Sometimes the most powerful lessons we learn come from the darkest places. It was when Rachel Singleton’s physical health took a dark turn that she was able to see the love and kindness in her body’s design and how it had been trying to speak to her for years.
For over 20 years, Rachel Singleton has worked in the field of wellbeing. She trained initially in homeopathy, energy healing and flower essences – profound but gentle therapies that work with the innate wellbeing of the body and our ‘vital force’ to help restore flow in the body-being.
Now, Rachel is a Three Principles coach and teacher. It is her joy to work with individuals and groups, to explore and deepen into the innate wisdom that sits in the centre of our being, and live a life more luminous from here.
You can find Rachel Singleton at RachelSingleton.com and on Instagram @rachel.a.singleton.
- Reaching rock bottom with physical health
- Exploring what health actually is
- Giving ourselves permission to look in a beautiful direction
- Seeing the wisdom in physical symptoms
- The body as the feedback system when we step out of love
- On the courage it takes to listen to our wise selves
- How the messages from our bodies and lives get louder if we don’t listen
- How unreliable, insecure thinking never comes with a good feeling
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
- Rachel’s podcast The Beautiful Feeling
Transcript of Interview with Rachel Singleton
Alexandra: Rachel Singleton, welcome to Unbroken.
Rachel: Hi, thank you. It’s lovely to be here.
Alexandra: It’s lovely to have you here and to meet you, Rachel. So why don’t we start at the beginning?
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you found the Three Principles.
Rachel: I’m a transformative wellbeing coach, and an artist. And I’ve been working in the field of wellbeing for about 25 years now.
My journey has taken a few wiggles. I started out as a homeopath. Well, I started as an English teacher got very unwell very quickly, found homeopathy amazing, started to learn about it, and then dived into this whole world of natural ways of helping and supporting the body. And in the midst of that, I stumbled across something called flower remedies.
Most people know the flower Rescue Remedy as one of those flower remedies. And I was really amazed that flowers could be medicine, but it made sense. And so I spent the next 20 years learning about exploring, listening to the flowers, and had some amazing and mystical experiences that seemed to guide my path. I was learning with people from all over the world and branching out into plant spirit medicine and shamanism and all sorts of interesting things. And at the same time, seeing clients, so I kind of feel like I was listening to the people who were coming to me, and being trained by them in terms of what they needed. And listening to plants and nature and hearing what was on offer in our natural world.
There was also another journey going on, which was that for 20 years, I was very unwell for that whole 20 years, I was unwell and was in chronic pain. And that was every day. I was desperately searching, really desperately searching. I know a little of your journey from listening to your podcast. And many of the people you’ve interviewed so many of us have had such a similar experience of like trying everything.
Nevertheless 20 years in to that journey, I ended up in hospital, my body was rejecting any food that was coming in. I’d had severe IBS for years, but then that started to get kind of I guess, eating to the tissues more there was just so much inflammation going on, that it started to become much more serious. And suddenly my body couldn’t hold food in, I was losing weight rapidly. And I had this surreal kind of I think it was about 36 hours in hospital, I couldn’t take him on that and discharge myself afterwards. I was put in a ward where most of the people there were probably 50 or 60 years older than me. And I was nothing that they were giving me to eat, could I eat and none of the tests they were doing were relevant to what was going on. They were testing my lungs when it was my digestive tract.
The whole place well was very shouty and noisy and clinical and cold. That’s nothing against hospitals, hospitals are amazing places. But that at that time, in my experience in my world at that time, it wasn’t where I needed to be. And it felt the antithesis of healing.
And I’d had this question for most of my life up until that point, what is healthy?
What is happening and what did that look like? And it just really struck me they don’t look like this. And so I started to just quietly reflect on or what does it look like? What does it feel like? And I thought that too what the plants had been whispering to me for 20 years and what my own connection to spirit had been whispering to me for 20 years and it just felt softer and kinder and more gentle.
