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Wayne Andersen

Session 8: How Our Self Concepts Hold Us Back

In this session of the Conscious Leaders Forum, we discuss how our self-concepts hold us back. There are different types of thoughts that affect us, and through awareness, we can learn to control them. Control your thoughts and you’ll improve your self-concept.

Video Transcript

Dr. A: Well, welcome everybody to our conscious leadership forum. We’ll get going, we’ll give an opportunity for everybody to kind of settle in and get ready to go. We got an exciting day ahead of us and I’m really really excited about what we’re going to be talking about too. This is one of the fundamental things that as we develop and grow, and open up, and develop a healthy mind, that we understand. So, I think you guys are really going to enjoy it. Hopefully there’ll be some insights here, and then as always, we’ll— once we get going, we’ll add some questions. 

So, hope you all are having a great week so far as it starts off and, just excited about the opportunity, being able to share some of my thoughts and my learnings with you and hopefully create great discussion where everybody can learn from this. So with that, as you can see today I’m going to be talking about how our self concepts hold us back, but before we go I really want to talk about, within this forum, something that we’ve added. We’ve created easier ways for you to focus on your mind. The drwayneandersen.com website is my thought leader site that I use and communicate with other thought leaders and I’ve now added this whole new portal where we’re gonna have blogs, as well as the recording, and the forum transcripts in this, so you’ll have easy access to it. So, you can just jot down drwayneandersen.com, again make sure you spell my last name with an “e.” s-e-n, and we’ll be able to go there and you’ll be able to see the recordings. 

All the sessions will be stored there so you can go back and review them of course, this service or informational forum that I’ve created and sharing with you is for everybody, it’s not just for people that are part of our, already our, health network, but for anyone that’s interested in working on themselves. It’s one of the exciting things that as this work continues, as I learn more about how we can help people and I want to make sure it’s free for anybody even outside of the shadow of our coaching network. It’s an opportunity for people to kind of explore themselves, have an opportunity for them to grow and you know hopefully over time, they’ll understand the importance of having a mentor, having a coach, and really learning all the key aspects. 

So with that, let’s get started. So basically the forum is set up and it’s set up specifically as a place, a meeting, or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged, and so what I normally do is a little bit of teaching, going over some key concepts and then we open it open it up for all of you to ask questions and Rachel will help moderate those questions so when you have a question or something comes up, make sure you let her know that you’d like to explore or ask that and you know, having the courage to get on and really explore that is great because not only will it help you, it helps me, and it will help the whole audience because sometimes when we ask questions, they’re things that are on our minds and so that’s what makes this so neat, because you have an opportunity to work together. 

So, how our self concepts hold us back? Very interesting subject, very important for our progress. Never been more important than it is now and so we’re going to talk a little bit more about that. First, I like to always define consciousness. Consciousness is basically the state of being aware of your surroundings, the things in your outside world, your thoughts inside, and your feelings. All these things are not you. They are— sometimes we get confused and we think that that voice in our head is actually us, and it actually isn’t. It is just simply thoughts, and we’re going to talk about the different types of thoughts today and how they affect you, and how by becoming more aware, and that’s really going to be the takeaway today. 

How you can be more aware of these different parts of how your mind works. So then, you can control those thoughts and be able to put your mind where you want, when you want, for as long as you want, and stop a lot of that internal talk and suffering and just struggle that seems to be the human predicament. With that, let’s just do a little review. A couple of these slides that are review slides, most of them are new. But first, conscious of our outside world, I think it’s very clear to you, and I look over at a plant here in my office and I see the plant, I know that plant’s not me, I know you guys are the same, right? 

There’s the outside world, a lot of times we don’t see the outside world because that inside world is going non-stop and it doesn’t allow us to really focus on what’s going on and we’re missing so much. I think that happens a lot when we’re driving our cars, we’re either on the phone or or even sometimes we’re just deep in thought and we get home and there we are. You’re in front of the garage, you got to open the garage door and you realize, “How did I even get here? I was totally removed from the presence of driving my car,” and because you’ve developed that habit, and you’re good at it, you have your external world taken through your habits of knowing how to drive the car and in the inside world is going like crazy and I know you all have experienced that. 

[00:04:49] We all experience it, it’s part of the human condition, but basically consciousness— also in the inside, our thoughts and our feelings are not us. They’re things we can become aware of and the more we can become aware of them, basically, and that mental dialogue that’s going on inside, we can start to understand why we think the way we do and how we can start working on releasing a lot of that stuff that’s inside of us. That’s really mostly not true. It’s really not very important. It’s just meaningless stuff we confuse, and stress ourselves, and create anxiety, and worry, and anger, and stress, and we’re going to talk more about that. 

So, creative thoughts are basically important. They’re willful thoughts that you have, like right now— and they’re usually auditory or visual, and what they actually do, is they’re part of our brilliant mind. They’re the things that allow you to think. It’s the things that’s allowed us to— so right now, just think about, I don’t know, think about a boat I’m looking outside, my boat out there. I can think that, without looking, I can think about that boat inside and I can create that thought. So that’s a willful thought, and that’s what allows us to create all the great things and use the prefrontal cortex, this area [gestures top of head], that separates the human mind, which is so critical. So important. 

It’s allowed us to put men on the moon and pretty soon, you know, with Elon Musk’s brilliant mind, we’re about ready to put people on Mars, not that I want to go there, but basically that’s what the creative thoughts can do. Unfortunately, we have the other thoughts, the other thoughts, basically, are automatic thoughts. You don’t create them, you’re not thinking about them. I’m not thinking about that, “Oh gosh, at three o’clock, I have to go get my teeth cleaned,” but bottom line is if I do think about it, I think okay then, I have to—” Now some of that can be good. You can then think, “Okay, I’ve got to make sure I’m on time. I got to leave, I’ve got to make sure I finish this,” but a lot of that stuff really is the voice in our head. It is actually the made-up stories that we make up all the time. 

And it starts first thing in the morning. We’re in the shower, we’re sitting there and we’re supposed to be in there washing our body parts and our mind is just going on, right? “All the things I got to do today,” and it goes on and on about, “What about this? Did I make up with my spouse?” It goes on and on and on and unfortunately they’re your self-concept. That is what we call our “Personal Mind” and the self-concepts of our personal mind are really the stored trauma, they’re the negative thoughts, they’re the dislikes, and some of them are the likes, where we’ve actually are clinging to something because we like it so much, we want to recreate it. And when life is just— everything lines up inside with the outside, then we love it.

So those thoughts are our self concepts and they can lead to all kinds of emotional mismanagement. In fact, they’re the unfinished mental and emotional patterns that trigger us all the time, all day long. Many of them are at the subconscious level, we’re not even aware of them. Some of them we are aware of, but they bother so if you’ve got something on your mind that’s been bothering you all week, if something comes up along that lines, it immediately takes you back there into that cognitive emotive loop. So, basically, the stored thoughts can either be things you’ve resisted, you didn’t want to accept the reality as it was, so you resisted it and you suppressed it, or you clung onto it. 

