Lift OneSelf -Podcast

Core values Why do we need them? - Episode 85

April 08, 2024 Season 11 Episode 85
Core values Why do we need them? - Episode 85
Lift OneSelf -Podcast
More Info
Lift OneSelf -Podcast
Core values Why do we need them? - Episode 85
Apr 08, 2024 Season 11 Episode 85
Unravel the mysteries of your nervous system and tread the path toward profound self-awareness with our latest conversation featuring the remarkable Michelle. As we sit across from each other, Michelle, with her treasure trove of knowledge, illustrates how tuning into our body's signals can be a beacon guiding us through the fog of trauma. She adeptly intertwines cognitive behavioral therapy with acceptance and commitment therapy, presenting a holistic approach to mental health that transcends traditional methods. Our dialogue also introduces an empowering twist on ACEs, turning the spotlight on Acceptance, Compassion, and Empowerment as pillars for overcoming life's hurdles.

Embark on a journey that paves the way for aligning actions with core values, and discover how a daily practice of gentle self-evaluation can transform your mindset and propel you toward your goals. We share stories that paint a vivid picture of the struggles and triumphs experienced when grappling with anxiety and stress responses. Michelle's insights shine a light on the importance of self-soothing, the strength found in presence, and the transformative impact of positive reinforcement, which collectively chart a course for personal growth and true mindfulness.

As we wrap up our enlightening exchange, we peel back the layers of societal expectations and the cultural fascination with manifesting, dissecting its effects on our emotional well-being. Through personal anecdotes and reflective questions, we invite you to consider the full spectrum of your emotions, and the wisdom they hold, as vital tools for self-expression and wellness. Michelle and I encourage you to embrace this heartfelt discussion as a starting point for your own journey of empowerment and a deeper connection to yourself.

Based in Harrison, NY, Michelle runs a private practice and co-founded 'Thru My Eyes,' a nonprofit providing free videotaping for chronically ill individuals. She teaches Mindfulness Practice at NYU and is involved with organizations like The Boys & Girls Club in Mount Vernon. She's certified in various therapies and authored books like 'Free Your Child From Overeating' and 'ACE Your Life.' With a TED Talk on 'Circumventing Emotional Avoidance' and contributions to Psychology Today, she advocates for mental health awareness and education.

Find out more about Michelle Maidenberg :
https://michellemaidenberg.com/

Remember, the strongest thing you can do for yourself is to ask for help.
Please help us grow by subscribing to and sharing the Lift OneSelf podcast with others.
The podcast intends to dissolve the stigmas around Mental Health and create healing spaces.
I appreciate you, the listener, for tuning in and my guest for sharing.

Our website
Https://.LiftOneself.com

Find more conversations on our Social Media pages
www.facebook.com/liftoneself
www.instagram.com/liftoneself

Music by prazkhanal

Remember to be kind to yourself.

Remember, the strongest thing you can do for yourself is to ask for help.
Please help us grow by subscribing to and sharing the Lift OneSelf podcast with others.
The podcast intends to dissolve the stigmas around Mental Health and create healing spaces.
I appreciate you, the listener, for tuning in and my guest for sharing.

Our website
Https://.LiftOneself.com

Find more conversations on our Social Media pages
www.facebook.com/liftoneself
www.instagram.com/liftoneself

Music by prazkhanal

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers
Unravel the mysteries of your nervous system and tread the path toward profound self-awareness with our latest conversation featuring the remarkable Michelle. As we sit across from each other, Michelle, with her treasure trove of knowledge, illustrates how tuning into our body's signals can be a beacon guiding us through the fog of trauma. She adeptly intertwines cognitive behavioral therapy with acceptance and commitment therapy, presenting a holistic approach to mental health that transcends traditional methods. Our dialogue also introduces an empowering twist on ACEs, turning the spotlight on Acceptance, Compassion, and Empowerment as pillars for overcoming life's hurdles.

Embark on a journey that paves the way for aligning actions with core values, and discover how a daily practice of gentle self-evaluation can transform your mindset and propel you toward your goals. We share stories that paint a vivid picture of the struggles and triumphs experienced when grappling with anxiety and stress responses. Michelle's insights shine a light on the importance of self-soothing, the strength found in presence, and the transformative impact of positive reinforcement, which collectively chart a course for personal growth and true mindfulness.

As we wrap up our enlightening exchange, we peel back the layers of societal expectations and the cultural fascination with manifesting, dissecting its effects on our emotional well-being. Through personal anecdotes and reflective questions, we invite you to consider the full spectrum of your emotions, and the wisdom they hold, as vital tools for self-expression and wellness. Michelle and I encourage you to embrace this heartfelt discussion as a starting point for your own journey of empowerment and a deeper connection to yourself.

Based in Harrison, NY, Michelle runs a private practice and co-founded 'Thru My Eyes,' a nonprofit providing free videotaping for chronically ill individuals. She teaches Mindfulness Practice at NYU and is involved with organizations like The Boys & Girls Club in Mount Vernon. She's certified in various therapies and authored books like 'Free Your Child From Overeating' and 'ACE Your Life.' With a TED Talk on 'Circumventing Emotional Avoidance' and contributions to Psychology Today, she advocates for mental health awareness and education.

Find out more about Michelle Maidenberg :
https://michellemaidenberg.com/

Remember, the strongest thing you can do for yourself is to ask for help.
Please help us grow by subscribing to and sharing the Lift OneSelf podcast with others.
The podcast intends to dissolve the stigmas around Mental Health and create healing spaces.
I appreciate you, the listener, for tuning in and my guest for sharing.

Our website
Https://.LiftOneself.com

Find more conversations on our Social Media pages
www.facebook.com/liftoneself
www.instagram.com/liftoneself

Music by prazkhanal

Remember to be kind to yourself.