I saw that I’d been looking outside, endlessly, endlessly looking outside thinking that someone else had the answer or some therapy had the answer. Beautiful, gorgeous therapies, wise, intelligent systems of medicine, but for some reason they weren’t breaking through, and they weren’t touching what was going on in me.
I think I paused in that hospital bed in that night there to think well, why I just really wondered why. And, and I started to get an inkling that I needed to listen to something inside me that had been trying to speak to me for a very, very long time. I kind of came out of there and began to turn in that direction.
Within three weeks, my symptoms when and that, to go from that pain to was just, how is this possible? How did I not know that all I needed to do was to listen to my own wisdom, listen to my own inner innate kindness. And it was not long after that, that I I’d heard of the Three Principles. I knew a little bit about it. But it had not registered with me and not kind of landed with me at that point.
Not long after that, I circled back to it again, or it circled back to me. However, these things work. And, and it was like, everything lined up, everything suddenly made sense. It’s the way that it shows us how things work, they just cleared up. So much of the confusion, so much of the gray areas, I could see how I had had so many pieces of the puzzle. But it was like something about the Three Principles understanding brought those pieces together in a really comprehensive way.
And that’s about it’s probably about five years ago, now that I properly started to take notice of the Three Principles, but that that journey of healing has been going on for maybe eight years now. And each year I get to experience more well-being. It’s like this being symptom free happened quite quickly. But then I’d had a body that had been mal-absorbing food for 20 years, that was very weak, that needed building and strengthening and regrow.
Just two weeks ago, I was in Scotland, and cycled 300 kilometers in that week. I’ve never done anything like that from cycled every day, I was just getting up in the morning feeling ready to go again and thinking who is this woman? And how did this happen?
I think the Three Principles has been this deep confirmation that what was happening in my body was actually the natural way of things. It wasn’t a fluke, it wasn’t just a lucky thing that I broke through my symptoms, there was actually something very real and understandable going on here. And I wasn’t going to lose that health, that health can continue to grow and flourish.
But it’s not just been about health. It’s been about feeling that I have permission to look in a beautiful direction. I have permission to notice and reach into and lean into beautiful feelings and wise thoughts and good sense and that I’ve actually been dismissing so much of that before that I’ve been so focused on what’s wrong and I wasn’t looking at what’s right. And the three P’s keeps inviting me to look at what’s right. And that journey. Oh goodness, that journey is just so delicious.
Alexandra: To follow up on that, do you see any wisdom in the physical symptoms that you were experiencing?
Rachel: Yeah. At the time, I was banging my head against the wall trying to understand that I got that they meant something. I remember reading these books about if you have this symptom, it means that and if you have this going on, it means this and that wasn’t really helpful for me.
I think now, largely, I would say that the symptom is my body through the means that it can communicate, communicating with me and showing that there’s some distress or some unease going on in the system. And what that means to me, every single time I haven’t found an exception is that I have stepped out of love.
The distress of that, of moving away from what is our essential nature, the body is the feedback system. It’s this beautiful, loyal feedback system, which immediately, lets us know that, hey, this doesn’t feel good. This isn’t how you want to be, this isn’t how you want to see things. This isn’t real, this isn’t true to you, in your essence.
We’re just letting you know that by creating a bit of friction here, by showing up in whatever way the body has available, whether it’s through symptoms, whether it’s through emotion, whether it’s through the mental state that we go into, there’s all these kinds of ways that the body flags up, there’s a distress going on, there’s a discord going on here.
And really I mean, we, I think we all in the Three Ps, community quote Bill Pettit when he talks about love letters from the body, but they are love letters. And I think to me, more recently, I’ve come to see that they’re not, maybe so much just love letters from the body, but from spirit. That it’s a really deep invitation to come back into accord with our spiritual essence, which is love.
Alexandra: And you had, you said, lots of really good experiences when you were exploring nature and the flower remedies and that kind of thing.
What place do flower remedies play in your life now?
