lot of vegetables, and I eat a lot of fruits. I’ll have a couple of apples, usually a couple of apples and a banana every day.

And I don’t eat after six, so between five and six, that’s my last meal for the evening, and I walk every day, about three and a half to five kilometers a day. That’s what I’ve been doing all the time.

Cutting out the processed sugar, that was hard in the beginning. I got a lot of headaches and stuff for about a month, but diet pop, that’s the worst thing that you can have. I found that it gave me cravings for junk food.


[00:37:03] Ashley James: Wow.


[00:37:05] Tony Bussey: Yeah, I couldn’t get enough in me for whatever reason. I got no scientific basis. I’m sure having one diet pop or whatever would be okay. But as I said, I was drinking 8, 9, 10, 11 cans of this a day. And it seemed like the more I drank, the more I would crave junk food, the more I would crave, the more I would want diet pop, and it would just go hand in hand. I couldn’t get enough of either in me.

And now I, I haven’t had pop in almost three years. I don’t touch any junk food. No treats, what you would call normal treats. I don’t have any of that. I stay away from breads and pasta. And I don’t eat late at night.


[00:37:51] Ashley James: I like that you said don’t eat after six. That’s something I just started doing, and I’ve already noticed I feel better. I choose to eat healthily. I have for the last few years, and I’ve been on my health journey. But I noticed that I had gotten into this routine of eating a second dinner because we would eat supper early because we have a young kid in the house. And so we would get him fed around five, and then get him to bed. And then I’d stay up until 11 or so. And of course, a few hours later I’m hungry again, so I’d eat again. That became this slippery slope of eating out of habit, out of fun. It could be like “healthy food,” it’s still consuming more calories at night before going to bed.

What do I need to do consuming 500 calories before bed? All I’m doing is sleeping. I don’t need to eat more. And so choosing to not eat after six, like even having a piece of fruit in my hand because we just went to the Asian market, got some really cool stuff there.


[00:39:04] Tony Bussey: They got a lot of cool stuff there.


[00:39:05] Ashley James: Right? We’re going to a barbecue this weekend. My husband’s vegan and I have a day 23 of me not eating any meat, and I feel fantastic. It’s a personal journey. I don’t believe in any one diet dogma. I don’t think everyone should be vegan, or everyone should be paleo. It’s everyone’s journey to figure out what their body needs.


[00:39:30] Tony Bussey: We should never judge anybody. I dated a girl there for a few months and a wonderful lady, and she was vegetarian. So out of respect for her when we were together, I would eat vegetarian with her, and I loved it. I didn’t I was lacking or anything.


[00:39:48] Ashley James: Right. And I feel great. I can’t believe it. I’m enjoying it. We’re going to a barbecue this weekend at a friend’s house, and so we’re bringing a jackfruit with us. We’re going to cut it up and barbecue the jackfruit. It’s going to be a lot of fun.


[00:40:03] Tony Bussey: That sounds delicious.


[00:40:04] Ashley James: So, yeah, yesterday we were at the Asian market. I picked out this exotic looking fruit. I thought this is great because we had already had dinner. It was going to be dessert. I get into the car. It was 6:20. I said, “Okay, I’m going to have this fruit tomorrow.” I’m not eating after six no matter what, and I can’t believe it. I feel so good. It’s sort of like intermittent fasting where you open up your eating window.

So if you stop eating at six, then you don’t eat again till like 9 or 10 the next day. You decrease the amount of calories you consume, but also your body gets more time to rest and to heal.


[00:40:43] Tony Bussey: It’s a mental thing, too.


[00:40:45] Ashley James: It is because now I want to go to bed sooner. It was like, what do I need to do staying up, I know how important sleep is, but I’m actually noticing my body is telling me, around nine o’clock, “Hey, it’s time to wind down,” because I’m not going to the fridge. I’m not eating any more tonight. Now I’d say, “Hey, it’s time to go to sleep. What are you doing?” It goes hand in hand. Not eating after six and making sure you get to bed on time because if you plan on eating more, you’re going to stay up later.

And then when you’re sleeping, you’re still digesting, so that interrupts your sleep. I liked that you said that—no eating after six. What I want to know is, the night that you arrived in Edmonton from the fires from the second evacuation, where you had stolen someone’s seat and the impact of your weight and the weight of that on you emotionally, how did you know what to eat? You had spent your entire life eating poorly. How did you know to cut out sugar, to eat fruits and vegetables, to cut out pasta and rice? What informed you?


[00:42:07] Tony Bussey: I had a friend of mine. She lives down in Virginia. She’s Canadian, and she’s married to a US Army airborne. I think he’s special forces, but he runs triathlons and stuff also. He’s in great shape and everything. I guess she got some advice off them, and she called me one evening, and she keeps in touch sometimes, especially during the fire and stuff. She said, “Tony, eat this and this and this, and don’t eat this, this and this.” She just gave me a little bit of advice, and that was it. I just went with that.

I just started cutting out sugar. Basic common sense will tell you what’s good and what’s bad, and the little things that you would pick up, a little bit of advice from friends and stuff over the months and everything, and then what seemed to work for me, and I just kept going with it, and that was it. The big thing, like I said, like no eating late at night. For my trick, what I do, I get up early in the morning, like today, my day off, and I was up at 5:30 still. But now tonight, as you said, around nine o’clock I’ll be getting tired. So now your tired instincts are taking over your hunger instincts. I think you go to bed, and then once you’re in bed, you’re too lazy to go to a fridge because you’re too comfortable in bed.

And then I wake up—as soon as the daylight comes in the morning, and I wake up, and I was like, “Oh, I can eat again.” So I get up and make a breakfast, and I go for a walk and so on. She told me some things, and then I had some friends who would give me a little bit of advice here and there. But I just kept doing the same thing because I could feel things are getting looser. And then when I came back to Fort McMurray, and I realized I had 30 pounds gone, I was like, “Wow, this is working.” That was it then. It was the [inaudible 00:44:14].


[00:44:17] Ashley James: That is so cool. It sounds like part of what you did was listen to your body and listen to your intuition because you had a lot of advice being thrown at you. How did you know at a gut level what was working?


[00:44:35] Tony Bussey: You learn like through your own life experiences, I guess. I had one person tell me, “Be careful. I’m going [inaudible 00:44:44] what you eat.” To me, that’s the reason why people give up so easily because they get all of these things thrown at them. All these things that seem so ridiculous, and they’re like, “I can’t do it.”

Just filter out all of that stuff. Use your common sense, and then go with that and feel yourself what works. I guess my gut instinct- I’m very, very stubborn. I just went with that, I had the 30 pounds gone, a few things work, and I was fine. Then the longer I went from processed sugar, the less and less I craved it. And I was eating completely healthy.

So I guess to me, my mindset was, if you’re exercising and you’re eating healthy, and you keep doing that, you’re going to lose weight, because how can you not?


[00:45:48] Ashley James: The hardest thing we’ve seen with weight loss is maintaining it. It’s pretty ridiculous. Something like only 0.8% of people who had been significantly obese are able to, in the long run, not gained back the weight. There’s a very small chance, and I know you’re doing it.


[00:46:12] Tony Bussey: That’s the same chance that Canada gets the Stanley Cup again.


[00:46:14] Ashley James: [laughs]


[00:46:16] Tony Bussey: I had to throw that in there. I’m just a sad, sad specimen here today. But all my hopes are on Toronto tonight, but I’m just a sad, sad state. But yes, it’s a very small chance. A lot of the most major things that have happened in this world, in the beginning it seemed very impossible that it was ever going to happen, but people kept at it.

If I would tell people, “Don’t get discouraged,” I mean, you look at the moon landing. There was a small chance of that happening in the 60s, and it happened. Things that are happening every day—there are miracles happening every day that there’s a small chance of happening, but it happens. If you look at most people that are successful, what they all have in common is they’re very, very stubborn. They don’t give up.

I look back, and I see people that have lost weight but have put it back on, and the one thing that they all seem to have in common is that they go back to eating junk food.

Just get rid of it. Just convince yourself that you’re done with it. Especially with people that were my size. If you’re listening to this and you’re 400, 500, 600 pounds, get in your mindset that “No more am I ever going to have junk food.” Treat it like an alcoholic would treat booze.


[00:47:59] Ashley James: It’s ruining your life the same way as alcohol to an alcoholic.


[00:48:03] Tony Bussey: Hugely. For me, it was. This earth didn’t start by having junk food in gardens. It was fruit and vegetables and things like that. We don’t need it. You can treat yourself in other ways. So if you stay away from that, you will keep the weight off. Just keep doing what you did in the beginning.

I guess you can apply that to not only weight loss, but even relationships and everything. If you keep doing what you did in the beginning to meet a person, it will always be a success. Keep doing what you did in the beginning to lose the weight, and it will always be a success.

The problem with anything that people fail in, they always go back to the old ways. Just get in your mindset that you’re done with that. If I can do it, anybody can. I was 41 years old. I was 561 pounds. I was living alone. I was eating all kinds of crap and putting into my body. I added muscle pain. I had foot pain. I would come home from work, and I would have blood rolling down from my belly because of the chafing.

I went through all of that, and I still lost the weight without surgery just naturally and just by eating right. To this day, I still haven’t joined a gym. I tell people this so they can realize that there are no excuses. If they come to me and say, “Tony, I can’t because my back hurts. Tony, I can’t cause I’m 400 pounds.” I was 567.

“Tony, I can’t because I’m working too long days. I work 12-hour shifts.” “Tony, I can’t because I’m going and getting out of breath.” Well, so was I. There are no excuses.

But regardless of what choice you make, life is still moving on. Each day passes by. It’s up to you. How do you want to live it? Every day we get up in the morning is a day closer or that we’ll be done with this earth. Do you want to live the rest of your life trapped in addiction, or do you want to finally be done with it and go out and enjoy the world? It’s full of beauty. That’s the way I look at it.


[00:50:39] Ashley James: You live in some of the harshest climates. I live in a very moderate climate just outside of Seattle, where we get barely two inches of snow on most winters. We got rain, and I’m always using weather an excuse not to go out for a walk. We’ve got beautiful hiking; we call it hiking. It’s hardly hiking. It’s just a path in the woods. You can’t call it hiking.

So we go hiking because it makes us feel like we’re—


[00:51:12] Tony Bussey: On Mount Everest.


[00:51:13] Ashley James: Yeah, exactly right. Really adventurous. We have these beautiful trails in the woods near our house, and they’re so easy to walk. It’s so beautiful, and it’s so relaxing, and I use all the excuses in the world. “Oh, it’s too sunny today. It’s too rainy today. It’s too cold today. It’s too windy today.” It’s just so silly.

Here you are in negative 40 degrees with the windshield and the snow in the winter going for your walks no matter what.


[00:51:43:41] Tony Bussey: No matter what, I’ve walked in everything from minus 52 to plus 35.


[00:51:48] Ashley James: That is very hot and very cold.


[00:51:53] Tony Bussey: I’m not trying to make things sound simple, but I guess you just got to pick your pain. Do you stay trapped in that body that’s almost 600 pounds, and that is a full-time pain? If you don’t do anything about it, you’re going to be that way till the day you die. Or do you go out in the minus 50 or the plus 30? Do you walk with the back pain and foot pain and go through the hunger cravings. But as you do that, you’re losing the weight, so that pain becomes temporary.

Either you stay with a full time, permanent pain or you go and do something, and you go through a temporary pain to have a life that you dream of. But either way, life is moving by, so you got to pick the way that you want to live it.


[00:52:55] Ashley James: I want to know what happened in the early 2000s that led up to the weight gain that happened in 2004. Was there anything going on in your life emotionally, between the year 2000 and 2004 that had you want to go to food for so much pleasure during that road trip?


[00:53:22] Tony Bussey: I think about it a lot, and I’m a big proponent of self-responsibility. I don’t blame anybody for what happened. Nobody forced me to eat the way I did or to live the way I did. But I believe it was a lot of loneliness.

I was with this wonderful woman there for about four years. She was pregnant at the time when we started dating, and the little girl that she had, her daughter, is still in my life to this day. We stay close, she calls me dad and so on. But when we broke up, I think that had an effect. The fact that it took me a while to move on from that, and then just being away from family. All my family live on the east coast and so on. I think it was the loneliness that triggered that.

As I said, I’m not blaming her. A lot of people go through breakups and stuff and don’t eat the way I did. Nobody forced me. We have a wonderful friendship now. She’s a wonderful woman, but that might have been part of it. Like I said, just being away from family and so on, but just a lot of loneliness, so I turned to food for comfort.

The one thing about food, unlike other drugs, I guess you could say, it’s readily accessible. You don’t have to go down a back alley to find it. You don’t have to pull up to some shady looking car or whatever and get a little paper bag full of chocolate bars at midnight. You can go anywhere and get it, and for that brief moment, it gives you pleasure.

For that brief moment, while you’re eating it, whether it’s a big old box of chicken wings or five gallons of ice cream or whatever it is, you forget everything. But that temporary happiness brings your permanent pain.

So I think a lot of that. It was a lot of loneliness and just being away from everybody and so on. And then like I said earlier, as you put on more weight and you gain more weight, you become more depressed. After a while, not even anything to do with the loneliness. Now you’re just becoming depressed because you’re so big and now that’s making you more lonely because the bigger you are, the less you want to go out. The last thing an obese and extremely obese person wants to do is to be around people because you’re constantly stared. You just become a hermit.


[00:56:20] Ashley James: It exacerbates the problem.


[00:56:24] Tony Bussey: Oh, yeah. Food becomes your best friend. If something good happens in life, you get food. If something bad happens in life, you get food. If you’re bored, you get food because you have no social life anymore. That’s your social life.


[00:56:40] Ashley James: What’s that syndrome where you love your captor?


[00:56:44] Tony Bussey: Oh, yes, the Stockholm Syndrome.


[00:56:46] Ashley James: Yeah, you have Stockholm Syndrome around food.


[00:56:49] Tony Bussey: Yeah, “chip-drome” syndrome, I guess you could say—”ice cream-drome syndrome.” But yeah, I guess you could say that.


[00:56:59] Ashley James: It’s interesting that you had withdrawal symptoms for a month when you cut out sugar and all the junk food. Yes. How did you get through it? How did you make sure you stuck with it? Did you ever have any doubts while you’re going through those headaches or in all the withdrawal symptoms, or did they motivate you further? Did you say, “Wow, this is how bad the stuff was for my body. Look, my body’s having withdrawal symptoms.”

[00:57:27] Tony Bussey: Well, it’s just, you got to push through it because like I say you got to pick your pain. I knew I could not keep going on with that old life. I didn’t know how long I had left. My life was destroyed. It’s almost like something in my head was saying, “Tony, if you don’t do it now, there are no more chances.”

So you push through it because either you push through the withdrawals, you push through that pain because either way you’re going through pain—physical, mental pain. So I guess in a way that was my advantage because if you’re going to go through pain regardless, then you pick the pain that at least got a positive outcome if you go through it. So you push through that sugar withdrawal. You should push through the physical pain of walking and all that stuff because at least, at the end of that there’s a positive outcome. There’s freedom—there’s freedom of movement, there’s physical freedom, there’s mental freedom, there’s everything. You finally have the life that you’ve always dreamed of.

But if you stop then and you give up everything, and you go back to your old ways, now you’ve got physical pain of being obese, and all that leads to is death. So you pick one, and that’s what I did. I pushed through it because I knew I couldn’t keep living the way I was living.


[00:58:55] Ashley James: For those listeners who are currently battling an addiction, whether it’s with food, drugs or alcohol, what advice do you have that can help them to get to that place mentally where they can pick their life back up, where they can transform themselves as you did on that day in May of 2016 when you were flown into Edmonton, and the light switch went on in your brain? Can you help us to switch that light switch in us as well?


[00:59:40] Tony Bussey: I would say to that person that you’re worth it. You’re worth the love—just to love yourself, to look into that mirror and love yourself. What I mean by that is that anybody that’s listening to this now, if they got a loved one that needed them to get up today and walk five kilometers to give them something or do something for them, they would do it. Then why can’t you do that for yourself?

You’re valuable. You’re worth the love. You’re a wonderful creature. You’re a wonderful person. No matter what you’re going through, if it’s drugs, if it’s alcohol, you’re meant more for a lot more in this life than to be overcome with addiction all the time. No matter who you are, no matter who is listening to this, you’re a beautiful person with beautiful abilities, and you’re worth the struggle, and you’re worth the pain to overcome those addictions.

The strength is in your mind to do it. You just have to tap into it. I’m not trying to sound cliche or corny or anything, but the ability is there to change your life. Just get up in the morning and say this is the day and keep going. Because either way, if you’re going through addiction, whether it’s alcohol, drugs, whatever, that’s painful. That’s a horrible life.

So if you don’t decide to go through the pain of the withdrawal of that, then you’re going to go back to the pain of the addiction. So either way, you’re going through something. But pick the one that leads to a positive outcome. You are worth it, and you can do it. And then you have a life that you could only dream of, but you are worth it.

Just start. That’s what I would say. And don’t give up.


[01:01:44] Ashley James: That’s beautiful now. For those who are struggling and want to transform their lives, you have a beautiful book that you wrote. Tell us about your book.


[01:01:55] Tony Bussey: My book is called Through Thick and Thin: How the Wildfirewas a Wakeup Call to Transform My Life. Next book I put out, I’m going to try to get a longer title.


[01:02:04] Ashley James: [laughs] Yeah, that’s a really short title. I sat down with a friend of mine, Mark Griffin, and we wrote the book together. I wanted to write a book because I wanted people to read about my day-to-day experiences of what it was like to be obese. I want people to read this and say, “Holy cow, Tony went through everything that I’m going through now. Every time I turn the page, there’s another experience that he had that I’m going through right now.”

No matter what you’re dealing with—addictions, bad relationships, financial problems, whatever—there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re the only person in the world that’s going through it. And if somebody can read my book and realize, “Okay, I’m not the only person that’s going through it. There’s somebody else that went through everything that I did and maybe even worse so, and he lost the weight, and there was no gimmick, no fad diet, no expense…” (I actually saved money because buying junk food is horrible. It’s very expensive. I didn’t even join the gym. Just walking and eating right.)

And if they can see all of that, then that hopefully will give them hope and encourage them to start their journey. So I just wanted them to read the book and realize that there are other people out there that are struggling like they are. The book is very real. It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely very real, and they can definitely get a sense of what I went through day to day and hopefully relate to it.


[01:03:51] Ashley James: Since you came out with your book, what kind of stories of success, what kind of testimonials have come from your readers?


[01:04:01] Tony Bussey: I’ve had people write to me and say they started walking. They started exercising. I have people writing to me and saying they were crying when they read it. I don’t like making people cry, but yeah, they would say that. I’ve had gentlemen come up and talk to me and say they’re starting their weight loss and shake my hand and stuff, and thanks for the encouragement.

There was one message I had in particular a couple of years ago or a year ago. This was before my book, and they wrote to me on Facebook. It was a gentleman down in the States. I forget his name, but he was dealing with cancer. He said that gave him encouragement to keep going on and stuff like that. That’s what means the most to me—getting the messages of encouragement and knowing that people are starting their weight loss journey or dealing with own things in life, and they’re getting encouragement and strength from it. That means a lot to me.


[01:05:05] Ashley James: That’s beautiful. I love it. Well, I love what you’re doing.


[01:05:10] Tony Bussey: Thank you.


[01:05:11] Ashley James: I’m a big fan of your mission and your story. Your website is a We’re going to have the link to your site and the link to your book in the show notes of today’s podcast at so listeners can definitely check you out.

Now I have to thank you because you work 12-hour shifts at a difficult job and that on your day off, you chose to spend your precious day off with us. I feel so honored that you could come.


[01:05:51] Tony Bussey: I’m the honored one. I feel privileged that you wanted me on your show. I admire you greatly. I think you’re doing a wonderful thing. You have thousands of listeners, and if just one person out of all of this can be changed with this, it’s a success.


[01:06:12] Ashley James: Absolutely.


[01:06:14] Tony Bussey: People ask me what I consider success. If I’m 85 years old and I’m on my death bed, and somebody comes up to me and says, “Tony, I changed my life because of what you did,” then your life is a success. That’s all I want.


[01:06:27] Ashley James: Absolutely. You’ve already accomplished that today. I just know it. You’ve changed my life. All the other listeners are like—I want to say icing on the cake, but what’s the healthy version of that? Like they’re the crunch in the apple.


[01:06:44] Tony Bussey: Natural peanut butter on an apple.


[01:06:46] Ashley James: There you go. I like it. Very cool. And you want to get into public speaking. I think you’re a wonderful presenter. So for those listeners who are looking for a keynote speaker or looking for a speaker for their event, please consider Tony because I think your audience, just like I know my audience loved hearing from you today, I know that any audience would be happy to learn from you. So I encourage listeners who are looking for a speaker to reach out to Tony.


[01:07:17] Tony Bussey: I got an Instagram account, tonybussey123. They can write to me there. Write to me on my website. Add me on Facebook. I have a speaking engagement here in Fort McMurry. Later in June, I got one down in Edmonton. Next month, I’m speaking to a women’s group down there. I enjoy it. I spoke to Ashley at Bodybuilding Group last year in Calgary. I gave out some awards and stuff. It’s fun. I really enjoy it.


[01:07:46] Ashley James: That’s cool. Awesome. To wrap up today’s interview, I’d love for you to complete this interview by sharing. Do you have any final thoughts or homework for us, or is there anything that you want to say that was left unsaid?


[01:08:05] Tony Bussey: I would say if anything, realize—and I try to get it through people when I talk to them—life is really, really short. It definitely is. It goes by, and I keep saying this, just like a warm summer breeze. From a Canadian perspective, very, very, very fast.

But you don’t have to be trapped in any bad situation. You have the freedom, and you have the power in your mind to change that. I’m proof of that, and now you can’t wipe the smile off my face. I would suggest to anybody that’s listening to this episode right now, to sit down with a piece of paper and write down what it is that you want to change in your life. What is it that’s making your life unhappy, that gives you unhappy moments, and then use that and change that. Write down steps to change it and start because—it’s kind of hard to explain, but everybody has goals, and they’ll always say, “A year from now, I want to be here. Two years from now, I want to be in this stage of my life.”

The two years have come, and it’s here like a blink of an eye, and they get there, and it’s like, “Okay, I’m still in the same boat.” But when you start that goal, it seems like two years is such a long way away, it presents a big obstacle. I guess kind of what I’m trying to say is time is your advantage, that if you just start every day and start doing your thing, the two years will be here before you know it, and you will finally have the life that you want. It’s kind of hard for me to explain, but that’s what I would suggest.


[01:10:00] Ashley James: I totally get it. You imagine yourself two years from now having achieved your goal and then use the fact that time flies to your advantage to keep motivating you to keep moving towards your goal. Because if you do a baby step every day for two years—boom! Two years are here, and you’ve achieved it.


[01:10:21] Tony Bussey: Two years is gone like a blink of an eye. But when we sit down and we say two years in the beginning or five years, whatever it is—


[01:10:27] Ashley James: It’s daunting.


[01:10:28] Tony Bussey: Yeah, it seems like a huge mountain. But before you know it, you’re on top of that mountain. You’re looking down, and then you realize that happiness—I mean right now I get up in the morning and it feels like a dream come true. I can’t believe because less than three years ago, I was in a body that was 567 pounds. I was having blood from skin chafing. My feet were killing me. My back was killing me. My legs—I would get up in the morning, I have to stand by my bed for 20 minutes to get the circulation back through my legs. I would wake up in the middle of the night choking because my weight was collapsing on me and I couldn’t breathe.

Then on top of that, I was completely alone. I was just sad. I was depressed. I felt totally trapped. And just from small steps in the beginning and keeping at it—just repetition—here I am now, I weigh about 235 pounds. I walk four to five kilometers a day. I’m out meeting new people. I’m traveling. I’m eating healthy. I don’t touch any junk food. Life is a wonderful trip right now.

I sound like somebody from the 70s, like Dr. Johnny Fever of WKRP. But it’s true, though. It’s a natural high. Coming from Canada, where everything is basically legal. That something to be said.


[01:12:08] Ashley James: We want to get high off of life. We want to get so high off of healthy food and walking, love and connection, and being in love with our body and in love with life. We want to get high off of all this stuff that’s good for us.


[01:12:24] Tony Bussey: And they can’t tax that, so there.


[01:12:26] Ashley James: So there. We want to get high of all the stuff they can’t tax. I love it.


[01:12:30] Tony Bussey: Yes, perfect.


[01:12:32] Ashley James: Groovy. Tony, it’s been so awesome having you on the show. I love it.

[01:12:38] Tony Bussey: This has been one of my favorite interviews. I love this—just talking. You’ve been absolutely wonderful, and I thank you for having me. It’s been quite the honor, and it’s the highlight of my day and my week. I appreciate it.


[01:12:49] Ashley James: Thank you. Wonderful. I’m going to make sure that we post in the show notes on We’re going to have some of your before and after photos. We’ll definitely check those out. We also have a Facebook group, the Learn True Health Facebook group. You’re welcome to join it. We’d love to have you join us.


[01:13:08] Tony Bussey: Yes, definitely will.


[01:13:09] Ashley James: After this episode airs, we can start a conversation. So all the listeners have questions for you that want to tell you what impact your story had in their life. You’ll be able to hear that in our Facebook group. That would be awesome.

So listeners, come to the Facebook group and chat with Tony. Tony, you’re welcome there. Can’t wait to see you in the Facebook group. Just search Learn True Health on Facebook or go to to redirect you to the Facebook group.


[01:13:35] Tony Bussey: Perfect.


[01:13:36] Ashley James: It’s been such a pleasure, Tony.


[01:13:37] Tony Bussey: Awesome. A lot of fun.


[01:13:39] Ashley James: Please stay in touch. We want to continue to hear about your success and the impact that you have on the world. It truly is inspiring to hear your story and the ripple effect that’s taking place because you’re choosing to dedicate your life to sharing your story with others.


[01:13:55] Tony Bussey: I hope it does. I hope even just one person, and it can change their life—I’m a happy man. That and if Canada ever gets the cup again, that’s another.


[01:14:03] Ashley James: [laughs] God willing.


[01:14:07] Tony Bussey: Holy cow. That’s definitely a miracle right there.


[01:14:12] Ashley James: Thank you, Tony.


[01:14:13]Tony Bussey: You’re welcome. Thank you. Have a good day. Bye Bye.


[01:14:17] Ashley James: Are you into optimizing your health? Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high-quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to, and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best price. That’s Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome referral program.

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Apr 25, 2019

I USED TO HAVE CANCER: How I Found My Own Way Back to Health by James Templeton


I Used To Have Cancer (Part II)

Cancer survivor (33+ years and counting!) James Templeton tells the story of how he beat the dreaded disease with macrobiotic diet and vitamin C. Part 2 of an inspiring and instructive interview replete with true health gems. 

[00:00:00] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 349.

Hello, true health seeker, and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. This is Part 2 of my interview with James Templeton. Episode 348 was Part 1, and this is episode 349. So please, if you haven’t listened to the first part, you definitely will want to go back and listen to episode 348. We ended that episode right on a high note, right at the climax of his story, and he has so much more information to share. So here’s Part 2. I know you’re going to enjoy it.

One of the things he does talk about is the importance of taking vitamin C and a lot of vitamin C. He’s gone through and tried a bunch of different kinds, and we discussed some of them. After I did this interview with him, which actually was a few months ago because he wanted me to wait to publish it until his book came out. It’s just being released right now, which is exciting. A link for his book is going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast at, so you’ll be able to go and check that out. Definitely support him and his cause by buying his book if you’re called to do so.

I tried a few different kinds of vitamin C, and I’ve discovered that my favorite one—I tried -the Dr. Matthias Rath one, and I’ve tried a few others. My favorite one ultimately that rose above the rest was the one that Kristen Bowen sells on her website. It’s acerola cherry powder, and it’s fair trade, very clean. What I like about acerola cherry powder is it tastes good. It has co-factors, and it’s from a whole food source. So you’re getting a whole food source instead of something that’s been synthetically made in a lab, but it does taste good. I noticed my body seems to buzz with it instead of react negatively towards it, so I recommend trying that. As you’re listening to the rest of this interview and hearing about the importance of vitamin C, if you think you want to try one, give Kristen Bowen’s vitamin C a try. It’s the acerola cherry powder.

I’m going to have a link to it in the show notes, but you can go to That’s her website,, and in the shop section under the Supplements, you’ll be able to find the acerola cherry powder.

Now she does give all the listeners a discount. The coupon code is LTH, as in Learn True Health, and while you’re on her website, if you haven’t already, try her magnesium soak. It is life-changing. Definitely go back and listen to a few of my episodes I’ve done with her. It’s been phenomenal. We’ve had hundreds of listeners go through and try her magnesium soak and share with me the effects that it’s had on them.

Those two things are phenomenal. Use the coupon code LTH on her website, and all these links are going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast at

Thank you so much for being a listener. I’m so thrilled that we’re on this journey together. My goal when I set out to do this podcast was to publish at least a thousand interviews, so we are more than a third of the way there. How exciting is that? And we’re just going to keep uncovering more and more amazing information like what James Templeton shares today.

 So enjoy the rest of the interview, and please join us in the Facebook group, search Learn True Health in Facebook, or and that’ll redirect you to the Facebook group. Join the conversation.

Have yourself a fantastic rest of your day. Thank you for sharing the podcast with those you love, and enjoy the rest of the interview.


[00:04:13] James Templeton: I remember sneaking down the side of the hall on one side of the wall where nobody could see me. I snuck down some stairs. I literally was crawling. I was so weak from this. I’d threw up I can’t tell you how many times, and it was awful. I snuck down those stairs, and I went out into my car, which had been sitting out there in the parking lot. I got in that car, and I drove out of that place. I never looked back, and I made up my mind at that point, I was not going to do any more of that medical stuff. I wasn’t going to do it. I was going to go all out, and I was going to do the macrobiotic diet, lifestyle, vitamin C, and I was going to keep an open mind going forward.

So I left there, went to my stepmother’s house, and stayed there for a week recovering. I stopped twice on the road, throwing up. I was so sick on the interstate highway. I remember that. I was just weak, and I was down to probably 120-130 pounds. I just had no energy. I never looked back, and I ended up going back to Dallas and dug in. I really dug in this time even more because I was weak and sick from the treatments, but I knew what to do now, and it didn’t take me very long to start getting a lot of energy. When I got back to Dallas, I decided after a while, “This is a tough life.” I’m working all day long, cooking for myself. I’m eating leftovers for lunch, which I didn’t mind doing. It was very lonely because I was by myself. The only people I talked to were the employees that worked for me. They were very, very supportive, but it was a tough go. I knew I needed to have support, and I needed to do something else.

That’s when I decided to go to the macrobiotic center, which was the Kushi Institute up in western Massachusetts at the time and take a residential seminar. I spent a week up there, and I took off from Dallas and took off a week of work to go up there because I knew there was more things I need to learn, plus I needed a really good break. I was doing really well then. This has been a while after all this hospital stuff. I was getting a lot stronger. I still couldn’t walk as well as I’d like to, and I couldn’t run very well, but I was getting stronger and stronger, so I decided that if I couldn’t walk very well still, I was going to get me a bicycle.

So I went down to a bicycle shop, and I got me a 10-speed bicycle. I would go out in the afternoons, and I’d fit it in every day. I’d ride as much as I could. I worked up to a hundred miles a week riding my bicycle because I was determined to do whatever it took because I had been a runner. I didn’t want to lose my ability, my endurance which I had, and I wanted to stay strong, so I started doing that. And then, when I did go up to Massachusetts, I had a lot of strength. I was in pretty good health. I was doing pretty well.

But when I got up there that week, that was probably the best week of my life. I ent there, and this was the place to go if you want to learn about macrobiotics. Macrobiotics was an interesting lifestyle. It’s just a lonely one when you’re by yourself, and you don’t have the support. Going up there, there were all these people for this residential seminar that had a lot of different problems, from cancer to Epstein Barr virus, to maybe their mother or father had cancer or had passed away, and they were interested in it for their own sake.

So I met a lot of very interesting people and while I was there, the general manager of the place, I had a conversation with him, and he said that if I wanted to come up there sometime and live there and do work study, that was a possibility. I had been thinking about, what was next? What could I do next?

So he offered me a position to come up there and do work study, which would basically mean I’d have room and board. I’d wash dishes, cut firewood, whatever I was able to do. At that point, I look pretty strong. He also told me there was a famous writer, a macrobiotic writer, and a teacher that lived in Dallas that I should get to know. His name was Alex Jack, and Alex Jack was one of the top writers. He wrote a lot of books along with Michio Kushi, which was the macrobiotic guru at that time.

When I got back to Dallas, I met Alex Jack and his wife, and we became really close friends, and we shared meals at night together. It was wonderful to have that relationship with him and that support with them. It wasn’t long before Alex decided to go up and live at the Kushi Institute, and he was going to take over the general managership. He suggested I might want to come up there with them.

I’d been thinking about it, going up there, after this general manager that was there offered it to me. So he went up there, then I followed a little bit after them and went up there. I just walked away from the business I was involved in. I hated to do that, but the people were very nice. They were very supportive, my friends. I owe them a lot for giving me that opportunity at that time. It was a wonderful experience, but I got to go to the Kushi Institute and work there. Eventually, I became the operations manager.

That meant that I would be in charge of getting the supplies to the facility, picking people up from the airport and the bus stations, making sure there was fuel for the heaters, just whatever needed to be done to keep the operations of the place going. I enjoyed that a lot.

I was there for several years, and I met a lot of just unbelievable people. I was lucky to be living at a place that was so renowned for the macrobiotic studies, and here I am in the thick of things. The only thing I hated about it was, when I moved in, it was a long ways from Texas and not getting to see my daughter. But I would take a trip to Texas when I could to see her. I just felt it was something I needed to do for myself. I did that, and it was wonderful.

While I was there, I met a fellow, and his name was Herb Shapiro. Herb Shapiro was a businessman from New Jersey and had a chain of health food stores. He was up there, dealing with some of his health issues, living there for a while. I met him, and he was a great friend to me also. To make a long story short, we became good friends, and he offered me a position to move to New Jersey and cook for him and also help him within his health food store so I could learn the business. I knew that it was time for me to do something else because I was doing better. My health was thriving. I’ve learned a lot about macrobiotics. I’ve learned a lot and met a lot of nice people.

So Herb was seeing a nutritionist and this nutritionist that he would see and was up in what they call the Berkshires up in western Massachusetts, which was actually where the Kushi Institute was in that area. She was living up there, and her name was Ann Louise Gittleman, and I think you’re familiar with Ann Louise.


[00:13:45] Ashley James: When you said ‘the nutritionist,’ I’m like, “Oh, this is how you guys met. That’s so cool.” Yeah, I’ve had Ann Louise on the show. I’m a big fan. I absolutely adore her. That’s so exciting. I know the Berkshires. I’ve spent a few months at Kripalu, which is a residential yoga center there. I’d love to visit the other centers in the area. It’s my kind of party—a holistic party.


[00:14:17] James Templeton: It’s great. I spend a lot of time going over there because they had these beautiful grounds around there, and I would hike in the mountains, the hills—I guess they’re hills, but I would hike around there and hang out. They had a little bookstore—you remember that? I would hang out in that bookstore. I met some nice people over there, and some of the people that lived at the Kushi Institute, they had lived there also. They were kind of free spirits, and they were interesting people. They had a lot of experience with a lot of different places like that.

I found it very interesting. I would say I would go there maybe like on a—I can’t remember what night it was. It was a Tuesday or Wednesday night. They would have these things where the public could go in, and the yogi was Yogi Desai, and he would give these seminars for the public once a week. I would go over there sometimes. It was a very interesting place, and I used to look forward to going there sometimes.


But anyway, my friend was seeing Ann Louise Gittleman as a nutritionist, and he had offered that there was—he told me about a seminar that she was giving in the Berkshires, and it was on intestinal parasites. It was a weekend-long seminar that Ann Louise was teaching on intestinal parasites. He told me he thought it was very interesting and that I would enjoy it very much. And so I took him up on it, and I went with him to one of the seminars. We drove up from New Jersey to the Berkshires and went to see Ann Louise speak. Ann Louise was there, and I’d never met her before. I’ve never done anything about or other than what he did. Sad. And she was remarkable. She was a great teacher. She had a huge crowd of people. We were there, and she was teaching about the issues with intestinal parasites that people were harboring, and it was causing a lot of different health issues.

I found it very interesting. She even mentioned that a lot of people that had cancer, she felt, had parasites. After the seminar, my friend and I went up to see her, and he wanted to introduce me to her. She says, “I’m glad you got to come to see me and all this.” I said, “Ann Louise, you’re remarkable, and I want to ask you a question if I may.” She said, “Sure, ask me.” And I said, “Do you think I might have parasites? You know, I’m a cancer survivor. I’m wondering if I have parasites.”

She kind of looks at me, and she just looked at me for a second. She says, “Yes, I think you have parasites.” And I said, “Really? How can you tell?” And she says to me, “Well, you just got that parasitic look.” I went, “Oh, my god. Here’s this nice-looking woman here, and she seemed to be very smart, and now she thinks I’m parasitic-looking.” I’m like, “Oh, my gosh.” I think I felt like things were crawling on me instantly or something. But she could see that I was interested and wondering a lot about what she had said and thinking about it.

And she says, “If you want to, there’s a doctor in New York City, and his name is Dr. Hermann Bueno.” Dr. Hermann Bueno is a world-renowned parasitologist, and he’s right downtown in Manhattan, in New York City. She said, “You should go see him and have him have him check you out because if anybody would know, it’ll be him.” And I said, “Maybe I should go.”

She says, “I’ll tell you what. I’ll even go with you. If you want to go, I would drive along with you or ride along with you. I haven’t met the man. I’d like to meet him. I’d be happy to do that.” So I said, “Well, I’ll take you up on it.” Within a week or two, I got an appointment, and she went with me. We drove to New York and went in.

Dr. Bueno was there. He was a very nice man. He was from Colombia, and he had this Colombian accent. He was just very like, “Hello, my friend.” Just this really nice man, and he was an older man. I told him what I had been through, and he took a tissue swab sample to where they basically go up in your rectum, and they take a swab, a sample. He put it under the microscope. He had one of these teaching microscopes. He had two-sided lenses where I could see it, and he could see it at the same time.

So we sat there, and we looked at this. I didn’t know what I was seeing. He says, “Oh, my lord. You have Entamoeba histolytica,” and I said, “Oh.” He said, “That’s a one-celled organism. It’s a parasite.”

And he says, “Oh, you have Giardia. Giardia is another parasite.” And then he says, “You’re loaded, my friend. You also have something called Ascaris.” And I said, “What is that?” And he says, “You probably know of it as roundworm.” And I’m like, “Oh, my gosh.” All of a sudden, I’m thinking, “Oh, I have all this stuff.” He said I had a lot of it. I thought, “More stuff to do here, but I was going to listen.” He said to me, “I’ll tell you something, I’ve never seen a case of cancer or AIDS that didn’t have some parasitic involvement. I think that it’s a good thing that you came here today.”

I started to think instantly about all my friends that had cancer that I had met at the Kushi Institute and thought about all the people that had suffered from the same kind of things that I had gone through. And I thought to myself maybe they have parasites, too. I got to get rid of this stuff, and then maybe somehow know that I can help them. That’s the kind of thing that went through my mind.

And so he gave me some herbs to take and told me to go on back and come back and see him in about three months. So I went back to the Berkshires, and at that time, I had moved up there, and we were living up there. I went there, and I was taking these parasite herbs and doing all this cleansing, and I’m telling you, it was unbelievable, the stuff I started to see. I was detoxing like crazy. When you start to see stuff, you start to believe, and when you believe, it makes a big difference in sticking with something.

But I didn’t feel good taking these herbs. I felt like somebody had a ball peen hammer and was hitting me about every two seconds. I had a terrible headache with taking these herbs, and I told Ann Louise, and Ann Louise told me that I might want to consider taking something that she had formulated for a company a year or two back, and it seemed to work pretty well for people and didn’t have these side effects.

So I took her up on it. I started to take those herbs, and that seemed to do the trick, and it was a lot better. After another three months, I went back to see him, and everything was clear. He said, “Everything is clear.” So I know that I did the right thing and I felt a lot better. I actually started to gain weight again.

So I knew that whatever I was doing was making a huge, huge difference. After that, I got very interested in the parasite thing, and I got thinking about what I was going to do next with my life. I met Ann Louise, and we got to spend time. I was actually cooking for my friend. He had rented a house in the Berkshires, and he was there. He was seeing Ann Louise—it was Herb—the same fellow, and he said that to me that she was thinking of moving in the house and that she would be living across the hall from me because she was leaving the apartment that she was living in and needed a place to live, and they were doing some trade. So she would be living in this house that we live. It was a big house. I don’t know how many bedrooms it had. It was a big house that he had rented, and we all shared this house, and I did all the cooking.

So Ann Louise was there, I got to know her and got to spend time with her, and I was doing so much better after the parasite thing. I found her so interesting that little by little, we became very close and eventually became a couple. It’s funny how that happened, living across the hall from each other, sharing meals, and spending time, talking about interesting things.

After we got together, I came up with this idea of starting my own company. I knew I needed to do something. I’d been in the convenience store business, and I wanted to do something else myself. I started thinking about it, and I woke up during the night with an idea about starting a company, and the company would be called Uni Key health. Uni Key would be a company that stood for a universal key to health, and that would get to the root of health problems such as parasites, other toxic substances that needed to come out, and then we would detoxify, and we would rebuild and maintain health after that.

So I got very excited about that. And my first thing would be that I would get into the parasite cleansing herbal side of things. I decided though that I would do that in New Mexico because I love New Mexico. As a younger person, I had spent time in New Mexico around Taos and Santa Fe, and I love that area. So I decided that maybe I should move back out there, and then I asked Ann Louise if she would go with me, and she decided she would.

We went to New Mexico. There was a teacher of Ann Louise’s there, and her name was Dr. Hazel Parcells, and Hazel Parcells was a very well-known doctor in certain circles, especially in the alternative health field at that time. She was over100 years old, and it was Ann Louise’s original teacher that got her interested in nutrition in the first place. She was telling me I would love her, and I needed to meet her. I guess I thought she’d be in a wheelchair or barely get around, but boy, was I wrong because when I got there, and I met Dr. Parcells—That was the first thing we did. We went to see her–She came in to greet us, and she was unbelievable. She was walking around. She was over a hundred. She was a maybe 102 or 103 then, and I couldn’t believe it. She was so vital and had so much energy.


[00:27:17] Ashley James: Wow. When you first saw her, if you didn’t know her age, what age would you thought she was?


[00:27:24] James Templeton: She probably looked like she was maybe 80—someone like that, maybe an 80-year-old lady. She was just so jolly and so full of energy, so bright and so smart. She had her own story. She had been written off at the age of 40 or 42—I think it was 40 when she got sick, somewhere around there. She had tuberculosis. She had owned a beauty shop, and she had gotten sick, I guess from all the toxic chemicals, and eventually had tuberculosis. Her5 old system was run down, and they told her she only had two to three weeks to live. They told her that she should go to a sanitarium.

She didn’t do it. She got up, and she started eating vegetables. That’s what her body felt like eating. She ate all the vegetables she could, especially spinach, because she couldn’t get a lot of the things back then. So she ate all the spinach, and within a month, this kidney that had been three quarters gone, one of her kidneys was three quarters gone, had almost completely regenerated within a year. But within a month, she had all this energy, and everything was starting to be better. And when she went back a year later, that doctor could hardly tell anything ever had been wrong with her. It was amazing.

So she got interested in health and started to study and became a naturopathic doctora chiropractor, and a Ph.D. in nutrition. She was a nutritionist at a university for many years until she was in her 70s, and this was her second career. So she almost died.

So then I met her. At that time, I was getting ready to start my company Uni Key Health, and I wanted to learn everything I could from her. Anything that she could teach me, I was going to try to learn. So I got to spend a little time in her lab working with her, learning how to develop products, and learning the way that you formulate.

She was a miracle. She was unbelievable. Of all the people I’ve ever worked with, Michio Kushi was a real master, but she was something else too. I’ve never met anyone like that. She had all the answers pretty much to health. So anyway, I got to know her, and one day we were having lunch, and she says, “Come on in here, honey, and let’s have some lunch.” She always cooked in a crockpot, and she would have all these vegetables and things in the crockpot. That day she had beans and ham hocks. I’d been on this macrobiotic diet. I would never get off the macrobiotic diet. There’s no way back then. There’s no way I was going to stop that.

She told me, she says, “Look, I’ll tell you something now. You got to start eating meat again, honey. If you don’t, you’re going to get sick. I can tell you I’ve worked with many people over the years. You don’t look healthy. Your color is not good. You got to start eating more protein to feed your glands. Your glands are getting weak. I’m telling you, you need to consider this.”

I looked at her, and she is so vibrant and so much the picture of health that I said—at that point, she’s probably a 104-year-old woman—who’s going to argue with her? So I took some of it, and that’s when I started eating meat again.

I wouldn’t eat meat for quite a few years. She got my attention. Without her, who knows what would have happened. But she was into the parasites big time. She was into detoxifying the body, taking a load off, rebuilding the glands. It helped a tremendous amount of people.

She taught me so much, just from her. Ann Louise taught me a lot, and then I started the company, Uni Key. I started to develop my products. I’ve been in this business, Uni Key, for 28 years. It’s thrived over the years, and it’s been a wonderful business. The main thing that we started was the parasite cleansing. We’ve done so much over the years, but the whole thing is that I’ve done very well over the years, and I still keep myself on the path of health. I’m proud to say that I keep learning all the time. There are always new things. Not only was it the macrobiotic diet, it was vitamin C, the parasite cleansing.

I also learned about another thing that I did through another one of my friends and teachers that I looked up to. It was called Iscador, which is a mistletoe, which stimulated my immune system. I did that for a year where you inject yourself with mistletoe from Europe.

So I’ve always been open to what’s next until I kind of figure out all the pieces of the puzzle. Today, I do a lot more things. Over the years I’ve done so much more than that, but just eating this macrobiotic diet, which was so detoxifying and so healthy—it had all these vegetables—your cruciferous vegetables, your cancer-killing vegetables with the phytonutrients. And I stopped eating sugar, which feeds cancer.

That’s the big thing. You got to get off sugar and starve the sugar out of your system, and the vitamin C will do the rest. It does a lot—the vitamin C. So I’ve, I’ve done a whole lot more now than I’ve ever done and things I’ve done now, but we can get into that if we have time.


[00:34:37] Ashley James: Absolutely. As long as you have time, I’d love to get into that. I’m just so inspired by your journey. Thank you for laying it all out and haring what it took to get here. They should make a movie out of your life. I love how there’s divine intervention.

I know some people don’t believe in the wisdom of the universe or a creator, but when you sit back and examine your life, you see that there are these miracles that occur, that it’s not chaos in random. But even if it’s just our intentions, even if we can just believe that when you set out to pray that day in the hospital right after your surgery, you said out an intention to seek information. You were asking for the universe or asking for people to help that you’re also opening yourself up. That hope, that perspective was allowing when information came to you, you were receptive enough to receive it. That’s the part of the brain called the reticular activating system.

We can look at neuroscience and get that on a scientific level for those who don’t believe in God, or a creator, or divine intervention by setting an intention and something like prayer. With an intention, you are telling your brain to be a heat-seeking missile for what you’re looking for.

I believe that there’s this wonderful part of our unconscious mind that we can tap into and ask to help us to seek information by using things like prayer to align our conscious and unconscious mind to be open enough to receive the information. But then you look and see that there’s so much divine intervention that occurred in your life. It wasn’t like a pinball machine where it’s just random bouncing here and there you were. People were put directly in your path, literally in your hospital room to bring you the information that you needed, but you were also ready to receive it.

Those who are listening today are hearing this information, not by accident. They hear it because they’re ready to receive the information. They’re ready to learn. They’re receptive because they’ve chosen to open their mind.

