How can I help you?

    154: How to Unlearn What You Were Taught About Suffering w/ Sarah Anne Stewart

    Taking a holistic approach to your health means looking at your mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, and nutritional health. I’m joined by wellness coach Sarah Anne Stewart to talk about how she encourages holistic health with her clients. She also shares some great tips on increasing your overall wellness!

    Or listen & subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts | Android

    Key Takeaways

    Some quick exercises you can start doing that will help you heal your mental and emotional health and your relationship with your body.

    • Practicing daily affirmations
    • Getting involved in Mirror Work
    • Writing a letter to our body

    About Sarah Anne Stewart

    Sarah Anne Stewart discovered the world of wellness as a teenager when her father received a terminal cancer diagnosis. Her family made a choice – to fight back with alternative medicine. Seven months later, her father was cancer-free, and a spark was lit in Sarah that propelled her to dedicate her life to spreading the healings her family had discovered. 

    Today, as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach (AADP), Sarah runs a leading private coaching practice with a focus on breaking free of diet culture through mindfulness. Her heart-centered approach has supported hundreds on their journeys to body love. 

    Sarah is the founder of the Awesome Inside Out Movement, an advisor to international wellness brands and soon to be Hay House author.

    Taking the First Steps into Holistic Wellness

    Sarah starts by sharing the story of when she first ventured into the wellness world. As a professional model, she struggled with what she knew to be true about her diet and lifestyle and actually putting it into practice. 

    She opens up and shares how she nearly killed herself with anorexia before she finally realized she needs to work on her mental and emotional health, as well as her nutritional and physical, in order to truly heal.

    This led Sarah on a journey into holistic wellness that included a deep spiritual practice of healing. She found a spiritual teacher who told her that she needs to relearn everything she knew about suffering.

    Sarah talks about self-sabotaging behavior and how, even when we’re actively trying to change our lives for the better, we can still engage in it. She explains some of the reasons for this and what we can do to stop this behavior.

    She also shares some mindset tips to change who and what you attract into your life. I love these tips and I think we should apply them often!

    Comparison is the Number One Barrier to Wellness

    Sarah suffered from breast implant illness for years. She found herself in a bubble of people who denied this could be happening, but eventually discovered how sick her implants were making her. 

    Sarah shifts into explaining the mindset behind why people get implants. Social media is often blamed for poor body image issues in young women, but it’s not uncalled for blame. Sarah believes that social media and comparing ourselves to other women is definitely one of the reasons women get implants.

    She encourages you to go on regular social media detoxes. Other wellness practices Sarah promotes are spending time in nature, writing or repeating affirmations, regular meditation, and engaging in mirror work.

    One of the ultimate things we need to do in order to heal is to stop comparing ourselves to other people. Comparison doesn’t serve you at all, my friends. It’s time we let go and embrace who we are as our unique, wonderful selves.

    How is this comparison serving you? How is it keeping you in a place of discomfort? What would happen if you actually let it go?

    As always, you can ask me anything and let me hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you have questions, email team@drannacabeca.com.

     

    In This Episode

    • Why you need to take a holistic approach to your health that includes your mental and emotional along with your physical and nutritional [7:00]

    • How to unlearn the way you were taught to suffer [12:15]

    • Why we might engage in self-sabotaging behavior [16:15]

    • How to control who you attract into your life based on the thoughts you have [20:00]

    • Some of the symptoms of breast implant illness [25:00]

    • Why it’s important for our mental health to have social media detoxes [29:00]

    • How to reconnect with yourself by connecting to nature and disconnecting from your thoughts [31:00]

    • How to break free from comparing ourselves to other people [35:15]

     

    Quotes

    “So often, people are reluctant to go beyond the mind because we’re taught more research means that we have a higher IQ and we’re better at coping with the world and we’ll be more successful. But, often, what it really is about is going to the space between the thoughts. It’s going into our awareness.” [13:50]

    “It’s not about feeling shame or guilt when you do a behavior that’s sabotaging. It’s about creating the self-awareness to recognize that there is a different way and once you know better, you’ll do better. It’s not your fault that you’re sabotaging. But it is your responsibility if you want to live an empowered life in a body that you love.” [17:11]

    “We all face these different parts of our life where something from our past, an old experience, or even a relationship or career might come forward later in your life. It’s about having the tools to manage what shows up.” [21:04]

    “The problem is that we’re in this comparison or jealousy model and we’re always on social media, we’re always looking at other people wondering why we can’t look like that. Through the acceptance and surrender, whether it’s the sickness, the not feeling well, the how we look, there is this mourning process that happens. On the other side of that is freedom.” [31:09]

     

    Resources Mentioned

    Find Sarah Anne Stewart Online

    Follow Sarah Anne Stewart onFacebook |Twitter |Instagram |YouTube |Pinterest

    Join the KetoGreen Community on Facebook

    Buy Keto-Green 16

    Find Dr. Anna Online

    Follow Dr. Anna on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

     

    Transcript

    Sarah Anne:
    She said, "I can keep helping you cover up this problem, or you can walk across the street and you can go and get your implants out and then I can heal you feel after." Her name was Dr. Kim, and she was the first woman to actually confront me on what I was doing to myself. So we all face these different parts of our lives where something from our past, or something from an old experience or even relationship, career might come forward later in your life, and it's about having the tools to manage what shows up.