Rachel: The reason I stepped away from working with any remedy based modality was because my understanding of them was that the flowers were telling me this, I guess, as I was in communication with them and making essences from them over the years, I always felt like there was a conversation.
So when I talk about the plant speaking to me, I’m not do.ally it’s just my sense from them was that when we’re not seeing our own capacity to flower and blossom, they act as a reminder. So where we see ourselves as weak or faulty or not capable in some way, we can take an essence to strengthen that part of us we’re not seeing to kind of whisper to it, give it a bouquet of flowers, bring it back into our awareness.
That feels like not a corrective medicine but an enhancement, an amplifying of our essence. And what I found time and time again, which is just human nature, and was just because of, again, how therapy is often set up people were coming saying, I’ve got this going on and feeling this can you give me a remedy to take it away? I felt like it was very hard to not treat it that way, because of the whole way that it’s all set up.
I started to experience how much that was bringing my energy down, trying to work in a way that didn’t feel authentic anymore when I was seeing something else. And so I stopped. And by that time, I was already starting to coach in the Three Principles.
At this point, I don’t offer essences and I don’t use them for treatment. But what I do is, I am also an artist, a painter, I put essences in my water when I’m painting and I paint the essences into the picture so that those pictures can go on people’s walls, and that lovely energy is just sitting there in their room, invoking their beauty. That’s my dream.
They feel like a really precious part of my life and my development, and they feel like they’ve been my teachers, and they’re not going anywhere in terms of my life. They’re staying there. But in terms of what they’re doing in the world, it feels like through me, and through the way that I’m teaching, they’re kind of coming out in a different way.
Alexandra: Oh, that’s fascinating about the way that you paint. Now. That’s really, really cool. I love hearing that.
Shifting gears slightly; on your website, I was reviewing the other day, and I noticed that you often mention this innate knowing and you use the word sovereignty, about our relationship with ourselves.
Could you talk about sovereignty a little bit? And why that’s important to you.
Rachel: Yes. Just recapping on that journey that I was just talking about, I guess the thing that started to lead me back into the experience of wellbeing was realizing that I’d been outsourcing the authority for that in the world, and really, deeply had been denying that I had anything to do with that, or could in any way, know anything about myself that might be helpful or useful.
It astonishes me now how utterly I disregarded my own knowing and began to see that as I was moving out of it, particularly in that three week period, where my symptoms were falling away, I was starting to really clearly see when just the gentleness of our own innate well-being is telling us. Are you a bit tired now? Or are you a bit cold now this doesn’t feel comfortable.
I was watching myself just carry on regardless. And then it would be like something out of a cartoon and screeched to a halt, turn around and look back and go, Wow, I just totally ignored that. I am in the process of completely walking away from, ignoring, pushing away my well-being. And why would I? Why would I do that? And what happens if I don’t? What happens if I’m not dismissing me? What happens if that and I didn’t put it in these terms at that time, but now I see that as my well of being.
One of the things that I find myself working with in people over and over is that dismissal of the self’s wisdom, or they’re just not quite recognizing what it is, or maybe thinking it’s something else, maybe thinking it’s like this bolt of lightning that comes through in a god voice. And that’s what it’s going to be like some amazing insight.
What I was finding was it’s really intimate, really, every day. It’s in our own voice, and it’s in our own head. And that that is extraordinary. It’s extraordinary how ordinary that is. And we have got that automatically happening in us all the time. Should we choose the rest.
So, sovereignty, I guess, to me means listening to that. And letting that be our guide and seeing what happens. And let’s be clear, that’s not just listening to every voice that’s going on inside because that would be mayhem. We all try and do that. And we’ve been there before work.
What are we listening for? We’re listening for that which is kind, which is loving, which is good sense, which is inclusive of us in our world, which puts us first which we may not be comfortable with. But we have to get used to it.
