The Agent Scully of Self-Care & Healing: an interview with Karrie Myers Taylor — Part 2
“I had a therapist that I was working with for trauma release at the time. I’d worked with her for years and I hadn’t been telling her what was going on because I thought she was going to think I’m crazy and have me committed. And then finally I told her and said, “hey I’m feeling all of this weird shit” and she’s like, “I’m glad you told me because now I can help you.” — Karrie Myers Taylor
Note from the Editor:
I’m really excited to share Part 2 of Karrie Myers Taylor’s perspective, a self care and reiki healing practitioner (and honorary nerd) of the San Francisco Bay Area. If you’ve ever watched an X-Files episode, you will understand why her and I think it’s funny that I called this article “The Agent Scully of Self-Care & Healing”. If you haven’t watched the show, here’s the very quick lowdown: Scully is an FBI agent and medical doctor that investigates weird cases with her partner Fox Mulder. In most cases, she is a skeptic first…a believer second.
Karrie can definitely relate to Scully on many levels. I hope you enjoy the continuation of this fascinating perspective!
Part 1 is available here.
— Ryan Fukuda
KMT (Karrie Myers Taylor): After my husband I moved back to San Francisco in 2010 and at this point, I’d been overweight most of my life too. So I was carrying over a hundred pounds overweight.
I came back because I wanted to be healthier. I joined a program for food addiction and I started losing weight and it happened as soon as I started removing all of the things that I was eating: flour and sugar…and detoxing from negative media. One thing led to another and then this ricochet effect happened. I would start moving other things out that were hurting me. I started seeing colors brighter or hearing things louder. I just basically became more sensitive to my surroundings because when I was eating all of these preservatives and all of these numbing things, it was numbing me to my life. So no, I wasn’t feeling any energy or whatever because I’m completely encased in my own body and mind to some degree. And so through this journey of releasing the weight, I became more sensitive to everything. I was really irritated by the whole thing, but my friend, the Reiki Master, was diagnosed with a chronic disease and she asked me if I would start working with her doing Reiki…but this time I could feel everything.
Like all of a sudden it was like, “Oh, this is what we’re talking about here”. And the way that I understood it that it wasn’t coming from me. Like I was a conduit basically, and my Reiki Master friend was healing herself. I was just bearing witness of that and I think to some degree is a lot of the work that spiritual people do. It’s like we bear witness to healing because you don’t want to do it alone. There’s many different ways of doing it: there’s astrology, shamanism…there’s lots of different ways, you just choose the one that works for you…Reiki, acupressure, acupuncture…You choose the one that you feel the most that works for you with the understanding that it is really all the same thing.
With my Reiki Master friend…what I loved about it (because I am such a practical person)…she had to start taking these steroids to combat the illness that she’s working with….to combat some of the symptoms and the steroids are actually worse than the freakin’ symptoms (laughs). So she was up forty milligrams of the steroid and over the course of working weekly with Reiki she’s down to four and that to me was concrete. That was like, okay, this is actually helping people. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it working for people and I really just wanted to start helping a lot of other people do that especially living here in San Francisco.
I also live in Marin and I can go there and I can be around a lot of people who are really into this stuff and it’s wonderful, but in San Francisco people need a lot of help dealing with their stressful lives. I want to help them do that, so I wanted to bring my services to the people that needed it the most, but also the people I thought would have the most impact in the world.
Can you talk more about the experience of weight in the past associated with your energy work?
KMT: Well, I can only talk about it in hindsight because at the time, it’s what I knew. I had been overweight since my teens, but I’m also a tall chick. So it was easy for me to be like, I’m not really overweight. Like I just distributed well. If I was much shorter I probably would have helped myself earlier because I would’ve felt like I couldn’t get away from my fat. But being a tall person and having it kind of distributed…I could always just kind of say I wore my weight very well. Even when I did lose 100 pounds. Many people really surprised by it. “That was 100 pounds?” and it’s like “Yeah!” No one thought that was a hundred pounds, maybe 30 pounds tops.
The weight was hidden and I’m really good at denial. You know because I’m a very willful person and if this is getting in the way what I want to get done, then it just didn’t happen. It’s just not happening.
RF: It can be great protection or nurturing for the body.
KMT: It is, I mean it is self-protection and so in hindsight it was absolute hell living in that body and not that being a larger size means living in hell right, because that’s not the truth. I have many friends who are larger who are extremely body positive, healthy and happy. But for me I was killing myself with food to desensitize. I do think that you know some people do different things like people drink coffee to get their energy up. I think due to a number of PTSD or things like anxiety that I acquired over my lifetime, that I was already at that level and food was helping me to numb that. So I could go do the presentation or go get anything done or be a high achiever or whatever, but it made me completely cut off from my world and my senses.
