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Cory & Kelly Explore Emotional Resilience in Adversity

Join Kelly and Cory as they explore 5 powerful techniques for reducing stress, feeling less overwhelmed and finding peace in your life.

Hi, and welcome to a special conversation with Kelly Boys. My name is Cory Muscara, and you may have already seen me in the Mindfulness.com app as one of the daily guides. My role in the app is to be your daily mindfulness coach. I like to think of it as a friend, someone who walks by your side on a daily basis to help you develop the habit of caring for your mental and emotional health. And today I'm really thrilled to be hosting this conversation with Kelly about her new seven day course entitled Resilience in Adversity.

Now, Kelly is a mindfulness teacher, consultant to the UN, freelance producer and author of the book, The Blind Spot Effect: How to Stop Missing What's Right in Front of You. And what really makes Kelly so special is the diversity of settings that she's applied mindfulness in which include consulting with the United Nations to create a mindfulness-based program for the UN humanitarian aid workers on the frontlines in the Middle East to directing the teacher training for Google's mindfulness-based emotional intelligence program, and even creating and delivering trauma sensitive mindfulness programs at San Quentin State Prison. And so she's really been around. She's been in a lot of different settings and figured out how to tailor these teachings to different populations. And today the ideas you're going to learn are things that will help you feel less overwhelmed, learn how to reduce stress, anxiety, have a little less struggle and more peace in your life and a lot more.

She, Kelley's brilliance is, is she delivers with such depth, integrity, um, but also heart and practicality. And I think you're really going to appreciate how she offers these teachings, but you don't just have to take it from me. There are a lot of people who have said really remarkable things about Kelly's work, including Rick Hanson who's a psychologist and bestselling author. He says, "Kelly Boys explores powerful new science about the important things we miss each day and the simple, practical things we can do to see the good news about ourselves and the world that's right under our noses." And then there's best-selling author, Tara Brach who says, "Kelly Boys offers a fresh and illuminating take on how to step out of lifelong patterns that keep snagging us." I know a lot of us can use help with that. And then there's even Stanford University neurosurgeon, Dr.

James Doty, who says, "Kelly Boys shows us our blind spots and by doing so allows us to truly see. When we truly see everything changes for the better." So personally I've known Kelly for years and I've just always been struck by, um, her intelligence, her heart, but more than anything, how genuine she is as a human being. And you're really going to see that come across in this interview. So I know these ideas can impact your life and I'm so excited for you to get to access them. Let's get started with our interview with Kelly Boys.

All right, Kelly. Well, thank you for making the time for this. It's really great to connect and, uh, I've really enjoyed our friendship over the years. I think it's, it's been over five years that we've been navigating this, um, this growing mindfulness space and all the different shapes and forms it's been taking. And you know, one of the things I'm always interested in for, uh, when meeting new teachers and, you know, friends of mine that are teachers is just the unique paths that have brought people into this work because everyone seems to have a different and compelling journey.

Uh, so I think it would be great to, for folks just to hear what has inspired your path and what has, uh, what really guided you to this. Sure. Yeah. I came to mindfulness through yoga. Actually I had been practicing yoga and then I began teaching yoga.

And I noticed that when I was in the yoga room, you know, my mind was more quiet. And I think it's the first line of the yoga sutras that says, you know, yoga is a settling of the mind and just silence. And while I wasn't, I didn't know that this is what I was doing by doing these stretching motions, you know, for an hour, I began to change. And interestingly, at the end of one of my yoga classes, I was in Shavasana, the yoga pose where you're just lying down, Corpse pose, and the teacher guided us through a practice called yoga nidra, which is a mindfulness practice where you're being asked to feel your body, your breath, your emotions, and then to rest as well. And this practice changed me.

I got up off that mat and I just needed to know more about it. I hadn't really understood or heard of that much of what meditation was, even while I had been practicing yoga. And so I was drawn to learn more about this yoga nidra thing. And it's a, it's a mindfulness protocol that I ended up learning and then teaching and, and it transformed my life. It helped me, um, interestingly for me, it helped me work to integrate some of the anxiety and, um, troubles I had had in my early twenties and kind of meet, integrate and welcome that content.

And it also helped me to have a little space and distance and kind of have an awareness of what was happening in my internal experience, which was a huge shift for me. So that's how I came to the work. And for those listening that are like, wow, there's something about this that feels really interesting. Could you maybe illustrate like what a yoga nidra practice would look like or what you were going through that was helping this integration happen. Yeah, just what does the, what does that practice look like? Sure.

Yeah, this practice in particular, the protocol that I learned, um, called I Rest, and this was developed by a clinical psychologist who was a meditator and a yogi, but also understood that, you know, we have these human psychology that we have to work with. And a typical session would be where you start with resourcing. You actually start by feeling whole. And then from this sense of kind of connected to a quality of wholeness and ease in yourself, then you move to look at field of body sensations, um, challenging emotions, even beliefs, how we can hold beliefs as a felt sense in our body. You know, like when I'm believing I'm not good enough, what do I do with my shoulders? And this practice guides you through an inquiry into your actual felt experience of, you know, your, your body, your mind, your beliefs, and how you kind of piece the world together.

But it does so through this lens or from the beginning, starting with kind of a quality of wholeness that this is where I'm beginning as, as I, you know, I don't have to fix and change myself and become some idealized version, but rather I'm just walked through a gentle process where I, I, I feel a quality of ease and safety, and then I can meet these parts that I have maybe been refusing or that are hard or challenging from more of a resource perspective. And when you're lying down, it just kind of does half the work for you as well. Yeah. I, I really like the orientation of that. It's almost like taking the end point and bringing it into the present.

The end point being the thing that we often think we're working toward, which is this wholeness, or even just like ideas of enlightenment. And we're just saying no, like what would it be like to embody it right now and let a reorganization around that sense of wholeness happen to, to integrate these parts that are fractured. Is that sort of what it felt like? That's right. Yeah. That's what it felt like.

And this, for me was really powerful. Yeah, I had felt this kind of sense of being disconnected from myself before that, you know, or being on such a level of autopilot that it's almost like, I didn't even know I had a body, you know, just kind of going through life, completely fused with my experience. And this opened up a lot for me in terms of, you know, being able to, to, to mindfully look at, at myself and what's here and to integrate these parts, as you say. Yeah, I think a lot of people can resonate with that feeling of just being disconnected from their bodies, uh, and, and more, uh, life in general. I think one of the powerful things about reconnecting to your body is it, it's often one of the first access points into the present moment, uh, and everything that we're, we're holding.

And so it becomes like a really rich territory for exploring your humanness and the parts that feel, uh, fractured. Um, yeah, this is a really cool foundation for, I think just exploring the concept of resilience and, and this interview is really to, uh, serve as a, uh, a precursor into your upcoming course and, um, all of the great resources that you're going to have in the app. And, um, you know, you talk about, uh, five key strategies, techniques. I'm not sure that the language you would put on them, but that serve as like the foundational pillars for your approach. Um, I think it'd be really cool to go to go through those, uh, starting with this first one that you talked about just like your anchor of wellbeing.

I'd love to hear what that means for you and how that looks. Yeah, thanks Cory. So I like that we just spoke about that a little bit. It's a nice segue into this that we're starting with being anchored rather than kind of starting with the mess of our lives. And this is really important when we're in the middle of a lot of upheaval or uncertainty.

You know, a kind of adversity that we might be facing personally or collectively. And so this first you could call it like a tool to be able to actually, um, anchor to something in the midst of the challenge is really important to build first because otherwise, um, I what, what I've seen is it's challenging to build resilience when you don't have a foundation of safety and wellbeing. And, and most of us, you know, we're not taught this in kindergarten. Like everybody create your inner resource, you know? And, um, what, what this, this first tool is, is basically inviting us to go back to kindergarten and say, okay, you know, what do I know as a memory in my body, um, that, that is able to quickly get me to a sense of ease. You know, I've been like in the Redwood Forest in California, or, um, at an ocean or with my grandmother, a pet, you know, something very simple and fast as you say that anchors to the body first.

But it could be a memory. It could be your own imagination that when I'm here, I just naturally feel ease. You know, my shoulders drop. I can, I don't have to have this social mask on, to be a certain way. And as I, as I inquire and build this quality of an inner anchor of wellbeing, then I feel more resilient to actually meet what's coming in life.

And because I know that I have this as somewhere to like a refuge, that's always here for me. And what, you know, I, I think that often when we, when we think about resilience, we think, you know, I just need to be tougher, you know, and this is, this is starting with softer. This is saying, no, actually, we, we need to touch base with what's whole already. And then, and then from there, um, these other, these other tools and pillars can, can be built as foundational elements upon this process of building emotional resilience. Yeah.

Well, I, so it's, it sounds like one of your strategies for accessing that inner anchor, cause I, I imagine people hear this and you know, it, it, all of these things as mindfulness teachers like that we take for granted of like, yeah. You know, access your wholeness or access and inner anchor, um, sometimes like the steps to actually get there are, are, uh, a little bit more complicated than just trying it on. And one thing that I liked that you add here is that you can bring to mind a visual or a memory. Um, and this, it sounds like this is just something that, that activates that part of you that feels whole and grounded? It does, you know. And I've worked with so many different people from, you know, humanitarians, to people in prisons that are working to build this, this inner anchor of wellbeing and having an image like that, like, and, and if you don't, some people say, well, I have no access, you know.

And then I would say, well, what do you love. And, um, you know, picture yourself in your backyard in a, in a hammock kind of on a summer's day with lemonade in your hand, with nothing to do, nowhere to go, you know, nobody to be. And this is an invitation to this quality of this is like an in between space, you know, of balance and wholeness. You can kind of, it's like, Oh yeah, I can picture the hammock. I just had a friend gift me a hammock for camping.

And I was just in one. And it actually, there's nothing like kind of swinging back and forth, you know, in a tree basically being cradled and rocked. So that's an example of something that gives you a visceral felt sense. And then what you do in terms of steps is whatever your inner anchor is, you begin to to embed it in your daily life. So when something, um, challenging happens, you know, you can kind of return to this memory and remember what that felt like to be open and relaxed.

And, and see if you come back to the challenge a little bit more present and a little less reactive. And you can also do this proactively in your mindfulness practice, where you build it, you know, bring it to life and then you hang out there. And for me, I mean, this, I built, my inner resources, it's been just over 10 years ago and it helped me through so many really challenging circumstances because I had really embedded it in my, my felt sense in my body. So I could return to it when I needed, you know, that, that anchor. And because of our negativity bias, where we're always looking for threat, you know, we have to be able to build these tools, you know.

Um, we don't do this naturally, so we need help. Yeah. Uh, and, and that, yeah, I really liked this. Um, just the notion of the more familiar you get with it as, as a practice, you know, in your body, the more you have access to it in these moments where it's most needed. I do think that's an important thing, um, for just all of us to consider, uh, or anyone listening is, um, you know, while a lot of these resources are things that we're looking to employ in relationship or like in the thick of our lives, when the proverbial stuff, that's the proverbial fan.

We, we can really train, um, we can train those resources even in isolation. So when things are good and it actually seems like it's important to train these things when we're like outside of those activating context, right? Yes. Absolutely. That's the biggest key actually, because you know, when your system's overloaded, you're, you're not really in an open, receptive place to connect with, you know, how it felt at your grandma's house. What you want to do is throw something or jump in, you know, just go, Aah, I'm just going to try to jump out of this circumstance because it's so uncomfortable, you know, I'm not going to hang out with my inner resource.

