Episode 61 – Triggers and Teachings
Listen to this episode here!
In this episode Rachel dives into the topic of using relationships and challenges for growth, finding ways to express your emotions no matter what society says and the beauty of letting your inner child come out to play.
She begins by discussing the different place she is in this week compared to last. From feeling ungrounded and stagnant, Rachel talks about diving back into work-mode and the new energy that came with it. By moving away from the idea of feeling busy and more into the idea of simply doing, Rachel mentions how stretching on the floor when playing with Lea Luna, or coming into a single child’s pose can be crucial for arriving back home. Diving further into this topic, Rachel talks about how we can all benefit from making yoga part of our every day, weaving practice into everything we do and using it as a tool to ground us again and again. She also talks about her style of parenting and how she deals with Lea Luna’s tantrums and how at the end of the day, a single deep breath can do wonders.
[001:11] Hi and welcome to another episode of From The Heart: Conversations with Yoga Girl. I am right now in this moment, I am on such a high (laugh). I feel so absolutely energetically, like, all over the place. I’m flying high right now. Trying to figure out what to do to bring me back to Earth. So, maybe we’ll start today’s podcast just the same way we started last week’s podcast, except from a completely opposite reason. Let’s all take a deep breath. So, in through the nose, full inhale … Through the mouth, let it go … (laugh) Could this be just what we do every week? Just we sit here and breathe together? Actually, it’s sort of what we do. It’s kind of the business that I’m in, it’s kind of what I do for a living is breathing together with other human beings also trying to breathe.
[002:15] What a day it is, you guys. What a life it is. I don’t even know where to start right now. I’ve had one of those days, or one of those weeks where I just … I am so busy, and then I say that sentence out loud, the idea of busy-ness, we all like to be people that are busy, that stay busy throughout the day. There’s something a little bit glorified about being super busy, like, all the time. Like we work so hard and we have family life and we, you know, we fill our days up with stuff and we feel accomplished when we’re busy … I don’t think being busy is necessarily a good thing. I’m trying to get away from that sentence overall, “Oh, I’m so busy, I’m so busy,” because it can become this thing that we repeat to ourselves again and again, but what does it bring us? What are we affirming every time we say stuff like that? “I’m so busy right now.” Sort of what we’re affirming is, at least in my book, being busy is that feeling of like barely keeping up, kind of. We fill our days with stuff, we don’t really have space to settle down and rest in between, and being really busy or overly busy is not catching up with this, yeah, with this idea of life.
[003:20] So I want to move away from the idea of busy-ness and just dive into doing, right? And there’s different levels of doing. I can be in a level of doing when I’m just sitting on the couch with my phone in my hand, like answering a question, that can be doing. Doing could also be running across town taking 5,000 meetings and setting up a gazillion emails, it’s just doing on another level. It’s more about the energy you bring in to the doing. I mean, there can be doing when I’m just sitting with the baby. Being, but there’s also doing in that. So, I’m really working on narrowing down the scope of what does it mean to be busy, and do I have to say it all the time? Is it bringing me something or is it taking something away? And why do I get back to that idea again and again?
[004:06] This week, specifically, Dennis was joking the other day, because we’ve been in Sweden now for I think a couple of weeks. I don’t even know what month it is (laugh). I don’t even know what day it is. I have no clue. We’ve been here for a while and the first couple of days, I mean, I shared this on last week’s podcast, I had a really hard time throughout this journey, like this trip overall, just arriving. I had this feeling like we’ve gone places and my body arrives, but it takes a couple of days for my soul to catch up, and then it was time to move again and travel again, so I’ve had this feeling of, yeah, not really arriving, not really being present in my body for a couple of weeks.
[004:40] So, we got to Sweden, we’re back in our little apartment, back with friends and family and work and, you know, the Yoga Girl team sits here and we have a lot of work of course, there’s a lot of things to immerse yourself in and be busy w. But when we arrived, I really arrived from this place of total frazzledness, like I didn’t really know what is going on. Like, where am I? Who am I? What’s happening? So I didn’t dive into any type of work at all. I just really gave myself some time and some space to be here and to catch up with my body. Which was the most necessary, needed thing ever.
[005:14] Where we live here in Stockholm it’s actually, we’re super close to one of the biggest parks in the city, it’s just this vast, big field, so we’ve been walking the dogs, Ringo and also my mom’s dogs every day, going for really long walks with the stroller. I’ve been running (laugh). I’ve been actually not practicing that much yoga, but I’ve been on my mat, thank God. And I’ve just been kind of in the practice of just doing simple things, right? So not getting on and off planes and just making my way back home. It’s been really, really a beautiful thing.
[005:42] So I had a couple of days of that until I could kind of feel myself arriving back home here, now, and then of course the moment that happened I’m like, “Okay, well I’m going to take a meeting now. I’m going to get back into work,” because I have a lot of things to do here. So, I took this meeting and Dennis and I, last time we were in Sweden, it was August or September last year, so the baby was little, and we were sort of in this challenging space of not having really decided fully what we were going to do in terms of our family life and business life as partners, as a married couple, and as parents. So we had this kind of general idea, or Dennis thought that’s what he wanted to do, he wanted to be a stay at home dad when we had the baby. And then we had the baby and he quickly realized uh-uh, that’s not at all what he wants to do, not for him. But we were in this challenging place where I was really busy and I had so many things I really couldn’t get away from, but I had to go to work every day, and then he was home with the baby, but she was also small and, you know, at four or five months or however how old she was then there’s not a lot of super fun things you can do then with the baby. Now, I mean, she’s 14 months, she’s running all over the place, we take her to the park every day. We climb trees, we’re in swings, talking to other people, she has other friends. I mean it’s really, I think specifically for Dennis, right now, it’s a funner time to be with her because she’s bigger and she understands and she speaks and it’s amazing.
