Life Is Sound

012 | What is Self-Observation and the Inner Observer? w/ Laura Whitehead

February 13, 2023 Episode 12
Life Is Sound
012 | What is Self-Observation and the Inner Observer? w/ Laura Whitehead
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Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we explore the inner observer as we ask ourselves, what is self-observation? Today's guest is Laura Whitehead, a Yoga Teacher, Personal Trainer, Reiki Practitioner and most importantly a Mother. We all have various roles and labels in life, in this conversation we explore who is the one identified with these labels and who is the one that observes the identity of our inner voice and thoughts. I hope you all enjoy this episode with another amazing person who I have valued being a part of my journey.

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hello good people and welcome back to life and  sound today I've got a guest on who I knew was   going to do this podcast with me from the moment  I started it I've had numerous people in mind   like-minded individuals that I've known  over the years connected with that I've   got powerful stories that I know  that you guys will get a lot of   love and grow from so today I've got my friend  Laura on the show I'll let Laura introduce   herself in a minute and we're going to talk about  self-observation and the inner Observer so when I   reached out to Laura I asked her do you want to  come and do the show like course and I said let   me think about something interesting to talk  about because we like to shape a conversation   and you said let me have a thing so I was like  nice to hear that because you know someone's   going to invest in a conversation and you said  you've been observing yourself a lot lately   so it's like you know what that's a good topic  because I definitely do that I know you're the   type of person that would do that and you're  saying you're doing it in a new way [Music]   but there might be people out there that don't  have a clue what that is or what it looks like so   today we're just going to talk about that in our  own Journeys and break it down for the listeners   and how we Implement that into our lives so I've  known Laura since 2018 I think and yeah which is   crazy how quick time's flying and as soon as  we met I knew this was someone that I'm on a   wavelength with and in our workplace I always felt  very comfortable around you and felt like I could   talk to you and about things that I probably  couldn't share with everyone in that workplace   so it was really nice to have you in that space  But if you just wanna introduce yourself to the   listeners like who you are in in your world  and what you do yeah hi everyone I'm Laura   um who I am who I am oh that's a big question five  hours later yeah I guess right now you could say   um I've got a yoga studio I teach yoga I  hold space in that way I do personal training   I'm a Reiki practitioner so all different ways of  working with the body with the mind with the soul   sort of holistically from all those approaches  and right now I am deep in motherhood that's   probably my biggest most important role right now  in my life [Music] um it's hard to it's had that   question isn't it who am I because those things  are not who I am yeah they are things that I do   yeah who am I I just am so it's it's a it's a  tough one that but right now I guess they're   the roles I'm playing I'm facilitating um yeah in  and I can tell that's how you're thinking because   that is self-observation who am I how can I even  answer that in a correct way is there a correct   way like I can be anything I want to be you can  be someone completely different tomorrow if you   want to give up the yoga studio and stop doing  Reiki and for sure try and be an actor or yeah   you know write a unicycle whatever you want  to do you can do that tomorrow so we do get   so locked in these identities and I think that's  been a thing for me over the past year with as   a listeners who know stories I've told over  different episodes figuring out your identity   and going oh I'm only that because I say I'm  not for sure and like I could say I am Laura I   am this tall I have this color hair I could say  these are the things that make me me not true   once I wasn't this tall I was a child I was still  the same me looking through my eyes in the mirror   the physical form has changed I could damn hair  I could shave off my hair then that won't be   true I won't be that person who's this tall with  this color head doing these things I am inside   um and actually a a book that was really impactful  on my journey I guess and like my awareness of   of being The Observer is Eckhart Tolle's  book A New Earth have you read it   oh it's there no it's actually there have you  read it I started it but I've not finished it   oh so this circle one of my goals this year is  so I'm really bad at starting a book chapter one   chapter two life getting busy and then just never  coming back to it so now I'm I'm I've told myself   one of my practices now has to be to get into  a book and finish it yeah so loads of these are   like I'm two chapters in I've got books that I've  completed at home so I'm definitely going to get   back to that because I finished the power of now  I feel like where I was at in my life I didn't   take it in and I think when I read text because  I've got a creative brain I can read text and   have five conversations with myself about yeah  yeah I need to do this tomorrow what about that   song idea and I've read a full page and it's not  and it's not it's not sunk in so I'm definitely   going to come back to that so that's a reminder  to do that it's a really powerful book and he   says in that he speaks about who Am I who is the  I yeah it's rather I am I am the person observing   my thoughts I am the I am the one behind  all that yeah yeah and another it really   um really good book is Michael a singer what is  the book called now I can't think what the book   is called it might come back to me and he  speaks about the seat of the Soul so rather   than you are your thoughts you are  the the one that is behind that yeah   like you just said if you can read a book and  be thinking about and we all do it you can   be thinking what am I going to make for my tea  this oh this top feels uncomfortable or does it   it's like a running in a dialogue in your head  yeah and we become identified with that inner   in a dialogue monologue actually because  it's just to ourselves but that isn't who   we are those thoughts are happening who  is the one that hears that voice yeah   who is the one that hears that chatter that  is US yeah so we can't be the thoughts if   we can hear it does that mean does that make  sense it's it's a very difficult concept like   if the listeners haven't heard this before yeah  because we are identified with that voice and ah   I hate this traffic or oh that burger was [ __ ]  all we have these internal dialogues that we   identify with and we attach to yeah and I think it  was just probably two three years before we met I   spent a lot of time working a computer shop on my  own so I had a lot of time to watch and listen to   YouTube videos and somebody that really taught  me about this was Muji and listening to him and   I just resonated with him so much he's like uh  Jamaican guy that moved to the UK and then moved   to India and became like a guru so culturally  I relate to him because I've always related to   Jamaican culture the music that accent so I'm  like oh out of all the gurus I resonate with   you and his voice is just so soothing but he was  the first person that really I listened to about   The Observer yeah and not identifying  with anything because that's what the   I The Observer