I love the saying, “Open your mind so much; your brain will follow.” Just open your mind to the possibilities, especially that the body has this innate ability and innate wisdom to heal itself, and we need to stop putting obstacles in our body’s way towards health. Sometimes healing is getting out of our way. Stop putting toxins in, help get the parasites out, give the body the nutrition it needs, the diet it needs. And that means sometimes adjusting the diet as you go along, depending on where you are at different stages in your health, and then just let the body do its work.

So you are this shining example of the fact that we can heal and that there are resources out there that, there’s so much wisdom in holistic medicine and looking to the wisdom of the body’s ability to heal versus wait to get sick and then get a new drug. I love your story. Thank you so much for laying it all out.

Of course, we’re all curious now to hear about your new book that’s coming out; learn a bit more about the macrobiotic diet; of course, learn about your protocols for detoxing parasites. We’d love to hear it all.


[00:38:25] James Templeton: There’s a lot to it. The thing that I think that helps anybody the most, myself included, is to believe in what you’re doing. When you’re doing something, you start to see results, and you will see positive results. Once you start to get all the toxins out and you start to get the immune system back in order to where it should be, and you start to take nutrients and things that you’re deficient in, and you start to exercise on a regular basis—I’m not talking about going out there and running marathons.

We could talk for three or four hours about this story, but you can’t say every little thing or tell every little detail. But the exercise, just walking every day and doing deep breathing as you sometimes walk, get plenty of oxygen and keep the lymphatic system moving and get your system where it detoxifies on a regular basis and eliminating the way it’s supposed to. We all have 75 million cancer cells, they say. A lot of times, people will say that we all are walking around—the average was 75 million cancer cells in our body. People think, “Really?”

But it’s true. We all have cancer cells. We all have cancer, but it hasn’t gathered into a tumor, I guess you could say. After about a billion cells or more, it becomes up to a thousand-milligram tumor for every billion cells. The thing is that if you don’t take care of yourself as you get older, and some of us younger like I was—I was exposed to a lot of things. When I look back at the things I was exposed to, I’d lived several places next to one of these high power lines. These big, double, huge strand, major power lines. Sometimes one place was right out my back door. The other place I lived for almost ten years around one—well, it wasn’t ten years. It was probably maybe seven or eight years around one that was no further than 50 yards away. You’re getting this energy all the time.

And then I was in the gasoline business, and when I was in college, I pumped gasoline. You’re around all these petrol chemicals. You’re breathing all this stuff. Before that, I worked construction—this was before I got sick—at one point for seven years on and off, and I was exposed to PVC glues every day. You’re breathing all this stuff in, and when you’re young, you think you’re invincible. And so I’m breathing this stuff, and I’m not taking care of myself—I’m probably drinking too much, eating fast food, or whatever we had back then. The last thing I was going to do is focus on my diet.

Here I am exercising myself and running up to 60 miles a week. When I was running all this time, I wasn’t supporting myself properly, so no wonder I ended up with cancer. It’s not just, “I got too much sun out there.”It’s because maybe I had a weakness from too much sun here or there or chemicals, but like the melanoma, a lot of people say it’s from chemical exposure, toxicity, and lack of immunity.

When I started to feel sick all the time like I’m getting the colds, flus, and allergies like I’d never had in my life–Why is that? I had polyps in my sinuses. I had everything. My whole system was breaking down as a young man. No one ever thinks anything about it, but it’s not normal. You shouldn’t ever get sick very often. You shouldn’t get sick, but occasional. I mean, everybody’s going to get sick sometime, but I can honestly say after I discovered all this stuff and after I started changing my ways, I probably hadn’t been really sick with anything. Maybe three or four times in 30 years and that was like maybe a head cold and maybe flu one time.

That’s unusually the usual because most people get the flu a time or two every year, and it’s because they’re just not taking care of themselves. They’re not thinking about it. They’re probably not until something bad happens to them, and they start to feel really lousy. But with all this cancer in everybody, you would think it would get their attention, but most people don’t even know this. It’s just out of control, no wonder, so much of this stuff.

One thing I found out through all this through the vitamin C, which I took 20,000 milligrams of vitamin C from the beginning, and to this day, I probably take 16,000 a day still, I never had any side effects, never had any problems. Maybe if I take too much, you’ll get a little bit of loose bowels because that’s what happens with vitamin C. I never did IV vitamin C which you can get nowadays, which is a lot more powerful. But I did all this vitamin C, and to this day, I still do a lot of vitamin C. You’ll probably have a hard time getting me not to take it because it’s helped me.

But cancer—Linus Pauling did a lot of research, and he did some studies later on in his life not long before he died. He did a cancer study, and it was vitamin C and cancer again, but he added another matrix to it. He added lipase and proline, which are amino acids, and he added a green tea extract. He used that in this combination, and he treated people of all these different kinds of cancers. At that time, I didn’t know why the vitamin C works so well other than I was afraid to stop it because, in his first book that I read, he says people did well on it as long as they were on it. There was no way you’re going to get me to stop. But this study showed that cancer is a collagen disease, and it spreads through the collagen, which is the connective tissue. It metastasizes, and when it spreads through the collagen, it starts causing damage and inflammation in different areas of the body, in organs and tissues.

The thing about vitamin C is it helps to stop it from spreading. That’s why when someone is first diagnosed with cancer, they got to get on something fast. You can’t mess around with it. Cancer is not something you can fool around with and think, “I’ll see if this works. If this doesn’t work, I’ll do something in two or three months,” or because it can double in 90 days. The average, I believe they say, cancer cells can double in 90 days. If you have a tumor going on, it can double in size in three months, and some fast, aggressive types can grow faster.

All that causes inflammation, and then you start to have a big problem when it gets in an area. Vitamin C is, is remarkable. The other thing about vitamin C is that vitamin C, along with iron and copper in the cell, create hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidant that destroys cancer cells. We naturally have catalase in our body. Catalase is an antioxidant normally found in the body, which in cancer cells have it, too. It’s very little compared to the human so they can handle a lot of hydrogen peroxide. We can’t handle it, and our body deals with it through the catalase antioxidant process.

So that’s the big deal with that. Also, when cancer gets in contact with vitamin C, I think it is probably from the hydrogen peroxide, but in general, it commits suicide, which is called apoptosis. There’s no way in the world, and anybody that has cancer shouldn’t be taking high amounts of vitamin C. I can tell you that because if you do that, your chances of survival went way up in my book.


[00:48:22] Ashley James: I have questions about the vitamin C. There’s so much controversy around the quality of vitamin C, whether it’s synthetic or naturally derived, whether made from GMO corn or rose hips. I’d love to know what your thoughts are because what I understand from Linus Pauling Institute, what I’ve read on their website is, vitamin C is vitamin C. It doesn’t matter where it’s sourced for one. It’s a little bit of a sticky wicket. And then two, how do you take that much? Do you work your way up to being tolerant, or do you need to take high-quality vitamin C to absorb that much?


[00:49:06] James Templeton: Well, here’s what you do: you take the vitamin C—and I’m not sure that the vitamin C matters or not. I’ve heard that, too. I would think that you don’t want to take GMO because why add more glyphosate? It’s in the GMO foods, the corn. A lot of vitamin C is made from corn. Why add more toxicity, more cancer-causing things to your body? You want to take away as much as you can of the cancer-causing toxicity in your body, and you also want to take on as much food as you can that are cancer-fighting foods like the cruciferous vegetables. You can look a list up that is anticancer, and you want to stay away from a lot of fruit.

A lot of people eat way too much fruit. Vitamin C is in fruit, but you have to eat an awful lot of fruit to get the kind of vitamin C. You want to stay away from that to get the vitamin C because I know a lot of people that live on fruit, and they wonder what happened to these people. They fed the cancer—all this glucose, the sugar that they produced.

The vitamin C—you want to make sure that it is buffered. If you can find one that’s buffered, meaning that it’s easy on the stomach—I like it if it’s buffered with magnesium, maybe lysine and magnesium. There are certain powdered vitamin C’s out that is well absorbed. There’s one I know of that is 80% absorbed. It’s almost like an IV form. It’s so efficient with the absorption. That one is very gentle also. I could give you that. I don’t sell it or anything. American Nutritionals is a company that has Vitality C—I believe is the name of it. That is an excellent one to get started on. They have an excellent product. Then there’s Dr. Rath, the doctor that worked with Linus Pauling. He’s a doctor that they’ve pretty much about run out of the country because he’s helping people is what I feel.


[00:51:42] Ashley James: I love Dr. Roth’s work. I got into his work in 2005 back when the Internet was still so young compared to what it is now. You could download all of his books for free. He gave away all of his books for free on his website, and I think he still may do that. But I read all of his books that were available at that time, one of them being “Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks and People Do.” That completely blew my mind open to the ideas about nutrition. It was one of the mind-opening experiences that kept me going on this path of seeking holistic health.

What vitamin C do you take?


[00:52:29] James Templeton: Well, the vitamin C that I take is the Dr. Rath formula, and he’s got two different ones. If you call up Dr. Rath or, they’ll tell you they’ve got people that you can talk to there. They might even have a medical doctor you can talk to and get advice from on the type of vitamin C and how much they recommend. But I use the Dr. Rath vitamin C and A. I also use the Vitality C, the one I’m talking about to mix it up. If I had cancer again, and I had to deal with this, I would probably find someone that could do an IV drip and probably get 50,000 milligrams up to 100,000 milligrams of vitamin C. You can hit much in a week sometimes.

So it depends. You might start with 25 and work up to 50, and into a hundred. But if you go to someone that does this is very knowledgeable, which they should be and get the drip form, it’ll saturate your body faster. That’s the key thing. You want to take vitamin C as quickly as possible so that the cancer has less ability to spread. You want that, and you want to get on a lot of other things also.

But that’s what I take. I take the Rath, and I take the Vitality C. I’m sure there’s a lot of great products out there, but these are the ones that I found. I think L ascorbate is the one that a lot of people recommend for absorption. It’s a little higher priced, but they say that that absorbs better. 

But again, I don’t know. For years I probably took things with glyphosates and everything else. I don’t know—you get what you get, and you take what you take, but I’ve always taken something that was buffered with magnesium or lysine. I’ve enjoyed that one a lot, and the one I’ve taken. Now I’m using Dr. Rath and the Vitality C. I don’t have problems. You don’t have any problems going into the bathroom. I’ll tell you.

And the other thing, I’ve gone to get my arteries checked out several times. This is a quick story. It has nothing to do with cancer, but it has to do with my heart, which I come from genetically a background of heart disease. A few years ago, I went and got checked out and had a calcium score scan done when I was in New York. I went to this place, and they did back then. There’s probably more of it now out there, but it was a scan where they could see in your arteries to see the calcium buildup in your arteries. I decided that I needed to have my heart checked out. I went and had this test done. It was almost like you’re doing a CAT scan. They run you through this tube and back through it. And then the guy says, “Go have a seat, and we’ll give you the results here in a few minutes.” The guy comes over and says, “Can I talk to you?” And I said, “Sure, you can talk to me.” I’m scratching my head here. I thought I was going to tell me, “Oh, man, you’re a clogged up, and we better get you straight to the hospital or something.”

The guy says to me, “I haven’t seen this kind of thing very much at all. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it like this.” And I said, “What are you talking about?” It scared me. I think I was 52 or 54 then—I can’t remember, but he says, “Your arteries look like a baby’s arteries.” I said, “Is that good or bad?” He goes, “That’s good. They’re clean.” He said, “At your age, usually people have some plaque buildup, but you don’t have any. That’s unusual. What are you doing?”

And I said, “It must be from all the vitamin C and all the antioxidants that I take.” And he says, “Well, I don’t know, but you better keep doing it. This is like a little kid’s arteries.”

So I know that it works, and the year before last, I went and did the same thing—the same thing. I know it has to be that vitamin C. I take a lot of vitamin C for many, many, many years along with a lot of supplements. People look at me and think I’m nuts. You probably haven’t seen anybody take as many things as I do and people will say, “That can’t be good. Your liver got to detoxify all that.” But I can tell you one thing, and it’s probably overkill, but I have more energy, as much energy as most people in their 30s. As I said, I don’t get sick very much or anything. I can’t remember when I got sick last time. I feel good. I only mainly do it cause I’m in the business and I want to see how well things work, and I’ve just become the guinea pig—I guess my guinea pig over the years.

But the vitamin C is, I think, is starting to get its due. It’s just so important for people whether they have cancer or not to take vitamin C. I would probably take at least five or six grams a day of vitamin C at least. It wouldn’t hurt if I spread it out through the day for absorption. I take more than that, but I think that people will get the benefits, and they’re going to see that it’s going to make a big difference along with a lot of other things which we can talk about if you want to.


[00:59:23] Ashley James: Absolutely. I thought it was really interesting. These are numbers I heard back in 2005 when I was really diving into Linus Pauling’s work and Matthias Rath’s work. Most animals produce their own. A goat will regularly have something like 16 grams of vitamin C coursing through their veins where a wolf will have something like 32 grams. So if you think about it, you’re probably what—two and a half wolves? How many goats do you think you are? That amount of vitamin C, if that’s what a goat produces to stay healthy—you don’t hear of flu epidemics in animals. You don’t hear like, “Take your cat to get the flu shot,” or something like that.

But these animals produce their own vitamin C, and they have grams all the time. Their body is circulating grams of vitamin C. We’re not getting enough vitamins from our food. First of all, we’re not eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables to sustain ourselves optimally. That’s why over 70% of the adult population is on at least one prescription medication because they are experiencing symptoms of nutrient deficiency and toxicity, so they go and get a drug to manage symptoms instead of looking to the root cause, which is we’re not giving the cells enough nutrition.

The farming practices in the last hundred years have robbed the soil of so many nutrients that the plants aren’t able to even make enough vitamins and definitely aren’t absorbing enough minerals for us. I absolutely believe in responsible supplementation. Sometimes when I take my supplements, I feel like I’m having a snack. I have a huge thing of water, and I’ve got a big handful of all my supplements. By the time I’m done taking them, I’m full. So I know exactly what you mean. 


[01:01:22] James Templeton: I don’t know. It takes me about four big glasses of water to get all my supplements down.


[01:01:27] Ashley James: When you say megadosing vitamin C, for example, we got to do it responsibly. We have to look at the co-factors that the body needs. What I’ve learned is that if someone were to only high dose vitamin C, it would throw copper out of balance in the body. I like that you’d mentioned that copper was a co-factor that was needed. How do you address that? You megadose certain nutrients. How do you make sure that the co-factors are always in balance?


[01:01:58] James Templeton: One of the things is—I mean, I take a lot of things. Everyone should take a multiple no matter what—a really good multiple, not just some little cheap multiple. They should take multiple vitamins, no matter what. That’s just the key thing so that they don’t get deficient.

They need to do a hair analysis or a blood test regularly. A hair analysis will tell you if there’s a low mineral ratio going on in your body to other minerals. I take so much vitamin C, I’ve dropped it down a little bit, but I haven’t had any deficiencies or anything like that because we probably do a blood test at least twice a year. Just the basic blood test will tell you that. If you’re going to get a blood test, if you have to see a doctor, I think you can get a blood test through Request A Test, I believe it’s called. You don’t have to see a doctor to get that, but you need to understand how to read it. You can find out how to do that online.

That’s just if you don’t have a doctor that will let you do preventative blood testing on a regular basis. But you can go to a Quest Lab. I believe it’s called Request A Test, but Ann Louise talks about it all the time, and I’m not sure exactly the email for it, but if anybody has a question, they can email Ann Louise on her website, look up and ask that question, or go on the Facebook. She could answer that because I know that that’s her specialty, one of her specialties.


[01:04:15] Ashley James: Sure. We’ll make sure we have the links to everything you do, and we’ll make sure that the links to Ann Louise’s website and social media also, like you said the Facebook, just so people can contact you and check out your book and all of your websites and also check out her resources as well. I know you guys are a wonderful team so we’ll make sure all those links are in the show notes of today’s podcast at

This is quite fascinating. I feel like you’ve opened a can of worms, but it’s wonderful. It’s so wonderful, especially for those who have a cancer diagnosis or have had a family member have a cancer diagnosis, or they are worried it’s going to come back. To give someone hope—the idea that people on a regular basis, by nutrifying the body, are able to prevent cancer, reverse cancer, go into remission, live long and healthy lives without cancer. That gives so much hope and gives us a direction to look in, the direction of what is working.

But there are so many things—I have a friend who’s, I’m battling cancer, and she has spent probably $100,000 towards natural medicine, and her fight is not over. She’s winning, but her fight is not over. It’s hard because one person will say do this. The other person says to do that. You just don’t know. What should you do? What shouldn’t you do? What direction should you go? What kind of advice do you have for someone when there is all this information out there? We could spend a fortune on going in these different directions, but how do we know what the right direction is for us?


[01:06:07] James Templeton: Thing about it is if you have a diagnosis of cancer, you know, there are two ways you can go. One is conventional, and most people will find out through conventional methods that they have cancer just like I did. Sometimes people select to go the conventional route. It’s up to them. It’s something they have to pray about or meditate on, or whatever they feel inside that they need to do. Some people feel comfortable with going the medical route. But for me to sit here and say, “Don’t do that,” or “Do this or that,” I can’t say that what they did for me—the surgery and the chemo that I did do—that it didn’t help. I don’t know that.

But what I do know is they didn’t give me much hope or give me much to look forward to. My body wasn’t responding, and I was getting sicker and sicker. I’ve decided that instead of being there, doing their thing, I was going to get up and do something. So I did.

But if I were someone, the first thing I would do is I would read as much as I could, and I would get my book, I Used to Have Cancer because I’m going to tell you what I did and what I would do if I had to do it over again. There’s a lot of things you need to know, and it’s really easy to read, but it’ll give you the information. It’ll also give you some other books to read and other things that would be very helpful.

But if you look at the newer research, there’s a lot of things out there that help slows down or kill cancer. A lot of it is natural, herbal. There’s a lot of things they could do, and I feel that their chances are very, very high of getting well when you take control of yourself and when you really get down and knock heads with it.

We use a natural method. But again, it’s just up to the person. I’ve had really good friends lately pass away from cancer. It just made me sick, but it was their choice. They went the conventional route, and they didn’t do very well. I wanted them to do other things, but it’s just everybody has a different way of looking at things. I understand it, but that’s why I started my foundation because I got sick and tired of seeing people die left and right. I wanted to give back. I felt like all these years, I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve made a good living, and now it’s time to give back.

With this nonprofit thing and not do it for any other reason other than to give people hope, and my intention as we’ve already started this is to interview on video as many people as I can who have survived serious, advanced stage, Stage 4 cancer. That’s through my foundation, Templeton Wellness Foundation. They’re going to see people just like them that have survived for ten years or more, that have had cancer. Basically, these people were given up on.want people to know that cancer is not a death sentence. Cancer doesn’t have to be and you shouldn’t even think like that anymore. There are so many things you can do—vitamin C, enzyme therapy. Enzymes are huge. That’s the next thing that I want to get into. Enzymes are a big deal, your immunity and your gut flora, which is 70-80% of your immune system. You’ve got to detoxify. You’ve got to build your system up with cancer-fighting nutrients, and you got to get the immune system up at the same time.

When you do that, you’re going to start to believe, and the emotional side is going to kick in. You’re going to start to believe you’re going to feel better. You’re going to start to trust in the survival word and believe in it. Because if you start to feel negative, that’s going to take your immune system down and you want to surround yourself with like-minded people.

Don’t be around day negative thinking people that are going to keep you negative because that’s going to take you down more. Cancer, to me, is just about all about the body being out of balance. The more advanced it is, the more out of balance it is, the longer it’s been out of balance, if you want to get well, then you’ve got to make changes. You’ve got to be willing to roll your sleeves up, get to work, go to battle, go to war—whatever you want to think.

To me, I feel that anybody can survive. I understand sometimes people wait too long or they’ve been through the mill. They’ve been through all the treatments, and their immune system has nothing left in it, and it’s tough sometimes. It doesn’t work for everyone, but you’ve got to do it. Once you believe and start to see, and you have to have the attitude like I’ve had, “If it doesn’t work for me, it’s not going to work for anyone else.”

Now if I’m going to do something, I’m going all out 150%, and it’s not an easy route. But like this psychotherapist told me in the hospital, and I always can go back to that and think about it, he says, “There’s a right way to do it and a wrong way. If you do it the right way, I believe you could get well. If you don’t then, then it’s not going to be as easy. You have to do it and do it the right way.”

There’s so much out there now that you can do. I believe that with every cell in my body, that everyone listening to this, everyone’s friends that’s listening to this, everyone’s family—everyone out there can benefit and get well because if I can do it, they can do it and stay well. Because when you’re getting not much hope, five years seems like a long time, and there’s five years survival rate, and as you said earlier, six years, it still counts. That’s usually lower stages of cancer, but that’s okay.

You also have to think about the quality of life you’re going to have. Maybe you’ll survive 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, depends on your age. But I just feel very strongly that with the right supplements, the right nutrition—get off of sugar, you’ve got to stay off of sugar. Sugar is your enemy. Sugar is terrible. You got to stay off of anything that’s processed. You got to eat less meat.

If you have cancer, in most cases, some cancers you can eat a little more protein, but at the beginning, you have to be pretty strict, and you can widen out a little bit. I eat meat some; I don’t eat meat every night. You got to be careful with fish nowadays because of all the toxicity and all the heavy metals and all the PCBs and all the parasites. You definitely don’t want to eat sushi because if people eat that, that’s the end thing. They started to eat sushi. Meanwhile, they’re getting parasites. Parasites are one of the most immunosuppressive things, according to Dr. Bueno and Dr. Parcells, known to man.

You have animals, and they get parasites, the first thing the vet looks far is parasites. If you have parasites there, that’s the thing that they’re concerned about more, and our doctors don’t even look at it. They don’t even think about it. That’s a problem right there.

But you want to have vitamin C enzymes. You got to stimulate and keep your immune system strong by supplementing for something that helps support the thymus and the spleen. In some cases, red bone marrow is very good, but you want to make sure it’s GMO-free, organic, and grown without hormones. You don’t want to keep adding more toxins. You got to get smart, read labels, and ask questions. You’ve got to really study this, and you’ll see that the knowledge and the truth will set you free from all this fear. You too will survive, and you too will be able to say, “I too beat cancer” down the road. You’ll be able to say that, “I used to have cancer,” like the title of my book. That, I think, is the key to all of this.


[01:16:09] Ashley James: Tell us a little bit about the Uni Key Health Systems. You’ve mentioned you’ve created some supplements. It’s been around for over 20 years.


[01:16:20] James Templeton: Uni Key stands for universal key to health is what I talked about it earlier, and that’s getting to the root of health problems. That’s getting down to the nitty-gritty, like detoxifying the parasites, detoxifying yeast and fungus out of your system, which is a big problem that’s caused from fungus, mold and too much sugar in the diet, too many carbohydrates in the diet.

I’m not a believer in getting totally off of carbohydrates. I believe that whole grains are important. I probably wouldn’t have as many as I did and on the macrobiotic diet, but you need that fiber. Fiber is prebiotic. Fiber will help that promotes your immune system. But Uni Key stands for getting to the root, and that’s the key to health. That’s the universal key to health—getting down, getting to the root, and cleaning up from the ground up. Because if you don’t go clean house, if you don’t go clean the system out, you won’t absorb anyway. What’s the point of eating all these vitamins and eating all this food if you’re full of toxins?

You got to eat the right foods, the foods that help detoxify, the foods that are high in nutrients and minerals that will help chelate these heavy metals out of your body, the chemicals, and pesticides. That’s what Uni Key is all about. It’s about having product and testing modalities that we have to help people determine the underlying causes of toxicity so that they can detoxify and rebuild. Uni Key is more of a supplement business and health supply.

We sell water filters because water is probably the most important thing that you can put in your body. People can live a lot longer time on just water, but they can’t live very long without water. They can live quite a while away from food, but we want to make sure that this water—that is such a big part of our system and our blood. That’s pure water. So many people are drinking water out of plastic bottles nowadays. They are drinking water in restaurants. They are drinking water in their own home that is full of heavy metals. It’s full of chlorine, full of aluminum—all this stuff that’s causing toxicity and full of parasites.


[01:19:11] Ashley James: I love it. I’m so fascinated, and I’m thrilled that you created this company, Uni Key Health Systems. What is the website that people can go to see your supplements, your testing, and your water filters?


[01:19:27] James Templeton: It’s


[01:19:34] Ashley James: You mentioned you have the Templeton Wellness Foundation. I’m inspired by that. What website do they go to? Is that


[01:19:46] James Templeton: Yes,


[01:19:49] Ashley James: Anyone can access the videos of your interviews with the cancer survivors.


[01:19:55] James Templeton: Yes. It’s all free to the public, and my goal is to interview as many people. If anybody out there knows someone that has gone through a stage 4 or 3 probably type of cancer and has survived for ten years or more using the combination of conventional and natural healing modalities are all natural. I would love to speak with them, and they can contact us at a Templeton Wellness Foundation. If you want to contact that would be great. We would love to interview these people, so the more we can help people. That’s all we’re about.

We’re not selling anything. We don’t have any affiliates. I’m not promoting my business. This is about helping to sell hope and giving people knowledge based on real-life stories—living proof stories, I guess you could say. That’s my goal.

It’s pretty simple, but I was inspired by the people that I read about. They got well, and many others that we didn’t even mention that I felt like if they could get well, then I could too. What did they do? We’ve interviewed several people now, and we’re trying to get started here, but the people that I interviewed have similar common threads they’ve used in healing modalities.

I find that very interesting. The things that are working are very similar, and vitamin C is one of them. There’s a number of things that I’m finding, but it doesn’t shock me at all that people with pancreatic cancer, 10, 11 years down the road, they’re still doing well. They were written off that many years ago, and they’re still doing fine. Yes, they changed their diet. Yes, they changed their lifestyle a little bit. But, my gosh, you know, they’re living and thriving. They have their businesses. A lot of them are giving back to help others. They get to see their grandchildren grow up and, and that’s what life’s all about. It’s not like you get a diagnosis and you’re a goner. There’s hope, whether it’s cancer or heart disease, whatever. You just got to be willing to make changes and roll up your sleeves and get after it. It’s there for the taking, but it’s up to the individual. Some people want to do it, and some don’t. You can’t make anybody do anything they wouldn’t want to.

When people know—just like me, when they know, they know. It’s like you don’t have to have someone try to talk you into it. It’s like you just know. It’s like when I do something, I know I need to do it for myself. I know deep inside of me, I got to do that. I’m supposed to do that, and I got to do that. I don’t need someone to be beating at my door to try to convince me.


[01:23:35] Ashley James: I liked that you said to roll up your sleeves and get to work, do the hard work because when it comes to healing and transformation, it does start with mindset. People who are morbidly obesepeople who have diabetespeople who have Lyme disease—the first step is the decision to roll up your sleeves and change because you can’t change disease state with the same lifestyle, diet, and habits that created that disease state. And so it does take overhauling your whole life, and yeah, that’s hard.


[01:24:12] James Templeton: Well, it’s like the water’s rising. Do you want to swim, or do you want to drown?


[01:24:17] Ashley James: Exactly. It is very hard to stop eating sugar. But you know what’s harder? Living with the disease. So I liked that you said roll up your sleeves and get to work and we can all do that. We don’t have to have a diagnosis of anything. We can all roll up our sleeves and go, “You know what, it’s time to cut out the sugar or the coffee,” or whatever advice that you know down in your gut has been moving you in the direction of ill health.

So I love that you pointed that out and I think that your videos are going to be a tremendous help to so many people, spreading hope and wellness information. Thank you so much for doing that. I’ll make sure the links to everything you do is in the show notes of today’s podcast at

One last thing, can you please tell us about your book that’s coming out? Of course, we’re going to have a link to your book, I Used to Have Cancer. Tell us about it.


[01:25:09] James Templeton: I’m very excited, and the book is going to tell my story. It’s about my memoirs. It talks about my life. A lot of it talks about where I come from. It tells you about what I went through, my feelings on a deep level. It talks about the three knocks on the door, and it tells you all that kind of puts the pieces of the puzzle altogether. It tells you the things that I did and how I felt and why I felt like I got well, and then it tells you about the things I would do if I had to do it all over again knowing what I know today. This would be very helpful for those going through it today, and it will inspire you—I know it. It’s a very good story, and it’s an easy read.

It’s I Used to Have Cancer. It’s on Square One Books, and you can preorder it at, of course. I think it’s going to do well. It was selected as one of the best new up and coming books for the spring, Publisher’s Weekly, which they say as a big deal, I don’t know. I mean, cancer is a big deal—one out of two people. Everybody knows somebody. It’s not rocket science. It’s actually easy. The hard work again, is rolling up your sleeves and doing the work.

But once you do it, you start to feel better and better, whether it’s getting off of the sugar or whatever. After a couple of weeks or a little bit more, you start not to miss the sugar because it’s amazing how the body starts to transform and starts to bring itself back to that balance that we talked about.

That’s the real key—once the body becomes balanced again. It doesn’t take more than three, four, or five months to get things going in the right direction. Once you see that, you’re going to start to see the numbers come down into where it needs to be, and you’re going to start to believe. Seeing is believing as we always say, and the sky is the limit.

Sometimes a cancer diagnosis could be considered one of the best things that ever happened to us because it makes us sometimes get into the things that we’re here to really do. Our true calling sometimes is based on something that just gets our attention. A lot of people don’t like to hear that, and they think that’s terrible, but I feel that way. I feel that that’s a blessing sometimes. Some of these problems we have in life because they’re obstacles are the key factors that create change.

[01:28:26] Ashley James: Brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing this information, especially the hope that you give people to take back control of their life, and the knowledge that they can do that even when they have a late stage diagnosis of cancer. I love your work. I am such a big fan of you now just like I’m a fan of your partner Ann Louise.

Listeners can go to episode 284 to hear her interview, and please listeners, share this information. Share these two episodes to spread this information and help as many people as possible to know that they can heal their body and that cancer is not a death sentence.

James, it’s been such a pleasure having you on the show today. Is there anything that you’d like to say to the listener to wrap up today’s interview?


[01:29:20] James Templeton: Ashley, it’s been wonderful to be with you this time to let me share my story and to help as many people as I can out there. I wish everyone that’s going through a cancer battle or know someone or are as close to someone in any way understands that getting well is available, and cancer is not a death sentence. And the last thing I like to always think is whether you believe in God or believe in a higher power or believe in just something good happening on a larger level.

But I like to always say that God helps those who help themselves. You just have to ask, and when you get that message and it’s not easy, but it will come to you when you needed it at the worst time.


[01:30:20] Ashley James: Brilliant. Thank you so much, James. Thank you for coming on the show. It’s been such a pleasure. You’re welcome back anytime.


[01:30:27] James Templeton: Thank you so much.


[01:30:28] Ashley James: Are you into optimizing your health? Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high-quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to, and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best price. That’s Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome referral program.

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Apr 22, 2019

I USED TO HAVE CANCER: How I Found My Own Way Back to Health by James Templeton


I Used To Have Cancer

Cancer survivor (33+ years and counting!) James Templeton tells the story of how he beat the dreaded disease with macrobiotic diet and vitamin C. Part 1 of an inspiring and instructive 2-part interview replete with true health gems.


[00:00:03] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 348.

I am so excited for today’s guest. We have with us an amazing man. James Templeton has beaten the odds. Not only did he survive cancer; he beat it. He thrives, and he has gone on to dedicate his life to teaching people how they can live a cancer-free and healthy life using natural medicine and supporting the body’s ability to heal itself. He has a wonderful book coming out. I’m really excited. James, welcome to the show.


[00:00:45] James Templeton: Ashley, it’s such a pleasure to be with you today. It’s great to talk to you and share my story with you.


[00:00:52] Ashley James: Absolutely. I know all of our listeners want to hear how you were able to beat cancer. Not only that, in the mainstream terminology, you beat cancer when you don’t have it for five years, but if you get cancer again in six years, they still consider that a success. So you are a success time and time again because you have beat it for 30 years now. Is that correct?


[00:01:21] James Templeton: That’s correct. It’s been about 33 years and a little change. It’s been since 1985. It’s something that you deal with. It’s a little harder at the beginning, and then as you get older and things are going good, you can’t ever let up. You just keep one foot on the path all the time. You widen out, you do different things, and you learn along the way, but in my case, it’s been quite a journey. Now, I’m able to help others, so it’s very exciting to share my story, and I’m looking forward for people to read my book.


[00:02:06] Ashley James: Absolutely. You have statistics on your website, One out of two people will get cancer in their lifetime. This is a statistic we’ve talked about on the show before. I believe it’s one in two men and one in three women, or is it one in three men and one in two women? I always get the two mixed up. Either way, that’s a shocking statistic. If there are two people in a room, one is likely to get cancer. That’s kind of ridiculous.


[00:02:34] James Templeton: It really is. I think it’s one out of two men and one out of three women, but it’s getting to be to where it’s almost one out of two of us, and we’re going to get cancer. I guess it depends on what stage it is when you find it, whether it’s an early stage or later stage. Sometimes we’re not as lucky to find it in the early stage, but it is a scary thing. I see people out there, and they’re walking around. They don’t seem like they’re too concerned the way they eat and the way they live. I guess you could say a lot of people are walking time bombs. It’s scary because we all know someone that’s had cancer or died of cancer.

It scares me all the time. Cancer is a scary word because it’s nothing more than a man-made word, dripping in fear. When someone says the word ‘cancer,’ something has been made up, and probably one of their biggest fears in life, whether they admit it or not, is the ‘cancer’ word or the cancer diagnosis. I think heart disease beats cancer outmaybe just by a thread, but the thing is from age 0 to 65, cancer wins out. And then over 65, if you count everyone up over 65, then heart disease is in the lead. But we don’t worry about that as much until we drop over or we have problems, or we end up going to the doctor and getting bypass surgery or whatever.

I find it remarkable when I go out to eat, or I go somewhere, even on a flight somewhere, and if I’m lucky enough to be in first class, nobody in the first class section even cares about what’s in the food—90% of them anyway, probably 99%. They think that’s the way it is, and they don’t worry about things. Maybe that’s the best attitude, but in my case, I worry a little bit more.


[00:04:56] Ashley James: I bet. We definitely want to hear your story. I am interested, however, if you could dive in a little bit. Before we get into your story, if you could explain what you meant by ‘cancer’ is this man-made dripped in fear? My mom passed away from cancer, and my dad died of heart disease that was also brought on from obesity. I watched both my parents die in my twenties of things that now, having spent almost eight years dedicating my life to studying holistic medicine, I see they were preventable, reversible, and diseases of lifestyle.

But at that time, my mom was the healthiest person I knew, so for her to have a cancer diagnosis shocked me. And then there’s so much fear around it. I saw her wither away and die from the fear of it. And so I understand what you mean about the fear. Can you explain what you mean that it’s a manmade diagnosis? We can see the cancer on the scans, so why is it man-made?


[00:06:08] James Templeton: It’s man-made because it’s the persona of it. It’s people in a laboratory or researchers, and they have come up with this word. Everything has a word, whether it’s a bladder infection or cancer, and it’s basically put together. Instead of saying that your body is out of balance and you’ve got an extreme imbalance in your system in your body, and your immune system is not able todeal with it. They come up with the word that everyone puts death hanging around it, and then it becomes very fearful because there’s this fear that, “If I get cancer, I’ll probably die,” or “If I get cancer, I’ll have to do all of these and my life will be miserable, and if I do survive, it will  be a miracle. I’m going down to the guy in the white jacket, the doctor, and do what the doctor says because I don’t know what else to do.” And that’s my biggest fear.

But I think it’s, the way I look at it, it’s really an imbalance. If they said your body has the extreme imbalance, and you can turn it around, you got out of balance, now you can get it back to balance, and these are the things you need to do. I don’t really feel that there’s a real cure to cancer. If there is, it’s not going to be a magic bullet because even if they did find a magic bullet, which would be an herb or some drug or something that you took and all of a sudden it turned off all the cancer cells to where they couldn’t spread any longer, couldn’t multiply.  That would be great.

But then people would continue to get it constantly because of their lifestyle, because of what they eat, because they’re the toxicity levels, and because of their lowered immune system and all that goes along with it. That’s kind of what I meant by it. It’s just a word that’s created. Instead of saying, “My friend, you’re just out of balance, and we need to get you back to balance before it’s too late.” This is kind of a last warning here.


[00:08:45] Ashley James: That could be said about all the chronic illnesses out there. As you’re talking, I was thinking about everything else that is prevalent. Diabetes—I’m thinking type 2 diabetes—is 100% reversible. But if you go to an allopathic physician, they will put you on metformin, or they’ll give you insulin, and they won’t give you a way out. They’ll just say this is how it is for the rest of your life. They might give you American Diabetes Association approved diet that’s still has a fair share of carbohydrates and allows for foods that are not healing for the body and not nourishing. They look to maintain the diabetes and manage the blood sugar within the ranges that they say are healthy but for a diabetic, meaning for a healthy person, incredibly unhealthy. They say that it is fine.

And then if you go to a holistic practitioner, they’re like, “Let’s get you filled up with nutrition and balance your blood sugar with a diet that’s healing, and let’s detoxify the body. Let’s look at your lifestyle and your emotional health, your mental health.” And then all of a sudden, a few months later, you don’t have diabetes anymore.

What is diabetes? The second we get this diagnosis, people buy into “This is my life—on drugs and managing bad blood sugar” versus doing a complete overhaul of their life, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically, energetically, and healing what got them sick in the first place.

You’re saying that cancer is like, if we give into this idea that there’s a big bad thing called cancer, then it has power over us and we’re powerless. But if we get that it’s a symptom of a body out of balance–was that your message?


[00:10:47] James Templeton: It is—exactly. Good job. If the body is out of balance, and when the fear sets in from this overall knock over the head that’s dripping in fear hit you, then your immune systems are already lowered because you have cancer in the first place. Now you’re under this stress, fear, and anxiety, and now your immune system is even lowered that much more, and the cancer is already ahead of everything. Now it’s got a real big lead running out in front of you, and it’s very hard to catch it.

So you have done to understand that hey, it’ll be not normal at all to be not fearful because I’m fearful of it. I’ve conquered it and survived for 33 plus years, but I’m still fearful of it. But I know what I need to do and I know what causes most of it, and now—what’s the saying? The truth shall set you free. There’s a lot more freedom there, a deep feeling of freedom and a deep feeling of “I can do this, and I know what I have to do” than before.


[00:12:03] Ashley James: I’d love to hear your story. You’ve got me so curious. Can you take us back 33 years ago to your cancer diagnosis? How did you heal it and survive it? Did you give in to the chemo, radiation, and surgery? I would love you to take us back and share with us your journey.


[00:12:27] James Templeton: It was in 1985; I was 32 years old. You might can tell I’m from Texas. I don’t live in Texas all the time now, but I’m from there originally. I’m a fifth-generation Texan, and I’ve always been very proud of that. My grandfathers were fighters, and they were some of the first settlers in Texas. They fought for Texas’s independence, and they were a big part of that. So I was always proud of being a Texan and living here. I grew up in Texas, and I thought back in those days that I had the world by the tail because I was a young man that was successful. I had several businesses, and I had a little baby girl that was less than two years old, had a beautiful wife. Everything was going great for me. I just thought it couldn’t get much better at that time when this all broke open.

I was running a lot. I was in a tremendous shape. I worked out a lot, and people would see me running around town. And they would say, “My gosh, this guy runs all the time. Everywhere you go, you see this guy running.” I’d run out to the country. I’d run up hills. I would push myself. I worked out in the gym two or three days a week at least, and I did everything. I worked hard. I had cows and animals—I had dogs, cats, and hogs. I had a little farm I lived on. It was wonderful. It was like a wonderful setting. I had a little fish pond behind the house. What else could you want when you’re 32 years old and had very successful businesses?

And I did all this exercise and everything that I was doing because my father died at the age of 46, and he had a massive heart attack. His father died at the age of 36. They say it was heart problems or heart trouble that he had. And so I thought, I better do something so that I don’t have this thing. Besides that, my mother when I was less than two years old, and then I had a little brother that died at the age of 8, so I had all this death around me. Besides that your grandparents that you love dearly, they die, and you remember all that, and you start to think that all these people died at an awfully young age.

I better do something. So I started all this exercise. Once when I was in college, I didn’t even really care at that point. My father died when I was in high school and when I went to college, I think the only reason I went was because my stepmother that raised me said, “Your father would want you to go to college.” I was very depressed after he died. I thought I’d never make it to 30.

I decided to go out and have a good time and party. I went to college. I was there. I don’t think I went, but I was there, and I had a good time while I was there. But I wanted to have fun because I honestly thought deep inside of myself that I’m only going to live till 30. So I had this attitude, and that’s not a good attitude to have, but I think I was pretty much depressed and having this attitude.

But as I got out of school, I dropped out of school because I thought that I could do something better, and I wasn’t really into this college. After my third year, I decided to call it quits. I met a young lady, and we got serious. I got married, and now I started to think that maybe I needed to take care of myself a little bit more. She was a runner. She got me into running, and we started to run together a little bit. Then I started running a lot as I was talking about earlier. Then we had a little girl, and everything was wonderful. My whole outlook started to change, and I thought that maybe I wouldn’t have to be like my father or my grandfather, and I would have a chance at a long life. So that’s why I did this.

But there was a guy back then that was a big deal in the running movement. Some people that will hear this might remember this guy, especially if you’re my age. His name was Jim Fixx.


[00:17:42] Ashley James: Oh, yeah.


[00:17:44] James Templeton: You remember that name?


[00:17:45] Ashley James: Yes, I do because he died of a heart attack while running.


[00:17:50] James Templeton: Yes. So Jim Fixx was this guru in the health and fitness arena back then. Jim was a guy that I heard and read about. He talked about running, how his father had died of a heart attack, and running was going to save his life. He could just about eat anything he wanted and do anything he wanted. He was in tremendous shape and all this.

I thought this was the ticket for me, so I started all this running based really on my past and also the advice of Jim Fixx. One early morning I went into the office, and I had several businesses—I had these convenience store type businesses with gas and convenience store groceries—I was there one morning early. I did my early morning duties, and I went into my office, I put my feet up, and I said, “Life is great, everything’s going good. I’d had my morning run already.” I was looking back at everything, and here comes the delivery service that delivered newspapers to the store, I looked at the newspaper, and I started thumbing through there. I got into the sports page, and it said, “Jim Fixx Dies of Heart Attack.” I could not believe it. I was just like, “Wait a minute, is this for real?” Jim Fixx, of all people, die and this is the guy that I’ve been thinking as a big deal. How did he die of a heart attack?  I started reading through that, and I got nervous after this. I thought I was doing the right thing, and then maybe I’m not doing the right thing after all. I better go and get checked out. I’ve got to get my heart checked out because I’ve been enjoying life and eating pretty much what I want to eat. I figured I better go and find me a doctor that can do this stress test.

So I went to an internal medicine doctor there in town. A lot of times that’s the kind of doctor you go to get these kinds of things done—either that or a cardiologist, but I went to this internal medicine doctor. I went in there, I got an appointment, and he said to me, “Take your shirt off, and we’ll get you on the treadmill.”

They got me on this treadmill, hooked me up with all these wires and everything like they do for an electrocardiogram. What they do for the stress test—I’m not sure if they do them the same way anymore, but there was a treadmill, and you’re on that treadmill, and they get that thing going slow, then they build it up and before long, it’s going really fast, and you’re running on there. They looked at my heart and everything, and then they said, “Okay, that’s great. You can go in and put your shirt on, and I’ll be in there in a few minutes to talk with you.” So I go in, and the doctor says, “I want to tell you something, you’re in tremendous shape. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody in this kind of shape.” He said, “You set the record. We see all these people, and no one has been able to surpass you on this device.” And he said, “You are in unbelievable shape. Your heart is in excellent shape.”

So I felt really good then, like, “Oh, my god, thank God. I’m really feeling good. Maybe I’m going to keep on living, and things are going to be wonderful.” He looked at me like when you’re getting an exam and everything, and then he says, “Well, there’s only one thing I found during my examination. There’s a mole on the right side of your back. That mole looks a little suspicious to me. It looks different. It doesn’t look like a mole that is like the other moles. It’s probably nothing to it. When you get a chance, why don’t you go down to the dermatologist? He’s actually in this building, and you go down there and get it checked out. I’m sure it’s nothing, but it just looks a little different.”

I didn’t think much about it other than I remembered at that time when my stepmother had told me that sometimes these moles could have cancer in them and it can kill you. All of a sudden, I took a gulp, and I said to myself, “Well, I better get checked out because this might be probably nothing to worry about, but I’ll get an appointment and get it checked out.”

So a couple of weeks later I went into the dermatologist office and like before they said, “Go take your shirt off, and the doctor will be there in a minute. Sit up on the table.” I went in there, and I sat on a table, and here comes this doctor. He goes, “What seems to be the problem?” I said, “I went and had a stress test done over at Dr. so-and-so’s, and he said that I should come in and have this mole I have on my back checked out because it looked a little different. He didn’t think it was anything, but he said to get an appointment over here with you, and that’s what I’m doing, coming in here to have it checked out.”

He turns around, looks at me, and he goes, “Oh, my gosh. Oh, my goodness.” The guy got all excited all of a sudden. He started acting like he had won the lottery or something. I’d never seen anything. It scared me to death when the guy was jumping around. He goes, “I think you have melanoma.” And I said, “Melanoma?” It was a scary-sounding word. I heard this word, and all of a sudden, I probably turned as white as a ghost. He just said, “You got melanoma. I’m sure of it.” He didn’t know for sure, but that’s what he was saying.

He says, “We might have to remove a large portion of your back with surgery.” He was excited. I don’t know if he had never seen one before. I can’t imagine that, but he acted like he was so excited. It scared me. He said, “Let’s schedule for surgery,” and all this kind of stuff. I said, “I’m going to have to think about this.” I got up and left that office, and I tell you, I never went back to that guy.


[00:25:14] Ashley James: You know why he was so excited?


[00:25:16] James Templeton: Why is that?


[00:25:16] Ashley James: Because he realized that you were going to be his boat payment.


[00:25:20] James Templeton: Oh, yeah, probably. I mean, this guy had zero bedside manner. It wasn’t like, “It looks suspicious. Let’s get it checked out. I think it’ll be all right. And if it is anything, there probably won’t be a lot to it.” It makes you feel like at least they could do that. How much is that to ask for a doctor to be sensitive?

We’ve all been to doctors that are nice, and we all had been to them that are semi this way. But to this day, I have never seen one like this guy. He was either money hungry or cancer happy or something, but I never went back to him. I tell you, I left that place, and I was shaking and had chills running up and down my body. I’m surprised I even made it home because it was about a 10-mile drive to where I lived.

I got home, my wife was there, and I said to her, “I went to the doctor, and he said a good chance I have melanoma, and he was jumping up and down. He scared me to death. I don’t know what to do.” She suggested that I go and get a second opinion. She said, “You remember that doctor you went to see.”

Several years ago when I had a basal cell, which is a skin cancer, on the back of my head, upon the crown of my head, which was a very young age to have something like this—when I was 24 or 25. I had skin cancer, and I went to this doctor in downtown Houston. He was a really nice man. He took it out, and he told me, “You’re going to have to be careful because this skin cancer is probably going to show up again sometime in your life. We want to keep an eye on things.”

So I remembered that, and I went down to see him. I got an appointment, I went in, and he said, “It looks very suspicious to me also. I think that if it is anything, it’s probably in early stage.” He went on to say, “My wife had melanoma, and it was stage 1. We removed that, and we’ve never seen it again. She’s never had another problem. That’s probably what it is.”

But he said, “For now, I’d like you to get an appointment with this world-renowned doctor that I know in a medical center down in Houston. We’ll get you in to see him. He’s a friend of mine, and he’s renowned. If anybody has to go to somebody, this is the guy to go to.”

