Discover the power of nervous system healing and how it can transform your mental, emotional, and physical health in this exciting episode with somatic therapist Simon Berkowitz.
Explore how somatic techniques can help you manage internal stressors, develop the ability to stop your mind at will and achieve a fulfilling life alignment. We discuss the importance of nervous system regulation, the embodiment of desire and creation and the science behind this transformative approach. We also share insights on how to identify bad advice from the internet and reveal the secret to creating from a place of flow.
Join us as we dive deep into the world of nervous system healing, and learn how understanding your body’s responses to life events can lead to unimaginable personal growth and improved quality of life.
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In This Episode Of The Rageheart Podcast With Simon Berkowitz, You’ll Discover:
- How somatic techniques have helped Simon in his day-to-day life (not just broad strokes but specifics, including how it’s brought magic to his romantic relationship)
- How Simon spent most of his life in freeze (and what it was like come out of freeze)
- How to think more clearly by getting into your body (who would’ve thought thinking less led to better thinking?)
- Why and when coping mechanisms are important (and how to cultivate healthier options so you don’t have to resort to unhealthy)
- How nervous system regulation leads to confidence, courage and even fearlessness (because you know that whatever happens, you can handle it – not as a thought, as a feeling)
- How to stop the mind at will (not completely and not forever… but at the drop of a hat whenever you need)
- Simon’s surprising trick for getting into the body (ask yourself: what do you want to m_______?)
Links From The Episode:
- Want to work 1-on-1 with Simon to apply the ideas in this episode? Email him at: simon (at) SimonBerkowitz (dot) com
- Irene Lyon
- Babette Rothschild
- “If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.” – David Bowie
- The Rageheart Academy
Heads up! Some of these links (and other links on this page) are affiliate links. That means Rageheart may receive a small commission if you purchase after clicking one of these links – however, there is no additional cost to you. This helps Rageheart continue to spread the message of unleashing the beast and nervous system regulation.
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Speaker 1: Welcome to the Rageheart Podcast, where we talk about how to get in touch with your emotions, connect to the universe with psychedelics and charge really, really, really shiny crystals in the light of the full moon.
Speaker 2: I’m just fucking with you.
Speaker 3: Instead of having this over thinking, rather like we said before, we get access to this other place that comes from the body. That will pull us towards this, and the bottom line is it just feels so much better, it’s so much more satisfying, you know.
Speaker 2: Alright, you beast. Welcome to the Rageheart Podcast, where I talk to all kinds of interesting people, including therapists, ayahuasca shamans and maestros, and occasionally my pet cats, storm and Zeus about all things nervous system healing, psychedelics and how to unleash that beast inside you. Today I’m talking to Simon Berkowitz. He is a somatic therapist, or perhaps just a therapist. We talk about his journey into the wonderful world of nervous system healing, including what life was like before he discovered these techniques and tools, how it changed after he got into the stuff and his journey along the way, the things that fell away, how things are better, the benefits, all the big wins, all the interesting stuff. But before we get to that, i want to give you just a quick little update because I feel like it’s pretty relevant to the work I do inside Rageheart and to what this podcast is about. So you may have noticed there has been two weeks with no podcasts and the reason for that is I have been on a psychedelic or plant medicine dieta here in the sacred valley of Peru Now most people are familiar with, say, an ayahuasca retreat.
Speaker 2: You might go away for five days, seven days and do three or four ayahuasca ceremonies and there is a bit of a diet beforehand. You can’t eat certain foods, so a dieta at least the way it’s described here, the way we do it here is sort of like a retreat on steroids. So you can do these dieters for any length of time. You could go to the jungle and do three months or five years or I don’t know if there’s an upper limit to it. But the basic idea is that instead of just say, drinking ayahuasca in a ceremony, you start to work with other plants. So instead of just ayahuasca this time I was working with Lavender and Melissa, and most people don’t know this but you can actually start to open up a connection to these different plants, where they become psychedelic too, even though they don’t have like an active psychedelic compound in them, and you see this in dieters.
Speaker 2: So it’s two weeks. You fast for the first few days and you have a little bit of water the first three days, but otherwise it’s no food. You’re not drinking water during the day for the most part, and then four and five are usually without food and water. So that’s how you started off. You have a week of lots of crazy dreams, lots of physical stuff happening in the body during the day, lots of cleaning. That’s what these plants are very good at And then you have two ayahuasca ceremonies and then we do it again. So another week of cleaning and two ayahuasca ceremonies at the end of that, and you do eat.
Speaker 2: On day six of the latest, i think, i ate on day four, this time Very, very simple food No salts, no seasoning, no fruit, no vegetables. I think all I ate was rice, chicken and potatoes for the first five days fasting, and then was rice, chicken and potatoes with no seasoning or salt for the remaining nine. And I mean to talk about like what a diet is like, all the different things that can happen would take way longer than I have in this intro and far longer than even, say, a podcast interview, even if I spoke for two or three hours. So I wanted to just touch on one of the probably one of the biggest insights that, for me, going into this was and this is something you know the world of feeling feelings, whether we’re talking about meditation or mindfulness, or somatic work, working with the nervous system. You know there’s various mind body practices where we are tracking and feeling certain sensations, or if we’re sad. You know, if you’ve been in this world, for this way of working for a little while you’d be familiar with. We’ll feel it, feel it to heal it, feel the sadness, feel the pain, feel the anger, this kind of thing, and sometimes that’s totally what needs to happen, and I’ve had, i’ve certainly had my share of releases, we might say, from finding a sensation where something seems stuck and feeling into it And then something, really you know, something amazing unfolds from that.
Speaker 2: But what I started to notice during this diet was during one of the ceremonies one night is sometimes feelings don’t actually want to be felt, they don’t want to be experienced. What they want is to be sued. And the best way to explain this is to use an example of, say think about a child. When they’re young, five years old, something happens. They get very upset, right, they’re crying, they’re just so sad and so upset, maybe really scared as well.
Speaker 2: What they need in that moment is not to sit there in the corner on their own and meditate on their feelings and feel their feelings and just be present with their feelings. What they need, or even take them younger, to two or three years old, before they’re in the nervous system, we would say the ventral, vagal portion of their nervous system hasn’t fully developed yet, which means they do not have the ability to self-soothe, to regulate that intense emotion. What they need in that moment is for a caregiver a parent or a caregiver to come and pick them up, give them a hug and just hold them, and for the caregiver to be totally calm and regulated, we might say, in their own nervous system, which will send the message to the child’s nervous system that everything’s okay, that the child is safe, that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Right? It’s not a matter of telling the kid, hey, hey, hey, you don’t need to be upset, there’s nothing to worry about. That’s part of it. But the underlying part is that the person, the caregiver, needs to be feeling calm and safe in themselves, and then the child will almost absorb that by osmosis. This is literally how the nervous system develops. The ventral, vagal side, the part of us that knows how to self-soothe, to regulate our intense emotions, develops based on our caregivers. It’s a very deep topic, but anyway. So think about that’s what happens with the child. The child doesn’t need to sit there and feel the fear. They need an adult to come in and show them, to demonstrate, to hold the space that says you’re fine, you’re safe.
Speaker 2: And so what became clear in one of these ceremonies and this is in some ways nothing new and in other ways a totally new thing for me But the idea was instead of if there’s parts of me, there’s parts of all of us right, that are still stuck in a sense of fear or anger or some sort of pain, something’s wrong from the past that’s still just going on in the nervous system And, like I said, sometimes just feeling it isn’t what it needs, because when we focus on it it’s almost like a nervous system goes oh, all I’m experiencing right now is this sadness, this pain, this fear, this anger, and it can start to perceive that as a threat which activates the sympathetic, the final flight which then makes it seem like even more of a threat which activates the sympathetic further, and we sort of spiral into negativity and it just gets worse and worse. So what I could see in one of these ceremonies was, because I tried that, i’ve tried that extensively, with a certain feeling that keeps arising in me, we might say And what worked so much better, infinitely better, than just feeling it was actually stepping back and settling into what I would call parasympathetic rest and digest. All right, the portion of the ventral vagal we could say in the nervous system world, the portion of my nervous system that is responsible for feeling safe, rested, recovered, sleeping really nicely. And I noticed that the more I felt into that space, the more I got grounded into that.
