My Journey to Finding a Path to Healing
Often in life, our health isn't perfect and we can find ourselves looking for answers and healing cures to whatever condition or ailment that has presented itself.
When the condition hasn't got an easy explanation or a readily available treatment or cure, this can lead us down an all-consuming path of frustration and can all too often lead to depression and poor mental health.
As we try to find a cure or a solution to the health problem, we often don't realise that we are punishing ourselves with stress and this can lead to even more problems.
What if we didn't seek a cure, as such, but looked, instead, for a path towards healing?
This might sound like they are the same thing, but there is a difference of thinking (and action) here.
To understand this way of thinking more, Health and Wellness Coach, Saralyn Salisbury-Jones shares her own journey towards finding a path to healing - rather than a cure.
In this episode, Saralyn chats openly to Clarity Junction host, Gillian, about her own bipolar II disorder and diagnosis, and how it has enlightened her to create a wellness path that is both beneficial and unique to her own healing.
Saralyn is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach and self-proclaimed 'Middle Way Warrior', empowering spiritual seekers to meet their wellness aims in a shame-free way.
Saralyn received her graduate certificate in Health & Wellness Coaching from the accredited Maryland University of Integrative Health. Her training includes holistic wellness approaches, the science of behaviour change, and the core competencies of coaching.
Saralyn's own healing journey led her to create the 'Middle Way Wellness' philosophy. It is her mission to empower seekers to prioritise their wellbeing without the dogma & dichotomous thinking.
Her Middle Way Wellness philosophy is not a quick fix but rather a process of learning and unlearning. This philosophy empowers its practitioners to uncover what wellbeing means to them and honour those truths through a process of self-discovery and curiosity.
Saralyn feels that many approaches to wellness, weight loss, and health feel punitive and leave the impression that inner peace and joy are on the other side of losing the weight, getting fit, or following a specific plan. She is therefore passionate about her mission to promote finding health and wellness in another way, the Middle Way.
How to Contact Saralyn
For more details of the 'My Middle Way Wellness Membership' mentioned in the interview, to find out how to get involved and to contact Saralyn, please visit:
My Middle Way Wellness Membership: https://www.saralynsalisburyjones.com/membership
Mental Health Foundation: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/
National Institute of Mental Health: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml
National Alliance on Mental Health: https://www.nami.org/
Gillian Duncan 0:00
Hello and welcome to this podcast from Clarity Junction. Today, I'm sharing with you a very special interview with Saralyn Salisbury-Jones. Saralyn is a successful Certified Health and Wellness Coach. Throughout her life, Saralyn has also faced mental health challenges and she is here on the Clarity Junction podcast to share her personal journey of finding a path towards healing rather than trying to find a cure and she explains her reasons why in this very open interview. So keep listening to learn more about Saralyn's path to healing and to become inspired by her journey. My name is Gillian Duncan Positive Life and Wellbeing Coach inspiring women to lead the life they want and I am delighted that you are here with me today.
Welcome to the Clarity Junction podcast.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 0:59
Hi! Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here.
Gillian Duncan 1:03
Thank you so much for coming onto the show. I really appreciate you being here and the personal journey that you will be sharing with us. Clarity Junction is all about inspiring women to never give up on their dreams even when life throws you the biggest challenges. Everyone faces challenges and hurdles in one way or another, and that's just life.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 1:24
Gillian Duncan 1:24
But one of the hardest hurdles to overcome, and, you know, I'm speaking from my own personal experience here, is when we experience problems with your health. Sometimes these health issues can be easily resolved, and other times they can't and your left wondering what the future is going to hold for you. Your first reaction may be that you can't live with this condition, and you must find a cure. But perhaps there's a better way to think about the situation, and Saralyn you are here to share your own journey towards finding healing,
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 2:00
Gillian Duncan 2:00
Rather than a cure.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 2:02
Gillian Duncan 2:05
Tell us all about your journey to find healing and management of your mental health diagnosis.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 2:13
Sure. Um, so I have a diagnosis of rapid cycling Bipolar II, and I've always struggled with anxiety, you know, from kind of a college age and then, more recently, they kind of clarified Bipolar II, and this past year and, has really been dedicated to my own healing. In 2018, I was actually hospitalised for suicide ideation, and I was hospitalised twice and was all of a sudden in the darkest place I have been, and at the time, I was very conflicted about how to approach this because I was also undergoing a sort of spiritual awakening. And in a lot of spiritual communities, they see any illness or disease as something that you should want to cure, and something that you have complete control over. And I found this a little invalidating. And so I had a really hard time, like in those dark periods reconciling my, my yearning, to find healing, to embrace my spiritual nature, but then to also be very mindful of, this is a very real thing I'm dealing with, and I want to be able to do my own path and not feel as if I have to choose between, well, this is all on me to fix and I need to fix it or wait a minute, maybe this isn't about curing myself, but harnessing the gifts that my condition gives me and then also managing it so that I'm not in a dark place where I'm contemplating taking my own life. And so, this was a very the moment for me when I decided to go on this, this healing journey, and I can get in more into details, but that's a little bit of context.
