[0:04] Welcome back to the Yoga Girl podcast everyone. How are you doing in this moment in time? I, I feel right now I so, so, so wish we could all be in the same room together. That if you were listening right now that we could be sitting in circle, holding hands, you know, looking into each other’s eyes, just to, just to check in. Just to check in. Just like, I want to look you in the eye and go, “hey, are you okay? Like are you really okay? What’s really hard for you right now? Where do you need help? Where can I be of service to you?” I don’t know if you have those people in your life; I really, really, really hope you have those people in your life who ask you how you’re doing, and they actually want to hear the answer to that. And, you know, people who are ready to step in and help you when you need help, and be there for you when you need support.
[0:55] We have, I think we’ve all become just, it’s been very evident to so many of us how, how done we are with the unreal. With the pretend, with the fake. I, I can’t, can’t any more, when someone asks me, “hey, what’s up? How’re you doing?” go, “yeah, I’m fine. How are you?” [Laughs] If the answer to that question isn’t, “I’m fine,” right? And whenever I, I come across a person and I ask them how they’re doing and they go, “yeah, yeah, I’m good, I’m great,” and if I sense that that’s just isn’t true, I have to linger there, you know? I have to go, “hey, you know, are you sure?” You know, “are you really okay? Do you need something?”
[1:34] Because we are so damn conditioned to just fly by and breeze through all of these moments, to not take the time to actually connect. And I’m at a place in my life right now where if it’s not real, I can’t, I can’t do it. Can’t fake it anymore, which sort of works when we’re mostly in isolation and, and, and you know, not socializing, not sure how it’s going to work when slash if things get back to some sort of normal and we’re, we’re encountering people all the time again.
[2:2-3] But this, this yearning to just [exhales] to just have that real heart to heart connection, like raise your hand [laughing] if you’re craving that too. I know we all are. So I hope you’re doing well, I really, really do, from the bottom of my heart. I hope you’re feeling safe, I hope you feel grounded, supported, and if you’re not doing well, if you’re having a shit time, that you feel supported in that too, right? That, it’s so easy, I think, to support people and to support our friends and people in our lives when things are going well, right?
[2:37]Because it doesn’t require a ton of participation, or actually even energetic exchange, right? It, it’s, it’s easy to celebrate each other’s successes and be there for each other when things are going great, but when things are genuinely, truly crap, you know, I think most of us, you know, we don’t have that many people in our lives who are actually able to, to show up for that, and pick up the pieces when someone else is going through the worse time. So I hope you don’t feel alone, because that’s the most important thing.
[3:08] So I, I wanna take a moment for us all just to, to ground. So if you’d like, wherever you are right now, just go ahead and close your eyes, just taking a moment, you know, the way we are here now. And I don’t know about you, but whenever I, when I anchor into my, my body during meditation practice, or sometimes at the beginning of yoga practice, when I start to tune into the breath, and to connect, you know, sometimes I have this idea that I, I have to immediately apply a technique, I have to do something. It’s like that’s how I should begin my yoga practice, for instance. I need to tap into my ujjayi breath, or, you know, use a mantra, or a mindfulness technique, or, or something, you know to get me to that place of depth and connection.
[3:56] And what I think is so much more interesting right now is to just allow what’s there to be there. And oftentimes what’s already here, you know, when we’re about to begin practice, and when we start to tune in, it’s not always really exciting, you know? It’s not always big and dramatic, it’s not always pretty, it’s not always easy to actually even acknowledge what’s there. And for me personally, I’ve been really, you know, in these high highs and low lows, where if I’m really feeling good, or really feeling terrible, there is a lot of drama to that, and I can tap into that really easily. But most days, like probably today, right now, if we take, take a moment just to check in, what’s present maybe isn’t so big and dramatic, right? We have these very mundane, regular, day-to-day moments where we’re just going through the motions a little bit.
[4:54] So instead of applying something, you know, or tapping into, to some sort of particular part of that kind of practice, what is it like to just be the way you already are? To not change a fucking thing. What is that like, right now? If you were to give yourself complete and utter permission to show up the way you are, for yourself, what’s here?
[5:22] And take a moment right now. You can imagine right now in this moment as if you could open up a door to the center of your own heart, and just climb right in. What is moving inside of you here, now? And see if you can really allow for whatever is present just to take up a little more space, even if it isn’t dramatic and big, right? If you’re going through unspeakable, you know, unbearable grief, or loss, or rage, or anger, you know, those big types of dramatic emotions or things we sometimes have to go through, it’s pretty easy to tap into that, right? And same with those huge, you know, the big joy, the massive gratitude, the big excitement, it’s easy to touch and kind of tap into that as well.
[6:11] Well, what about the in between? Right? The moments when maybe you don’t know exactly how you’re feeling, right? It maybe takes awhile to actually recognize and honor what’s showing up as truth in this moment. Maybe you’re feeling a little bit bored. Maybe there’s just a sense of unease, but it’s not deep, may it’s just a little undercurrent of something that feels a little unsettled right now.
[6:37] Perhaps you have just a hint of irritation present in your body right now; maybe you’re a little bit annoyed with something. Could be that there’s just a worry that you were sitting with a moment go, and it’s lingering in the body, or perhaps you’re feeling like there’s nothing moving inside of you right now; well what’s that like? If there’s just this big empty space? Or maybe you feel a little bit numb, right, and it’s hard to feel anything at all. Just whatever is true for you here now, just imagine you could open that door into your heart and step into that, and sit with that. And hold that. And just be with that for a moment.
[7:23] Meaning if you’re feeling an undercurrent of something that’s a little bit unsettled, okay, what is it like if I actually let myself just dwell in that a little bit. Without having to fix it, right? As human beings, we’re quick to wanting to fix, and solve, and adjust, and change, but in this moment, right now, you know, the way you are sitting here with your eyes closed, listening to this podcast, in this exact moment, there’s nothing you have to fix. There’s nothing you have to fix.
