Lauren Dollie Duke is a yoga teacher and author of a compelling memoir, “Sh!thouse,” which I urge you to check out. It tells a story of healing from developmental trauma, PTSD, sexual trauma, and addiction. Like many people, Lauren and I have the shared childhood experiences of growing up in an addicted household, with an incarcerated father and a mom who chose toxic relationships.
She shares a story that’s incredibly honest and human where she eventually finds liberation through somatic therapy, mind-body connection, and yoga. All that, and Lauren also shares some practices for managing fear and anxiety in this latest episode of LaidOPEN Podcast.
Hello, welcome back to leadup and podcast. I’m your host Charna caselle. Some of the topics that we discuss in this podcast could be intense for some of the listeners if you have a trauma history, but I feel like it’s all very important to see how we are holistic beings and how all these parts are connected in terms of our physical, mental and emotional well being and our nervous system development. today. My guest is author and yoga teacher, educator, Lauren Duke, and a little bit about Lauren. Lauren Duke is a writer, educator and entrepreneur and community activist. She has taught 1000s of yoga students over the last 15 years, led international retreats and continues to push the edge between yoga, mental health and trauma. Lauren founded a one of a kind community center and yoga studio in Encinitas, California, where she teaches and hosts yoga, educational seminars and writing workshops. Her time is dedicated to educating people on the anatomy of trauma. Life is about to start dealing with trauma isn’t it? magic magic. Welcome, Lauren. So good day.
Thank you so much for having me. Sometimes when people read my bio, in my intro, I’m like, Wow, I did all that you need some sometimes it’s like, I feel like we spend our whole lives also kind of continuing to be, you know, affirmed and reaffirmed and reminding ourselves what we are.
Yeah, well, and there’s some people, it’s always the, your attention is in front of you in terms of like, okay, what’s the next thing that I want to move towards the next thing I want to accomplish? And so we can kind of forget what we’ve, you know, what, what has made us who we are now, and all the things that we’ve already moved through?
Yeah, absolutely. And I think that’s such a I’ll, I think we should return to that subject in terms of lots of people have been, you know, what’s next? What are you working on now? And like, what I just, what do you mean, I just put a book out like they just did seven years, did you see like, how Nothing, I’m just being like,
that’s what’s so important about that, as I feel like writing a book, you
basically you just gave birth? Yeah. You wouldn’t
expect a woman with a torn vagina, who just seemed to be like, Okay, let’s train for a marathon right now. It’s like, Oh, my God, look and feel your feelings.
Yeah. And I’m still discovering, you know, it’s like, I wrote the book, and I live the book. But of course, there’s a bazillion angles to look at, you know, all the different threads that are in the book, you know, and every time I have a conversation with someone, I learned more about myself I learned for it helps to almost expand my own lexicon about the nature of, you know, the things that happened and the nature of the things that I wrote about and social structures and belief systems and patterns, and trauma and yoga, and you know, all all the things that I cover in the book. And so it’s I have really been enjoying having all these conversations, because it’s just helping me look at things like I’m like, hi, didn’t really think about it like that. And there is. Yeah, there was there’s been some questions that people have asked me lately, and I’m like, huh, I mean, I wrote this, but I think I need to, you know, look at that even just a little bit deeper,
right? Well, what’s amazing, you know, when you’re writing something, and if you if you write without lifting your pen, and you’re just letting your subconscious write itself out, and you may not even remember what you’ve written, and even when it shows up, it ends up in the book and you’ve probably edited this a zillion times. And then you’ll suddenly somebody else may point something out that you go, Oh my God, I didn’t see it in those terms
before, every day, every conversation because even though I did just birth this book, and I have a torn birth. But I am still basically having you know, all of these conversations, all the while, you know, being fatigued. And it’s it’s again, I feel like in the beginning with writing, you know, there’s an old adage, and I don’t even know who said it, but it’s basically like the first draft, you’re just telling yourself that story. And, you know, for me, that was like the first several drafts as I was almost like, just trying to organize my past, yes, trying to understand and make sense out of all of these things that had happened. That ultimately helped me, like, essentially construct a belief system, that was totally false. And then I lived from that place. And so that was really the beginning was almost this just like verbal diarrhea of like, trying to organize. It was self inquiry and self examination, really, on my quest of self preservation, and just trying to be okay, because I wasn’t okay. Right. You know, I had some PTSD symptoms, I was having chronic stomach issues, I had hemorrhoids, I was having light sensitivity, I was having panic attacks, I couldn’t drive a car. And it’s like, no one wants to live like that. And the interesting thing is, a lot of people are living like that. That’s right. And one of the things that, you know, is my big mission, like, I’m on the other side of all of that, and if I can do it, and if I can get through the things that I went through, and also heal from an extremely dysregulated nervous system, which is trauma literally is anyone can, and everyone, and that’s what I want, you know, like, keep going back to all these conversations that I’m having. People are like, Okay, now you have everyone’s attention. You know, last night and my Zoom launch, like my sister, she helps people facilitate all these launches. And she’s like, so what do you want to drive them into? What do you your, you know, book writing class, or your next course, or, and I’m like, I want to drive people closer to themselves. Yeah, because that’s what I did for myself. And like, I just feel so much better. Having gone through this whole process of writing this book, and in conjunction, doing therapy, you know, for the seven year process and working through all of my crap, that’s what I want for everyone, right? Because that is what’s going to make this world a better place is if people are living from a place of coherence, rather than a place of dysregulation. That’s what we know. I am not trying to sell someone a fucking program.
Well, and that’s the tricky thing, right? There is a lot of that around writing books. It’s like, okay, so the book is just to, you know, supposed to, there’s different kinds of books, right? There’s the book that’s going to function to send someone to your courses, or there’s the book that, like you said, driving someone deeper into themselves into a calmer nervous system and into deeper connection with everything, not just themselves.
Well, I feel like as a just globally, and as a humanity, that’s what’s just going to make us better is if, if we understand ourselves, if we have a regulated nervous system, and we’re all co regulating each other all the time. This is, instead of everyone living from this, like trauma, place and chaos place and reactionary place, which is how most people are living. Yeah, if you do your own self examination, and you really investigate your life, and and you have the ability to kind of deconstruct everything that’s ever happened to you and see where your belief systems were even constructed, then look at those people who taught them to you and see where they got them. You see the threat of transgenerational trauma that all of it is just learned. And there’s actually no one even to blame. Yeah, and when you can see that there’s no one to blame. You’re not angry, there’s a place of compassion, forgiveness. And also, if I learned all of these belief systems, I can unlearn them. That’s right. And that is real resilience, you know, that is like when you can bounce back and that is what we are so good at as human beings,
right? You know, what you keep referring to is, is belief systems, right? That you’ve that you’ve practiced that you’ve inherited, right? And the thing is, with belief systems so often people think that they’re their truth or their fact because it’s what they’ve marinated in, it’s what they’ve always known or seen, and it’s what’s been modeled either by their family or by their religion or by their culture. And, and you’re acknowledging that Oh, no, actually, these are just well Warren habits, and I am going to develop different habits. Yeah.