is it doesn't identify with  anything that our mind does our mind is there to   create thoughts and keep us safe and keep us  moving and change dreams and all these things for   who is listening and it is it's this is the first  time people are hearing someone say this yeah go   and look into it fire these teachers because when  you start to cross that concept you can live in   a bit more peace and understanding that your  unconscious is driving a lot of stuff you know   someone cuts you off in traffic yeah you're [ __ ]  [ __ ] yeah yeah yeah you might then go later like   what was that but if you can observe the person  asking what was that that's the place of Stillness   and it's not easy to reach but you said this  is why we're doing this episode today because   you said this is a big thing that's going on  in your life so when was it that you noticed   that this is happening probably for another  time but in a new way yeah in this time of   your life in this this time right now I think for  me um I've got a little girl who's two years old   Naomi and I think becoming her mother as really  catapults admit into a new level of awareness   because I see when we're born we're just  these bundles of potential of energy of love   and I see sometimes I will say things or  behave in certain ways and I'm thinking   why am I saying that why am I doing that  and because she's so innocent and pure I'll start thinking you know where did  that come from where is that it's it's   just a pattern that's repeated it's  a behavior that's been practiced and   a chemical reaction in my brain that's been  happened over and over again and it comes out   as yeah like you said unconscious things that  we say we do our beliefs even um so yeah I feel   like becoming a mother going on that Journey  has really opened up my levels of awareness   and I feel like I'm I'm still very much on the in  the middle of the journey I'm in like the the Deep   middle of it and so I'm not speaking from the  other side looking back and saying wow you know   this is where I've come from like I'm literally  in it yeah so things I'm saying now maybe aren't   fully formulated thoughts yeah yeah it's just  kind of what is and maybe like you say in a   few years time I can look back and be like oh wow  isn't it interesting I thought that then oh well   yeah yeah I'm just letting go of that attachment  in it because we stay in those cycles of holding   on to beliefs yeah well I've always thought that  yeah yeah so that's why I think I've always done   this so that's what I do yeah I can't do that  because I don't do that yeah but it's those are   a limit in beliefs and they keep us in a in a in  a stagnant Place yeah and a lot of us have done   it a lot of us have been guilty of it but when you  said this is what I feel like I want to talk about   I'm like you know what I've not actually thought  about this for a while yeah I do it and I can feel   myself doing it and I'll share this because I was  thinking about sharing it but I've had a really   tough time lately like the past year and I feel  like being a typical man even though I'm open   and I can speak to people about stuff I have no  problem sharing stuff I feel like men carry a lot   on our shoulders we're taught to be strong we're  taught to you know just crack on do stuff let's   say women don't do the same I think women I've  seen my mum do it like she just cracks on gets   stuff done never complains about anything I feel  like men just carry this thing in a different way   and my dog's really sick at the moment he's coming  to like probably the end of his days and he's a   really sensitive dog so if I sneeze he'll jump on  my chest and come and check them okay if he knows   you're getting upset he'll come and check you  okay so I didn't want to make him anxious but I   was just with him spending time with him and it  was a happy moment but he got me upset so I was   like I'm gonna go and get in the shower because  when I'm in the shower he knows I'm in the shower   and you'll relax so I got in the shower and I  just started crying I had like proper breakdown   and I'd say 20 seconds The Voice went right  you're good now bro I know what was that   where does that come from where does that come  from the voice that just told me that's enough   because I know I hadn't released everything I  know I didn't allow that emotion to fully come   up and arise and Flow what just told me to man up  now yeah so I think this was after you said to me   this is what I want to talk about today so I've  maybe a couple days later I'm like I can I can   share that with Laura because that's interesting  yeah it's really interesting like what's blocked   it so I'm like processing like I think boys we  get told not to cry you know if we show signs   of weakness with in other male communities  as we're coming up from kids to teenagers   to gym goers big and strong now can't show that  weakness at that time build up the armor build   exactly but what happened is because I was asking  questions about what that was I think a day later   you'd message me upstairs and I think I said I  just had a day in bed and you're replying like   some days you just need that and that was the  day it all came out and it and it released and   there was no man up bro it was chill in bed  and if you're upset be upset yeah let it come   out yeah and I just thought it was really  interesting to observe that really strong   interjection of a voice in me that was  just like very good now sort yourself up   but I'm like I know I'm not though so it's when  we can tap into that and listen to these voices   that are just sabotaging us all the time yeah  if we can observe that and then even if it's a   day later a week later a year later when we  can process the mechanisms behind this then   we can start to change them so you just saying  this is what I want to talk about really unlock   something in itself because like a couple of days  later I had that happen I was like whoa I'm gonna   mention this because this is super relevant yeah  it's having that level of awareness to even get   to that point though isn't it because most of us  are so identified with those voices that maybe we   wouldn't even be able to step back and say well  why am I saying that to myself because it's just   our natural way so like you say little boys are  taught don't cry man up you know they have this   conditioning from being so small yeah and little  girls I taught to be good girls and it's for me   having my daughter has been breaking me out of  this good girl conditioning yeah um and I noticing   so many ways how people are starting to do it  to Naomi how Society is starting to do it to her   because we praise children when they're silent  obedient um basically when the good and the   sitting still and the being we think that they're  so good oh they're so good what are we what are   we teaching that child yeah we're teaching that  child you're worth is based upon you displaying   certain behaviors not your worth is intrinsic  to who you are it also teaches what you have   to say what you have to express isn't valuable  here because we like you most when you're being   good when you're sitting still when you're not  crying when you're not having births of emotion   and it's really interesting too I always felt  like when I was a child I was oversensitive   and dramatic so I must have heard these words  or felt this to some extent and it's through   parents in Naomi and seeing her express  emotions and see it feeling my natural reaction   to that to to want to fix and make everything okay   why is that place within me so uncomfortable  with normal emotions that humans have a wide like   a ray of emotions we can experience oh that's  a beauty of Being Human but somewhere