How Transparent Communication can Heal Trauma with Thomas Hübl [Episode #823]
This week’s topic is: How Transparent Communication can Heal Trauma with Thomas Hübl
I am so excited to have my very special guest, Thomas Hübl, who is a renowned teacher, international facilitator, and author of the new book ATTUNED: Practicing Interdependence to Heal Our Trauma—And Our World. Listen in as Thomas shares his thoughts on interdependence and trauma, ancestral healing despite different beliefs, how to break free from global conflict, and so much more!
Interdependence and trauma…
The first part of healing triggers…
What to do when others become the cause of your fear…
Ancestral healing despite different beliefs…
Healing trauma without reciprocation…
How to break free from global conflict…
When you don’t feel safe in your body…
About Thomas Hübl
Thomas Hübl, PhD, is a renowned teacher, author, and international facilitator who works within the complexity of systems and cultural change, integrating the core insights of the great wisdom traditions and mysticism with the discoveries of science. Since the early 2000s, he has led large-scale events and courses on the healing of collective trauma, with a special focus on the shared history of Israelis and Germans, and facilitated healing and dialogue around racism, oppression, colonialism, and genocide. He has served as an advisor and guest faculty for universities and organizations, and is currently a visiting scholar at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University. He is the author of Attuned: Practicing Interdependence to Heal Our Trauma—and Our World.
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Kimberly: 00:01 Namaste loves and welcome back to our Monday interview show. This week I’m very excited to share a special conversation that I had with Dr. Thomas Hübl, who is a renowned teacher. He has been leading events and courses on healing collective trauma around the world, and he has a brand new book out called Attuned Practicing Interdependence to Heal Our Trauma and Our World. So today we’re going to be talking about transparent communication, feeling sensing what’s in our own bodies, in our own space, how we can better relate to others, and I really enjoyed our conversation. I really enjoyed our book. I learned some new things, so I’m so excited to get into our conversation today.
Fan of the Week
But before we do, as always, I wanted to give a shout out to our fan of the week, and her name is LeanneMarie3, and she writes simple, effective, and efficient advice. Super thankful for this podcast and all of Kimberly’s amazing advice. She keeps holistic wellbeing topics simple, effective, and efficient to implement. It’s so nice to listen to a show in the morning, try one of her tips the same day, and then feel the results that night. Thank you, Kimberly. Wow, LeanneMarie3. This is so wonderful to hear and I love that you broke it down into three words, which really are goals of mine. The words that you mentioned are very much ones that I aspire to for the show, simple, effective, and efficient. Wow. So thank you so much my love. Thank you for your review. Thank you. Part of our being part of our community. It means the world. I am so, so happy and grateful that this is inspiring you and you’re connecting with it as well because everything that I share here is really what has helped me, what resonates, and it just shows how connected we all are and how much we can support each other.
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02:12 So thank you so much my love sending you a big virtual hug wherever you happen to be and for your chance to also be shouted out as our fan of the week. Please take a moment out of your day to also leave us a review wherever you listen in on our Feel Good podcast. It could be on Apple, Spotify, wherever. It’s an amazing way to support, and I also encourage you to please subscribe to the show. That way you stay in the flow of our interviews, which are always on Mondays and our q and a shows, which are always on Thursdays. And you can submit questions for the Thursday show that you would like me to cover over on our website, which is my sauna.com.
Kimberly: 02:58 Please also share the show with anyone that you think would benefit back to this idea of sharing, which is so powerful and I believe a big reason that we’re here is service to one another. So it’s a really easy way to share the love, to share knowledge and wisdom with others that could profoundly help them as well. We never know which little bit of information or what is going to spark an insight, a realization in ourselves and in someone else’s life. I will also encourage you with all of these topics that we cover here in the holistic wellness. It really is tied through our four cornerstone philosophy, which is food, body, emotional wellbeing, and spiritual growth. And that is really how I was able to heal my body, my life to feel light and joyful and peaceful, which is something that I didn’t feel for a really long time. I had a lot of anxiety and digestion issues and weight issues and acne and insomnia. And so I’m really passionate about sharing with you how it is the total lifestyle. It’s not just one thing, but the total lifestyle that are going to give you the results you’re looking for. So please check out that page on our website, there’s a starter page for learning about the cornerstones, which we will link to in the show notes. Alright, all that being said, let’s get into our interview today with Dr. Thomas Hübl
Interview with Thomas Hübl
Kimberly: 00:15 Thomas. I’m so excited to speak to you today, and I know you’re in Israel, which is amazing. I love this technology. We can have this live conversation from across the world. Where in Israel are you?
