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Conversations from the Heart - September 18th 2020

Author: Rachel Brathen

Topics: Growth, Healing, Self-Love

Links: Apple Podcasts / Spotify

About the Episode

Are we all going to be ok? This is one of the most heartfelt questions that Rachel answers on this week’s episode. It has been a while since she sat down to take questions from our listeners – and ultimately, we are all wondering about the same things.

As we navigate this new world, we are not feeling grounded, centered, safe or secure. We are swinging from high to low, trying to find some type of normalcy and balance during a global pandemic – and we are starting to develop a new reality of actually not being ok. But, Rachel shares inspiring advice that gives us all a reason to move forward.

Tune in as Rachel opens up about the deeper questions of finding peace during global panic, how to take care of yourself as an empath, accepting our pain, and also things like her LEAST favorite yoga pose, how day to day life is going in Aruba, if her family will leave the country, and how Lea Luna desperately wants a sibling.

This episode will remind you to honor yourself first, to care for yourself first, to lean into and own uncomfortable feelings, and to contemplate what it is that you need to be doing on a daily basis in order to take care of YOU.

Key Takeaways

  • Have check-ins with yourself every single day. Check in with your heart and give yourself whatever it is you need to get by and make it through. Build this into your day to day routine.
  • If you are feeling drained by other people’s emotional pain, make a bigger effort to be present in your own body. You have to be present and aware of your needs before you can take on the needs of others. Practice drawing boundaries and making time to do what it is you need to do to be present with yourself.
  • The more you listen to your heart, the more you honor your truth, the more you own all of the feelings you are feeling, the more in alignment you will become, and more helpful to others.
  • It’s ok to make a decision that honors your need, even if it will disappoint someone else. Forcing yourself to do something only creates inauthenticity and will not serve you or anyone else. Be ok with drawing healthy boundaries that take care of your needs.

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Transcript

[0:03] Welcome to a brand new episode of the Yoga Girl podcast, Conversations From the Heart. Hi, you beautiful human being. How are you doing? How is life? How’s 2020? [Laughs] What’s happening in your life in this moment? I hope you are well, I hope you’re safe, I hope you feel grounded, and if you don’t, I’m right there with you. If anything, over the past, past couple of weeks, that the one thing that I’ve been able to really surrender to as just a constant is this roller coaster of emotions that I move through every single day.

[0:40] I don’t think I’ve had a day, you know, in the past two months, where I’ve really felt steady all the way through, you know? I go from feeling totally fine, and grounded, and calm, to just all of a sudden I feel worried, and then something, you know, wonderful happens, and I feel elated and ecstatic, and then I feel totally down and depressed, and then I feel exhausted, and then I’m energized, and ooh, it really is a, it is a roller coaster, being alive in 2020, that is for sure.

[1:11] So, I have a, I have a couple of things to share today, actually I did a little Q and A on Instagram right before sitting down to record this. I think the first year of this podcast, I did a couple of Q and A episodes where I just literally let people ask any random question, and then I had entire podcast episodes dedicated to that, just like a Q and A episode. And I haven’t done that in years, so I kinda thought it would be a, a fun little twist to this show this week, also because there are a couple of questions I get all the time, and I, I, I love sharing with you guys.

[1:47] To be totally honest, you know, speaking from the heart, I have been having a really hard time sharing these past few months. This kind of organic feeling of, of sharing everything all the time, I’ve, I’ve lost it a little bit. So, yeah, this Q and A actually, the idea of it made me feel really motivated and excited to share with you guys, so I think, I think that’s where we’re going to go.

[2:11] So, yeah. Before I dive in, you know, totally from the heart, I, I have a friend visiting from Sweden right now, so the past week, we have literally been on, on kind of a vacation I guess. I’ve been on the beach every single day, I have a tan, you know, I lived, I’ve lived in the Caribbean for over ten years, I never have a tan, I’m never in the sun, you know, and anyone who lives anywhere that isn’t, where it’s not sunny all the time, I remember that feeling of living in Sweden and going on vacation and like, “I need, I need a tan. By the end of this trip, I need a tan or it’s not going to count,” you know?

[2:46] So I don’t know if it’s a Swedish thing to like, tan all the time, I don’t have any Swedish friends who literally are not obsessed with being in the sun, you know. Having so much time with no sun, you know, Sweden is so dark and so cold so much of the year, I really, I get that. But, and living somewhere where it’s sunny all the time, it’s like all day long, all you do is everything in your power to avoid the sun, you know? [Laughs] We never would go sit in the sun, or go lay on the beach in the middle of the day or something like that, it’s like, “how can I avoid the heat,” basically.

[3:15] But this last week, I’ve literally, I’ve had like a little mini vacation, so I have tan lines…like I don’t remember [laughing] having tan lines since forever. Yeah, it’s, it’s been nice. It’s actually been [inhales] it’s been nice to experience this island from a, from a positive place, to be honest; to just be in nature, we’ve been hiking a bunch. Past couple of weeks, Dennis, Lea and I, we’ve been hiking at least once a week, and, no, it’s been, it’s been really good to just feel my feet on the ground, and, and to go swim in the ocean and to, you know, breathe fresh air all day. It’s been, it’s been beautiful.

[3:54] At the same time, you know, like I just said, it’s been a, it’s been a rollercoaster, so trying to allow myself this space to enjoy, and then also give space for the really hard times and the really hard days. I had an epiphany in therapy last week — that was one of the questions I got in this Q and A today was, was to share more about my experience of therapy. Someone said, “I find it surprising that someone who has so many tools for mental health support and emotional support that you still feel the need to go to therapy. Like what is that, how, what does that provide for you,” you know? “How is that helping you?”

[4:32] And honestly, like I’ve been thinking about that too, because I had, earlier this year, at the end of quarantine a couple months ago, I had several sessions in a row, so my therapist, she’s a…an amazing woman. She’s in the UK, so we do it via, we do it via Skype once a week, and a couple months ago where I felt so steady, so grounded, so totally fine that I had several sessions in a row where, at the end of them, I was like, “maybe I don’t need it any more?” You know? Maybe like, you know.

[5:03] There was something inside of me that had this, this feeling like, “okay, well it’s probably good to continue doing this kind of work with someone, you know, with a professional, also when things are fine, because eventually things, you might have another dip, or things might hit the fan again.” And then I was cancelled. [Laughs] Which brought about, like, overwhelming anxiety and, and super-crazy stuff. So really grateful I didn’t quit therapy right before that happened.

[5:28] But really what it gives me now more than anything, it’s the structure of no matter what happens, no matter where I am, no matter what’s going on, that I have this structure of every single week, there is at least one hour for me dedicated to actually exploring my inner world. And I find that sometimes we just, we kind of lack the motivation to do that, you know? It’s like it’s good to have that daily, or that weekly discipline to come back to sitting with our emotions, to having someone totally objective on the other end, you know, someone who’s not personally invested in your life, someone who’s not biased, someone who doesn’t have this preconceived idea of what your life is, or who you’re supposed to be, but just a neutral, objective person who can work almost like a sounding board.