Speaker 2: The part of me that was afraid, that was unsettled, that was feeling uncomfortable, the more it could actually start to co-regulate, to sync up with my larger sense, deeper sense, of being safe. Does that make sense? So it’s like this fear or this doubt, this negativity that was passing through me. It didn’t need me to focus on it or try and get rid of it or feel it or control it or do anything to it in any way whatsoever. Even just being aware of it was too much. What it needed was for me to hold this space of safety and relaxation And then, just like the child with the adult caregiver, it’s like there’s two parts of me. There’s this child part and the adult part, and this child part that’s still stuck in the past, that’s still scared. When I’m in that adult part, feeling really safe and calm and relaxed, this child part can then start to go oh that old John’s like totally fine right now.
Speaker 2: He’s totally relaxed. That’s really cool. I’m going to go like just hang out with him for a while And as this part comes and hangs out with you know, this part of me, the scared part, the negative part, comes and hangs out with the relaxed, that ease feeling, really safe part of me The scared part can start to sync up. To co-regulate is the wildly complicated technical term to co-regulate. It’s like when you put two nervous systems together they start to sync up You know whoever has the stronger frame wins from a book a long time ago.
Speaker 2: But so if I can hold that frame, if everything’s fine, everything’s safe, everything’s good, the scared part can start to arise in a consciousness, to start to sidle up to this calm part, and then it dissolves. It’s the most magical thing And, like I said, this was one of the I mean there was so much that came up in this diet, the two weeks with these lavender and milisarine, as they call ayahuasca, and the shippee birds, the shippee bird tradition Subtle, you know subtle shift of perspective, a subtle change in approach, but it really shifted things And I just wanted to share that because it’s so relevant to what I’m trying to do with the Rageheart podcast and what I’m doing inside Rageheart, in the Daily Growl, the Daily Newsletter, as well as the Rageheart Academy. So, depending on where you’re out in your own journey, you might be able to take this and use this as it is. But if you’d like to learn more about how to work in this way with your nervous system, the best place to start of other than this podcast is to go to Rageheart.co. That’s like Braveheart but Rageheart.co. Or just type Rageheart into Google and find Rageheart.co. Go to the homepage. There’s a little box there. Put your email address in. Hit the key of it to me, baby button. There’s a red button that says that It doesn’t make that sound sadly when you click on it. But put your email address in, click that button, confirm your email address And from that day forward you will get some really interesting emails about how to integrate and apply some of these ideas into your own life. Okay, all right, that’s enough of that.
Speaker 2: Let’s get into the interview with Simon Berkowitz. All right, it’s John Wood here, the founder of Rageheart. I’m here with a good friend, simon Berkowitz, which I hope I said that right. I think I said that surname, right. Yeah, i met Simon. It was about seven, eight, maybe eight weeks ago.
Speaker 2: Now We’re doing a course with a lady named Irene Lyon. Together and we were paired up as buddies for a self care project And so we got to know each other through that, and it is a course that relates to working with the nervous system and getting into the body and out of the head and how to feel and all that stuff. So I thought Simon would be a really good guy to get on the show to talk about how all of this stuff has helped him just be a better version of himself. I don’t know if you know Simon, but the part of the podcast, or the name of it, that I’m running with at the moment is the company’s called Rageheart.
Speaker 2: The podcast is, i’m going to go with, unleashed the Beast, playing on this idea that as we become more embodied and connected to ourself, we become more of more beastly, more of ourself, more confident, stronger, better boundaries. It doesn’t mean working all the time or anything. It’s going to be unique to every person, but that’s kind of the idea behind the whole thing at the moment. So welcome to the show.
Speaker 3: Thank you, thanks so much for having me, and I actually really like that name because, in a way, what we’re trying to do, as far as I understand it, is get in touch with the animal side of ourselves, not because we have to necessarily attack or do anything like that, but because we have these natural things, that natural processes that we can actually work with, which make life a lot easier.
Speaker 2: So I really love that name. It really is about our beast. It’s funny like this whole work has been about people who are at spirituality and it’s suddenly going up into the universe or something. But some of the most profound moments of my life have been doing this work that we’re talking about And it’s so animalistic. It’s growling and starting to embody And it’s very animalistic And there’s something very healing and healthy and beautiful about that.
Speaker 3: Yeah, yeah. I mean I guess we like to think of ourselves as so evolved and so civilized, but the actual nervous system, the stuff which we’re operating from, has been around for so long And it’s actually designed for a different environment than we’re in. It’s designed for being out in nature and doing that sort of stuff. Not that we can’t work with it in cities and with technology and all that sort of thing, but if we don’t know about it, then I think it can work against us. That’s why I really like what you’re looking to do with this process.
Speaker 2: Yeah. So before we, you know, i want to get into your story and sort of how it’s all helped you. But maybe before we do that, just give the listener a little bit of a, just a quick little background on who you are and what you do and what you’re all about.
Speaker 3: So I have been absolutely totally addicted to learning and particularly personal growth type stuff since actually since I was probably a teenager, which is a very long time ago I pursued it as a hobby. Initially I did a degree in economics and then I trained in acupuncture and I worked like that for 15, 20 years, doing other trainings at the same time. So a lot of body work, craniosacral therapy, massage, various bits which are aligned to that. And then on the mind body side I did trainings in hypnosis and mindfulness and compassion training, and then I actually did seven years one-on-one working with dreams, with dream work, and everything that I worked with I found was wonderful, but it had these gaps. So the acupuncture it’s wonderful and can help a lot with mental, emotional conditions, but it doesn’t have unless you train in special aspects of it, doesn’t have this capacity to work with the person.
Speaker 3: Hypnosis is wonderful for reinforcement, but I didn’t like the approach to how to work with trapped energy, trauma, whatever way you want to call it, and each one of them had that. So eventually it’s quite a while ago now I had landed on the nervous system work and encountered Irene, who is the person who’s doing this course, and did a short course with her, had a gap and then came back to that three or four years later And I really do feel that all these methods are really, really valuable And this nervous system work. For me it’s kind of like the key that unlocks the door to make all these things work much better. So it doesn’t matter what you’re doing if you’re doing therapy, if you’re doing hypnosis, if you’re having a massage, if you understand how to work with the nervous system, you’re going to up your game a lot and improve your results a lot. So that’s a cool way to put it.
Speaker 3: Yeah, yeah.
Speaker 2: Yeah, i’ve never heard that way, because you know one of the ways I’ve been talking about it on the in Rageheart. The newsletter is talking about how, like all these other things, you can do meditation and a million different things And in my experience they just don’t. They just don’t work that well. I knew. For me it wasn’t until I found the nervous system stuff that things really started shifting, and shifting very quickly. Even though it’s a long process.
Speaker 2: It was like everything else up until that point I mean, you could frame it up your way as well where it’s like that stuff, these things do work. They. That’s why they’re so big in there, popular, and they’re out there. But I like that idea of the key that unlocks them all is the nervous system stuff or being in the body. Once someone can learn how to feel and be in their body, all of a sudden it’s like, oh, this is how I need to meditate or this is how I need to do, i guess, hypnosis. I don’t know anything about hypnosis, but these different other tools start to make sense and you can fit them into the nervous system map.
