Listening To Our Body’s Messages So We Can Heal Our Life – Ep#046 Petra Rakebrandt, CHHC

Real lasting health is about balancing all aspects of our being. We can be eating the right foods, taking all the correct supplements, exercising well, maybe even have all the right things crossed off on our To Do List: Career, Family, Relationship, House, Bank Account ….BUT what happens when we still have chronic muscle pain, excess weight, digestive issues, sleep disturbances, fatigue, cravings or even the experience of anxiety, depression and disillusionment?

When our body is really struggling to find balance, maybe it’s time to look deeper for the soul lesson.

On this episode, you’ll meet an amazing woman whose journey of personal transformation shows us exactly what we need to do to bring balance into our lives to experience greater health and happiness., Petra Rakebrandt, author of YIN IS THE NEW BLACK.

Petra is a fellow Holistic Health Coach and Yin Yoaga Teacher with training in life coaching, business coaching, integrative nutrition, Reiki, EFT, Polarity Therapy and CBT. In her book, she shares how divorce, constant sickness, and a stressful corporate job were the catalyst to wake up and start living the life she loves.

Listen to our soul centered conversation about what we know to be the ultimate medicine for all that ails us — giving ourselves permission to be our authentic self.

Learn more about Petra Rakebrandt and get 2 free chapters of her book :

Follow her on Instagram: @pepirakebrandt

Get a copy of Yin Is The New Black on Amazon

Podcast Transcript

0 (1s):
Welcome to the Soul Science Nutrition Podcast, where you’ll discover that when it comes to your health, you’re so much more powerful than you’ve been led to believe. And now your host, she’s a holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach, chef author, and Yogi, Christine OKezie.

Christine Okezie (22s):
Hello, and welcome to The Soul Science Nutrition Podcast. I’m Christine Okeze. Thanks so much for listening today. So everyone aspires to be healthy and happy seems pretty straightforward. We’re told to focus on eating right and exercise for our body, and that’s great, but what about a genuine commitment to our emotional and mental wellbeing? Real lasting health is all about balancing, balancing all aspects of our lives. We can be eating the right foods, taking all the right supplements, exercising, maybe even have all the right things crossed off on our to-do list. Career family, relationship, house, bank account, but we still have physical symptom, muscle pain, excess weight, digestive issues, sleep disturbances, fatigue, cravings, the experience of anxiety, depression, or maybe just an overall anxst and sense of disillusionment.

Christine Okezie (1m 22s):
In other words, however, it’s showing up in our lives there’s clearly something, something else that needs our attention and our body is giving us important feedback in its struggle to find balance. And here’s what I know if we don’t heed these divine messages, if we don’t get curious and go deeper into the inner workings of what it takes to create health looking for, what’s maybe out of alignment, what’s underneath the disharmony that’s causing us not to feel good. Well, if we don’t listen, we miss the opportunity to create the health, frankly, the life that we love.

Christine Okezie (2m 11s):
Now, when you feel out of balance, just kind of out of step, a useful frame to see what’s going on in your life is using the characteristics of the ancient yang and yin energies. Now not withstanding the epic changes of this global pandemic, we still know that as a society, there’s a tendency to be more yang in terms of our lifestyle that is busy, externally focused, lots of doing proving and producing traits associated with yang energy, our masculine active outward while yin traits are more associated with the feminine, more inward, more slow, receptive, soft, and we can all, and maybe aspects of our lives from the way that we do food, physical exercise, sleep career, even relationship.

Christine Okezie (3m 8s):
We can maybe look to the principles of yin and yang and maybe find out where we’re out of sync in this regard while today’s amazing guest whose journey of personal transformation is all about what we need to do to bring this balance, this healing bounce back into our lives so that we can experience genuine health and happiness. And she’s Petra Rakebrandt, author of a fabulous book available on Amazon. Yin Is The New Black – Yin Is The New Black. I love the title. Petra is a fellow holistic health coach with training in life, coaching, business, coaching, integrative nutrition, Reiki, EFT, and CBT among other things.

Christine Okezie (3m 49s):
And in her book, Petra shares how divorce constant sickness and a stressful corporate job where the catalysts to wake up and start living the life that she loves ever since the day, 14 years ago, when she left everything behind and bought a one-way ticket to the Caribbean. Petra has been coaching people to free themselves of negative beliefs and fear-driven thinking she likes to think of herself as an Energy Artist, someone who uses many different tools to help others, to paint a beautiful new version of their life. One filled with color, vibrancy and joy. I can’t wait for you to draw some inspiration from this soul centered conversation about what we know to be the ultimate medicine for all that ails us, giving yourself permission to be your authentic self.

Christine Okezie (4m 40s):
If you liked the show, please feel free to leave a rating and review on Apple podcast. And if you haven’t already hit that subscribe button, please do so that helps me keep these empowering messages growing out there. Thank you and enjoy the show. Hi, Petra. Welcome to the podcast. Great to have you there today.

Petra Rakebrandt (4m 58s):
Hello Christine. Thank you for this invitation. I’m really happy.

Christine Okezie (5m 2s):
Oh, it’s my pleasure. And I’m so good to talk to you all the way from beautiful sunny tropical Guadalupe. So I, you know, you look like you’re just really having a wonderful time there and I want to dive into your story. So take me back, take me back to a time in your life. When you were the managing our managing director in corporate America, you had the nice salary, the nice home, the right marriage, you know, everything seemed to be working out for you, right? And then what happened?

