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Conversations from the Heart - July 24th 2020

Author: Rachel Brathen

Topics: Growth, Healing

Links: Apple Podcasts / Spotify

About the Episode

Life is full of so much doing.

We move quickly through our day, from working to planning to organizing to… more doing. Even as this year forced us all to slow down, we didn’t stop ‘doing’. We cooked, baked, organized our homes, or started new projects.

But have you ever stopped ‘doing’ for a moment to ask yourself why? What is the real motive behind your inability to be really, truly still?

In this episode, Rachel shares the traumas in her life that led her to move through life at a pace so fast, her body is having trouble keeping up. In a society that rewards us for success and accomplishments, the concept of slowing down might trigger anxiety, discomfort, or even physical illness! Although Rachel used to pride herself on her ability to do everything and do it well, there is one question she cannot answer – and then what?

At the end of the day, at the end of our lives – what is all this doing for if we are not present in it? If we rush through life, we miss the most important moments.

What if we could operate and create from a place where we are totally accepted, loved, and appreciated for just being? This episode will remind you that you do not have to achieve anything in ordered to be accepted and loved. You are good enough the way you are.

Key Takeaways

  • Can you recognize a pattern between any trauma you experienced in your childhood and how you move through your life now? Recognize any coping mechanisms you may be using for what they are.
  • It is not enough to change your outer world, to run around and look for a sense of belonging. You must find that within yourself, sit with the belief that you are worthy of love, of being here without any outside validation.
  • You are worthy of being here just the way you are. You are loved unconditionally. Return to that knowing and that feeling again and again and recognize it as the truth that was there all along.
  • It is not enough to eat well, exercise, meditate, get into nature if you are always thinking about the next task at hand. If you don’t allow yourself to be in the moment, then what?
  • When your body speaks, listen. The body will lead you to a better place than the monkey mind, and it will react when you do not listen and care for the needs of the body, which also includes caring for your energetic and emotional bodies as well.



[0:04] Welcome to a brand new episode of the Yoga Girl podcast, Conversations From the Heart. I am sitting up here in my sacred space slash meditation room slash office slash recording room and beating myself up right now because it is Thursday today, my deadline to record this podcast is on Wednesdays and yesterday I had one of those days that just kind of ran away from me? I don’t know what happened, I put way too much stuff in there, got way too busy and at the end of the day I was so tired, I just didn’t have the energy to record. So I told my team, “you know what? I’m going to wake up early tomorrow morning and record the podcast and everything will be fine, we’ll just squeeze the deadline a little bit.”

[0:47] And then what do you think happens? [Laughs] Ten pm last night I started to feel my throat closing up, this headache that’s been lingering with me for about a week just came back and I just realized late at night, “whoa, I’m getting really sick.” And of course, this morning, you know, no such thing as waking up extra early to record the podcast, ready to go, but instead slept an extra hour because I just feel like crap right now. And here I am, you know? And just, I was sitting down just now to record feeling a little stressed, which I normally don’t do around this podcast, just going like, “hey, this is what you get,” [laughs] you know?

[1:27] Isn’t it funny how there are just some lessons that we just have to fucking learn again. And again. And again. And again. And again. You know? Do you have that thing, that thing that for some reason, no matter how many times you learn it, no matter how many times the Universe tells you “hey, there’s something you gotta put into gear here, there’s something you have to slow down here, something you’d better pick up and learn here,” we just end up back in that same track, right?

[1:52] For me it’s this never ending fricken thing [laughs] of having such a hard time slowing down. It’s almost like to move at a slow pace, I have to be so unbelievably present in every area of my life. Because if I lose presence, just for a moment, everything just gets ahead of me again and I go back into that same place where I’m rushing through my day, where suddenly my schedule’s super busy, and everything is crazy, and then all of a sudden here I am, you know, feeling sick again. Which I know is a direct response to me feeling overwhelmed and stressed, I know, I know it.

[2:29] So this is what I really want to talk about today, because I think it is not just me, I know we live in a society that really validates us the busier we are, the faster we run, the more we multitask, the more things we do; we’ve never actually been able to, you know, to be rewarded for any kind of rest or for living at a slower pace. And I’m at a place right now where, you know, [laughs] I don’t wanna keep learning these lessons. I don’t want to sit here recording another podcast feeling past deadline with a sore throat, you know, feeling overwhelmed. No.

[3:03] So, that is my intention for this show is to really get into this, to, to go a little bit deeper than we normally go. But how about we take a moment to ground [laughs]. Not just for you, but for myself as well. So, enjoy this hoarseness of my voice throughout this show; I have a little bit of a jazzy, smokey [laughs] feel to my voice. Just find a comfortable place to sit, okay? And then let’s, let’s choose today, yeah? Sometimes when we feel a little bit low, like how I’m feeling today, we sense this urge to just “ahh,” collapse into ourselves a little bit. But sometimes it can actually be a little more beneficial to create more space, and to be a little more structured, and actually a little more rigid in our practice.

