If You Want To COMPLETELY HEAL Your Body & Mind, WATCH THIS! | Gabrielle Bernstein & Jay Shetty | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "If You Want To COMPLETELY HEAL Your Body & Mind, WATCH THIS! | Gabrielle Bernstein & Jay Shetty".


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Intro (00:00)

What we're running from first and foremost is we're running from trauma. Even the subtle moments in time, someone tells you you're stupid or you were in the best of environments growing up, but you were fat-shamed by a friend. Those tiny moments that are seemingly insignificant dictate the rest of our lives. Hey everyone, welcome back to On Purpose, the number one health podcast in the world. Thanks to each and every single one of you who come back every week to listen, learn, and grow. Now today we have on a guest who has already been on before and we don't do that very often, but I have to do it for this special guest, a dear friend, an incredible author, number one New York Times bestseller, multiple international best-selling books, the one and only Gabby Bernstein. Gabby, thank you so much for coming back to On Purpose. We've loved each other from the moment we first met and that was six years ago now, believe it or not. We've talked about this multiple times about how we just instantly connected and we found a way to stay connected with me moving from New York to LA through to not being able to see each other. We just said, hadn't seen you for three years, but you wrote this incredible book called Happy Days, The Guided Path from Trauma to Profound Freedom and Inner Peace. I want everyone who's listening right now to go and order your copy because you're going to love this conversation and you're going to want the book even more. So go and grab your copy right now. But Gabby, you wrote this book at a tough time. You know, at a really tough time in the world. I wanted to kind of take a step back because when we're doing this work that we do and you've served millions of people for years now that you've been doing this, like this has really been a labor of love for you. You've brought joy to so many people over over a decade. And my question is, what is happiness? Like, let's really talk about what is happiness because we keep chasing these words.

Understanding Happiness And Overcoming Personal Trauma

What is happiness? (02:02)

People are chasing mindfulness or happiness or joy or success. But it's like, when you've bought about happiness from all your learnings, all your wisdom, all of your journey, what is happiness? My answer today is quite different than it would have been six years ago when we first did our first interview. The difference is a greater understanding of what happiness is not. I had to really go to that place to come through and be on the other side of what it truly is. And I began to really deepen my awareness and understanding of what takes us out of that presence of joy. And as Peter Levine, the founder of Sematic Experiencing, he says that trauma is the inability to be present. And trauma is often the root cause of most of our unhappiness, whether it's big tea trauma or small tea trauma, big tea like living through a catastrophic event or having kind of violence in the household, or small tea trauma being told you're not good enough or being bullied. But we all have it in some way. And when we have it and it's not resolved, we build up all of these defense mechanisms against it. And that creates the inability to be present and to really experience life with all of its moment to moment richness. And right here right now, looking at you and really taking you in and really just feeling into the thrill of what it's like to be back in the same room with a very dear friend and somebody I love. And even when I came in and I hugged you, six years ago, I would have been like, Hey, Jay, and like very like not in my body and not in the present moment with you because I was still stuck in that truncated trauma. And so coming through the other side of that, what happiness means to me now is the ability to be fully present. And I'm not using that language as like some woo woo, but to be fully present in the moment with whatever is going on right here right now. And that is how I'm living today. And it's epic. It's wonderful. Like, the fact that I could be in the Uber on my way here having a really awesome conversation with the woman driving me and getting to know a new person and then walking in a room and just being able to hug my friend and feel that. So it was a really long answer, but it's important to really recognize that I did not know what true happiness was until nine books later, 16 years as a spiritual teacher. And I knew what it was for myself along the way, but now I really feel like I've gotten to a place where it truly has transcended sort of these obvious descriptions. I really like that definition. And I really like that approach because I think that presence is so overtalked about, but undervalued and under applied. We hear about it a lot, as you said, but we don't really know how to live it because presence to us often actually means judgment. Or presence means I'm present right now, but now I'm going to critique that or I'm going to see that.

The concept of being present (05:27)