along   the line I've learned at least certain emotions  are good and certain emotions we hide them yeah   the secretive you know we don't want to put them  on other people when actually all of it's okay   all of it's okay and it's like yeah for me it's  been through seeing her Express herself freely   but it's like wow like that part of me has been  shut down somehow how do I access that so it's   almost like like my self-awareness how I see  it is like up until the age of 30 Maybe I was   like putting on layers like an onion yeah like  putting on this armor and then from 30 it's like   trying to peel back all these layers all  these protective layers that I've built up   um you know completely unconsciously to protect  myself because we're we're built we're wired we're   in this world we we are animals and we we're  wired to survive so we do what we can to get   through things we do what we can we adapt and  change our Behavior to our environment to fit in   and it's like now for me it's like the  backwards journey of trying to unpeel all   that yeah trying to unlearn that even  this today this conversation for me   feels scary because it's a real  practice of like just speaking from here   and not worrying about it coming out right  it being perfect saying the right things yeah   um so this in itself is a practice of  that trying to unpeel those layers and   it feels a little bit uncomfortable for  me it is like when I started this it was   first thing for me I'm like I've got to speak to  somebody um listen to them guide the conversation   not mess up what I'm saying respond to what you  said where you know I'm fully tapped in yeah and   I've noticed that it's made me a better listener  and a better Communicator which I've been studying   over the years like with NLP and practicing  language and reprogramming my mind with certain   patterns and how to overcome certain things  that's been a really powerful tool and anyone   like yourself and Jamie that had just been on the  podcast like if you're in that like coaching World   NLP is such a beautiful thing and I realize it  really does align with spiritual practices because   mantras affirmations NLP is so rooted in that but  because it's geared towards people who want to be   successful or you know be a business person or  gain this amount of money and overcome stuff   because a lot of the cultures in  that world do it for that world   you think it's separate to the work we've done so  those two things really come together for me and   it's helped me become a better listener but this  if you go back to early episodes I can hear my   voice shaking at the start of episodes when I'm  introducing someone and now I'm a bit more calm   I can still get those nerves which is which  is healthy but I've noticed I can be present   and one thing you said before about when I said  about you know I can read a page and my mind can   be elsewhere another time in life that really  stuck with me I don't know where I was but I   was doing a show uh with my band and I was on  stage and Performing I'm singing the lyrics   fully my verse it's my times my my moment in  that song and I'm looking at people in the   crowd I'm going oh she's attractive oh his shirt  is sick where do you get that shirt from and I'm   I'm literally and when I clocked I was doing it I  went whoa how am I doing this because people are   reacting to me singing and I'm engaging with them  but at the same time there's an extra dialogue   where I'm just talking about normal stuff and  I can only think it was a point I hit that   place where you know if you're in the in the  present moment you meditating or whatever it   is and you go oh I'm doing it I'm meditating  and then it stops because you you broke that   presence you brought in your eye meditating  yeah the identifier The Observer was just there   being yeah and that again came up from you saying  this is what you want to speak about I'm like what   in my life at times have I had a thing where I've  been doing more than one thing so there's like me   the performer in my ego that's what I'm there  to do form you need your ego to do that to your   best ability then there's the me that's having the  conversation with myself about people what they're   wearing oh I like that I like that then there  was the me that goes what is going on right now   when you come out of that you go who's that  who's that what is that not who it is what is   that because I don't think it's a who I think  that's a closest thing we can say to like   the universe God however you want to  label it presence presence that is   I don't think we can put and I I don't think we  can put a label on that but when you have those   moments in life certain things have stuck  with me yeah and that that was one of them   because your brain up operates in one way which  someone who you know knows how the brain works   fully can tell you that was what was happening  but we still don't know what this thing is yeah   and when you get into those States and you do  practices like you've done you know yoga when   I've done yoga never not to the level you've done  it but I found it a very mentally challenging   process where a lot of things come up in my  mind bro get out of this position man this   is ridiculous this hurts bro stop you know yeah  it's those things but when you when you practice   more like you will have done for years you can  start to observe those thoughts a lot more and   what are the things you've done in life where  say those thoughts have got really heavy the   identity is really winning at that time what are  the things and practices you've done to help ease   that and help it subside yeah I I relate a lot  to that what you're saying about like performing   this is this outer external validation almost um  so I I used to dance from being a little a dancer   um that was all about performing outwardly I  think I was in my FL I am in my flow State when   I'm dancing when I'm performing so I am in that  like present but essentially I ended up going to   theater school and it became about not being in  Flow State it became about what what other people   wanted to say yeah for me looking sounding dancing  acting in a way that the directors wanted so   I was attached to that and that external  validation but I'm sure anyone listening can   relate in some way to feeling that they perform  in some way or some areas of the life or in all of   their life yeah to connect to external validation  and again because we're wired to survive   if we go back to when we was cavemen  if you were shunned from the tribe you know you're dead essentially so  it's why it's hard-wide enough to   fit in so it's hard widen us actually  to seek like external validation yeah   however it doesn't you know that that is  that for me anyway was not a place where   when I'm seeking that external validation that  I feel in that flow state that I feel in that   presence and I guess it took until I actually  had a bit of a breakdown I guess when I was   in my mid-20s I can't exactly think what age  um and I hit a real Low Bottom like point of   my life I had depression um or PTSD I don't  there was never like a definitive diagnosis   but I guess that's not important what's important  is I was just very very low very identified with   my mind and the things that my mind was telling  me the things it was saying and that's that's   actually when I started practicing yoga yeah  and it wasn't it was beautiful because it I was   moving the body in a way that I could connect  I could connect with through my dancing but   it was in this different way it was not about  performing outwardly it was about going inwards   um it was about being present and dropping into my  body and it being from me and finding that place   of Stillness