Petra Rakebrandt (5m 35s):
That was this time in the corporate world, but by the way, in Germany, I’m German. And I lived in Germany at that time. And I did like everybody else was doing, I had a good job. I was married and I was suffering. That was back at that time. And it was really a time where I finally understand that I have to change my life. Otherwise at one point I had the feeling either I change or I die. And I think I said it also in my book like this, because it was, this is what I was feeling at that time. It sounds really.

Petra Rakebrandt (6m 16s):
How would you say it sounds strong, but it was what I felt I had for seven years almost nonstop, a sinus infection. I had always back pain, neck pain, jaw pain, all the pains that you can imagine, and no doctor could help. No pill could help. Nothing was changing. So at one point I was really understanding. There needs to be something else that saves me, and that might be probably a life change, a totally do over. Wow.

Christine Okezie (6m 52s):
Wow. Looking back, you know, what was your body trying to communicate with you?

Petra Rakebrandt (6m 59s):
Well, for many years, I didn’t understand. I wasn’t listening or I didn’t get the right messages from my body, but I think it was really telling me that I’m not living my life. And now when I think back, I always wanted to leave Germany. I always knew that I need sunshine. I really I’m freezing in Germany. I was freezing the whole winter time. And also one winter. I was standing at the bus station that was 4:00 PM. It was dark. And it hit me like, Oh my gosh, it’s just November. It will be dark for another four month. And I felt so stressed by just knowing it will be dark and Colton out for the next four months.

Petra Rakebrandt (7m 43s):
And it’s really something that I just couldn’t manage. I, I wasn’t made for Germany.

Christine Okezie (7m 51s):
And you weren’t necessarily made for corporate America?

Petra Rakebrandt (7m 54s):
No. Either way. The lifestyle of that. Yeah. I just, I just thought this is what everybody wanted to achieve. And this was always in my head. Like you have to prove something you’ll have to be better. And my parents, they didn’t study. We were a regular normal German household and we had everything, but for me it looked like I don’t have enough and I want more. So for me, it meant I have to study more. I have to make more money. I have to more and more and more to be happy. And each time I had more, I felt like, Hmm, that doesn’t bring more happiness. What’s wrong.

Petra Rakebrandt (8m 34s):
Okay. So, but it took me really many years to understand that that what I was thinking makes me happy. It’s not making you happy.

Christine Okezie (8m 44s):
Thank you. Okay. So instead of treating the symptoms, which is what was going on with your headaches, your migraines, your back pain and all of the, you know, the ailments, everything you decided it was time to kind of get to the heart of the issue and to really feel yourself. Yeah. So what, walk us through your steps. How did you find your path to do that?

Petra Rakebrandt (9m 6s):
What I realized one point is that just treating symptoms is very short term. Of course, you can take an antibiotic and your sinus infection will go away for a while. Right. But then you start wondering why it’s coming back all the time and it’s almost constantly. And then I figured out, I started seeing a homeopath practitioner. She did Reiki. And then I think through her, I realized like, Oh my gosh, there’s something else too, to help. They are not just pills and there’s something deeper. And then she really opened my eyes that your body wants to tell you something.

Petra Rakebrandt (9m 47s):
Wow. And especially with the nose, like she said, your nose is full. You know, it’s like an expression in Germany. You don’t, you can’t smell it anymore. You are really fed up with something. If you have a sinus infection all the time. Okay. Okay. And then there was another point and each time I was traveling and I came home, I, each time I had to go and see my chiropractor, and one time I was laying on, on the front and he was working on my back and my shoulders. And he said to this rocker brand, are you sure you like coming home

Christine Okezie (10m 24s):

Petra Rakebrandt (10m 24s):
Cannot imagine what happened in my heart? And I felt the tears in my eyes and I felt like he triggered exactly what was happening. He didn’t like to come home. It was each time I come home from a vacation that I dislocated a disc or that I was really stuck in my body. And then the moment when he said that, I thought, no, there’s really something going on. I have to, I have to unstuck and unblock all these joints and beliefs and symptoms. Otherwise it will never go away. Wow.

Christine Okezie (11m 1s):
That’s so profound. Thank you. So it’s pretty scary to make change though. It is. And you write a lot about it in your book, you know, your, your amazing book, the yin is the new black walk us through like your inspiration to write that. And essentially, you know, I find it found it to be very inspirational for people who were really struggling with fear. And when fear about change, fear about confronting, what really needs your attention in your inner world. So what was the inspiration to write the book and, and how did that, what was your realization around fear and how it went? You know, it used to hold you back.

Petra Rakebrandt (11m 39s):
Yeah. When I wrote the book, I already had changed and I lived in the Caribbean and I realized how profound this change was for my whole life for everything. So I thought maybe this is something that people need hear, because it’s the fear. Also the fear that holds me back, changing something in my life earlier. I really, I suffered for 15 years and I stayed in my marriage. I stayed in Hamburg either, either, either. I know I want to live at the beach. And when I got married, my husband at that time promised me, we bought him move back. I wanted to go back to LA. I lived there for a year.

Petra Rakebrandt (12m 20s):
Okay. There was always an excuse. And then at one point he moved away for his workplace and we had a long distance relationship. Interesting. This was an interesting wake up for me, but he suddenly all these excuses, he had not to move away. They didn’t count when it was for him. And then I realized, are you really living your life? And that was really a big wake up. And from then on, I started to look into myself, what’s holding me back, living my life. And well, of course it was for you. What, what will happen if I get out of the marriage?

