[00:00:00] Welcome to Move With Deb. I'm Deb your friendly neuroplastician. And this is a podcast that explores the relationship between the body and the mind from a health at every size, judgment, free perspective. I teach you how developing a new internal conversation based on curiosity, self friendship and simple neuro-plasticity techniques can rewire your bodymind out of pain and emotional overwhelm to help you build the rich full life that you want to live. Disclaimer, this is not a replacement for medical care.
[00:00:50] I am going to tell you a story about an experience of fear and anger. So I just recorded a podcast. Um, talking about fear, being the main symptom that we are really addressing in this mind body work. And what I realized I did not do was explain how to allow and process and experience of fear.
[00:01:19] And this morning, the universe provided a beautiful opportunity for me to get deeper into this experience with you. One of the ways that I love to teach is through storytelling and through describing my own experiences because I am a kinesthetic learner and maybe you are too.
[00:01:40] So I opened my email. I got an email from NYU. I had gone to see a doctor about some knee pain that I was having. There's a lot of feelings about that appointment, um, which I will discuss at another time. So already I was like, Hm. Then I saw it was a bill. And when I was at my appointment, my copay was $8. So my thought at that time, Wow, this is amazing. I love having health insurance. Isn't this great.
[00:02:16] So today I get a bill. The bill is for over $2,000. My heart stopped when I saw that amount, I literally froze. My whole head wanted to explode and I started to feel anxiety, symptoms, fear, and then anger. So one, my face got hot and red. My heart started pounding. My stomach dropped, and this is all happening in the blink of an eye. So one of the things that I noticed, one, I just, because I do my practice, I Notice, I noticed what was happening. I was having a physiological response to this sensory input, to this email coming into my inbox that I opened. And there was a surprise.
[00:03:15] There was information that I was not expecting to have. And it was information that was not great. It's not like they told me I won $2,000. Like they were paying me $2,000 to go to the doctor. Right. So there was this disconnect between kind of the experience I had or what I had expected. And then the information that I was getting now.
[00:03:39] So there was a certain startle surprise experience for my nervous system. And I noticed that I am particularly sensitive to those kinds of shifts that when I think things are going to be a certain way when they're not that way, my nervous system reacts to that like somebody just jumped out of a dark corner and yelled boo, or even worse, like whatever the worst version of that is.
[00:04:15] But, so there's that sense of startle and alarm. Which sends my nervous system into a state of sympathetic activation. And sometimes that will kind of tip me over into a freeze experience. Or sometimes that's just kind of like anger, this, this, this feeling of lava rising up inside of my body.
[00:04:41] And you can imagine each person that experiences that differently, maybe somebody yells and maybe somebody throws something across the room. Maybe you burst into tears. I cycled through kind of a number of experiences. One was shock and surprise. And part of that was, I thought it meant I misunderstood something.
[00:05:05] That I had been wrong. And that part was like my first assumption. That this was my fault. One, that this was a problem. And I have an opinion about our healthcare system, so that whether or not it's a problem on that level, that's a different conversation. But I thought that this was a problem. That this was an emergency and that it was my fault.
[00:05:33] And I started to react to that sense of shame arising in my body. What's important to recognize is we have sensory experiences and then our brain interprets them. This was definitely being interpreted as something dangerous and possibly, and then my brain's favorite song is to tell me that I'm doing it wrong.
[00:05:58] That's kind of its first guest is like, well, it must've been, you like, it had to be somebody, which of course is a whole nother question of, of whether or not judgment. Like whether or not even that statement needs to be something that's my first go-to.
[00:06:15] I looked at it in their system. I understood why they were billing it to me. I finally made the connection, right? Like when my brain was able to think, I realized, yes, it is January. Yes. I have a deductible on my insurance. And so that's why my insurance did not pay this bill because. It's part of my deductible. And that bit of knowledge, that bit of cognitive information coming into my nervous system actually calmed me down because it, it answered two of the problems.
[00:06:56] One, this is not an emergency. And two, it's not my fault. I did not set up the rules for health insurance. Um, and yes, maybe I could have remembered that maybe like, I, you know, my brain really wants to believe it's my fault. I'm sure I could find a ton of evidence to maintain that belief, but I'm not interested in maintaining that story. So I got more information and then my nervous system calmed down, my brain was able to think again. And then the next thing that happened was I felt anger. I remembered the way that I was treated in the doctor's office which I did not like. So I have had thoughts and memories that triggered this sense of anger and injustice.
[00:07:49] One that not only did I have to pay for this appointment, when I have health insurance, my opinions and thoughts about what the deductibles are. How they possibly keep people away from using their health insurance. Then being kind of mad that I had to pay for this experience that was subpar in my belief, that was my experience. And now I have to pay for it. And boy did that make me feel angry. But that anger had a different quality to it.
[00:08:28] Now it was still a large, loud sensation in my body, but that one was more like fists clenching, shoulders up, like ready to fight, like wanting to hit a target, like feeling, you know, like the fury of a thousand suns burning through me. And that sense of wanting to right some kind of injustice. It was no longer reflected inward towards me as being something I did, being some blame that I prescribed to myself. But they're both mind body processes. Right? We have thoughts. We have feelings and those feelings are experienced in our body as sensation based on this kind of sensory input. So my sensory input was this email and bill that I got from the doctor.
