How To Break The Addiction To NEGATIVE THOUGHTS & EMOTIONS | Oprah Winfrey | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "How To Break The Addiction To NEGATIVE THOUGHTS & EMOTIONS | Oprah Winfrey".


Note: This transcription is split and grouped by topics and subtopics. You can navigate through the Table of Contents on the left. It's interactive. All paragraphs are timed to the original video. Click on the time (e.g., 01:53) to jump to the specific portion of the video.


Intro (00:00)

Your worldview is that people are going to abandon you in their relationships. And so you either go into those relationships being very needy and afraid, or you go into those relationships being very jealous. Why is it so important to make this switch from us thinking, what is wrong with you to what happened to you? Well, let me answer that because I first came across this question of what's happened, what happened to you?

Understanding & Nurturing Childhood Trauma

Asking, what happened to you? (00:20)

When I was doing an interview with Dr. Proustbury a couple of years ago for 60-minute story I was doing. Now, I've known Dr. Perry for over 30 years. I first started interviewing him in the early 90s, late 80s, early 90s on the Oprah show, when we were talking about raising children and how important it is those first zero to six years. So I've been hearing about what it means to nurture and support the brain early on. It wasn't until that conversation a couple of years ago. I don't know whether I think it's because of where I was in my life at the time. I opened a school in South Africa. I've had these wonderful brilliant girls who come from traumatic backgrounds grow up and have really serious mental health issues. And I was trying to at the time figure out what are we doing wrong at our school? Something's really wrong here. And in that interview with Dr. Perry, he said, most people ask the question when kids are not behaving the way you want them to behave or what's wrong with them. We really should be asking about what's happened to you. And something went, "Aha, in my brain." It was like a major moment. I got it in a way that I hadn't received it before. And I realized that it's not just for children that you ask that question, but it's really everybody. And that moment, Bruce, as I've said to you many times, Dr. Perry, changed the way I saw my relationships, how I saw my own life, how I interact it with people, and even in politics where it was so crazy in the past four years, and everybody's always talking about what's wrong, what's wrong, what's wrong. I would always say, "I wonder what happened to that person. I wonder what happened to them younger that caused them to be this way." So all of the labels that you just gave, Jay, there is a world of labels. There is overachiever, there is obsessive compulsive moms, soccer moms, there is the desire to please people all the time. There's multiple, multiple, multiple, multiple labels that refer back to what happened to us. And so I will just say this. One of the things that Bruce says in the book, each of us comes into the world with our own worldview. And that worldview is actually shaped from the crib. And you get from the world what you project into the world, and you project into the world what you were raised with and what you were raised around. So that's why what happened to you is the essential question. So beautifully said, and I wish my brain had a hard moments that sound like that opera too. And Dr. Perry, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Well, I come at this from a slightly different perspective because I have a long history of being a history fan and had studied history growing up and was very well aware of the relationship between the things that happened in the past playing a major role in how things were functioning currently. And I think that that's, I think most people are able to kind of make that connection. But as I became a biologist and learned about the development of the human body and the human brain, it became clear that we have our own personal history and that the things that happened in our life shaped the systems in our brain that influence how we think about things, how we feel about things and how we behave. And it really, it leads to a completely different approach to getting to know somebody. You enter the interaction with a curious mindset. You're curious about what's going on. And it really, I think, as Oprah says, it really opens up this new perspective on understanding a person. You can be much more empathic with them as opposed to being so judgmental. Yeah, for me, that reframing that you both have so beautifully illuminated in this book is so subtle, but it's so powerful because it removes that judgment. It removes that negative observation, that criticism, that fear that people feel on the receiving end of that as well. To me, just that switch of question is so powerful.

What inspired Dr. Perry to study child trauma? (05:03)

So what I want to do now is I want to ask you both questions throughout the different chapters of the books as no one really has it till today. And I'd like to start with you, Dr. Perry, and ask you what happened to you? What inspired you to study child trauma? Where did your journey start and why did it become so important to you? Because obviously, this is something that you've done for decades. Tell us about the beginning of that, Jan. Well, it started kind of randomly because when I went to college at Stanford, they have a freshman seminar process where they take incoming freshmen and they assign them to some eminent faculty member. And then for every week, for the whole year, you meet with that person, and you get to know their work and have conversations. It's a great experience. And I was randomly assigned to Seymour Levine, who was the grandfather and now great grandfather of almost all of the big stress researchers in our field. And he had just been doing a series of studies looking at how you could take a little rat pup and give it a tiny little bit of stress, handling stress, you just take it out of it, the litter, hold it and then put it back after a certain period of time, and then let the animal grow up. And then when they looked at those animals, their brain was very different than the brains of animals that didn't have that tiny little stress. And I thought that was stunning that you could have an experience that was literally minutes long, and it would influence in a lifelong way the functioning of this really critical set of systems in your brain that are involved in how every organ in your body functions. And from that point forward, I was studying the development of the stress response systems in animals and then got into clinical work. And it's interesting, going back to what Oprah said about labels, when you go into mental health and start to get trained, there is a manual that people use the DSM and it's full of labels, and it's based on the symptoms that somebody has. And basically, it's a big book that says, what's wrong with you? And it doesn't say what happened to you. And so I was a developmentalist and I had been studying the brain and I went into the field and I'm like, wait a minute, there's about 30 different ways that you can become inattentive. You can have attention problems from hyperthyroidism and developmental trauma and lead toxicity and all kinds of things. We need to ask, we need to get to know the people that were giving these labels. And if we did that, I think that we would stop giving them labels and start giving them some solutions. Absolutely, absolutely. Thank you so much for sharing that. And, Oprah, as you were saying earlier, the book is full of stories and the science.

The long-term impact of childhood trauma (07:54)

And when I was reading about your own childhood stories and trauma, traumas in this book, it's difficult at times and it's challenging, but at the same time, your level of honesty and transparency is genuinely such an inspiration for myself and countless other people who are struggling as well. And when I was diving into the book, there were moments where I was so grateful to you for what you shared. And you open up about a story about how your grandmother used to whip you over the smallest, most insignificant things like spilling a glass of water and this horse, right, exactly breaking a plate. And this harsh behavior was normal for you as a kid. And you said something in the book that really stood out to me. You said that the long-term impact of being whipped turned you into a world-class people-pleaser for most of your life. I want to know how did you become aware of that connection between that experience as a child and how it was being lived today? And how did that start to help you on your journey? Well, thank you so much. I'm so moved that you were touched by that story because I, until I was a full-grown adult and I met my best friend Gail, Gail is the first black person I ever met who wasn't whipped as a child. I mean, she was the first person I ever encountered. So it is a part of the black culture to not just spank your children. Almost everybody you run into of a certain age was whipped as a child. So that was such the norm for me that writing about it for the first time is the first time I actually recognize, oh, this is not a normal thing. So to really, I was in a boardroom having to confront someone in my 40s and I had so much anxiety about the fact that I was going to have to have this confrontation with somebody. And it just just the most normal disagreements would cause me a great sense of angst and worry and oh my God, and what's going to happen. And I just said, where is this coming from? Why am I so afraid when I am the one in the power seat? I am Oprah Winfrey running the harpow studios. My name is spelled backwards. I am the person in charge and in order to have a disagreement with somebody, I go through so much angst and I realized, Jay, that even though I had the power, I still felt that every confrontation I was going to get a whipping, that a whipping was going to result. That thing that used to come up inside me when I had to walk to get my own switch, oh, where is this feeling coming from? I am feeling like in every confrontation, I am going to get a whipping and at the end of it, that person is going to be mad at me and at the end of it, that person is going to say, you better not act like you are mad. You know, all the things that happened to me as a kid. So it wasn't until I was a full grown adult in my own seat of, you know, perceived power, feeling those feelings of anxiety and anxiousness, having to have the slightest bit of confrontation. So what I say in what happened to me is that being beaten as a child, having to be subservient to other people's ideals of what it means to be a child, meaning you are seen and not heard. So I've grown up to have this big personality, but being raised in an environment where children are seen and not heard and your opinions do not matter. So what happened to me taught me that my opinions do not matter, keep your opinions to yourself and do whatever you can to please other people so that other people will like you, so that other people will not be upset with you. And I will have to tell you, it is also for me, not for everybody else, but for me, one of the reasons why I was so susceptible to sexual abuse, because I had been taught and trained not to speak up for myself, that whatever somebody wanted to do who was older than me or in a position of authority that they had rights that I did not. So that what happened to me was ingrained in a way that literally caused me to be a major people, please, for a great deal of my life. Thank you for sharing that full journey. And I really gravitate towards that statement you said around how we, when we normalize something, we don't actually even recognize the trauma in it. We don't even realize that there's anything, it was just normal to you, you just expected it. And I think that really brings us nicely, Dr. Perry, to this thought about what's something you talk about, how we're loved in the book. And you say that a common phrase people use whenever a child acts out is that he or she must not have been loved as a child, right?

How long really lasts (13:21)

And in the book, you go on to explain that how it isn't a matter of how many hugs and kisses you received as a kid. So for the parents watching, and I'm sure there are many parents watching, and for those of you who are watching right now and enjoying this conversation, I highly recommend to make sure that you go and order yourself a copy of the book. But for those of you that are watching, and Dr. Perry, when you think about this, what should parents be thinking about differently or doing differently that many of them may be missing today and the idea of wanting to give love, and often our perspective on what love is, or our definition of what love is, feels like hugs and kisses. Well, first of all, to clarify, hugs and kisses are nice things, and they can be part of a really positive loving environment. But one of the things about the brain is that these systems in our brain that allow us to form relationships and maintain them in a healthy way, the systems that allow us to love and be in path, they can become ultimately humane, these systems develop like any other system in the brain that require repetition, repetition, repetition, that when you want to get better at piano, you have to practice your piano, and you want to get better at reading, you need to read and read and read. And if you want to develop the capacity to form a healthy, loving relationship, you need lots of tiny little doses of attentive, attuned, responsive, nurturing interaction with people around you. And a lot of people grow up, and again, this is language that's not uncommon in our world, is that it's the quality and not the quantity. So if you give your child a little quality time, then that is somehow supposed to overcome the fact that you're gone for five days of the week. And it just doesn't do that. Children need your presence, even if it's your neutral presence, and they come over and they give you a hug, and they wander away, they come over and they ask a question, they wander away, and they need lots of tiny, little doses of positive interaction. And now one of the challenges in our modern world is that we have so many isolated, single caregivers, parents, who may have multiple children who need that. And since in the modern world, we've moved away from having aunties and grandparents and neighbors, playing a role in this sort of community caregiving model, we've got tons of exhausted, overwhelmed caregivers who are trying to do their very best. But there's just no physical way possible that they can meet all of these needs of these children. And so I think that that's a big, that's a burden that our society needs to address and think about how to create more relationally enriched environments to support our young parents, because the vast majority of them would do the right things, they'd just be drawn to do the right things if they weren't exhausted, worn out, worried about housing, worried about food. You know, we structurally contribute to the inability of these caregivers to provide those loving environments. Yeah, one of the things Dr. Perry says in the book, Jay, is that we're the only country in the world that does this, that we're the only country that expects a single mother to be everything and all things, you know, to children.