But I want everyone to see, like, yeah, and we know that it seems like it almost seems like, that’s too simple. It’s too it’s just too simplified. But but it’s actually what’s true. Everything is like socially and culturally constructed. Right? And it’s all learned. And when I realized that, like, Oh, my God, I’ve just been learning a bunch of stuff that isn’t really true. Of course, my whole identity was wrapped around these belief systems. And those belief systems also are the reason why I landed in some very precarious situations in my life, right, but recognizing that they’re not true, that they’re false, and then being able to work alongside people, to help me dismantle them. And then to start living from this other place and continuing to reinforce new ideas, new belief systems, and almost like, it’s almost like, fake it till you become it. When I kind of feel like that’s what I’ve done in my life. Like, I didn’t believe even when I first started teaching yoga, I remember showing up being like, what the fuck am I doing? Everybody knows that I am full of shit right now. I just kept but I wanted to be this. Yeah. And I just kept doing the work until I was it.
Mm hmm. Well, and even you know what, I read your bio there? Is this this wave of imposter syndrome? Or maybe it was like, wow, I don’t know. But often, it’s this thing of, you know, there’s that old self that especially you’re getting messages from mom or dad, in terms of who you are? How do you get away from that? How do you shift your identity? And you know, one thing for you which which comes up in this book, it’s, it’s through practice, right? It’s through? How do you just how do you keep showing up in a new way in being in a new practice? And then how does that then transform who you are?
Yeah. And that’s really the bottom line, because it’s like that. I know, it’s cliche, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. And if I spent years and years and years, you know, building this scaffolding and these ideas, it takes a little bit of time to erode that and to dismantle those belief systems. But the more I have shown up in the ways that I’ve shown up, and that’s what so that’s why that’s the hardest part, you know, is of bridging this, this gap between who we’ve been, and who we know we could be is staying the course. Right. And the more I have shown up the way that I know I truly am, the more I believe it. And it’s hard, and it’s uncomfortable. And I mean, I’ve been in a marriage now. And this was like such a huge game game changer for me, but I have been married. I’m coming up on nine years. And this has been the most uncomfortable thing that I’ve ever done. One, it wasn’t modeled to me. You know, when shit hits the fan, you run my mom is married four times. And to stay to stay in something that is so healthy. To stay with someone who adores me, like all the things that just make me so uncomfortable. And I can’t tell you how many times my old behaviors have creep back in and almost imploded this thing. Right? Right. But continuing like to see, now, it’s been long enough that the way that this person sees me, is actually who I am and being with him long enough. And reinforcing helping because he’s my first primary attachment. Healthy.
Safe, you know, safe, secure, secure here. Yeah, my first secure attachment, you know, it’s really just helped me rebuild who I am, because I finally like, every day he sees me as this thing, Oh, my God, finally, maybe five years and I was like, Maybe I am that thing, you know. And so and that is like, I’m not sure that we heal alone. Oh, yeah. No, you know,
yeah, I think it’s an interesting process. There’s a certain amount of guidance and you know, we’re pack animals. So we, we are not totally independent beings. And, you know, my mom was a special ed teacher. And I remember she had a student who she worked with severe, severely developmentally disabled kids. And there was a kid in one of her classes that couldn’t speak at all, like had lost the ability to have language because this kid was deprived to physical touch. Yeah, like as starting as an infant was like kept in a closet or something. And, you know, we think that we even after we learn how to walk, and we learn how to talk, and we grow up that we stopped needing certain things, and we’re these beings that still need physical, physical contact, emotional contact, and you know, there’s a certain amount of healing you do on your own, that you can’t, there’s a point where you have to stop reaching for other people, and you have to fully be empowered and heal your yourself emotionally or physically. But yes, I’m so glad that you’ve found that that’s so important given your history.
Yeah. And I think that there’s this kind of old guard narrative, and I think it’s shifting a little now, but for a very long time, I’ve heard people say, like, you need to be okay, alone before you, you know, can be in a relationship. And I’m like, Really, I don’t know that I adhere to that. Because, you know, we are pack animals before we’re human beings, we’re animals and animals in the wild, don’t survive on their own, you know, and I think, definitely part of my healing process was beginning to recognize that I really, because the my narrative growing up with was tough it out, you know, you gotta do just very baby boomer projection. And, and I believed that and so when I had this man that was totally in, like, in love with me. And like, I was like, he must be desperate, like, I couldn’t even wrap my brain around why he would want to be with me so bad because I was so kind of my self confidence was so damaged, you know, right. And, and I, that’s why I almost blew up the relationship many times is because I, I made it about his desperation or his insecurity. But that was really just my own insecurity. And, you know, one of the best things that I’ve ever done for myself, and my community, because I’m a leader in my community, is stay in this relationship with this amazing person who’s helped me, you know, heal myself and my own nervous system and trust people. And, you know, because of that, I’m so much more regulated. And I have the capacity to be with other people in ways that I never had before. Because I was always kind of like, door like I didn’t have I had an inability to be present, because no one had ever been pregnant with me.
Right? So you have not only is there the modeling, but there’s the CO regulation that’s happening with this sweet man, that you then fill your cup and your capacity grows, and you’re able to give so much more to your yoga community and the people. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I’m realizing we have created this incredible mystery, which is, we didn’t even name the title of your book. So should house a memoir? Yep. And, and you want to say a little bit about what the book is about. I mean, we all now know, it is a memoir,
the main kind of message of the book really is about uncovering our histories and recognizing how the things that happened to us, they build us and, and ultimately, you know, recognizing the impact of the things that happen to us and how that helps us develop our belief systems and, and our patterns and our behaviors and how often that’s false and lands us, you know, in one toxic situation after another and so I am I grew up in a little town called Pacifica and a place called peejoe Point and my mom had she was a barber, but she was like a single mom, but also there was this slew of, you know, men, you’re responsible, unreliable men kind of coming and going, my father, my stepfather, you know, I, I mistook like a lot of the things that these people did, there was a lot of lawlessness there was addiction. My dad robbed a bank. My stepfather had eight DUIs and one one of the DUIs was a car accident, we were actually in the car. And these things that happened. I, they, they, they essentially, like not being cared for essentially, like, eroded me and made me believe that I was not worthy of love. So this, like one of the big kind of themes in this book is definitely like my journey back to you know, finding love and finding Um, that, that I am worthy. And I think that for a lot of people that’s like, that is like a human core wound, you know, I’m not good enough and, and you see how in, in the book and through the storytelling, you know, and the experiences and revelations in the book how that belief system I am not good enough? What kind of scenarios that places man and how destructive is. So it’s really about also finding my way, you know, out of that. Yeah. And really back to myself,
the the theme of also looking for a stable, consistent home, and then thinking about your body as home and how you created that through yoga, you created your body as a place that could be stable and consistent.