[3:53] So perhaps right now, you want to sit up real tall. So it’s a comfortable seat, but it’s active, it’s alert, it’s awake. Grounding into the floor or into your seat, to the chair, to wherever you’re sitting right now, and then imagining as if you had a little thread at the center point of the crown of the head, pulling you higher up toward the sky. So we find a little bit of a duality there with the rooting down through our seat, and you can take a moment to really sense this connection that you have to the earth beneath you. Which parts of your body right now are physically connected to the ground?

[4:36] And then as if you are magnets, right, your seat and the earth, try rooting yourself a little further down, really increase that connection that you have to the ground beneath you right now. At the same time, the crown of your head is lifting up toward the sky, so creating a nice, long spine, plenty of space to breathe, to align your energy for your prana to flow. And in this place, the duality of rooting down and rising up, there you are. There you are. Grounded. Connected. But also lifted. Elevated. Able to look at the day-to-day, the details of things, and also able to zoom out and be objective and look at the whole.

[5:29] And sensing right now your connection to the Earth beneath you, and your connection to the sky above, to higher power, something that we know is ever-present, but that we can’t see with the naked eye. And in this space, allowing your breath to become your number one priority, so put everything else aside. Everything else, put it aside and then bring all of your focus to your inhales, and to your exhales. Every breath in moving through the nose, all the way down toward the bottom of the lungs, creating space inside your body, space inside your mind, space between the thoughts, and space in your heart to feel, to be.

[6:22] And every exhale also through the nose, from the bottom of the lungs, following the breath all the way out, and as you release the breath through the body, along with it releasing anything that’s lingering in your system right now that isn’t of use. So perhaps you showed up to this podcast today with a particular problem, with an issue, with a thought pattern that isn’t working; with your exhales, you have the conscious choice to put some of this down. And sometimes it’s more about where we choose to actually focus our awareness than what we choose to ignore, right, or what we choose to look away from. It’s more about being totally present here, now. If all of your presence is occupying your body right now, there’s no space for those problems to linger there.

[7:21] Because in this moment, the way you are here, now, putting all the mind stuff aside, right? Breathing this breath that you’re breathing now. Residing in this beautiful, vulnerable, strong, resilient, soft, strong body of yours. You’re here now. Regardless of what came your way before this, you are here, now. Wherever you go, there you are.

[7:56] So give yourself a couple more moments right now to be totally present with yourself. Every inhale, every exhale, the sensations that are surfacing from the body, the emotion that’s surfacing from your heart, be here now. And notice if the moment you become totally present with yourself, if any feelings of discomfort arise. If anything that maybe you have been looking away from, suddenly the moment your presence is truly here, maybe there’s something you’ve been wanting to escape, or something you’ve been wanting to numb yourself from. It starts to show it’s face a little bit, it starts to surface a little bit along with this presence.

[8:48] So trusting that whatever comes up for us when we’re totally here is what is meant to surface. Right, those things that are buried really, really, really deep that are hard to get to, you’re probably not meant to sit with that right now, but what is surfacing here, now? That’s what you are ready to experience. That’s the feeling you’re ready to process, the thought you’re ready to examine, the belief system you’re ready to maybe look a little deeper into, to evaluate, to see, “is it truthful?” Or is it old, outdated, not real?

[9:28] And it’s interesting how the moment we get totally present with ourselves, sometimes we expect to feel at peace, joy, gratitude, and of course sometimes those things are the first things that come up, right? It’s that relief of being here, especially if we’ve spent a lot of time being totally immersed in our mind, and stuff, and problems, and drama. But sometimes when we arrive to the body, what we feel is discomfort. We feel, or rather we notice that actually, it’s kind of hard for me to just be here with myself. Actually, I don’t practice this enough. Or maybe, “I have no idea how to be totally still inside of myself.” So when I’m here, now, I feel like I’m wearing a sweater that’s three sizes too small; I feel uncomfortable, I feel jittery, I feel irritable, I feel frustrated, I feel…” fill in the blank.

[10:36] What are you feeling here, now? And what is it like right now to not have to do anything with that feeling? Right? To not have to change all of your life, to not have to change all of your thoughts, to not have to change the state you’re in right now, but to just notice it. To just become aware of it. “Okay, hmm. Now that I’m present in my body, actually I feel…” is a good place to begin an inquiry: actually, I feel….

[11:14] And if what you’re feeling is a sense of calm, ease, gratitude, then see if you can expand into that feeling and linger in that place a little bit longer, cause we all know when those things come around, we want to be there fully to experience that gratitude, that ease, that calm. And if what you’re actually feeling is something that’s more challenging, if there’s sadness, or grief, or a sense of betrayal, abandonment, anger, okay. Interesting. Can I meet that in the same way? Can I look at that in the same way? And in all of my discomfort right now, can I stay here and allow this? The way I am, can I allow myself to be the way I am? Feel what I’m feeling, breathe what I’m breathing, here, now.

[12:26] Let’s take one more deep breath in [inhales] and this time, open the mouth, and exhale it out [exhales]. If you want to blink your eyes back open, go ahead. Yeah. [Laughs] This little practice that we just did is basically the, the practice that I’m immersed in every day, all the time.

