My guest this week is Worthy Stokes, author of The Daily Meditation Book of Healing: 365 Reflections for Positivity, Peace, and Prosperity (affiliate link). I got so much out of this discussion with Worthy. She had a near-death experience a few years ago that opened her eyes to the full reality of who she is.
A lot of what I love about her perspective is that she fully values all parts of our experience—our bodies, our minds, our spirits, our souls. The full range of what it means to be a human. We talked about allowing ourselves to be deeply human. We explored ways to manage anxiety. And we thought a lot together about what it means to heal. Does it mean that we have to regain complete physical functioning? Or is there a kind of full healing available even when we continue to struggle with symptoms? Toward the end of our conversation, she offered a simple but powerful listening exercise. Other topics we touched on included:
- What it means to be a “presence activist”
- The transformational energy in presence
- Using mindful presence to harness the creative energy of the mind
- Not valuing the spiritual above other parts of ourselves and our experience
- My guest’s near-death experience in 2014
- Devaluing our human experience and overvaluing our “soul essence”
- Spiritual materialism
- Allowing ourselves to be deeply human
- The spiritual experience of simply being more fully what we already are
- The drawbacks in saying that any part of our experience is more important than another
- Questioning who the “I” is who has experiences
- The three closely connected spheres of intelligence that Worthy experienced during her NDE:
- Self as a soul, or the luminous ribbon of consciousness – free of identity, personality, gender, culture
- Personality, with signatures of feelings, body, gender, cultural shape
- Her one particular lifetime
- Richard Brown‘s teaching that we are mostly made of space
- See this book: The Healing Power of the Breath (affiliate link)
- My guest’s views on God
- How we can recognize the magnitude of what we are
- Finding calm by diving deep into ourselves
- How to manage anxiety
- Remembering that there’s a part of us that is untouched by this life
- What it means to heal
- Healing as aligning with our reality, or healing our relationship with this life
- Giving ourselves permission to let our hearts break
- The wisdom of doing less
- A powerful listening exercise that’s easy to do
She is the creator of HeartMind Meditations, which she developed after surviving a nearly fatal brain injury when she was hit by a passenger van. You’ll hear her describe what happened.
Worthy beat the odds and survived. Her primary contemplative focus is trauma-competent mindfulness. As a survivor of traumatic brain injury, her rich understanding of posttraumatic growth is informed by her personal experience of debilitating tragedy, and the life-affirming journey of renewal that came after.
And yes, “Worthy” is her given name. She was named for her grandfather, Dr. Worthy, who was a gifted physician.