[6:16] And sometimes we have sessions where I really need to talk something through, you know, because I’m sitting with something really big, and most of the times, it’s, it’s, it’s a space for me to feel my feelings for an extended period of time, and actually go deeper into holding that feeling in a way that’s hard for me to do if I don’t have someone holding space or guiding me there.

[6:38] So I can do that in my meditation practices, especially the more emotionally releasing practices that I do, where I feel a ton, and I cry a ton, and then inevitably there’s that moment where I kind of feel done, and what I’ve realized in therapy is that when there’s another person there urging me to go deeper, I can go much deeper much faster, and I can kind of get to the root of stuff that’s just hard to get to on your own.

[7:02] So, you know, and there are so many forms of therapy; I’m a huge fan of anything, any therapist or psychologist that does any sort of somatic work where the body is involved, so it’s not just talk therapy but it relates to the body as well. There’s a new, I don’t know if you can say it’s like a genre of therapy, but holistic therapy that looks at it, you know, the full mind, body, soul connection, so it’s not just the mind. And there’s, there’s great things, you know; we have an app or helped develop an app, I have a course on 29K. If you guys don’t have the 29K app yet, and you’re feeling like you’re in need of support, 29K, it’s totally free. You know, it’s free for everyone, forever. It’s the most amazing initiative I think I’ve ever been a part of.

[7:46] I have a, a course on self-compassion where every week, you get to do specific kind of exercises, therapeutic things that have been scientifically proven to help improve your level of well-being. And then every week, you meet with a group, from, with people, with random people that you don’t know from all over the world to share, and to get vulnerable, and intimate, and open up about your experience. So it’s basically, you know, self-therapy, or self-healing. And you don’t need to spend a single dollar to do it, so there are lots of tools available online, for free, but I find 29K to be, there’s nothing to compare, that compares to it, it’s absolutely fantastic.

[8:25] So my course is on self-compassion, there’s also one on core values that’s, that’s really beautiful, so if you’re feeling like you need a little bit extra support right now, try that out if you haven’t already. And if you’ve done a course before, you know, a year ago or something, you can do it again now, because nothing is going to be the same as it was, you know, we’re totally different people.

[8:46] But you know, fi you have the means, and you’re thinking about maybe starting therapy, consider this your sign. Like if you were looking for a sign, this is it. And I think a lot of it is also finding a person that we feel really safe with, someone that we resonate with, someone that, yeah, that we feel comfortable returning to again and again. And I have friends that kind of shopped around, looking for, for a great person, I was lucky to find a good fit right away, but I definitely think it’s something that can add something really beautiful to your life. So, so yeah. That’s my [laughs] that’s my therapy.

[9:24 — Commercial Break]

[10:34] When I’m scrolling through these question right now, so many people — and this is like, every time I do a little question and answer thing on Instagram, so many people, way more than usual, just ask me, “how is your heart?” [Laughs softly] “How are you doing, how are you feeling in this moment?” I really feel, honestly, when it comes to, to my people, like if you’re listening to this, you’re my person, our community, you know, from afar, from, from, from all over the world, everyone is in different places, I feel so held by you guys. I really, really, really do.

[11:09] Like the lack of support that I’ve experienced locally here where I live after being cancelled has been absolutely, you know, weighed up by the, the, the unconditional and just beautiful support that I’m receiving from afar, just the fact that so many people would write if I say, “hey, ask me anything,” you know, that most people are not asking about yoga pants or something, but just asking how I’m doing, you know. How beautiful is that? So I guess I’ll, I guess i’ll answer that [laughs].

[11:40] How’s your heart? Yeah, I’m emotional, you guys [laughs]. I’m, I’m emotional, which is, you know, to not be emotional, I think, is to be dead, [laughs] you know, if we’re human beings, we are going to be emotional, we’re meant to feel our feelings. But when I say emotional, I mean it’s like I really have my heart on my sleeve, like I, I feel things very intensely and all the time. I feel a hint of sadness all the time. And it’s kind of hard to, it’s been a hard one for me to accept that almost every day, throughout the day, it’s like I have this hint of, I don’t want to say depression. For awhile I really thought like, “man, I feel like I’m spirally into some sort of depression,” because it feels really big, it felt really heavy, it felt different than any, you know, anything else than I’ve experienced in my life, I really felt like this, you know, being cancelled, and publicly shamed, and so hated by so many people, like it’s, it’s, it’s bringing me closer to some sort of depressive state.

[12:46] And this week, I don’t really feel like that. Maybe it is because I have a friend here and, you know, Dennis and I, we can liter…we can spend two weeks together and, and we’re just on the couch, you know, like I haven’t left the house in months, I don’t…I went to the grocery store like maybe one, twice, and the first time I, both times brought me unbelievable anxiety. I’ve been to the vet three times with these dogs, these stray dogs that we keep finding. So I’ve done, you know I’ve left the house a couple times. Started teaching once a week again, and almost every outing, prior to this past week, has brought absolute insane anxiety.

[13:28] So, and the reason for this is I don’t know who I’m going to see when I go; am I going to see someone who hates me? Am I going to see someone who, who’s going to want to start a drama with me? Am I going to see someone who’s gonna, you know, give me like a side-eye, or just look at me in a bad way, or I personally haven’t had a lot of those experiences since being cancelled when everything happened online. Dennis has had a ton, which breaks my heart, and of course I think he’s had it more because he’s the one who’s, who’s out and about, he’s living his normal life…normal corona life, obviously. But biking, and mountain biking, and surfing, and, you know, working, and taking normal meetings, and he’s the one running every single errand, and, and, you know, who does the groceries and all that stuff normally, so he’s also exposed to more people, and he’s had some really, really, really heartbreaking moments lately.

[14:24] And every day there is at least one point of the day where I’m reminded of, “oh, yeah, I went on Instagram, you know, like awhile ago and, and told people to not travel here in the peak of the pandemic, and now this entire island hates my guts,” like…. So at least some point every day, I feel shame, I feel humiliated, I feel [sighs] like things are never going to be good again. I feel like we have to move, we can’t, there’s no possible way we can live here long-term. I feel like I don’t want to be here, I don’t like it here anymore, I don’t feel safe anymore.

[14:59] Not in a sense of feeling safe like someone’s going to do something bad, I don’t think so at all any more. That part, that, that hectic like scary part is over for sure. But feeling safe in terms of feeling welcome, that’s the feeling, you know, like I belong. Like I can go anywhere and feel at home, that feeling is gone. Like so gone. And I don’t know if it’s gonna, I don’t know if it’s gonna come back. And just being faced with all those little moments that are not huge, but like Dennis and I went out to dinner before my friend came here, with Lea Luna, to one of the restaurants at one of the hotels where we sometimes go — we don’t go often, say maybe once every few months we go there. They have a vegan menu, so we go sometimes.

