Doctor Gabor Mate: The Shocking Link Between Kindness & Illness! | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Doctor Gabor Mate: The Shocking Link Between Kindness & Illness!".


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Intro (00:00)

70% of the adult population is at least on one medication. Quarter of women are on antidepressants. The rate of childhood is going up. Worldwide, there's this epidemic of distress. What can we do about that? So the first step would be to... Dr. Gabor Matei, legendary thinker, celebrated speaker, and best-selling author. Hadley sought after for his expertise on addiction, trauma, childhood development, and distress. People pleasers, these are the people that tend to develop diseases. When people don't know how to say no, the body will say no for them. That niceness is a repression of healthy anger, and that repression of healthy anger has huge implications for your health. And when you repress your immune system, you're more likely to have that immune system turn against you. People who are emotionally repressed are more likely to get cancer. And emotional repression is one of the impacts of childhood trauma. We interrupt this film to tell you we are getting reports that... The people's princess is dead. Here, he was a traumatized child. How he's told about his mother's death is that it was an accident. Your mother didn't make it. His father touches Harry on the knee and says, "But it'll be okay," and leaves the room. This 12-year-old, nobody held him. And children can be traumatized not just by terrible things happening to them, but just by not having their needs met. By not being seen, not being heard, not being held, those are wounding for a child. But my interview with Prince Harry, I had a gut feeling all along that I shouldn't agree to do the interview. It really got to me. I lost myself. What happened? - Gabor, there's a question we often ask each other in flippant conversations, which we usually kind of brush away because it's the convenient thing to do. - Yeah. - That question is the question I wanted to start by asking you, which is, how are you? - Yeah. Um. So that question is, for me, it brings up two dimensions. One is how am I at this present moment? Which is, you know, how am I at this moment? You know, which is all there is. I'm well. I feel rather peaceful inside. I'm very happy to be here with you. If you'd asked me two days ago, I wouldn't have said that. I would have said I was feeling somewhat anxious and kind of troubled, you know? So as a in the moment answer, I'm well, and I also know how to keep well as long as I stick with what I know. And when I forget what I know, then I can be very not well. And so the last year since we've met has been in many ways a tough year for me. Also one of deep learning. So if the question is how have I been, I'd say I've been up and down and I've had real challenges that I've had to learn from. How am I right now? I'm really well, thank you. - Two days ago if I'd asked you that question, your aunts would have been anxious and troubled. - Yeah. - Why? - I gave a talk on Monday night to 2100 people and I just didn't think I did my best here in London. And I thought, oh boy, I could have done better. I let people down. I allowed myself judgements and self-doubts to really dominate my thinking. And as much as I think I'm immune to that kind of self-doubt, evidently I'm not. So that's what happened. - When you say you let it cloud your thinking, what were the symptoms of that? So you gave a talk two days ago to 2100 people. - Yeah. - And you didn't feel you did your best. You went home that night. What was going on in your head? What are the symptoms of that feeling? - Constant cyclical self-criticism of I could have been more present.

Addressing Emotional Needs And Impacts On Health

How Vocalising Stress Enhances Emotional Control and Understanding (03:45)

I could have been more grounded, more attuned with the audience perhaps. But you know, just all these self-criticisms which then are accompanied by certain feelings in the body like kind of a roiling in my belly and so on. And that's what I went through. - And what was the remedy for that? 'Cause we can all relate. - Yeah, earlier this year, also feeling in a state of discombobulation. Just a few months ago, I did something radical. I did a two week total sabbatical from the internet. No cell phone, no emails, no checking on Amazon how my books are doing, you know. All this self-referential ego enhancement stuff. And it just really made a difference. By the end of two weeks, I was a different person. And so I'm keeping it up. And one of the things you learn is you start noticing these body states that you're in and the mental hooves that you jump through but you don't identify with them. So what's the worst case scenario? I didn't do the best possible job. Okay, what's the headline in the newspaper? Human being fails to do his best on a particular occasion. What's the big deal? So it's a matter of observing this all, all this stuff and not identifying with it. Not letting it take you over as it tends to. - I was reading something that said when we vocalize or share our stress, it moves it from the emotional center of our brain to the much more rational center of our brain where we can kind of step outside of the video game and hold the controller per se. - Exactly. Yeah, it's the mid frontal cortex of our brain that has insight and social connection and awareness, which so often goes offline. As soon as some emotion takes over, some anxiety or anger or resentment takes over, the mid frontal cortex tends to go offline. And the more trauma you experience as a child, the more likely that is to happen so that your insightful capacities, the executive functions get taken over by some deeper emotional dynamics. And so one of the benefits to me of meditation is it restores that executive function so that I'm not taken over or too long taken over by emotional dynamics that just sweep me away. - For two weeks this year, you said you went offline. - Yeah. - Why? - Sometimes people say to me, I've written this book that I know that you have on your desk when the body says no and my contention is when people don't know how to say no, the body will say it in the form of illness. And I can tell you hundreds of times people have said to me, your book has saved my life. And my response has always been, maybe I should read it myself because the fact is I'm quite capable of giving advice and dispensing wisdom that I don't follow myself. And that was the case. So I became quite stressed and my relationship with my wife, Ray, became very fraught. And she said, enough, enough of this gap between who you are there in public and how you are in private. So that was the big incentive for me 'cause we're coming up to our 54th anniversary and on the whole, I'd rather stay married than not. Everything else being considered. But also for myself, I don't wanna be that guy anymore who can speak the truth that a lot of people consider to be the truth so articulately, but not follow it myself. So I just don't wanna be that person. And that takes practice. And that's why I take the break from the internet.

Importance of Disconnecting: Mental Health and Taking Sabbaticals from the Internet (08:03)

And what was interesting is, I had my cell phone on airplane mode so nobody could get through to me. Couple of times a day, I'd still pick up the cell phone and I say, what are you doing? There's nothing on it 'cause it's on internet. But the compulsion to try and get some from the outside to fill some gap within, I just kept noticing it. By the end of two weeks, it wasn't so strong anymore. So I did it because I needed to for the sake of my own mental health. - An up and down year for you, you said? - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - Is that the down you were talking about? - Well, I remember a conversation, my conversation with you and I think I remember you telling me that you had this goal of becoming a millionaire. - When I was younger, yeah. - When I was younger. And then it's when you achieve that goal that you realize that that ain't all there is, that you're still left very much with your internal demons. And that's a very common lesson. I mean, there's two ways to wake up. One is failure where you keep asking yourself, but success is even more because you think that once you get something, then you'll be happy. So I thought, okay, well, geez, so this book, "The Myth of Normal," bestseller internationally and published in 35 languages, I should be happy. No, the more I got involved with it, the more I toured with it, and the more engaged with the outside, the more miserable I became inside. So the very success of the book, and it all just swept me away and I lost myself. So that was one thing. And I did this very long, exhausting tour. I wasn't taking care of myself. Then there was my interview with Prince Harry and all the froufere around it, before it and after it, and allowed that to take me over as well. - Really? - Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I mean, in retrospect, I can see what happened, but at the time, I was too caught up in it to notice. So what I'm saying is that it doesn't matter what I know if I don't pay attention, rigorous attention to what's going on inside. And if I keep looking to the outside to give me meaning and give me validation, then I can lose myself. And that's what happened. - Your interview with Prince Harry, how did that cause you to lose yourself? - Well, in two ways. One is I had a gut feeling all along that I shouldn't agree to doing it the way they set it up, because the way it was set up is in order to watch it, people have to buy a copy of Harry's book. And I thought, this is not fair. Four million people have already bought the book. Why can't I watch this interview? Did I have to buy another copy? In other words, I believed that there should be a free public service on a part of two people who can have a very interesting conversation. But out of sheer opportunism, I agreed to it. So I didn't follow my gut feelings. I lost myself even in agreeing to the format. And afterwards, Harry and I both wanted it released to the public for free, but the lawyer said, "You can't do that because this is advertised "as a one-time only event, "and there could be a class action suit." So the result was that I agreed to something that I didn't really like. Not that I didn't like the idea of talking with him. I didn't like the idea of putting this behind a paywall. So I lost myself just in agreeing to it, number one. Number two, then there was the incredible social media and British media reaction to it that was, for the most part, so negative and so demeaning and so dismissive and so distorted that I barely even know how to talk about it. I thought by this age, I would know better. But you know what? It really got to me. It really got to me. I mean, I can give you examples, but eventually what happened was that I was really in a negative state of mind. And have you read the book, "The Fox, The Mole, The Horse, "The Boy and The Horse?" - I bought it last week. It's upstairs in my bag. - Wonderful. So it's a great little book, a great big book, although very few words in it, mostly just these wonderful drawings. Charlie McKeezy, he's really channeling wisdom in that book. And the horse is the most grounded of the four characters, of the four friends. And he's asked, "What's the most courageous things you've ever said?" And the horse says, "Help." So it's so difficult to ask for help, but I did. You know, in the middle of all this froufra and my upset, and I called a friend of mine, a psychiatrist, and I said, "I'm just in a bad state." And he said, "What's going on for you?" And I said, "Well, there's all this bad press "and all the social media distortion "of who I am and my motives." He said, "What is it about that yet bothers you so much?" And I said, "Not being seen." Not being seen is one of the needs of the child.

