Blog: The Accidental Intuitive

In this blog, I’ll be sharing snippets of intuitively discerned guidance on “life 101” as well as observations about my favorite topics– human behavior and healing, which is why I’ve chosen to brand myself an “intuitive behaviorist” until I think of something better. When I can’t resist the urge, some acerbic comments on current affairs might challenge you to examine your current beliefs versus current social, psychological, spiritual and holistic trends.

Sometimes posts will explore the unfolding archetypal power struggles we face when our ego, identity and personal and professional power clash with our relationships, values and spirituality. In the long-term, depending on the level of resilience (emotional sturdiness) one has, that kind of inner conflict creates stress that can lead to illness.

Paradigms, Change Agents and Visionaries

A paradigm is a standard perspective, a set of ingrained perceptions that represent a common viewpoint among a group of individuals or the worldview of an entire culture. Since paradigms have multiple deep roots, they can take generations to evolve. The German physicist Max Planck, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1918, put it this way:

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

For example, most people believe that therapy involves emotional pain, lots of time and money and probably anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications in order to end up with insights and coping skills for their trauma. They’ve never been exposed to a new healing paradigm that can heal deeply, relatively quickly and painlessly, without drugs. The field of Energy Psychology provides powerful but gentle healing methods, one of which is evidence-based, that can do that.

Since change agents are outside-the-box, innovative, creative thinkers, as most inventors are, they need to be independent, confident and powerful enough to defend their ideas about change from the gatekeepers of the paradigm, which generally resist change, even good change. For example, the ACME Mousetrap Company which has 90% of the market share will not be thrilled to find out that the competition has in fact invented a better mousetrap.

When the Heimlich maneuver was initially introduced, it was stonewalled for years before the American Red Cross finally endorsed a fast, effective, no-harm procedure anyone could perform to save people from choking to death.

Change agents aka “paradigm shifters” are independent thinkers who tend to ignite movements that result in fundamental changes to “standard” beliefs about the way things should be done. Visionary change agents are those whose courage, innovation, and pioneering, entrepreneurial spirit have birthed “radical” ideas as well as radical inventions into mainstream acceptance. Who would ever believe we’d have driverless cars? In many cases, visionary change agents such as Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King have altered the course of history. Without the passion to power one’s way through the cycle of resistance, ridicule and rejection, and the perseverance to stay the course no matter the obstacles, innovation dies.

You’ll become very familiar with the ACE Study, Adverse Childhood Experiences, which links childhood trauma and the development of life-threatening illness in adulthood.

Get your personal ACE Score in 6 minutes

I’ll be posting excerpts from my next couple of projects– some true case histories from the second book in the Compass series, Family Compass, about how negative family dynamics affect us, and Out of the Kill Zone, about how trauma impacts combat troops, cops and civilians and how to heal. See the reviews from the first book in the Compass series, Spiritual Compass: Practical Strategies for When You Feel Lost, Alone and God Seems Far Away.

Recent Posts

Healing Trauma/PTSD: What Happened to You, (Not What’s Wrong With You)

How to Survive Shock and Emotional Overwhelm blog image“Time heals nothing” is one of the trade secrets therapists don’t want you to know. 

If you’ve been in “counseling” for trauma/PTSD for a reasonable period of time and you aren’t healing or changing, either you have blocking internal beliefs I call “stoppers,” or maybe your therapist has emptied their conventional toolbox and quietly labeled you “treatment resistant.”

That’s a common practice among some licensed mental health professionals — I’m not one, but I’ve been teaching them how to heal trauma holistically since 2004. Sometimes they blame the client for not healing instead of acknowledging the limitations of many aspects of conventional therapy, especially for trauma. Therapy is supposed to bestow healing and empowerment. Too often, therapy clients end up with insights, coping skills and symptom suppressing medications instead.

With the exceptions of some serious mental illnesses only a psychiatrist should manage plus a batch of intractable personality disorders such as borderlines and narcissists, most people who seek counseling first need to know what happened to them and how to heal — from the root(s).

