James Mayfield is a Somatic Healing Coach and BreakThrough Facilitator. He is the founder of BreakThroughCircle.com and creator of Somatic BreakThough Facilitation, which is a synthesis of body and feelings-based facilitation along with inner parts work.
In this interview, James shares his life history and personal initiations that have made him ideally suited to support others’ emotional healing. He’s personally experienced and healed from a variety of unmet emotional needs and traumatic physical and emotional abuse from early life circumstances that required him to seek out transformation-focused work at a young age. At a time of extreme vulnerability and deep grief, he stumbled into the world of breathwork, somatic healing, inner parts work, and structured psychodynamic processes.
James has been involved in transformational education and emotional development training for 30 years. He is a master facilitator of inner work, serving thousands of people through 49 transformation-focused retreats, 8 online courses, and thousands of private sessions. His work has helped sensitive and heart-centered artists, healers, change agents, professionals, and entrepreneurs to empower their transformation by using somatic tools and structured processes to nurture breakthroughs in their lives. James is passionate about his work helping others and his service is that of a “repairman”. He describes how we can all access transformational healing and in this interview, he shares 13 of the many techniques in his toolkit.
- Growing up in survival mode
- Seeking out transformational healing
- Ways of seeing
- Types of Somatic healing
- Our hierarchy of needs
- Finding your inner wisdom
- Speak to your body – ask and listen
- Healing our divided self
- Use compassion instead of blame
- Avoid the “shame storm”
- Triggers and your inner child
- Unmet needs are root causes
- Breakthrough Tools you can use today
Social Media and Resources:
Website: BreakThrough Circle
These five fantastic gifts include: 1) BreakThrough Toolkit and Checklist, 2) Sensitive Healers training, 3) Inner work journey, 4) Mini-course for anxiety, overwhelm, fatigue, people-pleasing, and playing small, and a 5) 60-minute conversation with James.
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Hearts Rise Up Production Team
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Audio editing by: Ann Serrie
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(Carol Chapman) All right, thank you for tuning your heart’s in for another episode of the Hearts Rise up podcast. I’m carol chapman your host along with my co-hosts Ann Serrie and Concetta Antonelli. We share our own personal experiences, tips and strategies along with powerful stories and compelling insights from guest interviews. We’re here to inspire and empower your conscious evolution, help you tap into your inner wisdom and rise to your heart centered higher self. Together we can rise to a higher level of consciousness, an elevated state of being and experience more love, joy and freedom. Yeah, hello and welcome back. Thank you for joining us for another episode of the Hearts Rise Up podcast where we share heartfelt wisdom to inspire your conscious evolution.
(Carol Chapman) I have a very special guest with me today. His name is James Mayfield. James is a somatic healing coach and breakthrough facilitator. He is the founder of Breakthrough circle dot com and creator of somatic breakthrough facilitation which is a synthesis of body and feelings based facilitation along with inner parts work, his life history and personal initiations make James ideally suited to support others emotional healing. He has personally experienced and healed from a variety of unmet emotional needs and traumatic physical and emotional abuse. Early life circumstances that required him to seek out transformation focus work at a young age at a time of extreme vulnerability and deep grief. He stumbled into the world of breathwork, somatic healing. Inner parts work and structured psychodynamic processes. James has been involved in transformational education and emotional development training for 30 years.
(Carol Chapman) He is a master facilitator of inner work Serving thousands of people through 49 transformation focused retreats eight online courses and thousands of private sessions. His work has helped sensitive and heart-centered artists, healers, change agents, professionals and entrepreneurs to empower their own transformation by using somatic tools and structured processes to nurture breakthroughs in their lives. James, welcome to the show.
(James Mayfield) Carol, thank you for that wonderful introduction and I’m really glad to be on here today talking to your listeners and having this conversation with you.
(Carol Chapman) Well I’m very excited and I’ve personally experienced your work in a session recently and I must say that your tools and processes are very effective. It takes a lot of guts for anyone to commit to healing and working through layers of unhealthy conditioning those types of unconscious patterns and I know that I have had them for years and years but it takes a lot to cut through it and get to some breakthroughs.
(Carol Chapman) I would love for you to share your story, some of the defining moments in your life, some of the issues, what you’ve learned about yourself, the transformational moments and then look it into some of the nits and grits of the work that you do.
(James Mayfield) Well carol, thank you very much for the opportunity. I would love to just kind of dive in and share a little bit about my background. Good way to start is just I’m 49 years old in the first half of my life I spent up in my head very insecure trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing and what I was supposed to be thinking and feeling and I was very confused about it. I didn’t have a good map for my own emotions and for other people and the way people behave, it wasn’t working out for me very well at all. And it came to a head in my early 30s, even though by then I’d already had Like 12 years of deeply transformational work under my belt. I went into education very early, I started out my career as a school teacher At age 17, I got my first girlfriend pregnant and so I was a teen father ended up in a very dysfunctional relationship that I didn’t understand what was happening with a lot of abuse and I ended up getting out of it and ended up as a full custody of my son and then put myself through college as a single dad amidst all of that when other people my age were partying and we’re learning about themselves and really being in their early twenties, I was studying personal transformation for children.
(James Mayfield) I was working in a preschool, I was raising a child at a very young age and very, very focused on how can I be here in front of this child and have a transformative experience something so that they either see things differently or they hear things differently, They feel things differently, They experience the world in a different way. So, for the last 30 years I’ve been very, very focused on, on whether we’re working with children or now I work primarily with adults. How do I take the 85 minute sessions that I allow with the client and how do I make that absolutely transformational so that something happens that is totally different than before that session and new possibilities are available and that’s a very different take Then a lot of coaches when they sit down with their sessions, I am really looking for what can we do to cultivate a breakthrough moment and that’s what my tools do is cultivate emotional breakthroughs.
(Carol Chapman) What is in your experience, a breakthrough moment in the work that you do.