[15:42] And there’s this waiter there who’s been waiting on us, you know, for ten years, like we’ve known him for ten years, not, you know, not that we’re friends, or buddies, or hang out, but we go to this restaurant and he’s super excited, he know Lea Luna by name, hugging her and, you know, he’s like a very, very extroverted, kind of loud kind of guy who’s always asking tons of questions and super excited to see us. And then we went there last week, and he just dropped the menus on the table and walked away.

[16:12] And I’m like, you know, so obviously yeah, that’s, that’s an example of the encounters that I’m having on a daily basis. And then my husband, who’s the eternal, like, you know, diplomat and optimist, and wants everything to be great, he’s like, “no, but it’s not that, that guy’s just having a bad day.” And I’m like, “dude, we’ve been here what, a hundred times? Every, we’ve never had a time being waited on by this guy that hasn’t been super joyful and exciting,” and you know. And he’s like, “maybe he’s, he’s having a hard time,” I’m like, “no, this guy hates us now. Like this, we can add this to the list of places where we’re not going to be comfortable going.”

[16:50] So, having those experiences constantly makes it, it makes it really hard to just move on because, yeah, things are not the same. So it’s like I, I get to grieve a little bit every day, everything that happens in that sense, it’s like I’m grieving the loss, like I’m grieving the loss of that guy, for instance. You know, he’s not my best friend, it’s not my family, it’s not going to change my life, but it means that just the ease and the friendliness of someone that we were acquainted with, and then imagine having that every day, but it’s a new person.

[17:23] So, yeah. And I, I, I don’t know if it’s ever going to make sense that this is our reality now, someone else was asking on the Q and A, like, like “do you regret saying what you said?” And I mean, I go between just feeling like it’s absolutely, so unbelievably unfair that I’m in this situation, that I do not deserve this in any way, hey, I’m a good fucking person. I have done more good for this island where I live than most people that I know here, you know? And then to, to, to say the wrong thing at the wrong time and then, you know, now we gotta move? You know, our lives are over? No. That shit is not fair.

[18:06] And saying what I said also being something that, that actually a lot of people believe and stand by, and, you know, it’s, it’s maybe more how I said it, or the timing that I chose and, you know, it’s also not a very controversial thing to tell people not travel, to travel in the middle of a pandemic, like why is that so controversial and, and hard and horrible?

[18:26] So I go between this feeling of “fuck you,” you know. “This whole island, fuck you.” I have days like that where I’m just, “hey, I don’t need, I don’t need to be here. I can take our businesses, and our service project, and our organization, and our clientele, and our marketing, and we can go somewhere else.” And I have this feeling of like [sighs] you know, “this is just like, I, I, I feel no, no joy, no love for this place any more.” And then I go, the pendulum swings the other way and I just feel so sad, and I feel like, “man, I would do anything to take that back,” you know? “Nothing is worth this,” and knowing this, this is like my daughter is born here, this is Dennis’ home, so for the rest of our life, are we going to have this bad feeling when it comes to his home? No, like that’s not okay. And then I just feel shame.

[19:17] And this shame doesn’t take me anywhere good. That shame takes me into these really scary places. So, yeah, I guess this was a long answer to how is my heart. But my heart is broken in a million pieces, and I’m a little sad at some point, or all the time, every day. I’m also experiencing so much beauty, and joy, and love, and Lea Luna, is just like a ray of sunshine all day, every day; she’s so cuddly, she’s also, suddenly she just, it’s like she had a massive growth spurt. We’re having these really complex conversations all the time, it’s so much fun. I mean having, having a three year old in the house, it’s the greatest joy.

[19:58] I have a beautiful family. I have one of my closest friends here right now, and I get to just have girl talk, and drink wine on the patio, and go to yoga every day, and you know, there’s so much good. So it’s, it’s hard to balance that. And I guess that’s why [laughs] that’s why my life is a rollercoaster now.

[20:17] So the epiphany that I was going to say that I had in therapy last week was that the challenging thing of moving through something hard, whether it’s something super traumatic, grieving the loss of someone or something, or if it’s just the day-to-day challenges that we all experience all the time, the hardest part about that is not fixing it. And I say this in a sense of most of us, we have this sense of, okay, as soon as something feels wrong, we gotta fix it, we gotta find a way.

[20:48] So for instance, me in this example, I have been looking at houses and property in different parts of the world, like, “where are we going to move?” And I had a whole week where I was obsessed with figuring out our next place to live. And I did that in detail, you know, researching different countries, and different places, and what are our options, and hey, I, I just got my visa to like, proper work visa to live in the U.S. It’s a three year [laughs] work visa, the timing could not be worse, you guys. Three year work visa that applies to my whole family, so Dennis, Lea and I can move anywhere in the U.S. and live, for three years [laughs].

[21:24] Now, in like Trump and corona times, doesn’t really feel like the most ideal time to do that, but it’s an option, right? So we’ve been thinking about maybe Hawaii is an option for us to, to live long-term; we’re also thinking about of course Sweden, which is my, my home country; Costa Rica, which is like our second home. We’ve been contemplating different places in Europe, we’re thinking about Australia, New Zealand, it’s like, “okay, hey, say we just, we gotta pick from the whole globe if this is not our place.”

[21:53] So I spent a whole week obsessively trying to figure all this stuff out, right? And then every day, the further I went into this, this planning, the more depressed I felt. It didn’t work, right? No matter where, I kind of ended up trying to fix that situation of like, “okay, we’re not welcome here, we gotta move,” I just felt worse, and worse, and worse, and worse and worse. And then I had another week where I just felt like, “okay, I feel so bad in my body right now, like ugh. I feel slow, I feel like I’m not taking care of myself, I’m not moving as much as I normally do,” and I got just really obsessed and, you know, kind of hooked on this idea of like, “hey, if I just become, if I can like win an Ironman, if I become super strong, if I become like the fittest I’ve ever been, then I’ll feel really strong mentally too, and then I can stay here.”

[22:44] It’s just, it was just this, this idea in my head. So I start like, running a lot, and I start moving a ton, but I was moving from this place of “I have to fix something,” you know? “something isn’t right inside,” like I’m trying to almost like running away from myself in a sense. And I had a whole week, you know, moving my body like crazy, and every day I just felt worse and worse.

[23:02] And then in therapy — and I’m talking about these things, it’s like…I want to fix it. I, I feel bad, and I need to fix it. I need to change it, my mind is telling me negative, horrible stories about how bad of a person I am, so I need to change that narrative to something positive.” And my therapist went, “well, why do you have to change it?” And I go, “what the fuck do you mean? Like, ‘why do I have to change it,’ I feel depressed. I feel ashamed, I feel humiliated, I feel horrible all the time.” She says, “okay, why do you have to change that?”