So I thought, “I’m lucky.” I felt a lot luckier than this small town guy that was going to do me in. Before he even knew, he was going to take half of my back off and remove all this stuff he thought he was going to have to remove and, who knows, tens of thousands of dollars.

So I got an appointment, and I went to see this other doctor, and he was an oncologist, a big-time cancer doctor. I thought to myself that I was lucky to be there at the time. He had good bedside manners, a nice fellow, so I appreciated that. He came across as a good old boy as we’d say down in Texas.

And he said to me, “It looks a little suspicious to me, but the only way we’re going to really know is to get in there and take it out and just see what it is.” He says, “If you’d like, I can do that right here in the office.” I thought, “I might as well get it done and see what it is.”

So he took a big plug—it was probably a 2-inch square plug out of my back and real deep. He took a deep plug, and he sewed it all up and everything. He told me, “I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks, but we’ll try to do it a little sooner. I think we can get it done a little quicker because that’s a long time.”

He said, “There’s nothing you can do. Just go home. Don’t worry. Chances are you’ll be fine, and there won’t be much to it. Maybe it won’t even be anything.” So I went home, you know, and I felt a little bit better because the guy had such a good way about him and everything. I went back and, of course, I didn’t stop worrying because it’s hard for someone not to worry when they’ve told that there’s a chance they have cancer. That’s sometimes the worst part of it all is at the beginning when you’re told that there’s either a chance, or you’re getting a biopsy, or you’re getting something like this done.

But anyway, I was not fun to be around, I’ll tell you, after that. I didn’t want to do much. I was kind of depressed. I was walking on the floor pretty much. Didn’t sleep very well, either. It was probably almost two weeks before I got a phone call from this doctor. It seemed like a year. It was forever. I don’t know why it takes them so long. That’s the thing I don’t understand. I guess there’s a lot of people getting all these biopsies, and it takes a long time, but it drives a person nuts when you have to wait so long to get anything done.

But he called me up on the phone, and he says, “I got some good news, and I got some bad news.” And I’m like, “Oh, boy. That doesn’t sound good. He goes, “The good news is that it’s melanoma, and we got it all.” I’m thinking, “It’s melanoma, and it’s good news? How could this be good news? I’ve never heard anything.”

He says, “But the bad news is that it’s very deep. That concerns me. We’re going to have to watch it real close because when it’s this deep, that means it’s stage 4.” I’d heard stage 4, but I didn’t know much about cancer back in those days. It didn’t sound good to me. He says, “It’s more likely to spread. It’s more likely to metastasize. It’s more likely to end up in other organs or other parts of the body, so we’re going to have to keep a really good close eye on it.”

And he said, “There’s nothing you can really do. You shouldn’t worry. The only thing we have to do is have you come in every three months and get checked out. You come in every three months, and we’ll look at everything. For now, go live your life and don’t worry. We’ll hope for the best, and maybe we’ll get lucky, and chances are we’ll never see it again.”

I thought to myself, “Boy, how could this be happening to me?” I’m lying there, sitting there, standing or whatever I was doing, this guy tells me all this stuff on the phone while I was just in shock, and now I knew I had stage 4 cancer, and that I didn’t want to do anything now.

Before all this, I was very ambitious. I worked all the time. I ran. I couldn’t wait to try to figure out ways to do more business. I wanted to make something out of myself. I was at the point in my life to where now I was, “Maybe I’m not going to get the heart disease, but who knows after Jim Fixx,” and now get I this diagnosis. This was all in a very short time here.

I had noticed though that I was feeling tired, and when I looked back, I was feeling tired a lot. I was getting colds and flus a lot. I was starting to feel tired. Here I was barely over 30, and I’m feeling like that. I thought, “I guess I’m getting older.” I thought that was the deal on it, but when I looked back, my body was trying to tell me that my immune system was suffering and wasn’t able to do its job the way it’s supposed to.

I became very, very depressed. I didn’t want to do anything. I wasn’t fun to be around. Before that, I’d been the life of the party. I had friends. I like to go out. I like to have a good time. I was easygoing most of the time. I’m sure it was very hard on my wife for her to have to listen to this and put up with all this. Here it comes out of the blue, and I had this little girl and everything. It started to affect my relationship. I could feel the energy was changing in our relationship. Besides, who wants to be with somebody who could be dying of cancer?

I started to read, and I started to try to search for as much information as I could. Back then, there wasn’t the internet. The internet wasn’t the way it is now, so you couldn’t just go on there and Google something, and so I found out through friends of mine. My wife had a doctor friend that we met skiing one year. He said, “With stage 4, he’ll be lucky to live three years.” And I was like, “Oh, my god. You got to be kidding me. Here I am, a young guy—three years?”

That’s what you hear, so I became very difficult. Before I knew it, it was time to go back and get checked out again. I went back three months later, and the doctor says, “Everything looks okay. Everything is going okay. I think we keep doing the same thing. Don’t worry; just go home.”

Well, I was worrying all the time and, my relationship, my marriage became a little bit more and more stressed out. It just wasn’t the same. I guess I can’t blame her because I wasn’t easy to be around. I didn’t have any ambition anymore. I’d even decided that I wanted to start living out some of my bucket lists. I always loved Colorado and skiing, and we had a little ski house up in Colorado. I decided that I wanted to get out of the businesses and moved to Colorado and do something up there. I felt like I better do it now, or I’m not going to be able to do it possibly in my lifetime.

So I started to be a little selfish, I guess, and think of myself. I wanted to start to look at the possibilities of not being around much longer. Before I knew it, my marriage ended. My wife moved into town and took my daughter. After this happened, I didn’t care what happened after that. I lost my whole desire really to care anymore. It really affected me. I didn’t have that support anymore, so I started hanging out and running around with old buddies, drinking buddies, and started going out drinking and having a good time when I should have been taking care of myself.

The doctor said, “Don’t worry, there’s nothing else you can do,” so that’s what I did. I went out and did that. I wasn’t a happy camper, I’ll tell you. A friend of mine, one of my best friends, one of my old running buddies, we ran together almost every day. He was involved in the business, and he suggested that I go with him and his partners and help run a business up in the Dallas area, which was about three hours north of where I was living. I’ll go up there and run a business for them, and it would be perfect for me because I had a business background, and it would get me away from where I was living in this small town in Texas—Huntsville, Texas was the town. It would get me out of there and get me away from all the stress, and it would be good for me to get my mind off things.

I took him up on it. Right then, I thought, “Well, I’m doing okay. The cancer hasn’t raised its head again, so I’ll go up there and do this.” So I went up there, and things started happening. We had this business; it was very successful. I was running things, and we were busy. I was busy. I was inspecting houses. Back in the 1980s, around ‘85, right in there was when it was, there was a lot of foreclosed homes on the market because there was an oil boom, and when the whole bottom fell out of that oil business. I went up there to Dallas and started helping these mortgage companies refurbish these homes that they were taking back as foreclosures.

So we were going in, and we were fixing these houses up and spending a few weeks on each house, getting them back into sell shape. Along with these other guys, we put together a business up there that would refurbish these foreclosed homes, and things were going well. I thought life was not so bad again, but here it came, it was time to get my checkup again.

I’d already been through about three successful checkups, and everything looked fine, and I thought, “Maybe the doctor is right, I’ll never see it again.” So I went in to see the doctor. I flew down to Houston. I went in to see the doctor, and he says, “You got a little lump on your groin here. It’s like a little, tiny marble.”

He says, “It’s probably nothing. Just don’t worry about it.” Well, I kind of worried about it, and I said, “You sure we don’t need to worry about what you found?” He goes, “No. Come back in three months.”


[00:41:45] Ashley James: Oh, my gosh. Come back when it grows big enough for me to cut it out of you.


[00:41:50] James Templeton: Yeah, right. So I go back to Dallas, and I noticed things getting bigger. It started to get bigger and bigger pretty quick. I called the doctor up, this was probably a couple of months later, and I said, “Doctor, this thing is growing.” I was not too happy about it. I was pretty nervous about it. But I said this thing is growing. He says, “Well, we better go in and see what it is. Come on down here, and let me look at it. We’ll put you in the hospital and see exactly what it is. We will take it out.” And then I went down there, and he says, “Meet me in the hospital in the morning” and all that.

So I go in, and he takes it out, and he says—well, before that he told me there’s probably nothing to it, and it’s just a little something going on. Maybe it’s a lymph node that’s swollen or infected or whatever, but we’ll find out. I went in. He did the surgery. When I woke up, I knew I was in trouble because I had this huge bandage that’s on my lower groin area. I knew I wasn’t in good shape because, of course, I was out of it from the surgery. I never had surgery before. I’ve never been in a hospital before. He came in and shortly after I come to, he says, “I got some bad news. It was the news I was hoping we wouldn’t have to deal with. You got cancer in your groin now, and the melanoma had spread to your lymph nodes. That’s not good. That means that it’s pretty advanced, and we’re going to have to really, really, keep after it now.”

He says, “I want you to do 80 chemotherapy treatments–experimental chemotherapy treatments.” This is not regular chemo. This is experimental chemotherapy where they use a hypothermia type treatment. “We’re going to elevate your temperature,” and this is all experimental back in those days.

He says, “We don’t know of anything else that works well with this at all, and this sometimes doesn’t even work that well, but it’s all we know to do. We’ll do 80. We’ll do five each time. Now you’ll have to come into the hospital for every five treatments for a week, and then two months later, we’ll do another five because it takes you two months to recover.” And I thought, “Oh, my gosh. What’s going on here?”

He said, “It’s going to take you about two to three weeks to get over the surgery, and after that, we’re going to do these treatments. So we’ll keep you in the hospital and get you to recover some from the surgery,” which I was gutted there and it was like really painful. I was lying there in the hospital, and I was miserable from the surgery. More than anything now, I knew I had this terrible cancer that had spread, and it was all over in my lymphatic system. Who knows where it was going to go? I was in terrible pain.

I remember the nurse would come in and say, “Don’t you want some painkillers?” I’d say, “No, I’m not going to take any painkillers. I’m going to tough it out.” It didn’t take me more than a day or two to realize that I needed something because of the pain. They started giving me morphine just like they do with anybody for a painkiller, like shots. That puts you at ease real quick. After that you don’t really care what happens because when you’re on morphine, you’re sort of like, “Life is not so bad after all. Turn up the music. I don’t feel anything.”

That’s kind of how you felt. But I knew that it wasn’t good, and when the stuff would wear off, I would be miserable, and I started to worry. The doctor comes in, and I said, “Doctor, what are my chances? What do you think my chances are?” He didn’t want to tell me anything. He just sat there, and he would say, “All right, I’ll tell you what I think. You’ve got a 20% chance of survival if you can get through these 80 chemotherapy treatments. That is if you can survive these treatments, I’ll give you a 20% chance of surviving three to five years. Even with these treatments, I don’t think you’ll live more than three to five years.”

So he tells me that, and I knew I was a blown up duck when he said that. I knew I was in really bad shape, and I didn’t know what to do. I was getting desperate. It’s been a week or so or after the surgery, and I was very, very upset. I just felt that was the end of my life, and it was going to happen sooner than later. Here I was 32 years old, my wife had left me, and I had nothing to live for anymore. I was just a miserable young man. I felt like nothing was going my way.

I got a phone call, and this is when things started to turn around. I got a phone call, and it was from a preacher. It was a minister of a church that I went to sometimes. I wasn’t a really overly religious guy or anything. We went to church, but I was a guy that probably didn’t have the time, who was busy all the time. But anyway, I knew the fellow, and he was a nice man. I ran with him a few times. He was older than me, and he’d been a professional baseball player, and I looked up to him. I thought he was always kind of funny and had a good side to him.

He calls me on the phone, and he says to me, “I heard you were in this hospital. I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you. God loves you, and I know that you can beat this cancer. You’ve just got to get down and dirty and beat it.” He said to me, “You have to beat this son of a bitch of a cancer.” That’s the exact words he said to me. He says, “If anybody can do it, you can.” He told me this, and I was shocked because I’d never heard him talk like that. I felt like I was in a locker room, at a football team or some sports team, and we’re losing, and the coach is trying to get some energy going and getting down on us a little bit. He just laid it on me, and he told me that.

That was the last time I ever talked to him, but it got me to thinking—it got me to thinking, and it lit a spark under me, and it made me start to pray. And I tell you what, I never was a big prayer. I didn’t pray a lot or anything. And then I’ll tell you what I prayed that day—I prayed so hard to God, to the higher power, whatever you want to call it. I prayed, and I said, “God, I need your help. I never had this kind of thing happened to me. I’m desperate. I need help. I really, really, really need your help.”

I felt like every cell in my body was praying. I never had that kind of feeling. It just was the strangest feeling. I’ve said a prayer, the kind of prayer where you’d go to church, and someone says a prayer. It is fancy sounding, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but it just didn’t seem to have a lot of deep meaning to it.

But I’m telling you that day, between me and the higher power, I had a prayer. I felt things that I can’t imagine. I can’t even explain it to anybody, but I did. I didn’t know what else to do, and it was getting that bad. I tell you, probably about 20 minutes later that prayer—I’m always trying to figure out by how long it was, but I think it’s probably about that time. It wasn’t any longer than that. I heard a knock on the hospital door, and this friend of mine comes through the door.

I said, “Come in.” My friend comes through the door whom I hadn’t seen in seven years from college. He worked at the gas station with me when I was in college. I worked at a gas station, and he worked there, and we became friends then. You know in college you have a bunch of buddies and friends, and he was one of them. This fella comes through the door, and he’s waving this piece of paper in his hand, and he’s saying, “I hear that you were in the hospital through one of our old friends, and I felt terrible, and I wanted to figure out something I could do to help you. I was talking to a friend of mine at the office, and he had another friend that he was talking to at lunch one day.”

This guy is somebody they knew had cancer or something. This guy brought him an article about cancer and about a guy that cured himself of cancer. He said to this guy, “I have a friend who’s got a friend. I know this is going to help him. I think this is a thing he probably would appreciate. Can I give this to him or take this to him?”

The guy brought it to me, and it’s about a guy that cured himself of cancer. I didn’t know what it was when he’s walking in the door, waving his arms. I said, “What do you have in your hand?” He said, “I got an article about a guy that cured himself of cancer using the natural diet.”

Well, I never heard anything like that. Where I come from, you go to the doctor just like I’d done. You get sick, and you go to the doctor. But I said, “Hmm, let me see that thing.” And I saw it, I looked at it, and I immediately knew this was what I was going to do. I knew that this was the ticket for me to heal. Something inside of me says, “This is it. This is what you’re going to do.” I told my friend, “I’m going to do this.” He says, “You haven’t even read this yet.” I said, “I’m going to read it.” I haven’t, but I know this is what I’m going to do.

I got very excited. I started to look at it a little bit. It was about a guy, and his name was Dirk Benedict. Dirk Benedict was an actor. He had been in movies, he had been on a TV show, and he had cured himself of what he thought was prostate cancer. I think he was a renegade. He was told that he had prostate cancer by someone, and he went out and got on this diet and got well. He had terrible prostate problems—bleeding and all this stuff—and he was a young man.

I read this, and I said, “I’m going to do exactly what he did.” Dirk Benedict was a guy who was on a show, and the show was the A-Team. Back at that time, there was a show on TV, and a lot of people will know that also. His name on the show was Templeton Peck, and they called him Face in the show. He was a good-looking guy. It wasn’t because he had a nice face. That wasn’t the reason, but they called him Face, and he was the guy, and I knew who the guy was. He talked about how he was from Montana, and I being from Texas, and he grew up on a ranch, and I had had cows, and he had a farm out in Texas. I kind of related to the guy. I felt like I was kind of a cowboy almost.

He talked about being a cowboy, and I thought, “Well, I can relate to this guy.”

Anyway, I got very excited. The diet that he was on was called a macrobiotic diet. I’ve never heard of anything like that. I asked my friend, “Have you ever heard of macrobiotics?” He goes, “Nah, I’ve never heard of that.” And I said, “This guy claims this cured his cancer and saved his life. You got to go out and get this book for me because this was just a little book review article. It was just for two or three pages. It’s about this guy, and it was a book review article. I said to my friend, “I got to get this book—his book. Will you go out and get this book for me?” And he said, “Sure, I’ll go out and get it.”

So he went out, got that book, and brought it back to me. I started reading that book, and I was excited. I felt like if this guy can do it, I can do it. It just felt right inside of me, like somebody, something somewhere was trying to get me to do this. I didn’t know anything about it, but I was open to anything at this point.

So I got this book, my friend went out and got it, and I’ll tell you, I never saw my friend again. I hadn’t seen him to this day. It’s funny, but I’m sure he’s alive still. I need to get ahold of the guy, but it’s an interesting way that he brought this to me. I read this book from Dirk Benedict, and it was called Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy. It was an excellent book. He’s an interesting character. I really could relate to a lot of the things he did. So I was very excited, and now all of a sudden this depression I had was starting to leave my body, and I started to have some hope. This hope was what I needed desperately.

Anyway, I went to bed that night, to sleep that night, and I felt like I had hope now, and that my prayers were starting to be answered. I tell you, the next day I got another knock on the door, and it was my stepmother. My stepmother came up there to visit me, and she brought me a book. It was a yellow book. I remember that it was a book by Linus Pauling, and Linus Pauling, as you’re probably familiar with, was a researcher and was a brilliant researcher. He did a lot of work on vitamin C and different types of things with vitamin C from cancer to heart disease. He’s done a lot of studies on vitamin C, but this was vitamin C and Cancer—the book. I’m trying to remember the name of it offhand. It’s in my book. It’s listed in there, but I can’t think of the name. I think it’s Vitamin C and Cancer. But it was by Linus Pauling.

I read this book and it talked about people that took high amounts of vitamin C, even terminally ill people that had cancer, survive for much longer periods of time as long as they took this high amounts of vitamin C, and that when they stopped taking the vitamin C, a lot of them would die. I got very excited about this vitamin C thing, and I felt that, hey, I got the new diet, the macrobiotic diet that I was going to learn about real quick, and now I’ve got the vitamin C. I thought to myself, “I’m going to do both of them. I’ll do the vitamin C and the macrobiotic diet, and I’ll probably do the chemotherapy. Why not? If a little is good, a lot’s better.

So I got excited. I was really excited now, and I felt like I got enough ammunition now, that my prayer was answered. I was excited and—I don’t know—it just all happened all at once. The next day I got another knock on the door, and it was the strangest thing. I got a knock on the door. There was a fellow that came through the door, and he says, “I’m your psychotherapist for the hospital, the cancer ward.” He said to me, “I’ve noticed that you’ve been depressed. I hear that your outlook is not real good. I would love to talk to you. Do you have time to talk to me tomorrow?” And I said, “Sure, come on in tomorrow, and I’ll talk to you.”

The next day he comes in. By then I’d been reading up on the macrobiotic diet, and I’d had another friend go out and get me some more macrobiotic books. I was excited. I was reading drugged up and all.  The next day this the psychotherapist comes through the door, and I said to him, “I want to ask you a question before we get started here. Have you ever heard of the macrobiotic diet?” He looks at me, and he says, “Hold on a second.” He goes over to the hospital door in my room; I was in a room by myself. He shuts the door.


[01:01:14] Ashley James: [laughs] I’m liking this tale already.


[01:01:17] James Templeton: He comes in, and he says, “I’m going to tell you what I know about it, but I’m going to have to get you to promise me right now that we never had this conversation. You never talked to me.” He says, “If you tell anybody that I talked to you about this, I’ll lose my job, my bench, my retirement, everything. I don’t want to lose all that. I’ve been down here working here 25 years. I don’t want to lose that. So you have to promise me.” By then, I was about ready to drag him into the bed with me and tell me everything he knew. I knew I was on to something now if he’s acting like that. When he went in there, and he shut that door, and came back and told me all that, I said, “I’ll do anything you want, just give me the information.”

He started telling me, “Look, this is a great diet for some people. This diet has saved a lot of people’s lives. It’s very difficult though. It takes a lot of time and energy. You had to put a lot of your energy into it. You got to do a lot of cooking. You got to do certain exercises. It’s a whole way of life.” And he said to me, “I don’t know if you could do it, but you seem like your energy is not as depressed as I thought it was. What I’ve heard, you seem like you’re excited about something. You don’t seem like a sick person that I thought I was going to end up talking to.”

And he says, “You know, I tried this diet. It just didn’t work for me because I couldn’t stick with it. It takes a lot of self-discipline. I don’t have it. I just couldn’t do it. I just wanted to do it because I thought it sounded like a good idea to be healthier.” But he says, “You and your condition, I think you should do it. And I think you could do it because you seem like you have the right attitude.” And he told me, “There’s one thing—you got to do it right though. There’s a right way to do it and a wrong way. I’m just going to tell you that right now. If you’re going to do it, go all out. If you’re not going to go all out, don’t do it. I think this could help you.”

This guy got me so excited; I wanted to hug him. It was just like, “My god. This guy is telling me something here. There’s something really to this.” So I got really excited. He left, and now I had all this ammunition, and I was a different person. It was like I discovered the key to the universe or something, and I was very, very excited.

But I had to still do this chemo. I thought to myself, “I’ll do the vitamin C, the macrobiotic diet, and I’m going to do too with the idea that if it doesn’t work for me, it won’t work for anyone. I’m going to take

this guy’s advice, and I’m going to give it 150%. I’m not cutting any corners. I’m going to be the model for doing things right with this macrobiotic diet and lifestyle. I will do it, and I will do the chemo.” Because at that point I thought, “Well, I’m doing everything I can. I’m going to kill the cancer one way or the other.”

So I went through the five treatments, the chemotherapy treatments, and it was just flat terrible stuff. It made me sick. They’d raise your temperature. They throw these heavy blankets over you—weighted blankets. You know what I’m talking about, these big weighted down blankets, and that was because they elevate my temperature with the hypothermia treatment with the typhoid serum. They elevate my temperature as high as they could without it killing me basically. They’d raise it to 104-105. When it’s that high, you’re shaking in your boots. You’re freezing to death because you’re hot, but your body is fighting, and everything has kicked in, and you are just shivering all over. They put these blankets so that you can lie still enough in the bed without jumping around like a jumping bean.

I did this chemo for five days, and I was sick. It makes you throw up. It was awful. It was about eight to ten hours a day each treatment.


[01:05:49] Ashley James: Oh, my gosh.


[01:05:50] James Templeton: It was done with an ivy drip about an hour or so for the typhoid serum to drip in. And then once your temperature is up, then they hit you with the heavy duty chemo. They put this ice cap on my head to keep my hair from falling out. That was the idea anyway, but I think half of it fell out, but it was freezing. I was just like a guinea pig lying on that bed. I lied there, and I took that chemo, and I gritted my teeth, and I made it through it. You’re just sick.

I remember leaving, and I didn’t have a wife anymore, so I went to my mother’s house to recover for a few days after I got out of the hospital. I’d been in the hospital for over three weeks. After I got to my mother’s house, I was determined to start eating the macrobiotic food. You’re not going to get it in the hospital, that’s for sure.

I got to my mother’s, started to do the best we could. We’re just learning, and we did pretty well. After a week or so, I had to go back to Dallas. I have still work up there, and I had people counting on me. So I had to go back, and I started working there, and I felt really lousy. I’d put my head down on my desk a lot of days, and I just felt like I had the flu. It just makes you feel like the worst flu you’ve ever had—that chemo did. I could never imagine having any flu like that. If somebody would have given me a hammer, I would have knock myself in the head with it or anything because it was terrible.

I got back there in Dallas, and little by little though, I started getting into the macrobiotic diet really heavy duty. Little by little, I started to feel better. One of the things I had to do from the surgery that I haven’t even talked about was after the surgery, I had to do this lymphatic drainage pump on my leg where they removed all these lymph nodes.

One of the things I’d had to do in the hospital was elevate my leg and put this lymphatic sock. It’s like a sock, and it would sit there and pump. I had to do that while I was in the hospital. Now I had to do that also because the doctor told me if I didn’t do it, I could lose my leg. He said, “You don’t want that. You don’t want too much lymph fluid getting in there.” My leg was twice the size of the other leg, and it was awful. They had tried to drain it the best they could and all that, but it was awful, and I had this pump.

I was trying to work too because I still had to make a living. I would sleep with that thing on at night. I realized if I slept with that sock on my leg, this electrical pump on it, that would pump and release, and anybody that’s had lymphatic surgery, they know what I’m talking about. I did that every night, and then I would make it through the day, instead of doing it throughout the day. It just took too much of my time, but I would do that, and then I would go to work.

Some days I’d have to drive 300 miles during the work inspecting houses, and it was a lot of work. We were very busy. But I was determined, and little by little life is getting better and better with my macrobiotic diet. I didn’t want to cut any corners, so I was reading everything I could get a hold of when I wasn’t working and in between. I’d get up at 4:30 in the morning and cook my breakfast. I would cook a macrobiotic breakfast, and I’ll get into macrobiotics later if you want to.


[01:09:51] Ashley James: Absolutely.


[01:09:52] James Templeton: I’d cook that breakfast, my miso soup and my soft brown rice porridge in the morning. I would have greens and a little bit of vegetable usually with it. I’d get up in the morning, and I couldn’t walk very well, but I was trying to walk. I was limping around because my leg, after surgery and all that stuff, I was barely able to walk without crutches.

So I started to try to hobble down the street. I’d hobble as far as I could and turn around and come back. And then I got to where I could walk a little further every day because, in the mornings, I was determined to keep moving, keep the exercise. And then little by little I started to do stretching as much as I could because after the surgery is set me back so much. I started feeling better and better, and two months later, after all this and all the work I had been putting into everything, I had to go back and do more chemo. After two months, I had to go back to Houston, check in the hospital, and do another week of chemotherapy treatments.

I go down to Houston. I go into the hospital. I remember checking in, and the day I checked there were two or three people who are checking in, and they were all excited about getting checked in and getting their chemotherapy treatments. They were really looking forward to getting it done, so they can go out and live their life again. I remember talking to this one really nice lady, and she says, “Well, I’ve had my chemo treatment, so I can go home and get back to normal.” They weren’t doing what I was doing. It was a different type.

By this time, I felt a lot better from the surgery. I still had issues. I still had to use the leg pump and all that stuff, but I was doing better. After two months, I was doing better. I got there, and I started these treatments. They must have doubled the treatment because I never felt so bad in my life. This stuff was terrible. It was worse than the first time. When I told, “If a little is good, a lot’s better,” they must have decided to grant my wish.

So they did, and I’m telling you what, I was sick. I was really sick. I couldn’t eat hardly anything that whole week. I was throwing up. I couldn’t keep anything inside of my stomach. I felt like I had the worst case of flu I never ever had and then some many times over. That’s how bad I felt. My whole body was just dying inside. I had gotten really thin after the surgery and after everything. I guess the cancer probably was going to town on me, and I was getting thin and weak.

I remember every night I’d been in that hospital bed, and I’d hear people moaning and groaning down the hall. It sounded like a torture chamber or something. People were just like making all kinds of noises. And then there was always this commotion in the hallways at night. I asked one of the nuns—it was a Catholic supported hospital. They had nuns that would come around at night and visit some of the patients, most probably all the patients.

I remember these nuns would come in. There was one that came in, and she always had this white habit on. She almost looked like an angel or something. She would come in, and she was very peaceful. I said to her, “What’s all this commotion out in the hallway?” And she’d say, “Well, so and so passed away tonight.” And I went, “They passed away?” She said, “Yeah, they had cancer, and they passed away.” I’m like, “Oh, my god. They died?” And then she told me this woman that I thought was so nice, she died, and I could not believe it. The woman a few days earlier seemed to be fine. I found out that she had died of pneumonia. So they got pneumonia in there with their body and their immune system so depleted and so down, that it doesn’t take much to trigger pneumonia. That’s what gets a lot of these people. It’s not the cancer. It’s the treatments or pneumonia.

Anyway, I just said, “I got to get out of this place. They’re going to kill me in this place. I’m going to be the next one they’ll roll down the hall at night.” I remember one day I was getting the chemo, and here was this nurse coming in, and I was just totally almost unconscious. I remember that I couldn’t even open my eyes, and I was lying there, and I had no life. It felt like I had no life in my body.

I remember this sound, this voice saying to another nurse, “What in the world is going on in here? Who’s taking care of this patient? His temperature is way over the limit. He could die in here. You’ve got to get his temperature down now.” So I remember them coming in and mopping me with all these freezing ice cold towels and everything to try to get my temperature down after that. I was just like lying there. I had no energy at all. I just felt terrible.

So anyway, I couldn’t eat or anything. The doctor comes in, I don’t remember if it was that day or the next day, and I said to the doctor, “Doctor, they’re going to kill me in this place.” I told him what had happened and he didn’t say anything. I said, “They’re going to kill me in this place. Ain’t there something else I can do?” And he says, “Well, there’s nothing else we know to do.” And I said, “Well, what would you do if it was your son or your daughter?” Because I could have been almost his son or daughter, age wise. I said, “What would you do if it was them? Would you do the same thing?” And he said, “Yep, I’d do the same thing.”

I said, “Even though it’s not working.” He goes, “Yep, that’s all we know to do.” And I said, ”What about a diet? What about nutrition? What about vitamin C?” He goes, “Oh, that stuff doesn’t work. That’s a waste of time.” And I said, “Well, I’m going to die and here. This stuff is going to kill me.” He goes, “Well, we’re all gonna die someday.” That’s what he told me.


[01:17:02] Ashley James: Oh, my gosh.


[01:17:03] James Templeton: Well, you know what I did? I was weak, and I had no energy, and I was sick as a puppy dog. And I raised in that bed, that hospital bed, and I looked at that guy, he was standing there next to my bed. I looked at him, and he was the top doctor. And I said to him, “You listen here, you son of a bitch. If I could get out of this bad, I’d tear you apart. That guy turned, he looked at me, turned as white as a ghost, and he turned around and ran out the door.

I never saw that guy again because two nights later, I decided to sneak out of the hospital at two in the morning. I had made my plan for escape. I said, “They’re going to kill me, and I don’t want nothing to do with this anymore. They have nothing else to offer me. What am I doing in here?”

And so I had made a plan, and at two in the morning, I was so weak that I barely get my clothes on. I remember sneaking down the side of the hall on one side of the wall where nobody could see me, and I snuck down some stairs. I was crawling, and I was so weak from this. I threw up like I can’t tell you how many times and it was awful. I snuck down those stairs, and I went out into my car, which had been sitting out there in the parking lot. I got in that car, and I drove out of that place. I never looked back, and I’d made up my mind at that point, I was not going to do anymore that medical stuff like that anymore. I was going to go all out, and I was going to do the macrobiotic diet lifestyle, vitamin C, and I was going to keep an open mind going forward.


[01:18:51] Ashley James: That wraps up Part 1 of our interview with James Templeton. I hope you’re enjoying his awesome story. It gets even better in Part 2. Join us next episode, will be released very soon. And it will be the completion of our interview with James Templeton.

He gets into some really awesome stuff, and one thing I love is that he talks about this website of resources that he’s created 100% for free. It’s him giving back to the world, and it’s a website filled with testimonials and stories and interviews with other cancer survivors. So if you want to be inspired and learn from dozens and dozens of people who have used more than just the conventional way to heal their body and to support their body’s ability to thrive after cancer and live a long and healthy life, then you will love learning more from James Templeton in the next interview in the next episode.

I’m glad you enjoyed today’s interview. Please visit my website,, because I have some great resources for you, one of which we’ve started to transcribe all of our interviews, and so the latest interviews are transcribed. We make it so easy for you to gain access to all the notes and all the resources that the guests will share with us.

Also, I have a free doctor course that I created with my favorite naturopaths. So you can go to the website and right at the top of the menu, click the “Free Doctor Course” and sign up. It’s for seven days. You’re given a video each day that we filmed with our favorite naturopaths, and they teach us how to create the foundations of health—very strong holistic foundations of health.

There are some wonderful resources on, including the search box. If you are faced with a sore throat, or a fever, or some skin rash, infection, maybe a chronic illness, or you’re looking to optimize your emotional health, your mental health, you can type different things into your different search terms into the search box.

And all of the episodes where we’ve discussed those things will come up. I have, as you know now, over 348 interviews that you can take advantage of and learn from these wonderful guests.

Also, I do holistic health coaching. I love working with my clients. If you would love to work with me as your coach, let’s have a free conversation. Let’s sit down together over Skype or over the phone and see how I can help you. Go to to sign up for your free discussion to see if working with me is right for you. I’d love to chat with you.

Excellent. Have yourself a fantastic rest of your day. Please. Let’s help as many of our friends as possible to learn true health with us.

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Apr 17, 2019

The Mood Book: Crystals, Oils, and Rituals to Elevate Your Spirit

A Little Bit of Meditation: An Introduction to Mindfulness

A Little Bit of Mindfulness: An Introduction to Being Present

A Little Bit of Chakras: An Introduction to Energy Healing

The Spiritual Girl's Guide to Dating: Your Enlightened Path to Love, Sex, and Soulmates

Essential Oils Handbook: Recipes for Natural Living

The Chakras and Crystals Cookbook: Juices, Sorbets, Smoothies, Salads, and Soups to Empower Your Energy Centers

The Compassion Revolution: 30 Days of Living from the Heart

Apple Cider Vinegar Handbook: Recipes for Natural Living

Joyful Living: 101 Ways to Transform Your Spirit and Revitalize Your Life

A Little Bit of Yoga: An Introduction to Postures & Practice


The Mood Book

Medical intuitive Amy Leigh demonstrates how your mood can get the maximum benefit from crystals, how to banish loneliness through a heart-based bath ritual, and more. Tune in to Episode 347 and learn about her recommended tools to take ownership of our health and be the architect of our life.


[00:00:13] Ashley James: Hello, true health seeker. Welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health podcast. You’re in for such a treat. This is a very interesting episode. Before we get to it though, I want to tell you some exciting news. Recently, Learn True Health hired a transcriptionist, so now the episodes published on, instead of having show notes as we had in the past, you will have the entire transcript.

When you go to share the podcast with your friends and family, you can find the episode once it’s up and published at You can take that episode and share it with your friends and family, and even the friends that you have that don’t listen to podcasts, they can read the transcript of the entire interview. How exciting is that?

It’ll also make it easier for you to use the search function on the website. This is episode 347, so we have 347 episodes available and counting at the Learn True Health website. You can use the search function to type in everything you’re interested in—thyroidautoimmuneweight lossvaccinesherbsessential oilsparasitic cleanses—the list goes on and on.

As things come up in your life and you’re interested in learning more about them, you can type in the search box at, and since we’re now transcribing all the interviews, you will have the ability to search through the website to find exactly what you’re looking for. Also, it will be easier for you to share it with those you love.

Some of the listeners have told me, “I definitely share these episodes, and I want the information to come across to those I love, but some of my friends or family don’t listen. They’re not listeners. They don’t like to listen to podcasts.” This will solve that problem because those who don’t listen can always read.

Also, I’ve had listeners tell me that they will often listen to an episode two or three times because they’re taking notes about what the doctor said, what the health expert did, the different recipes or tools, the different steps that the guest has shared with us. This is going to save you a lot of time because when a guest says something very interesting that is meaningful to you and your health journey, you can make a note of the time-stamp in the episode. Once we have published the entire episode with the transcript on our site,, you’ll be able to go there and read it. It will have the time-stamp when each guest said what they said along with what they said.

I’m so thrilled that we could bring you this powerful resource to help you transform your health along your holistic health journey as you’re learning how to achieve true health.

Another powerful resource you may not know I already offer is a free doctor course. I got together with some of my favorite naturopaths, and we filmed a course together. It’s 100% free, and it gives you some powerful tools to build a strong foundation of health. You can go to and see in the menu where it says “Free Doctor Course,” and click there, or you can go to That is the website I created so it would be easy for people to remember.—type in your email address, and every day for seven days, I send you a video by a different doctor, a naturopathic physician, giving you wonderful information to build a strong foundation for your health. These are fun, actionable steps. It’s like a week-long workshop that you get.

Go to and explore the wonderful resources that we’ve created for you. My mission is to help over a million people to achieve their true potential to transform their lives and have the absolute best experience in their body possible. Please join our Facebook group. If you’re on Facebook, just search Learn True Health or you can go to which will direct you to the Facebook group. It’s a wonderfully active community of listeners that support each other along our health journey, so I’d love to see you there.

Awesome. Thank you so much for being a listener and, hey, you know what? As you’re reading the show notes of the new episodes with the full transcript of each interview, please make sure you visit down to the very bottom of the page because we turned on comments in our blog, and you can let me know what you thought of the episode. I think it will be cool to hear from you.

Awesome. Have yourself a fantastic rest of your day and enjoy today’s interview.


[00:05:40] Ashley James: We are in for such a treat today. We have with us Amy Leigh Mercree. She has some very interesting things to teach us. We cover all forms of holistic health on the show, and I love it when we get a little bit woo-woo. For me, when I bring in things like essential oilsritualsprayer, and meditation, these things help us to know ourselves, give us a sense of purpose, and allow us to gain clarity in our life. Amy has some wonderful tools that she’s going to share with us today. Welcome to the show.


[00:06:28] Amy Leigh Mercree: Thank you so much for having me. It’s great to be here.


[00:06:31] Ashley James: Absolutely. Your website is, and of course, the link to everything you do is going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast at

Amy, I’d love to start by learning more about you. What set you on this path to wanting to learn and then teach meditation, essential oils, rituals, using healing crystals? What happened that made you get excited about not only applying them in your life but also helping others?


[00:07:08] Amy Leigh Mercree: Great question. I was a different kind of a kid, to begin with, so I was always a little bit in tune with the natural world and able to perhaps see energy that probably lots of children see, but that stayed with me. I had some intuitive guests, to begin with, and then when I was 18, while I was in college, I began to take yoga, learn about meditation, and also study shamanism, and eventually connect with the woman who became my medicine teacher.

While I was in college, I was also apprenticing with a medicine woman. So then when I was 23, after college, I began my career as what I now call a medical intuitive. I’ve been doing that for 18 years, and it’s all an out-picturing of what I come to with my clients in the many years of self-study after my medicine apprenticeship and all the things I’ve learned from my clients and my work with nature and intuition.

All of that out picturing and all the books I write are love notes for my clients, whether they’re my first book, Spiritual Girl’s Guide to Dating, all the way through to all my books about mindfulness and meditation, essential oils, compassion, all of that. That’s what started me on my path. I still work as a medical intuitive, and then I also teach classes in lots of different modalities, including how to meet your guides, work with your guides, different forms of shamanism, different medical intuitive practices, and protocols that are proprietary that I’ve created over the years. I’m kind of an idea factory, so I’m just always creating new ideas, new books, and moving everything forward and kind of a student of life.


[00:09:15] Ashley James: What happened in your early life? Was there an aha moment? Can you take us back to that pivotal moment that had you want to pursue this as a career?


[00:09:28] Amy Leigh Mercree: Sure. I don’t think it was a specific aha moment as far as childhood side of things. Intuition, seeing energy, and things like that were just normal to me, and there was a point when I realized maybe everybody else perhaps didn’t see the way I did. And so the shifting point moment for me was—I think I was 18. I might’ve still been 17 because I was 17 when I graduated high school.

I took a Reiki class because my mom’s friend was interested in it, so we all took it. I ended up becoming a Reiki master teacher and all of that afterward. Reiki is the transfer of universal life force, and so that was the pivotal moment that did start me down that path.

Soon after, I took a beginning workshop on shamanism with the foundation for shamanic studies. In that workshop, it was kind of interesting because there were a lot of aha moments. We partnered with somebody, and the woman I partnered with said you need to explore past lives and gave me the name of someone she knew in her town, which was a few hours away—not too far—that she thought did that. That person ended up becoming my medicine teacher and did a lot more than past lives and trained me in native American medicine practices.

That shifting point was the Reiki class. Soon after, as I did start down that medicine path, it was clear to me that just like some people could be born  and at age three just pick up a guitar and start playing, whereas other people play the guitar just as well, but perhaps they would need lessons, that in the intuitive realms, that was one of my talents. It was a natural out-picturing to begin working with clients, and it flowed easily for me.


[00:11:52]  Ashley James: What happened with crystals? Can you describe your first experience working with them and what benefits did you see from using them?


[00:12:01] Amy Leigh Mercree: Crystals to me are the equivalent of a plant or an animal. They’re alive and, I think, absolutely useful to have around. They do hold emotional and mental energy in a way. It’s not that for them, but they hold frequencies. For example, I think our best bet for crystals is to use rose quartz because it holds that vibration of unconditional love. That was how I always looked at crystals, and I always keep my crystals and stones outdoors as much as possible because that’s where they want to be.

Just like I wouldn’t bring up a wild animal into the house and expect it to live in a drawer, I don’t expect a crystal to live inside all the time. It’s a being that was forged in the earth, and it would probably rather be outside. That’s how I think of crystals. I do use them. In The Mood Book, we talked about different crystals we can use for rituals and things like that to help influence our emotional state, but in my world, the crystal goes back outside. Crystals are great. I think plants, herbs, things like that can have a massive effect on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Crystals can have some effect as well, but I think they work a lot more on the emotional and somewhat on the mental level. That’s my personal opinion.


[00:13:42] Ashley James: You think all people can feel the effects of crystals, or does someone need to be more spiritual and more in tune or in touch to feel it?


[00:13:54] Amy Leigh Mercree: Perhaps people need to be a little bit more sensitive to feel it palpably, but I also think our reality is created by what we believe. So if we believe a pharmaceutical pill is going to help us, the possibility will increase. If we believe a crystal is going to help us, the possibility will increase. If we believe an herb is going to help us, that possibility will increase. It’s called the placebo effect.

I’m not saying they don’t work. Any of those three things do or don’t work, but I think a lot of it has to do with our belief in the way we’re viewing our lives. So if somebody is open to the idea of crystals helping them, then they might be more sensitive as well and feel those effects.


[00:14:40] Ashley James: Have you ever seen crystals used in healing where there are noticeable results? The example I can think of is when I lived at Kripalu, one of my classmates twisted his ankle, and it was so inflamed. You could see the inflammation on the joint, and he had a big crystal, and he was using it to decrease inflammation. He felt as though it helped him to walk.  He got off his crutches much sooner than expected, and he felt that that crystal, along with the energy work he was doing, aided him greatly and magnified his healing. Have you seen specific examples of work crystals have noticeably increased healing?


[00:15:36] Amy Leigh Mercree: I haven’t specifically, no. That’s why I gear them more towards emotional work. But I think that’s wonderful, and like I said when we’re in deep communion with a plant, or crystal, or animal, there is an exchange of energy, and perhaps it did help. Maybe he was massaging the area with it, moving the fluid. Maybe it was a cold temperature. There could be so many reasons.

I haven’t seen those marked physical effects, but I work a lot more with plants than I do with crystals, so I’m not an expert on crystals. I like them. I included them in The Mood Book because I think they were valuable for the emotional side of things as well. But I wouldn’t take my crystal knowledge as the end all, be all because I love that story, too, that that did happen for that person in college. I’ve heard of things like that. I’ve never witnessed it and been specifically privy to it.


[00:16:44] Ashley James: Got It. So more around emotional healing or emotional health, what have you noticed? Are there stories of success you can share around implementing crystals that noticeably help people’s moods shift?


[00:17:03] Amy Leigh Mercree: Yes, I think keeping rose quartz in the indoor environment with the caveat that each stone spends at least 50% of its time outdoors in sun, in moon, in rain, on the earth—a clear, clean, happy piece of crystal or clean, clear, happy  mineral. I think rose quartz is a beautiful stone to keep in the home. I’ve definitely seen, for example, if we keep two pieces of rose quartz, preferably larger untumbled pieces if you’re able to find some. Crystals in their more natural state generally have a little bit more charge and effect.

If we can keep two pieces of rose quartz, for example, in the bedroom, then we have that vibration of unconditional love, and we’re also having two things there which are synonymous with perhaps the couple or romantic love. If that’s something you’re trying to bring into your life or if you are a couple, two pieces of really happy rose quartz, which as a compromise you can keep on a sunlit window sill, so they spend some time in the sun when you don’t have them outside as well. I have seen that have a marked effect.

There are lots of stones that people do report feeling their intuition is enhanced by as well. Amethyst is a really common stone; blue sodalite; many of the stones that we hear about do sound like they enhance intuitive abilities as well. That’s another effect that I think it’s potentially helpful as far as crystals.

We also have grounding stones that are helpful—garnet, ruby, smoky quartz, tiger’s eye, the deeper, more rooted stones that bring the essence of being in the earth inside to us and help us reconnect with that. To me, one of the really important things about crystals is it’s bringing something from the natural world inside. It’s letting us connect with the natural world in different ways. Also, the sight of crystals being beautiful and pretty, just like a pretty piece of jewelry, will bring us joy and also elevate our spirit and our emotions a little bit.


[00:19:48] Ashley James: What crystal would you recommend for people who want to increase their motivation? Maybe they’re working on losing weight, shifting their diet, or healing their gut, but they’d like something to help them keep going towards their goal?


[00:20:04] Amy Leigh Mercree: Citrine is a fabulous crystal for that—a nice stone for that. Golden yellow and sunstone are also helpful for that. Both of those stones amplify our will, which is a big part of keeping our resolve—keeping our will up is keeping our motivation up. Additionally, to help with focus, lots of different crystals can help us focus. Amethyst is an easy to obtain crystal for focus. Tourmalines are helpful for focus as well. So any of those can be used to help keep the focus. If you combine a citrine with a tourmaline of your choosing, even better if it’s kind of a golden color or something like that, then you can take the will and the focus to keep going and stay motivated.


[00:21:11] Ashley James: I like to tell my listeners that I am the biggest open-minded skeptic. Here’s my experience around crystals. I was 15 years old. My family spent every winter in Mexico. We spent about three weeks every year in the same place. So by the time I was 15, I really knew this part just south of Puerto Vallarta called Conchas Chinas. I know all the streets. I’ve walked them many times. My parents let me be free range growing up.

So I’m 15 years old. I know every street, I have a basic understanding of Spanish, and I’m just on my own. I’m having fun talking to street vendors, and I bought a crystal. It was like a white quartz little necklace.  Not thinking anything of it, I immediately put it on, and I keep walking. All of a sudden, I’m lost. I have no idea where I am. I’m incredibly confused. I’m a little dizzy and lightheaded. I turned down a street. I get assaulted by a man. I started running. I’m confused. I’m stressed out. I have no idea where I am. I feel out of my body. I think to myself, the only thing I’ve changed in the last five minutes is I put on this necklace. I take the necklace off, I immediately know where I am, and I’m safe.

I put it in my pocket, and I go, “Okay, I need to learn more about this stuff.” I learned that you need to cleanse. When you buy crystals, they pick up energy. They’re like a battery. They hold vibration. They hold energy. Fast forward, I’m 26, and my friend buys me a necklace made by a healer who was my Reiki master, and this was her Reiki master, so he created it. I put it on, and I’m immediately drunk, and I can’t stand anymore. I just lost all control of my body. And so I had to work my way up to wearing it because it was so powerful, I can only hold it in my hand and then place it back down. I couldn’t wear it.

It took me a while to be able to wear it, and then I could only wear it an hour a day or else I’d have detox symptoms. It was very overpowering—the energy. I have a deep respect for crystals, but I’m also kind of afraid of them because— I don’t know—I’m sensitive.


[00:23:45] Amy Leigh Mercree: I can see why.


[00:23:47] Ashley James: But I’ve also seen people just being surrounded by them and have no sensation at all. It’s like some people pick up on it, and some people don’t have any effect. I know people who douse themselves in essential oils, and then I know other people who could only stand one drop diluted.

So we have to know ourselves when we’re working with plants, when we’re working with crystals, when we’re working with all these different modalities. We need to know who we are, what we resonate with, and also be open-minded enough and willing to try things on.

But start slow, right? So for those who’ve never worked with crystals, you’re saying get one, put it in the outdoors half the time, leave it in your room. You’re not necessarily saying wear it.