Speaker 3: Yeah, well, i’m curious why do you think the other things for you? why do you think they didn’t work until you got to the nervous system stuff? How was it that was making it less effective?
Speaker 2: That’s a good question. I mean, it’s not that they didn’t work at all, like I’d meditated for years, almost a decade, before finding the nervous system stuff. And you know, it had probably made me calmer in some respects. But I think after I’ve found the nervous system stuff, i think it actually made me more disconnected from my emotions. Because if I was feeling, say, anchor with someone I remember my partner at the time we’d have a fight and I’d feel angry, but I wouldn’t know that I was feeling angry, i would just take a breath and I’d think I’m feeling through it, but really I’m just shutting it down.
Speaker 2: And so I guess, without understanding, i guess, how the nervous system worked, it was very easy to misuse or abuse these different tools. They became part of my way of coping rather than a way of healing. And I just, you know, same with journaling, gratitude lists, like I see even gratitude lists like it’s a classic self-help thing that people talk about. I think the idea is someone feels bad but instead of learning how to work with that discomfort and releasing it, they just distract themselves and think about something else, such as oh, at least I have a house, at least I have food, and it’s like that’s going to help maybe in an acute short-term situation, but it’s not really dealing with the problem. So I guess for me it’s like it felt like nothing up until that point. Nothing was really getting to the root cause. I was always dealing with different symptoms until I found the nervous system stuff.
Speaker 3: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That makes a lot of sense to me.
Speaker 2: Yeah, but I mean like yeah.
Speaker 3: Go on, go ahead.
Speaker 2: I think, just like with the like, your metaphor, with the key unlocking the door to all the other things, like I don’t meditate anymore because I feel like the somatic stuff for me has just placed, taken the place of it. But if I want to say meditate, or sit down and do some chanting or use some of these different strategies, now it’s done through the lens of being here in my body, which then makes it work a lot better, and it’s not. It’s much less likely for it to become a coping mechanism, or for me, it’s harder for me to abuse the technique you could say.
Speaker 3: Yeah, i mean certainly my experience with meditation I did loads at various points in my life as well And quite a lot of other methods is I would not actually be in touch with how I was feeling and attending to that And rather like you said, when you had the angry moment and you’re pausing and thinking you were feeling through it, i would actually be using it like a coping mechanism, like a kind of salve, which is fine. We have to at times do things like that. There’s, no, no other alternative at certain times. And if we’re able to be in touch in the moment, that seems to give the opportunity for something to actually process through rather than just be tolerated tolerated until it subsides enough that we can deal with whatever’s going on And that feels very, very different to me.
Speaker 2: Yeah, it’s kind of I mean, you said salve, like I think I’ve thought about, like it’s a painkiller, like I’m in pain, and I don’t even necessarily realise that I’m actually in pain. I just feel uncomfortable And I know that meditation or applying some technique is going to make it feel better, and I don’t realise that I’m not really dealing with the root thing. It’s like I’ve got a headache and I’m just giving a pain, taking a painkiller, and it fixes the headache.
Speaker 2: But whatever’s causing the headache is still there And so and I think that’s where the nervous system thing just just the even, just the theory of understanding that stuff happens to us in our life. It produces stress or energy which is meant to drive a response, and then it gets stuck And unless that gets released, it’s just going to keep on happening. So, whatever technique we use, if it’s about releasing that energy, it’s probably going to have a really positive long-term effect. But if it’s not, if it’s just helping us avoid feeling that thing as it’s coming up, it’s probably going to stay there.
Speaker 3: And I mean, it’s a bit like using the wrong remedy in a way in some respects. And I just thinking of an earlier conversation today with somebody who’s having a lot of difficulty with breathing stuff And their solution was to go and lie under a tree at a certain point and, you know, try and be still because they’re feeling very agitated. They’ve been feeling very agitated and overwhelmed And they’re trying to go and be still And actually all that’s doing is allowing them to feel just how unstill they are, which is kind of creating this vicious circle of oh my word, i’m feeling so terrible, i’m feeling, ah, and it’s getting worse and worse. And in our conversation I offered a possibility which they could actually find a way to express that not in necessarily the huge cathartic sense. But what about walking? You know, just walk. And, as I suggested that, they recognized that when they did that, which they did do at certain times they felt much better.
Speaker 3: But if I’ve got an idea that I’ve got to meet this challenge with a particular fixed thing, then it just risks being wrong. You know, and that’s one of the things about the nervous system work is it really does, for me anyway, offer the possibility that we meet the needs of the moment. If I got too much trapped stress, maybe I need to find a way to release it. If I’d shut me down, then maybe being with myself, maybe a little bit of mobilizing somewhere, a little bit of moving, will actually help it, you know. But it’s finding what works for me, what works for me in different situations, and that moment, you know, that’s really what it offers.
Speaker 2: Yeah, i mean that brings up, like I mean with meditation, the advice if you’re angry or anything, is just to simply feel it, to sit there, perfectly still back straight you know, breathe through your belly, maybe, and just feel whatever’s there.
Speaker 2: That’s the general approach with meditation, whereas what you’re talking about is an expression that sometimes what we’re feeling doesn’t just want to be witnessed in a detached kind of I’m just sitting here feeling it perfectly. Still. Sometimes it needs to be put and moved into action, which might be like you said it might be walking, it might be screaming, it might be crying, it might be a million different things. And this is why it’s tricky, because it’s like there’s no one, there’s no formula for it, there’s no formula for how to relate to any of this stuff. It’s really learning to, like you said, meet the needs of them, to feel the impulse and meet the needs of the moment, because there’s just so much weird stuff and it comes out in the most the strangest ways.
Speaker 2: But I never got that from anything And for me, i know, i think the field of somatics it doesn’t have to be the stuff we’ve done. There’s a lot of different modalities in the somatic field. But I don’t know. For me it wasn’t like, up until the point where I started found the nervous system stuff. No one had ever really explained any of this stuff to me And most people don’t seem to know anything about it. It’s crazy to me, it’s so useful, but very few people are even aware that this is a. You can work on something like this.
Speaker 3: Yeah, yeah. What I like a lot about it as well is that you know there is you can learn the education piece Right, you can learn about, like, for example, polyvagal theories, one big part of this stuff which is a way of understanding how we respond to threat, how our nervous system responds to threat and how that gets trapped. So we can actually do that learning and understand that stuff And it doesn’t have to be a big deal to do that And we can then actually see it in ourselves very easily and in other people. And one of the huge benefits for me as being able to identify in myself what state I’m in and what state somebody else is in, and that means I can meet other people better, i can actually respond to their needs much better, I can look after myself much better. It’s just such a simple way of improving my quality of life. It’s that basic for me.
Speaker 2: I’ll tell you about that, like what’s really well actually, let’s go back and how is life? before you found this, you were doing, you know, you’d said you’d done hypnosis, you’d done a range of different things. What was going on and like day to day for you that made you continue to search for something like was there a problem or a set of problems that you were trying to solve?
Speaker 3: I think the biggest challenges for me is dealing with the internal stresses really. So, although I’ve been working all this time, i did have and have had and do actually have which maybe I’ll talk about in a bit some external stresses as well. But I think the main thing for me is that I was searching for a way to actually manage what was going on in my internal world getting frustrated, triggered, feeling not so clear on direction or confidence across these whole areas, and it kind of I realized. It took me quite a while to get to the point of realizing that I had a kind of social anxiety, a kind of not diagnosed but a real fear of moving into the world, and I hadn’t realized that was what I was really trying to solve. I mean, in some ways I had, because I’ve done some performance stuff. So I did a stand up comedy course and then went on to do a few gigs and I did a lot of experiments in that sort of area.