Thomas: 00:27 I’m sitting in Tel Aviv and good to see you. Yeah, I’m happy to be here with you. It’s amazing that we can have this conversation in such a distance.
Kimberly: 00:36 I mentioned to you we had some really special experiences in Jerusalem when we were there, and it was actually the room of the last supper where my husband and I got engaged.
Thomas: 00:49 Amazing. And there
Kimberly: 00:49 Was nobody else there. It’s usually a very popular tourist spot. It was cleared out, so I That’s amazing. Yeah. Oh, the energy there is powerful. Powerful. And speaking of energy, it’s always amazing how we connect. We’re all connected in these fields and energies, and I’ve been working quite closely lately with the Heart Math Institute and we just did a research study together on my heart-based meditation. And then I came across your work, Thomas, in your wonderful book called Attuned Practicing Interdependence to Heal Our Trauma and Our World. And I started reading it and it was just really speaking to me in such a profound way with a lot of ideas that I’ve been thinking about and just really considering. And so I just want to start the show by seeing how much I really enjoyed your book, and I think it’s a really important conversation that we have. I wonder if you could break down your subtitle even as we are going here, interdependence and trauma. So now we’re starting to hear more about trauma, whereas we didn’t a decade or so generation ago. So now thankfully this is coming forward. We’re starting to acknowledge there is trauma within us and then as you mentioned in the book and the collective. So can you talk a little bit about interdependence and trauma first?
Interdependence and trauma
Thomas: 02:17 Yes, of course. So I think through relating also attunement when, for example, when we sit here and I feel you and you feel me, and then the more we attune to each other, we create, there’s a natural flow between us. And it doesn’t matter necessarily if you agree or don’t agree on things, the data connection is being established. And so when we feel related, we feel much more how we affect the ecosystem that we are part of, but how much the ecosystem affects us. So we all know, I mean, that’s your profession. We all know that if you constantly eat food that contains poison, it’s not going to be good for your body. I mean, we know that. And so the more of it you eat, the more it’ll affect your body. So that’s a very clear principle of interdependence. The food and our body is not separate, they’re interdependent.
03:20 They belong together because, or the oxygen that we are breathing while we are having this conversation, we wouldn’t have any conversation without oxygen. So the trees and the plants and everything together with this conversation is living in interdependence. And so I was looking at individual ancestral and collective traumas in the book and in the last 20 years of my work, and I saw more and more how actually trauma is the root cause for separation. And when we feel separate in the places, not a hundred percent, but in the places where we feel hurt, when somebody triggers us, when we feel isolated, when we retract, when we become defensive, we feel more separate. And that separation kind of cuts through our natural sense of interdependence. So then we start acting or speaking or doing things that are not anymore in resonance and in alignment with the living matrix with life, with the life in general, with the biosphere, with humanity. So we often recreate pain out of the same separation that pain created in the generations before. So that’s a little bit in a nutshell. I mean there’s so much more to say, but it’s in a nutshell that’s what interdependence I think is. And the reverse is also openness and interdependence, how we support each other, how we flourish with each other, how we grow with each other.
Kimberly: 04:54 Yes, it’s beautiful. You talk about how the fields are always overlapping. We’re always connecting with each other. And one of the things that I wanted to get into was your concept of transparent communication. But going back to what you said, Thomas, if we notice, oh, I’m getting rigid here. There’s a closeness, there’s something that’s triggering me. You talk about first creating this awareness, this spaciousness. Is that, would you say the first part of healing these triggers is even just being aware? Because many of us start to wake up to this idea, wow, there really are traumas here, or there is this sense of closeness, but I don’t know how to get past it. My nervous system is so wired with this sense of separation and I can be aware and I can start to breathe, but how do I really get back into this spaciousness that you talk about?
We discuss the first part of healing these triggers
Thomas: 05:49 Right. I mean, one thing that you also teach, and I also teach many others also, is the study how meditation affects our inner world. So contemplative practices are a way to create more space. One reason for it is also because when we meditate, when we concentrate on our breath or other techniques that help us to relax our nervous system, because trauma creates traumatic stress, it’s excess stress, it’s not even stress that is related to this moment. When you experience something more upsetting this moment, so you get stressed. But trauma is an ongoing higher stress level that runs often unconsciously in our nervous systems and bodies, and we don’t feel it as stress. We just see that we are sometimes very short, very reactive, very triggered, but there’s constant stress in the background, in the background of your computer. There’s always stress running. And then the higher is the stress activation in the body, the more tight we feel because the tighter gets our focus.