Healing Childhood Wounds: Acknowledging Unmet Needs and Self-Discovery (13:26)

But he said to me, "Okay, look, Gabor, "when you're an infant, "you're not being seen for who you are as a human being, "almost cost you your life." Which it did. As soon as he said that, I said, "Yeah, this isn't about the present. "This is an old unresolved, not yet fully resolved wound, "age 79, I'm still upset at not being seen." I don't care if people agree with me or they refute my ideas, but I want them to see me and what I'm actually saying, not some distorted version created by their own minds. And when he said that, that not being seen really threatened you in life, I said, "Yeah, "that's what's going on." And then I could realize, so what? What somebody else says. I don't live in the British press. I don't live in somebody else's mind. Here I am. Let them think and say what they say. But it took somebody to wake me up to that. So that's what happened. - You said you could share examples of how it got to you. - Of, yeah. Well, oh boy. They called me a stern, overbearing merchant of pain. At some point in the interview, when Harry was, and the other thing was, see, Harry really was a traumatized child. And when you read his book, you can see why. And people couldn't understand how this is possible. How could somebody so privileged at the very apex of society and gilded palaces be traumatized? Total misunderstanding of trauma. It's true. People have it much tougher in many ways. But as an infant, as a sensitive infant, to be born into a loveless marriage where the father's having an affair even before he's born, where the mothers are troubled, very sensitive, very creative, warm-hearted, but very imbalanced young woman. So Harry describes in his book, Spare, that he's 12 years old when his mother is killed. How he's told about his mother's death is that his father, then Prince Charles, comes into his room early in the morning and says, "Something terrible happened. There was an accident. Your mother didn't make it." Then there's a few moments of awkward silence. And finally, Charles touches Harry on the knee and says, "But it'll be okay," and leaves the room. And this is how this 12-year-old was told. Nobody held him. Charles himself was only doing what happened to him when Queen Elizabeth went on an international four or five months royal tour, leaving the five-year-old kid behind. When she returned to England, she greeted him by shaking his hand. And now, what I said to Harry was that even animals hold and touch their kids, their infants, mammals. That's what they do. Because mother rats, when the baby is born, they lick their babies. And the way the mother rat licks the baby, this has been shown in laboratory, influences the brain development of the child. And those babies that get the right kind of licking, it's called grooming, they have better brains as adults. Premature infants used to be put in incubators, and nobody used to touch them. Then it was found out that just by stroking their backs 10 minutes a day, that promotes healthy brain development. And the great British-American anthropologist, Ashley Montague, wrote a book called "Skin, "the Human Significance of Touch." So I was saying that touch is important. You're not being held and not being touched was a deprivation. And I said, "Mammals, monkeys." You know what happens when a baby elephant is born? This is fascinating. The mother elephant, I read this in the book called "The Evolved Nest," for which I wrote the preface by a wonderful psychologist called Darcia Narvez. When an infant elephant is born, and the mother goes into labor, all the other mother elephants stand around in a circle. When the infant plops on the ground, they all stroke them with their trunks. So touch and being held is so important for mammals. And I was saying, animals do that. This journalist, who I don't know what she was listening to, I said, "The Royal Family tweets like kids like animals." I said, "No, I wish they'd had." So I mean, the distortion is just laughable if I hadn't taken it so personally, for the reasons I already explained. - For you to take it so personally, which led you to call a psychiatrist, a man like you with the knowledge you have that writes books about the mind and stress and the body and all these things, you must have been in a pretty dark place. - I was in a dark place. But look, I'm a human being like the rest. And what Charlie McKeesy says in that book is that the most courageous thing he can do is ask for help. It's true. I don't know if you remember the Beatles song "Help," I need somebody. And John Lennon sings, "When I was younger, so much younger than today, I didn't need anybody's help in any way. But now those days are gone, I'm much less self-assured." He's actually saying that when he was younger, he believed he didn't need help. But the reason he believed he didn't need help, that he has to make it on his own, 'cause he was so traumatized as a child. His father left him when he was born. His mother left. He was brought up by an aunt, and Lennon grows up feeling abandoned, that I can do this on my own. I don't need anybody. And later on, he realizes I need help. But actually, we were all born needing help. We were all born needing to be understood, to be attuned with, to be seen, to have our emotions received and validated. That's one of the essential needs of children, as I make the point in "The Myth of Normal." And children can be traumatized, not just by terrible things happening to them, but just by not having their needs met. By not being seen, not being heard, not being held, those are wounding for a child, which is what the meaning of the word trauma means. So you don't need terrible things to happen. It's so difficult for people to understand that. You know, they think for trauma, you need horrific events. Well, horrific events can be very traumatic, but you can wound people, sensitive people. The sensitive child or any child can be hurt just because the parents are too stressed and unavailable emotionally to really see them for who they are. - I've struggled with that in my life, especially being a CEO, I think. I've struggled to ask for help when I need it, because you kind of see yourself as the helper. And also, I've struggled with the idea, maybe, I don't know where I got this story from, that people like me, maybe because I'm a man, maybe because I'm the head of businesses, we have to figure it out on our own. And the cost of repressing how I feel has become more and more evident over time. - Yeah, how so? - Just like, I think, when I was younger, I never experienced anxiety before. And then as I had more difficult moments in business where I tried to solve the problem in my mind, were the first times at 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, that I experienced fully-fledged, what I'd call anxiety, where I just couldn't get a thought out of my head and I felt it in my body. My breath was short, this constant state of angst. And yeah, I just thought I could deal with it myself. I thought I could think my way through it. - Was that the hardest moment in terms of your own psychology in your adult life in recent times? - Let me answer that question a moment, but let me ask you a question that occurs to me, if I may. - Yeah, please. - It's like with beautiful women, they sometimes have a very hard time 'cause they can never know that somebody want me for who I really am, or they're just attracted to my physical features. So for somebody who, at a young age, becomes quite wealthy and successful, how do you know when somebody's approaching you? Are they approaching you 'cause they want something from you or because they really care about you? I mean, that must be a problem for you, I imagine. - 100%, 100%. You never really know and understand what your relationships are. - Yeah. - You know? - Yeah, huh. It must be confusing sometimes. - It is, and I typically fall back onto the relationships I had before. - Yeah, yeah. - 'Cause I can trust those ones. - Yeah. - So I have the same, my best friends, people I spend my time with, on my birthday, there's five people there, are the five people that were there 10 years ago. - Yeah, unless, I think, we get reconnected to our gut feelings, then our gut feelings will tell us what is real and what isn't. But the problem for many of us is that we get disconnected from our gut feelings very early in life, like in this room of 2100 at the Troxy on Monday night. I think I asked this question, I always do, have you had the experience of having a strong gut feeling about something and not paying attention to it, ignoring it, and being sorry afterwards?

Reconnecting with Childhood Intuition: Gut Feelings and Emotional Clarity (23:17)

Almost everybody puts their hand up. That's a sign of childhood wounding, because we're born connected to our gut feelings. No baby is disconnected from our gut feelings. Something happens to make us disconnect. - What is a gut feeling? From a physiological perspective, because gut feeling is used as a word to describe an intuition or, you know. - Well, real gut feelings really happen in the gut. In the Western way of looking at it, we tend to look upon the intellect and the intellectual brain as the only brain that we have, but actually, our brain is a form of complicated structure. And our heart has a nervous system, which is connected to the brain up here. And there's a kind of knowing in the heart. Sometimes people say, "I knew in my heart." And they did, if they're connected. Gut feelings are what all animals possess. It warns them of danger or when it's safe and when it isn't safe. - Not in the brain? - The gut is connected to the brain.

Gut-Brain Connection: Childhood Trauma and Grounding Techniques (24:36)

The gut sends more connection to the brain than the brain sends to the gut. And the gut has more of the neurotransmitter serotonin in it than the brain does, so that the gut things are here to tell us about what is safe and what isn't. And when the brain in the gut and the brain in the heart and the brain up here in the head are connected, then we're grounded and present and very alert and very aware of what's going on. But when childhood trauma interferes with those connections, which it does, then we start to just work from up here and we can figure things just from up here. But actually, when you think about human beings, where did we evolve? We evolved from millions of years out in nature. How long does any creature in nature survive if they don't pay attention to their gut feelings? So to go back to your question about me, I used to believe, I really used to believe into my 40s that everybody else could be stressed, but I couldn't be. And it's like you and your anxiety. I think the reason I didn't feel the stress 'cause I had coping mechanisms, like working hard and getting people's attention or using my smarts and having status and all this kind of stuff. Then that broke down. I realized I could be stressed like everybody else, but literally I had this belief, I mean, it's almost unbelievable to me now that I used to believe that I couldn't, everybody else could be stressed, but I couldn't be. - That's what I thought. - Yeah. - Your wife, when you went through that dark moment, if I was her, what would I have observed? - Well, first of all, and I talk about this in "The Myth of Normal," and Ray, my wife came on stage at the proxy on Monday night and talked about this, I asked her to. Women have 80% of autoimmune disease in this society. So that disease where the immune system attacks the body happens to women much more than to men. Things like rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, inflammatory diseases of the gut, and so on. Why? So those diseases tend to happen to people, not just according to my own observation, although it's very much my own observation. When I was working in family practice and palliative care, before I did addiction medicine, I noticed that who got sick and who didn't wasn't accidental. That's the subject of my book, "When the Body Says No." And then again, in "The Myth of Normal," people tended to be compulsively concerned with the emotional needs of others rather than their own, identified with duty, role, and responsibility. So their work in the world rather than their own true selves, they tended to suppress healthy anger. So they tend to be very, very nice and peacemakers.