even if it was for a brief flicker in  second um and I guess my yoga Journey has sort of   continued on that way in that now my practice  is about being embodied and letting go of   what it should look like or seem like yeah and  doing things in a way that feel good for me and   yoga isn't just the asanas or the postures which  typically we sort of believe yoga is going to a   yoga class and practicing certain postures that's  just a tiny Slither of it yeah but essentially   going and doing that go into a class and practice  him being embodied maybe if you practice that   enough of like moving in a way that just feels  good for you instead of the way that you think   it should look or listening to the direction  but instead just letting go of that yeah if you   can practice that enough and then start to feel  empowered that like ah how I feel inside matters I actually know what's right for  me then you can sort of take that   lesson off your yoga mat and hopefully  like implement it in your life yeah and   it becomes like a blueprint for your  life so when you're doing something   you know it should be like this but what  feels right if I just stop if I just pause how does this feel for me right now in this  moment it might be different this afternoon   it might be different tomorrow it's like that  constant check-in with self yeah taking that   time to just pause maybe like we could do it now  yeah maybe we could do long people listening yeah   so if you want to just get config get any little  wriggles out and then you can either close down   your eyes or if that doesn't feel comfortable  you can just soften the muscles around your eyes   and just sort of drop your gaze I'll blur out  your focus maybe if you drive in don't do that   yeah just pull over or something I'm glad you  said that and just take a moment to just settle just allow the body to come to a sort of pause and ask the Buddy stops as the physical form  is still can you notice anywhere in the body   that's still sort of moving or buzzing yeah  yeah that movement still somewhere inside and then if thoughts sort of come up like  I'm hungry or how long is this Gonna Last almost imagining like you're lay on a  really green grassy like sort of verge   or in a playing field or something like that in  a park and you're just looking up at the clouds   and it's a beautiful blue sky and the clouds  are sort of passing by the drifting on by so every time you have a thought  that like pops into the head   you can sort of attach it to a cloud  and just watch it drift into the mind and just letting it drift out the other way and then eventually probably  another thought will just drop in but sharing our fiddle just Float On by eventually so in the same way that in your mind's  eye you'll lay there watching the clouds when thoughts come into the Mind who is that  person that is sat there almost backwards   it feels right back right in there that sort of  watching those thoughts just come in and come out you are not the clouds you are the Observer and then just taking a deep  breath inhale into the body and exhale side maybe just wiggling the fingers the toes maybe  blinking the eyes open if this height to close hmm that moment when you do this you realize I need  to do that more like it's it's such a simple thing   that we all got access to I mean it's nice when  you've got another voice guiding through it yeah   for sure because that's the battle sometimes in  it when you sit on your own yeah but I've never   heard anyone say that attaching a thought to a  cloud and letting it drift off because that's   what meditation is people get overwhelmed by  meditating I can't do it I just can't do it yeah   I just I just had loads of thoughts yeah we all do  yeah like we all do there's no wrong way to to do   it like especially like the other day I was trying  to read a book again like Challenge on I I'm gonna   read this book and I was like wow my mind is busy  today yeah same so busy so I just did that I just   put my butt down I just took a moment and there's  just like right let's just sit with this and yeah   and observe and and breathe because breathing as  as we know breathe slow s your mind down slows   your thought down your whole system starts to  relax but I've never heard anyone say that or   maybe I forgot maybe you said this to me before  but yeah just that visual thought of for me I just   hooked it onto a cloud yeah and just watched it go  so that's a really powerful practice I think yeah   because sure enough it always passes but it's  it's a lot easier to believe that and too   to go with that when you're feeling in a  good place yeah you know even when I've   last year I was going through  a very hard time postpartum um I'm not sure postpartum depression whatever  it was like birth drama I don't I'm not really   again connected with like a description yeah but  just going through a bit of something a bit of   Darkness bit of a hard time and even though I knew  I've been teaching yoga right for for years now   I've been practicing for years I know the thoughts  will eventually go the only thing that's constant   is change I know that because I've been there  I've experienced it however when you're in the   depths it's hard right it's hard because you're  in it and you're feeling it um but the only way   this is a really beautiful quote and it this  always sticks of me I think it's Maya Angelou but   I could be wrong and the only way out is through  um very true and it's you know so when you're in   those depths like if you're listening now and  you're going through some like heavy [ __ ]   then just know it will change yeah in some way but  the only way out of it is is through is feeling it   is releasing it it's dropping into it  which is scary and hard and sometimes   we can't do that alone and we need you know  professional help to enable us to do that or   we need people to hold space for us we need  support from family Friends Community anyone   um but yeah you've got to feel that stuff  sometimes because you know if if you don't you can   suppress it drop it down but the body  holds it the body holds it oh yeah I think   the lights of us that have been through stuff in  our life and we've known what that dark space is   when you feel it creeping again you're like oh  here we go all right right yeah okay I'm back   in this it's different but similar I know there's  no fire exit like you said there's no oh I'm gonna   jump out of this like see that wasn't nice you  just got roll with it because it is gonna come to   an end it is gonna change and when you come out of  that space you're a whole new version of yourself   friend Courtney on a different episode put this  in a beautiful way people can go back to that   and that really was a light bulb moment for me  I was like yeah that makes total sense because   when you're in those spaces you're doing so much  growth that when it does start lifting and Things   become a bit brighter you come out and you're  not the version you were before you went into   it so this is life we have to go through these  things there's no one that can go down the yellow   brick road for the whole of the life and just  skipping going hey neighbor hey neighbor like   enough impact happens for the whole life [ __ ]  is going to come at you yeah and I think it's   easier to speak from a perspective when you've  been through something before like we have   when we met that's in a way we connected on that  when we met you know I told you about my journey   you told me about yours and we were like oh so  we both we both get it yeah and in our workplace   You're such like a caring person of people's  well-being and mental health you you really like   drove that as a Forefront and you know you're  doing yoga classes and other