So it's really important to build that in moments when you're feeling either neutral or, you know, positive. And you just say, I'm going to give 10 minutes right now to actually hang out with the feeling I have when I'm in your woods among the redwoods. And I'm going to actually, this takes, this actually takes patience to hang out with what's pleasant. And when we're able to build that muscle of hanging out with the pleasurable, it's like, okay, I I'm baby steps. And then when I have a mini challenge, I can kind of return to the inner resource from there, this internal anchor of wellbeing.

And, um, gradually work up to when there's a larger challenge that I'm not refusing the challenge, but I'm also anchored in a sense of wellbeing. So it's just, it feels like being more grounded actually and capable. Yeah. The, Oh, this is gold, especially that piece of like patience with staying present to, uh, pleasure and goodness that that's less of the conversation I noticed, um, in the mindfulness space, although that's starting to change. Usually when we think about like our window of tolerance, our ability to stay present to like a certain activation, that activation is often like the difficulty, the pain, the discomfort, and we're building our capacity to hold that.

But, but pleasure and goodness and joy is also like an activation of the system. And I think so many of us, um, don't let us feel the good things in life. And don't allow ourselves to be resourced by the good things, because it's just like, Ooh, this, this is an unfamiliar feeling. Or like, I, I don't even know this cause I didn't experience it in childhood. Or even safety, like it's something we could turn away from because it can feel unsafe because it's an unfamiliar experience.

If that makes sense. Um. That's right. It is. It's a challenge sometimes to, to really hang out with, and I I've, I've invited people, you know, I had a veteran once I was teaching, who was incarcerated in San Bruno County jail, and this is just a small group of veterans, incarcerated veterans.

I was teaching and, and he said, I have no, I have no inner resource. I've seen my buddies, you know, die in the field and I can't even ever remember feeling happy and safe. Then I asked him, you know, what can you think of anything that you like? And he said, well, water. And I said, okay, so what we're going to do the practice of building this inner anchor of wellbeing and safety and just see what comes to you. And after the practice, you know, everyone's laying on their mats.

It's, this is again like kindergarten, you know, and it it's, um, it's really beautiful. It levels the playing field. You have this kind of sense of, um, we're all inquiring together and so what our inner anchor is when you're teaching us in a group. And, um, he said, when he came out, he said, I feel more peace than I have in my entire life, because what came to me was a gentle stream. And I was on an inner tube.

I was just floating down the stream. And I mean, I have the chills just thinking about it because it was so visceral what his felt experience was. And he said, I'm going to use this. I need this. You know, so that's an example of the potency of it when we can inquire, even when we don't feel resourced.

Often, there's something there. There's some part of us that knows that we're safe with ourselves. You know, while the world might not be safe, I'm safe with myself here. Yeah, it's a beautiful story. Um, and I'm curious if, you know, like how he, how he accessed that resource, um, in the future or, or how he anticipated being able to access that resource.

Is it something that he has to bring to mind that visual in the moment where things are intense? Um, or is it the felt sense that he's coming back to? Yeah, it's both. It's first, it's the visual. So, you know, I spent a year with the visual of my inner resource, which I still remember. And now it's more of a very immediate felt sense, you know, because our bodies are amazing. You know, we can, while we're wired to look at what's, what's challenging and what's threatening, but, but we can also learn.

And so our bodies like learn to track to wellbeing and safety when we give ourselves enough time of practice. So I would say that for him, you know, in a future moment, it would be bringing that to mind. Feeling the felt sense in the body, which is so important, you know, it can't just be kind of a disconnected image. And then eventually in the practice, after some time, you let go of the image and there's just a sense of ease and it can be a 24/7 thing. It's kind of always operating in the background.

This requires practice though. I I've not seen it happen in this way without practice. Yeah. Great. Thanks, Kelly.

Um, that, that one is a really, uh, juicy topic. I think, uh, we could spend a whole interview on, um. But if we, if we go to the next one, which, um, I do think is related, um, just the idea of down-regulating, uh, the nervous system and the importance of that. Uh, if you could speak to that, that'd be great. Sure.

Yeah. So in what you had mentioned before Cory, about, you know, these activation levels that often in mindfulness, you know, is used to help us work with activation levels of our nervous system. And one of the pieces that I go into in this program is some psycho-education around, you know, what's happening. What is our nervous system? Um, what's happening in it when we're activated? And what does it look to look like to quote downregulate? So in other words, when I have a moment of activation, say on a scale of 1 to 10, one being completely chilled out and ten being completely activated. And, um, if I find myself, I get a six, you know, so I'm getting there.

Then I usually, most of us when we're having an activated nervous system our fight-flight-freeze system is going, Hey, you know, Mobilizing. Um, we don't have clarity of mind in that moment because our amygdala is kind of, this is our, you know, fear part is taking over, our prefrontal cortex that helps us think is kind of like offline. And so, uh, one helpful tool to downregulate is to just catch yourself with this mindful self-awareness. Well, I'll be darned. I am at a six on a 1 to 10 and I am actually really activated right now.

That is the work of mindful self-awareness. And when I'm able to see where I am, I have choice, you know, and, and so a down, down-regulating activity could be something like extending the exhalation. Knowing that the, uh, parasympathetic, and I get into this in the program, weaning of our nervous system, the rest and digest really gets stimulated as you spoke about when we extend the exhalation. So there's these little kind of tools that we can use in a moment of activation to begin to down-regulate. So the important thing here is we're not trying to change ourselves or, or like push down what's present because we know that that doesn't work.

It'll come back. And, um, and so the key here is to, to skillfully, see that that's here, take an action to down-regulate enough to get a little bit of clarity. Like what's best right now, as I take a couple of extended exhalations, maybe breathing into one out to two. If I do that five times. I am so much more likely to have more clarity of mind when I come back to the situation that triggered me.

And this could be watching the news, it could be talking to a colleague, a child, a partner, you know, just, it could be being in a room with your own thoughts. You know? So these, um, this, this capacity that we need to build as part of resilience is to be able to notice when we're activated and then down-regulate, name. Um one of the important parts of that is being able to name what's present. It kind of brings our prefrontal cortex back online. Where we're going, Oh, I feel anxious.

I remember for me being able to say, I feel anxious and I feel it in my body changed my life. Because prior to that, I was completely driven by the anxiety, you know? And, um, I didn't even see the opportunity to step out. So, so this is, this is what we get into in that part of the course. Hmm. And, and the specific techniques to down-regulate the system.

That's right. Yeah. And I offer that, you know, inhale the one, exhale to feel it, name it, which brings your prefrontal cortex online. And then just come back to the moment, what's here now. Yeah.

I'd love to riff with you on, um, well, I don't know if riff is the right word, but here are your perspective on why naming it is, is so effective. Because you see this across the board from in psychology, they call it emotional granularity, this ability to name the subtleties of your emotional experience. And, and then in meditation traditions, um, like the one I trained at him in Burma, uh, Burma, the Theravada tradition, um, you're you're actually labeling your experience. You label, rising, falling on the breath. If you notice anger, you label it anger.

If there's pain, you're label a pain. And so, I'm, it's always, it I've found it to be so liberating. Um, and so I'm curious to hear from you, like aside from, right, we know it's activating the prefrontal cortex. Like what, what in your experience happens in that moment that creates a sense of ease, it makes it a powerful technique? Oh, that's such a great question. Yeah.

You know, besides simply naming it and being aware that your prefrontal cortex is somehow getting involved and that that's helpful somehow. Uh, you know, I think one of the key things for me is if I'm able to feel a felt sensation in my body, like maybe my gut is tight, and let's just say anxiety cause I just talked about it. And I'm able to actually go, Ooh, my guts tight. And then, I have anxiety. Anxiety is present.

The minute I'm able to name what this felt sensation is, what I do is, this is an interesting thing. I both get space from it in the sense that I'm no longer completely fused with it and it is who I am and what I am. And so there's a space, but there's also what I would call an intimacy with what's here because the minute I can say, Oh, I have anxieties present and I have a little space from it. I can almost look at it. Then I can engage with it.

You know, and wow. I wonder what this is. I'm curious. So those are the tools, you know, of curiosity and kindness that we have in mindfulness. So we bring that to that labeling process, kind of affect labeling going, anxiety is present or I have anxiety.

I like saying anxiety is present or, well, anger is present because it makes me realize this isn't who I am. And when I am able to name it in that way, then I actually engage it. And this is, uh, this is such a kinder way than what, you know. What we usually do is like push it down, ignore it, act it out. And none of those things tend to bring us the relief from the suffering that we would like.

And what I've seen is naming it and engaging with it and, and understanding it and getting the message, you know, um, really, really actually welcoming it to be here without letting it drive me unconsciously, you know, that's the key that feels like the unlock with what you're talking about. Yeah. Hmm. Well, very well put. This zooming out allows us to, um, it's almost like a, uh, de-identification.

Although, yeah, it, it's, it's still a part of us, but it's not the whole part of us. I, I think of, um, Robert Keegan, the Harvard developmental psychologist, he talks about subject object theory as like a form of, um, how adults mature, starting from an early age. Um, and just like the impulse, let's say, like for a child to go to the bathroom, they don't have an awareness of that. They, they basically are that experience. It just happens whenever they need to go to the bathroom.

But after a certain point, there's this ability to be aware of it and now they can interact with it. It's like, Oh, okay. I could go to the bathroom or I can hold it. And that, that process just happens on deeper and more subtle levels as we mature into adulthood where an emotion like anger, uh, if we're, if we're not able to be aware of it, we basically are. It, it consumes us, it becomes us.

But through these practices, and then when you're going to go into the course, we, we develop this ability to sort of like zoom out from it and hold it and then relate to it as you're saying. And that itself is a form of freedom, but it's also a form of maturity of like, being able to better interact with other humans and our experience. Um, so that feels hugely important and, and exciting. I'm glad that that's foundational to this. Yeah.

So I think what you're talking about is welcoming, you know, being able to welcome your experience as it is, and engage with it and it's based it's, um, the basis of it is, I'm not going to be in refusal with what's present, you know. I'll actually allow it to be here. In allowing it to be here, it's here anyway, so I actually don't, you know, truly allow it because it is here. But when I, when I proactively welcome it and meet it with curiosity and understand it, you know, it loses it it's power, you know, in the sense of the way that it can drive us unconsciously, as you're talking about. Yes.

Oh, beautiful. I'm not going to be in refusal of what is present because it's already here. Yeah, this is great. Um, okay, that's another one we could keep going into, but we'll, we'll transition into the third, um, using opposites for healing. This is interesting.

So, um, tell us more about this one. Yeah. You know, I, I learned this from Dr. Richard Miller who developed the I Rest method, which is the, it's a, it's a trauma-sensitive or trauma-informed mindfulness protocol. And so I credit him with this.

And, um, so basically what the healing with opposites means it's it's just so cool cause it builds on what we just talked about. And that is that when you're, so say that there's this spectrum here and angers at one end of the spectrum and I'm a fused with anger. And when I'm fused with anger, I don't know peacefulness or whatever my own opposite is is present. You know, all I know is anger, but yet every, everything co-arises with an opposite, that's how we know it that's even how we define it. We define anger by lack of peace or whatever it is.

And, um, and so working with opposites basically says, okay, anger is present. And guess what? There's a whole spectrum here with an opposite at the end. And how about we explore that together and you find your opposite for anger and when you actually, so when your, this works really well, when you're stuck, you know, it's like, okay, I'm stuck in a feeling of anger or anxiety or disappointment, you know? And so what I want to do is I want to first welcome it, feel it, name it as we talked about. Here it is, engage with it and then see, as I feel along the spectrum to the opposite. Oh, interesting.

