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Friday, September 14, 2012

Watching Dr Oz 9/14/12: Recognize and Embrace Emotional Baggage

The Dr. Oz Show
Airdate: September 14, 2012
Dr. Oz: How To Let Go Of Your Emotional Baggage

  • Dr. Oz encourages 50 women to navigate breakdowns and breakthroughs
  • Where are you heading in your life?
  • Recognize emotional baggage
  • Recognize that emotional baggage does not have to hold us back

Dr. Oz works with 50 women from across the country in an effort to help them let go of the emotional baggage that is harming their health. It's an intervention filled with breakdowns and breakthroughs.

[I don't think I've ever cried during a Dr. Oz Show episode but I cried during this one. And it was the power that these women found in themselves by opening up and believing that they can change their lives, find their goals and go after them.]

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Dr. Oz: How To Let Go Of Your Emotional Baggage

Different from any other show. There's no audience in The Dr. Oz Show. Fifty women on perched on chairs on the stage with a suitcase in front of them. It's an intimate setting to discuss what is really holding them back from their goals.

Valorie Burton, certified personal coach and author of What's Really Holding You Back?: Closing the Gap Between Where You Are and Where You Want to Be [as well as Successful Women Think Differently and Your 5-Minute Personal Coach], joins Dr. Oz and his 50 guests to coach them through the three steps she has identified that are necessary to move beyond that baggage and achieve their goals.

Ms. Burton says “emotions are teachers”. They should school you and not rule you. We often focus too much on what is going wrong in our lives, she explained, instead of focusing on what we want to achieve. The key is to this shift in focus is to identify where your destination. Where are you headed?

Dr. Oz: What's In Your Baggage?

Trisha said her biggest baggage is associating change with tragedy. She wants to learn how to accept change as a positive point in her life and not fear it. In her bag were a set of keys which represented when she and her family moved. At age 17, she had a boyfriend, her first love. She had to move away from him with her family. After the move, her love was killed in a car accident.

Since then, Trisha says that anytime there has been change in her life something negative also happens. When she's faced with change she feels physically ill. Her stomach gets upset and turns to knots.

Ms. Burton said it's just fear. Fear isn't a stop sign. She said to keep walking forward one step at a time because the stop sign shouldn't stop your progress.

The second audience member to share her story says she is afraid of failure. She feels like her mom failed her and lives in fear of being just like her mom and failing. Physically, she looks a lot like her mom. Her mom was an addict and died young leaving her to raise her younger sister.

During times of stress, she goes toward wine - the only alcoholic beverage her mom didn't drink. She wishes she could exercise or do something positive instead of drinking.

Emotions are not bad, said Ms. Burton. The emotions she is feeling around failure, around drinking are all valid. Acknowledge those emotions.
Dr. Oz jumped into the conversation and said he thought the purpose was to let go of emotional baggage. But her mom is part of her, explained Ms. Burton. Rather than being an open wound, her experiences with her mom and her emotions she feels because of those experiences should be viewed as a scar that has healed. Ms. Burton said to acknowledge and embrace that scar and allow the experience to drive you instead of paralyze,

Pam brought a cigarette from her suitcase. She's a smoker. Pam shared that she has always been heavy. At age 9, she started doing diets and was even sent away to a weight loss camp. Cigarettes came about as a way for Pam to stop eating.

What is your destination, Pam? She wants to be healthy, happy, and to like herself. Dr. Oz added that Pam is a perfect example how we do what we know is not good for us. Pam knows that smoking is bad for her health yet she still does it because she doesn't want to gain weight again. Pam has become so driven by the baggage of weight that she is, in essence, hitting herself over the head with that baggage of smoking.

Dr. Oz: Ms. Burton's Keys to Overcoming Emotional Baggage
1.  Picture the Destination – Set your goal and set your focus toward achieving that goal.
2.  Fear Is Not A Stop Sign – We all experience fear. Everyone is afraid. Fear does not have to hold us back from achieving our goals.
3.  Validate Emotions – Acknowledge those emotions and use them as tools to move forward.

