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Turning Pain Into Passion
”Your words can either heal or hurt. Don’t you ever be the prick.” – Blaise Hunter
Blaze Hunter is an author, award winning speaker, brand specialist, and maybe most importantly, a communications expert. In this episode, Blaise discusses the connection between emotions and the body, and how it plays a role in autoimmune disease.
Blaise was diagnosed in her 20’s with EGPA, a rare autoimmune disease that affects the lungs. At the time she was working as a television broadcaster and her disease tried to take her voice – but she had none of that. Now she literally roars on stage as she turns her pain into purpose. And she’s bringing some of that passion to us.
Discussed in this week’s episode:
- The importance of listening to your body and understanding its signals.
- Blaise shares her personal journey of how her body’s signals led to a deeper understanding of herself and her emotions.
- How Blaise turned her pain into purpose and her work in helping others communicate compassionately with each other – and with themselves.
- Her work in reproductive health rights and how she empowers others to breathe fire.
Guest Spotlight: Blaise Hunter
Blaise Hunter is breaking barriers with her consulting agency Blaise the Trail inc. Known as the Modern-Day Superhero—Heroine, she contends for people to own their super identity.
Blaise is a best-selling author, multi-award-winning humanitarian, international speaker, fertility expert, certified human rights advocate, copywriter, Mother of Purpose, and Breaker of Chains.
Blaise is on a crusade to fight for Reproductive Health Rights. After experiencing three miscarriages of her own, she founded the non-profit group Footprints: Infertility & Pregnancy Loss Support Initiative which is changing the medical system one hospital at a time.
She is the multi-faceted CEO who helps people birth their identity, dreams, rights, books, and brands. Blaise is a fertility expert that doesn’t help people get pregnant. Rather she empowers others to be fertile in their lives, get expecting with purpose, and breathe fire.
- Website: https://www.blaisehunter.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blaisethetrail/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blaisethetrail/
- Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/blaisethetrail/
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@blaisethetrail
Are you on a mission to stay positive but are finding it hard to…stay positive? You’re not alone.
Common advise out there can be confusing and a lot of it isn’t even meant to help you long term.
Love the Podcast? Get these books by Andrea Hanson
“It is refreshing to have a book that fosters hope and promotes self-healing. This book is an excellent resource for those looking for ways to be proactive….and ways to find hope.”
“It is a true guide on how to listen to our bodies, connect to them, nurture ourselves and understand the power of our mindset.”
“I will be recommending Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis widely to all my patients when dealing with a diagnosis or setback!”
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NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors.
Hello everyone. This is Andrea Hanson. Thank you for joining me. I hope you're having a great week. Now, I know I say this every time I share a conversation with a guest, but I truly can't wait for you to listen to this week's episode with Blaise Hunter. It's inspirational. It's just interesting. And it's going to make you tear up with compassion and then laugh out loud. It's so good.
I first discovered Blaise through her book, captain communicator, and spent about an hour on her website because there's just so much information and it's all really, really interesting. She's doing so much from being an award-winning speaker to running a branding business, to starting her own advocacy group for women's reproductive rights. Her background is in radio and TV. In her twenties. She developed EGPA, which is a rare autoimmune disorder that affects the lungs. She shares her journey through not just medically treating it, but healing it and healing through it.
Her story is brave and fascinating and very relatable for all of us living with an illness, especially if you're living with an autoimmune disorder. I'm going to stop. I'm just going to stop gushing about Blaise. Uh, and how much I love her and I love her story. And just let you hear for yourself.
So please enjoy this week's episode and visit Andrea Hanson, coaching.com for more on Blaise Hunter resources that we talk about in the show and transcripts from today's episode, you can find the link in the episode description. Welcome to the Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis podcast. I'm Andrea Hanson, author, motivational speaker, and master certified coach. When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I was told I would never reach my goals, but I did. And I'm on a mission to prove that life with a chronic illness can still be expansive and quite remarkable.
Everyone has their own unique path. I'm talking to people living with a chronic illness that come from different backgrounds, have different points of view, and are achieving amazing life goals of all kinds to inspire you to achieve what you thought was impossible. These stories are raw, uncensored, and judgment free.
Listener discretion is advised.
[00:02:22] Andrea: I'm here talking with Blaise Hunter. Blaise Hunter is breaking barriers with her consulting agency Blaise the Trail, Inc., known as the modern day superhero heroine. She contends for people to own their super identity. Blaise is a best selling author, multi award winning humanitarian, international speaker, fertility expert, certified human rights advocate, copywriter, mother of purpose, and breaker of chains.
Blaise is on a crusade to fight for reproductive health rights. After experiencing three miscarriages of her own, she founded the non profit group Footprints. Infertility and Pregnancy Loss Support Initiative, which is changing the medical system one hospital at a time. She is a multifaceted CEO who helps people birth their identity, dreams, rights, books, and brands. Blaise
[00:03:11] Blaise: Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.
[00:03:14] Andrea: I always love it when I'm reading a bio that it's just, you do this, and then you do this, and you do this. I think it's fabulous.
[00:03:22] Blaise: It's all part of the unique story of our lives.
[00:03:25] Andrea: 100 percent. 100 percent. I really like that there's so much to what you're doing.
There's the non profit that you helped fund. There's the international speaker. There's the Brand agency that helps people and it's, it's kind of all under this Blaise the trail ink umbrella. So talk to me about what's in that and what you're doing right now.
[00:03:50] Blaise: I know it seems like a lot, but it all comes from the premise that I'm a fertility expert that doesn't help people get pregnant.
I help people birth things. I expand that very definition of fertility and that stems from dealing with a rare illness. Dealing with miscarriages and loss, dealing with multi disappointing things, and setbacks and challenges, and what do we do with that? Do we define, let that define us, or do we redefine our life with it and coexist with it?