Yeah, yeah. And it’s, you know, so I, when I was in high school, I took my first yoga class, but I didn’t have the capacity to be present, because the reality is, is all the things that happen, it happens to our bodies. And so And of course, there’s a psychological impact, you know, an implication of these things that happened to our bodies. But I had an inability, like I said before, to really be present. So in my, in this first yoga class, like, I was just like the goof off, I was like, the class delinquent, I was the worst. He just, you know, the worst behavior and totally made a mockery mockery out of it, because I couldn’t sit still not for one second, because there was so much chaos and trauma living inside of me that I didn’t know what to do with it. And years later, like, not years later, but when I was 19, I finally took a yoga class. And for, you know, four minutes in shavasana, or something, and this is in the book, I have this like, total out of body experience, like, Oh, we’re the first time in my life. Everything was integrated. Yeah, nothing was displaced and floating around and affecting me in all sorts of ways that I didn’t even realize. And I was really curious about that. Like, that was my first moment of peace in Yeah, in 19 or 20 years, like, and I was like, I couldn’t articulate it, I had no idea what was going on. For me, I thought it was some mystical thing coming out of the universe. And, you know, descending upon me, it was like some mystical experience, which is amazing. That’s great. I don’t want to like diminish people’s mystical experiences. But later on, when I really got into yoga and understood the nervous system and physiology and I and I recognized that I could create that condition in my body, that there are techniques to do it, that I can focus on one thing at a time, that I can take one breath with one movement, and these contemporary poses that are yoga, Asana, they’re so big, you know, they’re so bold, that you cannot focus on anything else, except for that posture. That breath. I mean, if you’re really doing it, and it changes your state. Yeah. And that was when I really started, like, when I started to have the state shifts, and feeling it in my own system. I realized, really how much was living in my body. Before that. I didn’t even realize I just thought that was normal.
Oh, of course. Yeah. So I’m a somatic therapist, and I use martial arts space practices to help rewire the brain through the body. And I may be doing a boundary exercise and walking towards someone and have them tell me to stop and and they’re like, Oh, it’s fine. I feel nothing. And then I’m like, Well, wait, what happens if I take a step back and another step back and then they suddenly are like, Oh, hello, there’s some space in my chest. This certain, you know, the certain level of tension and constriction in the body can be such the norm that you don’t notice. That’s like the chronic state of for lack of safety. Right. Yeah. And we don’t have I mean, you must have done the somatic experiencing training. know my background. So the Strozzi Institute and generative Cymatics is what I did before I became a psychotherapist.
Got it. Yeah, my friend actually is just finishing up the Strozzi course right now and she loved it. But I did the SC training and great, it really helped. We don’t have language for this, you know, and that I think, is part of the issue is we haven’t we’ve been taught culturally to be so cognitive, you know, we’re so here. And so we don’t even understand or can’t, we can’t make sense of or we don’t have language for our felt sense, you know, for for what’s really happening in the body. And, and we don’t have because we have such dysregulated nervous systems. We don’t even have the The presence and you know capacity to to notice and witness it but man the SE training was really such a game changer for me to to like slow down and and see where I was holding everything and it was so fascinating because those are the same places that basically I was sick oh right of course like real like real you know sickness illness stomach chronic stomach stuff bowel stuff hemorrhoids all that yeah cuz you got lovely stuff
yeah well your your root chakra was like hey girl let’s ground it in survival mode whole
yeah the body’s you know it’s it’s it’s the way I see it is the information is happening on an energetic or spiritual level it’s like in our field going KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK and you don’t answer the door. Yeah and then it lands in the physical body as ailments and it’s they still saying I really want to talk to you.
Yeah, I mean that really was the the big the beginning like the the real true impetus to write this started there, you know, I was diagnosed with PTSD, I was in trauma therapy I am. And it was through working with trauma therapists and going through, you know, EMDR that I really started to recognize how, like, a lot of the things that happened to me were not okay, right. For me, I just thought that it was normal. And also because I hadn’t been attuned to or cared for or loved, you know, I just didn’t think I deserved good things. And then that played out. I mean, all of it now, like looking at the cosmology of all of it. I’m like, Oh, my gosh, this, I make so much more sense in the context of everything I’ve been through and everything my parents had been through. And that was, you know, really that inquiry I really wanted to share with people because as I was writing, and I started to, like, organize my reality. And as I was organizing my reality, my body was calming down, my mind was calming down a lot of the stuff that was the symptoms that I had been having the physical symptoms, they all started to clear up. Totally, I started to really see my mother, my father where they had come from their unresolved trauma. And then I was like, everybody’s off the hook. You’re all forgiven, everyone’s forgiven, you’re forgiven, you’re forgiven. You’re forgiven everyone. And and I want that, like, I so badly want that. Yeah, for other people, you know, and that’s, that’s, it doesn’t it doesn’t always have to come through the writing process, but it definitely comes we are so unexpressed as a culture and you know, the other day this I was at the hair salon, and this song came on and, and this woman who had tinfoil in her hair, she was under the dryer, and somehow she heard this Samba song, come on, she just got up and started dancing. Awesome. I was like, in every world watching her, we’re all kind of like, oh my god, this lady is just like dancing around. She doesn’t give a fuck. Like, she doesn’t care that and, and she goes, you know, music helps me remember that. I’m free. And I mean, that’s all we all want. And for her, it is through expressing herself through music. I guess she told me afterwards. She’s a music teacher, but she also dances, salsa and Samba, like, that’s her thing that she does, you know, and for me, I do yoga, I do Pilates, I walk a lot, I dance, I love to dance, but like part of my healing journey was like I wrote my way into it. Like that was how I were, to my reality. That was my process.
Well, it’s such a, you know, when you’ve had the kind of trauma that you’ve had, or many people have had, there’s this fragmentation, right? And then you even remember things in fragments, and then trying to write about it can be so hard to have a clear narrative for someone who, someone who’s had trauma may be able to follow it, but people who haven’t, it can be really hard. But then if you’ve grown up without any structure, none. Exactly. And then and then how to create a structured narrative that makes any kind of sense. And so it sounds like for you, you’re, you’re making sense of things through that process. As much as you’re creating a narrative for a reader.
