5. The Fire of Connection

Hello, My favorite people. Today we are going to be talking about walking through the fire of connection. I bet you’re wondering what that’s all about, but before we get into that, I was just wondering, have you heard about the giveaway I’m doing? This is so awesome. So in honor of my podcast launch, I am giving away four things that I think everyone wants. Well, I’m hoping everyone’s going to want, so the grand prize is going to be private coaching sessions with me. So, four private coaching sessions with me. The second prize is going to be a brand new pair of Air Pod pros. And honestly, I don’t know, is it air pods, pro air pod pros? I don’t know, but you know what they are, right? So I have to tell you, I actually have two pairs because of all of this technology, my phone and computer were really struggling with one pair.

And so I have to have a dedicated pair of AirPods for my computer and another one for my phone so that it doesn’t keep getting confused. So if you already have a pair, this might still be an ideal prize for you. Anyways, I digress. The next one is a $100 dollar Amazon gift card. Now I don’t know about you, but I love Amazon. I think the convenience of it is what I love the most. And secondly, I love the reviews that I can read and I can decide right there if that’s something that I’m going to want. So $100 dollars just for you. And, if you don’t win those three, you still win. Because I have this worksheet that I’m going to give everyone who enters that is going to help them look at things a little bit different and refocus and started achieving goals that they might have.

They can start achieving them, moving towards achieving them today. So like I said, everyone, is a winner. I’m so excited. If you want to learn more about the contest, visit me at my website at: www.myinnerlove.com/podcastlaunch to get all of the details. Okay. Let’s talk about walking through the fire of connection. I have a question for you. What do you think the world would be like if no one overate, over drank, overspent, over entertainment binged, over anything. Let’s just sit with that question for a second. What do you think it would be like? Usually, when we’re overdoing most things it’s because we’re trying to escape some kind of negative emotions. Something that feels uncomfortable to us. Now, whether it’s boredom or stress or worry, overwhelm, guilt, whatever it is, there are so many that can cause us discomfort. Anytime we’re doing something to avoid negative emotion, that then results in negative aftermath or a negative result in our life.

That is what we call buffering. So for example, if I have a deadline at work and I’m frantically trying to get it done, my brain is screaming so hard. I need a pick me up. I need a boost. Chocolate would be awesome. So to numb the uncomfortable feelings of stress and overwhelm, I will go grab a chocolate bar, and depending on how stressful I am, will depend on if I even care about the quality of chocolate! Typically I’m very picky about chocolate and it has to be super high quality. But sometimes if I’m super stressed, I don’t even care what it tastes like. Why is that? It’s because of the feel-good dopamine rush that I am looking for, that’s going to numb and lessen the feeling of overwhelm so that I can get back on track towards meeting my deadline. So if you’re like me, I can’t just eat a chocolate bar and not have negative side effects.

I might see a tick up on the scale. Maybe I’ll get a stomach ache or I, sometimes I could get indigestion and at the very least I’d have some bloating from that. And then on top of that, my brain would start offering me thoughts. Like, why did you do that? You know, this goes against your healthy eating. So the guilt and the feelings of inadequacy start to set in. And I am most definitely feeling worse off than if I had just stuck with the stress, which by the way was back after the short-lived dopamine hit in my brain wore off. So other people might avoid stress by spending money. Hello, Amazon. I did talk about that, which kind of as another buffer of mine, if I’m not careful or watching episode after episode on the TV, until you realize it’s 3:00 AM, or maybe you drink, you scroll social too much

I’m saying if you’re overdoing this over-consuming literature, anything to distract away from feeling that discomfort. So buffering again, it’s just doing anything to avoid a negative feeling. And then it has a negative result for you in your life. So I’m not saying eating chocolate is buffering unless it is causing a negative net effect in your life. It’s causing worse off results than where you started. The same With social media, the same with spending money, drinking anything. All right. It’s buffering when it has a negative net result for you. So buffering is something we do to avoid fully experiencing our lives. Could you imagine I’m going to going back now to that question? Could you imagine how different the world would be if we all learned just how to manage those negative emotions instead of escaping them? Well, this is what it might look like if no one overate, which means simply that we all just ate exactly the fuel our bodies needed to survive the day, maybe the obesity epidemic wouldn’t exist. We definitely free up the collective $70 billion a year that we spend on the weight loss industry. Imagine what would you do with that money? If no one overdrank, maybe there would be less domestic violence. There would definitely be fewer deaths because of DUIs. That wouldn’t even be a thing. And maybe there wouldn’t be drunk behavior. If no one overspent as in overspent their money, maybe our debts would be limited to our homes and our cars and just unforeseeable, things like that. Medical or just emergencies.

If no one overworked, maybe there wouldn’t be as many stressed-out people walking around. I think we could all benefit from that. But if no one was overworking, then there’d be less seeking for the work-life balance that we feel is non-existent out there. Sometimes, maybe it would just mean that we would have closer relationships if no one binged on entertainment, like social media, NetFlix, even books, there might be more authentic face-to-face connections. There might even be less depression and less suicide. Knowing how detrimental it is, why do we do it? Well, it’s simple, but not our brains love pleasure. That’s the simple side of it. We’re surrounded by a society that offers lots of conveniences and immediate gratification. Life should be easy it tells us. Every time we engage in a life-preserving activity, our brain takes note that this is something we need to do again and again and again.

