Discussion #4121

Finding Self Support

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On April 23, 2020, we held a live webinar with James Crader to learn ways to help you manage stress during this global pandemic. He encourages you to allow yourself to grieve in addition to creating awareness about what makes you feel safe. He also shares a few different practices that you can incorporate into your life that will help you find support from within.

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- Tough Times Tribe with James

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Apr 28, 2020
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Welcome to today's webinar. Today we are talking with James crater and we are going to explore how to look after yourself and support yourself during and after the pandemic. James is a movement and mindset educator from Sacramento, California and owner of evolved body studio. He's the writer of the sales and soul blog. He's a business coach and an online content creator. Extraordinary.

I would say in terms of the online thank you. Content creation. Um, if he's asked to explain what his job is, it helps people move physically and embody movement in their life. I hope I got that a bike ride. Yeah, it's good. It's good. I'd, I'd, I'd hire you John. So we are going to talk for about 30 minutes and then after the 30 ish minutes we will answer questions.

Q and a kind of start off with a little poll question here, which is all around how stressed are you? So the question I'm asking is how often are you feeling stressed? It's going to share the results here. And uh, about 40% is every day feeling stressed, 20% a few times a week, 40% occasionally. And nobody is not feeling stressed ever. So yeah, I, I'm with you and I think this is a really, really stressful time. James, what do you think has happened, you know, the Corona virus has amplified this, but what do you think has really happened in the last few weeks?

Hmm, a lot. I think the big thing that I'm noticing in myself and other people is just fear. Fear is the big, big, big thing that's going on right now. Fear of the unknown, fear of Mmm. W w what may never come around again.

Things that you've always enjoyed and sort of possibly probably even taken for granted in your life. Things like getting up and going to work and what will work look like in a few weeks in a year. And it's a, this big fear monster that sort of, um, happens. I was listening to and I still can't remember where the podcast is. I keep referencing this podcast, this information that I heard. And, uh, even when we talk about something like a virus, it, uh, it brings forth this reflexive fear quality within all of us because what we're fighting against or avoiding here is an invisible enemy that could be in the room with you. It could be, it could be inside of you, it could be in your friend. It could be like we don't know where it is. And we have a really, really tough time. Mmm.

Coping with things that are invisible. I mean, if you look at even our archetypal ghost stories, they're invisible or sort of this danger lurking in the dark. So it's a primitive reflex that we don't know how to deal with things that we can't see or things that we can't manipulate. Somehow we're actually better suited to run away from lions or deal with major catastrophes or stuff like that than we are to deal with things that are invisible. And I think at the same time we have this grief that sort of floating above us or settling into us like fog right now, grieving over the loss of things that you were hoping for in grieving over life that has changed in grieving for things that have not happened yet. And what that grief and that fear does is just bring up huge amounts of unsafety in our body because we don't have the context that we are normal, that we are normalized to our days look different, our professional lives look different, our house lives look different.

And it's just this like fear, grief on safety situation going on. Yeah. I think sometimes I'm sort of feeling grief over, I just enjoy going out and being with my friends. Just different to being on zoom or ringing them up and those things, but just being sort of physically there with them. So I'm certainly feeling a lot of sadness about that. Like the trip to Canada that we were talking about a little bit earlier, we're both looking forward to going up to Calgary and that was away from us.

Yeah, it's, and with that, John, I think the thing that I'm noticing in a lot of people is, um, a hierarchy of grief and a hierarchy of fear that's going on, which is sort of unfair. And what I mean by that is, you know, you and I are both, um, sad or grieving over not being able to do something like hang out with friends or go to Pilates Fest North. And when I look at social media or have conversations with people, the usual narrative or rhetoric around that is, yeah, uh, um, I'm sad gifts to fill in the blank, but at least I don't have someone who in my life who's experiencing Cove it or I don't have it or, um, I still have a job to go to. So I can't complain about. Hmm. And the fact of the matter is we're all just human beings trying to get through this human being situation. And so we, I think a good service to do is quit ranking your grief against what you think is a hierarchy of grief and just sort of sit with what it is you are actually feeling right now. And if you are sad, I'm sad that I don't get to go to a Mexican restaurant and have chips in a margarita. Like that is truly something that bums me out on the regular. And so I'm allowing myself to sort of sit with that feeling but also have an adult moment with it. Like, well, that's not so bad. You know, it's, but I'm not going to deny myself that. It's actually sad for me. That's part of, you know, dining with friends is part of my life ritual. It was how we, um, uh, commute with one another, at least my friends. And I like, that's, that's just what we do.

And so it's bigger than not just going to have chips and salsa. It's like the ritual of being with friends and community over food with friends and going out and being social. And so I think we should stop denying ourselves the, Mmm, the, the little grief and those little sad moments, but at the same time also have, uh, a level of, of inquiry around it of, well, is it really that bad that I don't get to go to Calgary? Is it really that bad that I don't, is it really, cause there's always someone who's, you know, experiencing something that for you could be worse, but it doesn't mean what you're feeling isn't worth feeling. Yeah. Yeah. I definitely feel guilt about feeling.

I think we all have really like privileged things that I've given up still in the big picture. I'm incredibly lucky, blessed individuals. Uh, there's definitely sadness in this time. Yeah. I think on the other side there's this amazing opportunity to give and support people, right? Yeah. I certainly have five people in my life that are finding it much harder than just spending the time to ring them up and talk to them. I've even done something. So old school, I've written some of handwritten letters. I love that. I love that.

