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How to meet yourself, with The Holistic Psychologist, Dr Nicole LePera #019
Episode 1915th December 2022 • We Are Already Free • Nathan Maingard
00:00:00 01:25:19

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The sad reality is that most of us don’t even know who we are, let alone how to live our purpose and grow a beautiful world! Authenticity is one of the two primary needs of every human…but too many of us live our lives without every truly experiencing our own authentic selves.

If you’ve ever felt like you don’t fit in, like you’re too much (or not enough) for this world, as though you can’t catch a break from the overwhelm of simply trying be yourself…then this episode with Dr Nicole LePera, The Holistic Psychologist, is for you.

In it you’ll learn why so many people are struggling to be themselves, why purpose can only come through authenticity, how childhood sets up our entire life experience, and what you can do to begin or deepen your journey Home to Wholeness (no matter where your starting point is right now).

I believe this is the most important journey any of us will ever take. And Dr Nicole’s new workbook, How To Meet Yourself, provides a roadmap to guide us.

Dr. Nicole LePera, a holistic psychologist, trained at Cornell University and New School for Social Research. She leads the #SelfHealers movement, an international community of people joining together to take healing into their own hands. She is the author of #1 NY Times Bestseller ‘How to Do the Work’. Her new book, "How To Meet Your Self: The Workbook For Self-Discovery" was released on 6 December 2022.

This is one of the most powerful, inspiring, and hopeful episodes I’ve ever recorded. And if you’ve been listening to this podcast, you KNOW that that’s a big deal!

The information in here, if you consistently apply it, has the potential to positively transform how you experience your self, your life, and all your relationships.

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Join the tribe at https://alreadyfree.me/jointhetribe

Support yourself, the planet, and this podcast:

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Links & Things from this Episode:

Thank you again to Nicole and her awesome team for helping this to happen!

Remember, dear listener: we are already free!

Love

Nathan

Transcripts

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Welcome back to We Are Already Free, a podcast helping free people and

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DownToEarth seekers to live their truth and be the change.

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If you've had enough of feeling disempowered by the things you can't

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control, if you're ready to spend your one and precious life growing a beautiful

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world with the people you love, then you are in the right place.

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The sad reality is that most of us don't even know who we really are, let alone how

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to live our purpose and grow a beautiful world together.

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Authenticity is one of the two primary needs of every human.

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But too many of us live our lives without

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ever truly experiencing our own authentic selves.

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If you've ever felt like you don't fit in,

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like you're too much or not enough for this world, as though you can't catch a

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break from the overwhelm of simply trying to be yourself, then this episode with Dr.

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Nicole Lepera, the holistic psychologist, is for you.

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In it, you'll learn why so many people are

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struggling to be themselves, why purpose can only come through

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authenticity, how childhood sets up our entire life experience, and what you can

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do to begin or deepen your journey home to wholeness.

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No matter where your starting point is right now, I believe this is the most

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important journey any of us will ever take.

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And Dr. Nicole's new workbook, how to Meet

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Yourself, provides a roadmap to guide us home to who we really are.

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Dr.

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Nicole Lepera, a holistic psychologist trained at Cornell University and New

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School for Social Research, she leads the self healers movement, an international

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community of people joining together to take healing into their own hands.

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She is the author of the number one New York Times bestseller, how to do the Work.

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Her new book, how to Meet Yourself.

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The workbook for Self Discovery was released on six of December 2022.

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Links to her new book to Dr.

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Nicole and everything we discuss in this

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episode are available in the show notes at alreadyfree me how to meet yourself

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that's already free me how to meet yourself all one word.

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This is one of the most powerful,

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inspiring and hopeful episodes I've ever recorded.

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And if you've been listening to this

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podcast for a while, you know that that is a really big deal.

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The information in here, if you

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consistently apply, it has the potential to positively transform how you experience

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yourself, your life, and all your relationships.

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In this episode, we cover why so many wake

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up as adults and don't know what we really want or who we really are.

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Why thinking our way out of trauma just

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isn't enough, the greatest gifts we can give our romantic partners.

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And near the end, Dr.

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Nicole shares how you can reconnect with your authentic self.

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And as always, and especially in this episode, so much more.

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I'm your host, Nathan Maingard, and as a

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highly sensitive person in a highly insensitive society, I was nearly crushed

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by my efforts to fit a mold our society simply calls being a good citizen.

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Having navigated a return to my own

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authenticity while still stumbling along with as much grace as I can muster, I

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dedicate myself to helping others like me through gentle breathwork, empowering

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songs, stories and poems, and inner life skills coaching.

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Please do reach out via my links in The

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Show Notes if you'd like to connect with me personally as you'll hear Dr.

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Nicole discuss in this episode, one of the

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primary tools for learning how to meet yourself is conscious breathing.

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I've created a five minute guided breathwork meditation to support you in

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your practice, which you can download for free by visiting the Show Notes, which

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again, you'll find at Alreadyfree Me Howtomeetourself.

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And now I am honored to present you with

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this empowering conversation with the holistic psychologist Dr.

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Nicole Lepera.

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May it support you in learning how to meet yourself.

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Take a deep breath and let's begin.

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Thank you so much for coming on my new podcast.

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As one of the last guests on my old podcast, which was Getting Naked with

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Nate, so much has changed and thank you so much for joining me again.

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Thank you so much for having me again.

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It's wild to me to be someone who's witnessed your journey from obviously

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through social media, through the wonderful platform of Instagram and seeing

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how when I first discovered you, I think you had around there were around 70,000

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people following your journey and following your sharings.

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And then it quickly moved.

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By the time we had a podcast, it was over

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a million, and now it's, I think, almost 6 million.

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And you're releasing two books.

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Has the new one come out yet? The workbook?

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Yes. Just land.

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It published on December 6.

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I'm actually working on a third book, a

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narrative book, which will be out next December, so I've been quite busy.

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A lot has changed.

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That is just so amazing.

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So your book, your new book is how to Meet Yourself.

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And just having had a very grateful look

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at the sort of pre release, it just immediately what hit me was how useful

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this book is and how impactful it's going to be for so many people.

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And then the other piece was how gorgeous it is.

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It's so beautiful.

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So share with us a little more, just like what's going on for you in this moment.

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You've just released it a few days ago.

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What's happening for you?

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A little bit of everything I was sharing with you before we hit record here how.

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I think the best way to describe what I'm feeling is overwhelmed.

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Not even in terms of I think a lot of

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times when we hear overwhelmed, we think of a negative context.

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Usually I'm overwhelmed with stress.

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Right now I'm feeling overwhelmed with all different emotions.

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And really, even just hearing you describe

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not only the look of the workbook but the content of the workbook is so validating.

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Because for me, thinking about putting all of this journey really the roadmap, as I

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like to refer to the workbook as now into the pages of a livable entity, like a

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workbook that someone could bring with them, really was something I had been

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thinking about since I wrote my first book how to do the Work.

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And while that book, I think, is very actionable at the end of every chapter,

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whatever it is, the concept that we're talking about, ego and her child, what

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have you, I offer an action plan, a way to implement that tool.

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Though the reality of it is, few of us know how we're actually stuck.

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We are so unconscious to ourselves that I really wanted to provide a roadmap, like I

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was describing earlier, but a roadmap of where to look, where to turn that

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spotlight of consciousness, how to begin to explore what happens.

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And patterns are actually individually keeping each of those readers stuck and

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ultimately giving them the tools to create the change.

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So knowing, intuitively again, that I wanted to provide that in the format of a

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workbook and hearing how not only comprehensive it is feeling to you, but

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the look of it, and I can't take credit for the look of it.

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The team at Harper in terms of the design, did such an incredible job.

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We, as our team over here, knew we wanted it to be visually appealing for many

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different reasons, but they really did not get out of the park.

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What's kind of blown my mind a little bit about going through this workbook and

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looking at it is how many parallels there are between it and my own journey.

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And I remember in the last episode where

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we conversed, I asked you about plant medicines and you had a beautiful response

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about like, yes, it's beautiful transformational, anything that helps you

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to transform, but then what are you integrating?

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What's the next piece?

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And I really, since that conversation, have learned so much about that part,

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having had these big transformations, and then everything falls apart again.

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And now it's starting to language, starting to have a map that helps me to

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communicate, like, oh, this is what the nervous system is doing.

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This is the old patterning, these are the habits.

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So I feel like I'm only just starting to really discover who I actually am.

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And so that would be a question I'd love to hear from you is why are so many of us

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completely ignorant as to who we really are and what it is that we actually want?

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I appreciate you sharing your own kind of feelings around uncertainty and being

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unsure, because I think a lot of us, especially as we age into our adult, later

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adult years, a lot of us carry shame when we don't know who we are, what we want.

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I remember a really pivotal moment in my 20s where I had a really hard time even

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deciding how I wanted to be spending time let alone these deeper questions of what

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makes me light up, what's my passion, what's my purpose?

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Right? What makes me uniquely me.