If anger weren't here, what would be here? And then I find, as I inquire, um, Oh, for me it would be quiet. Oh, interesting. My opposite to anger is quiet, you know, and as I feel quiet, this is what it feels like in my body. If anger weren't here, quiet would be here or peace, or however you want to say for you. And then as I kind of feel into that, so same way as we did with the anchor of wellbeing, it's like spending time with the opposite.

Um, and then I return back to the original, Oh, there's anger again. I start to practice getting unfused from this thing that arises and understanding this comes and goes and hey, guess what, it comes and goes with an opposite. And just knowing that can free me from being trapped or fused with the feeling. So, so that's why it's healing is because it, basically, it goes back to that, that principle of welcoming, you know. It's like, this is, anger is going to come for all of us at some point, you know, for those of us who have it in our system as like a go-to, it might come every day.

Um, but you know, even for the nicest person on the planet, they're going to get angry. And so it's really beautiful to practice with feeling the feeling and then feeling the opposite as a felt sense. The last step we do in this. And I, and I guide you through this as you hold them together. It's like, okay.

As I feel both anger and quiet together, what do I notice? And it's as if two opposite wave forms are just canceling each other out, you know, and there's this peace that can arise. Cool. I can't wait to go into that. Um, What would you say to someone who says, you know, focusing on the opposite feels like just trying to fake it till I make it? Like right now I'm angry and I don't feel, uh, silence, but like, so now I'm supposed to just try to feel silence when my actual experience is anger right now? That's such a great question. And, you know, in some ways, yeah, it is a little bit faking it till you make it.

But in another way, I would say, you know, when we're really meeting our experience and it's anger, and then we're just curious about what would be here if it wasn't. And we're doing this for our own health and wellbeing as, as a, kind of, as a kind way to interact with our darned psyches, you know. Then there was more of an invitation here to explore something that I am actually not trying to replace anger. I just want to see what's at the other end because I've been hanging out with anger for two weeks about this thing. And it hasn't given me any information that, you know, That would be useful for me right now.

And I have a feeling there's a message in there, but if I go to the opposite and feel the peace and quiet, you know, I'm a way more likely to have this third kind of insight arise as I hold both, you know? Oh, as I'm kind of less fused with the anger, what I'm seeing is I'm actually scared or disappointed. And in meeting that, what I know is I need to go have this conversation, you know. In the minute we get the message and take an action that anger will typically, it served its function, it delivered a message and it will kind of go away until it needs to come back again and, and, and share something with us. So. Yeah, yeah.

I think what's key there that you just eliminated is that like the experience that you're tapping into, um, yeah, let's say the silence, uh, on the other side of the spectrum of the anger, once you tap into it, it's, it's not a fake experience. It it's a real experience that you're, you're accessing, and, and it's just a matter of directing attention in a particular way that actually creates, um, real experiences for us or different real experiences. And then just an exploration of like the utility of those when, when is one more in service of what we're, what we're looking for in each moment. Such a great point. Beautifully said.

Yeah. That's great. Cool. Um, great. Well, let's go to the next one, which is, uh, uh, strengthening relationships.

I think this is a really important point in the context of resilience. Yeah, absolutely. So with strengthening relationships, I like to ask, you know, um, first, uh, how's my relationship going with myself. You know, am I, am I in relationship with myself? And what I mean by that is, am I expecting someone else to meet my needs that I'm not showing up for? And if I'm doing that, it's really important to first look here. And, and to strengthen my relationship with myself means to be really mindfully aware of, of, of what these needs are in relationship and to be able to give myself, you know, um, see, um, I'm seeking, um, comfort.

And, and I really want that from another and actually that's what relationship does. That's the cool thing about relationship is you get comforted, you know, but what if I'm refusing to actually comfort myself, you know, and I only want you to do it for me in the way that's going to make me feel better and take away my pain? And, um, I put all the onus on you to do that. Then, um, what happens in, in the relationship with yourself is you start to become disempowered. And so I like to look at these kind of core needs of being seen, being heard, feeling connected, belonging. Am I in relationship with myself here? And, and the more I am, then the more I can strengthen my relationship with you, because I'm curious also about what your needs are and, and what would be a good way to help you get those needs met, you know.

And, um, one of the questions I talk in the, in the course about co-regulation, you know, and just in the same way that we're regulating our own nervous systems and down-regulating, we do this constantly co-regulating with everyone around us, you know. Especially our, our intimate partners or our kids or parents. And so co-regulation, when you look at strengthening relationships, if you got on this, um, this call with me and, and started being really judgmental towards me, you know, uh, Kelly, your, your book sucks and you know, the work you do, whatever. I imagine I would start to feel this, Oh no, I'm, I'm getting out of relationship with, you know, now I'm being attacked and, you know. Um, this is a very extreme example.

You know, actually I probably should have used something a little, a little more easy. Um, but if I'm in relationship with myself, what I can do is feel how hard that is to hear. Oh, that's so hard to hear Cory judging me, you know? Wow. That hurts. And as I do that, let me see what what's Cory feeling too, you know.

And, and if I'm in that much welcoming with my experience, then we'll, co-regulate, you know, and I'll say, Oh, wow. What didn't you like about my book? That hurts. And you can go, Oh, Oh, sorry. I hurt you. I was just, just saying it kind of, you know.

I was just trying to be a jerk, you know, whatever. And what happens is we begin to co-regulate, you know, with this kind of from a, from a more mindful place, instead of co-regulating into trigger, you know, we start to down regulate together. And one of the questions that I have in there that you can ask is, you know, when something, when someone in relationship with you has something present, your child, then.You can ask, you know, can you say more about that when they come to you. Or your partner. Can you say more about that? You know, and just let them know you're there listening.

You could go through, and I would challenge anyone, go through a whole day that's all you say to someone. Can you say more about that? And you'd never believe how listened to, you know, that they will feel and how much more open they will be to listening to you. So these are ways we can strengthen relationships. Show we're listening, you know, be willing to be undefended and welcome what's here in order to co-regulate for so that we're both showing up as the best of us. And to know, I need to take a break when I need to, come back.

And the other question is, um, does this help or harm, what I'm about to say? Does this help or harm me, my partner, my coworker? You know, if we lived by that question, you know, I imagine we'd say less hurtful things. And it's not trying to be, um, some like goody two shoes, that's just like perfect and is always listening. It's, it's more around, you know, being real and, and showing up for yourself, you know, as you show up for another. So it's using all the tools and skills that we've built up until this point in the, in the course here to apply interpersonally. Hmm.

Was there a point in your journey getting into this work and mindfulness, yoga nidra, these practices where it started to bridge to the interpersonal where a went from this like isolated practice that you were doing with yourself, for yourself to something that you started to see was impacting relationships, both your sense of self in relationship to another person, but also how others were interacting with you? Absolutely. And you know, this is really interesting because, um, it can seem a bit like you're more selfish at first when you're practicing, you know, mindful self-awareness because it takes time and energy to actually notice what the heck is happening in your experience. I remember after I, um, my, my boyfriend at the time, after I left my first I Rest training, when I was learning that I could be with my emotions as sensations. We were in the car, driving from Massachusetts to Ohio and something came up and I felt triggered. And I said, hold on.

I have to feel my sensations. And, um, I, I, it was like, A really big deal for me, you know? And, um, and he was like, okay, you know, and, but the thing was that happened over time, um, where I just, I began to really learn, um, you know, to continue doing this work of meeting what's in my experience again and again. And, um, this, this with curiosity, with kindness, including how I hold the world together, how I view my like fundamental identity of who I am. And as I did that work, it began to transpose. I've never seen it happen where it happens with another person first and then you go back to yourself.

I think it's really important to do the work here first, um, in terms of lasting change. You know, and so there was a point that it just became more natural in the course of things where I was more curious about my partner's experience, because I was more in touch with my own and I didn't have to use my bandwidth, you know, like trying to meet my own trigger. It was like, okay, that's here and what's here with you. Yeah. That's, that's brilliant.

What would you say to someone, you know, that's getting into these practices and they're really feeling, uh, uh, a reorientation toward their own life and what they're interested in and they have these moments where they do feel like, whoa, I need a moment to feel the sensations moving through me or feel my experience, or just more tuned. But the people around them, the relationships that they have seem to only want to support the old version of who they were and don't seem in support of, of who they're becoming. I'm sure. You know, like me, you've come across that. And I think this is a big thing for people.

Absolutely. And you know, in a way you, you have to be willing to, uh, stand in your own, knowing at that point, you know. And I do think that friendships can shift relationships, can shift and, um, there can be kind of a reorg that happens in your life. I think that's the realistic truth of it. And also, you know, I think the more you do compassion practice too, and just understand like everyone's doing the best, they know how.

And you know, I'm on my own journey here. And bless my heart, I'm going to take the time I need to be with it, you know, this stuff. And it might be just not saying it to anyone that that's what I'm doing, but that's what I'm doing. And, um, so not to be like a crusader for mindfulness and try everyone else, you know, let me get everyone else around me to be mindful so I can be happy. You know, it's like, that's really, uh, that that's the, you know, that's a recipe for a lack of success.

Um, but you know, how can I really, you know, be, be true to myself and what it, what it, what it brings about is this really neat inquiry around who am I, you know, who am I in the world? And, and if I'm really myself here in full, what does this mean for my relationships? And how can I have compassion for those I'm in relationship with because they're where they are? And, and then what's really true here? So I'm in an actual inquiry and if you go all the way with it, um, it can be very clarifying. It can be sometimes uncomfortable, but I can tell you what it does. It builds intimacy and it builds, um, it builds resilience to being who you are in the world while other people are being who they are around you. And I think it's David Whyte that said. "We're the only corner of creation that can refuse to be ourselves." It's like, you know, um, a deer is, just has no real capacity to refuse to be a deer.

And, um, and out here in Colorado, the bears are definitely themselves, you know, and they're not apologetic and, but we can refuse that. So it's a little bit of a, kind of an invitation home. So you to be in our natural state, like this is who I am actually, without all the other stuff I've piled on it. Yeah. Hm.

Beautiful. Thanks, Kelly. Um, okay. And to the fifth one, micro moments of joy. Hmm.

Yeah, micro moments of joy. This one was interesting for me to build in the course, because I think it's the one that I need the most, um, in terms of, well, it's not really a need to most of us, but it, I was really reflective with like, what does it really mean, you know, to have micro moments of joy? And for me, one of the foundations of that, I don't know if I said this in the course, but it's for me is just being in awe. Like it's actually amazing to be alive every day, no matter what's happening. And if I'm in awe, then these micro moments of joy come across a lot more often. You know, it's like, wow, coffee in the morning.

And it's like my favorite thing, you know. It's amazing. And here I can experience coffee in the morning through the lens of seeing that I'm experiencing coffee in the morning and taking in this moment of joy. And, you know, it's just like an inoculation against the, the, the stress and burnout that can happen, the anxiety and overwhelm we're. We're also saying, hey, there's, there's something good here.

And, um, I like Barbara Fredrickson's work and she has this Broaden and Build theory where you're creating an upward spiral with these little kind of micro choices that you're making. And as you make these micro choices, um, say connecting with someone, connecting with a friend, you know, or, um, doing some piece of self care, whatever it is. Very small, like a little moment of joy that just slowly creates an upward spiral instead of a downward spiral. And, um, I think our brains left to ourselves, most of us anyways, kind of like tend to, we, we, we see what's what could go wrong, you know? And this is basically building in a capacity to see what could go right, but also choosing to go with what's going right. You know, coffee in the morning.