Yeah. Because email is so easy. I haven't done that, but I just felt like this is a way of connecting more deeply. Yeah. I had heard, um, uh, you know, letter writing is sort of coming into Vogue with all of what is going on right now. I can't say that I have, it's uh, it's something I would like to the article, someone somewhere I had read an article on letter writing and how difficult it actually is to sit with and be with your words in, in letter writing format because it's one thing if I'm going to write to you about, um, a letter about a birthday party that I experienced or a concert or instructional somehow, but to actually be with what am I experiencing right now and have to physically go through the act of translating that into written word through muscle is, um, it's an intimate endeavor and it actually brings up something for me, John. Uh, what I've been suggesting to students and to friends is that I'm calling it the level up program. And so if you are, let's say you have a friend or an associate who you normally wouldn't talk to every day, maybe you send that person a text right now. Or if it's someone that you text with routinely, maybe you level up and actually call them. And if you call them routinely, maybe you even take it a level up and you have sort of a drive by greeting or a front yard greeting or whatever it is, you know, however it is, you can qualify your social distancing because co-regulation and being with people how we get through tough times. Like that's, that's the number one way we are solitary animals who actually thrive in packs.

And so we need that connection. And I think possibly that love letter writing format might be like the pinnacle because you know what? More intimate thing than actually having to sit down with your experience handwriting out and then go through the trouble of putting on a stamp and taking it there. And then someone actually gets to receive like a gift, a gift of your physical gift, of your experience, a physical gift of how you've thought about them. And then they get to have their experience with it. It's highly intimate. I can't say I've done it, but I admire, I admire you for doing that.

So I love this idea of, uh, leveling up new texts. Give him a cool, you know, yeah. I saw a children's birthday party in the neighborhood here and I guess the kid was like four or five and people were driving around. Yeah. The parents were driving and the kid was in the back and waving at the back, which the other kids are happy about it. It was really cute. Yeah, we have one here last weekend. It was a Disney themed birthday parade and it went through like all of the neighborhoods. It was really adorable. Felt.

I'm sure that kid felt very special. Cool. Well what we, what I'd love to do now is as we can explore some of the practices, the union, uh, sharing with people to just help in this difficult time. When we were doing the rehearsal for this, you talked about some various breath, breath resources or breathing practices. So again, I think the thing that we're dealing with most here and it comes the inlet through it is a number of ways, whether it's grief or fear or sadness or whatever word label you're going to put on there. Um, what I think is happening physiologically is a nervous system dysregulation. There's a chaotic feeling going on at a nervous system standpoint.

And I call that feelings of unsafety. And so what I, I like to take away the word self care because to me it sometimes sounds a little precious and sounds a little outside of you or think so almost. Because if you have to take a moment out of your life to do these other things and how do instead, how do we begin to create some strategies of support that serve as tools and prompts and whatever. And one of the big ones, and we all know these tools well, most of us are familiar with these tools via Pilates or via movement research. And the number one thing is, is breathing. And I want to put a little asterisk with that, a little caveat beside it and say there's enough research now that says dictating how someone should and should not breathe is likely to send them into nervous system dysregulation as it is to send them into nervous system regulation. So what I mean by that is telling someone, breathe here like this, do this often can do more harm than it does good. And the more trauma you've had it felt, or the more trauma you have experienced in your life, the more likely it is to do the bad stuff than it is the good stuff.

So whenever I, I'm discussing breathing practices, um, I like to give people options and I think of them as resources that they can reference however it is that they like to do that. So with breathing practices, I tend to give three options and people can choose whichever one they like. First one I call listening for breath. And it's the simplest of all of them. You're just going to do an inhale and you're going to take a casual pause until you feel inclined to exhale. Yep. And then you'll just let it pause. And then whenever your body decides to inhale again, you're just going to let it inhale.

And so I call it the listening for breath because I'm just waiting and I'm listening for when my body is inclined to do its own breath. And I really liked this one because it sort of takes us out of the doing this, the effortless of, of breathing and into sort of the observer quality, the aware quality of breathing. And for people who have never done breath work, this is usually one that they can sort of slide into easily cause I'm not telling you breathe this much or this little, it's just sort of we'll take a breath and notice your breath is also highly meditative cause you know we're, we're creating an awareness about a physiologic function. So it's a sematic version of meditation. The next one I prefer, I, I discuss with my students is a four, seven, eight breath and this one is dr Andrew Weil's breath and there's tons of research on this one. It's really great for hypertension, for vagal nerve tone, Vegas nerve, sort of how we um, experience signals of safety and unsafety in the body. So lots and lots of research around four, seven, eight. And this is one I really enjoy too. And this one's super simple.

You're going to do an inhale to a count of four. You'll hold your breath, four count of seven, and then you'll exhale for a count of eight. Ideally we would do an inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. But that's just another rule on there. So I like to first give it, just do an inhale to a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale for a count of eight. [inaudible]. Now the caveat with this one, I noticed people who have like tight diaphragms and sort of restricted ribs or have never really had a breathing practice before this one is sort of advanced for them and they tend to not enjoy it cause they feel like they can't hold their breath long enough and it actually causes some physical distress.

So again, this is that, you know, um, before you go giving it to a student as homework, consider where they are at physiologically and introduce it to them and sort of go, well, here is an option. And if you enjoy it, we'll use this. So we have a listening for breath. We have a four, seven, eight breath and the next one I give is a box. Breathing. And this one is a Navy seal version of breath. So I just envisioned a box and we'll do an inhale to a count of four. We'll hold our breath for a count of four. Exhale for a count of four, hold our breath for four inhale. And you just keep going around the box.

So this one, all you have to remember is at some point you inhale some points you exhale and then there's an even amount of holding your breath on either side of that. I use number four. You can do a count of three, account of two, account of 10. It really doesn't matter what the count is as long as there is an even count. This one's a really nice one for tone of fine, that diaphragm. So I'll usually introduce, most people choose the listening for breath, especially if they've never had um, a breathing practice.