Let’s just say you had that one perfect date with the person you’re dating and it was great and everything was fine, and you’re clinging on to the thought because everything inside, all your concepts inside lined up with that person. And then, that person then does something that’s outside of it and you don’t like it so much. So, it’s understanding that these are things inside of us that are automatic thoughts we have that are things that were repressed and they’re trying to come up. So basically, when you trigger them, they create these cognitive emotive loops and so I’ve created a slide to go through what the scenario looks like. 

So, first starts off we have events people, something happens, it’s— our attention span is about four seconds so something’s happening all the time around us, so when that thing happens, what happens is, it goes into us. We visualize it, we hear it, and it activates our personal mind, and as our personal mind is activated, what ends up happening then is it creates those automatic thoughts. There’s things that you’re doing, comparative reality, but, “Oh, they looked at me wrong” or “You know they didn’t say ‘Hi’ to me,” and all of a sudden it’s triggering all these things of self-worth. 

“Not paying attention to me,” and all these things start going on and then what happens, it elicits emotions, feelings, many times, 95 percent of the time it actually leads to the drama triangle and so basically people churn at that. They actually are in this world we’re in today with all the news and Johnny Depp and his wife, and the stuff going on in Europe, and it goes on and on and on and on and on. The crisis that happened in the schools with the shooting, and it activates all the stuff beyond just the event itself and we start going into the drama triangle, and we feed off it because it makes us feel alive. We get adrenalized. We actually have these hormones released and people think that they’re feeding that and that makes them feel alive, but the reality— one of, what ends up happening is one of a couple of things. We either express it and we get mad and we project what we’re feeling inside to the outside world. So, if Sally didn’t talk to me when I said “Hi,” I may go down the aisle and go challenge her, “Hey, why didn’t you talk to me?” And now I’m projecting. 

[00:10:24] You’re expressing this thing that’s actually inside of me onto others, or what we normally do is we resist it. We resist seeing reality as reality and just letting it happen. Or we cling to— it’s something we really liked and so we want to reproduce that, and what ends up happening is it creates suppression. So we suppress these things, down inside us, and there, that’s that inner voice, that’s that voice is trying to bubble up. That’s energy, it’s energy that’s being trapped, concealed, pushed down inside us, like a coiled spring and as a result, we basically— it bubbles up. It bubbles up just like that. When one of those events, or people, or something triggers it. And so bottom line is, it’s our filtered reality. What actually happened, the reality— and reality is an acquired taste, but reality is the most important thing to come to grips with. 

That’s what science is all about. Science is about understanding reality. You can’t make a theory on something unless it’s based on reality and you can reproduce it. So reality is something that’s so important to free us, actually to free us, so we can become free and liberated. But we have a tendency to interpret things through our thoughts and feelings, through that voice in our head. So in the moment, basically, it’s very important to use that 10,000 year old program, when you see a snake you should feel fear and that fear is at the limbic area, it’s at the lower brain, the middle brain, the amygdalas, are like neural trip bars and one of them gets hit.

If that snake’s near you and you’re walking outside to see that snake before you even think about it, you don’t want to sit there and think, “Oh, look how pretty he is.” Or, you know, this rational brain, you want to jump and get out of the way. So, in that moment, it is very, very appropriate. But, when you’re out gardening, you know, three weeks later and you’re thinking about the snake and you’re creating anxiety, that’s not appropriate and so this is just a real simple example how we have an experience, it creates fear in us, and it’s appropriate, that’s your body’s design to do that, but while you’re out gardening two weeks, three weeks later, or a year later, or ten years later, to be sitting there thinking, “Oh God, I’m wondering if there’s a snake out here,” that’s not appropriate. 

Certainly, yeah, you can scan the garden and you know that where you live, probably doesn’t have poisonous snakes and if it does you can scan the garden and make sure, but after that you’re not sitting there with that incessant, almost like a neurosis, where you’re thinking about it and that’s the stored trauma that gets in our way and messes us up. Almost all the disturbances we have are in the inside, they’re not in the outside. So what we’re talking about for you, to be able to get rid of your self concepts, and get rid of— I mean no longer pay attention to them and have an unfiltered view of reality, so you’re taking reality as it comes in and not comparing it to all the stuff stored in your personal mind is so critical and I’ve used this analogy before, I love this analogy, I think it really makes sense, if you look up that river where there are no rocks, or these concepts, the water’s smooth and certainly it’s moving down with gravity, but it’s smooth. As soon as you put rocks on it, causes Eddies and disturbances and these are our self-concepts that get in our way and put us in position where we basically are stressed inside.

We’re worrying, we’re fearful, we’re unhappy, and all these things are self-produced. Now, I’m not saying something bad can’t happen in your life, or something sad that you see. That’s why we go to movies and, you know, I just went to to see Top Gun and seeing it after the first one, what 30 plus years later, I enjoyed it, and I was sad for Maverick in some of those periods and I basically felt sad and I think I probably even— because you know I’m a big baby, I probably even cried a little bit. But when the movie was over I left that thinking, “Wow, that was a great experience,” and it’s okay feeling the emotions, the emotions are okay in their truest, when they’re happening, but they’re not something to cling on and have been repressed.

That’s why kids in high school and football, I remember in the— as part of the football team, you know, we would hit, sometimes hurt, and you felt like crying, you wouldn’t cry because you had to be tough. That is our stored trauma inside of us that we repress. We never let it come out and that’s the part that we’re working about here. So with that, navigating once you’re in the rapids, you can’t navigate it, you’re— now this area of your brain, the area we’re talking about, that you’re listening about right now is inactive, it’s bypassed through the limbic area, the amygdalas are clicking they’re neural trip wires, they’re creating this drama and once you’re in that drama, it’s too late. You’re— this area isn’t working [gestures head] so it’s really important for us to Stop, Challenge, and then Choose the outcome we want. 

You don’t want to go down the rabbit hole, you want to sit like this young kid full of curiosity [references slide]. Get out and observe it, and when you observe it, you can start changing it. So, that’s kind of the lesson we’ll have. Lessons coming on more talking, about how we do that, but basically, there’s no “one giant step,” these things have happened to us over many, many years, through our whole life, since we were like two years or even younger than that. The emotional part of our brain develops first, the rational part doesn’t really even coalesce until we’re about five, so all that stuff that happened more earlier can have an effect on us, and for us to change that— it’s about being able to free yourself. Stop resisting, accept, surrender to the experience, and we’ll talk more about that in the future.

[00:15:53] So, in summary, for today, you are separate from your thoughts and your thoughts create havoc up there. They cause a lot of issues. Your emotions are a little farther away, but they’re connected and you create those cognitive— where your thoughts lead to the feelings and the feelings lead to thoughts, and then farther out there is the part we get. We get that the plan that I’m looking at over there is not me, but those emotions are not you, and your thoughts are not you. They are simply things that are being created inside. That you as the observer, you want to observe those from a subjective standpoint and realize all that stuff that we’re buying into and going down the rabbit hole, is not us. 