[7:59] In the big scheme of things, sure, right? In the big, big, big scheme of life, I’m sure there’s things that, that you want to solve, to adjust, or, you know, move through. But right now, in this breath, in this exact moment, what would it be like to surrender to the fact that there is nothing expected of you right now? There’s nobody you have to save. Nothing needs to get done. No mountain needs to be moved. What if, in this moment, all you have to do is be here? Which actually isn’t any doing at all.
[8:44] [Exhales] Let’s take a breath into that place, just allowing yourself to be with whatever already is. [Breathes deeply] And with that, you can, if it feels alright, just little by little, holding this emotion, this feeling, this sensation, whatever is present and true for you, just begin to deepen the breath a little bit, right? Nothing wild, nothing crazy, just a bit of a deepening of the breath right now. You can imagine how your next inhale is drawn a little bit deeper down toward the bottom of the lungs, creating space for you. And as you exhale, just a softening of the belly there, a little bit of a letting go in every breath.
[9:46] And as we slow things down in this way, we slow down the breath, we also begin to very gently, we begin to lower the heart rate a little bit. There’s a lot of internal, physiological mechanisms that connect to just slowing the breath down. Begin to settle the nervous system a little bit, might even be able to soften and lower the temperature of the body just a hint. There’s a settling happening, a softening, a grounding, all through the breath.
[10:23] And hopefully along with that, two things happen: first of all, with the slowing down of the breath, perhaps, hopefully, with practice, we begin to also slow down our thoughts. So it’s not so much the idea of meditation being turning off the mind, or switching off the brain, or finding eternal zen, and peace, and enlightenment, but maybe just the practice of creating a little more space in between each thought that comes up in your mind.
[10:57] So it’s not a seizing of the mind or, or a pause of the mind, it’s just some space, right? So maybe we have little gaps between the thoughts, and the practice becomes stretching them so they can become longer and longer. And of course in the space between the thoughts, we have silence. And in silence, peace.
[11:25] And then along with a deepening of the breath, the second thing, hopefully, we’re able to arrive at, with practice, is that gentle softening of the heart, which really just means that we’re able to actually feel what’s present for us in a way that’s just a little more connected, right? Where we’re going through the motions of the day-to-day, and going from one place to the next, and doing this, and doing that, it’s hard to actually stay in that vulnerable, intimate conversation with our own hearts. It’s hard to feel our feelings all the time.
[12:06] So right now, right, as you deepen the breath, slowing everything down, present in your body, creating more space between your thoughts, and softening your heart center. Able to just touch on that very vulnerable space at the center of your own being, where you actually feel so much, and you feel it all the time. I can sense myself tearing up a bit just saying that. How much we feel, all the time. It’s almost, can be exhausting to be a human being with a beating heart.
[12:57] So if you resonate with that, see if you can just drop the shoulders a little bit, soften the belly a little bit, and continue taking those deep, long breaths, just the way you are. [Breathing] And then once more, connecting to that beautiful knowing that there’s nothing you have to shift, or fix, or change. Even if the emotion that you’re connecting with right now feels hard to hold. Even at times when it feels like it’s almost too much, right, or if there’s pain present, or sadness present, but also now, also then, do you have permission to remain the way you are. Don’t have to hide your tears, you don’t have to hide your pain, you don’t have to cover up any of this, especially not in these moments of deep conversation with yourself.
[14:01] So right now, you can place one or both hands to your heart center, just palms of your hands pressing onto the top of the chest, and bow your head for a moment in reverence to your heart, and everything it holds. And then repeating to yourself, silently or out loud, “I am here, now. I am here, now. I am here, now.” Let’s take one more deep, long breath in through the nose [inhales] open the mouth, and let it all out [exhales]. And you can blink your eyes open, make your way back. Take a moment just to look around you a little bit, maybe appreciating in a new light some of the things you can see.
[15:10 — Commercial Break]
[16:31] So, [laughs] speaking from the heart in this moment, just guiding that little meditation, I went from feeling really empowered and fierce, to really vulnerable and soft, to really emotional and sad, and now just truthfully how I’m doing in this moment, I’m feeling really calm and grounded. Yeah, just feeling fairly, fairly calm actually. [Laughs]
[17:00] I shared a, so last week we had the amazing, one of a kind, wonderful human being Jay Shetty was on the podcast. If you haven’t listened to that episode, make sure you do, because it’s such a gift. And I found myself applying a lot of things from our recording this past week, and just resonating a lot with what, what he shared on the show. And I was contemplating that today because I actually recorded the podcast with Jay, it was the day after I, I was cancelled online, I went through this unbelievable, crazy thing where…yeah, you guys know, I’ve been over this [laughs].
[17:38] And it was in the middle of that, it was literally the, the, in the worse of it, in the pit of it, it was…we were receiving all of this abuse, and harassment, and hate, and just unbelievable stuff, and then I have this podcast booked with Jay who I admire so much, and I was so excited to have him on the show, and I have been excited to have him on the show for a long time, and five minutes before, before starting the interview with him, I was sitting on the floor bawling, just crying, just curled up like, you know, hyperventilating. That kind of cry where you, you can’t almost stop, that, that’s what it was like. We were really in the thick of it.
[18:17] And I had this moment of like, “I need to cancel, I should just cancel this, this interview. There’s no way I’m going to be able to keep it together and interview someone in this state.” But then I had this moment of just, like, “this is exactly what you need right now. You know, what a gift to, in the middle of something really traumatic, be able to speak with someone who inspires you, who, who’s so very wise.” The interview went really, really well, and, and it was literally the things I needed to hear in that moment.
[18:49] When we ended the interview and said goodbye, I had to just thank him, because he knew I was going through something, and I had to just thank him because I was in a totally different mind space, right? I walked out of the room in a totally different place than I was before that interview. And I was reminded of that today, because so many people have been reaching out saying it’s, it’s their favorite podcast, like this is this is my, “best interview you’ve ever done, it’s so wonderful,” and I thought, you know, like I was really going to have to fight my way through it, because I was feeling so low, and then to get all that wonderful feedback, you know.