Therefore seven, eight because it's so powerful and great, but if they can't quite, uh, slide into four, seven, eight, then I'll do box breath cause the box breath actually helps out a physiologic level. Tonify the diaphragm. So you got three different breathing practices. Undoubtedly one of those you sort of gravitate more to and maybe one of them you don't like. So the way I tell my clients is when we're looking at signals of unsafety and safety within the body's body from a nervous system standpoint, when we feel unsafe, one of the first things that we can notice if we have an awareness practice around it is has our breathing changed? Are we holding our breath? Are we rapidly breathing?

Has the frequency or tone of the breathing changed? Because that's one of the first indicators as you're actually under some sort of physiologic distress or what we would now call signals of unsafety. And so if I have a practice around my breathing around observing my breathing, I can usually tap into it a little bit quicker of noticing, well, am I holding my breath or am I doing a rapid breath? And then I have a tool that I've practiced. So for seven, eight listening for whatever it is that I can sort of slide into practice, it's a prompt really in the tool to allow my body to regulate a little bit better. So if I'm noticing I'm holding my breath, I just started breathing practice for X amount of time, sort of reset the nervous system signals and then I'm better off to go. And one of the beautiful things about the nervous system, especially the Vegas nerve, the more we show it some TLC, the more we actually sort of um, pay attention to these signals.

The more our body generically feels safe. It's almost as if the nerve, I think in the nervous system, like a little kid, what it really likes is continuity. So it likes to know that if it's going through distress, you the observer are going to actually pause your day to examine what is going on and figure it out and give some TLC over to the nervous system. And the more it understands that that is something you are willing and capable of doing, the more the nervous system actually upgrades and gets better. And so you experience safety and more often than you do unsafety. So breathing practices are, are huge, but there's a caveat, there's a little asterick with that. Yeah.

Are there any many times when would you use a breathing practice? If you're in the car driving and somebody cuffed you up? Polo the answer, the answer is yes. So when, if, if, if, uh, at all the time and any time, so again, when I'm talking about these sort of practices or these resources with students, is that when you are at the height of your anxiety, your grief, your fear, that then is not the time to go. Oh yeah, there's that thing that James said that now I should actually do over here. Cause that's the time you need that tool to sort of show up for you. And so you're better off when, you know, finding somewhere that feels safe to you. Sit on your bed, sit in your garden, sit in your favorite chair, your studio, wherever it is that you feel safe and, and, um, uh, secure and begin to practice the tools there.

And so you're creating a finesse and an understanding and really a relationship with these tools. And then you're going to sort of test it out in somewhere that feels slightly less safe. So in the grocery store, which right now is huge, really, really unsafe feeling. You know, going for walks and seeing someone come at you. I think that's, that's a, um, a big thing that we're not really talking about now is the habit of avoiding people. Even when you're on a walk and you see someone coming, everyone's doing that like, Oh, how am I going to navigate this? Notice your breath. Then when you're driving in a car, notice your breath then so that when you get to the point that you're actually in an argument with your spouse or you have to go out into the grocery store or we have a lot of us are going to have anxiety about going back to work when the time comes, you know, and actually having to be with people and all of these things are going to start to come up. They're going to start to come up in you and they're going to start to come up in your clientele. And so if we can start to practice this stuff in a space that feels safe, so it's more available in less safe spaces.

So when we get to the really dangerous moments of our lives that we actually can possibly go, Oh yeah, there's that resource that I can start to reference here. And the more you practice it, the more familiarized you are with it. Yeah, yeah. Five with my spouse. Right. So feel that tension coming on. I can all fill in the void. The entirety of it just by was sitting on the bed or thing somewhere else in the apartment and just slowly you take yourself to a safe space and then you can get a little more. Yeah, yeah. There's no need to say what it was, which was, it could be construction. It's funny, there's an actual, that's actual physiology. You have this thing in the brain called the brokenness and when you feel enough tension and enough stress happening, it will switch it off and you'll just start saying horrible things to people you love and that later you're sorta like, why would I have ever said that? Well, it's because your brain just shut off and went into extreme fight or flight where you just were like, well I need to cause as much chaos as I can right now so that I can escape the situation. Yeah.

The next sort of set of resources I'd love you to talk about, you know, self massage resources. Yeah. Yeah. So again, breathing practices number one and then I sort of framework, um, safety practices are sort of these resources as relationship to self, relationship to environment and relationship to other people. And so relationship to self. I think one of the best things we can do for ourselves is self massage. And there are some really simple, again, um, my expertise with the nervous system is Vegas nerve. And so I will always start, and this is a tool I give to all my students, rubbing the hands together so they create a little warmth in there.

And then just putting the hands on the front of the throat there. So we've got those lovely scalene muscles and that vagus nerve goes right up and underneath. And what we're doing is just having a moment of calm there. And the minute we touch somewhere on our bodies, our homonculus map, the part of our brain that goes, Oh yeah, there's the body begins to light up and this is just a way of giving some TLC to that very tender, very susceptible throat vagal nerve area. Then that vagus nerve wraps right into the jaw.

So we have the trigeminal nerve there. And to just do a little simple jaw massage there. Okay. So if you just take, I like to take two or three fingers and just where I would open and close my mouth and just sort of get in there and do a little jaw release through there. So we got a little throat manipulation, a little jaw manipulation there. The other thing that we didn't talk about the other day was humming and so humming actually.

So I've got that Vegas nerve and it interdigitates and sort of butts right up against the pharyngeal nerve or how I produce sound. So often when I'm doing this one, I'll just have people home so it, everyone thinks they're tone deaf. So we're not, we're not singing here. This is not an Adele concert by any means, but just to kind of hold it. Mmm. Yeah. And if you think about it, these are all things that we reflexively do.

When we feel stressed, we grab here, we grab here, right? Uh, all of the chanting, all of the ancient religions and spirituality have some sort of monotone thing. And I, I was doing a, um, uh, a workshop on some of this stuff and I read a really beautiful thing from, uh, from a linguist and they said, huh, humming is possibly our animal sound. So how all animals communicate with one another. Humming is our truly animalistic sound in the way that cows would move and cats would Meow. Humming is what we would have done to communicate with one another, pre articulation. So before we had the ability to create words or function from a, from a language verbal perspective, we would have homed, we would have home to let people know how and where we are safe and what to do.

