This week’s topic is: How Toxic Positivity can Affect Our Emotional Well-being with John Pisani
I am so excited to have my very special guest, John Pisani, who is my business partner at Solluna and best friend for over 10 years. Listen in as John and I discuss the big difference between being positive in this forced way versus really feeling the range of emotions as humans and natural optimism. And in today’s show, we’re going to really define what toxic positivity is so we can be aware of it in our own life.
There are many detrimental aspects of pushing down our feelings, including in our physical body, experiencing more inflammation, and imbalance of hormones. There’s very real physical things that happen when we don’t really allow ourselves to feel and to express ourselves as humans. And at the same time, we don’t want to wallow in negativity either. And today we’re going to talk about the distinction of feeling, and tips and tools to really get to this place of natural optimism without the fakeness or forcedness.
About John Pisani
John Pisani is founding partner, co-owner and COO of Solluna, a lifestyle brand empowering you to live your best life with offerings in each of its 4 Cornerstones: Food, Body, Emotional Well-being, and Spiritual Growth. He also currently produces the top-rated podcast on iTunes entitled Feel Good Podcast with Kimberly Snyder.
He also produced the marketing and publicity release campaigns for the New York Times best-selling books The Beauty Detox Power (2015) The Beauty Detox Foods (2013) and The Beauty Detox Solution (2011) as well as the best sellers Radical Beauty (2016) and Recipes for Your Perfectly Imperfect Life (2019)
With personal access to celebrities and key influencers Pisani exposes brands and projects to Hollywood’s top celebrities, executives, and tastemakers. For years he has been one of Hollywood’s top film publicists and field producers, with over 55 film credits, including the physical production publicity, marketing and field producing on 18 Marvel Studios blockbuster films.
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Kimberly: 00:03 Namaste loves and welcome back to our Monday interview podcast. I am very excited for our topic today, which is an important one that we talk about on How Toxic Positivity can Affect Our Emotional Well-being. So there’s a big difference between being positive in this forced way as we’ll get into today, versus really feeling the range of emotions as humans and natural optimism. And so in today’s show, we’re gonna really define what toxic positivity is so we can be aware of it in our own life. There are many detrimental aspects of pushing down our feelings, including in our physical body, experiencing more inflammation, imbalance of hormones. There’s very real physical things that happen when we don’t really allow ourselves to feel and to express as humans. And at the same time, we don’t wanna wallow in negativity either. So today we’re gonna talk about the distinction of feeling and tips and tools to really get to this place of natural optimism without the fakeness, without the forcedness.
Kimberly: So my guest today is John Pisani, who is my partner at Solluna. He’s been my long term partner, best friend. We’ve talked about so many of these topics together. We’ve grown together so much and individually. And so this was a topic that we wanted to bring forward because it’s important. We’ve learned a lot. Each of us, John and I have learned a lot about our own feelings and emotions. So really excited to chat about this today. We have some great research and as always, some really tangible and practical tips and tools to leave you with.
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Kimberly: And it’s a very expansive one for growing goodness in your life as well. It’s important to share resources and knowledge and information. So it could be a particular show, an episode, or just the feel good podcast in general. You wanna share with a loved one, an acquaintance, Please do that. It’s a wonderful way to share. And finally, please be sure to subscribe to our show and that way you don’t miss out on any of these interviews or Thursday q and a Podcasts.
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Last little reminder is our new book, Baby is Out, She is called. You Are More More Than You Think You Are – Practical Enlightenment For Everyday Life. And if you love this podcast, you’ll really love the practical nature of our new book, which is breaking down different aspects of the true self creativity, vitality, abundance, and really teaching practices and different teachings, if you will, from the text, from the great ones of how we really shape our lives from the inside out. So you can pick it up wherever books are sold. Again, it’s called You Are more than You Think you are. All right. That being said, let us get into our show today. We have our wonderful repeat guest, John Pisani back with us. John, thank you so much for coming back on this show today.
Interview with John Pisani
John: 03:39 Thank you. I’m excited. In a nontoxic positive way, <laugh>.