[19:21] I even had some really specific feedback from people saying, “wow, just that conversation and how intelligent it was, and I loved the questions, and I loved, you know, that the symbiosis that you guys had, and that, and that dialogue,” and it just really shows that first of all, when we’re able to be really vulnerable with ourselves, whatever we’re going through, if it’s high or low, you know, the best or that worst, whenever we can be really present with, with what we’re feeling, then things are going to align, right? And at the end of the day, it’s all about that human connection, and maybe if I wasn’t going through that challenging time, that interview would have been totally, totally different, right?
[20:00] And just thinking about that today, how, how many moments this year has, has brought me where I was faced with something that I thought, “I can’t do it.” How many times was I faced with that? Something that felt insurmountable, or something that felt really, really hard, and heavy. And, you know, where there was a part of me that went, “no. I can’t, like this is just too much.” Even as I was thinking back onto this year, because so many insane things [laughing] have happened now that I had a moment where I was like, “I need to bulletproof, like bullet list — I was going to say “bulletproof list’ — I need to bullet point list — that’s the word, thank you — bullet point list the year, because it’s, it’s becoming so overwhelming.
[20:44] On a collective scale, you know, everything we’ve moved through, from corona, to Black Lives Matter, to all these deaths that has followed that, police brutality, to the fires happening now, I mean the devastation, the…Beirut, it’s just, it’s just overwhelming, it’s so, so, so, so much. On then on an individual level, I know all of us have gone through so many heavy things, like holy shit. And it’s just, it seems like it’s just never, never ending.
[21:15] And what I can, what I can sense just looking at my list — you know, my personal list, not just the collective list of all the horrors and, and things that are happening in the world and around us, but that personal list of mine — where basically, I started off the year cutting one of my parents out of my life. And I, I haven’t really talked about this on the podcast a lot, and it’s not something I want to, I want to get into on the podcast, but it was really, literally one of those moments where “I don’t think I can live without this person,” right? I was, in that moment, so convinced that “I’m not going to be able to live without them, this is impossible, there’s no way I can set a boundary here and choose myself over them. No way.”
[21:54] And the feeling of making the decision, it felt impossible. Insurmountable. Absolutely impossible, right? And then the moment I did, the moment I put my foot down, the moment I drew that line in the sand, it was like my body took the world’s biggest exhale, you know. And so whatever I had kind of painted in my mind, it wasn’t actually real, right? It wasn’t actually what I thought it would be, you know?
[22:21] Same thing when corona hit, it felt impossible, you know? All the things we went through in the beginning, those first weeks of like, “how on Earth are we going to make it through quarantine, like are you kidding? No contact with other people? All of these things, too much change, too much loss, no way.” And then, you know, here we are. Most of us, most of us made it through, we’ve all made it through in our own ways. If you are listening to this podcast, you have made it through, right? You’re here in a different life, in a different way, pandemic’s still going and we’re still alive, right?
[22:53] So it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s more than, it’s more than the collective, right? And it’s more than the individual, and it’s become this big loop now where there’s so many things happening the world and we’re becoming, I think, increasingly more sensitive, right? Because we’ve been through these traumatic things, but they’re not over yet. We’re trying to make it to the next place where we feel totally fine, and safe, and grounded, but we’re not there, like no one is there. It’s really hard to get there on a personal level when we’re not there collectively like as, as, as humanity.
[23:27] And what I can sense happening, because there’s still, like, like every single week, something crazy happens again in my own personal life, is just how shook everybody is. And that means that when day-to-day struggles happen, you know, struggles that aren’t big and huge and traumatic, but just day-to-day things that aren’t going well, it, I feel like people have kind of lost their ability to manage the daily stuff. Who else resonates with that? Like who else has had just some really trippy conversations with people lately?
[24:01] And in my case, being cancelled by an entire country’s population, like that’s where I am. We’re still going through this, right? This is not what this podcast is about, but just the, the effects of that, and the, the encounters we’ve had after that, and the amount of, of hate, the amount of just un, discomfort, the amount of maliciousness that I’ve seen over the past couple of weeks, I have never experienced in my life. Never in my life.
[24:28] We literally had something — this was like, that craziest thing ever — we had something happen in our neighborhood yesterday. And we had — it’s a pretty big neighborhood — where some people in our neighborhood thought that something had happened. Like, it was something so ridiculously stupid, it was like a neighborhood little thing, like tiny little mini thing, that normally, you would send someone a text and be like, “hey, I heard, I heard this,” you know, and then the neighbor would say, “oh, but that’s not true, here’s what it was,” and then you move on with your life.
[24:54] There was a tiny little neighborhood spat where one person lost their minds to the point of, like, it feeling unsafe, right? The amount of rage that came out of that person was, like, and I’m just reading this in like a text group chain, right, from the neighborhood. It’s, it’s, it’s almost impossible to digest, right? And I think it’s so clear that, in terms of our mental health, like people are not okay. People are not okay. I, I can think of this in my own, my own self, how much it takes for me to make it through, to make it through these weeks. The amount of practices that I have to anchor into, not for fun, right?
[25:35] So yoga, meditation, personal development, healing, self-help, all that stuff, that used to be something I was really passionate about, because I loved getting to know myself better. I want to heal things that are unhealed, you know. But I could go several weeks, and miss out on practice, and skip some stuff, and, you know, it’s like my life wouldn’t be turned upside down, right? Now, I cannot miss a meditation practice or I just become…it’s like, it’s like I’m in a rough sea, and [laughs] and I have these buoys that I have to hold onto, because if one goes, they all go, like that’s the feeling right now.
[26:12] And like, like I, I want to know, is it the same for you? Like is it the same for…because most of my friends, it’s, it’s really similar. Like those kinds of practices that we used to love just because they made us feel good, right, have now become these, these, these coping mechanisms, these absolute, absolutely necessary means for survival, it’s like I can’t, I need…. And the list of things, it’s like no regular, day-to-day person, if I had a job where I had to go sit behind a desk in a cubicle for eight hours a day, there’s no way, no way, no, no, no way I could fit these things into a day. If I had more than one kid, you know, if I was a single mom, if I, if I, the list of the ways in which I’m so privileged I can actually do these things every day; I’m in nature, doing kundalini practice, and doing my dynamic practice, my yoga practice, like moments of silence, eating healthy, drinking an unbelievable amount of water, just the list is really, really long in terms of what I feel…therapy! Oh, my God, therapy should go at the top of the list.
