We continue with our #boobyluv interview series with a chat with Joanne Morgan and Elaine Thompson. Have you been following along as we have brought you provocative conversations about breast love, breast fear, breast cancer prevention and emotional healing? We want to be sure you are all caught up! See the bottom of this post for a link to all of the interviews. Let’s meet Joanne and Elaine!
Joanne Morgan is an intuitive teacher and creative facilitator. She has over twenty-five years of experience in facilitating individual and group retreats/workshops in many different cultures around the world. After living and working in many countries around the world, she fully embraces a global spirituality that is inclusive and honours all paths.
Joanne is a Psychotherapist, Spiritual Director and a Jin Shin Jyutsu® practitioner and she recently completed her training as Soul Wound Healing and Karma Clearing practitioner.
Joanne is in private practice in Toronto and facilitates workshops, retreats and groups in different locations.
Elaine Thompson is a Counsellor, Spiritual Director, a Certified Focusing Practitioner and Trainer with specialized training in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is a member of the Focusing Institute in New York. She has completed her studies as a Holistic Health Practitioner. Elaine practices the art of Jin Shin Jyutsu, and facilitates workshops and retreats.
Elaine works with people holistically and she invites her clients to be proactive in dealing with their health and wellness in mind, body and spirit.
Elaine provides services to assist in creating meaningful rituals or ceremonies that celebrate important life events such as marriage, birth of a child or a fare-welling of a loved one. These are some moments that can be marked in a significant manner and in a way that honours all involved.
It seems like everyone is aware of the pink ribbon campaign and breast cancer awareness activities that take place in October. The messages that proliferate are about coping with a diagnosis, finding a cure. We share a common interest in shifting that conversation to “prevention.” What does prevention mean to you?
Prevention for us means really attending to the “whole” as we are more than our physical body and the other bodies we have are very important because they have a big impact on our physical well-being. Our mental body – watching our thoughts as what we focus on expands. Being conscious of what we give energy to and learning to think in positive and helpful ways to support our mental well-being as this impacts the body. Our emotional body – emotions being energy-in-motion. They need to move through our body and out. If they don’t, then the body is impacted. Our Spiritual body – what helps our Spirit thrive and it needs sweet vibration and is vital for our physical journey and how we interact in life.
And why are you passionate about breast health, and women living healthy vibrant lives?
Breast health is important as it connects with the Heart chakra and the importance of the energy being in balance of giving and receiving. Sometimes women in their roles have so much energy going out and giving and nothing coming back to them. They literally take from the energy their cells need to regenerate if they are not replenishing their energy. Like running a car on empty – it damages the car. The Heart chakra is a crucial part of our nurturing of self and learning how to be caring without carrying others to the detriment of ourselves.
Too often we talk about breasts only in two (maybe three) contexts: female sexuality, usually as it is contained by male sexuality; and when something goes wrong with breast health – namely breast cancer (maybe we talk about breastfeeding, usually when it has been shunned publicly). Why do you think there is a silence around talking about breasts outside of these topics/angles?
We feel this can be partly due to people’s discomfort in being able to engage with these topics in a natural way. It might be due to possible beliefs coming from how they have been taught to view the body or certain parts of the body. As health practitioners, we know sometimes this can come from religious wounding re shame about the body or what people have heard or been told about their body when they were younger. So in order to reclaim a new found freedom the clients can do personal work to clear this and reclaim new ways they want to be with their bodies and/or new healthy beliefs they choose now as they heal from the past.
We believe that women are unsure of their breasts, and that for many women, their breasts are a source of fear. Perhaps pink ribbon campaigns are in part responsible for this fear, perhaps there is a fear of the sexuality of breasts, or of the power women can hold. Many women are not used to touching their breasts even. What is your opinion of our culture of breast fear?
We feel that there if often a disconnect from the body. Our mind ‘thinks’ and our body wisdom ‘knows.’ The body never lies. So learning how to connect with the body is an essential part of addressing any fear around the body and looking at the whole of themselves: mind body and spirit and how one impacts the other. The mental body can create thoughts of fear and then if the focus is on “that which I fear” it will eventually show up in a more denser form of energy that the body will then have to accommodate if not addressed. Our emotional body needs to be attended to because if there is no flow then the energy gets stuck and creates issues in the body. As the saying goes: “Our issues are in our tissues.” Befriending our wonderful bodies is crucial to vital health and learning to respect them with great love and appreciation as they are the temple which houses our mind and spirit.
Imagine yourself talking with a young girl about body image, body health and growing into a conscientious woman. What would you impart to the conversation of breasts?
We would talk about the symbolic nature of the breasts being part of our beautiful feminine form and they are situated where the Heart centre is, which nurtures and gives life. The importance of flow in giving and receiving. Nurturing ourselves and watching we are not just giving energy to others, we also allowing ourselves to receive it. To be gentle and respectful of our body and our Heart centre and listening into its wisdom everyday and what it wants us to know. A simple body dialogue to connect and listen to what the body wants them to know.
How has breast health, or breast health touched your life. In what personal ways are you invested in projects that raise awareness of breast health?
We have accompanied many people who have had breast cancer and the big way we participate in this is to help people be aware of true self-care for themselves so they do not burn out. True self-care will always overflow in service of others. However, we are not meant to be serving others at the expense of our own health. So this is a big piece with regard to helping people put self-care in place as there can be blocks to this with thinking such as: ‘Isn’t it selfish to attend to myself?’ Getting clear on the vital part self-care plays in health and if we do not care for ourselves the detrimental impact it can have on the body and the life of the individual. We feel this would be a great tool for children to learn in school – self-care and giving them tools from an early age so that they learn and grow-up seeing this as an essential part of healthy living.
Leave us with a final word. When we say “breasts” you say:
Love yourself! Nurture yourself! Listen to your wise body.
Read our past #boobyluv interviews:
Join us here in the coming weeks for more #boobyluv interviews.
I’m learning how to release the fear and love my breasts with the #boobyluv interview series.