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011 - Jackie Culley

Jackie Culley says “We sit in the shit until we know what it is.” She embraces adversity and talks about her four “pillars” for mental and emotional strength. She plays off her personal struggles that include grief from cancer and death, trauma, and abuse to highlight positive focuses like service, yoga, and interior design. Learn more about Christmas for Cancer Families and Courage To Be Yoga. Enjoy. -

The Illuminate Recovery Podcast is about Mental Health, Mental Illness, and Addiction Recovery. Shining light on ways to cope, manage, and inspire. Beyond the self care we discuss, you may need the help of a licensed professional. Curt Neider and Shelley Mangum are a part of Illuminate Billing Advocates. They are committed to helping better the industry and adding value to the lives of listeners by sharing tools, insights, and success stories of those who are working on their mental health.

Transcript (no grammar):

jackie culley says we sit in the until we know what it is she embraces adversity and talks about her four pillars of mental and emotional strength she plays off her personal struggles that include grief from cancer and death trauma and abuse to highlight positive focuses like service yoga and interior design learn more about christmas for cancer families and courage to be yoga enjoy welcome to the illuminate recovery podcast we shed light on mental health issues mental illness and addiction recovery ways to cope manage and inspire beyond self-care we will discuss you may need the help of a licensed professional my name is kurt knighter i'm a husband father entrepreneur a handyman and a student of life i avoid conflict i deflect with humor and i'm fascinated by the human experience and i am shelley mangum i am a clinical mental health counselor and my favorite role of all times is grandma i am a seeker of truth and i feel like life should be approached with tremendous curiosity i ask the dumb questions i fill in the gaps we are so excited today to have jackie culley with us jackie has just a wealth of information and experience and she's got her hands in a lot of things jackie thanks for being with us yeah thanks for having me it's my pleasure super fun um let's start for a minute um just to give us a little bit of history kind of where you come from what's your background so that we can have some frame of reference as to the rest of the story how's that i'm just your average human girl here in the valley um you know i don't know i guess most of what has happened in my life i never would have imagined would have happened in my life nor would i have uh signed up for i don't think but probably i must have maybe in a previous life um a lot of times when people ask me to introduce myself i've had that happen a lot because i've done several podcasts and you know so typically people start with i am statements and i and i really as i've done my um my my own work i guess i've just realized that i'm not any of those labels because those labels all get stripped away from you at some point if you're jackie like all of jackie's labels get shipped away because i think god continues to try and teach me that all i need is him and me so but um i am a mom i had three children married i grew up just right here in the valley i live in south jordan i have an interior design business it's called jackie culley design and it has fluctuated with how busy it is over the years i opened in 2012 um currently i'm extremely busy and feeling very blessed about that but very busy um i also have a yoga studio which is just in my basement that i opened 2015. 17 i can't remember um it's called courage to be yoga and what we specialize in there is are some workshops so we in our workshops they're three hours each and they each consist of 10 weeks and so we do yoga and meditation for the first hour and then we do groups group discussion and talk about what we're learning and share and then the last hour we study either the chakras the yamas and niyamas or we pick a book that we love like brene brown's gift of imperfection the untethered soul my next one i want to create a curriculum for is letting go so um i taught group fitness for well i still teach group fitness i've been doing that for over 20 years i teach weightlifting cycling yoga kickbox all those kinds of things i love to go boating i love to be out in nature i love to step outside my comfort zone and do all the things that scare me to death well then it does sound just like you know a normal average life yeah except it's not so much um i i love i love this idea of i mean you got such a variety right you do the design and you do the yoga what else is there other um well i have a an organization i guess you could call it i haven't done any legal official work with it to call it such but we do a thing called christmas for cancer families around christmas every year for the last four years and what that is is we find cancers who are suffering from the effects of cancer and we do christmas for them and the first year it was just one family a gal that i met while i was getting my hair done who was dying from brain cancer and uh she had mentioned she wanted to take her family on vacation but she couldn't go very far so i said would you like to go stay at her cabin at bear lake and she said she would love that and so on my way driving home i just was flooded with inspiration and i thought oh she's not just going to my cabinet i'm going to gather my friends and we're going to do christmas for them and i'm going to order special ornaments for each of them and we're going to fill the fridge with food and stack the cabinets with treats and you know so uh we did that and then it just kind of such a good experience for my family that we um have gone ahead and made it a tradition and each year we've actually expanded and grown um and helped multiple families this last year we ended up helping four families and we helped the the most significant amazing transformation that we did was we helped this family of 11 in just down here in lehi they had a little they have a little boy named um eli who has got terminal cancer and um i went to visit with them to see kind of what i could do because the year prior i had replaced a roof and got a new microwave and gotten furniture for and in addition to sending them to bear lake and christmas you know because so many people are looking for something bigger to be involved in or looking for a purpose and so i just have such a good response of people who are willing and wanting to to do that that um when i went into her home it was evident that with 11 people the home was very crowded it was wall-to-wall stuff and the mom was clearly very overwhelmed and so even though