Here’s the short “how to” list that I cover with every new client:

1) Your life isn’t the way it is because of what is wrong with you, the issue is always A) what happened to you and B) what did you decide. Maybe someone abused, betrayed, or abandoned you, so you decided consciously or subconsciously “love = pain,” or “It’s not safe to trust.” You didn’t get “this way” in a vacuum, so stop collecting dime-a-dozen self-help books that promise you their secret formula to the perfect body, endless love and financial security in just minutes a day. Heal the trauma on your inner hard drive instead.

2) Self-diagnosis is a lot like the advice Dorothy got when she crashed the party in Munchkinland: “It’s always best to start at the beginning.” The beginning is your childhood, unless you had a traumatic birth, were unwanted in the womb and/or have a past-life “bleed through” causing problems under the radar in present time. **If you can’t remember some or all of your childhood, that’s probably a sign that what happened to you was overwhelming.

3) Where to start: write your trauma timeline:

  • Event (what happened)
  • Age (at the time)
  • List emotion(s) attached to the memory NOW
  • Rate the emotional charge on the memory as you feel it NOW, from 0–10 (10 being most intense)
  • Where in the body do you feel any tension/pressure connected to the memory?

For example, dog died, age 7, sadness, emotional “sting” 8/10, pressure in chest/throat. The trauma timeline is your blueprint for healing.

4) Panic attacks, phobias, as well as feeling you’ve “always been this way” are indications that the root of your problem is like an iceberg — the most dangerous parts are under the water. You’ll have to dive deep, preferably with a skilled and experienced guide. Parts of your consciousness, energy, soul, whatever you want to call the essence that is YOU, might be dissociated. **You can google “dissociation,” but I see it intuitively as when part(s) of us are not in present time and are stuck, still traumatized, one dimension away, like a DVD on “pause.” Those parts need to be rescued, recovered and integrated back into present time for healing change to be complete.

5) Being ensnared in emotional patterns are just what they sound like — they auto-repeat, like wallpaper. Everywhere you look, the pattern stares back at you. What our parents did to us, intentionally or not, we tend to do to ourselves and sometimes to others. If we were abused, we probably abuse ourselves in some fashion. If we were neglected, we tend to neglect ourselves.

6) Procrastination and self-sabotage are rooted in an anxiety/avoidance pattern. List: what are you afraid will happen or not happen if you just do it? The list of “stoppers” is almost endless: fear of being judged, shamed, rejected, abandoned, etc. After you make the list, ask yourself, “what, when or whom does this remind me of?” Connect the dots.

7) Everyone is born with a survival level sense of intuition, that’s why it’s called the “sixth sense.” The problem is that when we get that subtle inner knowing, that “gut feeling,” sometimes we don’t want to know that we know. Listen to your intuition, it’s there to protect and serve you.

8) The body speaks to us in metaphor language. When we interpret body-talk we are “reading energy” and that is a skill, not a gift. Minus a physical injury, back pain is notorious for being emotionally based: “get off my back, stabbed in the back, (betrayed) feeling unsupported, you feel nobody has your back, backed into a corner,” etc.

If you are close to someone and you know they won’t take offense, you might say, “Wait — do you realize what you just said? Maybe that’s why your back has been hurting and chiropractic isn’t helping.” Begin to notice when you and others speak metaphor language. Read the energy, then take appropriate action. Others might not like it. But you won’t die from that.

For a free handout, “Introduction to Metaphor Language” culled from intuitive assessments on thousands of clients, click here.

Sue Hannibal is the author of “Spiritual Compass: Practical Strategies for When You Feel Lost, Alone and God Seems Far Away” on Amazon, here.

Older Posts

Bulletproof New Year’s Resolutions: Healing, Not Willpower

Every January first, millions of people around the world make “The List”– lose weight, get in shape, stop smoking, renounce sugar, decrease judgments, increase tolerance, and for some, find the courage to heal. Depending on the “resolution,” the new you lasts anywhere from an hour to a few weeks or months. Very few people are […]

You’re Invited to an Evening with Sue Hannibal

California Medical Intuitive, and author of Amazon best-seller: Spiritual Compass, Practical Strategies for When You Feel Lost, Alone, and God Feels Far Away, Sue Hannibal, invites you to join her for an evening with Sue Hannibal. Discover how to Read Energy: Diagnose Yourself and Others Using Metaphor Language and the Chakra System. Wednesday, October 24th, […]