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And I didn't have to speak to your point

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the language to first and foremost understand why I didn't have answers to

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those questions and why the more I spoke about it I saw such a similar reflection

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back with very few of us into our adult years having answers to those questions.

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And I think the simple way to understand why we're so disconnected from that

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deeper, authentic, more intuitive space lays in our habits and patterns that many

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of us have been repeating in that blind autopilot state since childhood.

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And many of those habits and patterns are

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driven by I'm really happy that we're already diving into the nervous system

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aspect of it, into all of the language that a lot of us lack around first and

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foremost how foundational our nervous system is.

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Our nervous system runs everything

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from how we are cognitive processes or how we're thinking.

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It plays a large role in terms of how we can tolerate or regulate, cope with our

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emotions and all of those things kind of joined together really how we embody

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ourself or how we're showing up in the world around us.

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And when we're dysregulated, when our nervous system isn't in a safe state of

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connectivity all of this is impacted and we can obviously go deeper into all of

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that but impacted by our childhood environments.

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We are living in a very disconnected habit self as our best attempt often at keeping

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ourselves habitually safe because in the habitual for our subconscious mind is the

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predictable is that sense of familiarity, of safety assumed safety of course.

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Though again, if we're living in habits that aren't serving our authentic self and

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we continue to repeat those habits I think it's really understandable then why we

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wake up at whatever age or decade that is and we don't know what we want.

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We don't have answer to those deeper questions.

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Just recently I had an experience where I sat with a medicine and again, I'm not

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recommending any of these medicines to anyone.

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This is my path, this is what's been working for me and how I've chosen.

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But there's a specific medicine called Combo which is a frog medicine that they

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apply to your skin after burning the skin and so it actually is a nervous it goes

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straight into the nervous system through the skin.

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And every time I've sat with that medicine

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it has been the most traumatizingly, painful and intense.

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And I've often heard people say they're more scared of that than any other

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medicine that they can think of, any other intense experience they can think of.

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And I had this experience again where I

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just a few weeks ago was offered the opportunity and I almost said no because I

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was like I don't want to go through that again.

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But I felt this calling.

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I was like something's calling me.

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And for the first time, and I actually

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feel emotional talking about it because I chose to go into a very difficult

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situation where my whole nervous system was fully activated.

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And for the entire experience, I was just

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100% present and I just breathed and I was calm and I met myself.

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And so I'm guessing that's the kind of intention of all of this work, of all

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these little steps, is to reach a point where we can go into more difficult,

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challenging situations and actually be okay there.

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Yeah, I 100% agree.

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And I was actually having somewhat of a

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similar conversation with someone around plant medicine.

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And I'll share my own journey, two versions of my journey in plant medicine.

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Because ultimately, I think what you're talking about, right, going to this place

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of feeling really different degrees of discomfort and having a sense of safety,

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calm, like you're saying I was present to it, when we can remain present to our

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experiences, that we are in the scientific language is the zone of tolerance, right?

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We can tolerate the stress, meaning we can see the stress.

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We don't have to check out, we don't become reactive to it.

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We're able to stay hand in hand in presence, observing what is happening.

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That's when we get into that sweet spot

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that many of us are searching for of responsiveness.

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I'm sure the very famous Victor Frankel

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quote between a stimulus and a stimulus and a response is that space, right?

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And in that space is where we can create life.

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And the reality of it is many of us don't have that space because when stress

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overwhelms our system, we become reactive or we become detached.

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And what I was going into, say earlier is

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I had experimented with plant medicine when I was actually quite young.

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I was in my teenage years, and I didn't

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have that ability to keep myself safe in overwhelming emotions.

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And I had one of those terrible

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nightmarish, bad trips, as you call it, so much so that I avoided re engaging with

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any sort of plant medicine for a very long time.

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And for me, that really illustrates the reality that many of us are living.

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Of course, I experience that in this plant medicine experience moment of time.

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But the large majority of us, we can't tolerate stress.

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We become reactive and overwhelmed almost immediately.

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So then obviously flash forward in time,

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having done the work to reconnect with my body, to explore how disregulated my

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nervous system is, to develop some tools, conscious tools, where I can bring myself

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back around myself in safety, allow myself to be present with stress.

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I've had then other moments of plant medicine experiments since that time.

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And now it's different because now when I'm in what could be a very overwhelming

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emotional experience, I have that base of safety.

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I have the ability to remain in my own

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presence while I'm experiencing something stressful.

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So I love even just mapping this on to

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even outside of a plant medicine based moment stress in life, right?

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How present can we be to the stressful

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moments that we're definitely going to have as part of our human experience?

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And again, the large majority of us, if

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you're listening, you're like, well, I'm not present, I'm reactive, I'm detached.

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I'm nowhere near able to be in that responsive space.

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And again, nothing is wrong with you.

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If that is the case, chances are you've never learned.

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And your nervous system has become

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imprinted with that Dysregulation and you've become reliant on that checking out

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or that explosion as a way of keeping yourself safe.

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Yet we can create new space, which is my

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hope for all of us in any of the work that I'm putting out, so that we can become

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more responsive, more regulated, more grounded beings.

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Well, let's go back into that.

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Were you talking about many of the people listening?

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Perhaps most, if not all, will be having that response.

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Like, I don't feel very present and my nervous system is all shot in all the

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stories, which again is, as you say, that came from somewhere.

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So where did that come from?

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Where did those and then also

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to kind of expand on that is around because I know for myself, I still have

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habits that don't serve me and that have served me in a way to keep me safe enough,

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but not really safe in a way that includes presence.

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And so where does that nervous system set up?

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Where do those habits come from?

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And how are they sort of preventing us from connecting into the present?

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Which for me is really and I know that you resonate with us is

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the authentic self, is that self that is here now.

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So in childhood, I think this is I like to share the science or the physiology, the

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biology nor a biology behind a lot of kind of where these things came from, because I

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think it can not only give us language or leave us some shame, but also it contains

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often times the step to what we need to do next.

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And something I think that very few of us know is that the nervous system, when we

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are born as a human infant, our nervous system is actually still developing.

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It's developing realistically until our mid to late 20s.

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Which means that not only are we a developing being, we're a dependent being.

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We can't physically keep ourselves alive as a human infant.

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And our nervous system can't regulate itself.

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It learns to deal with or to regulate through stress, through the presence of

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other people or other nervous systems in our environment.

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So really, simply when a baby is crying

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out in distress, it's usually an indicator that there's an unmet need.

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The baby is hungry, it needs to sleep.

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Maybe as it progresses into toddler years, it's having an emotional experience.

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It needs support, it needs a parent to come to be curious, to identify what the

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unmet need could be, and then to help or meet the need for the child,

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helping that child, then stop crying, ultimately go back into safety.

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The more consistently that happens, the

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parent is present attuned right, not making it about the parent.

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What is wrong with the child, exploring and helping the child regulate.

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Then the child's nervous system over time learns to do that on its own.

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It learns to deal with stressful

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experiences and differing degrees of stress.

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Now, the large majority of us, for many

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different reasons, some of it generational, some of it cultural beliefs,

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cultural happenings, that impacted all of us differently, we might have had, and

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this is where it was a bit confusing for me.

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I always had a physically present caregiver, but what I didn't have, I've

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come to realize it's an emotionally present caregiver.

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So in those moments of disregulation, I

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didn't have someone who was attuned to me to help me create safety.

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In addition, all of the nervous systems around me and those of my caregivers, my

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parents, my older siblings, were so dysregulated because of their own lack of

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safety, because of physical issues that were happening in my home, because of the

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city very stressful environment that we were living in.

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I never had that safe home base to help my nervous system co regulate.

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So the simple fact is, because we're in

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that state of developmental dependency and our nervous system is still developing, we

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are greatly impacted by those earliest environments.

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Really, simply, they teach us how to navigate, how to understand and how to

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navigate all of the emotions that we're going to have, which really then maps on

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to how we're relating in our relationships.

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Because that's where most of these habits and these patterns are so present.

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So in absence again, of being taught how to safely regulate our mind, our body,

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when we're feeling stressed, we will fall into an adaptation.

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We will learn how to fit in to whatever the environment is allowing us to do.

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And this is where we become reactive, we become detached, we squash or suppress

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down parts of ourselves if at one time it wasn't safe to express them.

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And then we carry those habits with us against Thornton, that autopilot.

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So when we meet stress into our adult years, we revert back.

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We rely back on those old ways that we once learned to deal with it.

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And this is where many of us feel very shameful.

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Sure, yeah.

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That was a powerful end to that sentence.

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As you said, shameful just that connected into something deeper.

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Me.

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And also everything you've just said, you've given me an insight around because

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in a way, my parents both has so many no judgment.

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Thank you, mom. Thank you Papa.

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You guys did your best. But that dysregulation that they were

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experiencing massively impacted me is so common for so many of us.

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And what's interesting for me, because for

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a long time, my mom was actually physically not there.

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She went away.