things you you do and   people definitely knew you were someone that they  could come and speak to you really had a powerful   role and people trusted you with with that and  one thing that's always stuck in my mind I think   I messaged you recently because I found the note  that you gave to me so 2018 I was doing the 3p   Challenge and I trained for it a little bit but I  didn't know I was getting myself into really like   I was like yeah I can do that it's probably a good  job you didn't know yeah so I should have been   like no no no at the time I was start I was part  of setting up a amends mental health group called   Mentor which is still operating today if anyone  you know wants to check that out go and do it and   we were doing a three-peat  challenge to you know raise money   and I remember getting back to my desk one day I  think I've been to the gym I think I was training   for the for the Three Peaks and there was a note  on my desk with a little bag of sweets from you   and I can't remember exactly why I said but it was  just like you know you've got this like proud of   you just words of like just back in what I'm doing  and you know like go and smash it like well done   I remember people making jokes oh Laura's left  to like like school stuff Laurie's left suits and   like a note I'm like does anyone else done that  it's really nice but the part that meant the most   to me and I'll tell this bit first before I sing  about the impact is I was on the third Mountain   and I was with really fit guys they were like  ex-army guys they were stomping ahead they   were gone I was like wow my fitness yeah is not  anything neither and I was on my own going up   Snowden and I I Bob Marley playing out my phone  and everyone could see we had these t-shirts on   people are cheering us on they know I'm on the  third Martin but I'm dying I'm done but I've got   I don't know maybe half an hour an hour to go  or people are telling me go and you've only got   20 minutes but I've got like an hour and a half  so I started to realize people are lying to me   and my energy levels are dropped yeah I don't  think I'm going to do this you know I think I'm   I think I'm done and I remembered you had given me  a bag of sweets and they were in my rucksack and   I went oh my God and I reached around I got them  out and I just said I started eating these sweets   and that got me through that little burst of  energy so when I think about Three Peaks now   one of my core memories is the sweets which came  from an act of kindness from you and then years   later four or five years later I'm tidying an old  draw and I found the letter from you and I'm like   wow that little simple Act of just going here's a  note here's some sweets good luck on your journey   can impact somebody's life five years later  because I'm like wow that's a memory I carry   with me for the rest of my life when I  think about doing the Three Peaks and   that's always stuck with me like who you  are in the world like we don't have to   do these things for people and and when  we do we don't even realize the impacts   I've never sat in front of you and told you this I  know I've messaged you about it and I know I found   the letter and I think I sent it to you or told  you I'd found it but it's like that's a really   important thing as well like when you've been  through stuff and you've come out the other side   we're just a little more caring we've observed  yeah what are dark spot was how difficult that   was so you go in Three Peaks maybe it doesn't know  what this is gonna be maybe you need some sweets   or whatever was going through in your mind  like it's just to have that self-observation   and do those acts of kindness is so important  but you were someone that really did that in in   the workplace but what what have you always been  that way in Life or would you say going through   the dark times when you went through it which is  just before we met maybe a couple of years before did that shape you into that version of you  that we that you were in 2018 or have you   always had that nature from like nurture of  parents and grandparents and stuff like that   I don't know that's a really hard question I don't  know because I'm trying to unpack now what's going   on in My Mind by the way thank you for that  that story because it's really nice to hear   I'm trying to unpack like um   I the last few years I've been kind of unpacking  this my like people pleasing Tendencies yeah so   I'm trying to unpack like hmm do I because that's  like um something I'm working through right now   do I do like caring kind little things like as  like a people pleasing sort of mechanism or is it spread Joy like so I don't know it's the answer  I guess I'm like thinking that now like hmm where   does that come from um but I just think if we the  world we just need more we do need more kindness   and reaching out to people like I think especially  after what's happened the past few years   where we became isolated physically and we live  in such insular worlds we all live in separate   houses some of us don't even know our next door  neighbors we don't live in communities and tribes   where everyone supports each other we all think  that everyone else is doing okay because it may   appear that way through social media or whatever  yeah but like really what we need is like to reach   out especially to the people who we think doing  okay and just give each other those just those   little bits of like you know you can do this or  you're doing like an amazing job because even if   someone is they might have never heard that they  might not believe that yeah so yeah I just think   that's really important like now more than ever  that we all for each other do reach out and do   inject those little bits of like  kindness and love where we can and   yeah but I'm I'm just that is a good question  I'm trying to I'll have to think yeah of course   yeah it sounds there's no rush don't come back  to me whenever but it is it's I suppose it's all   identity in it like when I think about my journey  and who I am now I'm not the version I was when   we met but I know at that time I'd grown a lot I  was fully in light a spiritual swing of growth and   I was I'd accepted myself at that age  like I'm 32 now and I know myself more   but me at like 26 that had started that well  25 26 and like what is this so I'm changing   people around me have seen me change  they're probably thinking this isn't   real you've never been like this so when  we when we feel these shifts in our life we're dying every day because we're being born  into a new year so you have to let go of an order   you which is not an easy thing to do and I think  the way you're just running the same theme through   this conversation and even when you started then  it's like I don't have the answers today I can't   yeah you could sit here and you know try and  come up with an answer because you think oh   people need to hear something and that this  is my responsibility and it's like I'm just   being exactly where I am and to be honest it's  a great question that I can't answer and we need   more of that because I feel like we a trained  and programmed maybe it comes from school where   I put your hand up or you what's the answer  to this so you try and come up with an answer   even if you might not know it yeah and I think   just like observing that and not pondering to  people and I definitely do that less at this age   and I think you you grow as you get older and you  become more sure of yourself but I'm more open to   knowing that who I am today is not who I'm going  to be in five years so I'm hoping to change yeah   where when you're younger it's very much this is  who I am and my background or where I've come from   very rooted in