(James Mayfield) I would love to love to talk about that. One of my favorite topics, the first thing a breakthrough is, is a significant change. It’s a significant difference from going from one state to another state and in breakthrough work, what it often looks like is either a catharsis, it’s a release of energy that’s been long held in the body. Oftentimes it can also be an aha moment, a way of seeing a dynamic that’s been happening in a relationship or in your life in a completely different way. And seeing it in that different way changes the nature of your relationship to it and changes the possibilities for what happened. It is about feeling something, seeing something, experiencing something that creates new possibility great.
(Carol Chapman) That really helps to explain it because it is really kind of just a major shift in how you perceive yourself in in the world. And whatever is going on with you with respect to getting through that breakthrough, if you could just share a little bit about what somatic really means, at least for our listener.
(Carol Chapman) I mean, we all might know what the term is, but what does it really mean in the context of the work that you do and how it helps people heal well.
(James Mayfield) Somatic means body based and it was really the turning point for me in my own personal life and in the work that I do up until I started doing somatic work, which is body centered work. And some somatic work is more overt moving of the body and appropriate reception moving in space and then other somatic work that I do is more intense reception. It’s about the sensations I’m having in my body, the tightness in my throat, to the heaviness in my chest or on my shoulders. The anxiety that I feel in my belly or my solar plexus. It’s that interior kind of sensation that’s happening. And what I learned with somatic work was that before, an emotion before a thought, there’s almost always a sensation that happens and most people miss it.
(James Mayfield) They totally miss that there’s a sensation of either pulling away or grasping for and the Buddhists and the meditators have been learning about this for a long time that I did a tin dave upashi honest sit and and they focused the first four days just on feeling the air moving in through your nose over your lips and that very specific sensation for four days. We focused on that because what we learned in the VIP arsonists at least was that before any of the mind activity happens, there’s almost always a body thing that happens and a pulling away or a grasping. And in my work with people, what I found is that long before we get to saying something or doing something in our relationship or with our boss or in our life, there’s already an energy that’s inside of us that is directing us unconsciously and there are parts of us that are in touch with these energies and there are parts of us that are not in touch with those energies and that’s what I specialize in, is going in and using, I use altered states, usually breath work to help people to get really, really sensitive to what’s happening inside and then to feel what’s happening inside as they’re thinking about their problems in their life.
(James Mayfield) And what everybody finds is that when we think about our problems, when we reminisce about the struggles we’re having or any dynamics that were not comfortable with our body is responding in lots of different ways, it lights up like a Christmas tree and once you get that and you start focusing in and paying attention, you find there’s a whole lot going on beneath the surface, beneath our conscious awareness. That is not only fascinating if you study the psyche, but also immensely practical. And so where my work, the turn my work is taken with somatic work is I used automatics to help people to find their inner wisdom to basically find clarity about. Yes, that’s true for me. I know that’s true. That is absolutely true. I know it in my bones and when someone has that kind of experience, that’s an aha, that’s a breakthrough moment if they haven’t had that and they know, okay, this is true for me now, I can turn off all of the other things over there that were before the clarity.
(James Mayfield) I don’t have to consider them. I don’t have to be overwhelmed by them. I don’t have to be confused by them or sucked into doubt about which what to do because I have clarity in my body. A felt sense presents clarity of what’s true for me and that’s how I use maddox is as deeply intuitive wisdom that I can trust.
(Carol Chapman) That’s a great explanation. I think it would be helpful to understand what really causes emotional upset an outbreak. I can think of it like logically, but there’s got to be something more deeply rooted there. I mean, it’s not just because somebody pissed me off that I might have an outbreak, you know? But what is it that really causes emotional upset and outbreaks? I’d love to talk to you about that and to do that.
(James Mayfield) There’s a couple of things I want to introduce. One is I use a chart that’s a hierarchy of needs kind of like a Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and on that chart we have certain needs that people have. So we have a need for physical self-care.
(James Mayfield) For example, we have a need for safety when we’re in groups or in our family or with other people or even just on our own. We have a need for connection to other people. We have a need for it to feel powerful in our life and we have a need to have purpose and identity in the world and when any of those needs don’t get met when they go unmet sensations happen in the body are unconscious, lets us know. So for example physical self-care, if I all of a sudden my stomach starts hurting and I’m like I’m not sure what’s going on why is my stomach hurting. And so I decide oh maybe I’ll take a nap and I take a nap, it’s still hurting and then I go for a jog and it’s still hurting and then I eat an apple and it goes away like ah it was hunger, that’s what it was hunger was. What was causing my stomach to her. Well if I don’t move enough I’m sedentary and I don’t move then I’ll get very a key and I might get uncomfortable in my body and I might then get fatigued and actually not want to move. So all these things that we, all these choices we make in our life and all these experiences we have, they have an effect and oftentimes people ignore.
(James Mayfield) They don’t see the correlation that happens in that they don’t understand where this trigger is actually coming from. And so if you examine, I’ll give you an example of say a sensitive child, sensitive to I was a sensitive child and a sense of child and I was in a family that was in survival mode. They were just trying to pay the bills and get things done and they didn’t have anybody watching out for their emotional needs growing up and that wasn’t really on their radar either. And I grew up feeling really insecure. I didn’t really have good social skills. I didn’t know how to connect and I felt very much different than other people and I just wasn’t very successful in the social peace. I was very successful at school. Teachers loved me and that that was a really good relationship I had but I didn’t, I didn’t really know how to relate to peers and so I would be in a peer situation, a social situation and I would overcome was something I didn’t know what it was then. Now I know it to be shame. I didn’t know it for a long time, but it was shame. It was this icky feeling, I didn’t feel confident and I would try to, like crack a joke and they always fell flat because I wasn’t in my body, I wasn’t in the present moment, I was up in my head trying to figure out how to impress somebody when I was a kid.