Kimberly: 03:45 So this is something that was confusing to me for a long time and I think that for many of us it is because we don’t always have the most emotionally stable and healthy childhoods. And this is no one’s fault. This isn’t saying, Oh, we’re gonna sometime blame our parents or really dig into all these details of the past. What’s important, as Dr. David Hawkins says this incredible psychologist that we reference so much who’s written the book Letting Go, he says it’s really about recontextualizing as adults. So that means that we look at our patterns, we look at what’s going now on now as an adult and we say, Oh, well this is maybe where the pattern came from or this is what’s happening now and let me make shifts now. So John, you and I have talked about this so much for many years because I experienced a lot of pain at a certain point in my childhood is where I think this came from just feeling not seen and heard.
Kimberly: 04:52 So I didn’t wanna feel that pain anymore. So then I would just say, Oh, everything’s okay, Everything’s okay. When there were things to process and there were things to feel. So I’m gonna read the definition, John, of toxic positivity. And then I’d love for you to share a little bit about your experience with it and also just from your perspective of how I brought this into our conversation as well. So toxic positivity we can say is the excessive and ineffective over generaler overgeneralization of a happy, optimistic state across all situations. The process of toxic positivity results in the denial mini minimization and invalidation of the authentic human emotional experience. So what do you think about that and how does that express, how have you seen express in your life, John? And also from me <laugh>?
John: 05:51 Well, it’s so interesting when you brought up this topic to me, I had never really heard of it and I was interested, wow, we’re brought up from so early about being positive and always being and always looking at the positive sides of things. And no matter what we’re feeling as a kind of cure all for when we’re not feeling great. And so in that definition so true, you’re invalidating kind of what you’re feeling and not giving yourself the room to feel the feelings that you’re currently feeling, which isn’t healthy. One of the things that I’ve learned in my journey is to always be authentic to yourself. And if authentic is like I feel this certain way immediately trying to snap yourself out of it cuz you’re not allowed to feel that way because you have to be positive now, it’s like, wow, that makes a lot of sense. And what you were saying is it’s a fallback crutch to a way of always trying to, everything’s okay, everything’s being clinging to that positive, which listen great to be positive and you don’t want to be always negative, but there are limits. And I think that’s interesting reading about this. It’s an interesting topic
Kimberly: 07:16 And so here’s delve into it a little bit more, but I just wanna say right now, this is the biggest breakthrough that I’ve really come to understand and we’ll get into more specifics to support this, but this is the biggest message that I’ve as an adult and recently I’ve come to see, is that our emotions come and go, right? Emotion means energy in motion. So it’s these waves of things that we feel as humans we’re meant to feel. This whole wave of experience, this whole range. And I started really digging in deeply spiritually. And what the Baga teaches and what Yoganada teaches is that we are not to over-identify with our feelings, whether it’s positivity or whether it’s sadness. There’s something else that’s steady that’s always there. And that underneath steadiness is the love. It’s the True Self. So what the yogis have taught us is that it’s okay to feel things right, but you don’t think I’m the sadness you, so it’s like you bring the love to it.
Kimberly: 08:30 There’s this steadiness of who you are, this witness part of you, the True Self. So it’s like you can witness the sadness, rise and fall and it’s okay, you witnessed the rage, the anger, the grief, whatever it is, the happiness. You watch it with a bit of detachment. And what happens in that process is you realize, oh, I’m this True Self. There’s this love here no matter what, the love that rises up to the sadness and sees it and comforts you, the sad, the love that rises up to the happiness and celebrates. So when you anchor more into this True Self part, then it’s okay for the feelings to come and go. And then what I’ve experienced is I don’t have to hide from the sadness or the anger, the grief. I let it there. And then eventually what I’ve experienced, I don’t know if you’ve seen this too, John, is it doesn’t last as long. It still stings, but maybe not as deeply because there’s this whole other part of you that’s just rising up to these moving emotions.
John: 09:30 And by doing that, you’re acknowledging those feelings to yourself and acknowledging to yourself and your body. And when you do that, your body’s able to move past it.