Speaker 3: So I don’t want to say that the nervous system stuff is the only thing which changed things, because it didn’t, but what it has done is it’s enabled me to handle my reactions much better, much, much better, to know my own state and be clear on my own state, so it’s a bit like I’m inside my own skin. And then in my relationships work relationships, friends, groups, whatever it is partner, whatever it is I feel like I’m better able to show up more fully as a person. I really want to be So honoring myself and also I do feel like I’m better showing up as a friend or the other person in the relationship And that’s all to do with having this sense of who I am in an embodied way, and it really is this embodiment which is the piece which has shifted things.
Speaker 2: When you say embodiment I kind of want that means because I’ve been doing this stuff too. but I think I was chatting to my sister about this And part of the challenge with getting people interested in this way of working is, if someone’s been in their head their whole life or for 20 years, when you start talking about being in your body, get out of your head and into your body being embodied. I think some people can be like what the hell is that? That does not mean anything to me at all because I have no frame of reference for that. And I think if you told me this kind of stuff five years ago, i’d be like, yeah, whatever, like just sounds a bit woo-woo or hippie or like it just doesn’t sound like, it’s a very like a powerful thing. And then, getting into it, i was like, oh my God, this is insane. This is so strong and so powerful, like it’s incredible. So how did you convey that? How would you explain embodiment to someone who’s never felt what it’s like to be embodied before?
Speaker 3: That’s a good question. I mean, i think it depends a bit on what sort of conversation it is. You know, if it’s just for an informational thing, i would probably look to think about how we actually can’t really experience anything without having it mediated by the body, whether we think that’s true or not. You know, if I hurt my hand, it’s my brain, my whatever nervous system, that’s actually experiencing that, making sense of it. So, even if we’re completely cerebral and I have to say, my journey goes from being I was once described as a brain without a body, which is not a great thing to hear. So, you know, that is what we can actually think, but it’s very rare that you can’t squeeze somebody’s hand. I’m not saying, do this, but you can’t squeeze somebody’s hand and they’ll say no, i can’t feel that unless they’ve got something very okay going on. We are in our body, and if you have a thought or a feeling that stick with a thought, if you have a thought about something you like, your body will respond, and you know that, because you feel good thinking about certain things and you feel bad thinking about other things. So we are embodied all the time, whether we think we are or not. What changes, though, is our awareness, in my view anyway, our awareness of our experience, and it’s a skill that can be trained. You know, slowly is better in my view, but it is a skill that can be trained. So that’s kind of what I would approach it from sorry, just bang the mic an informational perspective.
Speaker 3: Also from that informational perspective, there’s a lot of research. There’s a lot of research which is looking at this aspect. This is not woo-woo, you know, you said that before. This really really is not. There’s loads and loads of research that’s been done. So you know you can rely on that. If you want science, you can go and find it. There’s a lot.
Speaker 3: Then I think, if I’m working with somebody, i really love something a practitioner called Babette Reiter and practitioner called Babette Rothschild said, which is, when she’s working with somebody, the frame or the kind of question that she’s holding for the person is what do you want to make? What do you want to make? And I think there’s something really lovely about that, because, whatever my experience is, i have a desire to do something, however bad it is. I have a desire to move towards something, to make something happen, and, for me, where I’ve come out at is that actually we have this inbuilt desire to create. It’s a creative impulse. We’ll have it in some way, even if it gets covered up.
Speaker 3: And what we’re trying to do in this work, in Irene’s work, it’s following your impulse and your internal barometer. What we’re trying to do is to actually get to know that better and find ways to express it. And when we ask somebody what they want to make, that is actually what we’re helping a person get to. And in that context we don’t have to explain quite so much. We can explain as we go along, if you sort of mean what embodiment might mean, we can introduce possibilities because if, like I, was a brain without a body, if a person is having that experience, it doesn’t feel good to be necessarily told. You have to feel things.
Speaker 3: What’s lovely is to be offered. Here’s a way you can expand your world. You’d like to try it out, and always for me, the safest thing is to ally it to that kind of what do you want to make? That’s it that you actually want to do, and that can be that big vision, or it could be okay. So, how do you want to make your tea? How do you want to make your dinner? How do you want to make this conversation Interesting?
Speaker 2: I haven’t even heard that way of approaching embodiment before. What do you want to make? So what you’re saying just to make sure that I’ve understood correctly is that if I ask myself or ask someone else, what do you want to make, especially if it’s not coming from the mind, they’re not sitting there logically trying to figure it out, it’s just an impulse of like oh, i feel like some food, i want to make some food, or I want to make a business, or I want to make a really great relationship. It starts to tune people. This is what you mean, right, it’s tuning people into something that is maybe beyond the mind, like these ideas of what we want to create. Where that comes from is not a logical thought progression usually.
Speaker 3: Well, i mean, it’s always a bit tricky because we do need our thinking. So there is that, and I feel like the way I see things is that this, the desire to explore, is something which is observable from the word go. you know, before we have the kind of minds that we actually start to move through the world with, you know, exploring where’s that sound or what can we touch, and all this sort of thing. So there are these inbuilt movements that we want to explore and find out about the world. So at that very basic level, it’s physiological that we have it. It’s beyond thinking, because we don’t have language at that point, so we can’t articulate it for ourselves in the way we can as we get older. So this is built into us. So it is a sorry. I’m just wondering. you look like you had a comment.
Speaker 2: I’m smiling because what you’re talking about is I get it when you know we do like the movement practices right. So yeah, i mean, she just says I’ve got this in Rageheart as well. But noticing as we move, it’s not thoughts that are moving us. Something else is doing the moving, or creating and initiating the whole thing, and by tuning into that, this is that embodiment piece that you’re talking about, We start to feel that we are.
Speaker 2: We can move the minds, just like we can move the body, but when neither of them we are. This thing that’s very hard to pin down. We’re the word anyway, but can very much be experienced if people learn, if they get better at feeling.
Speaker 3: There’s no way that. Well, when I did this dream work stuff, the guy I was thinking about this the other day, the guy who was a very wonderful teacher in many ways, one of his first ideas I can’t remember who it came from, but it was one of these great thinkers was, if you take a shape like a square and put it in a circle, you’ve got a gap between the shape and the diameter of the circle. Yeah, if you add sides, there’s less of a gap. So you’ve got a Pentagon, you’ve got a five sided thing. There’s less of a gap, but there’s still a gap.
Speaker 3: And this great thinkers whole thing was that no matter how many sides you add to your shape in on the inside, you’re always going to have some kind of gap, lots of little gaps around it.
Speaker 3: So you can, you get the sense of this, and he used that as a metaphor to explain how our thinking tries to recreate reality And it never can. But our feeling sense can have a bigger view than the thinking mind. And this is one of the reasons why, for me, what you’re saying about, oh, we get in touch with this other part of us, why it’s so lovely, because we get information in many different dimensions which we don’t have access to in thinking, and it’s really a lovely experience. That’s part of my real passion for this work. Is that my quality of experience in the moment, my experience of a cup of coffee, my experience of looking at a sunset has just got so much richer as I’ve moved away from being limited by the thoughts about how things should be or what I’m looking for and let that open up. So I think that’s something of what you’re talking about maybe.
Speaker 2: Yeah, i mean this has been a you know, as a marketer I’ve been doing marketing for 10 years and then getting into this nervous system thing, i mean, oh my God, this stuff is amazing. We’ve got to share it with people. But a lot of the time I find it’s explained and just very poorly, so that people who get it, it makes sense to them But say, friends of mine who’ve never done any of this, they’ve got no idea what to make of it, so they just don’t do it. So then I’ve been thinking a lot about, well, how do I communicate, how do we explain this better so that people who have no experience with it can start to get interested and start to get the value from it. That’s why it’s such an interesting thing to talk about.