[007:05] But anyway, so we hadn’t really decided that then, and we were in this really challenging place of okay who was going to be home? And he didn’t want to be home with her but he kind of had to be home with her, so it wasn’t super easy for us then. Now we’re coming back here now and we weren’t in Sweden with this idea of work, right? It wasn’t like, “Okay, I’m going to go work and you’re going to be with the baby all day.” We just arrived and then I was like, “Hey, I’m going to take a meeting tomorrow.” He was like, “Okay, yeah yeah, I’ll go to the park with Luna,” whatever.
[007:31] And now it’s been like, I don’t know, days since that meeting and this morning, and I’ve been so busy. There’s that sentence again. But that meeting led into another thing which led into another thing and all of the sudden I’m immersed into the business of Yoga Girl Group, which is what we’re calling our collection of companies and our entire team and all of our employees and everybody that’s here, Yoga Girl Group. That was days ago.
[007:53] And this morning I was rushing off to do this thing, I recorded this podcast, it’s called, “The Business Podcast.” It’s the biggest business podcast in Scandinavia, I think, it’s a really fun thing. But I was rushing out the door to do this really fun thing, Dennis was like, “Hey, remember that meeting you took like a week ago? It hasn’t ended yet.” I was like, yeah, that’s true. Maybe not a week, maybe five days or something. Because since then I just, it was sort of like I picked something up and I didn’t put it back down. So, since then I’ve been going from meeting to meeting to filming to recording podcasts, taking interviews, to shooting, to emails, to strategies, to, you know, and then I’ve been up at night after the baby sleeps and then I’m still going and then we go to dinner and then I come back home and I get back to work, and now I’m in this completely different flow than I where I was last week.
[008:44] It’s so interesting to me, the different energy, that energy of feeling stagnant, which is what I’ve felt a little bit over the past couple of weeks, and how that just doesn’t work for me. It’s a very strange, it’s like I’m in this dual place because one side of me really wants to be still, but being still, for me, means I want to be in one place. And then there’s this other side of me that goes absolutely berserk if nothing happens. Like, I feel really stagnant if I’m not moving energy, moving my body and getting things done. So, I think that’s also why I’ve been feeling a little bit low the past couple of weeks is I’ve had this feeling like I’m not in my level of doing, I’m not where I want to be in this doing, if that makes sense.
[009:33] Now that I’m back in it, I absolutely thrive in this space. It’s so interesting how this idea of busy-ness, like, I really really really truly enjoy it. And I think now because the baby is older and Dennis is having fun with her, you know, these three days, the really super crazy days that we just had, it hasn’t been an issue at all. We haven’t had any arguments, no fighting, it’s just been … it’s been super good!
[009:56] Then today, this morning, I had this podcast that I did that was really inspiring actually. So it’s this Swedish podcast where they invite young or new, you know, smaller entrepreneurs that they can send in a pitch that they actually play out loud in the podcast, and then they invite different sorts of successful entrepreneurs as guests on the show, and they get to listen to these pitches, these kind of business pitches and give advice and say what they think, and then everyone who listens gets to vote on one. And then there’s this kind of big winner that wins, I think, a big … I don’t know if it’s a grant or a prize or something in the end. Anyways, it was really inspiring and just a different sort of podcast for me to do, because I like to be in this level, in this vibration of also work.
[010:40] The past few months I haven’t really been in that. I’ve been on the side managing things, but I haven’t been in the trenches with the team feeling the energy of everything that we’re doing all of the time. So I’m really happy with that. But after this podcast this morning I knew I had a little tiny window of okay I can squeeze in a lunch with the baby and Dennis so I can hug them and then I’m going to record my podcast, and then I have a bunch of meetings. And then of course I came back home … or I went to lunch, baby decided to eat beet hummus and it’s, like, all over her. She looks like she just dipped herself in something red. Her hair, her shorts, everything, it’s a giant mess. Then on my way home I realized, oh shit, I did something wrong with the calendars, there was a meeting I didn’t know I had, and then I’m taking that meeting and I’m walking Ringo and I’m doing all of these things, and then I sit down and I’m back in my apartment, here I am, taking my equipment out to record this, and my heart is beating so forking fast. I’m like, oh my god, I can’t … I can’t even talk right now!
[011:39] Then I roll out my mat. Here’s my remedy for everything. I sit down, I realized, oh whoa, like, I’m vibrating with this energy right now. I need to come back. I need to arrive here now. So I roll out my mat. I change out my dress. I take my heels off because I’ve been wearing heels all day for, I don’t know, like a crazy person. And I drop into child’s pose, and it’s just … it doesn’t take any time! That’s, for me at least, the true beauty of the yoga practice. It doesn’t require, at least for me it doesn’t, it doesn’t have to be this big ginormous thing that I do every day, or that I do several times a week. Literally, just child’s pose! That’s it. Child’s pose just now completely helped turn my whole vibration around. I throw my mat out, I put pants on, throw a mat out, and I drop into child’s pose and it’s like … I get goose bumps now, but I hear Ram Dass in the back of my head, like, … And here we all are. Do you know that feeling? That feeling of … I don’t know, I love the first moments of a yoga practice, whether it’s a full class and it’s 90 minutes and it’s in a shala with other people or if it’s in between meetings and podcast recordings and this super hectic day life, one pose. There’s something about this tool that is yoga that just, it brings us right back home! And I would love to invite, you know, whatever is going on in your life right now, wherever you’re at, use this tool, and use it more than you do right now! I talk to a lot of people and it’s like, “Well how often do you practice yoga and which studio do you go to and which teacher do you like?” If yoga becomes this thing that we check off every week like, “I did my yoga this week. I did three classes.” Or “Today I did my yoga, I was on my mat.” … Incorporate it into the every day, all the time, as much as you can.