How to Survive Shock and Emotional Overwhelm

Any serious loss, especially if it’s sudden, can be shocking. A serious diagnosis– being blindsided by someone you trusted, job loss, any kind of victimization can overwhelm us like a tsunami. Here’s how to keep your head above the water. 1) No matter how intense the emotional overwhelm is, know that you won’t die from […]

School Shooters: Insecure, Scared and Craving Power

School shooters crave an outer form of power because they have not been taught how to develop a strong sense self and personal power to fuel and guide the development of their personalities. They dwell on the negative; some glorify brutal monsters like Adolph Hitler, which feeds their sickness. These children are like the lost […]

Nonfiction Author’s Association Interview

In July 2017 I was the featured author on the Nonfiction Author’s Association website. Here is the interview—nonfiction writers, take note. What is your book about? Spiritual Compass is part memoir and part spiritual guidebook for navigating “life 101.” It opens with a classic “Dark Night of the Soul” depression triggered by divorce and the […]

Trauma and Resilience

After nearly 20 years in private practice specializing in trauma and resilience, I thought as I watched the news about the “worst mass shooting in modern American history,” that I could easily maintain the detached yet compassionate presence I routinely hold with my clients. Not today. After watching almost an hour of  morning news about […]

When Parents Criticize: Unintended Consequences, Unintended Damage

There’s a difference between parental criticism and discipline. Discipline, done in a healthy, balanced and consistent manner, is about guidance for children to learn appropriate behavior and values as they also hopefully see their parents model appropriate behavior and values. Parental entitlement, (“Do as I say not as I do”) doesn’t cut it. Parents who bully their children may gain rapid compliance, but their children also learn to bully others to get what they want.

Gangs and Bullying: A Virulent Societal Plague

Gangs and Bullying: A Virulent Societal Plague ©  Bullying, whether it’s primarily emotional, physical, racial, cultural, sexually motivated or all of the above, is spreading through the world. Terrorist gangs, better armed and a more lethal version of street gangs, play by similar rules, killing anyone, including cops and rival gang members, to protect […]

How to Not Make Bad Decisions — Avoiding Scammers and Manipulators

This post explores the ins and outs of critical thinking, deductive reasoning and discernment, issues that should concern everyone in the voting booth, on a jury and to protect both heart and checkbook in personal and business relationships. In my intuitive healing practice, I help people identify and heal the vulnerabilities that make them susceptible […]

Hoarding: The Metaphors Behind the Madness

  “Eric” a successful businessman in his early 50’s, came to my office burdened with a shameful secret. He reluctantly admitted that no one had been inside his home for over a decade. Unlike many hoarders, Eric was not in denial. He nervously handed me a stack of photographs of his home and garage in […]

Navigating Grief and Loss

Everyone wants to know how you’re doing. The answer can vary from day to day or minute to minute. Most people don’t know what to do or say. They want to show concern and support, but they’re afraid that if they do, they might cause more pain. Death, dying and grief in this country is awkward. […]

Anger, Injustice, Unforgiveness and Cancer

Holding anger and grudges have biological consequences. They create anxiety, a form of stress, which contributes to the stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin eroding the ability of the body to produce T-cells, the “foot soldiers” of the immune system. According to this article, 61% of cancer patients have toxic loads of unforgiveness/anger/stress. This speaks to […]

New Facebook Community: Military with PTSD Out of the Kill Zone

We are announcing the launch of a new Facebook community as an international directory of resources and free or low-cost treatment for veterans and traumatized civilians who want to heal their trauma, not talk about it endlessly in counseling or suppress it with dangerous, toxic and potentially life-threatening drugs. My book of the same title […]

Yoga is Not Against the Law in Encinitas, CA Judge Rules

One ultra-conservative Christian couple here in San Diego tried to use the legal system to force their narrow beliefs on an entire community and school system. That’s what extremist Muslims who believe in Sharia law are trying to do, minus the bloodletting. Yoga is an exercise, not a Hindu belief system, unless one practices it […]

Why Change is Hard: Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

Have you heard the saying  “people resist change?” We do resist, because an element of change is the unknown, which implies a possible lack of control. Any perception of lack of control produces anxiety. That is a  recipe for resistance, whether the anxiety is conscious ( job change) or unconscious ( “Dad left  when I […]

Can Chronic Stress Make You Sick?

