Understood

Ep.11 | Anger issues, control addiction, BPD & STI stigma, panic attacks, Buddhist teachings, and more...

October 11, 2020 Mitch Wallis
Understood
Ep.11 | Anger issues, control addiction, BPD & STI stigma, panic attacks, Buddhist teachings, and more...
Chapters
Understood
Ep.11 | Anger issues, control addiction, BPD & STI stigma, panic attacks, Buddhist teachings, and more...
Oct 11, 2020
Mitch Wallis

In this episode of Understood with Mitch Wallis we cover:
- Borderline Personality Disorder and the unnecessary stigmatisation
- Corporates managing people out of the business for mental health reasons
- When you change as a person, but your perception doesn't
- Stigma of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and how they need to be removed
- Power of self-belief as a competitive advantage and it's difference to narcissism
- How the brain doesn't care about happiness as much as it cares about control
- Why do some of us need to know everything about everything?
- Mitch's reflections on his "anger issues?"
- Mitch's recent panic attack and what he learned during this surprise visit from acute anxiety
- Mitch's insightful learning from his father and how much it helped his coping
- A variety of quotes from a Buddhist teacher that offers perspective on control, suffering and the mind

- SHOW NOTES -
Book reference: "A Gradual Awakening" - Stephen Levine

- SUBSCRIBE, RATE & REVIEW THE SHOW  -
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/02aqR5aly0A7ZSiktQrA2X
Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/understood/id1522620849/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb35WjXg5PZG6ZfbNm1AaRA/

- Hotline phone number is -
+61419689311

- Website -
www.mitchwallis.com

- Find me on social media -
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mitch.wallis/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mitchwallism...
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mitchwallis/
TikTok: @mitch.wallis

- INTRO SONG CREDITS - 
What Happens Now - Fransancisco

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Understood with Mitch Wallis we cover:
- Borderline Personality Disorder and the unnecessary stigmatisation
- Corporates managing people out of the business for mental health reasons
- When you change as a person, but your perception doesn't
- Stigma of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and how they need to be removed
- Power of self-belief as a competitive advantage and it's difference to narcissism
- How the brain doesn't care about happiness as much as it cares about control
- Why do some of us need to know everything about everything?
- Mitch's reflections on his "anger issues?"
- Mitch's recent panic attack and what he learned during this surprise visit from acute anxiety
- Mitch's insightful learning from his father and how much it helped his coping
- A variety of quotes from a Buddhist teacher that offers perspective on control, suffering and the mind

- SHOW NOTES -
Book reference: "A Gradual Awakening" - Stephen Levine

- SUBSCRIBE, RATE & REVIEW THE SHOW  -
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/02aqR5aly0A7ZSiktQrA2X
Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/understood/id1522620849/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb35WjXg5PZG6ZfbNm1AaRA/

- Hotline phone number is -
+61419689311

- Website -
www.mitchwallis.com

- Find me on social media -
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mitch.wallis/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mitchwallism...
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mitchwallis/
TikTok: @mitch.wallis