And you know, I love to show this slide because it really takes us back to when we were kids we didn’t have all that stuff inside we were full of wonder and joy, we were curious, we were open, and we wanted to grow every day and that’s what can lead— despite these mountains around us, our goal in life is to be able to remove the influence that these self-concepts have on us. So despite all the stuff happening in the outside world, it can be like water on a duck’s back, to just roll off and allow us to remain calm and focused inside, even when things happen that we didn’t know, or expect, or bad things. We can deal with them in a way that doesn’t completely sabotage us and take us off of our wide awake, open consciousness, and put us in this contracted state.

So again, it comes back to internal stability, the ability to take whatever comes in and when you respond not to express it in such a fashion that you’re now engaging in the world in a aggressive, a violent, all those things that we know we shouldn’t do and the ability to do that is an inside job. So with that, I— hopefully that was helpful and now we’re going to open up the Q&A. So, how are we doing there Rachel? 

Chris: Rachel’s having a couple of internet issues right now Dr. A.

Dr. A: All right Chris. 

Chris: But right now we’ve got Shawna. So, Shawna is going to go ahead and come off of mute.

Shawna: Hey friend, I’m having problems getting on video but I’m trying.

Chris: Try now.

Shawna: How are you Dr. Andersen? 

Dr. A: Here we are. 

Shawna: Hi, good to see you again. 

Dr. A: Good to see you.

Shawna: Yes, so this is so profound that this is what we’re touching on. I just had a good conversation. I want to say, a couple days ago with Don. Just about some resistance I’m feeling and how to work through it, and what to do next. And you know, part of being a leader and a coach is being aware, and I feel like my awareness is really on the surface now and a lot of, you know, team members are too and so with that everyone around us feels that energy, right? Especially if there’s resistance or if you’re charged between 90 and 100. So, how can we change the voltage of our energy and our electricity that we’re putting out? And I guess, I’m asking that because anytime I’m not really in that big integrity or authenticity, or I’m suppressing what my body naturally is telling me to do, I can feel my system and flow just flip, and that resistance from my solar plexus just sits so heavy and I’m learning how to process it faster and it’s like as we unlayer, more comes. So we’re talking about the rapids, I’m feeling the rapids friend. 

Dr. A: Yeah, I understand. Well first of all, it’s great and you’re becoming a— someone put it in the comments, you’re becoming a full-time participant here, which is good and I love it and I love your journey. Congratulations on having the courage and the compassion to go on this journey, because it’s not an easy journey. It’s a, you know, that stuff that— what we talk about, suppression. The suppression and the resistance, and the clinging, the things that are inside there are there because it hurt. It hurt and you didn’t want to deal with them when they happen. It’s just the way life is. We suppress those things. So, as they start coming up it’s like this, you know, it’s energy. And energy basically, is really in a circle, because if for— energy has to always be moving, right? That’s what— it’s in motion. So it’s down in there and it’s being triggered by these events or conversations and when it starts coming up, it’s really actually recognizing that and kind of just moving back a little bit.

[00:20:20] In other words, taking a deep breath, nice centering breaths, feel it kind of move back a little bit and what that does, psychologically, it kind of creates more of a separation because you’re so connected to it. It’s so emotively connected to your thoughts that you think it’s you and so the idea is to be able to kind of move back, and a couple other things you can do is you can switch it out. You can switch it out for a positive thing, you know, I use the example a lot about being in a 35 mile an hour zone and the person’s going 25 in front of you, you know, and you’re in a hurry and everything. Instead of getting all upset and starting to build that loop you can just say, “Okay, well this is great, I have another five minutes to finish listening to this podcast,” or “I have another five minutes to collect my thoughts before I go into the meeting,” or, there’s a million things you can do. So you just switch out and by doing that you start building the discipline.

We have a negative bias in our brains, it’s there to protect us. It’s why— it’s there to not get bitten by that rattlesnake. The issue is that our 10,000 year old design is one of survival and we are in a survival state once again in terms of the way the modern world is. All the stuff we talked about in the beginning, you know, going on in the schools and the world, and just all the stuff. It’s about this adrenalized, survival mode, switching back on our 10,000 year old design, and what we really want to do is get into the creative process and thrive in our lives. It’s learning to, over time— and by the way, there’s simple things, like okay, my daughter the other day, she had— she was in the car with her boyfriend and she was thinking, “We’re going to Africa,” and then she’s going, she’s a teacher so she has the summer off. She’s going to Africa with me and her sister and then she’s going to switch and actually switch from the airport and then go with her boyfriend, travel with her boyfriend and she was thinking in the car about suitcases, “Oh God, I got to take two suitcase,” and starting to worry about that, right? Versus— and then so it’s neat because we came home and she was, she’s practicing learning this stuff, and she said and so she says, well you need two suitcases, you’ve got one here, you need to go and buy a cheap duffle bag because when we’re in Africa, you know, it’s just a green canvas bag you’re going to be carrying. And I said, “So, address that,” and then boom [claps] remove it.

So, many of these things that are in there are simply something we’re putting energy into that— it’s the, basically your low-hanging fruit. Things you can get rid of like that, right? And those are the things we want to focus on first. Some of the things are much more complex, when I showed the one slide of the brain with all those connections, they’re very complex, there’s a lot of different things going on and they’re going to start filtering up and what you want to do is just let it bubble up. Surrender to the experience. Just create acceptance and don’t resist because if you don’t resist even those feelings as they come up, they won’t last long, they’ll be there because they’re just, they’re stored traumatic energy, they’ll bubble up and they’ll be gone within a couple minutes but we have to actually let it, and what we have a tendency to do, especially in the beginning because you’ve been doing it your whole life, is to try to suppress it, “I don’t want to think about that. I don’t want to address that,” you know, or “I want to fix it.” You don’t want to fix it, you don’t want to address it, you want to let it just happen and as that happens you’ll get better and better at it and over time that stuff will start going away and you’ll see so many things that used to bother you that won’t bother you anymore. 

Shawna: Beautiful. Thank you. 

Dr. A: You’re welcome. Cool, all right, don’t drive while you’re thinking about this [laughing] 

Shawna: [laughing]

Dr. A: All right, who’s next?

Rachel: All right we have Dr. Hall.

Dr. A: Yes.

Rachel: Doctor, can you come off camera and unmute yourself? There we go.

Dr.Hall: Hi everybody. Hi Dr. A. 

Dr. A: Hello, how are you? 

Dr. Hall: I’m terrific. You kind of touched on what my question was, which was, we all come into our practice regardless of what it is with either a preconceived notion or a prejudgment of things and how they could or should be and that self-talk tends to really spiral us. So, I really was just looking for a little more insight, how to get back to that beginner’s mind focus and being a student of life and open to that unknown. That fear really tends to shut us down on.

