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From The Mixed Up Files of Sara J. Benincasa

For our penultimate episode of Season 3, we welcome author, actress, comedian, and mental health advocate, Sara Benincasa. She’s the author of four books, “Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom,” which explores her journey with anxiety, depression, and agoraphobia. You may also have seen her on the hit drama “Law & Order: SVU.” Sara and I sit down to talk about the importance of therapy and all the different ways we heal. Plush, we explore generational trauma, substance abuse, and watching your parents do their own work. We end this episode with a great little exercise led by Sara.

Show Notes Welcome back slid up in podcast I've launched a Patreon for my podcast and if you feel you receive value from these episodes, you can also get additional bonus exclusive content such as meditations in depth exercises and behind the scenes info about the interviews and my personal life. All of that and more is T ar e o n dot c om backslash la IDOPENPODC a s t by supporting us on Patreon you're not only contributing to the creation of this podcast will also provide the support needed for me to work on my book, workshops, online courses and additional free content. Today's guest is Sarah Benincasa. She's an author and actress and comedian born and raised in New Jersey and I'm so excited to get to have this conversation welcome Sarah life is about to start trauma extension is the deciders calm Hi. I made it through the holidays. made it happen. Thank you so much for having me. I was just listening to your episode with Julia Logan was really fun. And I didn't get to hear all of it yet. But I really liked her. And I really liked her approach to astrology and just I really, we I love your speaking voice. And I love her speaking voice too. So it was just really pleasant to listen. It's it's remarkable what a difference that can make. Thank you for saying that. All of that I was talking with a client yesterday about this evolution of sensitivity. You know that like being in public spaces being, you know, at a restaurant and noise. And for me even speaking to someone on the phone, who uses your earbuds pick up every single sound and I'm like, Are you chewing on gravel? What is happening? Like, my whole body is like, I feel like I have these bionic ears. And so the fact that my voice could be pleasant to listen to makes me really happy. You're You are most welcome. And yeah, the sensitivity to sound is really interesting. I have one of my nephews is autistic, and he's five years old. And she is mom's a special education teacher for pre K. So she is uniquely suited to serve his needs in various ways. And so many parents become advocates for their children and have to educate themselves on the fly. And she has the good experience of being on sort of both sides of the table during putting together a child's IEP and, and their educational plan. And he has really high sensitivity to certain sounds. And it's interesting, because I think that my, my dad does as well. And I, at some point developed as some sort of coping strategy. Just like if I'm sitting at a restaurant, and somebody drops something really loud, right? So because a friend will jump because it's an understandable response to have right loud noise jumping, and I will lock in even deeper to my friend and just not react, which is not great. It's something it's it is like don't react, Everything's fine. Everything's normal. And it's very though Cooper hasn't been like, how did that not startle you? And I just say it did. I just pretended it didn't. I wonder if you don't worry about it. Like, okay, I love that example. Because it says so much like that. If that was shared in a therapy session in a movie. It would you just get such a good flavor for a character pretty instantly. It's pretty textbook. Yeah, I think all I always sort of laugh about. I think that when I dream, it's very, I've been listening again to Carl Jung's memoir, which he didn't write himself like his secretary did but he you know, obviously, so into dream analysis and one of these things being of course, that was his jam. And so many people have such fascinating people who are really grounded in that union analysis and the near Union analysis things that's very fascinating to me. But I do think that my dreams are very simple. It's like, Okay, Sarah, you can fly if you believe. And then when you start to doubt yourself, you can't fly anymore. That's the recurring dream. There's not a lot of subject is this. You pretty good. That's hopefully you're believing because dream flying is one of the most fantastic experiences in dreams. I mean, I wish my listeners could see me I raised my eyebrows and I lift up, I just intend my energy to go up. And it's like the goofy. You know, I don't know what is Tinkerbell? Like, Jake. I like leaving in yourself. Yeah, perpetual. I just, I energetically intend energy follows intention, which is a key principle, and it works. So well. Yeah. Yeah. You changed your Chester and your energy and eyes open wider. And it looks like, yeah, it's a hype. It looks like a hyper arousal response, you know, a freeze response back to the image of you sitting at the table. It's like you had a totally contained freeze response. Right. Everything was happening internally, there's a lot of activity, which no one could necessarily see. And you look like you have this placid effect. Yeah, it's very disconcerting. Sometimes, when we see as they're not familiar with it, because I see it. I mean, I write we tend to walk, I think you react in similar ways. So I'll notice that somebody when they are the same way, and it just it really tells you a lot about how somebody learned to survive, or how they felt they needed to behave to survive what they do, what perhaps what the values were, that the proceeds coming from adults around them, what I picture and there's a quote that I wanted to read from something you wrote, I'm not sure where I found it, but I'm going to make sure everyone else is okay by remaining calm and not having a reaction, right? Like, I'm going to take care of the rest of the restaurant. And my friend, by not reacting. Right? It is very much like when you're with a child and they fall down, and they're reaching out. But also, I don't want to say this solely your okay, because maybe they're out, okay, what I want to do is just be very calm and breath in. How are you doing and check in and sometimes they often meet each other's energy. So sometimes I think, right, like, just as I heard recently, that in some situations where people are predisposed to it anyway, mania can be contagious, or depression can be contagious. These different things if you're predisposed to it. And I don't know to what extent that's true. But calmness can be contagious, I think. Well, it's there's a pure and bear ba IR, who's a Sufi meditation teacher has few books that are that I've read that I think are really worth reading. And I think Living from the heart is one and the other is energize your heart. And in energize your heart, one of the things he talks about that's interesting is the strongest heart rate variability in the room is going to impact and control so to speak, the rest of the room. And so, you know, when we talk about someone having good energy, like we're feeling from their heart, there's this energy that emits that's like, kind of like you're, some people would call the aura, or a field around you. And and so, you know, when someone is really anxious, it's like, oh, you feel their anxiety or when someone is deeply grounded in calm. Similar thing. And people often want to be around that person. I can earliest I do. Exactly. And I suppose that aside from the, the kind of instinctive response, I have to just stay. Aside from that response, maybe it's a learned response or something I imitated and that just became muscle memory, but separate from that. I love being around people just seem like they're very comfortable in their own skin. And they seem like they're very, maybe maybe we would call it embodied, just very much in touch with their mind, their body, their soul and not. They're not performing for me, because when I'm doing that thing, that instinctive thing, yeah, I am performing a bit because I am jarred by the sound but do stay calm. That won't help other people. Other people don't give a shit. Well, it's interesting because it bleeds into so many questions that I have for you around, you know, balancing this history of anxiety, and depression and agoraphobia and panic attacks, like all these things that that would typically you might picture someone dealing with all of that and be more like a hermit crab. And yet you have a very public persona, right? doing stand up is probably a lot of people's biggest nightmare to have the pressure to stand on a stage and be funny. Like, I think I'm a pretty funny person, but on the spot and performing anxiety, like, oh my god, like if I was good, if I'm thinking what you know, I have anxiety, what am I gonna go do? Do I want to go do some stuff? Like that's, you know, the antithesis of what would suit my jittery heart. And so I see how you've honed it into a skill, right? Like, I mean, I don't know if that's how you see it. But I could see the connection there. Given that one little anecdote. Yeah, I think I was drawn to stand up comedy, because I wanted to get my writing on stage. I wanted to get my writing in front of people, I wanted people to care about what I wrote. And nobody, when I was in graduate school for education, you know, people, my students cared about what I taught, or they didn't as, as the case may be my colleagues in the graduate program at Teachers College, which was wonderful school up at Columbia, they were awesome people that we were there to learn how to teach. And we were there how to teach. We were there to teach, to share our stories to get our certification. And we weren't there to like, share our writing with one another, even those of us who were focused on creative writing as teachers or perhaps as the as our gig. And so stand up was a way I wasn't getting published anywhere I was trying and standup was a way to set myself apart. And what I found the emotional component of it was that it gave me more confidence. Certainly an ego hit when they laugh. That's a huge, wonderful feeling when the audience laughs. But there are plenty of times we'll be on Instagram lap, and you bomb. And I kept doing it for years, because it ended up bringing me things career wise. But it was also fun. It was fun, because I got to plan what I wanted to say. So I had some control. I couldn't control what the audience did, but I could control what I gave them. And it was relatively predictable in terms of here's the stage, here are the lights. Here's, you know, there was a structure to it that I appreciated. And I found by contrast, I found improv comedy to be terrifying. I think I took like half a class and looks like I'm done. Because depending on other people that to me is more intimate. Depending on other people and improv comedians, a lot of times will say, Oh, God, den of sounds terrible. With improv, you've got a team and the scene start to fall flat, somebody else helps with it back up. And so for me stand up was a way of First of all, creating a persona that was more palatable than the real me inside to myself. And second of all, it had to do with you know, I think I started backing away from stand up once my writing started going into the world. And once I started going deeper into self exploration and eventually therapy, because stand up can be therapeutic. does not, does not replay. I mean, it's so funny, because I know we're speaking to each other for an audience, but I'm also sort of laughing, saying, Okay, I'm saying to a therapist, like Yeah, of course, char knows your art doesn't replace the work of therapy in session. Well, it's and you probably don't know this about me, but I used to do monologue and I did a one woman show, oh, man years ago, right. Like, this is I joke that grad school killed my creativity just took all my time and energy, you know, and so I did a one woman show about healing, you know, through somatic working in good vibrations, the Boundary Crossings. Oh, yeah. Oh, my gosh. So the boundary crossing. So what happened with what not they're not my patients or my clients, customers, and how that sparked memories from childhood. And so I would go back and forth in time. And so it was about healing. And my art the audience, some people said they had the experience of healing through the process that like their own healing, and so yes, art 100% Watching a film, going to an art gallery, all of that can absolutely be therapeutic, making art hugely therapeutic. And I think the difference is, and I love the way you described being on stage and having the lights and the stage and having that structure. There's You know, going to a therapist, there's, there's a container. Yeah, right. There's the room itself. There's the couch, that, you know, people get really attached to the couch, or they're sitting on or that piece of art and you know, your chair being exactly where it always is. And some people call it out if it changes at all. And even like, how you dress like there are all these things that create consistency and stability that we lacked in our own families growing up. And so having a container in a physical form, in a body or a room, helps people feel held. That's so beautiful I hadn't ever heard that was really analogous to when I was in, or when I was teaching in the southwest. And when a teacher would be absent, the students would be really wrong. Especially if it was I noticed, especially if it was one of our men teachers. Especially with our younger, you know, our students, the boys, particularly I remember a few students who either didn't have a dad at home, or dad was in and out of the picture. I remember I was young I was maybe 2425. And I remember this profound experience of realizing how bro and