(James Mayfield) But as a sensitive growing up, I ended up having unmet needs for connection for connection. I didn’t have an adult there to interact with me in the ways that I that I needed and I didn’t know how to do that in my life. So it created anxiety, this social anxiety and the social anxiety, we think is the problem. It’s actually not the problem. It’s a symptom, the social anxiety is a symptom of an unmet need for connection and social anxiety is the warning system, your body tells you, oh, something’s wrong here. I’m not attuned to the people around me, I don’t feel safe, anxiety is helpful, it’s telling us what the problem is. If we understand anxiety as that, it’s not the problem, it’s a symptom of an unmet need for connection. And so all of these different triggers that we have go back to unmet needs if you’re in a relationship and your spouse is doing things that are that are really getting on your nerves there, he’s not listening to you perhaps and you get so upset about it and you get triggered about that.
(James Mayfield) Well triggers are usually the voice of a hurt in her child. It’s and when I say a hurt inner child, I do somatic inner parts work which is body based, working with these different parts of me in one part that everybody I know has is an inner child. It’s the part of us that is innocent and kind of wholesome and we just we want to be joyful and we want to play and everybody I know I can talk to and I can get them in that state of like, yeah, okay connected to their inner child and that’s the term that I call in a lot of sensitive healers use the term inner child. And really what it means is just it’s the collection of thoughts and feelings and behaviors in my nervous system that was created back when I had stress happened. And you might know this from, you might have been a yoga class and all of a sudden you’re in your class, you or somebody else bursts out crying because cinematically they have in their pose, they’ve touched part of their body where systematically they’re holding either some hurt or some tension or some fear.
(James Mayfield) They were holding something there. And if you work with the body in certain ways, in an outer way, you can access that trigger it and then have a completion of a stress response. Most people though take those stress responses that happened, hold them in, don’t actually complete that response and then we walk around with lots of potential triggers just being ready to be pushed by somebody who unfortunately ends up doing something similar to someone who has stressed us in the past. And so if we’re holding all of that in that really affects us physically and our entire nervous system, my work is in the nervous system. I work at an unconscious level. We start at the conscious and then we drop down following the cinematics following where in your body is responding to the things we’re talking about and that becomes a doorway and it opens up and then we’re able to dialogue because we’re connected to that.
(James Mayfield) Like back in that yoga example, if someone felt oh in my back and my shoulder and they just started crying. If they were to stay with that cry and to say a shoulder, I I’m listening, what do you want me to know? Almost everybody will get a response and it will come. Sometimes they’ll just hear it. About a third of the people just hear responses to their questions. Their inner voices just talk to them. About 2/3 of people don’t hear voices, but sometimes they just no an answer. They just get an answer. They just know it to be true. Sometimes they see a picture in their head or a video or they get a memory. Sometimes they get overcome with an emotion overcome with sadness or overcome with grief or with anger and then sometimes it’s just somatic. It’s just attention in a certain area. And if we ask ourselves questions when we’ve activated one of those areas and then listen for one of those responses and then we follow it and keep asking questions and listening.
(James Mayfield) Everybody gets very interesting results that they’re like, huh, I haven’t thought of that in a long time and it’s always directly related to the thing we’re talking. So our body holds wisdom. And if you know how to uncover the wisdom, you can get really helpful wisdom that can guide you moving forward. And if you are a sensitive or if you are someone who is experiencing either overwhelm or sadness or heard or any kind of emotional upset or relationship issues that keep getting triggered than using somatic work combined with inner parts work to go in and find the spot and then talk to and dialogue with that part of our psyche that is distressed. It has been the absolute most successful modality that I’ve ever experienced.
(Carol Chapman) Why is it so hard for people to I think, understand these things? I mean obviously we aren’t all trained in it, but at the same time, we all have these wounds from childhood and it’s hard for us individually to pull out those and understand what those particular wounds are.
(Carol Chapman) How do you go about helping? I know that you know how to appeal it all, but I think the inner child is probably the key to think the breakthroughs getting through to the inner child and getting that healing done.
(James Mayfield) We’ll ask the first question you asked was why is it so hard? And I can tell you that, I can absolutely tell you because it feels icky because it’s shame and it feels icky and we avoid it and we don’t want to look at, we don’t want to feel it. In fact, most people organize their lives unconsciously around not having to feel one or two or three uncomfortable things they felt at some point early on in their life and they are not even aware that they are avoiding that and tiptoeing around that because their psyche is so good at protecting them from having to feel it when we have stress that happens in our life and somebody is not there to mediate it or were not able to fully metabolize it and deal with it.
(James Mayfield) Then what happens is we end up with a divided self, we end up with a part of us that we feel is okay and good and it’s okay to be like this. And there’s another part of us that’s like, oh that didn’t work very well. I better not speak up at meetings because I got yelled at or part that’s playful, The part that’s fun. The part that maybe gets a little rowdy sometimes is not okay and that goes in our shadow. We have created shame, shame actually happened under the stress because Shane was created and instead of holding and like and honoring that part and saying everybody messes up sometimes or you know, he, he must have been grouchy or instead we’ve made it about us because that’s what people do. We make it about us, we personalize things and we know the best way to avoid that pain in the future is to not do that. So we exile this part of ourselves that becomes a coping mechanism. We used to deal with pain and then as we grow up, we have these coping mechanisms of dad was a rager.
(James Mayfield) So I learned very quickly to read the room and figure out what mood people were in and if someone seems distressed, come in and see what I can do to make them feel good and there’s the birth of half of our healers in the world right there is that process right there. And then as we grow up and it becomes the water we swim in, it’s what we do and we forget that it was a choice made by a four year old and very young time in a very sensitive time when there wasn’t someone there to help them process and metabolize something. And so my work is repair work. It basically allows people to find where we’re a divided self and to find out which parts of us have been organized as empowered parts that hold us and care for us and make sure things get done and make sure we don’t get hurt and which parts of us are disempowered parts that need controlling and need to be managed in some way and we end up with these empowered parts and these disempowered parts, but we don’t have any way to work with them because we haven’t been taught this kind of work is kind of a need to know basis.