So we have this, this really deeply ancestral portion of us that has some nervous system components but also has history at a cellular level within the body. So some simple self massages, there's a lot of them, but those to me are our big ones. Then, uh, from there, the I when I, my cat comes and sits on me. Yeah. That is a kind of a thumb. Do you think that's in the same 100%? 100% and a I will give in my studio is I'll have people that don't even get us as homework. You know how you have like one of those heavy pillows, so like, um, um, you know, like a barley or a rice field pillow to sort of sit it on the chest. And then, you know, there's two different kinds of people in the world, someone who responds well to a cat laying on their chest and pairing and someone who responds well to a baby laying on their chest.

And so whatever your favorite vision is of that, just sort of sit and have one of your breathing practices with that heavy thing on your chest. Imagining that it's either a cat purring or a baby, you like cooing or sort of sleeping on your chest because again, those are signals of safety. You know, like if the cat, it's co-regulation. So if a baby or a cat is willing to pur or lay on you and go into a relaxed state, we at a human level know that they are relaxed. So therefore I can be relaxed or in co-regulation there. So, yeah, totally cool. Yeah, you're going to tell me about I exercise? Yes. Got it. So, uh, we could talk all day, John, this is, we're just going to have a 14 hour workshop. Everybody. I hope so. So I exercises, um, our optic nerves are connected right into the nerves in the back of our neck.

And right at that cervical, upper cervical head junction there you have what's called your accessory nerve that goes right through there. And that accessory nerve kind of goes down to the trapezius. So when we have, Mmm, I function, there's a lot to that from a safety perspective, but there's also a neurologic perspective and how it's affecting all of this. So one of the big things, especially my office workers, and I think all of us, especially now that we're spending more time looking into the screen all the time, is pausing and just looking around your space and it's just objective viewing. So objectively, when I look around the space, I would go, there's a painting, there's a plant, there's a window in a house across the street. I'm just naming the things in the room without subjectively saying I like this, or I don't like this. Or there's that person I am in an argument with, or the ugly plant that I need to change out or whatever it is.

You're just sort of maiming the things in the room so that you have an awareness of what is going on in the room. Then from there, so just keep your head forward and see what you can spot in the room without moving your head. So I'm just sort of looking around now and I'm using my eye muscles yup. To go through that and we just simply don't use our eye muscles enough anymore of her sort of constantly focused there. And it has repercussive um, happenstances all the way through the nervous system or I can do the opposite. I can keep my eyes focused and can I move my head around and keep my eyes focused on that one thing? Yup. There you go. Exactly like that John. That's exactly it.

So you've got some breathing exercises, some self massage and some eye exercises that are really, really simple to do. I can do those pretty much anywhere in some version. And it can slide slide right into normal life, right? Like I could be in an argument and have my hand here or my hand here and no one's going to think it's weird. I could be at the grocery store here, I can look around the grocery store, I can go into my breathing practices. And it's not, it's not weird. It's no one is, there's a lack of judgment or not a huge leap into the practice.

And so it's a frictionless practice. It can sort of slide right in and no one, no one is the wiser to that and you're doing some really important self support strategies there. So that's sort of the body, the relationship to self and then the relationship to your environment. Well, we've got a little bit of that with looking around and one of the best portions of all of this situation, this self isolation stuff I think is we're re-examining our relationship to the outdoors and all of a sudden I'm seeing neighbors going for walks that I've never seen go on walks before. I've seen clients going on walks and all sorts of stuff. And for so many of us the outdoors has been sort of an obstacle. It's, you know, I'm sure there's lots of people on here right now. I love being outside. Well vast majority of people don't, don't do that. And when they do that, it's sort of, well I'm, I'm taking my very refined inside self and now placing myself outside.

And what I'm suggesting is what if we go outdoors without shoes on? What if we go outdoors and put our hands in soil? What if we go outdoors and just sort of listen to the sounds of the birds? We go outside and watch bees. If we go outside, I mean, when was the last time you went outside and just watched clouds or watch the wind rustle through trees? That's the sort of relationship. Um, I'm talking about when I say relationship to your environment, it's an appreciation and a gratitude for being in the space. And how safe do I feel here? And for so many people, they feel unsafe.

They think, Oh, I can't go outside without shoes on. It hurts my feet, right? Like, Oh, I would have to wash the soil off of my hands. Well, there's microbes in there that are important to our immune system. So if there's any time right now to put your hands in some soil, it's right now, literally go out and put your hands in the dirt and experience that. And it sort of reconfigures and reestablishes our relationship to environment in a brand new way. Well, what do you think? I totally get this, but if I'm barefoot in nature, why does it feel so different than kind of wonderful?

Yeah, yeah. Well, you've got the grounding effect. So you've got literally the Earth's vibration. And magnetic field that you're directly more connected to. And also just being outside looks different from a light perspective. We're used to being indoors with sort of um, any more, a lot of led and a ton of blue light and the light spectrum changes outside.

You wake up and there's a lot of blue light and by the end of the day there's more of this Amber tone light until it's no light at all. And we're just not, we're not used to that. It sounds different. The tones outside are mid frequency and mid frequencies are what the human ear really, really enjoys. It doesn't like high pitched and it doesn't like low tones, low tones are, something's about to attack you. High pitched is something as attacking me. If you think of like a high pitched dog bark or a baby screaming, it's uh, it's, it's got this nervous system quality where it attracts you in a negative way. But like bird sounds wind, um, far off sounds of humor.