So, that's really where this all came from, was dealing with issues and problems and depression and illness and miscarriages, and how do I turn the story around and change the narrative? So... I wrote a book about it and birthed something from that. And from there birthed a business. And from there birthed all these facets that I can add to the core foundation, which is being fertile and I am not barren and I'm a mother of purpose.
[00:04:48] Andrea: And I love how you say you want to breathe fire and help other people breathe fire.
[00:04:53] Blaise: Yes, because I think it's one thing for you to know that you're worthy and know that you have an identity, know that you have purpose. It's another thing to stand in that energy and own it. And so it's two different parts of the formula.
You need to be able to understand that you do have purpose and identity, but now you need to breathe fire into it and really own authority into that space.
[00:05:17] Andrea: And it's interesting because when I was going through my own health journey, I mean, I suppose we're still going through it, right? Health journeys don't stop.
No. But when I was really first in that moment of, you know, I was getting diagnosed and I was starting to realize I needed to stand on my purpose, I needed to have that confidence. I feel like the first part of that was this ego type of a confidence, right? This surface type of like, yes, of course I'm worthy.
Of course I have self confidence. Of course I, I can do this. Of course I can. And you have that. I kind of liken it to, I came from corporate and worked in corporate and there's like that corporate surface confidence that comes where deep, deep down though, it's just not there. And you don't really have that confidence.
You don't really have that self worth.
[00:06:06] Blaise: Exactly. It's like surface level masking of doing this, which I know how to do. I came from corporate as well. We're like, I know how to do like confidence. Honestly, I can do that night and day, but it's not my beingness. It's because I do it. And I had to shift the, had to redefine what that meant for me, because the moment.
You have a setback, it crumbles your world, because it's all based on this facade of doingness. And what if my doingness fails, rather than just being? Yes. And the being always stands.
[00:06:43] Andrea: Right? What if my doingness gets questioned because I failed?
[00:06:47] Blaise: Totally. But then I shifted, it's not about the doing, it's always about my being, and therefore it can never be put into question.
[00:06:53] Andrea: Ugh. What helped you make that shift?
[00:06:55] Blaise: It was a few life defining moments for me. I struggled with body image and self worth my whole life. I developed a rare autoimmune disease in my 20s, and we'll talk about that further. Part of that life experience was my dad faked his own death when I was in my 20s, and came back, and we've never talked about it again.
[00:07:20] Andrea: Even to this day?
[00:07:21] Blaise: Yeah, we don't talk about it. And there's no inner healing from a family perspective from that. And within two years, now that I've done so much deep work, and unpacking all of that, within two years, my brother and I both developed a rare autoimmune condition. And... His wasn't as severe and his was different, but I went to therapy and an alternative holistic kind of practitioner after years of hitting walls in the medical system, and I've tried everything physically and medically.
I just came to this My own kind of maybe aha of maybe it's emotional. Maybe I need to unpack what that means and how it contributes to my physical health. So I went there and I don't believe in any of it. I'm a high critic, nothing. I don't do woo woo. I don't do anything holistic. I'm very anti and questioning, but I've tried everything else.
So let's just try this, right? And the very first thing the practitioner said was, Oh, you have an autoimmune disease where your body physically attacks itself. And I said, yeah. And she's like, do you think there's a link with that? And the fact that you hate yourself and you attack yourself daily with your thoughts.
And I just never had been positioned that way. No one's ever linked that together. And not saying it's the sole reason, but it plays a part. Your inner world impacts your outer. So like, if your thoughts and words are saying you're not good enough, attack, you're not safe, things aren't safe, what do you think your body's going to do?
And so that was a huge moment for me that shifted the trajectory of my life of being able to Walk away from that appointment to say, I am no longer going to contribute to attacks, to the self attacks, to the autoimmune. I'm not going to be the contributor factor. I'm going to remove myself from the equation and starve the disease by injecting love instead of rejection.
Acceptance, not rejection. You know what I mean? Like, it's like I'm no more danger in my body. I am safe. I am safe. I'm no longer rejected. And I had to change the narrative of how trauma played a factor in that, that I am safe and that I am now doing that. Even though I am not fully healed yet, I, day by day, I'm starving that disease and I'm alive today because I made that decision.
There is no way I'd be alive today if I didn't change that narrative.
[00:09:41] Andrea: Yeah. I completely agree. I mean, on all fronts, because I know I'm not at all what you would call the woo woo. Yeah. I mean, even though I dabble, like I'm curious, I'm like woo curious. Yeah. I have, you know, a very good friend who's, who does just insanely amazing things.
And I cannot deny, when I see her work, I'm like, I can't deny this. I can't deny that this is real. So it's not that, but I am still somehow like, I'm not woo. I don't do that. I don't know what it is. I have to, you know, my mom is British. I have to be, you know, very, yeah, that's probably what it is.
[00:10:16] Blaise: I've been converted.
I'm not off the deep end, but I have been converted. Exactly.
[00:10:21] Andrea: I'm like closeted converted. But, but I do believe that there is a link between Absolutely. With beating ourselves up and what's going on in our mindset and also the suppression of emotions and the suppression of trauma and healing trauma. I really think that that is something that contributes number one because I think that stress is a huge factor.
And really in any disease, but especially in autoimmune, in anything, right? But especially in autoimmune diseases, because it makes our immune systems go kind of nuts. And any kind of stress, like any kind of suppressing your emotions, not allowing yourself to feel, not allowing yourself to understand and heal and know your truth, like any of that.