tough kid like taught like former gangbanger kids who had done time in juvie, that was not all by students, but it was the students who had it. You know, the students whose parents came home the same time every night weren't, didn't seem particularly thrown. But and not all of the students who came from a less stable home life were this way, but I noticed it with a few of them. Some of the most like obstreperous, prone to, you know, prone to challenge kids were the most rode when the younger man teacher wasn't there, or when the older man teacher who they look, that with unusual respect, wasn't there. And then it makes me think about how I noticed when I'm doing therapy on Zoom, and my therapist who I've worked with for 324 years now, for years, how I noticed the artwork on the wall, I noticed what t shirt she's wearing, I noticed how her hair is done. Like I noticed those in different PC. What's fascinating about that, I've had a client who would notice, he's like, You moved your chair. And I'm like, huh, and I so the first time this happened, it really stayed with me because there's a pattern on the carpet. And he's like, Well, because I normally notice there's this much pattern in front of the legs of your chair. And he was someone that I really worked with in terms of proximity, and you know, leveling the playing field and power dynamics are really important to him. And so, I would do work sitting next to him, like things shifted in our, in his ability to trust me, because he had a lot of projection on you know, authority figures and women, not positive authority, you know, projections. And so once I became more real, he was somewhat I really learned being more transparent about my personal life really made a difference in creating trust and safety, as well as sitting next to him. You know, some space but still, versus across can be very intimidating or confrontational for some people. Especially they have experiences with art such as I just thought thought of two things at one. I thought of two professional experiences. This is so random, they both popped in at the same time. I feel like this whole conversation is I love it. I have all these questions that I like carefully crafted. And I'm like, let's talk about random things, all these random things coming up in my head. So this is our Rando connection. I love it. I will I'm thinking of when I sat across from the school director, when I was in trouble, that's not for anything scary or horrifying. Thank God, but when I was a teacher, and I had just made a mistake, and she was pissed at me, and she was, you know, like professionally coaching me strongly in with very strong words like really him basically handing my asked me it was not like a violation with a student or anything like that. It was just I had fucked up curriculum wise with something. And so thank you for that. And then I was thinking of one I did an episode on lawn Order Special Victims Unit last year, and they have an interrogation set that's set like they have some sets that are just stable that are always there. And so we were in the interrogation room where like character who's an attorney is like finding out finding out after coming in with a lot of attitude and drive Actually none of the characters played by Peters Kennedy nor Mariska Hargitay who are always right. And my character does not realize that they're always right because she is a criminal defense attorney and doesn't know that she's on a TV show called SVU, where she's gonna lose always. And so she comes in with a lot of bravado and attitude. And then she and her clients sit down. And she finds out that her client is a very bad man. And I'm thinking of the interrogation room that which is just the very like, in any procedural you've got that interrogation room, right. And then you see it sometimes sometimes on real footage from real interrogation rooms. And then you think about the idea of the high school principal and the teacher. I'm also thinking of a scene I just rewatched that I love, which is the show Flatbush misdemeanors, which I loved. And it's Yamaneika Saunders and Dan Perlman are on one side. And then this panel of evaluators is on the other side, they're evaluating whether Dan's teacher character is allowed to come back after I think he was caught with pills at school or something. Anyway, sorry, I'm talking so fast. But all of those interrogation seats can find some thinking, of course, the client, a therapy client has a negative experience, whether with education with law enforcement, with whoever in that kind of setup, they might have a very strong reaction to sitting in that stereotypical way across from you. They see as the authority figure, they now fucking hate because you're also their high school principal. You're also the cop. They're all you know. Yeah. Can you imagine how dates are for that person? Like, I always have to sit in restaurant booths. Only maybe like, we're only going to the movies. Exactly. We're gonna go to the movies. We'll talk we'll sit on park benches, maybe? Yeah. So walk and talk a walk and talk hiking, love a walk and talk. Love a chatty Walker. Oh, my gosh, that's so interesting. Yeah, I just went into a into a state of remembering different things from real life and from movies. And yeah, your anecdote, maybe you don't? Like, what's funny is you going into these different flashes of the scenes from your life. And then we started talking about dreams. And for me, a safe place when I was a kid was my closet. I used to there was a lock from the inside, I slept on a foldup futon, this like thin little piece of foam, and I used to put it in the closet. And I would like, I would lock it and I would sleep in the closet. And so for years, even probably in the last couple years, I still had one of these, I used to have a reoccurring dream about that closet. Even my adult clothes would be in that closet. But this. So I just it's funny, because the way that our conversation is going feels like this funny. Dream space. Yeah, we're like in the closet together talking about threads. And then the water pushes us in this direction. And we're talking about this. When I got moved into this place that I'm in. I don't have a walk in closet, but I have a closet that stores a lot of stuff, which is very nice and not always the way in New York City. And I know that sometimes folks in Europe will crack up about that note. Yeah, we a lot of times we don't have a built in closet flip. And I'm like, wow, you don't what's that like? But to me, it's a big deal in New York to have a decent amount of closet space when I was first thinking Lester's moving into this place in 2021. Part of me have this vision of okay, I've got this closet. It's not a walk in closet, but maybe I could put a like a bench in there and painted black or dark blue and put well in the dark stars. And since I can just go in there and zone out. And because I you know I have agoraphobia and which is fear of the marketplace in Greek and a fear of travel and being outside one safe space. So some people go oh, is that the opposite of claustrophobia? And I go away, sir, but I can see how you think that that makes sense. Maybe on a very in a very broad strokes. One could say that but I do often find if I'm going into a small space by choice, I often find it very enveloping and nurturing home like and it's the weighted blanket principle. You know, it's very cozy and I originally rented a condo that was about 1500 square feet which is about about three times the size my place yeah huge and fell huge and my sister in law observed that I'm mostly occupied about she's like you do most of your living in about a third of this place. You don't really visit the other rooms that much like and it's true. I think that I am somebody who does very well. When it's by choice, of course I can put that in there with small space, smaller space living. Yeah, totally. I can appreciate that as well, rather than tell a story about my small living spaces. I want to ask you the question. Yes. Let's get to your question. Right there, Gordon. Yeah. So around the agoraphobia. I have a number of questions. But the first being, what, when did that develop for you? What was if there was a precipitating event that started it? And then how are you coping with it today? Well, it started when I was very small. And part of it was to learn. And part of it was I mean, who knows how much is genetic and how much is learned. Certainly, some of it was learned, right? I remember when may almost 11 years ago, I did Marc Maron podcast. And I remember Mark saying, family of origin matters, because at that time, I was so low. That was when my first book came out agora fabulous dispatches from my bedroom. And I was so low to talk about complex experiences with my parents, because I was afraid they would be angry. And I was afraid of blowback that I was just like, very much like, Well, I think I just inherited this, you know, like biologically, right, so publicly. And so I, you know, and Mark, like, is a great interviewer. And he walks around in your head, and he he was not letting me off the hook with that when he was like, What are you joking? And it was great. And I told him years later, I was like, No, you're fucking right. Thank you. Because I was with, because I was still doing stand up pretty actively, for a few years after that. And I had developed this one woman show about agoraphobia. And that was very much a way to sell a book, The look proposal to get editors in the teeth anyway. So I had taken my experience, and really kind of rounded the edges of it, because I didn't want to hurt my parents. And I also did not want to hurt myself. So I changed certainly altered some details to protect various people, which was correct within myself. But the truth is that, you know, I grew up with a dad deals with agoraphobia and panic attacks, and anxiety. And I don't feel bad saying that, because in the years since he said to me, you can write whatever you want to about me, I don't care if it's true. Yeah. And I was like, Damn do. And then, you know, with my mother, she is more inclined to privacy, but she deals with her own stuff. And so you know, I come from a household, you put all four of us together, and you my brother, my mom, my dad, you know, we all carry a lot of a lot of mental health diagnoses. They're everywhere I went to see when I was suicidal, or it's like the first time the first time when I dropped out of college, because I was so by that point, the agoraphobia the panic attack from traveling had come to such a place that I was just restricted to my bedroom pretty much and like defecating and urinating in my bedroom. And even you know, even in the book, I said, like, now that there was a lot, listen, listen, listeners, if you came here to hear deprecation story, not too bad. But I, you know, there's a chapter in my book called Bowles p where I talk about that I don't, there were a few other moments, but generally, it was mainly P oriented. But But like, you know, the reason I share that is because it's sort of paints a portrait of a really great visual, right? So by the time I got to that play, that year, from probably my first panic attack around age eight, all the way to 21. That took a long time. And then when my mom came and got me, because my friends called her thank God, and brought me home to Jersey, and I dropped out of school, and I started getting help, but the first person I saw was a psychiatrist, who had treated my dad in the evenings. And my parents thought, the week oh, and they called him up. And he said, Okay, like, you know, brings her and get her head above water. I don't treat family members, it's not appropriate. But this sounds like an emergency situation that is short of 911 to ever come in all evaluator and I'll refer her out to somebody else. I'll see her a few times and when I'll be very clear with her. And he said to them, you know, unless she's gonna hurt herself or somebody else, you understand, I'm not going to disclose anything to you. And I'm sure they still ask questions. He was like, No, he was great. And I remember him saying to me, and he did he follow through with all of that, and I remember him saying to me, you know, sorry, come by this honestly. He said, I it is not appropriate or ethical to treat, you know, multiple generations of family at the same time and you said, but in this case, I've felt it's warranted. And he said, but I do feel like I have a cheat sheet. And he started laughing. And he said, as a psychiatrist, I do feel I have a cheat sheet. And he said, I'll never tell you anything. You know, the only reason I even acknowledged your father was a patient of mine is because you know, because your dad told you, right, right. And we started laughing. And because he had also at one point she's deceased now had helped my grandmother get into treatment for alcoholism, he was the point of reference for a rehabilitation facility. And as the family was trying to help and do interventions and stuff, but like, basically, starting when I was eight, got to its absolute worst of 21. And there have been breakthrough periods. But generally speaking, for me, I love traveling now, because I did so much time did so much time in behavioral therapy with exposure method that I like, I used to say like, you know, it's like a Clockwork Orange, but the reverse and people were like, That's fucking horrifying. What are you talking about? And I'm like, Okay, let's use a different comparison. loves dogs. And he read more about that experiment. You're like, oh, no, I'm slick look, with the help of some professionals. I reverse brainwashed myself into really liking travel through, which is ongoing for me medication, meditation, talk therapy. Now sobriety is a piece of that. So the work that I do in sobriety for sure helps to and then also, you know, whether yoga going for wall nutrition to understanding how caffeine and sugar so yeah, this is the Babel cast. Hi, I'm Sarah have invaded Chartist podcast. Together, we babble in closets. We have all that, you