(James Mayfield) People learn it when they get themselves in trouble and they need it. It’s not something that they learn at school, it’s something you learn when you need it and when you learn how to get in touch with empowered parts get intentionally disempowered parts. Use somatic tools to find where the disempowered part is active in your body and then how to call upon empowered parts and then to have them interact in healing ways and that’s where the healing happens. That’s where maybe you weren’t held during a stressful time when you were younger, but you can come in and you can do it now and repair that and that’s the work that I facilitate for people and it is really effective for relationships because most people are unsuccessful in relationships because we have triggered parts of us that get triggered easily because we have a hurt inner child or a part of us that feels unmet in some way that continues to react against these circumstances and I know how to repair that, that’s what I do.
(Carol Chapman) I would imagine it probably varies for each individual just depending on the amount of unmet needs that they have. Is it possible a complete transformation and know when you’re triggered and know when to keep it in? Not necessarily keep it in check, but work through it. Maybe you can explain a little bit more about that.
(James Mayfield) I can tell you the process that happens, it always happens in a very similar way. The first step is to notice when you come back online when you’re empowered parts, when you realize, oh I was really triggered there and I just yelled at you and wow, I’m really sorry that I raised my voice, it’s noticing and we actually get data on, okay, so it took you a day this time before you could collect yourself and then make up, let’s see if we can do that in half a day and then we work on waking up faster and that’s part of that mindset work of understanding what’s happening when you’re triggered. But very quickly we can get to where people notice it as it happens or right after.
(James Mayfield) It’s easy to get to that point with a little bit of training and once you’re there then it’s a process of like oops I did that thing that I do again and then stopping and then like going within, finding the part that was triggered, having a dialogue with them with that part empowering yourself and like really like giving, holding yourself, I teach people to hold themselves And then what happens is with that little 2-5 minutes sometimes, you know 30 seconds. Then you feel completely different, totally able. Instead of waiting a day to make up, you can now own Oh yeah, I know The part of me that got triggered then I took care of that. I realized I was trying to get you to hold that part of me, I wasn’t holding it and instead I held it. I’m okay now and here’s what I want to say about that and here’s what I’d like you to know it’s a very empowered conversation and then you go from there of seeing how you can head off of the past, how you can notice it.
(James Mayfield) I know what I would have done in the past and I’m not gonna do that. And even I teach people how to narrate out loud things like instead of just triggering and yelling at someone be like wow lots of heat in my chest. There’s a yell here. It’s like I feel like part of me wants to yell and when you start to narrate the sensations of what’s happening in your body, It delays you from reacting and allows you to start to hold yourself and it creates a whole new opportunity that wasn’t there before. So that narrating what’s going on inside of me, Trusted loved one is a really good way to go from very triggered to catching your triggers before they even have them.
(Carol Chapman) Can you give maybe a couple of client examples or even an example of yourself years back as you were learning and going through this process of things that triggered you and how you moved that pushed but moved through it through these processes that you have learned and trained yourself on.
(James Mayfield) I’ll start with a client. So this one client good for illustrating this. She grew up as a good girl. She followed directions. She was a good girl. There’s this man that she loved. She was in her 40s. She was a man she loved and she had had this ongoing on and off relationship for 10 years with and it was the same thing that always happens should start dating him again. Because she realized, wow, we love each other. Why are we not doing this? And then very quickly she would get fatigued, totally worn out not feeling like herself. I feel like I don’t know what’s wrong, but something’s got to change. I can’t do this with you And then break up. But usually it lasts a couple of years and break up and then maybe broke up for a while and then they’d get back together because there was lots of love there and she didn’t understand what was going on until we started doing somatic work. And she realized as we were replaying through some fights that she had, she realized that every time her boyfriend would say things like, hey, let’s go out to eat. And she’d be like, because she’s kind of a home body and she didn’t really want, she’s like, okay.
(James Mayfield) And she would say yes, and then they’ve got to eat. And this habit of people pleasing of saying yes, she knew it was a problem. What she didn’t know was that she found out in the somatic work was every time she did it, her throat, she could feel it in her throat and she could feel it in her shoulders that her throat and shoulders were telling her no. And she was ignoring it when that started happening, she started saying when someone would ask her to do something, she wasn’t in the relationship at the time, someone would ask her to do something at work and she was really too busy, she would say, I want to help, but I’m noticing some tension and the tension is telling me no. And she would at first it was just it was just that and she said James when I did that when I spoke, the tension that my body was telling me it was like an ah ha a light bulb went off in my head and I realized I’ve been ignoring my somatic wisdom, my entire life and that I need time away and I’m a homebody and I’ve been ignoring that with my boyfriend over and over and over again and when she stopped doing that, she realized I can be in a relationship, I just have to say no a whole lot to do that.
(Carol Chapman) What an amazing realization and actually going through the process with you. And then in a real life circumstance, it comes through that somatic wisdom from the work that she’s had with you that’s just beautiful.
(James Mayfield) Our bodies are way smarter than our brain. Our brain has all kinds of ways to justify. And it’s our ego. So it’s our ego, our ego parts are always trying to stay safe and not get hurt and where as our body is just honest, like no, I’m too tired for that. I don’t want to do that, I want to do that. I don’t want to do that. Our body is so much more reliable. Sometimes you have to listen to it in certain ways. Not always taken literally, but listen in certain ways and know which part of us is speaking through our body at that moment. I love to share just another client with you and then I’ll share something for me, this client. She was in one of my courses online courses and she said, you know the big thing that she was wearing, she said, you know, I’m a coach and I wrote a book and I know I’m supposed to be using video and it’s like I can’t push play.
(James Mayfield) I’ve tried it many times. I can’t push play. I don’t know what’s going on. And this is an example and everybody I know has this of avoidance patterns. We don’t understand or triggers, we don’t understand, we don’t know what’s going on. And I have yet to work with someone and not get to the bottom of a trigger because our body tells us and I know how to pull that out and to unwrap it and figure it out and so on the course, I just said, well you want to try something. And so I had her do some breath work, which put her into a slightly altered state and increased what the sensations inside of her. And I had her think of getting ready to shoot a video and I had her talk about it for a minute so that she was getting anxious. I purposely get people anxious and into the states that they were concerned about. And then I asked her what was going on and then she described some symptoms that were happening in her body and I don’t remember the symptoms specifically, but it was I know something in her heart and in her throat. What about speaking up and about? She just didn’t want to be seen.
