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Happy, Not PerfectEvery Day, Getting Better Podcast – Episode 8
Happy, Not Perfect with Poppy Jamie

Poppy is a proven entrepreneur, author and a rising star in the mental health and mindfulness space.  Today, Poppy joins me to explore the pages of her book, as we discuss her history with anxiety, her love of research and her method, known as The Flex for achieving a more balanced approach to your mental wellbeing.

Purchase Poppy’s book: Happy, Not Perfect

Episode Transcription

Ryan Wakefield

Welcome to Every Day, Getting Better. I am your host, Ryan Wakefield and today’s podcast is about a new book by author Poppy Jamie. The book is titled “Happy Not Perfect“. Poppy is a proven entrepreneur, author and a rising star in the mental health and mindfulness space. Today Poppy joins me to explore the pages of her book as we discuss her history with anxiety, her love of research and her method known as “The Flex” for achieving a more balanced approach to your mental well being. 

As we continue to season two of Every Day, Getting Better, I again want to thank you for listening and I want to especially thank those who have submitted questions for today’s episode. 

Today’s episode is about a brand new book titled Happy, Not Perfect, written by my guest, Poppy Jamie, which we released on this upcoming June 8. I found the book to be beautiful and vulnerable. It’s a look into her life specifically. You know the behind the scenes struggles while the front facing life maybe looks like everything was all together in perfect. Through that vulnerability. Poppy shares with us the path that she created to navigate her daily life in the face of those daily challenges, all while being true to herself and to others. So Poppy, welcome to Every Day, Getting Better. How are you doing today? 

Poppy Jamie

Thank you so much for having me, Ryan, I’m really well, how are you? 

Ryan Wakefield

I’m great. I’ll share with you why I’m so excited for today, here in just a moment, but I have learned about you through reading the book and just doing a little bit of research, I really want to start off and ask, you spent so much of the first part of your career interviewing other people, I want to know what it’s like being on the other side of the proverbial camera, now being that person that everyone wants to interview.

Poppy Jamie

And it’s so strange, because I interviewed, gosh, like everyone you could possibly imagine for a good eight years of my life. And when I was trained as a TV reporter, you were told it’s not about you. Don’t ever make it about you, because it was really kind of it was very English television, where the host was never able to share anything about themselves. And so it feels really weird sometimes to tell people about me, because I’m like, oh, gosh, you’re not interested in me. Because I’ve been, you know, taught to think that no one’s ever interested in you. So it’s definitely odd to be on the other side. But, and it’s a privilege to be able to, you know, share your truth to help other people. And, honestly, I just love podcasts because you end up meeting people who you just want to be your best friend, and have great conversations.

Ryan Wakefield

That’s awesome. Well, so much gratitude from our end that you’ve taken the time to be with us here today. I want to start off and tell you why we’re here. I actively chased this interview since I got the release from the publisher that the book was coming out. And I want to share with you why it was so important to me. So back in January, I saw your TED Talk, which I had not seen before. And it instantly made me think about my son who is 16 years old currently. And he’s navigating life in a period of technology that makes it a lot harder than it was when we were kids for lack of better terms. Specifically, it brought me back to spring 2020 when we were at our family cabin for the weekend, and kind of our cabin rule is that it’s a device free zone for the kids, which is, you know, an opportunity for them to unplug and be out in nature and have some fun playing the lake. And what ends up happening that particular weekend is my oldest son, he snuck his phone from the car into the bedroom. So he would have the ability to stay on Snapchat and stay active with his friends. 

Not so awful, you know, on the top, but it was one of those we thought was just a teaching moment, “hey, don’t do this.”

But when we got into the why, behind what, you know why he really had done it. It became scary, like I said what we thought it was, I think the initial reaction from my wife and I were angry that he was being deceitful. But the beautiful conversation that transpired between the three of us over the next hour, we realized that there was a bigger issue with social media that I guess we were previously unaware of.  

I’ve been on Twitter since Twitter really was invented but Snapchat is kind of a new game to me. His biggest concern and the reason that you know that he was being sneaky was, is a very legitimate fear that his Snap streak would come to an end. And that his friends were all going to be mad at him.  The fear was some of the most legitimate fear I’ve ever seen in someone. And it was really scary. 