know, bringing it back to so what you're speaking to, you know, the genetics versus what was modeled? You know, you're talking about epigenetics, right. So, and for those of you who are not totally clear on what epigenetics is, there's recognition that, you know, inside a family, let's say that there was one adopted kid, and mom gets cancer. And that's something that's quote unquote, genetic. And then the everyone in the family gets cancer, including the adopted kid, like, what are the belief systems? What are the learned behaviors and the thinking that's influencing our physical and emotional health. And then bringing it back to the heart rate variability piece, right, the commonest or most intense heart rate in the room is going to impact the other heart rates. I'm just picturing you in this family, like this little being and you know, when we're infants, in an ideal world, a tiny little beings nervous system, when it's upset is being run through a bigger nervous system to comment. That's why we bundle babies, that's why we hold them against our body to suit them. But if you take a mom or a dad that's having a panic attack, right, which is reasonable as a new parent, that is what's being run through the baby, and then the baby becomes the source of the thing that's actually causing the parent instead. Nice. And there's a quote that I want to read because it really, I felt like it was really powerful. And I can't remember where I pulled this from, but it's really hard to raise kids who are so much older than you, especially when you desperately want to make them happy. Even when you know they love you and value your opinion on their marriage, finances, mental health, relationship with their parents relationship with their siblings, personal mental health history and their romantic history. It's just a lot when you're eight. Oh, yeah, I wrote that. That there are so many. Sometimes people will read to me that I know other authors who are like this to where we forget, because you just write so much, but that was recent. That was something Yeah, really recently. Yeah, thank you for pulling that. I've been feeling like it captures that having pulled that I was picturing you as an eight year old, going picturing you in that restaurant, or in your family home going like, I'm okay. Everybody's okay. And like your heart rate attempting to calm the heart rates of the people around you and how much work that is and imagining how much work you were doing all along to try to maintain that. Yeah, consciously unconsciously right. We just have these habitual ways of being that I believe we seek out and decide this is how I have to be okay in this family, to belong to be loved. Like you need to be okay in order for me to be okay. So I'll do the thing it takes and I think we do that. Starting in utero, like we really come out knowing or thinking we know and having a strategy. Yeah, we often as children think that we know what the adults around us want. And we learn to play that role. And when I was home recently, my mom and dad were arguing about something not a big thing. But they were are you at something and I was sitting there, sort of, and it was feeling the same myself. You don't say you don't need to interject. You're not bearing witness. You don't have to jump in and defend it. It was so funny. My mom turned to me. I didn't say anything. My mom turned to me and said, and I just want to say you're not our therapist. So you don't have to, you don't have to jump in. And she wasn't saying it in a nasty way. She was like, in a moment, like locking in with me. It's the first time this has ever happened. And she just she was like, talent. And I just looked at her. And I said, Thank you. Because I felt like, that was my job when I was little. And she said, I know you do. And I have a lot of regrets about that. And my dad was so confused, because my dad was like, Why, like what is happening because my dad is usually the one who, you know, with my mom, I'll get more because she was the parent who I felt that I had to take care of more. And because she was the parent where I felt like I was, you know, learn too much about a lot of times my dad and I will sort of communicate in a more like, peaceful way, I guess. And I think but I think his mind is sometimes blown by just like how me and her can just connect in an instant. And I was like, Thank you, we had this like, deep moment that she went back to just be like, and you remember that weren't gonna roast and buy this, you know, whatever. It was, like, whatever it was, and it was so wild that I was like, Damn, dude, like, part of the reason I moved back east was because my family was living in LA and I love California so much. And part of the reason I moved back east temporarily was well, I felt like I'm seeing my friends. It's 2020 I've been alone except for my cat like, you know, it's vaccines aren't our la isn't necessarily handling was so great. But there is no Jersey seems like you're doing and I had a new I had mom's birthday, my 40th birthday, dad's birthday, the birth of my second nephew, my brother's birthday, all coming up, boom, boom, and Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's. And so I thought, well, let me Yeah, find out permission storage, and I'll go back east and rent a place and not live with my parents, because that would be too intense. And thank God, I have a different option all rented place, you know, lucky to be able to do that. And they helped me find a place. You're a friend of a friend, it was a good price. And I was like, boom, let's do this. What I've sort of come to feel is that, and then I decided to say but what I feel what I've realized, because sometimes that decision to say to to purchase a place back east, which seemed bananas, and was and I was like, why am I going into the spreadsheet debt and doing this thing? Besides the low interest rates in early 2021? Why? Why am I doing? Why am I doing and then I thought, I don't know. It just feels right, I'm just gonna do it. What I've realized is that part of it is healing. A lot of shit around my parents and being an adult around them putting into practice the things I've learned through sobriety, which are ongoing. And the things that I learned in working with my therapist, she was great, and who probably won't listen to this, because she has good boundaries, but maybe she'll I don't know, and actually my, my, my psychiatrist, really I've worked with different people over the course of my life in therapy, and I've been so fortunate to have access to that. And I have to say that these folks they haven't specialized in, I don't think either one of them has specialized in somatic therapy or movement, they're gonna be looked at but they both really aren't like it. They, they're, they really seem to care and understand reading about how the body keeps core and how to continuing to learn more and more about theories and about things that you've touched on. Like they're not just they're not just like Hill pushing by the book books, you know, they integrated, that's great. Yeah. And there's so many different resources that work for people out there. And when you're working with the nervous system, I feel like it's pretty common knowledge, although I'm surprised it's not taught in certain schools that I know of in the Bay Area that working through the body is really valuable, right like that, just telling the same stories is reactivating for the nervous system. And so it's always good to know it's kind of like there are teachers that have their 10 year whatever they're locked in, and then they just have the same curriculum they use for 40 years and they're disengaged from their students and then there are other teachers who they want to continue to be engaged and they want their kids to learn. And so hopefully, you know, psychotherapists continue to evolve as the field evolves, and extra work, you all are busy people, I mean, not only are, you know, hopefully slammed with clients, but you also have paperwork and billing and office space and taxes and running a small independent business, or you're part of some big ass HMO, that's frustrating you because you have to do by look shit and don't feel like doing. And so it's like, it's extra homework. It's not like you. It's not like doing the extra work and reading the new stuff, that somebody's like, cool. Here's $500 Bonus, or like, here's your continuing education credit for this article. You just spent an hour reading in half, you know, like, I see that and appreciate that, though. Because I'm sure I mean, also turnout, do you ever feel that? Like, this is okay. Do you ever, as a practitioner, as a therapist, fall in love with a technique to the point where if somebody told you, it didn't work, you'd be pissed? Because I would be? That's such an interesting question. You know, I definitely, I did talk therapy. I received it for 10 years, starting at 14, before I discovered somatic work. And I would even consider Pilates. Even it was therapeutic. Not that it was therapy. But it was the first thing that I realized that getting focused in my body could reduce being on the verge of a panic attack. Nothing has helped my mother like that, that. I'll talk about the therapy of the New Jersey moms shout out to Gail, her instructor, she fantastic. The regulation that that she is what whether it is racing thought, yeah, back to you, whether it's depression rating back, it was like the obsessive stuff sort of like hypomania stuff, not that I'm an advocate, by the way, not that I'm advocating anybody simply be like, God applies. But I'm just saying that for my mom who does has really begun to do a lot of work on herself in the past few years in a way that's been really, you know, beautiful, man. Yeah, well, it's, you know, and that's the thing. And there's I also did authentic movement, these are things I was also seeing a therapist, but it was a slow slide into philon somatic bodywork and practices, right is being in the present moment, like authentic movement is something a little different. It's like letting your body move and having a witness. And that was very uncomfortable. And I basically just did it with my hands, like I couldn't even move my whole body, I could just let my hands have a conversation playing y'all. But it helped reveal a lot and helped me get out of an abusive relationship when I was 21. So when I came to somatic practices, and they helped me feel safe in the world, safe in my body, be able to be in intimate relationships in a way that I didn't feel that I could. Previously, somehow it's even hard for me to imagine being told that doesn't work. It's probably like if someone came to someone who was deeply, you know, fundamentalist Christian was like, God doesn't exist, or religion does work. It's that level of, I don't believe in Dogma. I'm a big fan of no dogma yet. I will admit to that. I feel like I've been become a cheese proselytizer as well, like, I really believe in cheese now, which I didn't 25 years. She's in somatic therapy. Those are my two so boxes, and she loves movement. She's a big fan. She's got situation, like as slight dance moves. crossbody physical movement, helping the brain to heal neck neural pathways, but also cheese, you're gonna find you're doing jazz hands and the cheese. I love Whole Foods. I would welcome that. I would truly welcome that. I think all foods would welcome that as well. Which is my drug of choice. Totally. I went Wait, this is so we I have an off topic things. Okay, good. I'm sorry. Um, I gave you a very bizarre hypothetical. I'm like you're living on the moon and somatic therapy doesn't exist. What do you do? You like wait minutes. Okay. So let's see somatic therapy, of course exists in his fabulous, let's say, somebody let's say you like read some peer reviewed, double blind, whatever fabulous studies that are like, wow, nothing helps panic attacks as much as this particular cific tapping method, like not emotional freedom technique, like like, blah, blah, blah, tapping method. It's new. It's great. Everybody's like, this is hot. We love it. It's great. And so people start using it and you find that your four answers for aren't really well to it. And then it turns out that the person who invented it was a charlatan, like some bullshit jerk who's like, yeah, I just kind of pull that out of my, what didn't matter to you if it still works, because you know, yeah, I look Jung's experience of what like, okay, young, like, almost certainly, some patients are blown patients like, like, you know, to what extent do we consider that consensual at this point, or young? Almost certainly, we know, he had ongoing affairs with research assistants, right, some of whom had previously been in treatment. This is back in the day, we didn't that same code of ethics happening. We're talking about a very specific time and place we're talking about, you know, do we how do we look at that Bah, blah, blah. And so some for some people, that invalidates a lot of what he has to say, or he doesn't, Perri just informed me about this fellow bang and broads and saving lives? You know, that's what that's his motto, that was his motto and Swiss. German? Would if there was some technique that really you found it really helped your patients? And then the person who's like, No, I made that up. Like, would you care? Well, what's interesting, so the placebo really works, right? Like, obviously, the so what you're basically speaking to is a placebo effect. And if we trust and believe in something, it can bring us value. Simply belief alone, simply being in a state of hope, can heal inflammation more than a special diet, or more than, you know, being on a certain pill? Honestly, I can. I've experienced this through meditation, I feel like time and time again, I yield physical things in my body through changing my internal my heart rate, and my thoughts. And what I merit literally what I'm choosing to marinate in every day, making a choice to create my internal state rather than letting old habitual thoughts hijack me. Right. And so, you know, you could call it the placebo, or you could call it like internal direction and your higher self, you know, conducting things that also has me think of what when I had COVID and we had COVID at the same time we did we had COVID like COVID twin. I had my birthday twin on last week. Oh, when? What's your thoughts? februari sevens? I'm an Aquarius. I love that. My arrogance is a Capricorn and I feel like lately in my life, I have been connecting a lot with Warren and Aquarius. Greber. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, so coming back to so we had COVID at the same time, and I did a deep dive into cults documentaries. Wow. And I was probably keep making myself maybe I wouldn't have even had COVID If it wasn't for all the cult documentaries, but Nexium, the vow, I watched all of it's very long, I've watched both seasons sexual one that the woman was involved in. Well, there are the real story. So there's orgasm, Inc, which is with one taste in which I watched that was the breakthrough drug or whatever the doorway into all that was your gateway, drug gateway gateway. And so so the vow was looking at Nexium. And in it, when you get really close on the inner circle, there was a lot of messed up sexual assault, intense manipulation. But if you're in the outer circle, you see that these teachings, there's value to them. So it's a tricky thing. You know, I'm very fascinated by the difference between what's a learning community a spiritual community of space for self evolution, versus what's a cult, you know, it's like that. It's like, what exactly is a cult. And so in that case, you could say this thing perhaps was made up or manipulative and hurtful. And it truly was for a lot of people. And then there was there were certain people that were not so close in that actually got a lot of value. So they got good part of the cake. They got the icing on the cake, like maybe the cake itself was garbage, but they just had a little taste. So of course to them, if we ask these different people their perspective on it, there would be some who just said, Oh, it fits like when you meet a person and you have very, I mean, I've had this experience where I was working with somebody in the entertainment industry, and I went in for a meeting with somebody else and they said, How's it working with blah, blah, blah? And I said, Oh, they're so lovely. They're so wonderful. You know, we've only met a few times and then this other person knows, I'm so glad they're nice to you. And that's why I was like, whoa. And then I started to hear all the stories of the not niceness, because I had gotten the icing. I was on the outer circle, we had done a deal and made money together, it would have been bad probably. And just so you know, if we get a cake, you can have the icing. I like the cake part. It's like you know, the yolk people and egg white people. Yeah. All I can picture when you talk about the icing is all that like, like, Safeway cake, where there's the roses, and like the really yucky icing. So I'm like, keep the Alright, tastes like plastic. Yeah. Or it's like your waxy, waxy mouth. Yeah, yes, we definitely people have complex personalities and present one way to one person and show a very different side of themselves to another. Right. And we get to see this in families all the time, when we if someone has a borderline mom, you know, where all of her positive stuff gets projected onto one kid and all the things she can't tolerate in herself get projected onto another and that kid gets treated like caca. Yeah, somebody was a friend of mine just started therapy and that they were introduced the idea of let's see that in. And I don't know, whose work this is. But the sort of idea that in a dysfunctional family, like I suppose one would say, a profoundly dysfunctional family, rather than one that just has to ship but they're working on it. Like a family that's not working on it, there's some real heavy shit they're not dealing with. She was saying to me that oftentimes, there's, you'll notice I don't, there's the black sheet, there's the golden child. And there's the lost child like that. Sometimes, everybody doesn't always neatly fall into this category. It was interesting, because this person has four children in the family. And three of the children fit those plates. And the other one was just a fourth child was sort of like a lost child with a golden child rising. There. And it was this person that my friend's therapist had presented to her look, don't you don't have to try and fit everybody. I'm not trying to push you into fitting categories, because usually we don't in the real world, you know, but it's just useful to think about my friend was like, nope, bing, bang, boom, and then this one, enter, there was like, all right. That's so funny. Well, I'm blanking on the word. It's not the runner up. But it's the like, the person who's on book in case the star can win under study that study. Yeah, I'm the gold that I'm the golden child under study. But I'll be the last child under study. And that's like, such like, we got the youngest of four. It's like fourth kid energy, like they're tired. The parents are tired. They've worked out who they put the first three children into each specific category before child or odd Oh, no. Who knows? You know, and I think that, I think that when I look at my dad's family structure, he was the youngest of four. And I think he probably occupied at least two combinations, like golden child and last child like, Oh, where are you? We forgot you're around. Oh, you're so fun, though. Oh, you're fine. During it's a good time you take the edge off thing. And it's like, wow, and how about you? Where do you fit in that? Oh, golden child? For sure. For sure, for sure. 100%. Yeah. And, you know, I would say when I've been in my sickness, and not are in mind by sickness. What I really need is when I've been in active alcoholism, and also like, not appropriately connected with the right healing for panic attacks, agoraphobia, depression, that the lost child, I would say to have so golden child last child is a really powerful combo, because your beloved, and they also think you might die all the time. So you're sort of extra beloved, because they're like, is she gonna wake up tomorrow? I don't know. Like, where you know, and they want to hold on and make sure you're okay. And it's wild. The other day, my mom said to me, she said, last year, I've been popping out with some winners lately. I gotta say, we've struggled a lot in our relationship, but the work is ongoing and I deeply appreciate her willingness to engage in it with me and I will say that the other day she said, you know, like, you're happy. And I oh my gosh, you're right. I am and then of course, immediately I got like, anxious and I was like, Well, you know, bad things can happen any day and feeling UK van are still definitely fucked up, mom, but like, I am pretty happy. And I thought about it. And I thought, why did that feel so surprising? And I thought, well, because I am pretty happy. But I don't have a partner. I'm not dating anyone steadily. I thought that was what you needed to be happy for so long. I mean, I'm like, you know, I'm in therapy and I'm sober. You know, in some ways, I would think that means I'm a broken baby bird, but no, that's actually good. Yeah. Uh, well, I mean, you know, it's a huge deal when I think about the comedy world, right, and I don't know how much you're actively in that world anymore but self medicating and meant, you know, dealing with mental health or issues in that community. Oh my gosh, yeah, I was in an episode of a documentary series verbalized on the dark side of comedy came out last year 2022. And I was in the episode about Maria Bamford. And there's this moment where Maria goes, you're doing a mental health doc, called the bombers and like, put on her glasses. She's so funny. It was a fun episode, we are dealing with intrusive thoughts and medication and you know that periods of paranoia and different things that she's gone through. And so it's like me and Marin and Patton, Oswald and the Parthenon share Allah and there's a few other people I think, who talk about it, and it was such an easy, yes, because I was just like, Oh, I get to talk about everything Maria is and I got to talk about mental health great, but I you know, I did another mental health doc a few years ago, that Rainn Wilson his company did. And I did another thing with the Yankees network, the yes network talking about anxiety and like, I feel like I end up talking about this shit so much, because people are like, Oh, okay, you're, I mean, I haven't done stand up in years, but I still do like storytelling and do podcasts and do acting I do, you know, punch up on Comedy scripts. Like I still do comedy thing. And, and sometimes in comedy clubs, which is funny, like I'm not doing stand up, but it'd be like, let's do a talk show about butts. Sarah will be a guest at it's kind of honestly like really fun. It's kind of my ideal because Stanhope has such hard work and I have a huge amount of respect for people who can do that shit but it is a coping to your point it is a coping mechanisms within harmony often end up first of all, you get hate and drinks a lot when you're coming up, or when you're not coming up. When you're a star or not even a star you're you know, maybe you're not even headline, maybe you're featuring Right? Or you're hosting, okay, you're getting paid, the bar might be open to you entirely. That's rare, you're usually gonna get a beer, you know, you might get like curry fried or whatever. And then also the socializing. That was what I love most about it was making friends. And so you're drinking, you get to know the bartender, you're tipping them? Well, hopefully everyone's listening, tipping them while they go through so much, especially in this era. And then like, you're getting free drinks, or like, maybe you're dating the bartender now, because you're there all the time, because you're at this point, and or maybe like, like, what brings people together more than doing drugs together in a weird alley behind a theater club. Let's don't do that small enclosed spaces. We like them their comfort, we love them. What's cozier than that? And so I mean, I was just a drinker. And, you know, didn't really do much else. Drinking was my problem. Yeah, and, you know, blocking and spending and various other things. But I mean, like, I wasn't like doing like lines of coke with other people in the bathroom, that would have been a good bonding experience. My point is, this is a bonding experience for a lot of comics. And then that becomes, you tie that to how well you do on stage, you tie it to your friends, you tie it to who's going to take you on the road with them. To get somebody who likes hanging with you. Maybe one of the things you do his drugs. And how did you give in all of that, right? That's very seductive, it makes a lot of sense to engage in it. What had you stop? What was compelling enough to stop you and get you sober? I, you know, I was very sad. I was very sad that things that were that I thought I needed to be happy. You had told me a year ago, your mom's gonna say you're happy and you're gonna agree with her. They go what's in your life, I go, Okay, well, I'm making a lot of money. I sold a bunch of TV shows, or I have my own TV show acting would not have been part of the equation, which is really funny to me that I've gotten into acting so different, and sober and like 40. So before I got so I would have said, well, obviously, I have created TV shows, and I'm very wealthy, very independently wealthy. I certainly don't have a day job forced on. I went awards for them for these things. And if you'd asked me, What's the genre I wouldn't have known because I have sort of a general feeling. I'm a best selling author also. And I look like this. And this is more my husband or wife. And this is where our beautiful wedding was probably an Oh, hi. And I guess like oh, and I don't take meds because I'm just totally fine. And I like go to therapy sometime. And and that's fun. Just your check in like check in therapy, and I do flies all the time. And I'm a yoga instructor, but just for fun, I would have gone on and on and there was that stuff. And now and here's the thing, like, what, that's what I was all those different things I was striving for and I was able to make genuine loving connections with the sort that I want and then I felt the Are you and that alcohol use was increasing. And I knew that it would increase even further. Because that's how that goes, I had enough friends who'd gotten sober, I had the example of my grandmother getting sober, I was really little. And I didn't know about it at that time. But I learned more as I got older. And I had the example of the fact that having an active alcoholic family can have on children and friends that you know, so I had all these examples, it was my deep sadness, and shame at my behavior, and intersected with the example of seems like they were happier, not in an Instagram way, but in a real way. And I sort of just like, read, and it was the big one drinking, not all the work to program, but those who did seem to be very happy about that. And those who didn't have seem to have found other stuff, they almost invariably had, like, found meditation, or like a healthy spiritual community. They had found exercise and a few friends and suggested me that I might enjoy being sober. There's a funny way. You like it, like, you know, XYZ solutions, even people who didn't you know, who didn't work, the program that I work were like, I think you'd like that there was like, other people living their lives and just doing their thing, and not trying desperately to achieve were happier. And like, I would argue more, more accomplished in their way. I don't mean necessarily with titles or scheint, they just come to like, love. They don't they also don't say yes to every day, they're not constantly trying to fill their time, I thought was so wild Charna when women would say that I'm talking