Autoimmune Diseases and Emotional Patterns: Breaking the Cycle (27:50)

And they tended to believe that they're responsible for what other people feel, and that they must never disappoint anybody, two fatal beliefs. So these are the people that according to my observation, but according to a whole lot of research as well, that I didn't even know about, but have since found elegant research. These are the people that tend to develop autoimmune disease. Now in this society, which gender is more acculturated, programmed to suppress their healthy anger, to be the peacemakers, to be the caregivers? Women. This is a function of a reality that a lot of people deny, but it's a patriarchal society, which we can talk about, but it's not a conspiracy. It's just how it works. So me and my marriage expect my wife to absorb my stresses. And if I'm unhappy, guess who I blame? And who do I take it out on? So she would experience somebody who's, can be hostile for no reason, and blaming, and she has to walk around eggshells. Now, thank God, she's not the type to do that for too long. At some point, she'll call my bluff. And then I either wake up or she says, "Thank you very much, but enough of this." You know? And so she would experience somebody who was irritable and unreasonably blaming, and not taking care of their own needs, and then expecting her to take care of them for me. And we both had to grow up. And she was programmed that way as a child. Her parents had a lot of problems, and she became the peacemaker and a caregiver emotionally. And then she carries that role into her marriage with me. And here's where the bad news is for people. We always marry somebody at the same level of emotional development or trauma resolution as we are. So when we met, we were two traumatized people, not even realizing it. And then we played out our traumas, and I played it out in the typical male way, which is to be aggressive and demanding and resentful if she wasn't around to mother me. And that's what she would have seen. And this dynamic can still arise, except when it does, she puts a stop to it right away. And I have the grace and the wisdom right now to understand, yeah, I'm doing it again. In fact, I haven't done it since then, because I just don't want to be that guy. But that's what she would have seen. - And what was going on inside your head? Were you anxious? Were you depressed? - I was anxious, and then I want her soothing, I want her, how should I say this? There's an interesting sexual dynamic between men and women, that men very often unconsciously expect their women to mother them, to give them a mothering that they didn't fully receive as kids. And the women take on that role, because they're acculturated in this society to do that.

Emotional Intimacy in Relationships: Avoiding Mothering Dynamics (30:57)

But then what happens sexually? No healthy guy wants to sleep with his mother. And no healthy woman wants to sleep with her son, so that the ardor and the passion kind of drains out because of this unconscious dynamic of women mothering men and men demanding that they do. So then I become frustrated. And then who do I blame for that? I blame her, rather than looking at how did I contribute? How did I help create this situation? So all that stuff played out in our marriage. And we've had to learn a lot from what didn't work. - In my relationship, when I was most anxious, it's also when my relationship nearly ended with my partner, because like you said, I inadvertently took it out on her, because I felt that she should understand how I'm feeling and basically adapt to me. - Exactly. - And she didn't. And so there was conflict, because I felt like she was misunderstanding me and wasn't acting in the right way to meet the needs that I had. She couldn't understand. And so I think I wore her down. And then there was kind of like, as you say, that ultimatum moment where she's basically saying, "Listen, shall I just go?" - Yeah, and what you probably didn't do, and what I didn't do for a long time, is just to go to her and say, "You know what, I'm feeling anxious." - Yeah, that's what happened after. - You know, and I'm feeling unsettled. And I realized that I have resentful feelings towards you. Instead of owning it, we act it out. And then we, "Why don't they understand us?" And actually, so what we're actually demanding is that we can be children emotionally, and they be the mothers who, without any effort on our part, will understand and see us. And this is a strong dynamic in men-female relationships. And what tends to happen is, is that men then, women at some point get to, if they're healthy enough, now if they're not strong enough to assert themselves, you know what happens? They get sick. And I know this is a mouthful, but a lot of women's cancers and autoimmune diseases are precisely because of this self repression. And I could talk about that at great length, the physiology of it. But either the body will somehow say no for them. That's why women are much more likely to be in antidepressants, 'cause they're taking a medication for both of them. And so either the woman gets ill somehow, or she asserts herself and says, "I'm not doing this anymore." At which point, the guy will go seeking a younger mother who's not yet mature enough to assert herself. And this happens all the time in relationships. - The cost of self repression, the cost of sort of emotional repression, I think everybody is guilty at some point in their life of repressing their emotions. I think men do it a lot as well. I mean, if you look at the suicidality in the UK amongst men. - Yeah, men tend to act it out on themselves like that, yeah. - What is the cost of self repression? Now you talked about the physiological mechanism of what's going on when we repress our emotions and how we feel. - It's been well studied, not just by me, but others and documented that repression of healthy anger disturbs the immune system. Now, why should that be the case? Now, healthy anger is simply when somebody is intruding on your space and they won't exist. You say, "You're in my space, get out." That's healthy anger. It's in the moment. Once it's done its job, it's finished with. It's different from chronic rage, which is a whole other thing. No, in other words, anger is a boundary defense. That's all it is. Animals do it. Ah, get out of my space. Now, the emotional system in general has the job, the human emotional system in general has the role of allowing in what is nurturing and loving and healthy and welcome and to keep out what isn't. That's the job of the emotional system. Let me ask you a trick question. What's the job of the immune system? Okay, I'll answer. It's to keep out what is unhealthy and unwelcome and toxic and to let in what is nurturing and healthy. So the immune system is like, it's been called a floating brain. It is a memory. It is reactive capacity. And it allows in nutriments and vitamins and healthy bacteria and keeps out and destroys what isn't toxins and unhealthy invading organisms and so on. In other words, the immune system and the emotional system have exactly the same role. That's the first point. The second point is they're not separate systems. Physiologically speaking, the emotional system, the nervous system, hormonal apparatus and the immune system are all one system. And there's a whole new science when I say new, 60, 70, 80 years old called psychoneuroimmunology that studies the unity. So it's not even that all these things are connected. They're one. So therefore, when you're suppressing one aspect of it, you're also suppressing the other. So people that repress healthy anger, they have diminished immune activity. And this has been demonstrated. So the repression of emotions has a physiological function. And when you repress your immune system, you're more likely to have that immune system turn against you or to fail you when it comes to malignancy. The immune system, like you and I have cancer cells in our bodies probably every day 'cause nature makes mistakes. That's not a problem. The immune system recognizes them as, cancer cells don't have on their surfaces markers that our normal cells do. So the immune system says, this is a foreigner, it's an enemy, I'm gonna destroy it. But when you repress your emotions, you can also undermine your immune system and now your immune system will not recognize the malignancy and not destroy it and allows it to proliferate. There was a British surgeon in the 1960s who operated on, am I talking too much?

Suppressing Healthy Anger and its Impact on Immunity (37:34)

- No, you're not. There's no such thing on this podcast. - Okay. Because I just get so passionate about this stuff. And the reason I get so passionate about it is 'cause it's so important in healing and we as physicians could do so much more for people if we understood these scientific facts but we don't as a profession. Anyway, there was a British thoracic surgeon called David Kissen in the 1960s who noticed what I noticed in my practice that people emotionally repressed are more likely to get lung cancer. Now, it's true that most people who get lung cancers are smokers but out of 100 smokers, only about 10 or 15 get lung cancer, which doesn't mean that smoking isn't the major contributor to lung cancer. It is. But he found that it was those of his patients that were emotionally repressed that were likely to get their lung cancer as a result of the smoking. And the more repressed they were, the less smoking they had to do in order to get lung cancer. This guy noticed this in the 1960s. So emotional repression has huge implications physiologically and emotional repression is one of the impacts of childhood trauma. - Why? - The child is born with some fundamental needs. One of them, as I've articulated earlier, is for attachment, for closeness, proximity, unconditional loving acceptance by caring adults, not just a human child. All mammalian children have that need. Without that, they don't survive. So that's called attachment, seeking of closeness and proximity for the purpose of being taken care of or to take care of the other. And our brains are wired for attachment. We have circuits in our brain dedicated to the attachment relationships. And that's so important all through our lives, but especially when we're infants and young children. Now, we have another need. We've already talked about it. I just haven't named it. The other need is for authenticity. We used to be ourselves, connected to our bodies and our gut feelings. Because again, without access to our gut feelings, we don't survive out there in nature, where we evolved and where we lived until 15,000 years ago. And so that authenticity is very important to be connected to yourself so that you know when you're safe and when you're not. You know what you want and what you don't want. You know how to say no when you don't want something. You know how to say yes when you do. That's authenticity, auto the self, being ourselves. And to go back to Harry, his challenge all his life was that he wasn't allowed to be authentic. He had to play a certain role and fit into a certain set of expectations of how to be and who to be. And he could never figure out who am I really in that context. But that's so general. So many of us face that challenge of who are we really? Who are we authentically? As opposed to what's expected of us. Now, so we have these two needs. Attachment on the one hand, authenticity in the other. Ideally, the two are not in conflict. Ideally, you can be in a relationship or I can be in a relationship where we can be ourselves and be accepted and connected with. And that's ideal all our lives. But what happens to a young child where if they're authentic, they're not accepted? So for example, certain psychologists recommend that angry children should be punished for their anger rather than their anger being understood as to what it's all about and the child being taught different ways to express it. They're just to be punished for it and by different ways. By the way, if you're a parent of a two year old and if you don't frustrate your child, you're probably not doing a good job 'cause your two year old may want a cookie before dinner. And you say, no, cookie before dinner. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, cookie. In a minute, they're throwing a tantrum 'cause what do even adults do when they're frustrated? They throw tantrums. Children, that's just what they do. They have no self-regulation yet. So the two year old gets upset. Now you punish them. You give them a message. You're not acceptable to me when you're angry. You have to be a certain way for me to accept you. Or you mustn't be sad. Cheer up. What's wrong with you? So when children are given this message of conditionality that you're acceptable to me only if you behave in ways that I approve of, otherwise the attachment relationship is threatened, then the child is faced with this choice which is not a choice at all. Do I stay attached to my parents? If my father's an alcoholic. And the only way I can find acceptance is by repressing my emotions and not show my sadness and my fear. Then do I show my sadness and my fear or my anger? Or do I threaten the relationship? Well, there's no choice at all. The child will choose the attachment. And therefore they give up connection to themselves which is the essence of trauma, that disconnection from ourselves, not in my own words, in the words of other trauma theorists who I agree with, the worst aspect of trauma is the disconnection from ourselves. And we do that for the sake of maintaining attachments which means for the rest of our lives we'll be afraid to be ourselves. - Is this what they call people pleasers?