Gillian Duncan 4:14
Yeah, this huge amount of information that you've shared with us about your background, and I would just like to say thank you so much for doing that. Now mental health illnesses are often seen as a huge weakness in our society, and it's something that nobody wants to talk about, nobody wants to share. And just before we came on air, I discussed with you, you know, a time in my life where I had gone through some illness and I was suffering from paranoia, and I was in, like, the middle of a supermarket and I felt that everybody was staring at me. They weren't looking at the groceries, you know, which is an, you know, what somebody, you know, who wouldn't be suffering from that would be thinking, they would just be getting on with the grocery shopping. They wouldn't be thinking about anybody else. But I just saw people looking at me and pointing at me, and in my head, I could hear them talk down to me or hear their negative thoughts about me. And it was, it was really frightening and soul destroying. And that left me so vulnerable. And yet, I couldn't, I felt that I couldn't tell anybody. I didn't want to share that information with anybody because I thought, you know, I wouldn't know what they would think of me.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 5:29
Gillian Duncan 5:29
That sort of attitude, I think, that people have towards mental health and mental well being. And I'm really pleased that over the last few years, that things are beginning, the doors are beginning to open to everybody, to be able to approach these topics and to be able to discuss them more freely, and see that mental health is a huge area that we all need to embrace, and we all need to treat better. Have better, availability for treatments and you know, approaches to, to mental health.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 6:01
Yeah, I mean, there's definitely still so much stigma. It is, it is getting better. And, you know, even with my parents, when I was hospitalised, I talked to them on the phone and the first thing my mom says is, 'Saralyn, you're not crazy', and I'm, 'Okay'. Um, you know, their generation sees my need to see a therapist, and something that is bad. In terms of, you know, just owning my diagnosis, I even had people say, 'Well, aren't you worried about disclosing this when you're trying to build a career for yourself? Don't you think that people will maybe not take you as seriously or judge you?', and I think that's why I've chosen to be so open because we need to see people that are leading who are living their life the way they want to with these conditions and show that not only - we don't just have to survive, we get to thrive as well. And the more we can be open and share our journeys and share our experiences, the less alone other people will feel. That we're like you, that we're thinking with me, that feeling like you can't talk about it.
Gillian Duncan 7:15
Exactly. And it's really strange because I could quite easily talking about physical ailments. I was, again telling you about my, my sore elbow that I have. An injury that I've had in my elbow. And that's so easy to talk about. I can talk about my elbow all day. I can tell you why it hurts, where it hurts, and what it stops me from doing and how the, all the treatment I've had. But, when you talk about something that's, you know, from your mind, and your behaviour from that, it's so difficult. So as I say, I applaud you for coming on and talking and being very open about this, and I really hope that other people can see the strength in you and be able to talk about their own conditions.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 7:58
Thank you so much. Yeah, it, it, I definitely, I've had more positive responses than negative responses. And about maybe a month and a half ago, I had written a blog and I had sent it to someone that I was in process of collaborating with and this person, then, you know, I think conflated the fact that I had disclosed my diagnosis, to say, 'You seem rather manic'. And that was very triggering for me, because one of the struggles I've gone through and finding healing is when I am happy - is this just a symptom of my diagnosis? And you know, I've never actually been manic bipolar II. I've been hypo-manic, so not to get into those differences, but it was very upsetting that, okay, I disclose this so now it's being used against me. But then, like, I had so many amazing responses of people saying, 'Thank you so much for being brave enough to share this'. So again, it's, there is still stigma and I do get those reactions, but by and large, it's mostly, 'Thank you, thank you I'm struggling too'.