Can you give any other advice for those who’ve never worked with crystals that want to dabble and explore, open their experience, or give themselves a new experience of crystals?


[00:25:05] Amy Leigh Mercree: I think your story is speaking to that sensitivity. I’m the same as you. Sometimes I have certain crystal bracelets. I have a nice moonstone bracelet I like to wear. I have an aquamarine rose quartz bracelet I’ll wear, but I don’t wear a lot of crystals myself either. I think in the environment it’s close enough, and if they aren’t super clear because they haven’t been outside quite a bit, then I do feel it. So I understand where you’re coming from and your story.

What I’ll say to somebody who is exploring crystals for the first time is to work with a gentle type of crystal—work with rose quartz or a moonstone. Larimar is a beautiful, gentle stone to work with. Citrine is okay too—not overpowering, but still strong. Topaz is a nice stone to work with as well. Any of those.

And then before you put it in your pocket before it’s even in your house, it needs to spend some time outside. Let’s say you live in the city, and perhaps you have an outdoor planter—better than nothing. Out on a table in the sunlight and the moonlight—great. Even better if it could go in your garden or something.

I have a tray sometimes I put mine on out on the patio because I don’t always want to put it out in the lawn and then lose it. You want to make sure you really clear the crystal and have it outside for a few days and nights.

Now let’s say you have no patio. You live in an upper floor apartment. You don’t have a patio or a yard. What’s your next option? The window sill in the house that gets the most sunlight, the most moonlight, and then you can place the crystal on a bowl of spring water. You can change that out, dry it off, and place it in a bowl of salt at some point sticking out—all different things like that. You want to clear any crystal for several days before you bring it in the environment. If it’s on that window sill, that’s fine. It’s not too close. Don’t use the one next to your bed right away and make sure you clear it first.

And then the environment—I think it’s a good place to start. Just have them in the house and see how they feel and start to tune into them. Then you can hold one and meditate with it a little bit and see if you notice anything.


[00:27:39] Ashley James: What crystals are good for sleep? Are there ones that improve sleep or improve dreams or protection that you would want by the bed after you’ve cleared them?


[00:27:53] Amy Leigh Mercree: Smoky quartz is nice for protection, so I always like to advise that. Larimar is great for dreams. Rose quartz is my top favorite for dreams. Moonstone is lovely for dreams. Aquamarine is lovely for dreams.

I tend to gravitate toward the gentler crystals. I think that’s a good way to start, especially if you’re just starting. Things like sandstone citrine—those are a little bit too amped up for sleep, I think.

Beautiful jade or emerald is okay for sleep as well. They’re very heart-centered. Sometimes you find pieces of jade at stores. If you happen to have a raw emerald, interestingly enough, emerald is a derivative of beryl. It’s a beryllium-based crystal, the same substance, different color as sapphire. They have a very similar atomic makeup based on a beryllium atom with a bunch of other atoms making up these beryl molecules.

Emerald and sapphire, although they have different countenance, emerald is a little bit more about the heart. Sapphire is a little bit more about speaking your truth. Both of those are fine as well for sleeping because they’re refined, high vibrational. Even if they’re a rough crystal, not a polished stone, as long as it’s been cleared, those are nice for sleep as well.


[00:29:41] Ashley James: Very interesting. Are there any crystals that have been known to mitigate the effects of EMF frequencies or Wi-Fi, Bluetooth? Are there crystals that when in the environment help to protect us from that?


[00:29:58] Amy Leigh Mercree: Great question. Not to my knowledge. I know there are a lot of products on the market that claim to do that. Some of them contain different crystal compounds and things like that. I can’t endorse any of that. My advice is to turn off the phone. I know some people who unplugged their Wi-Fi every night, which is kind of a project, you have to log back in. I’ve considered it. I haven’t done it yet.

I always tell people to keep all phones out of the bedroom, unplugging the chargers that might be in the bedroom, try to limit some of that. Some people use a gauss meter. It’s an introductory way to measure EMF and magnetic frequencies in your home. It’s great to check that, especially where you sleep. If there’s a fuse box in the bedroom or the place where the electric company reads the meters right outside the bedroom on that wall, that can give you a high reading, and better to sleep in another room. I like to take a practical approach. I don’t know if crystals have the power to deal with the strong waves that we’ve generated here as a society.


[00:31:19] Ashley James: Yes, I agree—take the practical approach. Just so you know, there are um, routers out there that have an on-off switch for Wi-Fi. That’s what we use. I notice a difference. I actually can feel it. I’ll be in the bedroom, and my husband will be in the office. He’ll turn off the Wi-Fi, and I’ll immediately feel it. He’ll come in the bedroom; I’ll be like, “You turned off the Wi-Fi, didn’t you?” and he goes, “Yup.”

So I can feel it, and when we started this practice, we only turn on the Wi-Fi We have hardwired desktop computers—it means the wires are coming straight out of the router, the modem plugs to the router, then the router is what turns Wi-Fi on. But you can also have cables—basically ethernet cables—from the desktop right into the router.

We have hardwired computers, so we don’t need Wi-Fi unless we’re going to turn on the TV, or the iPad, or the laptop, which we don’t do very often. We limit it. We do not have it on at night.

In the sauna—we have a little iPad thingy in the sauna. We only turn it on when we need it, and then we turn it off, and I can feel the difference. We also noticed that we sleep better and that our son who’s just turned four, his mood changes greatly. He becomes more rested. He becomes aggressive and less prone to tantrums. He gets agitated if he’s surrounded with Wi-Fi for days on end—we’d notice that. We’re very in tune to him and his behaviors. We just saw that just that one thing—significantly reducing his exposure to Wi-Fi— improved his mood.

I was hoping that there’d be like, “Yeah, there is a crystal and just have it in every room.”


[00:33:26] Amy Leigh Mercree: I wish.


[00:33:28] Ashley James: I like that you’re taking the practical approach. We need to understand that these are tools, and every tool has its limitations, but every tool also has its purpose. And so I want us to understand that crystals are a valuable tool, and they have limitations and a purpose. When we use them the right way, we can benefit our lives.

Especially for those who are like me an open-minded skeptic, I’d like everyone who’s listening to think about the possibility of where they could enhance their life using a crystal and the other modalities that you teach in your books. If we can take these small steps every day to improve every aspect of our life, that’s what holistic medicine is all about.

You mentioned a few times clearing crystals. Can you walk us through that? I know we’ve got some listeners who have used crystals for years, but then we’ve got listeners who maybe haven’t used crystals and haven’t been clearing them or just had them up on a shelf and never had the mountain and sunlight, or maybe we have listeners who’ve never used crystals. We’re dealing with a lot of different experience levels. If you could walk us through as though we don’t know anything about clearing crystal, why do we need to clear crystal and how do we do that?


[00:34:57] Amy Leigh Mercree: A crystal is just like a wild animal or a plant. It was forged outside. It lived on the earth, and that is its natural environment. Just like us, we, in theory, are used to being inside, but if we stayed inside all day and all night and never went outside, we’d get agitated too. A crystal will do the same thing. To some degree, we’re anthropomorphizing it, but it is a living being.

To clear a crystal and to treat a crystal with respect and kindness, this crystal needs to be outside in the sun, in the moon, in the rain, even in the snow, if that’s what’s going on outside. That’s ideally what it needs to experience. It needs to be out on the earth, and these things will clear the crystal. It lets the crystal gain maximum vitality and charge if we want to talk about it as a container for energy. But it also helps the crystal itself feel what we would probably qualify as happy or content. If we’re going to bring that into our environment and perhaps even into our energy field, we want that.

And so to clear, the best way to do it is put it outside for 72 hours plus. If you leave a crystal outside for weeks at a time, it’s not going to be offended; it’s going to be thrilled because that’s where it came from. At least three days is the best bet. Like I said earlier, if you don’t have a patio or a yard, you don’t have access to any of that, then your next option to clear your crystals is a sunlit and then moonlit window sill. That might mean keeping the shades up a bit to make sure the sun and the moonlight is going to hit the crystal or crystals as much as possible, so one that’s facing in a direction where it’s going to get a lot of sunlight and moonlight.

A lot of crystals respond well to salt. If you want to place a crystal in a bowl of salt, it needs to be untreated salt: rock salt, Celtic Sea salt, Himalayan salt, Hawaiian salt—all those unprocessed, untreated, natural salt and certain sea salts. You place the crystal in the bowl, and usually, you leave some of it peeking out unless you want to bury it; unless you feel like perhaps that crystal would enjoy that, if you’re connected to it. Otherwise, leave a little bit of it peeking out.  Still, keep it on that sunlit window sill. For that matter, don’t keep it next to the Wi-Fi. Don’t keep it next to your cell phone. Don’t keep it next to the TV. Keep it away from electronics as much as possible.

Another way to clear a crystal, all the same things that I just said apply except utilizing sand or dirt. If you’re able to get some natural, untreated dirt, it means you don’t want to go and get dirt out of a park that’s sprayed with pesticides. But if you’re able to go out into nature, perhaps in the woods or somewhere in wild nature and bring some dirt in, that’s a fine way to do it, too. You can place the crystal in dirt, little bit sticking up and out, on a window sill is better. Another thing would be to place the crystal in a bowl of cold water, preferably spring water.

If you’re stuck inside, you could rinse your crystal under the tap water, not necessarily shockingly cold but cold water. You can also take the crystals on outings. A crystal loves to be immersed in lakes, rivers, and in the ocean. I use a pendulum sometimes, and I have some couple different pendulums.

One of the pendulums came with me on a trip to Costa Rica, and that was like the happiest pendulum I’ve ever seen. I would take it in this hot spring at night, a natural hot spring. I went to this idyllic place and soaked in these volcanic hot springs. I’d put the pendulum in the hot spring and kind of swing it around, and it would just be kind of in there. And then I’d take it out and hold it up, and it would circle, orbiting like those swings you would see on carnival rides when they’re going out high.

This thing would be like as far out as it can swing, circling. It was so happy. Same one and lots of other stones over the years, I would take them to the ocean with me. They seem to enjoy the sea foam, where the waves are crashing, and that’s where maximum ionization is happening. The wave action, the water and the sodium, and all the different mineral molecules are ionizing. In my experience, crystals enjoy that.

Those are the ways you can clear crystals, but you can also take your crystals with you on field trips into nature because they love it. When a crystal is clear, if it feels like if you’re in tune with the crystal, and you feel like the crystal would be open to it, it’s okay to put it in your pocket, carry it in your hand to take it on these little field trips.

If you’re going to put it in your purse, try to keep it away from your cell phone because just like EMS harms us or they do not enhance us, neither are crystals. That’s my take on it.


[00:40:55] Ashley James: I love it. It’s like having a pet rock that kills us.


[00:41:01] Amy Leigh Mercree: And it’s alive. I always say if you get a pet, that pet is a member of your family. It’s not just some insignificant life form that you don’t pay attention to. If you commit to getting a pet, that pet is a member of your family.

The same thing—if you have a house plant, that’s a living thing. It is a member of your family. You’ve taken it out of its natural environment, and it’s your job to care for it and make sure it’s happy and nourished—well fed, well watered— and that goes for crystal as well. If you’re going to take a crystal out of its natural environment, then it’s your job to care for it with respect, with kindness, and make sure it has what it needs.


[00:41:43] Ashley James: Very cool. Your book, “The Mood Book: Turn Worry to Peace, Sadness to Joy, Heartbreak to Love, Fear to Freedom and Lethargy To Vitality.” You launched it recently on March 4th. How is it doing? How’s the feedback that you’re getting from your readers?


[00:42:03] Amy Leigh Mercree: The feedback has been great. It came out on March 4th, and it’s doing well. #AuthorLife, as they say. I think a lot of us check our Amazon rankings periodically. The Mood Book is doing well. One of its categories is crystals. That’s one of the categories it’s under. It’s consistently been in the top 100 in its category, which makes it an Amazon bestseller almost every day since it’s come out. It wasn’t yesterday, but it’s back up today. Yes, I checked.


[00:42:42] Ashley James: Awesome. What kind of feedback have you received? Are there stories of success that you can share as the readers have been utilizing your rituals to improve their mood?


[00:42:52] Amy Leigh Mercree: Yes, actually I just got a note. I’m on Instagram a lot, so I talked to my readers on there a lot. I just got a note from someone who said that she’s been using the bath rituals every night, and she thinks the meditations and the rituals are enhancing her life so much. She’s sleeping so much better. It’s really fun to hear those tales from people for all my books when they talk about how some idea that I’ve gotten to share has made a positive difference. It’s why I do what I do actually.


[00:43:30] Ashley James: Can you teach us a ritual, maybe the bath ritual or something that you think will benefit the listeners to practice?


[00:43:39] Amy Leigh Mercree: In the book, every single chapter, all of those six chapters, they all have a bath ritual. We will do our heart-based bath. This is a bath to banish feelings of loneliness, and it also is an aphrodisiac bath. It’s good if you want to focus on self-love or you want to focus on romantic love. It’s an all-purpose love bath. It doesn’t take you through what you would do if you were engaging in this bath with your partner on a romantic level, but it would prime you for that.

Your materials for this ritual include paper and pen or pencil. You can use one or more pieces of the following crystals, pre-cleared, pre-charged from outside if possible: rose quartz, jade, green aventurine, pink tourmaline, and I will add an emerald. That’s fine for this too if you have some raw emerald.

You will use rose essential oil. Rose oil is either called rose otto or rose absolute essential oil. They are both derived from roses. It’s a difference in the process that the rose petals are subjected to pull the oil from them. The rose absolute is a little bit more potent, but rose otto is very potent. I list rose otto in the book because it’s usually easier to come by; either one is fine.

Jasmine essential oil, and then you would use four pink candles, and some rose scented soap if you have it. Your local health food store might have handmade goat’s milk soap or something like that, and that would be the rose one if you see one of those. If not, it’s optional.

Decaffeinated jasmine green tea and dried hawthorn berry–those are all your ingredients. If you don’t have all of them, it’s okay. You can omit it. Jasmine is a flowery and delicious variant of green tea. When you get a jasmine green tea, it’s green tea with jasmine blossoms mixed in with the tea. I have the decaf because I’m assuming that most people are going to go to bed after their bath. If you’re doing this in the morning, you can do it with caffeine if you want.

Hawthorn berry is an aphrodisiac. It’s great in infusions and teas. You would brew your decaffeinated jasmine green tea, and you’d put the hawthorn berry with it. You can do that in a French press or a pot of boiling water. You can use tea bags. You can throw it in a cup of boiling water, and then strain it, however you’d like. You want it to be a medium brew. You don’t need to make it incredibly strong unless you like that.

I think the taste is nice. If for some reason it doesn’t appeal to you, you could add a little bit of raw honey or maple syrup to that. So you would make your tea, and you’ll be sipping your tea. As you make the tea, you’ll be thinking about mindfully making that, and you’ll really want to be present to the process and then being present to the entirety of this process. You don’t bring your phone in for this. Ideally, you turn it silent or turn it off. You set the scene with your candles and dim lights ideally, and you run a bath. As a rule, you want your bath to be pretty warm but not so hot that it’s going to make you sweat. You have to think about what’s the best temperature for you. I like a super duper hot bath, but I tend to get cold, so it depends upon a person.


So you run your bath, and then you can use your pen and paper and think a little bit about some affirmations or a statement that you’re going to use as a bit of a mantra for this bath, which is focused on unconditional love for self and others. It can have an aphrodisiac quality if you choose, so love and romance in all of its forms. It might be something like, “I am beautiful,” or “My heart is open, and I enjoy pleasure daily,” “I open my heart and allow myself to receive love in all of its forms.”

Then you think about that intention, and at that point, your bath is filling up and then you’ll put a few drops of rose and jasmine in your bath. If you have an essential oil diffuser, you can also do that. You’ll arrange your four pink candles in a safe place—you don’t want to have them fall over or anything—depending upon your bathroom layout. If you don’t have a diffuser, a way to use essential oils is to place drops of the oil in the melted wax. You don’t want to place it directly in the flame, but just next to the flame. That will disperse the smell a little bit as well.

You can also place some of the rose oil on the center of your chest and rub that in before and after the bath. The jasmine is great to place on your back over your kidneys. Jasmine essential oil promotes kidney yang, which is libido. It also helps move the meridian energy in the kidney, and thereby move that channel into the lung channel, so that helps us move grief that’s stagnant in the lungs. That’s why we use jasmine in this bath ritual.

Then you will think about your mantra‑”My heart is open, and I enjoy pleasure daily,” “I am a pillar of unconditional love,” whatever your mantra and intention for the bath are, as you light the candles, and then you can place the gemstones alongside the candles. You can also place the gemstones in the bathtub. This is where I also invite you to connect with the stone to hold each stone and feel yourself. Ask the stone’s permission—Would you like to be placed in the top? Would you like to be placed next to the candles? Would you like to participate in this bath ritual?

Rose quartz is great to put in the bath with you. If you have those, those are nice. Then you can hop in the tub and think about your mantra and just rest and relax. If you have the rose scented soap, you can use that, or you can continue to smell the rose oil, sit with the crystals, enjoy your bath, sit in your bath, and allow the unconditional love from the rose quartz to flow through you. Green aventurine is nice if you are dealing with heartbreak, so you can even place that crystal on your chest if you’re in the throes of that. If you’re in a relationship, then that green aventurine will harmonize the relationship, and it is a heart protector, so it’ll help you move into compassion instead of fighting.

So then you can sit, visualize yourself in a pink glow, and look at the candles–the pink color of the candles, the flickering light of the candles, the intentions from your mantra that you might be just not repeating in any ritualistic manner, but just as your thoughts wander, maybe bringing it back to that “I am unconditional love” or whatever mantra you’d like to use. You can gaze at the flames of the candle to allow them to shift your consciousness a little bit as you’re focusing on this idea of love and romantic love, self-love, unconditional love.

When you’re ready, bring your awareness back in. If you have your journal handy, you can journal any thoughts or feelings, and even any messages you feel from the spirit or the minerals and stones. As you bring yourself back, when it’s time, you can remove the rocks from the tub and drain it.

Another thing that’s beautiful to add to a bath like this that you would add at the beginning would be rose petals. If they’re organic and untreated of any color, pink and red would be a little bit more on the love vibration, but any rose holds that vibration of love. So if you had placed rose petals in the bath, you can take the stones out, drain the water as long as your drain isn’t too large, and then take the petals out after.

If you do that, it’s nice to dispose of the petals outside. Sometimes it’s nice to dry the petals off and potentially even sleep with them in the bed overnight if you’re going straight to bed, and then place the petals outside as opposed to in the trash. That’s a long ritual.


[00:54:04] Ashley James: Yeah, but it’s a fun evening ritual—maybe a Friday night, getting wild, and getting our rituals on. How long is this bath typically? Is it just up to the person? It can be 20 minutes. It could be an hour.


[00:54:19] Amy Leigh Mercree: Yeah, open-ended. If you’re hot, after 15 you’re ready to get out—‑awesome. If you love it and you want to add hot water over and over for two hours, go for it.


[00:54:31] Ashley James: Yes, I stay till I’m wrinkly, till all my fingers are pruney.


[00:54:37] Amy Leigh Mercree: Me too. It’s nice before bed. That’s a great time to get in bed and journal. I don’t know if you practice automatic writing. Some people call it spirit writing. I teach automatic writing in my Meet Your Guides class. That’s a great time, when you are in the bath or getting out of the bath, to do your automatic writing with your spirit guides, too.


[00:54:59] Ashley James: Because you’re calm, your cortisol is down, and we’re out of that fight or flight mode so we can connect with our heart and listen to our gut. The negative chatter in our brain that comes with being in fight or flight is diminished, so we can stop listening to the self-doubt and the worries and start listening to our heart, right?


[00:55:26] Amy Leigh Mercree: Exactly. The warm water, the stones, the scents, and the flickering candlelight, all have the opportunity to not only deepen the relaxation response but also potentially put you in an altered state where your brain waves are more conducive to receiving spiritual guidance.


[00:55:45] Ashley James: We have people that come from all walks of life, all religions. This doesn’t challenge anyone’s belief system. A Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist—they can all use a ritual to strengthen their belief system and their faith, right?


[00:56:06] Amy Leigh Mercree: Absolutely. It can have the flavor of what you believe, or it can be absolutely neutral.


[00:56:15] Ashley James: And so they could take your rituals and incorporate their prayers for protection and healing. You’re just giving them practice in order to implement, take their spirituality and put it into action.


[00:56:32] Amy Leigh Mercree: Perfectly said. Yes.


[00:56:35] Ashley James: Very nice. Tell us more about your Mood Book. You’ve covered crystals. You talked about some of the rituals, that every chapter has a bath ritual, which should be fun to go through and try all the different baths. Can you tell us more about your Mood Book and what we’d learn in it?


[00:56:51] Amy Leigh Mercree: Sure. Every chapter has a quiz that helps you look at what essential oils would work best for your mood. From that standpoint of turning worry to peace, heartbreak to love, sadness to joy, all of that—then we have that crystals chapter, which we talked about. Then we talked about plants and flowers from an herbal and flower essence perspective that will help with each mood. And then we go into the bath ritual for each mood, which is really nice.

And then we go into another ritual around meditation, mindfulness that usually contains a yoga pose and things that we can do to turn heartbreak to love, to turn lethargy to vitality, to turn fear to freedom. So then there’s a whole non-bath-based ritual for each one as well.


[00:57:51] Ashley James: Do you have any advice around turning off anxiety or the worry? I know a lot of our listeners wish that there were 30 hours in a day. They have so many things they’re doing, and they want to do everything. So there’s that pile up of stress and possibly either worry or anxiety. Do you have any information in your Mood Book on the tools that you best recommend for helping to decrease that stress?


[00:58:30] Amy Leigh Mercree: Absolutely. We have lots of plant-based and herbal tools in there and also rituals. We have a restful sleep ritual for that specifically when we talk about the effects of sleep deprivation, which I just read a statistic the other day about—70-80% of 18-22-year-olds get less than seven hours of sleep per night, and how damaging that is to our health. Some people say six, but there are studies that prove that there are health detriments even at six. Seven to eight is our minimum.

We talked about different linen sprays you can make with essential oils, and then you have a guided sleep ritual with the yoga pose to help you relax and let go. But the other piece to that, with the idea of worry and anxiety, is unfortunately we’re all tethered to our devices pretty much during our entire waking hours.

Some people keep phones in the bedroom at night. There’s plenty of articles online trending now about sleep texting. People who receive a text, don’t have their phone on silent, they have the phone on the nightstand and then sleep text, sometimes regretting what they’ve said because they don’t remember. It seems pretty obvious that one is to remove the devices, keep them out of the room. I think turning them off is helpful just as far as decreasing some of the fields and what-not.

Then we talk about the oils that will help and also some of the herbal infusions that will help. Basil is actually very calming, and it’s an antidepressant, but it also has a stress-relieving effect. You can use basil to make steam for inhalation. It also will help you overcome uneasiness and ease congestion. It’s an interesting and different herb to use. Valerian is an incredibly sedative herb, wonderfully used in a tea better, only used at night before bed because it’s so sedative. Chamomile is great all day as an essential oil, as a tea, as an herbal infusion—any of these things help. Skullcap is also a sedative, great for nighttime. Rose petals have calming and sedative effects.ou can  Ydo a rose petal tea, a rose petal bath as we stated, roses in your environment. Any of these flower essences are wonderful.

A really wonderful remedy for anxiety is passion flower. It’s great in a tea any time of day. It’s spectacular as a flower essence, and it’s heart opening while also being anti-anxiety. So lots of ways to use passion flower. There have been some studies that also state that it reduces anxiety like we’re seeing and reduces high blood pressure because it has an effect on the central nervous system. So just lots of options for those types of things—many options.


[01:01:56] Ashley James: You’re reminding me that when I drink rose tea, I get drunk. I get like giggly and happy, basically all the effects of being drunk except for the fact that I can drive. I don’t drink alcohol, but back when I did, you drink like two glasses of wine, and you feel so happy and giggly. All I need to do is drink a few cups of rose tea. I go to the Asian market in downtown Seattle, and they have these places that the only thing they do is sell loose tea. It’s little tiny rosebuds, like the size of an almond. There are little tiny pink and white rosebuds, and they’re all dry.

You simmer water and then turn off the stove and then put the rosebuds in there and let it steep for a few minutes. I like it strong, so I let it steep for a good 15 minutes and just let it sit there. My first time trying it, I was at a dim sum place off of Young and Eglinton in Toronto. Oh my gosh, I was worried. I was like, “Did they put saki in this or something?” I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to drive. I felt that drunk. It’s just amazing how some herbal teas are so strong at shifting our mood.


[01:03:42] Amy Leigh Mercree: Euphoria and relaxation with the rose. You could take those same rose buds and sprinkle them in the bath, too.


[01:03:52] Ashley James: I can imagine. Basically soaking in the tea.


[01:03:59] Amy Leigh Mercree: Exactly. The tea that does that to me the most, I almost can’t even drink it, I don’t usually buy it—it’s kava kava. That is so deeply sedative. It almost makes me hallucinate. It’s just the regular kava kava tea you would buy. It’s nothing too outlandish. That’s the thing about getting to know ourselves individually around whether it’s herbs, flowers, crystals—

everything. Everybody is so different. You might drink the kava kava and say, “Yeah, that’s relaxing, but it’s fine.” And I’m like, “Wow, that was like a deeply relaxing and visionary experience to drink that almost too much.”


[01:04:46] Ashley James: I discovered kava kava as a supplement in high school. I didn’t know about the tea at the time, but I was experimenting with all kinds of herbs and teas, and I read about kava kava, so I went and got it. It helped me get through high school, like the antidepressant.


[01:05:05] Amy Leigh Mercree: That’s nice. You needed it.


[01:05:07] Ashley James: Yeah. To talk about something as simple as an herb, of course, I could have taken it as a tea, now that I think about it. I was doing cat’s claw tea at the time. I forget why, but I was experimenting with different herbs for shifting my mood, to keep me surviving through high school. So they do. You can use herbs in their different forms, whether it’s tincture or tea or essential oil.

What about live though? You talked about having crystals in your environment to shift the energy of your environment to improve your mood. What about having plants that are living, not necessarily for ingesting, but just for shifting the energy of your space and holding a space that helps to improve your mood. Do you have any advice around that?


[01:05:55] Amy Leigh Mercree: I think that’s amazing. Just like with crystals, the same thing—speaking to the plants, making sure the plants are in a place with lots of sound, lots of moon, spring water. My philosophy would be to ask the plants if they would like to go outside for periods of time. I don’t have houseplants because I always feel badly bringing plants inside because I feel like they would prefer to be outside.

But I did in one of the places I used to live. I’m an avid gardener, and I had a greenhouse, so that was inside. Those plants were just spectacularly happy—a trellised wall of nasturtium, lots of lettuces. Some carrots that never really were ready to be eaten, but we’re very happy to be growing. Just lots of really pretty edible flowers anyways. Those plants were just gloriously happy because they did get sun and moonlight through the greenhouse.

But they’re inside because there are a lot of woodland creatures that ate my garden, so I tried to do greenhouse. But I think indoor plants that you bring inside are spectacular. Obviously, they oxygenate the air. They’re good for your health. You want to treat them with respect and kindness. Again, if you bring a plant into your home, it’s a member of your family.

So with the roses, I always buy organic roses or flowers and have the place where I can do that easily accessible. I know I’m probably going to use them in a bath at some point too. So when I do choose the bouquet, which is still alive, but it’s not in the soil, so it’s going to have a finite experience. It’s already been cut. I don’t know if I necessarily ask it with words, but I ask it if it wants to come home, and I  quickly show it a picture of “I’m going to put you in a vase in my house and then put you in the bath. Would you like to participate in this? Would you like to co-create this with me?”

If I feel that that’s a yes, then I buy the flowers. I would go with that rule of thumb also with plants that we bring in the house. We’re co-creating their lives with them, and so we need to treat them with lots of kindness and respect.


[01:08:48] Ashley James: How do you listen for the response? Is it the first answer you hear? Is it more of a gut yes or no? For those who’ve never asked items around them, whether they want to be part of their life or help create their space, how do we go about listening on that level, increasing that level of intuition to be able to hear it?


[01:09:19] Amy Leigh Mercree: Great question. I think everybody hears differently. I think that gut yes or no and also the feeling you get from the planet can be really helpful. If you know you’re somebody whose intuition comes in color, then there might be elements of that. I’ve done things different ways where I would ask to see a red X or a green check mark if I’m asking a yes or no question. I might state internally, and you’d have to have a little space to do this, but state internally while holding the bouquet, “Here’s what I’d like to do. Why do you like to do this? Please show me. This is what the no answer would look like—a red X. And this is what the Yes answer would look like—a green check mark.”

That’s another way you could possibly do it. I don’t usually do that now, but in other situations, I have in the past. For me, it’s more of a feeling and then knowing a yes or no, and it’s usually pretty immediate.


[01:10:35] Ashley James: Interesting. I’d love for you to tap into your intuition. What message do you have for our listeners?


[01:10:49] Amy Leigh Mercree: Good question too. I think the message is, what I share in all of my books is that you are empowered to create your life and that includes to create and co-create your health. And so my message is to take ownership of that authority and that autonomy. Don’t give it away to whether it’s a doctor or practitioner, whomever. Don’t give it away to the system, to society, to cultural bias, cultural beliefs, your family’s beliefs, or whatever. Don’t give that autonomy away because you are your guru.

From that standpoint, you can be absolutely a student of life and learn from infinite myriad sources. But let that inner authority within you, that knowing, come forward and understand that not only do you matter but that you are the architect of your life. You can design it as you choose. All of these tools that we talk about in my books, whether it’s the things we discussed today, or mindfulness, or meditation, or self-compassion, or joyful living—all of these other tools, everything they listened to on your show, can be used to create the life of your choosing and to optimize your life because you have that power.


[01:12:39] Ashley James: Beautifully said. I know that you have a way of teaching us how to figure out what health advice we can trust, or at least what health advice would be beneficial for us to implement. There are so many celebrity wellness trends, for example. How can we know what detox protocol, parasitic cleanse, diet, all these different things that every time we listened to a show or read an article, there might be some opposing information? There might even be opposing scientific studies that don’t make sense. Like all of a sudden, how is fat good for us, and at the same time, how fat is bad for us? So we have all this information, we’re on information overload, and there are some people out there that would benefit from eating more of avocados, and some would benefit from eating no avocados.

We have to, as individuals, sift through this information and figure out what’s best for us especially like you said, we’re the CEO of our health. We are the guru of our own body. We’re the one who knows ourselves the best, but we need to start trusting and listening to our intuition. What advice do you have for us when it comes to figuring out what are the best steps that we should take and how to trust what we hear is choosing either the right or maybe they’re not the right move for us?


[01:14:24] Amy Leigh Mercree: Good question. In my medical intuitive practice, I encounter a lot of people who are at that point where they’re coming to those questions. They’ve had different medical advice that hasn’t worked or treatments that haven’t worked, and that’s why they end up coming to me. I consider myself as a guide to open the door to help them find those answers.

One of the ways I like to teach that is through the externalization of meeting your spirit guides, teaching people how to communicate with their spirit guides, which lets you develop the skills in a standardized, repeatable manner to bring some expanded and unbiased views from the non-physical world into your life. From that standpoint, as you do open those intuitive abilities more, it also becomes easier to hear your intuition.

That’s really what we’re asking about—how can we hear our intuition and use that to cut through the noise. It’s different for everybody. Spending time in nature, disconnecting from screens and technology and things like that all go a long way. Meditation is helpful too to help people clear their mind. Not that your mind has to be completely clear to hear your intuition, but to help people clear their mind and be able to hear that inner voice from within that does know that your body is a self-regulating and self-correcting wonder. That’s what I see as a medical intuitive every day. I think those tools can be used to increase intuition.

Sometimes it can be helpful to find trusted people, trusted practitioners, whether it’s an acupuncturist—maybe it’s not the first one you try. Maybe it’s the tenth one you try. But listening to your intuition also to find the resources you need to lead you to whatever wellness you’re looking for or whatever outcome you’re looking for. It may also be following those gut feelings and reading certain books, connecting with certain people, asking certain questions and tuning in.

When people are experiencing health challenges, it can be incredibly overwhelming. If you are a researcher or a reader, that’s a great place to start to look at those alternative healing options and learn about all of those different things.

In my medical intuitive practice, if I had to pick one herb, or one oil, or one substance that can help the most people with current health ailments or prevent future health ailments, it would probably be turmeric in the form of turmeric juice in its raw, enzymatic form.

That’s my general answer to a super specific question because it’s going to be a different answer for every person—how to find that inner knowing and that confidence. But I think the intention to own your life and be sovereign of your life is part of that process as well, drawing to you the resources that you need for your health and well-being, [faking] it till you make it to have the confidence and the intuition to choose the ones that will work best for you. It’s practice for all of us.


[01:18:39] Ashley James: Do you have a technique or a tool that you could teach us to improve our intuition or to improve our ability to hear our intuition?


[01:18:53] Amy Leigh Mercree: It’s so individual for everybody. I would say your absolute best bet is meditation in whatever form you like. A meditation that would work would be to lie down. A lot of people get distracted by sitting up in meditation. Especially with this one, it would be one where you want to go deep. Lie down in a comfortable place, perhaps place your hands on your heart and use a mantra like, “I allow my inner wisdom to come forward now.” Repeat that mantra, not necessarily in a stressful or ritualistic manner, but as your thoughts come up, let them float away as if they’re on a cloud, or they’re floating on a log down a river or something like that, and then repeat your meditation mantra again—”I allow my inner wisdom to come forward with ease.”

Practicing a mantra like that where you’re programming your mind or your being to that idea, to that mantra, to that frequency; letting that happen; relaxing your mind, your heart; feeling your heart with your hands in your chest; and then letting yourself fall behind that into an inner witness standpoint and using the mantra, even better if you were to do this out in nature–those kinds of techniques help us sink deeper into ourselves, and let us connect with that intuitive part of us that’s already there.

What disconnects us from it? Technology. Essentially our phones, our screens—all of it. Put away the phone, put away the laptop, turn off the TV, go outside, lie down in bed, meditate at night before bed, use these techniques, and that’s how you let your inner wisdom emerge. It is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a lifelong process to open and unfold that intuition, whether you’re just starting or even for me—here I am 25 years later of conscious intuitive practice, and there’s always more.


[01:21:28] Ashley James: There is—there is always more. That’s why I love exploring holistic health because we will forever be perpetual students learning, growing, and exploring. I feel like we’re in Star Trek exploring strange new worlds.


[01:21:47] Amy Leigh Mercree: Yes. We’re the Galactic Federation. I love Star Trek Next Generation. I like the old one—the Jean-Luc Picard one. He’s such a diplomat. He’s so diplomatic and respectful of all species and everything. I think it was very visionary of Gene Roddenberry to create that show.


[01:22:14] Ashley James: Absolutely. Even him as a person, Patrick Stewart’s heart is so big. Follow him on Twitter. He’s hilarious. He has such a big heart. I have cousins who are in Hollywood who are actors, and you hear what people are really like after the cameras turn off. You get disappointed when you hear your favorite actor is a real a-hole, and then you get excited when you hear that they’re just a genuine, loving being; they didn’t let their ego get to them, and they’re nice to everyone, doesn’t matter who they are. That’s Patrick Stewart.


[01:23:02] Amy Leigh Mercree: I’ve also heard. I love him. He’s such a neat guy.


[01:23:08] Ashley James: It’s funny. Because I’m such a geek, I can definitely take Star Trek in that like “Look for the lessons.”


[01:23:15] Amy Leigh Mercree: Oh, my gosh, me too. I’m a total science fiction nerd, so I love, love Star Trek Next Generation.


[01:23:24] Ashley James: Even just as a mind experiment to consider like, “Look up at the stars and wrap your brain around the fact that the universe goes on and on and on.” I was in my early twenties. I was looking up at the stars while lying on my bed. I lived in northern Ontario, so I could see all the stars, and it was a clear night. I almost had a panic—it felt like claustrophobia, but the opposite. I got panicked because all of a sudden my brain completely wrapped around this idea that there are no walls. The Universe is infinite, and it keeps going, and it keeps going, and it keeps going. It just freaked me out because I’m like, “Wait a second.”

We’re so used to walls. We’re so used to boundaries and borders, and understanding where one thing ends and another thing begins. But just this idea of this ever-expanding universe, and that there’s infinite potential—just like in our bodies. We have 100-trillion neuron connections in the human brain and even more possible, potential neurological connections in our body—which is the same amount as every single grain of sand on every beach. That’s how many potential neurological connections we have.

There’s this infinite potential outside of us, as above, so below. And so you can see the amazing universe of infinite possibilities outside and then see it reflected on the inside, and it got me freaked out.


[01:25:14] Amy Leigh Mercree: I get that.


[01:25:15] Ashley James: How do you play small in this world? How do you play so small that you only watch what’s on TV, and watch the news and watch sports and that’s it? How do we figure out how to put ourselves in the smallest box possible when we have this infinite world and infinite potential out there, and it just is amazing, right? I want to help people to actualize their infinite potential.


[01:25:46] Amy Leigh Mercree: Absolutely. It’s so cool to hear you describe your experience of that because since I was a small child, I felt the same feeling, but I didn’t feel boxed in. I loved it. I was like, “When can I get this rock and get out there?” That was how I felt. And then in middle school or maybe like early freshman year of high school, early, Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time came out. I think it’s either the introduction or the first chapter; he takes you through a really beautiful visceral description of how the earth is a spaceship hurtling through infinite multiverses and fast infinity.

He describes the speed at which we’re moving in an unbounded manner, although the earth is revolving around the sun and all of that. The solar system is hurtling through the galaxy, but yet it’s in the spiral arm revolving around the center of the galaxy. And then the galaxy is in its galaxy cluster, which is rolling through space. It was illuminating. Because I was a very astronomy-focused teen, I had pondered these things, but the way Stephen Hawking put it all together for us let us feel that life is constant change. The universe, the multiverses that are endless, are in constant change. Nobody is stationary. We can pretend we’re in a box, but we are not. We are all hurtling through space. If we expand our view of that, as souls we are traversing dimensions at a breathtaking pace because this incarnation is just a quick blip in the span of infinity where the dimensions of time and space connect for this brief point at this time in this place. But our souls and our spirits have existed eternally before and will exist outside of this in perpetuity, and so we are infinite, and we exist in infinity.


[01:28:29] Ashley James: Beautiful.


[01:28:30] Amy Leigh Mercree: That’s the reality to me of life, and it sounds like to you too.


[01:28:36] Ashley James: Right. And what scared me is how do we stay so small when there’s so much big out there? I want everyone to tap into their infinite potential.

What I was amazed by when I started on my healing journey was that the body has an innate ability to heal itself. I’ve watched people heal things like cancer melting like a snowball on a hot stove—that kind of thing. I’ve shared this story before where I had an ankle that was badly twisted. The doctor said it would have been better if I’d broken it because I had torn all the ligaments. He said I wouldn’t be able to walk for two weeks and then might need physical therapy.

That morning and that evening, my co-worker came over who was a Reiki master, and this was my first experience with healing touch and Reiki. I was told I was going to be on crutches for two weeks. My ankle was just ballooned out. I think I was 15 years old or somewhere between age 13 or age 15. She did the work for about 30-45 minutes, and I got up off that couch and started dancing. The inflammation was gone, the pain was gone, my ankle was healed.

I was expected to be on crutches for two weeks. I didn’t have to use the crutches after that. The body has the ability to heal itself and whether we are tapping into our potential, whether it’s angels and guides, whether it’s God, whether it’s Jesus, whether it’s Allah, whatever your belief system, we can’t negate anything because who are we to judge? Whatever it is that we’re tapping into, we have to know that we have the ability to heal.

And so when a doctor, an MD, says, “You’re terminal. You’re going to die in three months.” People have such a strong belief system that they will comply.


[01:30:58] Amy Leigh Mercree: Exactly.


[01:30:59] Ashley James: And then there are people who it’s like the nocebo effect. They don’t believe the doctors, and they are still alive 20 years from now. Even though they were supposed to die—how dare they not believe what the doctor said?

We have the ability to heal, and I  want every listener to know that whatever struggle they’re dealing with–whatever health or emotional struggle. As Amy said, we’re traversing through this universe at a speed that is almost incomprehensible, and that we too can change that quickly. We can heal that quickly, we can shift our mindset, and we can shift our reality. We’re not stuck. We have this infinite potential inside us, so we can tap into all of these resources and use what’s around us–the plants, and the minerals, and energy work, meditation, and our mindset, and friends and community. We can use so many of these tools to help bolster our goals.


[01:32:07] Amy Leigh Mercree: Absolutely. To add to that as well, from that standpoint of seeing that infinite nature of which we are a part, including the world around us and the universes around us. We can also look at non-attachment to help us with these challenges because we can use all of our tools. We’re self-regulating, self-correcting organisms, and we can also trust our inner wisdom to understand if we do take an expanded view that is not attached. We don’t want to suffer while we’re here. So we’re going to do everything we can to mitigate our suffering, and to that end as well, to be an aid to the end of suffering for all sentient beings–absolutely.

But at the same time, to move into more non-attachment to be able to loosen our grip from the tension, anxiousness, and efforting; to step back and allow the self-regulating, the self-correcting, and the self-healing to happen. I don’t mean this to sound morbid, but in some cases does that mean exiting this incarnation and journeying to the next stop-over to have the next experience or efforting, tension, prolonging, being attached, clinging, making it challenging, and staying longer and suffering more too isolated cases.

That doesn’t always mean when we un-attach that we’re leaving this planet either. But it means when we un-attach a little bit, we allow our inner wisdom to come forward and help guide us. It’s coming back around to that question you asked about how do we open to our intuition so we can know what to do. We also let go a little bit to let that happen, whatever it brings.


[01:34:26] Ashley James: The death of the ego, the momentary experience of not having our ego running the show.


[01:34:40] Amy Leigh Mercree: Yeah, and just relaxing from all that tension and worry, and instead allowing. Moving from active to receptive sometimes can be incredibly healing as well.


[01:34:55] Ashley James: I love what you just said—moving from active to receptive. What’s that saying, “We’re human doings, not human beings.”

Turn off the human doing and be a little bit more human being in the now, receiving, listening and quieting. Otherwise, we’ll run through this body pretty quickly. We’ll wear out this body pretty fast if we’re not turning on receptive mode. I love it.


[01:35:31] Amy Leigh Mercree: Exactly. Thinking and doing are wonderfully helpful, and how we advance in our careers and get from Point A to Point B, and move our lives forward and their progress, but then feeling and being are essential to our well-being and to that balance. That’s the Yin and the Yang, the thinking and the doing as an active principle, and the feeling and the being as a receptive principle ideally balancing each other. So that’s something we can strive for as well.


[01:36:03] Ashley James: Very cool. Amy, tell us about your other books and your resources, things we should know about you. Can people work with you one on one? Do you have online courses? Just tell us all about you and how people can connect with you.


[01:36:23] Amy Leigh Mercree: Absolutely. So you can find pretty much everything on my website, We’re getting so close to a complete redesign of the website, so see us now and then see us in a month and our completely new design site because it’s going to be awesome. I have ten books, eleventh coming out in the fall. You can find all of those on my website. Those are ways that you can connect with me. I work with clients individually. You can find me on the Work with Amy page on the website where you can book appointments with me for medical intuition, to talk to your guides, all kinds of other things. I also do authorship consulting because I have written eleven books and counting.

You can also find lots of classes that I teach. We only have a couple of classes active on the website because like I said we’re about to launch this whole new site. When we launch the new site, we’ll start the new round of classes, which starts with meet your guides and then moves into an intermediate meet your guides class, karmic healing, soul retrieval. We have lots of goddess classes. We have Journey into Multidimensionality as an advanced class. We have Journeying with Planetary Healers, Guides, Guards, Angels. It’s an advanced class as well. We have lots of live teleclasses. Those classes can be joined anywhere you have a phone. You call into our number, use the pen, you get me live and your group, your community for your class. We usually have a private Facebook group for your class so people can chat on there and stuff like that.

And then I’m going to be launching five different online classes this year. So keep your eyes peeled for those. Those will all be going live when the site goes live in the next month or so. A bunch of different mindfulness and meditation classes focused on specific things like meditations and mudras for joint health and concentration, mantras to reduce inflammation, things like that. Lots of fun things like that.

And then in the late fall, I will be launching my Bestseller Bootcamp, which is an eight-week program that takes you through the process of creating a book proposal to sell to literary agents and publishers and all of my tools to do that because I have been doing that for a long time. I have lots of books, and I work with clients individually to do that, and I also have a boutique marketing agency for that.

Those are most of my offerings. There’s probably more. I do a lot of things. I’m kind of an idea factory, but those are my main offerings. I speak around the country as well, so I do have in-person events. Oftentimes, when you check back to the site, you’ll find them. And then if people are having conferences or different private events, and they like to book me for speaking, I do that as well.


[01:39:52] Ashley James: Awesome. Thank you so much, Amy, for coming to the show. Is there anything that you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview? Are you receiving any messages for the listeners that you’d like to share?


[01:40:06] Amy Leigh Mercree: What a fun question, and thank you so much for having me, too. It was great to be here. I really would love to bring us back to that idea of peace. It’s so fun that you are a Star Trek Next Generation fan like I am because that is not something you find every day. To bring us back to that concept of what in that fictional work was called the Galactic Federation, but to kind of step back and to think about the fact that our earth is a tiny speck and one of most likely trillions of planets that could support life, many of which very likely do. We are probably in our adolescence as a species, and as we evolve and we become responsible galactic adults, perhaps we will be able to engage with other more advanced and most likely peaceful species.

How do we want to evolve as a species? How do we want to bring peace and our human capacity to love, which may be unique? We don’t know yet.

How do we want to evolve that and bring that to all of us here on the planet to everyone in our lives, and to the non-physical guidance and infinite dimensions that surround us? And then perhaps someday to physical form or life forms where, in an idyllic way, perhaps we’re bringing this idea of love and our unique human capacity to kind of United Nations of the universe. I bring this up to open our minds, to expand our minds, to open our thinking to greater possibilities, but the whole intent to be expansiveness and that, yes, you can heal yourself. Yes, you’re the architect of your reality and your integral piece that matters in an interdependent matrix of consciousness, discovering how that feels, and where you fit and how you’d like to create that experience perhaps as part of each of our journeys on earth.


[01:42:53] Ashley James: Thank you, Amy. This has been wonderful and very enlightening. I love stretching our minds and getting out of those boxes. No matter how unboxed someone is, they’ll always find that as they explore these thoughts and these realms, they can find a set of limiting decisions that maybe they’ve imposed upon themselves in order to release them. Whatever self-doubts came up or negative self-talk, as you listen to this interview, you can begin to see where the limitations that you’ve set upon yourself and your reality, and what can we begin to question in order to make sure that we haven’t imposed limitations upon ourselves that prevent us from healing and from growing and evolving.

Thank you, Amy. This has been awesome, and I can’t wait to hear back from the listeners in our Facebook group, the Learn True Health Facebook group. Every time we release an episode we have a fun community chat about the interview, so I look forward to hearing what their takeaways are, what they loved about the bath. Hopefully, some listeners do the bath and then come share with us and all the other wonderful tidbits. It’s been a real pleasure.


[01:44:14] Amy Leigh Mercree: Thank you so much. It’s been wonderful. It’s been great to be here.


[01:44:18] Ashley James: Are you into optimizing your health? Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high-quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to, and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best price. That’s Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome referral program.


Get Connected With Amy Leigh Mercree





Books by Amy Leigh Mercree

The Mood Book

A Little Bit Of Chakras

A Little Bit Of Mindfulness

Essential Oils Handbook

A Little Bit Of Meditation




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Apr 13, 2019

Book: Love…It’s How I Manifest


Love: It's How I Manifest

Mandy Morris, author of “Love: It’s How I Manifest” recounts her journey through her traumatic childhood and troubled teen/young adult years, and how she started making conscious choices to change herself and live an authentic and empowered life.