- INTRO SONG CREDITS - 
What Happens Now - Fransancisco

Welcome back, you beautiful animals. It has been a minute. My name is Mitch Wallis, I am your host of understood the psychology podcast helping you learn about your mind so that we can make sense of our life and learn to love ourselves. And here's another episode in here today is my dog Lily, sitting beside me is my trusted custodian. So she will be commandeering this episode with me. Let's get into it. all right. First of all, I was not just a daylight a couple of weeks late on this one, mainly because I needed a break. I felt myself redlining. And I had to pull the pin on pretty much any non essential item. And I promised you from the very beginning that I would lead by example, when things weren't going well. So I had to, I could feel the anxiety rising big time a few weeks ago, just pushing it to the metal leading up to it, okay, which went great. By the way, those that tuned in, will probably know that I had like eight keynotes to deliver in one week, and then coming into Mental Health Month in October. And I want to start off by saying Happy World Mental Health Day. I'm recording this today on October 10th 2020. For those of you in the future, listening to this, I say hi from the past. And as part of world Mental Health Day, I'm going to release a video on my social media describing what mental health is to me, like really defining the brand of mental health. So by the time this is up, that will be online. So make sure you check that out. And yeah, I think mental health is this really elusive place in the, the we're trying to get to and it's like, well, what is it? How do I know if I'm there? Does everybody have it? And when the whole world is celebrating a day that sometimes we don't even know what it is. To me, that's the biggest value I could add today is clarify from my perspective, what that outcome looks like, and how you know that your quote unquote, there. I had five days off. I had a bit of a staycation in Bondi in Sydney in Australia, I got an Airbnb. And my goal was to be as bored as possible. I made literally no plans. And it was awesome. I had I had a really good five days. It was like the first time in years that or at least this year that I could remember not having a headache. During the day. I spent a lot of time in my bedroom, watching Netflix and then going down to the beach, laying in the sun, catching up with a few friends here and there and rinse and repeat. And it was needed because I am not good at relaxing. I am good at kind of having moments of intentional relaxing for example. I can sit and meditate quite well. It's taken years of practice, but I can I can do yoga, I can do that type of thing. But if someone was to say like just have a few days off. That's not like a moment of intentional relaxation. It's an ongoing state. And that kind of freaks me out because I thrive when I'm engaged and stimulated and problem solving and being creative. But I had to force myself and I'm really glad that I did the old me wouldn't have done that I just would have kept pushing and broken down. So time off the podcast vacation. Stopped caffeine for a couple of weeks I went and put all my little labours in play opened up to the people I needed. To stock my exercise routine and as importantly, for me, stopped exercising when I needed to. And just another example of how self care isn't a hard and fast rule, you know, everyone says exercise is great for your brain, it absolutely is. But just like anything, medicine is poisoned, depending on dosage. And so over the years I've built that built the self awareness that it's like, just because I have a self care strategy doesn't mean that it's always relevant at all times. And this is one of those times when I was super in the red, I actually have to chill exercise, because that's just further pushing myself into exhaustion. So it feels good that I'm knowing myself better. And even today, on the day that I'm recording this, I've had a really, really nice day I went down, I had the best workout. I can remember in a long time I'm back at the gym, my stomach's healing up and I'm, I'm feeling stronger in my in myself again, physically. And that is just such a amazing thing. Because I haven't felt strong in a while. And I had this amazing workout absolutely crushed it hit a few pB's. I don't usually like the gym, lifting heavy objects around isn't my thing. But I've noticed as well. I used to be high cardio throughout my 20s as a way to manage my mental health. But you know, in my first year of 30s, I'm actually going back to weights where I started in my late teens. And that feels right for this chapter now. So just I guess the theme of all that is I'm listening, I'm listening as opposed to telling and accepting the different things that my brain and body needs at different times. And then yeah, went down to the beach, how to some bake, did some cold water therapy, then had a nap, cuddled my dog. And she's been a lovely day. But it wasn't, it wasn't that way. I also want to say that after my staycation I had those five days off, I felt really rested. And then I came back into it into work. And I had a big week this week. And like two days into work, I started like feeling anxious again, my headaches were coming back, I was like, Fuck, I just did my break, I thought I built up some savings in the bank. So if you've ever done that, if you've ever really focused on yourself care for like a stint, and then come off and it doesn't seem to have worked. I get that and it can be incredibly disheartening. But what I've found is is that sometimes it takes some days to filter through the pipe, because I think the benefit of those days off has only just hit me this weekend. So you know, five days after. So there is a delayed effect I have found with self care, it's not always instantaneous. And that's why we can sometimes let go of practices that actually serve us because we don't see the reward in the moment. You know, we might work out for a few days or sleep well for a few nights or do whatever and we're like I'm just still not feeling good. And I would encourage you in my experience to just stick stick through that because the onset might be a few days after the actual implementation of that self care plan. And that was absolutely the case for me. And this weekend I'm feeling the benefits of a week ago his work. So plant the seeds and you will reap the rewards in the days and weeks to come. I believe that to make up for my missing you guys. I'm gonna pack as much into this episode as possible. I've been writing so much thing, so much things so many things. And studying the English language apparently because I still don't have a hold on it at 30 years old. But Alright, so usual format today. Starting with our complaints segment, as always, first cab off the rank I've noticed arise in the onset of borderline personality disorder. For those that don't know what borderline personality disorder is, it's characterised by extreme relationship volatility. That's often the first noticeable sign. The Origins or the cause is unknown. It's somewhat genetic, but there seems to be a high correlation with complex trauma. So people who haven't necessarily had acute traumatic experiences like physical abuse, or a violent episode, but I mean that can absolutely be a contributing factor. But as importantly, it's a sustained neglect, or miss attunement from parent to the child. Or gaslighting and guilt tripping over time that slowly chips away at one sense of secure attachment or The ability to self regulate or the ability to feel like someone has an island to stand on, and to their own emotions through someone else so that they can one day do it themselves. And I have many friends, well, I have friends with borderline personality disorder, it sounds way, way worse than it is it is an incredibly debilitating ill health issue at times. Because it can I always think of BPD as bipolar to me is swinging up to down, you know, extreme happiness to extreme sadness. BPD to me is swinging left to right. so incredibly loving to incredibly hateful. So it's more of a relationship based thing. It has a lot of internal ramifications in that it has a high incidence of self harm, a lot of can have a lot of self loathing. They trouble to find a romantic partner for a sustainable future because there's this kind of mixed feeling in the mind of, I love you, I need you, I really want you You're perfect and idolising someone to them flipping to, you're the worst, you're the bane of my existence, you hurt me, and getting kind of stuck in victim state or getting stuck in this persecutor state or getting stuck in this rescuer state. And I mean, just like you're here in my explanation of what mental health is, we all have these things. We're all a bit borderline at times, we all get stuck in victim, we all get stuck and persecutor, I myself have had borderline tendencies, particularly when I was most unwell through my 20s, where I would use guilt tripping and manipulation and my over sensitivity would be volatile toward others. And I didn't have a good awareness of my own emotions. And so the reason why I'm explaining what it is, is because it's highly stigmatised, and I want to help to try and reduce that. Anything I think with the word personality disorder in it is always stigmatised, but actually just takes a bit more understanding. And sometimes when we're relating to people with BPD, either as a friend or family member, it can be incredibly tiring. Not that they are a burden, and I'm talking directly to you, if you have it, you are not a burden. But because it can feel like a roller coaster. And unlike other ill health issues, like maybe depression or anxiety that's very person orientated, like self orientated, it doesn't necessarily affect people in their community. BPD because it's so relationship orientated, it can have a massive impact on the support network. Because you feel like you're making progress. And then you feel like you're you might actually be harming them. And you start to question yourself, in terms of like, what's wrong with me, because you know, people with that context of borderline are looking for love more than anything, and they will do whatever they need to to get it or we I should say, we will do anything, we need to get it. But sometimes, to an extreme extent, if you have a borderline context, one of my dearest friends is actually recently diagnosed with it. And I believe she has a very, very mild case. And I have an incredibly healthy and sustainable relationship with her and she's one of my favourite people in the entire world. And so, yeah, but I don't think it's understood enough. And why this sits in the complaint section is because I've heard of a lot of professionals say, like, refer to borderline as if it is a noun, like a type of thing, like you're a borderline. And in fact, I've heard many friends as patients, their own psychiatrists or psychologists saying to them, well, because you are a borderline or