It's going right right now. And this is, I'm really taking this in. And as I do this, you know, there's this, um. It's interesting, uh, the, uh, the phrase, post traumatic growth, where I may have been through something really challenging or stressful, but I'm transforming through the adversity. And I think that many of us, you know, when you've been through something hard, it's actually easier to appreciate the small moments throughout the day.

And to be able to build upon that and just, you know, it was just, you're grateful to be alive, you know? And so post-traumatic growth basically says the real proverbial stuff can hit the proverbial fan and, and, and might for each of us in our own way. Right? And wh, how are we as we respond to that? And if we can have this kind of outlook where we're taking more risks, we're seeing opportunities, we begin to broaden our experience and build this capacity to meet life and to engage and to do this upward spiral, which is really important for health and wellbeing and, and, um, being able to respond to the challenges of life. So, yeah, that's what I would say is, is the, the main focus of that piece. Yeah, I love that you, um, you brought in Barbara Fredrickson's work. And I think that, that, you know, the broaden and build theories is, you know, evolutionary psychology.

Just this, this capacity to look around us and see what resources are there. Um, And then, and then it further builds resources. And, and so like the emphasis on these micro moments of joy, while someone might be able to go, all right, you now, I got so much crap going on in my life. How is focusing on this single moment of drinking my coffee, going to impact anything? Well, like the nourishment of that, of that stillness might make you that much more receptive to like want to engage with someone and reach out to a friend. And then that conversation now becomes, it gives you a little bit more confidence to go into the next few hours.

And now you're inspired to do a little bit more work. And that that building that you're talking about is, is simultaneously resourcing you, uh, for life. Um, And so, yeah, I just, I really like how you integrated the, these micro-moments into just the development of internal resources that are actually quite significant and become the container to hold an experience in even more joy. Um, I'm curious if, uh, you know, with stuff like this, there, there can tend to be the pushback of like, I don't have any. There, there are no, like I wake up every day and my body's in extreme physical pain or I'm, I'm living in a society, um, where I am systemically oppressed, or I live with these realities each day.

Um, and it feels either, one, that the joy isn't there or, um, almost like a disrespect to my suffering or those that are suffering with me to try and focus on what is good. Um, maybe, maybe we first start with just like, when someone doesn't feel like those moments are there, it's just, there's like constant suffering and pain. How do you navigate someone through that? Yeah. Um, it's, it's, it's a really good practice for, for actually some chronic pain. To be able to find, you know, is there one place in my body, like my pinky finger here that actually isn't suffering.

And, um, it's not always the case that a person can find that, but if they can, then that's where they start, you know, and, and really feeling the part that isn't in pain. You know, and noticing it, feeling it, and it might feel even numb, but it's actually just not in pain. And, and as I, um, feel that can I just just, oh, allow that to just put all my attention on this part that's not in pain. And can there be a little bit of a quality. Notice can some joy arise just in the presence of healing one little part of my body that's not in pain, you know.

And if it's not a part of my body and I'm actually in pain and, um, I'm just kind of in that kind of pain cave, you know. Um, the invitation here for this person is, you know, just, just experiment with it. This is no imposition here because I would never be able to know what's in another experience, person's experience to say, Oh, just go find joy. Like, you'll be so much better. You know, that's not where this is coming from.

It's a little more around really welcoming. Okay. The body is in total pain. I have this little pinky finger that's okay. And I'm actually going to open up, look up, like, look at the clouds.

There's, you know, good air quality here. The fires are gone today and I'm here in Colorado. I'm speaking of. And um, so, so I'm able to actually see something that's pleasant and feel it and be with it and take it in. And I'm only making an exploration for myself.

I'm not going to get to some idealized version of me. I'm only going to see what I find. And as I do that, like you said, it's the building, that broaden and built then, Oh, now I feel more open now that I'm appreciating the air quality and more open to just to go for a walk and I'm curious what that might do for the pain in my body as I do that. And so this is all invitational and I have a lot of respect for people who are in pain and, um, would say that this is, this is, uh, an invitation to explore moments of joy, you know, who has one finds them. Yeah, thanks, Kelly.

It, it also, um, reminds me to what we were talking about with like the fake it till you make it. It's that we're not, we're not pretending something is there that's not there. We're, we're just exploring, you know, what maybe is there that we haven't been perceiving, even if that includes neutral moments. Because neutral moments are also the absence of the suffering that we're often pushing against so much, but we tend to overlook. So starting small, it can be quite significant.

Yeah. Um, thanks, Kelly. Uh, it was really cool to explore these, these five foundational pillars. And just so everyone knows, you know, more detail in the course itself. So we're just getting little teasers of each of these.

Um, but, um, You have a micropractice for us. And I'd love to hear more about this. I'm really into, you know, even though some people might say like little practices are like the make mindfulness stuff, I'm all for, um, I'm all for little things that pack a punch, as long as they they're, they're representing and, you know, in alignment with the integrity of the practice. Um, and so, uh, you have one, being a lightning rod for stress. So if you could share that, that'd be great.

Yeah, sure. So this one came from, um, actually my colleague, Dr. Catherine Cook-Cottone and I were teaching, uh, with the United Nations, um, in, in Jordan and this came from their requests. They said, how can you help us as we're sitting here taking all of these, these stories in, you know, they have to write down the stories for the uh, refugees that were in the Syrian refugees camps there in Jordan. And, um, they're like, this is just so much that we're constantly, you know, hearing of and, and so we put this together, which is, um, and here's a version of it.

So this is a version of it, which is being a lightning rod for stress. So, this is in line with what we were talking about with being in refusal or welcoming. And I think that when, when there's stress coming at us from the outside, um, whether that's through a challenging conversation or just looking at the news or, you know, fear with the pandemic or anything else like that, that's, you know, happening right now in this world. Um, that what we can do is we want to push it away. You know, we want to resist.

And this practice can actually invite us to, um, let it, let it, we're letting it in, but we're letting it move through. So it's being a lightning rod for stress. And as we know what lightning rods do is the lightning comes and just grab the energy. And so what this practice is, you just kind of feel yourself. It's really nice to have your feet on the ground, and then you can also place your hands on a surface, like you would place your hands on the table.

And I have my hands on my table, feet on the ground, and I take a few breaths, you know, just kind of getting comfortable, both feeling myself, both alert and relaxed. Here I am. And then I imagine this energy of stress kind of coming towards me. As it does, and that might be through what I'm taking in visually or someone's talking to me or just maybe a situation comes to mind that slightly stressful, not overwhelming. And what I do is I imagine myself, I'm not in refusal, so I'm welcoming it's as if it's lightning, you know, but that's kind of extreme, but, um, and welcoming the stress.

I feel it in my body, I'm not in refusal. And then I feel it move all the way through me into the ground, just as if I were a lightning rod. Through my hands and to the table. And I noticed what that's like compared to bracing against it. And as I keep letting that energy of stress kind of move all the way through, into the ground, through my hands, into the table, what do I notice? What do I feel? You know, that's, that's really the simplicity of this practice.

And, um, what the basis of it is, is basically saying, can I get my, through a practice, can I allow myself to not refuse what's here and not take it on? And, and so if I picture myself as a lightning there, it went, I mean, I feel different just, just guiding it or just saying it, you know, I feel more grounded, literally. So that's, that's one of the micro practices I teach. Oh, amazing. I've never heard that before. And, um, that, the last thing you said, I want to make sure I get it right, but it's um, can I something along the lines of like, can I feel this or hold this without holding onto it? Um, or let myself experience it.

I think that is so key. And so many people, um, like I've learned through my teachings. Uh, I've just, our our, our deep end paths, um, really just feel like the fullness of life and the pain of the world, the environment, other people. And it could just feel like the last thing they want to do is take on more or be a lightning rod for it. Um, but an actual lightning rod is you're saying doesn't just like pull it.

It, it, it grounds it, it roots it. And so there's this, like, I just did it with you. I didn't tell anyone I was, but, um, I tried to feel into that and, and there is this sense of like the energy dispersing and, and being held by something bigger than me that can hold it. Like, I actually felt a sense of connection to something bigger than me. Beautiful.

I love that. You mentioned that actually. I had another, um, student say the exact same thing and, and hadn't even thought of that as we created it, you know, but that is exactly it. It's still held, I think that's really important, by something larger and that, that, yeah, that's, it's a, um, it's a beautiful, quick way into a deeper truth. Amazing.

Cool. Another reason I love micro-practices. Um, all right, well, we're, we're coming to the end here. Um, for those who are listening, I mean, I, I hope you're, um, really appreciating the value here in the same way that, that I am. Um, and, and you might be curious just like, you know, how do I go deeper into this? Especially if there's one or more things that Kelly's talked about, um, that have resonated with you.

If you're feeling like, Oh yeah, even just like the, the lightning rod practice. Um, and you could see the implications of that. Um, we really are excited to, um, To be showcasing and having Kelly come on into the app in a significant way. And you know, everything we produce here Mindfulness.com is designed to be really practical, but also holds, um, a lot of depth without, you know, taking a ton of time out of your day. So, um, Kelly has an amazing seven day meditation program that is, uh, that will now be available with daily guided meditation practices and also more of these micro-practices.

So if you're like me and you you're, you know, yes, you value the 10 minute, the 20 minute meditation, but you also just see little things that you can bring into your day while you're standing on the grocery line or having a conversation with someone, we have those for you as well. And Kelly's going to share more of those practices. Um, and then she also goes into just like question and answer, like, what are the most common questions that come up, you know, on resilience. And, and so if you have more curiosities here, she's going to go into all of that. Um, then all just put together in a way that's easy to digest and fit into your schedule.

So really excited to share that. And I'll go into more about how to access some of that in a moment. But, um, as we come to our, our closing Kelly, um, I just love to make some space for anything else you'd like to add if there is anything. Hmm, well we've covered so much. It's been a real joy to connect with you, Cory.

And yeah, my hope is that it's, this is, this is engaging for people, you know, who are both brand new to the mindfulness practice and also who might be, you know, have been on the path for a long time. And that, um, what, what I've put together would be something that, you know, is, is appealing and really effective for people. And I think at the base, you know, level, we're really looking at what does it mean to be a good human being and to the, the world needs us right now. The world needs us to, to, to, uh, learn these practices of mindful self-awareness, you know, increase our compassion for others. And I'm really hopeful that these are practical, you know, um, easy to understand, but also deep as you say, kind of teachings that can, that can really help people into learning and like growing skills and having a toolkit.

It's like, you know, at, at, at your disposal that you can use in any given moment, that's based on something that's not like trying to get outside of where you are, but yet, you know, in many ways it gets you outside of where you are. It's an interesting paradox, but that's the invitation here. So I'm really glad to be on the app. Oh, amazing. Yeah, we are too Kelly.

Um, and so for, for everyone that is ready to go deeper, if you want lifetime access to all of Kelly's materials, you can subscribe at Mindfulness.com, um, or just get a free seven day trial where you can test out the daily video coaching, the guided meditations sleep support, and just all of the great new materials that, um, Kelly is putting together. So, um, Yeah, thank you, Kelly. It was such a pleasure to spend this time with you. Thank you for your heart. The thing that that has always struck me from the beginning of our friendship is just how genuine you are as a human.

And, uh, you know, sometimes this can come across in the virtual format or when someone's listening to a video, but, um, for everything that all of you who are listening are hearing and feeling from Kelly, know that it is true and genuine. And, um, I so loved knowing that there are people like you in the world and, uh, it's a gift to call you a friend. So thank you. Aww. You're welcome.

And right back at ya. Great. All right. Thanks everyone. Thank you for your practice and for doing the good work.

We look forward to talking to you more in the app and until then, take care.