Dr. A: Yeah, and it’s exactly what we just talked about. You’re absolutely right, it’s just understanding that there were mechanisms that were there to help you. There were mechanisms when our life was simple 10,000 years ago where you get up, when the sun came up, you’d sit by the campfire and go to sleep, you had a massive parasympathetic tone. We were alert, we were focused, oxytocin flowed because we were part of our tribe. All the conditions for that programming were set and when we needed, we were acutely able to survive, because we weren’t the fastest. What we did is we evolved more and then we’re able to build this— we’re the only— you know, pretty much the animal kingdom outside of us was the same 100,000 years ago as it is today, right? Without this prefrontal cortex, the ability to actually freely think and create thoughts is the part that separates us but we still have all that original programming in there. So, our whole measure is first awareness. It’s getting more and more present, and the best way to do that is just to be fully— is what the last person we were talking to was talking about, was sense those feelings, you’ll feel those feelings that change in your energy inside. She was talking about that, right? Kind of this stuff starts bubbling up or she can feel it inside her inner solar plexus, that is that energy trying to come up, and rather than fight it, let it come up. 

[00:26:20] Surrender to it and basically feel those feelings and let them come out and then you’re, rather than resisting or trying to push them back down or fix them, you’re simply letting it happen and what you’re doing is you’re taking away all that stored stuff. And by the way, you know we haven’t been talking much, we’ll talk more about this in the future, but if you look at physiologic coherence, emotional coherence and cognitive coherence, it’s like a symphony and we want all three parts of our constitution functioning at a harmonic level. So when our heart energy, you know, basically is not— it’s, I think it’s something like 5,000 times more powerful in terms of electromagnetic energy and 100 times more in electrical energy than our brain. So there’s a lot of things going on lower inside of us, especially the energy being blocked by these concepts that we just have to recognize and release and the other part is not, go down the rapids. 

So, if you start to sense or feel that then just stop, allow it to flow up, if you can identify great, but at least if you can identify what the emotion is that’s great because it— you become more emotionally literate, right? You start to sense that anger is really— could be fear, it could be aggression, it could be any one of many different things. There’s only five primary emotions, all those are derivatives of that and the more we can do that, that is like breadcrumbs leading us to these stored traumatic things and they don’t have to be things you dislike, they could be things you love so much, you have this compulsion, you have this— literally you’re clinging to them, you want to have life like that was on that day, on that date, on that one magical sunset, on that— you know, if you go to, let’s say you went to a special place, and you had an experience there and everything lined up because the thoughts inside lined up with what you wanted, and everything occurred like you liked it, and you had a great day.

I guarantee you, if you’re going back, trying to create that same feeling you missed the point because the point isn’t the external, it’s the internal, where all your stored trauma matched each other and lined up with each other. The reality is, until we release that, if you release that, every experience— I’m looking out on the creek right here and it’s not— it’s been beautifully sunny and it’s not so sunny today so I can look and say, “Oh, it’s not so sunny today,” or I could just say, “Wow, the lighting is fully changed, I can see the the boats in the distance much better because it’s not as bright, and I can see the vegetation standing out and it’s incredible,” not put this preconceived concept like, “Oh, it’s a not sunny day” or “If it’s going to rain today”— I think actually that’s a good one, when you want to start with the weather, how much emotional and thought turmoil do we create over the weather? When the reality is we have absolutely zero control of the weather, but we control completely how we respond to the weather, right? So, is that helpful? 

Dr. Hall: It is, just— I guess reminding myself to appreciate each experience as it is and not try to make it what I think it should be.

Dr. A: Yeah, it’s reality. It’s really when it comes down to it, it’s like, you’re a doctor, you’re a scientist, right? Bottom line is, science is based on reality, not our interpretation of reality. Reality. When we get to the point where we can start seeing our personal mind is creating all these internal disturbances. It’s not the outside world, the outside world is just happening. We’re spinning around in this earth, we’re here for 80 plus years, the earth has been here for 4.5 billion years and we have to realize in our time here, do we want to sit here and try to change it? Or do we want to enjoy it, experience it, and live? I really believe our whole purpose here is the evolution of our soul to fully become conscious you know what was needed for survival when we were little basically is is now an opportunity to connect with fellow humans and actually take back how amazing we are as humans and what we have instead of sabotaging yourself and having all these self-destructive behaviors. 

Dr. Hall: Perfect. Yes, thank you very much.

Dr. A: Okay, who’s next?

Rachel: Alright. Next up, we have Rachel.

Dr. A: Your back Rach!

Rachel: I am back. Rachel, can you come off mute. Turn on your camera?

Rachel: There we go. Can you hear me? [crosstalk 00:30:56] Okay. Hi how are you Sir? Thank you so much for this. The question that I have Dr. A— I was a reading specialist and a nurse before a health coach and have the patience with others. I mean I know change is a process, I know learning is a process, and I know that I have no problem waiting for people to progress. When it comes to me though, if I don’t feel an immediate success then the feeling of failure tries to bombard me and the only thing that I can tie that to is as a child I was always trying to please. I was a pleaser. I would push to the next level to please people and so I’m having a hard time, especially with our Optavia business, you know? We’re right at the next level and I’m fighting that feeling of feeling successful and a failure when I’m not seeing things happen, like I feel like I should, if that makes sense.

Dr. A: Yeah, no, no, and listen, you know, as kids we want to please. Listen, if you look at our evolution in terms of moving from survival to belonging, yeah we wanted to be accepted, it was important and it served you then, it doesn’t serve you now. In fact, you know, part of the transformation that occurs is when we now move from survival to belonging to basically, in essence, it’s our ego base, to the point where now we’re transformational. Where we’re changing, we’re moving in, we’re what we call self-actualization. It’s where, what your parents thought about you, what everybody, society thought about you isn’t the critical part. It’s about becoming your authentic self and recognizing that those are self concepts. Those are concepts you have in your brain and when you start to sense one of those you basically have to do the same thing we’ve been talking talking about, you have to recognize it, and just let it— it’s not based in reality, you are becoming successful as a coach, you are building your business and that’s the normal concepts that try to pull you back. 

[00:32:59] They try to pull you back because your personal mind wants you to stay the way you are. It spent a bunch of time creating all the stored trauma, all these concepts that allow it to be in charge and to buffer you from the real world. It thinks it’s doing you a favor but it’s not at all, it’s just simply perpetuating the same behaviors. So, it’s as simple as when you start feeling that “Stop,” basically sense it, feel it right when it starts to take over, and just let it go. It’s from the past and remember, stop trying to give yourself a better pass, it’s the best gift you can give yourself because one of the clear things in science is reality. The reality of it is as clear as this, Rachel, the reality is no matter how much you try, you cannot alter your past. That’s the reality. The reality is, your past is your past. You have these amazing kids, you know, all around you and listen, what you’re learning from this. is how to be a better giver, to help bring them up right and nurture them in the environment where you don’t tell them stuff like, “Hey, you’re stupid,” instead you say, you know— what’s that beautiful little girl there? What’s her name? [a child is with Rachel]

Rachel: This is Laney Lou, my granddaughter. 