Like the far off sound of a kid playing is one of the best noises for the nervous system. Cause there's a joy. There's like this co-regulation thing going on right now with that. So if you can get somewhere where there's like, Oh, there's kids playing in the distance and there's Birdsong and I can hear all of that and I'm literally being grounded by the Earth's magnetic field. There's no better medicine for your nervous system than that. Hmm. One of the things, you know, living in Los Angeles is suddenly everybody is walking outside because this is the city of the car despite having this spectacular weather and the sky is so blue and the birds are so loud.

I'm sure they're the same loudness as before, but cars have gone up. Yeah. Well I read an article recently too about how literally, and I can't remember the exact term, maybe someone on here knows of this, but there is a, um, the, the vibration in the earth has shifted because of human noise. And I guess one of the only times this happens is during like holiday season. And so when we stop, you know, I'm going to work as much or we sort of slowed down around the holidays, scientists are able to go out and here on the surface seismic activity.

Normally they have to go down a hundred meters to hear a seismic activity and it's been happening for months now of you know, we can actually begin to hear seismic activity at the, at the surface. And so, you know, I'm sure it's somewhere out there, someone's doing research on this. I'm, I'm an inquisitive brain. So it's like, well what does all of this mean for how we are literally able to listen to noises, to other people and to ourselves as has to be impacting the way we are able to listen. Hmm. Herself listening to other people and so everything, I think everything sounds different right now in a really beautiful way because the human noise and a lot of different ways it's sort of quieting down. And that's been the big thing for me with all this. It's like, yeah, we talk about climate change and we talk about all this. Like it's so hard to do and we're making some globally things. But what we're choosing to do right now is not drastic. You know, it's like just drive a little less, just consume a little less.

Just maybe walk somewhere a little more. Maybe not. These are not hard things we're going through now. They feel hard cause we're being forced. But the choices we're making right now are not hard and are having these huge impacts. And it's, it's just a very interesting thing for me to consider. Yeah. It's a bit of me that's loving it, which I really don't like in this part.

So this new world. Yeah. I'm not missing my community in Los Angeles. Yeah. And I don't blame you. That's, that's a hard commute. So to wrap up all of this and then we can kind of move on. I have that relationship to self, relationship to environment and then the relationship to others.

And I sort of touched on it a little bit by that leveling up idea. Yeah. But the overarching theme for me, if you had asked me a couple of months ago about co-regulation or how human beings help to regulate other people, other human beings, nervous systems, just by being with them, I would have said, well that has to take place. It's human to human and the three D physical world and what I'm discovering more and more and I'm not just the only one that a lot of my peers who are, who are in the sphere of interest, this nervous system interests are having the same thing. It's, well, I can actually help to co-regulate other people via zoom. I can help do it via phone calls. I can help do it even via text. And what I'm discovering is the idea of co-regulation rather than like a necessity to sort of be face to face.

It's an understanding that my experience is being shared with another human being and I'm sharing their experience and there's a connectedness via relationship there and it serves as a tether into reality. And it's like, well, as long as there's enough third person I can be in relationship with somehow some way I can feel that I'm not alone and I know that I'm tethered into my experience and if I need help, they are reachable. And so it just does this really amazing thing of, um, even the worst circumstances don't feel as bad when there's another human being that you can reach out to. So go into that leveling up idea of if you have not contacted someone, send them a text and if you're just texting with them, give them a phone call, phone calls, then get in persons or zoom meetings or whatever it is, and then write a letter. Let people know that you're actually thinking about them so that you have a refined relationship and a way to support your yourself, yourself within your environment and yourself with other people. Yeah. Before we wrap up this, talk a little bit about gratitude.

Um, and this one comes directly from doctor Stephen Porges who created or founded the polyvagal theory. And it's the fourth foremost expert on how the nervous system, um, and ideas of safety intertwined. The number one thing you can do for yourself, best way to pull yourself out of grief, fear and feelings of unsafety is to have gratitude. And gratitude isn't, and it's sort of this cliche word that we throw around anymore and you can have gratitude for a lot of things, but it has to be really explicit. It's not a generic thing. Like, Oh, I have so much gratitude that I'm, you know, I'm in love with someone or I have so much gratitude, although that's nice.

It's like I'm having gratitude that this person loves me and that we are in this together and that we are having this relationship. And so that can look a lot of different ways, but actively in the moment, especially when you are, when you can pull yourself into a loop, a little bit of adulting, uh, anxious moment, you know, there's a time and a place for temper tantrums, that's great. But if you're having that moment of like, Whoa, it was me and you know, poor me. I don't get to go to the Mexican restaurant and have chips and salsa. You know, to have a moment of gratitude of like, well, I've got chips in the, in the cupboard. I can just go eat those. I'm so grateful that I actually have food.

I'm so grateful that eventually I will be able to go to a restaurant, that there's a moment of gratitude there and I like to couple it with what I call the long view of time and to understand that right now I'm having a moment of grief. I can have a moment of gratitude within that moment of grief, but to sort of zoom out of that distinct moment and go, well, I'm in grief. I'm in strife right now. Grateful for my chips, but what will life look like in five months? What will life be like in five years? And I'm, especially as I go through business coaching with people, there's so many of us right now that are just, and 100% chaos of what is our business going to look like? Are we going to have a business? Are we going to foreclose on the house? So you know, it's the spiraling thing. And my advice to the people that I coach is, well, you're a resilient, resourceful, creative entrepreneur.

You got here somehow some way. And so even if what you go back to doesn't look the way that you had anticipated it to look or what you would have wanted for yourself in five months from now, you're going to have figured something out in five years from now, you are for sure going to have figured something out. And so to understand that you're having an anxious moment right now, number one, can I have gratitude somewhere? And then once you have that moment of gratitude, which is, that works because your brain, the hippocampus cannot register fear and thankfulness at the same time. It's like it's one or the other. It either goes good or bad. And so if you can override the negative with the positive moment, it gives you a moment to sort of zoom out and then when you zoom out to kind of go, yeah, I can't have the chips right now, but I will be able to do that. Well, I can't go into the studio right now, but at some point I will be able to do that. And if not that, then that's the door and the opportunity for me to figure out what else do I do with my life. Who am I now that I, you know, that the world is scripted before we do the Q and a one asking if there's a leading question into the answer. We talk about the joys of temperature.