It's stressful and creates inflammation, creates situations. And so I definitely also had to do the same thing. Like when I started, I liken it as like an unfreezing of my emotions. Like I was frozen. Like I had no idea. What do you mean emotions? Like sure, I'll cry during a movie. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:11:26] Blaise: A survival technique to almost detach that you never felt, right?
You never processed. It just was like crossed wires everywhere.
[00:11:35] Andrea: Exactly. And I think that is, uh, and like you said, it's like, I don't think it's the only contributor, but I do think it's a major contributor and I can really see the trajectory of my MS as I Started to unfreeze and started to heal and started to go back and go through things like the trauma or different trauma Then it's it doesn't have to be huge trauma.
It can be a little traumatic. It
[00:11:57] Blaise: could be a car accident. That's a trauma Yes, that's a physical trauma that may be deeply impact you and you don't even you're not even aware of your subconscious Absolutely getting impacted like we need to really redefine and expand what trauma means Right? Right.
[00:12:11] Andrea: Yeah.
And I think it's also, I mean, I think you're right. I think it doesn't have to be, like, number one, let's not compare our traumas. One person's trauma can be... Apple's different in state. Yeah.
[00:12:21] Blaise: Exactly. But it's
[00:12:26] Andrea: like one person's trauma is another person's Sunday, you know, and not a big deal. It's all in kind of the eye of the beholder, but it's still something that if we feel like we need to process, we process and it's going to help us, I think, in our health.
So I, I totally agree. What was that like? because I know it's not an overnight thing, right? It's not like a, I made the decision and then everything was fantastic.
[00:12:49] Blaise: It literally, you know, I would love to say I made the decision and rainbows and angels and you know, it wasn't like that. It was like actually.
Very interesting of hard work of being challenged because the moment I said, you know what I'm going to work on loving myself Oh, yeah, like if the world was like, oh, yeah, we'll see how much you love yourself We're going to throw everything at you to challenge you to actually stick to your word. That's what it was like so it's like really I wanted to love myself and now everything is coming at me to say You're not worthy and you're inadequate.
And I was like, this is kind of a cosmic joke, right?
[00:13:27] Andrea: It's like, you're not even loving yourself. Right.
[00:13:30] Blaise: But it was so majestic and what a beautiful journey to lean into. And I realized it. isn't easy. It is a hard road, but it is a worthwhile road because when you look at where you were, even if you stayed where you were or go back where you once were in the past, that wasn't working for me.
And so if I stay there, I know It's not going to be good at the end. Like it's going, I know the result because it didn't work for me then. So I gotta go forward. And I'm committed to this process and how can I go wrong if I take little steps to unmask myself, to be vulnerable, to accept who I am, to step into who I am, and to really model that for my daughter.
That was another pinnacle moment, like she was three at the time and I thought Thinking in your head as a good mom of what good mom means and how to model that for her and looking ahead in time and would she go to school and how to make sure she doesn't get bullied and and think she's fat and unworthy and how do I get her to breathe fire and it just dawned on me like I don't know if she would do that if her mama, her biggest role model, doesn't actually practice what she preaches.
because we say it, and we tell them, do as I say, but not as I do. Meanwhile we're like, you're beautiful, you can be a world changer, you can be anything. And then we sit there, and we are critical of our own selves, and we go into a mirror and we, you know, ten things that we don't like about ourselves, but yet we tell our kids they're amazing just as they are.
And I'm like, well that doesn't compute, because they're going to pick up that what you're saying doesn't make sense, because it's not, you're not living it. And they're going to call you on it. They don't like fakers. They want real, even imperfect real. They just don't want the fakeness of do as I say, but don't live it.
So I really tried. To do that thinking of her in my head of like, I've got to be that for her and it's dire and desperate and I've got to do this. So that was another big factor.
[00:15:33] Andrea: And you know, you mentioned that once you decide to make that change and step into who you are and really embrace yourself, embrace your self worth, embrace your self esteem, all of those amazing things, you know, unfortunately, a lot of the times I experienced it is once a woman, especially, starts to step into her own and own herself and breathe the fire, as you say. Unfortunately, like, all of the haters come out of the woodwork and from, like, surprising places.
[00:16:06] Blaise: Totally. From the closest places, almost. Yes. Yeah.
[00:16:10] Andrea: Yeah. And, I mean, I remember being so surprised because there would be groups that I was like, oh, this is a safe place.
[00:16:16] Blaise: Yeah. This was a given. Oh, yeah. No problem. We'll get the support here. Yes. And a complete shocker. What is happening here? Yeah. Yeah. You found that too? Oh my
[00:16:26] Andrea: gosh. I know you have too. I'm sure. I've had very surprising things said to me by people in the MS community, people at support groups. I mean, it's. It can get crazy.
And I understand it's, I very much believe that hurt people hurt people. Like I really believe in that adage and I know I can understand and be compassionate of that's where it comes from, but how do you deal with that? How did you deal with it when I first started and how do you continue
to deal with that?
[00:16:53] Blaise: I have come out the other side and I handle it like a boss now. Mm hmm. Six years ago, total shocker, had to go to therapy over it. So let's be honest. Like, it wasn't all like, oh yeah, I got this. This is a you issue, not a me issue. Right.
[00:17:08] Andrea: Well, because they don't wait until you're healed, right? They don't wait until you're like all the way there.
[00:17:12] Blaise: You just take a step and then they're like lambasting you. Exactly.
[00:17:16] Andrea: You're like putting a finger up to test the wind and it gets smacked down by someone.
[00:17:21] Blaise: It's comical now because I can look at it with a different lens. At the time, very much struggled. Yeah. Definitely went into certain trauma responses and trigger responses of my own.