Tell us how you think about presence differently because often people say, well, when I'm present, I just spot everything that's going wrong right now. Or when I'm present, I just start highlighting things that I don't like or do like for that matter. So how do you see presence as being beyond judgment and criticism and observation? That's an interesting outlook on it. So the concept of be present, it's just thrown around. And it's this concept of just sort of, when you meditate and you quiet your mind, you're, yeah, yeah, yeah, fine. But really what I believe is when you go on the journey of undoing the storylines of your past and to such a point in level that they no longer have a hold on your nervous system and you begin to reorganize your reactivity and your relationship to yourself and how you respond to the world, then you start to establish what is known in S.E. somatic experiencing as a felt sense. It's a felt sense of, and what that means is, I can stand outside my house in the country right now and this season change and smell spring. I can look in my son's eyes and feel the most insane rush of oxytocin moved through my heart when he just looks me in the eye. And that's actually not the human experience typically. Typically, we are moving so fast, so dissociated from, so checked out from, we are, we have disembodied, we're walking around like, you know, without our heads on. And I could only say this because I've lived like that for many, many years and had to work really hard with my meditation and with my spiritual practice to keep coming back to groundedness. And so there's a lot of that yo-yo of like, I'm out, I'm in, I'm out, I'm in. But what if you could live life just fully in the presence of where you are in a forgiven moment and truly taking it all in? And that was always sort of like, oh, that would be so, you know, that's where we're going. That's what we're talking about in my spiritual books. But I know that now. And I know that you as my friend, who's known me for six years, I'm sure you can feel that in being with me in this room right now versus six years ago. And so, and I've had that experience even through writing this book, my ninth book, that presence came through the, is infused in every imprint. And so, I didn't think this was where we were going, but it's actually, it truly is what happiness is to me. It's being in the experience of things. And actually being able to experience life. Yeah, I love what you said there. To me, it really felt that example of you looking into your son's eyes. When you said that, I think what I love about that experience is that it's so immersive. And then you said to take it all in. And I feel like that's really what presence is, is the ability to take it all in through all your senses, right, that we don't even use. I often, when I'm teaching meditation and we're activating people's senses, we start recognizing how we over rely on our eyes. The only sense we actually observe through is our eyes. And maybe then our ears, but our nose, our sense of touch is fairly unconscious, right? We're not always aware of temperatures, textures, sense and things like that, which, which I find is we're not taking it all in. One of the things you just reminded me of is I read a study recently that was talking about the awe effect. And it was saying that we're happier and we have more prosocial behavior when we experience awe. That's right. And when you spoke about your son's eyes, I was thinking about the idea of awe. So awe is generally nature, beautiful landscapes, views, but someone's eyes could be awe. And it was saying that the reason why we love awe is because we simultaneously feel tiny, but a part of something bigger. Beautiful. So you feel a sense of insignificance, but connectedness at the same time. And I think that's what presents is to me. I love that. And I think that someone listening right now might be like, what are they talking about? How could I, you know, because the truth is, is I probably, I get that. I understand that. You know, what does that even mean to be present? What does it even mean to be in awe? Because we live in such a protector mode. We have this huge build up almost like a wall built up against the presence of that energy of that awe. And from a spiritual perspective, it's almost like we have to dismantle each of these bricks on this wall to just reconnect to and return to that presence within ourselves. And, and truly, even in the midst of this experience of not being connected to that awe and that presence for many, many years, I was still able to touch into it. It was, I was on a path and a journey towards it. And I think that that actually really benefited my readers and it benefited the journey that I was on because that's where many people were with me. And so, this stage of my life, 42 years young and with much, you know, 16 years of being in this field, I have this experience right now of having kind of up leveled my well-being. And that's actually what my hope is for my reader right now with the, if you open this book, right, or if you are even listening to us right now have this conversation, you've unconsciously or consciously raised your hand and said, yeah, I'm ready to up level. And the, the gift of having this global crisis that we've all just lived through is that so much, so many of us just started to crack open to the reality that we couldn't just pretend anymore. And this is the journey of kind of unearthing why we have been running and how we've been running and how to stop. Yeah, what are some of the ways you think we're not even aware you have a chapter in the book called, you know, like, why we run away? And it's like, what are some of those hidden ways of running away that you think stay with us? Because I almost feel like there's the obvious ways we know we run away. Then there's the middle, like, in between hidden ones where we kind of convince ourselves that we're not running away. And then finally we raise our hands, as you said, and say, I'm ready to level up. Yeah, what are some of those hidden, confusing places where we're running away or excuses that happen that block us?

We’re all running from trauma of some form (11:54)

I'm going to come out straight with it, Jay. What we're running from first and foremost is we're running from trauma period and a story. And that word has such a loaded stigma around it. And I'm just wanting to bust through that now, because we are all traumatized. You can't be alive in this world right now at this time or even decades ago without experiencing trauma in some form. And like I said, some of us may have been brought up with a totally secure attachment, so much resilience, so much grace in our life. And we've experienced trauma, but maybe you're able to move through it with more ease because you had that safe, secure experience. But it doesn't mean that it's your unscathed. It doesn't mean that you have missed the life's lessons, because even the subtle moments in time, someone tells you you're stupid. You're six years old, right? Or you were in the best of environments growing up, but you were fat-shamed by a friend. Those tiny moments that are seemingly insignificant dictate the rest of our lives. And so that's what we're running from. The bigger T, the trauma, as you mentioned, well, actually, we haven't gone there yet, but I reveal really big T trauma that I had remembered when I was 36 years old, the bigger the teeth of trauma, child abuse or living with an alcoholic parent, whatever it might be, but regardless of how big or small the T is, there is something that needs to be undone, because ultimately, that's where we're running from and how are we running? We're running with drugs, we're running with alcohol, we're running with food, we're running with judgment, we're running with work, we're running with rage, we're running with control, and these, all the lists that I just identified are protector parts of us. So, let me just simplify it even more. I am now trained in internal family systems therapy, and the simplification of this is that we have these moments in time where we disembodied, we've been experienced some kind of trauma, we check out, and then we say, oh, I never wanna feel that shame, I never wanna feel that terror again, we just lock it up. And those are called exiled parts of us, they're often young parts. And then we build up all these ways of protecting ourselves, and that's the control, that's the drugs, that's the addiction, that's the workaholism, whatever it might be, to protect ourselves from ever experiencing that pain again. We all have exiles and we all have protectors, and this journey that we need to go on is to really relax those protector parts so that they can remember that there is a source of love and an internal parent within us that can take care of us. - It's incredible, isn't it, that what you're saying are these protector parts are actually causing us more pain? - Yeah. - So we think we're protecting ourselves by running away, so we have this protector part, but that protection is not protection, it's actually deepening the wound. - That's correct. - But it looks and feels and sounds like protection. I mean speaking to a lot of people lately who are saying to me, "J, I am too sensitive and empathetic towards this world, and I don't feel like I belong here." - Yeah. - Like there's this feeling of like, "I just want a world full of love and kindness, and I don't feel like I belong here." - Yeah. - It can feel scary to look at the trauma, right? It's scary, like there's a big fear around whether it's a small tea trauma or big tea trauma, as you said, it can be really tough. And you said after doing so much of this work, 36, six years ago was when you were able to look at it, what do you think blocked you up until that point from looking at it, even though you were doing so much work, or how did your work that you were doing actually open that up as well? - Well, yeah, well, dissociation.