(James Mayfield) And then I had her dialogue with that part. It was like heavy stuck heart, What do you want me to know? And then just get real quiet and I’ve already trained her to listen in the five ways. Listen for a picture or a word or a an answer or just a felt sense knowing of the answer, even if there’s no words there or an emotion or sensations and she’s like, that’s weird. I haven’t thought about that and maybe a dozen years and she said, what came to my mind was this memory of when I was in third grade and I was on in the Gospel choir and was on up in front of the church. I walked up in the church and as I was walking up across the stage, my stockings were falling down and I didn’t know what to do. And I looked over at my mom and she was staring at me with daggers in her eyes like you’re embarrassing me. And I just froze, I froze and I just stood there and didn’t know what do. And then eventually I was able to get off the stage and she said, wow, like I haven’t thought of that in at least a dozen years.
(James Mayfield) And so I took her through a process, She was blaming that little girl. She was like, I embarrassed my mom, I didn’t know what to do. This is what we do with our childhood parts, We blame ourselves for all these pickles we get in and instead of bringing compassion. And so I got her in touch with that little girl and that little girl inside of her through her body said I’m scared, I don’t know what to do, what do I do, what can I do? And then I got her in touch with another part of her. I got in touch with her in her mama because she’s a mama and but she wasn’t and she’s a mom, a tiger for her own kids. But she wasn’t including herself in that. And I first of all I brought in her daughter in that situation and she’s like what would you do? And I can imagine her there and she was like oh that’s not okay. I would just say oh baby it’s all right. And she was able to like flood bringing all this compassion and say the words she would say to her daughter. And then I switched her daughter out for it’s like now I want you to like imagine yourself up on that third grade up on that stage and I want you to be the mama that that you didn’t have in that moment and care for her and loved her and she did.
(James Mayfield) And she said some things that were very healing for that part of her and she said I just want to hug her and she pulled her close and hugged her and as she’s doing that literally dopamine is flowing through her body and all of these healing oxytocin is coming through her heart and she felt so much better, she was like, and then she said I was just a kid, it was a third grader, I didn’t do anything wrong and it’s that kind of compassionate holding of the self that heals these things. Then she sent me a text later that she had shot her first video right after that session.
(Carol Chapman) That is absolutely amazing. What a breakthrough, I mean that is a phenomenal breakthrough. Thank you for sharing both of those examples. I think before we wrap up here, I would love for you to share some of the breakthrough tools to help people kind of pierce through these moments of shame basically, because that’s a great term they build up and we feel shame, we feel shamed of ourselves.
(Carol Chapman) So I would love for you to share the simplified tools that you have.
(James Mayfield) Yes, and so I would love to share that. I want to speak one thing about shame is I had many, many breakthroughs around shame. I’m highly attuned to shame and in myself and in other people, that’s really probably my gift more than anything is I’m really attuned to shame and I’m really attuned to what shame does in the body and how it works and what to do with it. And I have a very different relationship to shame than I used to. I used to think shame was bad, it was a lie and I had an experience, a breakthrough experience where I felt, I opened myself up and I did a pioneer gland activation breathwork and had this really big experience where I felt some really terrible things that I didn’t do that were part of the collective unconscious I guess of humans and it was really icky and I was really, I was like okay, okay, I was breathing through it and feeling all this shame in my body and at the end of it I felt amazing. I felt like I had just made love or something, I felt like joyous and light and I heard a voice, Thank you for feeling me.
(James Mayfield) No one wants to feel, there’s a good chance that was my active imagination and my same circuitry talking. But what I got was, oh there is a gift in shame and as I’ve continued to explore that, I found out, oh shame has helped our human society in lots of ways and it has been used by collectively by us and by our parents and each other in ways to help protect us and keep us safe from a very fearful place, but there is a place for it and there are some benefits to it if you get deep into shame work. So I just want to let you know, shame is not the big bad boogeyman, everyone thinks it is, but you have to go several levels deep to the unmet needs underneath the shame to be able to work with it in a, in a good way. Part of what I do is really helping people slowly venture into these areas where they’ve been judging themselves and where they feel ashamed and be able to unwrap that and to be able to remove the shame from it. And what happens is you end up with this wide open energy that and if you’ve taken care of your inner child, you end up with this real joyousness that people are attracted to.
(James Mayfield) And it’s magnetic sensitive healers specifically need this work in order to be able to be clear for their clients. If we’re filled with shame or if we’re trying to hold back and hold down these unprocessed feelings, then we’re not able to really be as present and as available and is in tune and clear for our clients or for the other people that we meet in our lives. So anyone with a heart wide open, we must do shame work in order to be able to sustain that.
(Carol Chapman) Well, I think it’s also interesting and thank you for explaining that because I think that really helps to round out this discussion. You mentioned something about, it’s not only the shame that comes from the things that happened within our own lives, but the collective consciousness. Can you shed a little bit on that.
(James Mayfield) Well, I can tell you that we have active shame circuitry that just like that. A look from someone or a word or anything that just takes us back to anything that we felt shame about it can immediately activate that and send a cascade through our body and change our behavior change the way we see something, the way we experience something, the way we respond.
(James Mayfield) And so, you know, the reason we do this work is to give alternatives to just being held hostage by a nervous system that’s wrapped in shame or that is tied to previous stresses that have never been fully metabolized. And if we haven’t done shame work, then you absolutely are wearing blinders and there is a part of you that is trying to keep you unconscious and away from certain feelings. So you don’t feel them and experience them and it’s doing that to try to help you, but it’s not really helping you. And there’s a level of maturity that we can get to where we start to go back and repair these areas and it gives us tremendous capacity to be able to hold space for others. Once we’ve taken those journeys ourselves, right?