Us vs. other countries' view on rearing kids (16:47)

Whereas other countries where there is a number one, a greater respect for the elders and the elders involvement in the child's development and aunties and cousins and family members. And so when you don't have that, these moms, which I feel so deeply for moms who are trying to do it all, it's impossible to be able to do it all. Right. It is. And the thing for an infant and a child growing up, love isn't the feeling the parent has for the child.

Nightly repetition of nurturing as love (17:34)

Love is an action, right? Love is sort of night after night after night after night getting up and meeting their fundamental needs when they're hungry, thirsty, cold, and and over time as they build in these neurobiological capabilities to mature, then you can move to more emotional variations of that equivalent of love. So now that we're adults, we can actually say, you know what, there's somebody in my past who was present attentive and I love that person. And if you, you know, that's that is love, but your ability to sort of build that much more advanced neurobiological capability emerged from thousands and thousands and thousands of repetitions of these loving nurturing relation relational interactions. I think that's such a great point because as I grew older and it wasn't just my grandmother whipping me, but other people, I remember getting a whipping once and having, you know, one of my relatives say, I'm whipping you because I love you. Well, it certainly didn't feel like love, certainly didn't feel like love. But I know that for that generation, the idea of I'm going to keep you in line and I'm going to make sure you're disciplined and that you're going to obey and do the right thing in their minds might have felt like love, but certainly did not feel like or was interpreted by me to mean love. I mean, I think for anybody who's listening to us or watching right now, and I know if you are culturally raised the way I was, you have a lot of pain behind those whippings. And I remember doing a show on the Oprah Show years later talking about should children be spanked and a black woman stood up and said, well, I got beat every day and my father, I was in the choir and my father beat me in front of the whole congregation in church. And I turned out okay. And I'm like, did you really, because nobody, anybody who's ever been hit realizes the humiliation of that. What you feel more than anything, even as a little kid, is the humiliation of it. And what you are being told in that moment is that you have no value, that you are worth nothing, that you are so worthless that I get now to lay my hands on you and physically beat you. So it takes a lot. And I would have to say that it was a lot for me to overcome, to begin to understand that my life was of value. And as I say, and what happened to you, what did that for me were relationships with my teachers. I could cry right now thinking about, the teachers who stood in the gap for me and made me feel valued, made me feel important. So it was only at school or speaking in church that I felt a sense of, I mattered that there was some meaning and purpose for me in life. And so, you know, as when I was talking to Bruce on 60 Minutes, I said, Bruce, please explain to me why I'm not crazy, because I grew up in the circumstances where I should have no self values, no self worth.

How to nourish & nurture our traumas (20:36)

But Bruce, as he explains in what happened to you, you don't have to have it come from your family. Other relationships with people who are nurturing, supporting, caring, and actually just see you. So the reason why I love school so much is because that's the place that I felt seen. Yeah. It makes me so happy to hear you both give people the permission to realize that they don't have to have it all figured out and that they can't have it all figured out and that it's, we're all trying to be the perfect parent, the perfect person, the perfect professional, the perfect partner and perfection as it is. But even that striving for it, you're giving it around the permission to realize, and also, I love that point I was just made around how this is not just what's happening at home. It can be heightened or amplified by what happens at school or it can be nurtured and nourished and improved as well by what happens. And Oprah, one of the things you talk about in the book, when we're talking about the need for rhythm and balance, and that's what I think this book does so beautifully is what this book allowed me to do was feel vulnerably, but then project that onto a framework of how to think about it. And I think that that is such a refreshing thing because often we're told to be vulnerable and be open and then you let it all out and then you're like, "Oh, well, this is just a mess. I don't know where to put it all." And then this book allows you to kind of go, "Okay, well, that makes sense and this is how I place this." How did you recommend for people to find the time to create rhythms? I know you say you block out the Sunday to be with yourself and spend time walking in nature, trying not to be distracted. For anyone right now who's saying, "I recognize from hearing both of you that I must have some trauma, where do I find the time to unpack it? How do I make time for that? And where do I start?" Well, you start with understanding that your cup being full is how you allow yourself to give to other people. You can't give what you don't have. You can't love if you haven't been loved. You don't even know how to begin to do that. So I think it begins with fundamentally understanding that you are worthy enough, you are valuable enough, you matter enough to give yourself the love that you deserve. And that starts by taking out time for yourself. So I have my own rhythm and pattern. I know that if I go six days and then on the seventh by the seventh or eighth, don't give myself a break that lots of other things give that I'm not as alert. I'm not as attuned. I'm not as centered. I'm not as focused. So I know that that is my limit. I cannot go beyond a certain amount of days. And for me, walking in nature is my solace. It is where I feel that I am one with all and all being all creation and connected. For other people, it may be dancing. It may be music. It may be knitting. It may be whatever it is that brings some kind of rhythmic pattern into your life. Actually, it was Bruce and I were walking on my campus in South Africa. And there were a group of girls dancing literally on the lawn because Lord knows they love to dance. And Bruce says, oh, that's not just, I said, oh, they're just having fun. And Bruce said, oh, they're not just having fun. They actually are healing themselves because the rhythmic pattern, that's why when you've been in an argument with someone or you in the middle of an argument with somebody, if you just go and take a walk or you go and turn on some music and you start dancing, if you just have some form of movement, you feel better. That's number one. Number two, one of the most important things, most important takeaways from what happened to you, I believe, is understanding how the brain works. And that diagram that's on page 26 or 27 about the inverted brain being like a triangle. So you see that beginning with the brain stem, that's the lower part of the brain, all the way to the cortex and through the limbic area. You understand that, we're looking at it right there, you understand that when you're upset or in fear or angry or are in an antagonized state and you're trying to reason with a person, a child, your spouse, your boss, your friend, they literally cannot hear you because the reasoning part of the brain is in the cortex and what you're saying is only reaching the brain stem. So whenever somebody is dysregulated, which is what that is, being anxious and fearful and yelling and screaming, the thing to do is to calm yourself first, then you will be able to help that other person get calm and regulated. That's how you get to reason. But if you both are just yelling at each other, literally, and you're going, you don't hear me and you don't hear me either and you're not there, they actually cannot hear you. That's what I thought was so fascinating. I think I explained it well, right? Yes, I'm just sitting here smiling. You can cut Dr. Perry, do you concur? I just want to make sure because I do. I have to. Oprah is actually a lot of fun. Oprah's just becoming neuroscientist. So we're going to expect you to now tell a story to trade places. But I'm so, it's so amazing to hear you explain that. And that's exactly what I meant by giving a framework to really look at it in such a clear way, in a way that we're often not encouraged to see it because it sounds too difficult or too complicated, but to simplify that idea is that here's what you think's going on and here's what's happening inside your brain. And Dr. Perry, when you dive into the science, you quote a study and a survey that said that almost 50% of children in the United States have had at least one significant traumatic experience. But a lot of people will still deny, however, having experienced trauma, a lot of people will feel uncomfortable admitting and accepting that they have experienced some trauma. What are some of our misconceptions around what trauma is and how it affects us? And would you mind explaining what sort of experiences are defined as traumatic to help us expand our definition? So most of us first heard the concept of sort of trauma as we're talking about it now in context of host traumatic stress disorder and combat veterans. And so even within our field in psychiatry, the majority of people who studied trauma and looked at trauma, we're looking at the effects of these horrific events, exposure to combat, death of a soldier next to you, as the thing to understand around trauma. But over time, people like me who were studying the stress response systems in animal models were very well aware that it's not necessarily these big traumatic events that are easily identified by everybody as a trauma that will lead to the changes in the brain that cause the problems. And so certainly, if you do have these events, that can be a problem. So natural disaster, house fire, car accident, you know, abuse of all sorts. That's certainly traumatic. But probably the most important thing, and I think the thing that's impacting more children and adults than anything else, are experiences that are patterns of stress activation, where you have no control over the experience.

Experiences of the last year (28:54)

It's not predictable, and it's prolonged. It's ongoing. And I think to some degree, the experiences of the last year are an example for many people of a prolonged set of uncontrollable and unpredictable stressors. And we've all felt sort of our baseline level of tolerance is going down. We're a little bit more tired. We can handle situations a little bit less. And so what we've been studying is the combination of these experiences where you are not in control of your life. And it may be a child who's living in a domestic violence environment, where he or she is not the direct target of all of the stuff. But there's so much unpredictability about when the fighting is going to happen. And there's so much unpredictability about whether mom is going to be in a good mood today or a bad mood, or dad's going to be angry or not angry. And that can lead to these physiological changes that increase your risk for physical health problems, mental health problems, and learning problems. And so that's kind of where we're moving in the field is this recognition that you don't just have to have some sort of capital T trauma in your life to be impacted by trauma. And in fact, if you are a minority in a majority culture, you're going to get all kinds of experiences where you're getting these relational interactions that are not are sending the signal that you don't belong, which will activate your stress response, which can over time accumulate and influence your physical and mental health. Yeah, thank you, Dr. Perry, for illuminating on that point, because I think for so many of us, as you rightly just said, that we feel that trauma only means trauma with a capital T. And so we often disregard, we often let these things just fade away and put them under the carpet and just just not really give them enough emphasis and focus because we don't see them as being significant. And so, yes, Oprah, I wanted to say that one of the one of the most important points I think Dr. Perry makes in what happened to you is that neglect is as toxic as trauma. And so even though you might not have had a trauma with a big T that it boils down to, did you get what you needed? And I have done so many interviews, as I know you have to, Jay, with people who are raised in the same family. And everybody in that family has a different experience. And sometimes siblings are arguing about a thing that happened because from their point of view, it felt like one thing. And from the other person's point of view, it felt like another thing. Well, that is the reality of life that you can have two children, four children, six children raised in the same household. And they experience the love of their parents differently. And not all the kids could have gotten what they needed. And some of the kids got what they needed. So, neglect is you not getting what you needed for your worldview, for your personal approach to life, your sense of self values, your sense of self esteem. And so, I have seen in the thousands of interviews that I've done over the years, that the level of dysfunction in a person's life is almost directionally, directionally, directly proportional to how they were loved, what happened to them, and how they were able to receive or not receive that love. So, the what happened to you isn't, you know, just for people who had the big tea traumas, but it literally is what happened to you? Were you loved? Were you not? How were you loved?