Talk

4.6

Cory & Kelly Explore Emotional Resilience in Adversity

Join Kelly and Cory as they explore 5 powerful techniques for reducing stress, feeling less overwhelmed and finding peace in your life.

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to a special conversation with Kelly Boys. My name is Cory Muscara, and you may have already seen me in the Mindfulness.com app as one of the daily guides. My role in the app is to be your daily mindfulness coach. I like to think of it as a friend, someone who walks by your side on a daily basis to help you develop the habit of caring for your mental and emotional health. And today I'm really thrilled to be hosting this conversation with Kelly about her new seven day course entitled Resilience in Adversity.

Now, Kelly is a mindfulness teacher, consultant to the UN, freelance producer and author of the book, The Blind Spot Effect: How to Stop Missing What's Right in Front of You. And what really makes Kelly so special is the diversity of settings that she's applied mindfulness in which include consulting with the United Nations to create a mindfulness-based program for the UN humanitarian aid workers on the frontlines in the Middle East to directing the teacher training for Google's mindfulness-based emotional intelligence program, and even creating and delivering trauma sensitive mindfulness programs at San Quentin State Prison. And so she's really been around. She's been in a lot of different settings and figured out how to tailor these teachings to different populations. And today the ideas you're going to learn are things that will help you feel less overwhelmed, learn how to reduce stress, anxiety, have a little less struggle and more peace in your life and a lot more.

She, Kelley's brilliance is, is she delivers with such depth, integrity, um, but also heart and practicality. And I think you're really going to appreciate how she offers these teachings, but you don't just have to take it from me. There are a lot of people who have said really remarkable things about Kelly's work, including Rick Hanson who's a psychologist and bestselling author. He says, "Kelly Boys explores powerful new science about the important things we miss each day and the simple, practical things we can do to see the good news about ourselves and the world that's right under our noses." And then there's best-selling author, Tara Brach who says, "Kelly Boys offers a fresh and illuminating take on how to step out of lifelong patterns that keep snagging us." I know a lot of us can use help with that. And then there's even Stanford University neurosurgeon, Dr.

James Doty, who says, "Kelly Boys shows us our blind spots and by doing so allows us to truly see. When we truly see everything changes for the better." So personally I've known Kelly for years and I've just always been struck by, um, her intelligence, her heart, but more than anything, how genuine she is as a human being. And you're really going to see that come across in this interview. So I know these ideas can impact your life and I'm so excited for you to get to access them. Let's get started with our interview with Kelly Boys.

All right, Kelly. Well, thank you for making the time for this. It's really great to connect and, uh, I've really enjoyed our friendship over the years. I think it's, it's been over five years that we've been navigating this, um, this growing mindfulness space and all the different shapes and forms it's been taking. And you know, one of the things I'm always interested in for, uh, when meeting new teachers and, you know, friends of mine that are teachers is just the unique paths that have brought people into this work because everyone seems to have a different and compelling journey.

Uh, so I think it would be great to, for folks just to hear what has inspired your path and what has, uh, what really guided you to this. Sure. Yeah. I came to mindfulness through yoga. Actually I had been practicing yoga and then I began teaching yoga.

And I noticed that when I was in the yoga room, you know, my mind was more quiet. And I think it's the first line of the yoga sutras that says, you know, yoga is a settling of the mind and just silence. And while I wasn't, I didn't know that this is what I was doing by doing these stretching motions, you know, for an hour, I began to change. And interestingly, at the end of one of my yoga classes, I was in Shavasana, the yoga pose where you're just lying down, Corpse pose, and the teacher guided us through a practice called yoga nidra, which is a mindfulness practice where you're being asked to feel your body, your breath, your emotions, and then to rest as well. And this practice changed me.

I got up off that mat and I just needed to know more about it. I hadn't really understood or heard of that much of what meditation was, even while I had been practicing yoga. And so I was drawn to learn more about this yoga nidra thing. And it's a, it's a mindfulness protocol that I ended up learning and then teaching and, and it transformed my life. It helped me, um, interestingly for me, it helped me work to integrate some of the anxiety and, um, troubles I had had in my early twenties and kind of meet, integrate and welcome that content.

And it also helped me to have a little space and distance and kind of have an awareness of what was happening in my internal experience, which was a huge shift for me. So that's how I came to the work. And for those listening that are like, wow, there's something about this that feels really interesting. Could you maybe illustrate like what a yoga nidra practice would look like or what you were going through that was helping this integration happen. Yeah, just what does the, what does that practice look like? Sure.

Yeah, this practice in particular, the protocol that I learned, um, called I Rest, and this was developed by a clinical psychologist who was a meditator and a yogi, but also understood that, you know, we have these human psychology that we have to work with. And a typical session would be where you start with resourcing. You actually start by feeling whole. And then from this sense of kind of connected to a quality of wholeness and ease in yourself, then you move to look at field of body sensations, um, challenging emotions, even beliefs, how we can hold beliefs as a felt sense in our body. You know, like when I'm believing I'm not good enough, what do I do with my shoulders? And this practice guides you through an inquiry into your actual felt experience of, you know, your, your body, your mind, your beliefs, and how you kind of piece the world together.

But it does so through this lens or from the beginning, starting with kind of a quality of wholeness that this is where I'm beginning as, as I, you know, I don't have to fix and change myself and become some idealized version, but rather I'm just walked through a gentle process where I, I, I feel a quality of ease and safety, and then I can meet these parts that I have maybe been refusing or that are hard or challenging from more of a resource perspective. And when you're lying down, it just kind of does half the work for you as well. Yeah. I, I really like the orientation of that. It's almost like taking the end point and bringing it into the present.

The end point being the thing that we often think we're working toward, which is this wholeness, or even just like ideas of enlightenment. And we're just saying no, like what would it be like to embody it right now and let a reorganization around that sense of wholeness happen to, to integrate these parts that are fractured. Is that sort of what it felt like? That's right. Yeah. That's what it felt like.

And this, for me was really powerful. Yeah, I had felt this kind of sense of being disconnected from myself before that, you know, or being on such a level of autopilot that it's almost like, I didn't even know I had a body, you know, just kind of going through life, completely fused with my experience. And this opened up a lot for me in terms of, you know, being able to, to, to mindfully look at, at myself and what's here and to integrate these parts, as you say. Yeah, I think a lot of people can resonate with that feeling of just being disconnected from their bodies, uh, and, and more, uh, life in general. I think one of the powerful things about reconnecting to your body is it, it's often one of the first access points into the present moment, uh, and everything that we're, we're holding.

And so it becomes like a really rich territory for exploring your humanness and the parts that feel, uh, fractured. Um, yeah, this is a really cool foundation for, I think just exploring the concept of resilience and, and this interview is really to, uh, serve as a, uh, a precursor into your upcoming course and, um, all of the great resources that you're going to have in the app. And, um, you know, you talk about, uh, five key strategies, techniques. I'm not sure that the language you would put on them, but that serve as like the foundational pillars for your approach. Um, I think it'd be really cool to go to go through those, uh, starting with this first one that you talked about just like your anchor of wellbeing.

I'd love to hear what that means for you and how that looks. Yeah, thanks Cory. So I like that we just spoke about that a little bit. It's a nice segue into this that we're starting with being anchored rather than kind of starting with the mess of our lives. And this is really important when we're in the middle of a lot of upheaval or uncertainty.

You know, a kind of adversity that we might be facing personally or collectively. And so this first you could call it like a tool to be able to actually, um, anchor to something in the midst of the challenge is really important to build first because otherwise, um, I what, what I've seen is it's challenging to build resilience when you don't have a foundation of safety and wellbeing. And, and most of us, you know, we're not taught this in kindergarten. Like everybody create your inner resource, you know? And, um, what, what this, this first tool is, is basically inviting us to go back to kindergarten and say, okay, you know, what do I know as a memory in my body, um, that, that is able to quickly get me to a sense of ease. You know, I've been like in the Redwood Forest in California, or, um, at an ocean or with my grandmother, a pet, you know, something very simple and fast as you say that anchors to the body first.

But it could be a memory. It could be your own imagination that when I'm here, I just naturally feel ease. You know, my shoulders drop. I can, I don't have to have this social mask on, to be a certain way. And as I, as I inquire and build this quality of an inner anchor of wellbeing, then I feel more resilient to actually meet what's coming in life.

And because I know that I have this as somewhere to like a refuge, that's always here for me. And what, you know, I, I think that often when we, when we think about resilience, we think, you know, I just need to be tougher, you know, and this is, this is starting with softer. This is saying, no, actually, we, we need to touch base with what's whole already. And then, and then from there, um, these other, these other tools and pillars can, can be built as foundational elements upon this process of building emotional resilience. Yeah.

Well, I, so it's, it sounds like one of your strategies for accessing that inner anchor, cause I, I imagine people hear this and you know, it, it, all of these things as mindfulness teachers like that we take for granted of like, yeah. You know, access your wholeness or access and inner anchor, um, sometimes like the steps to actually get there are, are, uh, a little bit more complicated than just trying it on. And one thing that I liked that you add here is that you can bring to mind a visual or a memory. Um, and this, it sounds like this is just something that, that activates that part of you that feels whole and grounded? It does, you know. And I've worked with so many different people from, you know, humanitarians, to people in prisons that are working to build this, this inner anchor of wellbeing and having an image like that, like, and, and if you don't, some people say, well, I have no access, you know.

And then I would say, well, what do you love. And, um, you know, picture yourself in your backyard in a, in a hammock kind of on a summer's day with lemonade in your hand, with nothing to do, nowhere to go, you know, nobody to be. And this is an invitation to this quality of this is like an in between space, you know, of balance and wholeness. You can kind of, it's like, Oh yeah, I can picture the hammock. I just had a friend gift me a hammock for camping.

And I was just in one. And it actually, there's nothing like kind of swinging back and forth, you know, in a tree basically being cradled and rocked. So that's an example of something that gives you a visceral felt sense. And then what you do in terms of steps is whatever your inner anchor is, you begin to to embed it in your daily life. So when something, um, challenging happens, you know, you can kind of return to this memory and remember what that felt like to be open and relaxed.

And, and see if you come back to the challenge a little bit more present and a little less reactive. And you can also do this proactively in your mindfulness practice, where you build it, you know, bring it to life and then you hang out there. And for me, I mean, this, I built, my inner resources, it's been just over 10 years ago and it helped me through so many really challenging circumstances because I had really embedded it in my, my felt sense in my body. So I could return to it when I needed, you know, that, that anchor. And because of our negativity bias, where we're always looking for threat, you know, we have to be able to build these tools, you know.

Um, we don't do this naturally, so we need help. Yeah. Uh, and, and that, yeah, I really liked this. Um, just the notion of the more familiar you get with it as, as a practice, you know, in your body, the more you have access to it in these moments where it's most needed. I do think that's an important thing, um, for just all of us to consider, uh, or anyone listening is, um, you know, while a lot of these resources are things that we're looking to employ in relationship or like in the thick of our lives, when the proverbial stuff, that's the proverbial fan.

We, we can really train, um, we can train those resources even in isolation. So when things are good and it actually seems like it's important to train these things when we're like outside of those activating context, right? Yes. Absolutely. That's the biggest key actually, because you know, when your system's overloaded, you're, you're not really in an open, receptive place to connect with, you know, how it felt at your grandma's house. What you want to do is throw something or jump in, you know, just go, Aah, I'm just going to try to jump out of this circumstance because it's so uncomfortable, you know, I'm not going to hang out with my inner resource.