Our greatest protector part is to dissociate (15:43)

So similar to what your friends are saying, it's like it's too scary to live in this world. And so you know what, often one of the great protector parts is to dissociate, to check out, to even meditate above, right? To just try to in some way numb that out. And for me, I, at 36, in a dream, remembered sexual abuse from my childhood. And I had such a huge aha moment when that dream surfaced because this is why I was a cocaine addict. This is why I was an alcoholic. This is why I was a workaholic. This is why I was controlling the shit out of everything in my life. So there was relief in knowing, okay, this is what I've been running from. And it was so extreme in my case that my brain literally just, you know, it's a beautiful brain response to say, oh, this is so overwhelming to the system that it's going to be totally checked out and dissociated from. But even if you dissociate from a memory, it still shows up in your body. It still shows up in your gastrointestinal issues. It shows up in your sleep. It shows up in your relationships. It shows up in your addiction. It shows up everywhere because you may not have the actual claiming of the memory, but the memory is still in your nervous system. I remembered at 36 because by that stage, I'd already written about, I'd been 11 years sober. I'd probably written seven books. You know, I'd been really on this very big quest to my own spiritual awakening. And all the work that I had done, everything I'd written about, got me to the place where I was safe enough to remember. You know, everything's in the perfect order. There's no accident. I'd done a tremendous amount of spiritual work, a tremendous amount of therapeutic work. I got to a place in my life. Also, this is important to recognize where there was a lot of new things happening around me. So control was one of the ways that I kept that exiled story at bay. But a lot of things in my life at that time were falling out of control. So I was, my husband was leaving his job at JP Morgan to come run our business. We were talking about family planning. We had just gotten married. So these big life moments are often when people do remember traumas. Or if it's a trauma that you're aware of, it can really get activated and come to the surface. So just something for the listener to consider. And it was so horrific and so scary to remember that. But the journey that I've underwent since that time is what allows me to put my face on this book cover and have it say the guided path from trauma to profound freedom and inner peace and mean every freaking word of that. And to be able to stand behind that with full integrity, authenticity and power. To be able to say, you know what? So all these people are so traumatized. Everyone's so traumatized. And I can say go do this. And it's a gift to be able to live, to tell. - Yeah, absolutely. I really appreciate what you said about being safe enough. - Yeah. - Because I think that when you start this work, it's not that all of it happens at the same level. And it's not that the work looks the same every year. And so when you start doing personal growth, self-development, spiritual work, whatever it may be, it's going to look different every single year. New things are going to be unlocked and opened and unearthed. And so I think people can feel comfortable that if they're on the journey, there will be a point at which it's safe enough in your words to feel that you can be revealed to that. And I wanted to say something here because I love this dedication.

For my husband, Zach…” (19:25)

And when you said that about getting married and trauma, you actually dedicate this book to your husband, for my husband, Zach, thank you for loving all of my parts and helping me feel safer than I ever thought possible, which I thought was beautiful. - Yeah. - You're reading that as like really emotional for me. Because it was a trauma for him to be married to me. And you know, Jay, I opened this book by saying that my publishers came to me and I sent them the manuscript. And these are publishers I'd worked with for so many years. And I'd written books and they would just accept the manuscript. The universe has your back ready to print, the super attractor ready to print. And I send them this manuscript and they write back like, we need to talk. And I get on the phone with them and they're like, we're really nervous for you, Gabby, because you're revealing so much and it's one negative story after the next and we don't think that you're showing your true strength. And my response was my ability to be this vulnerable is my true strength. But it wasn't just them. It was Zach. Like one of my husband read this book. He edits my books before they go to the publisher. I have an editor, then it goes to Zach and then it goes to the publisher. And when he read this, it was really triggering for him, super activating. And there was moments when he would say to me, I didn't even know this was going on. And that's so emotional for me because when you're living in that kind of recovery and that crisis, there's so much shame wrapped up in it. And especially when you're the self-help book author, you know, that the shame is so extreme that you feel so alone in the journey. And I just have such a deep gratitude for my husband, for holding me in that. I have gratitude for all the whole team of therapists that help me in that. But particularly for my spiritual connection because without that, I would have been really alone. And so that's really what I want this book to do for people is to help them know they're not alone in this journey and that we all have a lot that we can look at and gently and slowly and safely begin to peel back the layers or take the bricks off the wall. And yeah, but just hearing you read that acknowledgement out loud and that dedication out loud is just, it just says a lot about what it means to hold another person in their trauma. - The reason why it touched me is because again, I think a lot of listeners, a lot of comments that I see, a lot of story tags that I see. And people that I speak to in my personal life, trauma can break partnerships. - Oh yeah. - Massively. - Oh yeah. - And we see either people struggling in shared trauma, struggling with the individual trauma being passed over to each other, wounds being shared. Explain to us how someone can hold space for someone during their trauma journey and work and as they're on this path.

How do you help someone help you? (22:18)