    Dr. Anna:
    Eating disorders, struggling with comparing ourselves to others, struggling with our own self love, and don't we want to talk about unlearning the way that we were taught to suffer, or that we have been suffering and really getting clear with about who we are, what we're doing here, what our journey is, and what our authentic selves really want in our situation right now, with no matter what we're dealing with, to be able to appreciate who we are, the body we're in, and the journey we're on, and those that we've loved so that we feel happiness and we feel joy, and we feel acceptance, and accepted.

    Dr. Anna:
    Whether it's just with ourselves, within our family, within our profession, within our work life, whatever situation it may be. Well, we're going to talk about this today. Hi, everyone, its Dr. Anna Cabeca. I'm the Girlfriend Doctor and it is my mission and my passion to help women live better lives before, during and after menopause no matter what your age is. So welcome to The Girlfriend Doctor podcast, an intimate place for an intimate conversation and hey, I am here for you.

    Dr. Anna:
    You can ask or tell me anything. No shame, no guilt, no apologies. We are pulling back the curtain, and today we're going to be pulling back the curtain on body shaming and on self sabotaging with an expert and a guest and a friend that I'm joined here with today. This is Sarah Anne Stewart, who was thrown into her own World of Wellness as a teenager when her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

    Dr. Anna:
    She suffered from breast implant disease, eating disorder, and this life experience has propelled her to dedicate her life to spreading the healings that she discovered today. She is the founder of the Awesome Inside Out Movement, and an advisor to international wellness brands and soon to be a Hay House author as well. Her heart-centered approach has supported thousands on their journey to body love and you'll fall in love with her as I have today. We're going to talk about so many key things like how we compare ourselves to others.

    Dr. Anna:
    How do we touch, how do we develop the practices that keep us in our authentic space, accepting who we are, loving who we are. We're going to go into ... She's going to teach us three key exercises to help us heal and be part of our self-care routine that enhances our own self worth, our self love and self acceptance. I encourage, I encourage you to listen in. Here we go. Let me introduce you to my friend. Welcome Sarah to The Girlfriend Doctor podcast. Thanks for joining me today.

    Sarah Anne:
    I'm so excited to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

    Dr. Anna:
    I have loved your story. I loved your journey, and I love what you're putting forth in the world. I want to share more about your story, and why you're so passionate about what you do with my audience. Will you share a little bit?

    Sarah Anne:
    Yeah, thank you so much. The work I do today was really inspired by my own personal journey. So I grew up in a really holistic household. So much so that when we found out the heartbreaking news that my father had terminal cancer, he decided to not go the western route to postpone his life a little bit longer, but he actually decided to heal the root cause of his cancer. We went on this alternative medicine journey and decided to do a plant-based diet for seven months and within that time, his cancer was completely cured.

    Sarah Anne:
    They diagnosed it as a misdiagnosis and this really lit a spark in me that never went out. I became really aware of how many people didn't understand at the time the healing power of food. Ironically, at the same time, I was scouted to model and within several days of signing a contract, I developed a series of eating disorders that lasted for over a decade to the point where I was sitting in a hospital room being told by an ER doctor that if I didn't make a career change, I was going to absolutely lose my life to anorexia.

    Sarah Anne:
    I remember at that time, feeling so much better guilt and shame, because I knew the power of food to heal, and yet on the other hand, I was having this disordered relationship with food where it almost took my own life. So I knew I had to get out of the industry. I ended up leaving. I backpacked for over two years and what's so interesting is I began to study nutrition, because that seemed like the most natural career path to transition into, knowing what my dad had gone through.

    Sarah Anne:
    It was really interesting, because the more nutrition information I got, the more anxiety I got around my body. Every time I had my picture taken, or anytime that I was on a date or stood in front of a mirror, this anxiety still plagued me even though I was physically getting better. So the doctors were clearing me from a physical level, but the anxiousness within me continued.

    Sarah Anne:
    So this was something where I kind of just came to a realization that this is going to be my existence, this is just how I'm going to have to live the rest of my life. I went through the fashion industry and there's no solution to this relationship I have within my mind. Out of what I call divine synchronicity, I met a seventh lineage guru from India, who I intuitively felt from the moment I met him, called to work with him. He shared with me, he said, "You can absolutely heal this part of yourself. But you have to unlearn the way that you were taught to suffer."