07:01 But in meditation, we practice exactly the opposite to calm our nervous system down so that the energy can flow down in the body. And in many healing sessions of trauma that we see in the moment that trauma opens, one movement is relaxing. You always see in the body, the body opens up, you feel more grounded, you feel more here, and then you naturally become more spacious. So of course, when trauma is in my body, the beginning of it is that I become aware. So instead of judging myself for being traumatized, there’s one very important thing that I always say is the trauma response, which is not the trauma, is not the experience, the abuse, the hurt, the neglect that somebody went through. But trauma is what happens in our nervous system accordingly. That’s what we call trauma response. That the trauma response is a super intelligent function in order to protect the human being from worse damage and to help the person to survive better.
08:11 So the fact that we can shut down a tremendous amount of pain helps us and helped us over thousands of years to survive critical situations. The fact that now we have a bubble of shutdown intensity that is desensitized means I need to desensitize a part of my body in that moment, I shut down a part of my emotions in that moment. Maybe I shut down a part of my mental capacity in that moment. That’s why it’s hard for me to concentrate maybe sometimes. So certain functions go to sleep, like an anesthesia with the pain, and then later if that doesn’t get treated right away, it becomes a chronic state. So later we come to yoga classes, we come to places where we study meditation or where we simply want to live our life, and it’s hard for us to feel the body. It’s hard to become flexible because here it’s tight,
Kimberly: 09:07 Hard to breathe. For some people deeply, the diaphragm, there’s this constant, as you said, this tension, this rigidity. Exactly. And this critical part for me, Thomas, was in my own healing journey, first of all, recognizing, wow, most of us have some form of trauma. I have trauma, even though I wouldn’t have used that word. It starts to shift when you said the contemplative idea of turning it on ourselves, because in the past it’s very easy to blame other people, isn’t it? And say for me, it was my ex, the in-laws, I don’t like them, they trigger me, right? Instead of, wow, there’s something in me giving away the power of saying, oh, I have this moodiness around them, or I’m not really myself. I’m not this loving open human. I’m tight and rigid and kind of cold and sometimes gruff, right? So there’s a big shift. I think for me, Thomas, and I think a lot of people when we realize, oh, it’s in me, instead of just saying the other person is the problem. Can you speak a little bit in your work how you would help to bring that forward address that
What to do when others become the cause of your fear
Thomas: 10:16 Yeah, it’s beautiful what you said. So the trauma, the shutdown part also becomes like another, in myself, a part of myself that becomes an it. I cannot feel it. I have tension it in my diaphragm. I have back pain, I have a tension in my lower back, like a muscle tension. I have tight shoulders. All these contractions, they become it ified. And so it says, and even my fears, I want to get rid of my fears. It’s like as if there is an it that is called fears that I can get rid of that’s already a sign that it’s already cut off. It’s already split off my regular experience of my whole self. And so when another person touches that part in me that is already othered, I project that onto the person. Suddenly the person is the cause of my fear, the person is the cause of my discomfort versus, and sometimes they are threatening situations then it’s true.
11:22 But often in daily life, we are scared without any reason. We’re are scared of situation, things that might happen, things that might have happened. And so that othering, and it is great that you speak about it because so much pain is being created through racism, through antisemitism, all kinds of othering processes, othering and political fragmentation. But many of those processes go back to the very origin that there is something split off in me, which helped me in the moment. It happened, but it actually has side effects. And we need to create a culture to take care of the after effects of trauma in order to lead it into integration like digestion, integration and post-traumatic learning. And that’s something that is often, that’s why I also develop this transparent communication. That’s a relational process. Of course, we can do some in ourself, but often we need a compassionate other, like a compassionate person and partner up to trauma therapist or a community where we can heal this together because we begin to feel each other again. We hold spaces, we listen to each other. We create the space that we can drop in slowly together and digest those wounds and integrate those wounds. And I think because often, especially also when people meditate or so when we can’t breathe or when we feel stuck, trauma is designed or one part of trauma is designed not to feel.