Yeah, I mean, I, I also worked with many editors. And because that was, that was what I was missing. You know, it’s like these people, my editors, this woman, well, I’ve had a few editors that she was like my ride or die, but her name is Amy Wallen, and it’s like she just knew how to like she was as big as the hell as any of my therapists, you know, but she just knew how to ask the right questions to get me. It’s basically like I was following my own breadcrumbs. You know, Hansel and Gretel just connecting my own dots, you know? When and and it was a really, like I said, it doesn’t have to be through writing. Like, for me, that was my process and more than anything, I just want to encourage people to go through that process, you know, whatever, what however you do it, yeah, yes, I’m going to be writing is not going to be for everyone, you know, for me I was able to like, take my personal subjective experience and then also, like transform it into an archetypal tale. And, and, and, and it helped me almost especially changing the names of the characters as I change the names of my family members. And it’s almost like, like, being able to kind of put it out a distance a little bit helped me, you know, makes make sense. And, and, and be able to, like as a story rather than just my story, I could extract, you know, these themes to help me make sense of my life and the things that had happened rather than feeling and be empowered by it, rather than be disempowered by it. Right. And that is the resolution of trauma, when you go from that state of being disempowered to feeling empowered, you know, and you can bridge that gap. That’s kind of what I’ve been doing since, really, since I was 19. But the the, the writing process, which started in 2017, I think was probably the most transformative thing that I’ve ever done. Besides the SE training, that was pretty great.
You know, going back to this piece of you can’t do it alone, especially when you’re healing, you know, complex PTSD, developmental trauma, all that and having a therapist or having anyone that you can start to trust and rely on and have a consistent relationship with or have even even your editor, these people, part of what causes trauma, right? Is this not having a traumatic experience, and not having somebody a supportive being that then helps you regulate or acknowledges your experience afterwards? And so this is it may be 20 years later, but you got it. You got some?
Right. Yeah. And that’s why like, you know, I, a lot of people who are writing stories, because now I help facilitate these groups that we I just call them whiskey and right, and I always bring in like an editor of some sort, and people bring their beverage now, we’ve been doing it via zoom. But one of the things that where was I going with that? Oh, they people are always on a timeline, you know, it’s like, they have this timeline. And it’s not real. It’s just a cultural construction, because we’re so production oriented, you know, just like even people, what are you working on now? It’s like, dude, honestly, I’m not doing anything. I’m, I’m gonna just birth the book during the podcast, and then I’m gonna sit outside for a really long time. Not work on anything else. But I’m always reminding people to let go of the illusion of the timeline. Because healing doesn’t happen like that. You know, and one of the things that I like one of my big revelations that happened through not just therapy, but I think probably that the wall therapy and se training, but I started to recognize, like, oh, man, my nervous system, in my mind, my body is like this. Also, because I have created these reactions. Like I have created really strong responses to things by continuing to respond that way, over and over and over again, for many, many years. Right? And this was a big hard lesson and wake up call for me that no one else could heal my nervous system. Like when I was because what you know, my PTSD symptoms, like I when I, when I was diagnosed with PTSD, I really started to dig into well, what is this and I started doing all these programs in these trainings and I’m like, oh my god, I have a dysregulated nervous system. And there was something in like, understanding the nervous system that demystified trauma for me, like I just again thought it was this like, thing that came out and in came in and, but when I really understood that I was having a physiological response and that, you know, I kept responding to things this in very specific ways. And then I was strengthening these responses. I’m like, Oh, shit, this therapist can not change my response. I hate that. It’s very hard work. Like I have to get back in the driver’s seat of my car and drive my car again, because I can’t go my whole life not driving a car. I have to learn to interrupt some of these deeply held patterns in my body. When I feel them come up. You know, I have to be it’s me. I have to do it and and I can’t take there’s no pill that someone can give me that really is going to get me better it might sedate me for For a period of time, there’s a need for that sometimes. But really, I got to do this work in myself on my own, but also with people, you get what I’m saying? Absolutely, absolutely. And that was really hard. Very hard. That was a big punch in the gut for me. Like, I’m like, Shit, no one can fix this except for me. Yeah, like,
well, it’s, it’s also so hard for the for the ones who, you know, you didn’t ever get parented. And sometimes you’re the parental FIDE child, right? You’re the one who’s taking care of your parents. And so there can be that part of you that goes like, Ah, I have to take responsibility for myself now, when is it my turn to be cared for? And so taking responsibility for yourself is something that a lot of my clients, it’s like, there’s a turning point when people are willing to do that.
Yeah. Yeah. And it’s interesting, too, because my husband and I, we both come from different, you know, but very crazy, chaotic childhoods, and how that has manifested is very different in both of us like he, I go right into, like, sympathetic, like, you know, but for him, he might, he might be stuck in some freeze responses, like, you know, he kind of got like, like, you can see it, he’s got this link, you know, so we dissociation. Yeah, but for me, because I understand what it is I’m like, okay, I get why, because they had a lot of fighting in his house. And he dealt with it by just being the peacemaker, just, like not agitating it at all. Whereas I was fighting for my life, like, right, physically fighting. And so we have definitely, you know, we’ve got different ways of, of dealing with things. But we always say that he had a relationship. He’s 54, and I’m 39 is we have 15 years between us, but he was married before me for 24 years. And he has two adult children to two men, basically, that are like 30 and 32. And a lot of people ask us, if we’re going to have a kid, and we’re both like, Oh, my God, all we’ve been doing our entire life is taking care of people. And no, we’re we’re just enjoying taking care of ourselves, and taking care of our dog, and getting to be on our own terms, where we’re not basically picking our parents up off the floor, and like, trying to help them get their shit together, which is not the job of a child.
but I think it’s, it’s, we have that awareness now, like, oh, we already we’ve already done that, you know, and I think that’s why because I help raise my little brother to and I think that’s where I feel so complete in that area. Like, I don’t feel this desire. I feel like I want to be a kid. I feel like I want to play. I feel like I want to travel. Like I want to express myself like already. This stuff that so many of my friends are doing now like in their 30s and 40s. Really like taking care and doing that. Like I did that. Right? So I’m in play mode. No, I’m creating myself not not project.
The thing is, is like for some for one person learning how to play is actually their work. Yeah, you know, I have this I have this teacher who’s from the south. She’s, she’s from Texas, and I call her my southern guru. And and she’s like, Charna you know, what you need, you need some heartlessness and I’m, like, you know, being heartless. It’s like, you know, just laughter not giving a book, you know, that kind of image. She wouldn’t say, God, I suck. Really? Right. Let’s put it’s like Phyllis. Yeah, I
love that. Okay, right. And maybe who lives?
Yeah, what is one person’s growing edge is absolutely not another person’s, you know, if someone is, is driven to always be responsible, always take care of someone. And that’s how they came into this world. And that’s how their family made them. Or, you know, reinforced that tendency, then play and homelessness is on the docket, right? That’s next on the list.