Kimberly: 09:43 Yes. When we’re trying to avoid pain or avoid, if we’re really trying to avoid these really bad feelings, we don’t realize that it really changes our behavior. It’s like we’re clenching down, we don’t wanna look. We start to play small in life and we make very different decisions. So let’s say we’re worried about, we felt a lot of pain, sadness from being abandoned in our childhood or neglected or whatever it is in life that could translate to not trying for big opportunities because you don’t wanna be shut down or ridiculed or playing it really safe in relationships. And so toxic positivity and pretending everything’s okay has this facade to it where underneath things are crumpling, things are stagnating, decaying. This is not good for your body. This is the source of aches and pains, tightness, rigidity, because we’re trying to hold this energy down, which really does wanna be expressed. And so I think what I was worried about, John, what I think it was like, I don’t wanna feel these feelings almost felt like Pandora’s box. I don’t wanna be that depressed person. I don’t wanna be this angry person. I can be strong, I can be okay with everything. And I was never taught that that was an unhealthy approach.
John: 11:07 Yeah, I mean think we’re, when you think about it, when you haven’t talked, spoken to someone in a while, and let’s say you’re going through a rough time, most of us, well hey, how is everything? Oh, everything’s good.
Kimberly: 11:19 Yeah.
John: 11:20 When you don’t really feel that way because somehow you think by saying, Oh my gosh, I’m having the hardest time on this and this. Not, you’re putting yourself in a vulnerable, but you’re also, we’re not taught to just be honest in that way and just say, Hey, speak what you’re feeling. And so we kind of go against ourself and then you hang up and you feel I don’t feel good. And it kind of almost puts you in a circle of this because you’re not validating how you’re feeling. And so it prolongs it and stays with you longer in these down periods because you’re not allowing yourself to let the air out of the balloon. And if we ever practice that someone calls and you’re really not feeling goes, Oh you know what? I’m just really struggling right now. You probably feel better at the end of the call because yeah, you know, you’ve let the air out a little bit and you’ve allowed yourself to validate that feeling and now you can actually move on.
Kimberly: 12:16 So you brought up a really important word here, which is vulnerability. And it’s saying what is it that I really feel? And again, a lot of us have been taught not to show it. We had parents that didn’t really express emotions or we weren’t encouraged to show that we were supposed to be the good child or whatever it was. And I remember to put this into a real world example, when I became a single mom, I remember there was huge feelings inside of me. Fear, Oh my gosh am how am I gonna do this? Real sadness. I didn’t think my life was gonna end up like this. I never thought that there would be a situation with a child where I’d be on my own and the family wasn’t together. There was huge feelings and I didn’t tell a lot of people. I told you John, and to myself sometimes it was like I was trying to hold it together for a while.
Kimberly: 13:15 There was shame, I think there was embarrassment and it just felt very hard to try to keep things going and it didn’t tell a lot of people for a long time. And then I remember I just started to wear on me and I started crying in my closet at night after I put E to bed, Bobby to bed, which is something I wrote about in the book. And then I started opening up more to people. And this is where the healing really came in. Like you said, this is where I was vulnerable. I talked to the monk at the self realization fellowship, I shared more and he really guided me back to spiritual practice. And he’s like, Read the scriptures, meditate, go inside yourself. And I had to face myself. And there was a lot of underneath, just old sadness I noticed. And it was coming up to be felt.
Kimberly: 14:07 And it was a really extraordinary period of self transformation. And at the end, this other word besides vulnerable I wanted to bring up was integrated. This integration of a lot of experiences. I felt so strong. I felt like, oh here I am. I’m not this just fragile, flimsy person where things have to be a certain way and then it feels good and it’s working out where I can really be resilient. And I’ve integrated a lot of these feelings because what happens is when we allow ourselves to feel, it’s like waves that come up and they go down. The energy, like you said, goes it just, I wanna say it leaks out, but it gets processed. So it integrates into your wholeness. It does make you stronger.
John: 14:56 No, really. Does
Kimberly: 14:57 That make sense? Yeah,
John: 14:58 Absolutely. And I remember that period in your life and we would talk, but just by expressing it at least to somebody, to another person allows you to slowly process. Yes. And you would come back to it each time you would be a little bit stronger and would take a little less time to kind of pull through. And so you kind of learned, you were learning the self coping mechanism that you’ve had in yourself, but you were discovering it of how to self cope and self soothe yourself to the point to where by toward the end process, you’d have the ping of it, but you could almost work it you through your own mind and allow your feel that feeling express that feeling. And it’s, you say you start talking to other people. And I remember, yeah, my parents when I was 12 and my parents got divorced and then we moved to another state and it was a very messy thing and my mom got quickly remarried.