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It's a long story, but my dad was always there, and there's been a part of me

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that's carried a shame even around, like, why wasn't that enough?

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Like, how can I still have some?

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At times I've experienced a lot of anger

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towards him and be like, why didn't he provide all the things he was there?

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And why didn't I why wasn't that enough for me?

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What's wrong with me that that wasn't enough?

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So thank you so much for that insight and that reflection.

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Yeah, I appreciate you sharing so much of your own journey.

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And similar to you, I didn't have the language.

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I looked around at parents who very well, intentionally were doing the best that

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they could, were loving us in the ways again, that they were both equipped to

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love us, being me and both of my siblings, ultimately.

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So it was of no ill intent and very similar.

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First and foremost, I didn't know why I was struggling.

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I didn't have the language.

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I love that we kind of keep going back to that.

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I didn't have the language to understand why I personally was feeling, despite

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having active physical presence, not only with my family.

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I was always in communication, always in contact with them.

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I was at a very active social life.

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I was always finding myself in a relationship.

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Yet if I was being honest and when in

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explosive moments when I was angry, I would be honest.

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I never really felt connected.

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And that was my number one complaint.

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I never felt connected.

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I never felt close to the people around me.

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And without that language for a very long time, I wondered, what's wrong with me?

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Why don't I I have physically present?

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It was kind of that saying, I don't know

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if anyone listening is heard feeling alone in a crowded room.

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And I mean, I lived in a crowded room,

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such as New York City, where the millions of people and I had never, at those

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decades of my life that I spent there, felt so deeply alone.

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And I had no language.

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So I had nothing left but to wonder, okay, well, Nicole, what's wrong with you?

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You must have something inherently wrong with you that you feel so deeply alone.

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And now I understand that the reason I

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felt so alone is to deal with that overwhelming stress in my childhood.

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I disconnect it.

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I disconnect it from my body.

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I disconnect it from my emotions.

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I entered into this cycle of suppressing,

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most of which was authentically me in service.

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For me, it was of performing, of showing

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up, of servicing other people, leaving a whole aspect of myself so pushed below the

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surface that once I now have the language, it's understandable that I didn't feel

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connected to the world around me because I wasn't.

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But without that language, I felt very shameful.

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I wondered, what is wrong with me?

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Why are other people seemingly so

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fulfilled and happy and passionate and purposeful?

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And I've checked all the boxes that I

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thought were going to translate to that, and yet I feel so deeply alone.

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Well, I just have to say that I choose to

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say that I am so grateful for the authentic you.

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Thank you so very much. Thank you.

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I'm appreciative.

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And that really goes a long way, Nate, because there's a part, I think, of a lot

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of us as we become practiced at not showing ourselves.

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We worry there's a very big fear and concern of how other people and

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oftentimes, again, this is based in what has happened to us, because at one time,

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showing our authentic self wasn't received well.

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There wasn't space for it.

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If not, it was outright squash, suppress.

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We were instructed directly not to say or do those things.

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So for the large majority of us that have

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had some version of that experience, there's still a fear, even into adulthood,

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that if I were to show you really who I am, you might not like me.

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This relationship might not be able to maintain its connection.

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On the other side of you, seeing the true me gosh, you are speaking.

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Directly to my soul here.

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This is that feeling.

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So in my work as well.

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As I've said, plant medicine for me has been really beneficial,

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actually, in all the healing work I started with, whether it was breath work

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or anything that involved vulnerability or that kind of where I knew I was going.

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To almost lose control, which I suppose is part of that nervous system set up where I

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knew I would have to go somewhere outside of the comfort zone.

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And I was very scared of that.

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The subconscious thought I was running for

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a long time, which then I brought into consciousness was, I'll just heal alone.

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And then everyone can get to enjoy the full, happy, healthy me.

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And it was very clear at some point, the

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medicine clearly said, nathan, you are not alone.

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It's a story that Castle you've built.

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You are so a part of this frequency, these

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waves of life that are flowing through the universe.

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Please go and sit in a circle with others.

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And that's when I stepped into circle,

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which was probably the hardest thing I've ever done and the most beneficial.

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So you have just talked again, languaging around.

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Oh, that's why I wanted to be so alone all the time.

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I'm getting chilled, actually, because I will share.

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For anyone out there wondering, I still have those moments.

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There are still moments in time where it is difficult, very vulnerable.

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For me, even though I have a very

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supportive community, I have two very supportive partners around me.

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I still have that little independent

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person that when I'm feeling hurt or when I'm feeling vulnerable, when I'm most in

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need of connecting with someone else again because all of that was unfamiliar.

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I didn't learn how to have that deep,

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intimate connection with that earliest caregiver being my mother.

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So there's still that wounded little girl who's desperately fearful even in presence

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of someone being there like, Nicole, I love you.

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I support you. Let me in.

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There's still a very vulnerable, risky,

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scared little girl inside of me that wants to just march off to the room very similar

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to you and be like, I'll be back when I'm better.

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And then it's the conflict, I think, that

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occurs because I can share from being that sequestered off in my room in my little

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hurt space, thinking part of me right in protection, that that's what I want.

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I want you to be away from me.

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I'm fine on my own.

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Yet there's another whole part of me

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because that's the reality we're made of parts.

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There's another part of me that

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desperately, desperately wants that connection.

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And for a long while, never really looked at the role I was playing would hold the

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partner who's not in the room supporting me responsible for not caring, not

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considering me enough in my emotions, in this moment to come in, only to see how

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the joking language we now use in my partnership is.

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I'll become a prickly pair.

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How I don't let the person in and how I

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almost put daggers up and I yell for you to come closer and I don't make it

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possible or safe for you to actually come closer.

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And that's really all about me because I don't feel safe letting you in and sharing

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all of this again, because I think none of this is logical, right?

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I mean, I want to be connected to other people.

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Like I was saying, I want to be connected to my life.

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This is what was so problematic.

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Yet here I am, still on my journey, and I

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still have those moments where letting someone in feels incredibly risky.

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Gosh, this is crazy.

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How much so literally my family for years called me prickly.

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That was one of the terms they would use a lot.

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And I was like, I'm just being assertive

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or whatever the story was that I had about it that helped me get by.

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And thank you for the reflection because I also do that still where when I do just

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regulate when I feel unsafe, if I'm not very wary or aware of I haven't yet

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regulated, that default thing is just to be like, get away from me.

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And so thank you again.

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I appreciate you sharing.

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And I think about something that's been coming up for me a lot and in conversation

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and even hearing you acknowledge your family called you prickly, I'm having just

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all of these realizations of small things, small patterns, habits.

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That too, I was illustrating, showing in

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my family that were commented on that now, while I don't think maybe there.

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Was a little wounded part of me when these things would be observed.

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And for me, the way that I dealt with

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early on at least, and I still have again, remnants of this, the way that I dealt

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with this overwhelming anxiety looked very much like an OCD type presentation or

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symptoms that some listeners might experience themselves in.

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Lights I like to rearrange.

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I had to have a specific order or presentation of items in my room.

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In particular, I was very obsessive of making sure and monitoring the way I

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looked in terms of my clothing with stains.

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I couldn't tolerate stains on my shoes, on

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my clothes, and I would wet my little finger and almost spot clean myself.

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I bit my nails a lot, obsessively.

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So all of this kind of again, I now view

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those, and I'm sharing that because those things were commented on in my family.

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I was teased, I want to call you a little stain on your shirt.

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Oh, nicole's room. Don't touch something on her dresser.

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She'll get upset.

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And no one had the language to understand that what I was doing.

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Those are my desperate attempts as a very

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young girl, right into the state of dependency, but not having a safe

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caregiver to help me deal with those overwhelming feelings.

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Those were the ways that my nervous system

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was trying to manage that overwhelming emotion.

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And it was very interestingly, like you reflected back.

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It was observed in my family, oh, wow, Nicole does these things.

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But again, none of us had the language to

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understand why Nicole was doing those things.

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And it took me many years to understand why I was doing those things.

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And now, having the language, I view those

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moments again, like I was sharing as my nervous system's best attempt at creating

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regulation, at creating safety when I was feeling overwhelmed.

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There's something in that around.

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The sharing is actually so supportive

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because it gives anyone listening might be going, oh my gosh, I did those similar

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things, or that there's that sense of not as alone as I think I am.

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I think that's what I'm feeling and grateful for.

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I want to return to and dive a little

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deeper into how to Meet Yourself, which honestly is such a good name.

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It's so direct and clear, just like this

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is what you will get out of this book anyway.

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But before we dive into that, actually, I

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posted on my Instagram a few days ago, just saying.

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I have the wonderful Dr.

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Nicole Lepera coming on my podcast.

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If you could ask her one question, what would it be?

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So I just have a few questions that people

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shared and let's get into one now that I found quite interesting.

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I mean, I found them all interesting, but let's see how we do.

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So from Taron Lewis Thomas, she asks, do you believe letting go of identifying with

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the story of your past traumas is what heals?

