Ep. 97: Worthy Stokes — How to Embrace the Healing Power of Human Presence

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
  • 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

Worthy Stokes is originally from Montana, and divides her time between there and New York City.

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.

Find Worthy online at her website and on Instagram.

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