(Carol Chapman) And I can imagine that we take in those things that are happening in the world societies perspective or maybe not even perspective, but just the way society dictates certain things and that can affect us internally as well.
(James Mayfield) Oh absolutely. The cultural conditioning that happens, you know in families and in schools has a very long shadow looking back now, I’m like, so grateful for the insecurity that I felt and the very difficult first relationship that I had and the just these challenges that I went through, that helped attune me and give me real experiences that then I can make sense of because what I’ve found is that it’s not the trauma that does the damage, it’s the meaning we make of it. It’s the story I tell about myself in my capacity in the world that does the damage, and that’s all the meaning, making peace and we can fix that. We can for that is we have the technology, we have the tools to repair that. So that brings us to the pandemic breakthrough tools checklist and toolkit, it was originally called the somatic breakthrough to his checklist. And then somebody said right in the pandemic. It these are all the things I need to be doing to survive this pandemic.
(James Mayfield) And so it’s currently I’m ready to change it back now. Everyone kind of tired of the pandemic by now. But these are the 13 main tools that are simplified that I find for people that just want in the moment to feel better. This is what’s going to help you to feel better. And if you take this doorway all the way you will have a break. And so the first one is breathed the just. And I know your listeners gonna say, I know I know I’ve heard that from lots of different areas. and so I’m not going to speak to deeply and other than breathing is the only one of our autonomic nervous system responses that we can hack that we can actually change. Not only do it unconsciously, but we can do it consciously and it reverse engineers our physiology and what’s happening, it is the most powerful thing we can do to change the way we see something, feel something or, or even in the way we behave is to breathe.
(James Mayfield) And then the second part is listen to what’s happening is a response in my body. Now that will get you started, The next one is a tuning my presence and the tuning, my presence is a tuning my attention. So for example, if I breathe deeply, so say I’m like anxious about time. Oh, I didn’t get this thing done, I’m anxious about it and I just take a moment breathe and then, and then, oh, it’s right here in my solar plexus. I feel the anxiety, it’s right there. I’m a tuning it. So I’m tuning it to that specific area and then just breathe in a tune and then the next one you can do is sense your body sensation. Now there’s some other things you can do with a tuning your presence, but I’m gonna skip through it so that we can get to some of these others. But a tuning your presence is very essential. If you’re a mechanic, you need to be able to look at, okay, the tires not flat, the engine starts, the fuel line seems to be working. You need to be able to analyze the system and a tuning your presence is a way to do that.
(James Mayfield) It’s the way I can attune my presence too, my anxiety, I can attune my presence to the confident part of me that has done this before and knows I can do it. I can tune in all different ways and that’s the currency I have is where am I going to put my attention and everything follows that for a breakthrough to happen. We have to attune our presence. We have to have an expanded consciousness bigger and different than before. When we were just in pain, we have to attune our presence in specific ways. One of the ways to do that is to our body sensations. When we attune ourselves to our body sensations, then we can actually dialogue. Like I can go into my solar plexus and say, what are you really worried about? And then there’s different flavors that might say, you didn’t get this done and they’re gonna be mad. Oh, I’m worried about their anger. It could go to, you never get things done, You’re such a loser. Oh, my critical voices in here and I’ve got to work with that. The flavor of the response tells you where to do the work just like if I were a mechanic, Oh, the tire’s flat, that’s why you can’t go, let’s fix that.
(James Mayfield) Okay, now you’re good. You’ve got to be able to attune and then since your body sensations and then you gotta be able to feel your emotions, especially for sensitive healers or impacts, I work a lot with sensitive healers because they understand my work at a deep level. A lot of times it’s chiropractors, acupuncturists, energy workers, People who understand the mind body connection. That’s what I’m working with is the mind body connection. And in fact, chiropractors. I’ve worked a lot of chiropractors and they always say, oh yeah, I get it you’re doing on the emotional realm what I do on the physical realm. They helped to find out where stresses in the body and to alleviate stress. I do the same thing in the emotional realm fact. One quick side story, Zach who is fine with me using his name, he’s a chiropractor and he had lots of tension in his shoulders on his neck. He said he doesn’t know where it’s coming from and but he hasn’t been able to get rid of it and he’s a chiropractor. We went in and did the somatic breakthrough work that I do. We found very quickly that he felt pressure from his parents, probably his own pressure that he’s been putting on himself to be a success in the world and he hadn’t yet made that at that time and he realized, oh, this is emotional.
(James Mayfield) And so we brought in an ally and for him it was he man, he was like I grew up watching he man, he’s a good hero for me and in his imagination, we did imagine a work he literally had. He man put him up on his shoulders after this time that his dad had said, I’m leaving. He dropped him off and left, kind of abandoned him and he was stuck and didn’t, he didn’t know his dad went around the corner and was watching dads do this kind of stuff all the time. I’ve had some real bad dad moments myself of not really being too cute in to the results of some of the interventions we do. And so he was this kid who thought his dad had just left it because he was upset and crying and so his dad left him. And so in this imagination reenactment it was he man, came to him, put him on his shoulders, he felt the power of the man, he felt in his body, he just felt powerful and he man walked him home and he felt good by that time and then he faced his dad and he said, dad that wasn’t cool that you left me that I’m a kid, you shouldn’t do that. And he said the pain went away and it never returned, wow, that’s incredible.
(James Mayfield) So that was sensing my body sensations, Feeling my emotions and listening to my inner voice is so the inner parts work. I do. The whole idea is we develop these inner parts in response to stress and when a stressful thing happens apart, needs to come along to handle that, to handle that. And that’s how we end up developing new parts and that there are no bad parts, even the, the addict to the inner addict that wants to reach out for food or wants to reach out for something outside of myself or in my case, wanted to reach out to be desired and to be cared for. I was very roped into that my first in my twenties, it was it was a big thing for me. I was really seeking outside of myself for validation and I’m totally clueless that I was doing, I had no idea that I was trying to get mother love from women. I didn’t understand that at the time. And when I started listening to my inner voices and doing somatic work around this, I very clearly heard the inner voice that told me, you know, if she likes me, I’m okay, which is a forgivable offense if you’re a human being.