[27:13] So how, then, the question becomes if, if I’m in a place where I’m so privileged that I actually can take care of myself right now, how can I use that to be of service to people who clearly can’t, right? And this is really important, I think, that we all are able to anchor into, because if you feel okay right now, you know day-to-day of course you’re going to have hard moments, and I’ve had the worst, probably one of the worst months of my entire life. I have days where I don’t feel okay, I still have days where I don’t want to get out of bed, haven’t left the house in a month, you know, I have issues, okay? We can all just [laughs] can all just agree that I have some issues, but I’m also incredibly blessed in so many ways, right?
[27:53] So if you’re feeling okay, right, if you’re feeling pretty grounded, the way for you to be of service right now is to cut people some slack. And this is hard to do, right? Like I had this encounter with, with, with someone in our neighborhood yesterday where I just felt like, “hey, this person feels unstable, I don’t feel, you know, like, like we can just walk around the neighborhood with this person who’s clearly enraged in a really uncomfortable way.” And I had a moment of like, “man, we can’t just, we can’t just let this stuff be this way, like this is not okay. You can’t talk to people in this crazy way,” where now, I just have to let this slide, right? [28:30] I have to be the bigger person and go, “hey, he’s not okay. Like that guy needs some help. Can I be of service somehow? Can I find a way to, from the heart, you know, check in in a vulnerable way to get to whatever is underneath that rage, because there’s something really painful there, there’s something really soft, really tender, really sad, probably. There’s a, there’s a broken heart underneath that rage, but if I let this person’s rage react with my rage, because I’m raging too, I’m pissed [laughing] about a bunch of shit, then we’re going to have an issue, and it’s going to add to the worst. Like it’s going to add to the bad of the collective.”
[29:06] And where I’m trying to put myself — and it’s not easy all the time, right? — is in that space of, “okay, I have a lot of tools, I am privileged enough and blessed enough to be able to apply these tools in my day-to-day, so when I can, the way for me to be of service right now is to cut people some slack. Is to be kind,” right? And if you take a moment right now just to contemplate that in your own life, you know, the things that are bugging you right now, the people that are driving you up the wall [laughs] and I know you have those people in your life, like I know. You have those family members that are just like, driving you insane right now, like I have those family members that as quarantine goes on, they just get crazier and crazier, like we all have that, right?
[29:49] So, if you’re feeling somewhat grounded, how can you, how can you let things slide in a way where you’re actually able to maintain some sort of balance in that relationship right now, right? To maybe turn that around from, “okay, if there’s something really bad happening here, that person’s suffering,” you know? If you have people in your life that used to be level-headed, and, and, and totally, you know, easy-going and that now aren’t, chances are they have been through some really, like really bad, unbearable loss this year, and probably don’t have the tools to cope with that, so it comes out as anger, right?
[30:26] And I’m not talking about things like racism, and things, you know, we absolutely should be calling people out for all the time, whenever we encounter them, but I mean like interpersonal, like relationship dynamic stuff where it’s just, things have shifted; relationships that, that used to feel stable aren’t anymore, people who used to be stable aren’t anymore. And it is really, really, really hard to be the bigger person in a lot of these, in a lot of these moments, I’m finding.
[30:54] And especially if you’re spending a lot of time on the internet right now, which is the most toxic, it’s the most toxic place in the world. It also has the biggest opportunity and potential for healing in the world. You know, we can use the internet for this beautiful place of connection, of supporting each other, of making sure that people who are in isolation don’t feel isolated anymore, right? Having that space of support, but instead what’s happening, of course, is that online when everyone is hiding behind a screen, we get the worst of everybody, instead of the best of everybody.
[31:27] So, my way around this right now has been space, you know? To, most of the time, try to stay really far away [laughs] from, from things that pull me in if it doesn’t feel positive and healing. And then also when I encounter something really challenging, if I’m having a normal day, a good moment, how can I turn that around, right? And it’s not my responsibility to, to fix everybody, or to, to help everybody in the world, but on those days when we feel like we can, you know, when someone triggers us and instead of reacting at that, and throwing it into their face, to take a moment to pause, you know, and remember that hey, there’s human being behind that, behind whatever bad thing is coming out of their mouth right now. Let me try to reach for that instead of reach for the ego and for that big, big, big wound that’s coming up and that’s, that’s, that’s coming out and that’s showing up.
[32:21] Does that, does that make any sense? I don’t know, I just, I’ve really been, been sitting with ways to be of service, because I know it’s what’s going to turn this world around. Not just the big, huge, you know, amazing projects and organizations that do fantastic work that we all need to be supporting across the world, but the day-to-day interactions that we have with people all the time, right? We all know that whatever change we want to see, it has to begin inside of us. And most of the struggle that we see, it happens in our relationships, with the people around us.
[32:54 — Commercial Break]
[34:02] So, what would it be like on the days when you feel okay to maybe have it be as a, as a challenge, you know, to be of service in ways you’re normally not, right? Cutting people some slack, and trying to really make that human connection, especially when it comes to people who are really hard to deal with, right? With people who, who bother you, people who annoy you, people who trigger you, people who are super, super difficult.
[34:27] Like take a moment right now and thing about the most difficult person you’ve encountered lately, like really hold them in your mind [laughs]. Chance are when you think of them, you’re going to feel a little annoyed, just that person, right? Maybe it’s some person you encountered once, or an acquaintance, or a friend, or a family member, or someone close to you that right now just is being really, really difficult.
[34:47] Okay, so if they are the most difficult person in your life, or the most difficult person you’ve encountered lately, chances are they are also the most suffering person in your life right now. Chances are that they are suffering an unbelievable amount, and they have no idea what to do with that, right? It’s like we either know how to take the tools that we have and go inward to deal with the struggle that we’re facing, to look at, “okay, what’s beneath that, right? What’s really true? Like I feel super angry about all this stuff, okay, well, what’s underneath that, what’s really going on, you know? What am I feeling at the depth of my heart in this moment?”