Oh yes, yes. Um, yeah. Uh, so there's this huge temperature plays a very vital role. Again, it's that um, uh, relationship to environment sort of thing. Uh, one of the really great things, two really great recommendations I think are in the knee in the evening or if you're feeling stressed to take some sort of relaxing bath and relaxing bath is bath water in between the temperature of body temperature and 114 degrees. And so we often run our baths too hot or even like heating blankets or you know, massage those heated massage tools. We get them too hot if it goes over 114 degrees and actually begins to activate pain receptors for the body where if it is in between body temperature and 114 degrees, that activates thermal receptors and Thermo receptors, but up right against proprioceptors in the joints. And those proprio suffers are what allow our bodies to let go of muscle tension.

So when you get into like a spa or a jacuzzi of some sort and it's like 102 and your first thought is only it was hotter and then like 10, 15 minutes later you're just jello. There's a reason behind that. It's because it's at the correct temperature. And then on the other side of the spectrum, cold temperatures are really important to experience at a mitochondria level. And mitochondria are the little bacteria that live inside of our cells that produce ATP. And do we, to tell you the truth, science doesn't even know everything that mitochondria does. We just know that they are highly important to a number of catalysts at a cellular level. And mitochondria are very, very particular.

They like what they like. And so if I expose them to cold, the weak mitochondria have to die off because they can't produce their own heat. And so my cells will then produce new mitochondria that are more robust. So taking a cold shower in the morning and it doesn't have to be long, it can be 30 seconds, it can be two minutes, but it's whatever you can stand and it's important that get your face and your neck and sort of, um, you know, armpits, all of those tender areas. And it's also sort of for me participating in that practice of resiliency. And it's like, well, I would prefer it to be different.

I would prefer to have a warmer shower. But I'm not going to die having a cold shower. I'm okay here. And it's like that. It's even if you go for a walk and it's a little crisp outside if you don't need, by no means am I saying if it's like 10 degrees outside, please don't wear a jacket. But you know, if it's like 60 degrees outside and it's chilly and you would prefer to have a jacket on, what happens if you don't, can you tolerate and build up a little resiliency to an environment that maybe you would prefer to be different, but you eventually create an understanding that I'm actually okay here and I'm going to survive this because a lot of my work is taking these physical moments and sort of translating them over into real life experiences. It's sort of um, assimilate or an image for what's going on right now. Yeah.

I would prefer the world to be different. I would prefer to be able to have my job function as normal. I prefer to be able to go to restaurants. I'd prefer to be able to hug a friend. I can't right now, but I'm okay. Like everything is going to be okay. I would prefer it to be different, but I have a resiliency for what is right now. Thank you.

You're welcome. Yeah. That cold shower in the morning, I feel better for it, but it was always like, Oh, am I going to, Oh, it's the worst. Right? Like I've been doing it for years now. It does not get any, the guys, it doesn't get any easier. You're not going to build up a tolerance to that. It's sort of, you know, I, I will say it's more craveable now. Like I actually, when I don't do it, I miss it. But the moment when you get in there, Oh, it does. It doesn't get easier ever.

Cool. Well, let's switch over to the Q and a. So if anybody has any additional questions, please add them to the Q and. A and we'll do our best to answer or that the first one is from Christine breathing four to eight. Two as good for the diaphragm. As for, for, for, for, you know, the box. Um, I say yes. Um, you know, it's, it's again just a prescriptive way of breathing. And so one of the best tonifying breaths for the diaphragm is actually a Wim Hof breathing technique. Where you do, you do to do a traditional Wim Hof breathing technique, you would almost do a hyperventilation to begin with and it creates some carbon dioxide going on in the body, opens up blood vessels in a different way, and then you do this big inhale, big inhale, big inhale, big inhale, big inhale and you're almost like sucking in more, holding it for as long as you can hold it. And then big, big exhale. And then can you exhale more, exhale more, exhale more, exhale more.

And where you have no more breath left in you, you hold your breath for as long as you can hold your breath. And then what the body will do will is reflectively inhale when it's time to do that and you take it more, taken, more hold, exhale and you keep repeating that way. And that is one. Um, especially when I'm working with people who have a very tight diaphragm. That is one that I will do. Then, but again, we're in that vein of prescriptive and do this, not that breathing techniques. So I personally have never tried a four to eight to breath the methodology behind it. I would say sounds really great. The having the longer exhale, then you do an inhale certainly tells the body that you're safe. So all these breathing things, if I have time to concentrate on my breath, especially my exhale, what my body is hearing as a signal is that I'm safe, I can be concerned and I have the comfort two, you know, care about my breath. If that proverbial lion walks in the room, I don't have a moment to care about breath, but I'm going to get into a car accident and I see it coming at me.

I hold my breath, I don't have time to worry about breath. And so just the act of doing any of the breathing things is great. Certainly give it a try. Four to eight, two sounds great. Thank you. The next question is what about tapping and apps? You can start by explaining a little bit about what's happening is yeah, yeah.

Uh, tapping is, there's a protocol on, on that and there's certain areas in the body and the big one is like chest area, sternal area, forehead area and others. Even some like wrist tapping techniques. And unfortunately maybe the person can chime in. There's an actual name in the lineage of this thought that is current. It's like on the tip of my tongue and it's escaped me right now.

