[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] Hello, everyone. And welcome to move with Deb. The podcast. This is episode 47. Today, I just want to check in how are you? How is everyone who is listening to this podcast doing right now? I recognize that we are on the verge of the second year anniversary of all of the COVID, changes, shut downs, shenanigans.
[00:01:22] It's a very significant anniversary for me as well. And so I've been doing some reflecting. And the first thing I notice is that I don't actually want to make time for reflecting. I want to just keep going forward and being busy and doing the things that I'm doing. And I'm trying to honor all the parts of me that want to be heard and want to be seen.
[00:01:52] I noticed that even just this idea of surviving when other people haven't brings up lots of feelings. And, when I think about the past two years, the first thing my mind does is think about people that I've lost. So one of the things that I'm thinking about doing is just, you know, making time in my life to touch in with this sense of grieving, with this sense of both being excited with where I am in my life and moving forward.
[00:02:26] And also recognizing that more than one thing happens at the same time. And that if I don't make room for my emotions to be felt, they generally kind of make themselves felt through me in ways and times that are inconvenient. I've been thinking a lot about emotions. I've been doing a lot of talking with my clients about emotions. I think we have this primary misunderstanding of what an emotion is .
[00:03:03] Emotions are very real in that they are experienced in the body, by the body, they're of the body and all emotions are our normal human physiological experiences. And what's amazing as we can grow up and nobody really teaches us about them. How to have them? And, we just learn about emotions from the culture around us, from our caregivers, from the people in the world who we learn from.
[00:03:40] In a lot of ways, that's not sufficient. Because sometimes what we learn are a lot of unhelpful patterns that are really more, either emotional overwhelm or emotional suppression. This week I have been talking about, what is the third option, which is emotional awareness, emotional friendship.
[00:04:03] Over and over and over again this week I have had clients tell me that they experienced an uncomfortable emotion, like anger, and instead of repressing it or obsessing it repressing or obsessing, they allowed it, they experienced it. They welcomed it as an experience that they're having right now in this moment..
[00:04:31] I had one client who normally would be up all night, like woke up in the morning, was feeling angry. So maybe woke up at like five o'clock in the morning. I was feeling angry about something that had happened in their life and met that moment of anger with awareness and with self-compassion and also the sense of peace. So not resisting it, not obsessing about it. And they were able to go back to sleep. So it's not that we don't feel anger or tell ourselves we shouldn't be feeling something. It is that way that we meet ourselves when we are feeling. And that is the process that we can create inside of us.
[00:05:17] About learning, how to have emotions, experience emotions, pleasant, unpleasant, high arousal, low arousal. When we get curious about what does this feeling feel like in my body, even just that sense of curiosity can change our physiological response to an emotion.
[00:05:43] I know that people are feeling a lot of things, possibly a lot of fear. I see people talking about being afraid of nuclear war, being angry at Russia, feeling afraid for the people of Ukraine. And none of those feelings are wrong. It's not about ignoring feelings. To be able to like be productive and get on with your day and serve the capitalist machine.
[00:06:15] It is about holding all things as true in this moment. There are things that I want to do for work, and I also am experiencing this sadness or this despair or this anger or this confusion. I'm often very confused about war. When I just make space for those feelings to be real in my body to be felt and to be experienced and to be witnessed, I don't need to repress them and I don't need them to go away so I can do the other things I want to do in my life.
[00:06:59] I want to recommend listening to my somatic tracking audio or how to process an emotion podcasts. But I, I just wanted to come on here and give you that example of my client, who is able to go back to sleep after feeling and processing anger.
[00:07:18] I also worked with another client about sleep and one of the problems that they were having about getting to sleep. Both the resistance to like going to bed, but also the emotions that were arising as they were having that quiet time that they felt like their brain wanted to keep going, that their body wanted to keep going. So we talked about solutions, you know, what's important in the way that I coach is. I don't know the answers for you. I can tell you some things about sleep that might be helpful, but oftentimes what we do is this process of discovery.
[00:08:04] What are you thinking when you're laying down and you are noticing that you don't want to go to bed? What are the things that you do? Do you pick up your phone? Do you distract yourself? What are the sensations in your body? Are you feeling activated? Are you ruminating? Are you trying not to feel something?
[00:08:27] And this process of self inquiry is all we need because. It's not that you have a sleeping disease. It's that there are processes happening in your mind and body that are getting in the way of sleep. And unless we start to examine what is going on, we're not gonna know. That's the problem with medication sometimes is like, we treat the symptom, but we don't get any clarity. We don't create any data or information that allows us to interrupt a pattern. Right. We have a lot of learned conditioned responses and we can learn new conditioned responses or unlearned conditioned responses. That process involves observation. So one of the things that they discovered was, you know, what they really wanted was to be the person who went to sleep when they decided they wanted to go to bed or stay awake when they decided they wanted to stay awake. And that was a very nondramatic not catastrophizing, very kind of neutral, nervous system state of being. And I was like, great. That's something sounds really worthwhile working on to be the person that chooses now as the time I'm going to go to bed.
[00:09:56] Or now is the time I'm going to stay awake because of whatever reason thing that I'm doing. And if you like your reasons, then you should do those things. But it's when we get into this entire should storm, where we are both awake and thinking we should be asleep and predicting doom for tomorrow and telling ourselves, you know, I am just this kind of person who doesn't sleep.
[00:10:24] Right. Can you see how fraught these things become? And the more fraught we are. More activated our nervous system is, the less likely we will be able to go to sleep or fall asleep. Um, I read a lot of literature and I could probably find some and share it with you. But so much of what I read besides all the sleep hygiene about preparing yourself for sleep is when you are trying to fall asleep the idea is just to be as content with laying and falling asleep. The more fraught we are, the more upset we get, that is the opposite of the peaceful state of resting. And so we can choose that we are resting, even when we are not asleep. I think that's an important distinction. Sleep isn't something that just happens to us. It's a choice that we make.
[00:11:24] So when you go to bed, just say developing this habit of curious awareness, which last week's podcast was all about curiosity. You can bring that to any situation. What am I thinking? What am I feeling? What is the felt sense of this thought? What am I noticing about myself and what am I making that mean?
[00:11:46] And then we can practice the opposite, if I want to rest, how do I choose rest? What does that feel like? What happens when I think I'm the person who's choosing to go to sleep right. And just notice what thoughts and feelings arise, because that will tell you, maybe you'll hear a voice that says, yeah, you never do the things you say you're going to do. I don't believe you.
[00:12:13] And that's just, it's just a voice in our head. Our subconscious thought about ourselves, you know, in those moments, What I suggest is to lean into some self compassion into some, self-love, maybe some self-soothing, a hand on the heart, a sigh, some gentleness. But also you can say, I am the person becoming someone who decides to go to sleep.
[00:12:41] And then we're leaning into the practice of possibility. This is an activity that you are learning to do. It's okay to not know how to do something before we learn it. Learning is an active process. It involves failing. So it involves not doing until we do. And that's normal. We can give ourselves a lot of grace and a lot of peace.
[00:13:04] If you'd like to know more about how to incorporate these practices, these mind-body awareness practices into your life. Just stay tuned to my Instagram which is @movewithdeb. I will be letting you know about a new program I've got going on, which is incorporating my fear brain and chronic pain program with this self coaching practice. Creating one way for you to work with me and for you to learn on your own and build these skills to have for your life forevermore to help you feel better, moving away from confusion and working in connection with one another. So just stay tuned to my Instagram and I will continue to let you know more about how to work with me in the future. Thank you.