So it's really important to build that in moments when you're feeling either neutral or, you know, positive. And you just say, I'm going to give 10 minutes right now to actually hang out with the feeling I have when I'm in your woods among the redwoods. And I'm going to actually, this takes, this actually takes patience to hang out with what's pleasant. And when we're able to build that muscle of hanging out with the pleasurable, it's like, okay, I I'm baby steps. And then when I have a mini challenge, I can kind of return to the inner resource from there, this internal anchor of wellbeing.

And, um, gradually work up to when there's a larger challenge that I'm not refusing the challenge, but I'm also anchored in a sense of wellbeing. So it's just, it feels like being more grounded actually and capable. Yeah. The, Oh, this is gold, especially that piece of like patience with staying present to, uh, pleasure and goodness that that's less of the conversation I noticed, um, in the mindfulness space, although that's starting to change. Usually when we think about like our window of tolerance, our ability to stay present to like a certain activation, that activation is often like the difficulty, the pain, the discomfort, and we're building our capacity to hold that.

But, but pleasure and goodness and joy is also like an activation of the system. And I think so many of us, um, don't let us feel the good things in life. And don't allow ourselves to be resourced by the good things, because it's just like, Ooh, this, this is an unfamiliar feeling. Or like, I, I don't even know this cause I didn't experience it in childhood. Or even safety, like it's something we could turn away from because it can feel unsafe because it's an unfamiliar experience.

If that makes sense. Um. That's right. It is. It's a challenge sometimes to, to really hang out with, and I I've, I've invited people, you know, I had a veteran once I was teaching, who was incarcerated in San Bruno County jail, and this is just a small group of veterans, incarcerated veterans.

I was teaching and, and he said, I have no, I have no inner resource. I've seen my buddies, you know, die in the field and I can't even ever remember feeling happy and safe. Then I asked him, you know, what can you think of anything that you like? And he said, well, water. And I said, okay, so what we're going to do the practice of building this inner anchor of wellbeing and safety and just see what comes to you. And after the practice, you know, everyone's laying on their mats.

It's, this is again like kindergarten, you know, and it it's, um, it's really beautiful. It levels the playing field. You have this kind of sense of, um, we're all inquiring together and so what our inner anchor is when you're teaching us in a group. And, um, he said, when he came out, he said, I feel more peace than I have in my entire life, because what came to me was a gentle stream. And I was on an inner tube.

I was just floating down the stream. And I mean, I have the chills just thinking about it because it was so visceral what his felt experience was. And he said, I'm going to use this. I need this. You know, so that's an example of the potency of it when we can inquire, even when we don't feel resourced.

Often, there's something there. There's some part of us that knows that we're safe with ourselves. You know, while the world might not be safe, I'm safe with myself here. Yeah, it's a beautiful story. Um, and I'm curious if, you know, like how he, how he accessed that resource, um, in the future or, or how he anticipated being able to access that resource.

Is it something that he has to bring to mind that visual in the moment where things are intense? Um, or is it the felt sense that he's coming back to? Yeah, it's both. It's first, it's the visual. So, you know, I spent a year with the visual of my inner resource, which I still remember. And now it's more of a very immediate felt sense, you know, because our bodies are amazing. You know, we can, while we're wired to look at what's, what's challenging and what's threatening, but, but we can also learn.

And so our bodies like learn to track to wellbeing and safety when we give ourselves enough time of practice. So I would say that for him, you know, in a future moment, it would be bringing that to mind. Feeling the felt sense in the body, which is so important, you know, it can't just be kind of a disconnected image. And then eventually in the practice, after some time, you let go of the image and there's just a sense of ease and it can be a 24/7 thing. It's kind of always operating in the background.

This requires practice though. I I've not seen it happen in this way without practice. Yeah. Great. Thanks, Kelly.

Um, that, that one is a really, uh, juicy topic. I think, uh, we could spend a whole interview on, um. But if we, if we go to the next one, which, um, I do think is related, um, just the idea of down-regulating, uh, the nervous system and the importance of that. Uh, if you could speak to that, that'd be great. Sure.

Yeah. So in what you had mentioned before Cory, about, you know, these activation levels that often in mindfulness, you know, is used to help us work with activation levels of our nervous system. And one of the pieces that I go into in this program is some psycho-education around, you know, what's happening. What is our nervous system? Um, what's happening in it when we're activated? And what does it look to look like to quote downregulate? So in other words, when I have a moment of activation, say on a scale of 1 to 10, one being completely chilled out and ten being completely activated. And, um, if I find myself, I get a six, you know, so I'm getting there.

Then I usually, most of us when we're having an activated nervous system our fight-flight-freeze system is going, Hey, you know, Mobilizing. Um, we don't have clarity of mind in that moment because our amygdala is kind of, this is our, you know, fear part is taking over, our prefrontal cortex that helps us think is kind of like offline. And so, uh, one helpful tool to downregulate is to just catch yourself with this mindful self-awareness. Well, I'll be darned. I am at a six on a 1 to 10 and I am actually really activated right now.

That is the work of mindful self-awareness. And when I'm able to see where I am, I have choice, you know, and, and so a down, down-regulating activity could be something like extending the exhalation. Knowing that the, uh, parasympathetic, and I get into this in the program, weaning of our nervous system, the rest and digest really gets stimulated as you spoke about when we extend the exhalation. So there's these little kind of tools that we can use in a moment of activation to begin to down-regulate. So the important thing here is we're not trying to change ourselves or, or like push down what's present because we know that that doesn't work.

It'll come back. And, um, and so the key here is to, to skillfully, see that that's here, take an action to down-regulate enough to get a little bit of clarity. Like what's best right now, as I take a couple of extended exhalations, maybe breathing into one out to two. If I do that five times. I am so much more likely to have more clarity of mind when I come back to the situation that triggered me.

And this could be watching the news, it could be talking to a colleague, a child, a partner, you know, just, it could be being in a room with your own thoughts. You know? So these, um, this, this capacity that we need to build as part of resilience is to be able to notice when we're activated and then down-regulate, name. Um one of the important parts of that is being able to name what's present. It kind of brings our prefrontal cortex back online. Where we're going, Oh, I feel anxious.

I remember for me being able to say, I feel anxious and I feel it in my body changed my life. Because prior to that, I was completely driven by the anxiety, you know? And, um, I didn't even see the opportunity to step out. So, so this is, this is what we get into in that part of the course. Hmm. And, and the specific techniques to down-regulate the system.

That's right. Yeah. And I offer that, you know, inhale the one, exhale to feel it, name it, which brings your prefrontal cortex online. And then just come back to the moment, what's here now. Yeah.

I'd love to riff with you on, um, well, I don't know if riff is the right word, but here are your perspective on why naming it is, is so effective. Because you see this across the board from in psychology, they call it emotional granularity, this ability to name the subtleties of your emotional experience. And, and then in meditation traditions, um, like the one I trained at him in Burma, uh, Burma, the Theravada tradition, um, you're you're actually labeling your experience. You label, rising, falling on the breath. If you notice anger, you label it anger.

If there's pain, you're label a pain. And so, I'm, it's always, it I've found it to be so liberating. Um, and so I'm curious to hear from you, like aside from, right, we know it's activating the prefrontal cortex. Like what, what in your experience happens in that moment that creates a sense of ease, it makes it a powerful technique? Oh, that's such a great question. Yeah.

You know, besides simply naming it and being aware that your prefrontal cortex is somehow getting involved and that that's helpful somehow. Uh, you know, I think one of the key things for me is if I'm able to feel a felt sensation in my body, like maybe my gut is tight, and let's just say anxiety cause I just talked about it. And I'm able to actually go, Ooh, my guts tight. And then, I have anxiety. Anxiety is present.

The minute I'm able to name what this felt sensation is, what I do is, this is an interesting thing. I both get space from it in the sense that I'm no longer completely fused with it and it is who I am and what I am. And so there's a space, but there's also what I would call an intimacy with what's here because the minute I can say, Oh, I have anxieties present and I have a little space from it. I can almost look at it. Then I can engage with it.

You know, and wow. I wonder what this is. I'm curious. So those are the tools, you know, of curiosity and kindness that we have in mindfulness. So we bring that to that labeling process, kind of affect labeling going, anxiety is present or I have anxiety.

I like saying anxiety is present or, well, anger is present because it makes me realize this isn't who I am. And when I am able to name it in that way, then I actually engage it. And this is, uh, this is such a kinder way than what, you know. What we usually do is like push it down, ignore it, act it out. And none of those things tend to bring us the relief from the suffering that we would like.

And what I've seen is naming it and engaging with it and, and understanding it and getting the message, you know, um, really, really actually welcoming it to be here without letting it drive me unconsciously, you know, that's the key that feels like the unlock with what you're talking about. Yeah. Hmm. Well, very well put. This zooming out allows us to, um, it's almost like a, uh, de-identification.

Although, yeah, it, it's, it's still a part of us, but it's not the whole part of us. I, I think of, um, Robert Keegan, the Harvard developmental psychologist, he talks about subject object theory as like a form of, um, how adults mature, starting from an early age. Um, and just like the impulse, let's say, like for a child to go to the bathroom, they don't have an awareness of that. They, they basically are that experience. It just happens whenever they need to go to the bathroom.

But after a certain point, there's this ability to be aware of it and now they can interact with it. It's like, Oh, okay. I could go to the bathroom or I can hold it. And that, that process just happens on deeper and more subtle levels as we mature into adulthood where an emotion like anger, uh, if we're, if we're not able to be aware of it, we basically are. It, it consumes us, it becomes us.

But through these practices, and then when you're going to go into the course, we, we develop this ability to sort of like zoom out from it and hold it and then relate to it as you're saying. And that itself is a form of freedom, but it's also a form of maturity of like, being able to better interact with other humans and our experience. Um, so that feels hugely important and, and exciting. I'm glad that that's foundational to this. Yeah.

So I think what you're talking about is welcoming, you know, being able to welcome your experience as it is, and engage with it and it's based it's, um, the basis of it is, I'm not going to be in refusal with what's present, you know. I'll actually allow it to be here. In allowing it to be here, it's here anyway, so I actually don't, you know, truly allow it because it is here. But when I, when I proactively welcome it and meet it with curiosity and understand it, you know, it loses it it's power, you know, in the sense of the way that it can drive us unconsciously, as you're talking about. Yes.

Oh, beautiful. I'm not going to be in refusal of what is present because it's already here. Yeah, this is great. Um, okay, that's another one we could keep going into, but we'll, we'll transition into the third, um, using opposites for healing. This is interesting.

So, um, tell us more about this one. Yeah. You know, I, I learned this from Dr. Richard Miller who developed the I Rest method, which is the, it's a, it's a trauma-sensitive or trauma-informed mindfulness protocol. And so I credit him with this.

And, um, so basically what the healing with opposites means it's it's just so cool cause it builds on what we just talked about. And that is that when you're, so say that there's this spectrum here and angers at one end of the spectrum and I'm a fused with anger. And when I'm fused with anger, I don't know peacefulness or whatever my own opposite is is present. You know, all I know is anger, but yet every, everything co-arises with an opposite, that's how we know it that's even how we define it. We define anger by lack of peace or whatever it is.

And, um, and so working with opposites basically says, okay, anger is present. And guess what? There's a whole spectrum here with an opposite at the end. And how about we explore that together and you find your opposite for anger and when you actually, so when your, this works really well, when you're stuck, you know, it's like, okay, I'm stuck in a feeling of anger or anxiety or disappointment, you know? And so what I want to do is I want to first welcome it, feel it, name it as we talked about. Here it is, engage with it and then see, as I feel along the spectrum to the opposite. Oh, interesting.