Trauma and Authenticity: Overcoming People-Pleasing Habits (43:43)

- Exactly. So Shail Crow, the American singer and musician, developed breast cancer. And she said that since my breast cancer I've been a different person. Until then I was always trying to please others. And now, and there used to be voices in my head that always telling me that I was wrong. I don't listen to them anymore. So that people pleasers are the ones who gave up not by conscious choice but as a matter of survival their authenticity in order to stay liked and accepted and attached with. But then they carry that on in the rest of their lives and they're at risk. I always worry for the very nice people. - I think this is fascinating. I looked at the backend of our YouTube channel and it says that since this channel started 69.9% of you that watch it frequently haven't yet hit the subscribe button. So I have a favour to ask you. If you've ever watched this channel and enjoyed the content, if you're enjoying this episode right now please can I ask a small favour? Please hit the subscribe button. Helps this channel more than I can explain. And I promise if you do that to return the favour we will make the show better and better and better and better and better. That's the promise I'm willing to make you if you hit the subscribe button. Do we have a deal? You always worry for the very nice people. - Yeah. - You talk a lot about that in "When the Body Says No". - Yeah. - Why is being nice a potential risk to one's health? - Well there's two places to be very nice from. One is just genuine human compassion and concern for others. But you're still grounded in yourself. That's great. But a lot of people are very nice because they are afraid not to be. Because they weren't liked who they were, they weren't loved for who they were. Being nice was their way of getting the love and the attention they needed. Let me tell you a story. In 1870 there was a French neurologist called Jean-Martin Charcot who was the first one to describe multiple sclerosis which is an inflammation of the nervous system. Very debilitating. And Charcot said in 1870 without any scientific research but just from his own observation that this was a stress driven disease. Okay? Now since then there's been a lot of research to show how stress and trauma potentiate multiple sclerosis. It's not even controversial. Not that any neurologist knows that. They don't get taught this stuff in medical school. But the research is there. And I present it in my books. In any case, when I was writing When the Body Says No, a group of, a self-help group of multiple sclerosis patients phoned me and said, "Would you come and talk to us? "Because I understand you're working "on stress and illness." And I said, "Yeah, sure, I'll come and talk to you." And there's about 25 people in the group. This is in Vancouver, Canada. And I gave them very tentatively, apologetically. Apologetically, I said, "Look, I don't know this for sure, "but the sense I get from my work in family practice "and palliative care is that the people "that develop your condition and other conditions "tend to be people's free pleasers. "They tend to have difficulty saying no. "They tend to be very nice people." And I said, "I'm sorry if I offended you. "I don't mean to. "I'm just giving you something very tentative. "I haven't done the research yet. "I'm just giving you my observations." They said, "You just described us." And they all said that. And there's a woman who says, in the group, who says, "I don't even know how to say no." I said, "Terrific, give me $100 right now." She says, "Well, I don't have $100 with me right now." I said, "It's not a problem." I said, "Outside this building, there's an ATM machine. "We can go on, after the meeting, we can go out. "You can get $100 and give it to me." She says, "I'm not comfortable doing that." I said, "Listen, I'm just trying to get you to say no "to a ridiculous demand by a perfect stranger "to whom you owe nothing whatsoever." She said, "I can't say the word." Because in childhood, now by the way, when you have kids, you're gonna find out what the word no means. Because at age one and a half, all kids start saying no. They say that long before they say yes. Why? Because that no is their boundary defense of, "Ah, figure out who I am. "I'm not gonna accede to your demands. "I need to figure out what I want." Put your shoes on, no. And the parents think this is something wrong. There's nothing wrong. It's nature individuating the child. When families punish that, the child will repress the no, and the body will say in the form of multiple sclerosis. For example, niceness, ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are known in Britain as motor neuron disease. Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with it at age 21.

He was told he'd be dead within two years. He lived another 55 years. Doctors don't know everything. But there's been studies on ALS patients. They're extraordinarily nice. So there was a, from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, a major referral clinic, two neurologists published a paper at an international ALS, or Motor Neuron Congress, why are ALS patients so nice? And what they described was that when people came to their office for diagnosis, before they met the physician, they had underwent EDX, electrodiagnostic testing of the nerves.

ALS Patients Niceness and its Connection to Health (49:08)

And the technicians who'd performed the test would write on the side of the test, this person can't have ALS, she's not nice enough. Or I'm afraid this person has ALS, they're too nice. And the physicians, the neurologist specialists said, despite the shortness of their contact with their patients, and the obviously unscientific nature of the observations, invariably, they turned out to be right. And then I called Dr. Wilburn, who did this study, and I said, what did the other neurologists say when you presented this? They said, oh, I said, yeah, we all noticed this, we just can't explain it. Since then, there's been a study where they've asked neurologists about their patients, and the answer is, all our ALS patients are actually really nice. Now, what the neurologists don't do is they don't make the connection, that that niceness is a repression of healthy anger, and that repression of healthy anger plays a role in the onset of that disease. So it's not a accidental connection. So why do I worry about very nice people? 'Cause they're putting themselves at risk. Again, niceness can come from genuine concern for others, but that's not accompanied by an ignoring of yourself, you also care for yourself. Then you can be as nice as you want. But you also know how to say no. And you also know how to set boundaries. You know how to be angry if you need to be. But the niceness that comes from self repression, that's the one that hurts. - There's clearly gonna be a lot of very nice people hearing that now, that know they're nice, that know they're people pleasers, that know they've experienced in their lives the consequences of putting everyone else before themself. It's funny, as you were talking, I was thinking about the person that I know who I think is nicest, and that individual is sick all the time. And I just connected that dot in my head. But I remember making a joke to her about, oh, you're sick, so I'm like, whatever, you're sick a lot. And then also thinking, oh my god, she is probably the nicest. Nice is an interesting word, because that can be misconstrued as like, hiya, or like, you know, saying nice things to someone else. But it's really at a deeper level, from what I've observed in that person, putting everyone else before them, while chronically serving other people's needs before their own. - Well, so my contention is, as I said earlier, when people don't know how to say no, the body will say no for them in the form of illness. And for a lot of people with serious illness, the illness is the wake-up call. And they actually learn. And when they do, that can make a difference to the course of their illness sometimes. Not always, but I've seen examples of remarkable healing when people learn to say no and stop being people pleasers.

Setting Boundaries: Key to Healing and Self-Discovery (52:11)

And I just only wish that physicians understood this. So when somebody comes to them with chronic eczema and all these other chronic conditions, they will not just provide the physical treatment, but they will also talk to the person about how much stress they're taking on. It's very stressful to take on everybody else's issues and ignoring your own. It's very stressful. That stress has a physiological impact on the body. - How does someone who is a people pleaser, how do they turn that ship around? Because they'll hear that, but because their niceness or their people pleasing is so deep within them and it started so early, they're not gonna change. Most of them won't change. - Well, they may change if they get sick, and if they learn something from it. I've had a lot of people tell me that. But it happens very early. But it's everybody's second nature, not their first nature. That's a very interesting phrase, second nature. It means that it's a first nature. Now, no baby is born as a people pleaser. No one day old baby lies there thinking, gosh, I'm hungry and wet and lonely, but gosh, mom and dad have been working so hard, I better not bother them. Babies will express their needs very volubly and very articulately and very loudly. That's how we're born. We're meant to be born that way. So that this suppression of that is our second nature, and that first nature never goes away. We can always retrieve it, but you have to become conscious of it. So when the body says no, I lay out certain principles of healing. In the myth of normal, I actually teach this exercise. Ask yourself this question. Where in your life are you not saying no? Where no wants to be said, but you're not saying it. Let me give you an example. Let's say I come to London and we're friends and I call you up, "Hey, Steven, here I am, dear one of coffee, but you've been up all night helping a sick friend." Or, "Otherwise you're just too stressed to want to meet me right now." Your desire is to say no. But what if you suppress that no, and you say yes for the fear of displeasing me or disappointing me or losing my friendship. If I say no, Gabo won't like me anymore. What's gonna be the impact on you if you keep behaving that way? Physically, what's gonna be the impact? - I'm gonna be more tired, more exhausted, probably gonna be more stressed. - All that. - Yeah. - You can be resentful. - Disconnected from-- - Yeah, exactly. So this person, they need to... I teach this exercise in the book about where am I not saying no? And what is my belief behind not saying no? - I don't wanna upset Gabo if he's coming to London. - Exactly, and I depend on Gabo's liking. - Yes. - Which means as a child, you depended on your parents' liking and you had to suppress your no to be liked. Thirdly, where did I learn this belief that if I say no, I'm not likable or I'm guilty or I'm not worthwhile? And the fourth question is, who would I be without that belief? And so if your friend does this exercise regularly, believe me, she can turn it around. But it takes some practice. - Who would I be without that belief? - Yeah. - When I put myself in her shoes or I put myself in a people pleaser's shoes, I'm a people pleaser in certain environments, but I wouldn't say I am generally. I can imagine someone would respond to that and say, well, I'd lose all my friends. - She'd find out who her friends really were because the real friends would celebrate it. They'd say, oh, finally, we're so glad to see you being yourself. The friends that were just using her or relying on her to be their supporter unconditionally will turn away. And I say this to people, this contest between attachment and authenticity can be a painful one, but you can decide which kind of pain you want. As a child, you had no choice. As an adult, it's true. If you're authentic, you might lose some attachment relationships. That's gonna be painful. But which pain would you rather have? The pain of being authentic and losing some friendships that were no friendships at all? Or the pain of losing yourself and all this implications and all its impacts on the body? So it would be difficult for her and it's true, some relationships that she has now, they would fade away, but my God, she would also attract Muslim with genuine and authentic relationships. And her true friends would really celebrate her. Now let me tell you something that just occurred to me, but forget it. There was a book written by an Australian nurse about 12 years ago. And this nurse, like I used to work in palliative care with dying people, she works in hospice with dying people. And these are people who tend to die of malignancy and chronic illness well before that time. I sure wrote a book called The Top Five Regrets of Dying People. - For a new one. - And you know what the top regret was? That I wasn't being myself. That I wasn't true to myself. I wasn't being authentic. That's the top regret of dying people. And the third one was that I didn't express my feelings for fear of disturbing or displeasing others. So authenticity is not just a new age concept. It's actually a central dynamic in staying healthy human beings. Oh, one more thing. So yesterday I was in Westminster Abbey and I was looking at all these beautifully and articulately worded monuments to all these colonialists, to all the people that are oppressed and murdered and robbed and despoiled, native people all over the world. They're the heroes of the British Empire. And I think one of the reasons there's such a strong pushback against the idea of trauma in this society is if you recognize trauma, which exists not only on the personal individual level, but very much on the collective level, the ruling elites in this country would have to come to terms with the fact that their wealth is based on the traumatization of foreign peoples, which incidentally was one of the crimes of Harry, is that he pointed that out. That let's face it, the royalty, the wealth that I was born into was achieved at the despoilation and oppression of people around the world. So trauma is not just a personal issue. It's very much a social and collective and historical issue. - What's the cure? You know, 'cause if many of us are byproducts of generational trauma and we're seeking different ways to ease our pain through the means of addiction, whether it's pornography or heroin or alcohol, we can't all afford expensive therapists, but we exhibit those self-destructive behavior patterns maybe every single day, maybe with social media addictions or whatever. - Yeah. - What do we do? - Unfortunately, the healthcare systems around the world have very poor appreciation of the emotional contribution to people's physical or mental ill health, and most physicians and most psychiatrists are not trained in it. Unfortunately, there's a huge gap between science and research on one hand and medical practice on the other. It's maddening sometimes to contemplate it. So the first step would be to educate the caregivers. Just educate doctors about the actual science of the mind-body connection and the impacts of trauma. Educate them. So when you go to a physician with, say, chronic fatigue or inflammation of your joints, they don't just give you the necessary medication, which I'm not against, but they also ask you what's going on. So that's the first thing.