i could see she needed new flooring and cabinets maybe i thought to myself like i would actually have to bulldoze this house in order to make this happen so i was talking to a friend of mine and miracles just happen at this you know when i do this like it's not me it's just i see god's hand all over the place and um i ran into a friend who her daughter and her husband so it was lexi and parker wahlbeck started a new organization just this year called uplift mission and their goal is to do a complete home makeover for one family a year in need and so she said we want to team up with you and do a home makeover for this family and i said you don't understand you you haven't seen inside this house like it's very very full what will we we would have to move them out and take everything out she's like let's do it and so we had like google spreadsheets people were signing up people would just show up we hired organized with tracy we had pods and storage pods and dumpsters and in a three week period of time we put them in a rental and then we moved with them up to bear lake for christmas we provided christmas for them but first we we gutted that house and with my design contacts i had you know cabinets from another job that we painted and brought back to life we got my title guy to donate stuff we got my carpenter to do stuff plus all the just manual labor of volunteers and then people donated all christmas for all 11 of them people donate an entire scent one of their kids on a mission bought all this luggage all this clothing it was just all new computers like set up workstations for them completely organized their whole house and labeled everything it was oh my word unreal life-changing for them yeah so cool sorry i totally geek out on that oh no because those are like the stories that go this is why we do all of this right this is why we why we go through all the hard right is because then we can relate and go i know what they need i know what they need and we can there's people out there that can help that's so cool so two thoughts just came to my mind as you were saying that little first thing was in the midst of doing that i mean certainly that would have been a big enough project for christmas for cancer families but we had three other families that were introduced to us in and then even one you know one in michigan that we've shipped christmas to but what you were just saying was it reminded me of tapas which is one of the yamas and niyamas and tapas is heat or fire and in that in that book the chapter it talks about can you stay in the heat or in the fire until you discover the blessing or the miracle and that's i don't know why but that just kind of reminded me of that no very that's very cool because isn't that i mean in this day and age we don't want pain we don't want struggle we want everything to be easy and i love that thought of can we stay in the fire long enough right to learn that learn whatever's there to learn or to see the miracle that's that's cool yeah and i guess that's why it reminded me of that was because i feel like because i've been through so many hard things i think it has prepped me and for some reason it's that purification and refining process but somehow it invites more magic into your life if you're willing to stay in the fire long enough to be purified without letting it destroy you i guess yeah and it's a balancing act and we certainly i don't think we do it alone yeah definitely not that's cool okay so that's i love that you shared that and that's what you do and and obviously there'll be a lot of listeners that uh we'll we'll have you give some contact information at the end so that they can also contribute because you know there's lots of people out there that have extra and there's a lot of people who need help yeah it's crazy because i had everything taken care of and there were still families contacting me saying my family wants some you know to help for christmas do you have another family and and then another family would show up oh or somebody else would contact me and say my sister's family's looking for something can do you have anything else you need and then another family and it's just it's just crazy it works out it works out when you put those intentions out there that's fantastic so let's talk a minute about why you pick families with cancer okay so um the one of the biggest trials of my life that i'm still currently in and i like to say one of my favorite things is we sit in the until we know what it is like i'm gonna have to sit in the but i'm sitting in the right now of grief like so i mentioned that i had three children and my first child with my daughter mallory and she was actually born with a bone disease which we discovered at 18 months and so we dealt with that her whole life and we spent a lot of time at shriners and were became very familiar with surgeries and all the procedures in the medical world and doctors and different things and you know i look back on that and i'm like hmm was that to prepare me for what was next because then my second child that was born riley is he's a boy he was three and three years younger than mallory and then i also have my my third child levi who's also three years younger so my middle child riley when he turned he was 17 he was a senior at bingham high school and he played on the football team and he had he was getting close to graduation it was in march and he had been having back pain on and off for several months we had taken him to the doctor and they couldn't find anything wrong with them um but eventually in looking for kidney stones they found that he had bone cancer called ewing's sarcoma and he was diagnosed with that cancer when he was just in the final few months of his senior year and so he didn't get to take advantage of that football scholarship that he had gotten nor did he get to go on the lds mission that he had hoped to serve but the day that the day after that he announced he was going to serve a mission was the day he got the news that he had cancer and i believe that that was his mission um so he we fought cancer with with my sweet riley for seven years or six six and a half years and he passed away last year in january on the 5th right before kobe came around and wreaked havoc everywhere yeah and so i am currently just learning about grief and then so january 5th was the anniversary of his death which i had heard about anniversaries and triggering dates and stuff but it's it's real and then one month after that my cute nephew that i love so much remington he died of an accidental overdose and then four days after remington passed away my father passed away and so it just brought all that grief back up and knocked me flat on my back and so i get to learn all about grief and what that