Remember, the strongest thing you can do for yourself is to ask for help.
Please help us grow by subscribing to and sharing the Lift OneSelf podcast with others.
The podcast intends to dissolve the stigmas around Mental Health and create healing spaces.
I appreciate you, the listener, for tuning in and my guest for sharing.

Our website
Https://.LiftOneself.com

Find more conversations on our Social Media pages
www.facebook.com/liftoneself
www.instagram.com/liftoneself

Music by prazkhanal

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Lift One Self podcast, where we break mental health stigmas through conversations. I'm your host, nat Nat, and we dive into topics about trauma and how it impacts the nervous system. Yet we don't just leave you there. We share insights and tools of self-care, meditation and growth that help you be curious about your own biology. Your presence matters. Please like and subscribe to our podcast. Help our community grow. Let's get into this. Oh, and please remember to be kind to yourself. Welcome to the Lift One Self podcast, michelle.

Speaker 2:

I'm so thankful you're here with me and I'm so happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 1:

Join me in a meditation so that we can sink our hearts and our intentions together and you as a listener. Please take a moment, if you can, close your eyes. If you can't, just you know. Focus on your breath and listen to the prompts. Take this mindful moment for yourself, to the prompts. Take this mindful moment for wear yourself. So michelle asks you to close your eyes and just begin breathing in and out through your nose and bringing your awareness to watching your breath go in and out. Don't try to control your breath. Just allow it to go in and out at its own rhythm. Whatever sensations or feelings that might be coming up in the body, allow them to come up. You're safe to feel, you're safe to let go while staying with your breath, staying with that breath. I'll ask you to gently open your eyes.

Speaker 2:

How's your heart doing?

Speaker 1:

It's feeling a little compressed actually. Yeah, it feels a little heavy. A lot of times we don't take a moment just to check in with our body and feel all of the sensations. Emotions really interact with our nervous system. We're not really taught about this. You know, people are telling you go breathe, and it's like I already do this automatically. What are you talking about? And really giving the awareness of being able to drop into our bodies and take that moment, because there's so much that, especially as you are serving so many clients with their emotions and thoughts, you intake so much that at times you're not even aware what's my stuff. Where am I in all of these interactions?

Speaker 2:

I always talk, I always tell clients, even my students. I say that I ask them how many times? Do you know how many times you breathe per day? And people are like no, and it's about 20,000 times that we breathe per day. And then I always to them have you thought about it even one time in those 20,000 times? And of course it's a no. So it's amazing, right, like just our physiology and what we do and et cetera. We don't even think about it, we're not even present with it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and really you know explaining the nervous system. I know it's a big word for some people and they don't think that they have the capacity or knowledge to discuss these big topics and it's like you're already driving in it. It is something that you are living in. So it's being able to understand your own biology, your own nervous system and how it interacts and how it intakes information is the first step. Yeah, it's being curious and allowing yourself to have that curiosity and not say that other people have more knowledge than you do, which granted there is that they research, which granted there is that they research. Yet your own biology you're the only one that can really explain what's going on internally. And allowing yourself that space to be curious and start to you know, connect things together. Can you let the listeners know who you are and what you do in the world?

Speaker 2:

sure. So, um, so, first and foremost, I'm a mom of four kids, so that's important. Four kids and four dogs too, oh wow. So I have four furry friends as well. I consider them my kids as well. So I have a lot of children.

Speaker 2:

I'm in private practice in Harrison, new York, and people always ask, like, who do you see in your practice? But it's really more about the treatments I do you know, which is cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, emdr, which is eye movement, desensitization, reprocessing, polyvagal theory. Anyway, it's a smattering of a whole bunch of different things. A whole bunch of different things. I also teach at NYU and I teach a class how to integrate mindfulness and clinical practice, which I yeah, it's, it's really, it's an experiential class, so it's really wonderful. I love it. I teach it in the spring semester, so we're currently like in the midst of the semester, right now.

Speaker 2:

I also and I'm not going to go into everything because we'll be here all day, but because I really love what I do but, um, I'm an author. Uh, I authored two books and I actually just completed the audio book for the second book, which I'm so excited it's going to probably come out me first, which is very exciting. Um, I have a YouTube channel where I do guided meditations. I publish new ones every Thursday morning and I also blog for Psychology Today, so I have my hands in a lot of different places. A lot, a lot, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Can you explain? For some of the listeners it might be new, but a lot of the listeners already understand the term of ACE, so that is adverse childhood experiences. Most people know ACEs as a very unfortunately trauma has a really bad rep, not one that could be understood and how you can harness it. You've given another definition of ACEs, which I really appreciate, so could you let the listeners know what your definition of?

Speaker 2:

ACEs is yeah. So my book is called ACE your Life, you know, unleash your best self and live the life you want. So ACE, which I use, is an acronym for acceptance, compassion and empowerment. So it really is a model by which to live your life and it's very systematic. I teach it to people of all different ages, literally, and it's so beautiful when I have, like, especially kids, you know, kids, teens, young adults using the lingo, and adults too, of course, when they use the lingo, it's just like so exciting because they really integrate it into their life and their practice, which is, you know, amazing to just witness.

Speaker 2:

So in the book, the way I lay it out which is, again, this is like kind of the model is one is, what you alluded to is you really need to understand your neurobiology. It's very important to understand how we're wired because it does impact us on a daily basis. So it's not just, you know, nature and nurture, but we really have to understand the way we think and what drives our behavior, because it becomes. You know, all of us have habits, all of us have trauma to some extent, whether it's a little T or a big T, right, and when we experience experiences and circumstances, when we're young, okay, and I'm talking about developmentally, when we're not sophisticated enough to process things, we have our own set of perceptions and narratives about the way we see things and it becomes part of our neural pathways, by the lens by which we see the world, by which we again, you know, drive our relationships, and it could be maladaptive, counterproductive, you know, self-destructive, and I could go on and on. So the first chapter really talks about our neurobiology and how we think and how that structures our behavior and our lives. The second is really based on values and people have misunderstanding, misperception of what that is. So I really construct for the reader. You know, again, how we decipher what our values are and how it is a guide to our behavior very succinctly, and I talk about that. The last three parts is based on acceptance, compassion, empowerment.

