Author Monica Dubay of Heal Your Mind Heal Your Life: 5 Things You Need To Heal After a Dramatic Loss Or Life Change
An Interview With Pirie Jones Grossman
Courage to change. Get help. Don’t be a lone ranger or try to heal your grief on your own. Find a healer or transformational coach who can see through your blind spots. Grief is very tricky and needs to be processed to complete it. But, it doesn’t have to take a long time. There are many professionals who know how to help you through it and it’s well worth the financial investment to become free of the pain.
The world seems to be reeling from one crisis to another. We’ve experienced a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, political and social turmoil. Then there are personal traumas that people are dealing with, such as the loss of a loved one, health issues, unemployment, divorce or the loss of a job.
Coping with change can be traumatic as it often affects every part of our lives.
How do you deal with loss or change in your life? What coping strategies can you use? Do you ignore them and just push through, or do you use specific techniques?
In this series called “5 Things You Need To Heal After a Dramatic Loss Or Life Change” we are interviewing successful people who were able to heal after a difficult life change such as the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or other personal hardships. We are also talking to Wellness experts, Therapists, and Mental Health Professionals who can share lessons from their experience and research.
As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Monica Dubay.
Monica Dubay is the author of Heal Your Mind Heal Your Life, an Amazon bestselling book for Educational Psychology and Spiritual Healing. She is the founder of her Mindset Mastery Method, which combines mindset shifts and spiritual awakening. Since 1989, Monica has helped people heal their mind, find their calling, and create powerful purpose-driven lives.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I’m number seven of nine children, having grown up in a small town in Maine. I was a musician and artist and played clarinet and saxophone in bands from middle school onward. I was awarded the 1st chair clarinet for the State of Maine in my senior year and went on to study music in Salzburg, Austria, then on to New York City for my Masters in Performance. My family life was lovingly chaotic and we were middle class, my parents raised all of us to have a strong work ethic and follow our hearts. Most of my sisters are nurses and my brothers became doctors and engineers.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Forgiveness is the key to happiness.”
Throughout my life and my spiritual journey, I have found that forgiveness provides the answer to deep losses and brings you back to peace and a real sense of power over circumstances.
You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
I am enamored with healing, and have explored both spiritual and scientific healing modalities. I embrace life and have traveled extensively.
1. I was gifted with a strong faith in God and an inner resilience. I love learning about different cultures and how people think differently and I cherish my relationships. I love to lead others into their hearts, through music, and through guided meditations to open up to their intuition and guidance.
2. I have boundless energy when I am creating new programs and writing. I am intuitive, empathic and have endless energy for the work. My intuitive channels opened up when I found the answer to depression in 1989. I heard a voice tell me what to do… it was the beginning of a new way of communicating for me. This helps tremendously with knowing how to support others. They say they feel so much lighter afterwards, because I have done so much inner work myself.
3. I have a clear mind and can spot the back-story people tell when they open up. I then know where to lead them and help them release the “cause” of suffering. When people are suffering, it begins in the mind. I have a keen ability to find the source of the problem in their belief system and can help release it quickly, with their permission. I found that the answer to healing depression and anxiety is about finding the key to where it begins. We are unique beings, and we have our own stories. They need to be honored, listened to and acknowledged. Then, they can be healed.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Healing after Loss’. Do you feel comfortable sharing with our readers about your dramatic loss or life change?
Sure, the most traumatic event I experienced was a custody battle for my two boys when they were 8 and 10 years old. I had moved 1000 miles away and restarted my life after my divorce. While it was my choice to leave the state, I never thought the kids would not be with me. My ex-husband refused to let them come back after a six month visit with him,, and I had to file for custody and fight it out in the court system. It lasted 18 months, and I woke up in a panic every day. At the time, their suffering was also very difficult because I had been a full-time mother for 10 years. Being separated from them against their will and mine, caused me intense anxiety and anger. After 18 months, we had to go through a 3 day trial with professionals who all ruled in my favor, since the boys were bonded to me. At the end, I was accused of being in a cult and the judge ruled in my ex-husband’s favor. I could have them only on their vacations and holidays and one month in the summer.
What was the scariest part of that event? What did you think was the worst thing that could happen to you?
The worst thing was that I couldn’t see my kids when I wanted to. They were to live with their father from that moment on and attend school there. Being 1000 miles away was really difficult and I didn’t have a lot of income to pay for their visits. The financial setback was a big blow and no longer having child support, I went to work full time. I honestly felt so much fear of losing them during the 18 months, and then when the verdict happened, I felt my own sense of power diminish, and the worst thing that could happen, did happen.
How did you react in the short term?
I was utterly devastated and almost suicidal. I couldn’t imagine not having my boys with me and the days and nights were so long. My depression was tough, I thought it would never end. The anger I experienced was intense, I could feel the loss every moment. And when they came to visit on holidays, and had to go back at such young ages, I would reexperience it all over again. Putting them on the plane with my younger son crying that he didn’t want to go was excruciating. I don’t know how I got through it. I just had to.