Petra Rakebrandt (13m 1s):
If we get separated, even if we get divorced, maybe is there any other job? How will I make money? Not all these beliefs that we have and real fears. I mean, fear, fear of security. Is there security for me? Can I make money enough? There’s so many fears which hold me stuck. And I’m getting over these years, the only way to get out of the situation where you feel stuck in whatever fear it is. And I see it in my clients today, it’s we have fears of everything. Fear of falling in love. Again, fear of changing the job for you of moving away.

Petra Rakebrandt (13m 41s):
Change obviously seems to be so fearful so that we maybe prefer staying stuck in a, in a hurtful comfort zone.

Christine Okezie (13m 53s):
Thank you. Yeah, exactly. And it’s almost the, what we know the devil is, what did they say? The devil, you know, is better than, than when you don’t know. Right. But that’s very paralyzing. And from what you described, you know, we were talking about, you know, your soul, we’re talking about kind of the part of us, the real essence of us sort of being put on hold or put away. No, no.

Petra Rakebrandt (14m 21s):
And even though that I, I always had this like a sense that is something deeper. That is a soul, but it was so difficult to tap into this. I really couldn’t. I knew there was something, but I didn’t know how to get them. And even when I look back and Germany, when you’re a Christian, you have a, like a confirmation it’s called and you have to pick a phrase from the Bible. And I took a phrase from the Bible about the soul. So what is the sense if you win everything in the world, but you lose your soul. And I picked this and they knew that it’s the sense in it. Wow. But at this moment, it’s 14.

Petra Rakebrandt (15m 3s):
Wow. So strong for me, but I couldn’t realize it. But in the end it makes totally sense that I knew I have to follow my soul path. I have to listen to myself and then it, it really, I understood what it means. Being authentic, that we really live from our heart where obviously also the soul is residing in the heart that we understand what is right for us. And also then we are in balance. I mean, then we also eat healthy. We do the right exercise. We find the right job. We find the right partner. Then if we are aligned with ourself, everything is just coming toward us because it’s on the, on the same vibration.

Christine Okezie (15m 46s):
Thank you. That’s. Yeah, exactly. So balance and this very comprehensive for Dimiti concept of balance. You talk about yin and yang and it became a really useful framework for you to understand the contrast in your life and how to help people find that balance. That’s so essential. So talk to us about yin and yang, and again, the inspiration for your book to understand, you know, what is too much young feel like? What is too much yin feel like, you know, how do we, what do, how do we, like if we want to ask people to kind of do some inquiry like you did for your life, you know, how do I use yin and yang maybe to see where I’m out of balance in my life?

Petra Rakebrandt (16m 29s):
Well, when I look back already from early on, I never wanted to be a girl. I wanted to be a boy. Okay. Which is young, grew up with a seven night neighbor, boys and two brothers. So more young energy around me. Yeah. Then they picked an engineering job, young energy. Amazing. And I became a managing director and I was surrounded of men, young energy. So by that point I was like, super, I don’t want to say aggressive, but young energy is called aggressive, but it doesn’t mean negative. It’s just what it is.

Petra Rakebrandt (17m 10s):
And the yin energy is the feminine energy. It’s more passive, it’s more calm. It’s the other side of the coin. And we need balance. We all need balance. And we as women, we also have young masculine energy and the men have feminine energy in energy. Everything has to be in balance. And so for me, for example, a woman totally in young energy, never showing up feminine, never showing up soft and passive. My body is out of balance. That’s for sure. And then I’ve tub on top of it. After work day, I was stressed.

Petra Rakebrandt (17m 50s):
You know, that meetings and 10 days at work, 10 hours at work at the phone in the evening, what I wanted to is just get rid of this energy. And for me, I thought, yeah, let’s go into a 90 minutes spinning class. Let’s go for a run, which is again, young energy. So the body never got rest. Yes. And then finally, when I was in my yoga teacher training, before that, I already did the Hatha yoga. I did many studies to learn more about health and how to find balance. But then when I was sitting in these imposes, I suddenly, I understood what it is, what is missing that I can find balance.

Petra Rakebrandt (18m 34s):
And this is what I see in our society. This skin energy, taking a break and just sitting and breathing and being in silent is not valued. And now today I see the shift it’s we are getting there. Luckily they’re really getting there. But if I look back 20 years, you’re only had value. If you gave more and more and more, if you had stress, if you could say at the end of the day, or it was a hard day, I’m stressed. I overworked, I did five hours on top of it. Then you were a good person. Yes, yes. You were right. If you just do your regular job, like nine to five and you leave at five o’clock, they look at, you don’t have anything to do.

Petra Rakebrandt (19m 17s):
Why you’ve done. It’s so much pressure in this society, which is sad, but I have the feeling it’s shifting. You’re getting there.

Christine Okezie (19m 25s):
Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, no, it’s, it’s really comes down to that. It’s a very interesting way to look at our habitual ways of living through life or looking for validation in life or, you know, trying to do enough, prove enough. And that is definitely such an interesting thing. That’s definitely shifting. Now. Let’s just take a moment to Loch talk about when it comes to health and some belief systems and around health. So diet culture, okay. You know, look this way, move your body this way, manipulate your exercise this way, you know, eat this way and all that. So how can we look at that?

Christine Okezie (20m 6s):
Through the lens of yin and yang?

Petra Rakebrandt (20m 9s):
Well, there also, I, for me, there’s no diet that fits all and all that. And we have to, this is why we have to really observe ourself. What is good for me? And there’s might something, what is good for me is not good for you. So this is where we really have to start to listen to our bodies. Okay. And we can only listen to our body. If we sit down, yes. A quiet, absolutely. We run around all day long and we don’t listen. We just do do what everybody else is doing. We, we don’t understand our body. And when we then really sit down and we can understand what is my body craving.