    Sarah Anne:
    This was the first moment that I actually started to take responsibility and stood looking at myself and saying, I can no longer play victim to these stories. I have to actually confront the emotions, the insecurities, the wounding patterns, the trauma from my childhood, and I have to start doing this work, and I can no longer blame the modeling world or the fashion industry. Through this process that we work together with, he really helped me recognize that there's this space between your thoughts and there's this space within you that you can connect to.

    Sarah Anne:
    There's a solitude, there's a consciousness, there's an awareness and through that I went on this healing journey. What was so profound was I started applying a lot of the principles to my coaching practice, and at that time, I was teaching a lot of people about nutrition and food, which is incredible. There's another aspect, the emotional and the mental, and the spiritual components that there's this holistic, all-encompassing approach that is so needed and so valuable today.

    Sarah Anne:
    So through my own learning, and through my own journey, I've been able to help a lot of women create sustainable change, instead of bouncing from program, to program, to program. That's my greatest mission and passion is really helping people step into the self love, self confidence, and self worth first, because then, intuitively, they usually know what program or protocol or nutrition plan is best for them.

    Dr. Anna:
    I love what you're saying. I want to go back to that time when your eating disorders started. What was ... You were already modeling. Did you have a eating disorder before you started modeling?

    Sarah Anne:
    No, what was so interesting is that I didn't have an eating disorder, but I had a very dysfunctional relationship with my mother. I always kept blaming the fashion industry for this eating disorder, but as I started to heal, I recognize that I chose that industry and went into that industry for the addiction, for the obsession with always seeking the validation outside of myself. I don't think I would have chosen that industry or been gravitated towards it if I didn't have that need for approval that I never got from my mother growing up.

    Sarah Anne:
    Over time, I've healed this relationship with her and I really recognized that she wanted the best for us, but it was her living through us that created this perfectionism model that I always had to be perfect. From that it fueled my desire to go into an industry and I kept wanting that hit, that hit of external validation. The interesting thing about modeling is the older you get, the less you get the hit. So it took me on a road of plastic surgery and getting implants and it really ended up being the darkest part of my life, but also the most liberating because on the other side of this healing with my mother, so much beauty has come forward.

    Dr. Anna:
    How is your relationship with your mother now?

    Sarah Anne:
    It's really beautiful. I've done a lot of work and I've had to take the responsibility piece. I think part of the other story that was showing up was it's very easy to blame, to look back and blame our parents and blame our mentors and blame who raised us and blame our past on our outcomes today. That was the work I did with Chandresh, it was very much about this is your life and you only have today. This is it. This present moment is all you have and do you want to continue to live from a place of pain and resent and the story that you're not good enough or do you want to step into that because that's your truth that you are worthy of the body and life that you really love. So it's definitely been a process. It's been a lot of meditation, a lot of going within, a lot of journal work. A lot of pulling back the layers and I think that that's life. It's really getting to the root.

    Dr. Anna:
    Well, let me tell you. Just talking about the mother-daughter relationship, I've got my own mother-daughter guilt. It's, all of a sudden, what have I done to my daughters? Have I instilled ... What have I instilled in them or not, and I often joke with my oldest, my firstborn. I was like, "You know what they call the firstborn? They call them practice. I'm so sorry." It's often ... It's like, we're doing the best we can do, but we are two individual, two unique bodies.

    Dr. Anna:
    We are spirits on this spiritual journey and this physical journey as well. I have my youngest daughter, now I'm in Texas, in Dallas, Texas, because she's doing rodeo and I'm trying so hard, like, often, I'm holding safe boundaries for you. I'm guiding you, but these are the goals. These are the expectations in order for us to continue doing this journey. She's barrel racing competitively, and we actually moved away from my home and my little island home for the past 20 years into the big city of Dallas, to work in a ranch with some pro rodeo trainers.

    Dr. Anna:
    That's what we're doing but I'm like okay, I'm trying to ... It's mothering is hard. It is, and each child is so different. Each relationship is so different and so unique. So it's beautiful to hear you say that, recognizing that she was doing the best she could do with what she knew, and often that's the truth. We think we want the best for our children, but where is it emotionally healthy versus emotionally toxic, and how do we receive that? How is it being received on the other end?

    Dr. Anna:
    You've said so many interesting things, Sarah, and one of the things you said that your teacher told you was to unlearn the way you were taught to suffer. Let's talk about that a minute, that is such a powerful saying. We'll say it again, unlearn the way you were taught to suffer.

    Sarah Anne:
    So my coach, Chandresh Bhardwaj and he runs a company called Break the Norms is really about that. That is his mission. It's unlearning all of these programmed beliefs that we take on throughout our lives that don't serve us. What I learned through working with him was that when you begin to understand the mind, you often realize that the answers to the solutions, and the answers to the problems that are coming up against and the challenges are often not in the mind. I'll dive a little bit more into this and make it as simple as possible.

