In a world often marred by pain and adversity, the quest for healing and inner peace becomes a necessity for many. We all seek solace, understanding, and guidance during times of hardship, but sometimes, it takes a unique perspective to truly navigate the labyrinth of trauma. Meet Dr. Lin Morel, a fifth-degree black belt and a remarkable spiritual counselor whose journey shaped her profound ability to help others process their deep wounds.
Guided by her own transformation, Dr. Morel walks alongside individuals seeking to heal the wounds of their past, helping them navigate painful experiences and find their own happiness.
Her company, Beyond Words Group, Inc., aids people and organizations in locating and dissolving energetic roadblocks that prevent them from realizing their full potential. She offers both one-on-one and group sessions, along with speaking engagements, to inspire larger audiences.
Dr. Morel’s path to becoming a beacon of hope was not without tribulations. Dr. Morel had a difficult upbringing due to neglect, emotional abuse, alcoholism in her family, and caretakers who struggled with mental illness.
She spent the first five years of her life with relatives before she was sent back to her childhood home to enter the public schooling system. “My parents and relatives were highly traumatized, and I quickly learned to adapt to the chaos and dysfunction,” she says.
When she was 15, she discovered a passion for martial arts, and it became her guiding star. Dr. Morel found refuge in her practice and believes it helped her develop a keen sense of perception and intuition over the years.
“You can’t be a martial artist and not be attuned to your body. You have to be highly perceptive. If you aren’t, and you’re in the ring, you’ll get immediate feedback. I also became more exquisitely tuned into the energies in my family. I came to know when to go onto the roof or climb a tree to escape a situation. Books became my salvation, and so did martial arts.”
Her mother continued to suffer from episodes of psychosis due to unresolved mental health issues, and her family environment grew increasingly violent. Dr. Morel feared for her life and ran away from home at 17.
“I received a scholarship and started graduate studies when I was a junior in college as part of the Honors College program. It was a perfect fit! I was an intellectual nerd who buried everything. That was what kept me safe. I had my mind to protect me, but my heart was closed.”
After graduating, she worked as a petrochemical buyer for Pullman Kellogg, where she experienced inequality in the workplace firsthand. “It was very rare for a woman to work in that position. I was paid less than the guys,” she says, “and I had to continually prove myself.”
She moved on and became a specification writer/buyer at The Meadowlands and supported the timely completion of the Grand Prix Race Track. Through all of these life changes, her love for martial arts persisted. Eventually, she and her husband co-founded the Academy of Asian Arts. Dr. Lin went on to win multiple gold medals and became a nationally ranked-competitor.
At that time, Dr. Morel had not realized then that she had unknowingly entered a relationship with a man who would repeat the patterns she had suffered in childhood. Her first husband grew increasingly abusive until she found the courage to divorce him after 14 years.
“I took a vacation once in Santa Barbara, and I went to the bookstore in town. A book fell off the shelf, and it was something about codependency. I didn’t know anything about codependency back then. I bought the book and cried my way through it.”
Something else happened that set her down the path of becoming a healer, which she believed was a glimmer of spiritual guidance or divine intervention.
“During that trip, I had lunch with a woman who asked, ‘If you could do anything, what would it be?’ She persisted, and I finally said, ‘I would be a stress management consultant using martial arts principles to help people find stillness in the chaos of their lives.’”
The woman gave her a ride to the airport so she could return home. During her flight, Dr. Morel started reading an airline magazine.
“The woman next to me on the plane asked me what I was reading. I said, ‘My heart goes out to educators. They are so underappreciated.’ The woman said, ‘I’m an educator.’ That was my God moment. She asked me what I did. My mouth opened, and without thinking, I said, ‘I’m a stress management consultant, and I use martial arts to help people find stillness in the chaos of their lives.’ She asked me how much I charged for my services. I responded with the rate I charged for private karate lessons.”
She hired her on the spot, and Dr. Morel flew to Rochester, New York, to visit her first client.
“I didn’t know what I was doing. I took books out of the library and did my due diligence to prepare. Ironically, I was pretty stressed and used what I learned in martial arts to breathe. It went over really well.”
She says that she has never looked back since.
In 1984, she started a new chapter in her life, founding Lin Morel & Associates, an executive management consulting company, where she regularly coached executives on various strategies that enhanced leadership and interpersonal communication skills. Her clients included executives and business executives from the aerospace, education, banking, entertainment, healthcare, petrochemical and transportation industries.
To facilitate a safe place for their growth, she founded the Endless Mountains Retreat Center in Wyalusing, Pennsylvania. During that time, she met and married her second husband. Tragedy struck again when her mother and second husband died in separate accidents within the span of a year.
Dr. Morel says this time in her life was devastating, and the difficulties she faced resurfaced unprocessed childhood traumas. For the next 12 years, she focused on her own healing and tracked the results internally and externally before she considered helping others in the way she had helped herself.
“I had a choice. I could be bitter and a victim, or I could pick myself up and use my experiences to help others. The deep dive into my psyche and my commitment to learning and growing from the pain gave me a depth of compassion. I recognized that I was living in a warzone growing up and had experienced great darkness. With commitment and small steps, I used that time to gain clarity and the inner awareness that came from knowing and accepting myself.”