Gillian Duncan 9:06
I think we've all got to realise that no matter what we are talking about in life, there's always going to be those haters. And there's always going to be those negative people. There'll be somebody who is going to put you down, and there's always going to be somebody who's going to have that constant negative cloud over them, just ready to pounce on you. It can be any subject, so not just your health. So yeah, you're very brave, and I love the fact that you're putting it all down in writing, and you're getting it out there. You're offloading. That is one healing process in itself.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 9:36
Yes, well, I do have a book proposal in the works so...
Gillian Duncan 9:40
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 9:41
hopefully soon everyone will get to hear the whole story.
Gillian Duncan 9:44
Oh, I love that. Well, you must keep us up to date with that.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 9:46
Definitely will do.
Gillian Duncan 9:48
So, can you tell me more about how you choose your course of treatment and were you unsure on how to proceed as it seems like there's so many options out there for you.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 10:00
Yeah, it was definitely a dilemma because as I said, at the time of this sort of mental health crisis, I had also recently undergone a spiritual awakening. So I was reading all of these, you know, blog posts and books about healing yourself. And in a lot of these books and communities, people equate healing with finding a cure. And I'm not going to argue against people who just say they've experienced metaphysical healing I, anything is possible, right? For me, I knew that this wasn't something that was just going to go away through, you know, affirmations and positive thoughts. This was an opportunity for me to really unpack all these layers of me and learn how to exist as my sensitive, too much, highly emotional self in such a harsh world and so, I kept coming back to the same kind of therapy. And it's funny because I kept getting nudges from the universe that this specific kind of therapy should be for me, I had people suggest it to me over and over for years, and every time I got around to signing up for this programme, I would be feeling better. And I was like, 'Oh, I don't need that. I don't need that right now'. So I signed up for a year-long, so a big commitment, a year-long therapy programme called Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, and...
Gillian Duncan 11:34
That's a big word. You must explain more!
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 11:36
Yes! So, a lot of people are familiar with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. But Dialectical Behavioural Therapy is very practical and skills based. And what it means to be a dialectic means basically, to see seemingly opposing truths that can coexist at the same time. And to unpack that, I mean to say, the ultimate dialectic is that we can accept ourselves just as we are, and we can also desire and cultivate change.
Gillian Duncan 12:11
That's brilliant. Yes. Perfect.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 12:13
And so, yeah, so, this past year, I've been in Dialectical Behavioural Therapy. Once a week, I see my individual therapist, and then once a week, I go to a skills group where I sit as a patient in and with 10 other people and learn skills to be able to function, and now thrive as myself with this mood disorder. It is been the most game changing thing for me. And I wish DBT was taught in schools. It is mindfulness. It is interpersonal effectiveness, all skills that everyone needs in life, not just people that struggle with mental illness.
Gillian Duncan 12:53
Yeah, no, I can hear that. I think that's a brilliant concept you've stumbled across. I think that the programme that you're on sounds very, very good, and as you say, is coming in from all angles, so that holistic approach to it...
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 13:05
Definitely and you know, to, in full disclosure, I'm also on prescription medication, psychiatric medication. And that was a big thing for me. And in a lot of areas people stigmatise others for taking medication and they see that something that is weak or, 'Oh, you, you're taking the easy way out by taking medication'. People who decide to take medication; that is a very personal and difficult decision. And it's not at all taking the easy way out. People say, 'Oh, well, just eat well and exercise', and I'm like, 'I do that. I meditate. I do all the things and I still need medication'. And I don't think that impacts my ability to act to myself. And it's a very personal choice. So I've had you know, I felt shame for taking it. I tell people, I have this, um, little saying that taking my psychiatric medication is a goddamn spiritual practice! And because I feel like I've had some stigma around, around it, and I'd say, 'I pray over my medication when I take it', and I say, 'Spirit, Universe, Source, let this, you know, assist me and serve me in the way I need it'. And so, I yes, I take psychiatric medication, and I meditate, and I do DBT and I do a lot of things. And I think when I first went on this journey, it felt as if I had to choose either, you know, biomedicine which is our standard Western therapy and psychiatric medication or more holistic treatments, like acupuncture, I even saw a shamanic healer. So, it's not that I'm endorsing one over the other. My whole thing is, you get to choose.
Gillian Duncan 14:57
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 14:59
And, and my, part of my Middle Way Wellness philosophy, as a, as my career as a health coach is all about, you take whatever serves you and leave the rest.