Dr. A: Lainey Lou. Okay, so Laney Lou. Hey Laney Lou, I love that name, it reminds me of Dr. Zeus. Laney Lou, [crosstalk 00:34:31] It’s like with Scrooge, what his name is, the guy who stole Christmas, what was the green guy?

Rachel: Oh, the girl, Grinch. The Grinch. 

Dr. A: The Grinch, yeah and then Peggy Sue, right? Okay, so Laney Lou, bottom line is if something she’s doing needs to be actually put more in a social order. Like she’s going out after dark or something that she shouldn’t do, then you explain to her, with the consequences, and that’s to [unintelligible 00:34:58] or identity, right? You know that now. When you were a kid, when you were pleasing, you probably developed these ideas of what it was like to be a good daughter and you’ve got these things stuck in there and they are stored trauma. It’s the same process. Recognize it, and just kind of let it go. Let it go. It’s, you know— and by the way, I like to talk, and I wrote a book with Robert Fritz called “Identity.” We talk about the creative process. It’s engaging this area, focus on what you want to bring into your coaching business, into your life, your relationships with everybody that’s important with your community and conceptualize what those are, and understand that what you think about yourself has nothing to do with those things.

In fact, that’s what the talk today is about: start unpacking, those self concepts that are keeping you from thriving. It’s important for you to first kind of heal yourself inside, feed your heart, your soul, and then reach out and help others do the same.

Rachel: Thank you so much, I appreciate that.

Dr. A: Is it helpful?

Rachel: It is very helpful. And I can see that and I know it’s been my roadblock because it’s real easy, you know, I know action and what we— We’re looking to the future and it stops action, when you feel negativity, and for me, when I’m negative, I have no creativity to do anything positive for myself. Now for other people, I can all day long, but it’s me and so I have, I’ve got to— that’s my, that’s a huge area I’m working on this year, to hone it [crosstalk 00:36:34] because when I hear other people do that, it hurts my heart to hear other people self-talk negatively. It hurts me, but for me, I let it slide all the time. So that is one thing that I am nailing down. That I’ve got to stop that because— [crosstalk 00:36:50]

Dr. A: Yeah and here’s the thing, it’s called personal leadership. You have to lead yourself first. In order to be a good grandma, in order to be a good coach or to be a good leader. All those things, lead yourself first and recognizing awareness is the first part. Management is the second part, and management is: start again with the low-hanging fruit, the things that right away, you know them, and just get them out of there. Let it come up. Start with the easy stuff first. You can’t control the weather, right? You can’t control— there’s things you just can’t control. You can’t control what’s going on in the Ukraine, but you can go build a damn big business, have people in Ukraine and Russia over time and then we can help change the world together. That’s what I’m talking about, right?

Rachel: I’m going to do it, I promise you. I’m going to do it. Thank you sir.

Dr. A: You’re welcome. All right, who’s next?

Rachel: All right, we have Rocio, is next. Rocio can you come on camera and unmute yourself?

Dr. A: Where is Rocio?

Rocio: We’ve got some technical difficulties. Here I am! Hi Dr. A. I’m so honored to have this time to just say thank you. I have never heard such thing of emotional mismanagement. I naturally respond in emotion, and crying and so there’s nothing that— no one ever taught me that there was another option, “That’s just how she was when she grew up.” Is what everybody said, so thank you for the tools of emotional management. One thing that I am, I want to ask you is, I think this whole conversation is for me, so thank you. You touched on a few different things, a lot of trauma, of course, had come growing up, which has built my thinking in my way of— and then there’s the people-pleasing part too. So my question to you is, what about those of us who have PTSD? And so I was diagnosed with PTSD and a panic disorder, and anxiety, and I’m so grateful that you’ve given me the tools. Lately I’ve had just anxiety because of the world in my sleep, and that’s a lot different because I don’t have so much control there. 

[00:39:31] So I know I’m a huge advocate of mental health and talking about it because I want to talk about the hard things. I’m not asking for so many, you know, most like a magic pill or anything, but what advice would you give to us to take that subconsciously as well as consciously?

Dr. A: Yeah, well that’s great and thank you for sharing that and I know that made you a little emotional and that’s good because you— it’s inside of you and first of all, I’m not a psychotherapist [crosstalk 00:39:57] and so when you’re dealing with significant trauma. You should always see a professional about that. What I’m actually talking about is the human predicament, the conditions we’re in, how our mind was designed, and give some insights and I think they can be helpful because you can start with little things, right? It’s like going to the mental gym, right? You can start— obviously if there’s big things that you need to discuss, please make sure you get someone to help you with that.

Rocio: Absolutely, yes.

Dr. A: Yeah, but with that, I will say that awareness just becoming more aware and know there is an option, you know, when you just, by understanding that your thoughts and your feelings, your emotions, aren’t you.

Rocio: Right.

Dr. A: They’re simply energy, and things that have happened during your life, they’re stored, some of them can be bigger than others, you know, something that usually happens can just immediately leave a very, very strong— traumatic memories or things that are inside there and they have to come up over time. What I would suggest is just becoming more aware and not judging like the last lady, Rachel we were talking to, is not judging, not putting yourself down. Just recognize you’re a human and that’s your programming and you have this stuff and it’s part of being a human and what we want to do is remove its ability to cause destructive thoughts inside of us that take us off and create suffering. Just like the river, if we can take those concepts and get them— you’re not fixing yourself, that’s [crosstalk 00:41:10] 

Rocio: I like that.

Dr. A: Yeah, you’re not fixing, you’re not trying to fix yourself. You’re simply learning new skills just like the Habits of Health, you know, you’re learning things that can help you, tools like you mentioned, that can help you now deal with them and not personalize them because your personalized mind always wants to make it about— like you said, you’re either proving yourself, pleasing— basically putting— your creating an identity of who you are and who you aren’t and the reality is in your pure form, you are awareness. All that other stuff is just stuff you made up, you know? Are you a mom?

Rocio: No, I got a bunny though. [laughing]

Dr. A: You what? 

Rocio: I said I’ve got a cute bunny though. [laughing]

Dr. A: I love it.

Rocio: Yeah, but we have God kids, we’ve got seven God kids that we love. 

Dr. A: I love it, I love it. So, it’s great. So, you have relationships, okay? And then those really— those relationships don’t define you. You define you, and you are this incredible thing, you know, that you were the same when you were three. If you looked in the mirror when you were three, or you were 15, or you look in the mirror today. You’re still the same person inside looking at yourself. Your body isn’t you. I mean that’s the profound— if you can understand that conceptually, the reality is just happening. It’s how we interpret reality, and when we are stressed, or worried, or anxious, like— by the way, your dreams are just an altered state of consciousness.

They’re happening, you know, they’re just your body, and your mind basically responding to things that are actually in your mind, they’re your thoughts, they’re— but they’re not real, they’re made up. The difference is in your dreams you can make up some pretty wild stuff, right? 