And actually more importantly, because you do tell us the guided path from trauma to profound freedom, how do you help someone help you? - Yeah. - I'm really interested in that. - Yeah. - Because I find that so often we expect someone else to help us, but how do you help your partner help you rather than expecting them to be a therapist, which is really unrealistic. - Totally unrealistic. Well, there's a lot of answers to that question. So the best way you can help them help you is to just tell the truth to the best of your ability. So even if it's the trauma that you're facing, actually on my podcast, I workshop people and I dear gabby'd someone yesterday and she was talking about how this book is bringing up a lot for her and she's starting to face into it. And her partner just doesn't understand. And I said to her-- - That's what I mean. - Yeah. And I said, listen, you may not feel safe enough yet to let him in on your full journey or even what you're facing into, but it would be extremely valuable for you to go to him and say, hey, a lot of stuff is coming up for me right now. It's old stuff from my childhood and it's really scary for me. And I'm reading this book and I wanna assure you I'm doing this really beautiful work on this and I'm committed to maybe seeking out therapy and going deeper and my intention is to really create a safe environment for myself and for our relationship. But that's the truth of where I'm at right now. And that may be the only truth that you can tell because it's just too much shame wrapped up in telling exactly what's up. That comment, that truth, that extension of vulnerability even in that slight way is extremely soothing to the other partner because if you just leave them completely in the dark and they don't understand why you are so reactive, they don't understand why you might pick up the drink. They can't understand why. And so giving them a little look behind the why is a very valuable thing. Another thing I recommended to her was to have him read the book because any, you know, when you've got unresolved trauma, big to your small tea, the patterns are just textbook day. You know what I mean? Like if you were to look at all of my symptoms you'd be like, check, check, check, check, check, check. I now having done my research and having studied this and having lived it, I can spot it in humans everywhere. I'm like big tea trauma, small tea trauma, big tea, big, big, big, you know, I can see it. Like I kept asking Zack at times to read this one book that was about women who had lived through childhood abuse. And it was a little bit too much for him. But handing him a book like this or handing a partner a book like Happy Days allows the partner to be like, oh wow, this whole story sounds just like my partner. Or, oh yeah, my partner does that too. And it gives you an insight of like, one, the opportunity for the traumatized person to say, look, I'm not alone. And then for the partner to recognize, oh, this is a real thing. - I think there's a great answer. I love both of those. I would highly recommend everyone who's listening and watching. If you're reading Happy Days right now, make sure you share even paragraphs of it. You may take a picture and send it to your partner or to a friend. And of course, if you're not reading it, make sure you grab a copy of the book as you're listening right now. Because I do believe that what Gabby's saying is so deeply true that if we have not healed our traumas, we're going to carry them with us into every workplace, relationship, scenario. And it just gets harder because that trauma gets tied up in more people's trauma. And then you can't even tell the difference between yours, someone else's and collective. And so I feel like the earlier we can do this work, the healthier it can be for us. And I love what you just said about the idea of informing someone, hey, this is what I'm going through. This is why this week, I might be really irritable and why I'm really struggling. This week, I'm going to need your support. And I think, I do this with rather often even about small things where I'm like, of course, really big thing on Thursday. I'm really nervous about it. Like just know that this week, every gap I get, I'm going to be super silent because I'm going to be preparing my energy for this thing. That's a small thing of just something coming up instantly. But what about when you're doing something internal? So I love those and I would encourage people to, even if someone can't read a book, that you send them screenshots and pictures. That's right. And it's going to get them moving. And this book does a great job at breaking those areas down. I like that idea too of being like, hey, read this page or listen to this one section of the audio book because, or just listen to the conversation between Gabby and Jay because what it does is it just gives a little insight. And then that also helps you as the reader, as the person on the journey to take away the shame. There's a chapter in the book actually that's called Speaking the Unspeakable. And it's all about shame. And here I was Jay. I was 36. I was just facing into this. I'm at a retreat, leading the freaking retreat with two other women. And it's a retreat on women facing their trauma and transcending their past. And I'm about six months into my own recovery. So I had no business teaching at that time, but I didn't realize that. And that's actually part of some of the vulnerable things they shared in this book that I published. There's like, do you really want to say that? And I'm like, yes, I have to say it all. So here I was and I'm teaching that, I'm leading this retreat. And so in the other teachers session, I'm sitting in the room doing the workshop with them. And the workshop's all about shame. I'm like, okay, I like, you know, I'll partner up with somebody on just like hold space for them, right? And here I am in this dialogue about shame. And I realize at 36 years old, seven self-help books, 11 years of sobriety, you know, over a decade of work on stage speaking about spirituality. And I sit there and I'm like, oh my God, shame. I didn't realize I had it. - Wow. - It's so buried, it's the most impermissible emotion that it is the exiled part. It was so, so unsafe. I mean, I was like, of course I'm lovable. Of course I'm adequate. I don't have shame. You know, we all do. But it was so buried so deep that facing into that, you know, is a very gentle process. And so one of, so another intention here is in this conversation, in this just speaking of trauma, just giving voice to trauma, is to just end the stigma and shift the shame. Because that shame is why we don't open up to our partners. That shame is why we don't even open a book like this. - Yeah, and that's actually what I was gonna say, that I think one of the biggest things I hear is, oh no, I have no trauma. Like, no, I don't have any shame. Like, no, no, no, I'm, you know, and I've even led people I've worked with through inner child meditations and, you know, work. And they don't allow themselves to go there. - Oh yeah. - And one of the biggest things I also find is people don't wanna go there because they're scared they'll get stuck there. - Totally, totally, totally. - Right?

Opening up something and not getting stuck in one place (29:36)

And so tell us a bit about that path of opening up something, but not getting stuck there. What is the difference between someone who opens up a book like this? Obviously you've given the whole path and it's in here, but I mean like, that difference between someone who opens up a part of themselves, then just feels like their whole life is collapsing, versus someone who opens it, has the courage to look at it, but then is able to pass through. What have you noticed of the difference? - You have to titrate in and out. It's not, you cannot, when you're dealing with big wounds, big tears, small tears, I'm gonna keep going back to that because some people listening, they're like, oh, you know, nothing's ever happened to me. And if I was sitting with you right now, I could find 30 things that you're running from, you know, or one major thing you're running from. So wherever you are on the spectrum, the first thing to really identify is that you can't just rip the band-aid off right away, and you have to go slow. And there are plenty of people that I have right now that in my world, girlfriend and just recovering from postpartum depression, I'm like, do not read the book right now, you know, put it on the shelf and wait. If someone's opening the book and it's super activating to them, the answer could be, you know, go back into your therapy and then use the book when you feel safer. Don't put yourself in a position where you're gonna blow out your system with too much digging too fast. Now, with that said, inside this book, I hold you by the hand and I walk you so slowly through these steps over and over again, I say, if this is too much for you, please skip ahead, read the next chapter, go back to chapter three, the body-based work. There's a whole chapter on how to settle your nervous system through body-based practices. And that in itself can just be so soothing to someone as they start to open up to the possibility that there's something that they need to face. And so through breath work, through physical, somatic work, through body talk, and just even getting in touch with what's going on in your body, there's so much relief. And so it's just a very slow process. I don't think people can just rip the band-aid off at once. It's not possible. - Yeah, I'm glad you said that because I think a lot of people think they have to or they think that that's the only way. And I was actually going to talk about that. I love this section on hiding behind the body. And there's a beautiful quote here that you have that says, "I came to accept that I didn't have a gut problem. I still had a subconscious emotional problem." - Yeah. - And this whole chapter for everyone who's reading along or who's going to get the book is called "Hiding Behind the Body." And that to me was huge because I think today, we're all trying to be healthier. Hopefully everyone who's listening to this podcast, at least I know is, people are changing their diet. They're changing their sleep routine. They're changing the vitamins they take and the supplements they take. But then they're still wondering why things aren't getting worked out. And I think a lot of people who are listening can relate to that. And then you start to recognize that the body is just a window into what's actually sitting behind there. What have you found because you've been researching this, studying this, you give a guided path. What were other useful resources on that journey that you kind of recommend to people in the book to say, hey, check this person out or think about this idea or area of your work.