The Connection Between Childhood Trauma And Adult Health

Second thing is let's prevent the problem. So let's support young families to be really there for their kids so that families don't have to struggle economically and their parents are so stressed. As I may have mentioned, I've forgotten now, when parents are emotionally stressed, economically stressed, according to a number of studies, the kids' stress hormone levels are abnormal. And that is a harbinger of future disease. And so let's look after young families. Let's make people feel secure, uncertainty, lack of control, lack of information. These are some of the drivers of physiological stress. So let's create a society where there's a more sense of mutual acceptance and communality and social support. Let teachers be educated, that the kids who are so-called misbehaving are kids who are actually troubled, troubled because of stuff at home, and that the solution is not to exclude them or to punish them, but to actually give them emotional support in the classroom and in the schools. Let the schools be. The human brain, I'm quoting a Harvard study, develops from before birth. It's an ongoing process that begins before birth and continues into adulthood. The necessary conditions for human brain development is safe, supportive emotional relationship with adults. Let everybody who deals with children, from social workers to teachers to daycare workers to kindergarten supervisors to parents, understand the emotional needs of kids and provide that safety. Let the justice system, so-called, about which there's very little just. In Canada, 50% of the women in jail are indigenous. They make up 6% of the population. 50% of the jail population. You call that justice? You take the most traumatized people who then act out their traumas and then you punish them for it. So let the medical system, let the educational system, let the legal system understand child development and trauma. Now, in terms of the adult, to answer your question more specifically, so there's a social answer, but then there's the individual answer. Yeah, a lot of people can't afford good therapy, it's true. It's expensive. And then even there's a lot of people who get therapy but not getting appropriate therapy. Well, if you can't afford therapy, go to the library, read some books. My own, but not just my own. I could rattle out five other books you should read. Read Dick Schwartz's book on internal family systems called "No Bad Parts." Read Bessel van der Kolk's book on trauma called "The Body Keeps the Score." Read Peter Levine's book, "Waking the Tiger" on trauma. Read Oprah Winfrey's and Bruce Perry book, "What Happened to You?" Read Boos Prairie's book called "The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog." - I'm interviewing Peter Levine. - Oh, you have? - Soon. - Oh, good. Oh, good, wonderful, I'm glad to hear that. He's one of my mentors and friends. And we often work together. And all of these books will have some advice about how to help yourself, including my books. Then there's a lot of stuff on internet. So this interview that you and I had a year ago, I checked this morning, has been seen by two and a half million people. I'm sure it's helped a lot of people. There's a lot that you can get, just freely. Nobody's gonna get charged on the YouTube. Lots of my talks are available. Lots of talks by other really good people are available. Do that. There are self-help groups of all kinds. - Is there a risk here? This is what the one side of the narrative sometimes argue, that you can kind of over-traumatize your life in terms of over-labeling everything that you do as a trauma. That always happens, right? When people become aware of something, they become over-aware, and they start over-labeling and saying, "That's a trauma response. "That's a trauma response. "That's a trauma response." And they kind of live with a feeling that they are inherently broken. - Yeah, but my point is that nobody's broken. Actually, I talked about our first nature. That's always there. When people recover, it's an interesting word, recovery. What does it mean to recover? When you recover something, what are you doing? - Going back to-- - You're finding it. - Oh yeah, I'm sure, yeah. That's the definition of the word, isn't it? - What do people find when they recover? They find their true selves. That's what they'll tell you. That true self never went away. Nobody's damaged goods. Nobody's broken. To talk about trauma is not to disempower people, but to empower them. If I learn that my response to the British media and the hairy issue was actually, it's nothing to do with the present moment. It's actually some old programming. Oh, okay, now I can drop it. - Are you glad it happened? - I'm glad that everything happened, 'cause everything is learning. Nothing in this life is wasted if you know how to use it properly. So what I'm saying is that to be aware of trauma is not to lose power, but to gain it, because it's not an excuse. I can't keep going to my wife and saying, I'm being resentful of you and punishing you because my mother didn't take good care of me when I was a baby 'cause she was too stressed. I mean, that's lack of responsibility. But for me to understand that my demands on my wife to take care of me like a mother would of a baby actually is my trauma response, then I can drop it, 'cause I'm not a baby anymore. I don't need, I'm not that helpless. I'm not that resourceless. I'm not that ungrounded. So that when you recognise trauma, it's not in order to use it as an excuse, but to actually to overcome it. That's the whole point. - When we talked about the suppression of our emotions and anger, you used the word healthy anger. - Yeah. - 'Cause there's a risk, isn't there, when you're saying that anger can be a positive thing that people will then assume that berating someone behind a counter or a waitress in a restaurant because they got one item on your order wrong is standing up for your boundaries. - I've done it. No, it's not. So healthy anger is in the moment, and it's just a boundary defence. It's not outrage. It's you're in my space, get out. That's its purpose. That's its only purpose. Or to protect something. You wanna see anger? Try and tell a mother bear not to be close to their cubs. You'll find out what healthy mother anger is all about. That's just healthy. The kind of rage you're talking about, have you ever had that kind of rage? - Definitely on a spectrum. The reason I struggle with the answer is because I've got a friend that's fully shown me what the extreme side of that is, where we used to call it the red mist with him, where he would literally lose control. - Which is incidentally what Harry used to call his anger. - Oh really? - Yeah. - My friend, one of my best friends in the world, he talks about this all the time, is you could trigger him by saying something, usually by saying he was wrong about something or something like that, and then he would just lose it. So I remember the last time it happened was, when the pandemic rolled in, I was staying with him in his apartment, 'cause the lockdown, and I was living in America at the time, and we were discussing the virus. And I said to him, I think people that are older and that have certain health situations are more at risk. And he said to me, no, people that are younger are more at risk. And I showed an NHS website which said, no, it's people that are older and more at risk. And he just went into this red mist, where he was totally triggered and lost control of his emotions. - Okay, so if you observed him then, what you would have noticed is, remember what I said about healthy anger, it's in the present moment, once it's done its job, it's gone. Your friend, the angrier he gets, the angrier he gets. So the rage just keeps building on itself. Now we talk about a fit of anger. It's a good word. You know where else we talk about fits? It's epileptic fits. In epileptic fits, certain electrical misfiring in the brain then recruits other brain circuits and it gets more and more and more until the whole body's shaking and the person may even lose consciousness and soil themselves and so on. That's an epileptic fit. A fit of anger is the same. That a fit of rage is the same. So that the more severe it gets, the more brain circuits it recruits. So rather than expending itself, doing its job and then being gone, it actually gets worse and worse and worse. That's unhealthy anger. And triggering is a good word. Because look at what the word triggering means. Now if you look at a weapon, how big a part of the weapon is the trigger? This big. For the trigger to set off anything, there has to be ammunition there. There has to be explosive material there. So your friend is carrying a lot of explosive material. I can tell you, your friend never felt understood or validated as a child. And he's still carrying the rage of that. So you trigger him and then by disagreeing with him and all the pain of invalidation, all the rage of not being understood now gets triggered and recruits more and more brain circuits. Now I can tell you something. Healthy anger is essential for our physical integrity. That rage, in the aftermath of a rage episode, your risk of a heart attack or stroke doubles for the next two hours, according to studies. Because what happens? Your blood pressure goes up, your blood vessels narrow, and the clotting factors in your blood increase. So of course you have more risk. So repression of anger can lead to chronic illness, but so can rage lead to heart attacks and strokes and so on.