about sis women in this case, but it's true for for, you know, any woman identified individual trans woman as well, that I can pick up now like, because the idea of what is woman is a partner and helped me in so many ways and the overall culture, right, the Judeo Christian culture, I don't know enough about Islam to say that, whether I should include that. So I'm just putting it on the Christian and Jewish folks with that notion of the helpmate. So if you are, you know, in my mind, if you're a non binary femme presenting, if you are a sis woman, if you're a trans woman, if you occupy any space that would get dub, womanly, that part of your purpose, and part of your joy is being a partner to someone else. And in my mind, I was like, regardless of gender, so with like a very, like weirdly gender inclusive, heteronormative way of looking. And I wasn't anybody's helped me, I wasn't anybody's partner, I could do. I could walk around a lot. I could have boyfriends or girlfriends for two seconds, but I didn't have a full time gig. And that meant that I wasn't really happy. And now I'm like, so sad, man. Well, it means that your happiness is dependent on something external. And that you really, the locus of control and agency is not accessible to you alone. And I understand, you know, it's interesting, I was not raised by parents that got married to anybody, right. I wasn't raised with very conventional structures or pressures, I was kind of I was there was abuse, and there was neglect, but I was on my own, you know. And so I really struggled to relate to clients that were in their early 20s, that grew up in those systems that felt so much pressure as straight women to get married and have kids by a certain age, and it's very much the culture in a lot of places. And, you know, I came out in high school. And so I just felt freedom to follow what felt right to me. That's which a benign aspect of neglect. Yeah, well, that's the thing it was, you know, better I don't know, I didn't get help with your my homework because I was smarter. But you know, but this piece of having it be dependent and incisive, what I was saying is, even though I grew up with all without that, and even though I identified as queer and as a lesbian for a long time, when I started to heal enough of my terror around men, and had acknowledged and could accept the part of myself that was actually very much attracted to men and wanted to be with men as well, it's a slippery slope. It infiltrates like cultural pressure and the collective unconscious just so you're all sponge and you just soak it right up, you know? Oh, yeah. Oh my gosh, like, I'm sure no parents who've done a really good job of trying to learn as a single parent, parenting group, parenting and a couple whatever, where everybody has tried really hard to make sure that the children don't have like Disney Princess stuff in the house. or they don't have this or that or that they have. And then, you know, a kid comes home and it's like, I want a Disney princess wedding. And you're like, where did you learn that? Like, it's just, it's in the, it's out there, it's in the ether. And it's on TV. It's in film, it's in books, and in all these different things, the idea that, that if you are a woman identified are helped me identified, you are a partner, you are a partner, you are the beta to the alpha you are, that's your place. And isn't that beautiful? And you know what, there are beautiful aspects of that. Sure. But that's not all. You have to be and you also don't have to be that. And I think that when women of any sort, I think this is what I was gonna say originally, when women have any identification along any identifiers along with that term woman, any women that to be asked to take some time for myself, I'd be like, what? Like it just not judging them admiring like what it was like they told me they climbed Mount Everest time to be on purpose to be single, because we're over 20 years I was never single on was always trying to attach myself to someone. Okay, cool, that part of my life is taken care of now, I can go back to obsessively focusing on work that, right, right, right, the tools, the two things that you're supposed to be obsessed with and put your attention on versus train it on yourself. So I err, we could chat forever, that you have a podcast? Well, this isn't normal. I do. That's my pelvic podcast. Yeah. In an episode a couple of months ago, you acknowledged a rough patch you went through, and you're talking about hyper arousal, which we may conventionally know is anxiety and hypo arousal, which is often an experience of depression. And you had a set of tools, and steps that helped you that you took. And I'm wondering if you would want to share that checklist with us. Or if there's another kind of practice, something that you have felt has been helpful for you around mental health and managing your states. Oh, thank you for asking Charna I love that. While I will say I will share my post COVID 19 infection, which has affected my heart in different ways literally had to go to the cardiologist because it helps patients, it's fine, I'm fine, but figuratively, has expanded, has expanded my heart and compassion. Because before it was something I felt so bad other people had to deal with. And that might be my neighbor who's at positions worked so hard dealing with at a hospital that mainly serves the working working class for money shows, folks, right, so like, read all the stories, you have the friends and family who deal with it. I understood it as this global pandemic that I was somehow stale in the book through and now that I've had it and deal with the After Effects. I'm like, oh, fuck, so I'm adjusting now. So this is more inclusive, which is good. I would say that if you are going through a rough patch, with regard to depression and anxiety, that what I have found in my post Coco era, where sometimes for me that also in brain fog rolling in, I picture, the central coast of California, which I love so much in the way the fog view thing, and then it rolls out. So if you're dealing with any of that, I would say get yourself a whiteboard, or a sheet of notebook paper that you feel comfortable riding on every day. At night, writing yourself a note that says I love you, you got the whatever you're worth our affirmations wherever the fuck you want. Whatever the kid inside you who's suffering Eve or the adults, whoever, write them a little love note at night, and don't be embarrassed. It's okay, good. We're on your mirror maybe to post it No, I use my whiteboard. It'll say like Wednesday. Good morning. I love your Wednesday you got this or I have something by the artists uni soccer gal up that says something to the effect of some days. It's okay if the only thing you do is breathe. Now, if you're on an assistive breathing device, you're still here as my grandmother would say you're on the right side of the dirt. Love it. Yeah. And then when you're on the wrong side of the dirt, it's going to be the right senator for you. And you'll go and become infinite energy or an angel or nothing at all. We don't know. But for now you're here to write yourself a little love note at night. And if nights are really tough for you, and you're like, Buck, I'm gonna get up and I'm gonna feel like shit. All the more reasons to do it. If you see that note, a million times when you get up at night and go to the bathroom or perhaps in the fetal position cry. That's right. It's still there for you in the morning like so write yourself a note make it as cheesy as you want. Don't worry about being trucking. And I would say also, if you are somebody who responds well to to list of things to do, I would I do this for myself, I put up a very simple us that, for me, it's gray matter, meditate, take my medication, have contact with my sober program. And I'll put yoga on walk. And like, you know, if I hit most of those every day, I'm pretty good. So I'm big on writing notes to yourself to your future self. Because if you are in a place where sometimes you don't want to exist anymore, writing a note to your future self, even a little checklist is an act of I think it can keep you going even just for tonight. And then you get to decide if you feel like doing it again. But yeah, writing yourself in love notes, lists, putting notes of encouragement, places where you'll forget what you find later, I think that's good. You can also record a voice note to yourself if that's easier. Like, I used to want to kill myself when I would wake up in the morning. And then I'll be like, alright, in at the worst of it. It was like if you can get through 15 minutes without killing yourself, you can check back in and reconsider. And it was just doing that all fucking day. But it got easier by nighttime. I felt good. And I was like, okay to go to bed and and do this shit again. I record a voice note in that good state to listen when I was in my tough state. No. Yeah. Wil Wheaton. I saw write something about this one, like notes to your future self like how California is and I really agree. Beautiful. Yeah. And there's also along those lines, there's the Mind Valley app. And it has all these courses you can take. And one of the courses is so he has a variety of courses that are kind of self hypnosis type classes that are on there. Jose Silva, there's the Jose Silva method. And this the Silva method, Kimber, the guy who started Mindvalley, but Jose Silva has influenced a lot of different people around manifesting and putting, you know, like mindful attention and kind of, he wouldn't call it self hypnosis, but I feel like it's adjacent. And there's a course called quantum jumping. And you can do these guided meditations that are very short 10 to 15 minutes long. And you get to go and communicate and interact with future selves, past selves that are on different timelines in all different contexts of your life. And I find these actually quite soothing and the countdown the like self hypnosis countdown at night or in the morning. It pretty much you do it enough and it can pretty much help you drop into a deeper relaxed state. If you're having trouble going to sleep or I love that Turner. Thank you. It's been so great to have you sir. I'm so glad we got to finally meet and see your face in person and and how can people find you if they want to see your podcast, read your books, your blog, etc? How well Charna it has been a damn delight to be here. You've been so patient with schedule. Thank you so much. I'm stoked. I am on Instagram at Sarah J. Ben and Elsa. On medium I write essays which are available free. That's Sarah J If you want to subscribe to my four times a month newsletter. It's called serotonin. And that's at Sarah J. Ben and I'm also at class that there my public podcast is called well this isn't normal. And then I have a private podcast called the AUDIO LETTER, which just goes to patrons of my Patreon four times a month. And yeah, my books are available and all the usual book places I would say. In order to support the podcast I've started a Patreon. 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Show Notes Aline Ra M Episode
[00:00:00] Charna Cassell: Welcome back to Late Open Podcast. During my hiatus from recording , I’ve been building an online course on how to live the passionate, pleasure filled, peaceful life you want, reduce self sabotaging behavior, and gain control over your nervous system. [00:00:14] Charna Cassell: Creating courses for people around the world to understand the impact of trauma on their nervous system and relationships, and how they can heal is something I’ve wanted to do for over a decade. I’m thrilled it’s finally happening. I’ll keep you posted as to when it’s launching. For now, you can also sign up for my newsletter, read my blog, or send questions to be answered at charnacassell.[00:00:38] Charna Cassell: com. Today’s guest is Aileen Rah Em. She’s a spiritual guide, energy healer, teacher, and writer, and her mission is to establish solid foundations for spiritual growth and soul fulfillment. Welcome, Aileen.[00:00:53] [00:01:38] Aline Ra M: Thank you so much for having me, China. Happy to talk to you today.[00:01:43] Charna Cassell: Yeah, I’ve been looking forward to this conversation. And I feel like it’s a important one regarding people understanding what You know, like, I don’t want to, I don’t want to take anything for granted, right? Like, I may know what a spiritual guide is, but I want people who’ve never heard of that or don’t necessarily comprehend what that could be to get it.[00:02:07] Charna Cassell: And so if we could even just start with that, like a basic description of when you call yourself a spiritual guide, what that means to you, because there’s so many flavors out there.[00:02:20] Aline Ra M: Yes, there’s so many different sides of it. It’s as I see it, the main role of the spiritual guide is to help release people from suffering. Now, when we actually go through what that means, we have so many different angles that we could approach that through. I could also say that my job is to help people stay on their path.[00:02:40] Aline Ra M: Or my job is to inspire and motivate people to keep going because it can be a hard path spiritual growth. I could also say that my job is to give people the right practices, the right things for their challenges. For their blockages, because the spiritual guide can assess people’s energy feud and see exactly what they need.[00:03:02] Aline Ra M: So they don’t do random practices that they just read in a book or saw in a YouTube channel that can actually harm them instead of helping them. So I could say all those things, but the core is really to help release people from suffering.[00:03:15] Aline Ra M: This is what all those things, all these different angles. Are doing and it even brings the question of where does suffering come from and we can talk about ego and delusions and desires that are so tied with spiritual growth, which is what I love, but I understand that for some people that can be so abstract.[00:03:37] Aline Ra M: And so far away.