Why having love is important (33:05)

How was that love applied in your life? And were you able then to apply it in the rest of the world? So, I know many people are listening who didn't get what they needed. And I say this to my girls in South Africa all the time, because so many of them were born during the year of during the decade where so many of their parents died of AIDS, and they have this sense of abandonment, literally going from one family to the next family member, and then that family member dying, and that family member dying. And when you grow up feeling abandoned, and certainly abandoned from an early age, your worldview is that people are going to abandon you in their relationships. And so, you either go into those relationships being very needy and afraid that this person is going to leave me, or you go into those relationships being very jealous and, you know, holding on, and having to know where you've been, and looking at people's cell phones and all of that, because you're afraid that you're going to leave me. And so, what happened to you, no matter who you are, is important in understanding why you have the worldview that you do. I was sharing and making a lot of videos, and I started committing more to creating more amazing content that I loved and enjoyed, and we made some amazing videos last year. And the number one thing I used to hear from everyone else, and this wasn't the voice in my head, this was the voice of the noise of outside, was, "J, when are you going to get media? When is media going to take notice of you? And it was so interesting, because that last point you made of it was patience that had to be practiced. And for me, it was not like, "Oh my God, that's interesting," because people are saying that that's when they all accept that this is successful. And so, you had to make a choice whether I was going to let that definition define that I felt successful. Or do I feel successful now, because I'm doing what I love every day, and I really enjoy it, and it's helping people. And I think that that was such a distinct thing for me, because, and then when I let go of that, and had that patience, then this year a lot of that came. Then you're on Ellen, you know? All of that came totally organically, none of it was maneuverable. If you didn't care, you weren't trying, you were having fun. And you were a prime example of what it means to be a super attractor. You're in joy, you're having fun, you're not attached to the outcome. That's how your entire career began. I'm not attached to the outcome, and I'm just going to do something in service, in love, and inspiration, and it's going to become this thing. And that's how I've felt my career too. Yeah. And what about when, so I love what you gave a great example there of how people are scared to, you know, like you don't want people to pick up the phone call in that fear, you want them to do in their joint service. How do people make that switch from fear to joint service?

How to make the switch from fear to joy (35:49)

If someone's honest with themselves, and they say, "Gabby, right now, I'm just scared. Like, I'm just living in this." Sometimes I would tell someone, like sometimes you just have to pick up the phone and ask for the job, because this is the window you have. So I would, you know, say meditate before, and say prayer is before, and turn it over, and prepare energetically to the best of your ability. And then also think about, this is a big one, like think about how that desire is backed with service and love, because as soon as you get into that energy, you feel good. And it's no longer about what you think you need, it's about bringing something greater to the world. And so when I would want something big in my life, whether it was a media placement or a baby or anything, I was always, if I felt like I was strangling the desire, I would always return to why this was going to bring light to the world. And that, I mean, that's where, and that's where the moment you go there, you feel better. And that's the action that you want to take place from that place of action. 100%. I'm so happy that you're saying this right now, because I couldn't agree more. That's the only thing that keeps me going, makes you wake up in the morning. I say to people all the time, like, I believe there are, there are service-driven creators, entrepreneurs, business people, whatever this goes on.

Service driven work vs a lifestyle business (36:54)

And then there are lifestyle business people, entrepreneurs, et cetera. Lifestyle people are the ones that do it because they want to live on a beach and have a comfy life. And then the service ones are the ones that are just going to keep doing it. I mean, you're on your seventh book right now. I'll be writing books the rest of my life. Yeah, exactly. And if that isn't service, and I'm writing a new one right now. No, don't. I mean, let's focus on this one. We got to focus on this one. But do you have a contract? Oh, I didn't realize you were. Okay, fine. I'm working on an audible original. Yeah. Yeah. And it's a fiction on one fiction. Of course, it's nonfiction. But yeah, it's sort of an audio experience, but it is nonfiction self-help. Yeah. Cool. I'm excited for that. So it's totally, it's only audible. Starting off was only audible. And then I can in a year from then turn it into a book if I want to. That sounds fun. Yeah. I love that. Yeah. That's awesome. Tell me about, you've said that you're no longer in that hustle mode, but you have been before. Oh, yeah, it was. So yeah, so I'm really not there. Right. So was that where you still being a super tractor then? Yes. Or was that locking your? Yes and no. Like it was murky, right? Because I was attracting a lot, but I was probably really limiting my capacity. And so it's like, you know, we often, you know, don't realize that like we are, we were functioning at a fraction of what we're capable of. And so I definitely was like, even though I was hustling and I was having fun and I wasn't serviced and I was enjoying things were happening. You know, books were coming out. They were, they were helping people saving lives, right? But I, but I was definitely blocking the full capacity of what I could be creating and giving. Because I was, I was hustling. I was a work addict, you know, for many big reasons, right? You know, I've talked very publicly about, you know, didn't realize that I had had trauma until I remembered it in 2016. And it was when I remembered my trauma that I started to truly heal my addictive patterns. You know, it was like I got sober 14 years ago. And then that's amazing, by the way. Congratulations. And then I, you know, and then I, and then I became a work addict. And, and I always felt like, Oh, my work is in the pursuit of something so magical and so great and such great service that it's okay to be a work addict. Hell no, hell no, it took me down. But then I remembered my trauma. And then in the recovery from really healing my trauma past and really working really through it and becoming more and more free and more free today than I've ever been. In that journey, I started to see that that the pushing and the controlling was the the and the opposite of who I believed I wanted to be. And so at that point, I really just started to accept that I didn't have, I could have a no stress policy and that I could do less and attract more. I could begin to rely on other people and could look, you know, I could have been in the same position, right? Having a team, having publishers that were supporting me all that and still not letting go. I could have still been fully in control trying to hold everything, even with those resources. So it doesn't matter like what you have, it's about your mental choice. And so in that choice, I said, you know, I'm going to focus on my art. I'm going to focus on my gift. And I'm going to allow the universe to support me and work through people.

Reflecting on your drive, the healing has really happened (40:03)

And I'm going to give it over. Yeah. So I'm relaxed. I love that. Would you say in that early phase, the hustle was critical? And would you say for others that it is as well? I wouldn't change it. Right. But had I been aware of my trauma, or had I not had trauma behind it, I could have had the hustle without so much pain. There was a lot of pain and suffering in that hustle. But I wasn't able to recognize at the time because I felt so proud and so excited about what I was doing. I wasn't able to recognize I was in a tremendous amount of pain. So yeah, so if someone's listening and they're thinking, well, Gami, I'm really working hard right now. You'd say, as long as you're dealing with that trauma that's there or you're reflecting on where it's coming from. Well, if you're working really hard, and it's because you're trying to prove yourself because you have a wound that you haven't healed, then go heal the wound. Got it. Because everything will follow. If you're working really hard, because you think you need to get ahead or whatever, there's probably a wound there, right? And a belief system that if I'm not pushing and controlling, it's not going to happen. And so I think that the thing I would tell my younger self is that trust more and no, I actually don't think I would tell my younger self anything because I think everything worked out exactly as it was meant to. Yeah, I read some more recently that a lot of successful people in general, whether spiritual or not, have to have the belief that everything happened at the right time or everything happens for a reason. And when I read that, I thought, interesting, because so many people see that as a cliche, some people see it throw away. But when I read that actually both spiritual and non-spiritual successful people would say that that's how they see things, because you're now looking at life as life is taking care of me. You're now looking at life as teaching me when I need to. Life is keeping me where I am, where I need to be. Seeing the difficult moments as opportunities that are revealing to you what you still need to heal. And so when you flip your perspective of the difficult times and choose to see those difficult times as spiritual assignments to grow, to be closer to your sourced inspiration, love, joy, then it turns into a miracle. I'm five months into recovery from postpartum depression and anxiety and insomnia, which was Jay that most, I'm going to say the F word, but the most fucked up experience of my life. And right now I'm really feeling great, and I'm feeling really proud and really grateful that that happened, because I can help save women's lives. As a result of being able to talk about it with authenticity, I can help be a better voice for mental illness because I've experienced it. I can be a guide for people who need medical support when they really need it. And I wouldn't change a thing. Absolutely. And thank you for sharing that again and talking so openly about it. I think that's ultimately like the underlying to any major, because we're doing a Victor Franco, obviously, and Mansa for me, and he talks about so beautifully of just like how he couldn't make that situation good. But he knew that if he dealt with it in the right way, that that would then teach people in the future. That's right. And I think that that's such a great, it's always the underlying to any pain. Because you're right that in that moment, you couldn't be just happy in it in all of a sudden. I just burst out into laughter. But you know that that experience has now given you a whole new group of people to serve and share and support with. Totally. Totally. And I think all of us who, anyone who's listening right now or watching right now and going through any sort of pain, I genuinely think that's the underlying point. If you can't find any other answer, that probably is it. That you're being sent a particular gift that you will then be able to open other people. Yeah, I really hope that the people can take that in. And I write in a book that the key to feeling good is to decide to stop feeling bad. And that could be really offensive to certain people out there that are depressed or broke or ill or whatever it may be. But I tell the story of my postpartum as a true, honest, authentic example of how when I was in the most, the darkest moment of my life, suicidal, suicidal, that I could still decide to feel good in the most subtle ways. So like, allowing myself to accept support was a way of allowing myself to feel good, right? We're deciding to feel good. Being open to a medical path that I never would have contemplated being on was a decision to feel good, right? So there was a lot of that decision making in that dark, low moment. So somebody is in a critical moment right now listening to this. The fact that they're listening was a decision to feel good. Absolutely. Yeah, 100%. How do you take that? Almost like the crazy high and low of like, you've waited, you've thought about it, you're super attracted, a beautiful baby, and then you go through depression afterwards. And it's like, how do you go through that in your mind from the point of view of like the extreme high of waiting for this, being patient for it? It's amazing. And then the next thing you know, you're at one of the lowest points, like, how do you mentally even just rally around that? I think that my faith is what got me through, because I knew I was being guided even if I felt at the darkest time, I knew that I was being guided. And when I started to really surrender was when the guidance could really come through. And now in recovery, I am actually quite grateful for it because I have like an even greater appreciation for my son that I probably would have had I not been through it.

