We, Greg Lee and Antonia Van Becker, are workaholics… there we said it. Fortunately, we learned that being a workaholic with a stressful lifestyle as opposed to working doing what you love are two different things. Lately, we’ve had people ask about our story, and how we got started as healers. So, we thought we’d share it! Why don’t we start off with Greg’s story?
There’s no fooling anyone. I’m no delicate flower. I’m a stoic Norwegian type who doesn’t mind jumping into extremely cold water. So it takes a lot for something to get me down.
Before Antonia and I started Self Health Institute, I worked for a music software company. (For anyone who doesn’t already know, Antonia and I are not only healers, we’re musicians too. We both write songs and play music – which, honestly, music can help heal your soul as well. So it’s safe to say that we just changed forms.) I had just come home from a very big trade show in Frankfurt, Germany feeling quite tired. I figured it was just from the plane ride, but over the coming months, I was experiencing this weird gastrointestinal thing. For 6 months I couldn’t keep any food in my body. It would go straight through me. I’d seen specialists, and even done a special test where they put tubes down my throat and took samples of the gastric fluids my body was producing to make sure my body was producing them “correctly”.
After the procedure and having specialists telling me to take things like tincture of opium and tar, nothing really changed. It had been a long 6 months, nothing was working and I had lost about 40 pounds. At this point, Antonia was worried I may have had pancreatic cancer (though she didn’t talk about it then.) So I had one last appointment with my doctor – and honestly, it was the last appointment I ever had with him.
During the appointment, my doctor looked at me and said “Greg, there’s nothing medically wrong with you.” As much as I thought I was a really healthy person, I knew that I needed to take my health into my own hands and become an even healthier version of me. The first step to doing this? As I walked out of Palo Alto Medical Foundation, I took the medication I had been taking for the last 6 months and tossed it all into the trash.
A Meeting with Fate
I knew there was a better way to take care of the issue I was having. So as I drove away from the medical center, hungry as usual since nothing stayed in my body, I stopped at a fairly new store at the time to grab some food. And as I walked down the bread and pastry aisle at Whole Foods, allowing all of the different smells to swirl around me, this woman I’d known since 1977 came walking up to me.
I was surprised to see her, and explained that I’d been meaning to call her for quite some time. To my surprise, she looked directly into my eyes and said “I know. Your pancreas is really in trouble.” I have to say, it was mind blowing. I hadn’t spoken to her in years, and yet here we were, face to face in Whole Foods for all of 10 seconds, and she knew exactly what was wrong. Was she intuitive or what!
So, I went to see her. She did this cool, energetic healing stuff that I’d kind of known about already. It was amazing! At the end, I got off the table and instantly, I had no more symptoms. No more gastrointestinal anything, no more diarrhea – it was wonderful. Right away, I got curious about if she taught this and she did. Meanwhile, Antonia had this other stuff happening kind of at the same time this was happening to me.
At the time we were both very busy with our corporate jobs. Greg was in Frankfurt and we were getting ready to have our second daughter.
It was Fall. I was out raking leaves and I got a blister on my hand but, like most things at that point in my life, I didn’t pay much attention to it. The next morning, I woke up and thought “that’s kind of funny, my hand’s kind of stiff”. I had an appointment with the doctor that day because I had bronchitis at the time, and I was on antibiotics. (I’d get bronchitis and pneumonia at least once or twice a year for many years.)
I got to my appointment early and as the doctor was checking my lungs, I told him, ” Oh yeah, my hand feels weird and I’m feeling dizzy”.
He said, “Roll up your sleeve”.
“Roll up your sleeve”.
I rolled up my sleeve. I had a red line going pretty much almost all the way up my arm.
And the doctor said, “You have blood poisoning”.
You know what that means? When you get blood poisoning like that, the indication is when it gets all the way up your arm and to your heart, you die.
That’s how close that was.
It turned out fine. It went away, the blister went away. But what really impressed upon me was I had to start taking responsibility for my health. This wasn’t just for me. I had that baby 8 months along. I wasn’t taking care of myself or that baby and it could have such dire consequences. Between these two things, where we each almost died within months of each other, we realized the lifestyle we were living which was full of stress, not enough sleep, running around and being too busy, was causing our dire health situations.
Starting our healing mission
After I went and had the energetic healing, Antonia also went to the same person and got incredible results. We got curious and within a couple of years, we were in a certification course learning this incredible energetic healing. We started our business and started getting clients and referrals right away. It was years of apprenticing and practicing and then teaching the certification course.