Speaker 2:

The first chapter of each I talk about the barriers. We need to know the barriers, what gets in the way of that? Because we have our biology. We have, again, you know, the setting we're living in. It has to do with socioculturally, it has to do with our race, religion, you know. It has to do with our families of origin. I could go on and on and on how we're constructed. That gets in the way of these three things. And then the end of each of those um parts is how to integrate it.

Speaker 2:

How do we, you know, what is this, and how do we integrate it so that we actually the word unleash if you notice in the um, you know, in the last part of the title the subtitle, I believe, and this is a fact. It is within all of us. It's there, you know, we get flooded sometimes. Sometimes, again, it gets whitewashed, we get all so we're not able. Sometimes it becomes part of our subconscious or unconscious and often it's about unleashing it because it's already within us.

Speaker 2:

Each of us has worthiness and love and resilience and all the wonderful things. It's kind of, you know, jungian theory talks about the golden shadow. We each have that golden shadow and sometimes, unfortunately, we're not able to really extrapolate from it because of things we went through in life and how we were taught and what we see. And it's, it's there, you know. So I use the example of a piece of marble. Right, you can have, like this, beautiful piece of marble and in and of itself, when you look at it, it's a beautiful piece of marble. But then when you sculpt it and you write and refine it. It becomes this beautiful piece of art.

Speaker 2:

And that is us, you know, in a nutshell, you know the other example I give, you know which is the sky, right, like, if you think about it, we all these things come out of the sky emotions and, you know, because of rain, sleet, snow, hell, et cetera, right and? But we never think to ourselves is the sky okay? Is something gonna happen to the sky? No, we never even question whether the sky is this core foundation. And that is us. That is us. We have all of these things coming out of us. We have emotions, we have circumstances, we have fragility, we have, you know, our being imperfect, human and all of those things, but at our core we're solid, we're grounded and we're okay. You know, sometimes we need to get to that, because we forget it, we lose our path. You know, we're remote from our values and it's it's coming back home to our bodies and to our authentic selves and our worthiness. And that's what I help people tap into, you know, because sometimes we lose our way. Who doesn't Stuckness and other things come up, right?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, disregulation. Be a mother of four, see how the dysregulation happens all the time. You know, being present and being connected isn't always consistent, because you're going to have to process things. There's two big things that came up with what you were saying. Um, that I think the listeners could really tap into more, because some may be like oh okay, okay, you're saying that, but how do I access this? The first one was about values. A lot of people say you need to have core values, you need to create them. So how would somebody you know, why is it important and what would be the process for somebody to start doing this for themselves, to create that foundation for them and not what they've been told to create as values?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So you bring up a very good point, which you know. Again, I have a whole chapter about it, but I will try to put it in a nutshell there are values that we acquire, there are values that we aspire and there are values that are circumstantial. Okay, so there's a lot of ways to tease out the values. Now, we don't create values, by the way, because I, you know I think that word was used they are inherent in us. Yeah, they are the motivating factors that drive us. They're at the core of what's important to us. So it's a more a matter of understanding what those are. You know, even another good example, you know.

Speaker 2:

People say to me but what if somebody has bad values or poor values, then what? And I was like no, you know, it doesn't really work that way. So, like, let's say, you know, the example I give is like with gang members. People will say you know, how could you say values are positive? You know, like, gang members believe in violence and et cetera. And I said no, if you really know anything about gang members and you ask them what's important to them and you get at the thrust of where the violence sometimes, where it comes from. It comes from community, it comes from connection. I mean, one thing, you know, is they have each other's back Okay. That comes from a really fundamental, deep sense of community, which is pretty, which is actually amazing if you think about it Right. So if you really get to the core of what's important, you'll recognize that, okay, and that's very different than saying, oh, they're so violent, you know right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean even even fundamentally.

Speaker 2:

Right, it's reframing it and really understanding that, you know, when it comes to kind of somebody. So, yes, people do get confused because, like you said, some of us acquire values. What does that mean? From our families of origin, from how we're socialized, from the political nature of where we live? I mean, I could go, our race, religion, you know so many different factors. Our race, religion, you know so many different factors. Some of them are important to us and we live our life based on that value, but it's again, it's because we've acquired it.

Speaker 2:

We wouldn't necessarily have, you know, we may not have a strong connection to it necessarily. Okay, those that we aspire, we may have some acquisition, but we may want more of it and what's getting in the way of acquiring it to the extent that you want to like, all of that is like exploratory, right, and then circumstantial. Let's say, for example, somebody has health as a core value, and it wouldn't necessarily be a core value, but they're going through a health condition, so they're visiting a lot of doctors and they're, you know, consumed, you know, with their health because of whatever they're going through, and also understanding the concept of values, right. So values, like I said, is a guide to action. Okay. So, for example, something I do, which I teach people to do, is at the end of each day, you really want to do an evaluation of whether you leaned into or outside of your values.

Speaker 2:

Again, it's a much more empowering approach because what happens is we demean ourselves and we have a lot of self-criticism. I can't believe, you know, I'm such a bad mother. I can't believe what I did. I yelled at my kid and I wasn't very compassionate, like I'm a horrible mother, and that's a very blanket statement. It's very disempowering.