Childhood Experiences and Adult Health: Heart Attacks and Strokes (01:11:31)

So anger is a delicate thing. - Should I say something about my friend that we found out? Because he then went to a childhood psychologist to understand himself. And that's why I said that was the last time. So you can imagine that was three years ago, the pandemic, two, three years ago. He went to a childhood psychologist and what they uncovered through their work was that, as a kid, he was not only a foot shorter than all the other kids, but he was both dyslexic and struggled a lot intellectually. So the people around him and on his report card basically called him stupid as a child. And then he actually found, I think he found a text message at some point between his mum and his nan, where they were diminishing his chances of success. And he grew up with this deep sense of like, I am not intelligent, a deep, deep sense of it. And it's come out in all of these ways as an adult.

Impact of Negative Labels on Self-Worth: Childhood to Adulthood (01:12:28)

And that, you're right, that's what was going on in that moment. I was challenging, I was taking him back probably. Well, and you know what, again, to come back to Harry, that's what happened to him. They called him stupid and fickle and naughty. And he was none of those things. He just had trouble concentrating and paying attention 'cause of all the stress. - My friend has ADHD as well. - Yeah, yeah, and so in his book, he describes that he'd been told he had had post-traumatic stress. I didn't diagnose him with all this stuff. It's in his book. I said, you know what, but I think given how you were distracted as a kid, you had trouble paying attention, they called you stupid. This is ADD. And I wasn't saying he's got a disease. I was saying you actually, that was a normal response that you had to an abnormal situation where you were under a lot of stress and they made you wrong for it. They called you naughty, they called you stupid, they called you a fickle. You're not any of that. Now the whole bunch of British psychiatrists got their knickers tied in a knot 'cause they made that diagnosis. My God, people, I was saying to the guy, you don't have a disease, you have a normal response. There are no circumstances. You were not stupid, ever. But children undergo this character assassination like your friend did. And imagine the rage inside him. So when you disagree with him, you're triggering all that. It's just, that's just how it works. Now interestingly enough, people call me stupid. That's not a trigger for me. - Yeah, it's not for me. - Because I know I'm not. I always grew up with a sense of my own intelligence, not to overstate it, but I never had any doubt about it. But certain things you can do, like not see me, and that'll trigger me. - And for context for anybody that doesn't know why you not being seen triggers you. - Well look, I was born, you know, I may have mentioned this last year, so I was born two months before the Nazis occupied Budapest. Then they started exterminating all the Hungarian Jews. So literally, my life was under threat 'cause they didn't see me as a human being. They saw me as vermin. You know, now not that I knew that directly, but my mother, can you imagine what it was like for her to have a two month old and living under the risk of death all the time for a whole year? And then, as I mentioned before, she gave me to a stranger to save my life, and I didn't see her for five weeks. Well, that's not being seen. And my father's not there to see me 'cause he's in forced labor. So literally not being seen threatened my life. So no wonder when people, when that happens now, you know, that for me is the trigger. No, of course the answer is, is to see myself.

Childhood Emotional Recognition: Importance of Self-Awareness (01:15:26)

If I fully see myself, it doesn't matter whether you see me or not. So if you see me, if you're not seeing me, if you're distorting who I am in your mind and in your words bothers me, it's only 'cause I'm still cutting on you at other people to see me 'cause I don't know how to see myself. If I'm fully confident in myself, I say, "Gee, it's too bad. "You know, Steven doesn't see me." Well, maybe we talk about it, or maybe he'll never understand it, but I don't live in his mind. - How do I fully see myself? It's hard to do, right? - It's hard to do because when you were seen, it's not hard to do because children see themselves through their parents' eyes. - Yeah. - But when you're not seen, then you have to learn it. This is one of the things to go back to meditation. That's not the only way. First of all, notice all the ways that you're not seeing yourself. Like two days ago, when I had this anxiety about how I may I didn't give my best talk on Monday evening, you know what? I did my best. May not have been perfect, but I prepared for it. I put myself out there for two hours and I spoke a lot of truth. Might have been the best, but so what? But at that moment, I wasn't seeing myself. You know, I could still lose it. So meditation, which is the form of meditation that at least I am learning, is about just noticing and seeing what's going on inside without judgment. So being aware. So it's practice. - And do you also suggest removing the things from your life that will stop you from seeing yourself, like social media? - Well-- - Because that can be a lot of-- - I can't remove social media from my life, but what I can remove is my attachment to it. For example, I don't have to look at the comments on all my talks on YouTube. Who says what? Who likes it? Who doesn't like it? You know, I'm not on Facebook. I don't have a, I have a professional Facebook page, but I don't administer it. But people go on Facebook. And who says what? Who likes me? Who doesn't like me? You know, they can wean themselves off that. So we may not be able to stay off social media, to write my books, thank God for the internet, but I don't have to be attached to it. So it's using it, but not letting it use you, which is very hard. - A new podcast sponsor that I'm super excited to talk about with all of you is LinkedIn Jobs. Hiring, as I would know, is one of the most important steps in your business. Without good people, there is no company. Trust me, I found out along the way that your business is nothing without good people. You wanna be 100% certain though, that you have access to the best candidates available. And that's why you have to check out LinkedIn Jobs. LinkedIn Jobs helps you to find the right people for your team faster and for free. So when I'm expanding my team, LinkedIn is my first port of call. I'd highly recommend it. On LinkedIn Jobs, posting a job is super easy and you can add a purple hashtag hiring frame around your LinkedIn profile to spread the word. LinkedIn Jobs helps you find the qualified candidates you want to talk to faster. Post your job for free at That's to post your job for free. Terms and conditions apply. As you may know, this podcast is sponsored by Heul. If you're living under a rock, you might've missed that. I discovered Heul's RTD about four years ago. Heul's RTD is basically a meal in a bottle. It is nutritionally complete. It contains 26 of your essential vitamins and minerals. It's got your protein in there, 20 grams of protein. It's got slow release energy in there in the form of those slow release carbs. It's just nutritionally complete. Not only have I got a good relationship with it in terms of health, but it saves my life in terms of those busy days where there's a higher probability of me reaching for something I might regret. If you haven't tried Heul's RTD, you could probably see it in a couple of supermarkets, but you can order it online, and the link is in the description below. Let me know which flavor is your favorite, and also tell me if it ends up adding value to your life in the form of making you nutritionally complete on those difficult days. The social media and all of these things, these stimuli, I feel like they've, I'm concerned that many of us are living in a state of chronic stress, mild background stress. And I say that a lot because the amount of times that I catch myself, I spoke to James Nestor, who talks a lot about breathing in breath, and the amount of times that I now catch myself very shallow in breath after just looking at my phone or thinking about something. Let's get some oxygen back into me. In bed at 1 a.m. as I'm trying to sleep, catch my breath being shallow. During this podcast, when I start thinking about something, my breath gets really shallow. Looking at my phone, my breath gets really shallow. I live in this, I feel like I'm living in this state of constant, subtle background stress. - Yeah, well, I'm glad you mentioned breath because it's one of the, to go back to the question of what people can do for themselves, they can learn to breathe. And Eckhart Tolle, who's a spiritual teacher, he says that, "Broadman quarter retreats and therapists "just take a few conscious breaths several times a day."

Shallow Breathing and Chronic Stress (01:20:47)

I mean, not to dismiss the other, but that's more important than anything else. And interestingly enough, the Buddha, when he was teaching his monks, in fact, one of the Buddha's assistants, Ananda, asked him, "Oh, holy one, do you still meditate?" And he said, "Yes." "And what kind of meditation do you practice?" says Ananda. And Buddha says, "Observing the breath." So in Buddhist meditation, and I'm not here to advocate for any particular pathway, and I'm not the practitioner of any religion, but hey, this is very wise man. He thought awareness of breath as the most important portal into reality. - What do you think the antidote is for the way we've designed our lives to be constant in this sort of stressful stimulation? 'Cause we're clearly, I was just wondering if human beings are supposed to endure this much constant stimulus and stress in their lives, and with chronic inflammation and all these kinds of things are now killing people at alarming rates, the diseases that are caused by inflammation. What can we do about our stress? And is it okay? Maybe it's okay. - Well, it's the norm, so you can say it's normal. Is it okay? Well, the question is to be answered by looking at what the impacts are. And what are the impacts? You know, the impacts are very serious. You can see it on the individual level in terms of mental health conditions, as I said earlier, are burgeoning internationally. Autamine conditions are. But if you look at it also on a social level, there's more conflict, there's more division, there's more intolerance in our culture than there has been for quite a while. These are the impacts of the stressful culture that we live in. So is it okay? - Yeah, if you want this, it's okay. But if you don't, it's not okay. It depends what you want. - Relationships. - Yeah. - Romantic relationships. - Yeah. - I feel a lot about the role that our trauma plays in our ability to form relationships. Obviously, society has changed quite profoundly in the last couple of decades. Different sort of gender transformations have caused certain mismatches and difficulties with people connecting. The world has gone very digital now, so dating apps run a lot of dating. I think 50% of people originally meet online. That's their first point of contact. Dating is very, very hard for people, and there's a lot of people that are kind of giving up on it. Attachment, dating, trauma. I've come to learn that we are mirrors. I think I found love in my life when, not when I discovered anything externally, but when I did a lot of work to figure out the barriers that were standing in my way of connection. - Well, you just answered your own question. - Oh, really? - Yeah. We can't form proper relationships until we have the capacity to be alone and be comfortable with ourselves. And the more comfortable we can be alone, which is different from being lonely, by the way, the more capacity to be with yourself and to ground yourself in your own truth, the more likely you are to form meaningful and positive relationships. And rather than asking me, a lot of people run into relationships to solve their problems.