Evolution Through Spirituality And Mental Health

Deciding to feel good at any lowest point in your life (45:48)

Because every moment that I have with him, I'm just like relishing in it because when I wasn't in that space and I couldn't recognize him and I was scared of him, I now know that I can celebrate the great joy of not being there. Yeah, it just it fascinates me because whenever I'm listening to you, even in the book, it's like faith comes out so strongly. And I think that's ultimately where so many people feel so challenged by it because they're like, what do I have faith in? Right. Well, that's all my books are. I know. I know. Yeah. My all my books are really about helping people decide what they have faith in and giving them an opportunity to crack open to a higher power of their own understanding as they say in the 12 steps, a higher power of your own understanding. And you know, that language is very free. That's a lot of freedom in that language because anyone that's listening, I don't I don't care if they call it God. I don't care if they call it universe. I don't even care if they just call it inspiration, you know, inspiration. Someone may be like, I don't think there's something outside of me, but I know that I can receive inspiration. And when I follow these steps, I'll feel that inspiration and that intuition. That's perfect. Yeah. So your approach is. And so when you start to have faith in that inspiration, then life gets easier. Yeah. And I think that's what it is. And I love that you've just said that that's what your books are about. I think ultimately life is a path of us figuring out what we have faith in because you're going to have to have faith, right? Whether it's Well, I think a lot of people walk around and start interrupt you, but they walk around thinking that they that their faith relies on their own will. And that's where they get into a lot of trouble, right? Really, really be learning to live in a way where we are no longer, it's not my way or the highway, we are starting to have this trust that we can turn things over and we can lean into a better feeling and then be guided. Yeah. Then then life gets really groovy. I mean, just over the last few days, it's like, at one point, I was just feeling like a little beat up because I've been running and moving and I'm here traveling with my family and I was just feeling it. And then I just said to my, I prayed and I said, thank you, Spirit, energy of the highest good for giving me strength and giving me energy to get through all these beautiful opportunities and to show up, pour them with joy and service and not being overtired and beaten down. And as soon as I said that prayer, I mean, energy just started to move through me. And even though I'm tired, I'm super pumped to be here and I'm super pumped to go to the next thing. And you know, yeah. So it's easy to say when you're doing awesome things like this, but I needed that strength. Yeah. And so I think that once we start to have that relationship with our higher power, we can stop trying to control things and we can give them away. Yeah. And I think, I mean, when you were saying that, it's unfortunate that I'm only thinking of a fiction movie, but I think it's an important reference. Have you seen Dr. Strange? No. Okay. So Dr. Strange is awesome. You would love it. Okay. And the great, I'm going to give away the whole movie now. So maybe you should, okay, spoilers. I have to, I have to go, go, go. The amazing thing about the movie is it's based on a doctor who's highly reputed, who really understands his craft and his faith is in his hands. Yeah. And his ability to heal people as it surgically heal people, not spiritually heal people. And what ends up happening is he has an accident, which takes away his physical ability to have the stability in his hands to perform any surgical procedure that he then turns to alternative parts. Yeah. Now it's a fiction story, but I'm, and I would love to hear if you know anyone who's had a similar story, we hear about so many stories like that, or meet, I mean, so many people like that who were billionaires initially and valued everything they had in their money, and then they lost that money, and then that changed them, or someone who had a value in one of their physical attributes, whether it was their beauty or their strength, and then that was taken away from them, but then they found it somewhere else. And I think that's what I find so incredibly telling of what you're saying right now is the best example of it, is that you find that that when your faith is simply in your physical self, it's just consistently broken.

Lift The Veil, Body Identification, Spirit Self (50:02)

It's called body identification. Yes. And when you're stuck in that body identification, you've disconnected from your spirit self, the spirit identification. I have a whole chapter in the book called lift the veil, my favorite chapter in the book, and I really push the metaphysical envelope there. And it's, and it's really, really talking about how we, we, when we're in that body identification, you know, my, I am, you know, this person, and I am this author, I am this, this business owner, doctor, whatever, we're actually blocking our greatest source of power. So when we start to, you know, use our bodies as a vessel through which we let spirit work through us, that might sound really heady for people, but I can, I can unpack it. Yeah, do it. Unpack it. Yeah, I think that when we start to recognize that it's, it's, how can I make this not too heady? When we start to recognize that when we are tuned with the feeling of inspiration, I keep going back to inspiration to use as the demystifying word, because I would call it spirit, but inspiration is the same thing. We allow ourselves to be really in tune with this inspiration. We actually, as we said before, can expand time. The, the, the beautiful message that you give to your child comes through you when you stop thinking about what you're supposed to be saying and you allow what needs to come through. And so we're no longer in the body and the pretense of what we think we should be doing. And we're actually in our spirit self using the body as a vehicle through which we express truth.

Gabby encourages a spiritual path and enjoying the journey (51:38)

And so when we can make that adjustment, you know, you're unstoppable. Yeah. And that requires a set of daily practices, like commitments, because I feel like getting to that point of even being able to let something work through you takes time, right? Like it takes your, it's not something that happens. It's not something you can turn on and turn off instantly. It's possible for someone to turn it on and, and have that quantum shift. But, but most people, I think they have to, we've spent, they spent 30, you know, 40, 50, 60, 70 years, even 10 years detouring into fear, as a course in miracles would say, the course calls it the descent from magnitude into littleness, right? So going down that fear-based path, repurposing it, replying it, recycling it, making, you know, creating more and more of it and really believing in it, that, you know, the years that you spend in that, that detour into fear, it's going to take a little while to unpack that and undo that. But it doesn't need to take as much time as it took to get there, right? So that's where a spiritual path comes in. That's where even a personal growth path, you know, just listening to you and just following this podcast is part of the process of unpacking and undoing the ego. So, you know, it's, it doesn't have to be a painful journey. That's the other thing. People don't, you know, people think, oh, it's, you know, spirituality is such a so much work. Well, you know, have fun along the way. Enjoy it. Even if you're having tough experiences, celebrate the miracle moments. Yeah. I always find that it's, it's in hindsight, it's always the process that you fall in love with. Like, it's almost like, and it isn't hindsight, but you have to start using that hindsight to do it in for some. It's almost like, before I used to look back at things that I solved, and I was like, I was so fun trying to figure it out. And so now I'm like, okay, let me just have fun figuring it out. That's right. Right. Does that make sense? Yeah. Yeah. And I can look back, you know, I said like all these years I've been suffering, but I can look back and be like, I had a lot of fun. You know, I was suffering. I was going through stuff. I wasn't aware of what I was needing to heal. I was trying to heal. I was, you know, having anxiety, whatever it was, but I was in the pursuit of feeling good. And so that commitment continued to guide me to feeling more and more health and well-being. If everyone's listening right now and they're like, Gabby, I'm ready. I'm going to try. I'm going to get this book because I think I need to, because what I think you're doing, and I love that you do this. And I said this to my team before you came. It's like, I really think you're spiritually challenging people today. Yeah. And I think that's a good thing. I think we need that. Yeah. Because it's easy to sit on the side of just, you know, just the visible. And you're really pushing people into the invisible. And every time I speak to you, or I read your work, or I think about what you do for the world, I really think that's what you do. I think that's your superpower. I think you're really good at challenging and pushing enough to provoke people, but not enough, not too much where people are like, oh my God, that's just, I don't even want you to wake them up. Yeah. Yeah, which we've talked about before, like to awaken people. If someone's like, Gabby, I'm going to buy the book today. I'm going to read the book. I'm going to start making a commitment. How can they get the most out of this book? How should they read it? How should they approach it? How should what should they be thinking of? Good question. I would say just be open and willing to see things differently. And take what works and resonates and don't take what doesn't. Because if it doesn't resonate, then you're going to have another should. I should be thinking like that. And the other thing that also happens with books for me often is something will resonate the first read. And then three years later, I'll read it and it's like a whole new book. So trust that. Just let yourself be cool with that. And don't judge your process. And I always say to people, like if you take one lesson from this book, your life will change. My mission on social media is making wisdom go viral. So it's like, how do you take this wisdom that's like hidden away?

Social media woke a lot of people up early conversations with women (55:25)

It was only for the elite or it was only for people who went and had these crazy experiences and adventures. How do we take that and spread it to everyone so that that average kid in London, where I grew up or the average kid in New York City, where we are right now can come across it and find it too. They don't need to go read a book right now. They don't need to go and travel halfway across the world to find it. And so with that, how did you start? Because you talk about how at 40, you had a spiritual awakening. How did you get to a point where you started to confront the fact that there were beliefs, pain, trauma from your past that you'd never faced before. And that's what's clouding and blocking so many people today. Our mental health or our mental wealth is lost because we're clouded by all this pain from the past. Challenges we never looked at, how did you start to confront that? And where can people start too? Man, for me, I started unpacking a lot of that in therapy. I always say that when it comes to therapy, therapy is like having a real junky closet. So you got to just a messy closet everywhere. So you start to pack up the things that you don't need and things that don't serve you anymore. And you get rid of that. And the things you want to keep you hang up nice and neat. And then you got room to bring new stuff in. But to get to that point, it was just me not only asking myself a whole lot of questions, having conversations with other people. It's so funny, man. I got friends who used to tell me that they thought I was a sociopath because I didn't really show any emotions. I didn't seem like anything ever got to me. I didn't have empathy for other people.

