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ANTONIA DODGE: Hey, it’s Antonia Dodge and Joel Mark Witt with Merja Sumiloff. We are talking about her new program, The Healing Power of Inner Parenting: The Four People Within. In the last four videos in the series, we’ve talked about components that are found in each of the sessions of Merja’s program.What we want to talk about right now is, we actually want to talk about your personal story, Merja. We want to talk about what you had to go through to get to a place of healing the traumas from your past, and maybe some of the things that helped you out, and what allowed you to get to a place where doing healing mentoring was something that was profound for you, part of your path and mission, and how you picked up the incredibly useful tools that you teach in your program.
MERJA SUMILOFF: Sure. Where would you like me to start?
ANTONIA DODGE: At the beginning.
JOEL MARK WITT: Well, in the last video, we talked about … I think there is a long story and I don’t want to take up too much of your time right now because you talk about it other places and programs. You’ve even written on Personality Hacker. There was one piece in there that you were talking about, in the program specifically, The Four People Within program, you were talking about when you were starting to do some inner parenting work, inner child, inner parenting work.Horses, like actual animal horses, were a big part of that. It gave you a sense of safety. It was a part of that first step in your journey. I think you were quite young when it happened, from what I can understand in the program.
MERJA SUMILOFF: Yeah.
JOEL MARK WITT: So, maybe let’s just zoom in on that part and you can give a little context of where you were at and then maybe just that part there.
MERJA SUMILOFF: Yeah. My biggest healing journey as an individual was to learn to trust people, to learn to trust that life wasn’t just going to come at me and have its way with me. I had this experience of a sexual assault when I was five, by somebody who was considered to be a trusted friend of the family.When you’re that young and you have those kinds of extreme situations, you don’t develop a natural sense of trust in the world. You feel very much like you’re a victim.When I realized … When I started to do the healing journey myself and the inner parenting, and when I really stepped into … When I made the decision that I wanted to start to trust people, I also, on some intuitive level, realized that it has to be gradual in order for it to be sustainable, because you can’t just go …I tried to go from not trusting anyone to trying to trust everyone and do the whole “one-ness, universe is great” kind of thing and that really didn’t work out very well for me at all. In fact, I attracted a stalker who was threatening to my life, to my being, and it was a perfect example of “you can’t trust everyone”. Trust isn’t just automatic, you have to identify and qualify people for trust, and that type of thing.What I realized in hindsight, is that I had practiced trust with different things before I was actually able to try and practice it with humans. I did it with animals first. I have here a photo of myself for the first time sitting on a horse if I can share it.
JOEL MARK WITT: Yeah.
ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah, of course.
MERJA SUMILOFF: That’s me, for the very first time, on a horse and that horse’s name is Donut. I remember the feeling on touching his mane with my hand and I felt so safe. This was very close to the time of the assault, quite close after that. I felt very, very safe in the presence of the horse. Looking back at it, I felt like, “Hmm. That was a really big deal,” so I decided to go, “Okay, I’m going to have horses with me for the rest of my life.” I knew that was going to happen anyway.I started to move, with my career, into that authentic path of healing for myself. I have an agricultural degree. I have a degree in equine science. When I was 16, I finished secondary school. I went to study equine science, but I got a profusion in this field.It was to that point that I felt that this is safe. I can do this. Horses, good stuff. I’ll do it. Great. Safe, forever more.But then, of course, I got into the industry and worked in it. It’s a hard industry to work in, for those of you who know what it’s like. All the other stuff, the next healing steps were brought to me, that I’ll have to start to take. My healing journey then brought me away from the horses and into body work, doing classic and orthopedic massage and pain management with people who are, as a last resort, as always. It plays in really nicely with my rescuer stuff. But, interestingly, they’re very effective, because my great-grandmother was one of the first trained massage therapists in Finland, so I’ve been used to thinking towards the body.I have a very high kinesthetic intelligence for my type, which is INFJ. We usually don’t have … We have an inferior, extroverted sensing process, so this isn’t a normal thing for my type. We’re usually in our heads.But I was able to translate that into the body and I started to really trust people on the level of business, then on the level of one to one body. They were in a vulnerable position. I was able to effectively manipulate them without being a manipulative person, so I was able to learn how to assert myself as an authority in certain situations, through business and through doing the body work.I worked on thousands and thousands of people, and then, when I retired from that, I was 34 and then I moved on to doing … I got bored after six months of retirement. Couldn’t stay retired, so I got back into the game, so to speak.I started to do a lot of women’s empowerment work and then I started to work with the INFx, the INFJ [inaudible 00:06:23] and that type of area. Since then, I’ve been writing. I’m currently writing four different programs. Some of them are year long programs. I have an associate mentor program going on. I have all these different …It’s like this trust, this massive wound in me that was about trust, took all those different forms, has allowed me to be successful in business in many different ways, because I wasn’t afraid to go there and follow the [feel 00:06:54].But it all started with the horses. If it hadn’t been for the horses, I don’t think I would have been able to transition as well as I did. There’s a quote that floats around the internet from time to time. It’s my own, and it’s “In the presence of horse, anybody can learn to trust again”. Obviously, for me, it’s very personal.
