One of the many amazing aspects of the human body is its ability to heal itself. Every second of our lives, our bodies are working to keep us healthy and in a natural state of balance. The beauty of being able to understand how our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions impact our health and ability to heal is nothing short of amazing. It’s one of the reasons actor-turned-writer, director, producer, and author, Kelly Noonan Gores, has shifted her focus after 20 years in front of the camera.
“I truly never imagined I would do anything besides acting,” Kelly explains. “Like probably every other child actor, I had high hopes for the most successful career as an actor, but my soul had other plans!”
After dealing with a few different health issues dating back to high school, Kelly would come to discover the power of natural medicine, integrative nutrition, and bio-individuality (the belief that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to health and medicine), which ignited an even deeper passion to share what she’d come to learn through her firsthand experiences.
In 2017, Kelly debuted her powerful documentary, “Heal,” and the trajectory of her life took on a new and different shape. Through conversations and insights with experts and real people going through their own healing journeys, the documentary serves to educate and inspire.
Along with the film, Kelly has also penned a book of the same name, and last May launched the “Heal” podcast as a way to connect with her followers on a deeper level.
We sat down with Kelly for an in-depth conversation to talk about health, wellness, and why in order to heal you must get to the root of the problem.
Was there a defining moment in which you knew it was time to step away from acting to focus on the journey you’re currently on today?
I was attending Agape International Spiritual Center and had recently learned to meditate. I learned about the “Law of Attraction” from the movie, “The Secret,” and had been writing in a gratitude journal everyday as well as listening to Abraham Hicks, Wayne Dyer, and Eckhart Tolle on repeat. I think it was Reverend Michael Beckwith who taught me to listen to the quiet whispers of the heart and always trust that pull. With that awareness, I started to pay attention that I got more excited and energized talking about spirituality and co-creating our lives and health than acting. Then after I read Anita Moorjani’s book, “Dying to be Me,” I was ready to make “Heal.” I never looked back.
Would you say your own health experiences were the catalyst for going on this journey of a more holistic and natural approach to wellness?
Absolutely! I learned that so much of a successful healing journey is awareness, knowledge, and access.
The documentary has been life-changing for you in many ways. What have been some of your most profound takeaways from making “Heal?”
“Heal” was such a calling. It was one of those things I just had to do. I didn’t do it for fame or money, I did it because I was called to do it. It was such a rewarding experience because once I said yes to that calling, everything just flowed. It was almost like I took my hands off the wheel and just kept saying yes to this energy that was pushing me to do the film in the first place.
It was wild to see all the experts say yes. When my team and I experienced a no or an obstacle, we still remained open and trusting that someone else would come into our awareness and say yes, and those few people turned out to be important pieces of the puzzle.
I learned so much making the film, and the positive feedback and gratitude I receive (even four years later) is just mind-blowing and so gratifying.
My biggest takeaway—follow the calling in your heart, or do whatever it is that lights you up when talking about it or doing it. Your heart and that energy will never lead you astray.
The film features some wonderful experts. Would you say they have been mentors for you?
Yes! Everyone I put in the film—each one personally taught me so much. I wanted to put all my teachers in one film to empower others like I have been empowered.
Let’s talk about the book and your podcast of the same name. What was your mission in having “Heal” live on?
The book was a natural progression. I had many hours of interviews with the experts that ended up on the cutting room floor because there is only so much you can cram into a 90-minute film. So the book has over twice the content of the film as far as wisdom from the experts.
The podcast seemed to be the easiest next step to continue giving people information and inspiration. There is so much to learn, so a podcast keeps the conversation going for our growing global audience who are eager to learn more about their potential as amazing human beings.
What has been the response to “Heal,” whether it be the film, book, or the podcast?
I am actually blown away by the response. I meet so many people, even doctors and pharmacists, who recommend “Heal” to everyone as a first step after they receive a diagnosis. It feels amazing to have something you worked so hard on be so well received.
In the film, you liken meditation to taking a shower. Is there more than one form of meditation, and if so, how does someone know which one is right for them?
Marianne Williamson said meditation is like taking a mental shower every day, washing all the gunk out of your mind, like we do with a shower on our skin and hair. There are many forms of meditation; I mix it up depending on how I feel and what I’m going for. I do transcendental meditation and then various guided meditations for manifesting, healing, relaxing, or de-stressing. You just have to follow what feels right for you.
Along with meditation, what other tools do you implement into your everyday routine for your own mental and physical health?
I like earthling and connecting with nature every day. Earthing is putting my bare feet into the grass or sand to “ground” myself and soak up the negative, ionic charge of the earth’s surface. I also love breathwork and cold plunging (á la Wim Hof ), infrared sauna to detox, and some sort of daily movement.
Many people find it difficult to commit a few minutes each day to meditate yet will spend hours on social media. Why do you think that is?
Our minds, habits, and programming are a very tricky phenomena. It takes discipline and practice to come into the precious, present moments. It can also be uncomfortable to put down all the distractions and ways you escape and just sit with yourself. But freedom, peace, healing, connection, understanding, love—all the clichés—are truly on the other side of that discomfort. And the more you practice, the easier it gets. After you do it a few times and experience your first physical moment, you’ll want to feel that feeling of deep peace and connection every day.
Let’s talk about journaling and the importance it has on our minds. Do you journal daily?
I try to, although it’s hard with a 2 year old to be consistent with anything. But writing to me is therapy. It’s great to have an outlet to get your thoughts and feelings out. I also love gratitude journaling. I write down what I am grateful for in order to change my state to one of gratitude. What you appreciate, appreciate!
I also write about things I desire as if I already have them and give thanks for them. It’s a fun exercise that engages my imagination and gets my body and mind into the elevated emotional state of gratitude.
The brain doesn’t know the difference between what’s real or imagined, so the more you fantasize and give thanks for things as if you already have them, there is a greater chance you will call that thing or experience into your life. I call it, “feeling into the future you desire.” It feels silly at first, but it doesn’t hurt, and I’ve manifested some amazing things into my life with this practice.
I always say, if you leave your mind alone, it will tend toward negativity and stress because our survival instinct searches for threats in the environment. If we consciously take the reins of our mind by using it to imagine a future we desire as if it was already a reality, the more powerfully we can co-create with life.
What are you most looking forward to in 2022?
I’m looking forward to slowing down and spending more time with family. I need to practice what I preach, and take care of my body, mind, and spirit. It’s been a busy five years and I’m ready for a little down time and spending more quality time with my daughter.
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