    Sarah Anne:
    So what he shares is that there's three parts of the mind. The memory, which we experience, everything from birth, and that's in our subconscious mind, and in our conscious mind. Then the intellect is everything we've been taught. So it's what we've learned, what we've studied, what we've researched. Then there's the part of the identity, which is who we are, the way we think about ourselves and the way that we're viewed by the world.

    Sarah Anne:
    What I had to do through this process was I had to look at, okay, if I'm going to connect to the mind and think about my thoughts and recognize what these thoughts are doing to my emotional response, and then also to my behavior and my habits, well, what if I just pull back those layers and say, well, maybe the answer to solving this relationship to my body isn't in my mind. I'm going to my mind and my mind's playing tennis match and even with the intellect, I'm going and doing all this research and trying to find all these different protocols that are going to solve this problem, but what if the answer already exists within me?

    Sarah Anne:
    So often people are reluctant to going beyond the mind because we're taught more research means that we have a higher IQ, and we're better at coping with the world and we'll be more successful. Often what it really is about is going to the space between the thoughts, it's going into our awareness, which then strengthens our intuition. Because when I work with clients, most often they know what protocol or nutrition plan is good for them.

    Sarah Anne:
    They know what movement they should be doing, which movement lights them up and excites them and inspires them. They know what relationships they should be in or what relationships they should get out of. They know if their career is serving them or not, but they're in this sabotaging way of being because they haven't connected to that place within them, that spiritual place of saying, well, I only have so much time on this planet. This body is this vessel and this vehicle for me to serve and create impact on this planet and what do I want to do with this time?

    Sarah Anne:
    Within that space, within the space of consciousness, whether you call it energy or awareness or beyond the thought is the answers and it really allows you to create this freedom from the mind. It allows you to get into the body and connect to the heart when you go into meditation and when you go into silence. That was the process for me, it was looking at every single story that I was holding on to that wasn't serving me and saying, what is an upgraded version to the story? What is a story that I've never been told that I can step into about myself worth, my self esteem and self confidence that will empower me to live a more aligned life from a place of truth in a body that I loved.

    Sarah Anne:
    That was the journey and that journey, I tell people is a patient journey. I think we're so sold on the quick fixes right now, and I have to just say that there's the nutrition component, the movement component, but then this emotional and mental component, so you don't sabotage what's actually working for you is the part that takes the time and it took a long time to stop sabotaging my life. I finally feel like I'm there.

    Dr. Anna:
    That's such an important word sabotage, self sabotage. I see it over and over again. Certainly, I have partaken in it more times than I can count, but that concept of self sabotage. So there are many reasons that we self sabotage, and how do we get to those underlying reasons?

    Sarah Anne:
    So top scientists and specialists, I'm sure you share a lot about this, talk about the subconscious overrides the conscious behavior. The subconscious is responsible for about 95% of our life choices. So wherever there was worry, or drama or stress, perfectionism, disappointment, jealousy, pain, over commitment, all of these unresolved emotions impact our relationship with food and our bodies. So I think it's first the self-awareness component, where we recognize that, for most of our life, we've been taught what to think, how to feel, what to believe, which drives the behavior and habits around food and our bodies.

    Sarah Anne:
    So a lot of this has been childhood programming, societal and cultural conditioning, media outlets. The piece that I tell people is that it's not about feeling shame or guilt. When you do a behavior that sabotaging, it's about creating the self awareness, to recognize that there is a different way and once you know better, there's that famous quote, once you know better do better. So it's not your fault that you're sabotaging.

    Sarah Anne:
    It's not your fault that you want to go to the fridge to deal with the emotion that you don't want to feel, but it is your responsibility if you want to live an empowered life, in a body that you love, in this aligned life of well being to start to take responsibility. That looks like feeling, that looks like recognizing when emotions show up, that looks like managing triggers in a different way, that looks like doing the inner work, moving into forgiveness, letting go and really looking at all the parts of yourself that have probably been in the shadow that you're not willing to look at yet.

    Sarah Anne:
    That was the hardest piece for me, it was like I didn't want to look at those parts of myself, but then when I did, the discomfort that I was creating in my life through sabotage, was actually free on the other side of going into that discomfort. So it's like there's freedom that exists on the other side of the discomfort, but we think that the discomfort that we're in is actually comfort, which it's not. So it's about moving through and really recognizing and connecting to our truth and saying, I no longer want to live like this, and what am I willing to do to disconnect from the parts of myself that aren't serving any longer?

    Dr. Anna:
    Whether they're real or perceived, right?

    Sarah Anne:
    Right.

    Dr. Anna:
    It's that whole thing ... I think one of the things that I catch myself, part of the practice that helps me course correct, is what do I know to be true right now? It's just asking myself that question is, what do I know to be true right now? I like how you say, to identify what's in the shadows and if it's in the shadows, we can't heal from it. We have to bring it out of the shadows.