[00:03:38] Aline Ra M: We can talk about helping people stay in their path because it is so easy to get distracted, to have shiny objects, to be afraid and to get out of our path. If we look around us, most people around us are not living in joy. They’re not living their purpose. It is easier to stay out of our path than to stay in our path.[00:04:01] Aline Ra M: The spiritual guide is a person who will help you to stay in your path.[00:04:06] Charna Cassell: And so somebody could ask, well, what does that mean? How would you even know if you were on your path or off your path? So,[00:04:15] Aline Ra M: We know energetically by feeling and by seeing what is happening in a person’s energy field, if the energy field is aligned, if it’s harmonized, what kind of blockages are presenting themselves there. When we have too many blockages, it’s almost impossible to leave our purpose and we need to clear them in order to simply be able to walk our path. [00:04:39] Charna Cassell: I hear what you’re saying but that it may not be as concrete for people. And so an example of here, you know, could be something like, that you’re really attached to staying with this particular person because you don’t want to get a divorce and the stigma that goes along with divorce.[00:04:55] Charna Cassell: And, but then there’s crisis after crisis. You could even be having physical healing crises when you stay in this particular relationship and that may not be part of what you’re aligned with and be on your path. And so to release that and to step away from a certain thing that you’ve been so attached to could actually mean you’re stepping onto your path.[00:05:18] Charna Cassell: Is that an example?[00:05:19] Aline Ra M: could be one thing. And it’s linked to the idea of suffering or simply struggling. Normally when we struggle, we are not in our path. We are struggling against. Our path, because we are not allowing ourselves to accept something. So every time we’re struggling with life, we are out of alignment. And I like to say the life is challenging. We need challenges to grow. So it’s not like sunflowers and rainbows not supposed to be because growth requires us to get out of our comfort zone, but challenge and struggle is. Very different things. We’re not here to hustle, [00:05:57] Aline Ra M: We’re here to thrive by overcoming our challenges. So we can see the energy of struggling, like struggling with our work, struggling with stress, struggling with frustration. All of those signs is that we are fighting with ourselves, we’re struggling with ourselves.00:06:15] Charna Cassell: Right.[00:06:16] Aline Ra M: Yeah.[00:06:16] Charna Cassell: And can you share some about how you came to this path, like some about, concretely about the challenges that you encountered that you overcame that helped you be clear about your path?[00:06:29] Aline Ra M: So I had two main moments in my life that brought me to this path in very different ways. The first one was when I was just a teenager, I was 12, I started being able to hear voices. I started being able to hear things that were not there. And that just was a natural opening. And it was scary.[00:06:49] Aline Ra M: And at the same time, it took me to have curiosity. So that’s how it started. I had a natural opening that Asked me to be able to protect myself because it was not that easy to manage. And it was a not nice things that was happening. It’s not like I was seeing an angel, quite the opposite. So I was like, okay, I need to be able to take care of myself. And the second side is because I had this opening, I had this awareness that was something more. I knew I was not crazy. And then came the question, what the hell is this place? What the hell is this that I’m going through that nobody can see. And they know it’s very real. And that took me to a path of spirituality based on mysticism and occultism of understanding energy, understanding what kinds of energy were there.[00:07:38] Aline Ra M: And it was purely from this point of view. What are these different layers of existence? What is this place? How do I work with energy? How do I do rituals? How do I protect myself? It had nothing to do with personal development. Absolutely zero. So when I was a teenager, what happened is that I joined my first mystery school.[00:07:58] Aline Ra M: So I joined back then the Rosicrucian order. And a few years later I joined Gnosis. So I’ve been on a path, mystery schools, initiation based for a long time, but I never cared about it in terms of personal development and my joy. I was just fascinated by the magical aspect of it.[00:08:17] Aline Ra M: And it was in my late thirties.[00:08:19] Aline Ra M: That I started having a series of breakdowns of seriously hating my life and that took me first to Buddhism. And that started clicking so many things inside of me. Because in a way I already had all the energy from my previous experiences. I just had never put it in such an angle. So when came like this personal development part that I just needed to fix my life.[00:08:47] Aline Ra M: Then it all clicked together and all made sense.[00:08:50] Charna Cassell: You got to apply all the tools that you had been developing.[00:08:54] Aline Ra M: Yeah,[00:08:55] Charna Cassell: Can I ask, so when you were 12 and you were starting to have these experiences that felt scary and new did you have other adults or resources in your life that you could turn to?[00:09:08] Aline Ra M: not directly not in my own place. My, my parents are both scientists. They don’t believe in anything like that. So they don’t know up until now, they don’t really know what happened. I, it was always so clear in me that I couldn’t tell them that it wouldn’t be safe [00:09:25] Charna Cassell: Yeah. Mm hmm. [00:09:27] Aline Ra M: not saying that my parents are bad people.[00:09:29] Aline Ra M: It’s just, they would do what they could in the best reasoning in their loving way is just that would be mostly taking me to medication, which is not what I needed. And they knew even then, back then, my intuition was always very clear on that. At the same time, I was lucky to born and raised in an island in Brazil, where there are many mystery schools.[00:09:53] Aline Ra M: They are hidden. Most of my friends, if I talk to them even up to today, they don’t know about it, but they exist. And so what happened I knew I was supposed to be in a school. I always knew that. I just didn’t know which one. The one back then that I saw everywhere was like Freemasons.[00:10:11] Aline Ra M: I had so many friends being initiated as Freemasons back then, but then it’s only for boys. And I was like, I know there’s something for me. I know it exists, but I don’t know when. And I was having this conversation with like a group of friends. And one of the girls that I barely knew up to then, she looked at me and said, you know, my mom is seeing one of them.[00:10:30] Aline Ra M: I can just ask her and you can join her. And so that is how it happened.[00:10:35] Charna Cassell: Oh, how amazing.[00:10:36] Aline Ra M: I ended up having that support because when I joined then many things started changing.[00:10:41] Charna Cassell: Yeah, it’s so important that piece of having, you know, first of all, like getting to be seen[00:10:48] Aline Ra M: Yeah.[00:10:49] Charna Cassell: and having that mutual understanding and having somebody guide you and then you’re now serving as that guide for people who may not understand what’s happening for them. also really curious, I see.[00:11:00] Charna Cassell: trauma often as a gateway to spiritual awakening and opening and that people who’ve experienced different kinds of trauma there can be this I see it as you Don’t have the direct resource in your family system to be protected or safe, and that often there, it opens this other realm or access to non consensual reality.[00:11:25] Charna Cassell: And I’m curious if that if you relate to that, and if that is part of your story at all in terms of what you think if you look back and go. What contributed to the development or the capacity that I had to see things that other people couldn’t see. Do you have an understanding of that?[00:11:44] Aline Ra M: Well, at the same time, I think some of us actually came for that and that something had to happen for that to open. I don’t see like necessarily that there was a setting that allowed that opening as much as I was supposed to have that opening. And at the same time, the listening to the voices were extremely traumatic for me, caused me to have a lot of insomnia early in my life, even after that was healed, my nervous system took forever to be able to sleep well.[00:12:13] Aline Ra M: So that was very strong in me. So for a long time, I could curse that. I hated those voices. I hated insomnia. But at the same time, it led me to see there was something there. It did its purpose of taking me to my path. So that is more what I see, that those events, especially early in age, have a role.[00:12:35] Aline Ra M: Of taking us to our path because we can always ignore them and it often happens that children when they’re very young. They have this opening and they shut it down in my case. I was lucky to have that in an age that I couldn’t really shut it down. It’s like you’re already 12 to 3. There’s nothing you can do.[00:12:55] Aline Ra M: You’re going to remember this. [00:12:57] Charna Cassell: Right. Yeah, that kids at certain ages may have experiences that they then just don’t even have recollection of [00:13:05] Charna Cassell: that opening. [00:13:06] Aline Ra M: At the same time, it’s like it’s a realm that we don’t fully understand even if we studied so much, even if we’re fully in it, it is full of mysteries. And then for me, I don’t even understand up to now if there was something palpable and concrete that triggered that event, or was that event supposed to happen to be able to open me to my path?[00:13:30] Aline Ra M: I don’t [00:13:31] Aline Ra M: know. I don’t know. Like it’s chicken and eggs. I really don’t know.