Building Genuine Emotional Intimacy for Meaningful Relationships (01:24:18)

Then there's the initial in love phase where everything is just ideal, you know, and then reality hits. And then all of a sudden, that person who you're so infatuated with becomes your enemy and you hate them so much. You know, I mean, I've experienced such hatred for my wife over the years. And when I've been disappointed or dissatisfied, you know, because I was looking to her to fill me with, and nobody can fill you from the outside. So once you no longer need it, once you no longer are dependent on it, then you can enter into a healthy relationship. Or to put it more positively, a relationship can be a real ground for mutual growth. So you can enter into a relationship. You're not gonna be perfect. You're never gonna be perfect. Carry a certain degree of trauma, a certain degree of dysfunction, certain things that trigger you, as we said earlier. But if both people are committed to the truth, which my wife, Ray, and I have been, I mean, that's one thing you can say about ourselves. For all the stuff that we've been through, ultimately the truth mattered more than who's right and who's wrong. So if you're committed to the truth and working it out, and if the fundamental love is there, then you can grow together. And so for me, the relationship has been the most important growth, growing ground of my life. Not the therapy that I've had or the reading that I've done. Not that I'm dismissing any of that. But the actual relationship has been my most important schooling in how to become authentic. - There's no real chance of a good relationship if one or more parties in that relationship aren't committed to truth and they're committed to being right or to victory or... - It happens all the time. As I said earlier, people always meet at the same level of emotional development or trauma resolution so that water finding its own level. But when one person starts growing and the other doesn't, it becomes impossible. Either the person that does the growing gives it up and goes back to their previous selves, which is almost impossible, or the other person is challenged to start growing themselves or they're gonna split. That's just what's gonna happen. And again, to go back to the situation between men and women, this is what tends to happen. And I've seen it in my own marriage. I've seen it as a physician, as an observer of human beings. The couple are kind of getting along, but then the children come along. Now the mother's caring energy has to go towards the children where it needs to go. The father may feel now a bit of a, their nose is a bit out of joint 'cause now they're not getting the attention. And now the woman has a decision to make. Do I look after the three-day-old baby or the three-month-old baby? Or do I look after the 35-year-old baby? And to the extent that the mother chooses to look after the 35-year-old baby, she's depriving the three-month-old. A lot of women then make a choice that I need to look after my kids and I can't put all this caring energy, mothering caring energy into my husband anymore. And then relationships get into trouble 'cause the guys can't stand it. I've seen this over and over and over. I'm not saying it's universal, but it's very common. - Sex, in your practice, I imagine you've come across this quite often where there's a sexless relationship and that's causing issues. What is typically the true cause of that, that disconnect with intimacy with sex in the bedroom? 'Cause a lot of people are struggling with that. - Yeah, well first of all, I think today we jump into sexuality way too early. In other words, we talk about intimacy, but intimacy really means the innermost. And we tend to have physical intimacy before we have emotional intimacy so that people jump into bed rather quickly. I'm not being prudish here. I'm not prescribing that you should only have sex when you get married or anything like that. But when we enter into sexuality early, without the emotional intimacy and the emotional authenticity, then the sex becomes divorced from our real needs. And especially for women who tend to, and I can't speak of everybody, but in general, women tend want to have more intimacy emotionally, that becomes very hard. And if the emotional intimacy doesn't follow, sex becomes rather mechanical. - Becomes mechanical. - Yeah. So that's one big reason. The other reason we already talked about, this sort of parenting dynamic between the genders. - Yeah. - Now I know we're only talking about the two major genders now. There's all kinds of gender variations these days. But these dynamics exist in all kinds of contexts. So that when my partner is doing all the emotional caring or most of the emotional caring, this is parent-child relationship, that really deadens the sexual drive. - You know Marisa Peer? - Sorry? - Marisa Peer. - She's a psychologist. She actually said to me the other day, never call your partner mommy or daddy. - Yeah. - For this very reason. - Yeah, well, all good. That's a good way to put it. I think it's because we put sexuality, in this society, of course, just glorifies sexuality. And if you look at some of the most famous sex symbols, who were they? Abused women, like Marilyn Monroe, deeply traumatized child. And abused as an adult by President Kennedy and just about everybody. And she was the woman everyone wanted to sleep with. So that really distorted sexuality here. And for women especially, safety is so important for sexuality. - Yeah. - We talk about frigid women. But when do people freeze? It's a fear response. There's nobody's true nature. It's just a response. And usually something happened to them or something is happening now. So that unmelting can happen in a condition of safety. And then the intimacy, the emotional intimacy is there, which creates the safety for the sexual opening. And that's the dynamic in my marriage as well. You know what my wife says? She says, "Truth is sexy." - Such a good point. - Yeah. - Is there anything in your practice that you're increasingly being confronted with in the last couple of years that you weren't seeing as much as when you first started? - What I see out there is increasing distress in the society and people are more confused. And young people are just so challenged. And in the United States, the rate of childhood suicide is going up. You know, suicide. You know, more and more kids are being medicated for all kinds of conditions. In the US, 70% of the adult population is at least on one medication. Quarter of women, at least in the US, are on antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications. Those numbers are growing up in Britain as well from all the statistics that I see. And what I see is a growing manifestations of distress, what I call a toxic culture. I see that all the time. And look, I mean, the fact that this book, The Mitonormal, is being published in North Macedonia and Thailand and Vietnam and in Northern Europe and in Eastern Europe. And it's just, worldwide, there's this epidemic of distress. That's what I'm seeing. And I'm seeing people, either we can look upon this as some unexplainable misfortune and bad luck, or we can actually look for the actual causes of it in a way that relate to each other, in a way that we raise our children, in a way that we approach ourselves. And I'm saying that solutions are possible. But yeah, the world is getting more and more difficult for a lot of people. I do see that. And I don't think it's gonna get better anytime soon. - You're not optimistic. - So Noam Chomsky once said that, when he was asked if he's optimistic or pessimistic, he says, "Strategically, I'm an optimist, "and tactically, I'm a pessimist." Which means that, in the long term, I do believe in people. I mean, and in the same way, I do believe in human beings. I do believe in the human capacity to grow, to transform, to come to a deeper, grounded sanity in themselves, both on the individual and the social level. I do believe in that. If I didn't believe that, I would just stay at home and read books and listen to music. I do believe in that. I'm optimistic in that sense. But at the same time, I think in the short term, it's getting darker and darker. And you can see that, so many manifestations of that. So yeah, I am optimistic. I believe in humanity and human beings. And I think we have a hard road to travel before we get to our better sense of self. - And I have to close this conversation by seeking some solutions. You used the word solutions there, and you talked about this better sense of self. We've talked about this from a social level, what governments can do to change education systems. And on an individual level, on a family level, what can I do? - Well, first of all, you need to define what your actual goals are.

Setting And Achieving Emotional Wellness Goals

Defining Goals: Work, Health, Relationships, and Emotional Wellness (01:34:43)

- Okay, so let me try. I wanna do work that serves others. I wanna do work that I find fulfilling and that keeps me challenged. And I wanna-- - Which incidentally serves your health, 'cause it's been shown that people that live a life of purpose and meaning, they're physiologically healthier. - I wanna be healthy, because I wanna do all of these things for longer. I wanna have relationships that are full and true and raw and honest. And I wanna, I think that's it, that's the working parcel. And then I wanna raise a family that is beautiful and pure and free of as much trauma as I can possibly make them be. And I wanna be close to my children in a way that I wasn't close to my parents. - Yeah, well then the question you have to ask yourself is, what factors in your life support those goals and what don't? What activities are you engaged in that will support those aims? What will undermine them? And seek to diminish or eliminate the ones that are undermining your goals and strengthen the ones that are supporting it. That's what it is.

Aligning Intentions with Actions: Strengthening Goal-Oriented Living (01:36:06)

And you know, and your intentions by the way, are not only superficially the ones you articulate. If I wanna know your real intentions, I have to look at how you live your life, not what you say about it. So when I was a young parent, if you had asked me, what is your goal? What's your intention? I would have said this, the happiness of my children. And I would have said that totally sincerely. If you had looked at how I live my life, as a workaholic doctor, not available to my kids, always are out there looking for being important and serving others and being at the center of people's lives because I was so essential to them. My actual intention was self-importance. My stated intention, the happiness of my children, as much as that would have meant it sincerely, did not jibe with how I was living my life. So what you need to ask yourself is, what anybody needs to ask themselves is, look at your intentions, both the conscious ones and also the ones that show up when you look at how you actually live your life, and bring the two into alignment. So look at again, what serves your intentions and what undermines it. And look at that seriously. That would be my answer. - It's so difficult to distinguish between the two sometimes because, I mean, on the surface, the system you gave there are actually looking at how I'm allocating my time, and is my time being allocated towards things that would further what I'm saying my intentions are? It's a very useful exercise to run. But as I said those things that I said, as my stated goals, I do find a disconnect, I think. I think those things have been handed to us. When you ask someone their goals, they will say things that will make the person asking the question think well of them. - Because there's one goal that you didn't state. - Which is I stayed away from the selfish goals? - No. - What's the one I didn't state? - Inner peace. Because without inner peace, you're not gonna be able to serve any of those goals properly. Or if you were, you do it at some risk to yourself.