Alexandra: You said there that the wisdom puts us first that was, I felt a shift in myself when you said that. And the example I can think of is every once in a while, in the middle of a weekday, I’ll be a little bit tired. And it feels like wisdom often says to me, have a nap. Just lie down for 45 minutes.
Right away, my brain doesn’t like that idea at all. And often it goes on for five or 10 minutes, I’ll have this little battle. And then finally, I’ll realize that that wisdom is so important, and I will eventually lie down.
It’s ridiculous how often that battle has to go on. And how I have to convince myself to listen to that wise part of me that is putting me first.
Rachel: That’s the perfect example. Really correlates for me with so many of those kind of everyday examples that I think we all experience. And I know I was really consistently trained by the zeitgeist that we’re in that you don’t put yourself first, you just don’t. It’s like religion tells us not to, school that does not to our parents tell us not to our culture tells us not to. And to start to peer under the hood of that and say is that true? That takes courage.
I often see with clients, they’ll come at a time when they’re at this make or break point, which is like, am I going to start to really choose myself am I going to really start to understand that I cannot be a loving force in this world if I’m not in the field of that love myself. If I myself am not actually listening to that, then I have no foundation.
To start to turn oneself over to love is such a radical, radical choice. I know that when I started to do that, and started to listen to the voice that wasn’t criticizing me, that wasn’t judging me, that wasn’t tearing me to shreds, highly effectively, and with plenty of evidence to back it up when I started to just begin to see through that and begin to consider the possibility that that was not real and was not true. And that there was something else that were seeking to be heard in me. I felt so irresponsible. I felt so like I was just luxuriating in this. You know lala land I was.
I just thought oh my god, this is nice. I mustn’t tell anyone about this. I was ashamed to listen to love. And that’s something I hear in people over and over. And that saddens me. That’s a rare old state for us all to be. And when we really look at it, it doesn’t make sense. It does not make sense. How did we get here? And this is why I constantly feel it takes courage to turn back towards and give oneself back to
Alexandra: So true. How did we get here? That’s such a such a good question.
If someone that’s listening doesn’t feel like they have a sense of that voice of love within them, what could you share that might help point them in that direction?
Rachel: I think it’s the little examples. I think your example of the tussle inside when do I take a nap or not? That’s a great one. For me, the big breakthrough was when I was standing at my desk, I’d been working for a couple of hours, and a little voice inside me said you’re cold, you’re hungry, it’s time to go and take a break. And I just carried on through, and then went, oh, oh, what am I just doing here?
And then I suddenly saw, I do that 100 times a day. I’m constantly doing that. How did I ever think I could be well, if I’m constantly ignoring that gentle, good advice that I know is real and true in myself that says, look after yourself? So I would say just listen for that.
Listen for your good sense, coming in and looking out for you. And watch what you do with it, without judgment, just watch what you do with it. And notice, if you tend to brush that under the carpet and think I can’t, I’m too busy. There’s other things that are more important. And all the reasons that we put in the way and bit by bit, softly, a little bit here, a little bit there, you can just take a gamble and start listening and start heating it. You don’t have to turn your whole world over all at once just start to become aware of the possibility that there is something in you that’s got your back.
Alexandra: Yes, being aware that there’s even that possibility feels so important and like such a big first step.
Rachel: It’s 100%. There’s nobody for whom that isn’t there. There’s nobody who is broken. Who doesn’t have that. So you may have forgotten how to listen for it, and recognize it. But that will quickly come back the moment you start looking in that direction, because it’s waiting to be seen.
Alexandra: I loved what you said about courage. That it takes a little bit of courage to, to listen to that. We’re so used to, it seems to me, having our intellectual minds override that impulse.
Going back to my nap example it’s a tiny bit of courage, but it that willingness to step outside what my intellectual mind is trying to instruct me to do. “This is for the best.” I’m glad you pointed that out. Yes, it’s so compelling and right.