Yeah, I that’s like, it’s, it’s kind of my strong suit. Yeah. I really love to have a good time. And but I but I, I will say, and that was always my nature. But in the last five years, more and more, you know, I’m the one like, the first one to like, take off my clothes and jump in the pool. But that is more, it’s more new, you know, that’s newer. But there’s, you need a good balance. But there’s a lot of people that are so frozen in that area. Because again, I think there’s a lot of cultural conditioning like you have to be serious and there’s all these boxes that you have to check off and you need to like go to high school and then you have to like be serious and they have to go to college. You have to be more serious and they have to get a job they have to buy your house and then you have to be your partner and then you have to have your kids and then you have a fucking midlife crisis. Oh, and so people who like rare, rare, rare, rare, rare, rare, rare, rare, I mean, this is why I think we’re kind of collectively traumatized because people aren’t living from their hurts they’re living from this construct that we’ve been taught is the right thing to do. It’s so inauthentic. You know, this is why I think people are just having having meltdowns, but I have a lot of mom friends and they’re, you know, my age are a little bit older now. And it’s like, I’m there reprieve. I am there fun, like, and so it’s been really getting to revisit that peace that’s always been inside of me that now that I have the kind of safety and support that I have in my life, and I’m not in survival mode, and I’m not in financial survival mode enables me to say have even more fun.
Right? Well, and it’s, it sounds like it’s, it’s coming from a different place. Right. So there was a lot of, you know, illegal activity and alcohol use and drug use in your in your family system. And then, and then you followed suit in certain ways. And so to two parts there one, I have a question for you about how you, what set you at what point what was the turning point for you where you’re like, Oh, I actually am going to stop using in this way, and make a different choice. But then just following up with with the play part, just that, that now it’s coming, it might be coming from a more essential part of yourself, or just this this vibrant, natural essence of like, versus a reactive plant? Right. Yeah,
yeah, I think the turning point for me came when I was about and this actually, this scene is actually in the book. But I was about 23. And this boyfriend that I had had, I don’t name him, he doesn’t even get a name. In the book keys. See, it’s just a character. But I’m standing in, he decided he was going to go snowboarding for several weeks in Alaska. And I, what that did was triggered my abandonment wounds. It’s like, oh, I’m not good enough, you know, and so I had all of this displaced, you know, energy and emotions and, and so he left and I pretended like everything is falling on the outside, like, Sure, I’ll watch your house and water your plants and wildlife, that as soon as he left, I just started breaking shit in his house. And so I like through all of his succulents, it was like, I mean, I didn’t really feel better, but I needed an outlet for this shit that was happening inside of me. And anyway, I went in his room and totally thrashed his room, like broke his drum set, and like, you know, just did something really crazy. And I was standing in the middle afterwards, like, looking around at my destruction, realizing well, and I had, I had no idea why I even did it. And that was the turning point for me is like, I am out of control. This is, there has been a lot of rock bottoms. But for some reason that was at the rock bottom that I was like, I need to change everything. And so I moved to Costa Rica. And that whole process, you know, is in the is in the book. And I needed to get so far away from where I came from, to discover who I was, like, I needed to get away from all of these belief systems, the identity that I had formed around myself around my family name, like I needed to get away from that and become something totally different. And it was crazy, because in that transition, and through that travel, I’m just like, I can be whatever I want to be what I could just take this identity off. And like, I mean, it was a deep identity. But that’s what I saw as because when I moved I kind of like, reinvented myself as like this yoga guru teacher, and I was in Costa Rica. And people believed it. And with them, believing it, it made me and then reinforcing it in me every day treating me like this person that I really wanted to be, but didn’t quite feel like but wanted to be and aspired to be. All of these people that I met helped me rebuild my identity, or let go of this old idea, this old paradigm and structure of me so I could become what I really needed to become. And so sometimes, like, I had to let go of the old and and for me, I, I needed to extract myself completely from the environment and put myself in a new environment. And I think that is what is so hard for people. That’s right, it totally change environments because we’re so comfortable in the ways that we’re comfortable. You know, and to quit my job and sell all my things and move to a foreign country and, but it allows we’re all building each other kind of all the time. And that really allowed me to strip myself of this old identity and let people see You need, like make up their own mind about what I was without all of the things that had been said about me in the past. That’s a 3000. Ah,
that’s one of the things. There’s there’s a part in the book. Well, so just to give a little context, there’s a theme of, you know, secret keeping and lying. And, and one of the scenes that was so painful was when mom confronts you around a story that she’s heard in town about you losing your virginity, right? Yeah. And that it was actually an assault in your 12 year old girl. Yeah. And then this whole narrative is created in town about who you are. And I just think it’s so important what you’re saying about we build people up, we also break people down with our perceptions, especially when people are kids, they’re so impressionable in terms of who you think they’re going to be. And you decide that about someone. And then they live into that, you know, and so, how little she saw of you and how, how little care there was around that whole incident was really painful.
Well, that’s why that incident even happened in the first place, is because when you are raised the way that I was raised, and you feel unworthy, and unlovable, and basically, those belief systems are reinforced in all these different areas, you put yourself in really precarious situations that reinforce that you don’t really care about yourself, and then you don’t know how to assert boundaries were and I thought, because I think that maybe this narrative is being dismantled a little bit now. But at that time, I think there was this, you know, narrative around, if you’re going to put yourself out there like this. You deserve it. And so in that situation, I felt like I deserved it. Right. And so I allowed it. And I tried to speak up. But because I hadn’t been taught to love myself, I just allowed the assault to continue. And sorry, this is the first time I’ve talked about this. Yeah, yeah. Take your time on a podcast. But that was a big turning point for me. Because after
all, that was like, solidifying
that I wasn’t worth anything. Yeah, that I wasn’t worth being listened to, you know, because I wasn’t I just wasn’t taught, you know, I just I really did, I thought I deserved it. And then my mom afterwards basically, like, you know, invalidated me and, and that was, after that, I was like, Well, I’m a piece of shit. And so I continued to live like that and choose choices that reflected that that was how I felt about myself, you know, in that, I would say, that was like, the turning point, you know, a really pivotal turning point for me, where I wasn’t a kid anymore after that, you know, because I had so much self shame, and not self shame. overflowed into really every aspect of my life, you know, who I would date what school I chose to go to what I decided I was worth, what kind of jobs I would take every relationship friendship, intimate relationship like that. That eight minutes in the backseat, you know, changed my whole life. Really? Yeah. You know, and that, that shame. And self loathing was really what I have been trying to spend the last, you know, 20 years dismantling. Right.