[013:33] I’ll be on the floor playing with the baby and I’ll find my way into like a stretch or sit in a shape that just feels good rather than standing there hunched over. There’s a way for me to take a deep breath and be in my body there. Maybe that turns into like five minutes of something, but it’s practice, right? Absolutely practice. And then I’ve had this thing going on now, I mean, I don’t know how long this has lasted, a couple of days, something is definitely … and I’m wondering if it’s related to me being this idea of busy, but baby decided that she’s not going to eat anymore. Very exciting stuff. So she’s gone from being the easiest eater, she eats everything, like absolutely everything, and yes she’s vegan, but it hasn’t been, you know, there’s been no issue there at all. She just eats everything. … To like not wanting to eat anything at all. I’ll buy her the most delicious thing, things that she used to super love, like a really sweet smoothie, things that are sweet and delicious, she won’t even try them! So it’s more like, I don’t know if she’s testing boundaries, if it’s this autonomy coming in, like her deciding what she does. I don’t know, there’s something that I’m sure is developmental and not a big deal, but she’s just, you know, she’s kind of a pain when it comes to eating right now.
[014:38] And of course this stresses me out! Because I want her to eat, I want her to grow, I want her to gain weight. I had a pediatrician when we were in Aruba. She’s like, what do you call it, the curve or whatever? The curve, that you track babies on when they’re born? So she was a really huge baby in the Aruban standards. Aruban standards can be 2-3 kilos is really normal … I don’t know in pounds. Ugh, I really don’t know pounds. 2-3 kilos, totally normal. She was like 4.2-something, and they thought she was so fat and so ginormous that they wanted to do special testing on her, to make sure she wasn’t diabetic or that she had some sort of issue. I was like, “Well we’re two giant people.” Dennis is like 6’4” and I’m 5’8”. Swedish, like, we’re tall people. She’s going to be a big baby.
[015:27] Then she kind of came into this … when we stopped breastfeeding, not even when we stopped breastfeeding, I think like 4 months in or something, she dropped into a more normal space on the curve. But the last time we went there this lady was like, “Oh, you know, she’s gaining weight pretty well, but I would love her to get just a little bit fatter. Like next time I see her I really want her to go up on the curve a little bit more.” And I was like, “Oh, is something not good?” She’s like, “No, she’s following the curve, but if she would just go a little bit above it, then it would be even better.” I was like, “Okay.” She’s like, “Well do you feed her a lot of formula?” And was like, “Well, she’s vegan, so we eat a lot of vegetables and lentils,” I mean, we eat everything. She has a super healthy diet. And this doctor was like, “Vegan? Oh no. Oh no!” And she was super concerned. She was like, “Very important that next time you come here that she has gained, and she gave me a number of how much she should gain.” And I was like, “But you said she was following the curve, she’s all good, she’s losing any weight, she’s not going down.” But she was like, “No, but now that I know that she’s vegan, it’s very, very important.”
[016:21] I know that this is a place from maybe not knowing a lot or concern or worry or whatever, but I decided, I’m like, okay, I’m going to get this baby so fucking fat that when we come back to Aruba this lady is going to be like, “Oh! Here we are. Everything is great and everything is normal.” And now this refusing to eat, it’s not really going with my plan! So, anytime we have any sort of meal, you know, it’s become a little bit tense, right? Because I want her to eat everything, and I want her to eat more than normal, and I want her to eat so much. Then I know she senses that from me. So I’m kind of like I’m there with the spoon, and she wants to eat on her own. She doesn’t want to be spoon fed, but of course she can’t eat, you know, she normally likes the curries and stews and soups. There’s a lot of things that she doesn’t know how to use a spoon on her own yet, so I need to help her for that to work. She can eat off a fork because I can stab it for her, but yeah, she can’t eat things with a spoon. But she wants to do it on her own, and then it’s like this struggle.
[017:18] But I found myself now with this idea of the all the time practice, right? The all day every day practice, when you use yoga as a tool for whatever, whenever. I’ll be in this tense space where I’m like, “Goddamnit! Can you just open your mouth? Eat it! Swallow it! Whatever we’re eating, just eat more!” And I feel myself this tension creeping up. I’ll take a moment, I’ll just close my eyes, because I usually sit with my legs crossed. I’ll uncross my legs. Okay, I’m going to do it right now. You can do it with me if you’re sitting down, wherever you’re sitting. Just uncross your legs, ground both feet on the floor, and then put some effort into it. Really press the soles of your feed down into the earth, notice the four corners of each foot and how they’re rooting down toward not just the floor or the carpet or whatever is beneath your feet, but down down down toward the core of the earth. Ground yourself.
[018:09] So, I’ll do that and then take a really deep breath, sort of how we start these podcasts … And after that first releasing breath I’ll just keep breathing through the nose, in and out of the nose, but keeping it really steady, really slow, feet firmly planted on the ground, and then all of the sudden I’ll notice how there’s this shift between me and the baby, or maybe it’s probably just me, but this tension that I feel, it’s like okay, well this is not the end of the world, and I start telling me this kind of different story as to, “Oh my god, she has to eat all of this right now or she’s going to starve!” Clearly that’s not the case. I had a thousand people write me about, you know, the different cycles and how it’s totally normal and babies will eat a lot and then less, all of this stuff, and I shouldn’t worry that much. But just that softening … and that’s practice too, right? That’s yoga while I’m feeding my baby. It’s using this tool of breath to come back here.
[019:07] Usually what happens when I get into this space, I’m not in my mind with this idea of like, “She has to eat more,” but I just come back to my body and I breathe and I’m just here with her” is that she will relax and she will eat. (laugh) Isn’t it so interesting? I think it’s absolutely so fascinating. She’s like a tiny little mirror, a little reflection of all the stuff that I have going on around! So whenever I … whatever challenges me with her, it’s this huge thing that I have to work on within me, and it’s just so beautiful because she points this stuff out for me all day every day. Whether or not you have kids, if you’re a mom or a dad or not, it doesn’t really matter because life happens around us and there’s going to be people around you, that’s why relationships are so amazing. There’s going to be people around you all day long pointing you toward these little things going on inside of you that you haven’t figured out yet.
