For many, the path to healing - whether it be mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, or all of the above - can seem confounding. It’s tricky to know where to begin. However, Lena Franklin, a Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapist and International Spiritual Teacher, is helping diffuse the confusion around healing and living our best life. Lena does this by fusing the wisdom of Buddhist Psychology, Energy Medicine and Spiritual Healing in her teachings, with the purpose of helping individuals ignite their inner healer - a healer who holds the invaluable power to unlock your limitless nature, pull you into the present moment, and free you from suffering.
Lena also offers loving, clear support regarding how to embrace this healer, so it becomes easier to align our heart’s deepest intentions with external actions, heal ourselves from the inside out and become the masters of our own reality. To help us get started in the exciting experience of uncovering our inner healer, we were able to talk with Lena about the roots of her work, how it has impacted her life, and how we can begin infusing it into our own.
Living Wholly: How are you serving the world and contributing your gifts?
Lena Franklin: The work I share is a convergence of mindfulness meditation, emerging medicine and ancient healing spiritual practices. My passion is to help people awaken – awaken to a way of living beyond their day-to-day conditioning, created by their families and society, and help them tap into their greatest human potential. I help people wake up through seeing, feeling and experiencing their expansive capacity, and to harness the power of their mind. Through that, they have the ability to change and shift their energy, and have the ability to heal parts of themselves that have been dormant and repressed for a long time.
Living Wholly: What are your daily meditation and mindfulness practices?
Lena Franklin: I’m a big proponent of grounding - so I ground my energy and connect with the energy of the Earth, as that is the energy that has nurtured and birthed us. I also work a lot with the chakra system, particularly the root chakra, and use traditional Buddhist mindfulness meditation to help train my mind.
So I’ll wake up and go directly into my practice, doing some grounding and Kundalini breath-work, or what I call One Breath, which is inhaling (allowing the abdomen and the belly to expand), then exhaling (allowing that to release.) Then I transition into mindfulness meditation, which allows me to center and align with my intention of being present with my clients, and during all other moments of my day. The last component of my morning practice is stillness, which I think is so important because it returns us to who we really are.
Living Wholly: What are your personal tools for staying present and neutral even in the most challenging times?
Lena Franklin: Throughout the day I connect with different mindset tools. The initial one that comes to mind is the Three A’s. The first A is to Acknowledge the thoughts that are arising - so throughout the day I pause and ask, “What’s arising within me? What are the thoughts that are here?” If what comes up is a judgmental thought, negative thought or old thought pattern, I want to shed some awareness on that by acknowledging it.
The second A is Accepting that this is a part of my humanness, and the third A is to take an Alternative action. We’re used to moving really fast through life, so the alternative action is to implement a very simple mindfulness-based tool like belly breathing, grounding into the Earth through the soles of our feet, or using a mantra. A mantra I use a lot is inhaling into the crown saying, “I am,” and exhaling “presence” into the belly.
So again, the Three A’s: Acknowledging the thoughts, Accepting that this is a part of my humanness, and taking an Alternative action – this helps me move through the day in a way that honors my presence and true intentions.
Living Wholly: What does it mean to have an inner healer? What are three ways we can begin accessing that inner wisdom?
Lena Franklin: We all have the cure within. The healer within most people is pretty dormant because we’re rushing around and identifying with our thoughts and emotions.
The first thing we can do to awaken our inner healer is become aware of what our thoughts are, without judgment. The second step is to question everything we’re thinking and doing, both internally and externally. We need to question our life and ask our self if that action or thought is aligned with our deepest intentions of living. If our intention is joy and we’re not choosing a career, relationship, city or so on that aligns with that sense of joy then we should become of aware of that misalignment.
The third is to really embrace our sense of inner courage – our inner warrior – that has the capacity to change and evolve beyond what the rational brain can understand. In order to be your own healer we have to be courageous, because a lot of what we’re going to be faced with will require us to go against the status quo. People who are awakening and healing themselves might find that the way they’re healing themselves is by going against the status quo, and making choices that maybe aren’t popular, or in alignment with, the people around them. We need to embrace that inner warrior - our inner truth.
Living Wholly: How do you integrate Eastern philosophies and Western neuroscience into your work?
Lena Franklin: Ancient yogis, for thousands of years, have understood healing – and now it’s really exciting that neuroscience is proving what yogis have known for centuries. I share the science of what it means to create new neuro-pathways in the brain by committing to mindfulness meditation practice, for example, or by grounding that shifts our energy fields.