Speaker 2:

And again, if we're feeling disempowered, then how motivated are we gonna be to actually be different? You know, we actually make change when we have confidence, not when we have a lack of confidence. People don't realize it. That's why, like, tough love doesn't work. That's very antiquated, right, you know, positive reinforcement. So if we understand again, right, and we do that evaluation and I say you know what, today I was a little off, like I just didn't quite lean into my parenting value as much as I wanted to, and I realized that the action that I took, I was impulsive, I didn't get enough sleep. Whatever the case is, you know what tomorrow I'm going to do. I'm going to really make it a point and I'm going to intentionally and effort fully lean into my parenting value. That's really important to me and I've you know and I have some regret. So I'm going to go over to my child and I'm going to apologize because I wasn't my best self today. Yeah, much more empowering.

Speaker 1:

Makes total sense and, like she said, it's all explained in the book. So if this is something that you're having challenges with or really wanting to tap into, you know like empower your life and unleash the things that are already within you. Again, I would highly suggest you know picking up her book, which we will leave in the show notes and we'll talk about a little bit more in the podcast. The other part that came up to me is the unleashing, or being able to tap into the things like worthiness and love. It requires you to come into your body. It requires you to come into your body, and so a lot of people have been so disassociated outside of their body and not being able to tap into presence, mindfulness. So what is it, or what are some of the tools that you would suggest for people to come back into their body, to be able to access and embody these principles access, and embody these, these principles.

Speaker 2:

It's a great, that's a great point. And we're so remote, typically, from our bodies, you know, we're very disconnected and again it's, if you think about it, it's a wonderful adaptation and coping mechanism to be outside of our body, right Cause sometimes our bodies are in distress, you know. So I'll give you like an example that happened yesterday with a client that I was with. You know, she's actually a like an example that happened yesterday with a client that I was with. You know, she's actually a college age, you know, student, and she's having so many somatic physical symptoms based on anxiety and you know what's kind of happened over time is she gets very dysregulated and then her parents swoop in, you know, and try to comfort her and of course she, you know, reaches out to her parents and they're lovely and supportive and, however, it's created this dynamic whereby there's some codependency and she could get re-regulated when she speaks to her parents.

Speaker 2:

So, again, what happens in her brain? She is making that association Like I need to speak to my parents in order to get re-regulated and she's not learning how to self-soothe in moments of panic and anxiety and dysregulation. So we talked about that. I had her parents here too, you know what is that like. So what happens is she becomes so uncomfortable in her body because, yes, symptomatically, when she experiences anxiety, what happens? The cortisol levels are like elevated, you know, her nervous system is activated and she actually has physical manifestations of anxiety, you know, such as, like you know again, she described like her heart feels, you know, very, very like labored, you know, her lungs. She feels she gets a headache, right, and then and then she gets really fearful of the symptoms, right, so it becomes a fear of the fear.

Speaker 2:

Oh, my goodness, what's wrong with me? Why am I having these symptoms? And I explained to her. I said, if you're having a lot of anxiety, think about the body, how we react to our anxiety. We constrict our bodies literally almost like a fetal position. So like, if you're sitting like this, if I sit like this for three hours, I'm going to have a really bad backache. Okay, so when your nervous system is activated and you're constricting your body, again, it affects our organs. It affects our organs. So you're going to have belabored breathing, which sometimes happens with panic. Right, we? Definitely. You could definitely get constricted breathing and belabored breathing. Right, headaches, definitely. I mean, it affects all of our physiology.

Speaker 2:

So what does our brain do then? We're in danger, right, you know. Fight or flight, right, et cetera, right, so she wants no part of it, she doesn't want to feel it, she doesn't want to experience it because naturally it's so uncomfortable. Who wants to be uncomfortable? And the brain is wired always to avoid discomfort and danger. So her mind is telling her she's in danger, her body's telling her she's uncomfortable, she wants no part of it. But then what ends up happening? You become, you're in this loop and you spiral because you're constantly running away from your body, disconnecting, and then you're not teaching your body right how to relax, you're not teaching your body or talking to your body and letting your body know when we talked about this. Your body, right now, in the moment, is feeling uncomfortable. Your mind is telling you're in danger. Look at me, is that real Like you're here with me, you hear my voice, your feet are strongly planted on the ground and you're actually okay, right, but you can't even process all of that because your amygdala has taken usurped control, right, yeah, exactly. So, anyway, we're constantly disconnecting for so many reasons, and, and that is such an adaptation, by the way. So, anyway, we're constantly disconnecting for so many reasons, and, and that is such an adaptation, by the way, for us when we're young, you know, and it's a beautiful thing that our body does, by the way, it's, it's amazing, it's like wondrous.

Speaker 2:

So when we've experienced too much, whatever emotions or trauma or whatever it is, our body has this amazing way of cutting off to protect us. Now, I always tell people this whenever we cut off from negative emotions or discomfort, guess what Positive emotions go along with it. We can compartmentalize. It doesn't work that way, as much as it would be nice. No, you know what I want to feel? The positive and the negative doesn't know. We cut off. We learn to cut off everything. So you know, that's one way and some people the opposite. Some people become extremely, they go out of the window of tolerance to hyper right and they become dysregulated. Hyper right and they become dysregulated right, and that's another way of coping as well. So our bodies have this wondrous way and it works so well for us when we're younger. It doesn't really work so well when we're adults. It cuts us off from relationships, it cuts us off from ourselves, and I could go on and on. So we really do need to learn.