[00:00:00] Ashley James: Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrated Nutrition. You can Google Institute for Integrated Nutrition or IIN and give them a call, or you can go to, and you can receive a free module of their training. Go check it out and see if it’s something that you’d be interested.

Be sure to mention my name, Ashley James and the Learn True Health podcast because I made a deal with them that they will give you the best price possible. I highly recommend checking it out. It changed my life to be in that program, and I’m such a big advocate that I wanted to spread this information. We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field.

So many health coaches are getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic offices, doctor’s offices. You can work in a hospital. You can work online through Skype and help people around the world. You can become an author. You can go into the school system and help your local schools shift their programs to help children be healthier. You can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them in their success and their health goals.

There are so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach. Check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrated Nutrition. Mention my name, get the best deal. Give them a call, and they’ll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you.

Classes are starting soon, so you want to call them now and check it out. And if you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding, and you get many people. Have a fantastic day and enjoy this amazing interview.


[00:02:07] Ashley James: We are in for such a treat today. We have with us Mandy Morris, who has a beautiful mission and story. She’s here to teach some wonderful things about how to use the special power that we’re all born with to manifest the things we want in our lives.

Mandy, welcome to the show.


[00:02:40] Mandy Morris: Thank you so much for having me.


[00:02:42] Ashley James: Absolutely. I feel like you’re about to uncover our superpower. We’re going to find out that we were born on krypton, and we’re all Superwoman and Superman, through your story and what you’re going to teach today. You’re going to help us to see that we have a superpower, so I’m very excited to dive right in and learn more about you and your story because you have a beautiful one.

Welcome to the show, and please start by sharing your story with us.


[00:03:11] Mandy Morris: Absolutely. This is a pretty good story, I would say. Let’s go to the very beginning, and that was as a child, I was considered a child genius. I do not know what my exact IQ was, but there was a university that wanted to study me. My mother was really against it because I come from that lineage of individuals on my father’s side — inventors and totally socially not there.

She’s like, “I don’t want that to happen to Mandy.” She actually wouldn’t allow for the universities to study me, but that part of me stuck with me. And so as life would have it, traumas, work experience, when I was 10, I wanted to live with my father — my parents are divorced at a very young age, and dad wasn’t always around. Mom got a job, and she taught me how to be an independent woman and how to take care of myself.

Having a divorced family and going back and forth between households, different state lines, it takes a toll on a child. Tried to live with my father, did not win that custody battle, and something about that shut me off. It made me really angry, and I made the decision — unconsciously at that point — that if I could make myself undesirable, then maybe I can have what I want.

I hacked all my hair off. I turned the light down on my intelligence. I dropped out of my gifted classes. I remember when I was 13, that was the turning point. My father had called me. He had taken — I believe it was 48 Percocets. He was on his way out. He had called to say goodbye and to tell me to tell my sister that he loves her. It was such a defining moment obviously in life. Sitting there thinking I don’t know where he is — we never really know where this man is. He’s the elusive, most interesting man in the world. He’s got so many crazy stories.

We were trying to figure out where he was. Thank goodness for my mom because she grabbed the phone, and her words were like, “If you leave the planet, you are a horrible human being. Do not do this to these girls. How dare you be so selfish?” She was screaming at him. He ended up telling her where he was, and he’s alive to this day.


[00:05:55] Ashley James: Thank God. I’m in tears right now. I’m like, “Oh, my gosh!”


[00:06:01] Mandy Morris: It was such a beautiful thing. He’s still alive to this day. It was such a defining moment where I realized he doesn’t believe he can start over. He thinks that this is it. At 13, you’re like, “How can I fix that in someone?” I didn’t believe I could obviously, and at that point, we went out of the woods, and so I thought at any moment I’m going to get the call — it’s not him calling, but it’s someone telling me that he’s gone.

It was such a catalyst in such a beautiful way if I look back at it now. It turned me into this punk of a kid. I was so angry at the world. I just had this true and true belief the world is not fair; it’s not safe; it’s not right; this is so messed up; people don’t believe that they’re worthy of life, and you can’t even do anything about it.

That caused me to hang out with some really confused people — just as confused as I was — and I involved myself in drugs. Anyone who had gone to jail, I was friends with them. Drug dealing, all kinds of crazy things, just shut my light off, and I had extreme anxiety. I would eat lunch in the hallways because I was so afraid of being around with other people.

It was such a crazy life for myself that I had created out of these traumas that I had experienced. I carried those into adulthood through different forms of anorexia, bulimia, need for control, really unhealthy and abusive relationships and friendships, and trying to put a mask on and be someone that I wasn’t over and over again.


[00:08:11] Ashley James: Wow. You paint that picture, and we can all reflect on our childhood and see those moments that were so traumatic in the moment for us a child. Hard to understand — a death in the family, a divorce, suicide, accidents, and how a child’s mind wraps their head around it.

As a child, we take everything personally. That’s just how we are as we develop. It’s everything that’s happening to us, and so it’s easy to be victimized as a child and make decisions about the world — “The world is unsafe, and I’m not lovable. I’m not good enough. I can’t have what I want.”

You decided to make yourself less desirable because your mom wouldn’t let you with your dad. We make these childish decisions as a child, but they become part of our programming that we’re now still running as adults.


[00:09:21] Mandy Morris: Right. We see that with children, and I see that in my clients now. It’s the craziest of experiences as to why their brain, for some reason, were wired that way that day in that particular experience, and they carry it forth throughout life. It completely sabotages our human experience sometimes because it snowballs into something so different than what it was just because we lacked the tools to see things from all perspectives or see things as they truly were because we’re not capable of that as children.


[00:09:54] Ashley James: Sometimes it’s something that, as a parent, we couldn’t even know. I child can internalize something, and we don’t even know it’s a trauma. They can make a decision about maybe something they observed happened to someone else.

Like my son, who shortly after birth wore a teething necklace. He came to us one day and said, “Can you take this off me because I don’t want it to be stolen by the other kids.” To him it’s a precious item; he wore it his whole life, and he had a dream that bullies took it away from him. I felt so helpless that day as a mom. I’m like, “How do we protect my son from bullies in his dreams?

Sometimes it something we don’t even see no matter how good you are as a parent. We all, as children, internalized the world through a child’s eyes. We’re all going to come up with limiting decisions, negative beliefs about the world, and now as adults, we need to go back and make sure that a child’s decision isn’t running her life.


[00:11:08] Mandy Morris: Absolutely. You used the word programming. I love that so much because that’s the core of it. It’s based on our perceptions, sometimes our traumas and experiences, and also some of our memories that aren’t really memories. We may have seen it on the TV, and it triggers such an emotional response at a young age, that we perceive it happened to us.

It’s such an intricate thing our brains are doing at young ages and also into adulthood that is shaping a false reality for ourselves, and stunting us in becoming the best version of ourselves, or at least experiencing what we want to experience as humans versus what we feel is already laid out before us.


[00:11:47] Ashley James: Tell us what happened. Here you are, you’re the grunge kid, or the emo kid, or the defiant teenager. I went through that phase, by the way. I ended up finding Landmark Education and went through all their programs. But I was dyeing everything black, listening to Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. I was trying to be the greaseball, angry teenager because I was so hurt and scared inside. I put on that exterior layer of anger to protect myself because I felt so helpless and so alone as a teenager. If you’re prickly, if you look like a porcupine, people aren’t going to hurt you.

When I went through the Landmark Education program, I just got so authentic really fast. I realized how it wasn’t serving me. I walked in looking like an emo, grunge kid and walked out looking like who I truly am inside — my happy self. We have those moments where we can’t shed who isn’t us anymore or all the armor that we think is helping us.

But what happened to you? After high school, you were in such a state. How did you get to the person you are now?


[00:13:14] Mandy Morris: It’s so funny too when you say you went into that grunge phase. That was me in the seventh and eighth grades. I had a black shirt, and it had anything on it. I would turn it inside out, so it was only black. I don’t know if I ever washed my hair. My face was breaking out. You can see my complete disconnection from my spirit. I wore it on my face. I was just so over reality already.

Carrying that through in the high school, getting myself into plenty of trouble and just making poor decisions for myself, and then when I turned 18, I got myself into a relationship with a guy who is about a decade older. I loved him very much — I think he taught me amazing things, but he was also extremely unhealthy for me. It facilitated the lack of self-love I already had within me — not thinking I was good enough — and that was when the bulimia and the anorexia started taking place and abusing Adderall or crazy fat-burning supplements. I was a stick, but I hated myself so much that I was like, “I’m not lovable. I am so broken. No one can know the real me because they will reject it, and I will be whatever anyone else wants me to be. I will give parts of myself I don’t have to give and devalue myself.

I did that for years. I call it this re-wakening moment, where I saw what I was doing to my self. Not enough to change it — we have those moments, but we’re like, “This is really not working.” But I’ve built some certainty around it, and I’ve created a reality around it. I remember finding this [00:15:01] a friend mine. She became a close friend. A lot of that intelligence that I had shut off as a child sort of reawakening with her.

I still can’t explain exactly why. It attracted all of these incredible doctors and scientists. People that I had seemingly (especially with how little I thought of myself) had a new business being around, and I started seeing metaphysics, quantum physics, psychology, and I was working three jobs. I put myself through school. I worked in a junkyard, almost passed out — I did pass out a few times in the sun — got hit with tires. It was working with gang members. It was a crazy experience.

But I was bringing forth that intelligence again and learning from brilliant minds — minds of people who have machines in their basements that cure cancer and they work in the government, and now they don’t. I was in this underground world of intelligence and goodness, of people who were doing amazing things for the world that no one would ever know. It sparked this deep knowingness within myself that reawakened that child-like version of me that was loving, vivacious, intelligent, and caring.

It was those moments that I couldn’t even pull all of it together to change my own life, but I started gathering information. It was a long journey for me to get back to myself or understand what the heck was going on. Through this work with this scientist and these doctors and these amazing, brilliant minds throughout the world, studying with them and just being a fly on the wall, absorbing information, but still wasn’t creating a full shift.

I remember taking this moment — I had this horrible experience with this gal that I bought a house with. I was living in Arizona, and it was such a horrible decision, and we had a really bad living experience together that I just rode off the house. I just gave it to her, and I moved across the country to Florida. I was still working a corporate job and trying to keep my sad little life together. For thirty days I was broke. For thirty days, I sat in this little one-bedroom condo. I had no furniture. I had a phone pad on the ground and a pillow and a blanket, cupboard box turned upside down. That was my desk for about thirty to forty-five days; I was there with nothing.

If the neighbors walk by, they’ll probably be like, “What is going on there? Is someone really living there.? I just sat there with my little ten dollar Walmart lunch chair that I bring into every little nook of the apartment, and I found myself. I was completely alone. I had moved away from my family, my friends, every unhealthy or healthy thing, I was just with me. I’ve always avoided myself. I was the person you can never be alone. It was the most amazing thirty days of my life.

I got to meet myself, probably the first time that I could ever remember, and I was so euphorically happy. Even if I’d wake up and my back hurts, and I didn’t have any money, it was amazing. I, of course, let my programming kick back in, and the abusive guy that I was dating in Arizona followed me to Florida, and I let him back into my life.

For about four or five months, I lived in complete misery all over again. My entire reality that I was running away from followed me. All of the mental beliefs and all the junk came right with it. It was like it had never left. But it was so much harder because once you experienced the beauty of life, once you experienced your true essence, it’s even more painful to have to go back. Ignorance is bliss; it’s better that we don’t know. That was the biggest I’d ever have in my life because that was when I realized, it could be different. I could love myself. I felt what it felt like to know me, to accept me, and to be with just me, and I was enough.

That was not the belief I had before, and so even though I might have someone in my face telling me I’m not, I was like, “No, this isn’t true anymore.” I felt the difference, and I know it’s not true, and I dropped to my knees literally — sounds like a movie, but it was true.

I dropped to my knees, and I was sobbing, and I was praying to God, the universe, whatever. I said, “Please, I would do whatever I’m supposed to. I don’t care if I have children. I don’t care if I make money. I don’t care if I’m never going to have a beautiful life or not, but just bring me peace. Let me do what I’m here to do, and let me feel the way I felt. I don’t care about anything else.”

There was such purity at that moment that everything shifted so fast. Literally within two weeks, I had removed the relationship, I quit my job, I had moved to the state of Florida, and I met my now husband. He became a dear friend of mine very quickly. All of it just showed up immediately. It almost seemed like a manifestation to support me. It was such a juicy experience after that, and that was actually the first time where I decided to let go of the fear; instead, it will never be the same again. I will not have a fallback, and I’m not going back. I’m simply not going to feel the way I felt anymore because I was at the point where I was either going to turn my life completely off for the rest of my life, or I have to give this a go and see if I can turn it back on or get it to amp up. That was the choice I made.


[00:21:17] Ashley James: That’s brilliant and beautiful. I know we’re going to dive into some actual steps to help listeners have their transformation. How do you help people to come to that point where they too can choose to let go of the fear?


[00:21:39] Mandy Morris: A lot of times people need to see the proof that it’s possible — and this is what drives me absolutely insane, especially in the industry that I work in — you see this final product. Like when someone sees even me — I know I’m not a final product, but I’m growing every day — but they might see me and the internet has shown that they think that I maybe had a really beautiful life, that things are really simple for me. A life coach is going to teach them how to mantra their way into a better life, and we’re going to do yoga. Those are understandable fears that show up when someone is trying to change their life. They’ll look at someone and put them on a pedestal, or they’ll say, “They’re not like me,” or “They can do it, but I can’t do it,” and a sense of unworthiness.

A lot of it is being able to see that it’s even possible. And so, when I was in that part of my life and that journey, I had to look at people and go, “They had been in really bad situations. They had felt the way I feel. They have created the messes that I have created, but they were triumphant.” And then I got really curious as to why–why were they so triumphant?

It was about educating myself. There’s a trilogy to that whenever I’m talking to someone about these factors, and it’s that science and the psychology, and then that kind of magic of the universe if you will — that kind of miraculousness.

When you combine all of those, you meet every need that the brain has to move forward because most often everyone can move forward. Everyone can change their life if they so choose. There’s always a beautiful reason. Maybe it’s because they perceive that there’s a reward for it — “If I don’t do this, then I’ll be safe. It cannot be seen, or it won’t be judged, but it’s causing massive amounts of pain.”

But the reward is seemingly so big because humans will only go towards pleasure or run away from pain. But once you see that it’s not getting you where you want to go, then it’s not so juicy anymore. It’s not rewarding anymore, and so the brain starts looking for new ways to meet the need. And that’s when you swoop in and start creating a healthier form of meeting the same needs that you had prior; they are just more consciously met.


[00:23:59] Ashley James: Brilliant. You met your husband. You finally were able to shed all that you weren’t and embrace who you were. What happened next?


[00:24:13] Mandy Morris: It was a journey. It continues to be. That moment was so defining because it was the moment that I never had to go back again if that makes sense. You know how sometimes we get that roller coaster experience where we’re like, “I’m gonna change my life,” and “Oh, I’m back where I started,” or “I was really good on my diet for a month, and then I failed.” We feel like it re-solidifies our belief that we’re never going to get “there,” and “there” being like that beautiful place that we know in our hearts are somewhere within us. It’s available, but it’s so far away. Or like I say, it’s like saran wrap between my soul and me. I can see it. It’s just I can’t truly touch it.

That was those moments that I never fully turned back, but there was still so much healing that had to take place. It wasn’t like, “Life is chipper, beautiful, and perfect.” It was like, “I’m going to do the freaking work now to figure out why I’ve built the reality I built; why I believed the things that I believed,” and I finally loved myself enough and was courageous enough not to give up halfway through.

That was when I saw massive growth in a short amount of time. That was when I decided, “You know what? I’m actually on to something here.” All of this information I’ve acquired throughout the years about the psychology or the neuroscience of the brain or physics and so forth — we’ll call it manifestation because some people like that word. It sounds a lot easier than “I’ll teach you neuroscience and how to heal your traumas.” Nobody wants to do that.

Gathering all that information, I took that and started my company — Authentic Living — and started helping people. The ways that I was capable of at that moment, I’m so much more capable today than I was then.

There were certain people I could help then, and there’s so much broader array that I can help now. Every day, I got better. Every day, my relationship with myself and just my dysfunctional behaviors in relationships, in general, began to heal. I was able to work through them with my husband. And then the traumas of my past, I was able to work through those and face them versus always shoving them down, almost like planting a dirty seed, and then it festers and grows, and you’re like, I don’t even know where that came from. I got conscious of what was going on in my thoughts every day.

And so every day, I got 1% better, and before you know it, it compounded. Life is completely different.


[00:26:49] Ashley James: I’ve heard in the past that having an eating disorder of control like anorexia and bulimia, which is different than feeling out of control. So there are eating disorders, but some of them are of control.

When you’re anorexic, you have an intense amount of control over not eating or what you’re eating. I’ve heard that level of control, that person is reaching out for that because they feel out of control in their life. They don’t have control over external events, and so their anorexia is how they can feel in control and grounded in a sense and obviously in an unhealthy way.

As you were healing yourself and using neuroscience to heal the trauma, how did you shift your relationship with your eating so that it became healing for you instead of that mental-emotional issue?


[00:28:00] Mandy Morris: That was very much a gradual process because my anorexia and bulimia started when I was eighteen. That was a very unhealthy time in my life mentally. You’re absolutely right — there was no sense of control in my outer world, even in my mental thoughts.

It was like this one thing I can hyperfocus on, and then I can meet my need for certainty right here and obviously overdo it and brutalize my insights in the process. But at least I’ve got this massive form of control, and no one else can be involved in it. In a relationship, you can’t be in control, not in an unhealthy way. In your job, there are other areas of life that have more variability. But when it comes to what you consume, that’s like the juicy one where you get to control every factor of it, and so it was so rewarding.

When I started seeing that I couldn’t maintain it, the anorexia was actually easier than bulimia — just easier to not eat — but then I would get extremely impulsive behaviors, and then I would binge, and then I would throw it up.

Really seeing that for what it was and seeing that my body didn’t look the way I wanted, there was a flipping point. I actually moved out of the apartment I was in and switched schools. There was a moment of clarity that I had where I found this chick online, and I said, “I want to look like her.” She had all of her diet stuff, and she was by all means super certainty-based. She had all of her workouts and exactly what she ate and so forth, but it was actually eating, and that was the biggest step I could take at that moment. If I can look like that, maybe I’ll be loved. Maybe the guy I’m dating will stop cheating on me because he likes the way that she looks, so I’ll try to be like her. I’ll follow her regimen.

And so it got me one step above. It’s like when you’re helpless, when you can’t go into complete happiness and elation. Usually, the next step is going to be something like at least you can be angry, or at least you can be sad, or at least you can feel neutral, and you can go up the steps of the emotional leader. That’s what I was doing with my health. There’s no way that all of a sudden, I’m going to love my body completely, nourish it, intuitively know what it needs. But at least I can move towards actually consuming calories every day, exercising, and no longer bingeing.

And so, it was just that one step forward, and then I got to that point and started actually liking the way that I look, but I was still quite neurotic about it, and then took a little step further. It honestly wasn’t until I met my husband that I would go out to eat, and I was okay with not everything organic, and this amount, and weighing my food, and had to look like that. I just completely flipped the script because I found self-love.

And so I went to the other extreme which was, “I’m not going to care for a little bit. I’m just going to see how I do and see if this guy..” It was really honestly probably me testing him because every man in my life I had perceived only loves me because I look a certain way, or only loves me because of this. So it was me saying, “Do you really love me? Let’s find out.”


[00:31:26] Ashley James: How did you meet your husband?


[00:31:31] Mandy Morris: This is the Facebook story. He reached out to me on Facebook, and he said, “I love the videos that you create, but I can’t figure out what you’re selling.” I was so appalled. I had my corporate job. I was like, “I’m just spreading love and talking about my journey because I was so lonely in Florida that my only connection to people was creating these videos and just talking about whatever I was learning.” He said, “You should be.”

I was like, “What?” For some reason, as soon as his face even popped up, I was like, “I just feel like I know him.” He was so gentle. He was such a sweetheart. He was this amazing Filipino man, and I was like, “I don’t care how, but I want you in my life forever.”

I began to fall in love with him, and he didn’t fit the archetype. He wasn’t a jerk. He wasn’t someone who cheated. He wasn’t a football player or a jock or any of that. He was this amazing, beautiful, heart-centered man. I just had to keep working on every moment, but I would try to sabotage it. I would kind of wake myself back up, “Nope, we’re not doing that, Mindy. We’re going to work through this consciously. You found someone willing to do that with you,” and it turned into a beautiful relationship and then marriage, and now our first son is on the way.


[00:32:58] Ashley James: Congratulations.


[00:33:00] Mandy Morris: Thank you. I’m sitting here, and I’m nine months pregnant. I’m like, Ashley, if I say I got to go, that’s because the baby is coming.


[00:33:08] Ashley James: It’s okay. The first one is always late. Don’t worry about it. It’s probably going to be like at 42 weeks.


[00:33:12] Mandy Morris: Oh, don’t tell me that.


[00:33:16] Ashley James: [laughs] You got at least two weeks of Braxton Hicks, the false contractions, to go through. It’s all good. If you expect him to come at 42 weeks, you’ll be really happy when it’s 39. Tell yourself it’s happening at 42 weeks and you’re good. Congratulations.

Was your husband in the Philippines, or was he in the States?


[00:33:38] Mandy Morris: Yeah. He grew up in the Philippines. He is the oldest of four girls, so maybe that’s some of the reason he’s such a great communicator. But he moved to the US when he was 18 and started studying personal development. He’s an amazing sales marketer. He has a son, who is now my full-time son as well. We have an eight-year-old, just not with us — not my biological son.


[00:34:03] Ashley James: Born in your heart, not of your womb.


[00:34:05] Mandy Morris: Yes. And he’s not happy that he wasn’t in the womb, that’s for sure, right now — seeing all the pregnancy go down. My husband moved over when he was 18, and then we met.


[00:34:17] Ashley James: That is wonderful. Tell your husband I think he’s fantastic.


[00:34:22] Mandy Morris: I will. He’ll love hearing it.


[00:34:25] Ashley James: I enjoy what you said — every step of the way, as you were doing your personal growth, you got to catch yourself. Your husband was that mirror, and you got to catch yourself while you were sabotaging it.

Carl Jung said something — I’m paraphrasing him, but something along the lines that we marry our unconscious mind and project on to them all of our unresolved material. And so if we can wrap our brain around the idea that we truly will never know anyone, and no one really knows us because we are constantly processing information through our unconscious filters, and we’re always projecting our unresolved stuff at people.

Prime example, my husband and I, when we’re first together, we were driving in a truck — I still remember. That was like eleven years ago. He turns to me, and he starts arguing with me, which is so not like him because he is a very cool-headed, easygoing person. I’m like, “Where did this come from?” I did not say something that should have had him react this way. I looked at him, “Are you reacting to me, or is this something from your past?”

He sat there for a minute, and he went, “Oh, my gosh. You know what? I was just talking to my ex-wife. Something you said, the way you looked at me, the tone of your voice, something had me completely get triggered by a past argument that I had with my ex-wife, and it had nothing to do with you.” But at least we had done that break state because if we hadn’t — if I had reacted, we would be just full on at each other’s throats. Luckily, we paused long enough to realize that this argument has nothing to do with us at the moment.

And so so much of life is that — so I love that you caught yourself while you were with your husband, “Wait, this is my stuff from the past.” He was that wonderful loving mirror that allowed you to do that personal work, that allowed you to safely bring things up to process.


[00:36:34] Mandy Morris: We created that space. He needed that space too, coming from an unhealthy marriage as well. It was like we were both each other’s rock, but also each other’s constant trigger. I love what you said about your husband bringing in the past because that’s the filter. I just wrote an article about this on Conflict and Relationships, and that was the whole thing. That was what I was writing about. It’s our past coming through. We have these constant filters that we’re trying to process information through, and the ways that our brains will process based on traumas from the past, and so many different factors that are within that, when you take on that. Neuroscience, the psychology, and just the environmental factors, societal programming — everything.

Most of life, it can be our jobs, our view of money, our view of sex, our relationships — all components of if life is supposed to be easy or hard, they all come from filters from the past versus a conscious and limitless knowing of the now, of what can be created without all of that weight.


[00:37:37] Ashley James: Prayer had a profound impact on that moment that you dropped your knees. That was that turning point that you never went back. You have a background in science and understanding how we create reality — the neuroscience and the metaphysics of it. I love this idea of being able to marry spirituality and physics — being able to see that they have more in common than we think. How does prayer play a role in your transformation or your life now, given your understanding of neuroscience?


[00:38:28] Mandy Morris: I think that the reason I brought in the neuroscience and why I teach it instead of just teaching manifestation from a more woo-woo perspective is because I want to be able to reach every soul. Sometimes God is a programming for people. It doesn’t resonate for them. They have to work on that relationship of what prayer means to them because again prayer might come from a programmed belief versus connecting to yourself or connecting to the universe or God — insert whatever word you want.

I remember doing this interview with a rabbi. I remembered him calling me the night before, and he’s like, “I just want to make sure that we’re not gonna fight on this interview tomorrow on my podcast. I just need to talk to you prior,” and what we both came to a conclusion was that we were talking about the same thing; we just used different modalities to reach the same conclusion, which is to bring everyone back to a state of oneness. I call it love — love can be my religion, I suppose.

But when I look at prayer, it’s the foundation. You can’t teach a child psychology, but you can teach them how to connect to themselves, no their intuition, or learn about their version of a higher power. I grew up having a close relationship with that part of me.

I journaled since I was five years old almost every stinking day. I would write about everything, and the only reason that I can actually look back on my past and know that it doesn’t come from crazy memories that didn’t really exist is because I documented my entire life like a psycho. I don’t know why I did it, but I wrote everything down.


[00:40:19] Ashley James: That’s cool. I admire that.


[00:40:21] Mandy Morris: Oh, my gosh. It’s been the most amazing thing because now I can go, “I’ll go back, and I’ll reverse engineer something, and that’s actually how I helped myself because I can go, “Six months ago, things were not okay or were amazing. What was going on then and what preceded that? What came before or after? What really happened?”

And so it’s reverse engineering process to me obtaining this consistent elevation in my life for the past ten years that I’ve had. It’s always been on that constant positive incline. How do they do that?

I’ve always journaled through all that and find these incredible components and pieces of information, but even as a child, prayer was really how I stayed in tune with myself and how I brought love out to the world and was able to help people at such a young age.

We had kids that would come in with extreme behavioral issues in school. The principal asked my mom, “Can we pull Mandy out of class when certain children are really out of control, but she’s the only one who can calm them down?” So I remember in first, second and third grade getting pulled out of class sometimes because there would be a kid throwing chairs, biting, and stuff. I would go in, and they would calm down, and then I’d walk with them to the principal’s office. For some reason, I just kind of had that in me. I equate that to that centeredness and that connection I had as a child before I try to shut my light off.

Prayer has been the foundation, but the science, the psychology, and the way the brain works, it’s interesting. It meets that science part of me, but it’s also sometimes people need to hear that because they don’t have that connection to themselves anymore, and so you can’t serve them. They can’t connect with you if you’re only speaking from that one point of view. It’s almost like religion where someone is talking about this one religion, and you missed out on touching so many people because people are already throwing their filters or walls up. I’m always trying to bring those down by keeping it open. The conversation can go any which way, and there can be many different perceptions. We’re all talking about the same thing.


[00:42:34] Ashley James: If someone was in a tantrum now, a child or an adult, what do you do that helps to bring someone back down and have them calm down?


[00:42:47] Mandy Morris: It depends on the person. If I look at my son, if he is flipping out, and it’s cool because he used to bite himself, pull out his hair. He had some really crazy behaviors when I first met him. And so there’s this concept called mirrored neurons, and children do it a lot with their parents, but it can also happen adult to adult. If they keep receiving that information, basically the way that your neurons fire, they’ll start to match that in their brain.

Staying in a calm state is one of the most seemingly important things. It absolutely is from an actual level of physics almost because if we can impact one another energetically, then the energy that we hold, kind of me being a high-powered battery and hugging someone sad and they kind of juice up, that’s the same thing. We have the ability to electrically impact one another.

And so the state that we are in when we’re serving someone, when we’re trying to calm someone down is far more important than the words we use, or the actions we take. It’s the unsaid that impacts them the most.


[00:44:04] Ashley James: You just described rapport in neurolinguistic programming. I love that you explained it, how the brain does it. When you want to help someone shift their state, you need to be in the state that you want them to be in.


[00:44:20] Mandy Morris: Yes.


[00:44:22] Ashley James: That is so cool. That’s awesome. So here you are now. You’ve been with your husband who has helped you to hone in — because through his marketing and his personal growth, background, and you’ve honed in what you do now to help others. You’ve been working with people for years. What kind of services do you offer? I know you’ve got a wonderful book called Love: It’s How I Manifest, and your website is Do you work one on one with people still? Is it over Skype? Do you do group coaching or workshops? Tell us about how people can work with you.


[00:45:04] Mandy Morris: I don’t do any one-on-one coaching. This whole concept was birthed in the book as well. I was doing some work in Scandinavia with one of my cool scientist friends, and so my husband and I went to visit them. They’re also friends. They own clinics throughout Scandinavia and really throughout the world — a very cutting edge technology.

When I went there, I was already coaching at that time, and I had dropped out of my Ph.D. I decided I am not going to work within the confines of therapy or clinical psychology, or psychiatry. It just wasn’t something that I was interested in anymore. So I dropped out of my Ph.D. It’s kind of like scratching my head because I realized that I wanted to become a therapist for egotistical reasons — so that I could prove that I was good enough because if you’re just a coach, then anyone can be a coach. I had to push the ego aside because I didn’t want the red tape. I wanted to be able to tell my clients that I care for them and to be able to hug them if I want to and to be able to truly help them get out of the chair. That’s what I’m known for, and it was birthed in Scandinavia.

When I was living in Norway, there was a concept of getting people “out of the chair.” I have so many friends who are therapists, and I trained therapists, I love them so much. Some of the red tape they had really sucked for them.

When I was in Scandinavia, we were working on psychosomatic illnesses, so basically illnesses that are manifested in the body through the mind, through thought. Allergies, for example, are beyond psychosomatic most often. Even colds — sometimes cancer and different diseases of different sorts — so many come true. And so many times that someone would show psychosomatic problem, and it wasn’t strictly environmental, strictly physical, then they would ask for me to come in.

So I would go in, and I would sit down with the client, and we would have electrodes on them as well, so we’re receiving brain feedback at the same time, and we’re pumping biofeedback into the body to see how they’re reacting to different frequency signatures.

Basically, I had a bunch of psychiatric nurses, doctors, and scientists going, “How are you getting their brain to release so fast. I’m not one to sit there and go, ‘Why?” I didn’t learn from anyone. I didn’t take all of those courses. I have never taken NLP or any of that.

People were like, “You’re doing all of those things that those people learn.” I’m like, “It’s coming out intuitively.” “Then I stand behind whatever you’re learning because it’s great stuff.”

Working through the weirdest of things  — we had this particular individual, for example, with a heart disease. You’d think, heart disease, it’s showing that it’s psychosomatic, which means that, of course, again her thoughts, the way her brain is wired or firing right now is causing the heart to shut down.

And so about three hours into the session — and we had a translator — a lot of the folks that flew in to see me can’t speak English. So that made it all the more interesting because then I can’t really feel all of the energy when I speak which is a huge component of being able to tune in intuitively. It took us about three hours to get to the root.

She had experienced extreme trauma when she was 18. But she went to therapy after, the therapist did their job, and she was not registering any hidden trauma from that. I’m like, “That’s so interesting because you think that it’s going to be in the obvious places, especially something as serious as heart disease.” It turned out that her mother was dying of cancer, and her mother was the only form of unconditional love that she never received, so she was trying to get her body to shut down to die with her mother.

I remember sitting there thinking if this is what people can do to themselves because they lack love, we have so far to go in the world of therapy. It just woke me up to truly creating change in someone’s life. When these individuals would shadow me in these sessions, I’d be like, “What are you doing?”

It would drive them absolutely insane because they have the scientific mind, and I know the frustration of that. I would be like, “It’s because I love them. It’s because I pour love into the room.” They would be like, “What the–?” They were so irritated. But it was true. I was really speaking from my heart. I’m not kidding. Obviously, I don’t have a methodology. I can’t give credit to someone that I learned this from. I’m telling you, I go in, and I pump up my intuition. I ask to serve the highest level possible. I remove all parts of my ego, but I pump in the unconditional love.

Because what happens is that certain form of love — it’s a very specific vibratory level. But that form of love gets the subconscious to relax and release. So what it does, or has the ability, I should say, to rewire the brain to create new neurological pathways, when someone believes trust and feels that truth coming from another individual, they meld with that energy, and it can change their neurochemistry.

That created my whole methodology. I was such a control freak about it — here comes the control — that I couldn’t teach it to anyone. I wouldn’t want to put my stamp of approval on something until I know every component of how I’m doing this.

It took me about a year and a half. I ended up creating the first certification program for life coaches. We have a lot of therapists and psychiatrists and counselors that also go through it to teach us methodology. So that’s one of the cool things that we have going on now, and then events and a lot of the coaches are now running these events. I take the backseat and get to see the ripple effect of my work out in the world.

That’s been amazing and so beautiful. I’m always creating something new, and whatever the world needs, we’re at the beck and call of it, so we answer to that. I call it an answer to the highest good of all. That’s my phrasing. I try to teach people how to bring that form of love and understanding so that they can truly help people and change the world.


[00:51:56] Ashley James: That is so cool. Did you ever get to measure the frequency of that specific kind of love that you’re using? Is it measurable and hurts?


[00:52:05] Mandy Morris: I’m sure it is, but that wasn’t something that we’re doing specifically because we’ve been looking at the brain, and we’ve been looking at how it’s firing any emotions that would be coming up. There are some amazing technologies out there. I could be talking about love, and someone has a negative connotation of what love means to them.

And so then, maybe like the energetic signature or the frequency signature of anger or jealousy, and then we can be like, “What is that? What’s that jealousy thing that’s showing up? What’s that anger thing?” Obviously, it’s great, but there’s a technology that can do that because then it’s a little bit more full-proof. But humans are quite comparable to technology if they’re in that same mental state, that you can get so much done even without hooking someone up to a frequency meter basically.


[00:52:57] Ashley James: That is so cool. Can you teach us some techniques today so that the listeners can have an experience of shifting their life?


[00:53:09] Mandy Morris: Yes, I would love to. There’s a few that I wanted to talk about, if that’s okay. They seem a little more woo-woo, but I think it’s applicable.


[00:53:17] Ashley James: Let’s woo-woo it up.


[00:53:18] Mandy Morris: Let’s go woo-woo. This first concept — everyone has heard of it, but I think it’s that whole saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher arrives.” Sometimes we have to hear it from someone specific, or the frequency in which they send it out is the way we needed to receive it, and then it finally clicks. I love that all of us are saying the same things sometimes, but finally, when someone is embodying that truth, it gets in, and it solves the problem for someone.

It’s love versus fear. A lot of my clients who aren’t into the love versus fear, they’ve got a negative relationship with love at that time, will say like, “light versus heavy.” It’s this idea that’s piggybacking off of the second thing I wanted to talk about, which is living consciously.

Love versus fear is this idea of, in as many moments as possible throughout the day, how can we, in our decisions, our thoughts, and our reality choose something that feels light, or choose love.

This is based on an intuitive decision that we make. It’s great to start in the morning with it because, throughout the day, we snowball into our personas and our other personalities, and meeting everybody else’s needs. We lose ourselves, and it’s a great place to stay grounded.

In the morning, it might be something as simple as, “Does it feel lighter to me, or does it feel like more in a space of love to me to eat breakfast outside or inside? Some people literally have to start, and this is the square one for them — Do I eat outside or inside? Do I go for a walk? Do I stretch? Do I pick up that phone call or does that phone call feel heavy because it’s my dad calling and I know my dad’s going to ask for something that I don’t want to give him?

It’s just making these sometimes courageous or simplistic decisions that bring us towards a space of light. Because what that does is allow for us to keep shedding all of the weight — the energetic, emotional, or psychological weight that we carry of all the roles that we feel we need to play throughout life or the people that we need to be to get our needs met. It’s just instead, “I’m going to do what feels truly good.”

We can even look retroactively. If I look back at most of the jobs that I’ve ever worked, did I choose that job out of fear or out of love and excitement? Most often it was of fear. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to pay the bills. I was afraid because I had been homeless before. I was afraid because I couldn’t eat, and so I had that extreme scarcity. Was that wrong or right? Maybe it wasn’t so right. Not that I had the tools to change at that time, and I loved myself through it, but then you can start seeing, “Wow, my entire life revolves around making decisions from fear. No wonder I’m so unhappy.”

And so when you take that component, and you take it to the second piece, which is living consciously — living consciously is, in as many moments as possible, similarly to love versus fear, but you’re just aware.

Eventually, these become so natural. But a lot of times I see folks who will set alarms on their phone every hour. It drives you insane at first because if you put an alarm on your phone, and it says, “How do you feel right now?” or “What’s your dominant emotion?” and you realize that you’re pissed most of the day, you’re like, “Wow, I’m screwed.”

So you have to come at it with acceptance and some love towards the experience. But it’s just figuring out how do I feel most of the time. The chemistry in our brains and the particles that affect it — our energy impacts particles. Our consciousness impacts particles in the air.

When people say, “I want to change my life,” “I want to manifest this, I want my soulmate to come in,” “I want money or whatever thing they want. The first thing they need to do is start consciously living so they can understand how they are currently interacting with the particles in their environment.

This is physics, and it’s not to say that physics is always a yes and no answer.  Quantum especially — there’s a lot of room for hypotheses in there. But when you are looking at how am I impacting my environment, which means that I’m the epicenter of my environment, and I can take and assume responsibility for where my life is at, which is also a choice we have to make. Then in each moment, I become more and more conscious of what’s going on. Kind of like when you and your husband were in the car, and you were able to be conscious enough to be like, “I don’t think this is about me.” And you were able to ask him, and he was conscious enough to be like, “Oh, crap. Sorry, that wasn’t about you.”

We keep taking steps backward before inception point to where before he was even about to blow up, he’d be like, “Oh, you know what’s weird? When you send that, I got triggered, and I almost blew up on you, and I was thinking about that.” And then we’ve completely changed our reality at that moment because let’s say that you were having a bad day too, you might not have been able to consciously bring that out of him and then what would have happened to the relationship dynamic for the next hour or something?

People lose relationships over this stuff. Not because they’re not a beautiful couple, but because they’re not living consciously. They are so swarmed up with fallacies of their past, perceptions, false beliefs that they can’t live consciously enough to see things as they truly are, which is that silly saying “Live in the now.” But it’s true that each moment is a new moment, and the past doesn’t need to be brought in for protection or solidification.


[00:58:50] Ashley James: That’s so beautifully said. Right now the divorce rate is about 50-50. So many of us are unconscious, and our unconscious, unresolved material is wreaking havoc on our life. So you’re helping people to get conscious and choose love and gain a lot of clarity and a lot of healing in that way.


[00:59:14] Mandy Morris: Right, and we have that with all of our relationships. It could be an intimate relationship. It can be with our boss, or mom or dad, or siblings and so forth. I grew up with nine different divorces — throughout my step parents and parents and so forth. It was like love does not exist, and it sure as heck doesn’t last. That was a very core belief. I never thought I was going to get married. That wasn’t on my dock because, at some point, things are going to hit the fan or someone’s going to cheat enough that you’re going to leave –it’s just not going to happen.

It wasn’t until I started getting right with myself and finding my authentic self and the truth within me that I was able to bring forth someone who could consciously work through that with me as a life partner, and then I was able to let that bleed out into my relationships with friends and family.


It wasn’t until I started getting right with myself and finding my authentic self and the truth within me that I was able to bring forth someone who could consciously work through that with me as a life partner, and then I was able to let that bleed out into my relationships with friends and family.


[01:00:04] Ashley James: It all starts with us. When we’re pointing the finger at other people, that’s when we realized these three fingers are pointing back at us.


[01:00:11] Mandy Morris: That’s the biggest part too, and that’s a part of the action steps I wanted to share today — assuming responsibility. It’s such an annoying one for all of us, but we get all the power back. We’re talking about certainty and control. If we can assume responsibility for our life, and again I say this more in the Western world — things are happening in parts of the world that I would not ever tell someone that they created for themselves. But when we look at, “I don’t like my job,” or “My husband doesn’t talk to me the way I want him to,” there is typically a beautiful way for us to heal that if we assume responsibility for the role we play in it.


[01:00:51] Ashley James: Even things that are horrific. When we talk about being at cause versus being at effect, being responsible for life versus being the victim, there’s usually someone in the crowd that goes, “What about rape? What about incest? What about molestation?” — all those horrific things that could happen. It’s not that we’re saying that it’s your fault. Fault isn’t the word we ever use. It’s taking responsibility for your entire life to gain back control and or become empowered. Because if you’re responsible for your life, then you have the power to change it.


I look back on the dark things that have happened in my life; I am so grateful for them now because they’re part of the person I am now. I’ve done a lot of healing work to get to where I am; I can embrace who I am now. If I had to do it all over again, I probably wouldn’t want to relive those bad experiences, but I can be so happy and take responsibility for that. All my unconscious and conscious choices in my life led me through those experiences, led me to where I am now, and I get to choose who I am in the moment. I get to choose to be who I am now, so that allows me to be at cause.


Again not the word fault because people get upset when we say “take responsibility.” It’s like forgiveness is not saying that the act is okay, like if you forgive someone for harming you or harming someone you love. It’s not saying it’s okay that they did that. That’s not what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is ending their past discretions from hurting you in the present.


[01:02:57] Mandy Morris: Yeah, reliving it.


[01:02:59] Ashley James: As long as we’re still angry about something bad or negative that someone did, it’s like we’re still letting them hurt us in the present. When we take responsibility, that allows us so we can do things like forgive, that allows us to stop the past from hurting us in the now.


[01:03:16] Mandy Morris: I so love that you bring that up because I had been raped twice, and I blamed myself. If I look back to what happened in my very early adult years, if I look back on those moments, that was playing into the same environment that I’d created of “I’m not good enough,” and “I’m unworthy.” Just give people what they want; they’re going to take it anyway. It was ultimately, a deviation that led to a reality and experiences that were so painful and not something that a human really should have to experience.


But there was an inception point, which was years prior when I decided that I didn’t love myself and I wasn’t worthy of being honored. If I’m floating around in that reality, in that mentality, in that energy, then I brought forth these particular circumstances. Because I knew these people, I brought forth that energy and the reality of that. And me being able to say, “You know what, I think I did create that, and that’s okay, and I can heal from that now.”


As we just said, we don’t have to relive it every day, or hate the person, or be angry so that it never happens again, so that I feel safer.  Instead, just let it be a part of the human experience without so much emotional charge, and it was coming out of neutrality: “I can move forward in my life, and my now isn’t affected.”


[01:04:44] Ashley James: For people who’ve never done that shift.  It’s like turning a light bulb on and off, being a cause versus being an effect. So being at effect is you turn on the TV, you turn on any mainstream media, and they’re pumping out an agenda to keep us at effect. There’s very little media out there besides podcasts and interviews like this, but there’s very little media out there that want to put us mentally in a place of empowerment. Because when we’re at cause in our world, when we’re 100% responsible for our world, and when we’re empowered, we don’t have a hole of void in our life to fill with their products that they’re trying to sell.


Watching TV, even Netflix and Hulu, and all the things we like to watch, and listening to the radio, all that media and magazines that media has designed to keep this facade of this world in which we are at effect. And we are helpless as individuals, especially around the news. I’m sure we could do a little fun experiment where we hook ourselves up to meters that register our stress levels.


[01:06:09] Mandy Morris: You don’t want to see it. Trust me.


[01:06:12] Ashley James: Watch five minutes of the six o’clock news and see what happens. But yeah, there’s very little out there that has us do that shift — to get that we’re a cause. Almost like being in The Matrix, there’s a lot invested in keeping us as victims and out of our personal power. For those who’ve never really tasted being at cause, can you help us to get to that place of personal power where we’re coming out of the matrix and seeing the world through the eyes of someone who’s empowered?


[01:06:51] Mandy Morris: It’s so funny that you bring up The Matrix because the creator of the Matrix, Sophia, is a dear friend of mine. Every time we sit down, she’s filled with, obviously,  this truth. We talk about TV programming like television is visually programming you, and reading is fundamental. It’s “fun to mental,” right?


[01:07:12] Ashley James: [laughs]


[01:07:13] Mandy Morris: I know. Silly, little play on words.


[01:07:15] Ashley James: I love it.


[01:07:16] Mandy Morris: And so when we look at that, we’ve got to stop and say, “What am I absorbing? Is it really true?” The easiest way goes back to that love versus fearthing “Do I feel good?” If I don’t feel good, I’m suspect. I’ve trained my brain to feel that way, that if I feel off, I’m hyper-focused on it. I’m not trying to numb it out. I’m not trying to ignore it. I’m not shoving it to the side saying, “Just deal with it later.” I’m like, “What is it? Why is it here?” Because it doesn’t belong.

And so it’s training ourselves that “If I don’t feel good, I will figure out why. If something doesn’t feel good, I will remove it, or I will figure out why.” When I look at all of this saturation of horrible programming that we’re pumped with and we’re fed with so that we can continue our crazy consumerism, it really is a control thing.

I have way too many friends that are in and out of the government — I’ll go crazy on this topic but keeping it a little bit more light. When we look at the need to maintain a status quo in our societies, and that is every small factor in the society, it can be the relationship we have in our household. It can be culturally. It can be with media. It can be in the embodiment of our country or the entire dominant frequency of planet earth. But it’s dominantly negative.

But it’s shifting, and I want to remind anyone who listens to this that although the world is seemingly in disarray, the light always wins. Light being information, being the truth. We see this happening a lot in media where if someone’s got skeletons, or if someone’s doing something shady, it’s coming out.

That’s the beautiful component of social media — things are so viral and spread so rapidly, sometimes completely untrue information as well. So that’s where our intuitionneeds to come into play. But that saturation is starting to balance itself out because it’s happening both ways. There’s not that same control factor of it all being fear-based. So now we regained a little bit of our control, a little bit of our personal power and saying, “What do I choose to read up on? What do I choose to view?” It becomes more and more of a conscious choice versus an unconscious choice.

Generationally speaking, the newer generations are waking up to this truth of things are not as they seem. Things are not in place in the same way that people say they are, and they’re questioning it instead of blindly following. It’s like the book “Outwitting the Devil” by Napoleon Hill. He talks about this so well, where there’s like the drifter personality, and the drifter is just someone who blindly follows things versus questioning and saying, “Is this right for me? Is this true? Is this what I want to focus on?”

I even do that when I see like protests — individuals who are fighting against something versus trying to love through and bring community to something. There’s no right or wrong either way, but I have my personal take on it. So when someone says, “Mandy, can you put this on your platform? We need to stop this horrible thing from happening?” I’m like, “We do, but we’re going to do it in a way that comes through with love versus continuing to create separation.” I think that from a societal standpoint we’re

realizing that the separation that we’ve created within ourselves and within the horrible lies, or just the disgusting programming that we’ve received through some of those outlets, that we don’t have to pick it up.

We can just keep it down. We can just set it down even if we’ve already picked it up, but then it doesn’t have to be for us. It’s through that that we get to the root of creating change on a global scale versus continually perpetuating that sense of anger for being misled by different people, or media, or social outlets and so forth. Instead, we create a knowingness within, ourselves and that radiates outwardly, and that can’t be penetrated. It’s far more powerful.