[00:09:33] And for me, the piece that I'm working on rewiring is that initial shock and surprise piece. That, that kind of like when something goes, not the way that I have expected or decided or believed it should go or would go, or had gone. When I bring into my being some contrary bit of evidence, whether it's somebody else's experience being different than my own, whether it's words that somebody says that contradict what I think either happened or should happen, or even when I'm scrolling on the internet and people are just saying things that I disagree with, sometimes there's the sense of shock..
[00:10:29] Sometimes there's this sense of this threat that's somehow those words could harm me. This is the nervous system operating as designed. I am moving into a state of fight or flight. I am preparing to defend myself Except what I'm defending myself from is my own thoughts, my own perception. And it's not to say that my perception is wrong and somebody else's perception is right.
[00:11:01] This is about, for me, understanding my mind and body and how they work together, becoming familiar with my own sense of creating safety. So if I were to do this again, knowing what I had just gone through, I think what I would do would be before reading that email, just say whatever it says, I can handle it, whatever this email says I will figure out. I have figured out everything I have figured out so far, whatever this says, I will figure it out, grounding into my own sense of security, sense of wellness, having my own back, the belief that my safety is not threatened by any of this information.
[00:11:52] So that's what I would do differently when it happens as it will happen. Knowing what is happening is so essential for being able to resource yourself with some self-compassion. With a real sense of safety. I can recognize yes, I had a reaction, but I am not in danger right now. And you can do that by assessing your current state of reality. I am reading an email. I am sitting in my room. There is nothing threatening me. I am safe. Even if I am dealing with a situation that I would rather not be dealing with, I am not in danger right now. It's important to just practice that skill, whether we catch it beforehand or whether we get it while it's happening, it really doesn't matter.
[00:12:51] Because we're going to have things that show up in our life that are not the way that we want them to be in that moment. And we can practice grounding and rooting into safety regardless. And some of that is just to witness the sensations that are happening in your body, with a sense of curiosity, sense of love.
[00:13:17] Oh, anger. I see you. Yes. You think that what is happening is very wrong. I really appreciate this about you, that you care so deeply about justice, about what you believe is right. And what you believe is wrong.
[00:13:37] Hello, shame. I know that you think that you did something wrong and I love you. I want you to know that no matter what, you, you are not wrong. Even if you make mistakes. You are not wrong as a person. You are completely and fully worthy of love and being alive. And I am going to give that to you. All the time when things are going well. And when things are not going well.
[00:14:09] Let's see, what else do we say hello to? Hello fear! The fear of, how am I going to pay this bill? The fear of how do we navigate these systems? Oh, the fear of feeling like I made a mistake, maybe there's other mistakes that I've made and I just don't know. What else is scary that's going to come through my email to me today, right? This sense of fear, feeling like I thought I was okay, and now I'm not okay. That's a little startling. That's a little frightening. There's this part of me that wants to believe the certain things mean that I'm okay. And part of this work is to expand that belief that I'm okay no matter what. I am okay because I can allow myself to feel things and I can let those uncomfortable feelings always steer me towards greater love, curiosity, and compassion for myself, for other people who are hurting and struggling. For these broken systems that we want to be different and better. For this precious human moment.
[00:15:26] My feelings are for me to experience. And when I allow myself to lean into. To not run away from them, to not believe that they shouldn't be happening I can learn everything I need to know about what's going on. And I can let them move through me really quickly. That whole process that happened, maybe it was five minutes, a little rise of anger, a little rise of shame, a little rise of fury. A little rise, a frustration. Moving through my body. My body is this conduit for feelings and sensation. You cannot only have the ones you like and not have the ones you don't like. The body is the vessel and the vehicle by which we feel. So when we allow, sink in, surrender, invite, welcome. Hello fear, I see you. Hello anger, I really respect you.
[00:16:34] We don't have to keep pushing things away. We can allow it to move through us, move on, you know, and then meet those feelings with love friendship, ease, curiosity, compassion, humor.
[00:16:54] I can't tell you how many times a day I laugh at my brain because my brain just is pretty much running around being like, did you do this wrong? Did you do this wrong? Like, is this the thing that you did wrong? Like it can find anything, the way you lay the toilet paper roll. The way that I just threw out some coffee grinds and they kind of fell on the floor and I was like, oh no, I have to ask people on the internet, how to throw out coffee grinds.
[00:17:24] And then I was like, all right, I can just have spilled some coffee grinds on the floor, coffee grounds. See, I don't even know if I said that right. And that's okay. When we're willing to do things wrong when we're willing to make mistakes, when we're willing to meet ourselves with friendship no matter what. That's, when we can deal with the world as it is.
[00:17:49] So that is my invitation to you to be with and allow your feelings. I'm going to record another audio just about what that experience is like to just allow and process an emotion. But this was a little story that hopefully helps you understand the point of all of it. I know for me, I like to understand why, before I go off and do things. And maybe eventually I'll just go off and do things and not have to understand why, but this is where I'm at right now. This is part of my healing process. And so I want to invite you into your process. Thanks for listening.