Speaker 2:

And you know, just like the exercise you did with me earlier, the meditation, you know, I got the sense that I was feeling a little heavy, but not to the extent that I felt it. When I actually sat with it, I was amazed actually, like how much I was feeling it. And then I became curious. I'm like, wow, I didn't even realize I was. What's going on? I mean, I'm feeling pretty good. I exercised this morning. I'm feeling pretty good. Life is, you know, life is life. There's nothing, I mean there's stuff, but they're like nothing that's sticking out of my mind today, at this moment, that's like kind of sitting with me, you know, like, and then I'm thinking to myself you know, you asked me a question before you started recording about like kind of what's going on in my mind and I'm like, well, maybe it was those things that triggered it. Yeah, that I didn't even realize, that was on the forefront of my mind yeah, where our nervous system is very intricate.

Speaker 1:

It is a system that I don't think will ever fully understand it, because it has so many different moving parts all at the same time. It's very multi-dimensional and just because there's like you, you're feeling symptoms right now, yet that could have been something from a week ago that your body's just somatically being able to release right now because you're in a state of safety. So it's like, oh, we've been holding on to this because we didn't have the time and our analytical mind will block a lot of somatic things your body needs to release. So when we do these mindful present, like mindful moments, and do meditation, all of a sudden there's something, and it's like you don't always have to analyze, like what is it? Just allow it to have expression and let it, you know, move its way out. That's why I'm in the meditations, when I guide people, I'm like whatever sensations or feelings are coming up, just you're safe, you're safe and let them process, let the body release it in the way that needs to be released.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I just wanted to add one thing, cause I love what you said Like our subconscious is always looking to become conscious, you know, and, like you said, it could come up in very you know innocuous times when you don't even expect it to right. And I know, like sometimes and I'm sure you've experienced this too like you'll wake up in the morning or just in the middle of nowhere, you'll start to feel maybe sad or frustrated or whatever, for no real reason, and then you're like what, what's going on with me, right, and then sometimes it'll take me like a couple of hours, or even a day or two to process. You know, internally or during my meditation, it comes up and I'll be like, oh, my goodness, I didn't even know that I was thinking about that, that that was on my mind or that affected me to the extent that it did. I was like, wow, you know, and I had experienced the other day this is interesting I was with a friend and there was a couple things that he did that kind of frustrated me, you know, during our time together, and I decided that it wasn't the moment to discuss it because of, you know, some stressors that he was going through, and I decided like I was going to be compassionate and kind and not like bring it up in that moment.

Speaker 2:

And then there was one. Then something else happened towards the end of our time together and it was like the straw that broke the camel's back Right and I didn't even realize how much I repressed the other stuff that was going on during our time. And then it's kind of spilled over and I couldn't contain it to be. I tried to, but I couldn't, and I then expressed myself and I even said like gosh, I was kind of sitting with this because I was trying to be compassionate and kind, but like now, I feel like I have to say something, because then it's going to then spill over into my behavior and that's counter to my values.

Speaker 2:

All right, because, then again, my core values is thoughtfulness and kindness. And I knew that I was maybe going to become a little aggressive, or I was going to, or I was going to be passive, aggressive or whatever the case is, and I was like no, like that's not who I am and how I want to be, like that's my, you know, that's my old self, right, yeah, my inner child. So I did express it and I explained, you know, like that, that piece of it, for whatever reason, and I, of course, processed and understood, like what it was about, that that was the struggle that broke the cow's back, that really caused me to get triggered in that moment, you know, and that's, that was a very subconscious thing, that kind of came up.

Speaker 1:

So things pop up, you know, sometimes for us, all the time, all the time you know, sometimes for us all the time, all the time, yeah, and I think sometimes you know doing this, this inner work, and I call it warrior work, because what you, how you presented yourself before, like you were saying, well, okay, I was valuing him in his state and what he was going through, yet how was I valuing and advocating for how I was feeling in this interaction, why was I putting him before? You know how I was feeling and being able to articulate whatever action or whatever he was doing, that you know, this is a connection that I value, and so when we value something that's being able to have the safety because that's the whole thing too is having that safety to be able to communicate. Yet your values rose up and we're like, listen, there's no more of this.

Speaker 1:

We need to express this right now because, like you said I don't want it to sit in me and then leak over into other experiences or holds. You know some kind of narrative about him. That isn't fair to him, because I never articulated what it is in this interaction that's going on.

Speaker 2:

If that makes sense. Yes, and that is such a you know now that I'm thinking about it. That is such a good example of where there's kind of a value conflict, okay. So, and I'm going to use it because it like just came up organically, which is wonderful. I love when that happens, right. So when I, when I chose not to say something I was conscious of it, I chose not to that was based on a value, okay, that was based on my value of friendship and kindness, because he was, you know, again going through something that and I knew that it was pretty anxiety provoking for him. So by showing kindness, I was going to raise it, you know, and still really think about my self-preservation and kindness to myself.

Speaker 2:

But I chose, in terms of timing, to show kindness by, you know, really kind of holding it, holding it and being with the discomfort and recognizing that I was uncomfortable between kindness and holding his anxiety about what he's going through, and self-preservation and dignity, about me not expressing myself. So at that moment it was friendship versus dignity and I had to decide in that moment which one was more formative in that moment which one was more formative. And that's when I decided right, because before friendship was more formative, but during that circumstances it was dignity, right? So one doesn't X out the other. In other words, my dignity is important and my friendship values are both important.

Speaker 1:

But I also recognize, from moment to moment I have to decide to make a decision based on what's more formative in that moment, while recognizing and being proud of myself that both are so important to me thank you for that like explanation in real time and what it looks like, because to be able to articulate how we have to, every moment is going to bring up new information, so a different decision has to come up of how you're going to show up in those interactions yeah, and you know.

