It is hard to imagine what may have been unfolding energetically in Natasha Ward's body the day the three pinched nerves in her lower spine released and started to heal. She had been on her way to work, determined to pick up where she left off a year after a workplace spinal injury left her deemed "disabled for the rest of her life." Going back to work as a registered nurse in the hospital was the right thing to do, she had convinced herself. That was her career, after all, and it provided financial security, and of course a pension plan – all the ingredients of a successful life, or so she had believed. So it came as a surprise to her loved ones when, the same day that she was to begin work again, she decided to quit her job and found what she was looking for – freedom. "I remember I was going to go back to work to try it and my stomach started turning before leaving," Ward, a 36-year-old Sudbury resident says. "I got into my vehicle and started driving and ended up in an accident. I almost rolled my truck. I went right into the ditch.
I said to myself the whole universe is trying to stop me from going back to work – that's it, I quit.
"I gave my notice at work and it felt so liberating to do that – it was freedom." Call it spontaneous healing, or a miracle, but the sensation she felt in her spine at that moment when she gave her notice of resignation was "literally a release, a clicking or cranking or letting go feeling," she remembers.
"After that I still had some pain for a while because I was healing, but I continued to do chiropractics, and I did yoga for about three months, then started going to the gym. "My back has not been sore for six years, only sometimes slightly without exercise or if I start worrying about finances."
Energetically, low back issues are rooted in beliefs attached to fear of money or its lack thereof, lack of financial support and the ability to trust in the process of life, she explains.
"People with financial issues tend to complain about a sore back," Ward says now, years later after delving into the energy healing work of BodyTalk and understanding the complexities of emotions and physical health. During her year off work following the back injury she began regular chiropractic sessions.
The chiropractor she was frequenting "saved her life," she says. During her appointments he had introduced stretching techniques and continued with adjustments, but she had also started to open up to talk about the struggles in her life - how she had felt a burning desire to move out of her nursing career, even before the back injury happened. It was like this knowing that there was a greater purpose to her life, and yet, she couldn't reconcile it because her boyfriend of 10 years at the time reiterated how irrational it would be to let go of a good job, financial security, not knowing what she would pursue as a career. It was the familiar messages and thought beliefs she had absorbed throughout her childhood, she says.
"I was born into a family that struggled with money, and from a very early age I had this belief that you are born to get married, have a career, don't rock the boat – this attitude like 'We made this bed, we have to lie in it. There's no changing the sheets' way of thinking."
She had gone to a counsellor during her time off work, and the counsellor had reiterated, "You're going to go back to work, right, because that's what you're supposed to do." Once again, reaffirming long-held beliefs about what her life should look like. "When we are growing up people put their beliefs on us, and it's not necessarily our beliefs," Ward says. "It's this internal struggle between spirit and ego. Here you have this protective mechanism that wants to protect you based on beliefs when you were growing up, then this other side saying 'No, we don't need that anymore.'" Guided by our beliefs, we end up moving out of fear, rather than love for ourselves, she says. We become trapped in our beliefs, she says. "It was all about letting go of the fear I had; letting go of all the things I was supposed to do," and just being "me."
"I went from the world of nursing where I was surviving to a place of serving." During her healing journey, or as she describes it, during the time she "started waking up from her sleep," her chiropractor had connected her to his wife, who was an energy healer. Through personal work on herself she would engage in visualizations and cognitive therapy to unravel the beliefs that were holding her back from living an authentic life.
"The biggest thing she did for me was she helped me work through some issues from childhood without confronting (anyone)." Spiritually guided, she felt an intuitive nudge to walk into a BodyTalk practitioner's office one day and experienced the therapy.
"After the session I spent two weeks crying and releasing, and I was hiding it from her boyfriend at the time. I hadn't cried for years. I remember trying to think back to the last time I cried and it was literally in the school yard in grade 3. It felt like a huge weight off my shoulders. I remember lifting my shoulders up and down and feeling light. That is how I want to help people, I thought to myself."
BodyTalk, she discovered during her studies to become a practitioner, was about unraveling one's story - the thoughts one clings on to, to bring healing into one's life. Through self work she realized that it was time to let go of her relationship of 10 years. "I got up the courage to tell him that I'll always choose my own personal path. There was no judgement against anything.
"There are so many times when you think you don't want to let someone go, or say something to someone because you don't want to hurt their feelings, but it's actually best" for both; it's for the greater good. She walked away with a backpack full of belongings. "Life is about expansion and contraction," she says. "I let go of all the material things I'd accumulated. I couldn't sacrifice myself, so I moved away." "It's interesting how much there is such a strong belief that we need to work hard to have this goal of a pension plan that's ahead and it's all an illusion. If you can let go of all that stuff, then that's freedom."