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Or that by healing past traumas, the

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letting go of identifying with them happens automatically.

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Yeah, that's a really great question.

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I think what Taron is it is illustrating

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is I would answer simply is that it's the process of both.

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And the reason why I'm hesitant in terms

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of let's talk about trauma and identity and stories and all of that.

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We all our human brain has an inherent,

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implicit desire to make sense of the world around us.

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It's always interpreting,

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making meaning, of trying to determine what's happening around us, trying to

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understand the circumstances that we find ourselves in.

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Mainly evolutionarily geared at one intention is to keep ourselves safe.

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I need to understand if I'm walking into a safe situation or if I'm walking into an

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unsafe situation so that I can modify my behavior.

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So all of our human brain is going to do that to make meaning.

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And based on, again, the early experiences that we've had, that is ultimately what we

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will use to interpret, to assign the meaning.

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And then we get very habitual.

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We like to predict what's happening.

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We tend to narrate our experiences in the same way.

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So when we start to have overwhelming experiences,

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when we lack the developmental maturity to make sense of them in the nuanced way that

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we can in adulthood, really simply when we're a child, we can't pull back.

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We can't understand all of the

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complexities that go around with any person making any one decision.

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Right.

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We can't understand that if we did not have a physically present or if we had an

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absent caregiver, we can't understand that that person isn't in our life, probably of

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no fault of our own, maybe based on what's going on with the dynamic relationship

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between the parents or both of our caregivers.

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Maybe because of things in their own past journey, not having necessarily to do with

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us at all, because we don't have that maturity.

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We will always assign an attempt to have a semblance, a sense of control in our life.

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We will always assume it's something about us.

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So in absence, I'm going to really simplify this.

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When we don't have someone consistently

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available to meet our needs, all roads in childhood, at least before we're age

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seven, will land back on must be something wrong with me.

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I must not be worthy lovable enough to have my needs met.

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So the more we repeat those stories in

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those overwhelming moments, the more then we begin to secure our narratives.

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Narratives, stories all based in very real

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lived experiences about who we think we are.

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And then we carry those stories with us into adulthood.

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So for a lot of us, having the language to understand our story differently, to go

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from it wasn't that I wasn't worthy of having my needs met.

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To have all of the other now nuanced

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pieces could be to answer Taron's question, the healing.

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Right?

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If I don't have to identify with I'm unworthy of having my needs met.

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If I can begin to reshape that belief that I did not have my needs met, but not

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because I was unworthy of having those needs met.

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Maybe I have language now about why my caregivers weren't able because of their

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own nervous system trauma, dysregulation or whatever it might be to meet my needs.

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Now I might be able to relieve my

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suffering by just shifting my story for the larger and this is why I said it's.

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Both. It's both and because the reality then is

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all of that dysregulation is still living in my mind and body.

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The memory of those overwhelming moments

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are still here and embodied when I'm in those reactive cycles.

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So for the large majority of us, having the new story to overlay on what's

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happening is a huge healing aspect of the journey, though this is why we then have

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to shift into shifting the way our body is experiencing that moment.

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Because if we don't, no amount of logic, no amount of knowing a different story is

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going to change what my nervous system is doing in those moments.

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And this is a big reason why I shifted

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even the way that I work, coming from a very traditional system of working solely

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with the mind or mostly with the mind, to now include the body.

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Because taron for a lot of us and anyone listening was a similar question.

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The story is part of the story, part of

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the journey, though, the body is also creating the story.

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So unless we create safety in new choices

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that we can make in the present moment, the story that our body is going to keep

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telling our mind is not going to be the story that we want to live by.

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So in the book, so you've mentioned around

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both being important and I think for many people, the sort of the narrative part and

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I don't know, maybe not for many, but talk therapy is very popular, so people get

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like, oh, if I can sort of talk and think my way through this, that will be helpful.

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And acknowledging obviously that's your

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roots, that's where you came from, that was helpful up to a point.

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But really it doesn't make space for

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acknowledge that the actual nervous system has its own story.

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And that story is very deep and it needs attention.

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So one of the things I saw that you have in your lovely workbook is breathwork.

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And I'm a breathwork facilitator.

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That's one of the things I've learned

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because of my own journey coming back into relationship with being in my body.

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And you have some of my favorite techniques in there.

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So I wonder if you'd be open to sharing or any technique that jumps out to you.

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But what is one simple way that someone who's listening, who goes, oh, I want to

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kind of connect in more with what the body is saying.

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How might they do that?

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Yeah, and I want to just go back to something too about language and trauma.

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The large majority of us have experienced trauma at an age or these overwhelming

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events because that's how we define trauma.

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A stressful event in which we were

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undersupported at an age when we were pre verbal.

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For some of us, it begins in utero.

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And I know that was the case for me living in a completely dysregulated mother who

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actually, when she started to experience morning sickness when pregnant with me at

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age 40, 215 years after she had my middle sibling, my sister, and then my my brother

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was 18 years older than me, she thought that I was actually stomach cancer.

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So I can imagine the amount of stress and

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cortisol that was washing over my little developing fetus until she came to realize

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that it was indeed me, a baby inside of her.

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And then because we have come from a history of a lot of chronic illness in my

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family and that older sister had a lot of chronic illness herself, very active

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around the time when my mom found out that she was even pregnant with me, then there

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was a lot of concern, right, more and more stress.

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So I'm sharing that because

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when this overwhelming, these overwhelming experiences happen, when we don't even

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have the capacity for language, talking about them is outright impossible.

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We don't have the story to narrate.

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It really is more in the sensations in our

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body in addition to and again, I'm really hesitant.

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I do like to describe the brain, but when I do describe it, I simplify it.

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And by no means is there any one area that is responsible for one thing in our brain.

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It's all interconnected kind of

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functioning together though, where trauma or our emotional world is

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stored in our brain is actually not necessarily the language area at all.

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And I'm just emphasizing this again before I get to the breadth of practice, is to

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highlight why for so many of us narrating talking about our story, if we even have

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access to the words to narrate, it doesn't actually create change.

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And some of us might even say, depending on how much we're consistently retelling

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the story and identifying it, going back to what you were talking about earlier, I

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might actually be keeping myself fuck in that idea or that belief that that is my

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whole story, not allowing myself to change.

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So dropping into the body, teaching my body in those moments first and foremost,

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maybe becoming aware when my body is dysregulated.

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So before we even get to a breathwork

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practice, we can even attune intentionally or become conscious of our breath to get

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some information about how stressed out our body even is.

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So if listeners right now are even to put a hand on their chest, if they feel

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comfortable, a hand on their belly, and maybe just if it's closing your eyes feel

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safe, for some of us, that can limit the external distraction.

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So I can really tune into my body.

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And if you were just to take a moment to

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just simply assess without judgment how and where do you feel your breath coming?

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And for the many of us who our breath is so faint.

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Or maybe you notice that I'm not even

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breathing and I'm a big person who holds my breath a lot.

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That might be an indicator that your nervous system is in that state of

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shutdown, that disconnected state that I was describing a lot.

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A bigger portion of you or another portion

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of you might notice that, oh, my gosh, my breath, I'm heaving out of my chest.

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It's really fuck, it's rapid.

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I almost felt like I just got back from a run.

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That might be evidence that your nervous

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system is in that fight or flight response.

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You're in that sympathetic nervous system

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of activated energy, a breath work that I like to talk about

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because a lot of us are too we have too much energy.

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Our chest is heaving, we feel anxious, we feel nervous.

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We can teach our body and shift the way

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we're intentionally breathing and teach ourselves how to breathe deeply.

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Each of us. Again, that could look like as simple as

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as difficult as this is, because something I noticed in myself, my posture even began

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to become so constricted, I got a hunched over shoulder look.

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All of this, again, related to all of this

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tension, stress in my body that I didn't ever know how to release.

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For me, when I learned about deep belly breathing, it was really difficult.

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I had a hard time

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breathing from every morning before I got out of bed is I would make it easier for

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my shoulders to relax, for me to access breathing from that belly space.

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And I just taught my body how to maybe for just five breaths.

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So anyone who's doing this might be maybe

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they choose to lay down if they're sitting, obviously if it's safe to do so.

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And maybe just putting your hand on your

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belly and teaching breathing deeply, feeling your belly inflate like a balloon

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and then calmly and sully allowing all of that to come out.

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And the reason why I'm always talking about the belly breath is because this is

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something we can do regardless of whoever is around us.

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It's kind of like our sneaky back pocket way that we can begin to regulate if we're

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in that heightened I'm breathing quickly, I'm feeling nervous, I'm feeling anxious

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state that a lot of us visit quite frequently.

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Even that deep belly breathing can shift

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us from that sympathetic response into that calming parasympathetic response.

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And we can maybe even be doing that once we learn how to do it.

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Sitting or laying before we get out of bed, then throughout our day, emphasizing

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this last part, because as a breathwork facilitator, I'm sure you say this often,

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it's not a magic bullet, it's not like a do one time at one point in your day and

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never do it again throughout the rest of your day.