    Sarah Anne:
    Yes, we have to bring it out of the shadows. There is a recent experience I had with my breast implant illness. I share this story a lot because I want people to know even as a body love coach and someone who is rallying other women into self love and self worth and self confidence, and I've been doing this work for quite some time. Over two and a half years ago, I got very, very sick from my breast implants. I was sick for over two years before that.

    Sarah Anne:
    So I woke up in the middle of 2AM having heart palpitations and for over a year I was in denial. I didn't want to actually admit that my implants were making me sick and because of that, what was happening was when you're in a state of fear, and you don't want to admit that there's a problem or a root cause, you often attract people in your life or reflect back to you the truth of what you want to hear.

    Sarah Anne:
    So I was going to doctors, they were saying there's no way it could be my implants. I was doing ... I had an MRI done, my implants were fairly intact and once I was willing to do the work of what would my life look like without my implants? Why am I so attached to this? Why do I have so much anger towards myself about getting these implants? How can I forgive myself for getting these implants, and I started to do the internal work, that's when everything started to shift. I started to attract people into my life that were reflecting back to me that it could be my implants.

    Sarah Anne:
    I started attracting people in my life that were willing and able to help me heal from my breast implant illness, and I even had a doctor who ... She was so great. She said, "I can keep helping you cover up this problem, or you can walk across the street, and you can go and get your implants out and then I can help you heal after." Her name was Dr. Kim and she was the first woman to actually confront me on what I was doing to myself. So we all face these different parts of our lives where something from our past, or something from an old experience, or even relationship, career might come forward later in your life.

    Sarah Anne:
    It's about having the tools to manage what shows up. For me, I had to dig out all my tools that I teach my clients and I had to do the mirror work again, and the affirmation work and I had to really go in and say, I'm willing now to confront this part of myself, and it was the greatest blessing on the planet, getting my implants out and regaining my health. It was really an empowering, empowering year.

    Dr. Anna:
    So when you were doing that work, Sarah, when you were like, okay, why did I get these implants in the first place and why am I angry at myself for getting them, what answers did you have?

    Sarah Anne:
    What was interesting is that when I got them, it was very much unconscious. I just wanted to extend my modeling career and by getting implants, you can transition from more editorial to catalog work. So for me, it was very much a career decision. I wasn't inspired at the time, or I didn't have the courage to just step into another career. What's interesting is that through the recognition of, wow, I've never actually had to confront this. I just went and got my implants and then moved on with my life, and I avoided, at that time, any truth in relationship to what I was actually doing to my body.

    Sarah Anne:
    For anyone listening that has implants, I don't have any judgment around it. I just personally, now if someone asks, should I get implants, I always say, "I personally would do some inner work first, and then recognize the deep rooted cause of why you want them." Because for me, it was again to filled a void to get an external hit that I could have gotten within myself, but I chose not to at the time. So as I did the work, it was first the forgiveness piece of, I put these implants in. So I actually caused the suffering within my body and I have to forgive myself and only through forgiving myself can I actually heal.

    Sarah Anne:
    Because if I hold on to the vibration of negativity and anger towards myself, then it's going to further manifest deeper on a cellular level. Then the second piece was the trust that I could fall in love with my body without the implants. That was actually more post expert surgery. So that process looked like, again, going into all the mirror work, or standing in front of the mirror without my implants and just loving my body and allowing myself to cry and allowing myself to just feel the emotions.

    Sarah Anne:
    I'm glad and grateful that I had the access then to feel because I could have continued to suppress the anger of having to get them out, but I allowed myself a month off where I allowed myself to feel every emotion that came forward. Through that process, it really helped me heal and have this compassion for other women and now supporting other women going through it has really been a great, beautiful gift that I've been given.

    Dr. Anna:
    I think that's so powerful and just for terminology, implant is when we're getting our breast implants, putting them in. Explant is the term we use for removing our breast implants and there is breast implant disease. We know that there is a syndrome associated that a growing number of people are recognizing to be do-do breast implants, whether they're leaking or not. It can be capsular from capsular adhesions, fungi or mold growing in and around the implants.

    Dr. Anna:
    It can be from the silicone, this foreign body in our body. Whether they're water based implants or not, they're plastic. They're chemical and that can in fact get into our bloodstream, get into our lymphatics and also affect us. Do you want to elaborate more on some of those symptoms?

    Sarah Anne:
    I would love to. So I first developed heart palpitations and then I thought, well, that's interesting, and having anxiety. I thought it was an anxiety response to something that was happening in my life. Then I started developing all these other really bizarre symptoms. So pain under my armpits, joint pain. I was having rashes, acne everywhere, brain fog, memory loss. I would not remember someone's name that I had just met or where my keys were.

    Sarah Anne:
    I remember thinking, this is so bizarre and because autoimmune runs in my family, that was the diagnosis that I kept hearing. Oh, well, it's not worse enough yet to properly diagnose this, but that's probably what's on the horizon and there's not much we can do about this anyway. One of the symptoms of breast implant illness is having an autoimmune response in your body because your body is basically over inflamed.