ego and you know like not the  nicest area and I've said this before walking   down the street as a kid and locking eyes  with another guy and it was over you choose   to look away or you two are just arguing  and fighting in the street over nothing   and I felt like that identity stuck with me  probably till 21. so I was always a bit of a   I've always been an observer of people  I love watching people how people tip   but it's all kind of like very defensive with  it yeah it was always the one like looking out   for my friends and they've got a problem  with us my friends with my brother relax   man like we're all good survival yeah if you  look at everything through this lens of like   attachment yeah I've been reading about attachment  Theory recently if you see what you're saying   now through that lens of course you're gonna do  that because you've learned growing up I have to   survive and where we live this is how we survive  I've got to protect myself I've got to stick with   the yes I've got to stick with my tribe and  I've got to survive and I guess it's like   yeah through the lens of that and then I  guess through the lens of yoga would be   like compassionate awareness of the self being  like that version of you that that up until 21.   I had to do that yeah you had to do that to  survive so like like not holding any blame or like   Gill around that because you you don't know what  you know when you don't know it so you have to   do you have to you know and it's like looking at  all these password past versions of ourselves like   you said so many times we're going to be reborn  I always think of it as like um the metaphor of   the the caterpillar so the caterpillar is just  getting about his life right I think in his   caterpillar I'm a guy or girl like you know I'm  just a caterpillar and then one day it scurries on   down and it has the Dark Night of the soul and it  builds a cocoon around itself and it thinks this   is death I'm in doubt complete darkness I cannot  see any light I've built these shells around me   and the caterpillar knows it's a caterpillar  right then one day the shell breaks   the caterpillar suddenly sees light for the first  time in however long and it has wings if we say   identified as the caterpillar that butterfly  that now has wings that's metamorphicized it's   just going to stay there on the branch if it  stays identified with being the caterpillar   or as if it releases the identity and says that  was all for a reason that darkness that cocoon is   for a reason it's time to spread my wings we will  have those continuously in our lives at times when   we're letting go we're going into that  cocoon it's hard it's because it's like   we're going through those dark times  but if we allow it if we are open to it   instead of staying being the butterfly glued to  the branch we can spread our wings and release   into like a new level yeah and what a trip that  must be to experience that why don't you be in   a caterpillar and then being a butterfly  imagine you've got to imagine you felt you   know depressed and you went into a dark space and  you literally felt physical things move and this   thing came around you and then all of a sudden  it opened up and you just flew off like it's   but that is what happens to us all the time if we  are open to it if we allow it um yeah that's what   that's what it made me think of when you were  saying that that metamorphosis that constant   Evolution that constant changing um so yes some  things yeah and I guess like the way I answered   before is like cumulating is so hard being a human  is body tough like it really is and we don't know   all the answers and we don't I'm just starting to  peel back the layers of myself I I don't know like   I'll probably be saying some things now I'll have  certain conditioning certain beliefs behaviors   actions now they're in five years time maybe even  a year's time I will re-listen to this podcast and   be like whoa how could I think that how could I  believe that right yeah um but it's just again   compassionate awareness being like we only know  what we know when we know it and we can't you   can't know what you don't know so wherever you're  at right now in your life whoever's listening   just being gentle with yourself just be gentle  with yourself be gentle with other people because   we're only doing the best we  can and so I think like for me   when we talk about going through hard times when I  had that spell in my mid-20s when I had depression   only now I'm starting to unpick and I'm actually  nearly six months sober now so that's like a new   Journey that I'm on yeah and that has been really  unpicking like wow like I was choosing certain   coping mechanisms to deal with you know the  turbulence of my mind the hard things I was going   through was going out partying and I was you know  having fun I'm not saying that like I didn't have   fun but when I look at it now I was using it as a  way to escape I was using it as a way to connect   to other people to try and find that connection  that I sold desperately needed with myself   um Oswald in parallel going through my um journey  of finding yoga and you know moving through that   so really interesting actually how in in one way  Part of Me Maybe my higher self is trying to bring   myself out of this through the practice of yoga  and and like taking those lessons into my life but   not fully because I was still like stuck in this  world of doing what I've just seen as is normal we   get taught you know drinking alcohol and going  out is is not just it's not just accepted it's   encouraged it's it's the norm in our society  so I've recently I've been unpacking like what   is that and what is that need that I had um and  since the day I decided I mean I'm not saying it   will be forever I don't know again I can't speak  I can only speak for today but the freedom I felt   she's out tonight no I don't that's what I mean I  don't know who knows who knows but right now this   is serving me and the freedom I felt from that  decision from being like actually I don't want   to have to ingest something to feel confident  and free I want to be able to work and access   that part of myself yeah without anything I want  to be able to be confident and be free and to feel free free is the only word that comes  to mind under this this sober Journey   for me is a journey of Freedom that's what it  feels like I've actually got like an app on my   phone that like tracks how many days months  yeah and you can name it yeah whatever mine   says Freedom yeah that's a good way to look  it feels like it and I relate a lot to that   because I my crutch was weird so I smoked  a lot to get through my darkest days and   as I've Revisited well not Revisited  experienced new difficulties in my life   even if I might have been going for  a time where I've not been smoking if   just takes a b and F to connect yeah and I'm going  back yeah yeah that that was really uncomfortable   what makes me not feel that uncomfortable this  so I'd always go back to that and I don't even   know how long it's been now but this is the first  time in my life where I've really felt through   very difficult things and just observed  yeah all right so this is uncomfortable   or you know things that have come up where I can  hear myself saying things like a lot of stuff with   my dad that came up where my dad's not been in my  life growing up I've seen him at the weekends but   I don't have any blame and resentment  as I've got older because I think people   are always doing the best that  they can do with with their lives   and watching him get sick last year and having  to care for him to a certain level it's like   so much resentment was coming up because  I feel like you've never done