[019:58] When you look at life this way there’s just … there’s something sooo absolutely sacred there. What if that’s what it is? Every time you feel challenged or triggered or tense in any relationship, and for me yeah I feel that when I’m feeding my baby, so it’s like she’s triggering me because I have this fear that I’m not a good enough mom or that I’m not adequate. What if something happens to her? What if she doesn’t eat enough? All this tension, you know? Which it’s there. It wasn’t like it was born in me as she was born. I had all of these feelings from way back, like, it’s part of me. You know that Wayne Dier quote, “If you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out.” I think I’ve shared that in one of the podcasts before. So whatever is in you, doesn’t really matter what the trigger is or what’s happening on the outside because what comes out, it’s yours, right? So it’s your orange juice.
[020:49] So for me when tension comes out of me or I feel frustrated and tense, because the baby won’t eat, it’s not like she is bringing me tension because she’s not eating, it’s because I have tension already, she’s just a little trigger for me. She’s pointing me in the direction of where my tension sits. So it’s kind of like, it’s this total blessing all the time! All the time! Because here I am walking through life thinking that I’m doing a great job, and, you know, it’s easy to become a little bit disillusioned about the fact that, oh, I’m a spiritual person, I work on myself, I do all of these trainings in groups and I meditate and I do yoga and I journal and I set with my stuff and I feel my feelings, blah blah blah blah blah … But yeah, but there’s … it never ends! It’s a never ending process. Just when you feel like you’ve uncovered a little piece of something like, “Oh! I’ve learned something major!” You realize, oh, you’ve just started. That was just the beginning of something, you know?
[023:23] So if we’re able to sit with this and become present with what’s going on and not let this trigger take up too much attention or take up too much focus, right? Then there’s something absolutely beautiful that can evolve within us every single day, any time we have any challenges in that way. And it’s a really hard, I mean, a really hard thing to do and a really hard thing to get back to because, and here’s the thing, the people that we love the most, the people that we are the closest to, the people that are the most important to us are the ones that are going to trigger us the most because there is heart there, right? There’s love there, there’s a relationship there. And it can be really hard for us to distance ourself from that, the idea of the trigger versus what’s happening inside of us already.
[024:10] This is something that I see in my marriage a lot, a lot. I’m going to have Dennis on the podcast I think next week. We were thinking maybe … I was thinking he should start a podcast on his own and he’s kind of positive toward this, but I think, I don’t know, he needs a little bit of support, a little bit of help to get there. Because his point of view, I mean in everything, it’s so different from mine, and it’s so interesting to sit with and listen to. He brings me so many lessons and so much learning every day. But sometimes when we’re in the heat of the moment and things are super challenging, it’s really hard to step out of that idea of a trigger. So, I’m going to give you an example, and this is something that’s literally playing out in this moment right now. (laugh) Right now.
[024:52] I was just thinking about this, I saw a palm reader when I was in L.A. a couple of weeks ago, and the one thing she said, the one major thing she said was I should be less public with my thoughts, emotions and issues. Not taking that to heart at all!
[025:07] But this is playing out right now, and so since we’ve started traveling, and I share this a lot, I’ve kind of struggled with the travel and Dennis is thriving off of it. I’ve never seen him so, like, he’s shining throughout this trip. Everything we do, no matter what it is, like every day he wakes up and he’s so fucking stoked! Wherever we are! He barely notices if there’s like an issue or something that’s hard, like for me it was really hard to live in hotel rooms where it’s really dirty or we can’t unpack or the baby hasn’t had proper food in a long time, stuff like that, things that kind of bother me, he doesn’t even notice them at all! And I’ll point them out. I’m like, “Hey, it stresses me out because the baby hasn’t had a cooked meal for two days. I want to sit down and just-“ He’s like, “What do you mean? She had that and she had a sandwich like an hour ago.” And I’m like, “No, but for me that feeling of preparing a fully-cooked meal, knowing that she ate it, like I’m nourishing her, that’s something that just brings me peace. She hasn’t had that because we’re going from place to place and it’s restaurants and it’s hectic or whatever.” He just doesn’t really have the ability to sit with, okay, why is this hard for me? Because for him most of these things aren’t hard. He’s such an easy-going human being.
[026:24] And I so admire that! I wish I had more of Dennis in my personality. Dennis, if you’re listening to this, I don’t mean it. Don’t use it against me later, okay? Who are we kidding? Dennis never listens to this podcast. But he really has this totally easy-going, grounded, down to earth, humble, laid back personality, and it’s always that way! Like really, he has this beautiful ability to all the time focus on what’s really good and what’s working, and never seeing the issues. Sometimes to a degree that so intense that life gets really messy through it. And this is kind of where our balance is, the yin and yang comes together. If it wasn’t for me Dennis would life in his own filth. I kid you not. In his core he’s sort of a hoarder. And when I say sort of, like, he’s totally a hoarder. Super messy, super dirty. Had never used a vacuum or a mop in his life before we met. And doesn’t, also, doesn’t realize when things get really dirty. It’s, yeah, he can be kind of gross, that’s just true.
[027:31] And of course this is how he grew up and we all have different, like, different things in our life that shapes us in this way. For me it’s like, you know, when we met he didn’t even realize how much he appreciates a clean home, like a home where things are put away, where you can see the floor, where your clothes are folded and you know, “Okay my shirts go here, my socks go here, my underwear…” It’s a really nice feeling! But if you’ve never had that you don’t know how nice it is. So when we started dating and I, you know, I’m not like a neat freak crazy person, but I need things to be clean and put away. For my mind to function I need peace in my surroundings. And I think most people actually function that way. It’s just are we aware of it or not.