Dr. Oz How Emotional Baggage Brings Physical Effects

Another woman shared what was in her baggage and it's similar to what's in many peoples baggage: bread. Growing up, bread was a staple food. She felt safe and comforted around bread. Stress has moved her to continue to reach for bread for comfort and as a result has gained 50 pounds over the last year. Her goal is to be able to accept the emotions she may be feeling and have a healthy relationship with food.

Dr. Oz asked what she feels in her body that drives her to food? She said it's a physical sensation. When she is stressed she feels butterflies in her belly and her heart rate increases. Instinctively she reaches for bread. As soon as the bread touches her lips she feels relief.

Those physical sensations of calm and release of stress, explained Dr. Oz, end up reinforcing that baggage she hasn't discarded.

Dr. Oz: A Retreat of Emotional Healing at Miraval

Dr. Oz said each woman will go through a transformation and at the end of their time together will be able to move forward within their health and their lives.

If you see something of yourself in these women, said Dr. Oz, you can benefit from their experience as they take a journey together at the Miraval Resort and Spa in Arizona. Dr. Oz wants to help them repack that baggage in a way the supports and inspires moving toward goals and recognize that they can't stop simply because they feel emotions.

Why Miraval? Dr. Oz explained that he wanted to take the women somewhere other than where they live for this transformation. During this experience, he said together they will look at their emotional baggage and see if it is still serving them. Dr. Oz explained that during the journey, the women will be taken out of their comfort zones to be pushed physically, mentally, and emotionally. They will examine their baggage and learn how to stop the negative cycles holding them back.

Dr. Oz: Hike of Exploration
First the group went on a hike. They encountered beautiful landscapes, picturesque mountains. Many also felt confronted on what they may be giving up and they fear they felt around working toward their goals.

Crying, one woman expressed her appreciation for this opportunity. She shared that she had been looking for a way to change and she sees this as her chance.

On the trail, Trisha shared that she was feeling anxious and recognizes that she has been living in fear. She broke down. It's so much easier, she said, to push down the emotions and put on a happy face. But she feels so much pain inside and at the same time can't stand to feel vulnerable.

Dr. Oz: Yoga Flow
The women had the opportunity to participate in a yoga class where they acknowledge their courage and their willingness to be at the Resort. Breathing calms the mind. Relaxation and release exercises help to clear the mind. They learned how the practice of yoga can support the release of tension, allow the experience of being centered on themselves, and how to bring back the positive. These are tools that can help everyone to focus on how to live life and how to be present in life.

Dr. Oz: Inspirational Lecture from Valorie Burton
Ms. Burton, experienced life coach, spoke with the women and asked why they were here? What is their purpose in life? She talked to them about how baggage holds us back from our true purpose in life. Picturing the possibilities that we can create in our lives brings us closer to achieving our goals. Use failures, she explained, as a tool to move on in life.

Working with a mentor, said Ms. Burton, can provide the women support during their journey's. This will take practice. Open your mind, she said. Serve. Enjoy the journey.

Dr. Oz: Pilates
Pilates was another opportunity presented to the women during their stay at Miraval. Pilates can support the building of strength, flexibility, and a full range of motion in the joints. The woman who chose the Pilates class said she felt like she was meant to be there.

Dr. Oz: Breath Walking
Taking another walk on the grounds, the women were taught to create a breathing pattern that was in sync with their stride. They were encouraged to create a mantra of either sounds or words and to tap their fingers along with their steps and their breath.

Dr. Oz caught up with the woman who shared that her mother was an addict and that she struggled with sobriety. She shared that she is determined to learns how to turn to other things, positive activities, instead of alcohol. He asked what it feels like when she is drunk. She said things that aren't good for her seem like a good idea when she is drinking like cigarettes which she wouldn't touch when sober.

Sober. That's a new word in the conversation, said Dr. Oz. What does it feel like to use word sober? She said it feels like she is setting herself up for a problem. You're not your mom never have been, Dr. Oz told her. How do take away the fear with that word sober? She said she wanted to be able to drink as a celebration not as coping mechanism.