It’s, there’s a, there’s a level of really raw honesty around, you know, humiliation of themes of humiliation, shame and belonging that you speak to and that don’t just, you know, they don’t just belong to you, right? You really get it like there’s a powerful moment when dad goes back to prison. Yeah, and well, so my father also spent a lot of my life in prison and, and there can be this blaming, self blame, or like, if I was if I was just this, then maybe he would have made a different choice. And then there’s this moment where you recognize Oh, that him being here. Being in prison has isn’t about me. Yeah, this is his own journey. And, and maybe this is actually he has a sense of belonging here that yeah, or else, you know,
I mean, it’s kind of like a disturbing thought, but you know, like, but he had spent so many of his years in prison and, you know, recognizing that not everything is about you is one of the most liberating revelations that we can have in our entire life. And, and that was like a big revelation. I had multiple times through writing this book, you know, about my mother and about my father. And you know, I say it in the scene, where my mom gets cancer, and you know, she’s like, just having this realization, like, Oh, my God, this person could die. They’re a human being, holy shit. I always just thought it was about me, why don’t you love me? Why do you remember I remember and letting myself like, off the hook from that, and that everyone is just kind of going through their whole, you know, just their their own process is very liberating. You know, and I think the whole story, you know, every, every piece of my story, I think is important to share. Even though it is hard, even though eight minutes in the backseat is going to make some people so uncomfortable, that they are escaping in their skin. Because it’s already happened, I have a friend. And she, after that was like, I just can’t keep reading this. And we had a whole conversation around it. And she realized, like, she has never really been through much. She lost for a teen, she married that person. And I, you know, when I left her, I said, Well, maybe you just need to toughen up, and be able to handle other people’s experiences. Because, you know, like, things have happened to people. And if you can’t hold the space for someone like, for me, I can hold the space for anyone for anything, because I’ve been through it in some way, shape, or form, maybe the situation is different. But the emotionality is the same. And she wrote me this, like long email later on. And I guess after I walked away, she just realized that her own, you know, naivete, and an unwillingness to be uncomfortable was actually keeping her separate from a lot of people and probably perpetuating her own judgement of people, because she didn’t really understand the situation, because she never wanted to hear the stories and really see it from a bigger perspective. You know, it’s interesting, because I knew she would end up coming around to that. But I think telling these stories, because these are hard stories to tell, you know, this book is not going to be for everyone. Yeah, I’ve already had a few people, like, why would you want to recount that? Like, I don’t know why you would, why don’t want to do it. But so many people have been through in some way, shape, or form, what I’ve been through, and just sharing my story, I think is it’s validating people like, Oh, my God, I’m not alone in this, you know, and, and connecting, connecting me and connecting them versus keeping us separate and isolated, which really just perpetuates our own nervous system dysfunction, you know, right.
And you just, you’ve talked about connection and separation multiple times in the book, but also in this in our dialogue. And, you know, I’m thinking about not only the connection among trauma survivors, but also the connection and lack of separation, when when we’re when we’re blaming someone, when we’re judging someone, when we are unwilling to forgive someone, all of that, you know, that creates separation. And you have landed, or intentionally carved out a path of more spiritual connection. And that’s how I hear it when we you know, it’s inherent, like you get more connected inside yourself and you feel more connected out. And then you realize that there is a separation, right? It’s constructed through all these different beliefs and perceptions. Yes,
yes. Yeah. And and then it’s a lie.
Yeah. And it’s it there has to be so much healing often to land in that place of connection versus separation. Yeah. And that that’s what I see this book being about it’s like that’s, you know, a spiritual underworld here yesterday. Yeah. God, I
love that. Yeah. I mean, it’s so true. And I just that like that right. There is the reason why, like my friend, not wanting to read it because she didn’t want to experience what’s uncomfortable. And that right there is probably preventing her from connecting deeper with So many people, including her own mother, I guess her mom had been assaulted. And, and her mom wrote about it. And she was really upset that her mom wrote about it, and she never wanted to read it. And like that is, you know, I, I can understand that. But I don’t know, for me personally, I think it’s really powerful that you could tell me the most vile, hideous story. And I can carry it, right? Because I’ve been there.
Well, and it’s in this is the thing, and this is what we see time and time again, if if someone doesn’t have the capacity to be with a certain emotion, or just general physiological discomfort, then they don’t have the capacity, they can’t be their own, they can’t be with yours. Right. And so it immediately gets shut down. And then what happens is it gets shut down and gets like, you know, stored in the body, only to come out as ulcers, cancer, blah, blah, blah, later, you know,
this thinking this really holistic thinking about the things that happened to us what we store what we refused a process and how it, you know, manifests in the body a sickness, disease illness, it’s what’s killing us, and I wish for humanity, that this becomes more of a popular opinion, versus an unpopular opinion. Yeah. So people will have a desire to reach inside themselves and yank out the truth.
What I’ll share with you one of one of the books that I’m working on, that’s, those are on pause right now, as I work on this podcast, but my burning bush that, you know, I you know, it’s about how my body forced me on to onto spiritual path. Right. And that’s, that’s how often how we learn, like, we tolerate what’s physically going on for us. And then suddenly, we find ourselves, you know, awakening in different ways. There. There are a couple more questions that I want to get to before we, we wrap up, but so there was there’s a theme in the book around, you know, addiction, right. So for you, there were there was there’s drugs or alcohol. There was men, and there was yoga. Yeah. And so it’s important, right? Where’s the impulse to do something coming from? Because like, you could be like, I have a drug practice. Compulsive, you know, dating unavailable men practice? Yeah. It’s like, what’s the difference between a compulsion? You know, it’s compulsive, automatic behavior, and a practice?
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, for me, I think a lot of my behaviors were birthed out of all what we were just talking about, and inability to tolerate my reality. And I was so uncomfortable and hadn’t done the work around really understanding my experience. And so I partied or I, you know, dated, and slept with, you know, all sorts of different men, because it was just like entertainment. They kept me from myself. And it was an activity that was basically distracting me. And yoga was kind of the same thing. And, you know, initially, yes, yeah. Yeah, it’s different now, because I have such a different connection to my body. But it just made me curious. You know, I was like, Okay, this is I don’t know what the fuck is going on right now?
Well, just that I think what you just said is, is the piece, right? It’s, well, when it’s coming from a genuine impulse from my body when I’m more connected to myself, and then the desire to do yoga comes from that, versus coming from distraction, not wanting to feel the association, right. Yeah.
I mean, that was all there too. You know, and I think a lot of people, that is why they end up doing yoga, and they do it, that’s why they do it so hard. That’s why they do it in the heat. That’s where they beat the shit out of their bodies is they’re almost like, replaying kind of some of the other stuff that they’ve got going on, but they’re just doing it in the yoga room. And when I when my practice, the game changer is when my practice went from like being distractive exercise to a self inquiry, like almost like Vini yoga, where my whole beginning the beginning of my practice, is really about feeling and and what is happening in my body. And then having that connection to what’s happening in my body and then knowing how and what practices to use to meet what I need. And that’s when I really started to, like get to know myself, you know, but I had to go through that whole evolution. You know, I had to go Like the classes I used to take, oh my gosh, I mean, no wonder I was injured I was so injured. I mean, this shit I was doing I don’t even understand. It’s crazy and like people, it the yoga room for a lot of people ends up just being a place where they end up just re traumatizing themselves. Whether it’s the hierarchy of the teacher, student teacher toxic relationships that are really damaging, and yoga people oh my god, I mean, yoga teachers really just like play it up to their advantage that like, I am the guru. And for me, I think the reason why I’ve been so successful as a yoga teacher is because I’m like, Okay, what’s up people? What’s up, like, I’m just on the same page, there’s no hierarchy. It’s like, this is what I’m going through in my life right now. And I’m just a human being. And I’m going to share this with you. And I don’t know if this is relevant for you. But this is what I’m doing for myself. And I’m just going to share it with you.
