Healing, and growing beyond personal development, with Tahlia Reynolds – Integrally Alive podcast

Tahlia is passionate about all things personal growth, discovery, mastery & transformation. She is trained in EFT, a qualified Reiki practitioner, a transformational life coach, and a serial entrepreneur. Right now she is Head of Online Communities at Mindvalley – The Personal Development Company.

She spent years “bettering” herself and going inward to get the source of her trauma and rage.

On trauma, how to heal it, personal / spiritual development and their trap, spiritual bypassing and how to become bigger than you think you are.

Disclaimer: In the second part of the interview, Tahlia sometimes uses the word “trauma” in ways that I wouldn’t. My main disagreement point being that trauma is more specific than “a difficult experience to go through”. Nevertheless, her story is really powerful and will without a doubt inspire many!

  • 1:05 What trauma and rage are we talking about? Thalia’s experience of sexual abuse, the feeling of not being able to do anything about it, the denial, and the 14 years of silence that followed.
  • 5:10 Going into personal and spiritual development as a way to heal, after feeling supported by “something” bigger than her while sitting in the courtroom for the abuse, 14 years later.
  • 9:52 Falling in the trap of “band aid” spirituality / personal development, with the practice of “fake” forgiveness and gratitude (“I fell into the trap of just saying that I forgive, and writing a letter and meditating on it.”), while actually suppressing the pain and numbing herself.
  • 11:48 Why doing these practices only, doesn’t work: why do we get get stuck over and over in the same patterns of behaviors, when we “work” so much on healing? How to become Integrally ‪alive again, working with mind AND body, and differentiating between pain and suffering… Every day!
  • 15:00 The spiritual development disease, and the problem with spiritual bypassing. Are you growing, or stagnating, or even going backwards? Are you addicted to spiritual development?
  • 17:13 The shifting point for Tahlia: when feeling stuck was not possible anymore. Finding new ways to “personal development”.
  • 20:06 Now she was able to face her trauma: “I got present to the consequences of actually not being present in my life. (…) That whole bypassing and all these rules and techniques, everything that I thought I needed to do to be healed; All of that got in the way of me truly connecting with other people. (…) I had been checked out of life since I was a little girl.”
  • 22:55 True forgiveness begins with yourself, but why do we avoid so hard taking responsibility for your story? The two things that motivates us to action.
  • 25:25 How Tahlia “trapped” anger in her body. Why suppressing our emotions is making us sick. And why you should stop to consider there are positive and negative emotions, and common misconceptions about anger.
  • 30:00 How to healthily live with your emotions. And the simple “healthy aggression” technique to express your anger in an healthy way.
  • 36:05 The latest shift, from doing to being: taking a break, learning to accept help of others. How allowing yourself to be seen, and growing into the person you don’t see you can be.
  • 44:39 Letting others create her new self, and stepping into her power… Through self-sabotage. How Tahlia projected herself into the person she could be, and finally filmed her cover letter to apply to Mindvalley.
  • 51:47 Overcoming the loving voice of self-sabotage, again and again… Dying to herself, to be her bigger self.
  • 55:55 How did Tahlia’s saboteur got so strong? And how she now deals with it without giving it any power anymore.

Where can you find Tahlia:

We talked about:

Tahlia’s Mindvalley Cover Letter video

Healthy aggression, a somatic exercise from Irene Lyon

It allows to acknowledge and express the anger when you feel it… In a healthy way:

  1. You need the arm of a partner, or a rolled blanket. Grab it with your hands, like you would grab the handlebars of your bike.
  2. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, as hard as you can: express all of your anger in this squeezing.
  3. If you feel like it, allow yourself to sound, like snarling, and / or let your face go along. Don’t force it though, just let it happen if it comes.
  4. Feel this energy that is going through you, and out. You expressed it, it is free to go now.
  5. If you did this with a partner, give thanks for supporting this process 😉

Here is an article from Seth Lyon, my teacher Irene Lyon’s husband, going deeper on this technique.

Why victims of sexual abuse don’t talk?

Sadly it happens a lot that children or young teenagers won’t talk when this happens to them. They often feel that somehow this is their fault, and they shut up, so no one can help. Instead of saying out loud what’s happening and feeling that they are empowered to do so. And most of the time, the perpetrator is someone that’s known from the family (or even within the family), which makes it even harder.

We need to educate children so that they know what’s right or wrong, they have a clear and healthy sense of their boundaries, and feel good about talking, and asking for help.

For Tahlia, as is it often the case, it was someone very close to her. Here is her experience, in her words: It was “my brothers basketball coach … he was considered a family friend or an older brother or a dad figure, because my dad wasn’t around when we were growing up. (…) I didn’t want to cause trouble. And I was 11. I remember even getting to a point where my brain started saying things like, well, do I enjoy it? Maybe, maybe I enjoy it. Maybe this is what love is. Maybe he’s my boyfriend.
So I knew that something was wrong. But I didn’t have the voice to say, and I didn’t want to get him in trouble.