(James Mayfield) And so we got to listen to these inner voices and then find out which of these inner voices are talking the trouble that a lot of people have within our work is they don’t know where to start. There’s so much out there. Everybody says they don’t know where to start, but if they use these tools to listen, it’s like a bullseye. It shows them right where the work is and brings up exactly the flavor of hurt that needs to be repaired, Which brings me to the 6th 1 which is follow my resistance. Resistance gets a bad rap. Like we’re not supposed to resist but resistance is literally the bullseye if I’m resisting creating that website and I’m like what’s going on there for example? And like and then oh I’ve never created that website like that. I’m not exactly sure what to do. Then I need to go find out and like create a step by step. Oh now I can do it. It’s easy. The resistance was because I didn’t know what to do. Resistance is the bullseye. It tells us exactly where the work is. It’s not the bad boogeyman.
(James Mayfield) A lot of us grew up in light polarized communities thinking resistance. It resistance is helpful on the journey. It is a part of having an ego, it’s our ego telling us where the problem is. So seventh and this is probably the most important is find my unmet needs is fine underneath the difficulty underneath the trigger. Underneath the upset. Underneath the hurt, underneath the blame underneath everything. What’s the unmet need and Marshall Rosenberg from NBC Nonviolent communication talks a lot about this. I learned a lot from Marshall Rosenberg and if you go to finding the unmet need, it’s a really gentle way of doing inner work because every upset has an unmet need. Every coping mechanism that we’ve developed in our life. Whether it’s procrastination or you know, that’s just or many of the different ways that we or control. If I control everything in my life, have lots of control there, then maybe I’ll be okay. That’s a coping mechanism.
(James Mayfield) And every coping mechanism underneath it has an unmet need. And if we skip down to the unmet need and we meet that the coping mechanism, the defense patterns, we developed the symptoms. They all go away because we’ve gone to the root of what’s actually going on. Most people are dealing with symptoms instead of root causes. Mm hmm. Unmet needs are root causes. That seems to be the story of our lives. You know, we’re always treating the symptoms but we’re not getting to the root cause I love this eighth would be share my vulnerability. And the reason this is so important is because so many people don’t do it because of shame. Because shame feels icky and we don’t want. In fact, almost everybody seems to have this condition of I want to be just a little bit further along than I am. I don’t quite want to admit that I am where I am. I want to be just a little bit further. And because of that we can never start because we’re not at the starting line. And the starting line is usually sharing vulnerably with somebody what’s actually going on the hardest decision I’ve made in my life, I got the guidance, I’m supposed to tell my wife that I’ve been cheating on Way Back 2005 and I knew it had to be done.
(James Mayfield) I knew she wanted to know because she was suspecting that she was looking for it. I wasn’t feeling held and I wasn’t feeling loved, I wasn’t feeling cared for and all kinds of ways of rationalizing in myself, the choices that I made. But I acted outside way outside of my integrity and it haunted me and it was haunting me and was haunting our relationship and she knew it and I knew it and she fell out of love with me because I was so pulled away from her because I couldn’t really be like fully in and fully honest, fully vulnerable with her because I was afraid this thing would spill out. And so she ended up falling out of love with me because I was only a shadow of I wasn’t vulnerable. I wasn’t the vulnerable husband that she had married and I got the download very clearly I had to tell her she deserved to know I had to tell her. And it was really hard. But when I actually did, when I shared with vulnerability, it was a really hard conversation and I didn’t get to keep the marriage, I lost the marriage. But the rest of my life opened up that I would not have been able I would have it was my get out of jail free card.
(James Mayfield) If I hadn’t shared vulnerably and honestly in that moment and if I had hidden that I would have never been able to do all the work I’ve done since. That vulnerability is the key. No, it would have stayed buried, bravo, bravo to you. It was not an easy conversation. It was so triggering. I went out and she was upset, she ran down and like slammed the door in the bathroom. She was like why do I went out and got a brick and gave her a brick and said you can hit me if you want. She literally picked up the brick and looked at me and she’s like how could I possibly hit you now? And you’re like vulnerability is magic. It’s the magic secret sauce of inner work is being vulnerable. So I just want to underscore that I believe it, Which brings us to the 9th 1 which is choose self-compassion. Right on the heels of vulnerability are in a critical come in and give us a shame storm. If we let it we’ve got to choose self-compassion. We’ve got to find a part of us that’s like a mama bear part or a father bear part part that holds space for our friends that can come in and say give yourself a break.
(James Mayfield) Lots of humans have made this error before you. This is a human thing, you’ll get through this the voice of self-compassion and that’s actually the secret sauce of my work is I help people find their divided self-learn to toggle between a disempowered part and an empowered part and to feel both at the same time, most people cannot do that because they haven’t practiced it. But once you get the hang of it and you can do it, you can sit there and you can like hold a hurt part by an empowered part. Like I had a recent client who his addict to just one of the eat donuts and other things he had the elder part of him, his wise part that knows more than there’s some smaller self usually knows. Hold him and remind him of all the ways that addicts self is in the present moment. It wants what it wants and those are the two things about that and those aren’t bad. It’s in the present moment. There’s good things to that and it wants what it wants, there’s good things to that and to affirm that part and then to say and this isn’t really what we want.
(James Mayfield) Having a part of me that can hold a disempowered part is essential. It’s ki it’s what mamas do for their babies and it’s what we do for ourselves in order to heat And so that’s choose self-compassion. The 10th one is uplevel myself care and anytime we’re in crisis or we don’t know what to do or we’re just really stuck up leveling your self care is always a really good first step because diet, sleep and exercise helps everything else in a positive way. We know after a good a good night’s sleep, we literally are thinking better. We don’t go down the same rabbit holes. So up leveling yourself care can’t be spoken enough. The 11th 1 is nurture my inner child and I have a whole process. So you can download my pandemic breakthrough tools, checklists and toolkit and it has a very specific process for how to do somatic based inner child work, not just mental activation where I’m just talking to my head or I’m feeling in my body and then connecting to a part of me that is responding cinematically or emotionally and then connecting to that voice of my herd inner child or my critical voice or there are lots of other parts that that we end up working with that are disempowered parts and then nurturing that finding them feeling it and healing it.