this is very typical of a borderline to do this. And I'm not cool with that. That language is not on it is it's objectifying a person into all you are is this and then I think some professionals wonder why they're not getting the response from the patient that they are treating and so I'm just gonna turn this light down real quick. That's better that was a little hectic. Yeah, so we got to just remove that from the vocabulary a borderline a anything in diagnosis, it just does not define you. I think like in race, a black like you just wouldn't say that. I hate it when people say the blacks, the whites, like Fuck me, we are so much more than a one dimensional thing. So I want to pull that out from the vocabulary of Western medicine of our social dictionary, where we don't call people by diagnosis. And we see them more as a full human. Now, it helps sometimes to explain to people with certain diagnoses that you need to understand that because of this diagnosis, that might be a helpful lens or framework to explore and understand your own behaviour and emotions. So saying that someone, those who have experienced aspects of borderline personality disorder may feel like they can't control their boundaries very well, and become enmeshed or rigid. And that can prohibit intimacy. I think that is a really helpful thing to know, for someone that's been diagnosed with that, because then they can work with that inside. You know, when when I stopped looking at my own ill health issue as just anxiety and looked at it as this association, I then started to make sense of a lot more things in my mind, it was a hard pill to swallow that that was what I was going through, because to me, it was far more severe and quote, unquote, crazy. But once I started to make peace with it, and realise, I'm not crazy, and we're all crazy, and all that good stuff. I didn't see myself as a dissociative person, I saw myself as having a dissociative experience. And understanding my experience through that lens enabled me to drop a lot of guilt and shame. And then, and then look at patterns so that I could rewire that pattern, but I never slapped myself with that label. And I would hate for professionals to further that internal stigma that happens with any label, but particularly borderline personality disorder. So if you're out there, and you have that diagnosis, I want you to know you're not alone. And that if professionals talk to you as a borderline, to not take that personally. And in fact, maybe even in a in a calm way, asking the therapist to tell them how you feel. And I think this is part of the work, actually, it would be a really great window or opportunity. The relationship that plays out with the therapist actually in the room is a huge part of the work not just what the therapist is working on with you. So for example, just because you're doing CBT doesn't make it that the only therapeutic thing that's happening in that room is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, actually, what's in play right now is the whole relationship dynamic between you and the therapist as they're doing that CBT. And that's often just as helpful. So bringing in things like that to the session with your psychologist, and saying, Hey, this is how I feel it's actually practice for how to express your needs in the right way, in a really supervised environment. And that can be almost like a learning opportunity and a growth opportunity to voice that concern and see how it goes down with the therapist to say, don't make them wrong. When you do this, I need you to try and avoid the word you whenever you point the finger, turn it back around. So try and avoid the word you but then we say I was feeling x y Zed through the comments that were made the other day. And it would really help me if we avoided or we could do x y Zed, so it's very eye focused lead from the eye. And so I think that could be an opportunity for for people experiencing borderline tendencies to grow through that experience with a therapist, if they feel further stigmatised is to actually address it and use it as a means of tangible work. Another thing I wanted to talk about was corporate mental health. In the this is in the complaint section, corporate mental health and managers, people managers managing their team out after a mental ill health disclosure. Even if they've ticked all the boxes, they still through backchannels managed to force someone out of a business. This isn't cool. Because I think it's a scapegoat, you know, we have processes and protocols and and people managers might be able to say, you know, yeah, I directed them to EAP. And we had reasonable adjustments, and we did all that. But I would really hate for companies to invest in all these really great systems and resources and tools so that it outwardly looks good, but still has an internal culture of managing people out of the business. Once there's been disclosure because there's been a perception shift that's unchangeable, because that's really toxic, and it's really hard to identify and weed out. Because on the surface, it'll look like the company has this shit together. But actually underneath that, we'll see But we really haven't educated people leaders, because three months after they said that they were gone. Now, both roles have a part to play here. And this is a massive topic, because if a company does truly does everything with in reasonable limits, as required by law, but also ethically, to help that person stay at work through time off through adjustments, through supportive conversations, through access to counselling, all the tools that a company can offer an employee, if that happens over a long period of time, and the employee just cannot physically fulfil the inherent requirements of the role. Despite lots and lots and lots of endeavours by the company, then they are almost hamstrung they are, they have to look at other opportunities, because ultimately you are working for them. It's not a free ride. And you know, that all reasonable adjustments and help has a limit to a certain degree, but it's a long, long, long process. On the other hand, companies who go to no due diligence, to support someone through a mental health issue, and just go straight to performance management, definitely in the wrong and are approaching it completely incorrectly. What I'm talking about is this middle ground, where we have a healthy process and protocol around how to manage it, and resources to send people to but that's just a front for an internal cultural stigma that still exists where you you do nothing, quote unquote, illegal, but that person still gets pushed out of the business because they're seen as a rotten egg. I don't like when that happens. I've heard a couple stories. And people say yeah, I mean, technically, I can speak up to my workplace. But you know, this person, this person, this person seemed to vanish A few months after they did a way of getting around that his leadership education, particularly around stigma and awareness, and storytelling. Companies need to tell more Stories of Real employees that have gone off work or had reasonable adjustments or had a mental health issue, and have come back and have thrived and have been remunerated well, and still maintain promotions and all that stuff. Because it's through those stories that we actually believe it. Because it's not just a value, then it's we're seeing it in action, we're seeing the behaviour. So if you're a people manager, or have influence in a business, please, please Reality Check yourself and your team all the time that do we have the outward measures in place? Yes, great. But does our culture genuinely accommodate it to as much as reasonably practicable and not have this underlying stigma that needs to be eradicated because we end up forcing those people out anyway. And if you have been someone who's been forced out after a mental health disclosure, and it's genuinely unfair, then I'm sorry to hear that. And I'll work every day to try and make sure that that doesn't happen. Another thing I want to complain about is how sometimes we can change as a person, that that perception follows us for a lifetime. what sparked this thought was me thinking about a conversation I had with a friend of mine years ago, he popped up on my Instagram. And I was like, Oh, we haven't spoken in ages. Then I remembered our last interaction years ago, where I said something to him. And it was like, honestly, like, he got in the car. And there was three of us in the car. And he only asked my friend how he was in like, they had this big conversation, and I turned around him and I was like, so you can ask me how I am. And I kind of cringed at myself, because I was very sensitive back then I'm still a sensitive person, but I've come so far in my emotional maturity, and my communications still fuck up sometimes. But I have come a long way from then. And I would just wouldn't say something like that nowadays, I would let that go. And I would bring it up in a more common productive way. And, and that type, something like that probably wouldn't even I wouldn't even bother. Okay, yeah. And then I thought, but that person that I was, is still living in his mind. And I thought, how many people out there and how many other experiences I've gone through where an old version of you still lives in the present day of someone else's head. And it kind of sucks, right? Because you're like, Damn, because then you kind of feel like there's part of you that you were trying to get away from that still exists in the world, even though it doesn't exist in your body anymore. It exists in their mind. So it kind of makes you feel like there's fossils of yourself that are scattered around. And I don't have a solution to that other than making peace with it, I, you know, I had to really make peace with the fact that there are going to be old parts of me that I have grown from that I don't judge anymore, I genuinely don't, I've forgiven and moved on past my previous things. But I also need to accept that there are going to be people in the world who have experienced that old me and not the new me, they haven't had an operating system update, there is no windows refresh in their brain of me. And I need to be okay with that. You know, I can't necessarily control it, I can only say, Well, hopefully, if we interact, again, my new self shine through, but that might not be enough to eradicate all perceptions of me in that person. So the only person you can truly be accountable for and to, is you. And so I've just made a commitment to be constantly accountable to me, about me, and accepting that other people will have an old operating system of me in their body and in their mind. And that's just the way life is sometimes. And I thought there's got to be other people out there who are experiencing a similar thing. So if you are, I totally get it. And another random thing to complain about. Don't ask for free shit of charities. The amount of people I have who want to go start a fundraiser or