Yeah. Right. More More humanity. Less less power dynamics. Yeah, I
had this one teacher and she’s like, let’s perform that again. I was like, Whoa, yeah, what we’re doing here, we’re performing things. But I did that four years. I mean, God, I did that sexually. I did. Like, I’m only I’m only undoing my sexual performance right now. Nine years into my relationship, still undoing the eight minutes in the backseat of the car. Still? Yeah,
yeah. Well, of course. I mean, that’s what’s so heartbreaking it and is this piece about how little people get it, unless they directly experienced it, how little people get the impact of sexual assault, and how it it does, it infuses and impacts all aspects of your being very often. Yeah, unless you have, you know, extreme capacity to compartmentalize and dissociate from the experiences, right? And even then, yeah, for a long time. But at some point, you know, I mean, I’ve had clients, I, I’m thinking of someone in particular who she came to me, she had taken on her siblings assault, while her siblings seem to be doing fine. And she felt so much shame about how it was impacting her mental health, and her physical health, and her relationship, and her sexuality. And it just didn’t, you know, so being the witness of something, the vicarious trauma that can be created, my My thing is very much about wanting to help dominant culture, understand the nervous system and trauma and, and build more empathy and compassion for the impact that it has right along those lines, that just kind of a quick turn, but along the lines of, of sexuality and sexual freedom, you know, you grew up with no rules and restriction, right, so and then the ability to be like, I’m gonna have sex with this person, or that person, one person might look at that as like, Oh, wow. She’s really sexually free. No, right? That I want to know, what is sexual freedom to you? Poof.
Like I was saying earlier, I think what I did most of my life was a sexual performance, right, you know, in sexual freedom. I think translates more to my pleasure. And, I mean, that is literally something I’m just discovered now. So we’re gonna have to, like continue this conversation, like in a year when I, you know, because literally, for years, like I didn’t really enjoy sex that much, you know, because it was, I mean, we’re, it’s reinforced in so many ways, whether it’s through porn, or through, you know, the scenes that we see play out, in, you know, the movies in Hollywood, the dominant mainstream narratives, it’s like, it’s really all about the man. And that was also why I was in the backseat of the car, you know? And so, breaking out of that, like, now I have someone who I know, his desire would be for me to be more sexually expressed and comfortable. And so I’m working on that, you know, but it really takes safety. Yes. And this the safety that I’m feeling now is enabling me to make sex more about me. And, and, and for it to be real, and there to be like, real feelings rather than like doing a performance where one person feels good, but the other dozen, but I don’t even know if that’s even possible, because if one person doesn’t feel good and the other one that I just because we’re co regulating each other, we mean there’s got to be sometimes I look back and I’m like, didn’t that person realized how in authentic that was like, I don’t know. No. Yeah.
Well, I mean, that’s that’s the thing, right? Is that what what’s very frustrating is there’s so much focus on. Yes, women have to learn it. Of course, I want to recognize that it’s not just women who got sexually assaulted, there are men who are sexually assaulted as well. But very, you know, we’ve looked at like, stereotypical gender delineation of these things that, yes, there needs to be the ability to tune in and have boundaries and know what feels good and what doesn’t. But there also needs to be the attunement, and the feeling like if more men or, or offenders could feel their own bodies, and were trained to track because, you know, women are more conditioned to attune and track than men are, then there would be that right. It’s hard to believe as someone who may be very vigilant or are able to track and feel other people’s nervous systems, that there could be someone who’d had sex with you. If they’re only focused if they’re not connected if their heart and their genitals are not connected. Yeah, right. If they’re just focused on, I am focused on this part of my body feeling good, and I don’t care how it happens. You know, that’s, and there’s a drive hormones are a real thing, the more testosterone in the body and the drive to fuck is a real thing. So there’s that. But yeah, yeah, I mean, I an ideal way that when you are really feeling and connected to yourself, I mean, you can feel what you’re doing to another person’s body, and you get even more pleasure. So you’d think that that would be the selling point for men to get more tuned?
Yeah, yeah, well, luckily, I have a very attuned partner for you. And I feel like that, like, our sexual journey together is really shifting now, you know, because that’s how long it takes, you know, for someone like me to develop, you know, safety and trust. And, you know, to really, because it’s so vulnerable, you know, totally, like, open up in that way. I know, I can do it with him. Doesn’t mean I’m doing it, but I am going to try.
Yeah. Yeah, good, I’m happy to hear that. And it’s really, it’s sometimes until you have a partner in your life that you feel super safe with suddenly, all that the really vulnerable, scary material can sometimes surface to be felt, because you’re finally safe enough to feel it. Right.
And that’s what I mean, that is what has enabled me, I think, to do so much work in the last nine years, is because I finally, am safe enough to do it. You know, before I was just like, you know, like, if I would feel anything, I don’t know, it could have driven me to do some really destructive shit. So I just kept on my path of destruction. Right, and so I didn’t anymore.
And so now not being on this path of destruction and self sabotage. Instead, choosing choosing to be in your body and choosing vulnerability, which reading this book was such a vulnerable act coming out in all these ways, being all parts of you being seen, right. And being very naked, I always end the show with, with practice. Yeah, whether it’s by me or my guest. And I’m wondering if there’s any practice that comes to mind that’s made a really big difference for you. It could be the breath practice could be a physical practice, but something that you would like to share and be like a five minute practice. It could be Yeah, I want it to be
Yeah, well, I there’s two that are really in these were such game changers for me, especially when dealing I had been in this car accident and then I couldn’t I like Miss terrified to drive a car. And this was one of the practices that I would do to get me back in my body and help siphon some of that, you know, really activated energy that was happening basically in this zone, but kind of siphon it down so I can feel Yeah, my legs and you know, feel my pelvis. But so if you take your hands on this, and you make a little diamond shape, yeah, place your thumbs right below your navel and your fingers are kind of just crested over your pubic bone. And then usually I’ll do like this is just this very physical force, full breath, but I breathe just right into my hands for like an eight second count or any sometimes if you’re really activated, it’s too hard to breathe for eight seconds. You know, you can just do four seconds or five seconds, but you just only breathe below your diaphragm which is so hard because that’s really below the Lower lobes of the lungs. And so it’s almost like you’re inflating the lowest lobes of the lungs and then then inflating the pelvis like a balloon, and it is so physical, it forces you to focus on the physicality of it versus all the activation, you know, the kind of Symphony that’s happening in your upper body. So it’s very, it’s a very grounding practice. And obviously breathing kind of like that block breathing, same inhale, same exhale shifts your physiological state to and triggers your parasympathetic nervous system. Another thing that I do often is home humming, same thing toning your vagus nerve triggers your parasympathetic nervous system also increases the secretion or production of nitrous oxide, which also triggers your parasympathetic nervous system. So like, all do, like just sighing humming, huh? And I feel a really big difference. Yeah, exactly. And then the other one is what you’ll just doing, shake that shit out, shake it off, like Taylor Swift. So I’ll usually do like before, because I always get nervous before any interviewer talk, even though I wrote this book and have thought about it in 5 Million Ways, still, you know, and I’ll jump around for one or two minutes, and just shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake. And then I’ll stop. And literally just feel the energy ground like back down into my feet. So I can feel myself connected to the earth. Because that activation up here also is very similar to what we feel when we go into a trauma response. And so it can be really scary and oftentimes sets people off into like a panic attack, right. And so what I like to do when I start to get into that, like, heightened kind of, I just pull the energy down, I slow it all down, slow my breath down, or do a little bit of harming feel my legs. And, and it works. I mean, it’s just so simple, you know, and like, this is the stuff early on in my yoga yoga career that I thought was total bullshit, because I didn’t have the capacity to be to feel it to be present for it. There was too much chaos going on inside. But now I’m like, Oh, my God, this shit works, right? You’re
like, just making a particular sound. Yeah. And how you can feel the quality of what happens your body in a different way. And it’s, you know, more and more I have clients that are, you know, there’s, you know, there are people who are more hyper aroused, and who might feel everything in their bodies, and they’re people who are more hypo aroused, and might be more numb and slow in their body or more, their systems are more dense. And it’s what’s beautiful. There are a lot of people who are numb are finding me, which means that they’re wanting to feel that there’s a willingness to feel as such good news, right. Yeah.