And I looked back at that and be like, how can I do that better? And I actually, because I avoided conflict because of that, I actually in the last three years have put myself in situations for conflict to be able to find my way through it without hurting someone, without deviating from the topic or the issue, but actually working on creating a bridge with that person.
So that's been my challenge is like really embracing conflict to be better at it. That's how you get better at it. But I definitely struggled in the beginning and now I've realized Like you said, hurt people hurt, but when you take a step outside of being sick, outside of the norm, which is struggling with self worth, we all struggle with that.
And a big population struggles with an ailment, whether it's a serious illness or something, we all struggle with some physical ailment. Or mental ailment. So when you take a step to not let that define your identity, that shakes people to the core. because often they are stuck in that identity of victim of sickness and that becomes who they are because well this is, I have this, this is me, this is my life.
And I'm like When you decide to change that narrative, it's not that you're ticking them off. You're actually becoming a mirror that shines a light onto them of like, you need to change something, without you even saying anything to them about it. Just you doing that one step then becauses this huge Butterfly effect.
And either people take reflection and be like, Huh, I'm being charged by this person and they're doing amazing things. Why is that? And I need to go home and unpack that and go to a therapist. Instead of that, we project and lash out. So as I've learned, I'm just becoming a mirror and it's shining a light on people's thing, issues.
And you know what, sometimes I'm just going to have to ground myself and just hold up a shield and be like, I understand now where that's coming from and it's not an attack on me. And that's been the greatest gift I can give myself. because then I give grace for somebody. because now I know, have no attachment to their reaction.
And it's not about hurting me. They're not hurting me, they're really just not knowing how to navigate their own hurt.
[00:19:50] Andrea: Yeah, because a lot of times it's coming to you from people that don't know you, so how can it be personal?
[00:19:55] Blaise: Yeah. And if it, even if it is, like, that's what even if it's someone that doesn't know me, then get to know me.
You have no idea what I do or been through. And then someone that's really close, I'm like, you know what I've been through. So I'm like, I just don't understand the reaction of either, One person said, you know, like, maybe they've always wanted to do something and you've done it with all of your challenges and barriers and you went and did it.
And now it's like they have no excuse. So it's literally you're challenging people to the core of belief systems of how they can, what their limits are. And some people just aren't ready or able to turn that into a positive yet, but don't stop being that charge because a change agent is an abrasive. And so when you decide to do that, you're going to start scrubbing things and rubbing people.
That's okay. Then we need to shake things up, right? because then they need to see that. And if you just keep going and don't be discouraged by the reaction, they're going to come around eventually. And if they're not, that's their own journey, right?
[00:20:54] Andrea: Yeah, I love that. I mean, because it's true. I definitely would feel myself in the beginning go into a trauma response, and I cocooned.
I was like, oh, not going to say that again, or I'm not going to go there, or I'm not going to, you know, for the longest time. I didn't, like, I knew There was something in me, I knew there was a perspective, a very strong perspective that I had about my, you know, kind of my new life as a person living with MS and what that meant in the world, in the system, in the community, in myself, and like I said, I kind of stuck my, my nose out, tested the wind, said a few things and then got smacked by somebody for whatever their own personal reason was.
And then I'm like, well, can't say that. Don't want the haters. Don't want this. And I think that that kind of thing happens a lot to people where you don't want to offend. You don't want people, it doesn't feel good to have haters. And especially if you don't have that deep down confidence, if it's just the corporate, the corporate ego driven confidence, it's.
It's tough to weather that storm.
[00:22:00] Blaise: It is. And I encourage people just hang in there and do certain exercises and work and do the research of what's best for you and try different tactics. And like I said, I wasn't a good fighter. I took it personally. I'm a soft heart. I would never say those things. I would never attack someone's character, even if I didn't agree with them.
I would never go there. I attack the issue. But the moment when someone attacks your character, you know they're not coming from an emotionally intelligent place. So you can't even really fully have a discussion with them, but I try and ways to connect and enter a shared reality. So I, I positioned my questions differently.
I position it. What does that say about you that you would try to hurt me? That hurts my heart. Are you trying to hurt me? And that makes them stop and think and not be in so much red zone fight, right? So I, and then that's an art. It's an art to have conflict. It's an art to get attacked and how to move through it without attacking back.
And that's an anchor and grounding and being able to connect and be a bridge is a huge tool to have. And it's a number one thing, like that's a peace treaty. If we could just build peace treaties within our bodies, within our environments, with people and relationships, man, we would see progression. Right?
So it's not about winning the fight, it's not about winning and changing your mind and you changing, because like, I don't think we're ever going to do that. I'm allowed to share my perspective and I'd love to hear yours. And we might never agree, we might be on total opposite of the spectrum, but I respect that you have one.
And you have an educated opinion, and where does that come from, and tell me more. And people all of a sudden stand down in the attack. Right? And then that bridges it and creates some commonality with one another.
[00:23:48] Andrea: So you mentioned a little bit before about, probably about 20 years ago, you were diagnosed with a pretty rare autoimmune disorder.
And tell us a little bit, it affected your lungs, is that
[00:24:01] Blaise: right? It did. So, total sports nut active person growing up, very healthy, a doer, and all this kind of things, and went on and became a radio broadcaster, and I was in my first job, and I just started getting sick one weekend, like a bronchitis, and It never went away.
That was 20 years ago. And it took years to get a diagnosis, but over the course of months and a couple years, it was like late onset adult asthma. And I'm like, what the heck? You just wake up morning with debilitating asthma where you can't breathe. You can't keep food down. You're puking because you're coughing so much.
I lost so much weight. I had no way to survive through that. I don't even know how I made it through. But it took many years, took about six years to get into the right doctors because it's just asthma. Here's an inhaler, but I'm like, nothing's working.