[13:00 — Commercial Break]

[14:26] I am today on Day 42 of my dynamic mediation. Forty-two for me, it’s such an auspicious number; I don’t know if anyone listening has read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the meaning of life, 42, it’s something I always come back to, it was one of my favourite books growing up. But today’s Day 42 of practicing this very intense form of meditation that’s, that’s keeping me very alert. More than anything else, that’s what the dynamic is doing for me right now. I can have a day where, you know, where everything feels a little bit mundane, where I’m not experiencing any big emotions, where I’m just kind of going through the motions, you know, the way we all are.

[15:10] And, you know, I have beautiful moments in my day, I have frustrating moments in my day, and it’s just a regular day and then all of a sudden it’s time for my dynamic, and I get pulled right into the depths of what’s truly going on. Every time. Every fucking time [laughs]. So anything that’s been lingering underneath my experience of that day, it’s pulled right to the surface, just like that. And I get to be totally present with “okay, this is the truth of, of what’s going on inside of me, actually,” you know.

[15:43] And I’m learning more about myself than I have [laughs] I don’t even know what to compare this to. I was telling my therapist the other day, “I feel like I’m in a one year long Path of Love bootcamp.” Path of Love is this healing retreat that I assist and participate in that’s totally changed my life, changes the life of anyone who goes. Unfortunately now everything is paused because of COVID, but I hope to be back assisting as soon as everything’s back to normal. But that’s what I feel like, you know? It’s like I’m in this sort of spiritual, emotional, therapeutic bootcamp right now, and I’m doing it on my own, which is strange. I have a therapist I talk to once a week, I’m so grateful that I have her, and that I have the means to do that, but honestly, most of my work is, is happening inside of me, right? Most of my work happens in this room, in my meditation practice, every day, and then taking what I find from that practice and infusing it into my day-to-day life.

[16:42] And one of the things that, that keeps showing up for me, and that I’m so very present with right now is this lesson that continues to come up. I, [Laughs] I don’t know how many podcasts I’ve had, honestly, over the past couple of years, about this longing to slow down, right? It’s, it’s a theme, it comes back again and again, and I know it’s a theme for so many of you listening as well because you’re drawn to those episodes, because I think we feel those same things, of course at different levels, right?

[17:13] And I was really trying to sit with this yesterday because I had a really big experience in my meditation yesterday that I’m going to share, but I was trying to really sit with that, you know: is there something about me that makes me totally uniques and different in terms of this, this speed that I operate at? And honestly, I don’t know. I know of course we are all unique, we are all snowflakes, we are all, you know, very special and unique in our own ways, but I know I have a, a, a really particular ability to be mega efficient, right? I think more than just any regular person. And I say this very humbly, for me it’s not a good thing. Used to be this thing that I prided myself to be that, you know, “throw me any problem, I will fix it. Give me any task, I will complete it. Show me a mountain, I will climb it,” you know, and “I’ll do it really quickly, efficiently, I’ll multi-task, you know, I can get through 400 emails in two hours, I used to think all those qualities were really, really great. It’s what made me a great entrepreneur, it’s what made me a really great boss, it’s what made me a really good manifester, all these things.

[18:16] And yes, of course, you know, these qualities have served me in so many ways, you know; it’s why I have a strong business that’s making it through a really challenging time right now; that’s why we have an amazing tight-knit team right now; it’s why we have so many different projects, and businesses, and sources of revenue, and exciting things that I get to wake up and work on every day; all of that is good and I want to honor that and not just deem everything as bad, because of course it’s not.

[18:44] But at the same time, all of these qualities that I have, that I was validated for my entire life are the same qualities, the same personality traits that keep me from peace. And I find this so contrasting, so challenging to sit with, that the things that literally, that I got all A’s for in school, that my parents told me all the time were the best things about me that society constantly validates for me all the time, those things are the very same things that are burning me out, or that did burn me out. Those are the same traits that, that keep me from feeling at peace and calm in my life.

[19:25] And it’s so unbelievably hard for me to compute, it’s really hard for me to digest, actually, because it’s so ingrained in me that when I’m busy, I am more valuable. That simple, simple, you know, idea, that simple sentence: the busier I am, the more worthy I am to be in this world. The busier I am, the more valuable I am, the more important I am, of course which all equates the more loved I am, right? At the end of the day, all we’re looking for is that sense of acceptance and love.

[19:57] And I was told that all the time. Like even, you know, since the beginning of my career, any interview I’ve ever done for any, you know, magazine, or blog, or TV, or radio, or whatever, it’s always the question. Always. Ten times out of ten, you know: how do you get so much done in a day? Like, “wow, you have so many amazing things going for you, so many projects and businesses, how do you do it all? And you’re a mom!” And I used to be a little smug about that, you know, I would sit there and be like, “mmm, yes, I know, I’m so special,” right? “I’m so important, look at me and all I’m doing in a day.”