[23:32] I said, “because I, I want to be happy. I want to feel energized, I wanna feel purposeful.” And she says, “okay, and is that the reality of, of where you are right now? No. Okay. So before you move into the fixing, and the getting to the next place, how about you start by allowing the fact that right now, you feel really depressed.” And I was like, “…wait.” [Laughs] You know, I talk about this a lot, I teach, you know, I do those practices a lot, meditations that I do on this podcast a lot about giving space for our emotions, so I feel like I’m good at that, but on a really big scale, like the scale of my whole life, of just deeply inside of my own body right now, acknowledging, “I’m having a shit time. This is a bad time. I feel bad. I feel horrible. I feel sad. I feel depressed. I feel angry. I feel ashamed. I feel fearful. Feel like a, I don’t belong,” you know?

[24:33] On a big scale of my whole life, am I allowing that? No. [Laughs] No. And of course not, you know? We’re human beings, it’s a normal thing, we want to go back to feeling okay. But what I’ve been doing is running so fast toward the fixing of the problem that I’m bypassing my own experience, right? I’m escaping my own experience. I’m trying really hard to not linger or dwell in the thing that’s really hard. And what do I know is fact is that thing I’m trying to run away from is going to get bigger. And magnify and get harder, you know.

[25:06] So of course I feel worse, and worse, and worse. And then I started practicing that: every moment of my day when I’m, when I’m able to, when I’m grounded enough that I can catch it, and I have that negative narrative of, “okay, I have self-hatred here, shame, I have all these things going on inside, okay.” To give space to that. To lean into the self-hate, instead of step out of it. And that’s a totally different practice than anything I’m used to. I’m used to, “okay, if I have self-judgement, or hateful thoughts, how do I change that narrative so if I’m, my inner critic tells me I’m terrible, and then I go, “okay, okay, connect to the inner best friend,” my inner best friend tells me I’m great. You’re doing good enough job.

[25:49] But I’m not acknowledging the fact that, “hey, there’s, there’s a part of me that actually genuinely doesn’t like herself. What about that part,” you know? No matter how much I direct that attention toward the inner best friend, that inner critical, hateful voice is still there, right? And whenever I try to distract or move away, it actually gets a little louder because I’m ignoring it, right? I’m resisting it. So I’ve been doing these practices of just acknowledging that, “okay, there’s a part of me that genuinely doesn’t like myself, okay. I’m feeling really sad today, how is that? Where in my body is that sadness? What is that experience like? Can I let myself just be completely absorbed by that sadness, and hold it, and live with it, instead of going, “okay, find the next happy moment.”

[26:39] And actually, the most beautiful realization in all of that was my living situation is not the problem. My body is not the problem. The external stuff that I go through, that come my way that are hard are not the problem. The problem is me resisting my own experience. The problem is me not allowing myself to feel. And the moment I do that, and it’s something I can literally just catch in the day, I give that space, for the really hard, bad things, which has been scary for a long time, you know? I have, like there’s a part of me that, that kind of hates herself, what the fuck is that? [Laughs] You know.

[27:23] I can recognize that from being a teenager, from like my, you know, more self-destructive years that I had that voice, and I kind of had this idea that I’ve outgrown that voice, I’m really loving toward myself, but no, no. That voice is still there, you know? So that allowing of our experience, whatever it is, that I, I’m finding really is the key, and I wouldn’t have gotten to that depth of that if it wasn’t for therapy.

[27:47] So, yeah. [Laughs] That’s, how’s my heart, that’s therapy, that’s also I think answering a few questions, people were asking, “where would you guys live if you moved?” [Laughs] If anybody has any suggestions, you know, throw them my way and, yeah. Dennis doesn’t listen to this podcast, but if he did, he would be super sad right now. He really doesn’t want to move, and if we move, he wants us to move for a good, positive, happy reason, like we found a wonderful place where we want to explore and live for awhile, not because I feel like we can’t be here anymore.

[28:22] So it’s also a big relationship challenge that we’re having trying to navigate all of this. But in the base of it’s all — and this is kind of what’s helping me through — I have this really strong sense of faith that it is going to work out. That maybe a year from now, I’ll sit here and look back and go [sighs] “thank you.” Yeah. I’m hoping, I’m definitely not there now, now I’m more like, “fuck you,” [laughs]. But fuck you and thank you, they’re pretty close together, right? Don’t you, don’t you agree? Maybe there can be a fuck you and thank you all wrapped up into one. So we’ll see, we’ll see where we end up in a year from now.

[29:01 — Commercial Break]

[30:19] Someone is asking — this is the question that just caught my eyes, or caught my eye — “are we all going to be okay?” Oh, honey. I could cry reading that, I just wanna, I just wanna give you a hug [laughs]. I just shared I have this sense of faith, and I do in, in this personal situation. In terms of all of us, in this huge, you know, in terms of humanity, society, this world, are we all going to be okay? I don’t think so. And [laughs] what, what a horrible ting to say on the Yoga Girl podcast, “no, we are not going to be okay.”

[30:58] And I say that meaning there is going to continue to be more loss, right? And loss, for most of us in most sense, isn’t okay. And this feeling that, you know, “it’s all going to be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” I love that saying, I come back to it all the time, this feeling of, “it’s not okay yet because I’m still moving through it, and I’ll feel, maybe a year from now I’ll feel okay and that was the end of this.”

[31:22] But what if a part of this whole experience of this year is all of us learning to not be okay, right? It’s everything that comes our way, for every challenging thing we have to sit with, we continue to increase our capacity to hold all of life, right? So in your particular sense, what if this is a preparation for the next thing, right? What you’re learning right now is invaluable, and you would not be able to learn it in any other way aside from exactly this.

[31:54] You know, I can apply this to my own personal situation, like I had to learn all of this that I’m learning now in this way. That “this place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you,” that Hafiz quote, I come back to that fucking all the time. Especially moments where I feel regret, or like I want to turn back time and change something. You know, when my, when my best friend passed away in 2014, I remember reading that quote, you know, because I was, I was so consumed, consumed with thoughts of, “I could have prevented her death,” for a long, long, long time, I feel like I, if I…you know, she texted me right before and I had this idea in my head, if I would have answered her text sooner than I did, then maybe she would have paused for five more minutes to look at her phone, you know, to write me back.

[32:46] And she would have gotten in her care five minutes later. Even five minutes, 30 seconds later, right? And she wouldn’t have had…that truck wouldn’t have been, you know, on the opposite side of the road at the time that it was, and, and, and by grace of God, she wouldn’t have had that car accident and she would be alive today. I was, that was the thought that consumed my life, right? If I would have only written her, you know. If I would have only written her back, that text. And, and then I, I read that quote, you know, “this place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you.” It used to piss me the fuck off. Like, “hey, it really…what if it is true?”

[33:26] It’s like the butterfly effect, right, like I could have done a little something that could have prevented her from dying. And then at the same time, I know it’s not true, I’m not God, you know. I can’t change what’s in the past, I can’t turn back time, you know, this is.… I don’t decide who lives or dies, but that idea of where I am, right now, God circled on a map for me, meaning all throughout my life, no matter what decision I made, I was meant to end up right here.