friends and family members who say Hey, can I have some homes merge hard on my sleeve merge like a T shirt or a jumper or I'm like, dude, we're a charity. You're supposed to be donating to us. So if your friends are doing something, if your friends and family are doing something, instead of asking for freebies, you know what the best way to support them is go buy their product. Go to their restaurant, go buy coffee from their restaurant. Now obviously, it's sick when your friends have fully hooked up and you get backstage passes or free coffees. I'm not saying all the time, but let them offer it to you. Don't expect it to be free. You know, the default should be I want to support you by buying your merge or buying your coffee or buying tickets to your gig or whatever that is. And then if there are things that you can do in future, let me know but it really shoots me when people just expect free shit. I'm like, dude, support me by buying it and or maybe I could do that more if I was in my for profit businesses. Like I have a couple of them. But in a charity, it's like Dude, no, I'm not giving you free shit, give me free shit in that domain. Anyway, so that's just something I needed to get off my chest. Don't ask me for free match. Even though I might give it to you. So another thing I want to talk about stigma outside of the area of mental health, particularly when it comes to STI is sexually transmitted diseases, infections, and STI is are loaded with stigma. They really are and it can do serious damage to people's mental health completely unnecessarily. Now, some STI is dangerous for health. They can potentially cause cancer in females like for example, genital warts, others like chlamydia or they're very treatable, if left untreated, can create fertility problems in women blah, blah, blah. But for the most part, the large majority of STI is a treatable and those that aren't. For example, herpes herpes is one that has massive stigma associated to it. And it's literally a cold sore is literally a cold sore on your mouth, but on your genitals for a hot second, and it may never come again. It like ones like that a purely stigma based diseases. And I have seen people go through torment around this self identity of like, Who am I now I'm this dirty person and just the mental anguish far outweighs the actual physical threat or medical threat from the vast majority of STS. So, we got to change this social narrative around this shit. It's making pharmaceutical companies a lot of money. And I think that's where it's perpetuated by, but like, with the onset of this new, empowered sexuality generation, let's not fucking judge people for that stuff. Now, obviously, I'm a huge proponent of safe sex. Definitely have safe sex, especially in new relationships. I mean, if you're in a relationship cheaper, if you're comfortable with someone you've been seeing them for a while, it's a different story. That, but still, I think that requires like a conscious conversation and an adult conversation. But it just creates so much unnecessary internal shame. And it also creates so much unnecessarily unnecessary conflict between partners who may be bringing something or context slash history into a relationship like an STI. With tension that just does not need to be there. If it hasn't medical concern, great, go dress it as best as possible. If it doesn't, and it's literally just a stigma, which a lot of them are, let's fucking smash that shit. Because I've seen a lot of people hurt completely unnecessarily from something that doesn't need to be there. It's an awkward topic, no one likes to go toward it. But that's what I'll say on that. Alright, next segment a bit more light. We'll get into the curious part of this. So things I've been curious about. I have been really, really into the UFC recently, the Ultimate Fighter championship, MMA mixed martial arts, I've always been fascinated with martial arts, my mom had me doing karate when I was like, five or seven or something. I did a fair bit of boxing during high school, I've had an amateur fight, I would by no means class myself as a fighter. But I just think it's one of the most beautiful sports out there. Now MMA can get very gory. And for a lot of people, it's not their bag. It's not their jam, but I love it. Because I just love the competitiveness of it. I love the technical side of it, like, especially watching their jujitsu. It's amazing. I love the mindset, watching it. So I've really been geeking out in it. And one of the things that I've been super interested in is watching that I tested will I know, can I guess who's gonna win this fight before without knowing much about them purely based on their energy and, and it turned out, for the most part, maybe it was locked. But for the most part, I could guess who could win. And the number one variable that led to that, from what I could see was the person who believed in themselves more. The person in the ring who was lining up, you could tell from their eyes from their body language from that aura, they had complete conviction in themselves. And I, I think mindset has such a big part to play in all areas of life, in the ability to physically push your body harder, but also energetically, I just think it has a massive real life, material effect on what happens and the outcomes of life. And belief is such a potent magnet of success. You know, some of these guys that the belief loses often. Now all medicine is poisoned, depending on dosage. So sometimes that belief can turn into narcissism. That's bad. To me narcissism is when self belief has a detrimental effect on other people, ie, it has to trade off your belief in yourself trades off with costs that are negative to others around you. But if self belief is monitored and is kept in a container of kind of no negative byproduct, I don't think that's narcissism. I think that is self assurance. And also self belief with enough flexibility to understand where you have flaws and where you can improve is super important, because then that feedback will allow you to iterate and grow. So someone with just like a hard deadset mindset, I'm the best, there's nothing I can improve on won't get anywhere, but someone who just is so convinced in where they're at but knows that they can grow and get better, and they want to grow and get better with others. That is just such a powerful place to be. And it's so cool watching these fighters. You know, they have so many areas of differentiation, whether it's on speed, agility, muscle mass, height reach, that for me, the thing that gets people through the most is belief and mindset is so tactile and so real. And so I want to talk about more of that in the future. I want to deliver research for you guys around the concept of self belief and practices and tactics because it is so helpful in every domain career relationships, your own emotions, etc. Another thing I'm curious about is like, Why? Why do I want to know everything about everything? I am obsessed? Like, I'm such an existential person like detrimentally. So you know, I'll look at a light switch on the wall. And I'll be like, wow, a human being physically had to come in here. Put that on plaster the seal of it. And I'm like, I wonder what he ate for breakfast that day. I wonder if he's got a wife. And then I'm like, what about the plastic on the light switch? Where did that get made? What ship did it come on? What is plastic? And then we'll end up having to Google what what is plastic? The other day, I was balls deep into Google search around how does iron ore get made? Because I was like, dude, like, I think I was going over the bridge. And I saw this big metal pylon and I was like, What is metal? How the fuck did that huge metal pile on get there. And you can drive yourself crazy like that. But I'm just fascinated by everything. Like, the other day, I found myself balls deep in a Google search of how tall is a T Rex? And I had to know exactly how tall and contrast and then I went down this pipeline of like, how did a T rex roll? And how fire could be heard away and the size that like crazy levels of details. I also went one, like how does skin cells rejuvenate? And I know that this isn't uncommon because all of us end up in YouTube or Google spirals but I don't just do them over normal stuff. I'm like, how does the draw open? And why does it open and when did the foot first draw get open? And how does timber from the forest end up in a mill and how did they create the machine that chops the timber? And like, at what point with iron ore did they get a rock out of the ground and then he ended up like who just got a rock out and he did it like chucked it on the fire and then it turned hard and so what how do we how do we create shapes that like it blows my fucking mind? This stuff? You know what blows my mind the most telephones dude how how do we just get a voice in our ear in real time? with someone across the other side of the world like what the fuck How is that not alien shit? How are we not talking about this? 24 seven we just answered the call Yeah, hey, like what my the vibrations of my mouth are going into this like metal thing that somehow through invisible air get shot out to a dome of metal that rebounds at somewhere. And somehow this massive sky can can get this package or particle of voice that ended up that started in Sydney somewhere and not collide with any other packets of vibrations in the air that it's carrying at the same time. deliver it onto someone else's metal thing. And then exactly as I say it into the eardrum of someone else. That was my dog snoring. What the fuck? How? Like, what does that know? blow your mind? Am I off base here? Can you guys hit the hotline on this one? And tell me if you're just not like, completely or struck by this entire process? Because honestly, it's wigging me out. Just a reminder again, the hotline is plus six one or in Australia. Don't worry about plus six one plus 61419689311 so in Australia 20419689311. Hit me on WhatsApp text. Leave a voice mail or a voice note. I want to hear from you. Do you think like me or am I just a complete psycho? Probably. Another thing I want to complain about the brain doesn't care if we are happy. Now this is kind of from and my lighting is off. Oh well. By the way, the video podcast is on YouTube search Mitch Wallis to get it there. But I'm often a couple of days after when I released the voice podcast because it takes me a while to edit. But you can get them there. If you want to see me talking down the camera. The brain doesn't care. If we're happy. The brain cares more about being certain than it does being happy. Think about how many people have friends or family members we know who could be depressed for years and years because the fear of moving out of that narrative is actually more scary to the brain. than the potential of being happy on the other side of it, because we would prefer to stay in what's familiar. Now COVID has pushed me right into the belly of uncertainty and ambiguity, research. And