Louise Androlia, a magic maker and catalyst for positive change, is a very busy girl indeed. When she’s not focusing on coaching, tarot readings, workshops and writing her own blog she has her hands full contributing to monthly Tarot Forecasts for The Numinous and Mademoiselle Robot AND she writes a monthly column at Live The Process. I am incredibly grateful (and excited) that she has kindly agreed to share her own experiences, beliefs and inspiring words with us. Ladies and gentlemen, please meet the lovely Louise Androlia…
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events. PTSD is estimated to affect about 1 in every 3 people who have a traumatic experience, but it’s not clear exactly why some people develop the condition and others don’t. The symptoms of PTSD can have a significant impact on your day-to-day life. Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD. It is possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it is never too late to seek help. ~ NHS
What has been your experience of PTSD?
In March 2003 when I was in the middle of my healing process with Fibromyalgia I took a naturally occurring enzyme called NADH in tablet form called Enada, recommended by my specialists, as it has been known to help energy levels. I took my first dose and later that day I started to feel ‘weird’. I didn’t take any more.*
What followed was a three week long type of psychosis, known as Depersonalization and Derealization – both conditions in their own right, but what I experienced as, I guess, a type of allergic reaction to the product. In short I was completely disconnected from my experience. It felt like I was locked shut at the back of my body, my hands didn’t feel like my hands etc. I could scratch my skin and not feel it, I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror and started to think in a third person format. I had no feelings yet I knew something was wrong. After three weeks it disappeared – typical time of a drug to fully pass from the body.
After that I continued with life as it was, which was living back with my parents and seeking holistic treatment for my physical symptoms. Around July I started experiencing what I later came to understand as flashbacks when I thought the ‘nothingness’ as I referred to it was returning, in flashes gradually getting more frequent. I was terrified and thought that I was going ‘crazy’. In absolute desperation I found a therapist, not knowing what was wrong with me. It was one of those miraculous moments when the right flyer pops into your hands and I began EMDR (‘Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing’) Therapy with an incredible mentor. She explained to me what I was experiencing. However the trauma was so terrifying for me that I wouldn’t talk about it for near to two years, so we processed and went through every other thing that I needed to (pretty awesome) until I eventually was able to speak about the experience and then we healed it. Once a trauma has been processed by the brain it then becomes merely a bad memory, still in existence but not able to affect you physically and mentally in your day to day experience.
The techniques that she taught me and what I learned about the human brain and the mind-body connection in 2003-2006 were the foundation of my own mindful practice and where I learned the tools that I now pass on, in my own way, to coaching clients. I, in turn, believe that people are experiencing traumas all of the time and don’t realize, and then believe there is something wrong with them. It’s amazing how often we downplay our experiences by deeming them ‘not bad enough’.
*Please note that there is no blame on my doctors. I did research many years later into the product and found this could be a very rare type of side effect, I imagine I was the one in a million.
How has your own healing journey influenced your work?
My work is 100% because of my healing journey. I know that my experiences were in place as the essential part of my journey so that I could help others today. I connected to my body by healing from a pain condition holistically; I connected to my mind through my PTSD experience and the spirit, well that has been the original journey since I was young.
I only make one request out to the Universe and it is to ‘send me the people that need me’ – and they come. I find that those who arrive at my door are usually experiencing something that I have overcome or learned to cope with in the past, or something that I am tackling in the present
I love helping clients to manage anxiety, process all feelings, let go of control and be present. I feel it is essential that I share my experiences with my clients in person and through writing to keep confirming that we are always on our healing journey and evolving. Happiness is not a destination, every feeling we have is valid and it’s OK to not feel OK.
What does Holistic living mean to you?
Holistic living to me means that I always acknowledge the mind-body-spirit connection and respect and nurture it. It means learning every possible thing about myself, from my body, to thoughts to things like studying Astrology. I feel that if we really get to know ourselves, then choose to love ourselves then we are able to tackle each day as it comes, recognizing that our experience is ours to partake in and that everything is always connected. I feel that without a holistic connection it is hard to feel in harmony – for instance if you don’t connect what you eat to your mood, or your thoughts to your energy it becomes so hard to see what things are as they are. When you pull the mind-body-spirit together then you have a trip of superpowers to love and support you.
How would you describe the power of Tarot?