John: 16:00 It was very, I felt embarrassing, the person, whatever, I didn’t wanna tell anybody the history or anything. And I kept this in for so long and then it wasn’t until I started telling people that all of a sudden I felt this expressing how I was feeling about it, this weight, I felt like a thousand pounds light. And I realized that was the power the is in expressing your vulnerability because then you’re free and freedom, you know, just feel so much better and being vulnerable, it’s a hard thing to do. And it’s something I really had to learn in my adulthood at a much later in my adulthood than I probably most people. But cuz we try to protect ourselves. But learning that vulnerability through expression of how you’re feeling, oh it’s such a freedom and you feel so, it’s amazing skill to have.
Kimberly: 16:55 Yeah, so freedom is another big word because I think the reason that we have a lot of these tendencies towards toxic positivity is because we take on this belief that we’re supposed to be happy and that makes us a better person. So for me, I could say personally, there was an element of toxic positivity that was somehow associated with my perfectionism because it’s shameful to feel these ways. It’s almost like I need extra attention or energy versus I’m the strong one, I’m smart, I can handle anything. So really removing these unhealthy, limiting beliefs that we’re supposed to always be happy and really shedding the shame and guilt around this. So the first part of this, which now we can move into some of the action steps. Now, some of the ways to really support this, I think the first one is really truly understanding that as a human, we’re having this human experience and we are meant to feel the whole wave.
Kimberly: 18:06 The whole range of human emotions is the first thing, just really we are meant to feel it. And that’s something that was never taught to me and something I never really understood. So that to me is the first thing. We are having this experience and part of the depth is integrating all these emotions in. So the second biggest thing or what goes along next is understanding that we are not these emotions, we feel them, they pass through. But this is where it goes more into the yogic science. We allow them to be there and we start through our practices like meditation, which is why we have a whole library for you guys at the Practical Enlightenment Meditations that are free, they’re on our site, they’re also on the app. We wanna start to connect to who we are underneath the feelings, which is the soul, true self, spirit, individualized, the voice of your heart, your intuition, however you wanna conceptualize it, there’s this deeper place underneath.
Kimberly: 19:11 So what happens is when you connect to this deeper place underneath, it’s your anchor. That’s your real anchor. And then it’s like bringing the love, bringing the light to the feelings. So the feelings come, let’s say it’s really deep sadness. And because you have this anchor, you can come into the feeling, you can meet them and soothe yourself and feel them. And it feels safer because you have this anchor. So that to me, this internal anchor, developing it through meditation or just silence, stillness, being in nature, knowing it’s there, it’s like someone’s holding your hand through it. We have had another podcast with Dr. Karol Darsa, which we’ll link to in the show notes, who’s a trauma expert and she talks about feeling the feelings but staying now in the present, which is another way of saying it, keeping your feet on the ground, feeling safe and anchored now, but starting to let some of these feelings come through.
Kimberly: 20:07 So that’s the second part. And then the third part, and then I wanna hear your take on this job is understanding, I talk about this book, Thoughts and feelings are different. So we’re letting the feelings come up, which are sensations in your body feelings, but thoughts are like, this person screwed me over, this shouldn’t have happened. Thoughts are mental. So we don’t wanna get into the thoughts because that keeps a lot of the feelings going and going and going. Number one, it’s okay to feel feelings, all the feelings. Number two, we bring the anchor, the love, the true self stability to it. But number three is realizing I’m focusing on feelings here, not thoughts. So that’s the first part. I think John is these three and then we can go into more. What do you feel about that?