Petra Rakebrandt (20m 52s):
So there might be something behind this. And how does the food play a role with my emotions? Maybe what am I compensating with food? And if we look back, like after a hard work day, people go home and what do they do? Either? They take chocolate, they have a cold beer. They want to relax. So they come from this young, stressful energy and the body is looking for balance. So we pick something also in the food, which is yen, which is relaxing. All the food that is relaxing is in energy and all the food that is contracting as young energy.

Petra Rakebrandt (21m 33s):
Like on the extreme side of young, we have salt, eggs, red meat. This is contracting the body.

Christine Okezie (21m 40s):
Okay. Okay. Yeah, yeah.

Petra Rakebrandt (21m 44s):
Yeah. Like if you had a lot of young food, your body’s also looking for the other side of the yang food, like drugs, alcohol, sugar is relaxing. Ah,

Christine Okezie (21m 53s):
There you go. That’s right. So

Petra Rakebrandt (21m 55s):
We can, and then we can also, we can start treating ourselves with food. And if we always go to the extremes of young Indian, then we, we will always be, we will never be imbalanced. But if we find the balance in the food of yin and yang, also the energy grains, root vegetables, leafy, vegetable, fruits, nuts fish, still it’s like, it’s already balanced. So then you will feel also that your body gets into a balanced energy because what we eat makes makes us, gives us. Okay.

Christine Okezie (22m 32s):
Yeah. Yeah. Amazing. So yeah, being able to listen to our body and figure out where is our imbalance, you know, in the end young using that is really useful and noticing maybe just noticing the existing habits we have and noticing how we’re using food to regulate that balance. And, and sometimes not, you know, not without side effects, right. Is really what it comes down to. Yeah.

Petra Rakebrandt (22m 52s):
And if we see it’s it’s, I mean, food is not really where I studied nutrition. We call it the real food is just a secondary food. And the primary food is what we do in our life, which is connected to our relationships, our pleasure, our work, our family. If we feel healthy already there, then we can also eat healthy. But if we feel crappy, if we are stressed, we cannot eat healthy because the body wants to regulate the stress and the emotions through food. Yes. So now also people come to me, if they want to have coaching, they often come like I need coaching.

Petra Rakebrandt (23m 35s):
I really want to lose some weight. I said, okay. But my nutrition coaching is not like, you’re not talking much about food. We are talking about emotions. And then they look at you like, because if you understand, if we are in balance, we eat healthy and everybody knows what to eat to be healthy. But the question is, why can’t we eat healthy? What is it why I’m jumping onto the pack of chips or fries or the big burger? Why can’t I just have a salad? Yeah. Cause we compensate a lot of emotions with the food.

Christine Okezie (24m 12s):
Well said, couldn’t agree with you more on that. Fecha underlying reasons we, why we do what we do. It’s always the deeper work, you know, to kind of understand why we do what we do instead of just trying to stop what we do. Right. Without doing the work. And, and I think you’re, you, you walk your talk in that regard, in terms of you, again, from an external place you came from, I did all, I did everything, right. I I’ve got the great life. I’m doing the right exercise, even, you know, and, and, and I remember reading in your book, you would, you know, after a long Workday, you’d run to a 90 minute spin class, get in the sauna, have a glass of wine,

Petra Rakebrandt (24m 48s):
Go to bed and do it all over again, like my day from seven to 11 in the evening. And at this point, I couldn’t even imagine, like, it helped me so much in this place. Like I said, what would I do in the evening if I don’t have this, this gym around the corner, can you see this fear already? That I didn’t even know what to do with myself if I couldn’t go to the gym in the evening.

Christine Okezie (25m 13s):
So this brings yes. And thank you for bringing that because there’s something in the book that you really, really hit me. And I want to share it for the, I’m going to say the hardcore exercise people out there, right? So you said going to the gym three times a week for an hour is not the way to change your body, lifestyle and happiness. You must learn to quiet the mind to tell yourself you want to do something for your body, not to it. And I think that’s just really, really brilliant. So share more about what hardcore exercise might be perpetuating unconsciously for some of us.

Petra Rakebrandt (25m 48s):
Well, there is this, I’m not against the cross CrossFit. I’m not against any kind of anything and everything is fine, but if it becomes an addiction, then there’s something going on and also spinning is, is amazing. I mean, it’s great cardio work. It feels great. You really get the anger, the stress out if you’ve done it. But if it feels like an addiction, I have to go there. Otherwise I get crazy at home on the couch. Okay. Then there’s something wrong. Okay. And so I, and it fields often I see it in people that they use the exercise to punish their body.

Petra Rakebrandt (26m 29s):
It’s really punishment. Yeah. And when I look at the, there are many, many women now who are going to this CrossFit and they, they want to look like men. I mean, they, they want to be strong. They want to have this, this power. And I’m wondering what’s behind this. We were not made for this. So if, if a woman is really super muscular with a male body, this woman is out of balance. And so there’s often something going on in the back of the hat coming mostly from childhood. Why I have to prove myself, I, I have to do this. I have to do that. If I do this, then I’m a strong person.

Petra Rakebrandt (27m 11s):
If I do this, I look good. Only if I have this body, I will be accepted. I accept myself. So there are so many beliefs and unconscious beliefs, of course, behind this that we don’t even know why we are doing most of the things that we are doing.