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And expect your body to be regulated when you're having a stressful moment.

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It's how can I remain present and conscious too, as my body is starting to

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amplify, as I'm starting to feel the sensations of stress, which for a lot of

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us means getting comfortable, seeing, observing, witnessing.

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In the book, one of the exercises in the workbook is a stress ladder, where I

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invite readers to get a tune to their body to write from one to ten.

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What do I notice as I begin to annie up my stress?

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What is the first thing I notice is that I start to feel a little sweaty.

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I start to feel some tension.

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And then as that's happening now in real time, outside of maybe

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my presupposed breathwork moment in the morning, now I can learn how to take my

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body down in stress so that I can remain responsive.

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Because the reality of it is there is a

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point of no return when stress overwhelms my system, I will become reactive in that

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old habitual way, so we can become present.

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We can first notice in any moment how stressed is my body.

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A breath is a great place to look.

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Like I said, hand on belly, hand on chest, see how stressed I am.

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And then I can become intentional and bring my stress level down so that I can

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remain responsive regardless of what's happening around me.

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Yeah, thank you for that awareness aspect.

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I think I went about that backwards.

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I just started doing lots of more breath work and things, and then over time I was

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like, oh, I'm starting to notice where my breath is throughout the day, but I think

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it would have been really wise to actually make that a part of my day before.

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So thank you for that. That's beautiful.

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One of the questions from actually, a dear friend of mine, phone music.

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Phone, as in the deer.

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She asks,

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how can I soften to grief instead of hardening to anger and snapping?

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Which reminds me of prickliness.

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Well, that's my addition. Fun.

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I actually appreciate you even

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acknowledging because grief, sadness and anger are so interconnected,

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a lot of times you might even have heard it said that anger is kind of the surface

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and what's below the surface is that feeling of grief, of loss, of mourning.

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So I think even in the question understanding for listeners that those two

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are interconnected and for a lot of us, keeping in that surface level of the anger

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aspect of it not to minimize anger is often wrapped up in our grief.

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But keeping our focus solely on the anchor

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can allow us to maintain some semblance of control.

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I might feel more comfortable with what I

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can say or do or react from anger than if I were to really pull back that onion and

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look at it and acknowledge how deeply hurt and wounded I am.

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And when we're talking about healing in

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general, I do think that grief is a huge part of the journey.

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Loss is, I think, a very much a reality.

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So acknowledging loss means two things.

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It means allowing ourselves to have that experience or to put that label, peeling

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back that onion, that, yes, I feel angry, and I also feel sadness.

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And then to allow ourselves to actually feel it, I broke that up into two steps

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because we can say I'm sad, and I very much would say I'm things

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for some time, but not really allowing myself to feel sad, to sit in sadness.

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And again, for a lot of us, that's why we stay in anger, because I'm so much more

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comfortable with how my body feels comfortable meaning familiar, right?

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And again, I just want to highlight that

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because that which is familiar will always be more comfortable.

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Because I think anger is one of those

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places where some of us might be like, well, I'm not comfortable when I'm angry.

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I'm hurting myself, I'm hurting other people.

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But we're comfortable to the extent that we're familiar with it.

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And again, for a lot of us, like I said,

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Embodying, sadness can be so debilitating, so overwhelming, especially if we didn't

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have that support, especially if we didn't see sadness or grief in our homes.

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I mean, part of it for a lot of us is some of us came from homes that didn't allow

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certain feelings, didn't allow any emotions.

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We didn't talk about emotions largely in my family at all.

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There was no real moments of expressing

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sadness that I can at least remember where I even saw other people.

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And when we see someone else feeling sad,

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we're given first and foremost the message that it's okay to feel sad when we don't

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see anyone expressing things like sadness or grief.

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Normal human emotions we're left, but to interpret it as it's not okay to do that.

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So a lot of us, again, have that modeling.

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So it is very vulnerable to pull back the onion and to say, not only can I have the

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language and I'm feeling sad, I had a very real loss.

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But to allow my body to feel that sadness.

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So to answer the question,

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it's allowing our body to be sad, allowing it to be okay

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that we feel sad even if we might not have the language for why we're sad.

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I remember as I started to reconnect with

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my body and myself and really came to the awareness that I had a lot to mourn.

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I didn't have an emotionally connected childhood.

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I didn't have a parent.

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I had to mourn that which wasn't and I spent the better months.

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I mean, I shared one story of it and how to do the work of crying into a bowl of

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oatmeal without even understanding why I was so deeply, overwhelmingly sad.

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And just allowing myself not to

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understand, not to shame the sadness, to allow myself just to be in that puddle.

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And for me that continued for the better

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part of months, where I would just allow myself safely, of course, with supportive

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people, environments around me to just be in that sadness.

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Because it's not enough just to say yeah, I'm sad.

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I know logically this is that moment in

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time where logic doesn't change the allowance of myself to be sad.

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So saying I'm sad, saying I'm angry for

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the listener who asked the question, again, fawn might be when I have those

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moments of anger, maybe I can hit pause, I can explore, get curious, okay, I'm angry

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and might I be sad, might I be mourning something in this moment?

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And if I am, can I just take a moment to

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allow whatever sensations that I begin to become aware of?

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Because again, it's a process.

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If I'm not used to tuning in to how I'm

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feeling when I'm sad, it'll be difficult in the beginning.

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But can I allow myself to embody this

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sadness in a safe, contained way for just a moment in time?

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Because again, until I allow myself all of

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the feelings of sadness, of grief, even if we've gotten very good at distracting

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ourselves away from them, maybe at being angry and exploding, so I don't have to go

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deeper into what's really there, they're still there.

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So until again, I give them the life, allowing myself to express them by just

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being in presence with them, they will always remain.

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So obviously we keep going back to childhood.

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I mean, that just seems such a critical piece.

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And earlier you said around

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this idea of not being able to regulate until ages six, seven, etc.

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And how that? That I don't know.

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I got super sad when I was hearing just

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thinking about how much pain there is right now through all of us dysregulated

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humans wandering around trying to make sense of it all.

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And that again adds gratitude for this beautiful workbook you've put out there.

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So I want to tell just a brief story and

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then link it into another question, which I think will be very helpful for anyone

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who has kids or is thinking of having kids and is kind of wanting to explore that.

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So the story you were just telling around

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crying and again, I'm honoring my parents so much.

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This is just with so much love.

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I love my dad, I love my mom, I'm not holding this anymore.

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I used to hold it and I'm thankful for that work that has allowed me to forgive

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and release and come back to kindness and compassion.

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So in this case, the method they chose for helping me to regulate, which was

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actually helping them to regulate, was that when I would do something that they

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thought was inappropriate, they would say stop doing that.

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And if I tell you one more, this is the

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last time, I'm telling you, if you do it again, you're going to get a smack.

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Basically, that was their methodology.

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And so when I would feel those big feelings, the first time I ever had

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through an actual full tantrum was when I was an adult doing a breathwork session.

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It was the first time in my life that I

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felt safe enough to actually let my body have a fullblown, flailing arms crying.

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And I was like, wow, that's how that feels.

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Because if I tried that as a child, I would get hit.

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And then what happened is that at a

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certain age, my parents started getting divorced, and this whole thing unfolded.

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And for the first time, I really witnessed the vulnerability of my dad.

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Or the first time that I remember, I started seeing him crying.

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And when he would cry, which, as you say,

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could have been a sense of, oh, that's okay to do that.

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It's okay to express sadness.

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I remember clearly that I would sit there and be like, I feel so uncomfortable.

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I don't understand. He's crying, but he's not hurt.

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Why is he doing that?

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That's what I get hit for.

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And so the question that I have is from someone named Nurturing woman what is the

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most important thing for parents to focus on, to raise happy, authentic children?

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I appreciate, Nate, you sharing again so much of your journey.

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And again, I just want to acknowledge before I answer the question to parents,

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is that parenting advice has really shifted and changed over the years.

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I mean, there was a generation, my parents, that is that for a very long

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time, children were described more or less as a house plan with this idea that just

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keep them physically alive, quite literally.

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And that's the goal here.

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We didn't have any conversation of emotions and emotional world, definitely

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not mapping it back onto the nervous system like we now know is the case.

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So I have such compassion for my parents

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and any parent out there understanding that there are so many influences,

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including, like I said, mainstream parenting advice that has definitely

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changed for over the decades and centuries, that a lot of very well meaning

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parents were again utilizing and wasn't necessarily so helpful.

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So anytime I get any version of a question of how can I-X-Y or Z for my child, I

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first want to celebrate the parent for the conscious awareness of wanting to shift

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and change these intergenerational patterns to show up differently so that

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their child can have a different life experience.

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That's so commendable, that is so amazing.

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And the answer I usually give is not one I think that the asker of the question or

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the parent is maybe imagining, but it's not necessarily an instructive of what to

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say or do in those moments, because your ability to even be present with your child

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in those moments of overwhelming emotions, which is the goal, right?