[01:11:36] Ashley James: For those who are thinking there’s no example of where love has made major political shifts. I invite you to seek out the history of Gandhi because everyone just knows him for his hunger strike, which is like just one tiny thing that he did, but he rallied a nation to use love and peace to make a change, which seems like — don’t you need force and anger? Aren’t force and anger the only ways to make change?

So he used a very feminine energy and made a major shift in his country. It’s so beautiful when you dive into the details of the whole story. It’s a perfect example that we can make beautiful changes in ourselves, in our society, in our family and our relationships, and we can use the highest power, which is love.


[01:12:35] Mandy Morris: Yeah, because think about it — if someone were to sit right now and consider the embodiment of love. Maybe not love that they have with their spouse if it’s unhealthy or the perception of “My parents didn’t love me.” Those aren’t really love. Those are completely different things.

I hate it when we have to use that word incorrectly. But when you imagine that true form of love, it’s almost like a sense of peace. It’s like an expansion of energy versus a constriction. When you imagine being in that space, what happens to the body? What happens to the cortisol levels? What happens to the brain? It gets out of primal mode.

And so we literally can find better solutions. We tap into a different part of ourselves through maintaining that state or that frequency of what I call unconditional love because there are many different forms of love that are a little bit not so much love. But if you think about what that actually does to the human, to their mind, to the state in which we are in, of course, it’s the solution because we can find so much information and tools in that mental state and in that heart space that it gets us in that, of course, it’s the answer.


[01:13:44] Ashley James: What can we do every day to raise our vibrational state physically, mentally, and emotionally? What could we do every day so that we’re bringing ourselves closer to that frequency of love?


[01:13:57] Mandy Morris: I would say that the first thing is to understand how to tap into your intuition because just like programming — how programming is created in so many weird, crazy ways and it’s different for everyone, so is the intuitive dance in getting back to our sense of self. Even like the oneness that we carry with the collective universe if you will. When you can start tapping into your intuition, then you can tap into naturally that love-based vibrational state, but also even higher states than that. Enlightenment is actually, from a frequency standpoint, higher than a love vibration. They’re very close, but it is a different form of vibration.

Love is like a gold color, and enlightenment is like a silver, platinum color if you will. They hold different vibratory levels. But when you are following your intuition, when you can listen to the inner voice, and the best way to begin that process again is asking yourself questions, very simplistic ones, seeing how you feel — Do I feel like I should be going for a walk right now? Do I feel like I need to speak my truth to my partner right now? What needs to happen? How does that need to look? When you exercise that intuitive muscle, it gets so strong, and that intuitive state is your authentic self if you will. It’s that naturally love-based state, and so much more so you can tap into it on call, just sitting there tuning in.

It doesn’t have to be a meditation. I’m not great with meditating myself, but being able to say, “How do I feel right now? What does my intuition say I should do right now?” “How do I feel and what do I need to do?” — asking your intuition to get to that state of love because it might be different every day. Every day I wake up, maybe I’ll have a loop in my head, and I feel off because I’m thinking about something that I dreamt about, or I went to bed carrying the weight of. I might say, “I should go take a cold shower. That’s what I should always do every morning.” It might not get me into that state, and so instead, I have to sit for a second and say, “I’m trying to get here. I want to go to the love vibration. I want to feel good. What do I need to do?”

My intuition might say, “Go have a cup of tea, or do 20 squats, or take a cold shower,” and then I have to use my intuition to figure out which one do I need to lean into, so that one, I feel like I’m honoring myself, and two, I’m finding solutions that actually work. I’ve talked to so many people who are like, “I do affirmations every morning,” and then they’ll go through one of my programs and they’re like, “I don’t do affirmations at all anymore because I realized that I was just doing it cause I thought it was supposed to do it, and it doesn’t even do anything for me.” I’m like, “Awesome! Glad that your intuition came out and said, ‘Hey, you’re using that improperly,’ versus ‘I was just blindly following what the guru said to do.’”


[01:16:52] Ashley James: Affirmations was described to me once like putting icing on a mud pie. You’re just trying to tell your mind how it is instead of listening to your unconscious.


[01:16:52] Mandy Morris: Yeah, and if you tell your brain something that it perceives is a lie, you take five steps even further from that truth.


[01:17:09] Ashley James: Do you think affirmations are ever a positive thing to use as a tool or is it best to focus on asking questions and look into intuition?


[01:17:22] Mandy Morris: I think affirmations are awesome. I think it’s really hard for someone to write an affirmation for you unless they are literally embodying the energy. Just like when you learn from someone — they better be not just speaking of what you’re trying to obtain, but they better be embodying it. You can feel the difference.

You can feel when you’re talking to someone, and you’re like, “Man, they’re saying all the right things, but something’s missing.” And then you hear the same thing from someone else, and you’re like, “I freaking get it.” It’s because they’re embodying in which they speak.

It’s the same thing with affirmations. If I sit there every morning when I wake up and say, “I’m amazing. I’m this. I’m that.” Great. Do I really feel it? Am I bringing in the true frequency of it, or am I sending out the energy of “I am so not good enough. I’m not worthy.” My subconscious is feeding the energy outwards, but I’m verbally saying that when I’m creating a whole another mess.

That’s something that we talk about a lot with manifestation. We’re all manifesting all the time. People always say, “What are we going to manifest? Can you teach me how to manifest?” And I’m like, you are like everything. You already did it, but obviously, you don’t like it.

So what we need to figure out is what you’re unconsciously manifesting. What is your subconscious sending outward? What’s happening in the gray matter of your brain that you’re telling yourself you’re not worthy of all these things, that you’re sabotaging all the stuff you say you consciously want. That’s where the juice is. That’s where we want to find all the information. Your conscious mind processes like 0.0  1% of data or something like that and your subconscious processes so much more. So that’s where you’re getting all of your responses, your perceptions, all that crap. So you got to do all the work on the subconscious, not on the conscious affirmations. Which is why I’m like, I like affirmations, but if you’re not doing the actual work on figuring out why life is showing up as it is, and what you’re manifesting currently and why, there’s no information that’s going to save you.


[01:19:19] Ashley James: I hadn’t had a great experience with affirmations because of what you just described. And then I went through this neat little personal growth program. At that time, I found it very difficult to get to the gym. There was just a lot of resistance, a lot of unconscious resistance. It was very uncomfortable. The entire process from putting on my shoes to driving there, everything did not feel right. What I realized is that I’m right there back in junior high and everyone’s judging me. In my mind, it’s unsafe. I’m vulnerable. Everyone’s judging me. Everyone’s like, “Look at the fat girl. What the heck? She doesn’t belong here. Look, she just tripped.”

So it was very unsafe in grade seven.  Everyone’s hitting puberty, and it was a very unsafe place for me and for a lot of the girls to be. It was ridiculous because all the boys were picking on us. I decided it’s unsafe, you’re being judged, and of course, as we know, feeling socially judged in our mind is as dangerous as someone holding a spear and running at you. We perceive it as a physical threat to our survival probably because we had to live in a tribe to survive for thousands of years.

So I equated unconsciously going to the gym with like someone running at me with a spear. Of course, I was pushing. I was like Sisyphus pushing the boulder uphill consciously trying to fight — “Here I am.” Just like you said, the conscious mind is like 1-2%; the unconscious mind is the rest. It was consciously trying to push myself, but every day my unconscious mind is going, “No, it’s so unsafe.”

And then it was like, “How do I shift this conversation?” Here I am, I’m now in my 30s, I know that no one’s running at me with a spear, and even if every single person at the gym did judge me, no physical threat would happen. I was breaking it apart, dismantling this, and understanding it. And the next thing was, “Let’s just assume everyone is not judging you because everyone is actually afraid of each other anyway, and we’re all just like running around, worried about what each other thinks about each other.”

If that was the case, because we’re all just a bunch 13-year-olds really, unconsciously afraid of what everyone else thinks of us, so everyone in the gym is actually looking at you, worried about what you think of them, then what are you there to do and how can you shift it, so it’s a positive experience? I came up with this affirmation, and it hit me. I started crying because my life’s mission — I really got it at that moment — is to inspire people.

The conversation changes from, “Look at that fat girl. What is she doing here?” to “Wow, look at her. She got to the gym, and she’s doing it. Look, she’s even sweating. That’s so awesome. Now I’m going to push myself harder because I see how much she’s giving it.”

And so that was my mantra. As you said, if it’s an affirmation someone else made for you, that doesn’t help. But if you do some healing work and then create an affirmation to keep you present to your shift — and so as I’m putting my running shoes, I like to say, “I’m going there to inspire people. I’m obviously helping my body, but I’m going there to inspire people.”

Getting in the car, the resistance would still be there a little bit — a  little uneasy. Again, I’d have to tell my unconscious mind, “No, I’m going there to inspire people. There’s no one coming at me with their judgment. I’m there to inspire.” Sure enough, I’d look around the room, and obviously, there’s no one, judging me. Everyone is just head down trying to do their own thing and not worried about what everyone else thinks. I held my head higher after that. I felt more in touch with my purpose. I’m here to inspire people, and of course, help my body too.

So that mantra — repeating that affirmation became part of the healing, but I had to do the work first. I think that’s what you’re saying — do the work and then use your mantra as a way to keep yourself present to the self-love and your mission.


[01:23:57] Mandy Morris: Yeah. It has got to resonate with you. You have to use the energy in which you are striving to wrap around, just like words hold frequency. If I say the word  ‘infidelity’ or ‘cheating,’ there are certain things that some people are going to attach it to. There’s already an energy attached to it because each word holds a vibratory frequency, and so does affirmation.

We’ve got to make sure that they’re attached to the right energy. They are in resonance with what we’re talking about. I have to say this too, that sometimes we have negative affirmations that we’re unaware of to get to things. So we’ve got to address that. When you’re talking about the gym, it resonated so much with me.

In my early twenties, I would get cystic acne, like honking things, and they would hurt so bad. They were very stress-induced, and it would just perpetuate my “I hate myself-ness.” That was the time where I was like, I’d go to the gym and brutalize myself at work out as hard as I possibly could, and I was eating a certain way and all that. When my husband and I moved to Laguna Beach, I stopped doing those really hard workouts. We decided we’re going to get a personal trainer — “We’re in California. We’re going to be in shape,” right before I get pregnant. And so, uh, I had a short bit while we first moved here and, I was doing some training, and my body would hurt so bad after the workout, so it just felt different.

Maybe because it’s I’m older now or whatever, I was in the middle of a squat — a very hard squat, mind you — and as I pushed myself up, I heard my inner voice say, “I hate you.” I stopped and I put my weights down, and I said, “I’m leaving.” I actually had to leave. I stopped working out, and I sat there for about two hours that day, just trying to shake it off. For some reason, I didn’t fully go and dive into it.

The next day I had two cysts on my face, and I hadn’t had them in years. I was like, “Did I release the same neurohormones or whatever chemicals that create the cystic acne?” I released it just from me going back into that old state where I was in when I could barely push through the last of a workout. I would use that “I hate myself energy to push through to make myself ”good enough.”


[01:26:24]  Ashley James: Wow.


[01:26:26] Mandy Morris: Isn’t that crazy? So I was like, “I’m done working out. We’ll do yoga.” I’m not pushing myself like this anymore.


[01:26:37] Ashley James: Wow. It’s awesome. There you go again with “We are always manifesting.” But we have to clean up that windshield. We got to clean up the unconscious filters, the unconscious programs because that’s where we’re manifesting from.


[01:26:53] Mandy Morris: Right, always. It’s always showing up for us. If we can figure out the conversation we’re having with our environment and our mind, we are unstoppable.


[01:27:05] Ashley James: That’s why I said at the beginning we all have a superpower, and Mandy is going to teach us how to tap into it.


[01:27:12] Mandy Morris: Literally, it is in knowing yourself. It was Socrates, I think, — know thyself. If you can truly start understanding your thoughts, be willing to hear them and why they occur, you have like the power of the universe in your hands because that’s how you create your holographic reality regardless.

If you can understand how you perceive the world and what’s going on, kind of that part of assuming responsibility and not being a victim, and realizing that you don’t have to be in control, but you can be in charge, and those are two very different things. I’m not in control of every component of my life, but I am in charge of my reality and everything else. The chips fall perfectly every time, far more than I could ever control them. Understanding what triggers me, what upsets me, what causes me to shut down or tell myself that I don’t like myself — if I can start understanding those pieces, then I can start stopping them in their tracks, which means that my brain’s wiring is going to start to shift. Certain neurological pathways are going to start pruning, and new ones are going to start growing. Wouldn’t it be funny if the new ones that start growing are, “I’m amazing. I believe in myself. I deserve to be a multimillionaire. I deserve to find my soul partner. I deserve love.”  Guess what always shows up? Exactly what we expect.

We’re changing our expectation by understanding what our current expectation is. Through that, our purpose work, whatever sets your soul on fire — you call it a superpower and so much love — all of that births itself naturally. It’s a part of your authenticity. It’s a part of your truth. You don’t have to search for it. It’s just going to unfold.


[01:29:02] Ashley James: What homework can you give us so that we can allow our authenticity and our authentic self to begin to unfold in the coming days. ?


[01:29:13] Mandy Morris: This is something that probably a lot of people have done, but I want to take a twist on it. First that belief inventory. Maybe start with the areas of life that suck. Let’s say money. Everybody cares about money, right? So you could do money; you can do relationships and career. Just write down — not your beliefs because sometimes we think we have beliefs, but we don’t. Like for myself, if you ask me consciously years ago, “What are your beliefs of love?” I’d be like, “Love is so beautiful, and love is great.” But you’d look at my relationships, and it would show love doesn’t last. Love is completely unsafe. Love is unhealthy, and love is self-sacrificial.

And so we have to look at our environment. When you have those areas, write down how your environment looks in those areas, and then that will establish your true beliefs. So then you’ll know, “If I’m in an unhealthy relationship, or I’m devalued at work or whatever the thing is, then the belief is probably this, that or the other.” Now what you’ll see is that there’s usually a theme.

If I took multiple areas, actually just before we jumped on, I was talking to a couple of therapists that I’m certifying right now. And when we were on the call, we know we were talking about this concept of what is actually going on here. The underlying theme for one of them was the “not good enough-ness.” In all areas, it could be as a mother; it could be as a therapist, and also the other side gigs that they had going on, there was this constant stream of “not good enough-ness.”

So once you see, “I do not like myself,” you ask this question — it’s like a five-year-old. You know how five-year-olds are like, “Why, why, why?” You ask yourself why until you get to the root.

You can say: My job sucks.

Okay, why?    Because people don’t value me.

Why? Because I don’t value myself.

Why? Because I’m overweight.

Okay, why? Because of something that happened in seventh grade.

What was the belief it was created from that? Why?

Well, my mom didn’t love me.

Why do you think your mom didn’t love you?

Because I’m unlovable.

Okay. Now we’ve reached a pretty big root, and kind of what you were saying when you cried because you had the aha moment, it’s amazing what happens when the brain realizes it’s hit on something.

You’ll know when you’re like, “I don’t know. Is that it? It’s not it.” But there’s this incredible aha moment that happens every time someone starts hitting a root. What you’re looking for are the roots. What are the roots of your belief? Sometimes you might reach an event that you remember, but what you’re looking for is the underlying belief. You might say love isn’t safe, but there’s something deeper than that, and it always has to do with the self.

So when you write down that belief inventory, your actions, and then you find kind of that core belief — there might be a theme. It might be the not good enough-ness runs through in all areas. Now you’ve got to look for lies, basically broken parts of the reality, so that’s two-fold. One is to look at all of the rewards you receive for holding onto that belief.

So if I go back to that “I hate myself” energy in the gym, my reward was that I would look a certain way because I would make sure that I kept working out because I thought that if I worked out hard enough, eventually I’d love myself. And then I also got to keep — I thought at least — the guy that I was dating around because maybe he liked the way that my body looked. That was the only thing I had to offer. That’s a perceived reward. It’s obviously not a healthy reward that I should hold on to, but it’s a reward that’s keeping me from changing.

But once you pour awareness into it, it’s not so rewarding anymore. You’re like, “Oh, crap, it’s not even getting me where I want to go.” Once the brain knows the path I am using will never get me there, it doesn’t want to keep doing the same thing. So then you get to start breaking down that wall and build through to the new reality.

If I want to be a millionaire, or if I want to be with my soulmate, what does that version of me do in these situations? How do they perceive life? What actions do they take on a daily basis and how can I kind of push that back into me so that I can create that reality too?


[01:33:51] Ashley James: Brilliant. It’s beautiful.


[01:33:54] Mandy Morris: Thank you.


[01:33:55] Ashley James: I like that you’re coming at it from both ends, digging into the now and getting to the root, but then also doing the future pacing, looking at you after you have manifested what you want and what are you doing, what are you thinking to yourself, what are you feeling, and seeing.

The one that you haven’t mentioned is what about someone who wants better health? Let’s say running a marathon — it would be, “I’m a marathon runner.”

I don’t think I’ve ever run five miles, so I like to say that I’m a marathon runner.


[01:34:38] Mandy Morris: The brain would be like, “That’s not true.”


[01:34:40] Ashley James: Right. Me in the future as a marathon motor, what am I doing every day? I’m getting up early. I’m drinking a smoothie. I’m going for a jog.  Oh, wow, those are activities I can start to do now. What am I thinking to myself? What are my beliefs about myself?


[01:34:56] Mandy Morris: It’s calling upon our future self basically. When I do sit through my very short meditations, I’ll ring up versions of me. I’ve rung up my billionaire self, and I’m like, “I need some business advice,” or I’ll ring up the version of me that has figured out the problem with my husband or with my kiddo, and I’m like, “What’s going on here?” And really what I’m doing is I’m just opening up another part of my brain that I might be in a primal state or a triggered persona and it can only see through one lens while I’m shifting my perspectives.

When you can shift some of your perspectives, but the information still comes from within, then you’re tapping into that part of yourself that already has the answer, that knows the whole process in which your crazy brain is going to want you to go, and then it allows for it to flow. It seems intuitive, but you’re just meeting all of the brain’s rules that it has to achieve the thing.


[01:35:49] Ashley James: You reminded me that we have 10-11 possible neurological connections. That is more potential than every grain of sand on every beach in the world. That’s more potential than every known planet and star in the universe. When you get how many potential neurological connections are in our brain, and our whole body’s neurology has, you see that we have this machine inside of us for manifesting and tapping.

I love this idea of tapping in by ringing up your billionaire herself, your marathon runner self, the self that has resolved conflict with your husband, ringing up that person, and talking to that part of you that has resolved it already is tapping into this dormant part of you, your superpowers, waiting for you to use them.


[01:36:57] Mandy Morris: Yes, we already have the answers.


[01:37:00] Ashley James: That brings up the idea that there’s that level of intuition that people connect with guides and angels, they’re tapping into sometimes more than themselves by asking these questions and being open to the answers.


[01:37:16] Mandy Morris: Absolutely. You can look at it any way you want. You can say that it’s your guide. You can say that it’s your angel. You can say it’s god. You can say that it’s just your brain opening up certain parts and giving you the information. If you ask yourself a question, you are going to always get the answer. It’s just a matter of what filters or what lenses do you have on. Are you even willing to see the answer that’s right in front of you?


[01:37:39] Ashley James: It’s beautiful, Mandy. Now, your book “Love: It’s How I Manifest” — who should read that book? Is that book for therapists or is that book for lay people? Is that book for everyone? Who should read it and, and what do we get out of reading your book?


[01:37:55] Mandy Morris: If you had asked me when I first wrote it if it was for therapists, I would say no. But I’ve had a ton of therapists say that they love it because my section of methodology is the missing component in therapy is what I hear. That’s the feedback that I receive, and I’m very humbled and honored by that. But I would say that it’s the starting guide for someone who wants to start digging in on a kind of a high level, in my opinion, into 30 different concepts. It’s kind of a month-long journey. I broke it up to where you can read a chapter a day, and you’ll take a little bit of homework from it if you will. There is a little prayer to the universe for those who love those affirmations.

I sat every time I wrote the book, and I wouldn’t even let the editor touch it. I was driving them insane. I actually chose to self-publish for that reason because I was like, “I wrote the book in three months. I’m inspired one day, and my mind said, “You will only write when you’re inspired, and you will pour so much love into every word, and it can’t be changed.” And so I honored that. At the end of those three months, I was like, “I’m sorry to every poor editor who has to look through my grammatical incorrectness here, but it’s got to stay this way and stay intact because there’s something to it.”

I don’t know that everybody has read the book, but the feedback that we get is that they can feel the energy because I tried to stamp it into each word. It’s like a high-level guide of a 30-day journey of diving into yourself, understanding yourself, and figuring out all the concepts that we talked about — love versus fear, living consciously, assuming responsibility, how to know yourself, and how to find that version of you that is that piece. That’s my ultimate goal — that people can be brought back to that piece, that love, that oneness, and to remember their incredible power to create.

That was the whole reason I wrote the book because as soon as it was done, I was like, “I did it. What’s up next universe? Do I need to do anything else?“ I forgot about the book for a while until it was released to the public. It’s a beautiful book filled with love, but I would say that it is an incredible starting point to a journey.


[01:40:18] Ashley James: Brilliant. Well, I’m excited to have the link to your book in the show notes of the podcast so all the listeners can check it out. Are you going to do an audio version of your book?


[01:40:29] Mandy Morris: I keep saying that I will. I think my support told me there’s like ten emails just from today asking if they can get an audio version, so I will be doing it. I feel like it should be from me. I’m hoping that in the next maybe 90 days, we’ll have one out. But right now it’s just Kindle and hardback.


[01:40:50] Ashley James: Nice. I’m looking forward to that. It’s so great when the author herself reads her book. I love audio books as much as I love reading, but I love it when the author goes off script because they get inspired. So they’re reading their book, but then they’re like — you might feel like doing that, going a little bit off script. There are a few great authors like Janine Roth. When I listened to her audiobooks, I’m like, “She can’t be reading. This feels so real.” Her message is pouring through, and you’re like, “This can’t be a book.” I feel like she’s just sitting here talking to me, like talking to myself as an individual. It lands so powerfully. There’s something very–


[01:41:32] Mandy Morris: That will be me.


[01:41:33] Ashley James: I know it will be you, Mandy. I know it. I just know. I feel like you’re just sitting there right there with me listening to your audiobook. But until then, we’ll get your physical book or the Kindle version.

Like you, I was surprised at how many therapists enjoy your book. I have been pleasantly surprised at how many holistic health professionals are listeners of the show. Because these are people who I sometimes put on a pedestal and honor and love learning from, and then it turned around, I get fan mail from them. I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, naturopaths listen to my show, and acupuncturists, nurses, and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, health coaches — so many wonderful holistic health professionals.”

Thinking about going through your program, tell us a bit about the mechanics of going through your program as a health coach or a doctor who wants to implement your tools. How long is your program? How much does it cost? What format is it? Is it just audio, or is it video calls or reading case studies? Can you unpack it a bit, so we understand a bit more about your online program?


[01:42:59] Mandy Morris: Absolutely. We have many digital programs, but if someone’s looking to get certified in some of my methodologies, it’s a four-month program. That’s as of right now. We have now three graduating classes. I finally created this program, and like all programs I create, I want a lot of feedback, and I want to make it so juicy that it’s unstoppable.

We’ve actually done three classes, and now we have three graduating classes and amazing outcomes even from the very first class. But I like to leave it open to say, “Hey, guys. I might add a lot of bonus content,” and anyone who’s gone through the program prior, they get access to all that too because I want the best versions of themselves out there.

As of right now, it’s a four-month program. The first two months are actually on them working on themselves. I don’t go into methodologies — not directly at least because my idea is, if we want to get people out of the chair as soon as possible, if I can sit there in three hours and get someone’s heart disease to reverse, then we’ve got to be able to create change within 30 days and so forth, which is not the typical model. Sometimes it’s totally appropriate to work with someone for six months or ninety days, or whatever that looks like. But I want them to at least have the tools that they can do that. A part of that is that if you are consistently growing and working on yourself, you will constantly acquire tools without having to pay to learn them from someone else.

So I kind of worked myself out of a job, if you will, because the world needs to be healed. That’s my first and foremost goal. That program is for the first half of it is them just hammering in on themselves with an accountability partner. And then we jump into methodologies, practice calls. I or one of my Academy-based coaches who’ve been through years of training with me, they will be on a call, and we provide feedback there. They learn a lot of the methodologies that are love-based, and we go into some personality styles.

We don’t touch on any mental disorders and so forth because again, I’m not a certified therapist or psychiatrist. I decided not to go that route, so we don’t touch on crazy red tape. But every therapist that has gone through the program and really just any practitioner in general — we do have a lot of Reiki healers and just different versions of holistic health as well that goes through the program — and all of them say it either totally enhanced something that they’ve learned, or it was what was missing all along.

But it’s delivered in an online format, so it’s digital. We’ve got folks from all over the world — really cool. But different times zones if they’re in Australia, the UK, or Thailand, we can all pop on live. And then we do Q&A and try to work that around schedules so that some people can jump on live, but they’re recorded regardless, and then they get access to. I would say it’s probably maybe two to three hours a week of training. When they hit their practice hours, it obviously amps up quite a bit.


[01:46:09] Ashley James: Absolutely. Now you have other programs as well. Can you touch on that? Do you have programs for people who want their personal healing?


[01:46:19] Mandy Morris: Yes. So there’s a program called authentic creation. It’s like my baby program. I built it years ago, and it’s such a wonderful –I don’t know. I rant and rave about it cause I love the concept. It’s for thirty days. It’s short, like five to ten-minute videos every day and then a PDF and homework. It’s really digestible, which is for me, my attention span — I tailored it for someone like myself where I’m not going to sit for five hours and do a class. Everything digital kind of follows that modality for the most part, and then we have a mastery program and that is instead of the thirty-day program, it’s a, uh, two-month program, and we extend it two extra weeks usually, so we do about ten weeks. That is a deep, deep, deep dive into rewiring our beliefs. It’s hard work. It’s a lot heavier work I would say. But it’s incredible.

And then I just released a Health for Higher Consciousness program, how can you impact your consciousness level through health. It’s not a diet program or a fitness program, but it’s truly impacting our cellular vitality and some of the stuff that I learned in the clinic back in the day.

And then we’re about to release a parenting program. I partnered with an amazing doctor, and she’s very much into the neuroscience, behind the child’s brain, and has the whole brain methodology. And so her and I partnered together to create a parenting program because my folks kept asking for it, and I was like, “I don’t think I’m the best parent for this, but let me bring in someone who is. She’s an expert.”


[01:47:58] Ashley James: That’s awesome. That’s so cool. I love when you were talking earlier about the mirror neurons. It reminded me of my son. My husband, who’s normally a very cool headed person, like any human, will become overwhelmed from our four-year-old. We have a wonderful four-year-old boy who is just bubbly and just the light of our lives. He will also be a wonderful boundary pusher because he’s assertive, and he’s a great negotiator. We just applaud him.

He’s definitely an Aries. He’s just out there, and he’s going to be a leader and take charge of the world. But at every turn, he will do his best to get his way, which is perfect for an assertive person. We have to learn how to navigate that without totally squashing him. Our stuff comes up, and my husband will be caught in his frustration, and that’ll be out there.

A typical example, my husband will drive home with our son, and he’ll be on the phone with me, and he’s like, “Okay, we’re in meltdown mode. You know, I don’t know what to do with the kid.” The kid in the back seat is just like freaking out, throwing his shoes, yelling, and my husband is at the same level.  You could hear it. Our son and my husband — both the frequency happening. Just a few years difference between the two of them.

I’m on the speakerphone, I start talking to him, and when you said that about mirror neurons, I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, it’s what I do with him. I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m the calm, loving energy.’ It doesn’t matter whether he threw a stick or hit a kid or whatever, part of me wants to discipline him. The mom in me that thinks, “He did something wrong. We need to immediately correct it,” that voice has its place over here, but that’s not where I’m coming from right now. I’m coming from just love and getting him calmed down and talked to him. And within a minute, he stops crying. He stops throwing his shoes, that kind of thing. And my husband’s like, “How do you do that? I don’t understand.” I keep saying, “We have to stop reacting, and we have to act how we want him to act.” We can’t just tell him; you can’t tell someone calm down. It’s like shaking them, “Calm down. Calm down.” We’re not calm. Why do we think they’re going to be calm?

And so it’s just so funny that it works to help to bring them down and make them feel safe. And that works with adults too. It works with children. But I love that you’re partnering with a parenting expert because, of course, you can bring all your tools of bringing love to the situation and teaching the mirror neurons and helping us to catch ourselves when our stuff is coming up from our past. And cause I can see it in my husband’s. It’s easy to see it in others. I’ve got some of my blinders. It’s so easy for me to see like, “Oh yeah, I can see that how you’re treating our son right now is totally from your childhood when you were 12, and your dad did this.” I can just see it.

But of course he can’t write, but I’m sure he can see my stuff, and I can catch myself sounding just like my parents. I’m like, “Oh, my gosh. I’m bringing conflict that I hadn’t resolved from when I was six with my parents, and I’m bringing that to the current situation with our son.”

Your lessons to help us to catch it — to pause, to stop reacting and to be able to process, so that we are being authentic in the now with our children rather than projecting our past unresolved material onto them or our negative belief systems about the world onto them, and when they’re reactive, they’re coming from the energy that we’re holding at the moment. Kids don’t do what we say; they do what we do.


[01:52:14] Mandy Morris: We got to look at that. When we’re in a heightened state of anxiety, we’re in fight/flight, freeze/faint, and children go into that primal state even faster because they lack the tools to be like, “Is this a normal feeling or not?” And so if we are in a state of stress or even worse — and this one is, it’s no guilt or shame to any parents.” We’ve got to get out of the whole mom and dad guilt thing. No one can perfectly not program their child in some way. That’s not what happens. That’s okay. But when we get ourselves into that state of, “I’m calm with him right now,” but you’re raging on the inside, again they can feel it. And so then what are we teaching them? Yeah, we might not blow up on them — that’s great.

But there’s another step we can take to that, which is we have to resolve what’s going on internally within ourselves so that we don’t project the next belief on the child, which is they try to get the love and connection in an unhealthy way. They can feel something’s wrong, but they don’t trust their feelings because mom says she’s fine, but I don’t feel like she’s fine. I must be wrong in the way I feel. We create a crazy program in our children without realizing it in our attempt to love and serve them. It’s okay to be like, “I’m really frustrated buddy, and I’m going to take a minute. I need a brain break,” or “This is what I’ve got to do right now to take care of me, and that’s it.”  Just being honest and authentic in front of our children is far more important. It holds us to a higher standard than just pretending that it’s going to be okay.


[01:53:44] Ashley  James: That’s beautiful because you’re teaching them emotional intelligence.


[01:53:48] Mandy Morris: Yes. Versus shutting them off and not trusting how they feel. Where does that go in life, right?


[01:53:55] Ashley James: Now, the program you talked about right before we talked about the parenting one, that piqued my interest greatly. Can you tell us a bit about that one — the one about healing physically?


[01:54:05] Mandy  Morris: Yes, Health for Higher Consciousness. This was a program that folks have been asking me for a long time. One, because of course my personal journey into finding true health, but also the work that I did clinically, I understand the physical body at such a deep level and the cool scientists and doctors that I got to bump brains with. And so I created a 21-day program, and this was just released. So again, I’m going to be adding to it and making it much fuller as time goes on. But I released it to just a few folks, and somehow it spread, and so many people bought it. I’m like, “Wait, I wanted feedback first.”

They’re currently going through the round of it, and we’ve had amazing feedback for it. It’s this 21-day journey. It could very well in the next few months turn into a thirty-day or something different. Again, we want to tailor it to how do we create change. But as of right now it’s twenty-one different lessons on different factors — kind of hidden factors a lot of times to obtaining true health that also elevates our emotional, mental, psychological states.

And you know, I say elevating our consciousness, all of those factors that we don’t think about, we think it’s as simple as exercising and eating right. If you’re just on looking physically a certain way, and perhaps that’s the case, but there’s so much more that comes into play in our health and just like bodily self-love, and things that we don’t think about or that we don’t practice as often as we should. And so it’s kind of a deep dive into crazy different factors spread out into different realms that sometimes people are like, “I didn’t even think that this would be in a health program.”  But it’s in there because it does play a huge vital role in our brain health or just our consciousness.


[01:55:54] Ashley James: Brilliant. I’m interested in learning more from you. I love all the work you’re doing. I so believe in that. I so believe in the power of the mind to heal and the power of the mind to create disease.


[01:56:10] Mandy Morris: Thank you so much.


[01:56:11] Ashley James: Absolutely. You’ve been helping people for years and helping people to heal their body, heal their mind. He’ll heal their emotions, get to a place of manifesting what they want and then stop manifesting what they don’t want. So that’s just wonderful. Um, your superpowers, love, and now you’ve taught us how to start to use our newly found superpower. Thank you so much, Mandy Morris. Your website is and listeners can go there, check out all the wonderful programs, and of course, we’ll make sure that the links to everything that Mandy does are in the show notes of today’s podcast at

Mandy, is there anything you’d like to say to the listeners tapping into your superpower? Is there anything that you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview?


[01:56:56] Mandy Morris: I would and going off the cuff here, but whenever someone looks at their superpower or the thing that they want to create in the world or the perception of what they are, it’s always so much grander and so much bigger than the human mind can ever conceive. And that’s why living in that heart space, and that genuine authenticity, that authentic livelihood that we all have within ourselves when you tap into that, and I hope that everyone who’s listening never, ever gives up on the journey to continuing to discover those parts of yourself. It’s a constant growth and evolution. It’s not a final destination. If you’ve reached your final destination, you’re probably six feet under, so grant yourself the beauty of the journey, of the growth. Know that you’re getting 1% better or more educated or just discovering more of yourself every day, and it’s a beautiful, beautiful and incredibly rewarding thing to do, and I am rooting for you 100% of the way you deserve a beautiful life, and anything else that you experienced is suspect.


[01:58:03] Ashley James: Awesome. Mandy, thank you so much for coming on the show, and you are welcome to come back anytime you’d like a platform and an audience to convey your lessons. We’d love to have you again and continue learning from you.


[01:58:17] Mandy Morris: Thank you so much. You’re so amazing. I had so much fun. I appreciate it.


[01:58:20] Ashley James: Are you going to optimize your health? Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high-quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to, and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best. Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome referral program.

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Apr 8, 2019

Million Pound Mission University:


Million Pound Mission University

Adam Schaeuble, PHD (Previously Heavy Dude) is back with a very exciting project. Once again, Adam unleashes his superpower to create a community. He brings together experts online to educate us on the “right tool for the right job at the right time” in our quest for weight loss and true health. Tune in and find out more about Million Pound Mission University.


[00:00:14] Ashley James: I am so excited for today’s interview. We have back on the show, Adam Schaeuble. He earned his Ph.D. as a previously heavy dude. He originally was here with us in Episode 212, and it was so amazing to hear his story of personal transformation and of helping his entire town lose thousands of pounds and then go on his mission to help people all around the world lose a million pounds.

Man, Adam, you have such great traction going on. How’s it going?


[00:00:50] Adam Schaeuble: Ashley, first off, thank you so much for inviting me back. I have to tell you something really cool. A year and a half ago was when we did that first interview — I believe it’s September or October — that was the first big-audience interview. You’re the first person that said, “Yes, Adam, I want to share my platform with you and help you get your message out there.” It’s just been like rocket ship momentum ever since you said yes. So my friend, first off, thank you so much for helping propel this growth that I’m seeing.


[00:01:21] Ashley James: Absolutely. I love your mission. I believe in it. I’m definitely one of your fans. I love how you take a holistic approach to create a healthy body we want and help people to implement. Really, it’s all about whether rubber hits the road with you.

I definitely recommend listeners go back and check out Episode 212 where we dove into Adam’s story. But to reiterate, how many pounds did you help people lose in your town?


[00:01:57] Adam Schaeuble: I went on a journey where I went from 327 pounds down to sub 220s, so I lost over 100 pounds. People are starting to ask me to help them, and I found the boot camp in my hometown of Bloomington, Indiana, and we did thirty-five thousand pounds in five years and just rocked it. It’s awesome.


[00:02:15] Ashley James: There are great before-and-after pictures. But it’s more than just weight loss. You helped people to transform their lives mentally, emotionally, spiritually. This so resonates with our listeners because this podcast is about helping us to transform our whole lives so that we have physical health, emotional health, spiritual health, or energetic. We have better relationships.

If you’re trapped in a body that is unhealthy, and if you feel stuck in life with some excess weight, then the weight necessarily isn’t the root cause, but we have to get to the root cause by helping us to make these great lifestyle changes. I know that you love to focus on that.

One thing I’ve been impressed by is that you are an expert obviously in helping people to gain healthy weight. You’re a great personal trainer, motivational coach, and health coach, and you also love to bring in experts that help people in different areas.

You’re bringing in all these experts, much like this show. You’ve put together a program that I’m really impressed by, and I was so honored that you invited me to come to speak at your program. Can you tell us about the Million Pound Mission University?


[00:03:35] Adam Schaeuble: Yeah. Ashley, one of the concepts I’m working hard on is I talk to people every day, just like you do — people that are in the trenches trying to change their life. There is a lot of confusion going on around all the experts like us who go on podcasts and have podcasts.

I actually did a whole podcast about this I called “Overcoming Fitness Podcast Overwhelm.” This is a real condition. It’s going to be like texting thumb and stuff like that. This is going to be a condition moving forward in our society, where people have a goal.

Maybe they’re like, “I want to lose fifty pounds because that’s going to help me reclaim control of my health.” But they listen to one podcast on Monday. It’s more like a paleo-based podcast, and they start paleo on Monday. But then they hear the Weight Watchers podcast on Wednesday, and they switched to Weight Watchers, and then intermittent fasting on Friday, and they’re bouncing around full of confusion.

What adds to it is that a lot of these experts are arguing with each other back and forth over whose program is the best, “My program is better, and that program, if you do that thing, then you’re going to die of a heart attack for sure.” And so we’re bickering amongst each other as a lot of these experts. Right now, keto versus vegan is a big deal. People are really getting nasty about it.

It’s like we’re missing the point of the people that we’re trying to help. It’s not keto versus vegan. It’s keto, vegan, paleo, Weight Watchers, CrossFit, yoga, and whatever against being unhealthy. That’s the battle.

I know you’re of the same mindset. I am more of a, “Let’s find the right program of the right fit for this season of your transformation,” because I’m not Team Keto guy. I use the ketogenic diet when it makes sense to me, but I can also go vegan. I can also do a clean eating plan. I can do intermittent fasting. It’s the right tool for the right job at the right time, and that’s what I’m trying to promote with this educational event I put together called Million Pound Mission University.

We’re bringing in experts from all the different walks of the transformation game. We’ve got paleo experts. We’ve got Weight Watchers experts. We have anti-anxiety experts, neurolinguistic programming experts. We work on the mind. We work on the transformation protocol. We work on the different nutritional and physical options.

I just feel like I want to create a space where we can bring all these different experts to be experts and not competing against each other. It’s all towards that common good of let’s give people the tools that they can select from when it makes sense and then implement to reclaim control over their health, and that’s what it’s all about.


[00:06:24] Ashley James: I love it. Listeners can check out Adam’s Million Pound Mission University by going to I’m going to make it easy for everyone to remember the URL. So, and of course, the links to everything that Adam does is going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast at

Since you launched the university which was about a week ago, you have had some amazing feedback. I know you just started basically. You just launched it. You have a dozen or more experts in your university so far. As you’ve been doing these interviews with these experts, what lessons have you learned? Can you walk us through and teach us some things that you were just really taken aback by and excited by?


[00:07:16] Adam Schaeuble: I get freaked out with every interview. I’m so passionate about learning just like you. That’s why we’re such good friends, Ashley. We’re both very passionate about learning and then teaching people what we learn.

Right now, I’ve got eighteen lessons loaded up, and we’re adding more every single month. But somebody Alexa Schirm from the Simple Roots Radio podcast, she did a presentation about the effect of environmental stress on our hormones, body fat gain, weight loss, how those things impact us, as simple as whether we eat standing up or sitting down, and how that can impact our fat gain or fat loss. I started telling everybody. I’m like “Do not stand up. You need to be sitting down. Do not drive while you eat.” All these things. Just picking the brains of experts like that is amazing

And then you did some great work. I already have some great compliments on your topic when you talked about how to use NLP — neurolinguistic programming, which is a phrase that I love to say and not screw up — and how to combat anxiety with that. People are already taking this for a week, and I’ getting feedback on, “Dang, Adam, this really is working. This is making a difference.” We really focus on implementation.

Ashley, when I brought you on, I said, “This isn’t a podcast interview. This isn’t us talking about your life story and background.” We’ve done that. This is you going for thirty to forty-five minutes on a topic and just teach, give homework, and challenge them to implement this. You totally delivered. You had some great downloads and all that stuff. But again, this isn’t like a video version of podcasts. This is a real teaching and learning experience of the people that signed up. That’s what the goal is, and that’s the goal that we’re achieving so far. Great feedback. Implementation has been great in its first week, and I can’t wait to see what happens a month or six months down the road.


[00:09:27] Ashley James: Absolutely. Now, to take you back to what you just mentioned that you were excited by — I have a naturopath who goes down a checklist. Every time you go to see her, she gives a checklist of things to make sure you’re doing the foundations of health. I’ve talked about some of her foundations of health before. One thing she always makes sure, especially women, young mothers, that you’re not doing the eating while standing. So many mothers will eat their dinner while standing over the sink because they fed one kid, they’re about to feed the other kids, the husband just got home, and they’re sitting there shoving food in their mouth. I’ve caught myself doing that as I’m putting the leftovers away, eating while doing that. You’re standing and eating because “I didn’t get to sit down and have dinner. I was busy cooking, cleaning, and feeding everyone else,” and thinking, “I’m probably eating less standing up.” That little voice in my mind goes, “This is probably healthier. I’m not sitting down to have a meal, so I’m probably eating less. This is probably better to stand and eat and graze as we run through the house.”

No, it isn’t. Can you tell us a bit about why driving while eating, standing while eating, or eating at our desk, or eating in front of a TV going to negatively impact our hormones and our weight gain?


[00:10:56] Adam Schaeuble: The way Alexa described it to me is that basically, we’re igniting one of our two nervous system responses — our parasympathetic or the sympathetic. It’s that fight or flight, or the rest and digest. We want to be in rest and digest when we are eating, that way we can digest the food properly. It makes sense, right?

These all start to click when she described it this way. I’m like, “This makes sense.” When we are driving a car, 90% of the time, we’re in fight or flight because that is how we travel. That’s our basic primal instinct. To get from Point A to Point B, we use that fight or flight response.

If we’re sitting there shoving even healthy food, the calories will be shuttled off more towards fat storage because when we’re in fight or flight mode, our body is like, “We’re going to need those calories later for survival.” Instead of a relaxed state, sitting down, she even recommended not watching TV. Listening to something is better. Reading something is better, or just sitting and relaxing.

What I’ve been doing, I try to get myself in as relaxed of a state as possible right before I eat. I’ve been doing these mini meditation sessions, even if it’s two or three minutes long, to bring my heart rate down, center myself, and really put myself in relaxation mode, and then I eat my meal. Sometimes I listen to a podcast like Learn True Health with Ashley James. It seems like it’s making a difference from a digestive perspective. I don’t feel bloated after I eat, which is crazy. Just sitting or standing, the difference that makes, it’s unbelievable. The science makes sense to me.


[00:12:45] Ashley James: That reminds me to come back to as we grew up. Maybe you grew up in your household praying at the dinner table. Maybe you went to a friend’s house, and their family prayed at the dinner table. I lived at Kripalu for a little bit, which, I believe, is one of the largest yoga residential centers in the United States, and it’s in Berkshire, Massachusetts. I highly recommend going. It’s a total trip.

It houses about two hundred people at a time, and it was an old Jesuit seminary in the Berkshire, so it’s really beautiful. They have this huge dining hall. It’s all vegan, organic, wonderful and super delicious food. I’d look around, and people would be sitting there in silent meditation with their food, they’d be praying with their food, and sometimes they even give their food Reiki. Their hands are not touching their food, but more like a healing touch. The hands were hovering over their food as they were meditating for a few minutes, praying, and just centering themselves. I look around, and it’s like, “Oh, my gosh. This is so cool.” People were taking this time to be with their food and center themselves before they began to eat.

I’ve seen these military movies where they’re like, “Eat your food now and taste it later. Come on, soldiers.” That’s me. I’m like, “Go, go, go,” and then it’s gone and your brain doesn’t even have a chance to catch up with you, so you still feel hungry. I heard once it takes 20 minutes for the brain to recognize that we’ve had enough food, and so if you shove food in your mouth really fast, then you could be overeating for 20 minutes basically before your brain goes, “Whoa! Give way. We’ve got enough calories now. We’re fine.”Coming back to what you said about the stress response, I believe that when we’re in the fight or flight mode, our body is creating more insulin to fuel the muscles so that we can run away from the bear. If we’re eating while in that mode, then insulin is the hormone that helps us to create fat. When insulin is present, we are more likely to store energy as fat.

That’s very interesting. We need to get into that state where we’re in rest and digest mode, where we’re in the parasympathetic nervous system response of being calm and centered, taking some deep breaths, sometimes even chewing the food, putting the fork down, and pausing. That’s almost a ritual of self-love — to take that 30 minutes to eat our food for ourselves, listening to some music and being calm. It’s an activity that we can do to love ourselves.

I’ve had some people in the Learn True Health Facebook group; we talked about the importance of chewing food and what it does physiologically because none of us chew our food enough. There was someone who said it changed her digestion. She started chewing her food again. Chew it for ten, twenty, thirty times a bite, and it completely changed her digestion. I thought that was really neat — something as simple. We all know to do it, but do we do it?


[00:16:20] Adam Schaeuble: It comes back to that word — implementation.


[00:16:23] Ashley James: What’s another difference? You mentioned implementation. We come into your Million Pound Mission University. We learn from all these experts, but what’s going to help us implement what we learn, and what’s going to help us to figure out what path is best for us?


[00:16:47] Adam Schaeuble: One of my superpowers that I’ve discovered recently is that I am good at creating community. It now makes sense when I think back. This is what I did with my hometown. When we said we’ll lose thirty-five pounds, I created community, accountability, support, and implementation. I cultivated that environment.

I’ve done that with different online platforms. This is just that next one that I’m going to infuse and make it a bit different than the normal online summit that you would attend, where you get great information, you get entertained, but the implementation is very low, and I want to correct that.

We’re doing monthly round-table discussions via Zoom chat so that we can get people on there. I’m going to connect with people and go, “Which lesson resonated with you?” We’ll go through maybe, “It’s Ashley James,” maybe “It’s Sean Mulroney” — who knows what really connects. Then I’m going to go, “What is your first action step? What are you doing in line with this inspiration? How are you making progress in this? How can we get you in action heading towards that goal that you want to achieve?.” There will be some strategy. There will be some implementation.

The other cool thing is that all my professors — that’s what I’m calling my instructors, so Professor Ashley James — are invited to attend as well. These people that are getting hundreds of thousands of downloads, I’ve got eighteen of the top health podcasters in the world right now that are hard to reach. It’s not always super easy to reach somebody. Danny Vega has fifty thousand Instagram followers. If you send him an Instagram message, he may get it, he may not.

But if we bring him in, and you can talk to him in a small group — I’m keeping this at 25 people or less with the chats, and we’ll do multiple options per month — but connecting with your professors, connecting with each other, and then me as a ringleader of implementation, making sure that we are truly coming up with action steps out of these lessons, implementing those, and just checking in on a monthly basis to create that community. I think that’s the special sauce that comes with this event.


[00:18:59] Ashley James: Wonderful. Can you share any more tidbits that you’re excited to learn as you did your interviews?


[00:19:07] Adam Schaeuble: One of my buddies that I’ve interviewed for the podcast is Dov Baron. I keep on teasing him. He’s a motivational speaker, so I’m like, “Dov, I’m going to come up with these shirts that say #InDovWeTrust.”


