Goodbye, Hurt & Pain: 7 Simple Steps for Health, Love, and Success

Goodbye, Hurt & Pain: 7 Simple Steps for Health, Love, and Success


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781573246781
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
Publication date: 09/01/2016
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 534,001
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Dr. Deborah Sandella has been helping thousands of people find themselves for 40 years as an award-winning psychotherapist, university professor, and originator of the groundbreaking RIM Method. She has been acknowledged with numerous professional awards including Outstanding Clinical Specialist, Research Excellence, and an EVVY Best Personal Growth Book Award. She is the co-author with Jack Canfield of Awakening Power.

Jack Canfield, legendary author and co-creator of the beloved Chicken Soup for the Soul series, has been empowering entrepreneurs and soothing sick souls for more than thirty years through both his New York Times bestselling books and his formulas for success. Jack, "America's #1 Success Coach," is also the founder and chairman of the Canfield Training Group, which is designed to help people achieve both personal and professional goals. He has been a featured guest on television shows such as Oprah, Montel, and Larry King Live. He also holds the Guinness Book world records for the largest book signing ever (Chicken Soup for the Kid's Soul) and for simultaneously having seven books on the New York Times Bestseller list.

Read an Excerpt

Goodbye, Hurt & Pain

7 Simple Steps for Health, Love, and Success

By Deborah Sandella

Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC

Copyright © 2016 Deborah Sandella
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-57324-678-1



* * *


Your Feelings Have a Natural Shelf Life

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.

— Albert Einstein

Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.

— Roger Ebert

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

— Khalil Gibran

When you allow the organic flow of feelings, they bring valuable information and naturally expire as you move effortlessly forward. Kris, John, and Nancy show you how it works in the following stories.


Kris is a vital forty-nine-year-old manager. Married with two young adult children, she and her husband Rich are filling their empty nest with lots of playfulness. For her birthday, he buys her a beautiful, pink mountain bike, and they head to Moab for an exciting adventure. The sun is shining; the trail is wide open. And then it happens: Kris hits a bump and goes flying. Fortunately, her head is protected by her helmet, but her left leg is shattered on impact. Seeing her tibia poking through the ruptured skin causes her and Rich to grow faint, until Rich comes to his senses and calls for emergency help. Thank God there is cell service.

At the small hospital nearby, Kris lies on a gurney swimming in anxiety when the doctor appears: "Don't worry, Kris, we'll get you stabilized and then send you to Salt Lake for surgery where they have better resources to repair the complexity of this break."

Hearing these words, Kris's anxiety ramps up, and her mind races with unanswerable worries: "Will I be okay? Will I walk again? Will I have a limp? What's going to happen? If only I had seen that rock on the trail. I can't believe it. Is this really me lying in the ER? Could I be dreaming?"

As the intensity of her concerns increase, so do her symptoms. Her blood pressure drops, and her chest constricts and tightens. She begins to quiver, and her breathing stops. Panicked like a swimmer inhaling water rather than oxygen, she feels she is dying. "Help me, help me, somebody help me!" she screams silently, feeling like she is in one of those dreams where you try to yell and can't!

The ER staff recognizes this is not a panic attack, but something more serious, and quickly treats her for life-threatening anaphylactic shock. As her symptoms recede, she learns she has experienced an allergic reaction to one of the medications.

The next day, Kris is taken by ambulance to a medical center in Salt Lake City. Her surgery is successful, and after a few weeks of rehab, she is discharged home. It soon looks like she is healed and back on track — until she returns to her job and quickly slips into severe depression. For no apparent reason, she is unable to work and her previous enjoyment of life is gone. She goes on antidepressants, yet the depression does not lift.

When her husband Rich contacts me for an appointment for Kris, he sounds desperate. It has been months since she's been off work and nothing is helping; in fact, nothing is changing the least bit.

As Kris sits with closed eyes, she senses a weird feeling in her stomach. Focusing attention on it, she describes it as a black swirling inside that is trying to suck her in and she is afraid of disappearing.