If anger weren't here, what would be here? And then I find, as I inquire, um, Oh, for me it would be quiet. Oh, interesting. My opposite to anger is quiet, you know, and as I feel quiet, this is what it feels like in my body. If anger weren't here, quiet would be here or peace, or however you want to say for you. And then as I kind of feel into that, so same way as we did with the anchor of wellbeing, it's like spending time with the opposite.

Um, and then I return back to the original, Oh, there's anger again. I start to practice getting unfused from this thing that arises and understanding this comes and goes and hey, guess what, it comes and goes with an opposite. And just knowing that can free me from being trapped or fused with the feeling. So, so that's why it's healing is because it, basically, it goes back to that, that principle of welcoming, you know. It's like, this is, anger is going to come for all of us at some point, you know, for those of us who have it in our system as like a go-to, it might come every day.

Um, but you know, even for the nicest person on the planet, they're going to get angry. And so it's really beautiful to practice with feeling the feeling and then feeling the opposite as a felt sense. The last step we do in this. And I, and I guide you through this as you hold them together. It's like, okay.

As I feel both anger and quiet together, what do I notice? And it's as if two opposite wave forms are just canceling each other out, you know, and there's this peace that can arise. Cool. I can't wait to go into that. Um, What would you say to someone who says, you know, focusing on the opposite feels like just trying to fake it till I make it? Like right now I'm angry and I don't feel, uh, silence, but like, so now I'm supposed to just try to feel silence when my actual experience is anger right now? That's such a great question. And, you know, in some ways, yeah, it is a little bit faking it till you make it.

But in another way, I would say, you know, when we're really meeting our experience and it's anger, and then we're just curious about what would be here if it wasn't. And we're doing this for our own health and wellbeing as, as a, kind of, as a kind way to interact with our darned psyches, you know. Then there was more of an invitation here to explore something that I am actually not trying to replace anger. I just want to see what's at the other end because I've been hanging out with anger for two weeks about this thing. And it hasn't given me any information that, you know, That would be useful for me right now.

And I have a feeling there's a message in there, but if I go to the opposite and feel the peace and quiet, you know, I'm a way more likely to have this third kind of insight arise as I hold both, you know? Oh, as I'm kind of less fused with the anger, what I'm seeing is I'm actually scared or disappointed. And in meeting that, what I know is I need to go have this conversation, you know. In the minute we get the message and take an action that anger will typically, it served its function, it delivered a message and it will kind of go away until it needs to come back again and, and, and share something with us. So. Yeah, yeah.

I think what's key there that you just eliminated is that like the experience that you're tapping into, um, yeah, let's say the silence, uh, on the other side of the spectrum of the anger, once you tap into it, it's, it's not a fake experience. It it's a real experience that you're, you're accessing, and, and it's just a matter of directing attention in a particular way that actually creates, um, real experiences for us or different real experiences. And then just an exploration of like the utility of those when, when is one more in service of what we're, what we're looking for in each moment. Such a great point. Beautifully said.

Yeah. That's great. Cool. Um, great. Well, let's go to the next one, which is, uh, uh, strengthening relationships.

I think this is a really important point in the context of resilience. Yeah, absolutely. So with strengthening relationships, I like to ask, you know, um, first, uh, how's my relationship going with myself. You know, am I, am I in relationship with myself? And what I mean by that is, am I expecting someone else to meet my needs that I'm not showing up for? And if I'm doing that, it's really important to first look here. And, and to strengthen my relationship with myself means to be really mindfully aware of, of, of what these needs are in relationship and to be able to give myself, you know, um, see, um, I'm seeking, um, comfort.

And, and I really want that from another and actually that's what relationship does. That's the cool thing about relationship is you get comforted, you know, but what if I'm refusing to actually comfort myself, you know, and I only want you to do it for me in the way that's going to make me feel better and take away my pain? And, um, I put all the onus on you to do that. Then, um, what happens in, in the relationship with yourself is you start to become disempowered. And so I like to look at these kind of core needs of being seen, being heard, feeling connected, belonging. Am I in relationship with myself here? And, and the more I am, then the more I can strengthen my relationship with you, because I'm curious also about what your needs are and, and what would be a good way to help you get those needs met, you know.

And, um, one of the questions I talk in the, in the course about co-regulation, you know, and just in the same way that we're regulating our own nervous systems and down-regulating, we do this constantly co-regulating with everyone around us, you know. Especially our, our intimate partners or our kids or parents. And so co-regulation, when you look at strengthening relationships, if you got on this, um, this call with me and, and started being really judgmental towards me, you know, uh, Kelly, your, your book sucks and you know, the work you do, whatever. I imagine I would start to feel this, Oh no, I'm, I'm getting out of relationship with, you know, now I'm being attacked and, you know. Um, this is a very extreme example.

You know, actually I probably should have used something a little, a little more easy. Um, but if I'm in relationship with myself, what I can do is feel how hard that is to hear. Oh, that's so hard to hear Cory judging me, you know? Wow. That hurts. And as I do that, let me see what what's Cory feeling too, you know.

And, and if I'm in that much welcoming with my experience, then we'll, co-regulate, you know, and I'll say, Oh, wow. What didn't you like about my book? That hurts. And you can go, Oh, Oh, sorry. I hurt you. I was just, just saying it kind of, you know.

I was just trying to be a jerk, you know, whatever. And what happens is we begin to co-regulate, you know, with this kind of from a, from a more mindful place, instead of co-regulating into trigger, you know, we start to down regulate together. And one of the questions that I have in there that you can ask is, you know, when something, when someone in relationship with you has something present, your child, then.You can ask, you know, can you say more about that when they come to you. Or your partner. Can you say more about that? You know, and just let them know you're there listening.

You could go through, and I would challenge anyone, go through a whole day that's all you say to someone. Can you say more about that? And you'd never believe how listened to, you know, that they will feel and how much more open they will be to listening to you. So these are ways we can strengthen relationships. Show we're listening, you know, be willing to be undefended and welcome what's here in order to co-regulate for so that we're both showing up as the best of us. And to know, I need to take a break when I need to, come back.

And the other question is, um, does this help or harm, what I'm about to say? Does this help or harm me, my partner, my coworker? You know, if we lived by that question, you know, I imagine we'd say less hurtful things. And it's not trying to be, um, some like goody two shoes, that's just like perfect and is always listening. It's, it's more around, you know, being real and, and showing up for yourself, you know, as you show up for another. So it's using all the tools and skills that we've built up until this point in the, in the course here to apply interpersonally. Hmm.

Was there a point in your journey getting into this work and mindfulness, yoga nidra, these practices where it started to bridge to the interpersonal where a went from this like isolated practice that you were doing with yourself, for yourself to something that you started to see was impacting relationships, both your sense of self in relationship to another person, but also how others were interacting with you? Absolutely. And you know, this is really interesting because, um, it can seem a bit like you're more selfish at first when you're practicing, you know, mindful self-awareness because it takes time and energy to actually notice what the heck is happening in your experience. I remember after I, um, my, my boyfriend at the time, after I left my first I Rest training, when I was learning that I could be with my emotions as sensations. We were in the car, driving from Massachusetts to Ohio and something came up and I felt triggered. And I said, hold on.

I have to feel my sensations. And, um, I, I, it was like, A really big deal for me, you know? And, um, and he was like, okay, you know, and, but the thing was that happened over time, um, where I just, I began to really learn, um, you know, to continue doing this work of meeting what's in my experience again and again. And, um, this, this with curiosity, with kindness, including how I hold the world together, how I view my like fundamental identity of who I am. And as I did that work, it began to transpose. I've never seen it happen where it happens with another person first and then you go back to yourself.

I think it's really important to do the work here first, um, in terms of lasting change. You know, and so there was a point that it just became more natural in the course of things where I was more curious about my partner's experience, because I was more in touch with my own and I didn't have to use my bandwidth, you know, like trying to meet my own trigger. It was like, okay, that's here and what's here with you. Yeah. That's, that's brilliant.

What would you say to someone, you know, that's getting into these practices and they're really feeling, uh, uh, a reorientation toward their own life and what they're interested in and they have these moments where they do feel like, whoa, I need a moment to feel the sensations moving through me or feel my experience, or just more tuned. But the people around them, the relationships that they have seem to only want to support the old version of who they were and don't seem in support of, of who they're becoming. I'm sure. You know, like me, you've come across that. And I think this is a big thing for people.

Absolutely. And you know, in a way you, you have to be willing to, uh, stand in your own, knowing at that point, you know. And I do think that friendships can shift relationships, can shift and, um, there can be kind of a reorg that happens in your life. I think that's the realistic truth of it. And also, you know, I think the more you do compassion practice too, and just understand like everyone's doing the best, they know how.

And you know, I'm on my own journey here. And bless my heart, I'm going to take the time I need to be with it, you know, this stuff. And it might be just not saying it to anyone that that's what I'm doing, but that's what I'm doing. And, um, so not to be like a crusader for mindfulness and try everyone else, you know, let me get everyone else around me to be mindful so I can be happy. You know, it's like, that's really, uh, that that's the, you know, that's a recipe for a lack of success.

Um, but you know, how can I really, you know, be, be true to myself and what it, what it, what it brings about is this really neat inquiry around who am I, you know, who am I in the world? And, and if I'm really myself here in full, what does this mean for my relationships? And how can I have compassion for those I'm in relationship with because they're where they are? And, and then what's really true here? So I'm in an actual inquiry and if you go all the way with it, um, it can be very clarifying. It can be sometimes uncomfortable, but I can tell you what it does. It builds intimacy and it builds, um, it builds resilience to being who you are in the world while other people are being who they are around you. And I think it's David Whyte that said. "We're the only corner of creation that can refuse to be ourselves." It's like, you know, um, a deer is, just has no real capacity to refuse to be a deer.

And, um, and out here in Colorado, the bears are definitely themselves, you know, and they're not apologetic and, but we can refuse that. So it's a little bit of a, kind of an invitation home. So you to be in our natural state, like this is who I am actually, without all the other stuff I've piled on it. Yeah. Hm.

Beautiful. Thanks, Kelly. Um, okay. And to the fifth one, micro moments of joy. Hmm.

Yeah, micro moments of joy. This one was interesting for me to build in the course, because I think it's the one that I need the most, um, in terms of, well, it's not really a need to most of us, but it, I was really reflective with like, what does it really mean, you know, to have micro moments of joy? And for me, one of the foundations of that, I don't know if I said this in the course, but it's for me is just being in awe. Like it's actually amazing to be alive every day, no matter what's happening. And if I'm in awe, then these micro moments of joy come across a lot more often. You know, it's like, wow, coffee in the morning.

And it's like my favorite thing, you know. It's amazing. And here I can experience coffee in the morning through the lens of seeing that I'm experiencing coffee in the morning and taking in this moment of joy. And, you know, it's just like an inoculation against the, the, the stress and burnout that can happen, the anxiety and overwhelm we're. We're also saying, hey, there's, there's something good here.

And, um, I like Barbara Fredrickson's work and she has this Broaden and Build theory where you're creating an upward spiral with these little kind of micro choices that you're making. And as you make these micro choices, um, say connecting with someone, connecting with a friend, you know, or, um, doing some piece of self care, whatever it is. Very small, like a little moment of joy that just slowly creates an upward spiral instead of a downward spiral. And, um, I think our brains left to ourselves, most of us anyways, kind of like tend to, we, we, we see what's what could go wrong, you know? And this is basically building in a capacity to see what could go right, but also choosing to go with what's going right. You know, coffee in the morning.