How pride and ego have prevented Charlamagne from evolving. (56:54)

Some of that could have been true. But I just think that all of us are just so selfish. So we're all just stuck in our own world. And I'm sure you can attest to the fact that when you really on your grind and you trying to get it, you're not thinking about nobody else. When I was thinking about everybody else early on in my career, it was like I had a bunch of stuff weighing me down. And it's like, yo, you can't take everybody with you until you get to where you're supposed to go. So I remember telling my homeboy, DJ Frosty, when I first got the job at the breakfast club, I said, you know what I'm going to do, man? This time around? Something I've never done before. I'm going to be completely selfish. I said, I'm going to focus on me and only me. And then when I get the way I feel like I need to be, I'm going to start bringing everybody else along. So for me, when I started just having conversations with other people, right, stop being selfish, like actually started listening. Because that's one thing social media did do it. It woke a lot of people up because, you know, just our language, like you would say little things. I remember one time I got on Twitter and I said something about females. I thought, yo, females, whatever, whatever. And it was just like, all these comments, you don't call women females. I'm like, what the fuck? What the fuck? What since when don't we call women females? But that's just, you know, new language, new information. And instead of, at first I dismissed it, like, man, I don't hate it. But then after a while I had to just stop and say, okay, well, let me see why they don't want to be called female. So they broke it down to me, why they don't want to be called females. Even, you know, conversations with black women, you know what I'm saying? Like, we tend to take for granted, you know, black women, you know, I never, I told my, I used to work with this young lady named Crystal, I used to have my TV show Uncom my girl who's not my wife. So I just wasn't paying attention to what they were saying. You know, I just assume that they would always be there for us. And I just assume that they was strong enough to handle any low, but they was tired, you know what I mean? And they was tired of a lot of the fuck shit that we was doing. So for me, just those type of conversations started making me be just way more aware of what was going on around me. And it started making me be more aware of what was going on with myself. And I remember having a conversation with my home girl, Amanda Sills. And I remember Amanda saying, yo, brothers are damaged. They don't want to admit that they're damaged and they don't want to do the work to get no healing. And I remember just hearing that word, healing. And I remember saying to myself, I'm going to go get me some healing, you know what I mean? I'm going to go get me some real spiritual, emotional, mental healing. Forget the gym three, four times a week, you know what I'm saying? I'm about to talk to the therapist every week. And I'm about to start meditating. And you know, I'm about to, you know, just just do whatever I got to do to really put myself in a mentally healthy space. And then I wanted to get a handle on my anxiety. So you're like, you know, panic attacks and something that I experienced my whole life. And the last really, well, not the last really big, really bad one, but the one I had that made me realize I was dealing with anxiety was when I was back at home living in Monkskon, South Carolina with my mother at like 31, 32 years old. My daughter was like two. My now wife had to move back home to Monkskon with her parents. And I had just gotten fired for the fourth time from radio. Finally started collecting unemployment because all the other times I was too proud to do it. So I started collecting my unemployment checks. And I remember driving down to our 26 in South Carolina and feeling like I was about to die. Like same feeling, the same shortness of breath, same crazy, hard palpitations, had to pull over, drink some water, set a quick prayer, like, please God, don't let me die on the side of the road. Like I promised to go to the doctor tomorrow, went to the doctor the next day. Doctors like, you got a healthy heart. Your heart is fine. You know, but he said, he said, have you have you have you have you suffered? Do you suffer from anxiety? And I'm like, no, he's like, sound like you had an anxiety attack. And I'm like, I've never had that before. But I thought about him like, yo, my whole life, I've had these things is in the doctor said, are you stressed out about anything? I'm like, hell yeah, you know what I'm saying? So in my mind, I could always point to something else, you know, so I didn't deal with it. But then once you get my next gig with the breakfast club, four or five years later, you rich it in you ever been, you got more opportunities than you ever had, but you still having a panic attacks, you still have an anxiety. And you're like, okay, where's this coming from? And then finally my wife was like, yo, take your ass to therapy, just go see what's up. Instead of flirting with the idea and talking to other people about therapy, go. And that's what I did. And then you know, when you start going to therapy, you start unpacking all kind of shit. You start dealing with trauma from things that happened to you when you was young, things that you thought you dealt with that you hadn't, you know, you start focusing on your PTSD from things that happened to you when you was young. And then you start thinking about, you know, the pain and the hurt that you still feel from certain situations. And you don't realize you have been redistributing that pain to other people for so long. That's why you didn't have no empathy for nobody else, because you really was hurting. You've been hurting so long that you numb to what it is you actually feel. So, you know, I love that man. And that's the challenge, right? Like all of us have been through stuff, but we've never unpacked it. We've never repacked. We've never unlearned. We've never figured it out. And that's why we end up in this position. And the problem is denial. We sit there and we deny that we have any experience of stress or pressure or anxiety when the truth is we're dealing with a lot of it. And I love that. I love the fact that you're making that point clear is that whatever you're experiencing, you're destigmatizing mental health, because we think mental health has to be something super mental, right? Like we think mental health has to be something like schizophrenia or like a complete personality disorder or something.

Why Charlamagne is destigmatizing mental health for men. (01:02:35)

We don't realize that it could just be regular anxiety. Yeah. I didn't realize anxiety was a mental health disorder until I started going to therapy. Yeah. And I remember when they asked me to write, you know, my second book, well, they didn't ask me to write one, but they wanted me to write a second book. And I was like, I really don't have anything to write about. Because at that point, I was really just trying to figure my life out. Because you got to understand, like, when I started going to therapy, I'm 49th, I might have started going to therapy around 38, you know, early 39. And for me, it was like, yo, can you imagine thinking you had it all together, thinking you knew exactly what what was going on in the world? And then you start sitting down with a therapist and realizing, you don't know shit, realizing that, you know, you just, everything that you was raised totally wrong from in a lot of different ways. You know, you was raised wrong by, you know, the influences you had growing up, you know, you was raised wrong by the music you was listening to growing up. You was raised wrong while your environment, and you've carried all this stuff with you into your adult world. And you're still trying to function with this level of thinking and this level of understanding of things. But you've lived now, like you've lived and you've been around the world and you talked to a lot of people and you've seen other things and you realized like, nah, this ain't, this ain't it, bro. Like we wrong. So imagine feeling like you know it all to realize and I don't know shit, especially when you're an influencer. Yes. Like you're an opinion maker, like people come to you to listen to your thoughts. So and then you have to go through that process. Absolutely. So the only thing I could do is like, you know what, I got to take people on this journey with me. Simple as that. You know, I remember, I remember telling my book publisher like, look, you know, I've been going to therapy. I've been keeping a journal. You know, I've been dealing with my anxiety, but then I realized I've been dealing with my PTSD. I'm realizing like, I trauma from things that happened to me when I was younger. I'm, you know, talking about being molested when I was eight. You know, I'm talking about issues with my father, like all these different things, you know, fear and not being a good husband, fear and not being a good father, you know, fear of, you know, not being a good friend, you know, just all kinds of different things. And so I just started turning these into a page in the pages of a book. And what I was trying to do, I was trying to translate what my therapist was telling me, but that doesn't work, you know, because what your therapist is telling you just helps for you to have a better understanding of what it is you're going to. So one thing that my therapist did help me do was to explain what I was going through better, but I bought in a doctor named Dr. Ish to give like the clinical correlations to everything that I was feeling. And that's, that's what was, that was really the most beautiful thing about the book. That was therapeutic for me. And I know people say it all the time when they write books, oh, it was therapeutic for me. But no, this was really therapeutic for me. Because this is not a, it's not a book about understanding. Like it's not a book, it's a book of confusion. It's a book of unpacking. It's a book of, this is all the shit that don't serve me no more. This is what, this is what was fucked up about me, you know, and I don't want this no more. Like here, y'all take this, this is gone, you know, because I'm at stage zero right now. And guess what? Happy to be at stage zero. Like it feels good to not know, you know, and it feels good to say you don't know. And I feel like at 40, I'm doing more unlearning than learning at this point. Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And that's, that's the biggest challenge today is like that ability to speed up unlearning relearning. Yes. Right. relearning again. And I think so many of us get blocked by thinking we know it all already. So I love that man. It's a great message. Let's tap into some of those fears in a bit more detail because I think you're unlearning and you're healing in those are awesome.

Miscellaneous Topics


So if we look at something like parental paranoia, which I know a lot of people have, like becoming a parent, I'm not a parent yet. And that's what I'm asking. But I'm also asking it because one area of wisdom that I don't talk about is parenting because I'm not a parent. And I know my audience cares a lot about this. So let's talk about that parental paranoia, which I think is very normal. How have you kind of grown to deal with that and work with that or heal that? You said something earlier, you said something about you. What do you say? You realize your parent when you realize your parents are right, your kids are telling you that you were wrong. Yeah. And I guess that was another one of those moments, you know, only because you think about all the times your grandmother used to trip out over you all the time. Your mother and father used to trip out over you all. One day where you was at and why you didn't come home. I remember my father, he gave my sister, my older sister beaten because she broke curfew and because you never remember, everybody running around the town looking for her trying to find out where she was. And this is, now it's just like, that's a paranoia that only a parent can understand. You know what I'm saying? Like the love you have for your children. Like those are real, I got three girls. So that's really your heart outside of your body. Like you're looking like somebody just rip my organ out and threw it on the table. And I'm like, yo, could you be more gentle with my heart? It's my heart. So it's just like when my daughter is on the way to school in the morning, you know, her being at school right now, like I don't feel any sense of relief. Well, I got a sense of relief, not because I know it's three o'clock. So she's out of school. Now she got a school through 30. But I don't feel any sense of relief until I know she's home, you know, only because I don't know what she's going to experience at school, especially nowadays, you know what I mean? Like these kids are growing away different than we ever grew up. And then you see stupid shit on the news like school shootings and you're like, man, you know, like you start thinking the worst at all times, you know, and it's just like those are the things that I'm afraid of, you know, and then even just when your kids get older, I remember somebody asking me the question one day, somebody said, do you think Jamel Hill asked me this? Jamel Hill said, are you, uh, would you, are you the type of man you would want your daughter to date or be with? And I was like, yeah, probably me from 35 to 40. Anything before that hell, no, you know, but that's honestly, think about, think about that question. Like if you got girls, are you the type of man that you would want your daughter to date? Like stuff like that is what will help you go out there and get the healing you need if the answer is no. You know what I'm saying? If the answer is no, then go out there and get that healing you need. Take your after therapy, whatever it is you got to do to, you know, be the man that you would want your daughter to date. So like, I'm, I'm paranoid about all that stuff. Like I, it's certain things that I've already embraced. Like I know one day my daughter's going to have sex, you know what I'm saying? Like, and then she's going to get it. It's going to happen. Like every woman that we love in our life has sex. Your mama, your grandma, you know, your sisters, your aunt, that's going to happen. So it's just like things like that. I'm about to get a panic attack thinking about it, but that's just, well, like things like that is what you just have to accept. You understand what I'm saying? So it's just like, you know, I always got to remember my serenity prayer, man. And that's just God grabbing the serenity, accepting things I cannot change, encouraging things I can't in the wisdom to know the difference because there's nothing I can do. And that's somebody else told me that too. And I was like one of the most freeing things to me. They told me that you got to just let go. Yeah. Like no matter how I can, I can grab my daughter like this and hold on to her tight. I've been, I got to let go. She's 10. My daughter's going to be older than a minute too. She's going being school. Like they got their own life that they got to live their own life that they got to lead. Only thing I can do is just guide them along the way. Absolutely, man. Absolutely. No, you're spot on. And I think that's, like you said, that's a natural feeling everyone's going to have. I would have had that with my younger sisters. I've got a younger sister. I always felt like I fathered her to some degree. And there was always that feeling and that pain of seeing her date or whatever it may be. And you're right. That's just something you have to accept. And there's a big part of acceptance needed because you can't control everything. And that's also liberating when you figure that out that not everything is for yours to control. Absolutely. And it's not for you to control. There is certain things to humanize yourself by. And you realize, oh, actually, I'm not that significant because I can't control everything. And I have to learn to accept certain things. Yeah, I was going to write a book. I mean, I don't think I'm going to go with this title anymore, just because the energy of it don't feel right. But you know, at one point, I was going to write a book called One Day Your Daughter Is Gonna Suck Dick and other things you have to accept as a father. Well, now what's she going to change the title to? I might not. I just feel a little too crash. You know what I'm saying? Like, I know that's not crazy coming from me, but I'm not. I guess I've grown. You know what I'm saying? I guess I've grown. Because at one point, I'm like, yeah, that's the time I love that. But then I was like, eh, I don't know if I want to put that. I think it's a useful book, though. Very useful book. Yeah. But sometimes, man, you know, you got to present the message in the right package. You know, sometimes, yeah, people will dismiss you and just because of that title, you know what I mean?