[20:31] Where the reality of that is my motivation to keep that whole [laughs] thing, that whole machine running, my motivation to keep going wasn’t coming from a loving place. And I think, I think I’m starting to kind of touch on this now: there is a version of our lives where we are still manifesting, where we are still creators, where we’re still here in this world creating what we’re meant to create, but where the motivation lies in a totally different place. Where we’re creating out of a sense of feeling like we already belong, right? Versus creating because we’re confused and we were taught our entire lives that “when I create good things, it means I am good. When I create things that people appreciate, it means I’m appreciated. When I succeed in this world, when I am successful, then I am worthy.”

[21:26] Do you see the, the two totally different standpoints there? Two totally different platforms to begin creating from? Well I’ve spent my whole life from that negative, that lacking place where I was confused my entire life thinking that actually, “I’m not worthy,” right? “I don’t, I don’t belong here. Actually, I’m not lovable, deep down I don’t believe that anybody really loves me.”

[21:50] And [laughs] I can say that now without getting too emotional about it because I’ve done so much work around it. And I can also say that sentence and, and have my adult version of me, you know, my mature consciousness understand that that’s not true, right? I’m super loved, I have family that loves me the way I am, I’m super blessed, I have great friends, I have a good life. But inside of me, there’s my inner child, right; that immature consciousness that genuinely believes that she’s not lovable. And not understanding, or I guess not being conscious of the fact that I have been operating since I was little girl from this belief system that I’m not lovable, that I’m not worthy to be here, that I have to continuously prove my worth somehow, you know? It’s been there, sort of engrained in my system, it’s been part of my backbone, and one of those beliefs that, that were formed when I was really young.

[22:46] You know, they say that from all the years before you’re seven years old, so from that you’re born until you’re seven, are the most formative years. So any big trauma, challenge, pain, loss, that you experience at that time, has a really high chance of actually shaping you as a human being. And then the traumas and the pain and the struggles that we experience after the age of seven, they don’t run as deep, right? And for me, most of my traumas, you know, they happened when I was a little girl, when I was, you know, two, three, four, five, six. And I haven’t actually, I think, done enough therapy, you know, done enough work to realize how deeply engrained the pain and the trauma that came my way when I was that age, how it actually solidified itself and became a part of me, right?

[23:34] So I’ve had this idea that, you know, “I have done so much healing,” which I have, you know, there’s a never-ending ability, I think we have, to heal. We can peel off layer after layer after layer, and I have done so much work in my life, but I got to this point where I thought like, “oh, I’ve done enough now,” you know, because on some level, I felt really good, I could look around myself and my life and see that I had a good life, right? That everything is really good. All these things that I spent my whole life looking for, I have now, versus having chaos, and drama, and drinking, and smoking, and, and you know, this other type of life that I lived prior to finding yoga and meditation and changing my life. Like my life situation looks different, so it must mean that, that I’m fixed now, right? I’m all healed.

[24:17] And also, you know, I have this amazing career in wellness, in yoga, where I have this podcast where I, where I talk to people all over the world, and I teach people about self-love, and about how to find balance and heal, right? That’s my whole life, so I must be doing really well. Well, truthfully, so I have been doing well enough to keep all of this going, but there has been this undercurrent, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep in my system that still operates from that place the same way it did when I was a little girl.

[24:50] And, what I’ve come to as a really big, you know, sort of the big crux of it, or the big, the big reason, I guess, why I am the way I am, or why this came my way is when I was little, I had so much loss in such a short time, and I think when we’re kids, you know, we operate from this very limited, immature, innocent, vulnerable consciousness where everything in our lives relates back to us. And I can see that in Lea Luna, you know, her whole life, of course, revolves around me and Dennis; it’s like we are the beginning and the end of what happens in her day. And when we’re little kids, when bad things or hard things happen, we lack the objective ability to step out of it, and look at the actual truth or the reality of the situation, you know?

[25:35] So in my case, it was having a lot of loss, like having my parents separate in a really, really dramatic, sort of violent way when I was little. Not being able to separate their separation, and their drama, and their pain from my own role in that, right? So I genuinely thought when I was little that the reason my parents left, or my parents split up and I lost my dad was because something was wrong with me, right? I couldn’t keep them together. If my dad would have loved me enough, he would have stayed in the family, right? When the reality of that, of course, was nothing along those lines at all; it’s just two people didn’t fit together, they were a bad match, they divorced, they separated and we lived in different parts of the country and that was that, right?

[26:18] But my little girl mind, my little girl brain couldn’t compute that. But of course, everything we experience when we are that little relates back to us, right? What is my role here, this must be about me. So that was one of the first things that I thought that I was responsible for my parents’ separation. And then immediately following that, my step-father died in this really traumatic accident, and something that someone told me — I wrote about this in my book, which was really hard for me to write about then, because it still felt like truth, and now I’ve said it out loud enough that I know it’s not, that I can see how it’s played this huge role in my own life, how I perceive life.

[26:56] And he died in a plane crash, he was a pilot, or a military combat pilot. And he died, and I was, you know, I was four years old, and I remember, this is like one of my earliest, like, little fragments of memories that I have, is I didn’t understand the concept of death. Which of course, like Lea is almost four years old, and we had we, she, we talk about death. I try to be conscious of that, you know. We have a pool outside, sometimes there’s like a little lizard that’s fallen into the pool, she sees little ants are in the pool, or a fly, or we come across things. We had one of our dogs, Pepper, who passed away before she was born is buried in the yard, she asks about him, and how did he die, and you know, we talk about it.