[33:54] And it’s, it’s, it’s liberating, the thought of that being true, and it’s also suffocating at the same time, you know. The idea of not, of everything being fated, or not having control, but at the same time, it, it being purposeful that this is where I’m supposed to be, right now.

[34:13] So are we all going to be okay? I think in our non-okayness, yeah. Yeah. You know, I think we are, we are held by divine light at all times, and that doesn’t negate the fact that we are going to suffer and not be okay, and somehow we coexist in these spaces where, where we feel so much pain, and we experience so much love at the same time, you know? Where everything is unbearably horrible and unbelievably beautiful, all wrapped up in one. It’s like that, this is what being human is: we’re okay, and we’re not okay.

[34:53] [Inhales] And…[exhales] hopefully, 2020 is more than just the year of a lot of things not being okay, is in a sense, a re-brith. You know, a peeling away of all the layers of stuff that didn’t make sense, that weren’t true, that were harming us, that were harming this planet, that were harming this Earth, that, that, that we’re going to have something totally new on the other side. And that, I think we, we gotta try and anchor into the, the hope of that being absolutely true. That in the end we’ll be okay and we won’t.

[35:29] Alright, so a lot of questions that I got were about our live classes [laughs] and I haven’t really addressed this because I, every week I just didn’t know what next week was going to bring, but all throughout COVID stuff, I’ve been teaching live classes on yogagirl.com, and then when all this cancelling stuff happened, I stopped completely, and I haven’t picked it back up, and the reason I haven’t is because anything that kind of means I have to be on, you know? Whether it’s, whether it’s like a live thing on Instagram, or filming a class, or offering something, you know, like providing something for someone else, I feel like I’ve, I’ve sort of lost this, the energy to hold stuff for other people.

[36:22] I don’t know if that makes any sense for anybody else, but, but it used to be this second nature of mine that any moment of the day, I could just snap my fingers and be on, and, and step out, and teach a class to thousands of people, or lead retreats and trainings, or do live stuff, live classes, live things, or do interviews, or yeah, whatever. And I, I’ve lost it. You guys, I’ve, I’ve lost it. I don’t think I’ve lost my ability to teach, but I have lost that energy that would allow me to lead like a two hour full moon ceremony, for instance. And I could put one on the schedule now, and I would have to force myself to do it. And I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna teach that way.

[37:09] So I’m taking this as kind of just trying to really listen to my body, and listen to my heart in terms of what I, what really fills me and nourishes me right now. And I think right now, the capacity I have to actually take care of myself, it’s like I’m, I’m at max, right? I can’t, I don’t have anything left over. And normally, I feel like I always have a lot left over, like I can hold a lot and be of service in big ways, and, and now, I hope that that feeling will come back, and I’m sure it will. Just yesterday I was telling Dennis just how much I miss having groups here, I miss sitting in circle, I miss bonding with the group, and then being with them all day, every day, and seeing the sense of community that we build in those groups, and the healing, and the transformation, and the tears, and the vulnerability, and these big things, you know?

[38:03] Also this sense of absolutely purposefulness that I would have every time I’d lead a retreat or a teacher training. And I’m really great at it, it’s like what I’m here to do. I know I’m, it’s one of the things I can say with super confidence that I’m, I’m really, really, really meant for that, for guiding in that sense. So I, I miss it. And then there’s something just now at the same time that’s telling me to be quiet, to be in my own space, to…also in my practice, I find myself, you know, kind of moving toward much more nourishing, quiet, like I want to wrap myself up in a blanket and just, you know, cocoon in a Yin pose for an hour instead of my regular flow practice where I move, and that’s more expansive and dynamic.

[38:48] Yeah, there’s almost like a sense of protection that I, that I need right now. So if you’re on yogagirl.com, and I, I hope you are, I really, like it’s basically saves our life if you’re, if you’re a subscriber to yogagirl.com, you are part of like, saving me and Dennis right now, because [laughs] that is our whole center of our business has become yogagirl.com where it used to be a lot of stuff, and now it’s just the online classes. So if I wore my business hat and my CEO hat, I would teach live classes every day, and I’m not.

[39:21] We have so many beautiful classes that you can take at any time; they’re not live, they’re pre-recorded and done with so much love, so if you want to practice yoga, that’s a great place to be. And I hope one day soon, I’ll be back to, to doing the live things. I also wanna, I can also remember just how many times I, I didn’t listen to that inner voice, when my inner voice told me to, to soften, or to stop, and my business head went, “no, no, but I gotta keep going,” you know, “we need this, the business needs this, the team needs this. Everyone else needs this.” And now, I think, for the first time in my life I’m able to go, “okay, well I need something else.”

[40:01] And it’s okay for me to make that decision, even at the risk of disappointing someone else, which has been my, my biggest fear, you know, something that I, I think I’ve lived a big part of my life really working so hard to avoid ever disappointing anybody else. Been really scared of rejection, and abandonment, and saying the wrong thing, and doing the wrong thing, and fucking up, and you know, just to kind of become really faced with living my life that way means I am disappointing myself, all the time. Every time that inner voice told me, “hey, you’re working too hard, slow down.” Or, “hey, stop.” Not even slow down, just stop.

[40:41] That voice, how often I ignored that voice, and looked around and said, “but what, everybody else, they need me,” you know? If it’s a group, or my team, or the business, or our customers, or our students, or the whole world, or, you know, my family, everybody that I know, they need me, so I gotta, I gotta keep doing this thing. And the whole time, I was leaving myself to do that. So I think if, you know, a lot of us have that, it’s almost like an inherent trait where we are so trained to be there for other people.

[41:13] Or maybe when we were little, there wasn’t a lot of space for our own emotions to be validated, it’s like it was inconvenient for us to feel a lot of feelings, or, or we just weren’t seen, you know? We weren’t seen and held the way we are, so we grow up thinking that we’re here for somebody else. That our own feelings are inconvenient, that that inner voice actually isn’t the most important thing, but what other people say is more important. And I don’t wanna live like that any more.

[41:40] I was telling my, my friend who’s here just yesterday that I genuinely, really believe that there is this beautiful place of alignment where we don’t have to leave ourselves to be of great service for the world, but we’re actually, the more we stay with ourselves, the more we hold our hearts in that beautiful sense of just reverence, and we listen to that inner voice all the time, that that is going to help us grow in every way. But what we’ve been taught has been the harder we work, the more reward we see, right? “If I really wanna change the world, I gotta work my ass off.” Or, “if I want a really big business and lots of abundance, that I gotta kill myself.”

[42:20] And I can also see the results of that in my past, always has been the harder I’ve worked, the more results I’ve seen. Of course, that makes sense, right? If I’m running 180 miles per hour every day, I’m going to go further, I’m going to get ahead. And I’ve been validated for that, and I’ve seen results from that in really good, great ways, you know. But it’s also always included me having to abandon myself in the process, because if I would have listened to that voice that, what, two years ago, told me, “hey, stop,” I would have had to cancel so many things. I would have disappointed so many people, and the idea of doing that then was just not, was just not possible.