Speaker 2:

Just to add what you're saying too, most of the time, if you're not in tune, what would happen is when I chose to express myself right Because of my dignity, what feelings would be residual would be guilt and shame. Guilt. I'm such a horrible friend. How could I bring this up in his moment of distress? What's wrong with me? Right and shame for being such a horrible friend.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but instead instead this is where, like the values work is like, so poignant. Instead, I walked away feeling really proud of myself and dignified in my response and my behavior, because I was paying homage to my kindness and thoughtfulness and to my dignity. So when I expressed myself to him, it was in a very kind and caring and thoughtful way. It was in a loving way. Right, I was very connected to what was important to me and I felt proud that both of those values are formative for me. I was like, wow, right, like, so the guilt meant that it was important to me and that means that I could actually say that I'm a kind, caring person who also cares about my dignity Exactly.

Speaker 1:

Exactly. Thank you for sharing that and the vulnerability of in your own personal experience and what that looks like to access it from internally, because you know, theory and concepts are all nice and it's great yet to really apply it in real time life and be able to explain what that looks like internally, because these things are coming at a millisecond of interactions and, like I said, if you're not attuned with yourself, with the values also be in your body of what are these sensations and feelings that I'm feeling and be able to process, and this, you know, doesn't come like this, is like a snap, because western world is always about just give me the quick fix and microwave it and I'll be all perfect and packaged. It's like, well, these are called processes and they're called tools because there's no arrival and it's always being able to practice. And, as I tell my clients, it's like you don't practice when there's a high alert. You do this when your nervous system is calm and safe.

Speaker 1:

It may feel very awkward and what's the point it's that you're leading up to when you feel dysregulated or all these things are coming up too quickly, that you're able to access these tools to slow things down internally to see what is it that I'm feeling? How do I want to show up? What are the values, as you mentioned, that are coming up, and it feels like there's a conflict, but really both have a space to be there. And so how do we, you know, create the whole with a W and not just H's and a black and white, all or nothing kind of thinking. It's one or the other, it's like no, it's end in both and more.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and again, I can't say this enough it's so much more empowering, right, because we beat ourselves up enough, you know, and then we're riddled with guilt and shame, right. And even that circumstance, I could have walked away with a lot of guilt and shame very easily and instead I was able to reframe it so that I was actually feeling very, very positive about myself and feeling self-love and self-compassion for my distress. And that's a very different way of processing things, very different, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yes, thank you for that. I want to get into the buzzword of manifesting and I'd like to hear what you see with your clients and what your definition that you have for manifesting.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so so funny you bring that up because this is like a topic of interest of mine in the past couple of weeks and I'm definitely writing an article. This is my next article that I'm writing about for psychology today, so it's so interesting because, you know, I did a TED talk on circumventing emotional avoidance and I talk about leaning in and all of this lovely stuff, right? However, like outside in our culture, there are so many messages about us disconnecting from our emotions and ourselves. And here goes another one. You know I wrote this article some time ago. It's a please stop preaching happiness, positive affirmations and what was the third thing? Oh and gratitude. And it actually got, you know, I think it got over 100,000 reads or something on it, right, and but it kind of outlines how we have these messages in our culture that is actually so counterproductive and we're doing the opposite of creating our, like you said, systems whereby we could be mindful and we could be present and we could be, have gratitude and all the things wonderful things that we want to be doing, but we're getting lost in the shuffle because there's this pressure and this concept that we have to be a certain way, which, again, is so counterproductive. So here we go again, manifesting. So, in and of itself, okay, it sounds beautiful, right? If you manifest something, then you will eventually integrate it into your life. And again, you know, however, I have to say so I had the same person actually I was talking about before, who had a very dysregulated nervous system.

Speaker 2:

I said to her it was so interesting. I said to her you know, I want to hear from you what is going on in your body, you know how you're feeling, what's going on in your mind, what you're thinking, right, because often our thoughts, right, obviously impact our you know feelings, which impact our behavior. She's like no, no, I can't, I can't tell you. And I said why not? So she said because it's gonna, I'm gonna manifest it. So I said what do you mean by that? So she said it's almost like a superstition thing, like if I say it, it's gonna happen, or if I say it it's going to happen, or if I say it it's going to come true. And I said oh, okay, you know and again, this is the buzz that I've been hearing, not only from this was a college student. I've been hearing this from younger kids. I actually heard this from my daughter, my 15 year old daughter. She said that to me she's like I don't want to manifest it and I was like where did that?

Speaker 1:

come from.

Speaker 2:

Like TikTok, like where are you getting this from, you know? And then I heard an adult. I had an adult here this week who said the same thing. I was like, oh my goodness. So this is like rampant in our society right now, this manifesting thing. So what I want to say about it is we can't will ourselves into anything. In other words, if we, just because we think about something, doesn't mean something's going to happen. I know that sounds lovely and I wish it were that easy.

Speaker 2:

Oh my goodness, if it were that easy, no one would need to see me like, literally, because all I would have to do and I tell people. Do you think that if you look in the mirror and you say I'm beautiful, I'm beautiful, I'm beautiful like 100 times a day, that you're going to internalize that? No, like, you need to be doing things. You need to actually be doing things that make you feel beautiful, that connect you to your beauty. It's not about just saying it Right. Same sort of thing. We can't will our way into something happening or motivate ourselves into taking action on behalf of whatever we want to. It doesn't work that way. So when we're saying to somebody, don't say it, because it's going to happen, okay, which again? Think about. I'm thinking about all these anxious humans this is creating in our world. Oh, my goodness. I am telling her you need to have acceptance and notice your thoughts and your feelings, and then she's telling me no, I can't, because if I do, it's going to happen. It's so counterintuitive. So you know, I think we have to really be careful, because I think there is this constant, constant communication from the outside world you know things we need to do and not to do, and it's so collective, like it applies to everybody. So, for example, there may be some people that when they say mantras or when they say self-affirming things that they actually, right, connect to it and it motivates them to do things. There are those people. I'm not saying that they're not, but most people are actually not like that. Why? Because our brains are not wired that way. And if you have a consistent practice of gratitude or you have a consistent practice, like I said, of mantras and affirmations, yes, you know, but that also entails understanding yourself. Oh, you know what my mind tends to be and again, I'll use myself.

