1. What made you decide to work with Diane? Was there an obvious advantage or anything specific that made her stand out in some way?
I learned about Diane through her website. What impressed me was that her website was very professional and that she seemed to do a lot of research. Her motto is “Conscientious and Caring Medicine” and I can say that from the very first sessions, I felt that she was conscientious (and I have trust issues). After a bout with breast cancer, I saw two different natural health practitioners and didn’t feel that they knew what I needed. I felt they were trying things to see if they worked. Now that I have been with Diane for about two years, I truly understand, through what I have experienced, that all of our bodies are very different. For this reason I would never go a practitioner who did not in some way get information from my body. Be it through tests, intuition, or some other system. Even with tests, I believe that the best naturopaths are intuitive. Diane, through BodyTalk is able to communicate with my body. At first I thought, “OK, let’s wait and see”, but the results have convinced me otherwise.
2. What was life like before working with Diane?
I finished my cancer treatments a year and a half before I went to see Diane. Before I had cancer, I would have told you that I was very happy. I woke up with something to look forward to every day, because I danced almost every day. Dancing was my hobby. I didn’t even want to go on vacation. Everything else took second place. I liked to dance. I woke up happy and went to bed happy, every day. I often stopped through the day to thank God for the happiness I felt. My happiness was real. As well, I ate organic food, obviously got enough exercise, had bought into a lot of new age advice; I forgave everyone, looked for the good in everyone and everything, tried not to think negatively. I felt I was on the right track. Then I got cancer. My first reaction was to keep doing what I’d always done. I didn’t know how to improve on things, and I was happy. Then, I remembered a saying that I believe is true, “If you keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same results.” So, I decided I had to change something. I started reading up on breast cancer, changed my diet, and went to a naturopathic doctor, until I became so obsessed with my health, that one night, I just started crying. I felt that I was carrying the whole world on my shoulders and that if I took the time to breathe, it might come crashing down. I knew I couldn’t go on like that. I realize now, that this feeling that I need to control everything in my life was there, even before I got cancer. Even though, I can still honestly say I felt very happy at the time, I also had an underlying feeling that I didn’t have as much as everyone else. I also had a lot of underlying anger. I often felt disrespected. Getting approval from others controlled most of my actions and thoughts. Unacknowledged thoughts and feelings, such as these, are how I believe I got to the point where I got cancer.
3. How has working with Diane helped?
Working with Diane has changed my life. I can see very clearly now why I’ve done many of the things I’ve done, and I can stop blaming myself for them. Now that my energy level is getting back up to what it used to be, I can honestly say I’m glad I got cancer, because now I don’t have to feel inadequate. I don’t have to feel I’m not as good as other people, or that I don’t deserve as much as other people. I’m not as confused as I used to be. I can see myself clearly in the world. I don’t always like what I see, but I have the strength to look at it. I have the strength to feel and accept my emotions. I have the strength to love myself as I am. Do I accept and love myself as much as I would like to now? No, but I know I’m on my way. As well, I am much more confident in what I want. I trust my feelings a lot more than I did. I stand up for myself a thousand times more easily than I used to. (I didn’t even realize I had a problem standing up for myself before I went to Diane. I made excuses for everybody.) I am also more spontaneous. I worry a lot less. I am able to accept things as they are. I don’t get frustrated or angry as easily as I used to. I am learning that my body can handle itself, and it can heal itself. I don’t need to control everything that goes into it. The list of positive changes goes on.
4. Tell us more about the process and how you worked it through.
As Diane has explained it’s a little like peeling an onion. You start with one layer then, go to the next. For example, in my case, I had to learn to separate who I was, from everyone else, before I could learn to be angry at someone, without making excuses for them. Diane doesn’t lead the process, she gets her cues from the body, or from something that you say to her. In my treatments, there is some conversation, if I initiate it, but it is limited. She does energetic treatments and things start to come out of me; it could be anger, revelations, etc. I notice my behaviour changes also. It’s a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s slow in fact. In the beginning, I was sometimes impatient, but now I don’t feel that it’s slow because I discover new things about myself and I see myself changing every month. It’s a fascinating process.
5. What is it about working with Diane that you find most valuable?
Diane has such wisdom. When I ask her a question about something that is troubling me, she always gives me a whole new perspective on the situation. I often feel my questions or problems are silly, but she sees an opening to a larger, more fundamental problem. As well, because she validates my “silly” problem, she teaches me to validate my thoughts and ideas. Diane has taught me that the thoughts that keep coming back are my body’s way of trying to get my attention. Now, instead of trying to hush them, I acknowledge them, pull out my journal and see what else they can tell me, or I bring them up to Diane and with her treatments, she helps me make sense of them. She truly realizes everyone will work through things in their own way, and in their own time. If I ask her, should I write about this in a journal, she says yes. If I feel the need to read more about a particular problem I have, she always has a few suggestions to offer. That’s why I’m sure everyone’s treatment is unique to them. The real value is in the changes she has facilitated in me. Without her, or some other kind of intervention, I would not be where I am.
6. What have you learned about yourself?
One thing that shocked me about myself was how much anger I had. This was anger about things that I didn’t even realize upset me; let alone made me angry. I wrote pages and pages in my journal. Once the anger was out, it became part of the past. I was free of it. It still mystifies me that there existed a whole world of emotions that I knew nothing about. I feel I’ve spent a lot of time not facing truths that I thought would be too painful, but, when I faced them, I realized they weren’t as painful as the pain of everything I did to try to avoid them.
7. What have been your biggest insights/light bulb moments from working with Diane?
There have been so many. One insight which seems obvious to me now is that; how we feel doesn’t need to be changed, it needs to be felt. Something that Diane said to me one day really struck me. She said, “Francine, you have to live with yourself, you don’t have a choice, you might as well like everything about yourself.” The perfectionist in me was also relieved to hear her say that I might not want to resolve all of my issues in this lifetime. I might leave some for the next life. This was freeing because it made me realize that I would never attain my idea of perfection. Something that blew my mind, when I first started to realize it, is, that I’d learned what I believed was my place in the world and my relationship to it, even before I could walk or talk; this determined what I said and did until I started treatments with Diane.
8. What are you working on now? What is life like now?
I am working on a few issues that I’m conflicted about right now, but the beauty of it is that I don’t have to try to solve these issues mentally. I know that the right answer for me is inside me, and it will come to me in time, if I am open to the answer.
9. What is the single most important benefit that you’ve achieved from working with Diane?
Confidence in being who I am.
10. What do you think life is going to be like in the future after today?
When I originally came to Diane, my goal was to improve my physical health. Once that was done, I would be fine and I wouldn’t need to see a naturopathic doctor anymore. We would discover that I had some kind of imbalance, some kind of sensitivity, or allergy. We would correct the problem, and I would be on my way. Working with Diane has made me look at my body in a whole new light. To be well, everything about me has to be well, because the mind, the emotions and the body all work together. Because of this, I will continue working with Diane as long as I can feel the changes. What do I think the future will be like? I don’t know, but I do think that as I learn to be more honest with myself, get to know myself better, and accept myself more, my life will naturally change. I know these changes are permanent, because they are from the inside out. I feel if I don’t allow the changes to happen from the inside out, if I don’t respect my core, I will go back to the way I was, mentally and physically, because my core is what regulates my health and my thoughts, and it is not my will that regulates my heath or who I am. Diane helps you discover your core.
11. What would you like to celebrate?
The freedom that I feel in being myself.
— Francine, Age 51, ESL Instructor, Toronto