[35:26] It takes a lot of work to get to that place. Takes a fucking lifetime of [laughs] of doing this kind of work, and we’ve, we have been doing this work because we’ve been really fortunate to have this work introduced to us, right? We have these healers in our life, this, this maybe connection to God, somehow, like maybe it’s by grace, maybe it’s random, maybe it’s through work, or a combination of all of them. So, what if the task right now is to take the work that we have done, and then actually apply it in those challenging relationships that we have with other people?
[36:00] Of those, those really hard meditations that I really, it’s a meditation I come back to all the time, and it’s one of those that I struggle with. In my brain, I’ve called this the Love Meditation, because it’s just, it’s just something that I, that I do. but I’ll spend a day, and just make it a thing in the day when I wake up in the morning that every single person that I encounter in a day, if it’s someone walking past me in the street, someone serving me food, the close people in my life, of course, you know, coworkers, and my spouse, and you know, all the people in my life, anyone I encounter online and in person, is to give them love.
[36:37] And that can happen silently, it can happen just through energy, it can happen through intention, it can be me whispering under my breath, “I love you,” thinking to myself, “I love you,” taking a moment just to hold them in my heart and sending them love, just having some sort of loving interaction with that person, right? And it’s usually pretty easy, and it, it makes, it’s a really wonderful day, like having that kind of loving day [laughs]. It’s pretty easy up until you get to that person that’s difficult, right?
[37:07] That person that annoys you, the person that triggers you, that person that has done you harm, right, if you have those people in your life, someone’s betrayed you, someone’s said something behind your back, someone who’s, you know, done something mean to you, whatever, it becomes challenging in that moment, right? Especially if there’s an open wound, or something that hasn’t been, hasn’t been forgiven.
[37:29] And honestly, it’s those people, and those moments that count. That the day-to-day, the easy love, right? The easy love, like it doesn’t really take us anywhere. The easy love is beautiful, we need it, it holds, you know, makes up our life, but it’s the really hard love, the people that are hard to show compassion to, the people that are hard to love the way they are, that’s the life-changing love. That’s the transformational love. That’s the kind of love that shows us where we don’t love ourselves, right?
[37:58] And you can take that, that difficult person that you have in your life and take a moment to contemplate, “what is it about them that triggers me so much? What is it about their actions, or how they show up in their life that makes me feel like they’re so difficult?” Because trust me that there’s a quality that they have that you have too. And it’s probably a quality that you don’t like very much about yourself, you know.
[38:20] It’s like this thing that happened in our neighborhood yesterday, it’s like the reason I react really strongly to rage is because I have it inside of myself, right? And especially now, like I am holding a lot of anger, and I can feel inside of myself how that anger is stirred when I encounter other angry people, right? So imagine then what would happen if I were to lash out, and then we would have like two angry people being angry at each other, you know, in circles. Of course that’s how, how violence and, and you know, things get from bad to worse, I think all across the world, but what if in that moment I can take that anger and look at it inside of myself, instead of pointing the finger at the other person going, “hey, that’s a terrible person.” Okay, well what’s inside of me, right?
[39:07] And yeah, there are terrible people out there, and there are, you know, people who do unforgivable, horrible things, but I think in our day-to-day, most of the encounters that we have with people, they fall somewhere in that in-between, in that gray area where, you know, chances are we could change something in that dynamic. Or at the very least, you could change how you feel in the moments when you interact with that person, and that could change a lot, too.
[39:31] So a good way to be of service, if that’s something that you’re looking for, you know, being of service in any way, even if it’s just one moment of sending a person love that’s hard for you to love, that’s service, man. [Laughing] Like I, I fucking swear: being kind to someone that doesn’t actually, really deserve your kindness, that’s service. And I don’t mean it in a sense where you’re letting people walk all over you, or where you’re not setting boundaries, uh-uh, you know. There is a way for us to anchor super solidly into our own bodies, into our own hearts, and be kind to people who haven’t been kind to us. It’s possible.
[40:08] And, instead right now, I think what we’re seeing a lot in the world is the opposite of that, right? It’s like mean people being mean to people, and then them being mean to other people, and just a lot of dark, vicious stuff just happening all around. I told Dennis yesterday, I feel like we need an, like our whole lives, we need some sort of energetic cleanse almost. Like [laughs] I made a joke, like, “we need to sage our entire life,” you know, like, have you seen those memes, just about, yeah. So we need to just, we need some sort of energetic cleanse, because I feel really vulnerable to negative and bad things right now.
[40:44] I don’t know if it’s the rule of threes, you know, when, when something bad happens, there’s, there’s always going to be three bad things that come together, or like if you break something, like you drop a glass or something early in the day, then the rest of the day you end up breaking a lot of stuff, like I’ll have days like that where just, something bad happens, and then more bad things just follow the vibration of that, right? And I have this feeling now, it’s like I don’t know, like I need some sort of shield. Like I want to put up some sort of energetic shield around our whole entire lives.
[41:14] And I’m wondering how good we are at that, you know, in general? [Laughs] I think, I think in general, we’re pretty bad [laughs]. We’re pretty bad at that. We’re all energetic sponges, and we’re not just dealing with the regular day-to-day people of our families and friends anymore, you know? In a day, you’re encountering hundreds of people, maybe thousands of people online whose comments you read, whose ideas you take in, whose posts, you know, you, you watch, whose videos you watch, whose articles you read, whose news segments you look at, like we encounter so many people in a day, and what are the chances that you’re absorbing a little bit of each person, right? I think really high.
[41:59] We haven’t really learned yet, and I say this speaking just for, for myself as well, I haven’t really learned yet how to actually protect myself from what I don’t want, right? And we’re often not as, we’re not often not discerning enough, being able to choose to hold onto the things that lift us up and feel good, and stay away from the things that bring us down and make us feel bad.
[42:23] I can tell you after receiving all of this hate online, I have never felt as bad about myself in my entire life. Never. Never. And I have an inner critic that, that can get really loud. If you’ve listened to this podcast a long time, I have entire episodes dedicated to the inner critic. The inner critic, like if you’ve never heard of it before, is our inner judge, it’s our super-ego that tells us we’re never good enough, we need to do more. Maybe tells you that you’re ugly, or fat, or you’re a bad mom, or a bad friend, or no matter what you do, nothing really measures up, right? The inner critic says different things to different people, of course.