Heya You231 (01:11:23)

Which I think is whack. I'm not that kind of person. You know, I'm the type person. If I see a book like the subtle art and not giving a fuck, I'm going to read that book, you know what I mean? I'm like, oh, that's a dope type. Like that grabbed me. But I know I come from a different generation. I come from a different culture. You know, I was going to name my first book. I don't give a fucking either. She's you. A self help guy don't have to give a fuck. And the book published, it was like, no, you'll never get in the Walmart. You'll never get in the Target. Nobody will buy a book with fucking the title. And then here comes the subtle art and not giving a fuck Mark Manson. So goddamn over two million copies. And I remember sending that shit to I wrote about that book in my book because I was talking about how, you know, you sometimes you just got to listen to yourself. Yeah. You know, like sometimes you're ahead of the curve and other people have to just catch up. And that's just the way our society is, especially when it comes to creatives. That's why you got to let creatives just be creatives because there are already 10 steps ahead of you. But you got all of these suits, whether it's TV, whether it's the film world, whether it's books, like you just got these suits that are old and stuck in their ways and being that they've never seen it work before. They'll tell you it can't work. Not knowing that you might be the first that changes the whole game. Totally. Nobody wants the big game changes in the world. Yeah. Absolutely. You look at Bohemian Rhapsody in Freddie Mercury. Yes. It's like such a game changer. And you look at anyone that we look up to or admire in the world, there've been game changers. They don't write books about people who are not game changers. You don't make movies about people that are not game changers. But we've always been taught about how do you trust other people? We don't get taught how to trust yourself. Yes. Right. We get taught how do you communicate with other people? We never learn how to communicate with ourselves. Yes. And so if you never trust your own self, you always look at the validation. Like, hey, do you think this is a good idea? Hey, suit. Do you think this is a good idea? Hey, suit. Do you think this is a good idea? And then that suit becomes your validation in your decision maker. Absolutely. And those are the most uncreative people in the world. I've never been more confident in my life than I am right now. And I'm confident in the fact that I don't know shit.

Heya You247 (01:13:21)

Yeah. And I'm comfortable with that. And I'm confident in the fact that I am a person who truly love theyself. And the reason I truly love myself, because I've done the work, that truly love myself. And it's easier for me. And I guess that's why I get hurt a lot, because I am a loving, trusting person. Because I'm at the point in my life where I just, I try to see the good and everybody. You know what I mean? And I don't expect you to fuck me over. That's another lesson I've recently learned. Yeah, go for it, man. I used to, I still believe in the law of attraction, meaning that your thoughts become things. But I don't necessarily think I believe in energy as far as like, whatever you put out, you get back. Because it will always be somebody else out there who's having a fucked up day who will ruin yours. Because you got to think, all we're trying to do every day is avoid crazy. Yeah. We're just trying to stay out of the way of negativity, crazy, evil. But guess what? Sometimes there's people out there who are hurt, and they haven't done the work on themselves. And they haven't gotten to that place where they're trying to do any healing. And so hurt people, hurt people. And sometimes we run into those people. Yeah. And it has nothing to do with anything that we did. We just happened to run into, you know, some of that negativity that day. Yeah. So, so that's just, that's just something I've been thinking about. So it's just like, yeah, you just got to, you got to do, you got to put that kind of energy out there just because you like putting that kind of energy out there, not because you're putting that kind of energy out there because you want to get it back together back. Yeah, absolutely. And I've realized that to that when you put out good, it does come back to you just not in the same place as you put it. Yes. Right? Like it will, that energy will transfer back, but not in the same place as you put it. So just because you put good energy into work, doesn't mean good energy is going to come back to you through work. Just keep a good energy into this person. Doesn't mean this person's going to give you good energy back. Absolutely. And that's our expectation is that we think like, if I'm nice to this person, they'll be nice to me. And that's not going to work like that. No, be nice to that person because you want to be nice to that person and put a period on. Yeah, absolutely. I love that man. I feel like one of the biggest mistakes we all make as humans is that we keep communicating with people from where we are, not where they are. And so we forget that we were where they are right now. And if we just talk to them, recognizing that that was us 10 years ago, 20, 30, 50, whatever it is, that that would make all the difference. And now you have a vocabulary for it. We do. We understand mental illness better. We understand mental health. We understand these terms a bit better. We're getting there. How did when was it when you first started realizing that this was mental illness, this was mental health, this was their conditioning and challenges that were on a deeper level as a just more than just a addiction? I think just simply like I said, by being able to make the connection or lack thereof between a friend of mine's parents and my parents, like, I'm seeing you're kind of normal person who can go and hold a job. I think my mom only ever had like two jobs. I think she worked at a supermarket for a little bit and she worked at Chick-fil-A and she could not stand people telling her what to do. And I realized that and yet then she would tell me what to do. And yet I had to just suck it up and take it. And then even with myself, like I said, me going through anxiety was like a big eye opener. And I remember my first panic attack. I was like 13 years old. And it was really scary. And my mom had gone away. Well, she just went to the store for like an hour. But I had this panic attack and I started to realize I was dealing with like separation anxiety from my mother and that a lot of our relationship was more based on brainwashing, which sounds crazy. But having this feeling that I needed her and that if she wasn't there, like my entire world would crumble. And I didn't know how to deal with anxiety. And honestly, I only really learned how to deal with anxiety much later in life, like in my late 20s, I'm 31 now. And even right now, Jay, like I'm pretty anxious right now. I don't know why it's really weird.

On Controlling Anxiety (01:17:16)

I felt fine before I got on in front of the camera. And even right now, like I have this like feeling of anxiety. And maybe it's a number of things. Maybe it's, I'm recounting my childhood. I just I have a book that's come out. You know, so many things that are going on in my mind. I'm fine. I know I'm fine. I'm drinking water. I'm talking to an amazing human being. I'm everything is okay. And yet internally, there is still is a part of me that feels a little jittery and a little nervous and a little this and a little that. And I've learned how to deal with that. And instead of like freaking out, I just go, you're fine. It's okay. Feeling this way is normal. I remember speaking with my therapist and she told me, I was like, I hate the fact that I feel anxious. I was like, there's people out there that don't really, you know, they just have kind of general anxiety, but they don't have that anxiety where it can also affect them physically, where they feel weird or they feel like they could pass out or this and she was like, yeah. And then sometimes it happens to them like Tony Soprano when they're in their 50s trying to feed the ducks and, you know, in their pool. And then that's just their life after that. And she said, the thing is is not like you have to accept that that's just who you are. And that's the way your life is now and do the best that you can to combat and deal with that anxiety and those emotions and the most positive manner possible. So it wasn't until I started truly understanding what anxiety meant and how much it can affect your day to day, personal and professional life that I even grew more sympathetic towards my mother and all the things that she was dealing with. Yeah. Well, I want to thank you for sharing that. And also just to say that I do think it's natural and extremely brave when you're sharing such personal accounts of things in your life and you're putting them out there. And we know the world we live in where everything we say is, you know, it's natural for you to feel that way. So I really appreciate you even opening up and sharing that. And I just want you to know that I think you're sharing your story, not just on this interview, but in this book in a way that is going to help so many people with their perspective. So I want you to know that. And I also want you to know that we all have anxiety. I officiated someone's wedding this weekend, the wedding that the weekend I just went. And my wife said it to me. She was like, yeah, I've never seen you this anxious or stressed in your life with anything you do. And I was like, because it's someone's wedding day. I was like, and people were like, oh, but you've done this a million times and you've done it. And I was like, it doesn't matter how many times I've done it. It's someone different. And it's their wedding day. And this is an important moment for someone. And what I've realized, and I love what you said there, because I do something similar, I've redefined my relationship with anxiety that I feel anxious when I care. So I know that when I'm feeling anxious, it's because it's something good about me is that I care. I'm a human that loves and cares and is compassionate and wants to serve these two beautiful people that I wedded that I love and that love me and I have a relationship with it's because of that. I'm not scared about what someone thinks about it or how it goes. I'm anxious because I care about these two people and I feel they deserve something special. It's funny you say that because another thing that I had dealt with for I mean, everybody deals with it is intrusive thoughts. You're aware of this, right? And truth is thoughts. So it could be the craziest thing. It could be your baby falling to its death. It could be you, I don't know, punch in a store clerk and you're just like, oh my God, why would I think that? How could I think something so despicable or whatever the case may be, these dark thoughts? And I remember talking to my therapist and she was like, well, one, those aren't really your thoughts. You're not thinking that she was like, that's kind of douchebag brain. She put it. She was like, it's just these thoughts that pop into your head and you need to understand that that's also like conscious, like your conscious recognizes that and is then terrified. And so I think when it comes to anxiety and the things you care about, it's like, oh my God, if I think about my baby dying, it's because that's the most precious thing to me. If I think about, I don't know, like I said, punching some clerk in the face, it's like violence, I hate violence. So it's these things that my brain is doing that that I'm kind of then freaking out about. But it's about how we deal with that. If we then focus on it too much and obsess, why would I think that? Why would I think that? Why would I think that then every time we're in a situation where that thought is then triggered, then it just becomes more intense. And the real, the key there is to not really focus on it is to really not think about it, understand that it's a thought. It's a disgusting thought that you didn't even think in your head, it just somehow popped in and you were like, oh my goodness, you know, to hell with you. And that's also how I feel about anxiety. I think there's a difference between legitimately like, Oh, I'm starting to see stars or I feel like I need to sit down, like that could be different, even though it may be anxiety, but it's like, ask yourself, have you been working really hard? Have you drank enough water today? Have you eaten? Have you this? Have you that? And having the mind, the mindset to be able to just ask yourself what is going on. And that was something I couldn't do for a long time.