13:05 So I need to become a friend of my own internal process of not feeling. So sometimes when we ask people, okay, what’s the emotion that you feel currently? And then some people can immediately say, oh, I feel a bit joy. I feel a bit sadness. I feel a bit fear. But often people that I feel that it means that they’re thinking about what they feel because they can’t really feel it or by ourselves. So if I notice that I can’t name an emotion at any given time, then that’s not the bad thing. That just means that I feel that I’m a bit numb. And then we want to create honoring of the numbness in myself. But sometimes we talk to people that are overwhelmed also, or they’re overwhelmed and we keep talking at them as if their computer was open to process, but actually their emotional systems is already stopped. Shut down. Down. Yeah, shut down.
Kimberly: 14:06 Nothing’s coming in.
14:08 I think too, Thomas, having this experience of meditation when we really get into it and this spaciousness and the stillness that you talk about in your book, for me it was the beginning of really feeling, noticing the contrast when I’m with someone that triggers me because like you said, the stress that’s always playing in the background, these micro moments or times when we don’t even know we shut down to another person and we don’t know what we’re triggered. This awareness starts to say, oh, now I can feel what closeness is. I’m aware of it. And then this itness, this separation, then we can work on integrating it, which is a real process. In some of the sections of your book, you’re talking about ancestral healing and collective. I mean, some of this stuff, Thomas, is very, as almost like cement. We talk about these things that are written and sort of working to almost like massage them, send them out over these relational dialogues and experiences. And so can you tell us a little bit about healing? Let’s start with ancestral. Let’s say everyone in your family has these beliefs, these ideas, these limited beliefs. And then suddenly you start to become aware, this isn’t really what I want, or this isn’t me.
Ancestral healing despite different beliefs
Thomas: 15:29 Exactly. And as we learn to heal traumas through sensing or feeling our body, feeling each other, developing a sensing because thinking and sensing is sense-making. So then what I think and what I feel becomes coherent in my body experience, then the flow through my nervous system, from cognition to emotion to embodiment becomes more of a flow. There’s energy is circulating through my spine. Some data flows up, some data flows downwards the spine. And that’s when we feel, oh, we feel at home. We feel grounded. We feel happy in our body. So the feeling of trauma is recognizing either the traumatic over the hyper stress and then learning how to through spaciousness to regulate it. And also to notice when I become distant, because some people when they’re triggered, they’re not explosive, they’re distant,
Kimberly: 16:35 They disconnect.
Thomas: 16:36 Disconnect, and they’re still in the room. They might still be talking to you, but you don’t feel it anymore as a warm connection.
16:45 And that’s another way of being triggered. And that not feeling like that numbness is an important part because many of us as kids, because we couldn’t just walk away from our core family, if it was not a good time, we needed to shut down our inner world in order to stay in the outer circumstances that we couldn’t really change much. And so when we go to the ancestors, of course, first we know about our ancestors, but the deep ancestral trauma work works that I, and I believe, and I also wrote in the book that our nervous system is not just individual. There’s a part of my nervous system that is individual. There’s a part that is ancestral, that encodes the information of my ancestors. And there’s a part of my nervous system that is collective. That’s the part where I sense and feel, and I’m connected to the collective nervous system and can also receive data.
17:49 That’s how I feel. The atmosphere of spaces, that’s how I feel. The atmosphere of groups and group dynamics, but also the societal dynamics. And so I think the first step is from seeing ancestral work as my genealogy and how I know all my parents, grandparents great to begin to create an inner connection and see, okay, when I tune in with my grandmother, how does that feel? Do I feel it’s open? When I think of her, do I feel my body is open, my body is a bit more closed, and then I go and whatever I find there’s not this is the right way or this is the wrong way. There is only a way, and whatever reveals itself is my journey to my ancestors. But to begin to create, again, a resonant relationship and best we recommend that, or I recommend that it’s good to start with an ancestor that you feel kind of a bit closer.
18:46 We call this a resource or a gate. And through that ancestor, you can invite your other ancestors and get to know them. Wow. And that’s a great work. And I have seen amazing healing processes. People that were in strange over 30 years, they didn’t talk to it, no contact. A person did that kind of inner repair work. Some trauma healed the same night they got an email from that relative on the other side of the planet, and they made a connection. And then you say, wow, they cannot be. But I saw that happening multiple times. And so when family systems, the trauma in family systems loosens up, the whole information starts to change. And I have seen many systems begin to heal, more people start to do healing work, and it begins to become a more healthy ecosystem. That’s beautiful work. I love that.
Kimberly: 19:44 That’s beautiful. Thomas, let me ask you a question though. Let’s say the relative is not in their body anymore or it’s a relation, that person still isn’t open. You could still heal the trauma within yourself. I say the one-sided thing, you’re still sending energy in the field, but you don’t necessarily need them to reciprocate, to create healing in yourself.