John: 20:51 Yeah, I mean that’s a massive one of the thoughts and the feelings because I have struggled many times thoughts, overruling feelings. Cuz what happens is we have a feeling and then based on what our trauma or triggers are, our thoughts spin that feeling to how in a way that maybe isn’t that healthy. How allowing ourself to deal with and not staying in our feelings and allowing the thoughts to take off and run ever direction. And that for most of it, we’re more in our head than in our body. We stayed 10 in our mind cuz our minds are so powerful. But when you, you’re right, when you stayed down in your feelings and just focus on the feelings, it’s a much easier process
Kimberly: 21:42 Sometimes it brings up a lot. I remember staying, so here’s some tools too, you wanna have your anchor. So we have the steadiness of meditation every morning, ideally every evening that gives you this practice of really feeling this spaciousness. We’re in the spine, we’re in our space, we’re safe here now. And then life happens and triggers happen. So for me, when I start to notice the feelings coming in the triggered emotions, I really try to create some sort of space. I feel my breath or I put my hands on my heart, I notice my heart rate has gotten quicker or I notice these big feelings are coming up and instead of pushing them down, which has been my tendency or distracting or doing something that makes it feel better, this skill of just taking a minute or a few moments to reregulate my body, let this wave of the emotion be there, be friends with it, but I’m not identified with it.
Kimberly: 22:44 I’m not saying, Oh my God, I’m going on this ride or this craziness. It’s almost watching the wave. And so this is where the skill of understanding that we are not the ego, we are not these feelings, this is part of the human experience. So we’re human, but at the same time we are this eternal formless energy, the soul. And so when we link into that, it gives us so much practical strength to get through these waves. So for me it’s anchoring into the morning meditation, not being scared of the feelings, staying with my breath as they come up. And then little by little I start, it starts to not feel as overwhelming. So that’s how I’ve been started to just let these feelings process out and then it doesn’t feel as intense the next time and the next time Dr. Hawkins says there is a bottom to the well. As we keep processing, it starts to get a bit lighter.
John: 23:41 Yeah, I mean for me, one of the simplest techniques that I learned was to just acknowledging the feeling to say it out loud and to say to myself, Oh wow, I’m feeling a lot of anxiety or a lot of fear about, I’m feeling fear about xyz, I’m feeling anxiety about X, Y, Z. And by saying it out loud and verbalizing it kind of takes the sting out of it the little, again, almost like a little air outta the bloom. Because you’re saying something out loud as, and you’re taking it outta your mind, you’re expressing it and putting it into the universe and acknowledging that feeling to the universe. And all of a sudden by doing that, I find myself kind of what you do. And all of a sudden it also, it starts to slowly. Yeah,
Kimberly: 24:30 Well I think that’s great because when you name it, it is separate to you. It’s not drowning in the sadness anymore. Oh there is sadness. This energy is joining me. It is not me, but it’s here with me now. <laugh> I think that’s so great that you actually verbalize it like that because it is creating that space and that space allows us again to bring that steadiness, bring the love, bring the light to the emotion, to the sadness.
John: 25:01 Totally. And sometimes even we can have the toxic positive within ourselves, because I’ve noticed myself sometimes if I don’t do that, I start shaming myself for feeling this way and you know, end up doing it to yourself and like, oh you should, why you shouldn’t feel like, And so by saying, you cut through all that and you don’t allow yourself to go down that rabbit hole of beating yourself up for feeling a certain way.
Kimberly: 25:27 <affirmative>. <affirmative>. Exactly. And so what we mentioned at the top of the show was there’s a difference between being to toxic positivity and being an optimistic or generally positive person. And for me what that means is this. So the positivity is like, oh yeah, yeah, everything’s fine, glossing over everything. The complete opposite is letting everything in, integrating, like we said, through these practices. And we’ll link more to some of these other podcasts. And also, if there was ever a tool to support you for this, it would be the new book <laugh>. Because this is what it’s all about, connecting to the true self. So when you connect underneath, these experiences come and go in life. But what starts to emerge more because you realize that we are transcendent, we are transcending these emotions, we’re transcending the feelings, we’re transcending life experiences, everything in the external as being our source of happiness.
Kimberly: 26:33 We get to what the yogi’s called joy and bliss and joy and bliss is a different thing than positivity or negativity. It’s this underneath connection, this knowingness that we’re here, we’re just alive just in this bliss of beingness without things going our way, without having to do things. That starts to come forward more and more so that this is the non-attachment that the booty Buddhist Buddha yogis talk about, where there’s this more constant state of joy and bliss independent of outside factors because we’re just connected to this pure joy of living and being here. And this develops over time. So we’re not ignoring the feelings that come and go with life, we’re not ignoring the experiences, but at the same time we’re building something, a connection to something so much greater than this anyway, that this is coming up besides all the daily life experiences. Does that make sense how I’m saying it?