[43:01] And today I like to believe that, “okay, now the thing I stopped, it wasn’t like I cancelled a book tour, or cancelled, you know, three yoga teacher trainings,” or something, which would bring about a lot of inconvenience and disappointment and challenges. Now the thing I stopped is I stopped teaching live classes. And it maybe sounds like a small things, but for me, it’s a big thing. Really big thing, because I feel like I’m disappointing people.

[43:25] The thought of one person, you know, being, who loves yogagril.com, who feels like, “ugh, I don’t like it as much now because I don’t have the live experience,” ugh, it kills me. But you know what kills me more is me abandoning myself again and again. I can’t, I can’t live like that any more. And I think a lot of us are, we are experiencing these little nudges from the Universe right now. And maybe now, because of COVID, because of quarantine, because everything has slowed down and changed in different ways, we actually have a bigger opportunity to listen to that voice, you know, because the thing that we’re actually sacrificing now, it’s different than when were running 180 miles per hour.

[44:08] So, what will it be like to find that place of alignment, of listening to the inner voice, and still be able to make a change in this world, and still have abundance, and still have all of these things work? I have yet to experience that, so I don’t know if it’s true, but I really want to [laughing] believe that it is; it sounds like that’s the most logical thing, right? But I think it involves the undoing of so many things that we have been conditioned to believe, which is we gotta work hard and all the time; we gotta work really fast; we gotta stay ahead, we can’t slow down, we can’t fall behind; we have to do better; we have to make more money; we have to be successful, we have to, we have to, we have to, we have to.

[44:51] And now I think all of our souls are like, “fuck we have to. What the fuck do I have to do to be, to be validated for my own existence,” you know? [Laughs] And I think COVID and everything changing the whole world, and we’re still here. A lot of us, even in this process, if we didn’t have too much loss, have even experienced that there is another kind of life that I want, you know? And it’s not what was before, it’s going to be different after that. I wanna work at a slower pace. Or I want to do something that sustains me. Or I want to spend my days with my kids every day; I don’t want to leave them behind to go to work for 12 hours a day, no, I don’t wanna live like that any more.

[45:30] So what does it mean in terms of what’s going to come next? And I think it’s going to require each of us to every single day make the conscious effort to listen to what that inner voice is telling us. And I hope that, or maybe, I don’t know, I can’t say “I hope,” because whatever my inner voice tells me, I know it’s going to be true, but maybe in a couple of weeks, my inner voice will go, “hey, let’s go talk to the world. Let’s teach live classes,” like, “let’s do ceremonies, let’s, mmm, yummy. Let’s go!” And then I’ll feel great doing that, and right now my inner voice is still like, “mm-mmm,” you know, “sit down, be quiet, be still. Everyone will be okay,” you know. So, yeah, that’s the, that’s the live class component.

[46:18 — Commercial Break]

[47:37] Okay, someone asked a question, and I’m going to answer this…we answer this question every time Dennis and I do a podcast together, but I’m going to answer this because I have a different answer right now. So people always ask us are we going to have a second baby? Is Lea going to have a sibling, and someone asked just now, “has Lea Luna ever asked about having a sibling?” And we had this super trippy experience with her last week.

[47:59] I, I, I swear to God, this, this kid, I don’t know what shaman universe she [laughs] descended from, but she has this ability to just know, to just know what we’re feeling, to, to verbalize what we’re going through; it’s almost like she’s, she’s the evolved version of me and Dennis, and whatever we’re dealing with internally, she’s just going to manifest in our lives, and say, and speak, right? So for a few weeks, she was repeating all the time, she became really stuck on the idea of being safe, right? So she would just say, she would look at me and she would go, “hey momma, I’m really safe here, so I can go to bed now.”

[48:34] And I’m like, “okay.” And that’s, that made it really easy for me to say goodnight and go [laughs]. Not for her, but the other way around. She sings the affirmations that I, that I tell myself, she just sings them out loud. She’s always like really, really, really anchored into family; she constantly talks about family, and, “I am here with my whole big family, and momma, everyone loves me so much,” and you know, she repeats these things out loud that just makes me catch myself by the heart and go, “yeah, yeah!” Knowing that when I was a child, right, these things were also true.

[49:13] So it’s almost like by parenting her, I get to somehow reparent myself. It’s like my inner child is holding hands with Lea Luna all through her life, going, “yeah, yeah I’m loved. Yeah I belong,” you know. So we had this experience with her last week where she was kind of emotional all throughout the day, and she’ll have days like that where she feels a lot, you know; she’s a Pisces, she’s all water, and since she was super, super little, I have made a massive effort to always validate her feelings.

[49:43] I grew up in this place where my feelings were not allowed. There wasn’t a lot of space for my feelings. I would either be shamed if I cried, or like something must’ve been wrong if I was feeling something, or there was someone else in family that constantly needed emotional attention, so when I felt something, it would detract from them. Or I would feel like I need to be there for other people, so my feelings don’t matter, right?

[50:08] So instead of, when Lea’s having a really sad time, instead of, “hey, are you sad? Okay, well let’s go do something fun!” Or, “hey, let’s watch a movie,” or, you know, turn that around, “you wanna eat something?” When she’s sad, I can just tell her, “hey, looks like you’re feeling sad. Are you feeling sad right now?” And she’ll say, “yes,” and I’ll say, “I can tell you’re feeling sad.” And every time she feels whatever, if she’s angry, or fearful, or worried, or just to say “it’s okay to be sad. Mommy gets sad too, a lot. Do you want to just sit here and be sad for awhile? What do you need right now?”

[50:38] That question, “what do you need?” And she will think about her answer, and answer really specifically. “No, I just want to sit here alone.” “Okay, I’ll be right outside whenever you need me, just let me know.” And then I leave here alone, right? Or she says, “I want a big hug right now,” “okay,” and then I give her a big hug. That question, “what do you need?” which I am really, I feel like it’s going to make it easier for her to be in tune with her own needs as she grows up, just having that question asked. No one ever fucking asked me when I was little, “what do you need?” When I was going through something hard, because it’s not always what i think, right?

[51:14] Sometimes I think when she’s feeling something, “here’s what she needs,” but I don’t know, right? And I think we are so quick to wanting to change their feelings to something happier, joyful, the same way I do with myself, right? I’m like not allowing myself to be really down, so instead, just validating what’s there, allowing her to feel, and giving her space to choose for herself, right, in terms of what does she need in that moment?

[51:39] So she had this day, she was super, super emotional about a lot of stuff, and we talked about it a lot, and we were feeling our feelings a lot, and then she, she felt a little more steady at the end of the day, we had a, we were baking, or we were doing something, and then it was time to go to bed, and all of a sudden, going to bed, I just saw her bottom lip quiver. You know that pre-cry, like there’s something big, and I say, “hey, hey, are you okay? You look, you look like you’re feeling a lot.” And she says, “momma, my brother and my sister.” And I go, “what?” “My brother and my sister, they’re not here!”

