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How to Do the Work

Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self

By Nicole LePera
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How to Do the Work by Nicole LePera

How to Do the Work (2021) is a hands-on guide to healing our bodies and minds. The physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of our health are all interconnected. By changing how we eat and exercise, engaging in mindfulness and tackling past trauma, we can heal ourselves and transform our relationships.

Key idea 1 of 9

Dr LePera hit rock bottom, and realized that something in her life had to change.

We often hear of spiritual awakenings happening on mountaintops. Or in ashrams, temples, mosques, and churches.

But for Dr Nicole LePera, awakening came in a seemingly mundane way. She started crying over a bowl of oatmeal, and just couldn’t stop. She’d gone on holiday with her girlfriend, and instead of relishing the peace and quiet, it just made her realize how burnt out she’d become.

LePera had a very successful life. Or it looked successful from the outside, at least. She had her own psychology practice, a loving partner, and a great home in Philadelphia. But on the inside, she felt awful. She woke up exhausted, and felt detached from herself and the people she loved. She was frustrated and irritable at work. And her physical health was suffering – she experienced persistent brain fog and problems with her gut. She realized that something in her life just wasn’t working.

The key message here is: Dr LePera hit rock bottom, and realized that something in her life had to change. 

What was it? LePera had spent years trying to heal herself and others as a clinical psychologist. But she’d long been missing something in her practice of mainstream psychology. It felt too limiting. She realized that to truly be able to heal herself, she needed to take a more holistic approach – to embrace a practice that allowed her to heal her body, mind, and soul simultaneously. Because, in fact, these things are all connected. 

The author started to tackle her physical well-being, working out every day and eating well. She also embraced regular sessions of breath work and meditation. At first, keeping up the routine was a hard slog. But after a few months, her body began to crave it. LePera also started dealing with her childhood trauma, learning to process negative emotions from her past and starting to heal her inner child. 

The results of all her hard work were that she felt better than she had for years – emotionally and physically strong. Via Instagram, she started to document her journey as a “holistic psychologist.” As thousands of people started following her account, it became clear that she was tapping into a much greater need. Today, over three million people follow her work, and identify as SelfHealers

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