We worked with so many people who had physiological issues. Many of our referrals would come with headaches or stomach problems and all kinds of allergies, and we see their lifestyle conditions that are affecting their health and the way they feel. It’s amazing the insights you’d gain from having these lifestyle conditions happen to you yourself. It transfers nicely to how you work with people. We love having to bring our experiences from the past into our current work and to be able to reflect that into what we do.
Setbacks: Family problems
Over time, we moved into our current house with 4 generations of our family; Antonia’s grandmother and parents, us and our two daughters. Unfortunately, things started to shift as we became distracted by family problems: Antonia’s grandmother broke her leg, my mother got sick and both Antonia’s parents got sick with her father having heart surgery and needing a lot of care. Our daughters were in high school and having issues of their own.
We got worried, anxious and lost our focus and when our eldest daughter started getting in with a group of kids who were doing some pretty strong drugs, it really started to go downhill and our business went downhill as well. By 2008, it had gone from this thriving business that was giving us all the resources we needed to about a quarter of the revenue we’d had. Moreover, it was the first time we’d been in serious debt paying for the detoxes and rehabs for our daughter.
We needed an intervention, we were nearing our breaking point. They both came with one event.
An Unforgettable Birthday Dinner
Antonia and I were up at her parents’ vacation house at Sea Ranch. We were celebrating my birthday, raising a glass for a toast, when the phone rang. It was a woman saying our daughter, Nicole, had been kicked out of the sober living house. She had been caught smoking pot and she’d have to go through a detox for the 4th time if she wanted to go back into the house. It had been so much going back and forth with her going on and off the wagon, that we couldn’t go on the way we’d been. Something had to change. There, up on the coast, we made a decision. We called back to the sober living house and we said that we weren’t going to be paying for another detox. Within the hour… Nicole was gone. She left everything she had, and she was on the streets.
That was a hard decision. It took a lot from us but we knew it was the right thing to do for ourselves. Then, we started to rebuild. We restructured our business and how we worked with people. We asked ourselves what we needed to do to come back, basically, from the ashes and make our business something that would be able to serve not just the people outside, but also us.
Uncovering the truth
At that time, we watched Nadine Burke Harris’ Ted Talk on adverse childhood experiences and their effects across a lifetime, and a light bulb went on. This was what we’d been treating with people coming into our clinical work. These childhood experiences – though they can happen at any stage in life- had a profound effect on psychological and physical health.
We realized that the effects trauma had on people didn’t stop at their health, it affected their ability to find an education, to be successful in life and especially successful if they had their own business because of all the difficulties they’d have in making decisions they needed to make to be successful. This led us to eventually go online, create programs, and codify this CoreTalk modality that we teach, so that people could learn to heal themselves and start asking the right questions for themselves: what have I been dreaming about? How can I make the best decisions for myself so that I can grow and prosper?
One of the beautiful things about the CoreTalk holistic healing is it clears your chakras and meridians so that the flow in your body is re-established. That is how I started getting rid of chronic illnesses like my bronchitis.
Confronting the past
My adverse experiences came from having alcoholic parents, who went through a divorce and death by suicide in the family – my brother and uncle. We really started digging into our experiences and working on ourselves and we still do, because guess what? Life continues to roll out new challenges. As you grow and move out of your comfort zone, some stuff comes up that you never expected. It’s during those periods of time when having the tools to decipher what’s happening in your life so you can heal what’s holding you back is so important.
That’s what’s so special about having a discussion with your body; being able to discover what’s going on, what’s holding you back from taking the next step and that’s where we really encourage
people to look at. What do you want? What is unique to you that you want to bring into this world? Something you do as easy as breathing, something no one else does like you. There’s a reason you’re here on this planet and that is the thing that you do that other people need you for.
That’s our mission. To help people move forward and take those unique qualities and bring them fully into the world. To offer that and be able to make a living out of doing that if they choose to.
Redefining our mission statement
It’s interesting how our mission has morphed over the years. When we first started Self Health Institute, our mission was to put healing back into the hands of the regular people. Moms, family members and communities so they could heal their communities and families without having somebody else tell them what to do or take. Now we really love putting healing into the hands of healers and then helping these healers bring their own brilliant methods of healing into the world. We address the problems stopping them from getting bigger and helping more people because we believe what the world needs right now are healers- people who can empathize with and understand what other people are feeling and know how to help them grow. We want to support healers who are doing that work so that they can grow, have a prosperous business and make more impact.
It’s really about the ripple effect. When you start your own unique movement, the ripple goes from person to person and you can affect the world in any way you choose. But it’s about taking the first step, and that’s our invitation to you! We love being able to empower people to make the best choices for them, so make that choice; follow us and allow what we do to envelope you and inspire you to be your shining, unique self.