So we talked for over an hour, and we formed a plan. And, you know, and worked through that day, but I guess I didn’t realize just how deep the claws of technology were, in our son at that point. And it also was the first time that we realized that he had some legitimate anxiety issues that my wife and I weren’t 100% able to help him navigate. 

So it was a really hard thing for us, and so when I saw your book was coming out, and I listened to your TED Talk, very selfishly, I could not wait to talk to you, because it very much seemed to be right up your alley, of technology and anxiety. That action of just really trying to put on that face of everything’s great. When underneath there, maybe shits just backwards, and we don’t often know. So that’s my “why”. And it’s important that I share that with you upfront. I don’t know if you have any comments on that. I want to share that with you to start with. So you know why I’m here today?

Poppy Jamie

Wow, what an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing that with me. And, you know, I just would say that you’re not alone, I think that every parent right now is really concerned about the impact of technology, on not only mental health, but physical health too because everyone is, you know, chained to a game or some sort of technological device and wanting to be inside, and the impact this is having on their emotional state. And what I find just always, I guess, sad, but also, it’s just the state of “play” right now, is the fact that, you know, technology has, it’s manipulating our primal fears of, you know,

Are we a part of the tribe?

Are we accepted? 

Are we loved?

Always safe? 

Like the questions we all ask ourselves? And obviously, we, as children, especially, how can you not feel anxious in a way because they just want to be like their friends, and they just want to fit in? If fitting in now requires them to be on an app for X amount of hours a day, then that’s such a real fear, and I’m not sure there is that one answer. But what I would say, from my own experience, and obviously having a lot of mental health implications from the rise of technology, and when I launched the first TV show on Snapchat, I was in, you know, as in technology, really the beginning of when it started. And that’s why I did that Ted Talk called Addicted to Likes in 2015, or 2016. And it’s amazing how five, six years later, nothing has changed. We are just as addicted because, again, I say it in a compassionate way. How can we blame ourselves? Technology is manipulating our primal fears.

Ryan Wakefield

I think you’re right, I think even more so what we’re seeing is, it’s really not just with our children, it’s in the adults as well, you in your TED Talk, you referenced your mother, I believe? I think we see it with all of our parents. But I think obviously when it gets into our kids it makes us think a little bit more. What would you suggest as far as you know, safe boundaries for children in social media?

Poppy Jamie

Well, I think it’s really important to learn about social media. And you know, I talk about this a lot in my book, education is the root of all change. You know, if we allow children to make their own decisions, when they know the facts about something, I think that is the healthiest way for progression. You know, if someone’s being told “no”, the first thing they’ll want to do is do it. And it’s interesting. In child psychology, they talk about connect and then course correct, because as soon as we come to a situation with fear, what our child is doing is also responding with fear, and then they are in a state of unlearning. 

They are not going to receive anything cool. Anything you’re trying to say even if it’s full of good common sense and wisdom, and the same thing with ourselves when we scream ourselves when our inner critic is screaming at us , “Oh gosh, why are you feeling like this?” You know, whether it’s about anything, being online or not. 

We also learn we have zero compassion in that moment and as a contract As we’re in a fight and flight, and we’re blocked off from landing, as soon as we, I think relate, whether that be to ourselves like, Okay, I know, I know, with I’m know I’m feeling this for a reason or whether it was it’s with a child, when you’re like I get it, you want to be doing this, your friends are on it, it’s really a part of, you know, how you guys communicate, I get the struggle. Yeah, I think that connection is going to always lead to a much more productive conversation where we’re like, but this is what’s happening, not only to you, but to me too. And then I think, you know, as a, you know, as a family, and you know, as a community, we are then ready to go, Oh, do I choose this for myself? Do I choose to not be outside and you know, benefiting from nature, suddenly, it’s a choice of the things we are, you know, preventing ourselves all the glorious things are preventing ourselves because we’re locked on our technology, we then go, Oh, actually, I think I’m going to choose not to do that. But we’ve got to give the choice, the change.