Her clients come to see her because she overcame her own challenges and reached a state of being that felt spiritually whole.
“I’m connected to Spirit because I chose to be open rather than bitter. Right now, there are two dynamics on this planet—positive and negative polarities. The negative polarities are more dominant because it’s easier to be grumpy and say, ‘poor me.’ It’s much more challenging to embrace loving when there doesn’t appear to be any.”
Dr. Morel says the most important message she can share with people is that “Love is everything.”
“There are no limits on love. Learn to love the good times and the bad times. You love it when people are mean to you because they’re showing ‘you’ an aspect of yourself from another viewpoint. Even if we can’t find love, we put it there. When we all choose loving in the face of everything, is when we will have conquered the negativity on Earth.”
Inevitably, we all face challenges in life. She believes that no matter how things look on the outside, they are all gifts of experience.
“When you get fired or lose a relationship, if you look at it as a breakthrough instead of a breakup, you use the loving that is available in every breath. You don’t have to use the word God or anything because breath is what living creatures have in common. If you have a faith tradition, let that help you find the loving as well.”
When faced with a difficult situation, Dr. Morel encourages her clients to breathe deeply and look for alternate solutions. One of the tools she uses is spiritual psychology, which she credits with helping her question all the messages she internalized growing up.
“Spiritual psychology allows us to open up a can of worms without getting hurt. There are a lot of things that I have done in the last 30 years that have helped support people in very quick transformations. Why? Because I’ve been there, and I know how to give someone an opportunity to learn, grow and heal from their challenges.”
Dr. Morel believes that mistakes are an integral part of our journey as human beings. She says that she can guide her clients to find their own inner peace. “I won’t do the work for them; we all have to do this work ourselves,” she says.
“We’re here to learn and grow and to mess up, and hopefully, at some point, we wake up. We learn that we’re more than just this ego wanting to buy things to feel good. We can look at ourselves neutrally, with equanimity, when we do something stupid. It’s time for us to be kind to ourselves.”
Dr. Morel calls this the “dark side of being.” This negativity after setbacks stops people from progressing and impedes their ability to think clearly and consciously.
“We tend to get so upset that we can’t think straight, even if a job is handed to us on a gold platter, or the man or woman of our dreams is right in front of us, but we’re so afraid we’re not going to say yes. These are all human conditions that we deal with.”
Dr. Morel takes the time to talk to each of her clients individually to learn about their experiences. To her, they are not sick, afflicted, or otherwise unwell. She sees them as individuals rather than using a formulaic treatment system based on symptoms.
“Each person has a different makeup—their soul, their body, their mental capacity, their emotional capacity, and a lot of people just shut down. The only thing that is wrong with them is they’ve had a traumatic experience of some sort, and they don’t have a way to clear it.
One of the modalities she uses in her healing is Tai Chi—a martial art that uses slow, gentle movements and controlled breathing for health benefits and meditation.
“Tai Chi is both a martial art and an incredible stress management tool. When you move slowly in Tai Chi, your brain will slow down, and you’ll actually begin to feel yourself and know yourself.”
Anger is a particularly triggering emotion that causes us to think and behave rashly. Dr. Morel asserts that in order to grow, sometimes we have to resist our initial impulses.
“Speak kind words. If there’s anything I would say to any readers, speak kind words. It’s easy to judge or condemn ourselves or others for what we/they did or didn’t do. When we learn to speak kind words, kind words will ultimately come back to us. It is the law of reciprocity. We have the discernment to choose when we commit to a spiritual path.”
Dr. Morel believes we all have the capacity to tap into that inner kindness and positive force.
“We are all created in the image and likeness of love. You come down that birth canal, and you enter the world by being smacked in the rear end. Others are born by cesarian section. Ironically, our parents are often unaware that their loving or upset is imprinted at a cellular level. How a fetus is loved or rejected, all that becomes part of their new life at deep levels.”
She uses the “W.I.N. Protocol” to help guide her clients. In the acronym, the “W” stands for “winning in your own life,” the “I” stands for “intuition and intention,” and the “N” stands for “neutrality and noticing everything.”
“It’s a powerful skill to stay in neutrality when things come at you that, at first glance, feel unfair. That’s kind of the basic, stripped-down version, and that’s how people win in the game called life. You can’t get attached to the other person’s posturing. You hold your energy inside of you, and you win when you pay attention to details.”
According to her, this state of neutrality helps prevent us from being reactive or explosive with our emotions and decisions.
“If you’re having a bad day, your intuition suffers. It’s easy to go back to bed and pull a cover over your head or get your hand on a chocolate bar as quickly as possible. That’s a clear message that it’s time to take a chill pill and breathe. Go to neutral. Take a walk. Do some exercise. Tell somebody that you love them. Find ten things in your surroundings that you can look appreciate. This is a radically simple way to shift our awareness from negative to positive.”
She says that our body can hold our trauma in ways that may not be conscious to us.