Rachel: Yes, it sounds like that’s the responsible thing to listen to, that noise. It’s backed up by everybody else, and what they would say. We really should be doing that. And yet, something inside you is saying, “Go and take a nap.” That is deeply responsive to inclusive of and caring of you.
That is an amazing thing to start to explore. Because the human intellect can only take us so far. But that knowing, that kind regenerative giving wisdom, oh my god, where can that take us?
Alexandra: Exactly. On this subject, you have a program available via your website called The Journey to Love and I’m sure it’s connected to everything we’ve touched on so far.
Could you maybe tell us a little bit more about that?
Rachel: This is a coaching package. I offer more normal coaching packages where people can just come in with whatever’s going on. But what I found over time is that there are certain people who are coming in and because invariably every conversation seems to end up being about kindness and love and the mystical power of that and the practical power of that. There are those who were wanting to naturally wanting to explore that further.
Some of my longer term clients knew that I’d been, I call it kind of apprenticing myself to love just really wanting to listen, and let love be in the driving seat. And I was wanting to share that at a deeper level. So there’s this marrying of need in people who’ve been working with me for a while, and my own wish to really work with others in that realm of Okay, so what if we say that it’s all love?
What if it’s all love, that there is nothing coming our way that isn’t there, that there’s nothing happening within our being that isn’t there. And that we come from that premise. And we look through those eyes, and we see what happens. And we go on that journey together. So it’s not a program, it’s just a six months of one to one coaching. And the program, if there is one is that we are aligning to love and we’re listening for love. And we’re deepening that person’s ability to recognize it and see the love at play in themselves and in their life. And to wrest back into the arms of that.
So it feels as it would very close to my heart, and a very, very joyful, but powerful thing to go on. And, and it’s like it isn’t. It isn’t all just roses and, and beauty, it’s like there is something uncompromising about it as well. But if we’re saying that it’s all love, then we’re saying that we can’t be a victim, we’re saying that we can’t be blaming other people or blaming ourselves or being critical. We’re saying that actually that those things don’t make sense.
We’re really exploring the possibility of moving out to very old habits of ways of seeing and be and letting go of the security / insecurity of the familiar.
Alexandra: I love that you pointed that out that it’s not all roses and butterflies. That there’s this slightly, almost, I want to say confrontational, but I don’t know if that’s quite the right word. But it is it’s such a different way to look at the world and look at ourselves.
Speaking from my own personal experience, exploring this understanding, once we open that door it can raise a lot of questions and requires some reflection and exploration.
Rachel: Definitely. And some celebrating and witnessing and sharing and all of that as well just that wonderment of what happens when we if there’s, I don’t know if this stages to, from, say, health to the well of being, like ill health to the well-being, then if we’re saying that the symptoms arise as expressions of a disconnect between us and love. And then, if we don’t hear them, they intensify and solidify and become more vocal in our being and more dramatic in their expression, and more able to claim our attention.
And then, if there’s a transition that comes where we start to go, Okay, I really need to pay attention here, there’s something not right and, and maybe we have a little bit of a detail where we just try and get rid of all that and stop the expression of that and suppress that. But then it pops up in some other ways. So we still have to listen, ultimately.
And then we start to see, okay, these are signs of distress, and how can I care for myself and how can I listen and how can I understand when I’m in distress, and really begin to be more see that as a call to the gentle and loving in that. I kind of feel like over the last few years, I was really learning to recognize in myself and others, okay, this is just distress, this is you being vulnerable at this moment. So let’s do as you would with a small child or an animal that’s in distress, we come in, we make the place safe.
We tend when we listen, we help, how about we do that with ourselves? I think that what I started to see just recently is that then there’s another development on from that, that if I’m training myself to recognize distress, I don’t want to train myself too well in that so that I only listen to from distress. I want to start to transition into listening to well, what if it never had to come through as a symptom? What if we complete the circle? What if I heard it before it was underneath? What if I heard it, as it came to was just clear knowing?