Healing trauma without reciprocation
Thomas: 20:06 Exactly, exactly. We can do this no matter if people are still living or if they pass away already. That’s not the point. The point is that I do that in a work and I affect, as you said, the energy of the ancestors through my work. And that’s what we can do. And if people are still around and we can talk to them, it’s great to talk to them. But ancestral healing work often happens with people that are not around anymore. Yes. And it’s very powerful.
Kimberly: 20:36 Well ties in. You have a very interesting approach to karma, and I love that you bring it up. And my teacher, my guru Paramahansa Yogananda talks a lot about karma in families. If we had a strong tie with someone from the past, we can often bring them in. And so it’s almost like this repeated resistance to that person or that situation could keep that energy in our lives versus this spaciousness, like you said, whether they reciprocate or not or they’re in their bodies or they’ve passed on this resistance inside of us, this disease causing energy that’s so intense, we start to be aware and we realize it’s actually harming us to hold onto that because so much of us society still caught in that right, wrong, not wanting to forgive and then really realizing, like you said, it’s this disconnection in me that actually blocks abundance and energy and health vitality in my own life.
Thomas: 21:37 Exactly. It’s beautifully said. Yeah. And we can see when you look at trauma, trauma is like there’s such a strong impact that I cannot process it in the moment that it happens and I shut down a part of the data and I store it. So it’s postponed experience. When you look at, for example, the Holocaust, since I did a lot of work on the Holocaust and German, Jewish Israel globally. And so when you look at concentration camps, no way that most of the people could experience their experience in this horrible circumstances. So they’re postponing the suppression of emotion, body sensations, pain, whatever happened there was so high that a lot of that information got suppressed, postponed. So we could say in the next generation, that’s also in the same and in the next generations, that postponed information just doesn’t disappear. So the principle of karma is in a way, unresolved, postponed experience.
22:50 And if one generation cannot resolve it, part of it is being passed on to the next generation. And we know even now from science more and more, there are signs that the epigenetic transmission, that there are changes in the epigenome that encode for trauma. So we actually literally pass on something physical around our D N A changes that are in the physical body that’s not just like sometimes people say, well, energy is not, it’s too, I dunno, airy, but it’s data, it’s information in movement. If that information is not being integrated and made whole, it loops, it creates circular movements, it creates patterns. And so these patterns are being passed on throughout the generations. We see this in many family. We see recurrent issues that happen over multiple generations. We see it in people in us. Sometimes the same things come up again and again.
23:54 We have the same conversation again and again. These are all energy patterns. And so that’s very powerful, that karma is actually a very important, I think for us to understand that postponed information has always an impact. Many of our fears, they’re not related to a real terrorist standing in front of us. I mean some people in through racism. You see how people get really traumatized as we speak, and there’s literal threat there. So that’s different. But for many of the fears that we have in regular life, there’s not an outside danger imminent and still fears come up, oh, this might go wrong. Maybe I won’t make it. Maybe this will happen. Maybe that, and these are karmic flows of energy. That fear is not related to you and me, but it might come up between you and me, and then one of us gets a bit scared or insecure, but it’s not connected to this conversation. It’s connected to our past.
Kimberly: 25:01 Exactly. Wow. And when you’re with environment too, Thomas, there’s so much work, as you mentioned, the research, Dr. Bruce Lipton, the cellular biologist, showing how much impact the environment on the outside of the cell was influencing versus the genetic inheritance from the inside. And so in Yogananda talks about environment being such a profound part of our growth and our healing. So what do we do about healing racism, antisemitism, where a lot of people that are in that fear are surrounded by other people that reinforce those notions, right? It’s like the environment is sort of fueling it to carry forward. We try to get to that individual or that person to wake up inside of them. But unfortunately, the group mentality keeps reinforcing. So how do we break free? How do we heal that? I mean, it’s a big question that of course we’re all trying to solve here. But in your work, what are some hopeful ideas about that or ones that we can share and pass along?
Thomas shares hopeful ideas on how to break free from global conflict
Thomas: 26:11 Yeah, first of all, it’s such an important question you’re asking because many people around the world experience that in one form or the other as we speak here. So I think it’s very important for us to see. On the one hand, I think all of us are the remedy. There are moments when every one of us, no matter if we are directly affected by racism or if we are witnesses of racist actions need to step in even if we are not affected by it directly in our life. But if there are moments where we can step in and contribute something that resolves a situation, that protect somebody that is supportive, then that we see, oh wow, we are actually like a friend of mine, William Muy, who is one of the world’s best mediators, says often there’s a conflict. But the third side, like the world, the tribe, the community, the conflict is not just the conflict of two people.