So for years, we’ve unknowingly been wiring our brains to believe that this is what we should be seeking all the time. For example, food, we all know that we need food to survive. Each time we eat healthily, we get a small amount of dopamine released in the brain. Signaling that eating is a good thing. However, when we consume over-concentrated foods like sugar, a flood of dopamine is released into the brain. It feels so good. And the brain says, oh yeah! Much more of that, please! But just like drugs after a while the brain down-regulates and it requires more and more sugar to get the same feelings of pleasure at once felt that desire increases and increases until it feels like we’ve lost any sense of control over it. We are hooked. And it’s the same with anything that we do to buffer. We are getting a flood of dopamine rushed into the brain and the brain says yes, more of this, please.

And so the walking through the fire begins. Overcoming addiction and feelings of desire can be quite daunting if you don’t know how to do it. Moving past buffering is like being able to just sit with an itch and not scratch it. That is so hard. I once heard that urges and desires are a lot like poison Ivy. It really, really itches. Sometimes your skin is just crawling and you are going bonkers, just wanting to scratch it, to make that discomfort go away for that. Just immediate pleasure, even if it’s just for one second. However, if you scratch it, you run the risk of the infection oozing out and then spreading causing even more itching, more scratching. And the intensity, it just builds and builds until it feels like it’s out of control. But if you don’t scratch it, the rash heals itself and slowly goes away.

So as you learn to sit with your discomfort, allowing it to be there, recognizing what it is and how it feels in the body, you are essentially rewiring your brain and healing, the parts that are not getting you the results you want. So where do we start to overcome buffering? First, look at the results in your life that you’d like to change. It can be a number of things, but for example, losing weight, or you feel like you’re in a bad relationship, or having low self-esteem. Then ask, is this being created from buffering? Am I trying to numb some kind of negative emotion? If you weigh more than you’d like, is it because you’re stressed, tired, bored, lonely, et cetera. And instead of learning how to feel that discomfort of those emotions, you instead eat to escape it. If you think you’re in a bad relationship, maybe you buffer by watching chick flicks, wishing that’s how your life could be. Or maybe resort to people-pleasing.

Yes, people-pleasing is a form of buffering, but instead, you could be validating yourself for all the good qualities you have to offer. Being overweight, feeling like you’re in a bad relationship, or that you struggled to believe in yourself. These are all things that can lead to buffering. So that’s number one, figure out where you are buffering. Number two, learn how to allow the discomfort without relying on external sources to do it for you. So instead of sitting on the couch with a pint or a gallon of chocolate ice cream, watching the latest chick flick, and tearing myself down, maybe I decide it’s time to reconnect with myself. To be willing, to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable and learn to sit with the poisonous itch instead of scratching it and making it worse. That’s why I call this walking through the fire to find connection, reconnecting with you, and recognizing what each emotion feels like in your body is a skill. For so long,

I buffered in many ways to a point that I was numbed to most feelings. Do you remember me talking about the 50 50 and filling the negative meant I could also feel the positive and the more negative I’m willing to feel opens me up for that much more positive goodness on the other side. I wasn’t just numbing out the negative feelings through buffering, but I was also fooling myself with all the false pleasure buffering was offering me. So neither side of the 50, 50, we’re very authentic. Walking through the fire means learning how and where you feel stress in the body. How and where you feel loneliness or shame or inadequacy. And then being willing to allow it just to hang out with you like an old friend, when you know how to do it, you’re teaching your brain to notice the feeling it’s having a tantrum about is not going to kill you.

The brain is an excellent salesman. The brain feels this negative emotion and it thinks “we are all going to die”. And then it sends up this SOS signal in a massive effort to save you, but slowing everything down and really noticing how it feels, quiet our brain’s ability to be a drama queen or king. When we learn to feel, instead of buffer, we begin to feel in control and we start moving forward with higher confidence in ourselves. So disconnect from false pleasures and reconnect with yourself. Number three, reacquaint yourself with true pleasure. As you learn to allow discomfort, start looking for the things that will give you natural pleasures. In time, this will create genuine longer-lasting well-being. Do you know what these true natural pleasures might be for you? Maybe it’s a good book or a podcast. It could be a clean home, sleeping in, soft clothes, or snuggling in a soft blanket.

It could be getting cozy by a fire or taking a walk in the sun, taking up a hobby, or getting a massage it’s anything that will cause you pleasure without the negative effects. You once experienced planning time for these natural comforts will be key in reprogramming your brain away from the false concentrated desires. As we continue to turn down the volume from the false pleasures, we begin to enjoy the natural pleasures more and more. While we may only get to imagine what a world of no one overeating over drinking, overspending over entertainment-ing would be like it’s completely within our own reach within our own power to make our own world more true, more vibrant, more authentic. You have all the power you need to start today! And that is all I have for you today. I hope that helps you be able to start connecting with yourself more. As always, I hope you have a brilliant day.

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