Speaker 2: The way that I’ve been, the way that seems to resonate at the moment with the people I’m working with is talking about most people have a mind that just doesn’t stop. That’s a very common experience for the average Westerner. or to be a brain without a body, to be constantly thinking, and they might not understand what it feels like to be in their body, but a lot of people understand at least. even if it’s never happened, they can still get a feeling. for what if you could just stop your mind Just like that, without meditating, without going to therapy, for 10 years? what if you had a way of working with yourself, with your system, of using what you are, your awareness, and you could?
Speaker 2: just silence your mind, not permanently, not forever, but you had a way to just stop the mind in its tracks anytime you liked.
Speaker 2: And I wonder if that kind of angle or approach seems to resonate with a lot of people, who probably think a lot because that’s something that they can.
Speaker 2: Oh, okay, i kind of know what that would be like. I have moments when I’m living my life when the mind kind of stops, and if I could have more of that kind of stuff, that’d be pretty interesting. And it’s the same thing you’re talking about, where it’s like, as the mind starts to recede or as we start to become less identified with how our mind is putting everything into boxes, it’s like we realize there’s this whole other world out there, that whatever we’ve been experiencing through our mind is not reality. It’s just our ideas about reality. And you get that out of the way, you start to have that expansive, beautiful, rich experience that you’re talking about. So it’s just, yeah, playing with different ways of saying the same thing to see, okay, what’s really landing for people. Because if we can get I really believe we can get more people into this, we’ll make the world. The world will be so much better for everyone.
Speaker 3: Yeah, i absolutely agree with you on that. I don’t feel that I can stop my mind at will. So I’m curious about that. I sort of I know what you’re talking about in some respects, but I know for myself if I’ve caught up in a difficult state say somebody cuts me up in traffic it’s. the one thing which I don’t seem to have got very good headway with is when somebody just cuts across me And you know I have a reaction In that moment. I’m not able to until I catch it, and even then I’m not necessarily able to stop it. So what I do 100% am able to do is to manage those moments much better and to have more of the sorts of moments that you’re talking about. I’m wondering do you have a particular way in for yourself that allows you to do that?
Speaker 2: I mean, i’m not perfect. I’ll start with that, like I can’t. It’s not, like my mind is quiet all the time, no matter what happens. But you know, if I go and sit down in the garden and I’m just feeling the ground and looking around and orienting, as we say, in the nervous system work, there’s still thoughts, but they’re few and far between, like they just. And if I’m really stressed and activated, like I don’t really get into traffic things very often, but something, let’s say I’m triggered from something that happens.
Speaker 2: One thing for me right currently is like a mild form of OCD right where I’m checking the stove repetitively, not enough where it’s never been diagnosed. It’s never been so bad that I can’t leave the house or anything. It’s a few minutes each time if it’s bad, and that’s something I’m still working with at the moment I have a much better understanding of what it is and why it’s happening. But that’s partly a thought-based thing, because I’ll go to say, just look at the stove, it’s off. The mind will fire off this disaster scenario of the house burning down for some reason And then I’ll be like, oh shit, i better check the stove again. I’ll check it.
Speaker 2: Oh it’s off And then the mind fires off a thought about how, maybe, maybe the gas is on. So it’s partly a thought-based thing And so I don’t have complete control, you could say, over thoughts. But and there’s still cleaning up. I suppose you could say There’s still stuff I feel like I’m cleaning up out of my nervous system, but for the most part it seems to work better, the more still I am. If I’m sitting in the garden and just looking around, thoughts will come and go, but they’re very. They’re just not sticky, they just kind of flow in past And it’s not. It works better with my eyes open.
Speaker 2: Actually I’m not really meditating. I don’t feel like I’m meditating. It doesn’t seem to take much effort. Yeah, there’s just very few thoughts, and then the more I’m moving, so if I’m doing the dishes or if I’m working, there’s going to be a lot more thinking activity involved, because I think, partly because it’s the mind is mirroring the body, but it’s more. I guess what I mean is that if I feel the ground and look around and feel my breath and bring in some really gentle, slow movement, the mind is. You know, the volume of the mind you could say has gone from 95% to about 5% or 10% in a split second, and I think that it’s not perfect, but that’s a huge step ahead, step forward. you know from where I was and, i think, where most people are with their minds. That’s kind of more what I’m talking about.
Speaker 3: Yeah, i mean that for me, and what I love about that is that it allows this room for growth and for finding out new ways of being which take us beyond what we thought was possible. And to move from 95% to 5% is huge, really. To move from 95% to 80% is huge, you know, depending on what their situation is And I think that’s probably the orientation I tend to look towards is this ongoing improvement, and it can feel like we’re not doing much, because these methods aren’t dramatic, in my experience anyway, they’re kind of quite gentle and subtle. You know, orienting, which you’re talking about, this looking from one object to another. If we’re using the eyes as that vehicle, it’s not a big, a big expansive thing And yet over time, it has this cumulative effect which is very, very powerful And orienting.
Speaker 3: Particularly for me, it’s given me this opportunity to observe how my mind moves and I can see, because I can now allow my orienting to happen. It will show me exactly what’s going on in my mind. It’s fascinating, you know, and opens up this space where something else is available which is along the lines of what you’re describing. So, yeah, that does work very well for me, the way you’ve just described it. I think that really makes a lot of sense.
Speaker 2: And that for me was, like you know, i’d meditated for a long time before doing this And I couldn’t do that Like if I was living my life, i couldn’t just get out of my head like that, like in a very quick fashion.
Speaker 2: If I sat down to meditate, maybe I could get into a pretty chill state after 40 minutes or something, but to just do it in 30 seconds sitting down and be like, yeah, i mean, there’s still a settling into it that you know, depending on what I’ve been doing that day, the mind can take some time for it to come down, but the speed at which this stuff seems to work, at least for me, has been so much quicker than all these other stuff that you know I could journal, i can do all kinds of things, and I couldn’t. I still stuck in my head. I didn’t realize it at the time. That’s what’s funny. It was only it’s almost like only after I realized what it felt like to be embodied or to be aware that I was embodied. Only then did I realize just how much I was thinking At the time. I’m like, i’m not thinking. This is just. This is just. This is life, this is who I am, you know.
Speaker 3: It makes me think of what we spoke about at the beginning in regard to that beast or animal sort of side of things, because I think, I think for me, the reason it can work so quickly in bringing us through something is because it’s actually working with our body’s natural process of harmonizing itself. You know, that’s really what the aim is. The aim is to remove the blocks to our body’s ability to go into an activated state, because I need to have energy online to do something. You know, whether that’s a physical thing or a mental process, I need to be able to get activated and roused in that way and then come out of it. And the big problem in our society is that get aroused by something or worried by something and we stay up, and we stay up and we, because of our patterning, don’t have ways to allow it to come down.
Speaker 3: And what you described, for me, that speed that it can work at, is very much to do with that ability to through the methods, through the practice, and that’s the important bit. It’s not a magic thing. It’s regularly attending to the practice, having places where we can go, where we can do that, places where we can get to experience how we work and, you know, do the thing. We start to see that we can actually allow that coming down to happen And probably, you know, going back to your way of getting your mind clear, that is what’s going on And that is the way that it happens For me, anyway, is that we’ve actually just allowed our body to oh, I don’t have to carry that anymore. Oh, what a relief We can have some pleasure.
Speaker 2: It’s funny. like you know, i’m in Peru and so I talked a bit about the ayahuasca and San Pedro and different psychedelics or plant medicines And a continual learning with these plans. is that my mind, my thoughts, generally thinking is a beautiful thing and it’s absolutely useful and necessary. But in certain situations the mind like in a plant medicine, in a ceremony there can be things moving through the body, things they’re expressing the same kind of stuff we’re talking about stress, responses start to move. But if I think it’s like how to block the whole process from completing itself And it’s the same thing in somatics, it’s just I think the way plant medicine tends to work is it’s a bit of a magnifying glass.