[52:13] And she starts crying, but it’s the kind of cry…it’s not like a toddler wanting attention cry, or surface kind of crying, or crying over a bunch of different stuff. She cried the most heart aching like guttural, primal cry because she, she didn’t know where her brother and sister was. And I, “why aren’t they here? Where is my brother and my sister?” And I go, “but honey, you don’t have a brother and a sister.” “I should, and yes I do, but where are they? They’re not here.” And she just cried and cried and cried, and cried, and cried, and it didn’t end. You know, and after awhile I was like, “but honey, not everybody has brothers and sisters, you know, and it’s true. But some people have a big family in different ways, and a lot of friends…” and I start counting down the list of all the people she has in her life, like our whole big family, and all the grandparents, and all the aunts and uncles, and all her friends, and all the people she has.

[53:14] “But they’re not my brother and my sister, where are they?” And she cried and cried and cried and cried. Finally in the end, you know, finally she fell asleep and she woke up the next morning still sad that she doesn’t have a brother and a sister. And this is like, out of left field for us, because normally when we ask her, she says, “no, I want to be alone.” She never asked for one, ever before, you know. She says, “no, no, I want to be alone.” And she’s been really content. So I don’t know if it’s something going on at school, or something she heard from somebody or; it really was so deeply emotional that both Dennis and I were like, “let’s just, let’s just get her a brother and a sister.” [Laughing]

[53:54] Like, it’s almost like her deep emotional calling or longing for a brother — and it’s not a brother or a sister, or just a brother, or just a sister, she keeps repeating, she talks about this now all the time — brother and a sister. Which makes me a little nervous [laughs]. But we’ve been kind of over the past, since this happened, yeah, over the past week, we’ve gone, “well maybe we should just make a baby?” And Dennis goes, “let’s just practice a bunch, and then we see what happens,” you know? Like he’s, typical Dennis joke to make.

[54:25] But, so now, we are, I don’t know, I feel maybe, maybe we are really open to having a, having another baby [laughs]. Maybe this is Lea Luna, like, putting us in alignment with that longing too, right? Which I think maybe is something we’ve kept at bay, or felt overwhelmed by, or, you know. And then immediately my brain goes, “but hey, if we were to have another baby and we don’t know where we’re going to live, we don’t know what’s going on long-term in our lives, this is the worst time to start thinking about that,” and suddenly we are. So, maybe in the big scheme of life and stuff, all of this relates. I am not sure.

[55:04] But yeah, that’s, that’s where we are right now. Okay, I’m going to answer a question that’s, that’s totally different right now, just because, because I feel, I feel drawn to this. So this being the Yoga Girl podcast, I haven’t spoken about yoga [laughs] or yoga in terms of asana in a long time. Someone asks, “what is your least favorite yoga pose or sequence? I am like” — and then she shares the emoji of the, the eye roll emoji, you know — “any time Warrior Three comes up.” So this person really, really, really doesn’t like Warrior Three.

[53:37] And I love this question because it can actually teach us so, so, so, so much about where we are in life right now. So why don’t we, take a moment right now just the way you are and think about, or feel into that yoga pose that you just can’t stand. That pose, that shape, that transition, that you just can’t deal with that makes you cringe a little bit or that makes you go eye roll when the teacher tells it to you.

[56:02] So when this person, it’s Warrior Three. For me, today, right now, I’m going to go ahead and say Wheel Pose, probably, yes. So what’s interesting about this, and it’s of course we’re going to go through phases where certain poses are calling our name, and other times they’re not, but there’s something about this pose being really challenging for you right now that says a lot about what you’re moving through in life. And I love approaching our physical asana practice in this way from a really emotional place.

[56:36] So if Warrior Three is really challenging for you, take a moment to consider what Warrior Three really represents, what kind of pose is it, you know? Is it a calm, soft, nurturing pose? Not really, you know. It’s a pose that requires a real sense of steadiness, that feeling of rooting to Earth, but also trusting Earth to hold you up in a sense. We need a ton of center core strength, and it’s also a very leggy pose in terms of we gotta activate both the standing leg and the lifted leg, and sometimes we have this feeling like we’re going to collapse; we’re going to topple forward, we’re going to fall back. It’s hard to find that place of presence in between, right?

[57:20] So if we’re challenged a lot by Warrior Three in this moment, could that possibly relate to our sense of feeling really steady and empowered in life right now, you know. If we’re feeling unsteady, or swayed side to side, or kind of like, you know, like we’re a reed in the wind, and someone blows a puff on us and we’re just going to blow over, chances are Warrior Three’s going to be really, really challenging. For someone who’s feeling totally empowered and really strong, you know, our legs is really how we move forward in life, if you’re in that place of momentum, you might find Warrior Three being suddenly really accessible. And maybe not easy, but really a pose that you feel drawn to, right?

[58:02] So, whenever you have that challenging time in your practice, try to sit down and meditate on what does that relate to in terms of my life situation right now, and the experience I’m having on an emotional level? For me, Wheel Pose being that kind of nightmare pose is, yeah, I feel really protective of my heart right now. I don’t feel very safe opening my heart; it’s a really vulnerable pose, right, that really requires a ton of heart expansion, and I’m in this place where I basically want to wrap my arms across my chest and just hide my heart from the world, you know, I don’t feel safe to be vulnerable in that way, so of course, you know, it’s not going to feel like the most accessible pose, or a pose that’s going to make me cringe a little bit if the teacher suggests it. Or a pose I’m going to skip right now, you know?

[58:49] So I love making those connections, but, and this of course goes, you know, in so many ways in life, not just our yoga practice. but if you’re having a hard time, you know, sitting in silence right now, you’re having a hard time with forward bends, you’re having a hard time with inversions, balancing poses, you know, take a moment to just sit with “what does that mean,” and what can it actually teach you about where you are at in life right now. And also contemplate what do you need? Because sometimes when we have an aversion to a pose, we need more of it, right? We need more steady, more of that powerful, dynamic, [grunts] like fierce, warrior feeling of “here I am, look at me holding myself up.”

[59:30] And sometimes, we don’t. You know, sometimes maybe we have our ego has this idea of, “I need to push through and get there,” but we need something different. So, listening to the body and continuing listening to the body, all the way through.

[59:47] I’m going to take one more question. I still, I’m just scrolling though my questions right now, I still see so many, “how are you doing? How is your heart?” Which I love, thank you, thank you, thank you. Okay, I was [laughs] literally just reading through so many questions just now, and this one stood out to me a little bit, so ending with this question maybe because it’s something that a lot of us are, are contemplating right now, or that we can relate to. So someone says, “what is your advice on not caring, or trying to care less? Being an empath is so draining.”