I think that there’s that’s kind of the most misunderstood response is the freeze response. And I think, you know, we talk so much about like fight or flight fight or flight fight or flight sympathetic, sympathetic, sympathetic, but there’s this whole other thing that is going on on the other side, and it’s even deeper, I actually have this response, dorsal vagal immobilization. And that’s kind of been my area of study. And at some point, I don’t know, maybe I’ll write a book about it or do a course on it or because I’ve been having this immobility response since the hell down at four years old. And so I have a different level of under a doctor would call it vasovagal syncope, but that’s not what it is. I mean, sure, you can call it that. But it’s really dorsal vagal immobility, it’s literally your body collapsing you to protect you from your imminent death. What could be your imminent death, right. So fascinating. But I think that the, the deep freeze responses, which are parasympathetic responses are the most misunderstood. Like what I see in people is that most people have a freeze response, you know, or dissociative response or because we’ve been so culturally conditioned to just be like, so that’s why when I saw that woman dancing, she was so expressed, I was like, I thought it was so beautiful, because so many people aren’t. You know, and it’s fascinating to know what I know about the nervous system now and to watch where people go, because I know it. I’m like, Oh, by there, okay. That’s what like watching it happened to my husband. I got upset about something. And we rarely fight but I yelled, and he froze. And then he went, like I could see it. He went to like shame. Yes. And, and then I, because I knew what that response was. I was able to shift out of my response and work with him.
Yeah, that is that part is so important because so often you’ll be working with a couple, and one person is going, they’re just going blah, blah, blah, and I’ll watch, and I’ll watch the other their partners, I’m watching their partner’s reaction while they’re saying whatever they’re saying or doing what they do. And if you’re not actually looking at the person, if you’re just looking off into space and ranting, you’re not taking in the impact. And you don’t even see that none of it, what you’re saying that you think is so important is actually getting in. And so the fact that you’re able to do that is so beautiful. Yeah. Because you could immediately course, correct, yeah. And feel him in his nervous system and feel the impact of that moment, which most people would wouldn’t be mindful of. Because it’s just happening, right?
I think that, that my understanding of the nervous system now is like, it’s just helping me so much, and so many different dynamics and relationships, because I can just see, you know, whether it’s like watching someone’s skin tone change, or watching their pulse, or what happens to their eyes, or, you know, earlier, I was talking to someone and I said something, and she said, Yes, but she went like this.
Okay, here we go, you know, I mean, not realize that really, you know, in story follow state, and until you’re changing your state, things don’t really change, you just keep kind of following, you know, the same. I feel like the nervous system is basically dictating everything. So, our choices are, but we don’t realize it because we’re so not educated. And so I do feel like that will be something that I do in the future advocate for, you know, some sort of like mental health nervous system class being taught early on in schools. Yeah, I mean, it’s just so important. And I feel like if we had this information young, and we had any understanding of what was happening, because it is so simple to like you said course correct. You just aren’t taught these things. Instead, take a pill instead, drink the alcohol instead, you know, so,
yeah, yeah. I’m curious if there’s anything else that you want to share? I’m so glad to hear that. You’re just going to be resting. And if there are any, I know you’re doing anatomy of trauma, education. Are there any classes or anything that you that that are up and coming that you want to share? Or do you have any social media links that you want to share with us?
Yeah, so people can find me on my website, Lauren, Dolly duke.com, Dolly is D O L L, i e, the book people can find and kind of any, you know, major book retailer, Barnes and Nobles, Amazon target all the things, good thing to do to I think is go to your local bookstore and ask them to order the book. My social media is Dali, Duke, 83, B, O L, L, I, E, duke 83. So I still am teaching yoga, and I use my yoga classes really are like a workshop. I haven’t been teaching that much. But I’m gonna get back to it. And that is really where like, each class is basically a nervous system workshop. Like, I use yoga as a portal to educate people on the nervous system. And I realized even just in talking to you through this conversation, like, this is really where I shine. You know, this is my area that I feel so strong and passionate about that. Like, it’s so in me, it’s so easy to talk about it. So I’m like, Okay, I this really is probably going to be my next piece. It’s just focusing on, you know, the nervous system education, because I do first and foremost, I consider myself like an educator.
Beautiful. Yeah. So good to get to meet you.
Yeah, this is my favorite conversation. So thank you, you have such a nice presence. It’s so nice to talk to you. And you know, like today, I was like, Oh my God, I know their conversation. And then I got I was like, Oh, it’s you. Cool. Good talk to you.
You know, what’s funny is I’ve really enjoyed people, right? And so getting to drop in with someone for an hour because I’m a therapist. It’s such a weird thing to do a one off. But yeah, anyways, if I ever get to Encinitas, I would love to take your yoga class and the goods. Yeah,
my studio is in Encinitas. But I live in Ojai now. So I teach you how to beat through light and space yoga. Yeah. And I’ll update my website soon. And you know, share with people where I’m teaching and but for now, we’re just chilling, chilling.
Yeah. All right. Thank you so much. You’re
so welcome. It was lovely to meet you. This has been laid open podcast with your host Charna caselle. Please join us again next week. If the show feels beneficial, we’d love if you please rate and review it and share with your friends so others can find us. If you have any additional questions around sex and trauma. You can submit them at Charna cosell.com. Follow me at laid open podcast on Insta to Graham on Facebook and read more about my work at passionate life.org Until next time