[00:24:57] Andrea: Well, and you were doing, you were talking for a living.
So did this, were you able to keep doing that?
[00:25:02] Blaise: I did it, but what people don't see on the outside. Like you do your five minute newscast, you go on the air at four o'clock in the morning and you're bright, shiny and personality and you hit the mic off and you have this huge asthma attack, puking and sinus issue.
And then you get cleared up and then you're back on again and like people don't understand what you're fighting through to get to there and you show all the pretty side because that's your job and you need to make money. But there's always a different side to people's lives that I'm unaware of, and I recognize that.
And that's, as long as we can recognize that, even if it's illness or just regular life, I recognize you have a backstory that no one sees, and there's probably struggle within that. And so, fast forward, it took a collapsed lung. to figure out an autoimmune condition. And really the diagnosis really played no factor in the treatment.
It was the same treatment we were doing, which was unfortunate. There was not much else I could do with that. But I found ways and other avenues, like the holistic route, to combat it in a different way. and try, right? And, and the biggest thing was that holistic appointment about autoimmune and self rejection and hating yourself.
And then in tandem was a natural path appointment. I thought, get some supplements, get some things to counteract your adrenals and the stressors, right? And the natural path is like, oh, well, you have a lung disorder. You have a grief problem. Has anything happened in your life with grief? And I just was like, What?
Yes, but no one's ever asked me that. No one's ever asked me life experiences and how health plays a factor in those things. And she said, you know, asthma literally translates to uncried tears. What haven't you processed that you're sad about? You're choking on your own sobs. And I bawled in front of her, right?
Yeah. And then just to have someone safe to share that because what I went through with my family wasn't safe to talk about. Mental health was not a thing 20 years ago like it is now and we still have a lot of room to go but it is a safer space to express if battling depression or all those things with mental health, right?
So now it was a safer space to share that I went through something and I didn't have to be ashamed of it and I could process some emotions with it. So really understanding, okay, maybe I need to Now it was like, okay, doer time. I can work on how to process grief. It gave me an avenue versus this very abstract disease,
[00:27:32] Andrea: And so what did you do? Did you immediately go and start working with a therapist or a grief counselor or someone?
[00:27:39] Blaise: I mean, Yes, I did a lot of things of like listening to my body and what is it saying? because it's really telling us things we just kind of need to be in tune and it's screaming at us and even things in life.
It repeats the pattern until we deal with it. It may look different each time, but the kind of core energy is the same. So grief kept coming up. So I've got to like learn to heal that and forgive. and forgive myself and forgive my dad and forgive other people and just give grace because it's hurting me.
It's actually killing me. The unforgiveness is the poison we drink but expect somebody else to die from it. And so I just, I wanted to live and I had a daughter and I have a wonderful husband and I chose life instead of death and I literally was suffocating on my tears like I don't want that. So it's called, Churg Strauss is what it used to be called, and now it's translated to an acronym, EGPA, which is just a very rare, it's the blood, you get high markers of allergens in your eosinophils and in your blood cells, and then it really impacts the breathing in the lungs, so it presents as an asthma, but it's so deeper and has many tentacles to that that's not well researched.
So it's just on this cusp of getting more research, but that's why it's so rare. And that's why I was like, I just need... I can't really get anywhere medically right now, we've kind of hit that edge where I'm, we're sustaining with treatment, but I'm not healing, right? They're just working on my symptoms, but I'm actually not doing anything about that.
So I, great, I love the Western field of, you know, the medicine that I need, and I need the help from the specialists and the doctors, and I fully support that I need that, but that doesn't help me actually heal fully, it's just making me stay alive. So then I combined it with the holistic element. Well, while I'm doing that, I'm going to dig deeper and try and heal aspects of myself.
And I can't go wrong with healing things, , right? Emotionally and mentally,
[00:29:40] Andrea: right? You're not going to break anything. You're not going to break anything. By healing yourself emotionally.
[00:29:44] Blaise: I'm not taking anything that will harm you. It's a good thing that I'm healing trauma . Yeah,
[00:29:50] Andrea: yeah, yeah. Nobody ever regrets healing trauma.
I wouldn't think. It really is a common theme before, especially, I hear it especially with autoimmune disorders. It was true with my autoimmune disorder and with many, many people that I talked to. A lot of times it is pretty closely predated by some kind of grief that was not processed.
[00:30:15] Blaise: Absolutely.
Within a few years. Yes. It's in your DNA. It's in your DNA. You can see it in your blood. When something happened, isn't that fascinating? Yeah, like you can tell under a microscope you can tell tears of joy and tears of grief The chemical is different even though the tears seem to look the same Microscopically, they're very different chemically because they're coming from two different aspects of yourself, right?
And I find that fascinating
[00:30:44] Andrea: Yeah, yeah, I think that's fascinating and I think it just proves that emotions are not just like I'm feeling happy or I'm feeling sad. Emotions are so deeply rooted in our bodies and they're energy. They're alive, like they look different. Like you said, like under a microscope they can look different and you can feel it once you start.
And you know, I did the same thing and I kind of, I went through the same process with listening to my body as I went with understanding my emotions. I was Totally frozen. Like, I couldn't, listening to my body, I was like, what does that mean? When I started. And it took a little bit for me to do that. Oh, for sure.
Yeah. But once you do, it's like you realize that there's just, everything vibrates differently. Everything feels different. different, depending on what your body is saying.
[00:31:34] Blaise: I know what it's like of, oh, you decide to tune into your body and listen, and then like all of a sudden overnight it happens. No, it doesn't happen like that.