Our physical conditions are psychosomatic (32:40)

- In that chapter, I really referenced the work of Dr. John Sarno who wrote Healing Back Pain. He wrote the Mind Body prescription. And all of his work was really based on the premise that our physical conditions are psychosomatic. And by no means in my book, in my work or in his work was there any reference of don't get that medication or don't go on that therapeutic path physically, whatever it might be. But to really look closely at what are the belief systems and the impermissible feelings that are not being met behind the physical sensations. So for me in the book, I referenced how I had decades of gastrointestinal issues. And what I recognized through my healing journey is that I didn't have gastrointestinal issues. I had unresolved trauma. I had impermissible rage. I had impermissible terror. I had impermissible shame. And as I began to become safer in my nervous system, safer in my mind, safer reprocessing memories, I have zero gastrointestinal issues. - I love hearing that. - I didn't have to, I did for decades, SIBO diets and this thing and I had this supplement and all of that is necessary. When you're having acute problems, you need medication, you need vitamins, you need diets to just get back to baseline and for sure. But all of it goes away. So many of our, so people are like, "Well, how do I know if I have trauma?" And I'm like, "Well, do you have a sleep disorder? "Do you have gastro issues? "Do you have TMJ? "Do you have, so go to the body first? "Do you have acne?" And then it goes even deeper. Do you have panic attacks? Do you have depression? But the bottom line is that our body is a first responder and our body is such a beautiful way to reveal to us what is needing to be healed. And in fact, we talked about protector parts. The physical body actually is a form of protection, right? So we send, from the Sarno perspective, we have a nervous system response because our traumas are triggered. Our body gets tense. We go into that fight-flight response. So that tension shows up in the stomach, that tension shows up in the migraine, that tension starts to block oxygen from flowing to these areas. From a gastrointestinal perspective, it stops the GI tract from actually moving, moving our bowel movements. And then what happens? Bacteria builds up. And then you actually do have a real diagnosis of SIBO or IBS or whatever. Well, if you actually relax your nervous system, your whole system can start to move. You can have that perfect digestion begin to settle because you're relaxed and in that relaxed state, your body can heal. And so we have to really look at the psychosomatic effect of our physical conditions from a psychosomatic perspective. - Whew, that already relaxes my nervous system going like, "Oh wow, that's where it is." Because I think a lot of people right now are just tinkering with so many parts of our life and then we're wondering, "Why do I still not feel the way I feel?" - Oh yeah. - Right? Like, "I'm doing everything right." And I've been in that position myself where I'm like, "I'm doing everything right. "Why am I still not feeling good?" And sometimes it is biological, if you're psychologically done some of the work and then it's the other way around as well, what were you surprised by when you started doing this work? What was one of the big surprises that came along as you started to do the work on yourself that you actually thought, "Wow, I didn't expect this.

Carrying around shame (36:08)

"Like, I didn't think this was gonna happen." - Well, I was surprised by the shame. I was like, "Wow, I have shame. "What is that, right?" That was so strange, right? I'm like, "This is a spiritual teacher. "I didn't even recognize my shame." - It was the shame for. - I mean, the shame, when you experience sexual abuse in any form, whether you're particularly as a child, the shame is it's my fault, the shame is I'm wrong. And underneath all of this is the belief that we're inadequate and unlovable. My therapist taught me that, and I remember her saying that, and at the time I'm like, "I'm very adequate and lovable. "Like, what the hell are you talking about?" Decade later, "Wow, that is absolutely a core belief "that I carried for so long." And another big thing I realized was how my spiritual practice actually really saved me and was the through line of all of the guidance of the work that I was led to. And I, in the book, referenced very spiritual therapeutic practices for trauma. So I reference EMDR, which is eye movement, desensitization, and reprocessing. It's bilateral brain stimulation that allows you to reprocess memories. I reference SE, somatic experiencing, which is a body-based trauma therapy. IFS, which I went as far as to get trained in, and IFS is all about the caring for your inner child parts. And these specific therapies are all very spiritual. In the clinical space, they may not be referenced in that way, but I can say that, right? And I can be the spiritual voice for them. And I believe it's spirit that my spirit guides, that my connection to God very, very, very clearly laid out this path for me. And not just for me to live it, but also for me to share it. And then I would say one of the biggest surprises, though, was when I would meet these different therapeutic practices, each time I was blown away. I was like, oh my God. I was carrying that. Oh my God, next level. That is so present in my body. Oh my God, and just witnessing and witnessing. And I think that the big, one of the biggest surprises also, Jay, is that when you live with trauma, you think that's who you are. You just think, I am a workaholic. I am a control freak. And you don't know that there is a way out. And I am so proud. The greatest gift I'll give this world is my bravery to go to the places that scared me and come out the other side so that I can live to tell that this works, that you can survive trauma and that you can thrive. I feel it, the confidence in this space. And I also just appreciate how you were able to push back your control parameters. And protectors. Because like you said, you've been doing this work for a long time. You've been teaching this work. You're helping people. You're changing people's lives. And then going, well, actually, there's another layer.