[00:19:26] Ashley James: That’s interesting. I have a friend; his name was Dov — we pronounced it ‘Dove.’ It means bear in Yiddish. In Dov we trust — what does he specialize in?


[00:19:40] Adam Schaeuble: He specializes in helping people find their purpose. He’s a big business public speaker guru. I brought him in, and I gave him a very specific mission with his lesson. I said, “Dov, there are millions of people out there that know that they need to get healthier, and they want to get healthier, but they just don’t have that fire to get started. I need you to help them find the fire.”

He said, “I’m on it, mate.” He’s British. He always says when I try to do my impersonation, I sound Australian.


[00:20:16] Ashley James: Yeah, that was very Australian.


[00:20:20] Adam Schaeuble: [laughs] Dang it! Epic fail. So I turned him loose, and basically, he walked us through an experience of imagining that we are at our funeral. Two scenarios: everybody was there saying the things that we hope to hear about us, and then another scenario of people saying the things that we hope no one would ever say about us. He’s like, “If we have to take those two principles, that pain and pleasure principles, and use that to ignite the fire, the pleasure principle, that’s the thing that we are striving towards. That pain, that’s the thing that keeps us from quitting because we do not want people to say that about us.”

With him, he gives the example of somebody saying he was full of BS, or that he was a quitter, or that he was a sham as that pain principle as to why he has to keep impacting people. He has a goal he set out there to make a massive impact in the public speaking space, business space, and he won’t be denied because he knows on his final day, he does not want anybody to be able to say any of those negative things about him not being legitimate or being an impactful person and somebody that people can rely on to deliver great information.

He sure as hell did that.

He had me fired up. He just gets going. I’ve already had several people comment on just what a difference that made, to just think about it in those terms. He got emotional. He brought himself to tears talking about the disappointment that he would feel if somebody said all these negative things at his funeral. That is the type of emotion that we have to elicit to get our butt up off the couch and into motion, to sign up for a 6 a.m. boot camp class, or to have the willpower to avoid eating the things that we know we shouldn’t be eating. That was a super impactful one.

We had another great NLP presentation. It’s Matt Brauning. He’s got a great podcast as well. He did an exercise specific to cravings, which is another huge thing that we all deal with. He actually ran me through the NLP process with some visualization, and it’s great because it’s a video. One of the things I love to do, and you know this, is I love to make fun of myself.

I looked like a weirdo up there. My eyes were closed. I’m doing all the things they tell me to do, like visualizing pizza, sardines, and water. He had me flip-flopping the pictures and doing all these NLP stuff, and it’s just amazing. We’re getting some great response to that as well, mainly from people making fun of me from the video though.


[00:23:19] Ashley James: No, that’s great that he did some modalities work with you. Have you tested it? Since he did this, have you tried to be around pizza?


[00:23:30] Adam Schaeuble: Not yet. But just the–


[00:23:32] Ashley James: Thought of it?


[00:23:33] Adam Schaeuble: I could think about pizza, and my mouth starts to water. Now, it doesn’t. That’s possibly progress already.


[00:23:42] Ashley James: Absolutely. So you chose sardines and water as your ‘away from.’ The more repulsion you have with the item that you chose, the better. If you’re like, “I can take it or leave it,” that’s not enough repulsion. You need something that’s going to make you want to run and hang your head over a toilet. But, yes, it’s very effective. I’m glad he teaches the like to dislike for those who are like, “I’m very motivated, but I can’t let go of chocolate,” or “I can’t give up…” whatever the food it is that they can’t give up because they feel it has too strong of a hold on them.

My friend did potato chips. It was so funny that she chose food that would make her upchuck it. I think it was liver and onions. After the like to dislike, even hearing a crinkling of a bag that sounded like potato chips made her run to the waste bin.


[00:24:49] Adam Schaeuble: Oh, my gosh. It’s incredible.


[00:24:50] Ashley James: It calms down. That won’t be the reaction you have every time. It calms down, but it still becomes a complete “away from.” She was 100% addicted to potato chips — it’s been nine years, I don’t think she has been able to touch them.

My husband, the same thing. He was addicted to ice cream, and he was so repulsed by ice cream after like to dislike. He could not walk down the aisle at Albertsons where ice cream was for an entire year. That was ten years ago that he did that like to dislike, and now he can take or leave ice cream, but it doesn’t have a hold on him. That’s why it’s such a powerful tool to do these modalities work. I’m really happy that that’s part of the Million Pound Mission University for those who want to be able to have control instead of feeling the food is controlling them.


[00:25:48] Adam Schaeuble: I got to mention one more presentation. It’s rocking people’s worlds. I have my friend Sean Mulroney come in from The Obesity Revolution. If you guys have never heard Sean tell a story, this guy is in the fight for his life literally, like every day fighting with obesity. He gave a lecture on mental obesity, which is overcoming the obese mind and him being able to flip the switch — as high as almost 800 pounds, and now he’s down in 600s. He’s inspiring other people.

He’s got this little tribe of people that he works out with in St. Louis. I visited him a few months back. It’s incredible, the battle that he’s going through, but his process hat helped him flip that switch of feeling sorry for himself, feeling like the world was all against him, a lot of projection, a lot of blame to owning a situation at almost 800 pounds, taking control and ownership over his health, and taking active steps. He’s got so much going on with fluid retention and swelling. He had 100 pounds of water in one of his legs. That’s how bad his swelling is.

Just an incredible story, extremely inspirational. That’s another one that brings a lot of people to tears. Not everybody needs to lose hundreds of pounds, but we all deal with that mindset switch that needs to be flipped to reclaim control of our health. Whatever level or whatever extreme you’re at, lectures like that are going to make a big difference.


[00:27:31] Ashley James: Absolutely. I’m excited to watch that. I can’t wait to jump into the Million Pound Mission University and check that out. That is awesome. That happened to my dad. He was morbidly obese for many years. After my mom died, he just became so depressed, losing the love of his life, and then something happened. I guess we were watching a TV show about weight loss surgery, and a little light switch clicked in his mind.

He said to me, “I can just tell my brain that I’ve had the surgery. Let’s skip the surgery part, and I’m just going to tell myself that my stomach is the size of a golf ball.” He persistently did that for over a year. He chose healthy foods. I couldn’t believe it. He went from bingeing massive amounts of foods because he was trying to fill the void inside him. He would get upset at me if I served him too much food. I cooked him an egg and asparagus, and he’s like, “That’s not the size of a golf ball. Don’t you get it? My stomach is now the size of a golf ball,” and he did it. He went all the way back down to — I’ve never seen him at that healthy of a weight. I didn’t recognize him.

That was interesting to see. When the mindset does shift, that’s where everything starts because from your mindset comes to your actions, and from your actions come your results.

I know it’s just new. You launched it just over a week ago. Tell me some of the feedback that people have been giving you — that your students have been giving you so far.


[00:29:21] Adam Schaeuble: People are super excited about two main things. You go to the website, you go to the link that Ashley talked about, and you’re going to see all these cool names, these awesome topics, but the impact of the lessons, you really feel. And, Ashley, you can testify to this, I was very specific about this isn’t a broad brush session. It’s like you’re giving a TED talk. You got somebody you need to implement, or you need to impact, and you have to give implementable action steps. People are feeling like, “I can tell that you hold their feet to the fire to give actionable homework.” I’m like, “You’re a professor. You got to give some homework.” They’re really enjoying that.

Mainly, people that are jumping in are podcast listeners. Podcasts, a lot of times they’re entertaining, and we get inspired, but those that follow through that action behind the message isn’t always there, and this is just totally different. So people are enjoying that, and everybody is super psyched. We’re doing our first round-table discussion in a couple of weeks, and they’re just pumped up. People are diving into those sign-up spots to get in there, interact with some of their heroes, but also a lot of the fellow members are starting to interact, and I think that we’re going to create some nice accountability and connection there, and people are just super excited.

It’s almost like you’re doing a study group or office hour sessions. You get to talk about the lessons that you learned, and we’re going to share a lot of stories of how things are impacting us so far. That’s why I didn’t want to do one of the round-tables the first week. I want people to be able to implement a few weeks and start to feel the impact, and we’ll be able to share those stories in a couple of weeks.


[00:31:13] Ashley James: Excellent. You have helped people lose thirty-five thousand pounds — even more than that. In your town, you have helped people single-handedly. You were working with people with individual and also in groups, but you have face-to-face time with people in person have helped that people lose that much weight. So thirty-five thousand pounds, and you said it was in five years?


[00:31:44] Adam Schaeuble: Yes.


[00:31:45] Ashley James: That is incredible. Do you bring your experience and the actionable steps that you used to help those people lose weight? Do you bring that to the Million Pound Mission University as well?


[00:32:01] Adam Schaeuble: I’m dripping my content. I want the spotlight to be on you guys, but I’m also putting my stuff in there. I put in a whole lecture about how to escape the black hole of fitness doom. That was the topic that we talked about the very first time that you interviewed on your show.

I did a big lecture on that with some actionable steps. We’re going to drip a lot of that content in each month to give people new things to take actions on.

People are asking all the time, “How did you get all these people to lose all this weight? How do you help people with Million Pound Mission and all that?” One of the things that I feel works is I’ve walked that path that a lot of people are walking, whether they’re frustrated about their health and ready to make a change. I realized that they feel like they’re out of control, and they’re willing to put in work. They’re willing to put in the effort. They just don’t know which direction to walk.

I try my best to provide clarity and saying, “Here’s the path. Here’s where you’re at now. Here’s where we want to get to, and here are the action steps that we can take.” And now, the good part is, I’ve got a whole lot of energy, and hopefully you guys can feel that coming through your earbuds right now. But I’ve got a ton of energy, and I’d tell people, “Borrow my energy until you build up your momentum.”

Eventually, you’re going to have to be able to match energy with me, so that’s something to give you a goal to shoot for, but you can borrow my energy, enthusiasm, and motivation to kickstart this whole thing when you plug into things like the university here, and we get your momentum going.

Eventually, you’re matching energy with me, and then you’re just way above and beyond excited about where you’re going, and that momentum is yours. That is the gift that I want to give everybody, that feeling that you’re in control of your health and you’ve got momentum on your side. That’s why I do everything that I do, Ashley.


[00:33:58] Ashley James: I love it. Those questions that pop in and out of my head is, all those people have lost weight following you. Were they on the same diet, the same program, they’re all doing CrossFit, they’re all eating paleo, or was everyone doing their program, and you were helping them to stay focused?


[00:34:21] Adam Schaeuble: A little bit of both. With my hometown, it’s a little bit different because I own a gym and I’d be able to control their fitness environment. But with their nutrition, we develop a lot of different modalities, from vegetarian/vegan to clean eating, to strict paleo, gluten-freeketo — all that. Again, as I talked about earlier, it’s the right tool for the right job. If we need a hammer to pound a nail, I’m not going to use a screwdriver.

That’s where there’s a lot of confusion, where all these Team KetoTeam Vegan, and Team CrossFit, they battle back and forth who is the smartest and who is the best. I feel like that’s a waste of air. It doesn’t matter if that’s not the right tool for the job. With our home base, I had people come in morbidly obese, and I had people come in that were former pro athletes, and they were in the same class working out together. We just modify up or down, whether it’s a bodyweight class, a yoga class, an equipment station, kettlebell rotation type of thing, but we had modified a little bit there.

Now that we’re transitioning more to online programming and things like Million Pound Mission University and my online communities, that has been more about me almost — I try to get you to visualize. Like when you need help with your investments, you go maybe to a financial adviser, and they manage your investment portfolio.

I’m kind of a fitness portfolio manager, like a transformation strategist basically. I’m like, “What are you struggling with? Here are my tools to address that situation. Let’s hone in on the right diet program, the right fitness regimen, and let’s hold you accountable to that on March 4.” I like to operate in 28-day cycles. We take a stair step every 28 days, and we readjust as we need to, shift around the portfolio a little bit if we need to. But it’s very broad brush, and it’s more about adding in accountability, adding in community, and always just making sure that we operate from a rock-solid battle plan, and that’s how we help people reclaim control of their health.


[00:36:41] Ashley James: I like it. How do you help people to figure out what diet is best for them?


[00:36:48] Adam Schaeuble: I’ve got a little tool. I’ll send it to you. I call it the Nutrition Plan Filter, where it’s a process in the coaching, but you can use it as a standalone tool as well. But you go through a process of thinking, “What have I done in the past?” We can’t discount something that we did. Let’s say you did Weight Watchers; you lost 30 pounds, but you gained it all back. You can’t just shove that, “I gained it all back.” It may not have been the “diet” that was the issue; it may have been something else, like you’re on vacation and then never got back to it, which is not the diet’s fault.

We look at which nutritional protocols they’ve had success with. We make a note of those. Then we list all the nutritional protocols that we have interest in. Maybe you hear a lot about keto, and you want to learn more about that, so we’ll add to the list. Then we work through a process of crossing things off, starting different things, and we work our way down to where we say, “This is probably the best fit right now.” That’s what we work with, but that’s a little pressure situation.

I truly believe that we should not put pressure on ourselves like if you decide going vegan is the best nutrition plan for the next 28 days, it’s not like ‘vegan or bust’ or “If I don’t do this, then I’m a failure because I’ve tried everything else.” This is the mindset a lot of people have, and we need to extinguish that.

I tell people, “We’re going to experiment with this for 28 days. We’re going to take great notes, and we’re going to do the best that we can to execute this nutritional protocol.” At the end of the 28 days, let’s see what happens. Maybe we lose 5 pounds; maybe we gain 5 pounds; maybe nothing happens; maybe we feel great; maybe we feel terrible. But we’ll never know until we implement strategically for 28 days and then assess the results. It’s an experiment; there’s no pass/fail. Let’s see what happens. “Let’s absorb what is useful,” as Bruce Lee says, and we move forward from there. That’s the overarching approach that I take.


[00:38:54] Ashley James: I like it. During those 28 days, at the beginning you do body measurements, go on a scale, and then you don’t touch the scale for 28 days? How do you have them know it’s working?


[00:39:10] Adam Schaeuble: It depends as far as the measurement stuff. I do have a lot of people that are kind of addicted to the scales. A lot of people weigh themselves every day, and we’ll actually make adjustments to their nutrition plan every day, depending what the scale tells them, which is like, “We don’t want to do that, people.”

If I’m dealing with that sort of person, I’ll say, “Just weigh in once a week. Just weigh in on Sundays. Here’s the protocol. Let’s do our check-in. We’ll do some pictures. We’ll do some measurements. We’ll do the scale.” I like once every two weeks. So every 14 days, we do a little checkpoint, and the speech that I give people is, “Let’s say once every two weeks, I was going to have you do a push-up test to see how many push-ups you could do in a minute. Let’s see at Day 14, you do your push-up test, and you do 20 push-ups, would you change what you’re doing with your nutrition depending on how that test went?”

No. That will be ridiculous.

Then I say, “Then we’re not going to make any shifts when you step on the scale either.” We’re not going to make any dramatic, “I’m down five pounds, but I expected to be down eight pounds because my friend lost eight pounds.” We’re not going to change anything around based off of what that scale tells us either. It’s just a data point. That’s how we have to view it.

At the end of the 28 days, we might shift something, but it’s not because the scale told me something. It’s all of the data collected together as a whole. We assess how we’re feeling, how we’re sleeping, how’s our digestion, how’s our stress levels, how’s our body fat, how’s our physical performance, what’s the weight doing, what are the measurements doing, how are the pictures doing. It’s all of that stuff instead of one, single, very hard to be consistent with data point.

If we’re going to think about that clearly also, if we are retaining water, the scale is almost irrelevant. If we’re sore, if we have sodium, our hormonal cycles — that can shift that scale five, six, seven, eight pounds in a day. That’s the data point that most people are judging themselves on. That’s crazy.

I’m big on that holistic approach of, “Let’s look at all of the data, have that experimental mindset, and we’ll just take this 28-day stair steps at a time, low pressure, but being consistent with moving forward and keeping positive momentum.”


[00:41:42] Ashley James: I love it. Is this something that you’re going to teach moving forward at Million Pound Mission University? Are you going to hands-on help these students to do these, to implement this ongoing-ly?


[00:41:54] Adam Schaeuble: Yeah. It’s a continuing month-to-month program, so my goal is to keep adding new lessons, but also, like you just said, implementing my processes in there so that people are being taught how to set up these 28-day cycles. It’s like my battle pan workbook, how to use tools like the nutrition filter, and going forward, how to implement those if it makes sense.

But again, those monthly round-tables are going to be me being the ringleader of implementation and accountability. A lot of my clients, they kind of joke, and they tell me that they’re paying me to keep them out of their head. So if I hear them beating themselves up, if they’re not proud — especially me, I’m 6’3″; I’m 225 pounds. I’m not a small person, and they see me as one of those TV drill sergeant type people, where they think like, “He’s gonna yell at me. He’s gonna all be mean.” Honestly, the only time I ever really get fired up and yell at somebody” is if they’re not being proud enough of themselves.

I’ve got people that are doing tremendous, but they’re in their head, “Ugh, I’ve only lost thirty pounds, Adam, but my goal is fifty.” I’m like, “You’ve lost freaking thirty pounds. This is incredible. You have to be proud of that and not be caught in that ‘I’m not there yet’ trap that we all do.”

I’m constantly telling people to turn around, look at where you started from, measure that distance — not the distance between where you stand and where you want to be — that will keep you moving forward. We’ve talked about that before. A big part of my job description is pulling people out of their head, or maybe even retracting their head from their butt region every once in a while.

It’s what I do. It’s what I’m good at. If people want to buy into those methods and if they’re willing to take a little bit of pressure off themselves, we can get some pretty amazing results, and I feel like my catalog results in my hometown, the online clients, really speaks for itself.


[00:44:10] Ashley James: Absolutely. I like that you do this 28-day increments where you increase it. You’re speaking my language. I’ll go to the gym with the end goal in mind, but that’s three years from now. I’ll go for three days in a row and then it’s like, “Ugh, nothing is working.” I’m totally in my head.

Whereas if I went to the gym for the next 28 days, that’s the only thing I’m focusing on, and then I get to reassess and then go, “Great. Now, I’m going to add more reps and maybe another kettlebell,” or whatever but just sticking with something. It’s a long enough of a time that you start to get the habit of it and start to get momentum. But it’s short enough of a time that they don’t get lost. They don’t get bored.

I’ve done this. Like you said, one day I’m on Weight Watchers; next day I’m vegan; the next day I’m paleo. I’ve totally done that. I’ve done over thirty-five diets, and that was a few years ago. I stopped counting. But obviously since doing the podcast, I get inspired by every guest, and I would like to try their diet.

I went to become a health coach. I went to the Institue of Vinegar of Nutrition. We learned a hundred different dietary theories in 365 days, so you bet, I tried every single diet. Not for more personal experience to understand, but you get to the point where it’s a little dizzying, where we stop listening to the intuition of our body because we’re hearing all these other experts. “This person lost weight with keto.” “This person lost weight with vegan.” “This person lost weight with Atkins.”

It seems like opposing diets. One scientist says, “We should eat no meat because the meat will kill us. We’ll die.” This other scientist says, “Look at all these proof that we have to eat meat or else we’re going to die.” What are we going to do?

And so I love that you bring clarity to the situation, as I do as well love to bring clarity for people to help them own their success, get out of their head, be able to focus on food is nutrition, that it’s a form of self-love. The food is our medicine, and I like that you have this “stick with something for 28 days before you judge it.” Give it enough time to do its work, and then that reassessment once a month is great too. It helps us to stay accountable. That’s wonderful.

Adam, I would join Million Pound Mission University just for your expertise. We need to do a little bit of “Come to Ashley” talk here because this is the same as the person who beats himself up for only losing thirty pounds. You need to do a little self-checking. Your info is so awesome that all these other speakers are like icing on the cake, but I would come to your Million Pound Mission University just for you.

You help people lose thirty-five thousand pounds; that is absolutely outstanding. You know what you’re talking about, and I love that you were so heart-focused, that you are so in love with every single person that is there to help. As I said, I’m a big fan of the work you do, and I’m excited to see how many lives we can help transform through the Million Pound Mission University.

I can’t wait to have you back on the show like a year from now where we can do a recap and see how many people have had transformations because of what you’ve put together.

So listeners can go to to check out the Million Pound Mission University. Definitely enroll, jump in. Adam made it incredibly affordable, and it’s all about results-based stuff, so it’s mindset stuff. It’s emotional/mental health; definitely a lot of physical health. But you’re also going to get Adam, which I think, you are the most important resource that Million Pound Mission University offers because of your level of experience and the amount of care that you bring to every single person.

Can you tell us what you would like us to walk away today? What lesson or idea would you like all of us to leave this episode with today?


[00:49:22] Adam Schaeuble: I’ve mentioned a few times, and first, thank you so much for what you just said. That makes my day. I borrowed some of your energy to launch my podcast career, so that means a lot coming from you, my friend.

We’ve talked about implementation. You guys have heard us say something today that you would not be listening to this interview still if you didn’t have something that was getting you going. An hour in, people aren’t still tuned in. I’m not going to listen to an hour-long podcast to hear people’s voices. So if you’re still with us, something fired you up. Something has you plugged in. Hone in on that thing, and say, “In the next 24 hours, what is one simple action step that I can take to implement?”

Visualize this stack of dominoes a mile long. The first domino is the smallest one. The next one is twice the size. The next is twice that size because that’s how dominoes work. I just learned that’s the physics of it. If you push over a domino, that domino can knock over a domino twice its size. That’s how we build momentum.

What is the tiniest domino that you need to flick over to create momentum in the right direction to achieve that thing that you’ve gotten fired up about today? Within the next 24 hours, if you guys want to ramp up the personal accountability on this, most of you are on your phone listening to this right now. Set an alarm 24 hours from now on your phone — on iPhone, you can add some text in there. I want the text to say, “I am worth it.” That alarm goes off in 24 hours. I want you to do something because you are worth it.


[00:51:12] Ashley James: I love it. For Androids, we can go into the calendar and add a little appointment — “I’m worth it.” I’m going to tell everyone around me to do so. There’s this meme that keeps circulating Facebook. I laughed till I cry every time I see this meme. It’s just text. A woman is asking a salesperson, “How many loads of laundry can this dining room table hold?” The man says, “Ma’am, this is a dining room table.” She goes, “Yes, what’s the point?” It’s because many of us use our dining room table to hold things that aren’t food.

We’ve been Marie Kondo-ing our house. If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo, go to Netflix, watch the entire season of Tidying Up. Our house is crazy right now. We’ve done 12 or 15 loads of ‘to donate’ to the thrift store. We’re rocking it.

However, the downside is I have let everything under the sun pile up on our dining room table, so we stopped eating at the table. Now, we’re eating at random places in the house, like me standing up by the sink. This has been a recent development. I’m worth it. Today, I’m going to clear up the dining room table. We’re going to get back to eating at the table again.

It’s funny. I’ve told the listeners this made a huge difference to the health of our whole family when we started eating at the dining room table — it really did — and it got disrupted. I went unconscious there, and now I get to come back. I’m going to clear up that dining room table. We’re going to stop eating standing up or by the computer. We’re going to start eating again at the dining room table.

So thank you, Adam, for helping us to choose something that we want to transform in the next 24 hours, like that little domino that is going to make a huge impact as it starts to topple over the bigger dominoes until our life is completely transformed.

Adam, it’s been a pleasure having you on the show again. Can’t wait to have you back about a year from now for you to tell us the amazing impact that the Million Pound Mission University has had in the lives of all its students. In five years, you were able to help your town lose thirty-five thousand pounds. I can’t wait now that you’ve been unleashed on the internet. You don’t have the constraints of a geographical location now. You have the entire world. So watch out, world. Here come’s Adam and the Million Pound Mission University.

Listeners, please go to and check it out, and follow Adam on Instagram. He does lots of these live — almost daily. I see you all the time with blue blocking glasses. Adam is a role model for me. He’s right in the blue-blocking glasses because he’s like, “I don’t care what I look like. My melatonin production is not getting inhibited by this being on a screen at night.” Very cool — he’s got blue-blocking shades, and he does these awesome live events on Facebook and Instagram. You can ask him all kinds of questions.

How can listeners follow you, Adam? Is it Million Pound Mission? How do they follow you on Instagram and Facebook?


[00:54:45] Adam Schaeuble: The best place, especially my live stuff, number one is Instagram @millionpoundmission. That is my jam. I’m a little bit addicted to Instagram for sure, especially from a podcasting perspective. And then Facebook, I’ve got a redirect to my Facebook group. It’s a free Facebook community, but I go live in there a lot. If you go to, that will opt you in to check out my Facebook community, and that’s where I hang out. The two places I love to be.


[00:55:20] Ashley James: Awesome. Adam, we’ll see you in the Million Pound Mission University, and we’ll see you live on Instagram. Thank you so much for coming here today. It was such a pleasure.


[00:55:29] Adam Schaeuble: Thanks, Ashley. I appreciate it so much, and again, everybody, if you have not done this yet, please go on iTunes, leave Ashley a glowing 5-star review and mention this episode, and I greatly appreciate that.


[00:55:43] Ashley James: Are you into optimizing your health? Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high-quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to, and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best price. That’s Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome referral program.

Get Connected With Adam Schaeuble!

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Book by Adam Schaeuble

The Third Component

Recommended Readings By Adam Schaeuble

The Power Of Habit  by Charles Duhigg

The One Thing by Jay Papisan

Apr 3, 2019
Holistic health consulting and coaching, NES bioenergetic scans, trauma coaching, mold toxicity education and healing, yoga instructor.

The Vegan Stevia chocolate that I love:

This one: and this one:

Mind Body Medicine

After a mold infestation, Mandy Flanders and her daughters’ health deteriorated. Diet and detox helped, but they did not eliminate the symptoms. This certified traditional naturopath turned to holistic healing and uncovered deeper roots of disease — trapped emotions. Mandy shares how acknowledging her feelings led to true healing and made her “safe in her body” again.


[00:00:03] Ashley James: I am so excited for our interview today. We have with us Mandy Flanders. She’s a holistic health coach and a certified natural health professional. She’s working towards her traditional naturopathist certification through Trinity College, and she has a wealth of information to share with us today, most importantly though her story, which is incredibly inspirational.

As you listen to Mandy’s story today, if it resonates with you in a way that makes you want to do the work that she does and help people as a holistic health coach, then I think you will love IIN, the Institute for Integrated Nutrition. That’s the online school that I went to take the year-long health coach training program designed for very busy people so that you can fit it into your schedule. It is a phenomenal course.

Every week you’re given videos that are of the caliber of TED talks. They are very interesting. In school a lot of the classes were boring, and I was afraid this would be boring. Every single week was incredible. It was riveting. If you are into health, you will absolutely love IIN’s program. They train you on how to be a successful health coach.

If you’re interested in becoming a holistic health coach, call up IIN, talk to them, ask them for more details, talk to them about their health coach training program, make sure you mention the Learn True Health podcast and Ashley James because I secured a fantastic discount for my listeners. You can also get free access to part of their training by going to Sign up to check out a module of their training so you can get a feel for it.

Enjoy today’s interview. 

[00:02:14] Ashley James: Mandy, welcome to the show.


[00:02:16] Mandy Flanders: Hi, Ashley. Thank you so much for having me.


[00:02:19] Ashley James: Absolutely. Mandy, you’ve been a listener for quite a while. You’re very active in the Learn True Health Facebook group. You and I have been friends on Facebook. I love following all your posts, by the way. They have inspired and helped me, and I know that you’re going to help a lot of our listeners here today. After listening to this interview, everyone can go to the Facebook group, and we can have an awesome discussion with Mandy about everything that we’ve learned here today.

I want to dive in and hear more about your story because you have this beautiful journey that you’ve been on towards the healer that you are now. Of course, you had to go through your own healing in order to be inspired to want to dedicate your life to helping others. Thank you for getting a bit vulnerable today and sharing what you’ve been through in your past. I know a lot of us can relate. Tell us your story.


[00:03:12] Mandy Flanders: Thank you. I started to get into holistic health after I got pregnant actually. I was very acutely aware of how everything that I was ingesting, feeling, thinking was going right to my baby.

At that time, I didn’t know what to eat, what to avoid. I was very into water sports at the time that I got pregnant which are pretty hard on pregnancy, and you’re actually not supposed to do them while you’re pregnant. I was also coming out of drug addiction. I was entering into a very new territory of just a complete metamorphosis into this new person that I didn’t know existed.

I started learning about the types of foods that pregnant women should eat. I didn’t even know how to cook at that time. I would think macaroni and cheese was cooking or a can of soup was cooking. My son is now six, and I learned a lot since that time.


[00:04:34] Ashley James: When you were pregnant, you were no longer using drugs and alcohol? Could you tell us a bit about that experience? How did you end your addiction to drugs and alcohol?


[00:04:48] Mandy Flanders: The story is interesting, I think. I got arrested for my third DUI and wound up in a jail that was like an hour away from my home. I was in my early twenties and terrified of calling my parents to let them know that I had been arrested again for drinking and driving.


[00:05:14] Ashley James: How old were you?


[00:05:15] Mandy Flanders: I was, I think, twenty-one, so it was about ten or eleven years ago. It took me a few days of being in jail to finally decide to call and let anyone know that I was in there, but I knew at that time that something had to change. I didn’t know how it was going to change, and I didn’t know what it would look like, but I knew that I could not go on that way. I knew I was looking around the jail cell at all of these other women that were in there with me, and I just knew that I did not belong there. It was not a path that I saw myself on for the next ten, twenty, thirty years.

So I detoxed in jail. I remembered feeling extremely sick, shaking, sweating and nauseous. Of course, the food that they give you in jail is not nourishing at all. I finally called my family, and I remember my mom answering the phone — it was a collect call — and I just started crying. I was like, “I don’t know why I keep doing this.” She didn’t know what to say either.

So they finally came and bailed me out, and I went back to my apartment. I lost my license because it was my third DUI. I started going to AA about a month later. It took me a while to decide what I was going to do and how I would do it, and I had an anklet on at that time to detect alcohol in my sweat levels.


[00:07:03] Ashley James: They should have that same kind of anklet for donuts. “We’ve detected your blood sugar has raised.” It’s like, “Zap! No more Krispy Kreme for you.”


[00:07:15] Mandy Flanders: Yeah, that’s hilarious. Why don’t they do that? “Your sugar content is way too high.”


[00:07:23] Ashley James: “Go hit some kale.”


[00:07:28] Mandy Flanders: That’s funny. So yeah, I started going to AA and was surrounded by a lot of people my age who were going through similar things. It was from there that I was able to find a steady footing to figure out how to get sober. I ended up linking up with an old friend of mine who I used to party with, who found herself in AA. It was ironic that we were both there together. It was good to have a community of people around me who were trying to figure out how to do this, too.

I just had a lot of good support. It was a good foundation for me. I’m not currently in AA. Not long after that, I met my husband who was a huge catalyst for healing and growth for me as well. The relationship that we have together has been super profound for my healing.

After AA, I started yoga teacher training. This is not the path that I would recommend for everybody, but for me, yoga teacher training gave me a new set of tools to be able to manage the emotions and the stresses that I was trying to numb out with alcohol and drugs.


[00:09:00] Ashley James: Did you figure out what led you to use drugs and alcohol in your life? Did you find that after you stopped using drugs and alcohol, that you started using other things to cope? A lot of people will go to sugar to stimulate the serotonin and get an escape. There’s sex addiction. There’s addiction to watching TV. There’s exercise addiction. There are ways that we can legally escape. Did you find that you were craving different habits that were unhealthy, or did you get to the root cause?


[00:09:45] Mandy Flanders: I did not get to the root cause initially. I did a lot of counseling and a lot of deep inner work, and it wasn’t until we were exposed to toxic mold three years ago that I realized that there was a deeper root. It’s interesting because these stories are from two different times in my life, but they overlapped so much.

The toxic mold helped me to realize that I did not get to the root of the issues at all. I didn’t realize it, of course, at that time, and I was medicating with chocolate. I was medicating with research. I was medicating with certifications, schooling, and education. And so a lot of people would consider those healthy, but I was still stuck in this disease of avoidance with not the best coping mechanisms, and so I would feel stressed, and then I would start researching, “Oh, me and my son have a runny nose.” I’m going to start researching all the causes that could contribute to a runny nose, so that wasn’t helpful either.

So then we were exposed to toxic mold. We had lived in this house for three or four years, and we had some intense family stuff going on. My younger sister had just been diagnosed with brain cancer and some other things we’re going on. My body was just under an extreme amount of stress. I was not sleeping well. My food choices were not the best, and I could tell my heart rate was high all the time. I was not managing my stress very well.

So then I fell sick from the toxic mold, and the kids too when they were were getting sick with colds and congestion like every other week. I was having these crazy symptoms of headaches and severe brain fog, nausea, digestive issues, heart palpitations, joint pain, muscle pain — just so many symptoms that a person should not have to be subjected to.

I went on a hunt. I didn’t even know that we were being exposed to toxic mold, but I just went to on a hunch. Something told me to get the house tested. We did and found very high levels of a lot of different types of molds, and there are five toxic black molds, and we had four of them in our home.

[00:12:25] Ashley James: How long has that been going on? What is it chronic? Did all that mold suddenly happen? Did you realize you’ve been exposed to it for a long time?


[00:12:34] Mandy Flanders: I think we had been exposed to it for a long time, and with this extreme stress that we were under, it triggered. It’s an opportunistic pathogen, so it was like, “Hey, you’re weak right now. We’re gonna attack you.” That’s what happened.


[00:12:54] Ashley James: The rain barrel effect keeps coming up. Oh, my gosh — that must have been crazy. Tell me a bit about the intuition. Was it a little voice? Can you remember back to that moment that you thought, “This could be mold”? What notified you that it could be black mold?


[00:13:17] Mandy Flanders: It was just a very strong gut feeling.


[00:13:23] Ashley James: So you listened to the gut.


[00:13:26] Mandy Flanders: Yeah, and it was challenging because I didn’t realize what a huge undertaking mold was going to be for my family, for our health, and for our bank account.


[00:13:37] Ashley James: How did you get rid of it?


[00:13:39] Mandy Flanders: Oh, man, that’s a whole other story. I didn’t know much about mold at that time, so we hired a remediation company after we had it tested, and they found high levels of the Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Cladosporium, Chaetomium.

This remediation company came in, and they taped up the door and did a zipper, and they were tracking the materials in and out through the house still. And then they were removing the walls; they removed the bathtub, the sinks, part of the ceiling; they just kept removing until they didn’t see any more mold. They were spraying what they said were natural mold killers, but I could smell it through the whole air duct system. We’re sitting on the couch, the kids and I, and I could smell this chemical coming through the air events. I was like, “That’s interesting because they supposedly taped over the air vent in the bathroom, so I wonder how I’m smelling it over here coming through the air vent.”

They left and pretty much immediately our health got even worse. I called the insurance company and was trying to talk to them about the claim and what was going on with our health and how we were not doing very well, and I felt like we’re getting worse after the remediation, and she was like, “I can’t believe you’re still in the house.” I said, “What do you mean?” She was like, “I can’t believe nobody has told you to get out of that house. You should not be in the house while they’re remediating, especially not with children.”

And so I looked at my husband after he got home, and I was like, “We have to get out of this house. We can’t stay here.” We went to stay with my parents. It ended up being seven or eight months while they remediated. I fired that company. I came in one time while they were gone and went into the bathroom where the wall was when the air kicked on. I realized that where the wall was removed, there was air moving through that space. I had someone, a contractor, come in to look at it with me because I was like, “I don’t understand this. There is air moving through the space. What is this?” He said, “That’s an air return, and it goes into the whole air duct system.” I was like, “Are you serious?”


[00:16:13] Ashley James: From the moldy bathroom.


[00:16:14] Mandy Flanders: Yes.


[00:16:15] Ashley James: Oh, my gosh. Who designed this?


[00:16:18] Mandy Flanders: I know. I fired that company. I called them, and it was like, “This is insulation. There is mold all over, and this is an air return. Everything that you were doing was getting sucked into our entire air duct system.” They denied it. They were like, “That’s not mold.” I had a company come in and test it, and sure enough, it tested positive for very high counts of all the black molds.

I fired them, hired another company to come in, and they did it right. They taped up everything. They sealed everything. They had negative airflow going out of the house so that the mold would be tracked outside the house. They were wearing hazmat suits. Everything was done properly the second time around.


[00:17:07] Ashley James: Can you share the name of that company? Is it a national company or just local?


[00:17:12] Mandy Flanders: I think it’s just local. They’re called Dry Rescue Services.


[00:17:17] Ashley James: Local to what area?


[00:17:20] Mandy Flanders: Orlando, Florida.


[00:17:22] Ashley James: We want to give good attention to good companies.


[00:17:27] Mandy Flanders: Yeah, so they did a good job. We ended up having to replace the entire air duct system, the bathroom, the laundry room, and the kitchen.


[00:17:39] Ashley James: Amazing. Seven months out of your home.


[00:17:43] Mandy Flanders: Yeah, with two little kids.


[00:17:47] Ashley James: What did you do to recover the health of your family after you realize that everyone had been exposed to four toxic black molds?


[00:17:55] Mandy Flanders: Initially, I focused on the diet. I cut out all high-histamine foods. We didn’t do anything fermented. I cut out grains. For me, I cut out all animal products. We were eating fruits and veggies. I didn’t feel it impacted me that much, which I was surprised by. I was like, “Maybe I’m just detoxing.”

So then I started doing homeopathic detox by the Energetix brand. That seemed to help a little bit. I noticed more drainage and things like that. I was doing saunas regularly, too. I couldn’t work out at all in that time because every time I started to work out, within five to ten minutes, I would have to go and take a two- or three-hour nap after working out because my adrenals were just so shot.


[00:19:03] Ashley James: Do you think that was an accumulation over the alcohol and your life before the mold? Do you think that your adrenals were fine until the mold?


[00:19:16] Mandy Flanders: They probably had some accumulation from my life before the mold, but there was so much time in between that I feel like it was mostly stress-related and then compounded by the mold.

There was just so much stress happening at that time. It’s hard to paint the picture of how taxing this was emotionally on us. It strained my marriage. My kids were extremely stressed out. My daughter was one and a half at that time, and my son was three. It was a rough time, and I didn’t know anything about remediation. I didn’t know anything about mold at that time, so I kept making these decisions that I thought were the right decisions, like hiring that remediation company that was referred to us, and then it would blow up in my face. I’m like, “Why is this happening?”


[00:20:14] Ashley James: What are the symptoms? Were you the only one experiencing symptoms, or did your children and husband also have health issues because of this?


[00:20:28] Mandy Flanders: My kids did, too. They were getting sick every other week, just like I was. Before I figured it out it was the mold, we thought maybe our immune systems are weak because it was in November that we all started to feel sick. I was like, “Maybe our immune systems are just weak. It’s that time of the year.”

But then it was every other week we were getting sick with a new cold or cough. Our diets were really clean at that time. We were eating animal products, but everything that we were eating was grass-fed, pasture-raised, organic. We didn’t do much processed foods, so I felt we should not have been getting sick that much.

And so we were talking to friends and family, and they would be like, “Maybe you’re doing too much,” or, “Maybe your immune systems are not as strong as you thought they were.” I felt like I was going crazy. I’m like, “Am I okay?” My husband didn’t have that many symptoms at that time that he noticed. The kids and I were the canaries. I felt a little like I was going crazy.


[00:21:40] Ashley James: So you’re doing the homeopathic remedies which a little bit have helped, then what? Did you ever get to a point where you found something that helped, or was it an accumulation over time of many things that helped you to recover from the mold damage?


[00:22:01] Mandy Flanders: I finally had a friend who was healing from Lyme diseaseand breast implant illness, and she had suggested doing coffee enemas. I knew that the liver would be really important because if it gets congested, then nothing else can work. Digestion shuts down, and your brain doesn’t think as clearly, and you can have pains, rashes, and things like that, which I was having. It took me months to finally consider doing the coffee enema.

After I felt like I had tried everything, I decided to try doing a coffee enema. After the first one, I had so much more energy. My pain was reduced pretty dramatically, and I felt a lot better. I felt clear-headed. I didn’t feel anxious, and so I continued to do them, and I did them every day for about a month, and I felt really good. I was able to go back to yoga. I was doing yoga once a week, but I had to stop all of it because I couldn’t exert my body.

I started to feel really good, and then one day, I started to feel symptomatic again after doing the coffee enemas. It was like these waves of anxiety and fear, followed by heart racing and sweating. And so I thought maybe it was Herx reaction, maybe I was doing too much, I was detoxing, I was demineralizing myself. For a couple of months, I took a break from the coffee enemas, and I started to focus a lot on rebuilding.

I started to feel better, and then I met with a friend of mine. She’s a therapist, and she works with kids. I asked her if she would be willing to work with me, which you’re not supposed to do, so I’m not going to say her name. She agreed, so I started working with her. We wanted to maintain our friendship; that was the most important thing. If things got to a place where I needed to go work with a different therapist, we agreed that we would do that, and there would not be any issues.

We started working together. In one of our sessions, I had the same physical sensations associated with childhood stuff come up. It was the same as after the coffee enemas, and I realize at that moment that what my body was trying to do then from the coffee enemas was detox the emotions that were trapped in my body.


[00:24:55] Ashley James: Wow.


[00:24:58] Mandy Flanders: I had to learn how to feel comfortable with sensation, and I wasn’t. I didn’t realize that until I started doing the coffee enemas because any time I would feel any twinge or anything, I would immediately think that something is wrong with me.


[00:25:18] Ashley James: What do you mean by being comfortable with sensation? Do you mean being comfortable with your heart racing or symptoms the body is demonstrating, or do you mean emotions?


[00:25:30] Mandy Flanders: Emotions. For me, sometimes they manifest as heart racing. I’ll get a wave of anxiety out of nowhere, and my heart rate will elevate, or I’ll feel nervous for some reason out of nowhere and start having sweaty armpits or something. I’m like, “That’s interesting. I don’t know what that is.” But now, I have come to understand that when those things happen, it’s energy. Our body is moving these old stagnant emotions that got stuck out in the body.


[00:26:02] Ashley James: For you to process.


[00:26:03] Mandy Flanders: Yeah, and it doesn’t have to happen consciously. A lot of times we think that we have to be conscious and aware of these energies moving out of the body, but we don’t have to be necessarily. Sometimes that helps like if you’re working through something, it helps to be conscious. But if you’re just sitting and watching TV or reading a book and all of a sudden, you’re super calm, and then out of nowhere, you have this sensation of anxiety, or fear, or dread. Those are the sensations that to me indicates, “Okay, there is a trapped emotion, trapped energy, or trapped energy in emotion, which is e-motion, that’s trying to move out of my body.”


[00:26:43] Ashley James: I find that some people like to self-medicate to avoid those feelings that they haven’t been able to process. I have caught myself in the past wanting to gain pleasure from food, especially in the evenings. In the evenings, the kids have gone to bed, the house is quiet, and your mind goes, “Oh, good, you’ve got some spare time. Let me bring up a memory when you’re five years old.” Here you are doing something while you process this stuff that you haven’t been dealing with.

Our unconscious mind likes to bring it up to the surface for us to resolve because holding on to the stuff is not healthy, and we hold on to it because we weren’t able to process it in our past, or we didn’t have the resources to, but we do now. I would find myself moving towards the fridge, even though I’m not hungry because I wanted pleasure and distraction from what my mind was presenting.

I was unconscious of it for a long time until I started to pause and had to get really conscious about it. Am I really hungry? No. Why am I having this very intense desire to get a snack? I don’t need one. It’s not physically needed for the body to consume calories at 7 p.m., 9 p.m., or 11 p.m. My body can totally live off of what I ate for dinner. I have enough energy from that food, and it’s going to sustain me until the morning. So what’s up?

If we look at grocery stores and aisle after aisle of snack food, I’m not alone. Many of us are suppressing our emotions through snacking, pushing them back down. We grew up in an era where we’re not given the resources to acknowledge that emotions are important to work through, and we’re not celebrated for taking the time to do that. We’re celebrated for the exact opposite — don’t cry, push them down, push through.


[00:29:00] Mandy Flanders: Don’t be a baby.


[00:29:01] Ashley James: Get stuff done. Get it done. Get up, wipe it off. And so taking the time for self-love and self-care is seen as weakness, and we’re staying late at work, working on the weekends, pushing through, pulling all-nighters — that is respected. Beating up your body and harming yourself further is rewarded.

We have this paradox, maybe we came from a family that didn’t have any resources to pass on to us about processing our emotions, and so a lot of us don’t believe that emotions are that important when it comes to healing physically. But how important was it for you? You discovered that some of your physical symptoms were directly related to your unprocessed emotions.


[00:29:57] Mandy Flanders: I would say it was essential to my healing. It wasn’t until I started to address that and to learn how to feel safe in my body again, because that’s ultimately what it is, is that we don’t feel safe to process those emotions. When I learned how to do that and how to sit in discomfort, I ultimately remembered that I am safe, and that I am okay, and that feeling is not a bad thing.

In our society, we’re taught everywhere that feeling is not good. If you feel something, you need to get on an antidepressant; you need an anti-anxiety. If you feel something, you need an epidural, if you’re having a baby. In all areas of our lives, especially women, we’re told that it’s not okay to feel.


[00:30:50] Ashley James: And in business, too.


[00:30:52] Mandy Flanders: Oh, yeah.


[00:30:53] Ashley James: We have been de-feminized. I’m not going to bash men; that’s not the point. The point is that women feel pressure to be the stereotypical man. The stereotype of man doesn’t feel, which is just as damaging to men because men have emotions like women. We are pressured to suppress and to not come from emotion.


[00:31:14] Mandy Flanders: I feel like we’re doing the men in our society a huge disservice by perpetuating that line of thinking.


[00:31:23] Ashley James: Exactly. What’s on the edge of everyone’s mind is how — How do I? How did you? How do we process emotions? What are some healthy practices that can begin to help us to allow to the surface things that have been creating ill health inside of us?


[00:31:47] Mandy Flanders: The first step is having the awareness because if we don’t know that we have something under the surface, then we can’t do anything about it. A lot of people don’t even want to recognize that something is lurking under the surface because we think it’s a lot worse than what it really is.

I’ve told my clients before, it’s not as bad as you think it is, and I tell them this mental image. Imagine you’re sitting on the couch, and you’re looking for the remote. You go under the couch, you’re reaching, and you feel something cold and squishy. You get a flashlight, you’re like, “What is that? I can’t look. I don’t know what that is.”

So you get your flashlight, and you look under the couch, and you realized it’s just an old banana. It’s not this big, ugly, horrible snake or whatever you imagine that it was. It’s just this tiny morsel of something that can help you get to the next level of your awareness and of your healing.


[00:32:47] Ashley James: I remember the first time I went in for hypnotherapy, I was terrified. I was in my early twenties, and I was afraid that something dark would become uncovered, that there was something dark inside me. I was afraid to meet my unconscious mind.

It was interesting walking in, observing this fear that I was having. If I were coming from my reactions, I would have run away. But I became the observer, I’m like, “That’s interesting that there is this part of me that is genuinely afraid of hypnotherapy because I’m afraid of myself. I’m afraid of what’s underneath the surface.”

That also gave me enough curiosity to want to move forward, and then, of course, I discovered that there isn’t this dark, evil Ashley hiding inside me or some suppressed memories. But it was a lot of stuff that my unconscious mind wanted to resolve in a way in which I can handle it slowly, layer after layer. Every time I did, I felt lighter and freer, and toxic stress would go down further and further.

So yeah, it is a process. But that willingness to listen absolutely, and to know that it isn’t that big, giant, scary thing that we think is hiding in our unconscious, but it’s just a wounded child that wants to be heard.


[00:34:21] Mandy Flanders: Our subconscious mind has this amazing mechanism. We’re geared and designed to survive. Our subconscious is not going to show us something that we’re not prepared to handle. We’ll never be shown something that we cannot handle.


[00:34:39] Ashley James: Exactly. There is that safety mechanism there, and that’s why some people suppress things or push things down until they’re ready to process them.