[028:13] So I started, you know, cleaning a lot and putting things away and organizing stuff, and he just realized how nice it is, and also how much it frees stuff up from inside of you, like there’s a lot of energy that goes to, I mean in his day I don’t know how many hours per day he spends looking for stuff all the time. Like, all the time. And we had this argument this morning, like, I was going to record the podcast today and he had transferred last week’s podcast through it’s like a little chip we use in this recorder, he transferred it from his computer. And then yesterday I saw the chip, it was like in the middle of the kitchen table. And I was like, “Hey, why did you put the podcast chip, it’s like a tiny thing on this super messy table, it’s going to disappear.” And he’s like, “No no no, it’s okay, that’s okay, I’m going to put it back in the device.” I’m like, “Okay, cool.”
[028:55] And then today I wake up and it’s time to record the podcast, of course the chip is missing, and of course he didn’t put it away. But it’s like this really, you know, the mess that he kind of made with the baby, and she ate, and there’s toys everywhere and stuff, and maybe she took the chip, maybe she ate it? Maybe she hid it on the carpet. Maybe it fell on the floor and just went into this, you know, the mess that Dennis and Luna create in a day. And then for me it’s really triggering for me because I’m like, “Hey, I saw the chip on the table, I asked you, and I know I could have put it in the device,” but I want him to be accountable for putting important things in the right place, especially stuff that’s important. Like, I need to record this podcast. I need this SD card, this little chip to be able to do that. And this is an important thing for both of us. It’s our business, it’s our family. I’m trying to coach him a little bit instead of just doing everything all the time. I could just clean the whole house every day, that would be fine, but I’d rather we are two in this relationship and that we do the stuff together.
[029:52] Of course the chip is gone, and then he’s annoyed. He’s like, “No no no, but I know, I saw it too, I was going to put it away, I forgot.” And then he’s looking and he’s looking and he’s like, tearing the pillows and the cushions out of the couch, he’s lifting the carpet, he’s looking in the bed, everywhere, you know, the chip is gone, and then there’s this tension in the morning because I had a really intense schedule. If things don’t work, you know, then it doesn’t work, right? So he had to leave and go to the store and see if he could find this SD card that fits our device, and then I was home with the baby and I’m trying to get ready whole she’s … The whole morning was like [fart sound] (laugh). But it all came from this very simple thing of like let’s just put stuff where it belongs, right?
[030:36] Then what I’m trying to do right now is this … how can I communicate this in a way that actually really works? How can we be two, not just in how we live our lives and what we build together, but in addressing each others’ flaws? Because that’s a really important thing. I think I’m starting to realize it’s a key to having longevity in a relationship. For this marriage to work in the long term we can’t just get pissed at each other and freak out and get angry and become passive-aggressive every time something doesn’t work, right? We have to really sit with that. How can we help each other? How can we support each other?
[031:10] So then I’m trying to ask, like, “Hey,” because I have that moment where I was like, ugh! Why?! Come on! And he was like, “It’s okay, I’ll get another one,” and then he goes out, and of course it’s a lot of money, like, how many of these chips have we bought? Oh my god. How many of them have we bought? I don’t know, I really don’t know. It’s a waste of money and time and energy and all of that. And he comes back and I’m like, okay, so I’m really thinking, how can I support Dennis? Instead of being upset with him when this stuff happens. Because it happens all the time. It’s shoes, it’s keys, it’s mess, it’s just, that’s what it is. How can I support him in this in a better way, rather than getting upset when things don’t work? So I’m like, okay.
[031:47] What I did now is we have a little shelf in the corner with little drawers and stuff, and I cleared one out, and this is a small apartment. I cleared one out completely and I put it on the table and I’m like, “Okay, Dennis, this is your drawer. For all of the things that you don’t know where they go.” He’s like, “What do you mean?” “Everything that you don’t know, you’re like, ‘I’m going to put that away later,’ like whatever it is, if it’s keys, a hat, an SD card, your wallet, the baby’s diaper, whatever it is that you don’t know where it goes in that moment, this is the box, right? Then once a day, at the end of the day, together we’ll sit with this box and we’ll decide where things go. And I you don’t know what to do with something, I’ll help you.” Because there’s also bills and receipts and mess just accumulates all the time.
[032:33] I don’t know if this is going to work, because this is not normally how we do things at home. But I was trying to think, like, how can I support this part of him? And then on the other way around there’s this other section of, okay, so we had this kind of fight this morning about all of this. So what I was getting at is that he’s so excited about traveling, like completely overjoyed, and I haven’t been. And one of the issues that we had, this was kind of two, not fights but discussions that we had today was that he really wants to stay in Sweden! Like, he would stay here … I don’t know, he would move here, I think. He hasn’t said it out loud, but maybe he wants to move to Sweden, I don’t know. But he doesn’t want to go back to Aruba. And we have a teacher training coming up at the end of June, and for me it’s really important that we get to go back to Aruba not the day before 23 days of teacher training, but that we go back home with time to unpack and to land and stock the fridge, you know, get back into our routine of normal life, and then go into this super intense 23-day program. For me that’s really, really important.
