After we aired our episode on healing the limbic system we got a similar question from many listeners, phrased in many different ways, but circling around a theme. The question essentially was: for those of us on a path, so much of our instruction, whether in various spiritual and psychological settings, is on how to turn towards our pain. How to really be with what we are feeling and experiencing. Yet Dynamic Neural Retraining Systems, which we had discussed in the limbic system episode, seems to instruct turning away. So what gives? So we wanted to really clarify what we are talking about when we discuss limbic impairment.
For our conversation today we are joined by guest Judith Blackstone, who is one of our mentors. Judith Blackstone, PhD is an innovative teacher in contemporary spirituality. She developed the Realization Process, an embodied approach to personal and relational healing and nondual realization. She is author of several books, including her latest work Trauma and the Unbound Body.
We are deeply invested in conversations about where our paths and the habits of our nervous systems intersect, and we have been engaged in a years long, really lifelong, inquiry into how we can most usefully reset our nervous systems in order to have a different experience of our lives. In this conversation, Brooke gets a chance to ask Vanessa all about her recent week at the Dynamic Neural Retraining Systems program.
We’re speaking today about the implications of the words we choose. Historically, we’ve bristled at what we perceived as a “turn your frown upside down” approach to language. These days though, we’ve both been called towards exploring the intersection of language, evolution and creation. Could we have been wrong? Might shifting to the use of “positive” language actual impact our reality? Listen in to hear us share our thoughts on the benefits and cautions of bringing attention to the words you use, the dilemma of bypass and judgement, and how healing might just come through making different choices.
Welcome to our 100th episode! And I think it’s appropriate that our 100th episode is basically a popcorn episode about what transformative nuggets are sticking with us from so many of our conversations and experiences in recent months. In particular, our recent episode with Neelam, but also what has really stuck with us in other episodes and conversations, and even at the SAND conference.
n this conversation we’re deep diving into the pattern of co-dependency. We’ve both been co-dependent in our lives and have slowly but surely been working our way through to greater freedom. So in today’s episode we’re looking at what does it actually mean to be co-dependent, how does it affect us or show up in our lives, and of course, ultimately, how can we begin to shift this pattern that can be exhausting, frustrating and limiting to so many of us?
In our conversation with Neelam we talk about coming to know yourself as presence, what trust in your true nature means- and how the genuine experience of that trust can change our lives, what true freedom is, and how we can discern the difference between when past is arising, and playing out it’s habitual patterns and using it’s built up momentum, and when we are actually present. We discuss in detail what Awakening and the capacity of the nervous system have to do with one another, what trauma actually is, and how to get out of the grooves and charges of the past so that we can truly be here and not in a remembered past or imagined future. We were also grateful that Neelam spoke so eloquently about tenderness and kindness as the true marker of if we are in the present, and how treating ourselves with tenderness can be the real alchemical agent.
We’re exploring conditioning, again, but after being with David we’re posing the question to ourselves “what if it’s all conditioning?” What if, while we are in ego consciousness, all of our thoughts are simply products of our culture and lineage that become habitual? And if so, what would that mean about how we can shift out of our chronic patterns of suffering?
Today we are talking with David Thomas. David is a self-realization teacher, speaker, and writer living in Virginia Beach, Virginia. We were both immediately struck by what a bright light David is. He has a very clear way of pointing out what conditioning actually is- how we are programmed and how we lose connection to life. His clarity on what the Being is- what direct experience is- versus our thoughts about ourselves can really rock your world in this talk if you sit with it. And his insights on the dark times we are living in as a result of how we have been forced to shut down our hearts is spot on.
In this episode we are speaking with our very special guest and friend Jeannie Zandi. Our conversation touches upon so much including what true power looks like, the imbalances our culture has perpetuated, what healing would look like through the lens of yin and how we can move forward together in dismantling the conditioning that has led to so much pain. For anyone exploring healing on both a personal and collective level this episode is for you. She put words to a revolution we’re just now realizing we’ve already been a part of.