[00:13:34] Charna Cassell: Yeah. Yeah. That’s what I was asking. It’s just the sense of like, there are things that make the veil thinner for some people. And often I see that trauma is that. And that what I’m hearing from you is that the actual opening was traumatic and it was hard to integrate and you, your nervous system had to recover from not understanding and being so afraid.[00:13:54] Charna Cassell: And lack of sleep alone is a huge upheaval in people’s lives. And you know, can be so dysregulating, but that there, it wasn’t something specific. There was no precipitating event that, that, you know, led up to this moment.[00:14:11] Aline Ra M: And it is true that some people can go through some trauma that cause openings, like for instance astral traveling that many people report having near death experiences. But sometimes we also have to understand this certain spiritual events when caused by accidents. actually are accidents. They don’t necessarily happen in a good way, that keeps the integrity of the etheric body.[00:14:39] Aline Ra M: Sometimes having those random openings that were caused by accidents and are forceful actually creates trauma in the energetic field as well, and that person will need energy healing. Because that was not the natural connection. That was not a sustainable path. It was a blitz in the matrix, so to say.[00:15:03] Aline Ra M: And that creates fractures that need to be repaired.[00:15:07] Charna Cassell: And is that something that you help people with?[00:15:10] Aline Ra M: Yes, as well, yeah.[00:15:11] Aline Ra M: So it’s very different as well. If we talk about activations and Kundalini activations and things like that, it’s very different. A person who has been on the path of yoga and purification and releasing formigo and creating a container that is sustainable, that can sustain the energy. Who has a strong nervous system to deal with that with somebody who has like one specific event that has an activation, you know, goes to one specific ritual, it can break them apart, it can be too much for them because they don’t have what it takes to sustain that.[00:15:45] Aline Ra M: So I’m more as a spiritual guide, I prefer working with things that are self sustained than direct connections. Which requires us to prepare ourselves to hold that. So it can be a lot of work, but it’s a work that we can sustain throughout our lives.[00:16:03] Charna Cassell: Right. Right. What that brings up for me is thinking about the difference between. Slow regular practice and listening to your own pace, because even Kundalini awakenings can just shatter people. I mean, it’s very disruptive if your system can’t hold the amount of energy that you’ve suddenly conjured.[00:16:21] Charna Cassell: And then it has me think about you know, medicine work is so popular now. Right. It’s at least in the Bay Area. It’s everywhere. And That there are these very intense experiences that, you know, some people in order to create a crack in the ego, they may need a more intense experience, but to assume that everyone needs the same thing.[00:16:43] Charna Cassell: And then what’s the integration process afterwards? And also like the sustained change, right? You’re talking about sustainable change.
[00:16:53] Aline Ra M: Yes, a sustainable change that we can hold ourselves because we are divine. We don’t need intermediaries. We can have people’s help to show certain keys to activate things in us, but we need to be able to hold that we are the container. We are the vessel. So in my way of seeing it, it’s not exactly spiritual growth if we are having like just outsourcing the channel, you know, we are the channel.[00:17:21] Aline Ra M: And I understand as well that many spiritual. Experiences that are extremely powerful in extremely high vibration are not necessarily a drama in terms of excessive energy. And some people are so desensitized that they need an experience that throws them off.[00:17:43] Charna Cassell: right.[00:17:44] Aline Ra M: You know, I mean, the more sensitive you are, like spirit is everywhere, energy is moving all the time. I don’t know how it is for you, but like, get me to sleep in bed, and I’m going to have all kinds of energy flowing with me, like, in one second, I don’t need to do anything. And I’m not saying this to brag, I’m just saying, this is what happens when we are channels, we all can do that, but we need to cultivate that, we need to clear ourselves for that.[00:18:08] Aline Ra M: And looking for shortcuts, of course, if you have never had any contact with this spirituality before, it could be good just to show you it exists, you know? Just to motivate you, inspire you to walk on the path. But that in itself is not a self sustainable path. It is not the connection creating your channel.[00:18:31] Aline Ra M: It is quite the opposite. It can actually burn your channel, making it even harder to create a self sustained connection, because it’s a crazy amount of fire inside of a person who cannot sustain that. So it can actually burn your fuses, making it much harder to create a self sustained connection with the divine.[00:18:53] Charna Cassell: Yeah, and I think one of the things that you said that’s really important is the desensitization that can happen in so many circumstances, right? So whether it’s that you live in a culture where there’s sugar in everything you eat, and then your, taste buds get desensitized to sweetness, or, you know, I worked at a a co op, a worker owned sex toy store and we did a lot of sex education and there’d be porn playing in the back room while we’re eating sandwiches at lunch.[00:19:22] Charna Cassell: And so it’s like these things that you just like, you just get really desensitized to talking about certain things or seeing certain things or and then in terms of, you know, drugs. Or, you know, other sources taking something in, like what you’re referring to is, you know, you can nature in itself, you don’t need to even be on something, but like nature in itself can be the magic can be.[00:19:45] Charna Cassell: There, you can see the energy and have a spiritual experience using your own body, like cleaning your system out very, you know, historically speaking, like fasting and depriving yourself of like, you know, media so that you’re just creating an open space for what is to actually speak to you and communicate with you rather than filling your mind and filling your belly and filling everything so that spirit can’t get in [00:20:14] Aline Ra M: Absolutely. You’re absolutely right. I mean, we’re in a society that is so addicted to busyness, to doing things. And then when people want to connect with the divine, they just add stuff to their list. Go to the ceremony, do this, do that. But in reality, we are all naturally connected. It is more about stop doing the things that are disconnecting us.[00:20:36] Aline Ra M: So it is more about letting go. Letting go of the news. Letting go of foods. Like foods drastically disconnect us if we don’t eat well. So just eating well makes a huge difference in this work. Because your vessel is going to be clean for the connection. So treating our bodies as our temples, doing less, paying more attention, listening more.[00:21:02] Aline Ra M: Everything is relationships. The spirit is constantly communicating with us and so are the elements. So our ability to listen is crucial, but we cannot listen if we’re always busy, doesn’t work.[00:21:16] Charna Cassell: And the people that find you, do you feel like the people that end up finding you, they’re already on a path or they’re at the beginning? Like who are the people that you tend to work with most?[00:21:27] Aline Ra M: I work with different types of people. Some people were really on the path. They just never had like a guide with somebody giving the practices, but they being very serious about their practices in their own way. But I also work a lot with people. They’re just beginning in their path. And I do have clients.[00:21:43] Aline Ra M: For instance, I have exactly the setting that we were just talking about that. Try it out a few different, went to ayahuasca or mushroom ceremonies a few times and got curious and think that they already know quite a bit So I have one program focusing on people who haven’t had a consistent spiritual practice yet For they to create the first blocks of foundations for their practice.[00:22:09] Charna Cassell: And you’re tuning in and specifically creating practices for their system and them because, you know, one person needs to learn how to root down and connect into the earth. Another person needs to learn how to connect up and so on. [00:22:24] Aline Ra M: In one of the programs. Yes. One of my programs would do exactly that in my other program for people who are just beginning. I have a more standard practices that I give all of them. So they understand how certain energetic mechanisms work. and have a toolbox to help them. So when they are panicking, they know what to do, when they need to relax, they know what to do, they understand what purification is, and they can see the ego, which is the most important part for me, to make sure that people who are just beginning can understand what the hell ego even means in practice, because they can see How they are fighting with themselves all the time.[00:23:05] Aline Ra M: And I know that for some people that doesn’t sound interesting at all when they say, but and that’s not how I market the program as well. It is about connection, likeness, and clarity a hundred percent. But it has an effect as well of allowing the person to understand what is out of place. naturally by doing the practices.[00:23:25] Aline Ra M: And from that moment onwards, when they can see what the ego is, then we can do the real stuff.[00:23:32] Charna Cassell: Can you give an example of some of the things that are in your program that help guide someone to be able to be separate enough to be able to see ego and conceive of that?[00:23:46] Aline Ra M: This program is about setting solid foundations for spiritual development and bringing your likeness connection and clarity because this, it absolutely does. So you will be feeling lighter, more connected and clear. So in a way you will get clarity of like, normally people start because they want to have more clarity of what they want, their purpose, their direction, and they will definitely get that.[00:24:16] Aline Ra M: It gets those tangible aspects that people are looking for. It is just that the way it does it, it’s just by showing what is not okay. And so, for instance, many people on this program actually start realizing how much control issues they have. We all think we understand our control issues, but they are so much, like, like, bigger than we think.[00:24:38] Aline Ra M: They hide in so many small things all the time, and control is based on fear. The moment that we can see how we are so scared, everything changes because we just want to get rid of that fear. We don’t want to keep going with that fear, but it’s something that I can talk to people about it. but It doesn’t sound as strong as when you actually feel it, the program allows people to feel it.[00:25:01] Aline Ra M: And that’s when the key turns of what the, like, we always talk about authenticity, like to live our lives fully to be our authentic selves. We all want that. But not necessarily understand what it means there are certain things that we have to be put on the spot ourselves to see how we actually don’t feel safe being ourselves. [00:25:24] Charna Cassell: I mean, I feel like what a spiritual journey is about full self acceptance. know, to be able to move through all the, I’m too much, I’m not enough, I’m not worthy, et cetera and all the ways those stories play out in your family or response to culture or response to religion [00:25:43] Aline Ra M: yeah. That’s a beautiful place to begin if we can. Accept ourselves and acknowledge what we want that we have a beautiful path ahead of us to walk without shame with self love because at the end of the day, self love is the core of every type of growth, be it spiritual growth, be it personal development, be it empowerment.