feels like and but that is why we do christmas for cancer families was because my family kind of knew firsthand what it felt like to have to do christmas when you have a sibling or some a family member who has a terminal illness or disease and it's just not fun it's like what do you buy yeah what do you what is there to be happy about and so what we discovered when i we did that the first year was my son riley was alive and he was still working at nike and even even though he knew that he would eventually die from cancer he he got excited about serving and he went to work at nike and hung up signs and everything and collected an outfit and shoes for everyone in in danny madison's family and that that's been a tradition that we do every year we include a nike stuff and nike gets involved in and donates clothing for everybody in shoes so that's in honor of my son so he was still alive the first year you did it yeah he's actually alive the first i think three years this is the first year that we have so the the year before he died we he and i were leaving primary children's we just were getting in the elevator at the same time as this young mom with her baby and her carrier and i had seen them walk out of the chemo uh room and i said to her in the elevator please tell me that your little boy doesn't have cancer and she and that day riley and i had just walked out of clinic and riley had just told dr fair that he's not didn't want to do any more treatment because it was no longer buying him quality of life it was just making him more miserable so we were kind of the end of our journey and uh this mom said yeah that this little baby in her carrier was a twin and he had cancer and then she shared with us that she had had a another child previously die of something else but so she clearly had had some rough stuff and it was in the fall and so when when it came time to pick a family riley and i were like yeah let's do this family and so riley was excited about that as well but yeah one something to and it kind of brings back that idea that um even in the heart of the really hard things that that act of service is a way to pull us out of you know i mean it's not like riley was going to escape what what was happening but it could pull him out of it and bring him some joy yeah some of the greatest i mean riley is was your typical 22 23 year old and when he got cancer and then thought you know he thought he kicked its ass the first time and when it came back you know he just became more and more humble he was this big football player and toward the end of his journey he worked at nike and there was a little family that came in and a mom with two little boys and they were rambunctious and rowdy and were tearing the place apart and so riley's really good people person and he went up and the kids were throwing stuff out of the bins and so he started playing with them and distracting them and uh i can't remember what it was oh one of the little boys said riley threw them a soccer ball and it had a team on it that the little boy liked and he said yeah for my wish i'm going to go to the that team's soccer game and riley goes oh you get a wish immediately you know he knew about it because riley had gotten a wish from the make-a-wish program and so they started talking and this little boy was like yeah i have cancer and he lifted up his shirt and showed riley his port and riley lifted up his shirt and showed the little boy his poor scar and then the next thing i knew riley was hanging out with this little kid up at primaries he took him his playstation game that he knew you know that he didn't use and he was taking his him he was giving his mom money and taking their family clothes and like he eventually was like mom i don't think i should keep giving her stuff because he didn't know but anyway yeah it definitely service was helpful for our family and for riley in that situation wow i mean it just makes his life have value and meaning yeah even in the heart of the struggle yeah that's some hard stuff i'm uh and i appreciate you sharing that with us by the way because i can tell it's fairly near and dear to your heart and you know still pretty tender as it will be for i'm sure i don't know if it ever goes away for a mom does it yeah no and it's interesting you know i had never lost anybody not a parent or anything other than a grandparent so i didn't really know what grief was so to have your child be your first experience of grief is rough i mean i used to think all the the things that i guess people who don't understand reef think like the things you think you should say like oh they're in a better place or or you know just not understand how very broken they are and how fragile they are because i just for the last year that after riley passed it's like i just kind of assumed that everybody would talk kindly to me and that everybody would just treat me super nice because i was so fragile and so to have riley die and then to have code would come out and people start telling me to cover my mouth and put a mask on which was a massive trigger to me because i'll just throw this out there i was sexually abused as a child with my mouth covered and so i'm like uh no i'm not nope i'm not wearing that mask oh i can't have groceries if i don't wear a mask oh you're not gonna give me my prescriptions if i don't have a mask like did not sit well with me and then when i felt like neighbors and family were you know looking down on me for not wearing masks or wanting to argue with me about it and then so i'm in you know adding insult to injury here and then black lives matter started tearing the place apart and i looked on facebook and it said they were gonna start tear down statues of jesus christ and i'm like okay whoa whoa whoa like i was just trigger trigger trigger triggered and so i posted something on on my social media which was a mistake because i was acting out of emotion and not you know thinking that through but yeah it resulted in nothing good with relationships being severed and feelings being hurt but it's an it's what you bring up is not i don't know if it's that abnormal right is that you get these just these really hard things in your life and and then you're so vulnerable and you're so fragile and it just seems like one thing after another hits you right and it's just the littlest things because you just don't have the the wherewithal to manage the hard stuff because you're in the middle of it and you haven't had time to heal from the previous blow oh i don't know it's crazy it is crazy and so what and you bring this up is that people well-meaning people because i believe people try and you know are trying to do their best i try and believe that always and sometimes it doesn't feel like it but they're trying to