[60:25] So an empath, you know, is someone who’s really, really in tune and aware of the feelings of everybody else, sometimes to the point of actually feeling the feelings that other people feel. So if you’re an empath, you see the world a little bit differently than other people do, you’re really aware of everybody else, anticipating other people’s needs, and maybe have this really heightened ability to feel what other people are feeling, yeah, to the point of it being absolutely draining.

[60:56] And I think in a sense, a lot of us are empaths, you know, a lot of us are, it comes along with doing this kind of work, when we start to be really in tune with how we feel, we also become more in tune with the energy of the whole world. And right now, when there is so much going on, and we’re suffering on such a collective level, I think we are more in tune with other people’s feelings than we normally are. So of course being an empath and having this throughout your whole life…I’m an empath for sure.

[61:25] I don’t know if there’s like, is there a quiz you take to find out if you’re an empath or not, or do you need like an empath diagnosis? I don’t know. But I, I’ve had that my whole life. I can remember being a really, really, really young kid, and then seeing any kind of suffering — if it was an animal, or someone who smacked a mosquito, you know, or little things when I was little — and it hurt me. Like I could feel like it physically hurt me.

[61:54] I’ve told this story once, it’s also in my book, anyone, if you guys read To Love and Let Go, I have a story about this in the book, but when I did my first 200 hour yoga teacher training, the teacher of that teacher training sat down on the first moment of the first practice of the first day, sat down on her mat, saw a bug on her mat, and went [smack] bam, and squished it. And I gasped, like I gasped out loud, I, I, I made this sound like [shocked inhale] you know, I [laughs] like clutched my heart, you know, like I couldn’t believe it. Felt the pain of that, you know, oh, oh, my God, and I’ve been like that my whole life, with animals, with people, you know.

[62:35] Chances are if you’re an empath, that you grew up with a high emo…a high need person in your household; a parent, a sibling, or anybody else that you were closely related to or spent a lot of time with, someone with a high emotional need. Also can mean, doesn’t have to, but that your need were a little bit neglected when you were little. So that feeling of constantly being in tune with other people also means that we’re probably not taught to keep that same present awareness inside of ourselves, right? Which is why it’s super, super draining to care a lot.

[63:11] So there’s a lot of beautiful things, and beautiful components about this being that we can anticipate and feel into other people’s feelings, become passionate, resonate, want to support, you know, there’s a lot of love and good intentions there, but it’s also absolutely draining and can be really hard to, it can be really hard to distinguish other people’s pain from your own. So my advice for this, and this is just…and I used, I used to answer this question differently in the past where I would answer the question more about that specific situation, and that person, and what’s going on here. Now, any time you feel drained because of what’s happening in the world around you, or because of what other people are feeling, that is a direct sign of the fact that you have not been present enough with yourself. A hundred percent, every single time.

[64:03] So instead of, when we feel that moment of feeling overwhelmed or drain, instead of, “oh, my God,” you know, “how can I help this person?” Which is what we think is going to fix it: “if I help them, they won’t feel so sad, and then they’ll feel better, and then I’ll feel better too, it’s like a win-win.” No. Instead of diving into fixing the other person’s problems, or being there for the other person, however noble and well-intended that is, the gut reaction should be, “whoa, I need to go sit with myself for a moment.” Should be, “whoa, what do I need?”

[64:35] So when we start to disappear into other people’s feelings, into other people’s stories, it means that we are leaving ourselves, and we’re making their experience more important than our own. So the next time you have that experience, or if that’s right now, or just something that’s overwhelming and a little bit all the time, part of your day-to-day — and I don’t even want to call it like a self-care practice because this is like, sink or swim right now — your day-to-day practice for survival needs to be to ask yourself what you need, and then meet your own needs.

[65:09] And it’s not until we actually have that steady practice of, of filling our own cup that we can even begin to extend ourselves in that way to other people. So this is a hard thing to do, especially if you’re used to acting on those empathic feelings all the time, or empathetic feelings all the time. But really what it is, it’s a huge, huge, huge nudge to make yourself your number one priority. And yeah, that includes even if you have kids, you know, if you have a family, it’s like we think everybody else, you know, especially our kids, our children, they have to come first.

[65:41] But when I do that, when I leave myself, ignore my own needs to dive into everybody else’s needs and try to, try to help and support them without talking about it or speaking it out loud, I’m teaching my daughter that this is the way to be, to be of service for other people, I have to leave myself. And if I’m able, or when I’m able to stay with myself, to honor myself and meet my own needs, and then be of service, and then go help? Then I’m not leaving anymore, right? Then I’m anchored in who I am, my cup is full and it’s overflowing, and with that, I can actually help and be of service, and that’s a pretty cool thing to teach our kids, right? Fill our cup, it’s going to overflow, we give more away.

[66:25] [Inhales] So [exhales] it’s part of this, this cycle that we’re in right now is, you know, we, we want to be of service, we should be of service, but we gotta take care of ourselves first or it’s not going to end well. So how about we add that to our, you know, morning or evening regime? We all have those things we do every morning, those things that we do every evening, without thinking about it. Things like washing our face, or taking off our makeup, or taking a shower, or brushing our teeth, putting on our pajamas, like we do these things that we just do because we’ve done them always so they don’t feel…it’s not like we suddenly think of like, brushing our teeth as a chore, it’s like “ugh, I’m going to really try to brush my teeth today,” it’s like, we just do it, because it’s what we do, right?

[67:09] This practice of sitting down, turning your phone off, just giving yourself ten minutes, five minutes, even like, can be tiniest little fraction of time where you’re undisturbed, sitting down with your eyes closed, hands to your heart, checking in and asking yourself, “what do I need?” And then if you can get into the practice of doing that when shit hits the fan, in a sense of when things get really hard or something difficult gets thrown your way, or when you sense yourself beginning to disappear into other people’s stuff, right? To stop and go, “okay, hey, hey. Let me close my eyes, let me take a deep breath. What do I need right now? What do I need right now? This person is suffering over there, it’s not selfish for me to ask what I need to fill my own needs; actually, it’s the most compassionate thing I can do, because if I can meet my needs, I can truly make a difference for someone else. So what do I need?”

[68:04] “Maybe what I need is to turn the news off. That can be really helpful. Maybe what I need is to leave this conversation. Maybe what I need is a better night’s sleep tonight. Maybe what I need is to move my body right now. I need a hug. I need a big drink of water. I need to go out into nature and take a walk. I need…” figuring out what that is, and then act on it immediately. I really think, honestly, going back to that question, “are we all going to be okay,” [laughs] if we could practice this, then chances are yeah, because we’re going to be more able to find that sense of feeling okay as we navigate not being okay. Does that make sense? It does. It does to me. Most of the time.

[68:51] Thank you [laughs]. Thanks for tuning in for this, this little Q and A today. I had a, I really enjoyed this [laughs] I enjoyed recording this podcast [laughs] for you guys. I, I hope you can meet your needs all throughout the week, and wishing you a beautiful rest of this day. The Yoga Girl podcast will be back next week.

[69:11 — End of Episode]