27:14 It’s a communal, it’s a community thing. It’s a global thing. The Middle Eastern conflict is not just in the Middle East. It’s a global issue. It’s an inflammation that the planet has or the Ukraine War or Yemen or Sudan or Afghanistan. These are conflicts that are burning. It’s like strong inflammation in the biosphere. And we are the immune system, but the immune system is not yet strong enough. This third, to be so coherent to say, okay, we are going to do something. It seems like, oh, we feel disempowered, and then there’s nothing we can do. So first call is everybody can step in, everybody can be there. Everybody can also listen to somebody that experienced it. They can create spaces of listening, as you said, creating space. Listening is space. Listen to somebody, empathically, be there. Give yourself from the heart, create co-regulation so that the stress can ease out.
28:15 Don’t reject. Let’s be aware of our pre assumptions that we hold about racism, the biases that we look through. So there’s a lot of work everybody can do to free our own world inside to be more present in the social spaces. And then of course, we need to do whatever we can do to stop inequality and racist actions in the way we live and the way we run our own companies and the way, wherever we influence life, wherever we are a healthcare worker or we are as a parent coming to our local kindergarten school, there are many moments. It’s not an issue that’s out there. We are all interdependent. I think that’s very important. And the other thing, maybe the last thing is to also, especially for anybody who is a bit more trauma informed, to look how can we support everybody and how can everybody, also people that are affected by racism, that what kind of inner work can we do to become more resilient and to have more inner capacities to meet situations like that with more strength and more inner resourcing, and then to support communities to do the same. So I think there’s a multidimensional answer to your question. I think we could have just a conversation about that. But I think it’s a very important question to ask. And it’s to all of us. I think we all call, yes.
Kimberly: 29:55 Well, we all have different levels of trauma, and then there’s the collective layers upon layers. And that’s why I think keeping in mind some of these bigger principles that you talk about in transparent communication are really important because it’s so much self-awareness, right? Because sometimes these dialogues happen between groups and there’s right wrong, you did this, the victim kicked, and then it almost relives the anger in people, and then maybe something terrible really did happen. But instead of creating that healing, it’s just shutting down even more. So I really like when you talk about this, just the healing of noticing the tension, noticing when it’s happening inside of us, otherwise it doesn’t really heal. And we could be right, but never feel healthy or feel good in ourselves. And then also this idea, you write about this a little bit, when we don’t feel safe inside of our own bodies, someone’s gone through a trauma and bringing back that feeling little by little because maybe it doesn’t feel like a safe space to feel these big feelings, to feel this pain, to feel this neglect, whatever the trauma was. So it’s almost, it’s a process where we can’t expect it to happen overnight.
When you don’t feel safe in your body
Thomas: 31:12 That’s right. And you’re saying something, you said a few important things. I think one is when we don’t feel safe in our body that that’s not a dysfunction, but it’s the consequence of a series of experiences that that person had. So in that person’s context, that fear makes a lot of sense. In our society. We have a pathologizing framing sometimes that as a society we frame that sometimes is a weakness. We’ve framed that sometimes somebody, somebody’s inability to be decisive, to be strong, to be resilient, when in fact, in that person’s history, the fear or the retraction or the shyness or whatever are the symptoms makes a lot of sense. And I think for us to, or if somebody can’t feel their body, some people almost don’t feel their body because they’re cut off and then there are all kinds of dysregulations or food dysregulations or other things happening in the body that, yeah, because that shutdown in the body was very important for somebody that went through as a child through a trauma.
32:32 And the child obviously didn’t have the right circumstances to turn it on again, gently to ground oneself. So I’m happy you bring this up because it says that we start to create a bit of a different relationship to our own in a fierce shame, whatever, that this is not the dysfunction, but something that needs to be explored, something that needs to be related to. And the more we meet it with curiosity as part of our intelligence, not as part of our dysfunction, it’s going to begin an alchemical process of transformation. And we will start to breathe more emotionally, physically, mentally, relationally. And of course, there’s work that needs to be done. And so working on these insecurities and these fears and any kind of what people call weakness, I think is very important to be reframed in oneself that we reframe it ourselves. Oh, I’m looking at a part of my intelligence at that time, and now I’m dealing also with the after effects.