Ryan Wakefield

Yeah. And I think, you know, as we encourage people to be present in the situations, the moments in our relationships that we lose, because our presence wanders to, to the devices, and so the people that we’re with end up not being the most important people, in those moments, and I think really focusing on you know, the importance of being with who you’re with in that moment, and trying to stay committed to that. Regardless of the age of the person is something that I think we can all remember, and we’ve been beneficial for all of us.

Poppy Jamie

Yes. Yeah, absolutely. But I also would say, it is so deceiving, technology, even as full grown adults, even myself, having dedicated the last seven years of my life to research into mental health, I’m also vulnerable to going online. Maybe I’ve been slightly overworked. I’ve kind of forgotten my self care a little bit. And you know, I haven’t had as much sleep as I would quite like, and you know, I’m in a low energy stay, I go online, and suddenly, you can’t help but go, Oh, god, I’m really failing compared to everybody on here. 

God, everybody. Everyone’s holiday looks so much better than mine. Like, Oh, my God, everyone’s career is so much better than mine. And we can’t help our, you know, comparison. Loving brains, to compare ourselves to everything we’re looking at. It takes so much mental strength to constantly go. Okay, I know, this is just a projection. I know. This is the highlight reel. I know all social media is not an accurate reflection of the truth. That sunny holiday picture they probably argued the entire time. You don’t I mean, like that photograph probably took 300 takes to get. And we just forget about the reality of what really goes on behind the scenes. Absolutely. photograph.

Ryan Wakefield

Yeah, technically you reference fight or flight, it leads me to jump down on my questions, because you reference a story in the book, about, you know, “why zebras don’t get ulcers”. And I love that story. Can you briefly share it with us?

Poppy Jamie

Yes, absolutely. And Robert Sapolsky is the author of the book, Why Zebras don’t get ulcers. And he is explaining the stress response. And it’s no wonder we are in an epidemic of stress. Because, you know, our wiring is so that when we experience any sort of danger, physical or psychological, our body goes into the fight and flight state. This was brilliant back in caveman times. Because of all the threats and dangers we experienced, we are usually physical ones, like a lion about to attack us. And so our fight and flight with our fight or flight system will be activated, cortisol will be pumping cortisol gives us energy, energy to move out of danger. The problem is, we don’t have lions walking around the streets anymore. 

We have physical threats with psychological threats that can happen anywhere at any time. And that can just be attacks from your boss saying, “Can we talk”, and, your inner critic is like, “Can we talk? Can we talk” they’re gonna fire me, oh my god, what have I done wrong?” 

And we create, we turn meaning on to a meaningless event. And we turn it into a psychological threat of, you know, potential harm, emotional harm. And so our fight or flight system starts to be activated. Suddenly a system that was only supposed to be used when we’re in danger is now being used all the time, every single day. Zebras obviously don’t have the consciousness that we have. So their threats are only physical so it means that they you know, a lion is chasing after them. They’re stressed. Suddenly they get away from the lion. They’re in a safe environment. Resting, the relaxation system turns on. They don’t get all stirred. They don’t get ulcers, because the energy when they’re stressed is used up to remove themselves from that danger. 

I just read 75 to 95% of all doctor’s visits are usually stress related. The reason why we’re becoming so sick because of this epidemic of stress is the fact that we are constantly stressed out about potentially the minor that we are interpreting as major, and also the major as well.

You’ve just gone through a global pandemic, every single day, every news article you read, it is triggering you with, you know, psychological threats of maybe you’ll catch an illness, maybe you won’t. And so it’s not it’s unsurprising that we are suffering from severe mental health problems at the moment, and we have done so for the last few years. Because our fight and flight system is being totally unmanaged, and has spiraled out of control. But the good news is, everything can change, and we don’t need to be running, fighting and fighting the entire time.

Ryan Wakefield

Yeah, I think that you unpack that in the book so beautifully, how we can really change the way we’re wired. And we’ll obviously talk about that, as we get a little further into the show today. It’s so apparent in reading how much you love research, which is strange, because your mom was an intellectual, and  appeared to be too brilliantly smart. But you, you chose a much different path for yourself growing up. 