    Sarah Anne:
    What's so interesting is that when I got my explants out, so many other plastic surgeons said, "There's no way this can be causing breast implant illness, and it's not even a medical diagnosis yet," which is crazy, and a lot of women are now fighting for breast implant illness to be a medical diagnosis. When I got my implants out, I discovered that my body was actually breaking down the implants. So even though they were fully intact, there were pieces of silicone in the tissue surrounding my implants.

    Sarah Anne:
    My body had basically developed this biofilm around the implant. So I had a pea-acne biofilm surrounding the implant, which was causing another level of inflammation. I love that my doctor did the pathology report, because it really validated all of the symptoms that I have. If your body's breaking down an implant and silicone is going through your body, you're absolutely going to have memory loss and brain fog. On top of that, my heavy metals was through the charts.

    Sarah Anne:
    So as soon as I got my implants out, I had to go on a full year of heavy metal detox. I also want to share that this is speaking from a place of privilege. Most people can't go and get ozone treatment and glutathione injections, and all of these treatments that I had to have to get this heavy metal out of my body. So five, six years ago, I would have never been able to go under these treatments and I just share that because I think often women think about getting them in with a credit card or they just think about, okay, well, I'm going to pay this off over the next five or six years, and I was one of those people.

    Sarah Anne:
    I sold my car and just paid for my implants. I never thought about the repercussions of the time, the energy, the finances involved and just how much of my life I was going to lose from having these and of course, breast implant illness wasn't discussed when I first got my implants. It wasn't a topic like it is today, but I think it's important for women to hear that, that there are repercussions. Not all women have the repercussions from them, but it is something that it's important to be informed so that if you do get them and you start to get sick, you know that that's a potential reason.

    Dr. Anna:
    You're not going to spend years looking, trying different things, spending much more money than you would otherwise, but the loss of time that's involved. I'm sure there are others listening, saying oh my gosh, how can I be sure this is breast implant illness or not? How do I know? I think it is starting to tune into your symptoms, as well as your intuition. What is your body telling you? Is it, is it not? You talked about that, getting in touch with your intuition and what your body is [inaudible 00:28:46], go into our awareness and trusting our intuition. So what are steps that we can take to do that, to be able to trust our intuition?

    Sarah Anne:
    There's a lot of different things that I personally have done that have made a massive, massive impact, but I think the biggest thing that specifically even right now with where we are in the world, I think it's more important than ever to create the space from the social media, and the people in our lives. My coach often says that we shop for our ego. What this means is that if we want to hear a certain thing, we will call specific people in our life, or we will actually search specific things on social media or on Google because we want the response that our ego wants to hear.

    Sarah Anne:
    That could look like calling the friend or the parent that you know is going to say, well, it's all in your head. I heard that so many times. It's all in your head. It's stress, you're traveling a lot, but I was calling the people that I knew were going to give me that response because of my wounding pattern. So it really gets down to disconnecting and creating that space. I think days in silence, days in nature, getting back to the root of our truth and going within and I think part of that is a very much a spiritual approach.

    Sarah Anne:
    That comes through the acceptance and surrender piece to, I have to accept and surrender to what is true now. What is present? What's showing up? Am I sick? Is that true? Do I not feel well in my body? Is that true? Then stepping into the courageous step of saying, well, what are the steps that I have to do to move through this, and a piece that I see in my practice that is a little bit different, but similar to this topic is that so often the challenge I see with clients, especially women who are told that happiness exists outside of themselves or looking a certain way is the acceptance and surrender piece.

    Sarah Anne:
    It's like accepting that there's only so much you can do to change your appearance, there's only so much you can do to mitigate aging. So to slow down aging. You're going to change. As you age, your body's going to change and that you can't change your DNA, or look like anyone else past a certain extent. I think the problem is, is that we're in this comparison model and this jealousy model. We're always on social media, and we're always looking at other people and thinking, well, why can't I look like that?

    Sarah Anne:
    Through the acceptance and surrender, so whether it's the sickness, the not feeling, well, the how we look, there is this mourning process that happens. Then on the other side of that, there's freedom. So when we can focus on that freedom that exists through accepting, I'm sick right now and I need to take the courage and the strength and the resilience within me to get help, then it allows us on another level to step in. I believe that that comes through spiritual practice. I believe that we chose our bodies for the lessons that we want to learn, the relationships we want to have, the impact we want to have, the life we desire to live.

    Sarah Anne:
    If we accept and surrender to the body we have, if we accept and surrender to the pain, or the struggle that we're in, freedom exists on the other side, but also joy exists and that's why we're here. Then we no longer play the victim game, we no longer play the jealousy comparison trap, we no longer stop taking radical responsibility for our own health. That starts with going within, it starts with connecting to our truth and listening, and being outside and disconnected from technology where we can shop for whatever answer based on cognitive bias, and what we want to believe is true. So ensure I just ... I take days off, I take days in silence, I go in nature quite a bit now and I meditate every single day, at least once, if not twice.