After the dust settled, what coping mechanisms did you use?
I actually got a sponsor and did the 12 Step Program right away for co-dependency. In that program, I learned how to let go of what I perceived as the cause of my suffering. I also practiced forgiveness of my thoughts and beliefs daily using A Course in Miracles. That is what ultimately saved me. It was a long dark night of the soul. I kept in contact with the boys by phone as much as possible. I sought out every mode of healing I could find, talked with a therapist who knew the situation, and worked on myself to release the rage and sadness..
Can you share with us how you were eventually able to heal and “let go” of the negative aspects of that event?
Over time, I accepted the situation because I had to, because I had no control. I had tried everything to win, but it didn’t work out that way. I felt unfairly treated, and it honestly took several years to complete the process of healing. I was hard on myself and felt I had hurt my kids. This wasn’t true, but I had perceived myself as responsible for their pain. It wasn’t fair to me or them. Often I would just cry for hours. I went to a chiropractor and several other professionals to release the energy. I worked in a spa, and then decided to become a massage therapist. In massage school, I learned about how to heal from trauma with bodywork. It opened up a new avenue of healing for me to pursue.
Aside from letting go, what did you do to create an internal, emotional shift to feel better?
I practiced energy release, A Course in Miracles, and The Work of Byron Katie. Her process was profound and I suddenly felt released from the guilt trip I was doing on myself. All of these inner processes were helpful and brought me peace. I include her work in my book, because I use it a lot in my work with clients now as well. I also stayed in communication with the kids. I always felt better after talking to the kids about how they were doing and they seemed happier after that first year. For me it took longer to process completely. The memories of loss are always there, but I now know how to release them quickly.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to cope and heal? Can you share a story about that?
My spiritual teacher at the time, Master Teacher of A Course in Miracles was instrumental in relieving my suffering. My second husband at the time was very supportive, and I had a lot of healer friends. I have a strong connection to my spiritual team as well. I got a lot of help from them, meaning angels, guides, Jesus, and other Masters. I was sitting in the library of my spiritual community one day when the pain in my heart was very intense. I was led to a book by an Eastern Master, Ramakrishna. I immediately felt my heart pain release as I read it. He was a mystic and founded an Order. I had no idea who he was, but he taught Advaita Vedanta, which is very close to A Course in Miracles in philosophy. It teaches surrender to God and love God with all your heart.
Were you able to eventually reframe the consequences and turn it into a positive situation? Can you explain how you did that?
Once I let go of the guilt, I was able to forgive the situation and see it from my ex-husband’s point of view. He wanted the boys as much as I did. And the fact that he took responsibility for them and gave them his love and guidance helped me understand and be grateful to him for that. I kept reading and teaching the lessons of A Course in Miracles… and letting go of the pain. I didn’t drink alcohol or eat meat at the time. I started doing more yoga and exercise. I went to work and was very involved in my spiritual community. My life changed a lot and I was able to travel to teach and heal in other parts of the world. I became aware that this time was now for me, and that I could move on and enjoy my freedom from full-time parenting.
What did you learn about yourself from this very difficult experience? Can you please explain with a story or example?
Mostly, I learned that the mind is very tricky when we feel unfairly treated. It’s not easy to give up this viewpoint. We always want to be right when we are in pain. And we want agreement so we tell the story to people around us and get their sympathy. But, it doesn’t really help with healing. It’s just more pain.
My biggest lesson was learning that love doesn’t possess. In giving up wanting the situation to be different, I found that my love for my kids was never altered.
I have a deep, loving relationship with both my boys and I now believe that the adversity in their childhood actually helped them grow up and become compassionate and resilient human beings.
I learned that I can overcome just about anything. Most people think it was horrendous, but I’m amazed at others who have also had to endure losses that seem bigger. My kids didn’t die. They were still in my life and I was grateful for that. I learned about patience, resilience and letting go of wanting to possess people in our lives. Kids need to be free to have their own lives too. We need to honor their need for both parents and to allow the relationships to develop. I’m thankful that their father took responsibility for them.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experiences and knowledge, what advice would you give others to help them get through a difficult life challenge? What are your “5 Things You Need To Heal After a Dramatic Loss Or Life Change? Please share a story or example for each.
- Courage to change. Get help. Don’t be a lone ranger or try to heal your grief on your own. Find a healer or transformational coach who can see through your blind spots. Grief is very tricky and needs to be processed to complete it. But, it doesn’t have to take a long time. There are many professionals who know how to help you through it and it’s well worth the financial investment to become free of the pain. Example: One of my clients had chronic fatigue and wasn’t able to deal with her life after loss. After working together for a few months, she learned my processes, applied them and got out of bed. A year or two later she has a million dollar company doing what she loves.