So you came into your level of research almost at a later phase of your life. And I’m curious how much of it was just out of curiosity to find the answers for yourself that people you know, when you’d go to the doctor, and they would recommend someone or go to a therapist or in meditation? You know, so I’m curious how you came to that love of research, but I’m also, I’m wondering if you found it therapeutic and how you avoided the kind of the doom scrolling that so many of us get into, when we do type something into Google, you know, you know, symptoms of dot, dot dot, and and we start to die. Yeah, that’s just that toxic spiral of, you know, of consuming what you see. So, question, not really even sure what the question was there. I’ll let you kind of choose what you unpack out of it. But I’m really curious about your level of research more than anything.

Poppy Jamie

Yeah. So basically, I was chronically burnt out, I had terrible exhaustion, my anxiety had reached a peak where I couldn’t ignore any longer because my physical health just broke. And I generally didn’t have a digestion system, I was bloated for months. And I am, this was like a disaster. Because had you met me a few months before I had spent my life being a workaholic, I was a perfectionist, I wanted to be better, do more, work harder. And you know, to gain that inverted commas “success” that I dreamed of, because I felt you know that if I was successful, I wouldn’t have any problems anymore. And as we know, no external achievement can fix an internal wound of not feeling good enough. But I was under the belief it could and so drove myself into total exhaustion. And when I was in the middle of this kind of massive health breakdown, I realized that the only way the only person who could get themselves out of this mess with me, and I could only do that through learning through actually learning what an art had happened to me. And I think it’s getting past the Google scroll of doom into actually finding some of the greatest writers and speakers and educational leaders in the mental health field. And so that’s why I started reading books like you know, “Why zebras don’t get ulcers” and the Upward Spiral by Dr. Alex Korb, you are using neuroscience to reverse the course of depression one step at a time. 

And Byron Katie was another incredible writer that I found. And this was like another world. Suddenly, I realized about the basics like neuroplasticity, the fact that science has proven our brain is like plastic, and the fact that we can all change and the fact that no one needs to over identify with an emotion. So I would walk around labeling myself as an anxious person and actually, I’m being taught here that nobody is anxious or angry or any person, we experience emotions that’s human. And also we can let them go to and so in the research It really was my path to freedom, freedom away from living a life unsustainably and sustainably heading towards burnout, and exhaustion, and turtle’s self critical, like beating myself up, beating myself up every day with self critical thoughts, I suddenly through the research realized, oh, other people don’t have to do this, because they also found ways out too. And so, yeah, my love for research has really stemmed from the need to do it, finding freedom within it. And also, it’s so empowering. When you know how something works, you can know why it’s broken.

Ryan Wakefield

How did you know you had a reputable source when you were looking online?

Poppy Jamie

Such a good question, because I honestly think the mental wellness world has become the Wild, Wild, Wild West. And everybody just just works out information out there. And so I would say that, like this is one thing, like talk about so much, is where are you getting your research from? And I do think that authors in general, especially if they’re being published by a publishing house, that you’ve heard of, that book has had to go through so much fact checking, usually. So I would say, I really looked for people that had an established body of work that, you know, I knew had really researched the topic they were talking about, or obviously great people in the medical science industry. But what I would say is, you know, sometimes they have this belief that mental health is like a game that you can complete and suddenly great, I’m damn happy forever. And it’s just so wrong.

 Unfortunately, none of us are fixed forever, we are a constant work in progress. And our mental health is just like our physical health. I mean, I wish I could go for one run, and suddenly be like, I’m fit forever. But it’s not, our mind is a muscle. And the way we think has to be constantly challenged and changed. And, and so I think it’s really important to choose your mental health trainers, and also consume loads of different tools, because you might like meditation, and then you might change and actually realize breath work is great. And then you might change and really love the field of positive psychology, and they might change and go, you know, actually, it’s acceptance, Commitment Therapy, that really helps me and you like, actually know, it’s something else. And I think, for me, what has been kind of fun, I guess, is realizing that, you know, it’s a constant adventure and exploration of what works for you. And, and that’s why I just hope that no one needs it, everyone knows they don’t need to feel stuck, because there’s always something you haven’t tried. And there’s always something to learn about yourself from somebody else

Ryan Wakefield

Was the book difficult to write just based off of the stigma of admitting that, that you have anxiety or that you have, you know, just you know, we spent so much time praising physical health, and in emphasizing, you go to the gym, and in the photographs online, we don’t spend as much time giving love to positive mental health for ourselves was, was the book difficult to write in the aspect of the vulnerability of worrying how others would would view you from being so transparent?