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Be that safe, secure base, not making it a

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being able to be safe and secure enough to be present, not allowing their emotions,

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the child's emotions to overwhelm the parent so that then they could explore, be

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curious, not assign or assume what the child is feeling.

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Ask from the child what they're feeling, not assign or assume what the child should

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do next to feel better because that's what works for the parent.

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To allow the child to explore for

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themselves what they need to do for their emotions.

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So that is ultimately the goal, to be a guide, a supportive participant.

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I'm seeing your emotions, I'm creating a

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container so that you can remain safe while you're experiencing these emotions

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and I'm allowing you to have the experience so that over time you can

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develop confidence in regulating all of your emotions.

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So that's really the simplified goal.

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However, to do that, the focus first and foremost has to be on the parent

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themselves, the parent exploring how they navigate their own emotions.

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What are they modeling to the children,

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how available actually are they in these moments?

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Despite the greatest set intention, if an adult doesn't feel safe in their own

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sadness, they're not going to be able to be present when their child is sad.

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Chances are they're going to fall into their own habitual reaction to create that

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safety for themselves then modeling whatever that is for the child, which

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might not even be being able to be present for them at all.

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Telling them not to cry so that none of us have to feel overwhelmed or neither of us,

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I should say, have to feel overwhelmed in that moment.

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So the advice I will give to any parent

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and the reason why I do this work for the individual is because it really is

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reconnecting with ourselves, our own emotions, really exploring how we navigate

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emotions, so that we can become that safe, secure base.

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Whether it's our children, our romantic partner, our business partners, or whoever

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we want to relate to, really what's going to be most impactful is how safe are we?

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Are we allowing that safe connection, that

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safe expression and that ability to be in relationship?

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Or are we so overwhelmed that it is really

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only about us when we're in that Dysregulated state?

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Yeah, that's exactly it. That's the thing.

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It always comes back to I, to the self.

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That's the only thing any of us actually

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really have, I don't even want to say control, but have responsibility for

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is what we can develop responsibility for, the ability to respond.

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That's an inner process always.

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So this kind of leads into another question.

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We're actually almost at the end of the questions from the lovely people on

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Instagram, but it's also from Taren again and this one's more around couples.

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So it might be a very similar answer, but

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maybe there's a little snippet in there somewhere.

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But what is a tip that you would have for.

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Couples when triggered during conflict?

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Really great question and really common

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experience in our interpersonal, often romantic relationships is where those

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conflicts is the most emotions that can come to the surface.

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And we have to understand that even as per this entire conversation

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we're having, what we're bringing into our current adult relationships is so colored

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by our past, by those old reactive habitual patterns.

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So the greatest gift that we can give our partner is awareness of first and

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foremost, our own nervous system awareness.

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Knowing when we're entering that stressed out state, that point of no return where

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it doesn't matter how loving I want to be to you, I'm going to be reactive, I'm

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going to keep myself safe in the only way that I knew how to keep myself safe.

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And chances are it's not going to have a focus on your best interest at all.

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And so understanding when I'm in that space so that I can remain compassionate

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and connect it to my heart and ultimately to the loving being that I am and

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ultimately to you as partner, the loving being that you are.

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And another gift we can extend is by learning our partner's nervous system

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reactions as well, so that we can begin to identify when they're approaching that

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point of no return, so that we cannot engage, we can keep ourselves safe.

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We're not going to try to have that really

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serious conversation when our partner is yelling, screaming, so Dysregulated after

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a difficult day of work, we just need to talk to them right now.

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We're not going to set ourselves up to be speaking to a connected, compassionate

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individual on the other side of that conversation.

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So the workbook, I think, is a great tool for that individual awareness also for

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partners out there who are both on this journey of noticing these different states

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of nervous system dysregulation so that we can make choices that allow both parties

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to remain in that beautiful state of compassionate connection.

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And to speak to this point just really quickly.

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The next book, but I'm actually in the

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process of finalizing the manuscript for, is all on relationships, just this.

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So a really deep dive into exactly this conversation that we're having.

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It's based a lot in the nervous system as well.

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And ultimately the goal is to become a traumainformed partnership, which just

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means a nervous system informed understanding that both of us have nervous

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system states of Dysregulation that are going to take us out of that ability to be

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connected to ourselves, to our partners, and to the world around us.

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And when we have the language, I think we

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can gift our relationships with much more intentional, responsive choices.

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Yeah, I just had an experience a few days

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ago that I feel a bit embarrassed about, but I'll share it anyway because I think

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it might serve, which is that I hadn't seen my dear beloved Carly for a while.

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She'd been away and I went to meet her and

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we'd spent just, I think, two nights together and something happened.

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It was a little thing and I shouted at her.

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It was like so quick.

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And I have been so calm recently.

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I've been doing all my eye sparse, my breath.

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I've been feeling so regulated and even through intense things I've been feeling.

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But then, of course, meeting my closest

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partnership in my life and what was interesting about it and the

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reason I wanted to share it now is that, yes, I lost it in that moment.

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And after three or four breaths, I shouted

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once, and then I took a few breaths and I said, I regulated.

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I sat with it and we drove a bit more.

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And then I just spoke to her because we

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were driving at the time, and I just said, Listen, I'm really sorry.

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That was nothing about you, that was all

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about me, that I just went into a total state of overwhelm and I just lost it.

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And it's like, please, I'm sorry and thank you, please let me know.

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And then she could share.

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And it was immediately we could neutralize or dissolve or soften a situation that

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could have kept us silently driving together for hours.

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And so, yeah, I just wanted to.

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Share that I appreciate and I will also disclose a recent event myself.

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So with the release of the workbook,

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not only am I feeling excited, I have a lot of vulnerability.

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This idea of putting a work out into the world, being exposed, being seen.

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What will people think when stress for me goes up?

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Even exciting stress.

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Excitement is a version of stress to our bodies.

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It registers the stain.

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My sleep gets impacted, we have a full moon happening.

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I noticed for me, when the full moon, when

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we have those kind of planetary shifts, my sleep gets impacted.

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So sharing all this to describe my resources are limited.

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My resources, my stress, the way I'm sleeping, the way I'm eating, the way I'm

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just calming ground at navigating stress, or am I worrying like I'm sharing about

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this workbook will impact then my ability to tolerate general irritations, to

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tolerate things happening in my partnership.

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And very similar sounds like to your story very recently with stress.

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And I have two partners, we're all releasing a workbook, we're all feeling

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we're all not sleeping well, we're all feeling more or less the same.

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I've been irritable and we all have had a punchiness.

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And there was a moment a day or two ago

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where all I wanted to do was celebrate with the two partners who helped create

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the workbook and put it out and support it into the world.

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And yet I was irritable.

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And there was something that was said that I didn't like, that I raised my voice back

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and said something back that I didn't really mean.

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And then I thought to the bedroom of that

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program, you said something hurtful right giving myself a moment of space,

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illustrating, too, that some of us need space.

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I need to physically remove myself from that conversation, that conflict, whatever

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it is, this experience, to have that clarity.

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So, for me, it came in the bedroom when I

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hit play, and I noticed I can't really pay attention to what I'm watching because the

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reality of it is I don't want to be in here.

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I want to be connected to the people that I love.

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I didn't mean what I said.

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And very similarly, I put my tail between

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my legs, marched out of the bedroom, and I went and I apologized for the reactivity.

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I acknowledged that that was uncalled for.

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I did not mean what I said, and I

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acknowledge that in reality, I did want to share space.

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I might not have the resources to engage.

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And we all decided to sit quietly and

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watch a television program together on the couch.

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Beautiful.

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Thank you for sharing that story.

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I think for me, there's a gentleness the

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reason I wanted to share, and I'm so glad I did, because then I got to hear your

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story, but it's not about because I think, for me, a perfectionist.

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It's one of my patterns is I have to be perfect.

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If I make a mistake, it's destruction,

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and I don't feel it as much anymore, but I still have that.

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So to be able to even just tell the story and feel completely kind about it, like,

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with myself and hearing your story and just being like, oh, that's so human.

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We're so human.

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It's wonderful.

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So thank you so much for that opportunity and for sharing.

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Yeah, just look at us go.

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And to speak to the human point, Nate, there's so much there.

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I mean, the reality of it is, regardless

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of how spiritual or how much you identify with being a spiritual being or if you

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even have that belief system, we're all living in a human body.

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I mean, we actually just on the cellular sound board.

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Jenna, my co host and I just recorded a couple of episodes ago, was on just that

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navigating spiritual bypassing this idea of navigating life in human form.

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Right.

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We are all I really want to emphasize that we are all human.

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No matter how idealistic, how loving you

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might want to be in your mind, it's about being really honest with yourself, right?

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With grace and with compassion, not

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shaming yourself, really just understanding the humanity.

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And this is why I share so frequently and

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freely my own journey with hopes that you can see or hear it.