It takes effort and time. But once you make that kind of intention, all these little kind of signals pop up and you can trust it once you test it and be like, Oh, that's what that means. Oh, okay. Now I can trust that kind of gut feeling that that's what my body's trying to tell me. And I have a little bit more trust to listen and let it guide me and go in that pathway.
And then it opens up so many doors of investigation. It's really an amazing thing. To trust and know yourself and know your body and being able to let it guide you because that's what it's there for. And that's a fascinating, amazing tool that I recommend anyone is just to kind of take those steps to learn what your body's trying to tell you, learn what your heart's trying to tell you and, and take a step towards that and unpack that a little bit.
[00:32:31] Andrea: So your latest book, Captain Communicator, is... A lot about that, right? It's a lot about communication and communicating with other people in different scenarios, but also communicating with ourselves on multiple levels.
[00:32:49] Blaise: Yes, because I felt like, wow, someone once said it, . I was talking with them and they were like, oh, isn't that interesting that you are a radio broadcaster, but you struggled with finding your voice.
And I was like, wow, someone had a great epiphany about myself. It's a great observation. I did not understand that until this moment. That I probably struggled having a voice, so I chose a career that allowed me to have one. Like, wow. Mind blowing, right? Yeah. And a lot of that was communication. I didn't know how to communicate within, but I knew how to do it behind a mask of a mic.
'because that was a platform and I didn't have to be me. I was a persona of me. Right? So I wanted to really go back to the foundation of communication and the greatest. Quote of all time, which is know thyself. And if you don't know yourself from any realm of within that shapes your outer world, you don't know how to communicate with anything else in your life.
So let's go from the beginning of how to really know yourself. Ask questions of yourself. What is your trauma? What is your trauma response? What's your trigger? Most people don't even know what their trigger response is. And I'm like, once you know your trigger response, you unlock many communication tactics, because right now, I clearly understand I'm being triggered and anything I say comes from a place of reaction, not response.
Right? So it was like really showing people if you can even understand your trigger, you can heal a lot of your conflict.
[00:34:25] Andrea: How do you even get to know what your trigger is?
[00:34:27] Blaise: You usually have a physical response. Mine is my ears burn, my heart palpitates, and I get really like fluttery like butterflies and I'm like engaged like my body posture is like I'm leaned in and I'm ready.
But I'm a, I'm a fight that way, right? I do the same thing. If you're a flight, you're like, I want to end this. I need to leave this job. I need to go to another city. I need to like, and you're flight, like, I want to get out. It's danger. Right? So you have that instant with to withdraw. Like if it's something's happening, I just don't, it's trauma for me.
It's triggering. I need to like disengage instead of engaging without. charge, right? And like freeze, like you said, you're freezing emotion. Like sometimes that would be me too. Like the trauma froze me to have even a coherent thought. So someone would say something and I'd be like, and I'd go home and three hours later have this whole response in bed of like, that really hurts.
But I couldn't even articulate that in that moment, three hours earlier. Yeah. I'm understanding. Oh, that makes sense. That's me. I can see myself. I can feel my ears getting hot. I can feel that. Like someone lit a firecracker and I am ready to like breathe fire in a bad way, right? And so once I completely know I'm on to that, the moment I feel like, uh, uh, Blaise, you can't, you can't say anything right now.
Say I'll have to get back to you, I'm actually really triggered and feel unsafe and anything I say might not contribute in a healthy way. So maybe we take a break and I can regroup, or can you help me work through that? because when I say I'm unsafe and this is a trauma trigger response, people sometimes then back down and want to work with you.
Mm hmm. Right? So it's all an understanding of how to better create connection rather than conflict.
[00:36:18] Andrea: Yeah. And I think something really, I don't know, when I, when I was doing work that was very similar and realizing like, Oh, this is how sometimes I just want to fight. I just want to, I mean, like I used to do jujitsu.
I was like, let's go hold my earrings. And I wouldn't, and I would notice these things and sometimes I would just shut down. So it just kind of depended on where I was in my own journey as far as either the topic. Or just as far as like my own confidence, like it used to be that I would just shut down because I didn't know.
It was like what you said. It's like I didn't even know what to say. And then as my confidence built, I didn't necessarily go straight to, I will never be triggered because I'm so in my own confidence. I would just like, triggers would change. My triggers would change. And so then all of a sudden I'd be like, no, I know what I'm going to say and I want to fight you.
But it was still, that's still not a healthy, not a healthy response, but it's, it's interesting because they can change.
[00:37:14] Blaise: Exactly, and I go by, your words can either heal or hurt. Don't you ever be the prick. Yeah, right. And so in that moment, it's easy to go for a dig It's easy even when you're confident know what you're talking about.
You've healed things like it doesn't mean you're all Amazing at communication just because you choose to study that and become better at it It means you're a more aware when you do flub up Yeah Yeah, and you're aware of other people and you're you can make allowance I never want my words to hurt someone, so I'm trying to be very diligent and being active listener and response of how does this contribute to healing?
Does it hurt or does it heal? because I do not want to be the prick in this conversation, right? And that could be like a jerk prick or the actual prick that's hurting someone's heart. And I don't want to do that. And that hurts us physically. And what I'm trying to do with my work, with Blaise the Trail, with Captain Communicator, with all that I'm doing, is to heal my illness.
It's counterproductive to be hurtful with my words because then I've just hurt myself. And the whole point of what I'm doing is to starve this disease and walk out my healing. So, I'm mindful of that and I don't always get it right. I do screw up. I do go into trigger mood. Don't get me wrong. But I recognize it.
I apologize. I move forward and I try and do better tomorrow. That's real.
[00:38:38] Andrea: Yeah. And I think that's the point is we're never going to be a hundred percent enlightened. I don't believe in that. We can't be perfect. We cannot be perfect. And even, even if I do, like if I'm, I am triggered or it's something that I, I just feel very deeply, I can feel myself going from the listener communicator where I can hear what they're saying, but it doesn't, it's not.