I ask Kris's imagination to call in an image of someone to be a comforting and safe traveler with her on this journey, and her mother shows up. With Mom, she feels safe to bravely move into the black vortex and ride it around and down to the source. As they swirl downward, Kris begins to feel intense dizziness and nausea. Surrendering to the feeling, she and Mom glide down until they hit bottom in an image of the first ER room where she almost died. Watching herself in the scene, she sees Kris lying on the gurney with a broken leg and eyes frozen wide in terror.

Gazing into her own eyes, she begins to cry, even sob:

I thought I was dying ... I thought I'd never see my kids again ... Never again to enjoy the beauty of the mountains and sunshine. I thought it was over — I thought my life was over. If I tried hard enough maybe I could hold on — but I couldn't — my chest was getting tighter and tighter and I couldn't breathe. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't force in another breath. I was dying.

Moving her attention into this image and bringing her mother with her, Kris hesitantly looks out of these terrified eyes and senses the feeling of dying. She moves into this emotional experience as if it were today, and her awareness sits in it, as it organically recedes after a few minutes. Soon there's room for remembering the reality of her physical recovery. Slowly and naturally the frozen feeling of dying melts, and her appreciation for life returns. The feeling of being stuck in a horrible memory has been brought forward, allowed, and organically released. Life has come back!

After this deeply visceral expression of terror, Kris's symptoms of severe depression disappear, and she gradually returns to her job and her life. She finally feels the gratitude for surviving the biking accident she couldn't authentically experience while she was emotionally stuck between life and death. The previously stuck memory has been integrated, and she is present again.

Kris's story demonstrates how unprocessed intense emotion goes underground and creates a subconscious block even when the original traumatic event resolves. Furthermore, her journey shows how health can be regained as soon as the original event is integrated in the mind, heart, and body.


Rheumatoid arthritis struck John when he was in his early forties. Now fifty, his hands are misshapen, his sleeping severely interrupted, and he takes pain relievers daily as frequently as permitted. Feeling oppressed by his physical condition, John requests help. As he closes his eyes to sense his body, the first thing to attract his attention is discomfort around his neck and left ear. Instead of following his usual habit to medicate, he focuses on the pain, and there comes a subtle lessening of the physical pressure. As he moves his awareness into this painful area, the discomfort gradually dissolves, and he feels a sense of calm.

As he practices moving into the pain and listening during several monthly sessions, John notices that spontaneous insights sometimes pop up: "I need to slow down. I'm doing too much," or "I'm angry with my wife. She hurt my feelings when she said I wasn't trying to lose weight. How can I talk with her about it and say it so she'll hear me instead of getting defensive?"

When he is not constantly trying to get rid of the pain, John begins to respect it as a message from his body. As he starts to value his true feelings, he notices a corresponding change in his medication use: he doesn't need it the same way. In fact he goes from using analgesics 24/7 to one to two times a week, primarily when he's excessively tired.

Over time, these insights cause John to change other habits as well. He begins to eat healthier foods and to communicate more honestly when there is a conflict with family members or employees. He speaks up instead of avoiding issues and thus begins to feel a sense of personal power for the first time in his life.

As John continues a collaborative relationship with the pain, he grows happier, healthier, thinner, and better able to navigate relationships. He quits trying to stop the pain and sees it as an expression of his hidden, authentic feelings. John has freed himself from the oppression of illness. Instead, he receives the symptoms as helpful feedback guiding him to live a healthier and happier life. His story demonstrates how welcoming emotions hidden in physical pain brings helpful insights and lessens physical discomfort. Our bodies naturally give a voice to those things within that need our attention. We merely have to listen and heed the messages.


We've all known people who genuinely sense and authentically share their emotions without hesitation, freely expressing what they feel. Nancy is one of these people. What you see is what you get. She doesn't beat around the bush. Having known Nancy over many years, I can tell you that the outcome of her way of being is evident.