do their best and they mean well but they just don't understand they don't understand yeah i don't ever think it's intentional um my very own sister who we've we've repaired all of it but just a few short months after riley died we got in a massive fight she called me and said i feel like i need to bring a box of cake mixes and cookie dough and come over and help you take serve your neighbors so that you can move on like you need to stop talking about riley and i was like like you're killing me like and then it was just it got so ugly that we just didn't speak and so and and in the grief books it talks about when you lose somebody you end up losing a lot of other people because they either don't know what to say so they avoid you or something a misunderstanding happens like with my sister and so they then you have that falling apart or the grief monster comes out and you tear somebody and they are like you're out like you know so you it kind of feels like the tasmanian devil like flying flying through life like leaving nothing but destruction in its path slinging slinging on everyone yeah just displaced anger and hurt and it's ugly it just gets ugly but you do the best you can right i mean you do and then you're working through an awful lot of emotion and and like you brought up it has a way of impacting relationships in a lot of ways and this kind of of loss can really affect that core unit you know the family like you and your husband and your kids talk about that a little bit oh um well my husband and i have had problems since we got married i mean i remember walking down the hallway thinking well if this doesn't work out we'll just get a divorce because i was only 18 and i had been sexually abused so i knew that i was just wanting to be loved and now i understand it was a total codependency thing and and and i had no self-worth no self-esteem i didn't know who i was and so i just married the first person that paid attention to me um and then i just completely lost my train of thought what did you ask me well what's nice about a podcast isn't that right that's just what we do it's fantastic well talking about the relationships and the hard and just you can just keep going you don't even you know they'll forget what the question is too but just talk about the relationships that family relationships and how that affects yeah and the story because there's a story that goes with it with with sexual abuse what i've learned is that we disassociate any kind of trauma whether it's abandonment or abuse or any kind of trauma which honestly i believe everybody in this world has experienced trauma i think as spiritual beings coming into a physical body on an earthly plane that is traumatic and so whether we remember it or not we've all experienced trauma and so i think what happens is 99.9 of the people in this world are we um we live in our heads or we disassociate from ourselves that's the word i was looking for and um and so we live completely in our heads we don't want to feel our emotions and so rather than feel our emotions we end up checking out and so for a good portion of my marriage my husband and i both had our different checkouts and there was a lot of you know just dysfunction because of our our upbringings and our experiences in our childhood but then our kid you bring kids into that in that into that dysfunction and it and there's you know codependency there there's kids that feel like they have to be the parent and then you bring in betrayal and the trauma of that on both sides and that adds a whole other element and then you add a cancer into that with a terminal diagnosis and throw betrayal into the middle of that and huge just got a massive nightmare to deal with and what one of the so my my two children that are still here on earth my daughter she had left on a mission an lds mission right before riley got diagnosed with cancer so she was in on her mission when he when we got that news and she remained on her mission because we felt hopeful that that he could be treated and he he was by the time she got home he was doing well but and then she came home and moved right out to college and then got married and because my whole focus during that time shifted to cancer for six and a half years she felt completely just forgotten and our relationship you know suffered from that and then my youngest boy levi he was only in eighth grade when his sister left on a mission and then his brother got cancer so anybody who met him or saw him at school or at church or in the pub in public would say how's your sister how's your brother how's your mom it was like he was completely invisible and that's how he felt but he did so well during that time like in middle school he won an award in the school for being the most like positive kid and a lot of the moms up at the hospital that i would talk to their children at home were were suffering with drug abuse and addiction and and in trouble a lot because they were forgotten and ignored because the parents obviously are focusing and scared to death their other child's gonna die and so i didn't even realize this problem until after or the last six months of riley's life when riley finally the tumors filled his lungs and he couldn't breathe and the doctor said you may only have a month to live he called his brother on his mission and asked him to please come home that was all he cared about was his brother and so levi gave up his biggest dream and even though he had been invisible you know and already sacrificed so much for riley he came home from honduras which was the dream of a mission that he had always wanted to do was to go bathe in a bucket in the middle of nowhere and um but it was after riley passed that i realized how messed up levi was from from that whole experience and and so we're about a year out and levi's doing incredibly well he has started his own business called invictus floor coatings and he does garage floor coatings and my daughter is amazing she gave us a sweet little grandson in noah about six months before riley died and and we love our son-in-law chase but um yeah my husband and i now that you know it's taken a long time this last year a lot of dust has settled and things and we've both been going to counseling individually and doing our own work and we're starting to come back together and work work on things as a couple and it's getting better but yes life is messy and and we just say that you're just a normal everybody you know but life has a way of bringing experiences that that stretch us and make us grow and yeah or kill us and you're still standing and still married incredibly yeah it's it's i wonder why all the time like how did i walk am i stupid like what's going on am i crazy but i just i don't know well you've got the card