So deep that I'm totally out of my mind, I guess. I mean, not that I get crazy, but you know what I mean? It's like you're a watcher of the conversation and you're listening versus just getting pulled into it and reacting. I can feel the difference and and even if I do get pulled in and I feel like oh, yeah I really landed it.
Like I really said something there. I'll replay it in my head and I stay in that anger. Yes. Hours later, even though I'm like, yeah, I really told him off or something, I don't know. It's not that I do this all the time. I mean, I'm, I feel like I'm painting this picture that I'm like some crazy combative person.
But sometimes it happens, right? But then it's like Oh, all the time. Yeah, but you can stay in that, that state. That's not helping us either.
[00:39:45] Blaise: No, and I like to set myself up because sometimes you can't be prepared of what's about to hit you. But a lot of times you understand a dynamic that you're about to embark on with somebody.
You understand who they are or what topic you're even talking about and you make a conscious decision. Am I going to be the kind of rebel rouser in this one or am I going to be able to approach this? In a more diplomatic way and that's my goal is always I have to check that walking into that conversation is what's the goal?
Do I have an outcome here? Is it to connect? Is it to be confident and and share my point of view and allow that to be at the forefront? Do I want other people's point of view? like what does the outcome that I want because then I can drive my questions and my My statement's in that direction, so I'm being very conscious of that, and active of that direction.
Like, I control the narrative of this car. I control the direction. And if people understand you control the narrative of your life, it's not just some random... Whatever, we land in the car and it takes us on a journey. We actually have a say in the direction of that goes, to some degree, right? You're not a victim of your trauma responses.
You're not a victim of all these things, your illness. You're not a victim of it, but you can turn it around and take control and be the driver of it. in one aspect or more. Yes, I can't control that I got it, but I can control how it works in my life. It doesn't define me. I'm not a victim. I'm not at the mercy of it.
I am now deciding how I want that to play out in my life. I'm deciding how I want people to play out in my life. And sometimes, People have a complete crazy reaction that I have no idea that was coming. And that's okay, because I'm like, whoa, I landed on something there. And you know what? I just, I'm like, okay, I know how to do this.
I've practiced this for good. Anchor. Be a grounding force. Don't be a contributor to the fire. Don't pour gasoline on it. Try and find a way to extinguish and neutralize. And that's what I'm always trying to do, is be a neutralizer. And that's the goal and the energy I walk in. And I'm able to walk through it better.
[00:41:52] Andrea: And I think another part, and you touched on this a little bit earlier, when we are realizing that we do drive this, right, we drive our response, we drive our reality. And I think a big part of it is to have that compassion with ourselves and knowing that we're learning to drive, we're always learning to drive.
And sometimes you're going to drive into a tree and that's okay. And it's the compassion and the self forgiveness. that comes. I think that helps us get back on track and drive a little bit better next time.
[00:42:24] Blaise: No, I totally, and that's a great way. It's like, I, like, we can't control other people in life circumstances, but we would control how we react to them.
That's empowerment. And so no longer am I a victim in this. I've decided to control certain aspects of this and turn it around and look at the good, even though. EGPA has been a life altering thing and a deadly illness that I've battled and had two collapsed lungs and three miscarriages and ambulance trips and life experiences where you sit in a mirror and think you're going to die if you don't breathe, so you better breathe.
The ambulance is not going to get here in six minutes, so like, you gotta breathe here, Blaise. Those are moments where, like, you could fall into and be very depressed in that. And I have. And I wanted to get out of it because there's meaning for my life and I turned disease into identity, positive identity, purposeful identity, and something that we can share vulnerability like I struggle with this, you struggle with that, but that doesn't have to be our defining moment.
We can use that and be vulnerable and help other people unlock things in their life and share our stories and they're perfectly imperfect and you've got purpose and you've got something to give to this world other than despair and illness and struggle. So let's... Do it together link arms and that is the way we can breathe fire together.
[00:43:50] Andrea: That really is the number one reason why I Came across you and I started reading about you and watching some of your speeches and things and I was like she is the embodiment of turning pain into purpose and I think it's amazing and you help other people do that as well, right? Talk a little bit about how you work with people, what you do, who you work with.
[00:44:14] Blaise: A lot of it is like, it's amazing how the steps have kind of come together. I started off writing books. I started off teaching copywriting and branding and doing speaking. And then over the course of the pandemic, I worked on my nonprofit, which was just giving some advocacy and support and empathy to parents when they lose a baby or struggle with infertility.
My husband struggled. We had nowhere to go. We gave a soft landing for parents and a lot of mental health resources community. And that has grown over the years. It's now an international award winning initiative. And you know what, now I help educate reproductive health rights. And there's so much to address with reproductive health in that one topic. And I specialize in infertility and loss. And what that looks like as a human right. And it is. I never knew that. I'm in my 40s. I googled it and I'm like, that's an actual thing. Like, I didn't know that. It's an actual human right to have a reproductive health right.
When you go to any workplace, there is no language in workplace policies that talk about what happens if you struggle with infertility or have a pregnancy loss, no matter your gender. There is not one paragraph that addresses the human right code of what to do in that situation and how to support your employee.
And that's a travesty. So that's what I'm doing to help people in this instance, is really educating reproductive health rights, how to support that, how to bridge these. Maybe disconnects of that and create buy in because it's not just a women issue. It affects everybody. So we need to rally together, educate, and then understand that where your right is and then unleash those new policies and empowerment and community and support that helps people rather than Leaves them alone and they're in the system and they're struggling and it leads it to other of these problems that are costing our States or provinces or countries way more than if we just dealt with it in the beginning.