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Context details might be different, but if my journey and you sharing your stories

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like this, give someone the gift of that grace and that compassion to understand

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that we are all human, the idealistic, the want, right.

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Can only go so far as how can my body

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shift translate and embody that intention or that want.

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And for a lot of us again.

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Our bodies are so human, so disregulated that we're not giving ourselves the

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opportunity and it's of no fault of our own and it doesn't have any meaning around

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the type of quote unquote person, good or bad, that we are.

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We're human and we universally share that.

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Thank you so much for bringing that up.

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That's one of the big at the intro of this podcast.

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Anyone who's listening will have heard me say that this podcast is helping

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DownToEarth seekers and free people to live their truth and be the change.

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And the reason that I said DownToEarth was

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specifically because when people I often see an association with someone who's a

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seeker, a spiritual seeker, or someone who's on the journey of wanting, of

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transformation, really is often an association of getting out, like going

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somewhere when I can ascend I can transcend all these stories around.

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And for me, more and more it's become so clear that the highest tree is only that

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high because its roots are super deep in the darkness, like deep down in the soil,

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deeply integrated into all the underworld stuff.

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And that's what enables a really beautiful

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being to rise up, is having the capacity to be super rooted and embodied.

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So I'm so glad you said that.

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Thank you so much.

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Yeah, I think it's beautiful.

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I think I have a very large tree tattoo on my back.

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And trees, I think the symbolism, the

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meaning, right, literally, like you're saying how the roots literally reach, show

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down into the earth, are so grounded, yet go up to the heavens, thur leaves.

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I think I visit that visual a lot.

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So there's just one more question from someone and then I've got a big one I want

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to ask about the book, the contents of the book.

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So this is from Lily Zapata, who's

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actually a previous guest on this podcast, a wonderful human.

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So anyone who's listening, who wants to check her out as well, I recommend that.

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And she asks and this is a question I was kind of curious about myself, so I'll give

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a bit of pretext before I ask her a question, which is,

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you now, and I don't want to add any overwhelming here, but you have the

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attention of a lot of people in the world, like, really a huge amount.

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And one of the things I've often thought

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about and I'm not someone who has that kind of attention on me, but that

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attention itself becomes or can become or has the potential to be limiting.

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Because in the world, when enough people

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see someone a certain way, there's a sort of invitation or pressure to remain that

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way or be that way or embody that way in a way that might be a little unrealistic.

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So the question that she's asked is what

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has been the most difficult part of your job since you gained so much popularity?

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Very interestingly.

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I think this is the double edged sword of it.

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And again, all of this for me maps back on into childhood being used that we're kind

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of perfectionistic, I can merge that from you with achievement, right?

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Always trying to perform in a very particular way.

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So for me that tendency to do that began in childhood as a protection in absence of

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me feeling safe enough to just be authentically me.

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I shift it into this pattern of doing.

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Yet the internal conflict that I was describing earlier existed there as well.

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There was a deep part of me that just

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wanted to be enough, that just wanted to be seen for being who I was.

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Yet so unfamiliar was I with that.

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Because all I was used to functioning was in this kind of performance based role,

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this function quite literally for someone else.

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Whether it was because I was succeeding

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and making you feel good about your affiliation next to me or I was performing

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for you in a relationship, that was my familiar zone of being.

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So sharing all of that to say that as I

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came to the awareness and became conscious of how little I knew myself so therefore

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how little I was being authentic with the people around me, I was always modifying.

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I almost had an internal tape that I would play anytime I would want to say or do or

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express something of myself before I even allowed it to kind of come up.

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And outward I would almost have a vetting process where I would imagine how it would

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be for you for me to say this thing, feel this way, respond or react or do whatever

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it is that I was instinctually wanting to respond, react or do.

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And if I had any indication that it would

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cause you stress, worry or you would not react or you would not remain connected to

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me, you would get upset in some way, I wouldn't do it.

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And when I came to that reality, I really made a pact with myself to begin to

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practice being authentic, to express what it was for me.

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Even if the reaction on the other side was a misinterpretation and misunderstanding

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or a downright upset, you didn't like what I was saying.

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So for me, going online in general from

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the moment I first created that Instagram account was an exercise in just that can I

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practice sharing my story, what it was for me?

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And of course there was a concern whether

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it's the almost five, 6 million that we have following now or as the account was

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building, that fear of reaction, of how it would be, was there was present and

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remained so regardless of how many eyes are on me.

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While again there's this desperate part of

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me that just wants to be affirmed, validate, it wants to be

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enough for me, just being me in front of all of those eyes and all of those people

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to answer the question, then the daily struggle is still there.

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It's still very uncomfortable to have simply all of those eyes on me made more

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uncomfortable by, again, the filters that people put on.

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Like you're saying, we'll see we're all subjective, we're all filtering what we

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think we're seeing or hearing of someone else.

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I talk often about being misinterpreted.

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All of that is real, right?

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Once we're us, then it is up to interpretation of other people.

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So then it's navigating, of course, staying grounded and staying authentic to

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myself, regardless of what the people around me are doing, which of course is a

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byproduct of the more eyes on you, the more interpretations.

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But it's not in a vacuum.

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We all experience this whether or not you

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have the Instagram account with whatever many followers after your name, or whether

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or not this is just happening in your interpersonal relationships.

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We are all filtering, imagining, filling

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in stories, just like we did in childhood, right?

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To create the stories that we're usually using as our filters in all of our

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relationships, which again, the more authentic and grounded we are in our

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authenticity, the more we're able to tolerate those moments when people aren't

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getting us or when people aren't liking what they are seeing.

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Because the reality of it is there's a ton of people on this earth.

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Not everyone is for us.

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Not everyone is going to feel safe or not everyone is going to be a person that

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we're interested in continuing connection with.

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And that's okay too.

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Well, this actually leads perfectly into

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the final question I have for you, other than anyway, there's one more little one.

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We'll see how we do for time.

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But I want to read you a quote, which you

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may have already heard it's from Gabor Mate.

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And for any listener, I think it would also be very beneficial.

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And it spoke deeply to me when I read it first.

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So he says, as a child, we have two fundamental needs.

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One need is attachment.

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The other need is authenticity.

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Authenticity is the connection to ourselves.

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Because without authenticity, without a

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connection to our gut feelings, just how long do you survive out there in nature?

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So authenticity is not some New Age pseudospiritual concept.

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It's actually a survival necessity.

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What happens if in order to survive or to adjust to your environment, you have to

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suppress your gut feelings, you have to suppress your authenticity?

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And so that leads me into the question, which is what you've just been sharing

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about, but how would someone reconnect with this authentic self?

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Or what is that authentic self?

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And how does someone begin or move forward

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in that journey of connection or reconnection?

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I appreciate you reading that.

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I love Dr. Matte's work.

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I think it's just so incredible and

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paradigm shifting, and I'm very much in alignment with all of it.

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And there's no simple answer, as I'm sure listeners are probably aware.

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I wasn't going to give us necessarily

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simple answer to this question because it's a process.

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And I very intentionally structured the

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workbook to embody that process which begins, maybe you're not so surprised to

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hear what I'm going to say is now in the body.

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Because to be authentically connected to us, our body needs to feel safe.

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Our emotions are the sensations like I was sharing that are running through our

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bodies, whether or not we're connected to that body or not.

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Need to feel like safe terrain so that I

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can attune to those deeper instincts that Dr.

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Matte is talking about.

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That inner guidance that you'll hear me say that intuition that's inside of us, if

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our body is not safe, if our body is dysregulated and it's going to continually

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tell us that circumstances are unsafe based on past experiences.

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With similar circumstances, maybe not even reflecting the accuracy of the moment and

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or of my new toolkit that I can begin to employ in that moment.

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Ultimately, I need to feel safe, grounded and regulate it in my body.

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So the journey begins with creating that

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conscious awareness of how is my body doing?

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Even that exercise we went through

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together at the beginning, how regulated is my nervous system really attuning to

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all of the dysregulation that many of us are carrying with us?

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And then as we create a safer space in our body, we can peel back to the next layer.

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The whole section two of the workbook talks about our emotional self.

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All of the stories, everything we've just been talking about that have been created

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and repeated and rehearsed over time, filtering our current relationships, right

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of our ego, of our shadow, of our inner child, all of the impact of our past and

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what we've come to believe as a result of that.

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All of the filtering and coloring that's

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doing of our current experiences until I become conscious of the impact of that.

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And just like Dr.

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Frankel said earlier, create some space

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for new responses that allow me to remain connected to myself and others around me,

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I'm not going to be able to truly attune to my instincts, my deeper intuition.

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So it's peeling back, building the

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foundational safety and connection in my body, peeling back all of the impacts by

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seeing it first, by creating regulation and grounded safety in the current moment.

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So that then the final section that you'll meet, which is, I'm sure, the main reason

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why most people will pick up the workbook to meet yourself.

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The final section is about the authentic self.