For example, when she was a young psychotherapist at a community mental health center, she volunteered for a research project that paired difficult teens with therapists to climb and rappel nearby mountains weekly for six weeks. The project was going very well, and Nancy enjoyed this unique way of interacting with her young clients. She also discovered she loved rappelling! No wallflower here, Nancy enjoyed thrill-seeking.

On one of the group's outings, she stood on the top of a cliff looking down into a narrow canyon between two steep mountains. When it was her turn to descend, she just couldn't do it, even though she had done so gleefully in the past. In her honest and natural style, she expressed her fear to the climbing guides — her body was refusing to go. They decided to check her equipment and found a disconnected rope — the rope that would have suspended her body, in fact. If she had gone over the edge, she might have fallen to her death.

Nancy is a beautiful example of how the intelligence of our organic, body-centered emotion knows more than our intellectual mind. When we pay attention and listen instead of denying, suppressing, fearing, or disliking our spontaneous feelings, we gain great access to our natural intuition (knowing something without understanding how we know it). Nancy's experience demonstrates how our inherent feelings help keep us safe in spite of what the logical mind thinks. It's wonderful to know the power we possess!


We frequently speak of our feelings as if we are them. You hear it in our patterns of speech: "I am angry," as if to say, "I am anger." However, feelings naturally arise as passing states of awareness and are not part of us. Rather, they give feedback and then expire. Think of it as similar to how a thermometer measures our internal body temperature at 9:00 a.m. at a healthy 98.6 and, three hours later when we are getting the flu, it registers 101.5. The feedback that we have a fever allows us to make an informed decision about whether to take fever-reducing meds, call the doctor, or go to bed and wait it out. A feverish reading is temporary and will change. In the same way, our emotional temperature fluctuates depending on external and internal events and our reaction to them. Looking back at Kris's real-life story, we see how her bike accident and life-threatening allergic reaction created intense emotions that would have been temporary if she had not gotten stuck.

The origin of the word emotion is the 1570–80 Middle French word esmotion from movoir or motion; thus, esmovoir means "to set in motion or move the feelings." The essential function of feelings is to provide feedback and pass through us organically like water flows in a river. In the same way water moves through the atmosphere, in and out of oceans, over and under land, human feelings continuously precipitate, go underground, rise to the surface, and evaporate through our awareness.

Trying to control our feelings through resistance and avoidance is like damming a river to stop the flow. An emotional dam pools feelings. This reservoir of avoided emotion remains in the body until we release it. In other words, the feelings we tried to avoid get held inside us instead. We hold on to what we are trying to avoid. Life constantly challenges us; it's not personal, just the natural process of growth and evolution. The stories of John and Kris demonstrate how easy it is to build emotional dams. Many times the process happens without us realizing it — until a symptom or illness gets our attention.

What emotional dams do you have in place? Distrust after a divorce? Shutting down emotionally after a job loss? Doubting yourself after a personal or professional rejection? Obsessing about safety after an accident? Let's explore the source of some emotional dams to gain more insight into how they operate in our lives.

Emotions Flow Naturally

A range of feeling from the highest high to the lowest low is a normal aspect of our organic emotional system. Each passing feeling arises spontaneously, brings valuable information, and then evaporates. When we allow and recognize this flow, we activate self-recovery. Since everyone's emotional state directly influences success in relationships, work, and health, we gain an ability to produce desired outcomes by allowing our feelings to expire naturally without damming or flooding. Looking through a metaphoric lens, we are the riverbank, and the water flowing through us is emotion. We are stable and solid, while the feelings moving through us are constantly changing. We are emotionally dynamic beings. Sometimes emotion is gentle, like rain feeding the river to nourish life; sometimes it explodes like a rainstorm whose floodwaters wipe out bridges and homes.

You don't have to try to feel your emotions; they have their own momentum. Think of the lyrics in Jennifer Love Hewitt's Don't Push the River. On the other hand, when you build dams, the natural emotional flow toward expiration is blocked. Remember you can always choose to stop building dams so that your emotional flow expires as it was meant to.