it's fascinating because the brain's number one objective above all else is to survive. And survival depends on safety. And I don't just mean physical safety, I mean, emotional safety, social safety, feeling loved feeling cared for. And the ability to get safety, the brain's number one need is basically enabled by control, because control allows us to forecast, implement, measure, measure, measure and monitor our sense of safety in the world. You know, things like anxiety allows us to look into the future and risk mitigate and plan blah, blah. But what happens is, is that when the need for control, which is built into our brain exceeds what's actually needed for the situation, which is most of the time hence, why anxiety disorders are so high, we spend too much time trying to get control by looking at all the things that can go wrong, and what iffing and trying to create solutions that for things that don't even exist, we end up causing a problem in ourselves that doesn't even need to be there. So the brain cares way more about being safe. And it will, and it will drive us into a state of depression or anxiety or whatever, if it needs to, in order to feel that core need. Happiness is a luxury, it's a nice to have, that the brain will take. If there was a choice, hey, if this is over here, then it's predictable. And I can create therefore, if it's certain, I know, I can modulate my safety, or there's heat over here where it's risky, and I can be happy. But I don't know how much control however, that the brain would like you have to override your hardwiring to do that. And I think COVID is a time where we need to be particularly conscious of the fact that we are hardwired for safety, and we are lusting for control. And that when the anxiety kicks in, of I need certainty around this, I need to know what it's going to be like in six months, I have to it's this all this like we look for the black and whites, we need to pause. Because we have to override that natural brain function and become better at tolerating ambiguity. Because happiness needs ambiguity. It needs it because we have to tell the brain Okay, maybe. But I'm going to enjoy some potential discomfort by bridging out into some more risky territory, like saying, I don't know where I'm going to be in six months. And I'm not going to stress myself out right now by going down a rabbit hole. And the ringers, no, no, but do it because what happens if we're not safe? What happens if we, you know, all this stems from one core belief, which is I won't be able to cope, or I can't cope. So what we have to do is believe in our coping ability, that if and when that comes up, even when we get there and the problem exists, we'll be able to get through it. So for me, what I try and do is invest deeply in my ability to cope in the here and now. I build my toolkit in my arsenal in the present, as opposed to trying to live out in the future for so long, so that when those things come up, I will deal with them, I'll have the skills as opposed to permanently renting a place in the future. I just visit there, take a look around and then I move back to the present and live here. So don't let your brains want and need for certainty Trump or dictate your life and take your happiness from you. Sometimes you need to just say no, I'm going to sit in this ambiguity, I'm going to tolerate it as opposed to just trying to remove any type of uncertainty from my life. Now we've got more of it than we would want at the moment. Fuck with COVID it's everywhere. So you know, some certainty measures are great. But tolerating ambiguity is such as a positive signal of a healthy brain. Sitting in the I'm not sure that I don't need to figure it out right now. That's a superpower. Something else I want to complain about? Oh, no, sorry. We're on curious something else. I'm curious about his anger issues. So I had a meeting with my therapist a couple weeks ago, and we were doing some really good work really deep work God He knows me well. so grateful for him. But long story short. He said to me, he just kind of stopped and looked at me and said do you see yourself as an angry person? And I said, No. In fact, that's one of the least emotions I would describe myself as. And he said, Okay. He just paused. And within that pause, I reflected. And I thought to myself, actually, maybe there is some anger there that I'm not aware of, maybe I am more irritable and rage rageful. That's a word, then I think. And on reflection, we unpack that a bit. And I did have some anger issues. And a lot of them stemmed from teenage years of feeling inadequate, or bullying or less than and needing to prove myself, and an injustice issue, feeling like I'm the person who needs to stand up to others, even if it's not my place. You know, I'll be the first person to jump in to something that's maybe not even my business, because I don't like seeing people get taken advantage of now, he said, and I said, Sorry. When I communicated that to him, I said, That's not a bad thing. No, that's the line in me. And I'm proud of the line you know, I have two tattoos on my on my forearm, one on the outer side, which is a lion, one on the inner side, which is an elephant that represents the two parts of me the masculine ferocious, passionate, dominant, and then the elephant, the Wise compassionate patient, and softer side, and I said, that's the line, I don't want to remove that. And he said, That's not a lion. A lion doesn't roar uncontrollably. A lion is fully in his in his self, or herself aligners and rows with intent, with a need within their boundaries to protect. And I don't know that analogy really hit home where I was barking, I wasn't, I wasn't roaring. Occasionally when I needed to, I was barking at myself and it things and situations and it was really insightful. And the last few weeks, I've been looking at that reactivity that I can be prone to. And being honest with myself and saying, maybe I am angry, then I thought Hold on. The recording stopped one sec. Sorry, my camera stopped recording. So I just got broken mid mid sentence, but I didn't get angry. So that was cool. Um, yeah. So sometimes there are blind spots. And that's what I think a professional is really good at is helping you identify it. And if you trust your therapist, you'll let some of that in. You know, it's because my first reaction was denial. No, that was my ego protecting. Now I'm not angry. But then he's such a compassionate person with such with no judgement of me that it allowed me to not judge myself for a second and just be real. And there were artefacts that were fossils to us that were again of, of anger and irritability and frustration and inadequacy that weren't serving me anymore. And that yes, there are times in life where you need to not roar, but it's protect yourself and state your boundaries and stand up for other people. But in a way that's controlled and measured. Not it's can controlling you. That's the analogy that he was trying to drive. Not this asleep, anger, but this very conscious, directed, purposeful assertion. And that's the person I want to be you know, I don't want to lose that fire. But I want to control it. And I want to use it for good. And I don't want to be reactive. I want to be strong. But a real man, and a real man has control over that. And a real woman has control over her masculine side as well. Her fire a real Linus so let's be lines in Linus not just be barking all over the place but dogs can do no wrong so let's call the groaning or snapping Alright, so I think that's it on my curious for now. There's so many others that I have here in my notes, but I'm just gonna pause because we're gonna come back to them. Next week. I don't want to use all my content today. onto the call section. Man, I've missed you guys. I love podcasting. God, it made it like it makes me so excited when I get texts on the phone with questions or if people DM me or email me saying like the podcasts are really helping. I just love this long format because I get to build such a you get to know know me, you get to understand me, hence understood. And hopefully God, I hope and I've heard this from a number of people, it is helping you understand yourself and feel better about yourself. So I'm right there with you, in your little eardrums with you on this journey. We're doing it together. And I fucking love it. So thank you for showing up for me. And I will keep showing up for you. All right, cool. So I had a panic attack. Two weeks ago, my first one in a very long time, completely out of nowhere. I was in a cafe went to meet a business colleague of mine for a meeting, we sat down, we were talking and like midway through the conversation, by the way, trigger warning right now if you have panic disorder, or panic attacks, maybe press pause or skip a couple minutes ahead. I don't want to trigger you because I just want to talk about this is a positive story. So I'm talking and then my heart starts racing. Off The Charts. I start feeling dizzy, impending doom. I'm not going to go crazy, like the whole kitten caboodle. And I'm no stranger to this. This is not my first rodeo. I've had hundreds of panic attacks in my time, but I haven't had one in a long time. And this one hit me out of nowhere. I was not expecting it. And I think it was because I was running hot at work pushing the pedal to the metal. I had a strong coffee that morning. And I need to be careful with my caffeine intake. I'm quite regulated with how I dose that. And I travelled and all this stuff. And I I sat there and I took it like a champ. And I'm really proud of myself. He didn't even know it happened, it hit and passed. And I didn't leave the table, I would have been wired as a ghost. And I was still involved in the conversation. Imagine if you ever have had a panic attack, it's pretty hard to multitask while your brain is telling you Everything's about to explode. And you're trying to focus on what someone's saying and reply with intellect and articulation. And I was proud I took it I breathe through it. I sat in it. And as you know, sometimes with the wave of panic attacks, sometimes not just one hit it can like the waves can kind of hit and hit and hit and you're not sure how long it's gonna go for. Probably lasted 15 minutes. So sorry, the whole experience and I got through it and I walked away in one part of me was like, sad and disappointed and fearful. But another a much bigger part of me was like, Fuck, yeah. Look at the work that you've done. Look how far you've come. As opposed to getting stuck in Oh my God, not another one. I went, Oh my god, another one came. And I handled it like a boss. And that was awesome. That was a really cool moment for me and instead of getting lost in the hole, but what if but what if for what if it comes again, I was okay. Look, you know, that feeds it if you buy into that, that fucking feeds it Do not buy into that bullshit. Remember, invest in coping in the here. And now. Don't worry. If it comes again, you'll be able to cope with