One of the first things I experienced was being in my body after losing the weight. People used to hug me all the time. People loved hugging me because I’m squishy, right? People love hugging a pillow. But, after losing the weight, people would hug me and they would be hugging bones. You would feel a rib cage and that would be my rib cage…even I hadn’t felt my own rib cage. And, I remembered this experience of hugging people and friends and them hanging on a little longer. I would just start giggling. I just feel like I’m actually feeling this person. There’s no barrier here. And so in terms of feeling, it really came into play when I started working with bodyworkers. I’d always had massages and I’d do Bikram Yoga hardcore. And that’s just because I had a really high tolerance to pain, mentally and physically. So I could put myself through all that stuff. People wonder how people run marathons and they can do all these things. That’s how they can do it. To me, they are completely desensitized because it’s painful to be carrying all that on your joints and everything. So when I releasing this weight, the pain that I had been suppressing (like back pain the pressure on bones and joints, atrophied muscles, etc.) they were all waking up and screaming. It was like, “this is what you’ve been doing…this is what we’ve been carrying”.
So I started working with bodyworkers and doing acupuncture, acupressure, chiropractor for my neck, and a physical therapist. I was literally the bionic woman. I was like, “I’m getting a team together and they’re going to put me back together again”. That’s something I also think people need to understand is like when you lose weight it’s not just like “oh I’m gonna go to get up and run around”. No, it’s painful. Your body has learned behaviors. Muscles have been making up for other muscles that are completely fatigued…even the curvatures of the spine, I held most of my weight in my abdomen. So my back was use to being weak. I had to learn how to build muscles to hold myself right.
So I started seeing bodyworkers and started having experiences that I couldn’t explain when I saw bodyworkers. I’d always had Thai massages before. I loved it. Somebody walks on my back and I was “like yeah!, I’m there”. Now if someone walks on my back I’d probably pushed them off my back. (RF laughs)
I started going to see a massage therapist and he was wonderful. Some of the best massages I’ve ever had. My body felt amazing and it was myofascial massage, so it was really deep stuff and really good because it was training my body to release these things. I would go home and just be sobbing all over the place and releasing this uncontrollable grief. I was experiencing energy and other people’s stuff coming at me and going like, “What is that?” Is that me? Is that you? (laughs) It was very confusing in the beginning and it still is. I’m learning as I go on, that we are feeling things all the time and they’re not anything to be afraid of. They are things we can work with. In the beginning, I was just terrified and then I ran to my spiritual people.
My mom is a very spiritual person, but I think there’s a way to go about it. I think everybody’s got stories in their families that people maybe talked about…or maybe even things they’ve seen. Like they’ve seen ghosts or things they can’t explain it. And I think it’s important for spiritual practitioners to not amp that up. You know like not amp up the ghost story because you’re dealing with people who still have to live in the world. We still have to live in modern times, so it’s like. I went to different people looking for an answer. What’s happening? What’s going on? And I would get told all kinds of stuff. And I think that you have to prepare minds for that or you basically tell them what they need for that particular appointment and not like your whole history of your experience with this.
I had a therapist that I was working with for trauma release at the time. I’d worked with her for years and I hadn’t been telling her what was going on because I thought she was going to think I’m crazy and have me committed. And then finally I told her and said, “hey I’m feeling all of this weird shit” and she’s like, “I’m glad you told me because now I can help you”. It’s kind of like what you’re trying to do here Ryan. It’s like you’re trying to relieve people of all kinds of crazy in the beginning and make it something that’s mainstream that people can just say this is another option.
So, she was a straight up psychotherapies but she’s also just like “Don’t think I have been doing this long and not had these experiences because I’ve been working with people who deal with this kind of stuff.” So she was really helpful in making it mainstream for me and saying, “hey you still have to live in the world but we can live with these things”. It’s about integrating it and not necessarily letting it overwhelm you or push it away. And so that’s why I think it’s important and I get all weird about the woo woo because I think there’s such a stigma about it and you have to come at it from a place of practical uses.
So that’s why with my particular marketing it’s like I focus on what are the benefits of this rather than what’s the ancient Japanese story or tradition of this. I’ll tell you if you want to know, but the point is that you came to heal and I don’t need to bring myself to your space for you to heal.
Part 3 of “Karrie Myers Taylor: The Agent Scully of Self Care & Healing” continues next Tuesday, September 13th. #realtalk #reikiinthecity
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Karrie Myers Taylor coaches busy people to weave a holistic, daily self-care routine into their lives (and sustain it) with guidance, support and fun.