this for me   and there was loads of chatter yeah yeah yeah but  then it's like whoa what is that what is that what   is that that needs to be processed yeah because  until I processed that that's always gonna stay   there yeah yeah yeah and that's what the Observer  can do it can let you see your patterns spot your   patterns of human behavior learn behavior and  that is all it is is you've perceived things   in your life recorded it to memory I'm going oh  that's what this is so whenever something happens   again similar you access that that place yeah of  course and you react to it unconsciously where the   Observer lets you go whoa well what was that that  you just said yeah what was that that James just   said the identified James what's that emotion  why don't you like that person why does that   person trigger you so much it's been a big thing  on social media for me especially during lockdown I unfollowed a lot of people or muted  people because I realized things were   just not serving me but it wasn't well  that makes me feel uncomfortable unfollow   because that's not that's not the Cure  that's not the the process it was right   I know this makes me uncomfortable this person  at the moment is making me feel a certain way   I'm just gonna mute them for  now but I'm gonna sit with where's that coming from and to observe  these thoughts and patterns and then the   hard part is how do we shift that what tools  and approaches can we do to change these and   that's not the easy bit and I feel like certain  practices which I've started journaling which   I've never done consistently I don't even need  to go back and read it let's Let it go get it   out of this system so it's not in your head out  of the body get it out of the body yeah up and   out that's that's one thing I know how we can work  through stuff is Right observe what is that what's   that discomfort right how do I work through that  and release it and that's all self-observation is   really it's observing those and you can do it for  positive stuff you can go whoa how did how did I   how did that was amazing did I just 100 did I hit  like sometimes this bit had a beautiful moment in   life again I'd be paraphrasing but I was in I'd  be for my friends Alex and Simeon and we have one   of those three a.m late night chat tonight before  and I just flowed about whatever it was life the   universe existence I don't know how long it was  could have been two minutes could have been ten   minutes could have been 15 minutes yeah and they  both just looked at me and went bro that was the   most beautiful thing I have ever heard oh and I  was like I don't even know what I just said yeah   but when you can observe like sometimes  we don't even give ourselves credit for   who we are and what we can do so you can  observe the positives it's not always the   negative and give yourself credit for who you are  in the world as well of course it's about like   taking a step back look in what's there saying  what is serving me what is like really working   I have certain beliefs that really serve my life  I have certain behaviors and actions that really   serve my life and make my life amazing yeah I  have certain behaviors that again it's like when   I was saying about my journey through sobriety  I'm not blaming that past version of myself   I needed to do that I had to do that it was a  coping mechanism and coping mechanisms work that's   the that's the reason we use them there's no  blame it's truth and that's why we use them yeah   yeah that's why people have addictions because  it works if you're trying to numb something it   works of course I need to numbness yeah it bought  it's not sustainable right so it's like right okay   no blame but these parts I've got the awareness  now these beliefs these behaviors these patterns   aren't really serving me and then it's a practice  if we've practiced a certain Behavior or is there   a certain pattern or a certain thought for say  yeah however old I am 33 I think I am yeah we're   not currently 33 years of doing something it's  not going to change like that it's gonna take a   lot of time to practice a different way yeah  yeah because actually in our brain I think   um is it okay if I pull something up yeah of  course just because I feel like it's really so in our brain it's when we're at Birth  it's 25 of our brain that's fully developed   at one years old 70 of our brain is fully  developed and at three years old 85 of   our brain is fully developed that young right so  already from those first three years of our life   our brain has made certain connections it's made  certain connections that are there so if you find   yourself going into certain thoughts behaviors  patterns well you kind of do you didn't have a   choice about it because you can't choose how your  how you're related to how your what happened to   you in your formative years that's just what it  is but the amazing thing is is that we know now   that the brain is malleable we know it's not  just the way it is we are not just the way   we are we can actually practice certain thoughts  certain behaviors and the Brain will keep firing   firing firing and it will stick and  the more times we practice it it's like   um if we was going down a ski slope and there's  a certain path that like everyone skied on   yeah you're gonna naturally go down that path and  yeah so imagine that as like a certain behavior   that you do you practice all your life you're  going to go down that path sort of rewiring   the brain or practicing new ways of coping or  new ways of doing things or thinking it's like   fresh snows falling well we can create a new path  but eventually we might slip back onto the old   path and that's okay being like compassionate  to ourselves and being like do you know what   of course I'm going to go into that old path but  where do I want the scheme where do I want to go   yeah it's actually quite um being able to observe  ourselves it's actually quite hopeful it's not all   like Doom and Gloom it's not like oh well I'm  observing that I always think this about myself   oh it's actually hopeful we can change these  things there's so many modalities and I think there's a different one for everyone if you've  like tried one thing and it didn't work for you   maybe that's not the one for you maybe you maybe  you've tried yoga and it just weren't for you   yeah maybe you were you didn't find the right  teacher or the right practice and that's what   it is a lot of it is you just didn't connect with  that person yeah yeah maybe it's just not for you   maybe like talking therapy isn't you or maybe it  is like yeah we're all so different I think it's   about like being open-minded just trying different  things seeing what works maybe it's like movement   maybe it's shaking your body and releasing maybe  it's um you know going in the cold water or maybe   it's not maybe that's not for you maybe it's  dancing maybe it's hiking maybe it's talking   there's so many ways maybe it's going to your  doctor and getting some medication that helps   like there's and it doesn't have to be one or the  other we can work holistically with the body work   holistically with the mind yeah to see what works  for us you know and I think like we are so blessed   that we're in a day and age where we have the  internet we have the internet like how cool we can   actually access so many free modalities through  the internet we can have awareness we can get   books there's so many people interesting amazing  people researching things writing cool books we   can watch YouTube videos like reach out to us you  know what I mean if you feel stuck like reach out   to either one of us like not that we know the  answers because we don't we're like muddling our   way through like but