[27:37] And I think, when I was little, as far as I know, I don’t know if we did. I know I didn’t know or understand the concept of death or maybe four is just too young, right? And I remember asking people, you know, “why did he die?” Why…this was a, like a father figure of mine, someone I huge, huge, huge important person in my life as a four year old, “why did he die? What does it mean,” you know? “Why isn’t he coming back?”

[28:01] And a family member, right after the funeral, someone picked me up, and I remember asking, like really waiting for an answer, you know, “why did he die?” And this person like kind of picked me up and held me close, and really well meaning, you know, really someone who’s trying to comfort me and only with good intentions said, “hey, you know what? He loved you so much, you were the most important person in his life, he loved you so, so much, he was trying to hurry home, so he was flying really fast because he just wanted to come home to you. But then he flew too fast, and the plane crashed, and now he’s in heaven.”

[28:38] And I can remember the moment, something inside of me went, “wait,” you know, “he loved me so much so he had, he wanted to fly faster to get home so he could get home to see me, but because he flew so fast, he crashed into the ocean and died.” And my little, you know, four year old brain started computing and went, “if he didn’t love me so much, he would still be alive,” right? “If he didn’t love me so much, if it wasn’t because of me, then maybe he would have flown his plane slower, and he wouldn’t have crashed,” right?

[29:14] So as a four year old, I took on this tremendous amount of guilt, that somehow it was my fault that my step-dad died. Which of course, you know, any, any person, any adult, and me sitting here right now sharing this story, it’s like it hurts me to speak this story because I can still sense how true I believed this to be, my entire life. And it wasn’t like as I grew older, I was walking around or moving through life thinking this conscious thought, right, “it was my fault that my step-dad died,” ever, I don’t think I ever had that thought as an adult, or as a teenager as I grew older, but it was something that in…was really deeply ingrained in me, deep, deep, deep inside that it was my fault, that I somehow was to blame, right?

[29:57] And didn’t have any, you know, any way to process that when I was little, didn’t have, you know, any professional to talk to, or any sort of process to move through because of course, anyone who was present in my life as an adult at the time was, was, you know, dying themselves from grief. Like there was no space for that.

[30:17] And it’s nobody’s fault. That’s kind of something that I’m, that I’m really able to hold in a beautiful way right now, that all of this shit that happened, like it’s nobody’s fault [laughs]. And it’s kind of freeing to say that, because I think for a lot of time, I walked around feeling like it was my parents’ fault, like they should have done better, they should have, you know, someone should have helped me, someone should have been there; that person who told me that story shouldn’t have said that, you know, “why didn’t we get to see a professional? Why didn’t someone process this with us, blah blah blah.” Like, “we should have had more of this, less of this.”

[30:48] And I can see now, like, just holding onto the idea of “it should have been different,” has created a huge amount of tension in all of these relationships in my life. And it’s completely impossible to change, right? If it should have been different, it would have been different. If it could have been different, it would have been different. And it is what it is. No one can change it, right? I can only take what I have now and do something better with it. But that idea that I was somehow to blame, you know, this, this guilt that I felt when I was little, it’s been there my entire life, right?

[31:24] And it’s made me into this person where I feel like I have to be a little bit better than everybody else, right? I have to be a better person than everybody else. I have to give more of myself to make up for this guilt that I’ve felt my whole life that I did something deeply wrong, right? That I was to blame for something truly horrible that blew up my entire family, and my entire life.

[31:46 — Commercial Break]

[33:00] And then following that, you know, my mom tried to commit suicide when I was five, so right after this. This, this, you know, this structure that we have as kids where when bad things happen, we’re unable to separate the bad thing from ourselves, right? So for me, the belief system became “my mother doesn’t want to live, so I must not be lovable enough,” right? “If she loved me enough, she would want to stay here and be my mom. She would want to stay here and be with me.” But she didn’t. She wanted to die, right?

[33:30] So that little girl brain takes all of this in as “Number One: I’m bad, right? I did something bad, I’m to blame for this horrible, horrible accident that happened. And Number Two: my mom doesn’t want to stay alive, so it means I’m no lovable enough, right? If I was a little more worthy of love, then she would be here. If she loved me, she wouldn’t want to die.” All of these things, right? And these are huge, huge, huge traumas that happened to me at such a young age, like and a lot of them in a really short time.

[34:02] And somehow along the way, you know, through doing healing work, and healing groups, and retreats, and therapy, and all this stuff, it’s like in my adult mind I can become totally conscious of, “here’s how this stuff played out in my life,” right? The layer I haven’t been able to peel away until now has been just how strong that belief system still is inside of me, and how it still dictates how I live my life. And all of this that’s happening and unfolding in my life right now is the undoing of this, right? It’s the peeling off of these sort of layers to try to get to another truth that’s much deeper than this one.