33:43 And that we do that collectively too. And then I think we create an ecosystem that is less pathologizing and is more supportive to be related, to hold the space also when I see somebody’s insecure. So it’s for me to create the safe space for that. And then the safer it is, the more we’ll be able to feel other things. And that was very beautiful what you said, because often we push ourselves into trying to feel something, but if there is a stop or a block in my feeling, it’s intelligent, it serves something. It’s not to be overridden, it’s to be acknowledged, honored. Usually when we honor it, we re-own the numbing. The numbing can open up and give way to the next level of feeling to a deeper place. And if I do this consequently, so my body will slowly become more open, more soft, more flexible, more fluid, and my emotions too, and then I’ll feel the effect, then I’m naturally more feeling, not because I push myself to feel. And so I think that’s a very important for many people that are on the self-development path, that we respect the process, we find not, we try to get to the process we want.
Kimberly: 35:05 Well, it’s teaching it like you said, and it’s this feeling dropping in here’s my body, here’s where I am. Because at the beginning, and I can really relate to this, Thomas, it’s clinging to the linear, the mind, what we can see. For me it was grades, the weight on the scale. That’s why I started in the nutritionist path because I was trying to heal my own relationship with this energy of food. And then as that healed, it was like, oh, there’s so much more here. But in the beginning it’s like is right wrong. This lifestyle is right. That’s wrong. This category, this, and it really is this. I wasn’t taught it as a child. And I think a lot of us aren’t to understand that we can feel, and there’s space for everyone back to this transparent communication because part of the safety is this person may encroach, or if they’re saying something different from me, then I’m wrong or I’m not worthy, or whatever. So there’s spaciousness. Part of it is this revelation that there really is space for everyone. And it’s this beautiful, like you say in your book, interdependence and peace, real peace starts to come out of that.
Learning from your trauma and how it relates to your purpose
Thomas: 36:16 That’s beautiful. And you said something else that’s very beautiful that on the one hand I heard you say, when you started to look at your own relationship to food, you began to heal and obviously your own healing, you became a remedy for others. So that’s beautiful that our trauma is not just bad and we need to get rid of it in our trauma is usually the pearl of wisdom. That is part of our purpose too. So it’s not about getting rid of it, it it’s learning from our trauma, learning from what happened to us, and then the integration of our trauma becomes part of our wisdom and what we become a remedy in the world. That’s really beautiful. And then you said something else that I want to underline that when we listen to people, it’s not the best to give people good advice. It’s listening and not putting them into a box that fits to the way I experience life and what was good for me and what is, but that I can hold a space and find out with somebody together through questions, through interest, through creative inquiry, what their intelligence really needs.
37:34 And often we feel that people try to put a bit something on top of us with the way engaging instead of allowing us to find out ourselves and hold the space for it. And of course, come in with the knowledge if it’s needed. It’s different. We need sometimes knowledge, but sometimes good advice is a way to not create intimacy to somebody to keep a bit distant and then to say what we think and instead of lovingly relate, and this is a big difference.
Kimberly: 38:09 I’m giggling a little bit Thomas, because it reminds me sometimes of the people we’re closest to with my husband, sometimes I’ll want to share with him, and then he’ll always want to fire off solutions. You should do this and say this. And same thing. He’s like, oh, should I go to this conference? I’m like, well, this is what I think, and I’ll tell him, right? So then he’s like, I didn’t want you to tell me, and I’ll say, I didn’t want you to tell me. Sometimes we just want that space and the answers are inside of us. But a common thing in these close relationships, sometimes we think we know what’s best for that person and that doesn’t feel good. It
Thomas: 38:45 Is exactly right. Exactly right. I’m so happy you shared a practical example. That’s beautiful. I think many people that listening can relate to what you just said.
Kimberly: 38:55 So last question, Thomas. I could talk to you about all these different aspects, but I’m interested when you talked about in your book Horizontal and Vertical Development, can you just briefly explain what you mean by that a little bit?
What is Horizontal and Vertical Development?
Thomas: 39:08 Yeah. The horizontal development is related to 2023. It’s us here connecting. It’s our relational networks. It’s the ecosystem. Every one of us creates a relational ecosystem. So the way we behave, we engage with other people, how generous we are, how everything that we bring into the world, our gifts, our intelligence, our jobs, whatever. So we create a horizontal ecosystem and we are living in the ecosystem that we create. That’s why first is before we try to start to save the world, it’s better to look at what kind of ecosystem am I creating and what kind of qualities can improve in my ecosystem, not just how I save the world, how do I create the world around me that shows my level of development? Because we all get a reality check in the way we look at our lives. So when somebody talks about consciousness, and so, okay, how does your life look like?
