Jul 24, 2021
I've been traveling and seeing some old friends and I've been
having some very interesting somatic experiences being present in
my body, leaning into connection and feeling the absence of an old
friend, comparison. :) I chat about the role of feelings, self
judgement and how emotional allowance and self friendship is the
key to healing.
Please feel free to reach out to me via instagram @movewithdeb or book a curiosity call at https://calendly.com/paincoachdeb
My website is www.debmalkin.com
Welcome to Move With Deb. I'm Deb your friendly neuroplastician. And this is a podcast that explores the relationship between the body and the mind from a health at every size, judgment, free perspective. I teach you how developing a new internal conversation based on curiosity, self friendship and simple neuro-plasticity techniques can rewire your bodymind out of pain and emotional overwhelm to help you build the rich full life that you want to live. Disclaimer, this is not a replacement for medical care.
[00:00:50] Hello and welcome to Move With Deb the podcast. This is episode number 24. And I've been driving across the country, getting to spend some time with some old friends, some from college days and it has been so interesting.
[00:01:13]I was hanging out with an old friend and I felt the residual effects of comparison. But what was more telling was that I felt more the lack of comparison. It was, if I was seeing these lovely humans for the first time. Which made me realize I spent most of my younger adult life comparing myself with others in small and big ways. Especially around body size but pretty much in all areas. I trained my brain to always think of me as failing, and others as succeeding. Which often didn't let me see what was going on in their life. It certainly prevented me from seeing what I was doing well, Or feeling relaxed and secure about who I was in the moment. I always felt like I needed to be better.
[00:02:11]I feel a lot of sadness about this reflection. But I also know that it is true. The felt sense of not being good enough seems to run through my DNA. But that's not really a story that I want to continue to perpetuate. What's so interesting now is my willingness to feel it. To feel the not good enoughness. To feel the resentment of a life colored by that. The confusion of not knowing how to create the way out. I have so much compassion for that me.
[00:02:54]And then I was able to sit and enjoy appreciation of who she is. Of who I am. I heard stories from my friend that I couldn't have heard back then. And didn't even know how to ask. Because I assumed that she had it all together. That she had things that I didn't have. I heard about insecurities. I knew nothing about. Because I was always imagining her life better than mine. Measured by a marker that neither of us chose.
[00:03:27]Whatever it was body size. Relationship length. Business longevity. Drive and creativity. I got to listen and share and connect this visit. And it felt like such a relief. I let myself be me. And I let her be her. And we are both amazing. And human.
[00:03:54]I don't need my past to be different. My past was. Even if I would do things differently now. It doesn't serve me to spin my wheels and spend the energy wishing things had been different when they weren't. That is a cause for inner conflict and ego helplessness which Dr. Sarno believed is a driver of TMS pain.
[00:04:21]I was the best I could be. And I did the best I could at the time. Wishing things in the past were different keeps our brain focused in fear trying to keep the past from repeating. But the fastest way to the past to not repeat itself is to focus our attention on the present. And the desired future.
[00:04:43] There is no need for fear if there's not a concern about the past repeating itself. I tell my clients when they learn how to rewire their pain. That meta skill becomes theirs. And never again, do they need to live in fear of pain returning because they have the tools for now and in the future. The past is over.
[00:05:07] Learn to leave it behind.
[00:05:09]I was thinking about my younger self, my late teens and twenties, self. I barely remember that time. Because I think in a lot of ways, I wasn't paying attention. Because I was in that deep resistance, fear, subtle self rejection and comparison place. I used to read self-help books to learn how to be different.
[00:05:31]It wasn't about getting to know myself. Because why would I want to know me? I didn't want to be me. I would buy these books that had worksheets all the time and I would never do the worksheets. Then I would feel a lot of shame about never doing the worksheets. Never doing the study right. Never doing the work in the book correctly, but that didn't stop me from buying another self-help book.