I like to use neuroscience as the foundation for the practice, and everything that grows and expands from that is birthed from ancient practice – the two aren’t separate. The two embody a sense of no separation and true presence, because neuroscience and healing go hand in hand – they’re really one. So when I blend Eastern practices with Western neuroscience it’s truly a teaching of oneness that speaks to our sense of interdependence, because the ego creates a sense of separation that’s just an illusion.
Living Wholly: How have you aligned your heart’s intentions with your outer actions?
Lena Franklin: I’ve really been a student of my own journey. Through my upbringing of being born to a Buddhist Vietnamese mother and a Southern Presbyterian psychologist dad, I’ve seen over time, through my curiosity (which I believe is a magic ingredient), that I’ve evolved into this work.
My heart’s intention, even as a child, was to help people. I’ve always been dedicated to this, ever since I was helping friends in school at a young age. So I’ve stayed dedicated to that call. Through the study of my own journey, and embracing and turning towards all of the pieces of suffering - like my mom passing away, and my recent divorce – I’ve been able to heal myself and see that our awakening stems from the depths of our suffering. And if we’re curious, and can turn towards that pain, we can allow our purpose to emerge. So my love for humanity, and my love for my own journey and life, has helped bring that to the forefront.
Living Wholly: How did meditation impact your childhood?
Lena Franklin: Initially, it was all about ritual. We had a shrine in our family home with pictures of our ancestors, incense, Buddhist statues, plates of food and flowers. So for me it was really ritual that invited me into the meditative practice. My mom would encourage us as a family to sit in front of the altar to meditate, pray to ancestors and be with that sense of innate peace we all have within. However, I was a kid, so I didn’t take to it immediately. Initially I was like, “Okay, mom’s being weird again. We have to be silent, breathe and tap into our hearts.” But it landed with me powerfully later in my life. And now, ritual is a part of my daily life. Everything we do is a devotion and dedication to our own soul, and the collective soul of humanity and beyond. I can’t imagine my life without ritual.
Living Wholly: What are the books, podcasts, teachers etc that inspire you?
Lena Franklin: One of my greatest teachers is Sarah Powers. She is a therapist that teaches at the convergence point of Buddhist mindfulness meditation, Daoist practice and Yin Yoga – a very restorative kind of yoga. Sarah wrote Insight Yoga, and has been an embodiment of the ancient teachings I share in different environments.
My dear friend Tallia Deljou has an incredibly inspiring podcast called “Sincerely Me.” We were fast friends – I had a soul recognition with her.
Tara Brach is another person I really love. She wrote True Refuge, a beautiful Buddhist-based book about using mindfulness, meditation and Buddhist psychology, and how to honor everyday life. She’s been a tremendous inspiration.
Living Wholly: What does living wholly mean to you?
Lena Franklin: Honoring the truth of our wholeness beyond thoughts, self-doubts, and the pieces of fear we experience as humans. Living wholly means living in your soul-based truth in an unapologetic way. A lot of people live in fear, and are living a life other people expect them to live. But living wholly is about living in alignment with our truth, Mother Earth and the entire universe. We’re all here to expand consciousness and to learn from lessons that are presented throughout our lives. Living wholly is about our interconnectedness and oneness.
Living Wholly: What inspires you most about Attune?
Lena Franklin: So much. First of all it’s at Serenbe, which is such a sacred place for me. The land is energetically powerful and infused with ancient spirits. Beyond that, an event that brings conscious community to the South is so needed for our country and world. The South has been through so much trauma, hate and separation, so to have Attune here, and bring amazing spiritual teachers to one place, with the concentrated intention of attuning more deeply with our selves, so we can then live out our greatest life through joy, intention and dedication to our own healing, is beyond words for me. Attune is like an invitation to come back home to ourselves. It will be powerful.
Living Wholly: How can people learn more about you and your offerings, and work with you?
Lena Franklin: Go to LenaFranklin.com You can find my retreats, workshops and individual offerings here.
I also have an app, WelZen on the app store. I have different meditations on that.
You can also follow me on social media through @mindful_ healer I always share tips and my upcoming events there.
If you’re intrigued by the journey of forging a relationship with your radiant inner healer, join us online for a 75-minute LIVE complimentary workshop with Lena Franklin on Wednesday, May 22nd at 6 pm pst. This unique opportunity will support you in quickly honing in on your inner sanctuary of presence, purpose and passion – it’s like a fast track to the home of your inner healer. With Lena’s support, your life will blossom with a newfound loving, compassionate relationship with your authentic essence, and the boundless possibilities this relationship creates. Say YES to this experience by registering HERE.
Plus, she is giving away ONE spot to her retreat in Jamaica for those that register for the webinar. More details here.
with great love,
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