Gillian Duncan 15:08
Absolutely. I love that. I'm still thinking about the negative comments that you've received over taking medication. And you know, people saying to you, 'Oh it's the easy way out'. And I think back to my own studies, I studied neuropharmacology. So obviously I had to look into medications that you, perhaps, would be taking. I know that it's not just so easy. And personally, I've, you know, speaking from somebody who's got 101 allergies and intolerances to medications your GP will prescribe, I know that taking medications, like these do have side effects. You know, you're introducing a chemical into your body. Obviously, it's going to do more than one thing. And it is a huge, huge decision to make, right? You had to take time over it. You had to decide whether it was going to have more benefits for you, and you had to work that out. You didn't just close the book there, and you just said, 'Yeah, I've got the pills, I'm just going to pop them, and that's, that's where it's going to end'. You've gone on this wonderful journey of, 'What else can I do, not to be cured, but to embrace the situation, and to find out more about me, and what this condition means to me and how I can use it to my benefits. But, you know, also how can I recognise when I'm not feeling so great, and when I need extra help?'. I think this is a wonderful, just a wonderful journey that you've been on.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 16:42
Yeah. And, and I want to speak to your, your note about the side effects and that is very true. And when I was hospitalised, put on a medication that I had resisted going on for so long, because I knew one of the major side effects was the weight gain. And I did gain weight, and now, I'm off that medication now, and sort of recalibrating my, my metabolism and all of that. At the time, it, that felt devastating and so when people make the very difficult decision to go on medication it is definitely not the easy way out. I, in order to stabilise so that I could do this deep healing work, I had to be okay with that time.
Gillian Duncan 16:43
Yeah. And in something like gaining weight, it really knocks your self esteem.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 17:36
Gillian Duncan 17:37
You know, you've gained it, not through your own self indulgences, it's been your metabolism that's getting messed up and can't do anything about that. You're trying to heal one part of your life yet, you're sort of, not damaging, but you're sort of having a negative effect on another part. And I just had to weigh that up. There's, it's like those scales. You know, you're constantly trying to find a balance but you have to find the way forward, for that moment You know that it is not forever, but you know, just at that moment you need that help. And you know, that is the way that you need to go.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 18:11
Gillian Duncan 18:11
So that you can address other situations.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 18:14
Right. And, you know, again, some people don't need medication. And some people can go on this journey with adopting, spiritual practices, holistic medicine, and the like. But for a lot of people who have serious mental health conditions like bipolar, clinical depression, in my case bipolar II, taking the medication can stabilise things so that you can do all of those other things. And I think that's what people forget is it's not that we're, that I'm lazy and don't want to do the work. It's that I, I needed that, that to level out so that I could do that inner work.
Gillian Duncan 18:53
It is also that whole story is it's there and it's a chance for you to be helped, and you're ready to open up other parts of your life and if it's there and you're getting offered it, then, okay, weigh up the pros and cons, but make that, you know, decision. You know, it's like any other treatment, so if it's there, and you're getting advised, and you're taking that medical advice. You're helping yourself try and rebalance, then you know, consider it, there's absolutely no shame.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 19:23
Right, well and I would advise anyone who's, who's struggling and seeking treatment, to really, to limit how much advice they're receiving. I wrote a post the other day about if you are not someone's medical doctor or practitioner or the like, you should ask permission before giving people ideas as for ways to treat their illnesses. So, I was talking to a group of people at an event like five or six people, we were chatting about different health things and I was saying, 'Oh yeah, I have this, you know this, and someone was like, 'Oh no, Saralyn, don't claim that diagnosis. You don't want to put that in your psyche'. It's like, they don't know what I don't know, the journey I've been on. So, especially someone who's not, who's still struggling, for someone to then insert themselves in that situation and lay down their opinion as fact, that can be very invalidating. So, I think if you're currently in a place where you're trying to decide what's best for you limit, either limit the number of people you share with or if people insert themselves you can just politely say, 'I'm you know, I , my preferred treatment is... if I need, if I want, you know, your advice I will ask for it'.