stacked against you a little bit it feels like you had a few a few bumps in the road a few really big huge bumps in the road yeah so if this now this i didn't you know this is kind of a big question so answer however you want but what are your pillars what do you support your recovery your healing your like keeping your family together there's something there can you identify some of those pieces yeah i actually kind of tried to think as i was walking this morning about just maybe three or four points that i could share that are really helpful for me that changed my life so i came up with four ahas that i uh that i think and live by and the first one is talking about the missing puzzle piece and in the chakras we learn about this and just in life but we can rearrange all the exterior pieces of our life all day long and until we find that one piece that needs to be in the very center of our puzzle called god or our puzzles never going to be complete and whatever god means to you that's fine that's that's your choice but but we have to identify something that is bigger than ourselves because if we don't when everything else in life is stripped away from you and you start asking yourself well who am i if i'm not a mom if i'm not a wife if i can't if i'm no longer the group fitness director and i can no longer teach group fitness because my body's too old if my design business has crashed because the economy if my little black audi that i drove the engine blew up in it and i no longer drive a black audi if i got released for my calling in my in my church because i swore on social media then who am i who am i and if there's no god then i'm not even a daughter of god so where do i ground myself what do i ground myself to there's nothing and so you have to have a higher power that you can identify with and and i've heard that in all the like 12-step programs i've ever attended or trauma um workshops that i've attended uh with ptsd and abuse and all that stuff is i think that that so i just will share this really fast like i i grew up in a christian home but but i learned that because of being abused as a child we and because we are disassociated from ourselves we don't trust people and we don't want to be told what to do we don't like authority and so religion is never going to work for a person like that they're not going to be told that there's this invisible god that they should be scared of so this mindfulness stuff that i do in these yoga workshops is partly what saved me but the day that i was sitting in my car i always struggled since i was young there's been this war inside of me like i've always felt like i knew that god existed but my but i would always argue it and say no that that's bs like your religion is long but the day that i was sitting in my car and i got the phone call from the doctor about my son having cancer um i sat there very peacefully and i hung the phone and i felt a presence which i believe to be god himself or an angel next to me and he said this is where you'll learn of me pay attention and it was like i didn't break into hysteria over my son having cancer i literally knew in that moment i didn't know if riley would live or die but i knew that it was part of the plan and i better pay attention and so then i started to learn about the mindfulness stuff and all of that and thankfully my greatest gift and the gift i wish to give the world is the fact that i finally know who i am i finally have reintegrated in back into my body i know how to meditate and be still and i know how to step behind my thoughts in that seat of observance i know how to even in my when i'm triggered up and anxious yeah it's not fun and and sometimes i mess up or or i check out or whatever but i have the skills to um stay with myself and to connect to my higher power to god and and when i feel those impressions that i receive from him which i have my whole life but i've always just discredited them and thought i was crazy or or thought like you know the world conditions us to think that well who are you to think that you should do that or that you could do that or other people could do that but you can't do that those are all lies that we tell ourselves and so i think that anyway i just it's so important to know that god exists it's so important to know how to connect with him and there's this funny story that it tell there is told in the yamas and nia's it's about um when god first developed after he developed humans he he came to up back up to the council of the greats and he says i've just developed these humans and i just realized they're always going to be wanting something for me i have nowhere to hide where am i going to hide and and one of the wise ones said we'll hide on the top of you know mount everest hide in mount sinai or whatever and he's like no they're too resourceful they'll find me there and this other one came up and whispered in his hair and he said that's genius i'll hide within each one of them they'll never look there and it's so it's like until we decide to take that painful journey within and decide that we're going to sit in the and feel what we need to feel to learn what's inside there like what's underneath the tip of the iceberg that we don't want to look at i don't think we're ever going to be able to connect with god and then therefore we will not have that missing puzzle piece and it makes life a little bit harder if you're not to have some sort of harmony some sort of piece of who you are and what life means to you right that core piece because when your world gets rocked like it is for everybody right now what do you hold on to and so in when you ask me like how do i keep my family together it's like well i want to see riley again and i believe that people go on after they after their bodies go back to the earth i believe that their spirits go on and i'm not going to give up on that belief i feel that that's true and i'm not going to give up on my connection with god because i know that's my source of peace and connection and i'd like to be with all the rest of my my family too you know so i don't know i don't know i don't know how people even deal with grief if they don't if they if they don't believe in a higher power because i at least a universal energy or some kind of continuation because to think that i would never see him again it's already hard enough thinking i gotta wait like 80 years you know yeah yeah but i can see that it brings you a tremendous amount of strength and an ability to look at the heart and sit in the heart and know that somehow you're going to get through that and there's another side to that right yeah and so god it's heavy to carry but i do believe there is an end so god is that that center piece that puzzle piece that you talked about for