Whether you dam up your feelings or allow them to run freely is your choice. But make no mistake: how you manage the flow has consequences. When you learn to recognize and understand the nature of your undesirable feelings, you can allow their safe expiration and devise floodgates to discharge intense ones in safe ways that prevent emotional flooding.

Our Three Primal Feelings: Curiosity, Comfort, and Discomfort

We are born with three primal emotional states: curiosity, comfort, and discomfort. You can easily observe them in infants even though they cannot understand or verbalize their internal experience or thoughts. We come programmed with these neurological receptors.

Take curiosity, for example. Researcher Hildy Ross at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, found that a group of twelve-month-olds consistently preferred new toys to familiar ones and spent more time manipulating the complex array of toys rather than the simple ones. These findings suggest that we come into the world as explorers. That makes sense when we see how determined babies are to do whatever it takes to walk. If you have spent any time observing infants and toddlers, their curiosity is obvious — hence the large array of baby-proofing gadgets available to us.

Similarly, you do not have to be a researcher to know when an alert baby is comfortable. They have the curious glint in the eyes, the smile that tugs at your heart, and the sounds of squealing, gurgling, and laughing that create sympathetic delight in your body. You can sense an infant's spontaneous happiness without words. In fact, the joyful sight and sounds of a happy baby are contagious. Pay attention when you hear a baby cooing or a child laughing, and notice how your body responds. I remember once sitting on an airplane when a toddler's uncontainable giggles became audible in the silence immediately after landing. All of us began to make knowing eye contact and smiling at one another. As the spontaneous sounds continued to fill the cabin, our adult smiles finally burst into audible laughter. We just couldn't help ourselves. We all walked off the plane feeling great!

Although infants cannot tell us about their discomfort in words like older children, they give clues through their bodies. Pain is communicated through babies' bodies in changes to heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Infants act differently when they are in pain than when they are comfortable. Although each infant responds individually and may be inconsistent, there are certain behaviors like fussing, crying, furrowed brow, squeezed-shut eyes, and a quivering chin that reflect discomfort.

Discomfort is a visceral or physiological experience even when the source is emotional. Neuroanatomist A. D. Craig suggests the definition of human emotion to be both a subjective feeling and a body experience. He points out that, given this insight, emotions are not simply occasional events, but ongoing and continuous, even when they go unnoticed as unconscious human emotional acts. In other words, our feelings are constantly changing and creating different body experiences even when we are oblivious to them.

Although you may not remember your very early experiences, you too were born with the three spontaneous states of curiosity, comfort, and discomfort. Through the years you have evolved more complex feelings, but these primal emotions still strongly motivate behavior. As a growing baby, then child, you organically sought intuitive ways to maintain comfort. It all happened through your body, not your head, because your intellectual mind was immature.


Excerpted from Goodbye, Hurt & Pain by Deborah Sandella. Copyright © 2016 Deborah Sandella. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword Jack Canfield xi

Introduction xiii

Step 1 Flow & Go: Your Feelings Have a Natural Shelf Life 1

Step 2 See & Free: Your Feelings Have Form 37

Step 3 Unstick & Up-Wick: Your Intense Emotion + An Event = Stuck Memories 71

Step 4 Me & Thee: Your Wholeness Is Greater Than the Sum of Your Human Parts 105

Step 5 Repel & Attract: Your Feelings Are Magnetic 129

Step 6 Squeeze & Breeze: Your Feelings Increase with Resistance and Decrease with Embrace 151

Step 7 Redo & Renew: What Is Real and What Is Imagined Reconsolidate as Your Emotional Memory 173

Bringing It All Together: Do It! Dip-See-Do 197

Simple and Speedy RIM Tools for Daily Life 225

Regret Eraser 225

Irritation Soother 226

Decision-Maker 227

Big Dream Viewer 228

Voice Enhancer 229

Problem-Solving Magician 230

Out-of-the-Box Inventions 231

Questions & Answers about RIM: Regenerating Images in Memory 233

Acknowledgments 237

Endnotes 241

Index 251

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