I keep wanting to say it's like EFT or something like that. Um, but from what I understand about it is those are pulse points or just areas where I have a collection of nerves that are, uh, someone come collection of nerves that are, um, uh, more at the surface and a little more accessible in those areas. And they're also just shock roll energy points more often than not. So like a throat area, chest, forehead area, there's all these theories about it. I think it's wonderful. I think one of the things that the body really, really craves is rhythm and cadence. And so anything that has a rhythm to it, anything that has cadence. So, uh, anything that has a flowing sequence to it. I think that's one of the, that's why one of the reasons why I'm such an advocate of footwork, even in like I don't, I don't technically teach a lot of Pilates anymore, but footwork is one of the things that I, I put into almost every one of my sessions cause it's that moving in and out.

There's an ebb and a flow and our body picks up on these rhythmic cadence happenstances that then tonify my heart rhythms. And so I think tapping is great. There's a lot of other sciences behind it. I'm not a tapping expert, but what I do know about it is just doing it on the chest. It tends to work really, really well. And another spot is like the risk areas. So sort of in through there. Um, yup. EFT.

So EFT guys, if you're into tapping it is called EFT. It was like I know what's right here. UFT sounds kind of right and kind of not right. I'm glad. I'm glad I could pull that one from back here somewhere. Cool. Yeah. Somebody who's good enough to put in the chat. Emotional freedom technique.

So follow up question. The tapping work. Is it that cute connect? I don't know. I'm sorry. Uh, the next question I have here, if you start with a cold shower, yeah, I wanted to know the answer to this care. If you start with a cold cold shower, can you turn the heat up after or do you have to get out of the shower cold? Um, here is, uh, who, I'm not a, um, uh, a cellular level doctor by any means. Again, I know what we're trying to affect here is my Andrea. So all of this advice that I'm going to give you right here. Everything I say is anecdotal guys, but this is super intimate.

My, this is what we call a guest. Um, aye. I believe you have to be, remain cold for as long as possible. And the reason why is it depends on what level, right? If you're, if you are doing the cold shower sort of, uh, for lack of a fancier terminology here, shock therapy, then you can do whatever you want to with it, right? It's like, well, I'm just exposing myself to that brief moment of, of um, temperature trauma. And having to deal with that. If you are wanting, if you're doing the cold shower from a mitochondrial perspective, the idea behind it is I get myself so cold that my body has to warm itself up and so if I do the 32nd two minute shower and then I take a hot shower, that's not long enough timeframe there for mitochondrial regeneration I have to be cold for long enough that the mitochondria actually die off and something new has to take over. That's more robust and resilient, so it's a yes and a no situation if you are doing it for sort of cold exposure training where it's like, well, can I deal with this? Do whatever you want. There's lots of research behind that. I would assume that's how Japanese and South many bath houses work. You kind of go from hot to cold to hot or cold, but when we're dealing with like mitochondrial work, it's like get it as cold as you can get it.

Like if you can get into the bathtub with ice and be there for five minutes, do that and then don't even dry off. Let yourself air dry. I know, I know. It's intense. I know I don't, I don't do that guys like a, I, I tend to do a, um, I enjoy a hot shower. So in the morning when I take a shower, I'll take my regular shower and then I'll turn it on as cold as I can possibly get it again. I live in California, so my, our cold out here water is not like Minnesota cold water by any means. So do what you can do with it. But I'll do like a pretty lengthy, um, cold shower, you know, again, California time. So it's like my total showers like five minutes cause we live in drought country. Get in, do what you need to do. Cold shower, get out of the shower. My protocol. Okay. I promise to try them out. Okay. See how it goes.

Yup. Yup. This question is from Pauline and I'm just going to shout out that she and I both went to Liverpool university, so just pick, pick X poorly. Okay. Um, what was the name of the part of the brain that is related to not switching off? I'm going to say things to you now that James referred to, what did you call it? The brokest, B. R. O, C, I, if I remember correctly. B, R. O, C, H. U. S if I remember correctly. It's the brokest portion of the brain and it tends, it comes on and off when we are extreme Mmm.

Uh, confrontation. And so it's that, uh, think of it as like the backlash portion. It's, it's the kind of thing, like if you were cornered and all of a sudden you find yourself like, um, I think of, uh, when people have, when people have, uh, people breaking into their house and they ended up shooting them and they're like, I would never have done that or attacking them. It's the broker's portion. It's, it's, I'm, I'm being intruded upon and so I need to react immediately. We more often see it in arguments with people where you feel verbally attacked and so it will just sort of switch on and off and it can be trained like anything else. Uh, this a question about, I'm going to broaden this question. It was about a specific conference, but I'm going to just broaden it.

What is the, what is your feeling, and maybe we can both discuss this about the kind of gradual opening up of the economy. So one of the States in America, Georgia is body studios, gyms, tattoos, all these places are opening up tomorrow. Kind of question is how back to normal is it, how are we going to react to it? So happy to hear what you have to say. James. I'll share what my thoughts are on this. The kind of getting back to the new normal, right? Yeah. So on Fridays I've been doing this thing on Instagram live called amongst friends and with amongst friends, but I've been having conversations with dear friends of mine who have something to contribute to. Two things that I'm interested in.

And one of the things I noticed about myself recently is I've begun to, as we all have, create habits around social situations. And so this really came to me when my husband is an amateur beekeeper. And we went to go get bees the other day and there were, there were two couples and they were standing in front of the beekeeper door and they were far enough away and they were social distancing. But in order for us to get in the door, we would have had to walk through them or around them. And immediately I went into this horrible narrative about how horrible these human beings were for impeding my way and how dare they block and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

And so I had my friend Lisa Brooks on who's a social work and we kind of talked this out last week about how we are all creating habits right now about what we each feel is appropriate and how, um, we would run the country right now and where people should stand and where, you know, it's like we have these very, very finite ideas of, of what the world should work like right now and what it should run like right now. And we all have differing opinions and we tend to side with people who have more similar opinions. But the fact of the matter is we're all just humans having human experience with everything. And again, one of the most human experiences we're having right now is fear and grief and unsafety. And we're going to continue to see that. I don't know what the answer is. I do know that, um, I'm one of the lucky ones. My business and my life is pretty much unchanged. It looks different, but it's pretty much unaffected for the most portion.