[34:45] And that’s an important one for us to remember, that whatever limiting belief that you’re holding inside of yourself, whether it’s similar to the ones that I’ve held since I was little that bad things are my fault, that I’m a bad person, that I’m not lovable, or other ones, right? Like it’s, it’s an important thing, I think, to get to the heart of “what are these limiting beliefs that I carry?” Because we all have them, and they all hold us back in life. They all keep us totally boxed in, in these rigid structures of our personality, of our relationships, of our family dynamics. Like we can live this, these entire lives that are just actually not real [laughs]. That come from a place of some belief that isn’t even true in the first place.

[35:30] You know, if I look at myself as a four or five year old the way I look at my daughter, I mean she’s three and a half, she’s going to be four next year, and it’s like there’s nothing on this green earth she could possibly ever do, or not do, that would make me love her any less. And I know my mom has this same love for me, and has had this same love for me her entire life, also at that time, right?

[35:56] But sometimes, things come our way that we can’t manage. Sometimes traumatic shit happens that we don’t have the tools to deal with, right? That her at that age, I mean she was what, 25 years old, didn’t have the tools, didn’t have the support to deal with, and didn’t see any other option than to end her life. And that decision — and I’m just kind of getting to understand and I think hold the fact that this is true — that her decision to end her life maybe didn’t have anything to do with me. Whoa. [Laughs] Just that as a, contemplating that as a question, just as a, like probing that as a question, you know: what if her wanting to end her life, what if it didn’t have anything to do with me?

[36:40] What if it was just her grief, just her sorrow, just all of that trauma, right? Like not seeing any other option. What if actually, it didn’t have anything to do with me? If I could hold that as a belief, right? if I could approach that as a truth and do that enough, with enough practice to actually feel the truth of that, it would change my entire life, right? Because it would mean I could exchange that idea that “I’m not lovable,” or, “I’m a bad person” for “yeah, I’m lovable, just as lovable as Lea Luna is.” Like that exact same love, the light, the beauty, the radiant being that my daughter is, I was as a child too. I still am, right?

[37:27] And I think the moment we can get to a place of actually embodying that truth — because that’s the real truth, right? The, the belief that I’m not lovable, that’s the lie, like it’s not a true one. It’s not the truth of who I am at my core; I am lovable, a good person, you know, worthy to be here, all of this. If I could get to that, you know, that means that not only would, would I be able to change the actions of how I move through my day-to-day, but actually change the core system of how I operate in this world. That internal shift that means that I’m not going to have to keep relearning these same lessons again and again and again, you know?

[38:08] That if I’m not present enough in all of the things that I do in the day, all of a sudden I have ten meetings in a day again, I’m procrastinating my podcast because I don’t have time, and I’m getting sick because I feel overwhelmed and pressured, and you know, suddenly this kind of freight train that I’ve been running my whole life, it starts back up. And it’s almost like the process of learning and relearning, and then going back and learning again, and then going back and learning again, what I’m hoping is, is the gap of learning, that it’s a little bit shorter each time, right? So that now I can have like a hard, tough week, like it’s Thursday today, this week was really busy, that I can sense it now: okay, I got sick last night and this morning, immediately, I’m like “okay, hey, I’m listening. I’m listening.”

[38:55] Like I’m listening to my body, I can honor and acknowledge the fact that this body is wiser than my mind, and if I ever have to choose between who to believe, or which part of myself to believe, to trust the body. Every time. My mind right now is telling me, literally, if I get really honest with you, my mind is telling me “this is not enough. You’re missing out. Your business is going to slow down, you need to work harder. You need to pick up the slack here. You need to work more. You need to add more things to your day. You have way more capacity than this, you’re operating at like half capacity right now. Why aren’t you doing enough?” Like that’s my mind right now.

[39:34] Even as I’m sitting here recording this, my mind is still like “here’s a list of all the things you could add right now that would take you to…” I don’t, I don’t even know. Like if I examine that, like where is that taking me? You know, the idea of what, really? More…success? More what, recognition? More what? Money? Abundance? Freedom? Like what is the end game? And when I get really truthful there, the end game is just more busyness. Not business, more busyness. Cuz my mind needs me in a state of constant busyness because of this old idea that if I’m busy, I’m producing. And when I’m producing, I’m worthy, right? If I’m creating something, then that must mean that I’m lovable right; if I create something worth loving, then people will also love me. If I create something worthy, then I am worthy as well.

[40:28] And when I listen to the body, which is this amazing, amazing vessel that we have that I think, that I think we take for granted all the time. I mean we get kind of caught up with this idea that the body needs to be super healthy, I need to be thin, I need to work out every day…we can have a list of things that we should do and that we maintain every day to keep the body feeling good. But if we look at the body as this super intelligent being, like mega intelligent, more intelligent than our brain, right? That we have this innate wisdom inside where the body speaks to us all the time.