Christine Okezie (27m 30s):
Yeah. I see a lot of it. I see, you know, very busy pedal to the metal type living and then they go off and they do spin class, or they do, you know, a lot, very high intensity workout. And it’s a double-edged sword. It’s very insidious because like you said, when we want to look for ways to expend, you know, stress and anger and frustration, it seems intuitively right. That we’d want to do these very vigorous high-intensity exercises, but there’s a limit to it because it can be covering up something else. And to your point, whereas the yin yang. So if all I do is, you know, if my 10 hour Workday is very young and my workout more often than not, is very young in a, where is the balance again?

Christine Okezie (28m 16s):
Right. It’s gonna, it’s gonna look to self-correct somehow. It’s gonna look for that somehow. And, and usually it’s the body that says, okay, thyroid,

Petra Rakebrandt (28m 25s):
You’re done exactly. Right. Exactly. Right. Exactly. Yeah. The whole body system gets out of, out of order, the nervous system, the hormone system. And when I look back, even with all the sports, my body didn’t look different than it looks today. And I’m not doing these crazy workouts anymore. They do. Pilatos. I do yoga. I meditate. I go for walks. I hike, I swim, but it’s nothing like overdoing balance. And it’s really, it’s just the balance. Exactly. If we are in balance, the body will be healthy. The body will regulate everything and brings everything in balance. And then we are healthy.

Christine Okezie (29m 5s):
I love it. Thank you. It’s it’s, it’s an important paradigm we’re trying to rewrite, right?

Petra Rakebrandt (29m 9s):
Maybe if I could just can add, because there is such a big unconscious belief in this society that we are bad people. If we don’t do anything. And I heard this in my childhood, my, my parents were a hard worker. So if I was just sitting there and reading a book, then I’ve got this view from the side. Don’t you have anything to do? You know, like there needs to be, there needs to be something that I have to do, like cleaning or arranging the bookshelf, or to be productive, to be productive. Exactly. To be useful, to be used as, as often behind this being useful and being valued and being seen.

Petra Rakebrandt (29m 51s):
Wow. And if we just relax, we are that people.

Christine Okezie (29m 57s):
Yeah. Okay. So there’s the cultural and the familiar and the family conditioning around having to do that. God forbid, you, you, you might be mediocre person, you know, that, that whole thing, right. You have to be the best that you can be again, all the shadow side of what are normally good intentions. I mean, our parents be have good intentions for us, you know, but it gets a little twisted. Yeah. Because then, then we go into this. It’s never enough and we’re never enough. And I’m, there’s something wrong with me. There must be something wrong with me. Right.

Petra Rakebrandt (30m 31s):
Exactly. Yeah. And this is, this is really what I see mostly. And especially in women, I’m not good enough. I’m not seen, I’m not heard, I’m not valued. And so we do everything to be seen, heard, and valued.

Christine Okezie (30m 46s):
So you write in the book and I’m sure you’ve seen this with you all, but you know, your client work when we get still, when we take a moment to consciously, you know, say I’m going to slow down and reflect and maybe listen to see what it is I truly need. It can be really daunting and really scary to do that. There’ll be still to be still and to, and to, to allow what comes up to bubble. Cause usually it’s right below the surface for people who are going very young and then you have a yen experience and it’s like, Whoa. Yeah.

Petra Rakebrandt (31m 21s):
I even never get goosebumps by just thinking about it, because this is exactly what we don’t want to see our inside our shadow side. We don’t want to see it. And we all carry stuff from childhood that created guilt or shame in us. And we don’t want to see this. And if we don’t start to accept and love ourself for what we have been through, we cannot find this peace inside and we cannot find the balance. And for me, it was, there were many things on my childhood that I, that I was angry for. And you already, as a child, I was hiding in my room and eating the package of chips and it was hiding.

Petra Rakebrandt (32m 5s):
It was really hiding also my anger. And then I would never tell anybody that I did this sitting in my room and eating package ships. It felt so shameful. There you go. And even in adulthood, when I had this, this craving for chips, I would never ever tell anybody that I ate chips because that’s shame.

Christine Okezie (32m 27s):
Right. Absolutely. There’s the morality piece again. Yeah. Yeah.

Petra Rakebrandt (32m 32s):
And I remember it’s not even long time ago that I allow myself to tell my friends, Oh, yesterday I just wanted to have chips. And when I said it for the first time, you cannot imagine this, this change of energy in your chest. Like this freedom that you, that you say, what you do, that you, that you are truthful with yourself and showing your truth and being vulnerable. And as long as we can be this with ourself, we cannot really hear.

Christine Okezie (33m 3s):
Yeah. And we certainly can’t expect that level of intimacy we’re looking for in, in our relationship world.

Petra Rakebrandt (33m 8s):
Never, ever, never, ever. And like you said, but the only way to see this and to accept this is to sit, to become quiet and to look inside and to see ourselves for what we are for what we have been through in our childhood and forgiving, forgiving ourselves is a big piece too, to come into balance and giving our parents, making peace with them. It’s, it’s the only way to find balance to do this emotional in our work, but in our child work, which is shadow work, looking at our own shadow, the insight, the thing that we want to hide, which we push into the darkness.

Christine Okezie (33m 53s):
So one of the things that we share in common is the path of getting to do this inner work. We found to be through yoga, through meditation, you know, through energy work, working with the subtle body, working with the emotional body. A lot of people say, well, you know, I’ve been, I’ve done therapy. I’ve been in therapy all my life. Right. And you know, no, no criticism for, for good, you know, therapeutic work in that required. But our passion, you know, is for people to understand that when you work with certain tools and practices that really get into the whole body, right. The healing and the, the trans formation can be much more effective, I would say.