Gillian Duncan 20:47
You have the right to be blunt, like that. And anybody who's giving out advice, and hears that in return, really should understand that you're not being rude. You're just being firm and you have a right to say it. You know, I mean, people are always, they're always wanting the best for you, most of the time, you know, they're, but it, I think when it, as we just said, comes to mental wellness, I honestly think people are scared to address that. I think you know, as you said, people are asking you, should you be so open about this? Should you be telling people about it? And then the minute you do they're, they're giving you all this advice. And as I say there's different levels. And being diagnosed with what you have been diagnosed with, it is a little bit more advanced, I would say, than other people's conditions that perhaps they can be managed out with, sort of a medical intervention. So, I do hear you and I do see that there is a need for, not just the medical side but also a side for you to embrace as a person who is living along with this condition. It's not even separate to you. And this is, this is why I'm finding it hard to have words because it is you. It's nothing separate. This is you that we're talking about. It's, you know, it's not some separate issue. It's you as a whole, and yeah...
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 22:20
It's a part of me for sure.
Gillian Duncan 22:22
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 22:23
And that's why, you know, I had someone comment on a post the other day saying, 'I know how to cure bipolar'.
Gillian Duncan 22:30
I saw that post. I laughed at that post. I really did.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 22:34
And I think I said something along the lines of, 'No, thanks'.
Gillian Duncan 22:39
You said it so politely. You even sent, I think it was, a heart emoji you put beside it as well. I love that. It was so sweetly done.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 22:47
Yeah. No, thanks. Because without this bipolar, you know, and and again, it's not so much the diagnosis, that is...maybe it's the, more the way people see it, as a disorder or something to be, that's something that is bad. Because for me, having this condition is whether you call it an illness, a disease or a gift, I mean, it's all words, but having this has allowed me to uncover so much about myself so much about my resilience, my strength, you know, look, throughout history, some of the most amazing people have had struggles with mental health. And I think we need to start seeing it differently. Rather than, 'Oh, all of these suffering, we need to cure them'. It should be, 'Wow, they're suffering, what in our world is not allowing them to thrive?'
Gillian Duncan 23:47
Yeah we need to do something about it, rather than put our hands up and keeping everybody an arm's length.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 23:52
Right. And this is instead of, 'This is the way you should be, we should fix you now'. It's maybe it's that we're suffering because our kind of, our, you know, brand of person, our intuitive ability, like all of these things aren't being welcomed in the world. And, you know, there's so many great people throughout history that had mental health problems and they didn't live long enough. And I can only imagine if we talk more about this and we show that people with these conditions can manage them, and then harness those gifts that they give. And, and when I say that, I, I do have a fear that people will think I'm kind of making mental health problems sound, glorifying them, but I, I hope, I hope that it doesn't come across that way because it has taken me a long time to go from a place of shame and then to thinking there's something wrong with me, to now feeling like, 'Okay, I have this very complicated nature, but now I can manage it, not just manage it, but embrace it and use it to serve the world'.
Gillian Duncan 25:04
Yeah, absolutely. I think that you're thriving from it really. I think from what I can see, I think that you're, you've not only embraced it, you have taken it into your soul, into your heart and you're using the creativity of it, the emotional side of it, the sensitivity that you have been given and been blessed with and your journey and your passion for life, to go out there and to help others turn something that everybody else - and everybody else will see it as negative, but you've taken it and you've turned it around and said, 'No, actually, this is, you know, this is a positive part of me. This is who I am. Get used to it. Going to use it for the, for the greater good.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 25:51
Gillian Duncan 25:51
'You know, I don't, I don't want to, I don't want to shove it in a box and stick it somewhere else. You know, I want to be able to understand it. I want it to be a part of my life. I just need the little bit of control on it. I'm gaining that control. And I'm, you know, finding a way of living in harmony with the condition.'
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 26:14
Gillian Duncan 26:14
Yeah, absolutely just to be so positive about it. It's just fantastic. So I'm going to ask you, and I'm going to ask this question and I know what the answer is, before I ask it. But I think that when you're faced with a condition, which can, you know, change your life really, I mean, this is what we are talking about. We're changing the perception that we've had on our life and in the direction in which we're going in life and whatever goals we might have, might have to change. I've been there myself several times with illness and injury over the years, and as I said before we were on, came on live onto the show, I've had a series of illnesses and a series of injuries. Every so often, you know, my goals, my dreams have had to have a different direction. You get asked that question. 'What are you going to do? What'll happen now?', and every time you have to stop and think and readjust. But the biggest point is that when you're told something that you don't want to hear with your health, the biggest point is to face it. And to, in my opinion, is to have your, you know, your crying, your absolute drama queen moments. Slam the door in a huff, whatever it takes to try and get those emotions back on board. You have to do that, then you have to speak to yourself, and you have to accept, it's a moment of acceptance, that this is what's happening to you, and what are you going to do about it? You know, and so this is the whole point of embracing the diagnosis that you've just been given. So I want to ask you, and I know the answer, do you feel that you've embraced your diagnosis?