[00:34:49] Mandy Flanders: If something is coming up, it means that you’re ready. A lot of people don’t want to admit that because they’re like, “But I don’t know if I am.” I’m like, “But you are because it’s starting to come up.” So let’s explore it and let’s see what is really under there.

A lot of times, I find that it’s never actually the thing that we think it is. We find that, as you said, it’s just a little wounded part of us that’s like, “Hey, you haven’t paid any attention to me, and I haven’t felt heard in 30 years. Can we do that now?”


[00:35:23] Ashley James: That’s awesome. So in the last six years — your son is six. So it’s more like seven years because it was when you were pregnant that you started on your health journey. How long have you been sober?


[00:35:37] Mandy Flanders: That’s a good question. I think about nine or ten years.


[00:35:46] Ashley James: Awesome. Congratulations. That’s really cool.


[00:35:48] Mandy Flanders: Thank you.


[00:35:49] Ashley James: Absolutely. It’s great that you acknowledged that we could use other things to avoid. I think all of us do it. All of us to a certain extent will use TV or things that are illegal just to avoid. It’s fine — sometimes we just need an evening to go out to the movies. Let’s forget about the laundry piling up or the emotional laundry piling up. It’s okay, no judgment here. This is no judgment zone. But is it serving you? We just have to look at that. Is this behavior serving you in the long run, and of course it’s not.

But the good thing that came out of your journey, and some of your avoidance behaviors, you collected a lot of certifications and a lot of wonderful knowledge that has helped you and is helping your clients. Walk us through all the certifications that you have achieved in the last nine to ten years.


[00:36:58] Mandy Flanders: I went to an esthetician’s school before I did my yoga teacher training. I’m not currently licensed anymore, but that was a pivotal step in my holistic health because a lot of the teachers there were energy healers, as well as holistic estheticians.

I started to dive into different energy healing modalities, and then from there went into yoga teacher training, and then the certified natural health professional. I do my own — I can’t call it hypnotherapy — but kind of guided questions and imagery to help people see their inner child that wants to be healed.


[00:37:53] Ashley James: Awesome.


[00:37:54] Mandy Flanders: Yeah, and I do holistic health coaching. A lot of times too, I find with my clients, when they want to address the emotional and mental stuff, I love being able to meet them where they’re at with the physical stuff. I found that sometimes you can’t even access the emotional stuff until your body feels strong enough to be able to handle those things that are coming up. It’s important to bring the body up to baseline, nourishing the physical body, and then you can access the deeper things.


[00:38:23] Ashley James: Yes, absolutely. That’s the exact same thing I found with my clients. I even tell them right off the bat. Some clients, after our initial talk, I get a feel whether they’re ready to deal with the emotional stuff and then do the physical health stuff, or whether they need to clean up the diet first and have a few months of feeling good in their own body, and then the emotions are going to come to the surface, and I let them know.

It’s so funny because it’s very rare that people are ready to deal with their diet, exercise, lifestyle, stress relief, all the physical things, and deal with the emotions at the same time. It’s usually one or the other, but the first one prepares them for the second one. It’s so true. It’s funny that you see that as well.


[00:39:15] Mandy Flanders: Oh, yeah. You have to bring that body up to a healthy place of being able to handle that stuff because they won’t access it otherwise. I’ve had clients that are like, “Oh, yeah.”

One client came to me once because she wanted to lose weight. We talked about diet and the emotions that go around eating and things like that because you have to address that piece too, and I did not hear from her again after our first appointment. I was like, “Okay, I respect your process.”

I don’t let my clients get away with very much either, which I think for some people can be triggering. If they want to heal, I want to know how committed they are to the process. One of the first questions I asked somebody before we work together is, “How dedicated to this process are you? How much do you want to heal?” Depending on their answer, we’ll determine if we’re a good fit or not, because I can help somebody only as much as they want to be helped, and you know that.


[00:40:24] Ashley James: Yes, we’re not doing the work for them. But you know what I love? Health coaching is so much more hands-on. Of course, I believe that you should have a team of professionals. I have a naturopath, but my naturopath doesn’t come home with me. I only see her once every three months.

Whereas a health coach, you’re talking to weekly, or even touching base with daily depending on your needs and their service. But some of my clients, I’ve said, “We’re texting each other at every meal,” or, “You just check in and send a picture of your meal. Tell me how you’re feeling.” There’s a daily check-in.

Even though I’m not physically going home with them, the clients are doing all the work. We’re way more hand-holding than you’ll ever get from a doctor. It’s a different relationship. A health coach almost goes home with you, but you still have to do the work. I guess with AA it’s similar, but just knowing that there’s someone you can reach out to allows us to stay present to our goals.


[00:41:37] Mandy Flanders: Exactly. It’s funny as you’re talking about this, I forgot about one of the certifications. I’m also a certified doula and lactation counselor, and health coaching is very similar to doula work because you’re guiding somebody into this birthing process of shedding layers of who they were and to become who they’re meant to be. Even if it’s just with food, and I shouldn’t say “just with food” because that’s a lot of times a huge mental hurdle for a lot of people to overcome because there are so many layers around it.


[00:42:15] Ashley James: It just keeps going on and on.


[00:42:17] Mandy Flanders: I know. I actually had a call with one of my mentors today, and she goes, “Mandy, this process doesn’t ever end. You know that, right?” I was like, “I know.” Sometimes it’s really exciting, and other times it’s really discouraging.


[00:42:34] Ashley James: It’s so beautiful when you get that big picture of life. The teacher is always a student. You want a teacher who’s always a student because you want someone who’s always learning, and you want a coach who has a coach. You want a therapist who has a therapist. We want to make sure that we’re not stagnant.

You have a special training around cancer as well — your yoga training for those who are going through cancer.


[00:43:04] Mandy Flanders: Yes. I teach yoga. I’m certified in yoga for cancer, and I teach yoga in the Cancer Center here locally.


[00:43:13] Ashley James: What’s the difference between non-cancer yoga and cancer yoga?


[00:43:18] Mandy Flanders: There is actually a big difference because you have to account for the surgeries that people have had and the treatments that they might be undergoing and the emotions. Cancer is such a deep manifestation that a lot of people who have been diagnosed with cancer, especially if they’re going a more conventional route as far as treatment, have some very deeply rooted patterns emotionally. Sometimes they could go to a normal yoga class, but a lot of times, depending on where they’re at in their treatment, a yoga for cancer class is going to be a lot more gentle and a lot more all levels.


[00:44:04] Ashley James: Interesting. When I went to massage therapy college — this was in the late ‘90s — the concern was not to stimulate lymph flow that much for cancer patients because we didn’t want to help any of the cancer metastasize, which was just crazy because the second they get off the table and start walking, they’re flooding their lymphs. What is massage going to do? I’m just curious if yoga for cancer patients is different in that you’re not stimulating lymph flow, or is it the same?


[00:44:42] Mandy Flanders: No, you’re definitely stimulating lymph flow. Yoga, in itself, is like a lymphatic massage, and I sometimes do lymphatic massage with my cancer patients too if they’ve had like breast surgeries, or some of them have lymphedema in their legs and hands. We’ll do lymphatic massage around those areas to get the lymph moving out.


[00:44:49] Ashley James: It’s so silly sometimes the myths that survive in the health space.


[00:45:11] Mandy Flanders: I know.


[00:45:12] Ashley James: Tell me about testimonials. Tell me about some stories of success of people working with you, especially people with cancer. Do you have any stories you can share?


[00:45:22] Mandy Flanders: I have a client who came into my class two weeks ago, and she comes to my yoga for cancer class. She had a lumpectomy on her breast. This was a couple of years ago.

She came into my class two weeks ago, and she looked like she was about to cry. She looked surprised, scared, worried, and I was like, “Hey, what’s going on?” She was like, “I think I have to get an MRI.” I was like, “Really, why? What happened?” She was like, “I’m having a lot of pain in my breast.” And I said, “You are?” She said, “Yeah.” I said, “Okay, which one? Is it the same one that you had the lumpectomy, the cancer in?” And she said, “No, it’s the other one this time.” I said, “That’s interesting. Let’s take some deep breaths and let’s talk about it.”

I started asking her, “What have you been doing? What have you been up to the last couple of weeks since we last saw each other?” She was like, “I just got back from visiting my mom.” I said, “How did that go?” She’s like, “It went good, but I realize we’re not as close as I thought we were.” I was like, “Tell me a little bit more about that.” This woman is in her ‘60s. She was like, “Things that I realize from my childhood that weren’t what I remember, and I wasn’t very close with my dad because I felt like my relationship with my mom impacted that.”

So I asked her which side again was the pain, and she said it was on her right side. The right side is associated with masculine, so dominant male people in our lives. It also has to do with our ability to give. The cancer that she had was on her left side, so that has to do with dominant females and our ability to receive.

I asked her a little bit more about her relationship with her dad, and she told me. So I intuitively felt strongly that this pain that she was having had to do with her lack of relationship with her father and guilt that she was feeling because she wasn’t giving him the love that she felt like she should have been giving him.

I had her lie down on her yoga mat and asked her to take some deep breaths and to slowly breathe in and out. I just coached her through a series of questions to help her imagine her dad and her mom, and we went through this little re-parenting ritual where she re-parented her young self with her dad present in her mind.

After we go through this whole course of questions and imagery, I asked her to take a deep breath and let it go and for her to open her eyes. She sat up and looked at me wide-eyed and was like, “That was incredible,” and I said, “Good. How does your breast pain feel now?” She was like, “It’s gone. I can’t find it at all.” I said, “Awesome. Good work. You did that.” She’s like, “Thank you so much.” I was like, “I didn’t do anything. You did the work, and you were ready for it.”

Our bodies talk to us. We feel sensations and pains and things like that. It’s not happening for no reason. Our bodies are always communicating with us. It’s our bodies job to manage what’s happening in our environment, so it’s constantly managing emotions, food, and things that we’re witnessing, seeing, and hearing. So when we feel something, a lot of times we think that our bodies are attacking us or turning on us, and that’s just not true. It’s our bodies way of communicating with us.

One of my mentors says that the body is the subconscious. We have emotions that get stored in the muscles and tissues and they get released, and it can manifest as pain, digestive issues, anxiety, sweating, or whatever. When we’re able to sit quietly and focus in on what we’re feeling instead of getting tied away with an imaginary story that we have about what we’re feeling, then we can hone in on what it is and allow that energy to move through us and eventually beyond us.

Energy doesn’t stop. It always continues. It has to go somewhere, so energy can be released from the body in the form of sweating, crying, vomiting, bowel movements, fevers, things like that. If we’re able to quiet our mind and not get stuck in a negative feedback loop or story that we have about what we’re feeling, then it can move out of us.


[00:50:22] Ashley James: That is so beautifully said. You reminded me of a client I worked with back in 2005. This was one of my first clients using this technique. My dad was briefly dating this woman, and she was taking pain meds every day. My mom had recently passed away at that time of liver cancer, so my dad was worried that this woman was going to give herself liver cancer taking pain meds every day. And so he said, “Can you work with her?” She was totally willing to work with me. I’m like, “Great.”

So we sat down, and she was a long-distance runner, and she was taking this pain medicine. I asked her, “How long have you been taking them?” She goes, “I think about four or five years.” I’m just asking all kinds of questions, getting deeper and deeper, and the doctors think that it’s because she’s in her fifties and she’s been a long distance runner her whole life. So of course, you’ve worn your body out, and you have pain because you’re fifty.


[00:51:25] Mandy Flanders: I know. I love those excuses that we give ourselves not to face our stuff.


[00:51:31] Ashley James: Right? So having had a background on massage, I said, “Do you mind if I touch your back?” I also worked as a physical therapist assistant. Massage in Canada is a little bit different; I had worked in oncology, palliative care, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals, and so it was more a medical focus than like a spa focus that most people think massage is for.

She lifted the back of her shirt, and I put my hands on her quadratus lumborum, which are the square-shaped muscles on the lower back right above the pelvis. I asked her which side; she said the right. The side that was painful was cold, like no circulation — ice cold and hard as a rock. The whole muscle is holding on.

The other muscle was palpable, soft, had some good tone, and it wasn’t having any problems. It’s something that I believe Bruce Lipton has talked about, and also in the book Healing Back Pain by Sarno; this idea that when we push down and ignore these emotions — exactly what you’re talking about — the unconscious mind will manifest them physically in the form of symptoms that we start to listen. For me, it was the heart palpitations. My body was going, “Hey, we’re going in the wrong direction here.” For you, you had other symptoms. For her, it manifested as back pain. For your yoga client, it was manifesting as breast pain.

And so we sat her down, and we did our breakthrough session together, where I started asking her question after question. I eventually uncovered that she had been on these pain meds for twenty years. She had blocked in her mind that she was on these meds. In the beginning, she really thought she had been on them for four or five years. But as we went deeper and deeper, she’s like, “Oh, my god. It had been twenty years.”

And so it took us a few hours of digging, but what I uncovered was a story of when she chose to have an abortion. She already had two sons. She was having an affair with a man who was married. She wasn’t married, but he was, and he was a politician. She was worried he would ruin his political career. She’s a Canadian, so some Canadian politician in Vancouver. His career would have been ruined should it have come out that she was pregnant with his child, and she was a Roman Catholic. Absolutely, this could not happen.

She was telling me the story that as the nurse tried to give her pain meds for the abortion, she said, “No, I have to pay for this in pain.” I nearly fell off my chair. This had been like twenty years ago that she had done this. And I said, “Do you know what you just said?” She said, “What?” I said, “You told yourself you had to pay for the guilt of this abortion,” that she still felt guilty about — “You had to pay for it in pain.” She goes, “No, what I meant was in the moment, I had to feel the pain of the abortion. That would have to be my penance.” I’m like, “You are still feeling it right now.”

Throughout the time, I would ask her, “On a scale of 1 to 10, where is your pain?” When she would feel guilty during talking with me, her pain would be 10 out of 10. I asked her not to be on pain meds and if she could handle it — I’m not a doctor, I can’t tell people not to take medication, but I advised her that if she felt in the moment she could, we could help to get to the root. So that’s it, we figured it out — the guilt was the root moment. And so we resolved guilt, and her pain went to a zero.

At the end of the session, I said, “Stand up, let me feel your back.” Both sides were warm, and there is heat, and it was palpable. I was blown away. I had learned these things in theory, but to see it work, this is how the body works. Exactly, what you’re talking about and what you do with your clients, this is how our brain works. Our brain, our heart, our mind, and our body are interconnected and a lot of physical symptoms, the root will be emotional.


[00:56:09] Mandy Flanders: Yeah, most of it is, I find. When we have things like autoimmune diseases and cancers, that’s our body trying to manage our life experiences. Many times, we don’t know what to do with these emotions. We don’t realize that we’re carrying stuff from our early childhood because we think, “I was just a kid,” or we don’t even remember a lot of it because we’ve stuffed it down somewhere. And so we don’t realize that there’s even anything there that needs to be managed.

And then what can happen is, in our lives, we have these situations because we tend to continue to attract or recreate the situations that happened to us as kids, and so it will just continue to reopen that wound. If we even have an abandonment wound as a kid, you’ll continue to recreate this abandonment wounds, either with your boss or with your spouse or significant other or friends. It will just keep reopening that same wound and make it deeper, and deeper, and deeper, until you pay attention to it and address it.


[00:57:20] Ashley James: You also do trauma coaching. Is that something you were certified in, or do you do it based on your own experiences? How do you do trauma coaching?


[00:57:32] Mandy Flanders: Based on my own experiences. I don’t even know if that’s a legal thing.


[00:57:39] Ashley James: It’s okay. There’s no licensing body that’s going to come after you for calling yourself a trauma coach, but you coach people through healing through trauma.


[00:57:51] Mandy Flanders: Yeah, and I find in the work that I’ve done pretty much anyone who’s diagnosed with an autoimmune disease or cancer, and I’m sure there are exceptions, but the people that I have worked with all have some underlying trauma or traumatic experience or several traumatic experiences that contribute to their physical disease.


[00:58:15] Ashley James: Can you walk us through some steps, or can you elaborate on how we can heal trauma or how you help people heal trauma?


[00:58:29] Mandy Flanders: I find initially especially it’s very important to do it with someone else. Healing should have a witness. It’s very difficult to heal in isolation, and in fact, I don’t know of anybody who can heal in isolation because we’re very social creatures. We need that human connection to be able to heal and to be validated too. We need to have somebody who can validate that what we’re feeling is real and that what we’re feeling is impacting us.

The details of the story don’t actually matter, even though our brains love to think that the details do matter, but the details don’t. It’s more about what we feel about the story. You can have a story of getting yelled at by a parent. Whatever happened, the details are fuzzier, hazy, and those don’t matter anyway. It’s more about what you felt as a result of being yelled at.


[00:59:30] Ashley James: And that emotion, that’s in the present right now.


[00:59:33] Mandy Flanders: Yes, because that emotion we carry it. If it’s unresolved, then you continue to carry that. If somebody gets mad at you or yells at you or whatever, that reopens it, and it triggers you more so than it would if you didn’t have that wound. If we humans had no wounds at all, we wouldn’t have any triggers. There would be nothing to trigger us because we would be like god or angels. We wouldn’t have any of those triggers.


[01:00:01] Ashley James: I love that you pointed that out. This kind of healing should be done with someone else. It’s when we are in our head that we can go into a very dark place or spiral. It’s like we’re trying to solve a problem. Einstein said you couldn’t solve a problem with the same thing that created it, and so it does take getting out of our heads to get it off our way.


[01:00:32] Mandy Flanders: And into our bodies, too, because the body has the code. The body has that healing code that we need to access because the head is thinking. A lot of times, it’s very logical. I find that right brain meditations or right brain therapies are extremely helpful because trauma is stored in the right brain, and the right brain is the creative, imaginative side of the brain. If you can access the trauma that’s stored there using guided imagery, transpersonal hypnotherapy or something like that — it doesn’t have to be the details but what the feeling is underneath the details — then you can hear whatever that wound is.

You’ll still have the trigger, but it won’t be debilitating, and it won’t be something that takes over your life anymore. It will be like, “Wow, I have this awareness of this thing that I used to feel, and I don’t have to get triggered over it anymore.”


[01:01:34] Ashley James: Brilliant. Something you shared on Facebook recently is one of the biggest things that you’ve changed that has helped your healing journey — to shift the focus on that self-love and to put yourself first. Not putting yourself first in that you are neglecting your children or your husband, or neglecting others. Why is it we always go there? You can’t put yourself first because it also means we’re neglecting others, but putting the oxygen mask on yourself first means you have the oxygen to help others.


[01:02:10] Mandy Flanders: Yes.


[01:02:10] Ashley James: It’s funny because some other listeners posted after your comment saying that they wanted to learn how to do that. How do we start the process of the self-love and putting ourselves first to help us heal?


[01:02:29] Mandy Flanders: As a mother, I find it extremely challenging because there’s so much guilt and shame around self-care that our society does not allow for mothers or women, in general, to care for ourselves. We are supposed to have a full-time job, take care of kids full time, take care of the house, manage all these things, grocery shop, cook, clean all these things, so it doesn’t leave a lot of time for self-care.

I realized one time, I told my husband, “I think I need a night or two at the house just by myself. In the time that we’ve lived here, I had never done that before. I was never alone in the house overnight by myself.” So he was going out to a concert and decided to take our kids to his parents’ house, and they left, and I waved goodbye, and I walked back inside.

I looked at this empty house, and I just started crying, like bawling crying. It wasn’t because I miss them, but I felt so lost. I was in caregiver mode all the time, making sure everybody’s needs are met, that finally I have the space to be my self, and I’m like, “What do I do with this? Who am I?” I sat on the couch, and I cried probably for about 30 minutes. It felt really good. It was cathartic.

I just sat there and was like, “What do I want to do?” I had no clue what I wanted to do — not a single inkling of an idea. So I just sat there, and I didn’t make any decisions because I didn’t want to force myself into something. I was like, I’m just going to sit here until I have something that I decide I want to do.

So then I decided that I wanted to meditate. I went and got my phone and set up this guided meditation area out on our back porch in the nice weather. The sun was shining, and the breeze was blowing. From there, I just continued to choose consciously the next inspired action, the next move that I wanted to make that was focused on me because I find that it’s important.

We lose ourselves a lot. Especially in illness and trauma, we don’t know who we are. We don’t feel safe in our bodies. When we’re able to ask ourselves what it is that we actually want, a lot of times we don’t even know. That’s why sometimes when you’re talking with your husband, it’s like, “Where do you want to eat? What do you feel like eating tonight?” “Oh, I don’t know. Whatever. Anything you want,” because we don’t know.

I have found for me, having moments like that where I sit quietly with myself and look inside of what it is that I actually do want or look for what I don’t want — a lot of times if you don’t know what you do want, you’ll know exactly what you don’t want, so you can figure out, “No, I don’t want those things, so let’s narrow down what it is I do want.”


[01:05:36] Ashley James: It’s so true.


[01:05:37] Mandy Flanders: Yeah. The more time I spend doing that, the more I’m able to get to know myself, and the more I can create my personalized rituals for self-care and for putting myself first. As a mother, I’ve noticed, like if I start to get triggered with my kids, it’s never my kids that are at fault. They’re little kids. They don’t know they’re not supposed to be asking me the same question ten million times in a row. They want an answer, so yeah, it makes perfect sense to them.

I find, when I’m getting triggered with them, it’s because I’m not carving out space for me to get my needs met. It’s not anyone else’s job to meet my needs except myself. That’s a hard concept for people, especially who are married, to grasp because we believe and we’ve been conditioned to think that our significant others are supposed to make us happy.

Nobody outside of us has that ability or power. It has to come from within ourselves, which is great if people are willing to take that initiative and to look inside and get introspective, but it’s a bummer if you’re looking for a lot of external validation, support, and help. I remember I told my husband, “I think we might be in a co-dependent relationship.” He was like, “Yeah, of course, we are.” I was like, “Wait, you knew?” He’s like, “Yeah.” I said, “Oh, okay. How do we get out of it?”


[01:07:19] Ashley James: That is so funny.


[01:07:20] Mandy Flanders: It’s by meeting your own needs. I realized in my healing process too that I was putting so much responsibility for my happiness on him or my kids. It’s not their job. It’s up to me to make sure that I am getting my needs met.

It might look different. Some days I may not want to get out of bed until nine or ten o’clock, and that’s okay. If I’m able to get the support, where I’m able to do that, then that’s acceptable. The things that make it unacceptable are how we feel about the needs that we want to have met.


[01:08:01] Ashley James: So if you feel guilty about sleeping in?


[01:08:05] Mandy Flanders: Yeah. I find that guilt or that shame is much worse for us than actually just doing what it is that we want to do, even if it’s eating candy or chocolate or whatever. Sometimes, that’s okay. If we’re choosing consciously what we want, without feeling guilty, then there’s nothing to feel guilty about because it’s not mindless action. It’s like, “I want chocolate right now because I just want it, and so I’m gonna do it.”


[01:08:35] Ashley James: Chocolate isn’t that bad if you choose healthy forms of it. I’ve got this organic vegan dark chocolate with no sugar, sweetened with stevia, definitely high in calories and fat, and okay it’s vegetable-based fat, but if I ate three bars of it a day, I definitely would gain weight. I can’t have this as a meal. This is the healthiest junk food I can find. This is pretty awesome. I eat it, and I love it, and then I make sure, like you said, do that internal check and make sure you’re not carrying around feelings of guilt or shame after you treat yourself because that is way more destructive than having that chocolate once in a while.


[01:09:20] Mandy Flanders: And it gets trapped. So something that could be used for good then turns into poison, and that doesn’t help any of us.


[01:09:28] Ashley James: Yeah, that guilt and shame we carry around when we start to put ourselves first, and then that guilt and shame come up and is triggering our stress response. That is damaging to the body, shutting down the immune system, shutting down the body’s ability to heal, and that can create physical disease. This is where it’s real. The science is there that, long term, if we continue to hold on to guilt and shame every time we do something nice for ourselves, we can manifest disease.


[01:10:04] Mandy Flanders: And then we can develop almost like an allergic reaction to self-care. There’s like an energetic component too that when we do something good for ourselves, our body rejects it.


[01:10:19] Ashley James: That’s a nice thing.


[01:10:22] Mandy Flanders: I have a friend who was reaching out to me recently saying that whenever he starts to take new supplements, he reacts to it. Intuitively, I started asking questions, and I was like, “Hey, I think you have an allergic reaction to self-care.” He was like, “I have been working on that for so long in therapy.” I said, “Oh, okay. Well, it’s manifesting.”


[01:10:54] Ashley James: I’ve heard that when people get massages. I’ve heard of people that go get a massage, and then they feel really bad afterward, and I’m like, “Let’s go down the list. Do you drink enough water? Do you think your body was processing toxins? When was the last time you took care of yourself and you did something nice for yourself?”

“This was like the first time in twenty years.”

“How did you feel after getting a massage? Do you feel guilty because you weren’t with your kids? What’s going on?”


[01:11:22] Mandy Flanders: It’s so common to feel that way.


[01:11:28] Ashley James: So walk us through it. Break us free from the chains of the stereotypical mom/wife putting everyone first and neglecting your own needs. Let’s break through from that. That’s an old behavior that no longer serves us. From now on, what are we committed to? What kinds of things can we do day to day? What kind of homework can you give us to begin to put ourselves first in a way that allows us to take of ourselves, so we can take care of those we love?


[01:12:03] Mandy Flanders: I should create a protocol for this. This is a good idea. Awareness, of course, is super important. I think curiosity is important, too — curiosity about our triggers. That doesn’t mean that you have to resolve the trigger right then, but when you’re feeling triggered, having a child-like curiosity about it, so that instead of allowing yourself to run off with this trigger, you’re more able to rein it in. Like, “Wow, this is triggering to me. I’ll deal with that later. What do I have to do now to get my needs met and whatever thing is in front of me need met?”

I find too for moms, especially stay-at-home moms, even moms who work outside the home, taking breaks as often as necessary because we are designed to live in a village. We’re designed to live with a lot of support. The way that we live is very isolated. We don’t have a lot of help unless you have a nanny or somebody coming in to help, which most people don’t have that. Making sure that you’re giving yourself breaks, even if it’s a five-minute break. A lot of times, we don’t need as many breaks as we think we do.

So even if it’s that you’re letting your kids play with a toy or something that they never get to play with, or even if you’re letting them watch a TV show for five minutes or a YouTube song or something like that, just giving yourself five minutes every couple of hours to make sure that you’re able to check in with yourself and ask yourself, “Is there something that I need right now?”

I like to do it before I have a complete meltdown because, after the fact, it’s a lot harder to pick up the pieces than before the fact. The prevention is worth than an ounce of cure in that situation. And then nobody gets hurt feelings because there’s not a mom that’s angry and yelling at people.

In that time, making sure that you are not on your phone. We get so sucked in to being on a screen when we’re taking a break because we think, “I want to zone out. I want to decompress.”

But when we are plugging into the blue eye and to the screen, it’s actually worse for the brain than not doing that. I suggest closing the phone, closing the computer, go outside if you can, read a book, journal, do anything that gets you out of your brain and into your body so that you are able to manage those triggers more easily. And then you’re not beating yourself up because you’ve given yourself space to process anything that’s come up in the last couple of hours, and anything that may come up in the future.


[01:15:00] Ashley James: I discovered that there are some grocery stores that have cool kid centers where they’ll watch your kids for ninety minutes.


[01:15:07] Mandy Flanders: Wow!


[01:15:07] Ashley James: Also the YMCA usually has free WiFi, a lobby or meeting rooms that are comfortable. There are three or four grocery stores in our area that have this. He loves them all, and then usually they’ll have a sitting area. We’ve read books, talked, shopped, done work. We get to have a little bit of a break and decompress, and our son loves it too because he gets to play with kids. Of course, we do outdoors in the park and go for a walk, the regular stuff. But if you need your kid to be locked in a room with toys and supervision for free — amazing. It’s been a lifesaver.


[01:15:49] Mandy Flanders: That’s so awesome. That’s a good point, too. I recently started working out again, and we have 24-Hour Fitness near here. It’s such a great gym, and the kid care is so good. You have to clock in with a fingerprint, and they only allow one family in at a time in the room to check out and check in, so that kids don’t go home with somebody that’s not their parent, which is great. And then I get my break, and I have the energy to work out again, which is so awesome. She gets to play with little kids, and mommy gets to do my thing, which is awesome.


[01:16:33] Ashley James: That’s very cool. I like that you brought up that we should take breaks, minimum of five minutes, several times a day. We could take longer breaks, but when we’re taking our breaks, do not plug into a screen. It needs to be a time of self-reflection, to ask ourselves, “What is it that I need?” It’s okay that we don’t know.

I had a similar experience. I had some time alone, and I was all caught up in work and caught up with all my detox protocols. I’m like, “I really don’t know what to do with myself right now.” I feel like I’m so used to being busy, there should be something on my to-do list. I felt lost, like, “Who am I? What is life? What is the purpose of life?” All these questions are coming up like, “I have five minutes of nothing to do. I don’t know how to handle this.”

So I totally know what you mean. Sometimes we need to sit and do nothing and be with ourselves, reconnect and ground ourselves again instead of avoiding because we’re so good at avoiding and being stimulated externally so that we don’t start to listen to what’s going on inside.

There is a thing that’s like Tinder for moms, and I’m swiping down. It’s swiping down for no because every single one of them is like, “Let’s go drinking.” “Let’s go crack open a bottle of wine.” I’m like, “Oh, my god. How many mothers are drinking?” Again, no judgment zone, but why is that it’s culturally acceptable to down a bottle of wine a night in order to sleep or cope? I wish it were more culturally acceptable to get a massage, meditate, and journal every night to de-stress and connect with yourself again.


[01:18:37] Mandy Flanders: I agree so much. I feel like in some areas that is starting to shift. It’s definitely not the mainstream yet, but I feel like that shift is starting to happen. I ‘m starting to see it. I’m getting more messages from people: “How do I do this? What food should I be eating? How do I not freak out at my kids?”


[01:19:00] Ashley James: I like that you brought up that when your kid asks something five times, and then you explode at them, that is not your kid. It’s you and your stress threshold. Your rain barrel is full, and if you do the things — the journaling, the meditation, the walks, the deep breathing, the yoga, all the self-care — then your kid can ask you the same question twenty times, and you’re not going to snap at them. It’s a litmus test. If you’re agitated around your children, that is the sign that your stress levels are too high.

If you could be around your kid and they’re their most annoying self, and you’re just bursting with joy and love for them, then you know you’re doing something right when it comes to managing your stress.


[01:19:47] Mandy Flanders: Exactly. Our kids are so sensitive to what we feel. They’re like little sponges. Even if we are not aware that we’re stressed, they pick up on it and react as such, which is so interesting, too, because I am often not aware of how I’m feeling, and then I’m like, “Why are my kids acting so crazy?” And then immediately, I’m triggered. I’m like, “I guess there was some underlying upset going on in there that I didn’t know was there.”


[01:20:17] Ashley James: Absolutely. You’ve been painting this picture of your story, and here we are. Your whole family has recovered from black mold in the last two years, which has been quite the journey. It was two years ago that you had this event since you have done this work where the black mold has allowed you to see that healing emotions is just as important as the food we put in us. In some cases, more important because it is at the root of what’s going on.

Paint a picture of what’s happened since then, since you’ve been working on healing yourself emotionally. What’s been going on in your life and the life of your children? Paint that ‘after’ picture.


[01:21:17] Mandy Flanders: Immediately after I started addressing the emotions, my kids’ immune systems started to improve, which was a huge shocker for me because I didn’t realize how interconnected a mother and her children are until that. I’ve always known and believed. It’s like mothers and kids are so interconnected and intertwined, and we feel everything. But I had not actually witnessed it so clearly as I did then when their immune system started to get better, and they weren’t getting sick as often or for as long.

Of course, my energy level has improved. My digestion has improved. My stress levels have decreased dramatically. I used to not feel comfortable in my house alone at night. Now, I don’t have any issue with that at all. I feel very safe. I feel safe in my own body. When I have emotions and things that come up to the surface, I feel much more at peace and able to handle it, or able to sit in it and allow it to pass.

My mentor recently said to me, “I guess you’re feeling better because I haven’t heard from you in a while.” That was a pretty good indication that things are moving in the right direction. I’m able to work out more, which is amazing for me because I wasn’t working out for a long time. I am way more patient than I’ve been. I’m more organized than I’ve been. Organization is something that I’ve struggled with my whole life, and I’m finally starting to organize little areas of my life within work and parenting and things like that.

My relationship with my husband has improved dramatically, which is a huge bonus for both of us because I’m not nagging at him expecting him to do things for me that he cannot do because he’s not me.


[01:23:26] Ashley James: Sorry, that’s hilarious. That’s exactly what a guy would say. I get mad at my husband for doing things that I want him to do, but I need to do it. That’s funny.

But, yeah, owning your stuff because we so easily will point a finger. We point the finger at our kids, “They’re the reason why I’m snapping,” or point the finger at our husbands, “What he did is the reason I am upset.” What we really have is unfulfilled expectations. These are expectations that we created.

We create expectations, and then when people don’t fulfill them — they’re supposed to be psychic, and they’re supposed to know what our expectations are, right?


[01:24:18] Mandy Flanders: Yes.


[01:24:22] Ashley James: Like I expect the groceries to be carried in or whatever. We expect something, and then they don’t do it, we get upset. It’s our fault that we are upset because we’re the ones that created the expectation. And so we need to be better at communicating but also better at owning our stuff and going, “Wait a second, is it everyone else that’s ticking me off, or is it me?” I’m the one that choosing to be upset because I’m not taking care of myself. I’m blaming everyone else. I’m stressed out. I’m not taking care of myself because when I do, I feel guilty about it, so I’d rather not take care of myself than blame everyone else for me not taking care of myself.


[01:25:05] Mandy Flanders: And not asking for help. That’s another really big one that a lot of people struggle with. We don’t want to ask for help because we don’t want to burden anybody. We don’t want to put anyone out. We don’t feel like we deserve it. There’s a whole slew of reasons that we don’t ask for help, and it’s essential in the society.

We have to have help. We can’t do this on our own. We have to have somebody who can witness our healing, someone who can take care of our kids while someone else is witnessing our healing; somebody who can give us recipes for cooking, somebody who can be a shoulder to cry on. We need all kinds of support systems in place for us to be thriving members of society.


[01:25:49] Ashley James: How?


[01:25:52] Mandy Flanders: Asking for help, I think.


[01:25:54] Ashley James: Yeah, how? For someone so uncomfortable in asking for help, what are some ways that we can break through and begin to ask for help?


[01:26:07] Mandy Flanders: Starting small. So I guess asking for things that you believe you deserve and then focusing on the things that we believe we deserve. If it’s comfortable to ask somebody to hold the door open for you when you have your arms full of stuff, start there. That can be your entryway into asking for more help. If we don’t ask for things, we won’t get the things that we want, because we’re not asking for them.

One thing I’m doing with my kids — they whine about everything because that’s their first way of communicating. They whine, and we would meet their needs because that’s how it works. They don’t know how to speak it. So now when my daughter whines, I look at her and I’m like, “I hear you whining, and I see you look upset. Is there something I can help you with?” She’ll go, “I don’t know.” I’m like, “What is it because I don’t know what you’re thinking. I’m not a mind reader. Help me out. Help me to help you.” Sometimes she’ll whine some more, and then eventually we’ll narrow it down, and she’s able to ask, “I need your help. Can you help me with this?”

Start little. We were taught to not ask for help. We’re taught to not ask for things. We’re taught to be in this co-dependent communication styles where we whine or say, “Oh, man, my pen doesn’t work,” hoping that somebody is going to rush in and bring you a new pen.

For me, specifically, when I work to teach my kids to ask for what they need, it teaches me and reminds me that, “Yeah, I’m allowed to ask for what I need to.” Other people are allowed to say no; just because I’m asking for something doesn’t mean they have an obligation to give it to me. But I do have a right to ask for what it is that I need or want.


[01:27:57] Ashley James: That’s beautiful. I love it. Start small. Start with what you’re comfortable, and if you’re uncomfortable asking for someone to hold the door open, if you’re not comfortable with the small stuff, then there’s something to uncover there about deserving it.

My husband and I have been together for eleven years, and I would complain that I’m the only one that cooks. He smiled, and he’d be like, “Why would I cook? Your food is so good.” But recently, I said, “I need you in the kitchen.” He gets there and be like, “What do you need?” I handed him a knife and a cutting board, “You’re going to prep these veggies.”

Two hours later, we’ve made like a week’s worth of food together and had a ton of fun. Our son watched us in the kitchen and helped as much as he could. I told him to get his chair. He could stand on it, watch, and throw things in the food processor, that kind of thing. But it was a family event instead of me griping over food which is not healthy. I love cooking by the way, but I was getting into the habit of eating out far too much because I want the break. I want the service — someone else to serve me the food.

Every time we went out, my husband whose vegan would say, “Your food is so much better than anything we can get in any of these restaurants, and then we’re walking away having paid fifty dollars that we should not have spent. This food is not healthy. It’s not organic.” He starts lecturing me on health. He’s like, “You know it’s full of round-up. What are we doing? This is probably GMO. There’s crappy oil in this food. So why?” I’m like, “It’s because no one cooks.” He does the dishes, thank god. This house would have every dish dirty, but I would not do the dishes. I cook; you have to clean.

I’ve really enjoyed that my husband is so wonderful in that way. It gets old being the only one that cooks. So now he preps with me, and he follows right behind me cleaning and prepping. He has so much fun doing it too, and then he gets to say what goes in the food too. We ended up creating dishes together, and I actually had him look through a recipe book and pick out some recipes. I don’t follow recipes, but I follow the general — “Here’s an idea of recipes.” I always like to create my own, but he gave some new ideas as to what we could do. It became fun, and I realize how much I had been blaming him and nagging on him when I was giving away my power. I was creating the nagging.

Landmark Education had a program called the Forum, and I’ve done all of their classes. They say that complaining is a form of domination. It took me years to get it. I was the one in control, even though I was acting like a victim. In this situation, I was not being victimized, but I was acting like a victim, and I was controlling the situation dominating through complaining.

It’s just interesting how, when we start to own our power and come back to our power, we get our voice back, and then we can improve the quality of our lives and our relationships because we realized that our complaining and our feelings of being a victim is we set that up. We can create something different by making powerful requests of people for help.


[01:31:40] Mandy Flanders: Yes, exactly right. It’s huge to be able to see ourselves clearly in such a way that allows for those kinds of changes and improvements to be made.


[01:31:53] Ashley James: You’ve brought up so many wonderful tips here today. I feel like we’re just getting warmed up.


[01:32:00] Mandy Flanders: I know.


[01:32:03] Ashley James: You had mentioned that you guide your clients through a process where they can begin to do some healing. You said it’s not hypnotherapy, but you guide through some imagery. Would you be comfortable with guiding us today through some self-awareness that allows us to start to become curious and see what it is that we need?


[01:32:32] Mandy Flanders: Let me see. It’s very intuitively led. I would say first, if you’re in a trigger, and you have this feeling of anger coming up, I ask my clients to feel that anger in your body or whatever the emotion is. Just feel in your body and notice where you’re feeling it. Notice the sensations that are coming up. And then to explore any other times in the past that you have felt that sensation physically or mentally before.

And then depending on what comes up, just exploring and sitting with that, and I will usually guide them to notice what they’re noticing about this other situation. Usually, it’s from childhood. And then I encourage them to visit that younger version of themselves as adult them, and to tell them that they’re safe. Tell this younger version of you that you are safe, and that you didn’t do anything wrong, and that it’s not your fault what happened to you. And then usually at that point, there is an awesome feeling of release.

Sometimes for some clients, it takes a little bit of time to get there because that inner child part of them is not feeling ready to come out. They don’t feel safe, so we have to find ways to tweak that to where they can feel safe to come out and show us what is going on.


[01:34:36] Ashley James: It’s a beautiful process, and it unfolds, but the awareness, as you said, is the first step. As I said, I was so afraid of becoming aware, thinking that there was a lot of dark stuff in me, and what I found is that it’s beautiful, that every time something is presented to be released and to learn from, that it ultimately was a beautiful discovery. It shifted into something beautiful. So we have to be willing to take those steps to become self-aware.


[01:35:13] Mandy Flanders: Exactly, because without the awareness, we don’t know what to change or what needs healing because we’re still in the dark.


[01:35:24] Ashley James: One of your certifications is NES Bioenergetic scans.


[01:35:31] Mandy Flanders: Oh, yeah.


[01:35:32] Ashley James: You haven’t really talked about that yet. I’m curious.


[01:35:36] Mandy Flanders: I learned about NES from your show, and I had to some investigating. NES Bioenergetic is amazing. It’s a tool that interacts with the body field and can pick up distortions in the body field and lays it out in a format that’s easy for us to understand.

Within that, I love looking at the emotions that underlie the physical manifestations, of course. But NES, it shows different shock traumas, and it can show you if you are in an active conflict state, if you’re in a chronic conflict state, or if you’re entering into a healing resolution of a conflict.

A conflict could be a trauma. It could be shock. It could be something that is conflicting you at that time. It doesn’t have to be something so intense, but something that is impacting you energetically. Using that has been a profound tool in working with my clients because it does help access those deeper layers of things that a lot of times people don’t know is there.


[01:37:06] Ashley James: Can you share an example or a story of recent success with a client using that system?


[01:37:12] Mandy Flanders: I have a few. There is a man that I was working with recently. He came to me because he suffered a head injury, something really heavy fell on his head.

He came to me, and I looked at his scan and noticed that there was a lot of stuff coming up demonstrating that he was in a chronic conflict state. In using the scan, it gave me an entry point into the underlying traumas. I learned that this man dealt with a lot of abuse in early childhood and became a drug addict very early on with his father. They didn’t tell the mother, and then the mother found out that he was doing drugs but not with his father and sent him to rehab.

He had all these different traumas going on, and his father was very physical with him. All of these things were manifesting in his current relationship where he was not very physical, but he would get frustrated easily or felt like his partner was very controlling, or that she was very undermining, or things like that.

So using NES and that kind of guided imagery that I just talked about, we were able to come to a resolution and help him to see that the current triggers in his life had nothing to do with what was going on. We were able to subconsciously link the present triggers to the past triggers, and he has told me that his relationship has changed completely almost overnight. He is much more aware of how he’s feeling, and he doesn’t put his feelings on his partner anymore. He’s able to be more introspective when he’s having a trigger. He can pause more. He’s learning how to set healthy boundaries. We only had two sessions together.

He’s setting these healthy boundaries with her and telling her, “I’m not comfortable talking about that with you. Can we talk about this later?” Things that he would never have felt comfortable saying before, but he would have felt comfortable telling her, “You’re so nosy. You’re such a nag,” things like that. So he’s just communicating in a much more healthy way.


[01:40:00] Ashley James: I love it. When we’re feeling defensive, typically we’ll lash out. If something they did is uncomfortable, then we’ll lash out. I get that we snap at people and we call them names, and we become abusive ourselves when we are very insecure about letting them see something or when we don’t know how to protect our boundaries healthily.

That is so interesting. Isn’t it amazing when we look at how we interact in our emotions, communication, our relationships? It’s sticky and messy, but then when you start to unfold everything, it all makes sense.


[01:40:46] Mandy Flanders: I know. It’s such a gift, too. I feel like we have this innate gift within us that a lot of people don’t even know is there. We don’t realize that we have this ability to explore these things and uncover these things and then ultimately heal them. When I told this man, I said, “This stuff that you’re dealing with in your partnership has nothing to do with the present time,” and he was like, “What?” The thought of that blew his mind. He was like, “There’s no way. I’m upset with her.” And I’m like, “That’s true. What you’re feeling is true, but it has very little to do with her. It has everything to do with what happened to you as a kid.”


[01:41:29] Ashley James: Exactly. It’s so funny. So you have these wonderful systems. You help people to coach them emotionally, mentally, physically, energetically. You’re helping people on all levels. Is there anything else that you want to make sure that you convey to the listeners today?


[01:41:56] Mandy Flanders: Yeah. I believe that everybody is doing their best. Whatever that looks like, it’s going to be different for everybody. Just remember that we all come from somewhere. Everybody has a story. We don’t end up doing what we do, Ashley, out of just pure passion. There’s a reason we stepped into these lines of work, and we all have a story. We all come from somewhere.

If we’re able to honor our story, then we can see the stories that other people are living within as well, and we don’t have to live from this place of anger, upset, or dysfunction. It can be a lot more holistic, compassionate, understanding and realizing that people are not out to get us. We’re all just suffering here together. We’re all in this together.


[01:43:05] Ashley James: Exactly. We’re all going through our stuff. Remember those perfect girls and perfect guys in high school? When you look at them, you think, “Their lives are so great, and everyone likes them.” We always thought that they were somehow different than us. They didn’t have insecurities. They didn’t have drama. They didn’t have childhood abuse or anything. They were just perfect, and we were broken and flawed. We’re weird or whatever. There’s nothing wrong with them.


It’s just so funny as adults now to go every single one of us, all the ones that we looked up or thought were so perfect, confident, or popular, they all were insecure. They all were vulnerable and worried and had their stuff and did not have it together. We are all like that. We’re all worried about what everyone else thinks. Everyone else is this mob, this collective consciousness that judges us, and we’re the only ones that are somehow bad and wrong.


It’s just really funny that we give away so much of our power like that. When we get that we’re all human, that we’re all going through the same emotions, we can start to be more gentle with ourselves.


[01:44:25] Mandy Flanders: It’s kind of endearing that we think that we’re the only ones that are going through something. That’s like a little two-year-old. That’s our inner two-year-old. That’s like, “But what about me? I’m hurting, too.” And that two-year-old probably needs a little hug and attention, and maybe some journaling and meditation and some chocolate.


[01:44:47] Ashley James: Yes. Let’s all get the stevia-infused chocolate, my favorite. That’s so awesome. Mandy, for listeners who are just in love with you, they can go to your website,


Of course, they can join the Learn True Health Facebook group and see you there because you’re all over the Facebook group with us, and you have such a wonderful journey. You have an entire lifetime of experience that you bring to helping.


What I love about your healing practice is you’re coming from your heart. You really are heart-centered when you work with your clients, so those who are inspired by Mandy should definitely go check out your website,, and see about working with you.


Is there anything on your website they should make sure that they look at, or should they follow you on social media? Where do you want people to make sure that they go to?


[01:45:49] Mandy Flanders: I’m a lot more active on my social media, on my Instagram and my Facebook page. I’m hoping to change and become more active on my website, but as of right now, my Facebook page, mandywellness, and my Instagram handle is mandy_flanders.


[01:46:11] Ashley James: Awesome. We’ll make sure the links to everything you do, including your social media, is in the show notes of today’s podcast at You got to go and feed that cat.


[01:46:20] Mandy Flanders: I know. I’m sorry.


[01:46:23] Ashley James: I’m like, “Oh, kitty, kitty, kitty.” I’m such a cat person. That’s so funny.


[01:46:28] Mandy Flanders: She’s so needy.


[01:46:30] Ashley James: Like all of us.


[01:46:31] Mandy Flanders: I know.


[01:46:32] Ashley James: We all have this inner cat that’s just needy inside of us. Talk about metaphors.

Mandy, it’s been so much fun having you here today. Thank you so much for coming and sharing with us. I’m sure we’re going to have some great questions from the listeners in our Facebook group, and I’d love to have you back.


[01:46:49] Mandy Flanders: Thank you so much. I would love to come back. That would be such an honor. Thank you so much for having me. This was so awesome.


[01:46:56] Ashley James: Are you into optimizing your health? Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high-quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to, and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best price. That’s Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome referral program.

Get Connected With Mandy Flanders!


Instagram – Mandy Wellness

Instagram – Mandy Flanders

Recommended Readings by Mandy Flanders

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk

Molecules of Emotion by Candace Pert



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