Christine Okezie (34m 40s):
Yeah. So share with us like, you know what, you know, how did you know, how did you come to know this, you know, through yin yoga, for example, through your meditation and breath work,

Petra Rakebrandt (34m 56s):
It’s difficult. It’s very, like you said, it’s subtle work and I’m so sensitive. I could really feel the shift of the energy. And even now when I told you, Oh, I get goosebumps it’s so people can not even imagine how the energy shifts, or if you are sitting in a yoga pose and something, your hip opens up and something, suddenly you get an image and you get an emotion and suddenly something becomes clear. And this is the way how it heals. We have to read it. You have to bring it to the surface. Okay. Okay. And there’s no, there is no pill for this. This is all this medicine. The pills is just a short-term it’s like you said, treating symptoms, it’s not changing what’s inside of us.

Petra Rakebrandt (35m 42s):
And it, what is hurting us.

Christine Okezie (35m 45s):
Yeah. Yeah. I think, I think more and more, we’re trying to help people understand and come into the, knowing that, you know, our bodies hold our emotions, our bodies hold our, our belief systems. They’re literally wired into the tissues. You know, like you said, and no amount of intellectual. I mean, again, we, we come from the, you know, pro and con list and, you know, do your Duke, let’s analyze what’s going on. That will only take us so far. I think in this work, even when it comes to things like eating to your point, we could eat the perfect diet, right? The most quote, unquote, it looks great. It’s the rainbow diet, et cetera, et cetera. Right. But how come we’re still not getting the benefit.

Christine Okezie (36m 25s):
And that really becomes the invitation to say, let’s go deeper. Right? And that’s the message that you have in your book is you have to do the work.

Petra Rakebrandt (36m 33s):
You have to do the work. And you have to really, the only thing is you have to work with your body, not against the body. You have to understand what your body wants to tell you. Like, for me, what, what’s the pain in the neck. What’s the pain in my jaw. What’s the pain, why the sinus infection. And if we listen, we can receive information about this. And there’s Catalia. For example, he’s V had this exercise of drawing the pain body. So if you really make a drawing of your body and you draw, for example, hip pain, you, whatever, it feels like, like red or yellow, like an explosion. If you start painting it or just easy drawing, simple drawing, you get information about the pain.

Petra Rakebrandt (37m 22s):
Really. You get in touch with it. It’s such an easy tool and it’s untoward. So to really, to, to get in contact with your boy, almost like talking to your body well, which is the beauty of meditation. If you also, if you, either you sit and you just listen and you scan your body and you can also ask your heart, what, what is the information for me? And you just sit and listen, what your heart wants to tell you sounds crazy, but your heart has a message for you. And this is how you can really get in contact with, with yourself and the more, you know, yourself and the better, you know, yourself, the more, you know, what’s good for you.

Petra Rakebrandt (38m 3s):
And also then, you know, what kind of relationship is good for you? What kind of partner? Because also there, you would like to be in balance.

Christine Okezie (38m 11s):
Mm well said. Okay. So it’s, it’s kind of radical though, you know, in this day and age for, to take our attention inside, you know, and, and, and believe that, you know, we can trust ourselves and believe that our bodies can be our allies, even when they’re in pain, even when they’re not quote unquote meeting a certain standard. Right. So how do you help your clients befriend their bodies and start to listen in this way? Well, I,

Petra Rakebrandt (38m 43s):
And I think in yoga and in yoga, you can’t avoid maybe the first one or two sessions. People start like, Oh, they don’t start. They’d like, I, this is not for me. I can’t hear anything. I can’t feel anything bad. Can’t feel

Christine Okezie (38m 59s):
Anything. And often

Petra Rakebrandt (39m 2s):
They can’t feel anything. And I remember even my, my first yoga class was the worst yoga class ever. And I went for one yoga class and then I was done. I said, no, yoga is not for me interest. And then only two years later, a friend of mine, she said, no, you should come. And then suddenly I was ready. I mean, this is another thing you have to be ready. Yes. To listen to the messages and to understand you need to be ready for this big healing. Mm. Because it’s, it’s, it’s not always fun. The fun comes after the healing. I mean, the fun comes really also after a session, you, you feel what most people say, I feel lighter because you really changed this, this energy.

Petra Rakebrandt (39m 45s):
And you feel lighter in the more you work with your body with instead of against, you really feel lighter and you start also liking and loving your body. And then it’s like a prepaid to him. Your, you go into deep ID, but you want more, you want more of this feeling. That’s right. This is when people really started with the yin yoga. And they felt after the class, how good they feel, how they feel imbalanced and how this weight is gone. And they know, okay, I want more. And this is often that I think yoga is a start, a good start of healing part.

Christine Okezie (40m 22s):
Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. The first step

Petra Rakebrandt (40m 26s):
To get in contact with the body. Because even if you do sports, if you play football, soccer, tennis, whatever, you use your body, but your body is a tool in the sense. But if you do yoga, then you are, you are everything at the same time and you cannot run away. It’s not even if you use your body in this moment, the body’s talking to you.

Christine Okezie (40m 54s):
Yeah. I think that’s a really great different way in a different way. Yes. Yes. Well, it’s like you said, instead of using our body, we’re doing something with it and for it, that’s a really good shift. Yeah.