you are there other pillars yeah so the second one is understanding that you can't change others that in order to change others you actually have to change yourself so i see it like the gears in a clock i see these little gears with teeth on them and when the first gear turns to the right the teeth grab the the gear next to it and turn it to the left and then it grabs the gear just below it turns it to the right and that's how our families function and everyone around us functions in these these gears and and so when we decide to you know we can point fingers all we want it just does nothing but when we finally decide to take a look at ourselves and that's what i think um you know chakras yamas and niyamas maybe even religion or scriptures or whatever you know self-help books i see them as like google maps if i put it if i'm here and i put in a location 50 miles away it's gonna come up with like four routes and those are those are just different routes into yourself into your journey of self and as soon as i start to look at myself um i start to see that the people that bug me are actually like it's like they're holding up a mirror and i'm seeing all the things about myself that i hate and so as soon as i start to change myself my gear starts to shake and get like everyone everyone's gear is like what's what's up with mom she's acting weird why is she doing that and it causes more chaos for a while but then pretty soon as your gear starts to turn the other way the gears around you automatically start turning the other way too or they go away so you will lose friends during your journey of self but they weren't meant to be there if if that's the case so that's a powerful one too is that you cannot change other people and i don't know anybody that teaches us that better than our children yeah no i will not do what you say mom i will do everything except what you say exactly we can't we can't tell them what to do although we want to but we can influence them and if i heard you correctly we influence them by changing ourselves and when we change ourselves all of our relationships change yes yeah and the other thing cool i like about that is again sorry in the yamahas and miami and non-violence talks about it's actually violent to think that we should try to change or control somebody else even our kids like if we don't get if we don't trust that god has a plan for them and we start kind of imposing our what we think is their best version of them onto them that's actually pretty violent and we're going to screw up and get in the way of god's actual divine plan for them but parents just we have a hard time doing that we have a hard time because we want the best for them and we know what's best don't we yeah no why not so much i do i i've decided that my kids are all now they're all grown right i have i have adult children now and i'm like you know what they're really good kids are they doing everything i want them to do no they're such really good kids and if i can just see who they are and love them then they get permission to change and they're not always fighting against mom exactly you know mom wants something for me so i have to do the opposite thing so true yeah the whole reverse psychology but it changed and then i don't have to worry as much either because i'm like it'll be okay and if they really need me i know they're gonna call right and i'm gonna you know we're gonna figure out how to do it but but just to let them i love i love that concept we don't change people but boy we want to yep yeah i'm listening to this book called letting go and it talks about um the way to change somebody is just loving them because when we just unconditionally love somebody it gives them a solid ground to stand on where they're at where they feel secure and solid and then like you said then it does give them permission to go ahead and be whoever they want to be but as long as we are giving them that push pull it's bringing them out of balance and they can't move forward because they don't have solid footing where they're at right and we're we're projecting like you said right you project everybody's a mirror and we're projecting our stuff and and or they're giving it to us and it's our stuff and when we can start to open up and go oh that's mine it's not even theirs then we can take a look at what's going on for us and change us which in turn changes our relationships right yeah it's well and i i when i read bernay brown's book right and i think it was gifts of imperfection where she defines blame and she says blame is a way to discharge blame discharge pain and discomfort right so people want to give away their pain and discomfort and i'm like oh oh and when they give it away so say jackie i give my pain and discomfort to you i've just given it away i can't do anything with it and neither can you because it's not really yours and i gave it away and so you get stuck in these really unhealthy patterns and it puts you in victim mode totally then you can't if we well when we when we are in victim we can't fix the problem right anyway but it's not yeah it's not where we want to be it's not that healthy place and then so what's your third pillar so the third pillar i have is we are not here on spring break we come here to earth and we think it's just supposed to be a big party but it's really not um like i said we're we're all spirits that came here to get a body so that we could experience things that would shape and mold us into the biggest and best versions of ourselves and hard things are supposed to happen just like in you know my weight training classes that's the resistance that is what strengthens us um i mentioned the tapas like can you stay in the heat until you witness the miracle or the blessing or the lesson and um just acknowledging that nobody wants to feel my son riley before he passed he made all of us videos which is so awesome and i opened this yoga studio like the last year that he was here and i was taking care of him he was living in our house with us and he could he you can hear everything that's going on in my house wherever you're at and so he he listens to these chakra classes over and over and over and all the emotional stuff and so in the videos to me he he's like mom you gotta teach people how to feel he's like nobody knows how to feel you gotta you gotta teach people about these what are those what is it i mean i've heard this over and over for the last eight months oh chakras but anyway um and he just really became aware he read victor franklin's book man's search for meaning yes he read that when he was getting his diagnosis of terminal and it really helped him but um just you know we we label our emotions good or bad and who who really decided which ones were good and which ones were