How do you fall in love with yourself again? (39:10)

What layer of love was that work in the trauma? Like when you said we have that deep held belief of I'm unlovable and I'm-- Inadequate. Inadequate. How do you fall in love with yourself again when you realize that's at the root of it? Because really, you're not trying to fall in love with yourself before you're trying to protect and fix. And then all of a sudden, now you're seeing at this stage that-- You return to. Yeah, you return to, yeah, exactly. Well, I'm going to answer that from an IFS perspective. And when I use the acronym IFS, it's Internal Family Systems Therapy. And it's not actually about your family. Your outside family is about your inner family. So you've got your exiled parts of you and you've got your protector parts of you. And then we all have self. Your language, you might call it higher self or God or the universe. And I did that as well for many years. Interguidance. And self is self with a capital S. And what self is is the internal parent. It's the undamaged, resourced part of who we are. It's the man that I'm sitting with here right now. You show up to your podcast in self. And that's actually why it's so resonant with people because they feel that there's no ego attached to it. So you're not showing up with a presence of neediness or anything. You're showing up-- this is me. This is what I'm here to do. I'm on my mission. But when your wife triggers you, your protector parts might show up. And you might start to get into an extreme pattern. And that's for all of us. So we all have access to this undamaged resource part of who we are-- self qualities or courage, compassion, calmness, creativity, curiosity, connectedness. And when we are in that presence of self, like you and I are here right now, anything's possible. I could say to you right now, something really difficult for you to hear. But you would hear it with love because I'm grounded in that self energy. And so the main way to fall back in love with yourself is to let self become the leader of your inner system. So it's not like we want to control or push down or manage these protector parts of ourselves. There's no bad parts. We just want to help them be less extreme. And how? We want to let them know that there's an internal parent. Let me give you a really clear example. So let's say something triggered me last week. I was in a conversation with some friends, and I was like, oh my god, they don't like me. Like an old, exiled part was there. And when the exiled part comes up, you don't want to feel it, right? So then one of my protectors tries to numb it out. And the protector is the judge or in that case. Like, well, they're wrong, right? And I go into all the reasons they're wrong because I don't want to feel that shame. And then I'm like, well, oh my god, no, I'm wrong. Because so we attack others, we attack ourselves. And so those are protector parts. And the judge-- Somebody has to be wrong. Somebody has to be wrong, right? So the judge was there to protect me from feeling that impermissible feeling. And then because I have this great through line to self, I was able to notice, oh, OK, I notice there's a protector up. OK, notice. Where do I feel that in my body? Notice. Does it have a color? Does it have a shape? Is there something that it wants to say to me? What do I know about it? OK, I know it's young. I know it's a young girl who doesn't feel like she is understood in high school, right? And I know that she's just wanting to blame others because she's so scared. And what does she need right now? She needs a hug. She needs to breathe. And I can let her actually speak to me. And I can listen to that part. And then I can give her what she needs. And so it's literally a practice of becoming your own internal parent, creating the secure attachment that we did not get from our parents with ourselves. And there's no greater form of self-love than letting self with a capital S lead your entire system. And you have to see the thing here, Jays. I didn't shame that part. I wasn't like, oh, that judge is there, or that young child part is showing up like you're a loser. I actually really got curious about it. I was compassionate toward it. I brought a calm energy to it. And so the goal here really is to begin to soften and relax the protectors. Because frankly, the protectors are not bad, right? Like the controller wrote nine books in 11 years. She did a good job. But we just want her to be less extreme. And so she can keep producing and keep creating, but not in that extreme way. It's a lot of density. In chapter seven of the book, I go deep into IFS. But I want to just reiterate for the listener, notice no need. In the moment, if you have enough awareness to notice that you're triggered, notice it in your body. What does it feel like? Is there a color? Is there a shape? What do you know about it? And then what does it need? And give yourself a moment to try that out. - Even though there's so much depth to it, I felt that was very clear. Because I think that's what we're ultimately avoiding is accepting that we have an inner child need. - That's right. - Right? It's like that's ultimately what we're running away from is that we do have a gap internally. And it isn't going to be solved through something in the external world. It's not going to be solved through someone saying something to us in a nice way or someone changing. - Right. - Or like it's not going to be solved. - Yeah, like my husband changing his tone is never going to heal my wounds, right? It may make a world, create a world where I'm less activated, less frequently. But like someone else's behavior cannot change your reactivity. And that doesn't mean the other person shouldn't show up as well, but like you have to be your internal parent. Your partner can't be your parent. Frankly, in many ways your parent can't parent you back to that, you know, you especially very, you know, 42 years old or whatever it is, as a little child the expectation is you'll have that, but most don't. - That's so powerful because I think most of us what we're yearning for is to live in a less deactivated state. So ideally what we want is if everyone was just nicer and kinder, then things would just feel better, right? But the reality is that not everyone's just going to be nicer and kinder. And if we can be in the environment, that's beautiful. It's a great environment to grow in. But what you just said was so brilliant. You were like, you know, if my husband changing his tone is not going to solve the wound. And I think that that's why the path that you just laid out is fantastic because we're constantly checking in with everyone else's needs. We're trying to be pleasing to other people's needs. I don't know the last time most people, if we're honest with ourselves, and I want everyone who's listening to truly be honest with yourself, when was the last time you checked in with yourself? And not just yourself, your inner child's self, the younger self is gabby with saying and said, what do you need? I just, I mean, even me, I'm listening, I'm going, can't remember the last time I did that for myself. - And the distinction here too, is that you're asking the protector part, would it?