[033:33] And for him this, like, yearning to be in Sweden, to be here, to keep traveling, it’s so big. Like, it’s so big and so strong that he doesn’t see my side of the story at all, like, at all at all at all. This is kind of a con- … It’s been, I don’t know, like we’ve been talking about this for a couple of weeks since we started traveling, that I want to get home at a normal time and he wants to stay a little bit longer. But we can’t just, for some reason, we can’t see eye to eye here. And it’s been one of these kind of triggering parts in a relationship for me lately, because every time this thing comes up, and it comes up quite often because we need to book our flights, right? And the flights are going to disappear, and then maybe we won’t have anything. Maybe we won’t come back home if we just don’t book these flights ever. So for me it’s important that we book these flights so we can go back home. Every time I bring it up because we have to book them together and decide on the date, he gets so triggered by the fact that I want to go home, and I get really triggered by the fact that he doesn’t want to go home that we’re kind of going in circles about this kind of … it sounds like a really small issue. Why can’t we just find a date, like, compromise, like a middle date and then go together and that’s it? But for some reason, I’ve really been sitting with this for a while, like, what is it that’s going on? Then I had that moment with this stupid SD card this morning, like, okay I can’t just get pissed at him every time he does something that fits perfectly with his personality. Because it’s not like it’s a surprise that the SD card is missing or that, you know, I come home after working and the house is a giant mess. It’s not a surprise. Why do I feel like I have to keep saying something? Like, “Ugh!” How can I, instead of being triggered by something that doesn’t fit for me, like it doesn’t work for me to live in filth, okay, but I chose to marry a messy husband! Very consciously! Like, knew that side of him. I also, okay, I’m not going to say I love that side of him, because yeah, I would love it if our house was a little bit cleaner, but that easy going, laid back side of him, which is what brings forth this messiness, like, that’s my favorite part about Dennis, right? So I would much rather have this, of course, than this like super structured, anal person who is like … No! This is who Dennis is, and I love him for the person he is, so why can’t I support change in our day to day if it’s needed? Maybe this box for random stuff will work, maybe it won’t, we’ll see. I’ll give you guys an update next week.
[037:37] I was sitting with this now, like, okay, so here’s another issue. And that’s the thing about relationships, especially close ones, it’s not like we have one issue a year and then we work through that and then we’re fine. It’s like we’re living in this dynamic of being together and relating with each other all the time. Two completely different personalities, and now we have a baby together, and it’s so fucking beautiful, and it’s the best thing … it’s the most beautiful thing I have. My relationship with him, it’s the best thing. Our family unit, it’s the best thing. But it’s also so challenging, and saying that it’s not and that we have this perfect relationship and we never fight, like, that would be a load of crap.
[038:17] So this morning I was thinking, how can I get to the root of, like, there’s clearly something really deep behind all of this. Like he doesn’t want to leave Sweden. What is it, right? What is it? And then I get really triggered because hey, I don’t think it’s fair for me to come home the day before a teacher training jet-lagged and then dive into that. That’s not cool, you know? I really want him to see my side. Like, hey, I’m tired! It’s been a really long trip. I want to come home and relax and land before going into this huge thing that we’re doing. And he just won’t see my side of it at all.
[038:48] And then today when I was really, like … actually, it was that one child’s pose where it kind of clicked, because I’ve been thinking about this now for the past weeks … There’s a reason he doesn’t want to go. (laugh) There’s a reason that Dennis loves to be here right now, and during the past couple of months there has been a few opportunities … for him they sound like opportunities, for me they’re like a must do thing that I have to do, where I have had little trips going somewhere where he wasn’t able to come because he was home with the baby. And I don’t want to bring the baby along for a crazy short trip, so he’s been home. And I haven’t really seen, or I guess I haven’t acknowledged it maybe as much as I should have, but every time I went on one of those trips, like I went to L.A. a few weeks ago, he’s been really bummed out. He’s been really really bummed out. He’s felt totally, I don’t know, maybe he’s felt left out? He’s been a little sad when I came back, when I shared something. And mostly for me, I mean, it’s a work thing and it’s been hectic and it hasn’t been a vacation and great. But whenever I shared something fun or when I saw a mutual friend or something, he’s been kind of quiet about it. And it really clicked with me now. Like he fully thinks, I honestly think so, he thinks that that side of our lives is just over. And maybe this trip that we have now in Sweden, maybe it’s his last independent space where he can just be traveling and do completely what he wants. There’s something about that freedom of … like am I taking that freedom away from him? Or am I separating … somehow he’s become too separate from our family unit also when it comes to business and work because of the baby? Like, I don’t know exactly what it is, because clearly it’s a conversation that we have to have, but I’m not used to Dennis being so adamant about something. Like totally … Like that’s a big trigger for him. I am triggering him somehow. And because he is who he is, he’s not great at communicating that, and getting to the root of these things usually takes us a really long time.
[040:47] So I start doing this investigative work to figure out, “Hey, honey, what’s happening in your heart? Why does this get you really angry that I want to go home? It makes you really angry that I want to go home. What is it? It’s real. It’s more than like, ‘Oh I want to hang out with Patrick in Sweden,’ you know? There’s something big there.” And yeah, I’m still in this process, but I really wanted to share it because the beauty of this stuff is when we do this type of work and we look at the triggers this way, and yeah, it’s not going to happen in the moment. I wish this morning, yeah, the SD card is gone. I wish right in that exact moment, like immediately I was like, “Well yeah, this is who my husband is. I love you so much. Could you please go across the street and just buy a new one?” (laugh) That would have been great. It wasn’t that. We had like twenty minutes of, “Ugh! I can’t believe this shit! Wasn’t the SD card on the table just yesterday!?” Blah blah blah. You know, I do my whole spiel, and then it’s all figured out, and then we hug, and like okay okay, we do it now, and now we have this little box of stuff. Maybe it’s going to work or not. But I would love for it to be this kind of instantaneous thing of, a trigger, an understanding and then we go about our day, that’s it.