bad i mean every emotion is a gift and a blessing that was divinely designed to teach and transform us into a better version of ourselves and as we learn to feel and then as we choose to stay knowing that those emotions will pass and take that next step upward we eventually become free so i think in the scriptures it talks a lot about bondage people being in bondage we always think of like i don't like you what do you think i think of like indians and cowboys and indians like tie each other up but i think our bondage comes from our minds the choices that we make or the labels we allow ourselves to wear or you know knowing our emotions numbing all of those emotions and not feeling and i've never thought about bondage that way in quite that that frame of reference but the numbing and not wanting to feel like we just keep ourselves so stuck now by our thoughts i mean i think this is my next point but um yeah so our thoughts have the power to keep us in a literal state of hell and we're free to leave at any time but in order to do that we have to be willing to feel them and let them out so that's where i love yoga too is a lot of stuff i think gets stuck in our bodies if you've ever read that book the body keeps the score right it talks about how 70 of what's stuck inside of us can we can release through talk therapy and but the other 30 which you'll see a lot of you know rehab or addiction programs implementing exercise or yoga or tai chi or something is because we actually have to move our bodies to get those other that other 30 percent out and it is true because just for an example when my nephew passed just a month or just a month ago um i i went with his parents to see his body in his apartment and it was pretty traumatizing i think i still feel some effects of trauma but i'm very very calm in emergent situations and i think my brother called me because i had lost my son and so he figured i might know what to do so i felt all this responsibility so i was trying to like hold their space for them and do all the right things for them and make sure i didn't do anything that the people who had hurt me did you know it's just like oh so that whole day was so difficult and i got in bed that night and i hadn't cried one tear and i was like there's something definitely wrong with me today and i went to bed i got up and in the morning i went to the gym and got up on stage to teach my class and the minute i started moving my body and talking my cues i was like oh crap here it comes here comes like i'm not in shock anymore and it all just and for three days i sat at home and bawled and was hysterical because it was stuck but the movement of our bodies actually helps to get rid of that so and then the last point that i that i think about often is um how how do we learn to feel and to be okay doing it i think that's the big question is how how do we learn to do that i think the first thing is to realize that we are not our thoughts nor are we our physical bodies so in my yoga classes i teach at vasa and in my workshops i explain all this but in my regular classes at the gym they're just a yoga class but my verbiage like i'll have people on their hands and knees and i'll have them like circle their hips really big and i'll be like see that light in the center of your being and allow it to expand outward until it actually pushes on the interior of your skin and you know creating spaciousness and expense in your body room for your spirit to be big and and i say these things which probably sound like complete hoodoo voodoo to people but then every week without fail people come up to me and they're like your class is changing me whatever it is you're saying in here just really speaks to my heart and i'm just like well i'm secretly teaching you about christ but you just don't know it i'm just kidding and so anyways i think number one we have to realize that we are not our thoughts nor are we our physical bodies we are these enormous spirits that are stuffed into these itty-bitty living spaces um we have 60 000 thoughts per day and most of those 60 000 are thoughts we are repeating from yesterday and we'll repeat tomorrow so we keep our mind cluttered with so much crap if we could utilize our brains for fresh ideas we could be so much more productive and healthy and that seems easy to say but there's a process right it doesn't come without a cost it takes so i remember the first time i did yoga or meditation i thought it was the biggest waste of time like for people that are type a it's torture nobody thinks it's a good idea to waste an hour sitting there on a mat breathing but it's the most valuable thing you can do um and you just have to you have to make a commitment to try it at least enough times to experience what what it does for you yeah changed my life and i you know i think i would have been on that camp that said you want me to go sit and stretch and just sit for an hour yeah and who's life but i actually over not maybe below but just before covet right i had to stop but i started going to the gym and changing some things and one day a week i would just do this stretch class and that's all we would do turn off the light and we would just stretch and i'm like all right i might give this a shot but amazingly enough exactly what you said right it was a whole shift and it was incredibly powerful yeah and it wasn't even yoga did you ever start to feel like emotions come up while you were shifting oh yeah or stretching i mean yeah yeah i i noticed that like even if if i'm lifting weights or something or when i'm teaching yoga i'll just start to have like an infernal coming out or i'll start crying or well there's a whole i mean what you're talking about is is not i mean it's fairly new especially in the in the therapy industry i've actually been talking to a couple of therapists that have spent the last year learning they call it somatic energy work oh and it's movement like you say because we've got different energy systems in our bodies right and and those physical systems those movement systems those cells you know the body keeps the score they don't forget yeah and if we're not moving it to release that then then you're right some of our trauma some of our big t's or little t traumas right they get stuck in there and it's absolutely a piece and i'm fascinated with that piece as well i'm actually going to see i think we're going to have them on the on the podcast here in the future so i love to hear people talk about it because i think it i know it's real because i hear the the trauma industry talk about it frequently yeah for sure so on this this list under that fourth point was let's see increase your awareness in the present time so um when we catch ourselves chasing our thoughts we need to kindly walk