I know that I'm rare, one of my favorite restaurants, like a, like this 40 year old breakfast hole in the wall place that was an establishment here in Folsom where I live, closed its doors permanently and we're going to see more and more. I mean, this was one of those restaurants where I was like, there's no way that this will ever close. Someone will buy this and it will, they close their doors permanently. So I also understand that the economy needs to get back and I understand that all of that. I'm just really leery. And my personal perspective is to be more cautious. Like I have, um, I have someone, I know people who have had Colvin, I have people that are the, in my very close inner circle who if they got Covin would most likely die from it. You know, there's asthma, there's heart disease and there's that. So I'm very, very conscious of it. I just, I don't know what the answer is for all of that, but I do know that we each need to just sort of respect other humans feelings and hope that our feelings are also respected and everyone just needs to do what's best for them. Yeah. You know, we, we were lucky enough, um, parties anytime we closed the office on the 11th of March and when we made that decision I thought, yeah, I kind of jokingly say it, we'll see you all at the beginning of may. Yeah, I am. I just think, what is that six weeks ago now, five, six weeks.

And right now I'm kind of saying to people, I'm not going to see you at the end of the, the beginning of may know. Maybe we can see at the end of August see each other. And within my community there are people that are very vulnerable to Kovacs because the immunity system is compromised because they're older because they have, um, and I really don't want to spread it to those people. And so there's this kind of opening the economy, having people stay at home. The end of the day, it's all about this balance between money.

And I liked the example that we can make cars a lot safer unless people would die in car accidents. That is possible. Yeah. The utility of the car becomes a lot less than what becomes, you know, you have to go much slower later, big cushions around them. So there's this compromise between risk-taking of say, driving a car, um, those things and the kind of, the cheapness of it and the affordability and the fact that everybody has, so it is a real, real dilemma. Mmm. Pulling in my sort of feeding on discretionary traffic is, I'm probably not going to get on a plane for quite a while. I agree. I think the kind of, there's a couple of things that would be big milestones for me.

If the antibody test tells me that I have the antibodies so I'm not going to catch it. That would be one of the things. And then further out in time if I could get vaccinated and I felt confident about the vaccine, that it was well developed and tested and people understood the, the side effects of it, that would also be another milestone. But until then I am going to be pretty cautious. And you, you asked whether or not to fly to the U S for a conference? Mmm, in June. My advice to my employees if they were to ask that and some of the bodies, anytime team we're going to go to the particular conference is don't go this year. Yeah. When things are a lot more back to normal the year after, then maybe that's the time to do it. But I don't want you to have to go on a plane and travel and potentially get in a place a long way from home and family. So that's, that's my kind of feeling on it.

And I think the way the economy is going to open, it's going to be a little bit at a time and there's maybe places that are going to be very fast and I suspect that they're going to get a lot of Corona virus cases, close it all down and bring it back down. Yeah, I mean again, we totally unprecedented times with a virus we honestly know nothing about currently. We don't know how it's going to affect us longterm. Those people who have had it and even with the antibody tests, we still don't know how long people, if that means people are have built up an immunity to it for how long they built up an immunity to it. What all of that means. Right now we're just data collecting and so it's, here are some numbers but we don't have meaning behind the numbers yet and so for me, I'm the same. It's like I need some meaning behind the numbers and I need to know that there's some safety involved in all of this because the only thing we have to look to is history. And any time friend just posted an article, it was on Spanish flu pandemic in Philadelphia had, there was like a hundred people who had it in all the Philadelphia early 18 hundreds I believe. I'm not a historian guys leave me alone. But the, they Philadelphia was going to have this parade and they decided to have a parade and no, this is probably in the forties. I don't know, whenever it was look at, it was 1918 1919 Spanish flu epidemic. Yep.

Thank you. Thank you. And um, yeah, as I was talking, I was like, no, they were having a world war one parade. And so they were having this parade and within the next two weeks, 12,000 people ended up dying from Spanish flu. So there were a hundred estimated cases. Everyone went to the parade. This happened. Now we live in a very different time than a hundred years ago.

So certainly those numbers aren't equitable. And that way, but viruses spread when we get lazy, you know, it's in right now we're on high alert and you know, I think there's gotta be a little bit of cautiousness and a little bit of understanding that you've got to take your own safety and your own health into consideration here and the health and safety of other people. Well James, I loved it. I love being with you today. Thank you so much. I hope everybody who joined us has some tools to help, um, with this stressful time that we're in and Mmm. It's normal to feel anxious or stressful.

That thing it comes out for you. My, my thing is depression and there's been days when I've woken up and felt pretty damn dark. Um, but what I feel like, you know, there's an opportunity to do here is to reach out and help your friends and the act of helping others is one of the things that really helps me with my emotional wellbeing. Yeah, I agree. It's, you know, to think that you're not going to have moments of Greer of grief, fear, depression, feelings of unsafety and trauma come up is denying your physiology. I mean like these are molecules of emotion that sort of pass through us and, and siphoned into our blood and in our brain and it's who we are. It's how do we support ourselves through these times and you know, the strategies that I suggested, there are things that you can use for yourself, um, and use for your clients, use for your friends, use for your family and they're just there to support you when you need some support. Thank you Jack. When this video is applied, there'll be a link to James, his website.

You're welcome to email James or I email is John [inaudible] anytime.com that's J. O. H. N. I try and answer everybody's emails sometimes. I got a lot. So it takes a while but I get there eventually so thank you so much. Yeah, I appreciate it. Thank you so much John and thank you JIA for, for doing all the behind the scenes stuff here. I appreciate it. Thank you everybody. Thank you, aye.



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