Pursuing Inner Peace: Importance of Emotional Harmony and Well-Being (01:38:27)

And so how would that be for you as a goal, inner peace? And then if running around serving others in the name of this so-called higher goal undermines your inner peace, then you're not on the right track. And you know who I'm talking to, I'm talking to myself. - Talking to me as well. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. Inner peace is not a selfish goal. It's from a position of safety, sorry, a position of inner peace that we can speak compassionately and truthfully to others, that we can serve our other goals. But Eckhart Tolle talks about our inner purpose and our external purpose. And you stated a bunch of external purposes. And that's why there's the, I believe, if I may pardon the diagnosis, or the analysis. But that's why that disconnect that you mentioned. 'Cause the goals that you stated were largely external. And what are the internal goals? - Inner peace. - Very good. Now you have to put that into the mix. And once you do, I don't believe that. Now nobody handed that to you. - I think this is the issue with workaholics, is we think that the path to inner peace is just by aiming at the external goals. Like I think maybe at some level that's what I believe. Workaholics think they can work their way or validate, external validate or trophy their way, or number one book their way to inner peace. Because temporarily when your book shows up as number one on the bestseller's list or it shows up at all, you feel some inner peace. But it's addictive. And there's a wonderful physician and researcher, Vince Felitti, who studied childhood trauma quite a bit and showing its relationship to adult negative outcomes. And he said, "It's hard to get enough of something "that almost works." And so yeah, you can get that temporary inner peace, but look at the long term consequences of the workaholism. It's not inner peace, I can tell you that. I can tell you after a long experience. Doesn't matter even how successful you are out there, we started the conversation with this. It's never gonna give you inner peace. Inner peace doesn't come from the outside. That's not a goal anybody ever handed to you. That's something that you have to come to yourself. - You know this. How are you acting in line with what you know? Are you doing it well? - You know what? I'm not gonna give myself 100% by any means. I mean, just look at this week. But I'm doing so much better than I ever did. And I'm so much more comfortable about it and so much more comfortable about the future as well. You know, I am. - What is the one thing that we didn't discuss that maybe is the most important thing for my audience that are listening right now? - That not that we should impose suffering on any children or anybody in order to teach them anything. Life will bring its own suffering. But when suffering comes along, there's two things we can do with it. We can try and just get rid of it, not to feel it, to numb ourselves, or we can actually learn from it. So suffering and pain can be big teachers if we know how to relate to them. So when illness comes along, when a crisis comes along in your life, you might notice that the Chinese word for crisis is made up of two character letters meaning danger and opportunity. So when there's a crisis, there's danger, but there's also opportunity to learn and to grow. And there's such a thing as growing older. In other words, not just getting older, but actually growing older and actually still keep growing as you get older. And that growing older actually has to do with becoming more and more authentic to yourself. So sometimes I do that successfully, sometimes I don't, but that's really the journey. I'd recommend that journey to everybody. You can actually grow older. In other words, you don't have to shrink, you can actually grow. - When you said the word growth there, it reminded me of something you said in a topic we haven't actually talked about, which I did want to speak to you about, which is vulnerability. - Yeah. - I remember you making this interesting connection. I saw it somewhere online between vulnerability and growth. - Yeah. - And vulnerability is a risk for a lot of people. It's always felt like a risk for me. - So vulnerability comes from the Latin word vulnerability, to wound. - To wound. - Yeah, that's vulnerability, to wound. And so as human beings or as any living creature, we're all profoundly vulnerable. From the moment that we're conceived to the moment we die, we can be wounded, we can be wounded physically, we can be wounded emotionally. That's just a given. When children are safe and seen and understood, they can accept their vulnerability 'cause they have the confidence that they can deal with it. But when children are traumatized or not understood, not seen, and they're alone emotionally, the vulnerability becomes too painful to bear. So we shut down our sense of vulnerability, not to feel the pain. But when you look at life, nothing goes without vulnerability. So a tree doesn't grow where it's hard and thick, does it? It goes where it's tender and soft. And there's these shoots that are very vulnerable. They can be eaten by animals or insects. A crustacean animal, like a crab, cannot grow inside a hard shell. What does it have to do when it needs to grow? It molts and becomes this soft creature that's very vulnerable. But without that vulnerability, there's no growth. Without emotional vulnerability, there's also no growth. And so much of our culture is designed to deny vulnerability and to shut it down or to somehow distract ourselves from it.

Embracing Vulnerability and Growth: Authenticity in Personal Development (01:44:41)

- And what's the cost? - And the cost is that we stay immature and that we lose ourselves. That's what the cost is. - I also think vulnerability is, and I've just learned this from doing this podcast, that vulnerability is a great connector. Much of the reason why I have good conversations on this podcast, I think, is because I'm willing to be open myself. - Yeah, which then allows your guests the safety to open up themselves. And in your personal life with your friends, and you can talk about the scandal of Newcastle beating Manchester City in some game recently by one to nothing, which is not, I don't say to talk about it if that's interesting to you, but which is more meaningful to you, that or when you actually share. - Share our struggle. - You struggle and what's going on for you. I mean, it's no contest. But so much of this culture is designed to distract ourselves from our vulnerability. - Gabriel, we have a closing tradition on this podcast where the last guest leaves a question for the next guest not knowing who they're gonna leave it for. Question that's been left for you is quite a long one. Today is your last day on earth. You're allowed to make two phone calls. One phone call to the person you love the most and the second phone call to the entire world. What do you say on both of those phone calls? - What John Lennon sang all those years ago, all you need is love. - And the phone call to the person you love the most? - To the person I love the most, I don't have to say anything at all. - Why? - 'Cause she knows. - But if you were calling her on that last day?

Fostering Emotional Connection Through Gratitude

Gratitude and Connection: Fostering Wholeness and Meaningful Bonds (01:46:56)

- I'd say thank you. - What for? - For everything. And you know what, I may even say that to the world. I might even say thank you, you know, I mean, for all the struggles and the travails and troubles and tribulations of childhood and adulthood and parenting and career and all this, thank you. You've given me so much. That's what I would say. You know what I mean, if I wasn't giving advice, which is all you need is love, which is advice, no, forget that, I'd say, I'd just say thank you. - How do you want to be remembered? - As somebody who did his best to make a difference. And who made a difference, which I know I have, by the way. So not that everybody agrees with me, but I also know I've made a difference. - What difference do you think you've made? - How to say this without trying to get egotistical. But I get so many messages from around the world, I mean, literally from around the world, that reading my books have transformed people's relationship to themselves and made them understand themselves. I think I mentioned maybe in a different interview that the best review I ever had of the myth of normal was that some young guy said to me, thank you, I read that book and I remembered myself. So my work, for those who are open to it, really helps to connect them to themselves and to see themselves clearly. And that's a gift. - In a world where it's increasingly hard to see who you really are. - Yeah, and it's hard for people to see themselves. And so people don't see themselves as broken or as the irretrievable will be damaged, but actually they can begin to see their capacity for wholeness, which incidentally is the root of the word health, is wholeness. And so that's the difference I'm making is that people can see themselves not as broken, damaged, but as actually fundamentally whole with some stuff to work through, that's it. - We can learn so much from children, can't we? So much of your work brings us back to the first nature as you describe it of children. - Yeah, well, a lot of parents will tell you and you'll find out is that the greatest teachers are your children, if you're willing to learn. - Gabor, thank you. Thank you so much. It's a difficult question to ask someone else about the impact they've made on the world, but even what you said, I think is a huge understatement because the people that I know close to me, like my partner, who just, I mean, her life I think has been changed personally, but also professionally. Much of the reason she does the work she does, the reason why she's not here to meet you, 'cause she would have gotten the next flight to fly here is because she's doing a retreat in the South of France with a big group of women. And much of the work she does there is built on the work that you've written about in your books and taught online. So not only have you impacted people personally, but you've impacted the next generation of teachers and therapists, which is gonna be a generational, it's like a dominoes effect. It was counteracting the generational trauma is the generational healing that has come about because of people like you who are wizards in our culture and that are willing in the face of often great adversaries who take a different stance to persist with truth. - But thank you. And one of the things that most, and hearten me is that when I go about London or any city in the world, which is what these days, it's all kinds of young people coming up to me thanking me. It's not people my, I mean, people of all ages, but I'm just so enthused by how young generations, like people one quarter my age are coming up to me to thank me. Well, that shows me that it's making a difference. - A hundred percent. If she could have been here now, she was so annoyed. She realized she'd booked a retreat on the same day that you were coming to London 'cause you didn't get to meet you last time 'cause she was in Bali. - Oh, wow. Some other time. - She'll be watching this, trust me. She's probably watching live right now. But thank you so much, Kabur, again, for your generosity and your wisdom. It's changed my life and it continues to change many other people that are listening to this, but all around the world. So thank you. - Thanks so much. - As you guys may know, this podcast is sponsored by one of my favorite brands in all the world, which is Whoop. AI is a topic I've spoken about various times on this podcast. And it's a topic that I'm pretty obsessed with, but we don't often talk about how it could be used as a force to make our lives even better. Whoop is using the power of AI to drive meaningful, positive change. My Whoop doesn't leave my wrist. And their new feature, which is called Whoop Coach, uses the power of advanced AI to synthesize all of your health and fitness data and to provide you with personalized recommendations to support you on your health and fitness journey. You can literally ask it questions like, why am I so tired? Or can you help me build a strength training program? And its advanced AI system will provide you with answers that are unique to you. So if you would like to check it out and level up your health and fitness journey in the process, go to to get a free month's Whoop membership.

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