Dealing with your protector and exile parts (46:27)

- Yes, yes. - Because the exiled parts are really locked up, Jay. Like they're like locked in a basement. And to start to touch into the exiles, I would recommend doing that with IFS therapy, like with an IFS therapist. You can learn more about it. I do an interview with Dick Schwartz on my podcast, and then obviously in this chapter, there's a whole dialogue about IFS. And we can give some resources links as well in the show notes, but more importantly, that you would go through that deeper exiled child part journey with a trained therapist, particularly in this system. But that you right now right here, can start to just be a parent to those protector parts. And that's the first step, because the protectors are really the ones that you can see. The child activated, but the protector swoos right in. - That's what you're saying, that's what you're saying. - The protector's like, oh, I'm gonna lock that door. Like there's a little activation, no thank you. I'm gonna put that fire out by picking up a drink. I'm gonna put that fire out by raging, you know? And so you wanna work with the alcoholic, you wanna work with the rager, and the more you soften your relationship to those protector parts, the closer you can get to the exile. Because the protectors are there, first responders, like no way you're not gonna get behind that door. And so you have to start to soften those relationships. - That's good, that's a good distinction for me, because I was, yeah, I think my space was still with the exiled part, but as you said, for a lot of people, those may be too locked up. - Yeah, and for some it's less so, you know? For some people that have done a lot of personal growth work, like if you and I were to do a session in IFS right now, we could get to your child parts, and you'd be very safe there, you've done a lot of work, you're safe in your system, we could go to an exile. But I would never, like the average person that hasn't done a lot of personal growth work, it's not safe to go. - Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. - Without the therapy, yeah. - Yes, yeah, absolutely. And that's a great distinction to make again, that we don't want people going off and trying to do something that isn't gonna serve them. - Yeah. - You talk a lot about, you know, in the book, I think one of the last chapters, or the last chapters, love every part. And I think just as we believe we're unlovable and inadequate, we somehow believe that that's not possible. Right, somewhere inside of us, there's a belief that it's actually not possible to be happy or to love ourselves. Like it just exists there somewhere.

It’s not about getting out of it overnight (48:48)

Do we develop a belief that exists before we find it? Or do we start looking for it and find it along the way? And I remember being in the early stages of remembering the trauma and waking up super depressed, waking up so down, so scared, not totally disembodied for months. When you actually remember a dissociated trauma, you kinda go back into it, so you're living in terror. Like everything is just danger. And I was just like, there's no way out, but I was so committed. And so I think the most important message is, it's not about getting out overnight. In AA, when you get sober, they say, "I wish you a slow recovery." Because that means that you're doing the work. Wow, I love that. It means that you're going under the surface and peeling back the layers. And so the same goes, addiction really is a root cause is trauma period. So it's really going back slowly into the trauma. And so I would say that to the person that's recognizing trauma is, I wish you a slow recovery, meaning that every small layer that you peel back is a miracle. And the more you add up those miracle moments, the closer you get to living a miraculous life. So you can celebrate your successes along the way. So for today, maybe you pick up Happy Days and you just read the first chapter. That's a success story. Maybe you just listened to this podcast episode again. That's another layer. Maybe you practice one of the breath practices in the book. That's another layer. And it's a very, very gentle process. And you have to be fully celebrating every step of the journey. Am I done, Jay? I'm not done. I still go to therapy every Wednesday. I still have sometimes two additional sessions a month. I still am deep in EMDR. I'm still doing my own IFS on myself. I'm going to be going forever to shining the crystal. Yeah. And so, but there is really freedom on the other side. There really is. Well, that's that presence again, right? In being present in the process, as you just said. But I think that's what's so hard right now is that because of the way the world's going, everything's become more instant, more fast, fast recovery, quick fix. And I mean, that's always been the way, but it's become more and more and more and more and more. And then when you're being asked to do slow recovery and the real work, which is what we know genuinely has the reward during and at the end of the journey. I find that that collision is so hard for people because they wake up with resistance again. So it's like just when you had that moment, when you felt you had a breakthrough, you wake up the next morning and the resistance is fully back. Yeah. That's actually why I think it's valuable to build up your toolbox of self-regulating techniques. And they're in here. And the reason that's valuable is that you can still feel relief along the way. You can still have fun along the way. Yeah, it's not postponing the journey. You've known me for six years. Six years ago, I was like totally in a very different nervous system than I am now, but I still had fun. Oh, 100%. I still could be with you and just have a great time. It was a different kind of fun and it was a different kind of experience because I wasn't in the presence that I'm in now, but it's not like you can't live your life and have joy along the way. Yeah. And especially if you're on the journey, that's why it's called the spiritual path or spiritual journey. If you're on the path and the journey, every step of it's an up leveling. And so, and especially if you have this arsenal of these self-regulating tools, okay, I can be going through some big stuff. I can be slowly getting sober. I can be slowly recovering from trauma. I can be slowly going through therapy. But at the same time, have these amazing meditations, have these amazing breath practices that soothe me, have these great breakthroughs in my therapy or in my relationship and just celebrate those miracles along the way. Tell me how you think about trauma differently as being a mom.

Perception Of Trauma

Thinking of trauma as a mother (52:45)

Oh, dude. If you've got unhealed trauma and you are about to become a parent, particularly I would say for both parents, but particularly a mother that's gonna carry a baby and deliver a baby in the first early days, be the food for the baby and the whole thing, you wanna do this work. Because if you don't, what will happen, even if you do or you don't, it doesn't matter, it'll all come flooding in. In my case, not only did the trauma flood in, but I also was hit with a really terrible postpartum depression, suicidal postpartum depression. I write about it in the book because it actually often, if you have unresolved trauma, can be very activating, even with the biochemical condition of postpartum, it just can take it to the next level. So for me, having my son was one of the biggest trauma responses I've experienced in my life was postpartum. That's a beautiful blessing because when you make the commitment to have a child, you are having to ask yourself two questions. Am I gonna do this the way it was done for me? Or am I gonna show up big time? And how do you show up? You show up for yourself. Because the more you reparent yourself, the clearer the path to parenting your child. There's a chapter in this book called Reparenting Yourself. It's all here, it's just, it's almost a joke. And it's a chapter called Reparenting Yourself where in early 2020, I'm like, you know, running my business, like everyone's in this storm, my kid's home, he's two years old, he's napping twice a day, it's in, I mean, Zach, are the only ones with him at that time. 'Cause everybody's home. And I went diving deep into the parenting books, particularly Dan Seagull's work. And he has a lot of methods. And one of them I loved the 4S is seen, soothed, safe, secure. And I started applying this with my kid. And I was making sure I was really seeing him and soothing him, not just physically, but like really energetically and creating a safe environment, not just that he won't fall over on the, you know, but safe energetically. And that creates a secure attachment bond. Now, I was looking at this experience with Oliver and I was like, no, I never did this for me. You know, I was like, but why can't I do this for myself? And so I wrote a whole chapter. I did it for myself and I wrote about it. And so the best parenting advice I have is to do the work on yourself. - Yeah, yeah. - This is a parenting book as much as it is. Because it's reparenting yourself to be a better parent. - Yes, yeah, absolutely. And with that, I mean, it's again the shame again, right? Like from the mothers that I know well, who are open and honest with me, if you go through that post giving birth, it's like there's shame and guilt in that. Because it impacts. So it's again, another opportunity to choose shame and guilt. And then you don't tell anyone because as a mum, mum guilt is even harder to share. What did you do in that period?