John: 27:37 <laugh>? Yes, totally. I mean underneath.
Kimberly: 27:40 Yeah,
John: 27:40 Exactly. And we all know if people are really honest you day to day, there’s days you have great days and up days and days, yes. Suddenly you’re not feeling great. And I think one of the important things is on those days to acknowledge to yourself it’s okay not to be okay all the time. Yes, give yourself the permission like, oh I’m having a down day, it’s okay. I give myself permission to not feel great today. And when you do that, you know, don’t stay in it as long cuz you let yourself feel down. And it’s okay if you have a bad day all day, then let yourself feel bad all day. You know, don’t have to. I try to, I’ve gotta get myself out of this today. I’ve gotta stop feeling, let yourself feel it until it naturally leaves. And if you let yourself, most of the time will end up leaving and you’ll find all of a sudden, Oh wow, I snapped out of it without having to check things off. How do I get myself out of this feeling?
Kimberly: 28:45 Yes. So these periods come out, we can call them dark nights of the soul where it’s part of the egos being challenged and you just feel really down. But what always emerges after a dark night is clarity is more love, it is more connection. But I do wanna make the distinction about moodiness, which is something that Nada talked about a lot. So it’s one thing to feel our feelings and to make space for that. And part of that is vulnerability, which we talked about and humility. So we’re saying I’m humbled down, Hey, I’m feeling a bit sad right now and being honest about it. But moodiness is when we don’t admit our feelings. And so we feel grumpy, we feel like a gap between what we want, our expectation and how it is, Oh I’m not liking this right now. So we’re projecting out that impatience or that frustration into other people.
Kimberly: 29:41 And that is not what we’re talking about here. That’s not what we want to do or promote. Moodiness is not it’s indulging the ego a bit. So there’s feeling feelings, making space, being honest if you need to, Hey I’m just feeling a bit down right now. I’m just gonna be a little bit quiet now. Or I need some space to the people around you being honest versus not being honest and letting, projecting moodiness out. So that’s something that is another attribute of the ego. And that’s when we’re not really going into the feelings. And I know I’ve been moody before and I can see that it was me covering up feelings actually.
John: 30:21 Absolutely. That’s a great point because moodiness is a totally different thing and you’re right, yeah, it’s all moodiness is caused internally by her own actions and by our ego and by not being authentic and not being able to just really be vulnerable. And it’s almost like anger because you can’t, it’s almost you want to but you don’t. You can’t, you can’t. And it makes you kind of angry.
Kimberly: 30:49 So practically speaking, when I’m going through something I find intenseness like I’d say anger or sadness cuz sometimes it’s just little waves of emotions and then you need 10 minutes or kind of breathe through something on your own or you take a little walk, you change the environment. But sometimes there’s a little bit of a prolonged period. And I’ve always found it best not to say too much to other people. So if I’m going through something may come across as angry or sad, I don’t really wanna speak from that place. Again, it’s not who we are, we are not the emotions. So when I try to teach to BU too, who’s six now and goes through big feelings and he goes through anger and I say, okay, oh make a sound or count to 10 or just huff. But it’s better not to scream out something at that point.
Kimberly: 31:39 It’s better not to project something out into the world. This is part of mastery, self mastery of emotions and feelings is to let them be there, be aware, process them. But we don’t wanna project out. It is our responsibility to process feelings and emotions. Now sometimes we need therapy, we need emotional support of community, but what I’m talking about is the innocent bystander. When you’re going through something that gets shouted out and then you feel guilty afterwards, then you feel shameful and we don’t wanna do that. So it will go through again. It’s number one, understanding that we are meant to experience this range. Number two, knowing that there’s a steady place inside of you that can be your anchor as you start to feel feelings maybe in small amounts. And then sometimes there’s bigger waves, but you can connect to the true self part of you and bring that stableness to you can be your own anchor.
Kimberly: 32:38 You can self soothe yourself. So that really helps with regular meditation and just connecting to that place inside of you. Number three, knowing there’s a difference between feelings and thoughts and not indulging the thoughts like you said John, but really getting into the feelings and letting them wash through. Number four, giving yourself that space. So instead of projecting moodiness, being vulnerable and honest about what you’re feeling and maybe trying not to take, just projecting in the outside world, maybe you need to process before you’re speaking or you’re really honest with someone that you’re working things through with.