Petra Rakebrandt (41m 9s):
It feels for me like you in yoga, you do this, you create this connection with yourself, which you don’t do in other sports. In other sports, you use your body to do something. It’s again, to do something, to shoot the ball, to hit the ball with a record, to use your arms, to move forward. That’s where yoga, you get into this post. And then there you are. And then you’re like, Ooh, what is this now?

Christine Okezie (41m 35s):
Yes, yes. And when you’re standing

Petra Rakebrandt (41m 37s):
There, or in yoga, you are sitting three, four, five minutes and you just wait, what your body is doing, or what’s what did feels like to be because you don’t do anything. You just breathe and sit and you be quiet, but this is already it’s, it’s so intense. But if you have made this experience and you already, you want more suddenly you see there is a whole universe inside of you. There’s so much inside of you. What do you want to recognize and acknowledge that this is really, this is really something where you start loving, loving yourself and loving your body for what it is.

Christine Okezie (42m 22s):
Yes, yes. And, and healing that what we started talking about, which is that disconnection from our essence, from our spirit or soul higher self, you know, but that restoring that connection and coming back home to it. And that’s why I think that is the quintessential healing, you know, is really what that is, is when we can start to feel whole. And we can let go of those toxic beliefs that you’ve talked about, terms of feeling not enough and not correct, you know, and always falling short. If we can heal that at the root, which is within ourselves, I think like you said, then the, then this other stuff I always say, then, you know, then you know, drinking a little bit more water, eating a little more fruits and vegetables, you know, getting better sleep, you know, not being so emotionally reactive, all those things, just kind of, you know, flow a little easier.

Christine Okezie (43m 15s):
It’s not all that again, yang energy. We’re not trying to make health happen. I think that’s your thing, right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. Is there a particular, I’d love to share it, see if there’s a particular student or a client who had an experience and you, you know, that really touched your heart. Just anyone that comes to mind.

Petra Rakebrandt (43m 39s):
Oh, this is with, with each session, with each session. I think it’s so, so profound. When, when, when clients understand that they can love themselves for what happened, that they, this forgiveness is so huge when we can forgive ourselves and we can really release this pain. It’s crazy. And I, I mean, now I’m, as I said, I’m highly sensitive and I, I can read energies and I, we go really deep. And also that I, I even sense that we carry all too, a lot of energy from ancestors.

Petra Rakebrandt (44m 20s):
And then I get, I get images. What happened to the grandmother? What this woman is probably carrying. And then when it, like in a meditative state, when we bring this grandmother back and we talked to the grandmother and we let her pain go, it sounds a little bit woo. But it’s,

Christine Okezie (44m 39s):
I’m right with you. Yeah. It’s all energy.

Petra Rakebrandt (44m 43s):
It’s all energy. Exactly. And sometimes when I work here on my terrorists and I see my terrorists filled with anxious does of somebody. So be it. And then even say, they say like, Oh my gosh, they have, they were all here. And I said, yeah, they were all here. It’s so intense. But it’s such a beautiful work. I mean, I don’t want to miss this. I mean, I have the best job ever.

Christine Okezie (45m 6s):
I think you’re a very powerfu manifestor that is very clear. If Petra,

Petra Rakebrandt (45m 16s):
I know, I have to be careful now with my thoughts, I’ll tell you, I manifested you.

Christine Okezie (45m 24s):
Yes. I know. This is a fascinating story. I’ll I’ll, you know, I’ll definitely put it in the show notes, but yeah. Petra and I were cosmically connected. No doubt in my mind,

Petra Rakebrandt (45m 35s):
Everything, everything, I mean, everything. What has happened now on my path it’s so it’s such a deep connection of the universe. I can really love everyday now about what is happening. And if we get there, which is happening through healing, if you can see your body in a different light and everything, what is happening around you in a different light light, especially not in darkness. We can even see the pain in light and understanding. There’s a message. And what if it’s not something bad? What if it, what if something good?

Christine Okezie (46m 9s):
Right, right.

Petra Rakebrandt (46m 10s):
It’s turning around immediately.

Christine Okezie (46m 13s):
That’s right. What if there’s, you know, an invitation, you know, to, to grow and evolve and actually open our hearts even more is the way I look at it. You know, because that’s really what these tough moments, you know, these dark moments, they crack you open a little bit more, you know? And, and that’s the, I think the journey we’re all on to find the strength to, to keep walking, you know, and to trust that life is unfolding for the highest good. And, you know, and again, that’s in yoga, we talk about that’s, that’s why we try to be open in our heart, right. To be in receptive receptivity of that.

Christine Okezie (46m 53s):

Petra Rakebrandt (46m 54s):
And, but most people don’t even know this feeling of an open heart. We are so contracted and this is yang energy contracted. And we, we are used to it. And we also created it because we feel it’s protected. If I close my heart, if I close my chest, nothing can happen to me. It’s it’s pure protection or this yang energy.

Christine Okezie (47m 16s):
I see that with breathing . Right. You see that with the breathing, like, you know, just people, you know, training them to take deep breaths is, is like a whole recalibration going on. Right. And it’s

Petra Rakebrandt (47m 28s):
Already with the breath. We go deep inside. We tap into the things we don’t want to feel. And this is why we have this shallow breathing. It’s just like, Oh no, no, no, no. I don’t want to look into that. Just hold the breath. Well said, yeah. Yes. Just keep going, keep going. Exactly. You want to make it? Yeah.