    Dr. Anna:
    I think that's so powerful, that you said part of connecting with our true selves is about sitting in silence, getting into nature, and I would add fasting, gaining that clarity in this space, in this energetic space. Because our bodies ... We are energetic molecules. So creating that energy to further connect with our truth and vibrate at a higher level. That's energetic, that's quantum physics and that enables us to connect higher, stronger with spirit, with God, with our true essence, and connect with others from this place of truth.

    Dr. Anna:
    It is a practice. It's a discipline and a practice. It is not going to happen overnight. It hasn't, at least not for me and if it does for anyone listening, please tell me. I like shortcuts. I want to do it quick, I want to meditate fast. I want to get through everything a lot quicker. So that we can get to that side of freedom and then have that space of authenticity. I was having a conversation ... Sarah, it's just beautiful to talk with you. I acknowledge ... Really recognize you and acknowledge you for your authenticity and sharing your story with us.

    Dr. Anna:
    I was having conversation with one of my daughters today. She's 21, off in college where they are having live classrooms in South Georgia. She was talking about how she is trying to break free of the comparison, comparing herself with other people, with things on social media, with people at different stages of life and doing things either more or less than she's doing and she says, "Comparing for me has," she said, "Has led me into judging other people and to feeling worse about myself."

    Dr. Anna:
    I don't ... She was really authentic about it. So I love the conversation. So when we look at this, breaking free from comparing ourselves to others on our journey. I like in yoga they say stay on your mat. Stay on your mat. Your journey is on your mat. Don't compare yourself to the yogi doing handstand poses and child pose, still feels uncomfortable. You know what I mean? So, this comparison, how do we break free from the comparing?

    Sarah Anne:
    Yes, this is such a big topic, and it's, again, this stillness and going within and recognizing the uniqueness of what we bring. I think that this is part of the spiritual approach. It's saying, if I really believe that I chose this body for what I want to create in this lifetime, for the lessons I want to learn, for the life I want to live, for the impact I want to have, for the community I want to thrive in, then I can connect to my uniqueness and what I bring to all of those aspects of my life.

    Sarah Anne:
    I think people think it's the other way around, where it's, well, if I look like that, then I can have the relationship, the career, all the things. The white picket fence, the money, the abundance. So we've just been living and operating from a place that is very much backwards based on marketing. The interesting thing is, most marketers with the quick fix solutions are using our insecurities, and then profiting off of them.

    Sarah Anne:
    Part of that is the comparison model, it's the way that the fashion industry has always worked. It's the reason why I'm so ashamed to have been part of it. It's because I know that my pictures made other women feel insecure and that's something that I've had to really forgive myself for. So the piece that I always go back to is cultivating the self love, self worth, self esteem, the self confidence within us first. Then from that, everything begins to become a reflection of that experience that already exists within us.

    Sarah Anne:
    When we find it first within ourselves, through the meditation, the mindfulness, the stillness, the inner workings like morning pages where you wake up, and it's a practice that a lot of people do, and you just dump your subconscious onto a piece of paper in the morning, when we do these types of practices, it allows us to really access the stories that are preventing us from feeling the self love, self worth, self competence within us first, and then we don't have to seek it in the comparison of going out and searching on social media.

    Sarah Anne:
    With that said, there's a piece of that, which again, is challenging, because we get something from comparing. There's something that we feel it's serving us, it makes us feel bad, it prevents us from eating well and moving and doing the things, the self discipline and the habits that we probably are avoiding. So I would also ask, and I always ask my clients, how is the comparison serving you from a place of discomfort? What is it keeping you stuck in that if you were to let it go, would actually serve you more?

    Sarah Anne:
    It's very similar to the self-love piece. Right now more than ever, I think self-care piece. I think self care is really about self discipline and saying, how do I create these habits in my life, that are from a place of self love, self worth and self esteem, versus buying a massage or getting a pedicure or a manicure just to avoid the truth of what's showing up or to indulge in something for a quick fix, and then go back into the stress of our daily lives. It's really about getting to the root cause first.

    Dr. Anna:
    You've talked a couple times, if you can leave us with a tool. You've mentioned mirror work and another tool. You've given us so much, I've written pages of notes, Sarah. You've talked about mirror work a few times and affirmations that you did in your journey post explant and to really kind of help you heal.

    Sarah Anne:
    So let me give a few just quick exercises that people can do that have been really supportive for me and I'll share a little bit more. So the affirmations, I really love affirmations but I love them when you're in a rest or digest state. So if you try to do an affirmation when you're angry or frustrated, that wouldn't be a time that you would want to hear someone else's advice if you were angry at them. So you're probably not going to believe that this statement or this affirmation is true. So I always recommend using affirmations at the end of a meditation or once you've regulated your nervous system.

