Co-founders of Empower World
Jeanine: Good morning Marie. Jeanine here.
Marie: Morning Jeanine. Morning world, how are you?
Jeanine: Yes it's great to be here. I'm based in Doha today and Marie? Doha today? No! I'm based in Melbourne and I'm with Marie in Doha.
Marie: We are definitely social distancing this morning.
Jeanine: We are. We've had a great catch up this morning. Great to connect with you again Marie with all of this craziness that's going on in the world today. And one of the things that has definitely been supporting me in these really interesting, unprecedented times, is actually making sure that I connect with the people that are important in my life. And of course, you're absolutely one of those. So thank you for brightening my day once again.
Marie: Oh bless you, Jeanine. Thank you. I have to say i've probably “seen”, virtually seen, more people this whole week than I have the last few months, because I'm really connecting to my family, my brother in Boston, my sisters in the U.K, my mom in the U.K, my children in the U.K. i've had virtual coffee mornings with friends and it's been lovely.
Jeanine: Yeah. This is one of the wonderful things that have come out of this Coronavirus situation. And we wanted to come together on this call today to speak about resilience and how we can support ourselves and each other through this time and we're already getting on to something that we probably would have brought up, and it is that that connection. And like you I have really enjoyed connecting with people that I haven't spoken to so often. And as a consequence of that and really enjoying it, I decided that my aim is, every day, to take time out to connect with either someone in my family, or a friend who I haven't spoken to for some time, or one of our empowered community, I really want to take that time out to connect and support each other to refill our hearts, for want of better words. Fill our cup up to really support ourselves through this situation.
Marie: Yeah, i've had some lovely messages funnily enough, coming in this morning and they are messages. They're not the calls or video messages… from people who haven't really messaged me in a while and it's so lovely to hear them saying “how are you doing? I really appreciate the work you're doing. Thank you for what you do. How are you?”. So it's nice to be asked “How are you?”.
Marie: So I'm really grateful for that because what we're trying to do is connect to our community here in Doha and around the world by doing things like the podcast, We've done some Facebook lives, We've also done some other work with… I’m thinking of Patricia who we were both supporting her research work at the moment. We've both done some videos sharing our experiences. So we're doing some supervision calls for our community to support our coaches in their resilience, which will in turn support their clients. So it all has a ripple effect when we are doing this reaching out and sharing and asking people how they're doing.
Jeanine: Yeah and we know through a lot of the work that we've studied and been a part of, for example Brene Brown's work and Tony Robbins' work, its connection that really supports us to come alive. You know, really being able to reach out to others. We're wired to connect with one another. So, I'm just trying to remember the terminology that's being used, there is that physical distancing but we want to have that social connection and it's about doing it in creative, unique ways… maybe not so unique now in this digital age. However, really utilizing the ability that we have to be able to connect across the world so much more easily than perhaps maybe even 10 years ago, 20 years ago. So Marie, you and I, we decided that we wanted to record this podcast to support people, to support our listeners, to look at how they can build their resilience, their coherence in these really challenging times, to be able to support them to be able to navigate what's coming up. Because there's a whole lot of unknowns and there's a whole lot of uncertainty, and, of course, fear and anxiousness. And we know that potentially it doesn't have to be that way. And certainly it doesn't have to be that way all the time. And we know that there are ways that we can again, support ourselves and others to be able to make new perspectives, to do things differently that will create a different focus, different emotions and different experiences. And Marie, we also do a lot of work around appreciative inquiry which is around seeing what the possibilities are, what are the new perspectives? Opening up our minds, opening our hearts to see what is beyond all of the doom and gloom. And so again we want to continue to support that work to be able to recognize perhaps there's real hope out there. There are some real possibilities or some amazing things that are out there waiting for us in the future if we open up our minds and hearts.
Marie: Yet they're already great suggestions for people to start looking at how to do that. You know, what you are focusing on is what you'll get more of. We share this all the time in all of our trainings. I was working with a client yesterday who was focusing on her anxiety and what I encouraged her to do was allow herself to be with the anxiety while keeping her awareness wider than just the anxiety. So she was allowed herself to be present with what was happening for her, but not get so stuck on it that she couldn't get out of it. And it's what's called ‘Foveal Vision’, when we only keep all focus on one thing, it's just we can't get out of that looking at it. And when she expanded her awareness to become not Foveal, but more expansive, she realized, “gosh there's so many other things going on that are quite beautiful”. She was watching the sea, she was watching the flowers in her garden. She was being practicing gratitude then for her family in her life. So just by expanding our awareness a little bit, it changes our state.
Jeanine: Yeah. Beautiful work, Marie. And of course when we're working with our clients to, I guess, embody, and accept and explore what's coming up in terms of the emotions and where those emotions live in our body, and how they're showing up. And when we support our clients to get present with those emotions by naming them, by looking at you know, how do they look in our body? Perhaps what shape are they? What color? What is the emotion or the feelings saying to us? Perhaps what's the voice that is saying to us right now? But what is the other voice? What's the underlying wise voice? What does that have to say? What are those feelings? What are they like in our body in terms of taste and smell? When we support our clients to do that, and I know that's what we both do, then our clients again create another perspective, they get present and then they're able to create, as you say, expanded awareness and create another perspective of what's really coming up for them. And we always ask you know “what is this emotion or these feelings? What do they want us to know? What's the wisdom? What are we missing out on? What's the gift underneath all of this anxiety or whatever it may be?”, so that then, as you say Marie, our clients can expand their awareness and look at what else is out there. And it really just goes back to what you were saying earlier what we focus on is what we get and if we choose gloom, doom and anxiety that's going to keep showing up. So by getting present and looking at the wisdom, or the gift, behind that feeling or emotion then our client's worlds open up. As we can do for ourselves as we explore our own emotions.