Rapper (01:22:23)

I was very unhealthy, both physically and mentally. And once I really learned how to utilize these tools, my life became better. But I mean, I still get anxiety like it sucks. Yeah. But it also is great. I mean, I'm not going to say anxiety is great, anxiety sucks. But but it's look at this great conversation we're having because of it. I've made songs about it. I've written parts in scripts about it. I've like, I get it and I understand it. And because of that, it's actually allowed me to connect with people on such a deeper level and being willing to go. Because I'll tell you this, man, I love rap. I love hip hop. It's a beautiful place. It's also a negative place, just like the world is. And but I have met a lot of rappers where I try to have like deeper conversations with them. And they just don't do it because I think they're also scared and to internalize how they're feeling. But I did have one guy and he I'll never forget.

Forge Ferarri (01:23:20)

He was like, bro, I wish I could be you. And I was like, what do you mean? I'm like the nerd rapper who solves Rubik's cubes and wraps about sci-fi. You're like, you're that dude. You know, you got the cred, even though Loki, I've shot guns and cooked crack. So I guess I have the cred as well. But I don't really perpetuate that life. And he was like, look, man, he was like, I'm scared. He was like, that was so long ago. That's not who I am anymore. And he's like, I like video games. I like this. I like that. I wish I could just be myself. And when he said that to me, I realized that all the years and time that times that I'd been made fun of in hip hop or this or that. Well, at the end of the day, I may have been made fun of by a certain sect or quote unquote coo group or the jocks of rap. But at least I was always myself and never had to pretend to be somebody I was not. And then that led to just saying, I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I'm not, which I think like Kurt Cobain or somebody said. But yeah, there it is. Yeah, no, that's a beautiful message, man. I think there's something everyone can relate to. And what you were speaking about there about the douchebag brain in the monastery was to call it the monkey mind and the monk mind. So you have the monkey mind that's saying all these intrusive thoughts, as you said, saying all these self doubt and anxiety. And then you have the monk mind, which is the calm, the still, the balanced, and to bring that monkey mind back under control.

Personal Growth Through Difficult Experiences

Cooper Rat Jumps From Branch To Branch (01:24:31)

And so yeah, for me, that was always a fun way of thinking about it. It's just like, I've just got this monkey that's jumping from branch to branch in my head. And you know, it doesn't know what it wants. And it's confused and it's moving fast, but the monk mind can kind of ground it. So that aligns very strongly. I've always, I always saw this guy who looks like, I want you to imagine like a cartoon. There's this episode of Futurama. It's one of my favorite cartoons. But I forget the episode, but there's like this liquid guy and he's like blue and he looks like just kind of moving water and his head's all back and he looks kind of cool. I imagine that guy in a leather jacket sitting on a beach chair in my brain and he's responsible for these thoughts. He's like, he said, the monkey mind. It's like this monkey, but it's like, that's how I see this guy. And I've actually had conversations with this guy. Like get out of here, dude. Like, like chill, like stop. And then he'll say something to me that I hear. And it almost sounds like I'm crazy, right? Because it's like I'm having a conversation with myself in my head. But I have had this. And I'm like, no, like not today, man. And sometimes he really he'll hit me with some crazy images or me freaking out or going to the emergency room or just all these things. Because I'm always constantly thinking about my health. And I have to have those conversations until the water blob or monkey man or whatever to calm down and do my best to be in control, which is actually really funny. Because I'm not in control. We're not really in control. And I think accepting the fact that you're not in control in some weird way gives you a bit of control at the same time. But yeah. Yeah, it definitely gives you more control over what you can control. If there's any of that that you can do.

Being Stubborn (01:26:17)

So no, I like that. And I love the Futurama reference or for Futurama references. Well, that patience, love and compassion doesn't just come from anywhere. It definitely comes from a practice of meditating, having grace and some people just aren't ready. And that's okay. And meditation helps me a lot to have grace and compassion for those people. Because when I do sit down to meditate and I'm in a place where I'm angry, I sit and I think and I, you know, I try to clear my mind. But if I can't, I think through it and I end up coming to a point where I just, I release the anger. And maybe it was because I know I'm a Leo and Leos can be very stubborn that like I work so hard not to be stubborn. And so I try to have grace because it is so easy for me to hold a grudge against people. I can hold a grudge and never speak to someone again. And that's not a trait that I'm proud of. Because I've realized that that's not a very human thing to do. Being human is having compassion and understanding and respect for people even when they mess up. And because we all do, we all mess up and I've messed up a bunch. But I know that because I've messed up, I can have grace and mercy for other people when they mess up. I love that. I cannot tell you how beautiful that is to hear. And I can't wait for everyone to hear that. I think it's such a true, true, true statement that the mistakes we've all made, which we all make, I've made loads of mistakes and you saying you have to, all those mistakes, they ground us, they humble us, they remind us of how we're all, no one is immune to making a mistake. And anyone at any time can make a mistake, knowingly or unknowingly. And actually, I'm going to play that part specifically to my wife because my wife is a Leo and she is so stubborn and she knows it. Yes. And so what you just said to me, I did not know that trait, that I didn't know that was a Leo trait. So I'm going to play that exact part to my wife and be like, look what Demi is saying. It's about the only thing I know about my astrology sign.

Rehashing Sexual Abuse and Rape (01:28:37)

Yeah, I did not know that at all. So now I am feeling that I can be more compassionate towards my wife when she went and she is stubborn because it's part of the traits. Tell me a bit about, what do you think, one of the things that you did this year, and this was actually when I first watched your documentary, Dancing with the Devil, I was completely blown away. Like it was incredible. It was incredible. It was just, I couldn't believe where you took us and where you allowed us in.

How meditation saved Demis life. (01:29:08)

And I know you said in this episode, in this podcast, you just said that you shared your story and then you realized the perspective that it was so much bigger than your story, which by the way is again, such a wonderful perspective. At the same time, you've been through so much that when you share, it helps so many. You talked about so many, you talked about an experience with rape, you talked about experiences with sexual abuse and assault. And when I hear about those things, and I still see you coming and rising like a phoenix, you know, from all these like challenges and pain, I wonder where is your strength coming from today? Like where do you look to for strength? You said meditation there and I'd love for you to guide us through your meditation practice. Is there anything else that's giving you strength? What's giving me strength? I mean, there's strength all around me. And that's my support system, whether that's my friends or my treatment team, or it's my friends, my family, you know, it's people around me. I always have support and I never feel alone, which is beautiful. But yeah, I think some of my meditations, I listen to guided meditations, but I also, I like to tone my chakras. And so I do like a sound bath and, and yeah, those are like, the great thing about meditation for me is that I thought that you had to be completely silent still with your eyes closed and your hands like this. And you know, there's different types of meditation. There's different as long as you are quieting your thoughts and trying to just chill, then like, then it's good. Then like you can meditate with your eyes open, you can meditate while you're doing things. It's just people don't realize how, how easy it is and you don't have to be perfect at it. And that was what kept me away from meditating for so long, was trying to be perfect at it. Yeah, thank you. Thank you for simplifying for everyone. I couldn't agree more.

When Demi's intuition won and rekindled relationships. (01:31:26)

I, when I, when I learned how to meditate, when I was 18, I was introduced to three practices, breath work, visualization and mantra and sound. And it was so refreshing to realize that there was breath work for the body, there was visualization for the mind, there was mantra for the soul and the spirit and the energy. And to me, I was like, wow, there's, there's a menu for meditation. And you could, you could try which one worked for you and you could build it. And as you said, there is no perfect meditator. And the practice of trying to be perfect is almost as far away from meditation as, as there can be. So I, I love that you're simplifying it for so many people and, and making it natural. What's, what's been one of your favorite meditation experiences? Have you had any that have really, maybe, maybe you've gained a message or an insight or you've just been able to be really calm? Has there been an experience that you could share with us? There's been so many experiences that I could share with you. I mean, it's having a realization about things that you thought you would never figure out in your lifetime. Relationships that you thought were completely over. And then all of a sudden they pop into your mind during meditation and you feel the need to reach out to them. So you do. And all of a sudden you've rekindled a relationship or you've repaired a relationship that that stubbornness I thought I was holding on to, um, you know, for, for good. It's when I was able to release that stubbornness. And so sometimes I feel like my intuition is when I meditate, it just like raises its hand and is like, Hey, you know, like, listen, listen to me. Here's a song idea. Here's a reach out to this person or or even sometimes weird things happen where I don't reach out to that person, but they reach out to me, you know, and it's interesting how your intuition starts to work when you really start to listen to it. Yes, yes. And that is such a good point. Most of us, whenever we talk about the word intuition, a lot of people say, well, Jay, I don't hear any voices. And the truth is we don't hear voices because we've been ignoring it for so long. And you're right that as soon as you start to listen to it, it gets louder, it gets stronger, it gets more powerful. That's, that's such a great point that as soon as you start listening, even if it's the tiniest bit of intuition, if you start listening to it, that voice gets so much more stronger and powerful. And I, you're so right, Demi, that in that meditation, you're giving space for that voice. Yes, you are, you're giving, you're putting that voice in an amphitheater. You know what I mean? You're giving that voice a huge platform to reach out and say, Hey, this is what's on my mind.