    Sarah Anne:
    Affirmations are just statements that really start to reprogram the subconscious mind. So you can do those when you're in a heightened state. Whether you're jumping, it's called an incantation. It's a Tony Robbins practice, where you just state out loud, specific things like I'm empowered in my body. I make choices from a place of self love. I make choices from a place of self love, self confidence and self esteem and today, I will move forward from that place of truth. Different statements like that, you can choose ones that resonate with you.

    Sarah Anne:
    Mirror work is the Louise Hay practice where you stand in front of the mirror, and you basically say affirmations out loud, or you just speak positively about your body. What I found to be really effective in this practice is to not just focus on the parts of your body that you love, but focus on the parts of your body that you don't love as well and say really beautiful things about those parts as well. So often we want to, again, avoid or ignore the parts of ourselves that we're not as inclined to love.

    Sarah Anne:
    It's important that we focus on all aspects of ourselves, and step into that love. So again, it's just standing in front of the mirror, you can have your clothes on. I do it without my clothes, because it just, again, takes that to another level. It's about saying these really positive statements, and the third exercise which I would recommend doing is writing a letter to your body. We often forget that our mind and our bodies are connected, and this is a way to create that connectivity again. It's about speaking to your body in a really loving way and asking for forgiveness for any and all things you did that didn't serve your body from a place of your highest good.

    Sarah Anne:
    Doing this actually, what I've seen in my practice, and I've seen for myself is that when I've actually had to confront what I've done to my body on paper, and really recognize it and sit with it and be with it and forgive myself, it creates this moment of forgiveness and allows me, in the future to really take, again that responsibility and say, do I really want to behave this way again? No, my mind and my body are connected.

    Sarah Anne:
    This is a vessel vehicle for living a life of impact, and I choose now to take care of it and to honor it and to love it. From that place of self love, do the nutrition protocol, the movement, be in community, be in positive relationships, because I know that's what's going to serve me best. So those are three simple exercises or practices that can make a really big difference very quickly.

    Dr. Anna:
    That sounds amazing and these are really powerful. So affirmations, mirror work and writing a letter to our body. Sarah, you've given us so much great information today. I could talk with you forever. I want to introduce you to everyone in my community, and I can't wait for your book to come out. Because that's ... Tell us a little bit about that, and when that's coming out, and also how we can connect with you, and do more work with you as well.

    Sarah Anne:
    Yeah, thank you so much. It's been so much fun being here and an honor to share this work. I have a book coming out in June of next year with Hay House. So a lot of what I've been sharing on this podcast is going in and doing the inner work and moving into silence. Often people say well, I understand through that process of meditation and mindfulness that what I'm doing isn't serving me, but I don't really know the stories or the beliefs to take on once I recognize what's not serving me.

    Sarah Anne:
    So the book is 24 Mindset Shifts and New Beliefs to Upgrade Your Relationship with Food and Your Body. So it's about really stepping into a deeper connectivity to your body, but also cultivating the self love and self worth and self esteem through these different belief systems. So I'm really excited about that, and if you want to connect further, you can find me @sarahannestewart on Instagram or sarahannestewart.com and there's plenty of free resources and lots of new things coming out. So I would love to connect further and support anyone who is open and aligned with this type of work.

    Dr. Anna:
    So I'm just going to emphasize, Sarah with an H and Anne with an E, Stewart. So sarahannestewart.com and great Instagram page too, by the way, very inspirational. So thank you so much for being with us today and for sharing this information and our audience, I know that you're going to want to check out what Sarah is doing at sarahannestewart.com. Remember, Sarah with an H, Anne with an E, stewart.com. Definitely join us on Instagram to be sure to like her page, follow her activity, and share this information with your audiences, your friends, your colleagues, your people of influence that you're influencing on a daily basis.

    Dr. Anna:
    I know that I'm going to have my daughters listen to this podcast and we'll listen to it together as well, as well as start practicing some of these tools that Sarah has given us today. So I encourage you, in my audience to please share this episode. Definitely love us on iTunes or podcast, wherever you're listening to your podcast. Podcast Addict or Spotify, wherever you're listening to this podcast from and thank you and let me hear what your feedback is.

    Dr. Anna:
    I read every single testimonial that comes through, every single comment and I'd love to share it with my team as well. So thank you all for being here today. Thank you Sarah for being part of us and this is Dr. Anna Cabeca, your Girlfriend Doctor and I look forward to seeing you next time. 

    Dr. Anna Cabeca

    Dr. Anna Cabeca

    Dr. Anna is a Triple Board Certified OB/GYN, Anti-Aging Medicine expert, and author of the best selling book, The Hormone Fix.

    Dr. Anna helps women heal the 9 most dreadful symptoms of menopause with natural, safe solutions. Follow her for content on hormonal imbalances, vaginal dryness, menopause (and more) that are medically backed, and created to empower women — not just treat them.