it, sit through it, breathe through it. I think the big thing for me is I now believe in the core cell of my body that the panic attack can't do anything to me for a long time. You know, when you're in it, that that question, the doubt will increase immediately. But what if but what if I do have a heart attack? Or what if I do go crazy, but what if your rational brain just goes offline, but with enough experience in practice, you can rewire that so that you truly believe in? No, this cannot fucking hurt me. This cannot hurt me. Not necessarily. Some people like bring it on come hit me. Other people like no, please never come again. I'm just like, the middle, you know, come if you want hang out. But I breezed through it. I didn't let it derail the meeting. If I needed to, I would have stepped up and I would have come back. But remember, don't feed the panic attack by then avoiding those situations again, or thinking about when the next one is that's just playing into it. Fuck that you got this. You got this Nothing will happen to I'm going to release some meditations either on this podcast or another app or just some talk downs that if if you need to, you can put me in your ears and I will talk you through it. But this takes courage it takes balls it takes heart takes guts to sit there and dance with it. Not try and punch its head in and not run away from it. You can do this. I can do this. It's just fear. And there's nothing to fear but fear itself. So that was cool. I never thought I'd say panic attack and cool in the same sentence. Another cool thing, I learned recently that if you're taking an SSRI antidepressant, now seek medical advice, massive disclaimer, I'm not a doctor. But I did see that taking it with food can increase its effectiveness a lot. And I didn't know that. And I've taken to the fore and a bit years, I've been on an antidepressant, I'm on Zoloft that I just take it first thing in the morning, so I don't forget every day. And there are times when I might miss breakfast, or I don't eat for a few hours. And yeah, I was told that that can really affect its effect for you, on you. And I'm like, dude, I want all of the goodness because I'm on quite a low dose, so I can't afford for that not to have its full effect. So if you're out there, do some research, ask your doctor on your specific medication. But for me, that has been another thing to add to my arsenal. Okay, I got to remember that after eight within this window of you know, 1520 minutes, whatever it is, when I take that tablet, for it to have its massive maximum impact. So yeah, that's cool, cool learning. Another cool learning is I want to tell a story about my dad, I love my dad, he's such a great man, his name is Mark, we love him. He's one of my best mates, my biggest supporter. I owe him a lot. He's truly a legend. And he really helped me through a hard time the other week, and it was one of those father son moments that you'll never forget. And I came to him. And we sat in his apartment and sat down. I said, Dad, you know, some stuffs going on. And I told him what was going on how affected I was about it. And he just stopped. And he had this presence about him this like this real paternal, incredibly contagiously, calm, very grounded, very solid. And he didn't reply with this suggestion. He told me a story. And he said, Mitch, you know, I don't really I never got along with my own father. His father was an alcoholic. And they had a very tumultuous relationship. And he said, I don't remember ever having a meaningful conversation with my own father in my entire life. But he said, when I was a bit younger than you, I was dating this girl at the time. And we thought that she was pregnant. She hadn't had a period for a few days. And, and I wasn't ready to be a dad. And I was really scared. And he said, my father never knew when something was wrong with me. Ever, he would never check in, he would never ask, he never cared. At least that's what my dad thinks. And he said this one day, for whatever reason, he did say, Mark, what's going on? And that said, he was really taken aback by that, that he even noticed. And said, Oh, you know, my partner hasn't heard a period. And I don't know if I'm ready to be a dad, and I'm just freaking out. And he said, if there's one bit of advice I can give to you is that there's no point worrying about worry. Deal with it when it comes. But right now, it's not a problem. You're just making it a problem. Anyway, the next day, he got a call from his partner at the time, and she did get her period and she wasn't pregnant. And you know, that's it's not an overly complicated message, which is don't make a problem. A problem when it doesn't need to be just take it one step at a time. But it's the way that my dad told that story. And he said, You know, I've never taken a lesson away from my dad. That's the only lesson I've ever taken and it stuck with me every day since. And the fact that it was so significant for my own father, given the context of the relationship with his it helped me more than I can express that story. Like he could have just said just deal with it as it comes. It's not a problem yet you're just anticipating from that wouldn't have that wouldn't have landed. The way he told that story and the way you use that vulnerability, the way he brought it in because I know the background with his own family. I really have I lived and breathed that lesson and this huge weight just lifted off my shoulders. I was like I don't need to worry if and plan. I don't need to make this problem any bigger than it is Nor is it a problem yet. I mean, most of suffering in life is just that. It's forecasting problems and in turn making them a problem when it doesn't need to be. So I just want to thank my dad for that. And I really love you, dad. And you helped a lot that day, not just on that specific situation, but as a lesson that I knew, in theory to do that, the way you said it really cut through. And I'll hold that forever, just like what you've done. From your from your own dad. And thank you grandpa for that. Even though you hide your demons, you're still helping. Alrighty, and my last thing I want us to do was just read a few quotes from this recent book that I finished. It's called a gradual awakening by Steven Levon. There it is, on the video podcast, you can see that if the autofocus works, fuck knows if it does. So there's a few quotes in here I just wanted to talk through because I thought you guys would like it. One here, this passage here. So it says we're constantly building a new image of ourselves and wondering what's next, we have allowed ourselves very little space for not knowing very seldom do we have the wisdom, not to know to lay the mind open to deeper understanding. When confusion occurs in the mind, we identify with it and say we are confused, we hold on to it. confusion arises because we fight against our not knowing, which experiences each moment afresh without preconceptions or expectations. We are also we are, we are so full of ways of seeing and ideas of how things should be, we leave no room for wisdom to arise, we desire to know in only a certain way, a way which will corroborate our image of a rational, separate autonomous self. When we open our minds, our hearts, not trying to understand but simply allowing understanding to occur, we find more than what was expected. When we let go of our ignorance and confusion, we allow our knowing mind to arise. Wisdom occurs in the mind that results in not knowing. And to me that's just such a relevant phrase and notion for COVID. At the moment, to me that just speaks volumes to uncertainty. And the unknowing mind that spiritual self, the trusting in the ambiguity, the taking the risk moving beyond what's comfortable into the discomfort. That's the human experience. And that's where growth comes. And that's where things arise that we can't necessarily forecast through the cognitive and rational brain. And I just thought it was beautifully written. Here's another one. We are worthy of letting go of our unworthiness. If we did nothing but practice letting go of unworthiness. Much of the stuff we're looking for so hard to clear away, we'd have no support system, we would have more room to grow. Consciously we surrender unworthiness as it arises, not entertaining it with the egos list of credits. The work which will awaken us is that of becoming keenly aware of unworthiness without judging it gently with patience and a lot of love. We acknowledge the being we really are, as a friend puts it, always try to see yourself through God's eyes. Now you don't need to be religious to understand the sentiment behind that, which is the letting go of unworthiness. Another passage of like mindfulness is the most powerful agent we have for purification because it cultivates non grasping in the mind. It's interesting that in Buddhist thought they don't speak of cultivating lovingness so much as of developing non hatred. They don't speak of letting go so much as encouraging non grasping. When those wholesome qualities of hate and greed on in the mind, the natural state of loving kindness and just generosity is revealed. when there isn't hatred, the love that is always there in the wisdom of the mind becomes apparent. This is very, very, very important. I really agree with this. A lot of people think in life you need to get to this destination when really, if you just avoid doing the things that are holding you back, the the stuff where you need to get to will come. Like for example supporting supporting someone through a mental illness. It's not necessarily being the perfect supporter. You don't have to say all the right things. I mean most of real mates One of the organisations that I founded and run, which I've spoken about previously, where we teach people how to be a good supporter, a lot of that isn't, hey, here's the perfect script or things to say or things to do. It's actually how do we rewire the things that aren't helping us the problem solving the talking about yourself too much, they're having the wrong boundaries. Because when we rewire the things that aren't serving us, and we drop them, our natural state will hold the right medicine, the things that will need to come up will come up. So we don't necessarily need to be a nice person, just don't be a dick. You know, I'm a big believer that it's the absence of the negative, that's more important than the presence of the positive because our natural state is one a positive and the things that need to arise will arise. And maybe that that's a more realistic goal for you in your own life. Whatever it is a career goal, a personal emotion, whatever it is, dropping the negative, as opposed to needing to nail the, the positive. It's an easiest step, and it has just as good of an outcome. So I love that passage. Another another one here. It can be fascinating to watch tiredness or anger or greed in the mind, mind remains soft and non judgmental, we can simply gently, keenly observed this activity in the mind