John: 33:16 Yeah, I mean that’s all in the great
Kimberly: 33:19 Reading. Those are huge ones. Yes. And then the next thing I wanted to say is these practical tools, which we mentioned some of them is this whole thing we’re talking about emotions, feelings, it’s very body centric, there’s sensations in your body, it’s something that’s been stored in your body, like a trigger feeling. These are literally energies in your body. So similarly to we were saying, don’t go into the thoughts in your body noticing how can I support my body in processing these feelings for me, I often need to move. So I’ll go for a walk. I always feel better after walk, I go in nature. Sometimes I just shake my hands, I take a couple deep breaths or I go outside for minute. It’s very physical. So we wanna see how can we support our body physically. Maybe you need some water or you need to stretch. What are some of the, You feel that too, John? There’s a real physicality to this.
John: 34:14 Oh totally. I mean physical movement is one of the, I know personally for me, if I’m struggling with something and I get out and I take a hike and I’m in the woods connecting into earth, connecting yourself and physically moving, if it forces an energy flow, you know, start again. When you’re sitting and stewing or sitting and just feeling a certain way, you’re stagnant and that energy is stagnant. When you are doing that, you’re creating an energy flow and connecting back into earth, nature, sun, all these elements that fill us with good feeling. Help the energy flow. Yeah,
Kimberly: 34:57 Exactly. So we wanna go cuz sometimes I think our tools are very mental. Let me talk this through, let me send an email, let me da da da. It’s very in the head and we start to need to use our body and our body’s wisdom and just, this is somatic healing. We have a q and a that we are releasing soon about this energy flow in the body. And this is the reason acupuncture is so powerful and Rey and all these energy modalities because moving energy in the body really supports if we’re not feeling it again, this is where aches and pains happen. This is where traditional Chinese medicine wisdom teaches us that anger is stored in the liver and the colon feeling so is we could say maybe perhaps the genesis of things like colon cancer, liver cancer or energy isn’t meant to flow, it starts to stagnate. All these conditions around the heart, breast cancer, some say, and heart conditions, cardiovascular conditions, everything starts with energies. It does have a real visceral physical effect. So we wanna move the body, we wanna acknowledge and see what’s there instead of pushing things down. So it’s really important that we just become more aware in general because so much of this toxic positivity is this energy of glossing over pretending everything’s okay trying to keep things together. And that is not healthy at all.
John: 36:33 No. And our brain I think is most of us are wired. We’re problem solvers, right? If there’s an issue, we’re trying to solve it the fastest way possible. How can I fix this? How can I fix this? How can I fix this quickly? And that is not always the best solution because it doesn’t allow you, like I said, to process the feelings to process it. So we start storing it cuz we might fix it on a surface level or we’re not fixing it on a deeper level, which is the emotional level.
Kimberly: 37:04 Exactly. Deep. So I wanna read this passage from page 74 of the whole chapter from the new book. Yoga philosophy teaches us the path of non-duality. This means we just are no judgment. Non-duality means that you will have many different aspects of yourself rise and fall like waves. But underneath it all, you are still you. The deep down essence of you has always been there even through all of your behaviors. So this is the part of we realize there’s duality in oneness. You are you, but there’s different parts of you. There’s this surface part. We could say what you look like, your behaviors, your feelings, your emotions. This is one part known as the ego, but the deeper part of you, the true self is always there. It’s always steady. It’s not gonna get it overwhelmed no matter how strong it feels. The grief, the sadness, the anger.
38:03 And so we can bring that steadiness to the feelings more and more from the inside. And there’s so much power in this. It allows us to feel the range. It allows us to be human. But at the same time, there’s this part of us that’s beyond being humid, right? There’s this formless energy underneath. So it means for me, when I really started going into this in my practice, I wasn’t losing myself all the time in these feelings. Even in my deepest moments of anger or despair, I would say there’s still something underneath this. So it really does support you. It really does contextualize it. And then the next part is where Swami Desar says, Who is the GU of yo Nanda? Forget the past, the vanished lives of all men and women are dark with many shames. Human conduct is ever unreliable until man is anchored in the divine.