[00:26:08] Aline Ra M: It comes from this place of loving ourselves so much that how could we possibly shut ourselves down. [00:26:13] Charna Cassell: Right, right. And so much of the shutting down and that’s what a lot of my work is about with people is is helping them not shut those places down, not kink the hoses to allow everything to flow through them. But yes, people do shut those things down in order to be acceptable, in order to be palatable, in order to be safe, you know, in, in the process of trying to get love, right?[00:26:36] Charna Cassell: And not get kicked out of the herd.[00:26:39] Aline Ra M: Yeah. And if we can realize that, then it’s great. If we can see that’s what we’re doing, that’s a huge step.[00:26:46] Charna Cassell: And you pointed to this, which is, you know, we can talk about it but to be in the practice is a different thing because until you have that visceral experience, it’s really hard to trust or believe. And then once you have those visceral experiences, which come from practice, then it’s replicable, right?[00:27:07] Charna Cassell: And then it becomes self sustaining versus like some one off mystical. experience or something you’ve read and you conceptually agree with but don’t know how to actually apply.[00:27:20] Aline Ra M: Yeah. Absolutely. Spirituality is so much about liberation as Liberating ourselves from ourselves so that we can be releasing from anything that is not allowing us to accept, to embrace who we are.[00:27:34] Charna Cassell: Right. Right. That’s , also another big piece of the work that I do with people it’s a microcosm. I always, people come to me to work around sexuality a lot, but Your sexual self expression is a microcosm for other parts of your life. And so if you’re shutting a certain thing down, how can it not impact your sexual self expression?[00:27:52] Charna Cassell: And so like, what do you see with people around when they’ve liberated certain things in your program? gIven that sexual trauma is actually so frequent and it’s so common, what have you seen with people you’ve worked with around that?[00:28:09] Aline Ra M: About sexual trauma or[00:28:10] Charna Cassell: Around liberation from, right? In the process Of healing spiritually, how that then can impact your sexual self expression and freedom in that area.[00:28:23] Aline Ra M: I Mean, sexual energy is. completely necessary for any kind of energy work, but sometimes we just don’t realize that. What I see most with my clients is to switch to calmness, to acceptance in terms of patience.[00:28:37] Aline Ra M: That it’s okay. Everything is okay. And focus on what I would like, not focus on what is not okay, on, on the worries and on the problems and on repeating the same self talk that is based on hate and judgment. It’s fine. I see things for what they are.[00:28:58] Aline Ra M: There is no drama,[00:29:00] Aline Ra M: We live in a society that is always Like the emotional reaction like it’s endless reactive emotionally, you know, and people think that this is like being alive and normal. They sometimes people think that people that are a bit impartial and like are kind of distanced and cold. But for me, that is like the purest expression of love. Love that is consciousness. Love that has a big picture and sees the whole thing,[00:29:29] Aline Ra M: Reacting to a small event all the time. [00:29:33] Aline Ra M: Well, it’s coming to this place of awareness.[00:29:36] Charna Cassell: And having more neutrality or equanimity and not personalizing things so much, right? Like that[00:29:45] Charna Cassell: piece. [00:29:46] Aline Ra M: And I’m not overreacting on things. Not as like, this happens, this is good. That happens. This is bad. You know, it’s it is what it is.[00:29:55] Aline Ra M: Then if I can see reality for what it is without judgments, then I can decide how to act on it, to go towards the direction that I want it to go. Not in a manipulative way, but in a neutral way, because we all have powers over all the energies that are around us.[00:30:13] Aline Ra M: And so it’s just understanding our powers and the comparison of our powers with the powers of the universe. We are God. And so we can start acting as such instead of victimizing ourselves or losing our temper or any of other things that happens so easily.[00:30:31] Charna Cassell: When you’re working with someone who’s had a lot of trauma, do you, do, first of all, I guess that’s the first question, do those clients come to you? And if so Shifting out of a victim’s story into being able to, you know, unwind that and see that as an archetype that they’re learning from is its own process.[00:30:56] Charna Cassell: And so I’m curious about your approach[00:30:58] Charna Cassell: there. [00:31:00] Aline Ra M: So, I mean, we all have trauma, not big traumas, of course, they’re big traumas, there’s no traumas, but we all have traumas. I Wouldn’t say that people necessarily come to me for trauma. I’m not like a trauma specialist. That is not what I focus on, but at the same time, what is blocking us?[00:31:18] Aline Ra M: from connection is trauma. So we are always, that is what we’re purifying at the end of the day. The way that I work with people, it’s not like I’m not a therapist, I’m not a psychologist, so I’m not going to talk to people about their trauma. Of course they’re open to share. I’ll be more scanning their energy to understand where it is for what it needs, what is influencing, what kind of practice he needs.[00:31:42] Aline Ra M: My work is. A lot based on practices. I give the people the practices that they need to do to shift the energy so I don’t go through the mind. The mind is not my path. I explain things. I talk to people about things so they understand how energy works because I don’t also don’t want them just to do the practice but not understand what is it that we’re doing.[00:32:04] Aline Ra M: It’s important for me that they have like an understanding even to have a good understanding because there’s so much naivety about how energy works. So to help them create that awareness of what this planet really is. But that’s sad. I don’t stay on the mental level. I don’t try to fix trauma.[00:32:24] Aline Ra M: talking. And most of my clients are actually online. I have some clients in person, some online, a healing sessions online and in person. So even with my online clients, I won’t be just talking. I will be transferring energy. I will be explaining to them their practices. And of course we will talk, but not as a therapist, not to try to solve the problem, just to understand energetically.[00:32:54] Aline Ra M: What is happening?[00:32:58] Charna Cassell: And is there a particular practice that you’d like to lead our listeners through?[00:33:06] Aline Ra M: Oh, I didn’t think about that. I love, there’s a very simple practice that I love and for some people they will say this is not spirituality, but it is in so many different levels, which is [00:33:19] Charna Cassell: Right. [00:33:20] Aline Ra M: So if you close your eyes and just put yourself very lightly with your fingertips around your body.[00:33:27] Aline Ra M: When I’m saying this, that this has so many different benefits. It’s. Suffering to your nervous system, which is so necessary for spiritual growth. The more we grow on this path, the more energy starts going through us. And we need to be able to handle that energy. So, self touch, very light touch with your fingertips. Going through any part of your body. You can go through your face, chest, your legs. Handling with you as you’re listening to my voice. xploring your body for any sensation. Calming yourself. This is beautiful to do in bed. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, just calming. A good five minutes of this at night before you go to bed is and it can also be used in the morning as you come out of bed for self connection, for greeting yourself before beginning the day, coming to yourself. One other reason that I love this practice is that touch is the sense of the heart. Each chakra is connected to a sense. And by stimulating your skin, you also get to clear your heart and bring more lightness into your heart. So for me, this is a practice. Yeah, it works with the heart. It works with the nervous system.[00:35:11] Aline Ra M: It is soothing. It will allow more energy to flow through you because it is soothing to the nervous system. So it has so many benefits. The spiritual practices can be a seat for one hour. Doing a specific thing in meditation, but they can also be light and playful and joyful and exploratory.[00:35:32] Charna Cassell: That’s super important, Swede, and I know you have a book, Bullshit Free Mindfulness, and that you have a bunch of different kinds of practices in there that can be done rather quickly, and that it doesn’t have to be that people go, Oh, in order to meditate, I have to put off, like, Oh, I have to be available for an hour, or, Oh, I have to have the right cushion, or all those excuses that we can make.[00:35:59] Aline Ra M: No, I mean, we are here to live. You’re right. We’re here to live. We’re here to enjoy. And life presents so many opportunities for us to do just that. It’s just that we’re so busy, so caught up somewhere else that we lose these opportunities.[00:36:16] Charna Cassell: Yeah.[00:36:16] Aline Ra M: So for me, a big part is to come back to the small pleasures of life, to appreciating the food we’re eating, our teacup, listening to our favorite song fully and singing along instead of just being a background, [00:36:32] Charna Cassell: hmm. Mm hmm. [00:36:32] Aline Ra M: like paying attention to those things, how we are actually a part of it.[00:36:37] Aline Ra M: Living our lives, the how is as important as the what.[00:36:41] Charna Cassell: Right. It’s one of the things about that practice that I appreciate is that as a child, and I think a lot of people could probably relate to this, you know, there’s a certain age, especially for girls, where we would do that, we would tickle each other’s arms, you know, and even this week in a session, I had a client who was having a lot of anxiety and she was just not conscious that she was doing it, but she was, I brought it to her attention that she was tickling and stroking and it was like, she just knew there’s an innate wisdom in her as there are.[00:37:13] Charna Cassell: Bye. Bye. There isn’t everyone that we know ways to soothe ourselves. We know ways to ground or open our own hearts. And we just may not even realize what we’re engaging in that process. So,[00:37:27] Aline Ra M: Exactly. If we just stop to listen to ourselves and observe what is happening, we’re gonna find great treasures there for sure. [00:37:34] Charna Cassell: Anything else? I know that you also have an eight week program for spiritual development. Is there anything else that you want to share and how people can reach you?[00:37:44] Aline Ra M: I mean, I have quite a few different types of programs, depending on where people are on their path. Regardless, the best way to work with me is to book a breakthrough call. So this is a first call without commitment where I assess your field and give you direction. Even if you’re not working with me after, you still get direction.[00:38:05] Aline Ra M: And if you consider working with me, I’ll see exactly where you fit in the things that I offer. Okay. I give healing sessions. I have online courses, so my website is a full plate, like a full buffet there. So if you go to Elin sorry, elin do com, I think you have it on the show notes as well. So it’s I don’t need to spell here.[00:38:25] Aline Ra M: I have a guide, a free guide called What is Spiritual Growth. which I think it’s a great beginning on this path. It is extremely practical and hands on in its example. So if you go to elindram. com spiritual growth, you can find that. [00:38:43] Aline Ra M: You will also find on my website, a free masterclass to how to connect with the divine. So these are a few of the offers that I have to support you on your path.[00:38:54] Charna Cassell: Beautiful.[00:38:54] Aline Ra M: yeah, the best place to find me is on my website and on YouTube is Alinram as well. All mysteries there.[00:39:02] Aline Ra M: Thank you so much for having me today, Sharon It was fun talking to you.[00:39:05] Charna Cassell: well thank you again. It was good to meet you.

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© 2022 By Charna Cassell, LMFT. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. MFC 51238.

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