and the body. So I think, yeah, what this is trying to say is that when you just sit with an emotion as as tries, as opposed to trying to get it away, just sitting with it dissolves it. And I love that I underline that word soft. Soft, is a real thing like in the brain when my brain feels soft is when it feels best. And an anger can particularly a negative one. And anger and emotion, particularly negative one, like anger can have very sharp edges. Sadness has a sharp edge, it's very thick, intense, dense. But if we breathe through it and feel it, it softens. It dissolves and it loosens its grip on us. And I love that that word soften in the context of emotions. He's another one, the stickiness and delusions of mind a seen most clearly when viewed from the heart. The heart does not label or manipulate it just allows it offers that patient non judgmental, non clinging acceptance of each thought which allows the truth, I've actually found another game working with my therapist. Another insight recently, where I don't feel my actual heart space is in the physical anatomy of my heart space very much, which is ironic being the heart on my sleeve guy that I don't do a lot of hard work, I make a lot of decisions either from my gut, my head, or my genitals. And I don't mean the necessarily the physical object, I mean, more of the chakra point of genitals being like power, gut being intuition, cognition being control, but I don't often make it from the heart space, which is really that knowing non judgmental love. And I've been tapping into my heart space more like physically feeling my heart and seeing what emotions come up when making certain decisions, or working through hard experiences. And it is incredibly deep work and very, very, very helpful. So if you haven't done any meditations, or just reflecting on the heart space, I would encourage you to do that it's very powerful. Oh, this is an interesting one. When we accept hell, it's not hell anymore. Hell is resistance. Suffering is resistance to what is non acceptance. Why I like this one is because it comes around this whole thesis of what I think mental health is and what the mind is, which is suffering is a Nether. Suffering is inevitable. Sorry, what did the Buddha say they say pain is inevitable suffering is optional. So it's very much around the lens in which we view our life is the meaning that we make from it. And I agree with that. And I've always been interested in in the DSM, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the thing that is the psychology textbook or Bible that I have studied quite in depth. If you if you go into I would say almost every single diagnosis, schizophrenia, anxiety, eating disorder, the whole works. I can't say with complete certainty, but with almost all certainty, I can say that in order for a diagnosis to be true, one core criteria has to be met universally, and that is that it impairs functioning and causes distress. And I remember asking my lecturer What if someone is in society standard, the most You can be visual auditory hallucinations, thought delusions of grandiosity, like I'm Jesus, the next coming, whatever that is right. Let's say that occurs, but that's causing no impairment to their everyday life, nor is it causing them distress. Are they mentally ill? Or are they just having a different experience? My personal opinion, is that that is not mental illness. mental illness is the pain that occurs, from the story that's told to oneself after an experience happens in the mind. A situation happens, a relationship breakdown happens, you stub your toe, you lose your job, your family member dies, there's the automatic reaction that comes up from that. But it's how we deal with that reaction that determines whether it's going to cause suffering or not, or whether it's just momentary pain, or just part of being a human. And I think the Buddhists are onto something there. Let me read that, again, when you accept hell, it's not hell anymore. Hell is resistance. Suffering is resistance to what is. Now obviously, I don't think it's simple enough to say that all suffering is just a choice that we can accept everything. You know, some monks can, they can live in extreme physical pain and yet be completely happy because they're accepting that pain, they have no attachment to it, it's not bearing daily distress or functioning impairment, but I don't know, I just think that if you just pose the philosophical question, is suffering a choice? I would say that a bunch of it is, and it's often resistance and denial, and non acceptance of what is that is the suffering part, not the actual problem or situation itself? It's the wishing it wasn't like that, that causes the pain. And that's a big one. But I'll I'll let you kind of marinate on that. And if you feel like you want to hit the hotline, eventually I need to learn the hotline number off my heart. Hey, but I'll look at my phone. Oh, 419-689-3114 for international plus 61419689311. I think that there's a couple more quotes. Man, I think they're just so awesome. We almost never directly experience what pain is because our reaction to it is so immediate, the most of what we call pain is actually our experience of resistance to that phenomenon. And the resistance is usually a good deal more painful than the original sensation. In the same way we don't experience our tiredness, our boredom, our fear, we experience it's instead our resistance to them. That that's just an extension of what we just discussed said in another way. This kind of relates to the previous point as well. Oddly, it's often easier for us to give up our pleasure than our pain, it's easier to give up our sex life our hot fudge sundaes or that Pat's on the back and such then to let go of our pain fear and insecurity we identify with them we really hold on to those conditionings and it's true the brain has a negativity bias and that's that's the control in us you know, we would prefer to hold on to what's negative because it's more risky than to hold on towards positive see our need for safety yet again, trumping happiness if it if it has to. We prefer to be in control so we have to go over and above our hardwiring that's enough for now that's enough depth, I think. Good Book, found that on the side of the road in a box of people giving away books and picked it up, read it in a couple hours. Really good. I want to do more book raids. I want to do more everything I keep saying 100 more of this you guys are just like oh, well stop talking about it. Just do it. All right, we had heaps of questions that have come in this week. And some really long ones. So can you give me a hand if you're texting me which I love hearing from you, but maybe not a massive essay? Just a quick couple points or two? Also, dude, I love the voice memos. Can you guys do voice memos, not just the written text? It's fine. But it just makes it more of a community here when you hear other people's voices. Alright, so question. Hi, Mitch. I was raised by emotionally neglectful parents which has led to mental health issues of my own. I saw Going to therapy, my mid 20s. And I've been learning a lot over the past few years, I can see my brother and my sister in law treating my six year old niece with the same emotional neglect currently. But I feel it's not my place to say anything to them about their parenting style. But it absolutely breaks me to see my niece going through the same things as I did as a child, and I want to prevent her from the same struggles I've had my whole life. How can I approach this with my brother without crossing the line? Good question. tough one. I think something like this needs a whole lot of curiosity. And action orientated discourse. What I mean by that is, instead of coming into your brother and saying, you're doing this, look what you're doing to your child, that's not going to work, because it's just going to make him defensive and further locked into that pattern of behaviour. He probably knows it, he just can't come around to it. So maybe it is being curious around his intent in parenting. So I asked him questions like, how do you want your daughter to grow up? What is? What is the definition of successful parenting to you? Where do you see her in 10 years? What's your favourite part of being a dad? So get him introspectively thinking about his own approach. And there might be fractures that come up in what he wants versus what he's doing. And there might be a way of of just curiously exploring that with him, how do you think that's coming up? Now? Do you see any similarities in in the way she is to the way I am? So I think curiosity is a way of getting them to come to that answer themselves without telling it directly. In saying that, I think sometimes you need to earn the right to give direct feedback when it's not solicited. Having a family relationship, if you're close with your brother, maybe you have the relationship where you have earned the right to be more direct, with this feedback to go and say straight up. I know and, and don't come in hard. Either way, don't come in hard and aggressive. But I think coming in at I Know parenting must be incredibly hard. And I know that you're doing your best. And I know you love your daughter more than anything. I hope you don't mind me saying that. I want what's best for her. And there are some areas where I feel like the same thing that happened with mom and I or dad and I might be happening with her and be quite specific. You know, I've seen example x y Zed result in x y Zed. I'm not trying to tell you how to parent because it's not my place. But I also as her Auntie, and as someone who has a responsibility to guide and protect her. I wanted to raise this with you and have an open discussion around how you feel that's impacting her. This is not to criticise or blame you. But I hope you can just see where I'm coming from and the love that I have for my niece. And nothing necessarily needs to change. But I at least wanted to have a conversation about it. So I think a mixture of curiosity, and leaning on your earned right to protect your nice without making your brother wrong, hopefully should hold some credibility and cut through. I hope that helps. And I'm sorry, I can't give you a black and white answer on that one. But my love goes out to you and your family and your nice question here. At what point do we develop toxic traits like jealousy, judgement, having endless insecurities, etc. Children are so authentic true to themselves and so unfiltered and often don't really care about what people think of them and what they are doing. We will all like this at some point. So I guess my question is around unlearning some of those traits and behaviours we learn because of social norms, and how we can unlearn some of the ego driven behaviours that are not all beneficial for our mental health. Totally. Totally. I mean, I don't know a specific age, I would say I would hypothesise around the age of five because I think that's a couple years into your Language Centre