we're always trying to invest  yeah we're just trying to figure it out and like   yeah and what works for you at one point in your  life might not work later on down the line so what   works me right now is like a 33 year old me might  not be what works for me in 10 years time yeah it   might be something different so it's just like  having that awareness of ourselves being able   to bigger pictures take a step back yeah not  identify with the Mind look at what's going   on and being like yeah what's serving me and what  is it that's that's that's it you know just hit a   nail ahead what serve me and what isn't and that  going back to like the internet social media that   was it for me is what is serving me and what is it  because that's our diet we get to choose what we   consume but the interesting thing I don't follow  that page but that's a page you follow though   you're interested in that well is it the is it  the caterpillar version of you that followed   it though maybe you know what I mean maybe it's  the identity of that's G at this time you always   follow those pages maybe you're on a different  stage and that's not serving you anymore and   that's okay like and then like you said 10 years  you might be like Oh I'm interested in that again   yeah of course but it's I'm so glad we've had  this conversation at this time because I can tell   you're in a a beautiful transition phase and I'm  probably mirroring that as well like loads going   on I know there's a shift and I'm just open to  it because I know now you never have control of   it you can just Implement certain things to try  and make that boat ride a bit easier do you know   I mean you that the tide is going there's flowing  a certain way you've just gotta grip onto the side   and know that you know maybe if you stay at the or  in this direction a little bit it might make the   journey a little bit smoother but I'm glad we've  had this conversation at this time and everyone   that I'm reaching out to in the purest way of  having these connections already it feels like   everyone's coming to have these conversations at  the right time yeah and I know you'll come back   and we'll talk about this and go yeah I remember  when I thought about that yeah that changed that episode but it's it's been great  even since messaging you and asking you   what should we talk about that's triggered  so many things in my mind and my life   and that's what this podcast is for we we  have those interactions and we've got people   that know people that know people a big circle  and it's those little small interactions that   shape your life yeah so that's all this  is and I keep saying it to the listeners   it's in me inviting people that I know and  I appreciate and have helped shape my mind   in a certain way now let me introduce  you to these people and their journey and that'll bring other people into the picture  as well and I think that's why sharing is so   important like sharing what you're going through  with other people because sometimes someone can   just say something and it just resonates with you  and you're like ah I've like almost sometimes like   a concept's been maybe concept's been like on your  radar but then someone just says it a certain way   or someone explains how they're feeling a certain  way and you're like I feel seen I feel heard   but the more we can all like open up share invite   these conversations with people we  know you know start to open up and become aware of ourselves and and it also gives  you compassion for other people right definitely   because then when you're like thinking because  I I'm guilty I'm guilty of that like thought   you know you said around like well I wouldn't  treat them that way so why why are they doing   that or why do you know like of course we have  these thoughts dropping but it's like ah but   or the people are going through like things  too and like we only have a certain level of   awareness that we have so it's like understanding  that of ourselves and of others and it just sort   of frees everyone yeah because we all get stuck  in our own story yeah it is when when you can   observe your own mind and your your own thoughts  attachments identities and and be more present   you can because we all really can observe that's  the first thing we observe in it other people why have they done that and it that's all  identity and attachment to self and I and   ego I wouldn't do that I wouldn't do it like that  but it's if you can take a step back and go what   is driving that judgment yeah yeah what is that  how do I work through that and it's not easy but   as as we get better at it and I'm like we say  I'm we're not neither of us sat here going we   figured it out it's just we know we're we're  doing the observing and what it looks like to   us and we know these deeper levels to observing  like when I hear someone like Muji talk sometimes   I'm like what anything's rewind that because he  spoke so simply yeah and I understood none of   it so I need to go back and there wasn't any  big words there wasn't any language I've not   heard before but the way he said that wow and  it's so simple it's just simplifying things   like the The Observer you're just trying to  simplify things yeah like whoa whoa whoa whoa   just just just observe and be present but  I want to say thank you for coming today   oh you're welcome thanks for having me you're  the first person in the new studio this is the   first time we've we've recorded here we've moved  out of my apartment which is where we started so   you've been the perfect first guest to come and  do this where can people tap into your world   and what you are because you have a lot going  on you successfully run new businesses whilst   being a mom and I know that's a lot to juggle so  where can people find you if they want to connect   with you yeah of course so um on Instagram  and Facebook it's sunshine and soul Studio   and we have sort of regular weekly classes we have  monthly Retreat days and we hope we also have a   retreat coming up in April which will be like a  fully immersive four day three night Retreat which   is gonna be so many of these different modalities  that we spoke about today so yoga Movement Like   Group Training hiking cold water journaling sort  of a bit of everything Community Connection yeah   all these things um but yeah I just think I just  like want to say to anyone listening that like   to listen to having that awareness and just  trusting that how you feel inside matters and   knowing that how you feel and what's coming up for  you is your truth and just listening to that inner   voice is like a really powerful thing and so just  any practice even if like none of those things   that we've spoke about today resonate with you  just trying to find something just being playful   and finding something that allows you to tap into  that that place of inner knowing and that place   of wisdom that we all have if we can just find  the right thing to tap into it so I just wanted   to like yeah say it is accessible and if anyone  needs any help they can reach out to me just drop   me a message and I'll happily chat to you so yeah  amazing thank you so much for for coming on and   this will hopefully be the first of many many  visits and many conversations for our listeners   as we're growing and listeners if you can do  anything to do all I ask is you feel like this   will resonate with someone just pass it on just  share it drop it to them whichever way you need   to and hopefully it'll help impact their lives  but thanks to Laura make sure you check her out   she's an amazing human and someone I've always  valued having a connection with remember no   matter what you're going through life is good  life is sound we'll see you on the next one I