(James Mayfield) And there’s a process that you can follow to do that. The 12th one is see myself clearly and that’s mirror work and it’s a different kind of mirror work than maybe people who grew up with Louise Hay, she’s she does mirror work or she did mirror work. Mirror work. She would get in front of the mirror and she would say you’re beautiful, you’re great, I love you and I have found that that does not work very well, because the moment I do that little part of me says no, you’re not bullshit, it says no, and it and it argues with it and it because I don’t really believe it, and I found a much more effective way to do mirror work, which is to use Mirror work and to look and deeply see what I see and to first judge myself, because that’s the first thing that comes and then to go beneath the judgment to be like, looks like this person is looks like you’re sad, it seems some sadness in your eyes, Oh, you look like maybe you’re caring, I think you might be a good friend and like going deeper and deeper into what you actually see what is actually present.
(James Mayfield) And if you have a facilitated conversation or if you know how to do that, it ends up, I’m feeling amazing. There are a lot of people are out walking around not feeling seen or not feeling heard because of the way they were raised and the people in their lives. And when we find out, we can see ourselves and we can hear ourselves and we can fill up that cup and start from a full cup and then be in a relationship, not from an empty cup. And it makes all the difference in the world And then the last one, the 13th strategy is restoring my thinking and that’s a narrative process. I took a yearlong course and applied mythology of how to narrator our life and our story and the world, basically a collection of tools of how to let go of old ways of thinking, limiting stories that maybe are only half true and then how to lasso in more inspiring stories and more empowering stories, they’re going to take us where we want to go. And so it’s how to restore that’s a mind based process to restore e and make different meaning of the events that I’ve been relating to in a disempowered way.
(James Mayfield) So those are the 13 tools and I have 150 tools that I use. Oh my goodness, I chose those because they’re the easiest to use that bear the most fruit the fast. And they’re easiest for someone who’s a layperson who hasn’t studied this closely to just do this process, see what happens. They don’t get where they want to go choose a different process. Do that? See what happens. So, if you’re in a fight with your spouse, you can pick up this digital resource and you can just look through this list and say, oh, I’m gonna follow my resistance, What am I resisting? I’m resisting this about him. Why is he doing this? Why is he doing that? And you’ll get very specific information and then well, what’s my unmet need let me well, I have an unmet need for connection and the way he is just isolating is not meeting my need for connection. You can just go down the list or you can pick strategies. But these strategies are tried and true and proven they work. Thank you so much for sharing those because all of them sound logically sensible. Like breathe, that’s pretty easy to do and some of them might be a little bit more involved.
(Carol Chapman) I love the fact that these are the ones that are tried and proven and are pretty simple for everyone. This has been a great conversation. We could go on and on. But unfortunately we’re gonna have to wrap it up. What final words do you have for others to tap into their own heart-centered inner wisdom.
(James Mayfield) Honestly, it’s going to the unmet need, finding your unmet needs. So for example if I’m dealing with, I’m feeling needy or I’m feeling lonely then the unmet need underneath that is a need for connection. But if you stay with the neediness or loneliest, that’s not going to be really helpful. But if you get too, oh I have a need for connection, what can I do to feel more connected. Oh I can make this phone call, I can do this, I can reach out in the social space and connect with someone there. It points directly to what’s needed, it’s going to the unmet needs and listen to your body and find the unmet need that it’s complaining about.
(Carol Chapman) This is great and where can people find out more about you?
(James Mayfield) Well, my website is breakthrough circle dot com but I have created a website especially for your listeners, for the hearts rise up podcast listeners that has a whole bunch of links to free gifts and I’d love to just like tell you a little bit about that if possible, you can access that.
(James Mayfield) You can go to Breakthrough Circle dot com and you can find it there. It says listeners of the Hearts rise up podcast or I think you will provide a direct link to there and you’ll be able to first of all get the somatic breakthrough tools, checklists and the toolkit that tells you how to use each of those tools. You can also download a free gift, a sensitive healers, somatic inner parts training. That is a mini course with that, you can actually go through that and learn about inner child work and somatic work and why that’s so important for sensitive healers. It’s also a free gift experience, the 24 minutes sensitive healers guided in her work journey, which is a guided journey that can take you through this process and through the breath work. And it’s a really good way to see how you light up when you think about things that bother you. And then the other free gift is a mini course for anxiety, overwhelmed fatigue, people pleasing and playing small and you can take that as well. And then finally, you can schedule a time to either talk with me or to even schedule a free 60 minute experience, a breakthrough Web based session which I’m offering to your listeners.
I will give you a free 60 minute session found that nothing replaces an experience where you’re like, wow, there’s a whole lot going on in there and I got clarity that I wasn’t expecting. That’s the best way for someone to experience this work is to just experience
(Carol Chapman) Absolutely. And I can’t say enough, I can attest to just having one session with you extremely, extremely beneficial. I just want to say how gracious and generous you are with these free gifts and the link to this page that you have created. And I am just thrilled to have had you on our show. You have shared so much information that will be helpful to so many people. I encourage all of our listeners to give this a try. We’ll share the links and you’ll have the information to grab these free gifts. I just wanted to say thank you James for being with us. That’s it for today’s episode. Until next time. Keep rising up and may love and joy always be in your heart.
(Carol Chapman) Bye for now. We hope today’s show helped to bring a bit more joy and happiness into your heart. We hope it inspired you to unleash your inner power and rise up to your best and loving, heart centered, highest self. We’d be grateful if you’d leave us a review on ITunes. Those reviews are important to spreading this valuable message. We’d love for you to subscribe to our podcast and share the show with others, visit hearts rise up dot com for heart centered courses, guided meditations and are popular notes from your higher self until next time, keep rising up and may all that you love thrive.