ourselves back into our bodies and so i didn't bring my anxiety cycle with me but it's like in this cycle of anxiety there's this secret hidden doorway where if we will learn how to just be a little bit more aware and present in our bodies we'll we'll start to notice the physical symptoms of a trigger and before we go right to you know and we'll we'll feel the increased anxiety but before we go to our checkout there's this little hidden door where we can exit and we can um stop that cycle by choosing to feel that discomfort and realizing that it will pass um and and there's some silly little techniques you can do to uh to keep yourself present like when you start to feel the anxiety you can say okay i'm gonna find everything in this room that's pink and you just look around and it just brings you back to right here or i oftentimes when i'm talking i'll i'll think okay i can feel my feet on the ground or i'll tap my leg or i'll notice where my breath goes in the body meaning like does it stop at my throat or can i bring it all the way down to my belly like where are my my shoulders am i holding them up where you know and so those are just little techniques we can do or whatever to kind of keep ourselves in the present situation and then always being aware of our breath and the the biggest thing is a lot of times when i have anxiety i will start all i know breath is valuable and so we'll take these nice long deep breaths in and then we go but it's actually this the the trick and the magic is in slowing down that exhale it's that long slow exhale that is like oh i'm okay and so i think there's magic there number five is moving your body so stomping your feet tapping your legs just rubbing your face and just kind of reminding yourself this is my body i'm inside of here and then you have to get off the hamster wheels in your head and start to notice what you're feeling in your body so really literally i'll ask myself what am i feeling in my body so like if i'm in the presence of a new person i'm in the seat of observance and i'm saying what is my body feeling right now and our instincts can tell us you know if that person's safe if that person's lying you know if that person's whatever it is i think our spirits can communicate if we're if we learn how to use our brains enough but and then the last one is just to stay with your breath so staying present in your body so that you can live in the now and to be where you are at all times um i think uh like again one of my favorite little stories that i share in my yoga workshops is just the genie being in that that bottle and in the aladdin movie and i especially love will smith mccain but uh it's interesting because you know notice that i just talked a lot about tapping our body or noticing what you feel in your body well the genie this huge phenomenal cosmic power um is crammed into this itty-bitty living space this little rusty old lamp and in order to get that the genie to come out what do we do we rub the lamp well our bodies are like that lamp and if you read or listen to a lot of podcasts or information people who have had near-death experiences where they've actually left their bodies and have to come back into them they will always tell you that they look at their body and they think how am i going to fit back into that thing like that they think that their bodies are so small and it's painful they say it's painful to come back into them and so just in that part in that aladdin movie where aladdin outsmarts is it jafar and i think jafar wants to be the all-powerful um sultan or whatever it is and he thinks he's one he thinks he's used his wishes to get the best thing in the world and the aladdin says oh you're not the strongest person in the world the genius and so then he wishes himself to be the genie and he immediately gets sucked down into this and it's and the genie says phenomenal cosmic powers in an itty-bitty living space and it's like we we all are phenomenal cosmic power and we are all connected and we do not even comprehend one inkling of the power that we possess or the way that we affect those close to us but even everyone on earth with even just our thoughts i love that analogy i had never thought of the the genie bottle as as the as that like you you know like you talk about being our bodies and that we've got this cosmic energy about us interesting yeah i like that i love that and i love that you you know obviously it's quite apparent that you're not just sharing information you're sharing those key pieces that have kept kept you going through some really really hard stuff yeah i i have learned to only just well even after riley passed and then these other you know loved ones in my life have passed and different people have been removed from my life and i was i get frustrated and angry like what are you doing to me god like what are you doing and then it's miraculously it's usually either when i go on a walk or a run or when i'm on my cycle bike or on my yoga mat i receive these intense lessons this inspiration and i went for a walk a couple months ago and and it was like it was interesting it was really cool i googled spiritual music right before i left and i just uploaded a bunch of random songs onto a playlist and when i left the house i hit shuffle and as i start to walk i'm like okay jackie get out of your head what do you feel in your body by the time i'm like half a mile away i'm i'm in that meditative state and all of a sudden it's like god has put together this musical for jackie like just the right song is coming on just the right time and i'm being taught just the right lesson and and by the end of my walk i had had a visit by a person that had passed on and received you know a message from them and and just a very personal message from god him saying stop looking to the arm of flesh stop looking for help from others everything you need is within you which basically you are part of the divine so turn to me just me and you and um ironically my i pick a word of the year every year and my word of this year is atonement because it means at one with and um i think we don't all realize i think the solution to all the world's problems is all of us realizing who we are so super powerful super powerful jackie it's been an absolute pleasure to spend this time with you and to listen to your story and the journey that you've been on and and the way that you've been able to give back as a result of what you've experienced right you've been able to impact people's lives in huge ways and show up for them in their loss in ways that other people maybe can't and so i've been absolutely inspired today listening to your story can't thank you enough for coming and sharing with us thank you

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