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 27:56
I do. I really do. I think when I started on the year long commitment to dialectical behavioural therapy, well now it's been over a year and I'm still doing it, one of the first, one of the main tenets is this concept of radical acceptance. Because when we are failing against reality, we cost suffering. So if you are sick or have an illness or, and, and you're in denial, 'I don't accept this. I don't accept this. This isn't fair. This isn't what I want'.
Gillian Duncan 28:31
Which is completely natural, isn't it?
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 28:34
It's totally normal, right. And yes, it's totally valid to have those whiny moments, right? And then coming to a place of, 'Okay, this is where I'm at'. And it is true with anything. So me gaining weight, 'Okay, this is where I'm at', you know, and it took a while to accept that and the interesting thing is, in my view, in order to make, create change in order to cultivate health, in order to cultivate healing, whatever that means for you, you can't leave out that acceptance piece. Because as long as you pursue change from a place of fighting yourself and fighting reality, it's going to be a struggle and it's going to cause suffering. And so me accepting my diagnosis? I have it in my Instagram bio. Bipolar II. People are like, 'Damn, like, you're laying it out there!
Gillian Duncan 29:34
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 29:35
And, you know, for me, it is a big part of who I am. It has been a catalyst for this healing process and introspection and for that I am so grateful. So yes, I have bipolar disorder. And I'm sure a lot of, maybe some listeners are like, 'No Saralyn, you don't. You're, that's not you', but that idea that 'do not accept a diagnosis' to me, and to a lot of people with disabilities and chronic conditions, that seems ableist.
Gillian Duncan 30:10
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 30:11
That seems like you want to fix me. And there is something wrong. And I don't see having Bipolar II as bad. It has been a struggle, and that almost cost me my life. But because of it, I am now on this podcast.
Gillian Duncan 30:29
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 30:30
You know, done the inner healing and it was not easy. So I hope that listeners don't think that this was a simple thing and that if they are struggling to seek psychiatric support, and ask for help
Gillian Duncan 30:48
Yeah. The key thing is to reach out, isn't it? Find somebody that you can talk to. Somebody that you can, you feel that you can trust. Take a quiet moment, whatever it takes, but you've got to reach out, don't you?
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 31:01
Definitely. And it's sometimes it's hard, especially if you're struggling with clinical depression, you don't. That's the last thing you want to do. So, and there's lots of resources and I can share them with you and so you can add them in the, in the notes.
Gillian Duncan 31:14
That would be wonderful. Thank you,
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 31:16
Gillian Duncan 31:17
So, I want to come on to this part of your journey, now. You've gone through pretty much hell and back. You've found that you have your Bipolar II. You've got that diagnosis. You've been to that dark edge, and you've worked so hard, and you brought yourself to the place where you are now. And the place where you are now is truly amazing, and truly inspirational, motivational to everybody. You are a certified health and wellness coach and you've been successful as well in your career. I would just like to ask you, I know from again, my experience as a Coach that my health and my illnesses over the years has given me more of an edge, in the sense that I feel I can understand my clients a lot more from where they're coming from. And I wondered if your diagnosis has given you a unique perspective on your clients' own personal issues, you know, do you feel that it makes you a stronger coach?
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 32:24
Most definitely. I know many people who go into the field of coaching, whether health and wellness or life, or anything, they think that you have to have this perception that you have it all together. Or, 'I need to be fully, you know, well or living the life'
Gillian Duncan 32:46
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 32:46
Yeah. To be able to coach people on these things, but it's actually the quite opposite. The people who are really in the trenches with some of these, some of these topics, they're the best ones to coach and then your clients are mirrors for you. So when I coach someone, and they're talking to me about, you know, 'Oh, like I'm so unhappy with my body right now. And I'm avoiding the mirror', and it's like, I'm, they're talking about me. And, and so really when you are in that place where you've, you've really been with your clients, it has a whole, another level of trust between coach and client. It has a whole another level of insight and empathy. I mean, I've worked with coaches and I wouldn't want to work with a coach who looks like they had it all together. I would think, 'I don't relate to them'. This you know, perfect and of course, it's never perfect, it's appearances can be deceiving, but for me, really going through all of these very dark periods, has allowed me to really see and hear maybe what a client isn't saying.