Turning her meditation voice into an emoji smiley face. (01:34:10)

Your voice sounds very cute though, saying, Hey, with it with a little handout. That sounds like an adorable voice. It seems like an emoji with a voice. Whereas, yeah, whereas, whereas, you know, someone else might be like, I don't like the voice in my head. But that's the noise, that's the noise. The voice in our head should feel like a smiley face emoji. That's like, please listen to me, please. Yeah, please. I hope anyone is listening to this right now, if you're not watching, you have to go back and look at the video of, of Demi doing Hey, because it's adorable. And you have to see it because now every time I hear my voice, my intuition, I'm going to see that lower end. Yeah, good. I love that. I love that you're laughing too, because one of the things that's always been important to me is that meditation and mindfulness and consciousness, it can be fun and it can be playful. Yes. And it doesn't have to be this really like, it's disciplined, but it's not this artificial, hardcore, you know, rough and like it can be playful and fun. I could you share a bit about that? Because I see you as such a fun, loving person. And even now, we're both laughing about voices in our head. But, tell me a bit about that. Have you allowed your playfulness to come through more and your energy to get through? Yes, I quieted my intense meditation, personal trainer voice that was in my head. You know, like when you go to the gym and and you have a personal trainer or somebody that's like really pushing you, and that just doesn't work for me. And that is the voice that I had in my head every time I went to meditate, it was stop opening your eyes, stop thinking about this, stop thinking about that. And it was just like, to the point where three minutes would go by and I'd be like, I'm already over this. You know what I'm saying? And so I had to really quiet that voice down. And when I started meditating, especially outside, you know, there's going to be noises, there's going to be animals, things like that planes that fly over. And if I felt myself wanting to open my eyes, I just allowed myself to because I thought, what are you going to gain from opening your eyes and just taking a second to appreciate the sound that you're hearing? And sometimes I had really beautiful insights. Sometimes I was like, wow, that's a big lane. But like, other times I had beautiful moments where I thought one time, for instance, I was outside and there were all these bugs and I was trying to meditate. And I thought to myself, what do I do about the bugs, right? Like, what can I do? Because I'm just chewing them away. And then I had this moment where I thought nobody was shooing bugs away at Woodstock when they were perfectly like content and having the best time in the like in the wilderness, basically, they were hippies that like they learned to share and coexist with the bugs that were there. And I was like, wow, these little tiny organisms are flying around me. They're maybe just trying to say hello. They're just or they're just living their lives. But like in my head, they're trying to say hi. And that makes it more appealing and fun for me. And so I opened my eyes and I just like let the bugs just kind of fly around me. And if it was a B, it's a B. If it stings you, it stings. I mean, I'm not allergic. So but, you know, other people might be different, but it's just about like shrinking that judgmental voice that's saying, keep your eyes closed. Don't focus on anything. You know, it's about quieting that voice and really just like learning to appreciate, okay, why do I want to open my eyes? What is it that I can gain from this experience of opening my eyes and looking at this little bug or or sometimes I'll open my eyes and I'll see a hummingbird and hummingbirds to me signify like my ancestors. And and so I think, oh, maybe that's their way of saying hello to me today. And I wouldn't have seen that had I not opened my eyes.

Self Improvement Strategies

Conversing with yourself. (01:38:31)

That was an amazing description because you just you just described how meditation is really a conversation, not a command. It's not a command. You're not commanding yourself to do this or do that. It's it's not like you have a drill sergeant in your head. You actually want to have a conversation and a dialogue to understand and uncover yourself. And I always think about that that the simplest form of meditation is having a conversation with yourself, having time. Yeah. To meet yourself. And we always we would never cancel an important meeting with someone else, but we never even schedule one with ourselves. Exactly. And I always I always used to um, overanalyze things. And I always used to tell myself that was a negative trait that I had, that I'm always overthinking things. But then when I started meditating, I I started to have those overanalyzation conversations in my head. And then I started thinking, wow, I could go somewhere with this, you know, like I could expand these thoughts and and it kind of gave this like it turned my brain into like a kitchen for all of the, um, the like thought dinners and food for thoughts that I wanted to have, you know, and I just started expanding. And now the way that I think is just completely different. And that's cool too. Yeah, no, that the way you've just explained how we have to silence even that, you know, that trainer voice as you said, like a personal trainer in the gym or it's so true. It's so true. Because otherwise, you just become subservient to this other voice. Again, your expansive consciousness is being contained and limited by this other voice. And you and you don't get to experience it anymore. So I could agree with you more. You've you've you've helped me massively refined that. And we as monks, we would always talk about how you always saw the, you always saw the noise in your head, just like a little monkey running around. And that kind of made it playful. And so it was always the, it was always the monkey mind versus the monk mind. And so the monkey was always playful and you notice it and you don't want to trap the monkey or hurt it or anything. You just are entertained by just how silly it can be. But you want to help organize it a little and help it a little bit, but you don't, you don't need to hurt it. And so I you've really helped me. I think my meditation is going to be different tomorrow based on what you just said. So I'm. Yeah. That's the best compliment. I mean it. I really mean it. I really do. I think I think you're so right. I think you're so right. We get we get lost always in these. We get always lost in just judging ourselves. Just somehow we get even even when we know we judge ourselves, we now judge ourselves for judging ourselves. It's like we find. Have you ever experienced that? Oh my God. Every day. Not every day, but you know, it is something where I do have to catch myself sometimes daily where I look, sometimes I look in the mirror and I find something immediately wrong with what I see. And I have to stop and say, okay, why did you, why did you go there with it? Why can't you look at how beautiful your hair is today or whatever or why don't you think about a quality about yourself that has nothing to do with your appearance and then like tell yourself how proud you are for gaining that quality. And it's like it's just always kind of reminding ourselves every day and that way it gets easier over time so that I'm not looking and sometimes it's harder than others. Sometimes it's just easier to go in that shame spiral. You know, the shame spiral where you get onto yourself for one thing and then all of a sudden that, oh, well, because I don't like my hair, that means that my body is wrong or because I'm not liking my body. You know, now I feel unlovable and it just goes into that spiral and the quicker you can stop that spiral from bottoming out, the quicker that you get with that moment every day where it's like, now I look in the mirror and if I see something I don't like, I'm, it's like a reflex. I just go, okay, what do we like? You know? And so you just got to, you got to start to in a loving and compassionate way train your mind to remind yourself what you do love about yourself.

Start training your mind (01:42:59)

So powerful. I really hope everyone tomorrow morning is going to practice what Demi just said. When you look in the mirror tomorrow morning, I want you to remember what Demi just said because it's such an incredible trait that we all have where we draw these huge conclusions based on one tiny thing. So like you said, we draw this conclusion. I am unlovable based on one thing we don't like about ourselves. And it could be as simple as your hair. It could be as tiny. Yeah. It could be as tiny as a spot on your face, right? And you turn that spot into I am never going to feel attractive and you just amplify it to these great degrees and we all do it. And I love what you said that that's how to approach it. That when we look in the mirror, you have to nip it in the bud. You have to catch it there and then and there because otherwise it just gets, I was thinking about, I was talking to someone about this the other day, there was a small crack in one of the floors in our home. And I was saying, I want to get it fixed today. And someone was saying to me, they said, no, no, it doesn't matter. Like it's going to be like years before that's an issue. And I was like, that's my point. I was like, I don't want the crack to get an opportunity to get bigger and bigger and bigger. I would rather mend it today. And I don't think that just applies to floors. I think it applies to our lives and how we feel about ourselves and how we talk to ourselves. It applies to relationships. You may think you just had a tiny argument, but if you can solve it now, you save yourself years of headaches. So I love that you gave everyone a practical tool to actually do that. Or another one is if you might, you might think that what you have to say is not super important, but honor that voice inside of you so that when you are in a relationship, you're immediately starting out with, this is who I am, these are my values and this is how I want to be respected.

Honor your voice (01:45:07)

And that way you, like you said, you nip it in the bud, sometimes it's not about sometimes it's just about speaking up too. Yes, yes, you're right. And that all comes back to what you were saying earlier, the confidence of your intuition, if you keep ignoring it and you say, oh, well, that's not important right now. Well, that's not relevant or that's insignificant. If you keep talking to yourself in that way, that voice just gets quieter and quieter and quieter. And now when you really need it, you can't hear it anymore. Yes, exactly. So I think that's a beautiful full circle. Go back to what you were saying earlier. Demi, we've talked a lot about, and I love that we're talking a lot about expanding consciousness because I think that that's not just a noble aspiration. I do believe it's a root thing. It's like going to the heart of the issue. As you said, that if we don't expand our consciousness and as a whole, as a world, it's, we can try and solve this one area, this one area, but we're going to keep kind of bashing heads to some degree. I wonder what are some of the ways you think that people can expand their own consciousness if they're listening and saying, I want to know how to do that.

Demi's book and podcast recommendations to better yourself (01:46:33)

I'm open to that. Where would they start? What are some of the things? What are some of the books? I know that you've been interviewing some phenomenal people on your podcast, 4D, which you're encouraging people to live through this fourth dimension. I wonder, have you had any conversations or people that you'd love to introduce people to? I interviewed someone recently on my podcast named Justin Belldoni. That conversation with them really opened my mind because just what they had to say in relation to gendered norms that are placed on us at a young age, how we evolve as adults and how we tend to carry those things from our childhood into our adult lives today. I thought that was so interesting and he has a book called Man Enough. A lot of the people that I'm having conversations with, you have a great book and I think reading is something that has helped expand my consciousness a lot too. It doesn't even have to be about anything, all that intense. Just reading is good for your mind. Journaling is something that's really helped me because sometimes my thoughts raise so fast that it's hard to, I don't know, it's good to just get it out and then I can go back to it and look at it later.

Demi's pointers on journalling, educating yourself and meditation for mental health (01:47:58)

So yeah, reading, journaling and like I said, meditating. Meditating is really important but find out what meditation works for you because it is different for everybody. Yeah, that was a great, great insights. Reading, journaling, of course meditation, as you said before when we talked about our land.

The Role Of Reading In Personal Development

Chris' experience and advice on reading to expand your consciousness (01:48:25)

I can agree with you more. I remember, I was just speaking to a friend, I was reorganizing my bookshelf and he was saying, "How much have you been reading recently?" And I said, "I remember a year in my life where I read a book a day for a year and it was an incredible year and I was just saying to him, how much I miss it." That was around, I think that was around four or five years ago I did that and I've been reading, I've been trying to read about a book a month at the moment but I've been really trying to find things that I'm fascinated by and it's not about, I'm not trying to make it about a numbers game, I'm not saying that. So anyone is listening or watching, this isn't a competition of how many books you read and that's not what I'm emphasizing. What I'm emphasizing is what Demi is saying, it's just to really expand your consciousness, you need to let your consciousness connect dots in lots of different areas. And so when I read, I don't just try and read from one genre, I try and read from lots of different genres and lots of different authors and backgrounds because then my consciousness has the ability to connect dots that it finds interesting. Thank you so much for watching that video. If you enjoyed it, here's another one I think you'll love. It didn't come from the wardrobe or the facelift, the sports car or whatever, it came from within you and so you stop looking out there for it.

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