This Woman Got Breast Cancer From a Bad Marriage.   Here’s a story that illustrates the painful damage just one negative, limiting core belief can do to a person’s life. This woman “didn’t believe in divorce” and stayed married to a man with a mental disorder who wouldn’t work for 15 years. According to tons […]

Obituary For a Cruel and Abusive Mother, Written by Her Adult Daughter

 A gut-wrenching obituary about an abusive mother The obituary below, written by the daugher of an abusive mother, has gone viral. The story is gut-wrenching and tragic, but  sadly, in my experience treating childhood trauma for the better part of 14 years, it’s not unusual. Abandonment, rejection, abuse, cruelty, shaming, torture and beatings disguised as “discipline” have scarred the lives of millions […]

Why Hoarding and OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) is so Hard to Heal

The Secret and Shameful World of Hoarding With the advent of the Hoarders and Hoarders: Buried Alive shows on A & E and TLC, the previously secret and shameful world of hoarding has gone public. Hoarding is a particularly chronic and difficult to treat manifestation of OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Conventional psychological approaches including Cognitive […]

Left Behind: He Left Me–To Go To War

It’s 1 a.m. and I can’t sleep. My Army reserve husband returned safely from Afghanistan and is back to his old self, but the part of my heart that went with him still aches for those who suffered horrific injuries or who didn’t come home at all. On this Memorial Day, I want to speak […]

Food Sensitivities, Autoimmune Disease and Unhealed Trauma—Is There a Connection?

Studies have shown that chronic stress affects everything from your gums to your heart and can lower your immunity to everything from the common cold to cancer. In the 1930s researcher Hans Selye first coined the term “stress” to describe the damaging effects that the stress hormone cortisol had on the long-term health of rats. […]

Why People Don’t Heal

There are many reasons why people don’t heal. Some blocks to healing are emotional or spiritual and can be overcome. Sometimes illnesses have genetic components that resist healing until gene therapies advance. Emotional blocks to healing can be subconscious or conscious. Here are some examples of blocks to healing that I find frequently during intuitive […]

Can Stress From Unhealed Trauma Cause Autoimmune Diseases and Chronic Pain? Science Says YES.

Traditional psychotherapeutic approaches to trauma and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) which focus on cognitive “restructuring” and insights too often supply clients with coping skills for their pain instead of healing. Likewise, medical treatments that do not diagnose and heal the cause but instead rely on symptom suppressing medications and treatments that do not also address […]

The ACE Study–link between autoimmune diseases, chronic stress and childhood trauma?

According to the landmark ACE Study, Adverse Childhood Experiences, (, the connection is unmistakable. In 1992, doctors at Kaiser Hospital in San Diego, CA and the federal Centers for Disease Control began a collaborative and still on-going study that would eventually involve over 17,000 people in the Wellness Program at Kaiser and offer solid evidence […]

The Many Faces of Panic

  When a doctor takes your physical history and notes your symptoms, she’s comparing the symptoms you report against a list of symptoms of various conditions she suspects and looking for a match that fits your specific symptom profile. When she gets a hit, she might follow up with tests to confirm the diagnosis. Or, […]

What’s on Your Hard Drive?

There’s nothing more important that we can do for our present health and future happiness and well being than self-heal the viruses and stealth programs on our internal hard drive. According to the landmark ACE Study, (Adverse Childhood Experiences, there is a strong graded correlation between our personal body/mind storehouse of toxic unhealed childhood […]

Two Cases of Chronic Back Pain: Grief and Heartache Held in the Back

When I first started my practice, it seemed like a first year internship. Most people had what appeared on the surface to be simple issues: back pain, phobias, anger, grief, etc. I had yet to learn that most emotional issues, especially those that have somatosized (taken root) into the body, are more like icebergs where […]

Energy Medicine: A Multi-Dimensional Healing Paradigm

There are several missing links in the current paradigm of emotional healing today.  Conventional psychotherapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy is time-consuming, frequently taking months or even years, and is, clients tell me, painful and re-traumatizing.  It’s also expensive, and has a hit and miss reputation in terms of changed lives and the long-term release of […]