[41:05] So what if instead of just checking off the list of “did I move today? Did I drink enough water today? Did I do all the things to be healthier, to be well?” What if instead, we just took the time to be here? [Laughs] And that’s sort of what my dynamic is teaching me is, is, is I can spend all day doing all the things right for my body, right: do the yoga, go for the run, move my body, drink, eat well, be in the sunshine, you know, all the things that I’m supposed to be doing, and I can do all of that, and still not be totally here, right? I can be in my yoga practice thinking about the next thing. And what if all our body is actually asking of us is to just be here, right?

[41:52] Like right at the beginning of this podcast, we had ten minutes of just being in our bodies, right? Just occupying the body with our presence, totally. What if that’s all it takes? Right? To listen enough, to be present in the body enough that when the body speaks, and the body usually speaks through pain, it will speak through sensation, it will speak through illness, through getting sick, through some sort of physical manifestation of what’s happening inside, right? Me right now, with my sore throat, feeling low, you know, all the stuff that’s happening in my body, it’s like, “okay, hey,” [laughs]. I can go “I’m not going to bulldoze you and push through with my day and all this stuff that my mind tells me I need to do, its okay, okay, I’m going to take a beat right now. I’ll slow down, I’ll turn my phone off for the day, I’ll go sit outside, be present here, for a moment, and just, okay, I’m getting it. I was on my way down this other track, now I’ll, I’ll switch tracks,” right?

[42:54] And then see, how will I feel tomorrow? I don’t know, right? If we have to make a choice between listening to what the mind tells us and that storyline, or listen to what the body tells us, I think the body is going to take us a better place each time. And I don’t love this idea of, you know, and I’ve seen some of that online, it’s like every single thing that comes up through the body, you know, means something else, you know, because there are horrible things that happen, and disease, and illness, and children who get cancer, you know. And it’s not about blaming anybody or blaming ourselves when we feel ill: sometimes, shit happens because life has some sort of plan that we will never know, right?

[43:35] I think that’s, when it comes to big things, like deciding who lives or dies, kids getting sick, like horrible, horrible things that never, ever should happen, it’s like, “okay, we have to, we have to surrender to the fact that there are some things we cannot control,” right? And belief or trust that there is some greater plan with those things. But when it comes to your body here, now, and the little ways your body speaks to you all the time, you have a lot of control, right? You can choose to press on, or you can choose to slow down.

[44:06] And the bigger component to this, which I think, I hope we’re all learning through quarantine, isolation, this shift in pace that we were forced upon, is that it’s not enough to change the outside stuff. Like, are you, are you grasping that? Really, really asking now, like are you grasping that? How it’s not enough to just change the outside stuff, right? It’s a start, of course, you know, putting our whole lives on pause, trading, you know, meetings and 12 hour workdays for, you know, baking at home, or tending to your garden, or house projects, or whatever it is. Like of course it’s operating at totally different levels of energy, one is more grounded, one is more hectic, so yes, that’s an important place to begin.

[44:55] But if we don’t change the internal structure that made you this way in the first place, then nothing’s ever really going to change. You are going to find a way to operate at that same frequency of pressure, of stress, of burnout, of having to continue to do, and accomplish, and be busy to feel worthy in this life, you’re just going to find different ways to manifest that need, right? So in my case, it’s going to be baking [laughing] like baking every single day. Getting, you know, I really, like, during quarantine, I was like, “I’m going to become the best sourdough bread baker in the entire world,” and all of sudden, my whole life is sourdough.

[45:34] And in my mind, I’m like, “when I was working crazy, crazy hours and doing 25 weeks of retreats and groups every year, and feeling overwhelmed every moment of the day, the idea of being home baking? That’s vacation, right?” So, obviously, on a mind level, I’ve completely changed my life, look at how much I’ve slowed down. And yeah, on the outside it’s a slower pace and it’s helpful, right? Because it gives me more space to, to practice things that bring me within. But internally, I was operating from that same limiting belief, right, that I have to produce to feel worthy, that I have to keep going all the time. So even though I’m home, I was still operating from that same energy; baking, renovating, cleaning, doing, organizing, fixing, you know, all of a sudden we have like a million house projects. Like every day, there’s always something on the horizon.

[46:25] And I had this moment yesterday in my, in my dynamic mediation, and it was really [exhales, laughs] and almost every practice, I have something that’s big enough that I have to write it down, like I’m journalling after every practice, and sometimes that need to journal, it’s like “I have to write this down so I don’t forget because this was too big,” right? Almost every day I have one realization like that. But yesterday it was [laughs] I, I was in the middle of my, of my “Hoo” phase, third stage of dynamic, and I heard this voice speak. And it sounded like my voice, but it was outside of me, like speakers blasting in the room, but also inside at the same time. And the voice said, “and then what?”

[47:08] And it just [laughs] stopped me in my tracks, like totally. Like it made me double over bawling, crying, just, just that question, “and then what?” And I had this moment where I felt like just my whole life almost flash in front of my eyes: the doing, the surviving, the fixing, the fighting, the going, you know; it’s been one thing after the next for as long as I can remember, right? From school, having to be the best, having to have all A’s, feeling terrible if I didn’t get an A, always something to study for, or there was some drama with friends that I had to fix, or something that wasn’t good, you know. And then work, and then this not working well, and then this person being dramatic, and then this, and then this, and then this.