coming online. And you have started to make some sense of meaning from the world. And it's through that sense making process that you start building your own defences and own ego and you start separating Slightly from the parent because as a child, you are the parent pretty much like you You don't know a division between the two, your life depends on them, you completely vulnerable to that every action. But I think around the age of five, we start to go, Okay, I'm, I'm me. And that's you. And I'm starting to work out how this life thing goes down. And as a result of that our ego in order to keep us alive and safe, understands the whole concept of pleasure and pain. And it goes, Well, how do I minimise pain and maximise pleasure? And I do that by doing certain behaviours and avoiding these things. So all emotions, including shame, and guilt, all serve a purpose. But the problem is, is that often they go into excess. So I'd say the best way to deal with that is look at how any childhood wounds or fractures or stories or narratives that you built during those times that aren't necessarily fully true or helpful, that are playing out in your adult life, how do you let them go. And I think, even though, we can't necessarily override the process of a child's ego developing because it has many important health impacts, it is as as parents, as mentors, as friends, as Auntie's coming in, with a secure attachment, and allowing, bringing in compassion. So there's five values and five behaviours of secure attachment that I think everyone should know. I'll talk about them more in future, but essentially, the values are calmness, coherence, predictability, stability, and trust, and the behaviours are protected protection, I have your back as much as possible. And I will try and prevent you from harm within my boundaries. Second, is attunement. I will make an effort to understand your internal world and see when you're not okay and let you know, through my words, body language or otherwise, that I have a sense of your internal landscape and you're not alone. The third is soothing. So if and when something does go wrong, I can provide a calm, rock like object that you can attach to to feel like you can self regulate and change your relationship to the problem at hand. Then there is expressed delight or support. So I will constantly narrate out loud about the positive qualities that you have, and build your sense of self worth and self esteem by validating your existence to the world. And the fifth is a supporting of individuality. So instead of just jumping on the bike and riding the bike for you, I will support you getting back on the bike, and I'll stand next to you as you learn to ride it again. So I think having more secure attachment dynamics, and operating from those principles, and those behaviours will help a lot for for children to develop less judgement for themselves less shame. And just, I guess, in the highest level order is to develop enough self awareness, so that if and when these emotions and inevitable negative qualities arise in adulthood, that we can manage them well, like judging others. Because if we have a really good way of operating from a young age, by relating well and having healthy relationships with others, we learn how to navigate our own internal landscape better. So that when the things arise in adulthood, we can get through them way easier. I think compassion is just a very, very, very important skill to teach children from a young age. I think a lot of goodness comes from that and set another way. I think a lot of suffering comes from people growing up without compassion, and work on yourself, man, that's the biggest gift you can give to other people. Because if you don't work on yourself, you just hurt people that didn't hurt you necessarily. you bleed on others that didn't cut you and you project your own insecurities and people can take them on board, sometimes for their entire life. So let's start by helping others by helping ourselves. Another question, there is a million questions in this one. So I can either answer one or rapid fire all of them, I'm going to rapid fire all of them. How do we deal with parents who have a high level of narcissism, good boundaries, I don't think I mean, it's super hard when you're a kid because you don't even know your parents narcissistic until you get older and you realise it and then you, as an adult form very good boundaries. And you become aware of whatever narcissistic traits have have come up on you, such as manipulation, and see how you might be practising some of that stuff, or fears of inadequacy, and rebuild that often in therapy and strong, strong loving relationships in your personal life. But throwing more blame and hate at narcissistic parents will just result in narcissism for yourself. It is forgiveness, even through the narcissism. But forgiveness is one thing, letting them continue to walk all over you or create rigidity in the family structure, and you'd be a victim to that that's not cool. So it's not forgiveness and rollover, it's forgiveness from a spiritual and heartfelt sense. And then good, assertive adult boundaries. How do we put boundaries within our parents if we still live at home? Through communicating those needs verbally, not aggressively, not passively. But saying, here's what's affecting me, here's what's not, here's what's Okay, here's what's not okay, for you toward me. If it doesn't involve you, then that's just telling them how to live their life. But if it's you, if it's them towards you, you get a right to say that. And you can say that in a way that's non confrontational, or maybe a good boundary is to leave the house. And I know that's not so easy to say, because you might be too young to leave, or you might not be able to afford it. But if you are feeling really psychologically unsafe, there are alternatives. And I think you should actively seek and look into those alternatives. Because although it might not be ideal. If your parents can engage in a healthy, rational conversation around behaviour and its impact on your life, then maybe that's not the best environment for you. And I'm really sorry to hear if that's your current situation. advice for anyone wanting to go study psychology, go study it, man. Don't think about it. I mean, he do work on yourself first. Because if you think that just jumping into studying psychology, becoming a counsellor will take away all your problems, you're mistaken. It'll help because it'll give you meaning and purpose. And you'll learn about yourself through your clients. But don't let that be the work. Actively invest in your own work, through your self care through your journaling, through your therapy, through your relationships, through everything for your career, and then build on that platform to go help others through the lens of psychology. I think it's awesome. I don't necessarily think that the future of psychology is just one to one appointments with clients. Like for instance, I have a psychology degree but I'm not a registered practising practising counsellor, I use my love for technology and other entrepreneurial pneus to scale out the need of supporting others mentally through the power of psychology using other vehicles. So I think if you want to become a psychologist or a counsellor, and do one on ones, that's great, there's a fucking huge need for it. But if you want that background, and then use it for other mediums in order to serve others, that's just as awesome. And I think psychology is helpful in any domain, including business because it allows you to understand consumer psychology and consumer behaviour. So I'm a huge proponent of everyone doing it. Do you feel as this work you are doing right now spreading awareness and your purpose or mission in this lifetime? Sorry, I don't get that. Do you feel as this work you're doing right now? spreading awareness is your purpose or mission in this lifetime? Oh, yeah, absolutely. fuckin eyes. It is my 100% purpose and mission. Without a doubt. It is my calling. I just I guess for me, I refuse to believe that we suffer or that we enjoy a pain without meaning. Because I just think that's pure evil. And I don't think that that world exists. So for me, making meaning from turning pain into service is meaning. My meaning happens to be in the mental health domain because that's where my pain has been. And serving others. allows me to fulfil the mission. Other people who have Pain in different areas. Could be a physical disability. It could be poverty, it could be hunger could be whatever. But I think your pain is your calling. And transforming that in the service of others is the best use of that pain you could possibly have. Thank you for your questions. Another question. I don't know if you've already answered this kind of question, but advice on how to push through when everything seems to be falling apart. I've just left a super toxic relationship and having the hardest time getting over it and keep beating myself up about why I stayed. And I have so much shit outside of that going on. It all seems way too heavy right now. Love Your Work. You're a legend, Alicia. Thanks, Alicia. Um Well, first of all, I hear you. So thank you. I know what it's like when it all feels too much. It can be very overwhelming, it can feel very suffocating, very dark. Just know that it will pass. And take everything one day at a time. And if you need to one hour at a time. Try not to See things in black and white. Try not catastrophize jumped to conclusions. Mind read. As we've talked about all this episode, don't let your need for control your brains hardwiring Trump the reality of situations which is there's probably grey and nuance the you might be overlooking because you just want to create a certain story. My life will be like this. Now. Let's talk that. Maybe not probably not. Let's be open to goodness to occur. Let's stay energetically available for the universe to be on our side. When hard days and hard times occur, allow them to be and that doesn't mean that there's this narrative now that the world's out to get you or that everything's doomed. That's that. Okay. And I hold space for allowing the positive to now come and help me and ask for help Alicia. Don't do this on your own. Reach out to those that love you. You don't try and hold all this weight on your shoulders. That's what we're here for. That's what humans are alive for. That's what life is. sitting on the bench with someone when they're too tired to walk. So I hope that helped. Yeah, go slow. You got this. That's all for today. That was a long one. I was trying to make up for missed episodes. hope you have an amazing week. Happy mental health, world Mental Health Day. We're almost through 2020 on the tail end now. October. I got a big couple of weeks coming up. But I'm always thinking of all you guys, and thanks for staying patient with me. Thank you for all your love and well wishes. And I look forward to seeing you back here soon. All right, guys. Ciao for now.