“I have protocols for every organ, but it’s mostly the same basic principle. You put your hand on that problematic area, and you talk to it. You apologize that you’ve abandoned it, that you stuck the trauma there. It’s a great way to start the process of moving beyond trauma and into a productive and fulfilling life.”
Dr. Morel says that when people experience trauma, they often resort to shame and feelings of unworthiness as a way to make sense of it.
“The more persistent the trauma, the more the fabric of the psyche is compromised. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be restored to wholeness. One of the miracles of recovery is that we can share our wisdom with others.”
Since talking about personal traumas is deeply vulnerable, Dr. Morel does not approach her clients in a demanding or aggressive way. She values her clients’ comfort and trust in her.
“I bring safety because they are in charge of their session, not me. I don’t have any agendas with them. I just want to be present to what they need in each moment. When they feel safe, I ask permission if I can look at them and see how their particular challenge is limiting them.
Suppose any of her clients are followers of a particular religion they wish to incorporate. In that case, she works with the scriptures of their religion and tries to guide them through the language of spirituality they know.
“I don’t care what religion people are, just as long as they have a loving heart. And even if their heart is not loving, that’s no problem. If they’re willing to embrace the process, they’re going to find peace.”
She says when dealing with life’s hurdles and coming to terms with our actions, a big part of healing stems from forgiveness.
“One time, I worked with somebody who had made a huge mistake in business and thought that he should pay forever. It was an innocent error. And how do you forgive yourself for the big bloopers? Well, you can always turn a blooper into some brilliant new awareness.”
This process of reframing mistakes is what helped her name her practice Beyond Words Group.
“As a result of traversing my own dark places, I’ve developed the ability to go to the darkest places with people. I can hold a safe place for them in their personal darkness because I’m not afraid. I know the terrain. It’s a bit like taking an elevator down into all the stress and negativity and getting stuck in the muck. People forget that there is an elevator available for them.”
“So, I help them get on the elevator and take it up to where they can be more rational and open to a shift. It’s very challenging to put into words because there are no words, and that’s why my company is called Beyond Words Group. The work they do is beyond words. It’s energetic and spiritual.”
The process of transformation requires a lot of emotional labor, so Dr. Morel has learned to invest in self-care so she can better care for others.
“I love playing out in the garden. I like long walks. I love the pool, especially the hot tub. I have an amazing man in my life. I have amazing friends. I have so many helpers.”
Mending her relationship with her inner child was a major turning point for her. Her practice is grounded in the fact that she has endured tremendous trauma and nursed herself back to health.
“I used to hide in my mother’s closet, and I’d be curled in the corner when whatever was happening outside. I would hold myself, and I would rock myself. When I started to do this body of work, I would imagine going into that closet. I took that little girl in my arms and held her close to me. I’d say, ‘Oh, it’s tough now, honey, but it’s going to be okay.’ When you consciously nurture the parts that have been left behind, frozen in trauma, you open an entirely new world of possibilities.”
Eventually, she also worked through her relationship with her mother.
“I had a recurring dream until my 20s of a bear chasing me into a glass house, and I would wake up just as it came at me. It was a good metaphor for my mom. You love those pieces of yourself. In that situation, I would even tell people to get a fuzzy teddy bear if need be and hold that thing. That was part of my process. I needed to hold this stuffed animal.”
She brought her healing full circle when she had to say goodbye to her mother. “And when my mom was getting ready to pass away, I brought her a big white teddy bear,” she says.
After a lifetime of helping others, she has some keen insights into how to begin the process of recovering from traumatic experiences.
“I’ve seen the data for 38 years, and when you help someone love themselves or at least become aware that they don’t love themselves, that’s the beginning of healing. After all these years, I still have bad days, but they’re not bad days. It’s called being ‘hu-man.’ This word contains the ancient Sanskrit word for God. So, God man or God woman, we all have an innate energy that is more powerful than the atomic bomb. It is in each and every one of us.”
Dr. Morel believes her intuition helped her in her spiritual journey. If other people can tap into their own intuition, they will begin to connect with their inner selves.
“The only one I can trust is Spirit. And how do I know that? For most of my life, I’ve been listening to the inner. I still keep a journal, which I recommend to everyone. If you have intuition, jot it down. If you followed your intuition, see what happened. The days you don’t follow your intuition, you’ll see some stuff happen because intuition is our North Star.”
In the end, she believes we are all capable of finding our own healing and forging a world filled with love and light.
“Being kind to yourself is probably the most spiritual thing you can do—being compassionate for someone else’s plight is an honoring of our humanity, whether you know it or not. You can usually see the emotions reflected in their eyes. Silently, I say God bless you to anybody I see that appears to be in stress, not try to control them, but because the God in us blesses the God in them. Knowing we are more than just a body, oh my, what freedom.”
Moumita Basuroychowdhury is a Contributing Reporter at The National Digest. After earning an economics degree at Cornell University, she moved to NYC to pursue her MFA in creative writing. She enjoys reporting on science, business and culture news. You can reach her at email@example.com.