Speaker 2: So if I have a tendency to control or to think about things and block things, it’s like it will blow that up to a million times bigger and shove it in my face. So I can’t avoid it anymore. But I think it’s the same thing with somatics, or even what you’re talking about is a big reason why a lot of people are so stressed is because they’re thinking They get into a car situation, an accident or a close call or something. they get angry and then they think about it for the rest of the day. And then that’s blocking where it keeps them in that activated state, because they’re repeating and replaying what happened over and over again and the body staying in this final flight. And what you’re talking about is if we stop thinking and just feel feel what’s happening.
Speaker 2: it’s like the process we don’t even have to do anything. We just have to be there for it, just be present, really, just feel what’s happening. It just works itself out. It’s like that’s what you’re talking about. Right, the body will harmonize itself if we just get out of the way, or if we get the mind out of the way, which I think is less about not thinking and more about just not getting caught up in the thinking. It can still happen, but it’s just like oh, okay, i’m over here, thinking over there. Okay, i’m outside of the mind. The mind can still do its thing, but I’m going to be here in the body and feel everything And then just kind of works itself out. It’s really beautiful.
Speaker 2: If you’re enjoying this episode of the Rageheart podcast, i would love it, of course, if you could hop over to Apple, google podcasts or Spotify, wherever you listen to podcasts. Then leave me a rating or review. Of course, five stars is absolutely preferred, but if you leave me a crazy one star review, it’s something funny. I’ll probably read that out on this show too. And if you drop a link in there I don’t even know if you can drop a link in the review text somewhere, but if you somehow manage to get something in there. I’ll even mention that in the intro, or hey, just do it, just because you love the show.
Speaker 2: It really helps me get the word out. This is, if you can’t tell already, i believe in this stuff, this working with the nervous system, working with the fight or flight response, more than just about anything else and psychedelics, and I’m doing everything I can to get the word out about this because very few people know about this way of working yet. So if you’d like to help me do that and you’re enjoying the show and you’d like to spread the word about Rageheart, about this way of working with the nervous system and psychedelics and all that good stuff, then please definitely leave me a review If you can. A big, very big thanks if you can do that. Now Let’s get back to the interview.
Speaker 3: For me, part of it is getting to know how that working out process works for me, And there are some kind of signature ways that it works for me. So if I get triggered by irritation or frustration, I will notice that my forearms and this is just me. I mean, there are reasons why our arms might get tense if we’re activated sympathetically with that mobilizing energy. But for me, I really noticed that my arms go rigid and there’s force in my hands. So if I’m sitting somewhere and I start to notice that my arms have gone like that, I actually now I’m able to take that as a signal.
Speaker 3: Oh something’s happening, something’s got me And I don’t have to make it into anything else. It’s just like you say, it’s the feeling of it, to the extent that I’m able to on that day, that actually allows something to move, and it’s been a very, very freeing experience for me. I think I’d like to talk a little bit actually because I think it’s relevant here probably about the experience. I’d mentioned this before we came on.
Speaker 3: I think the experience with my partner, who’s been very seriously ill over the last five years, and I don’t want to talk about her situation. I think more in terms of my own way of dealing with it, because the nature of her illness has been that there’s uncertainty as to how far she will if she will recover and how far she will recover, and that uncertainty is there all the time, even though she’s been doing better. It’s there the whole time And in a way, that’s rather similar to a lot of the ways that we have to deal with stress in the world. I’m very fortunate I’m in London, which is fairly safe, touch wood, economically my situation is OK And at the same time there are a lot of things going on in the world which are potentially very frightening. So if we’re carrying that worry, it’s kind of similar to having this situation with my partner, with this uncertainty regarding her health.
Speaker 3: One of the things that this somatic work has enabled me to do has actually been to enable me to start to have time of recuperation in the midst of a situation which is not solved. There’s no way I can solve her health, just like we can’t solve the world situation, and I can find ways to actually find oases and places of peace where I can recuperate and rest and strengthen and grow and all of these things, and because it is so based in the body and so based in helping my nervous system not solving the problem, not thinking it through it’s so based in the body. It’s actually enabled me to do that in spite of this situation, and I feel like that is such a gift for me, has been such a gift for me, and it enables me to deal with the ongoing stress in a completely different way. You asked at the beginning how has it changed things for you? It has enabled me to show up in so much of a better way for her and be more effective in my life and my work. That’s really dramatic.
Speaker 2: What do you mean? So, like I understand, but what specifically? Like what? let’s say, you didn’t have these tools, you didn’t know how to do all this stuff with the nervous system. What might have happened? How much you have behaved, do you think How much? sorry, i didn’t hear that. How might like, what would you have done differently if you didn’t have these tools?
Speaker 3: How would you have?
Speaker 2: yeah.
Speaker 3: Well, i could have diverted into other activities. I might have left, for example. Those are some gross things, pardon.
Speaker 2: Just gave up on the relationship you mean.
Speaker 3: Just gave up, just gone. The result has been that we’re closer than ever and I’m seeing this amazing person become even more amazing and our relationship has become very, very lovely. That’s been the way it’s worked out, but I think the main things were extreme fatigue and when being with somebody who has spent a lot of their time and is very ill, there’s a lot of adapting that has to go on and a lot of planning and working and thinking and organizing and emotional sort of. It’s hard seeing somebody you care about in pain. you know whether that’s physical or not. It’s very, very hard work. So it’s to do with my being able to retain a good quality of life myself. I think that’s the main thing that I’ve been able to do. and all the ways that that can go out the window racing thoughts, feelings of despair, hopelessness, trapness, all of those sorts of things which can come up Does that give you a sense of it?
Speaker 2: Yeah, and then also I’m trying to get specific So like and then, because often when people are really stressed and they don’t have a healthy way to regulate the resource, they’ll go to unhealthy things, whether it’s alcohol or cigarettes or there’s certain things that people will go to right. So if you didn’t have this stuff, i guess you would have gone to. You probably have your set of we all have them unhealthy things that we’ll do when we don’t have a healthy way to soothe and relax right.
Speaker 3: Yeah, I mean it could be any one of a number of things. I mean, a lot of these things have not been active, but in the past I used to drink, So I might have ended up doing that. I think the main, you know, I would end up watching way too much stuff late into the night, eating a lot that sort of thing, And so you haven’t done.
Speaker 2: That is what you’re saying because you know how to soothe your system by being in the body and that kind of thing, you don’t?
Speaker 3: I mean, i think you know you spoke earlier about coping mechanisms and you know it’s not about getting rid of those things, because we need them, because we are using them to do something. So if I think back to my times earlier in my life when I was drinking quite a bit or doing other things which were less healthy, they were helping me a lot. I mean, i think I was a little bit of a bit of a bit of a bit of a bit of a bit of a bit of a bit of a bit of a bit of a bit of a bit of a bit of a bit of an end of the day. So I think you know they were helping me coping somewhere. They were sort of like helping me stabilize myself.
Speaker 3: And there’s this other thing that you can do in somatic work, when we approach it in a healthy way, is a way to actually develop a resource which is different to a coping mechanism because rather, like you said right, you know a lot earlier. They help us actually be within process And the amount of time it takes me to notice that I’m stressed, accept it, work with it, find a solution a best solution, not a perfect one And actually notice that my body’s got tense. So I do something about that. Notice that I’ve got too much energy, so I’ve got to get it out some way, so I do something about that. So there’s this constant movement of looking after, and this somatic work enables me to have the awareness and the tools to actually look after it, rather than try and squash it down, rather than just manage to cope with it.