[00:05:58]Also the books I bought were selling me on the premise that I was a shitty version of my potential self. So I could never arrive at self love from a place of self rejection. Trying to do those worksheets felt like a reminder of all the things that I didn't like about myself. And all the solutions I could never make happen. I never got to be a different person.
[00:06:27]Now I'm like, Hmm. Worksheets. Might bring me closer to me. Because my fear is only my thoughts in my head. And learning to allow it is what lowers the resistance, which means less threat to my nervous system. Which means fewer symptoms, more resiliency. More insight. More love. And connection with all the parts of me. Even if they're things I want to be different in the future. It all starts with growing from self love and friendship. Growing through fear will never bring you to self-love.
[00:07:10]So. Now I look at worksheets totally differently. And it lights this curious awareness, this lighthearted curious sensibility. Who am I. What am I thinking? Why am I thinking that? What am I making that mean? Oh, that's so fascinating brain that you would offer me that thought. And I often have kind of a, bemused frustrated but also sometimes delighted relationship with my brain these days.
[00:07:43]But pain and anxiety are often the vibrations of resistance and running from fear. So the solution is to get amazing at feeling. Not fixing.
[00:07:57]So, how do we feel an emotion? Well, let's get a definition going. Emotions are biologically based psychological states brought on by neurophysiological changes, variously associated with thoughts, feelings, behavioral responses and a degree of pleasure or displeasure. And then it says there is currently no scientific consensus on a definition.
[00:08:28] In this moment, I'm going to say again, one of my favorite books. Is How Emotions Are Made by Lisa Feldman Barrett. You want to get deep in the weeds of what emotions are. I highly recommend reading that book.
[00:08:44]I like to think of emotions. As the felt sense of a thought. It's a vibration in my body. Maybe it has higher arousal or lower arousal. There's a quality of moving towards something or away from something. words in my body.
[00:09:02]And how do we process or allow an emotion? I hear people talk about. Not having time to feel their feelings or deal with their feelings. That implies that there needs to be some kind of action taken to resolve a feeling. As if the feeling is a check engine light on a car and telling you that something is broken.
[00:09:24]There's nothing broken. We are meant to feel. Our bodies are literally designed for it. Our body responds to emotions with physical experiences on purpose. As designed. There's no flaw. Except that we believe it shouldn't be happening.
[00:09:45]When we believe this feeling shouldn't be happening. Then we feel another feeling like resistance or anger. Or we try really hard not to feel the original feeling. And then we don't feel anything at all. Because we believe that feeling that unpleasant feeling means that the originating thought of that feeling must be true. That's an unfortunate misunderstanding.
[00:10:10] So feeling is literally a sensation in your body. You can allow a feeling to be there and still go on about your day. And it's okay that you don't know how to do that. You can do this thing called practicing.
[00:10:25]Allowing a feeling or processing a feeling is simple. All you need to do is let the sensations be there and meet them with a sense of welcome and curiosity. I will narrate them. This feels like sadness. My chest feels heavy and clunky. There's a tingling sensation on the bridge of my nose. My jaw aches slightly. My breath feels like lead. Hard to take in a deep, full breath. A shiver travels at my spinal column to my upper back and radiates out causing me to shutter. As I hang out with this feeling telling myself that I'm safe, having any feeling. I checked to see if I'm trying to suppress it. And remind myself that all feelings are allowed.
[00:11:16]When I tell myself I don't have to fix my feelings or take any action I can feel my muscles relax. My feelings are just here to say words to me with my body. This takes practice. And the willingness to practice this, be bad at it, and continue to work at creating emotional safety and having emotions is one of the most important healing skills. I hope that you will go ahead and try it.
[00:11:46]Always, if you want to know how to work with me. Please visit my website. I'm currently offering my eight week pain recovery program. Explore your own embodied map, how to apply these tools of awareness, somatic tracking, building new neural pathways. As well as exploring graded exposure. And goal setting around movement and life. This is about the life that you want to live of your choosing. And emotions are part of that life.
[00:12:17]I hope you have an amazing day. Thank you for listening. I'll talk to you next week.