Marie: Absolutely. And it's also finding out how you do that? So if you do the doom and gloom stuff how do you do it? How does that impact your body when you think about all of the go wrongs? Because that's how we do doom and gloom. We think thoughts which create the emotions within us, which then create a physiological effect on our bodies. We become tighter, we become smaller. I'm thinking if I watch the news at the moment, what happens is, I'm focusing on... Tends to be general news tells you the ‘go wrong’. So you see the pictures and the images, you see the numbers of coronavirus going up, up, up and even saying that now, I'm sensing some anxiety coming within me because I'm focusing on the ‘go wrongs’. And it isn't to say we're not saying don't focus on reality. There is a reality of something happening in the world out there right now. It's not about ignoring the reality. But the more we feed ourselves the negative the more our body responds to it. So yes keep yourself informed and don't feed yourself this information 24-hours a day, because right now we are, most of us, are safe. And for those who aren't safe, they’re in the best hands, with the best people looking after them and everything else regarding the virus is outside of our control, we cannot stop it. We can't even see it but we can choose how we respond internally.
Jeanine: Yes. And it's interesting as you share that Marie, because what's happening around the world is really sort of ramped up in the last week or so in terms of things shutting down, the numbers going up in terms of cases and so forth… and I do find myself reading a lot of news and watching a lot of news trying to make sense of what was going on and I'm not usually one for watching or reading the news. And so I did find myself in a state, not a great state, concerned of course for myself and my husband, my family, friends and then that goes wider, wider and wider and across the world. But when I realized that, when I realized the spiral that I had allowed myself to get into. I just realized “Jeanine, Stop it”. And as you say it's not about ignoring what's going on. It is really I guess, being sensible about it. And I chose to just look at the news once a day just to see where we're at. And I'm also very conscious of looking for the good news stories. And so my focus on my radar seems to have changed and it's constantly looking for the good stories to share, to take on board. So I really do feel in a very different place. Yes, I'm still very concerned and sad for, you know, particularly countries like Italy, China, Germany and so many more. And at the same time I also feel a lot calmer and I've also chosen a focus of the long the long term view in terms of- this is a real opportunity for us as a human race to change our ways of being for the better. I really have faith in that this is nature, Mother Nature really asking us to stop, slow down, change our ways, respect her and create new ways forward. So it really has given me a sense of calmness.
Marie: That's fantastic Jeanine, because you've changed your focus. You're looking at something that is going to be more beneficial to you, health wise. And it's funny I think, we forget when we are living in stress, that's not good for us. It's not good for our immune system. Whereas when we can down regulate the stress it kind of cleansing us internally to allow us to stay healthy.
Jeanine: Yeah. It certainly is. And I think that something that you mentioned, you may or may not have mentioned, it might have been before the call Marie that you mentioned this, in terms of that breath work and really stopping, pausing, breathing, taking that moment out for ourselves and to breathe deeply so that we're in our body, we're in the present moment. Or we bring ourselves to the present moment as much as possible, which is where we can explore those emotions that come up and those thoughts the judgmental thoughts, the fearful thoughts, and get curious about them and perhaps, again, re-frame, look at them in a different way that continues to support our coherence and resilience.
Marie: It’s funny Michael came home last night, my husband came home last night and I just finished doing some breathing exercises and he said “What are you doing?”. And I said I'm breathing he laughed and said “I've been doing that all day”. And I said “well actually you haven't”. Most of us are not breathing properly. So this breathing that we're talking about it is taking the air in through our nose fully pulling it down into our belly so our belly is expanding and then it's letting this breath out. And actually one of the most useful ways. There's a name for this breathing I can't remember. I remember my yoga teacher taught me it was when you sort of reverberate in your throat. It's like a 'hhhhahhh' sound coming out.
Marie: So when you take that deep breath in and let it out with an open mouth making that reverberation 'hhhahhh' in your throat it, actually helps again down regulate the cortisol and manage our stress. So that's a lovely way of helping yourself to calm down. If you do that when you're feeling anxious, have a go at doing it, and it will change your state. I would say suggests doing it for at least five minutes to allow your system to recognize what you're doing. But it's a fantastic experience to use to calm yourself down.
Jeanine: Yes. I only know that type of breath 'hhahh' breath but that potentially isn't the technical term for that type of breath.
Marie: Yeah works for me, I like it.
Marie: You want to hear the sound of 'hhaahh' coming out of your mouth when you're letting go the breath.
Jeanine: Yeah absolutely. And for listeners you may have heard perhaps a breath, another breath, that came onto the recording. I'm not sure if it picked it up but I'm sitting here with my cat Batman on my lap who I think perhaps many of you who are regular listeners might have heard in the past as he's often a regular with a loud meow in the background. But again it's that connection to the things that we love the things that matter that again support us to build our resilience, build our coherence you know the things that we're really truly grateful for and I am grateful for this little man. He makes us laugh with his demanding ways. So Marie, we're about 20 minutes through the call. And so perhaps we can come back on the next call with some more ideas about how to build this coherence over and above what we've already shared. And as I speak Marie has frozen in front of me. So on that note listeners we'd love to finish up and we trust that some of these insights have supported you that you'll experiment if you're not already doing these things and if you are, we recommend you and to let you know that our hearts and minds are with you across the world. We are trusting that you're all doing as best as you can. And again we're very sorry for people that are really experiencing troubled times. Again we're with you. So wherever you are we trust that you're well and look forward to connecting with you on the next podcast. Thank you for listening.