Speaker 2:

I recognize one of the things I've learned about myself because of my upbringing. You know my parents divorced when I was three. There was a lot of tumultuous things going on in my upbringing. I know my parents divorced when I was three. There was a lot of tumultuous things going on in my upbringing. I went to five different elementary schools. I could go on and on. I mean stuff that happened, right, but I realized one of the adaptations that I acquired as a child was to always be protective, was always to be on the defense to make sure that I was safe and protected.

Speaker 2:

So what does that look like? That means I always tended to see the negative in somebody to make sure that I am like one step ahead. Okay, now, that's lovely to do when you're young, but when you're older and an adult doesn't work so well, because guess guess what? That's all you notice and you tend to focus more on the negative than positive attributes and those fall by the wayside. That not very helpful in relationships, let me tell you. Not very helpful, yes, yes, exactly. So I, I'm very cognizant of that and I have to like very, very cognitively and in a really mindful, grounded way, like when I start getting like they did this, like that voice comes out, like this. You know, I have to be like there it is Criticism.

Speaker 2:

Criticism, come on Right. And I was to be like, okay, I see that, hi, thank you, thank you for protecting me, little mind, thank you, I love you, you know. But like, how else can I see this? And what am I not seeing that I could notice more, you know, and that helps to then ground me and I'm able to say, oh yeah, they did that, but you know what they also did. That Right, and maybe they did that, but I don't know what the intentions were. Maybe I need to find out and I need to be curious and ask, instead of accusing right or surmising All right, and I do, and but that takes intention, like I have to actually do that.

Speaker 2:

So, again, if you have a practice, yes, right, because you're able to then integrate those skills, your brain, I'm creating new neural pathways. So my brain, the narratives are changing, my behavior is changing. So, like I said, you know, for some, having that mantra, having that manifestation, is very helpful. For others, like the average person. And, like I said, you know, for some, having that mantra, having that manifestation, is very helpful. For others, like the average person. And, by the way, I've done a lot of work. So, on myself, right, and I continue to always and always room for improvement, by the way, never stop, ever, ever, you know. And and also because I'm human, never perfect, right, I falter, sometimes imperfect, I accept that about myself. Right, I'm self-forgiving. When those times come up, I try to be self-compassionate and I really integrate self-compassion skills. But the point is we don't naturally do that, so we can't will ourselves, we can't manifest things. We have to be doing things and practicing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we do, and I think how you know, how you explain the manifesting and what you're seeing with clients is the emotional avoidance.

Speaker 1:

I cannot talk about the anger, I cannot talk about the sadness, because with manifesting, everything has to be positive and you're getting your way and you're making it be very, I don't know, glorified where it's like.

Speaker 1:

Life is a process of messiness and to be human means to feel a lot of things that are going to bring discomfort and so the manifest don't get me wrong, I've done it with my own brain, or you've done it also all of a sudden, you're thinking of something, something and somebody will appear or something will come up where you're like whoa, like I thought this. So I do know that thoughts are powerful. I do know that your mind can bring forth things. I also educate people that anger is very healthy. It is getting such a bad rap that people aren't able to interact with their nervous system, to be a whole with the W, because they're doing a la carte that I can only feel this stuff. I cannot feel that stuff because it's not whatever spiritual language. I think there's a lot of toxic positivity and not allowing people to understand themselves and to allow there to be expression.

Speaker 2:

You're allowed to feel frustrated.

Speaker 1:

You're allowed to feel whatever emotions you are. It's about not taking action with it.

Speaker 2:

All of that is energy. Yeah, all of that is energy. But again, if we go back to values, going back to values, again, what you start to recognize and appreciate is there's pain in values and values in pain. Okay, so when you feel anger, frustration, whatever the case is, guess what? You're going to recognize that it's rubbing up against a value. And if a value is rubbed up against, you're going to feel pain. It's inevitable.

Speaker 2:

Like you said, you know, we have to accept the repertoire of emotions, because that's what makes us human and our anger, frustration. Every single emotion serves a purpose and lets us know something if we listen to it and if we're curious about it rather than reacting from it it's just information, it's a message, it's a messenger. It's just information, it's a message, it's a messenger, it's a message, it's energy. So even if you say that like, if you even kind of think about it that way, it's energy, like I always become. So I'm like wow, look at that. Like. Sometimes I mean anger. I'm very comfortable with anger, very too comfortable. So when, when that kind of comes on my rage, I'm like Whoa, what was that Like? What is that Like? That's a reckon to be, you know, like yeah, I'm like, oh boy, I'm gonna. And sometimes it could lead to like very irrational thoughts even you know right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, cause it's there to protect you. And as I start with clients, and if they haven't had a good relationship with their anger, it's like, okay, well, this is going to be messy and it's going to feel counterintuitive, yet the anger needs some expression because you're not able to hear the message right now. So you know, engage in a smash room, engage in screaming in a pillow, engage in going into a forest and just yelling and letting it have expression, engaging, beating something that you're working with it, not against it, so you're not telling it it cannot be there and that it builds up like and as I use energy for like trauma, I tell people replace it with energy, that there's suppressed energy and it's trying to have expression. So it's like, okay, well, this, your body is very powerful and the body will always trump anything. So you want to work with it and you want to understand your biology. So you know, find expression and find the ways to be human.