[47:54] And then slowing down, but then still there’s doing, right? And I just kind of had this moment of like, “my whole life is just a string of doing.” And then of course, I have moments, like I am in therapy, I’m meditating, I’m practicing, I’m with my kid, I have moments where I’m here, right? But those moments don’t make up for the fact that I’m operating from this place of “I have to do so that I’m worthy to be here.”

[48:19] And the realization of this, “and then what? After all of this, after this, like even after this dynamic, and then what?” You know, and then what? I pick Lea up from school, I make lunch, I water my plants, I take a meeting, I do a podcast, and I became like [laughs] almost like I was able to zoom out and see my entire life and just go, “and then what?” You know, at the end of my life, when my daughter’s grown up, you know, if my business has, you know become whatever it is I’m trying for my business to become, Dennis and I have grown old together, like at the end of my life, and then what?

[48:56] [Laughs softly] And it just stopped me in my tracks. Like it was like a, like a, like a flick on the forehead, “and then what?” At the end of the day, I still have to be here with myself. At the end of the day, wherever I go, there I am [laughs]. Wherever you go, there you are. And I have this choice, right now, you know, to take all of this healing, to take all of this, discomfort, all of this unbelievably challenging shit that’s coming my way this year, past two years, and actually change the internal workings of my life, right?

[49:37] Just contemplating that, what would my life be if I operated from a platform of “I belong here. I am lovable. I am so lovable [laughs] I am so lovable I can’t even explain how lovable I am. I am so worthy of being here, right? I’m so loved, so held, so beautiful the way I am. I am so fucking enough. I don’t have to lift a finger to be worthy of any, of anything, right? I can just be here because I’m love, in myself, the way I am, without doing, but just by being me.” Like what would that life be like? Sit with that, you know?

[50:18] Because so many of us, I know you’re sitting here right now listening to this podcast, like nodding along, like, “yeah, that’s me. That’s me.” Because even though you have a different story than mine, right, different traumas, different family dynamics, different shit at different ages, you know, of your life, it all relates, right? So many of us operate from this same place because this is what our world looks like, this is what our entire society rewards. No one gets a medal for taking a nap [laughs]. No one gets a pat on the shoulder for changing their lives and slowing way down, or quitting their job, or quitting their business, or choosing to completely rearrange how they function in this world to operate at a slower level, like no one says “good job,” you don’t get interviews on TV [laughs] for doing nothing, you know? [Laughs]

[51:05] Our whole society tells us, “do more, accomplish more. Make more money, grow your business, be more important, get more famous. Do more valuable things, and we will tell you you are valuable.” Well I say fuck that. Fuck that. And this is the reason why this world looks the way it is: we’re all just running in circles trying to find some sense of belonging, when actually the only place we’re going to find any of that sense of worth is inside of ourself.

[51:34] And it starts with examining the reason you became this way in the first place. Holding that limiting belief, looking it square in the eye, sitting with that discomfort, like sitting with the truth of, “hey, deep down, I believe I’m unworthy of love,” that’s not a walk in the park. That’s not butterflies and rainbows, hasn’t been a fun year, yeah? For me to sit with that. But it’s real. And the more I try to escape it and look the other way, the more I’m running in the opposite direction of where I actually want to be, right? The more I’m escaping, the more I have to numb myself, the harder I have to work to try to get that validation from the outside. And it’s never going to be enough. Because I’m not believing in myself.

[52:16] So this is our nudge, that flick in the forehead from the Universe, it’s like when that happens, we gotta listen. You gotta listen. Sit with that pain, sit with that discomfort. The cool thing about knowing that all of this is operating inside of us, it actually means we have some control of it, you know? Instead of like, “I’m at the mercy of all of life,” right? Which I have felt a lot, it’s like, “I can’t control any of this,” you know, “how on Earth am I ever going to feel like I belong when the world is telling me, ‘you don’t belong here’?” Well all along, I’ve been telling myself.

[52:54] So what if I change that narrative, right? What if I change that story. What if I started to love myself the way I love my daughter? And what if I started allowing myself to receive the love that’s constantly coming my way, the way my daughter receives love just for being who she is, you know, she models that for me every day. And it’s up to us to take that and model it for ourselves too. And then what? And then what?

[53:23] Thank you so much for listening, for allowing me to be a part of your day, part of your life, I appreciate you so much. And in case you’re [laughs] inner narrative tells you differently, you are worthy of being here the way you are. You are lovable. You are loved. You are so fucking beautiful the way you are right now, right? Not when you yield more, not when you fix more, not when you become a better version of yourself, but right now in this mess, right? You are lovable in this mess, in this pain, in this trauma, in this struggle, like you are worthy of being here, right now. You belong. We belong together.

[54:11] And I hope you can hold onto that. My longing for all of us is that we can return to that knowing, return to that feeling, again, and again, and again, and hopefully, at the end of our lives, recognize it as the truth that was there all along. Thank you so much for listening. I’ll be back next week.

[54:33 — End of Episode]