40:08 And once you look at your life, that’s our reality check. And let’s work on improving the way our ecosystem looks like, our intimate relationships, our families, our work relationships, the way we as citizens in the world that shows how developed we are. So there’s that. And then there’s vertical development. We talk about, it’s kind of the flow through our spine. It’s like a pillar through our life. We are coming from our ancestors because us having this conversation means all of your ancestors and all of my ancestors that led up to us are having these conversations Now, this conversation now, and it means that there are many ancestral information pieces that all contribute to who you are, who I am, but we give birth to together and how we relate here to each other. And so there is the ancestral stream. We could say it’s the past, but I think the history is not the past.
41:15 What is the past is unintegrated history, because history, integrated history has this conversation because many of the things that we talk about somebody before us talked about already. It’s not that we are so genius and we invented all of this, and I didn’t invent any liver or anger or all of this came into life over millions of years. So we are not the inventors of all of that. So we are here in a long chain of living beings that culminate to this moment, and we are communicating with the next generations. So it continues in a way, the vertical development on the one hand is also the capacity to be inclusive and responsible, able to respond to the future generations. And it’s also our higher spiritual alignment so that the evolution of our consciousness goes through the vertical development into higher and higher levels that we also download through innovation.
42:16 So every time we innovate something, we bring a little bit of the higher consciousness future into this moment. But that future has nothing to do with the later point in time because many people think of future, oh, tomorrow. But I often say, yeah, but if you have the same relationship argument with your wife tomorrow, then tomorrow is not, or with your husband, then tomorrow is the past, not the future. It’s not so clear cut that tomorrow is really going to be the future. If you have many patterns that you repeat tomorrow is a repetition of yesterday because you had that conversation many times. So if it happens tomorrow, again, you repeat the past, but if you have innovative insights, creative ideas, or if we talk here and we feel inspired by each other and we give birth to something new together, that’s when a little bit of the future starts to be active, like a dust in the space. And so future is actually something that happens in presence not tomorrow. And that’s amazing because then the work that you also do with the meditation practice is actually becoming more present in order to be more connected to the download of the future. And that’s an amazing practice. I think that’s very beautiful.
Kimberly: 43:36 Wow. So much in there. Thomas. I want to say that it’s really powerful to be with someone when I read the book and then we get to speak and be in a space where there is this embodiment because we all come across people who say things or post things on social media or write things in books or whatever it is. And then like you said, their lives or what is emanating is there’s a disconnect. And sometimes there can still be help and messages that go to people, but it’s really powerful when it is embodied. And you obviously are really embodying this message. And I just love this book so much attuned again, everybody, the subtitle, which we discussed as well, practicing interdependence to heal our trauma in our world. And the more time goes on, Thomas, it really isn’t for me, just when you read, sometimes there’s facts and there’s things that the linear mind absorbs, but you can tell when an author is embodying the energy and then you get a certain transmission when you read the book. And so there was a real, and I get goosebumps, there was a real transmission. There was a bit of magic that I felt when I read this book. And so I’m so excited to recommend this and to share it. And thank you so much for coming on and sharing some of your wisdom today and your time and your beautiful book with Thomas. Appreciate it so much.
Thomas: 45:02 Thank you, Kimberly. This is very generous. Thank you so much.
04:28 I hope you enjoyed our conversation today. As much as I very much enjoy talking to Thomas, we will link directly to the show notes in the show notes to his new book, attuned Practicing Interdependence to Heal our Trauma and our World. The more of us that comes into wholeness and our energy feeling really present and unimpeded by reactions and trauma from the past, the more connection we feel, the more alive we feel, the more vitality is flowing in our world within ourselves and in between each other, and it can really elevate the health and the love of the whole planet. And that is what Dr. Hubbel’s work is very much geared towards. So please check it out. Please check out the show notes, and I will also link to other interviews that I think you would enjoy, articles, plant-based recipes for your bodily temple meditations and more all over on our site, my sauna.com. That’s M Y S O L L U N a.com. We’ll be back here Thursday for our next q and a show. Until then, sending you so much love, so much appreciation for being here, being connected, being in our community, and I look forward to connecting with you more. Namaste.