Maybe that comes through in lovely ways, like dreams and visions and insights, and knowing and nudges and synchronicities? And all of that juicy stuff? And is it possible to hang out there? More and more? And what would that be like? So that when my knowing, comes up with something, and I hear that I’m not then immediately going into questioning and fretting and worrying and debating that. I’m just saying, okay, got it. And I go, I take the knowing and I move, I take the knowing and I move, and I am responsive.
I think that’s what the journey of love is ultimately about is that how do we get really tuned into the loving message that’s coming through when it’s in a loving form, and lighter form a more palatable form than symptoms and distress?
Alexandra: Such a good question.
I want to ask what people see, as they begin to explore that, that’s probably a hard thing for you to pinpoint, it’s probably different for everyone.
Rachel: I think people begin to see themselves in our eyes, they start to really get into relationship with their own beautiful essence. And I think what I see is them putting themselves down less, judging things in the wild less, being less conflicted, being less in conflict with others, being lighter, being freer, having a sense of permission.
With one of my clients, we joke about insane permissiveness in the sense of the more you’re listening to love, the more the permission to just be who on what you are. The freedom to trust what you are. And let yourself be let yourself express not have to be constantly guarding worrying about controlling, limiting that out of fear, but just to trust and be and watch yourself, unfold the situation unfold. Let it let it come let it do its thing. So a sense of lightness and playfulness and exploration. Joy.
Alexandra: I really got a sense there as you were speaking about returning to who we really are, that’s what it felt like as you were speaking, that there’s a truth there about our true nature. And it’s kind of slipping away now. The more I talk about it, but yeah, that it’s always there.
It’s not something we have to create or make up. It’s coming through as if you’re washing a dirty window.
Rachel: Sydney Banks talked about that so much. The Missing Link is all about that he was constantly saying it’s not in me, it’s not in my words, it’s in you or within. Feel for the beauty, the beautiful feeling and just it’ll guide you just this lovely. Directing us back to something that’s right here in the very core of who we are and what we
Alexandra: Yes, that just gets covered up innocently. I was going to touch on your podcast. So let’s just quickly mention that before we wrap up. You have a podcast called The Beautiful Feeling. And you had 12 guests.
Is there anything you can point to that you learned while hosting that?
Rachel: In a nutshell, and the truth that’s like really anchored in my essence or another person’s essence, always come through with a beautiful feeling with a good feeling. And that unreliable, habitual, insecure thinking, never does, never, ever does. At the very simplest level, that is hugely practical information.
For me in my daily life that guides me all the time. So if I hear my voice in my head coming up with all manner of crazy stuff, that’s making me feel uneasy, distressed, anxious, then at some point, and it’s getting quicker and quicker now, I just suddenly realize, Oh, this isn’t, this isn’t a good feeling. So I don’t need to indulge that thinking, I’m going to let that clear out. Wait and see what else comes through. Because this isn’t what truth feels like. And this isn’t what Love feels like. I’m not really that interested and in any more in not listening to. So I think over those 12 conversations with those 12 amazing people that really clarified for me.
Alexandra: I love that. That’s beautiful. Thank you.
As we wrap up, is there anything you’d like to share that we haven’t touched on today?
Rachel: I think we’ve about covered it.
Alexandra: I think so too.
Tell us where we can find out more about you and your work.
Rachel: So probably the best place is my website. And that’s RachelSingleton.com. That’s my coaching website. So that gives people the chance to kind of hear some of the podcast episodes or look at articles, my blogs and just kind of go in there and find out more. There’s a lot that I’ve written and shared on there about some of the things that we’ve touched on today.
I’m also on Instagram as Rachel dot A dot Singleton. And then if you’re interested in the art side of things, then it’s Rachel singleton.com. And again, I’m on Instagram as Rachel Singleton. So any of those and please feel free to reach out, get in touch if there’s any questions from today.
Alexandra: Great, lovely. Thank you so much for being here with me, Rachel. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation.
Rachel:Thank you. It’s been lovely. Take care.