Dealing With Postpartum Depression

Getting through postpartum depression (55:38)

I mean, obviously you're doing all of this work, but what did you specifically do to move through that? - So here I was now at that stage, had published maybe seven or eight books, something like this. And I'm just sort of showing the world of where I was, a self-help book author, very entrenched in the wellness space, brought up homeopathic, really believing in natural medication medicine, never had fulfilled a prescription at a pharmacy. And in many ways probably was a part of the stigma around mental health, 'cause I would be in my audiences and people would say to me, like, I'm depressed and I'd be like, try this meditation. And I didn't realize, if you're having a biochemical condition, it doesn't work if you're having a biochemical condition. And so I was having a biochemical condition, but not fully giving it voice. And I got to the point where I was having insomnia. I had insomnia for four months. And when you don't sleep, you get extraordinarily depressed. And for me, it became suicidal. I opened the chapter talking about how I'm driving to Mother's Day brunch. And I'm in the backseat with my son, and under my breath, they say, I wanna kill myself. And so that's where I was at. And I did not get help for four months, maybe longer. I was undiagnosed because of the stigma and the shame of what mental illness is. And we have to really begin to look at the shame and the stigma around it. And so for me, in my experience here, I was in this wellness world and finding that Ashwagandha wasn't gonna be the answer. And Melatonin wasn't gonna be the answer. And Altheanine for my stomach wasn't gonna be the answer. And even in the therapy, the therapeutic tools were no longer working. The meditation was no longer working. And finally, I hit a massive bottom, just four months of not sleeping. I actually missed a talk, a live talk. It was the first time in over a decade that I didn't show up because I hadn't slept the night before. And then I finally reached out to a friend who was a psychiatrist and I said, I need help. And he put me in touch with a postpartum psychiatrist. I saw her the next day. She diagnosed me within 10 minutes. She said, you have postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, you have to get medicated. And she saw all that resistance in me, and she looked at me, and these were the words that helped me. She said, this medication will give you a safer baseline so that you can do the deeper trauma work. And those words just punctured me. I just heard everything she said and I said, okay, all right, I'll do it. And I took that prescription and I went down to the pharmacy and I stood in the pharmacy with my husband. I was like, what do I do? I don't even know what to do. I've never even fulfilled the prescription. She's like, you hand it to the pharmacist. And I held that medication in my hand. And the placebo effect just sat right in. I was like, there is a way out of this. Wow. And I was having a biochemical condition. You can't mess with that. You cannot meditate your way out of that. And so here I am now, you know, a voice for really ending the stigma around mental illness. If you have a proper diagnosis from a psychiatric, from a psychiatrist and you have that psychiatric support, there is no shame in following the medicated path. Yes, of course we live in a culture where medication is overly prescribed and unnecessarily prescribed. And there are a lot of things you have to know and educate yourself on when you get on psychiatric medication. But when you need it, you need it to survive. And it is exactly what she said. That medication created a safer baseline in my system so I could unearth the deepest, deepest wounds and come out the other side. Gabby, thank you so much. For shedding your soul in this book, in this episode. And what I love about this book is that it has your story and your journey. It has really practical tips and steps for people to actually follow. And it has these real methodologies and approaches to guide them as well. And I think it's masterful in the way. It's kind of like the tapestry of all of that together. And I think what underpins it is just your ability to go all the way and be so vulnerable as you have been today in today's episode, but in also in the book. And so if anyone is listening, if you know for a long time you've been shying away, you've been protecting yourself, you've been putting it off, postponing it, you know it's there, maybe a physical response is really triggering right now. Maybe something that someone says is pushing you over the edge then please go and grab a copy of Happy Days. Today, the link is in the comments section everywhere else. And make sure you follow Gabby, a podcast is called Dear Gabby. Go and listen and subscribe to the podcast. You can also follow Gabby on social media across all platforms, Gabby Bernstein. Make sure you go and do that. Gabby, I wanna thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking another time to do this because I think you've made me ask so many questions that I'm gonna go back to after this episode. I'm like, what do I need to take a deeper look at? What have I really not worked through or what am I avoiding or ignoring or putting off? And I'm just grateful for that. I'm really grateful that you've given me this space to do that, given us all the path to do that through this book. - Thank you for your presence and for seeing me, even when I couldn't see myself. And it's such a privilege to be your friend, thank you. - Well, thank you Gabby. Thank you so much. Everyone who's been listening and watching, make sure you tag me and Gabby on your posts so that we know what resonated with you, what connected with you. I just wanna point out that a lot of my guests have said this to me recently, it makes me very happy. Our on purpose community is amazing. And I've been getting messages and speaking to a lot of my friends who've been on the show saying that they just felt the love, like the flood of love from our community. So please show that to Gabby as well. Thank you for doing that for all the other guests before. I wanted you to know that I've been hearing about you personally from so many people and let's start living some happy days. So take care everyone. Thank you so much for listening. - If you want even more videos just like this one, make sure you subscribe and click on the boxes over here. I'm also excited to let you know that you can now get my book, Think Like A Monk from ThinkLikeAMonkBook.com. Check below in the description to make sure you order today.

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