Dr. Oz: Team Wall
An 11 foot wall was presented to the women as a challenge that they had to face as a community. The wall can be a metaphor for the personal journey they were experiencing. They could only reach the top with the help of the others in the group. To succeed they had to trust each other and trust themselves to make it over the top of the wall.

Tamiko was terrified to climb the wall. Her weight was holding her back. Hooked up to a harness and a safety rope, her community of 15 on the ground helped her scale to the top where the rest of her community worked to pull her over. Tamiko's hands were at the top.

Then she couldn't breathe and had to let go. The safety rope gently lowered back to the ground where she continued to struggle for breath. Her situation was concerning and an ambulance was called. Tamiko was admitted to the hospital for dehydration and was released after five hours.

The next day, Tamiko returned to the wall with Dr. Oz and her community of women. She told Dr. Oz that she knows she can anything she sets her mind to. Getting up over that wall will stay with her. No one can take that away from her. I'm going to kick that wall's butt!

What's on the other side of that 11 foot wall, Dr. Oz asked. The truth that I can do anything I set my mind to.

Tamiko scaled the wall with the help of her community. She was so excited to reach the top. “I did it! I did it!” Tamiko achieved an incredible goal. [This was the first point where I cried. It was so touching to see her struggle and then listen to everyone giving her encouragement. You could see the effort and determination in her face. It was a touching moment when she realized she made. She did it!]

Now that she's done this, Tamiko said she knows she can lose the weight, she can overcome her addiction to food. “I really feel I can do this,” she said.

Dr. Oz: Cooking Class
The women learned how to cook healthy meals. They used cactus as a flavor base for a salad. This particular cactus, explained professor chef, has a slow digesting fiber and can help support healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. One woman shared that she was happy to find an outlet in cooking and learning how to create healthy meals instead of turning to food for comfort.

Dr. Oz: Qigong
Trisha chose to learn the ancient Chinese art of Qigong. Qigong focuses on awareness, breath, and movement. It's in the isolation of breath, explained the instructor, where there exists an opportunity to let go of the worries, the stress, all the outside factors. Taking care of yourself, he said, can be as simple as taking a breath. What comes back is your creativity.

Dr. Oz: Quantum Leap
Quantum Leap is a partner activity where two people climb a high pole in turn and stand on a small platform at the top together. It's an exercise of facing a fear of heights and facing a fear of stepping off.
Dr. Oz shared that he is afraid of heights. He calls his fear real and authentic. Pam shared that she held the same fear. They chose to partner up and climb the pole.

Ms. Burton coached to not talk about the fear only talk about the courage. Stay focused on the destination. [I think my fear of heights is a healthy fear that keeps me safe. But that's just me.]

Say yes I'm afraid, Ms. Burton encouraged, but I have courage. You have the courage.

Equipped in a harness with safety ropes, Pam climb up first and eventually reached the top and stood on the platform. Then Dr. Oz climbed the pole whole Pam was still standing on the top platform. Pam had to continually encourage him through his fear and panic. For Dr. Oz to get on the platform with her, Pam had to stand on the very edge of while he crawled and pulled himself up then gently and slowly stood. Dr. Oz said once he was standing on top of the platform with Pam he was no longer scared. They jumped off the platform together.

Definitely a life changing experience.

In the background, they played Stevie Nicks singing Landslide...
Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder...
[I've been listening to this song since I was a kid and it never fails to bring me to tears. Such a sweet song filled with so much emotion.]

The women shared their feelings at the end of this journey...
I now have a tool kit. This is my first experience of being balanced. I can release tension with yoga. I
feel powerful. I can use these tools to decompress. I don't have to live in fear or anxiety, I can just breathe.

The final event was a Native American ceremony where the released their emotional baggage in a puff of smoke. The eagle served as a spiritual messenger who took their prayers into the heavens. Everyone played a drum creating harmony, synchronicity, the heartbeat of the universe.

Dr. Oz thanked the women for sharing their stories so that other could learn and live. 

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and return on Saturday for the answer.

Thank you for making Watching Dr Oz a success!

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