[041:52] But, you know, we’re all human being, so it doesn’t work that way. Usually we all need that lag time of understanding, of things falling into place and things clicking for us before we arrive at the learning. That’s the important thing. Arriving at the learning in the first place and seeing that whatever is triggering, whatever is triggering me in his behavior here, it’s about my stuff. Right? Like what is it about me that just completely requires, like, I need to have everything in order all the time, I need to know where all my stuff is (laugh). I have this very serious, probably challenging personality to live with if you’re not that type of person. That can’t be easy for him, to keep track of all of the stuff that I want us to keep track of every single day, you know? So whatever is there for me, instead of expecting him to change completely, how can I either aid this thing that I want to happen in our relationship, like some more organization or order, or how can I work maybe on letting go of that peace a little bit, or becoming a little bit more laid back or softening, you know? What can I do with my stuff? With my stuff …
[042:56] And here’s … like, I don’t know. I’m in another sort of big situation right now that I can’t share publicly with a person that isn’t willing to recognize any stuff as her own, like, no emotions … And there’s lots of people like that in the world who will deflect anything, so anything that comes her way it’s like, “Ugh, I can’t believe that happened to me.” And, you know, they make themselves a victim in a situation instead of standing up and taking responsibility for, okay, what is my stuff here, what’s my shit? And what can I do to work on my stuff? Right? Because if we continuously look for other people to blame for everything, I mean, I could have this story play out in my life like every day! Like, oh my god, nothing in my life works because my husband is so messy and I don’t know where anything is, and da da da da da. And if I would blame him for everything that just doesn’t work in my life, yeah, we wouldn’t have a very happy marriage. There’s no way our relationship would last, right? There can be that space of messiness and where we fight and argue. But of course that same stuff goes for him, and I like to believe that he’s in the process now of like, okay, it’s going to click that yeah, Rachel is tired, you know? Rachel works really hard (laugh), Rachel wants to go home and take a bath before her teacher training. We’ll find a compromise, I’m 100% sure. But that click has to happen on his end also, you know? So what is his stuff and his work, because of course he’s not a perfect person, nor am I.
[044:20] So I think what I want to really point toward is how can we look for this gold? Because it is gold, right? And even the person that I was talking about just a second ago, being with someone who won’t take responsibility for their own emotions, their own stuff, that’s a trigger for me. Why is that a trigger for me? What’s behind this? Why does this bother me? Like, hey, own your shit! If you’re angry, own your anger. Be angry. If something happens to you, own it and then move through it and work with it and then grow from it. Don’t sit there and be a victim for everything that comes your way. We’re not going to go anywhere. But when we’re in this place of victimhood, it’s really hard to step out and see the world for what it is. I think when we’re used to putting blame on everything else, like life happens to us instead of it happening for us, it’s super challenging to see another perspective of, okay, even challenging stuff, even hard relationships, even heavy stuff, like difficult shit, what if it’s all here for me? What if it’s all here for me to grow?
[045:26] I think the most, I guess not the easiest, it’s equally the hardest relationship that I have and the easiest relationship I have in my whole life is with my baby because the love I feel for her is so massive, it’s so unconditional, she’s a tiny baby, she’s free from fault and flaw, and she’s just perfect in every single way, and so much in me, like all the fear I’ve had of everything, all the fear that I’ve had stuck in my body of everything, like of death, of pain, of her feeling pain of any sort, of me not being good enough, all the fear, all the pain, everything that’s been in me since I was little because of all the shit that’s come my throughout my life, like, through just existing, this tiny perfect little baby, she’s pulling at all of that shit, all day long. Every day! Totally, totally, every day. And because she’s perfect, right? I mean, she’s a child, she’s perfect, I’m not going to turn that around and be like, “God! Don’t act that way! That’s hard for me! Don’t stand up and shriek in the middle of the restaurant so that everybody turns around and stares at us! Stop that.” You know, she doesn’t understand. She’s a year old. She’s going to shriek if she wants to shriek. What I can decide in that moment is, okay, can I take a deep breath? Can I be calm in me? No matter of the crazy, like, sometimes she can create chaos, this little girl. She’s so fucking determined, it’s amazing. Can I find my own footing and then act from that place?
[046:48] So yeah, I could get super triggered and like get angry or pull her off a table if she’s standing somewhere and make it a thing, which would be super shitty for her and not a fun way to grow up, or I could anchor back in my body, I can use the tools that are available for me, like breath, like grounding, like a mantra. Oh my god, sometimes I repeat the simplest shit! (laugh) All is well. All is well. All. Is. Well. And then I’ll have to like go into the forest and scream a little bit, or shake, or like go practice and like run, get that energy out of your system somehow, it’s really important.
[048:58] But whatever you have to do, right? Or it’s one child’s pose, that one time in between meetings, bring yourself back to your body. Because once we’re here we know what to do! That answer, it’s already there. And I can be a completely different mom for her, you know? Because like it happens, like, these days, I don’t know what it is, someone told me that she’s starting to learn, like she’s playing with boundaries. She’s starting to figure out what a boundary is. So for instance, today, she put her hand in the water bowl, in Ringo’s, the dog’s water bowl, like all the way in there, like her whole arm got wet. And then I’m like, I squat down, I sit down, I pull her arm out of the water bowl and I say, “No, honey. We don’t do that. That’s Ringo’s bowl. You’ll get wet.” I just calmly explained. And then she looks at me, like really stares me down, and then she takes her hand and she sticks it in the food bowl. (laugh) Like so consciously, right? She sticks her hand in a food bowl and she grabs a fist full of food and like (grunt). (laugh) But very very, like, she’s very present with me the whole time. It’s sort of like she’s like, “Oh? I can’t do that? Well how about this!?” And then she does a similar thing right away. Or we’re eating and she takes the fork and she’s banging the fork super loud at the table. And I’m like, “Honey, that’s really loud. Give me the fork here. Play with this instead.” And then she looks at me, and then she takes the spoon, and instead she like bangs with the spoon, you know? She’s totally testing me All. The. Time. Right? All the time.
