Updated: Aug 17
I am so grateful to Frank, who has been working with me since October 2019, for sharing his personal experience with remote Sound Life Mentoring. Each week, we explore sound healing practices and shamanic journeying skills, along with mindfulness, dreamwork, and deep listening. He graciously, and very eloquently, writes about how learning these skills have made a positive impact on his life. All the illustrations were created by Frank in the course of our work together. My deepest thanks and appreciation to you, Frank. ~ Valerie
"From childhood to my 60th birthday, I settled for a dystopic life of daily paralyzing anxiety, chronic depression, and complete self-abnegation. I never felt the sum of my parts.
Decades of cognitive therapy, self-help books, and seminars gave me a handful of temporary skills that helped me survive. But these practices only painted over my shattered inner life. Yes, I was able to understand the detriments of negative self-imaging, and yes, I recognized my destructive thought-spirals. I even memorized and used communication techniques that were less self-deprecating. These techniques may have kept me breathing, but they also only kept my dysfunctional status quo. Beneath that whitewash was the certitude that I could never participate in my own life. The ability to enjoy life – something that seemed abundantly available to others – would always allude me.
Then in October of 2019 – one month before turning 61 – I began weekly remote "Sound Life Mentoring" with Valerie Carpenter. I live in New York. She lives in California. Now, in March of 2020, I am enjoying life – something, as mentioned, I never thought was possible.
In each session, Valerie brings her knowledge, intuitiveness, insight, compassion, professionalism, patience, honesty, and the courage to explore any area of life that has brought me pain and dysfunction.
To each session, I bring an open mind, honesty and the willingness to work on myself.
Our remote sessions offer greater “closed-door intimacy” than counselors with parking lots, waiting rooms, white-noise machines and framed platitudes. In my own home I feel free to express emotions that would normally be edited out. I can cry. I can yell. I can laugh out loud. No eyes in the waiting room will follow me as I leave. And between the weekly sessions, Valerie emails encouragement and links to websites and webinars that may be particularly helpful to me.
Valerie’s guidance, so far, has guided me to three vital truths that continue to restore, heal and empower me beyond my greatest hope.
I am not alone. Valerie introduced me to the biology of emotional life: The nervous system. Beginning at infancy and continuing through very early childhood, the human nervous system hardwires its responses to perceived dangers. When an infant/toddler receives nurturing, comfort and acceptance during moments of fear, the child will feel included in a loving, caring group and conclude that safety will return. These hardwired positive conclusions become the foundation for the development of emotional intelligence, the ability to successfully interact with other humans, and the ability to make life-affirming decisions – all essential for navigating through life. The opposite is true. When an infant/toddler perceives danger without then receiving comforting and acceptance into a social circle, the child will conclude that no one is present to help, and that safety is unattainable. Those hardwired conclusions will hinder neurological development. If not corrected, the resulting behavior – even in adulthood – will be “knee-jerk” reflexes to freeze, disappear, fight or take flight. That person will not have developed self-nurturing and coping skills and will feel isolated.
I have power. Valerie connected me to sources of strength, power, personal insight, and self-compassion that continue to nurture me. These sources have profound three-dimensional beauty.
I can heal. Valerie’s tele-sessions are healing my nervous system and body. Anxiety is momentary, rather than lasting years. Thoughts of worthlessness and hopelessness are rare and deftly processed. My severe ulcerative colitis is in remission, and my 5-year dependency on sleeping aids has ended.
Valerie has improved my life to the point that I enjoy living it. After 60 years of trying, it is nice to get to know and love myself."
Frank S., Setauket, NY
Text and illustrations by Frank, March 2020
To find out how Sound Life Mentoring can get you closer to your goals, schedule a Complimentary Phone Consultation with Valerie today.