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Now that I have space, now that I have safety, now I can begin to spend time,

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right, because it doesn't just come up like magic.

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Oh, well, this is who I am now.

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I need to take those moments to drop in,

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to ask me how's this feeling, this experience, what do I want to do next?

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What do I need?

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That's actually how we utilize our intuition.

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It's breaking a habit for most of us have of looking out of vetting the world like I

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used to do, this person told me that I should and

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hitting pause and asking me what I should do.

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And that is our goal of learning how to

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create that safe space so that I can attune to because the authentic self is of

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course these higher order things or these more self actualized concepts like purpose

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and passion, but it also is built by connecting to my unique body.

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What does my body need?

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How do I need to show up in service of maintaining that safe connection so that I

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can drop into and have space for things like purpose and passion?

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Because if my body doesn't feel like its needs are being consistently met, it's not

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going to prioritize purpose, passion, creativity, imagination.

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It's going to prioritize getting those needs met in terms of survival.

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So it's a process of beginning with

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becoming conscious, creating safety in the body, seeing the impact of our past so

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that we can become more responsibly connected in our present moment and then

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being connected in our present moment with ourselves.

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Building in those moments to drop in and

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explore and first be curious and then explore those deeper intuitions.

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That's the journey of reconnecting with

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and of meeting and of living ultimately in our authentic self.

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Simple though not easy.

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Simple though a daily process and commitment.

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But I think breaking it into the simple, practical whys and hows might make them

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the consistent application, more approachable, which is my intention.

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No, that's exactly what I'm just hearing you speak, I really feel like I wish that

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I'd had this book 1015 years ago, whenever long ago.

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But I'm so glad that it's existing now

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because having looked through and seen like, oh my gosh, so much of these things

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that I have integrated into my life, you've laid them out in a really

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straightforward, straightforward way that people can actually follow step by step.

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And I think that that is such a gift to take all of this information and move it

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into a place with a languaging and an intention and a look that is so attractive

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and so just like, oh, I can do this, this is available.

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So again, I thanked you a lot.

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But thank you again, Nada.

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It truly, truly means the world hearing that.

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Because again, most of these concepts have

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been spoken about by into the ages, by people, by theorists.

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I read a million books on the ego and for a lot of us, again, it just remains as

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this concept out there, maybe a very well intentioned one that I might want to

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engage with, but we don't have the understanding of how to simplistically

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understand it and apply it and make those habits consistent.

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So hearing that, that's translating to you, hoping that it translates to many

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other readers out there, that's my goal is to make it feel approachable.

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Because I know one of the byproducts of

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living in this very reactive cycle that we've been talking about for so long.

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Driven by nervous system dysregulation is how little we feel empowered, how much we

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feel like we cannot change based on the reality that we haven't had that

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opportunity for that space to become responsive.

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All we've been living is literally a reactive pattern after the next.

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So it's understandable that you wake up at whatever decade it is and you don't feel

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like you have the power to change though giving people the approachable tools, even

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the understanding of why you feel so disempowered.

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My hope is that that can create the space for this daily commitment.

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Because change really can lead to lifetime transformation based on these small

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promises each day, based on the commitment to become conscious and to string together

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so many new choices that what we've done without even us knowing it half the time

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is we've created a new set of habits for ourselves.

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Well, thank you again.

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And I just have one more question to ask

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you, which is when you hear the words we are already free, what comes up for you?

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Just like sharing with you.

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When I saw that you had switched the name

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of your podcast into this name, I got full body chills.

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And I smile really big because there's so

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much truth in that statement, a new truth that I've come to.

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Believe over time, which is that I believe that if we can create this habit of being

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a conscious being, of course, understanding that many of us have to heal

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our bodies in the dysregulation, that prevents us from being.

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That the reality of it is there is a being inside of everyone listening that has the

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ability, the possibility of feeling already free.

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And I'm being very intentional about that

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language because I know a lot of us aren't living in that state of felt freedom.

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We're constricted by these patterns, these

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habits, even these identities that we've wrapped around ourselves.

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And we might not even believe it when I'm

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saying that there is a being inside that has the possibility of living a free life.

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So for me, I've internalized that belief that I've always been already free.

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It's just a matter of creating alignment now with this vessel that I've been gifted

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to, kind of embody of this terrain of Earth school.

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I have to teach my body to live in alignment with that belief.

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Thank you so much.

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Nicole, your energy for me also, having

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spoken with you now, I think it was two or three years ago.

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Yeah, I can't remember exactly, but your

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whole energy to me looks maybe because my energy is so different, but I see just you

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sitting across the world on a camera screen right now, but you have a certain

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life force energy that I am just so enjoying being a part of.

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So thank you so much again.

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And just one more practical question,

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which is those who are listening and who are now going, I need this book.

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I need to know more about this human.

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Like, let's get involved.

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Where would they do all those wonderful things?

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Well, thank you first, Nate, for your

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time, for your interest, however many years back it was in talking to me then,

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in having this conversation with me now, and also for sharing that shift in

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awareness and perception, I should say, of me.

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And I think it very much aligns with my continued evolution of having so many more

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moments now where I am truly aligned, where I'm not censoring right, like I

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shared in the beginning, I had a lot of fear.

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There was a lot of, like, oh, can I say

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this this way, having the freedom now to have safety and security and just being

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me, I think is translating to what you're perceiving now.

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I feel so much more connected in flow in

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these moments, so much more passionate and purposeful.

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Again, because I'm just truly in my presence.

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I'm not fearing, I'm not vetting.

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First and foremost, able to be in presence with you.

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I'm not distracted elsewhere like I spent so much of my life.

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But again, before I end with where you can

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find me, these aren't all the moments of my life.

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I still have moments, like I said, where

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I'm prickly, where I'm reactive, where I'm disconnected, where I'm dissociated.

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So by any stretch of the imagination, I do not want readers to part with this idea

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that I've reached this utopian and now I'm here.

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I mean, there's moments of time where I am still a human being, but I remain

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committed to keeping my body resourced enough that I can continue to remain

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responsive, always dropping in for meats to my heart so that I can be in alignment

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with who I really am and what I really want.

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If you have any of interest of following

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along and outside, of course, of the workbook, which is now, I'm hopefully

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available on all of the major retailers, so wherever you like to buy books, you

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should be able to find a copy now of how to do the work.

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I invite anyone listening to follow me across all of the social media platforms

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now, where my handle is the holistic psychologist on Instagram, where it began,

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holistic Psychologist.com, that we have a TikTok, a YouTube, a podcast.

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I invite you to follow me on any of those platforms because my commitment, in

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addition, obviously, to putting out comprehensive resources like a workbook

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that I have behind me, it's to have these conversations for free, to make sure that

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regardless of wherever you're listening around the world, this is information that

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you can utilize, maybe make sense of and employ in your life.

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In addition to I want to shout out the incredible community of self healers.

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When I put that first post up, however

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many years ago it is, I set the intention of creating a hashtag with my hope to.

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Anyone who resonate it with the language I

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was using with my journey, who wanted to be a part or help create the safe,

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supportive community could find and connect with each other.

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So whether or not you're buying the

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workbook, I have a website too, the Holisticschychologist.com and how to Meet

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yourself.com with more information about, again, where to buy the book, though it

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should be available in all major retailers by this point.

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Again, I invite you to follow along with all of the free resources that I remain

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committed to always putting out for the collective so that these conversations can

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happen and so that this connection with a safe community can be created.

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For all of you listening, thank you.

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Nicole Lepera, the Holistic psychologist.

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Thank you for doing your work, for showing

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up for it, for being the person that you are in all your humanness.

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I love when I join a circle, a men's circle I'm part of.

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And the initial welcoming we say to each other is all of you is welcome here.

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And so thank you for bringing all of you into this world and for gifting us and for

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the reflection that we all get to experience through that as we all walk

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each other home, as Rumda says so beautifully.

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So thank you again, it's been a real pleasure and an honor and a privilege.

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Thank you. Of course, thank you.

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And thank you, as you do, for sharing so much of yourself and your journey.

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It's truly an honor to remain connected to you.

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Thank you again to Dr.

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Nicole Lepera for prioritizing time to

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share her gentle wisdom with us here on the We Are Already Free podcast.

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You can find links to Nicole's Instagram

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book website and all the things we talk about in the show notes on whatever app

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you're listening or directly at Alreadyfree Me.

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Howtomeetourself that's also where you'll

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find a link to download my free five minutes to you guided, breath work

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meditation, which, as I mentioned earlier, is 100% free.

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Finally, to enjoy the full length video

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version of this podcast, join the Patreon Tribe.

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The link to that is you guessed it in the show notes.

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Thank you for joining me on this wild and beautiful journey.

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Please share this episode on your socials

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in emails, leave a review and follow wherever you listen to podcasts to be

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first to hear about the new episodes coming out every week.

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Until next time next week.

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Thank you so much for being on this path with me.

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I wish you all the blessings.

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And please remember that you are already free.