39:01 Everything in the future will improve if you are making a spiritual effort now. So when he’s saying the past, he’s saying talking about the shame, right? It’s like we don’t wanna judge ourselves. Oh my gosh, I could have done that differently 10 years ago, whatever it is. So we wanna feel what comes up. There may be lingering feelings and emotions, but then as I teach in this chapter, the essence is you take the lessons and then you learn this very important life skill. Letting go. It doesn’t mean we don’t pretend it’s there like toxic emotion. You let the emotion go by integrating it, by feeling through it. It’s like digesting a food. You wanna look at it and feel it, but it doesn’t linger if you don’t go into the thoughts. You just let that really intense energy, that sensation come through your body and then you’re able to move on like sha, make sure deShar teaches us. And then everything improves in the future because we’re making this effort to connect underneath. So we’re not getting bogged down all these blockages, all these over identifications with behaviors and things. We really are moving into more freedom, more spaciousness. And this is the integration of a really healthy adult which has felt all the feelings and emotions and isn’t scared of them, but also with them.
John: 40:19 Absolutely. It’s a great analogy with the food and feelings in the way of we have to chew our food in order to process it correctly in the same way in order to process, in order to deal with our feelings if we have to feel them in order to process them correctly. And if you don’t choose your food, you choke. And the same way, if you don’t feel your feelings, you end up, it ends up coming out in different toxic ways.
Kimberly: 40:48 Exactly. And so that is also why our cornerstones are so important. And this one which falls into emotional wellbeing as I keep saying, it has a very, very real visceral effect on the physical body and the foods that we eat. Everything is related. If you’re feeling toxic positivity, you’re trying to cover up and keep all this energy together. I would say that person is more susceptible to sugar and food craving because you’re just trying to keep energy in that’s supporting this sort of constructed image versus when we’re really real, when we’re really feeling we have a healthier relationship with food because we’re not going to food to sue us. And then this of course ties to spiritual growth because when we are identified more and more, which is what meditation is meant to do, it’s not just sitting and relaxing. Meditation is about union with us and the divine us in source us in universe.
41:46 When we foster this strengthening connection, our emotions and feelings can be there, but they don’t have to take over and hijack us. It’s in context. We know there’s this deeper part of us much deeper than behaviors and feelings and emotions and what we look like and that gives us more of the joy and the bliss. So it’s not fake positivity we’re looking for. It is this deeper steadiness. So thank you so much John for chatting with me and with all our lovely souls listening to this about this topic. I wanted to talk to you about it because we’ve been together in this process now for what, 13 years or more. And man, you’ve seen so much. We’ve been through so much together. We’ve seen, I know for me you’ve seen this growth in yourself, you’ve seen it in me so much more peace. That’s really what it’s about. It’s not the achievements, it’s not pretending, oh I’m so uppity and cheerful all the time. It’s the peace <laugh> underneath. That’s what it’s about.
John: 42:53 That’s only what it’s about. Cuz when you
Kimberly: 42:55 Bliss, Yeah, the piece is the bliss too.
John: 42:58 When you have that life changes for the better and in a positive non-toxic way, it’s a very
Kimberly: 43:06 Exactly.
John: 43:07 You don’t really get ever get into the pos. Toxic. Toxic, no, you’re at peace and there’s no reason to not say how you feel cuz you’re in peace with yourself.
Kimberly: 43:17 Exactly. So thank you so much. Loves for tuning in. I really encourage you to check out the show notes firstname.lastname@example.org where we will link to some other podcasts that are very much in alignment with this, which I think you would really benefit from. As well as other articles. I’m back to writing the Kim’s Corner articles, very raw, authentic blogging old school from back when we started in the day. So you’ll really, I think, enjoy those practical blogs, which are right from my heart. Also, meditations, recipes, a million other resources we have for you on there as well. Of course our wonderful supportive products, which I take every day, especially our digestive supplements. We’ll be back here Thursday for our next q and a podcast as well. So till then, take great care, sending you so much love. And of course let us know any other ways we can support, you can ask questions for the podcast on that. On our website there’s a podcast tab. So lots of love, lots of gratitude. Namaste.