[43:00] But my inner critic is loud. Always has been. And after receiving this, this hate online, it has never been louder, you know. It’s kind of like the inner critic feeds off of negativity from other people. And even though objectively I’m an adult, you know, I’m a smart person, I know that these things are not true, I know I’m lovable, and beautiful, and strong, and I have amazing qualities and I do great things for the world, like I know all of this is true, internally, in my regular sort of, in my conversations with myself, I have never hated myself more.
[43:36] And I say that just, like, as a matter of fact, like I don’t have any emotion attached to that. But I catch myself in my mind having a really negative conversation with myself all day long, and I have to kind of drop into those practices, I have to really use my resources to snap out of it, to change the narrative from really negative, and really hateful, to something loving, all the time.
[43:59] It’s like I’ll be chopping fruit, you know, for breakfast in the morning. Nothing has happened yet in the day, [laughs] it’s like I haven’t received any news, I haven’t opened my phone, I haven’t…nothing has, nothing has happened. I’ve just woken up with a smiling three year old, and a husband who loves me, and a beautiful house, and I go to the kitchen and I start chopping fruit, and then all of a sudden my inner critic goes, “oh, my God, you’re so terrible. You’re the worst person ever. Oh, my God, you’re so fat.” And fat, implied by my inner critic is a bad thing. “You’re really ugly, like you’re getting really old, you cook really terrible food, actually you’re a bad, you’re a bad mom, you shouldn’t be feeding your kid this stuff for breakfast,” and then, “ugh, you didn’t answer that e-mail yesterday you were supposed to answer, oh, my God, I bet that person hates you now.”
[44:44] Round, and round, and round it goes, right? And I actually catch myself entertaining those thoughts, like listening to those thoughts. Feeling truth in that narrative, like “that’s, that’s, like that’s true,” right? And then it’s like my, my inner true knowing, you know, that real deep consciousness of, of who I actually am, takes over and goes [snaps] “hey, hey, snap out of this,” you know. And I get to zoom out, and I get to actually acknowledge those critical thoughts, that critical voice for what it is, it’s just a voice. And it’s not who I am.
[45:18] And I remind myself of that, and I have to take a moment; and sometimes it requires like, taking a shower, or drinking a huge, you know, thing of water, or hugging my husband, or, you know, sitting down in meditation for awhile, or doing a shake, or a dance, like I need to do, I need to apply something, some tool, right? I need to use a tool of some sort. And then, and then I snap out of it. And then I can acknowledge it as, “okay, these are thoughts, these are voices, and they’re voices that have, it’s a voice that has been pretty medium-quiet, you know, thanks to a lot of this practice, and now this hate that I’ve received has amplified this voice, right? It’s given the voice some juice, some energy.”
[45:57] It’s like my inner critic got a Red Bull [laughs]. That’s what happened; I had, I had like 10 000 people tell me they hate me, and my inner critic was like “woo!” [Laughs] “Finally,” you know, my inner critic has been kind of fighting uphill [laughs] for the past couple of years, and now finally my inner critic got some juice and is ready to go, like that’s it [laughs]. You know, and I can laugh about this now because I am able to snap myself out of that narrative, and, and see the thoughts for what they are, and see the critic for what it is, and recognize that that is not true, right? Actually, it is not true; actually, I am lovable; actually, I am beautiful; actually, I am worthy; actually, I am enough, and that is true, you know? And sit with that.
[46:40] But, what I can sense happening in my day-to-day is it is fucking exhausting. It is exhausting to have this hateful conversation with myself all day long. And the fact that it’s there without having to be triggered by anything any more. And of course, if I have a, a bad moment, or something, or bad news, right? And strangely, like — not so strangely but — our days are filled with bad news lately. So bad news can be like Dennis brings one of our foster dogs to that vet, and a guy that he’s been friends with since he was a child, like someone he’s known for 30 years, someone that’s like been really close to him, doesn’t greet him anymore, right? And Dennis has to actually go through that moment of, of greeting someone, being ignored, trying again, and then, you know, being literally like have, had his back turned toward him.
[47:32] And then to come home, and for him to sit with that, and then share it with me, which he doesn’t like to do, but I ask him to do, because I don’t want him to be alone with his stuff, like something like that. Like I hear that, “okay, so that’s a person we lost, that, that hates us now,” and then for the rest of the day, the inner critic in my head is even more amplified, right? It’s even louder, like, “look what you did, look how bad, look how terrible you are.” And then it takes more resources for me to get back to some sort of balance.
[47:57] And to have that all day long, where every single, every time we have news of something negative, or just sometimes I wake up in the morning, and that voice is there, it’s like I’m in an internal battle all day, right? So, the energy that I normally have reserved for moving my body, or for something creative, or, you know, work, or doing something exciting and fun with Lea, really the past couple of weeks my energy level has been so, so, so, so, so low.
[48:25] I go for a run, and I end up walking, you know? I go, I go take a vinyasa class, and I end up lying in shavasana [laughs] the whole time. It’s like I can sort of get off the starting blocks, but I can’t quite get to the finish line. It’s like I can’t source enough energy for the, for the zest of it, you know? Because I’m really tired all the time. And it’s really making me think, you know, for so many of us, and I know if you listen to this show, if you’re in this kind of practice, living this kind of life, you have these similar things that you struggle with too.
[48:59] Now, you probably didn’t have an entire country start to hate you out of the blue [laughs]. I’m going to go ahead and say that’s probably a pretty individual, unique [laughing] situation that I have found myself in. But we all have an inner critic, right? We all have an inner critic, we all have that narrative inside that is really quick to tell us that we aren’t good enough, right? Instead of it being the loving voice, the inner best friend, the compassionate, you know, that voice that tells you, “hey, good job. Good job. You’re such a good person,” [laughs] “you’re such a good mom, you’re so beautiful, you’re so perfect the way you are, you are so enough, I love you,” [laughs]
[49:35] That voice? Imagine if you woke up in the morning and that shit was playing on repeat. What would you do in a day? [Laughs] Like what could you create out of life? Like man, this world would be different if we had that inner, loving voice as our go-to instead of the inner critic. Now we all go through that, right? And we can all sense inside of ourselves when sometimes that voice becomes amplified, right, if it’s by what people tell us, or a relationship that we have, if you have someone in your life that brings you down. Maybe it’s when you go through stressful situations, that critical voice becomes really loud, you know?