Today we’re talking about when we are so contracted by very real things like chronic illness, chronic pain, or ptsd and we can’t reach a state of gratitude, or relief, and certainly not joy. Instead, we are coping with responses of our nervous systems and our physiology that feel much more akin to being trapped in a hell realm.
Today we are speaking with Dr. Miles Neale, author of Gradual Awakening: The Tibetan Buddhist Path of Becoming Fully Human. In this episode we go deep into what Miles calls the “sickness of paradigm”, which is fundamentally a life perspective that he believes is plaguing our modern culture. We explore whether spirituality has become a necessary medicine for our current crises, what may help us wake up a sense of interconnectivity, and the dilemmas presented to us by the trend towards watered-down meditation practices, which he has coined as “McMindfulness”.
Today we are speaking with Will Pye. Will’s first book is titled Blessed With A Brain Tumor; Realizing It’s All Gift and Learning to Receive. So needless to say, he was a perfect guest for us to have on as a follow up to our basic trust conversation from last week. We talk about what surrender is and what it isn’t. How life is life-ing and preparing us perfectly for our hero’s journeys, the projections we can have about someone’s terrible news, or in this case diagnosis, and how Will instead seems to be living like he’s on a really fun scavenger hunt or adventure, rather than as someone who is burdened by the reality of living with a brain tumor.
Basic trust is the implicit sense that we are connected, safe, held and supported by life. In this conversation we explore our perspectives on basic trust as well as AH Almaas’s definition; including how it is fed, how it is ruptured, and ultimately how we can go about healing.
What is awakening? Why does it get a bad, or weird, rap, why were we shy about admitting that in the past, and, well what is it again!?! We discuss what it means to us to “wake up” by looking at the difference between object-based reality and subject, or present-moment-experience-based reality. We get at new angles on what the ego is. And we open up about why we care about this, and why we refuse to be slaves to our own conditioning anymore.
We are 89 episodes in, and almost at our 2 year Bliss + Grit anniversary! So in this week’s episode we’re speaking about what it’s been like for us to do B+G over the last couple of years. From following our own mysterious divine calling, to running a business by trusting life and listening to messages, to reframing leadership as a vision of healing in public, we’re chatting about the inspirations we’ve gathered and lessons we’ve learned throughout our time on the show. We couldn’t have done it without you and we’re oh so grateful.
We are looking at how we shape people’s view of who we are with the words we unconsciously use about ourselves. Yet when we head into this territory, frequently teachings crop up, particularly in popular culture, about how we need to edit and suppress ourselves, or pretend to be something other than what we feel. We explore shame, blame, and superstition-free inquiries around how we can shift the words we use to describe ourselves and the world we live in.
This week we’re discussing turning towards the ache. We can often either resist the situations that trigger us. Or once we get triggered we can collapse into patterns of shame or blame. What if we instead met our triggers with an attitude of curiosity? What if we leaned into what we were afraid of as an opportunity to grow past the fear? In this conversation we are sharing our recent personal experiences of embracing the attitude of empowerment and moving towards what scares us.
Today we are joined by teacher Kiran Trace. Vanesa, Kiran and I have all had our own experiences with suicidality in our lives, and so with this issue so front and center culturally we decided to have a conversation about it to see if we could de-shame the topic and help anyone out there who struggles with suicidal ideation to feel not so alone, and to have some ways to navigate out of the pattern of not wanting to be alive.
After a recent request from a listener to share some more details about how we are connecting the dots between all of the amazing teachers we’ve had on the show, we’re doing an integration episode. Recently, we have seen so many similarities between teachings that Loch Kelly shared and those that Matt Kahn offers. They use completely different language, come from radically different backgrounds and offer different tools, yet when you boil it down the overlap is obvious. We are jazzed about what we've been experiencing and seeing since we had the pleasure of having conversations with these two luminaries back to back.