Speaker 3: And I do want to say as well, there are times in life where we do just have to cope with it. You know, if I’m looking after a friend’s kid and I stub my toe and they’re tiny and they’re going to get frightened if I start screaming, i need to just go mmm and keep it to myself so that I can yes, i’ve just stub my toe explain it in a good way and then deal with it later. We need coping mechanisms. It’s not about not using them at all, in my view, but these resources you can get with somatic work. They’re just a whole different level for me.
Speaker 2: It’s interesting, like I mean, we’re not saying I know you’re not saying never drink, never smoke, never do what it?
Speaker 2: is that you want to do. It’s like you still do it. It’s just changes the relationship. It’s like I don’t need to do any of that stuff to feel good, like I already feel good And then sometimes I might do it. You know, i find with alcohol I really drink. I think I got drunk a few weeks ago for the first time in five or six years. It was all right, but I don’t think I’ll do it again for a while. So because you start to feel how these things affect you.
Speaker 2: But one thing I just want to highlight because I think some people might hear oh, that sounds great, you can chill out a bit more, you can relax. What’s the big deal about that? But I think when we look at like life trajectory, if you left your partner, that would have changed everything, like you would have been on a completely different life path. Or if you had been drinking every night or eating lots of food and then watching lots of TV and you did that for a very long time, like they would make huge changes in where you were going in your life. So like a simple thing of just knowing how to relax by working with your nervous system, knowing how to build a healthy resource internally, so you don’t need these other things. It’s very simple and almost trivial in the moment, but when you stack that up over years and even decades of time, it makes a massive difference in where someone ends up in their life, whether they’re happy or depressed, or healthy and fit or overweight, and you know that kind of a thing.
Speaker 3: I couldn’t agree more. And if you combine that with that idea of what that, what is it that you actually want to make in your life, and you return to that over and over again so that you’re actually creating from that place of what you really want, and you put that alongside not acting out of these automatic coping mechanisms as well, then it really does change your life trajectory at the same time as improving the quality of life. Now, that’s the thing for me. And there’s one other aspect which I feel very strongly about, which occurred to me as you were talking, which is I don’t feel scared of my challenges, internal challenges anymore, and I don’t feel I’ve said that very well, but I now know, because I’ve done this sort of work a lot, i now know that I can deal with pretty much anything that comes up, or even if I can’t deal with it, i’ll find a way, and that’s, on a deeper level, relax me a huge amount.
Speaker 3: And because if we want to move towards a more creative way of living, we are going to be testing our edge. We can’t avoid stresses coming up. You know there’s a David Bowie quote which I’ll get completely wrong or just paraphrase where he says something like he knew he wasn’t being creative if he was feeling comfortable. And there is some truth to that that as we test our edges and want to move beyond our current world that we’re in, we will come up against our boundaries and that will be a stress. So at the same time that we’re dealing with the stresses in our life, we’re actually building a tolerance and a capacity to deal with more stress more helpfully and that enables us to actually create more. It’s a virtuous circle. As we go on And I find that very, very exciting. It’s a really wonderful thing to see, with people that I work with, that as they deal with their get better at these tools that you’re working with, that I’m working with, that actually they can create more, feel more empowered to create more. It’s a really wonderful thing to see.
Speaker 2: Yeah, it’s like, and what comes up for me when I think about that is I’ve chatted with my sister about this a lot as well. She’s into this work to all the nervous system stuff, and we talk about how it’s like all we’re ever dealing with. We think we’re dealing with the world, we think we’re reacting to the world, and it’s almost like we’re only ever really dealing with our self, our own reactions to everything else. If we can figure out how to work with our own reactions, our own fear, our anger, the different emotional responses we have to everything, our entire response to everything, and we can come to terms with that and make peace with that, It’s almost like it creates a sort of a fearlessness, not in the sense that there is no fear, but a fearlessness in the sense that it doesn’t matter what life throws at me, because I know that I’ll be able to handle it, even if I get overwhelmed temporarily.
Speaker 2: I know that I’ve got this one way or another. I’ll figure it out, i can come back to myself, i know I have the tools, and then that’s what you’re talking about. Then what that creates is a sense of safety or a sense of I’m okay, i’m comfortable, even if I’m uncomfortable, which then means now I can start to do things that in the past I never would have even considered, because if it went wrong or it went right, i wouldn’t be able to deal with the stress that came with it. And now it’s like, well, okay, well, now let’s try and make some more money, let’s start that business, let’s meet that person, let’s do these things that in the past I wouldn’t have done, because now I have that. You call it capacity or a sort of fearlessness, or just feeling safe. There’s different words for it, but it’s that same thing I think you’re talking about. Where it’s? we just get more comfortable with everything that’s happening, even the uncomfortable stuff.
Speaker 3: Yeah, absolutely. I couldn’t agree more And I like the way you brought in different words for it fearlessness and increased capacity and safety, because it is something which it’s an ongoing process of orienting ourselves in a different sense of orienting to the one we used before, which is the technique of directing our attention to what we really want And in order to do that in a way, to start making what we want in a way that isn’t in this kind of pushing through kind of it’s almost as self abuse that happens, this idea that you just got to push through whatever and make it happen. Of course, we have to do that sometimes, but it’s actually much more enjoyable to create from a place where we’re sort of following bits of our flow as they unfold. It’s so much more pleasurable.
Speaker 2: Yeah, i mean, it’s not chatting to someone here the other day in a San Pedro ceremony And we were talking about this idea of purpose and doing creating, i suppose, but doing what you want to do with your life. I think in the past, before I found this stuff, it was all very mental and trying to figure out what I want to do. I’m going to journal about it.
Speaker 2: I’m going to do exercises and ride and maybe eventually I’ll figure it out and then I’ll go and do the thing. And I did lots of different things, but it’s like I was lacking the. It’s like an empty fuel tank, like I’d go for a few weeks or a few months and then get bored. And we were talking about with this guy, bernard he lives here in the valley about doing something, wanting and wanting it to come from the heart and the gut. That it’s like the body, there’s this.
Speaker 2: Oh, that’s that impulse. It’s like some like a somatic or a physical thing, like we’re being pulled towards whatever it is that we want to create. It’s not a I’m chasing it, it’s almost like it’s just drawing us in, we can’t help ourselves, kind of like, which I guess goes back to being a kid. It’s like you don’t think about what you want to do, you don’t analyze it, you don’t see a career counselor. You, you just know you use a kid. You go climate tree, you play in the park, you play video, get like a million different things that you just so. It’s all impulse, you know, yeah.
Speaker 3: And the ideal for me is that we can have our mind working. You know, we can have our thinking mind working for us with us, And what I’ve noticed for myself.
Speaker 3: I don’t know if you’ve had the same thing, but I actually I don’t have to think so long and so hard to get to a solution these days. You know, I can’t solve everything, obviously all the time, but it’s like my thinking has become clearer and my problem solving has become better. So I guess really what I’m trying to say is like, instead of having this overthinking, rather like we said before, we get access to this other place that comes from the body that will pull us towards things, And bottom line is it just feels so much better, So much more satisfying. You know just in about it seems like the simplest way to improve quality of life, having done the work that I’ve done, because everything becomes more enjoyable, because so much more is coming from this place.
Speaker 2: Yeah, the word that I like is alignment, where it’s like. I mean the mind, like you said. The mind it’s not what I’m saying like be a kid, or it’s like being a kid Kids also, part of what limits kids is, they don’t have a higher brain that can think. That’s why they do stupid things and get into trouble. So it’s like it’s like bringing everything into balance the mind, the head, the heart, the gut, bring it all into alignment. So we’re doing what is both wise, so maybe like from an intellectual thinking point of view it makes sense, but also what feels. You know what we genuinely want to do in the heart and the gut as well, bringing all those things together And that feeling of alignment.