Mm hmm so that's what I'm really trying to focus on is really celebrating and Educating reproductive health rights along with my copywriting business and all of that. Yes
[00:46:32] Andrea: Who do you work with in your copywriting business?
[00:46:35] Blaise: Anyone in business, because look at anyone that needs a website, you know, people are like, Oh, I hire someone to design the website.
But often designers of websites aren't the copy part. Those are the design part. We kind of underestimate of what that looks like to sell yourself. It is a blank canvas and it either can work for you or work against you. And so that's what I do. I help anyone in business. If they're a writer, if they're an author, if they're a coach, if they're in any kind of.
Business, whether it's tech, restaurant, if they're a tattoo art, anything, you need a platform that sells you. And so that's what it's like all about marketing and branding and getting your brand identity. But then I help people because if you don't have a brand identity, let's look at your actual identity.
because if you don't know who you are personally, you will take on a false identity professionally. So we try and work on your personal, what are your strengths and who are you and your character and your passions, and find that because that really organically draws out your professional brand. And then I have a lot to play with there because now they're aligned, they're not a false identity.
[00:47:42] Andrea: can people get in touch with you, both for, if it's for the brand identity or also for your nonprofit?
[00:47:49] Blaise: Yeah. BlaiseHunter. com has all the facets of what I do, B L A I S E, Hunter. com. And Dabble all in there, anything, if you want to write a book, if you want questions about your brand, if you want a speaker, if you want reproductive health information, it's all there, easy
[00:48:08] Andrea: I am willing to bet that in your analytics, you show people going to that homepage on your website and staying there for like two hours. Yeah. Am I right? Yeah.
[00:48:19] Blaise: They love the photo.
[00:48:22] Andrea: Yeah. Oh, yeah. I mean, my gosh, I didn't even touch on the fact that your photos are amazing, but it's just that there's just so much there.
There's so much goodness. There's depth.
[00:48:31] Blaise: And, yeah. That's been attributed to like, The solid foundation because once you have a foundation and it's coming from a place, this isn't wasn't meant to be a business. It wasn't meant to get clients and make money. It was literally to follow my passion and give back to this world.
So then that organically just like poof this opportunity. I'm good at this. And I drew on my radio and PR skills. And someone said today like you have an eclectic, really deep bullpen of talent of expertise of your career that you can what we help people with. If you're a speaker, you're not always the writer, right?
And if you're this, you're not always this. And it seems like I have a good smattering of, of a background that contributes to that, which is a great thing to give clients and people that I work with. So yeah, there's a lot of things on that homepage.
[00:49:23] Andrea: But it's great. I mean, it's not, it's not like it's random.
It's kind of like what you say. It's a good foundation. It's, there's a through line to everything. Yeah. It's not, she doesn't, you know how some people it's, I do this and then that, and then this, and then you start to wonder, yeah, you're like, this doesn't like, and then I make cupcakes, you know, for your birthday party.
And you're like,
[00:49:42] Blaise: what? It's a little bit of business ADHD. And that's why I really coach people. It's like, you can have many tentacles to your business. Like many people do. Yeah. but have a solid foundation where that comes from. And lots of people are like, aren't you exhausted? And I said, well, this is a different focus than me.
My number one driver isn't to make money, which money is great. And I want to make money, but my number one driver is to heal. So I'm doing these certain things because I know it's part of my healing journey. So then it's like this urgency and this extra energy, it's superhero energy that I don't have.
Like, it's not, from me. It's something in this world that is contributing to that because it's this perfect alignment of passion and purpose and healing. And when I step on stage and I roar, I literally roar with a cape and a sword on stage. And people are like, how do you have the energy? And you have a lung disorder.
And I'm like, because that actually gives me energy. That actually fuels me. And I will not let this beat me. So I'm going to combat it with positive energy and it somehow gives me this beautiful fuel that I, I can't even explain. It's not logical. It's not even natural. I don't even understand it, but it's, it's the right direction.
So I lean in.
[00:50:58] Andrea: Yeah. I think some of the best things fuel us with absolutely no explanation at
[00:51:03] Blaise: all. Yeah, I shouldn't be able to roar like that. I literally get up and have an asthma attack, and yet I can go on stage and breathe fire like that. And I find that inspiring. So I, I want to do that more because that is healing energy, right?
So like, let's tap into that more and let's do it. And somehow it keeps birthing things. And that's where I'm like, Yes, I still haven't been able to birth another physical baby, but I'm not barren. I am a mother of purpose. And we can birth things even in a barren season. So don't look at the illness and be like, I can't, I'm sick.
because I'm like, don't, because that doesn't define you. That's just part of you. But you can still birth things and be healthy in many areas and coexist with it and carry it along. So all of a sudden you've over. encompass the illness or the struggle or whatever that looks like for your life, you have now blossomed all these fertile, beautiful things that now work around it.
And nourish it, even though you're coexisting with it, and that's what I do with my life.
[00:52:06] Andrea: Blaise Hunter, thank you so much for coming on and sharing, I mean, I don't even know what to label it, wisdom, knowledge, inspiration. It's been amazing. Thank you.
[00:52:20] Blaise: Thank you for having me. It's been a great discussion, so I really appreciate having this.
About Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis
Hear inspiring discussions with people living with chronic illness. These people went after their passions and big goals -even when everyone told them they couldn’t. Listen to stories of resilience and gratitude in the face of uncertainty.
I’m your host, Andrea W. Hanson, Author, Motivational Speaker, and Autoimmune Rebel living with multiple sclerosis. You’ll not only fall in love with these guests, but you’ll soak up positive mindset tips and ideas to find your own unique path to success.