[50:12] It’s there, and we’re all dealing with it all the time, and it’s pretty true. I, I had Glennon Doyle, I interviewed her earlier this year, who’s just a fantastic human being. She said, we spoke about the challenges of this year, and coronavirus, and she said “it’s kind of like we’re in the advanced version of the class that we were alway in,” you know; the struggles that we’re facing right now are not new, they’re just more advanced. They’re just heightened, they’re just bigger. So, it’s not like I all of a sudden became hated by all these people, and now I have this inner critic — the inner critic was always there.
[50:49] So maybe more than anything, all these struggles that we’re facing right now, it’s showing us where our weak spots are, right? It’s showing us all the things we were already struggling with long ago; it’s showing us all the stuff that hurt, but the thing is, back then, pre-2020, when things hurt, it was like, it was like someone was pricking us with a little needle, like, “hey, hey, there’s a wound here. Hey, there’s something sensitive here. Hey, there’s something hard about this here.” And now it’s a fucking sledgehammer.
[51:19] It’s that, it’s that thing Miley Cyrus sits on, in Wrecking Ball, it’s like that [laughs] which I realize now is called a wrecking ball. Okay, [laughing] it’s a wrecking ball. Instead of a pinprick little needle, it’s a fucking wrecking ball, you know, slamming into the sides of our whole lives, again and again. So yeah, we are going to be suffering more than we suffered back then, when we were in the regular class. Now we’re in the advanced class, and we get to suffer a lot, right? And we’re going to have these moments where we’re triggered by each other a lot, and we’re going to need to use our resources a lot. And we’re going to have to anchor into those things that keep us sane a lot.
[52:02] And hopefully, and this is sort of what’s taking me through right now, hopefully because we’re suffering a lot, we’re also growing a lot, right? Because life is having us go through all of these really heavy, hard things, that the reward that comes out on the other end of this is going to be much, much, much, much bigger. It’s kind of like when we were able to resolve, or learn about, or sit with one of those pinprick wounds that we felt before, which felt like a relief, you know, it felt like “oh, okay, I get something,” or some little piece of the puzzle fell into place, or we made a small change in our lives as a result of that. Well now, at the end of the wrecking ball, right, the change that we’re going to experience is going to, has to be, has to be massive, has to be new life. Has to be rebirth, has to be fucking give me enlightenment on a stick after this year.
[52:58] I swear toGod [laughs], if we don’t get some sort of, some sort of party thrown in our honor, and that party being like, everlasting peace and joy coming our way, wrapped up with puppies, and, and rainbows, and butterflies, and, you know, I’m going to be really disappointed. Because [laughing] I feel like, I feel like we have, we, we really deserve a treat at the end of this, don’t you guys, don’t you guys agree? Don’t you agree?
[53:26] Someone needs to throw us a parade, okay? Someone needs to throw humanity a parade, where we each get a sash, where the thing we accomplish, the thing that was the hardest for us, right? The big thing, the thing that we achieved, right? That’s written across our chest. Can we manifest this together? Is that possible?
[53:48] Okay, I feel like I’m a little bit off track. But hey, like my life is off track. That’s just what it is. I’m trying really, really hard to, to be kind to myself, you know, to every time I hear that negative, hateful voice, to tell myself something kind. My mantra that I’m repeating again and again, I have two, I say, I share, “I am here now,” right? “I am here, now,” which reminds me that I am here, now, in my body, right? I am here in this moment, now. I’m not in that hard moment then, or, you know, experiencing that horrible thing that happened at that time. My mind takes me to all these places, or worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet, like I’m here, now. This breath, this inhale, this exhale, and it brings me back to this moment.
[54:35] And then the other one I’m using is, “I belong.” I belong, I belong. It’s become such a mantra for me that apparently I’m saying it out loud a lot, and Lea made a song of it [laughs]. Like that’s, isn’t that beautiful? She’ll run around the house singing “I belong, I belong, I belong, I belong,” [laughing] and she’s just, just singing that she belongs, you know? And it just reminds me that, that yeah, I belong too.
[55:01] So maybe what you nee today, I mean a good little action item, I think, for today, would be to really connect to your own mantra for right now. You can call it an affirmation, or a sentence that you resonate with, whatever works, but that thing you really need to hear, you know, that one sentence that brings you back. So when your inner critic gets super, duper loud, when you get down on yourself, when you feel hopefulness, when you feel really fearful, when you start to get into that narrative that isn’t helpful, because that’s something we all have to really understand, is that entertaining those thoughts, believing those thoughts for even a second, thinking that shit about yourself, it doesn’t serve anybody.
[55:40] Beating yourself up doesn’t help the world. You hating yourself, being mean to yourself, talking down on yourself, it only causes more pain, for you and for other people too, of course. Because that shit goes round and round, right? So, you need that, that, that mantra, that sentence that can snap you out of it, you know, whatever it is; if it’s something around being enough, or feeling held, or being supported, or blessed, or you’re beautiful, you’re enough, you know, you have so much, you know, that you have, that you’re empowered, like that’s a big one too, to “I’m in charge,” like that’s been a mantra for me for a long time as well, like, “I am in charge.” Like, I can actually choose and direct where I want to go in my own life. I am not a victim, you know, I have power. I have a choice. I can say yes, I can say no, you know?
[56:30] So make a, make a connection to that thing that really resonates with you, and then speak it to yourself all that time. Speak it out loud, make a song out of it with your kids, you know, write it on a Post-It note, put it in your car, put it on your bathroom mirror, put it on your fridge, make it your password to your computer. Am I the only one? I probably shouldn’t say this on a podcast with like [laughing] that has like 35 million downloads, but I will change my password all the time to match something that I really long to connect with.