Gillian Duncan 34:01
Yes. You can read between the lines.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 34:03
Gillian Duncan 34:05
I know, a lot can be said without saying anything.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 34:08
Gillian Duncan 34:08
Do you not find? And I always remember, that I remember going to my doctors years ago and they always said to me, 'You know, it's the comment of a patient just before they leave the surgery, that's usually the important one'. So, they'll go in with a problem and they'll talk about a problem but they'll mention something just as they're about to leave the door, and that is the real problem, and that's why they came to them. I often think that when, you know, in coaching clients, they'll see something on the side, or they'll just sort throw it in and, and that's what you can pick up on. I think when you've been through it, because you understand, and you know, that it's more than what they're telling you.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 34:47
Most definitely. I used to lead, I worked for a large commercial weight loss company for a couple years, and my focus isn't weight loss anymore, it's holistic wellness, but at the time, so many people who came, were like, 'I want to lose weight'. It really wasn't about the weight. And I remember when I hired my first coach, I sat down and she's like, 'What are your goals?', and I remember, I came in thinking my whole goal was to lose weight and the first thing that came out of my mouth wasn't to lose weight it was, 'I want to feel content with my body, regardless of the size'. Then I was like, 'Whoa, I didn't see that coming!'
Gillian Duncan 35:30
It just came out!
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 35:32
So that's the beauty of working with the coaches. You're really confronting, like what is really going on and what, you know, what you think you need help with.
Gillian Duncan 35:44
Yeah! And, obviously, you know where you've been, where you've gone through, all your journey is absolutely key to being a remarkable health and wellness coach. So fantastic. I'm so pleased that you've completely gone on this journey and that you're sharing your knowledge and your experience in order to help others. It's just amazing. So, I know that you've now got a membership programme put together to help others, which is absolutely awesome. And it's called My Middle Way Wellness.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 36:14
Yes, The Middle Way Wellness Membership. And so, 'Middle Way' is not something I invented. 'Middle Way' is a philosophy that can be found in Buddhism, Christianity, personal development and modern psychology and I became familiar with the concept of the Middle Way through dialectical behavioural therapy, of all things. And when I talked to you about those two seemingly opposed routes of acceptance and change, that centre where you find them is your wise mind. Your intuition. Your Middle Way or middle path. And so my whole philosophy around wellness is not being swayed by dogma and dichotomous thinking, like good food, bad food. You know holistic, biomedicine. It's all about finding the Middle Way or more accurately, your own way to health and wellness. And so being in DBT is really informed the Middle Way Wellness Membership, and the membership is, is a great offering. It's a lovely community of seekers who are combining spiritual modalities with health and wellness aims. And it's just, it's an amazing community and I provide monthly workbooks, mantras and a live Sacred circle, and a habits calendar that can print out so it's, it's a really great, great offering. I really put my heart into it and it's been an amazing, amazing experience so far.
Gillian Duncan 37:51
It sounds, absolutely fantastic. And as I say, it's reflecting everything that you have learned and everything that you have gone through, and you're packaging that up and sharing it with others, which is absolutely amazing and fantastic. So I will put the links to your website, which has details of the membership there, and also details of your Facebook page on the show notes for this podcast. And then our listeners will be able to get in contact with you and discover lots more about you and what you do.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 38:25
Awesome. Sounds wonderful.
Gillian Duncan 38:26
So thank you so much for joining me today. I truly appreciate how open you have been about your journey to healing, and I know that by sharing your own story, you're going to help inspire so many others to stay strong, and find their own path.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 38:45
Thank you so much. This has been a true joy, and I'm, I'm so glad that I can show up and tell my story.
Gillian Duncan 38:52
Thank you so much. It's been an absolute pleasure to chat with you today.
Saralyn Salisbury-Jones 38:57
Gillian Duncan 38:58
That's all for this episode. My sincerest thanks to Saralyn Salisbury-Jones for sharing her inspiring story so openly with us today. To find out how you can connect with Saralyn, visit clarityjunction.com/pathtohealing, where you will find links to Saralyn's membership platform, her website and Facebook page.
Thanks for listening. Remember to subscribe to the Clarity Junction podcast so that you never miss an episode, and head over to clarityjunction.com and sign up to our free membership and Facebook group.
Bye for now and keep being awesome.
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