Speaker 1:

I appreciate this, this dialogue, and appreciate where you know you're going to bring verbiage to this manifestation so that people aren't beating themselves up that they're not doing it right because they're missing out on a part of being human to be able to understand their biology and understand like we're going to get intrusive thoughts. The nervous system is geared for negativity, to look for all of the biases and how to protect you, and it takes work to channel it, to look at a different side and to see different things. And again it's. You know, unfortunately, in society a lot of us aren't able to express ourselves emotionally in our authentic way, in our true way, because we're told that isn't for society, this isn't the time or place. So then we wonder why we don't have the intelligence with emotions as we could, because we're not able to have that safe space to fully feel the full spectrum and the full process of the emotion.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and if you think about it, like, while you were speaking, I was thinking about like this metaphor I love using metaphors, but I was thinking about like lens right, the lens by which we kind of see things, you know, and often we're very myopic right, we really have like there's no peripheral vision, it's myopic.

Speaker 2:

So when we put on, like you know, kind of a lens right and we're able to see in our peripheral vision, we're able to kind of biopically kind of see things. It opens up, like you're able to see so much more, right. It's like sort of I always tell clients sometimes, like you know, we want to read something, right, but so you would think in our minds that that in order to see, you have to look really, really kind of close to something, right, but when you put it too close you can't, you actually can't see. So the way actually to see something is to like just hold it gently in front of you so that you could read and also have the vision in front of you, right. So like you're opening yourself up in a very biopic way so you could see the world, you know, more broadly and more compassionately. Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to bring you into a reflective question.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to ask you to bring your awareness right now back to your 18 year old self and you're able to give your 18 year old self three words to carry yourself through the journey. What would those three words be? Hope, passion, versatility and is there a reason?

Speaker 2:

um, I, you know, 18 I mean, I remember myself at 18 and it's, it is such a trying time, you know, really trying to find yourself, and I remember just kind of where I was at too and um, I think we kind of get stuck in a place where we think, like you know, this will never end and I'm gonna forever feel this way and like I'm gonna be stuck, feel this way and like I'm going to be stuck like this forever. Sometimes we get in that little rut and I feel like I almost imagined when, when I said that, like somebody putting their hand on my shoulder, a loving person, you know, a spirit animal or a spirit support, like putting you know their hand on my shoulder and saying those words to me, and like really internalizing that in my body. Yeah, where can the listeners find you? The best place is on my website, because it has all my information and which is my name. It's wwwmichellemadenbergcom, which is Michelle with two L's and Maidenberg is M-A-I-D-E-N-B-E-R-G. I'll show you the cover to my book because I'm so excited. It's my colors, so I'm proud of it and, like I said, the audio book is coming out May 1st, which I'm very excited because I don't know about you, but I listen to books. These days I don't really read all that much, so I'm excited that it's coming out. And then again, you know, feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel and you'll get like a guided meditation every Thursday and to read my psychology today blogs.

Speaker 2:

And yeah, all my information is that I'm just, I'm so happy to bring this information, you know, to people because I see how transformative and helpful it's been. You know, and I really, again, I feel like I say this, but like we live such a short life, you know, and I know for myself, like sometimes I'll look at my kids and I'm like how did this happen? Like, oh, my God, you know, it's mind blowing, like my big one's 23. I'm like what? Like how did just realizing? Like how time just is so fleeting, and like how important it is for us to really be conscious of our moment to moment experiences and to live in a life where we feel dignified and we feel wholesome and we feel goodness, and so I just, I just want that for everybody. I just feel that yeah.

Speaker 1:

Are you willing to share what the intention was for the podcast?

Speaker 2:

I feel a lot of love. I do. I feel loving towards you too right now. Yeah, yeah. So I think it was just like exuding a love and I'm getting emotional. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

That's good. It's good, it shows the presence and, as I said, we don't have enough spaces to really just feel authentically what we are. And you know, the buzzword too is I want to be my authentic self. And it's like, well, understand with your body and with your nervous system when there's a choice of authenticity or safety, it will always choose safety before authenticity. And so to get angry with yourself that, oh, I wasn't authentic, it's like, well, look at your environment. Did you feel safe to express whatever you needed to express? So I'm very honored that we were able to cultivate a space that we could feel the love and really dive into a really delicious conversation. Do a deep dive.

Speaker 2:

And I appreciate the safety that you provided because you facilitated that, so I really appreciate that. Thank you.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, thank you for being a guest, thank you for the work and the light that you're putting out there in the world. It's so needed. I am very thankful that you're bringing mindfulness in for the practice of therapy and psychology and so that we can really, you know, start understanding what presence, what mindful being in our body. And I love how you coin pain and value, value and pain really facing the pain Because I think there's such an aversion of what pain can be and what portal you can go into by facing the pain, rather than running away and creating such a muck and still having to come back to facing the pain, no matter what.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it comes back, no matter what.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's like you can't avoid it. It's going to be there. So it's like it's the willingness to face it and having the support that people provide you with tools and what you can access to go through that that you don't have to do it alone and asking for help is the strongest thing that you can do for yourself. So thank you again for being a guest and accepting. I am so thankful we got to dive into this conversation and I hope you'll come back again to have another conversation at a later date.

Speaker 2:

Always happy to yes.

Speaker 1:

It was a pleasure, Thank you. Remember to be kind to yourself. Thank you, hey. You made it all the way here. I appreciate you and your time. If you found value in this conversation, please share it out. If there was somebody that popped into your mind, take action and share it out with them. It possibly may not be one that will benefit. It's that they know somebody that will benefit from listening to this conversation. So please take action and share out the podcast. You can find us on social media on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok under Lift One Self, and if you want to inquire about the work that I do and the services that I provide to people, come over on my website, come into a discovery, call liftoneselfcom. Until next time, please remember to be kind and gentle with yourself. You matter.

Breaking Stigmas With Trauma Insights
Exploring Values and Body Awareness
Navigating Values and Self-Expression
Processing Guilt and Self-Compassion
Manifesting and Emotional Wellness
Exploring Emotions and Mindfulness