While Tarot is known as a divination tool, it is absolutely above and beyond that. Tarot is a very old system of knowledge that ultimately teaches us about the human experience. Each card gives us insight into thoughts and experiences that we may have in the material world, along with great guidance and tools to manage. I practice what I refer to as Modern Day Fortune Telling – aka not predicting the future. Whilst as an intuitive I know that you can see the future, it’s not solid, and remains fluid until it actually happens. I feel that by telling people something may happen then they become static and wait. Tarot is about returning people to a state of self-empowerment and encouraging them to go out and create their own futures.
I always tell clients that my goal is that they leave thinking that I have affirmed to them what they already knew.
Why coach others?
I feel that all our experiences are meaningful and we should speak up about them. Through my clients I have learned that we all have the same fears, packaged up in unique ways but yet everyone feels completely alone. It’s important to me to let others know that they are not alone and I feel that I’d really be doing a disservice to myself and my experience if I didn’t give back. I feel so grateful and lucky that I’ve managed to overcome some of my difficult challenges and I want others who are struggling right now to know that they can too, and that in every given moment there is always a different way through.
I really believe that we all need help, and I love being one of those sources. My clients are my absolute inspiration and heroes, every day I’m amazed at how they show up willing to change. It’s amazing. I also continue my healing journey by doing this work, I’m not teaching or sharing anything that I’m also not practising. It helps me to get up and have to walk my talk! Intuitively I have always been able to flip to ‘be in’ someone else, I guess highly empathetic, as many people are – so I use this to help me tune in to my clients so that I can talk to them in a way that they understand, it’s different for everyone. While we are never alone, we are certainly unique in our experience.
I am grateful for my body
Can you enlighten us on Energy Awareness?
Energy is the ‘spirit’ part of Holistic awareness. Your own personal energy field extends around you and holds all your thoughts and feelings. We all have experienced picking up a mood from someone else right? Or felt our body or mind change as a result of a certain space or in response to another. So we know that energy is invisible and contagious. This energy of ours has to be nurtured, I learned many techniques when I was a teenager from the start of my spiritual journey and so now I love sharing them one on one and with workshops.
It is awareness because if you really take on that your space is bigger than just your physical body then it becomes much easier to manage how you relate to your environment, and enables you to connect with your own unique balance.
I can talk and teach about energy for hours! But for the readers, a simple visualization energy protection trick is to imagine you have a bubble (or a light or a cloak, something protective!) surrounding you that keeps your space just to you. However silly it sounds, try it! After all, we know energy is invisible so why can’t the help be too! You’ll notice that you don’t collect moods from people so often and that you are more aware of which feelings are yours and what you might have picked up. An awareness of energy is absolutely incredible to help with anxiety, fear and confidence amongst many other things. I feel that it’s the root of my teaching and the root of holistic living.
What is your message to cynics, sceptics, and the intrigued?
We are a gigantic living and breathing planet in an infinite space, surrounded by other planets and moons (moons!) in an infinite space. I genuinely cannot think of anything more wild than that. Everything has a pull on each other, and the things we take for granted are totally amazing and ridiculous. I’m so in awe of nature and science and history and I feel that to not respect the craziness and greatness of what is around us and all of the options there could be then we are being a little self-centered. Why not give it a shot that we might get to participate in the magic of all of this?
I feel all my tools and teachings are 100% practical, I’m never going to work with you in a way that doesn’t absolutely relate to your daily experience and the material world, after all it’s what we are working with. I believe that material and spiritual should not be separate and that it’s our job to merge them, purely so that we can get the absolute best and brightest experience possible. All I truly know is that the more I allow my mind and perceptions to expand, the better and healthier life I discover, and that’s enough for me.
I recognize that my challenges are in place to lead me to higher ground
Finally, what are your top five tips for self-love?
When dealing with feelings and thoughts – remove I am and replace with I feel. I am is like a label and suggests that you can’t change something. I feel reminds you that you are having an experience, and it’s yours, therefore it can be processed or changed.
Get up every day and say ‘I am grateful for my body’ – especially when you feel disconnected from it through illness or feelings of self-hatred. It will inch you towards a holistic connection and returning to a state of love.
Take on the idea that your life is a journey, an experience and an adventure. Then choose to respect it. You are always exactly where you are supposed to be, just keep walking.
Stop worrying what everyone else thinks and value what you think. Your vision is made up from your experiences, and so is everyone else’s. Everything is about perception. Every moment that you spend thinking about what others think of you, you are disconnecting from your amazing personal power, go back there.
You are totally unique but never alone. Ask for help when you are struggling, always – there is no such thing as being ‘weak’. Whether it is though a coach, a blog or an Iinstagram quote, seek help and it will be there.
First Published 2014/02/16.