Rocio: I do. [laughing]

Dr. A: They can and, you know, Freud, Freud spent a whole bunch of time trying to interpret what dreams mean, but what dreams are are simply more of that stored trauma trying to come up. It’s just trying to bubble up out of you. So, the more you can surrender, not resist, accept and just let it flow through you. It is simply the way our body is designed. That energy, that emotional energy was critical for your survival ten thousand years ago and yet today, with the overwhelming sensory input from the media, from all the stuff around us, we’re not coping well with it, and it’s not allowing us to process. You want to start removing that stuff.

So, you’re looking at things just as they are and not trying to interpret them to be something that they’re not, and the more you can kind of move yourself away from those thoughts and feelings and just recognize, identify them and let them flow through you, the more you do it the easier it’ll get. It’ll give you more and more grace for yourself as well.

Rocio: I love that and I appreciate the simple tool of the Stop, Challenge, Choose because I— in the moment of feeling that panic stir and anxiety, I use that often. So, thank you for empowering me [crosstalk 00:44:37]

Dr. A: Yeah so breathe as soon as you listen. That’s the thing, there is a moment always, because now what you’re doing is those stored trauma inside you is starting to hit part of your emotional energy, your heart energy, right? And just as soon as you start to feel it, Stop. Deep breath. Center yourself, posture yourself. Relax, bring back your shoulders, and just say, “Come on man,” just “I’m not going to resist you, I’m just going to let it go through you,” and you’ll start to see it’s so helpful and it will pass within a couple of minutes and the more you do, the more you realize that— you know what? You are aware and you are now working on going to the mental gym every day. And then multiple times during the day just spend a moment and, you know, you can either do a mantra, you can say something that makes you feel good and just focus on that inside, saying it over and over and it’ll kind of take all that other stuff that’s going on and kind of condense it down into this focus, on this one thought. You can use that to calm you. Of course you’re breathing, your posture, all these things are part to allow you— or just witness it. Just witness it, smile, and realize like, “Okay, this hurts,” as it comes up but it’ll be gone soon, “I don’t need to do anything with this,” and just let it go.

Rocio:I love that. Thank you so much. So grateful. [crosstalk 00:46:04] 

Dr. A: You’re welcome. Thanks. Okay, who’s next Rach?

Rachel: All right, next up we have Harold. Harold, can you come on camera and unmute yourself?

Harold: Okay, let’s see.

Dr. A: I see you Harold. 

Harold: Okay good.

Dr. A: You need to clean your lens on your camera though, you’re foggy man.

Harold: I don’t know what’s going on with that. I’m working on a stress management life hack and one of the things that’s come up is mental models, which is, it’s kind of an embodiment of the things you’ve been talking about. 

Dr. A: It’s what they are exactly, self-concepts are mental models. 

Harold: Right. And so I have a little chapter I’m working on and I’m calling it “Model Spotting.” 

Dr. A: Model Spotting.

Harold: And the charm of that is, you know, it’s a big deal to think about self-improvement, boy what a topic, but if you say, “Okay, what is the mental model that’s got me all out of sorts,” on this car that got hit, you know, that annoyed me and why is it bugging me so much? And, I fixed a simple model because I thought I could save the car, and then I discovered parts had ceased to be available, so it wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t lack of resolve, you know, it wasn’t like I wasn’t able to handle the problem. It’s like this thing’s off the grid, move on. You know, and the mental model I had was if you just are willing to spend a lot on maintenance you can keep a car and, you know, get a lot of more life out of it, and that’s somehow [crosstalk 00:47:42] 

Dr. A: Just talk to the Cubans.

Harold: [Laughs] They demonstrated that for sure, but the the idea is that if you go after the mental model, you can kind of interview yourself at a lower level of ambition and you say, “Okay the mental model I have right this minute, and this thing that’s got me by the tail,” is obscure to me, and if I can bring it to light and just get the stress reduced, that’s from its source, I can then kind of harvest the gains of— well, that mental model is part of a collection of mental models that aren’t helpful and that one is now no longer hidden, you know, and eventually you work your way through one middle model at a time and it’s consonant with the goal of personal growth.

Dr. A: There you go man, you hit it on the head. Let me make it a little easier than that though, just self-awareness allows you to have self-management. That’s what you just said. 

Harold: Yeah, that’s right.

Dr. A: There we go. Awesome, all right man, thanks. Who’s next?

Rachel: All right, next up we have Elizabeth. Elizabeth, can you come on camera? 

Elizabeth: I’m gonna try.

Rachel: Unmute yourself. [crosstalk 00:49:01] There you are!

Dr. A: Hey, Elizabeth, [crosstalk 00:49:05] looks like you’re enjoying a nice day in, where are you, Florida? 

Elizabeth: I’m in Puerto Rico.

Dr. A: Puerto Rico, that’s even better!

Elizabeth: I know. I’m gonna share, I’m here, my family’s here, and we have elders as old as 91. My mom is 86 and the beauty of me having chosen to be a health coach has given me this freedom to be where I want to be and they mean the world to me, but what I have experienced in this visit, only because I’m more aware through all this work that we’re doing, that I’m choosing to do. I’m choosing to do personal work. Is the old tapes that inevitably come up in conversation. Some of it is kind of passive aggressive and where I would immediately go to responding. I’m catching myself, but it’s almost like a battle of egos. I felt that inside of me and I thought I’m making a choice to not always respond from my headspace but from my heart space knowing that there are 86 to 91 years old are stuck in certain patterns doesn’t mean they love me less, but it does mean that they are trying as best they can. 

So I just kept thinking about, where does ego even come from? Is it coming from a space of righteousness? Is it coming from a space of survival? Is it coming where— where did that originate from? [crosstalk 00:50:48] And at the same time, you know— and at this, and at the same time, any feedback— everybody that was speaking today was amazing because I was saying what more can I do to keep my ego at bay and allow my heart to come through. 

Dr. A: Okay, those are great. Those are great. First of all, remember, you can’t change anybody else’s behavior. You can only help awaken them. Okay? And now you’re awakened, your ego basically goes all the way back to the beginning of survival. You’re— there was a self-survival, self-interest, which is the first part of our development. It’s a natural tendency, you know, when you look at the little ducks that were just out here, just had a little, they’re really little, they’re staying right by mom and when there was food around, you’d see one of them push the other one out of the way, okay? So basically, when we’re little our ego was important to give— to protect us, and it created thoughts and the thoughts that it created were about self-interest, and they were about ourselves. So when we’re young, our ego serves our self-interest, the idea is to progress over time as we transform, is for our ego to serve our soul. That’s the end point. End point is when it serves our soul, allows us to work with human connection, with others, recognizing, just like you have with empathy, that your parents are really old and they’re pretty set in their ways. 

[00:52:14] I can tell you even my relationship with my mother changed as I’ve done this work over the last 10 years and as I’ve done more of the work, my relationship continues to get better. She didn’t change from the standpoint of educating herself, but my relationship changed because I no longer allowed those things to trigger my stuff. My garbage, I’ve removed those things, got them out of there, and now when she says it, I just smile because it doesn’t have an impact on me anymore, and that’s what you’re doing on your own journey. So you don’t beat your— so if you don’t judge yourself for your personal mind, you just know that to build equanimity. And equanimity is a beautiful word, it’s hard to say, doesn’t really— it’s kind of hard to define, but what in essence means is it’s not that you’re denying the stuff around you, you’re still aware of everything that’s happening, it doesn’t— no longer bothers you. You no longer take it inside, connect it with stored trauma, and then create emotional mismanagement which is the drama triangle.