- Journal as a way to self-discovery. If you’ve never done it, try it. There’s something powerful about writing down your feelings and getting them on paper. It’s the beginning of self-awareness and discovery of what you want now. Be willing to let this experience teach you something important about yourself. Often our spiritual awakening happens when we are facing a crisis or loss. It’s a new beginning and a wakeup call. Don’t ignore your pain. It won’t go away, it will just turn into something more serious if you ignore it. Many people try to deny it or bury it. This is dangerous to your body and mind. You need attention and care right now. Imagine what you could do with your life now. What changes have you been wanting to make, but were putting off? Now is the time to do them. Your life could be taking a different tack because you wanted something else. Often we just don’t allow ourselves to have more freedom and so it takes a loss to help us choose it.
- Self care is critical. What makes you happy? Do you need to take a break? Can you allow one weekend a month for yourself to spend in a healing retreat? Go somewhere you feel good. Acceptance will come when you find a way to release your pain. There is a light at the end of this tunnel, even thought it may not feel that way. Don’t make excuses. Women especially put everyone else first. Stop this. You need to become much more aligned to yourself, not less. Children will be happier knowing you’re happy. Set an example for them on how to take care of yourself during adversity. Strength comes from being aware of what you need and you may need to be angry for a while. It’s understandable. But anger will have dire consequences on your health, so don’t stay there.
- Communicate. Human beings need to connect with each other. We all need to be with those who have been through it and come out of it. Don’t shut down and sedate. I know it’s tempting to want to check out. It won’t work. Keep your heart opening up to receive love. Let people who love you and who don’t judge you be there for you. It will take as long as it takes to overcome the feelings of loss. It often feels like it will never change or get better. That’s not true…it’s just that the deep feelings of grief can be blinding. This is a time for you to process the loss and grief. Know that there are levels to it and it may mean you deal with it in your own way, in your own time. Don’t judge yourself for how long it’s taking. Often, just asking for help will uncover the deepest fear: of guilt, shame or embarrassment.
- Keep exercising and get bodywork. Moving energy is critical at this point. A gentle form of yoga will also support you to go inside and connect to the heart. The body needs movement. When I was a massage therapist, most of my clients were going through deep changes. Paying attention to the body through exercise and letting a professional move the energy through the tissue will release the trauma as well. There are many forms of body work that support deep loss: Craniosacral Therapy, Deep Tissue Massage for example will help with this type of healing. Many skilled therapists can change your point of view in a few sessions.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Heal Your Mind Heal Your Life is the movement I’ve started. My 30 years of experience has culminated in a vision where people learn to release the past, get beyond the stories, and find peace. I’m doing it every day, all day long. I love the work. These rapid healing methods are powerful and allow us to learn and heal faster so we can move beyond suffering much more quickly. Wallowing in pain for years is not necessary. My book explains some of the simple processes I use and my programs teach people how to apply them to the circumstances of their lives.
We are being ignited to align with spiritual intelligence, utilize our power to claim our lives back. I feel very passionate about raising the consciousness to a new level where we can create educational systems that include the whole person, mind/body/spirit. If we are to evolve, we need to teach our children to pay attention to their intuitive, to embrace their emotions, to allow them to discover their own calling and creativity. We are just at the beginning of this spiritual evolution. There is much to do and there are many teachers and healers. Humanity is on the brink of a global spiritual awakening. It’s a very exciting time and we have a lot to do to help others.
We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them. :-)
I want to talk to anyone who wants to support women to elevate ourselves and our consciousness. Such as Byron Katie or Oprah Winfrey. I also love the work of Elizabeth Gilbert and Brene Brown. I read them all avidly.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
https://www.healyourmindhealyourlife.com . You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. IG: https://www.instagram.com/monicajdubay/. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/monica-dubay-author-432a6a26/.
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!
About The Interviewer: Pirie Jones Grossman is a certified Life Coach, TedX Speaker, influencer, best selling author and co-founder and co-host of the podcast, “Own Your Throne”. She has shared the stage with speakers such as Deepak Chopra, Elisabeth Gilbert, Marianne Williamson, Kris Carr, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. She coaches women on focusing on self esteem, and helping women reignite the second chapter of their lives!
She’s a writer for Thrive Global and Huffington Post. She’s a former TV host for E! Entertainment Television, Fox Television, NBC, CBS and ABC. She was Co-Chair for the Special Olympics International World Winter Games in Idaho and spoke at the UN on behalf of Special Olympics. She is the founder of the “Love is Louder” Brain Health Summit with Suicide survivor, Kevin Hines, focusing on teenage depression and suicide. She gave a TedX talk about, “How To Heal A Community from Suicide.”
Pirie has her Masters in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica, California. She is a Sun Valley Wellness Institute Board member and lives in Sun Valley, Idaho with her two teenagers where she has a private Life Empowerment coaching practice.