Laura Di Franco, MPT, is the owner of Brave Healer Productions and a powerhouse who writes to Feng Shui her soul. Brave Healing, a Guide for Your Journey, is her sixth book to help inspire your fiercely alive whole self. Join her to write words that heal the world at www.BraveHealer.com
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path as a doctor or healer?
Because I’ve always been an athlete, I started off thinking I’d save the world by healing all the sports injuries on the planet. A young woman who spoke at our high school career center when I was sixteen introduced me to physical therapy. The energy and enthusiasm she expressed was contagious. She was obviously in love with her work. I decided right then and there that I would become a physical therapist and help people feel better and recover faster from injury!
When I finished my education, started volunteering in clinics, and began working, I knew pretty quickly that helping people heal holistically would be my path. In my practice I could see that our traditional medical system was “piece-parting” patients, labeling them with diagnoses that limited my ability to evaluate and treat the causes of the symptoms, and not just treat the symptoms or pains. I decided I would start teaching patients to integrate their minds, bodies, and souls for optimal health.
This was not a universally accepted approach at the time (nor is it still!). But I was lucky to have early mentors that influenced the decision to go more holistic and “alternative” with my training and exploration. So, I continued to pursue training and continuing education that empowered me by allowing me to experience different kinds of healing.
When it came to my own body, I got interested in approaches to healing that began with my taking primary responsibility for my thoughts, beliefs and actions — and wasn’t just showing up to be fixed by someone. This affected how I started looking at, treating and helping my patients. I started writing about it. And I started sharing my personal journey.
Then the real magic happened. I began combining the tools I’d learned as a holistic healer with a therapeutic and intuitive writing process I’d learned in school. I started to heal myself, from the inside out, on the pages of my journals. I knew that writing my stories was healing me and that if I was brave enough to share them, they’d begin to heal others too.
This is why “#MeToo,” is so powerful. When you know you’re not alone, you can be yourself and you can tell your story, stepping back into your worth and power as a human being, the potential exists to heal, and incredible things start happening.
My mission became to help others heal by recognizing their worth, writing, speaking and sharing their stories, and helping them to heal the world with their words.
How have your personal challenges informed your career path?
Every challenge I’ve had on the path I can happily look back on now as just the thing I needed to evolve. The biggest challenges catapulted me in the biggest ways toward my deepest soul-driven desires; to help healers begin to share their important messages out loud with the world. Without those challenges I’d never be in the place I am today.
I was raised to be mild-mannered, polite, and submissive. After my parents’ divorce, thinking I had to prove myself in order to earn love and respect, I suffered a huge wound that would later show up as unworthiness and eventually unhappiness and burnout. I grew up with a serious perfectionism goal and checked off every box of shoulds and supposed-tos I could in the name of “Good girl.” I spent decades desperately trying to do whatever it took to feel loved by a man, even if it meant sacrificing me in the process. It was never enough to feed the hole in my soul. I had to learn to feel the love I craved from the inside first.
Reclaiming my worth and learning to communicate in an effective and powerful way, unapologetically standing up for myself and what matters to me ended up being not only one of the biggest challenges, but also one of the ways I stepped into my calling and purpose as a healer.
Additionally, battling the inner critic that rants, you’re not good enough, they’re going to think you’re unprofessional, they won’t like you, or this has been done before, who are you to do this, became another huge but surmountable challenge. I absolutely love teaching folks how to bust through these fears and get to saving the world!
The bigger the challenges, the bigger the victories. If we can look at mistakes and failures as stepping stones, we change the game and help a lot more people a lot faster.
Can you share five pieces of advice to other doctors/clinicians/healers to help their patients to thrive?
1. Take care of yourself so that you’re giving from an overflow and not your reserves. Your patients deserve the whole, rested and joyful you.
2. Always listen to what a patient is saying. Everything they are telling you is a clue to solving the problem. Be a really good listener and involve them in their own healing process.
3. Empower your patients by giving them holistic options for their care, options where they take responsibility and control for their wellbeing.
4. Don’t rush. Rushing with your patients makes them feel less important and less understood. It can be rude at times. You have the honor of helping your patients to achieve their best health and wellness…act like it matters and take the time with them to really understand and get to the bottom of the problem.
5. Treat your patients like people, not their label or diagnosis. They are not their pain. Help them feel cared for, respected and honored as a human being first. This goes a long way toward the teamwork it will take for you and your patient to achieve the outcome you both want; for them to feel great!
Can you share your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became a Healer”?
1. Be brave and start your own business right away. Don’t waste 20 years waiting to feel “ready”
2. Trust your intuition instead of being stopped by everyone else’s fears
4. Be ready to burn out early if you ignore self care
4. Go for your biggest dreams, but don’t try to do it alone
5. You’ll never want to retire. (As Confucius said, when you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.)
Social media and reality TV create a venue for people to share their personal stories. Do you think more transparency about your personal story can help or harm your field of work? Can you explain?
Sharing our most personal stories is what will heal us and the world. It can only help my field of work as a healer. To know, like and trust me, I have to go first. I have to share, be vulnerable and do all the things I’m asking my patients to do. I have to be a trailblazer here — so they will trust me as their healer and so they’ll read and be interested in what I’m writing.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant to your life?
“What if the very pain you’re still afraid to share is exactly the thing that will save someone’s life?”
A year or so a woman reached out to me on my Business Facebook page messenger. She told me she’d read a blog I’d written and was really struggling. “Do you have more things for me to read?” She asked.
I obliged and sent her some links right away but I told her I had something else for her. I ended up dedicating my next blog post to her. The blog was about self care and I asked my readers to chime with with comments of love, support and advice.
This gave her hope for the first time in a long time. She signed up for a program I was doing at the time and became a part of my community. And then she went on to write her story/blog about being a mother of five who had planned her suicide. She also wrote another blog as a call out to other mothers to say, “Hey, you’re not alone, here are some ideas.”
That one moment of my life made me realize I was done being afraid of sharing my stories. Even the personal ones.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I’m here to build a revolution of brave healers — writing, speaking and sharing their stories to heal themselves and the world. This job is not for sissies. The warriors are stepping up as we speak and the momentum is building. When healers and healthcare practitioners step off their pedestals and begin to take care of themselves, and their patients by doing their own healing work, including sharing those stories, change is going to spread like wildfire!
Originally published at medium.com