You no longer allow it to trigger you, to do those things. You no longer allow it to touch you off, and take you down to the middle brain, the limbic brain, the reactive brain. You no longer allow those things to happen, and it’s not going to happen overnight but the beauty is you have today to work on it. You have what you just learned over the last hour to help guide you a little more, and what it comes down to is practice, practice, practice and it is as simple. I loved— Harold was turning it into this big thing that’s going on in his mind when the reality is, yeah, that’s your story and that’s how you’re trying to figure it out, with a car. But it doesn’t have to be that complicated, it is actually quite simple. It is allowing yourself to no longer be triggered or be stimulated or putting, clinging, or resisting anything that happens inside of you. 

It’s now allowing you to let that stuff bubble up and just go out. Go out. You don’t engage in it, you don’t try to fix it, you don’t say, “Oh why do I have this ego?” None of that matters. What matters is simply the process of letting go and practice, practice, practice. If you want to get in great shape to be able to lift weights, you got to do it three times a week. If you want to basically create mental health you’ve got to do it every day, and do it in small amounts. That’s why just moments of meditation, deep breathing, stopping during your day several times, and just sensing where you are right now. Where is your breathing? Fast and shallow and contracted? That means you’ve got something going on. That stored trauma’s hit you, and you’re thinking about it. And that voice in your head, because remember the voice in your head is nothing more than that energy trying to get up and get out, and your ego wants to repress it because it wants to create comfort for you, that the world is a certain way, and the biggest realization you can have is the world is the way the world is.

You have very little control over it. It’s how you respond to the world that will determine the outcome of how you are inside because the human predictum is one of suffering, because we’re using 10,000 year old programming. Not— now upgrading it to understand that Stop, Challenging, Choose, human transformational technology can help us really gain freedom. First, we basically need to find ourselves and then we need to free ourselves, that’s what liberation is about. [crosstalk 00:55:41]

Elizabeth: I just— thank you. That’s so freeing. I made a decision in those moments of, what have you, to stop to breathe, to be in touch with where I was feeling, what I was feeling, what part of my body and then I made a choice to tell my ego, “Thank you so much for sharing,” and then, “Why am I here?” I wanted to continue to elevate my relationship with my mom, my step-dad, the elders here, and I just– consistency is everywhere in our business, but it is in my life too. What I was consistently doing, little things, so that she’s my mom, you saw that I love her and creating a garden for her so I just flipped the switch. We already said that and it gives me peace that I know when I leave, she’ll remember those things every time she sees the flowers.

Dr. A: Awesome, that’s great, Thank you for sharing so much Elizabeth. That was great. Okay, we have room for one more short one. I got three minutes left. 

Rachel: All right we have Darcy next. 

Dr. A; Hey Darcy.

Darcy: Hi Dr. A, how are you?

Dr. A: Good, how are you?

Darcy: I’m good. I’m in Portland with my friend[crosstalk 00:56:55]

Dr. A: It’s a beautiful day there. 

Darcy: I know, I feel so lucky and it’s— this is actually my first forum, getting to join and I was here visiting Dawn for her birthday.

Dr. A: Awesome.

Darcy: I wanted to come on, [crosstalk 00:57:08] 

Dr. A: Make sure you give her a hug and wish her Happy Birthday.

Darcy: Okay! [Dawn goes on screen and hugs Darcy]

Dr. A: Oh! That’s close, that’s good.

Darcy: You know, and I for one thank you. I feel so honored to get to hear this and get to see your work up close and personal, and I had a lot of questions which you already kind of answered, but one of the big ones, that just continues to strike me, is when we’re working with clients who we’re supporting to get them out of their automatic thoughts or make them more aware of their consciousness, and they don’t see it, or they don’t feel it, or they don’t recognize it, they’re just consistently triggered or impacted. One of the things that I’m just curious is, how do you, how do you support others to build in almost more awareness around that? 

Dr. A: Yeah that’s a great question. It starts with you, I mean you knew I was going to say that. It really starts with you and it starts with this intense curiosity to understand. You know, why are they like that? You know, what can I do? Where is the entry point? Where I can have— so for instance, let’s just take something simple that we do all the time, we help people reach a healthy weight. They’re pretty aware, self-aware, that they’re overweight and we help them and then we give them some tools. We take them at their pace, we don’t try to force them, we awaken them to that, and the same thing here, you’re just looking for something that you can do that allows them to have some insight, and so it’s usually questions. So you know, one of our Upset Technologies, we use the three questions, What happened? What was missing? What’s next? Right? So, think about that. If they’re going down the drama triangle and they’re basically, like you said, being triggered by all these things and they’re interacting with you, be really disciplined about it.

[00:58:53] Don’t— we have a tendency, especially if we’re empathetic, to almost enable them, right? “Oh, it’s okay, don’t worry about it,” you know, and they get attention. In fact, in medicine my pain partner specialist, in my group, bottom line, we have this thing called “Secondary Gain,” and some people have such a terrible life, they’re not— they’re ignored by people. They actually don’t want to get rid of their pain because their physician is giving them attention, and care, and so they built this codependency. Same thing with most of those people, they’re using those things to trigger some type of relational interaction and what you want to do is really, every time you can take them out of the limbic brain, and put the reactive brain, and put them into the cognitive brain, and over time it’ll start to make sense to them because if you’re— if they’re trying to take you in the drama triangle, and now rather than basically a victim, you’re being there, or a hero, you’re being there as a coach and you’re asking questions. Over time they’ll start to see, “Okay, I came in an agitated state and I’m leaving in a calmer state,” right? 

Your questions will help them do that and it’s— but don’t take the bait, don’t let them engage you in the drama triangle. So, always think about it, they usually come as a victim. They might come in as a villain and occasionally they save somebody else and they’re a hero, but basically if you switch it to the empowerment and, you know, obviously you’re probably maybe familiar with that, but it’s in the Life Book— it’s in the books, right? Yeah. You look at the coach, the challenger, right? And basically looking at, how do I actually create? So, the victim turns to a creator, the hero turns to a coach, and the villain turns to a challenger, right? To challenge, “How do I get better?” So just using that. Always come from an open, curious and want to grow, and learn. 

So, I always kind of put on my lab coat and my spectacles in that situation, and just be curious, okay, you know what’s going on here, you know why are they— so and what it is, you know, now it’s their stored trauma. It’s their personal mind, it’s their conceptual self concepts that are in there, that they’re responding to and they don’t know any different, and so that’s why I developed years and years and years ago, Stop, Challenge, and Choose. I just want them to start to be aware and then start to identify. So, you know, you could say stuff like, “Sally, why— you seem really upset.” Okay? And just basically, you know— and then just basically challenge them, and from the sense that. “You’re upset,” and you know, “What happened,” right? So you can use the stuff— and then they’ll say, you say, “Okay, so what was missing that would have not created that?” So what you’re doing is, you’re actually engaging this part of their brain [gestures head], they go down in this area because it’s reactive.