JOEL MARK WITT: Absolutely.
ANTONIA DODGE: I think what makes that an interesting story, for me, is that I have the exact opposite response to horses. Anytime I’m anywhere near a horse, or riding a horse, I feel the opposite of safe.
JOEL MARK WITT: Out of control.
ANTONIA DODGE: I feel totally out of control, totally unsafe, like the thing is going to buck me off, it’s all over with. What I love about your story is that healing can go … It takes its own personal path. It can start from a kernel of literally anything.It’s the person’s desire to be willing to follow that path. It doesn’t have to match for any two people. It’s your own healing path. The important thing is that you go ahead and take it.I think what you said, which really stood out to me, in that story, beyond, of course, my different experience with horses, is this idea that when you got really comfortable, that was when you’re like, “Well, I guess it’s time for the next thing.”Once you realized that you had hit a precipice, like you had done that hard climb, and then you hit a precipice, and you were there for a while, and you were like, “Oh, that’s really cool. This is nice,” and then you realized, “Nope. It’s now time for me to go to the next level.”That’s very much, from my perspective, as somebody who does primarily achievement mentoring, that’s very much an achievement concept. At the same time, it’s also a healing concept, meaning that when we’re doing what we can for the more fragile parts of who we are, the inner children, we’re going to want to just keep them safe. That desire to just keep them safe, that being your only motivation or goal, that’s what has people creating those barricades. In the first session, we talked about, or in the first video, the barricade instead of boundaries. It’s also what keeps us easily triggered, like we talked about in the second video. It’s what has us self sabotaging, like we talked about in the third video.All of these things happen because all we’re trying to do is keep them safe, when really, the goal isn’t just to keep ourselves safe, the goal is to live the most full, self loving life that we can. As you mentioned, when you get to the point of real health and healing, I love your phrase that all the parts of you have each other’s backs.
JOEL MARK WITT: And, like you mentioned in your INFx program, that the parts that are wounded end up being some of the stuff you bring out to the world. The healing work gets you to the exciting part of the true thing you’re going to bring to the world, the light you’re going to bring to the world, whatever that might be for you, personally, listening. It’s going to be different for all of us.That healing work helps us identify the parts of us that are going to show up in a good way. I think … Thank you for sharing your story. It’s very deeply personal and you can tell, as you talk about it, you’ve done a lot of work and you’ve worked through the ability to be able to speak about some of the things you can talk about. I think it’s great because, as an example, in your healing work, now you’re shining a light to other people. We just can’t speak highly enough of you and the work you’re doing, so thank you for that.
ANTONIA DODGE: And this particular program. This is … If you are watching this series of videos to try determine whether or not this program is right for you, it may or may not be, but I’ll say, personally, that I found this program to be extremely powerful.