[57:01] It’s neither of the two things I shared today, thankfully, but, you know, because it’s something I repeat all the time, like I’ll put that password in all the time. Or the password that you use on your phone, right? It’s numbers, but the numbers also have letters; like make it into something so that that thing you need to write all the time, or repeat all the time, it’s something that’s actually helpful, you know? Because we need to counter out all this negative shit!
[57:25] Like I don’t think it works anymore to, you know, to listen to anything other than really uplifting music. Maybe you have that, you know, like heavy…I don’t know what kind of music you’re into, but whenever I hear, if I hear like something heavy or low, it could be a rap song, but it’s a little degrading or heavy, down, right? Some sort of rock, or like metal, or something that’s just like, like, that has a low vibration feeling, it brings me right down, right? I can only listen to kind of, kind of like hippy-dippy, loving, like all is well type of, type of music right now. Uplifting music right now, because there’s no space, I don’t have a margin of error anymore, right?
[58:08] With shows, like if you’re watching Netflix or something, you’d better make sure that whatever you’re watching makes you smile right now. If you’re having a hard time right now, don’t add hard, heavy things about you know, violence, or war, or murder, or terrible things into that, because you’re already having a hard day, right? Don’t end your day watching people die on a screen, no, you know?
[58:30] Dennis and I are watching Community right now; that shit is perfect for 2020. If you haven’t watched Community, it is so good, so fun, so easy to digest, like easy-going, you know. Like keep all of those things, because you are ingesting information all day long, you’re taking in energy all day long; the people you follow online, if they, if they bring you down, unfollow, move away, you know? If you get negative comments, delete, block, goodbye, like…. And this is not, right now, it’s not being delusional. I used to think that, back in the day, like a few years ago, like there were so many influencers out there who would delete, delete, delete any time anyone commented anything that challenged someone they would just delete and block that person.
[59:12] And I was always like, “we need conversation, and you don’t want to have just a herd of sheep following you around saying, ‘everything you do is great,’ because maybe one day you do something that isn’t great, and it’s good to have conversations about stuff so we can learn and grow,” right? Well that all works for, for 2019, sure, great. 2020, there’s no need to add into your space hateful stuff, right? I think we are all evolved enough to know where we need to be checked, where we need to grow, things that we need to learn. Like I, I, I have that pretty figured out on my own, you know?
[59:44] So if someone’s going to write me something hateful, that person doesn’t have to be in my space, and I can choose that right now, right? We just have to be so, so, so, so careful of who we let into that inner sacred space that is your day-to-day life. Like your day-to-day is a sacred space, and you need to cherish that shit more intimately and more carefully than you ever have in your life before. And that goes for the people who are in your day-to-day life, of course, you know. That goes for the books you read, it goes for everything, all of it.
[60:13] Make the rest of it as positive and healing as you can, so that, you know, when it comes to dealing with the really hard and heavy stuff, like coronavirus, like massive forest fires and evacuations; like people starving in the world; like, you know, people losing people; like losing your job; like losing your income; like losing all your security; like getting sick; being hated by 10 000 people, whatever it is that’s going to come your way that’s going to be the next big, heavy thing, that’s going to be enough for you, right?
[60:46] We all have enough negativity, we all have enough heaviness right now, don’t add to it in your regular, mundane areas of life. Mm-mmm. You know? Like if I have an hour over to myself right now, and this is hard on a lot of days because these days, I basically, I would love to melt into the couch and become one with like, Top Chef. Chef. Did you hear I said chef? Top Chef. Like I would love to just…I could, for sure, spend 15 hours in a day on the couch, immobile, watching some stupid reality show, because that’s, that’s where I am. Like there’s a big danger of me falling into like, a depression of that.
[61:26] So I have to make a huge effort, when I have an hour leftover in, in my day, that I go into my sacred space, and I do my meditation practice, right? That I wake up in the morning, and I don’t, like, drink a gallon of maple syrup with my pancakes [laughs] but I cut up fruit and eat with my pancakes, like I’m not going to not eat pancakes, you guys know that. But that I make the slight…I make the healthier choice when I can, right? Because there’s not a lot of space leftover. And it’s like, I don’t know, I feel like this is, maybe this is a lot of information, but it’s kind of like if I, if I would succumb to that, depression would just take over, and I can’t have that, you know?
[62:06] Life is really precious, I don’t want to drop into that space of not, where, where, where it’s going to be really hard to get out, you know? And then at the same time, if you are in that place right now, where you are melted into the couch, and you are watching Top Chef for 15 hours a day, okay, you know. Doesn’t help to beat yourself up about that, or for you to feel guilty about that, right? But instead, add one, small, healthy thing into your day, right? Spend 14 and a half hours on the couch, and then spend 30 minutes on your yoga mat that day, good. Good job, you know? We take baby steps wherever we are at, like it’s all [breathes] it’s all we can do right now.
[62:46] Man. Man, oh man. I [laughs] this is why I so badly wish I could look into your eyes, and have you tell me, “it’s going to be okay,” so I can tell you, “it’s going to be okay,” and then for us to actually believe each other, you know? I really, really, really wish we had that, we had that space right now. So, hopefully, one day [laughs] hopefully one day not too far away, we’ll, we’ll hold hands again.
[63:21] Until then, be kind, right? Cut people some slack when you can. And when you can’t, forgive yourself, it’s okay, right? Be kind. Know that you can be of service all throughout the day, every day, without having to move any mountains. Catch that inner critic in action, right? In the moment, and, and change it, right? Return to something kind, be compassionate to yourself whenever possible. And it is possible, you know, for you right now to connect to that mantra of yours, and repeat it to yourself again and again.
[63:51] And then when you can, choose your yoga mat over the couch. [Laughs] This is a life wisdom, right? If someone could crochet this on a pillow, on a throw cushion, I would love it. Thank you. Okay. I love you, you’re doing the best you can, you’re good enough, and I hope you’re okay. And if not, one day at a time. I’m right there with you. The Yoga Girl podcast will be back next week. All exciting to see where we will be at by then. Take really good care of yourself this week, and I’ll see you soon.
[64:26 — End of Episode]