It's going right right now. And this is, I'm really taking this in. And as I do this, you know, there's this, um. It's interesting, uh, the, uh, the phrase, post traumatic growth, where I may have been through something really challenging or stressful, but I'm transforming through the adversity. And I think that many of us, you know, when you've been through something hard, it's actually easier to appreciate the small moments throughout the day.

And to be able to build upon that and just, you know, it was just, you're grateful to be alive, you know? And so post-traumatic growth basically says the real proverbial stuff can hit the proverbial fan and, and, and might for each of us in our own way. Right? And wh, how are we as we respond to that? And if we can have this kind of outlook where we're taking more risks, we're seeing opportunities, we begin to broaden our experience and build this capacity to meet life and to engage and to do this upward spiral, which is really important for health and wellbeing and, and, um, being able to respond to the challenges of life. So, yeah, that's what I would say is, is the, the main focus of that piece. Yeah, I love that you, um, you brought in Barbara Fredrickson's work. And I think that, that, you know, the broaden and build theories is, you know, evolutionary psychology.

Just this, this capacity to look around us and see what resources are there. Um, And then, and then it further builds resources. And, and so like the emphasis on these micro moments of joy, while someone might be able to go, all right, you now, I got so much crap going on in my life. How is focusing on this single moment of drinking my coffee, going to impact anything? Well, like the nourishment of that, of that stillness might make you that much more receptive to like want to engage with someone and reach out to a friend. And then that conversation now becomes, it gives you a little bit more confidence to go into the next few hours.

And now you're inspired to do a little bit more work. And that that building that you're talking about is, is simultaneously resourcing you, uh, for life. Um, And so, yeah, I just, I really like how you integrated the, these micro-moments into just the development of internal resources that are actually quite significant and become the container to hold an experience in even more joy. Um, I'm curious if, uh, you know, with stuff like this, there, there can tend to be the pushback of like, I don't have any. There, there are no, like I wake up every day and my body's in extreme physical pain or I'm, I'm living in a society, um, where I am systemically oppressed, or I live with these realities each day.

Um, and it feels either, one, that the joy isn't there or, um, almost like a disrespect to my suffering or those that are suffering with me to try and focus on what is good. Um, maybe, maybe we first start with just like, when someone doesn't feel like those moments are there, it's just, there's like constant suffering and pain. How do you navigate someone through that? Yeah. Um, it's, it's, it's a really good practice for, for actually some chronic pain. To be able to find, you know, is there one place in my body, like my pinky finger here that actually isn't suffering.

And, um, it's not always the case that a person can find that, but if they can, then that's where they start, you know, and, and really feeling the part that isn't in pain. You know, and noticing it, feeling it, and it might feel even numb, but it's actually just not in pain. And, and as I, um, feel that can I just just, oh, allow that to just put all my attention on this part that's not in pain. And can there be a little bit of a quality. Notice can some joy arise just in the presence of healing one little part of my body that's not in pain, you know.

And if it's not a part of my body and I'm actually in pain and, um, I'm just kind of in that kind of pain cave, you know. Um, the invitation here for this person is, you know, just, just experiment with it. This is no imposition here because I would never be able to know what's in another experience, person's experience to say, Oh, just go find joy. Like, you'll be so much better. You know, that's not where this is coming from.

It's a little more around really welcoming. Okay. The body is in total pain. I have this little pinky finger that's okay. And I'm actually going to open up, look up, like, look at the clouds.

There's, you know, good air quality here. The fires are gone today and I'm here in Colorado. I'm speaking of. And um, so, so I'm able to actually see something that's pleasant and feel it and be with it and take it in. And I'm only making an exploration for myself.

I'm not going to get to some idealized version of me. I'm only going to see what I find. And as I do that, like you said, it's the building, that broaden and built then, Oh, now I feel more open now that I'm appreciating the air quality and more open to just to go for a walk and I'm curious what that might do for the pain in my body as I do that. And so this is all invitational and I have a lot of respect for people who are in pain and, um, would say that this is, this is, uh, an invitation to explore moments of joy, you know, who has one finds them. Yeah, thanks, Kelly.

It, it also, um, reminds me to what we were talking about with like the fake it till you make it. It's that we're not, we're not pretending something is there that's not there. We're, we're just exploring, you know, what maybe is there that we haven't been perceiving, even if that includes neutral moments. Because neutral moments are also the absence of the suffering that we're often pushing against so much, but we tend to overlook. So starting small, it can be quite significant.

Yeah. Um, thanks, Kelly. Uh, it was really cool to explore these, these five foundational pillars. And just so everyone knows, you know, more detail in the course itself. So we're just getting little teasers of each of these.

Um, but, um, You have a micropractice for us. And I'd love to hear more about this. I'm really into, you know, even though some people might say like little practices are like the make mindfulness stuff, I'm all for, um, I'm all for little things that pack a punch, as long as they they're, they're representing and, you know, in alignment with the integrity of the practice. Um, and so, uh, you have one, being a lightning rod for stress. So if you could share that, that'd be great.

Yeah, sure. So this one came from, um, actually my colleague, Dr. Catherine Cook-Cottone and I were teaching, uh, with the United Nations, um, in, in Jordan and this came from their requests. They said, how can you help us as we're sitting here taking all of these, these stories in, you know, they have to write down the stories for the uh, refugees that were in the Syrian refugees camps there in Jordan. And, um, they're like, this is just so much that we're constantly, you know, hearing of and, and so we put this together, which is, um, and here's a version of it.

So this is a version of it, which is being a lightning rod for stress. So, this is in line with what we were talking about with being in refusal or welcoming. And I think that when, when there's stress coming at us from the outside, um, whether that's through a challenging conversation or just looking at the news or, you know, fear with the pandemic or anything else like that, that's, you know, happening right now in this world. Um, that what we can do is we want to push it away. You know, we want to resist.

And this practice can actually invite us to, um, let it, let it, we're letting it in, but we're letting it move through. So it's being a lightning rod for stress. And as we know what lightning rods do is the lightning comes and just grab the energy. And so what this practice is, you just kind of feel yourself. It's really nice to have your feet on the ground, and then you can also place your hands on a surface, like you would place your hands on the table.

And I have my hands on my table, feet on the ground, and I take a few breaths, you know, just kind of getting comfortable, both feeling myself, both alert and relaxed. Here I am. And then I imagine this energy of stress kind of coming towards me. As it does, and that might be through what I'm taking in visually or someone's talking to me or just maybe a situation comes to mind that slightly stressful, not overwhelming. And what I do is I imagine myself, I'm not in refusal, so I'm welcoming it's as if it's lightning, you know, but that's kind of extreme, but, um, and welcoming the stress.

I feel it in my body, I'm not in refusal. And then I feel it move all the way through me into the ground, just as if I were a lightning rod. Through my hands and to the table. And I noticed what that's like compared to bracing against it. And as I keep letting that energy of stress kind of move all the way through, into the ground, through my hands, into the table, what do I notice? What do I feel? You know, that's, that's really the simplicity of this practice.

And, um, what the basis of it is, is basically saying, can I get my, through a practice, can I allow myself to not refuse what's here and not take it on? And, and so if I picture myself as a lightning there, it went, I mean, I feel different just, just guiding it or just saying it, you know, I feel more grounded, literally. So that's, that's one of the micro practices I teach. Oh, amazing. I've never heard that before. And, um, that, the last thing you said, I want to make sure I get it right, but it's um, can I something along the lines of like, can I feel this or hold this without holding onto it? Um, or let myself experience it.

I think that is so key. And so many people, um, like I've learned through my teachings. Uh, I've just, our our, our deep end paths, um, really just feel like the fullness of life and the pain of the world, the environment, other people. And it could just feel like the last thing they want to do is take on more or be a lightning rod for it. Um, but an actual lightning rod is you're saying doesn't just like pull it.

It, it, it grounds it, it roots it. And so there's this, like, I just did it with you. I didn't tell anyone I was, but, um, I tried to feel into that and, and there is this sense of like the energy dispersing and, and being held by something bigger than me that can hold it. Like, I actually felt a sense of connection to something bigger than me. Beautiful.

I love that. You mentioned that actually. I had another, um, student say the exact same thing and, and hadn't even thought of that as we created it, you know, but that is exactly it. It's still held, I think that's really important, by something larger and that, that, yeah, that's, it's a, um, it's a beautiful, quick way into a deeper truth. Amazing.

Cool. Another reason I love micro-practices. Um, all right, well, we're, we're coming to the end here. Um, for those who are listening, I mean, I, I hope you're, um, really appreciating the value here in the same way that, that I am. Um, and, and you might be curious just like, you know, how do I go deeper into this? Especially if there's one or more things that Kelly's talked about, um, that have resonated with you.

If you're feeling like, Oh yeah, even just like the, the lightning rod practice. Um, and you could see the implications of that. Um, we really are excited to, um, To be showcasing and having Kelly come on into the app in a significant way. And you know, everything we produce here Mindfulness.com is designed to be really practical, but also holds, um, a lot of depth without, you know, taking a ton of time out of your day. So, um, Kelly has an amazing seven day meditation program that is, uh, that will now be available with daily guided meditation practices and also more of these micro-practices.

So if you're like me and you you're, you know, yes, you value the 10 minute, the 20 minute meditation, but you also just see little things that you can bring into your day while you're standing on the grocery line or having a conversation with someone, we have those for you as well. And Kelly's going to share more of those practices. Um, and then she also goes into just like question and answer, like, what are the most common questions that come up, you know, on resilience. And, and so if you have more curiosities here, she's going to go into all of that. Um, then all just put together in a way that's easy to digest and fit into your schedule.

So really excited to share that. And I'll go into more about how to access some of that in a moment. But, um, as we come to our, our closing Kelly, um, I just love to make some space for anything else you'd like to add if there is anything. Hmm, well we've covered so much. It's been a real joy to connect with you, Cory.

And yeah, my hope is that it's, this is, this is engaging for people, you know, who are both brand new to the mindfulness practice and also who might be, you know, have been on the path for a long time. And that, um, what, what I've put together would be something that, you know, is, is appealing and really effective for people. And I think at the base, you know, level, we're really looking at what does it mean to be a good human being and to the, the world needs us right now. The world needs us to, to, to, uh, learn these practices of mindful self-awareness, you know, increase our compassion for others. And I'm really hopeful that these are practical, you know, um, easy to understand, but also deep as you say, kind of teachings that can, that can really help people into learning and like growing skills and having a toolkit.

It's like, you know, at, at, at your disposal that you can use in any given moment, that's based on something that's not like trying to get outside of where you are, but yet, you know, in many ways it gets you outside of where you are. It's an interesting paradox, but that's the invitation here. So I'm really glad to be on the app. Oh, amazing. Yeah, we are too Kelly.

Um, and so for, for everyone that is ready to go deeper, if you want lifetime access to all of Kelly's materials, you can subscribe at Mindfulness.com, um, or just get a free seven day trial where you can test out the daily video coaching, the guided meditations sleep support, and just all of the great new materials that, um, Kelly is putting together. So, um, Yeah, thank you, Kelly. It was such a pleasure to spend this time with you. Thank you for your heart. The thing that that has always struck me from the beginning of our friendship is just how genuine you are as a human.

And, uh, you know, sometimes this can come across in the virtual format or when someone's listening to a video, but, um, for everything that all of you who are listening are hearing and feeling from Kelly, know that it is true and genuine. And, um, I so loved knowing that there are people like you in the world and, uh, it's a gift to call you a friend. So thank you. Aww. You're welcome.

And right back at ya. Great. All right. Thanks everyone. Thank you for your practice and for doing the good work.

We look forward to talking to you more in the app and until then, take care.

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