Christine Okezie (47m 51s):
Yeah. And again, we, we say this with love because you know, this is part of everybody’s journey and the quest, you know, where we all have opportunity, you know, in our own time we have to be ready. Right. And we have to go at a pace that feels good for you. And you had the benefit of some really good coaches in your path and some good guides in your path. So this is really essential to get support in the journey. Right. Yeah. I love asking this question. So what important lessons have you learned in 2020?

Petra Rakebrandt (48m 20s):
Whoa, 2020. First of all, I think my, my former me, the one from 2000 would have never survived in 2020. I think if I haven’t had done all this work, I would have freaked out last year, but I thanks to this work. I, I, I was able to stay calm and what I really increased this more compassion, really more compassion, and also still more trust, trusting the universe and trusting myself that we are fine, that we go through this.

Petra Rakebrandt (49m 2s):
Yeah. And compassion for everything what’s going on for what people are going through.

Christine Okezie (49m 10s):
Thank you. Yeah. And I think I’ve heard more often than once a really something that really landed for me was if you look at what’s going on or what happened in 2020, unless you look through the lens of compassion, you’ll miss what it’s really meant to be. You know? And I think that’s what you’re saying is that it’s how you, if, if, if you can allow yourself to see the lesson to deepen that compassion and trust, trust a big one these days, that’s a big one.

Petra Rakebrandt (49m 44s):
Very big one. Yeah. And I think also it’s like, almost like the universe is also pushing us now into this year. I mean, being locked down and there’s nothing to do. You have to sit down now and face your fears and face your shame, your guilt, all these emotions that we didn’t want to see why we were busy, busy, busy. Now we are more quiet and not much is going on. And we have to face ourself. I mean, here we are faced to our family all day long. Right. Right. Or, yeah. Now suddenly we see all our blockages and limits and emotions they’re clashing, and many people are forced to do work now.

Christine Okezie (50m 34s):
All the things that I think you talk about this in the book, too, all the things that stand in the way of you being able to experience your true worth, your true power, your true beauty, you know, because really that’s what I found to be in this journey is that it’s all about just getting out from under, you know, because all that stuff is what really keeps us disconnected from living a life that we really want to live. And it’s, that’s the work, you know?

Petra Rakebrandt (51m 8s):
And I think one big point is, is the self-love. If we can’t love ourself, what do you do with somebody? You don’t love,

Christine Okezie (51m 19s):
You don’t take care of them. Yeah. You push it away. Right.

Petra Rakebrandt (51m 24s):
Judges, your criticizes. And can you imagine everybody would have this immense self-love yeah. Everything would be different. Everything, everyone,

Christine Okezie (51m 36s):
Everything, but it all starts with yourself. Right. Because that’s, I think that’s the whole thing. And I’m getting this from you, is that when you, you do the work of, you know, kind of making your way back to authentic self-love then your heart opens even more and you can see and appreciate all the other stuff with so much more compassion, so much more love. Right. We can’t give what we don’t have. Yeah. Yeah.

Petra Rakebrandt (52m 5s):
You would see so much love around us and we would love other people because now when we judge somebody it’s we judge ourselves and we just mirror for the other. Person’s just mirroring. Totally. We love ourselves. We would love everybody around us. We would be happy. What would be healthy would be healthy,

Christine Okezie (52m 27s):
A different reality altogether, altogether.

Petra Rakebrandt (52m 33s):
What is a good book title. Yeah. A different reality. Yeah.

Christine Okezie (52m 37s):
There you go. There you go. Planting seeds. But what is, what is kind of, you know, the biggest takeaway that you want, your folks, your readers to take away from your book

Petra Rakebrandt (52m 52s):
Start loving themselves. I mean, this is the moment when I started and understood. If I don’t take care of myself and I don’t start living my life, nobody else will do this for me. So if everybody is looking inside, what’s authentic for me. What’s my truth. And looking into that, and again, it would be a different world.

Christine Okezie (53m 24s):
Thank you so much. Oh my gosh. Yeah. Okay. Is there, is there a quote maybe that resonates with you these days?

Petra Rakebrandt (53m 33s):
It’s a meditation quote from Buddha who says, “Meditation brings wisdom, lack of meditation, leaves, ignorance. No. Well, what leads you forward and what holds you back and choose the path that leads to wisdom.” From Buddha. And I think it says it all.

Christine Okezie (53m 54s):
Couldn’t agree more. Couldn’t agree. More Petra. Thank you so much. So where can our listeners connect with you learn more about your programs, your work what’s the best way. Do you have anything upcoming you want to share?

Petra Rakebrandt (54m 8s):
Well, I, I have a website which is just my petrarakebrand. com. There I post also my retreats. I usually have two retreats, at least yoga retreats a year, which are on my neighbor Island in Dominica. Awesome. And the next one is planned. I’m just waiting for the borders to open. So if you sign up to the newsletter for the retreats or the blogs, you will get the information or I also have a free two chapters. You can download of the book on my website. I have an Instagram page.

Christine Okezie (54m 48s):
Yes. Yes. Yin Iis The New Bblack on Amazonm- it is a must read. So thank you. Such wonderful resource for true health and genuine health and wellbeing.

Petra Rakebrandt (54m 57s):
Yep. For the real work. Right.

Christine Okezie (55m 1s):
Wow. Well, thank you so much. You’ve been a gift to be on the show with us and I really appreciate it.

Petra Rakebrandt (55m 6s):
Thank you so much, Christine, for this invitation. All right. Take care. Thank you.

Christine Okezie (55m 10s):
Thank you.

Petra Rakebrandt (55m 10s):
Have a wonderful day.

Christine Okezie (55m 11s):
Thank you. Bye.

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