Speaker 2: Because I feel like that right now with Rageheart, where it’s like I love this stuff, like the somatic, the nervous system stuff, plant medicine too, and the fact that you know it’s what I’m doing anyway, day to day I’m doing it, i’m doing plant medicine every day, but like using these tools on this path of growth. Already it’s what I’m doing seven days a week. It just becomes part of a like, a lifestyle or a way of living, and then the fact of being able to then do that with other people and share it with other people. It’s like, oh, now it’s like it’s all the same thing. There’s like the difference between work and play. They’re very blurry right now. It’s almost just all one big thing.
Speaker 2: Life is just life. It’s not like here I go to work I guess I got to do this thing that I don’t really enjoy, and then here’s my play time. It’s more, it’s all the same thing And it’s amazing. It takes time. It’s taken me a lot of time to get to that point, but I think that’s one of the benefits maybe the more longer term benefits for people who get into this. If they really work it, this stuff starts to unfold. People start to figure out it’s like their purpose or what they’re here to do, what they really want to do, and then they have the safety or the capacity on board to actually feel like they can do it.
Speaker 3: Yeah, i couldn’t agree more. That’s what I’ve seen with people that I’ve worked with other friends and colleagues who’ve done this stuff And I suppose, again going back to what was said earlier, it’s not about this instead of other things You know like, for you, it has become very central. For me, that’s very important alongside the other things I use, but for me, anyway, it will make everything else that you do easier and better. That’s my sense. I suspect for most people And you mentioned the higher brain being online and how it isn’t always the case for kids When I’ve overreacted, my higher brain is not online.
Speaker 3: That’s part of the definition of this stuff I may feel like I’m absolutely right in that intense moment of irritation that I feel towards something else or somebody else, or when I’ve shut down, i may feel like I’m the most terrible person in the world. What’s happened is that I’ve dropped into a part of my nervous system which switches off my higher brain. Now, the reason is there. There is a reason that I’ve done that, and part of the joy of this work is that we get to recognize these things and then move through them more quickly and then understand more about ourselves, which has this knock-on effect of being more connecting to other people, more insight about other people, but this point that you know our physiology has just said uh-uh, no, your brain’s going offline now To be able to recognize that and not try and solve a problem from that place. If you want one thing which is going to save you wasted time and energy be it at your work or your relationships or whatever it’s that, This is what you said before.
Speaker 2: I wanted to touch on that too. Like the further we go into final flight, the more activated or sympathetic we get in our nervous system preparing to defend or attack or something like that.
Speaker 2: The more we go instinctual, so we lose access to that. What’s the prefrontal cortex that can think and reason and see biases and things like that, and the more triggered we are, the more that goes offline is what you’re saying. And then what’s really cool, though, is, as we do this work because a lot of people are already just permanently in an activated state because of what they’ve been through and not having these tools And you were talking before about, as you’ve done this it’s like the system starts to come out of vital flight over time, slowly or gently, and as that happens, that prefrontal cortex, that part of our brain that’s intelligent and can think and reason, becomes more active, and not in like the mind chattering away blah, blah kind of thing, but like a problem solving, clarity, understanding things better. That’s what you were talking about before that, as you’ve done this, even your thinking is clear. It’s not just about being in your body. Your ability to think and solve problems and create is also much clearer too. Yeah.
Speaker 3: Yeah, and as you do more of it the shift becomes quite quick, the shift into that place becomes faster, and I think one of the lovely things about this kind of work and healing in general is the possibility of this idea that the brain can create new pathways So we can actually get build almost like a muscle of being in that place of our prefrontal cortex that you’re talking about, with more ease.
Speaker 3: Over time we can make it more and more of our habitual place, which is a wonderful thing. You know, i’m somebody who was in freeze for most of my life. I didn’t know, i was just kind of shut down for a lot of my life. To actually have come out of that and to be able to see it’s a bit like waking up from asleep. You know, if we’d look at the big picture of it, colors are brighter. You know, life is more and more varied and interesting And it’s wonderful to realize that if I’m in that shut down state like I was, it’s just because of I don’t know my past or diet or something like that. It doesn’t actually mean anything about who I am, because working with the nervous system stuff is kind of neutral.
Speaker 3: Everybody has a nervous system. Everybody has some things which have got stuck in it And if we work at that level and learn how to manage it and release them, they just don’t have to be such a big deal anymore And we get access to this other place. And I think actually, as I spoke about that, one of the things I really love about it is that the nervous system work. It’s not personal in that way that you know my background. This happened, that happened, yes, things did happen. They were real, and the impact that they’ve had on me is something that I can work with at the nervous system level and soften and allow to move with the sorts of methods that you’re talking about and that I use.
Speaker 2: I like it. I reckon that’s a good note to end on this idea that it’s not good, not bad. It’s completely neutral. We all have stuff and it’s okay. So if people want to learn more about you and connect with you, maybe where is the best place for them to do that?
Speaker 3: You can send me an email at simonberkowitzcom. and that’s simon. And yeah, get in touch.
Speaker 2: Only in person.
Speaker 3: No, i work with people one on one online as well as in person.
Speaker 2: Okay, So if people want to work with you, they can send you an email and learn a bit more about it.
Speaker 3: Oh, yeah, yeah, so I can tell you a bit more about how I work.
Speaker 2: Yeah, cool, interesting Right. Awesome, simon, thank you for coming to Showmate.
Speaker 3: Yeah, thanks. Thanks for having me, john. I’ve really loved it to be here and lovely to share a bit of how wonderful this work can be.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. Yeah. All right, just before we wrap up here, i’ve got some bad advice, some hilariously bad advice. You should not follow from the internet. I love the internet, right? We all do. There’s so much funny shit out there, right? So many different memes and stories and jokes and all kinds of random stuff. For example, take this piece of advice from someone’s quote, unquote no nonsense grandfather, if you see a bear and don’t have time to run away, give it a hug, because bears cannot scratch their stomachs. That’s from Rose Everlet on Twitter, and to no nonsense, grandfather. Hmm, i don’t think I’m going to test that one out. If you end up trying it out, i would not recommend it. Let me know how that goes.
Speaker 2: What about this one? When I started learning how to drive, my dad, completely serious, said to me always weave a little and all the other cars will stay away from you. That’s from Colin Stevenson at Cocoa Beach in Florida. In other words, drive offensively, also known as driving away. That scares the hell out of everyone else. I’m not saying it won’t work, but there might be some other ways, some better ways to avoid killing yourself, like driving properly. Humans are a bit weird like that.
Speaker 2: Here’s another one Take a deep breath to calm down. It’s so common. This sounds like it’s good advice. Everyone says it. If you stressed out, hey, just take a deep breath and relax. But is it actually good advice? That depends who you ask.
Speaker 2: In the world of nervous system healing, which I talk about a lot here on the Rachel podcast, the answer is on the Rageheart email newsletter, the Daily Growl. This is just an email that I’ve read out from the Daily Growl, the Daily email newsletter for Rageheart. I think it’s number 12345678. Email eight when you sign up. If you sign up today, you’ll get it in the next two weeks.
Speaker 2: You can find out why taking a deep breath to calm down is bad advice, depending on the context and situation. It all comes back to the science of the nervous system. If you want to get that answer, go to Rageheart.co. It’s like Braveheart but Rageheart dot co. Right there on the homepage there is a little box Put your email address in, hit the red button that says give it to me, baby. Hit that button and confirm your email address. Then you’ll be on the Daily Growl. You’ll get an email every single day. One of those emails will be the email I just read out with the answer to why it depends Why. It depends the whole take a deep breath thing, what situations it would be advisable not to take a deep breath. You can also probably just type in Rageheart.co into Google. I think I’m number one at this point. Rageheart.co like Braveheart but Rageheart dot co