MERJA SUMILOFF: Yeah, and you see the evidence that is really reflecting on where you are going, because, initially, when you start changing, you don’t necessarily see the evidence.It’s only if you persevere that you start to see the evidence as a by product of your change. Your circumstances change. Your body changes. Your bank account changes. All those things change because you have changed.But you have to make sure that you allow time for the hangover of the old [inaudible 00:11:22] patterns, and so on, to subside, before you make a judgment whether something worked or not. Give it at least 90 days.
JOEL MARK WITT: I remember that. I remember, like 15 years ago, myself, I would hear personal growth teachers and these messages, reading certain books and stuff. It was always like, “If you want to be more wealthy, or healthy, or whatever, in your life, it’s all inside. It’s all mental. It’s emotional. You have to shift things.”I’m like, “Come on. Just give me the techniques that I need to implement to make that happen.” Going down this road, now I know what they’re talking about. Now I get it, because the shifts I’ve made inside have resulted in outward things shifting for me.I’m not even saying that if you take Merja’s course you’re going to lose over 100 pounds, or 50 kilos. We’re not making that claim, specifically, if that’s the result. The point is, when you start to make inner shifts and when you do fall in love with yourself, weird, amazing things happen in your life that you could have never predicted otherwise.It’s incredible the kind of life that I’ve been able to live now in making certain shifts. I’m starting to get addicted to it. I’m starting to get addicted to the shifts I can make internally because of that.I think what you’re doing here, Merja, with this program, The Healing Power of Inner Parenting: The Four People Within program we’re talking about specifically on this video and these other videos we’ve shot, we’re talking about getting into the depths of your core identity, your core motivation, some of the wounding you’ve had, as a person, in your life, and addressing the actual, real issues that will start to open some of that up for you, to see things differently. I don’t want to say that it’s going to be easy. It may be simple, but it’s not going to be easy. It’s straight forward. There’s a plan that you lay out in the program, actions steps and exercises to follow, but it takes work and you’ve got to put that in.This is not something you just buy off the shelf and take a pill that fixes everything. It’s definitely tools, and techniques, and exercises you have to implement. But if you implement them and you do it over a consistent basis, I believe that you’ll see a shift happen in your life. That’s my belief. I’d love to hear the feedback, some success stories. If you decide to invest in this program and invest in yourself, we’d love nothing more than, a couple months down the road, say, “Guys, this is amazing. Merja, Joel, Antonia, look what’s happened in my life because of some of the things that I’ve been able to shift for myself and some of the inner parenting work.”Anyway, thank you so much for shooting this little, short series with us, sharing some of your personal story, all the different techniques you’ve given us, and I just encourage you, if you’re watching, check out this program because I think it’s a really powerful program.
ANTONIA DODGE: I agree. Well, thanks again, Merja. Truly appreciate it. As Joel said, if this is something that you have been ruminating on, please feel free to go back and check all the videos if you haven’t, if this the only one you’ve watched.I also want to transfer trusts, because I feel like this is a really solid program. As both Merja and Joel have mentioned, I think what I love the most about this program … I know that you were wrapping up-
JOEL MARK WITT: No, I think you-
ANTONIA DODGE: But I just wanted to say this last little piece.
JOEL MARK WITT: Please, wrap up again or more.
ANTONIA DODGE: I think that the thing that holds us back is the belief that we feel like we should already know all this stuff naturally. When we have trauma that we need healing from, we have this pretense, or this ego, or some message that was given to us at some point, that we should already know all this and if we need tools, then somehow, we’ve failed our natural human wiring.The reality is the exact opposite, the exact opposite. We are not wired to deal with trauma, which is why it fractures us. We are not wired to deal with this stuff, which is why we go so wiggedy woo on it. The thing we always need is more tools to get that fractured self back whole.What I love about this program is that it gives those tools. It gives really solid ones, really good ones. It follows the “Car Model,” it takes personality type into account, it takes all these different components of who we are, who we just naturally know that we’re protecting, resting into, whatever, and it helps us on the other side fall deeply in love with all of those parts and make sure, as we’ve mentioned before, that all of those parts have each other’s back.I just love that about this program. Thank you, Merja, very much for creating this program in everybody’s behalf.
MERJA SUMILOFF: Thank you.