So remember, when I showed the slide where I talked about suppression, they suppress those things inside or expression, projection. Projection is if they’re coming at it, you see them as being combative, or mean, or angry, or really upset, that’s all projection. That’s an expression of their stored trauma and all you’re looking to do is, “Okay, how do I help them start becoming aware of it?” Because you can’t help fix it, you can’t even help them work on it, or manage it. Until they actually, to your point, recognize it. So that’s where it all starts and so that’s really just a series of questions, and also not taking the bait. See if you take the bait, you fit— you probably went into the hero position, and you don’t do it intentionally. 

Darcy: Yeah. No, I think it’s really interesting, like my automatic thought when I’m in a situation where someone may be there and antag— their acting in a way that is antagonistic is to you know kind of my amygdala will get triggered and then I’ll either pull away, I’ll retreat, or I’m not much of a fighter, I’m more of a… I’m more of a fawner, if you know what that means, like— 

Dr. A: No, I’ve never heard of a fawner. What’s a fawner? It must be a [crosstalk 01:02:55] 

Darcy: so, flight, fright and freeze, you know? Your know [crosstalk 01:03:01] 

Dr. A: I know those, but what’s a fawner? 

Darcy: So, fawn is more of an appeasement. It’s a trauma response, so when we fawn we are actually— let’s say I’m in a situation where I’m triggered, or I’m having a situation, but I end up choosing to go with the flow and acting as if I am in a state of, “Oh yeah, I’m good, no we’re fine,” 

Someone off screen: I do that. 

Darcy: You know and a lot of us fawn and we don’t know it’s a trauma response. 

Dr. A: Okay fine, I never heard that word but I understand. I have a dog that does that, in fact he takes it to the next step, he actually rolls over and does complete vulnerability to it, right? 

Darcy: Okay, yeah it’s interesting, but I find that I fawn more frequently, so people wouldn’t know I’m triggered, because I’m able to keep it in check.

Dr. A: Yes, so that’s you. That’s you suppressing, and that’s your stored trauma, and there’s reasons inside of you because, that’s how you address that in essence. That’s you’re— actually acquiescing, that’s the word I would use, that you’re acquiescing. I wouldn’t [crosstalk 01:04:02] I don’t know about fawn, but acquiescing, kind of go with it and that’s not good for your mental health. Obviously.

Darcy: Or to just kind of like let it go, and to pull away from it. But what I hear you saying is actually lean into it, develop curious inquisition, the ability to like talk about, “Well, what was going on?” Or “What were you feeling?” or “Why did you?” You know [crosstalk 01:04:25]

Dr. A: With love and care, without judgment. The intent— again the speed of trust is obviously part of it is, what is your agenda? The agenda is simply to understand, to be curious. In fact I was talking to Jim Dethmer the other day, but in his book “15 Commitments,” one of the things they emphasize is, “With childlike wonder,” that’s why I showed the slide with the kids playing because in wonder, you know, they’re not wondering to satisfy their ego, they’re just curious. They’re— it’s this wonder, and the wonder is when someone is like that but not— well it depends if they’re okay. 

I want to make sure we’re clear for the whole audience here, if someone is in your face, gone ballistic, you know, the coin Maverick, right? And Top Gun, gone ballistic, gun, guns, that’s not the time to try to help them. That’s the time to just try to create some calm. So that’s why the question, What happened? What’s missing? But, not to engage in it, where you’re actually heroizing, right? Where you’re condoning, where you’re enabling, or if it’s really bad, then basically just stay away from it, and then find a different time to bring it up, when they’ve cooled down, because once the ghost system in the limbic area is stimulated, it’s not the time to rationalize with them.

[01:05:47] So, what you’re doing there— so there’s two parts. The part— one part, is to calm. To turn off the ballistic situation and calm them. So, calmer minds prevail, that’s one thing. The second is in coaching, the now to start helping them move forward, you don’t try to help them forward during that period. You’re helping them forward in a different period, taking recognition of the development of what happened previously and bringing it up in a curious, constructive way. So there’s two different things, so Stop, Challenge and Choose has both those. Stop, Challenge, and Choose for you and for clients and for coaches is to be able to turn off before the limbic system gets turned on. In other words, when you start to shift, going towards the drama triangle, I’m sorry, when you start to drift going towards the drama triangle, you shift back up through Stop, Challenge and Choose. The second part is when you’re working with people, is outside of that by being open, curious, and trying to help them, or helping them, you basically have them build insight and start develop their own self-awareness. 

So, Stop, Challenge and Choose can be used to do that as well. So the person can now become curious when they start to feel because your coherence within your body, your emotional coherence, is critical for overall— everything, from cognitive to physiologic, and you know, you have all these harmonic notes going on throughout our body and when there’s this dissonance, right? As soon as distance occurs, there are signals before it becomes activated and that’s the key thing, is to start to sense those signals stop during those periods. Let it flow through, identify what the emotion is and let it flow through, but it’s a two-part process. Does it make sense?

Darcy: It does, and it seems like if we can kind of co-regulate, like if we can check our own stuff and when they’re projecting or they’re getting into that drama triangle, trying to [crosstalk 01:07:50]

Dr. A: Don’t take the bait.

Darcy: Yeah, but like if we can regulate and be present then we’re so much more able to support them to get into that space as well [crosstalk 01:07:58]

Dr. A: Yeah because to see if you’re doing— if you’re getting activated and it’s like, this [bumping fists together] 

Darcy: Yeah.

Dr. A: As soon as you go like this [removes one fist], there’s nothing for them to push against.

Darc: Totally.

Dr. A: Yeah and so what happens, it just dissipates because remember the primordial reflex is for protection and if there’s no true threat and there’s nothing for them to respond to, that starts to cool down. 

Darcy: That’s huge.

Dr. A: Yeah, cool.

Darcy: Well thank you so much. It was good [crosstalk 01:08:26]

Dr. A: I’m glad you guys are having such a nice day there, it’s beautiful. 

Darcy: We’re having a beautiful day.

Dr. A: Awesome. Great. 

Dawn: [comes on screen] Thanks Dr. A, that’s awesome.
Dr. A: Good seeing you guys. Well, thanks everybody. I’m sorry we ran over a little bit but I think that was a great question at the end that Darcy had. So again, everybody, you know, share this. We have the recording, you’re able to go to drwayneandersen.com now and look at these recordings, and share those with everybody, you know, we live in a survivalist, a reactionary world, and just by listening, if we can help people just like Darcy was asking, how do we people understand there’s a better way? There is a better way, and that’s one of self-regulation by being aware and bringing joy, fulfillment and happiness back to everyone. Thanks. See you guys, bye

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