[050:21] So whenever we have one of those moments, like, yeah, she stands up at a restaurant and she just shrieks, her reaction in that moment, whatever comes next, it’s completely dependent on where I am at. And that’s, like, super hard. It’s super hard. But it’s also the most beautiful thing. Because I have two choices there. I can react. Maybe I can look at that situation from like, “Oh, all of these people are staring at us. It’s embarrassing, they’re thinking I can’t control my child, they’re thinking oh my god she’s making a mess, it’s dirty, she’s making a scene, people are trying to eat,” you know, whatever. All these things could go through my mind, and I could react through that place of like outside place, you know? That ego. That, “Don’t act that way!” But she’s a child. What does that mean, “Don’t act that way?” Like, she’s a baby. She’s going to act the way she organically wants to act. It’s just a part of her. She’s figuring out what it means to live and to work with these dynamics around her. All of this is brand new.
[051:16] This is where parenting is so interesting. So if I can just be in my body in that moment, take a breath, there is a way for me to calmly, like really calmly, but still assertively tell her, “No.” Right? And then direct her attention somewhere else, right? Or if it requires me taking her outside or something, I can do that without anger. I can do that without complete frustration, without it being a trigger, right? Just being present with her. Or if she has a tantrum, I mean, there’s tantrums coming now left and right, no matter what happens. She likes to go into peoples’ purses at restaurants or in the grocery store, whatever. And just take something that isn’t hers! Like, of course I cannot accept that. Its not like I’m going to have this baby gone wild, do whatever you want for the rest of your life. No, of course, we have boundaries and we say no and all of that stuff, but how I react and how I communicate that is everything. And I’m really starting to realize that now as she grows older, I can sit down and calmly explain, “Hey, that’s that lady’s purse,” you know? Like, “Mommy has her purse over here. Do you want to go play with mommy’s purse? Come, let’s go.” And maybe no matter how calmly I say it she’ll throw herself on the ground and she screams, and it’s like, “The world has ended!” You know? But I know, like really, if I just keep my calm, five seconds later everything is different and she finds something else to look at, and it’s enjoyable and it’s funny. Then that moment is gone.
[052:36] I’m kind of thinking that maybe Lea Luna’s way of living in the world, maybe that way is actually the better way. I don’t know. I’m wondering if, you know, how much time we spend as adults in our day-to-day sort of faking it a little bit. Like how often do we swallow our emotions? We’re quiet when we want to scream, we take our emotions, we just swallow everything, we internalize it. We don’t speak our minds. There are moments, hell yeah there are moments where I feel like I want to throw a tantrum in the grocery store. (laugh) But I’m an adult, so I don’t, I really don’t. I just, I stand there in line, and no matter what’s happening in my life, I just stand there. (laugh) Like, and I’m just thinking what if it was slightly more socially acceptable to just let your inner child take up more space? What would this world look like? I mean truly, truly, truly. A lot of this we do in our teacher training. We do meditations that are all about acting emotions out. Which is the scariest thing. People absolutely hate it in the beginning. It’s super awkward, it’s really weird, it’s scary. It’s … what is going on? People yelling, people screaming, people crying. But it becomes this addictive thing, because once we start acting out, once we allow … because we still, we want to throw those tantrums. We’re all kind of babies walking around just in differently shaped bodies, right? We all want to act stuff out, we want to speak our minds, we want to release this energy, but we don’t have any space.
[054:01] So we can choose to, yeah, I can throw that tantrum in the grocery store, or I can go home and I can find a really constructive way to release that energy, whether it’s through meditation, through shaking, through screaming, through dancing, through calling a friend, to crying, venting, whatever. But I can do it in a conscious way and I can do it on my own without hurting anybody, without triggering someone else, without making anyone feel shitty, without belittling anyone, you know? Without creating a massive scene. There’s ways for that.
[054:29] I’m learning so much. (laugh) This 14-month old baby is just, she’s such a teacher, it’s absolutely insane. So that’s where I am at! (laugh) And it’s really … These relationships and how we choose to react or just act from what comes up and how we have that conscious decision to, okay, this is mine and I can own it, and what happens within my energetic space, it’s my responsibility, 100%. And I’ve decided I want to be the mom that can sit with my daughter and her emotions, no matter what happens. I don’t want to feel embarrassed because she’s screaming. I don’t want to yank her out of her experience because it doesn’t fit whatever society has told us is right or wrong, right? I want her to be who she is and act that out because I would love for her to grow up and be free! I would love for me to grow up and be free. When I grow up I want to be free. I want to be free to act and be and speak and just be who I’m meant to be, the way I want to be in that moment. I don’t want to be constrained by all of these ideas of what should and should not happen, or what should or should not be in this world.
[055:43] I get goose bumps sharing that. There’s … god. If any day I would like take all of my clothes off and run naked through a park or a crowded street, that would probably be right now. It would be me and Lea Luna holding hands just stark naked running down the road. That’s sort of what I’m yearning for. More of that primal, real moment, here and now. Can you sense this energy? I love this energy so so so so so much. And I’m so grateful for my child’s pose a second ago. I’m grateful for this podcast that I can speak and vent and share, and I’m grateful for this entire life of teaching! Right? If we look at everything that comes our way as a teacher or a trigger, we have that choice all the time. I’m going to let this teach me instead of trigger me. If we let teachings come our way, we’re going to change ourselves, and that’s going to change the world. Boom. That’s it. That’s today’s podcast.
[056:44] If I’ve inspired anything in you, I would love for you to right now go act an emotion out, whatever that is. Go throw a Lea Luna tantrum in your living room. And you can do this through art as well. I find, like, get a big sheet of paper and crayons and just go ballistic and nuts, or hop in your bed and punch the shit out of a pillow. Go do a handstand, go scream, go shake, go do something, go laugh. Go dance, go move your body. Act some shit out and bring forth your inner one year old. Let’s all, let’s go do it. I have my mat out already, I’m going to go dance right now. Loving you, holding you, thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you for your presence. I’ll see you next week.
[End of Episode]
Transferwise – transferwise.com/podcast
Oatly – oatly.com
Quip – getquip.com/yogagirl
Third Love – thirdlove.com/heart