Poppy Jamie

You know, I wrote the book thinking that no one was going to read it. And so actually, the fear has come. Since it’s been, you know, almost when I received the first copy, and it hit me, Oh, god, this is going out into the world. Oh, God. Oh, my God. Basically, people can read about your, you know, your deepest, darkest secrets and your inner psyche for you know, $15 Oh, God. And that, in a way, there’s something really liberating about it. There’s something really liberating to be like, wow, I am so free, right? I’ve got nothing to hide. And that’s why I included my 12 year old two diary entries in the book because I really wanted to show people that what we started to believe about ourselves at the age of 12 will continue to dictate the way we interpret life our entire lives, unless we start to challenge it unless we start to really change and actually focus on changing the way that we feel and think and believe in what we believe about ourselves. So it’s the most personal piece of work I could possibly like, share with the world. Well, I think, again, great change comes from learning. But also my greatest changes come from listening to stories, and storytelling, and you go, oh, wow, I also went through something so similar. And as a consequence, you know, my story hopefully can be a tool for other people to be able to understand and experience the world in a different way.

Ryan Wakefield

Yeah, my previous life was in education. And so I spend a lot of time with elementary age students so that your 12 year old journal entries I found really interesting, I also, outside of the 16 year old, I also have a 10 year old and a 12 year old. So in those, you know, those snippets I can see their perspectives of really realizing that how they view themselves today could have, you know, some long lasting effects. 

You know, as all three boys are so completely different it was, I particularly liked that portion of the book. Just, I guess, again, we, I don’t spend a lot of time reflecting on my childhood in those phases outside of just telling stories from my childhood, but now encouraged me through reading the book, to listen to my children that much more, and be more observant of the things that they are saying, whether it’s, you know, positive praise or negative self talk, and just where they’re at developmentally so I love the fact you included that portion of the book. So thank you for that.

Poppy Jamie

Oh, thank you so much. Yeah, it’s so amazing how I think how sophisticated the brain is at such a young age and, and also what you absorb, about yourself at that age. And, you know, I remember at 12 I’m, you know, already like criticizing the way I look and my size and, and that in my mother is a psychotherapist, as he mentioned, when she told me a story recently that a man and in their 60s had come to see her for some therapy. And he has had experience, he’d be managing depression for 40 years or so. And when it really came down to it, he told her a story about what happened when he was about six years old, and he was in class. And then everybody asked him to stand up and read something, and he got so nervous that he couldn’t read. And so the entire class turned around and was like, You’re so stupid, you’re so stupid. And for the entire entirety of his life, he fully believed he was stupid. And it was really the root of his depression, because any any life opportunity, he was like, No, no, no, I’m too stupid that I can’t do that. And at 6 breaks into tears, and he’s like, I’ve just realized, now I’m not stupid. And you’re like, the story touched me so much, because you know, as Byron Katie always says, you know, “the root of our suffering lies within our thoughts that are usually not true”. And, and so what I think is so amazing, at any age, freedom awaits for us to change the belief system we hold about ourselves based on other people’s opinions that are usually not true.

Ryan Wakefield

Yeah, I coach with a young man, and one of his favorite quotes is that “the thoughts in your mind rule your world”. You know, and so the moments were the, you know, the games get tight, and he that’s something you’ll you will almost always hear him, echoing, to his athletes. 

Early in the book, you talk about what you’ve now labeled as your ‘toxic core values’. Can you tell us a little bit about what brought you to the realization that your core values that you formed at such an early age, you know, really ended up being toxic? And then how you identified the new core values that you’ve replaced them with?

Poppy Jamie

Yes. So I think, you know, our early experiences, obviously, develop our early psyche, and, and the lens in which we look at the world through. And so for me, we had quite a financially unstable upbringing. And so I remember turning, I’m insecure now, because I was, you know, as a family we were worrying into, I need to work really hard to create financial stability and safety for myself. And so it was this belief like, “work so hard, it hurts”. That’s what I learned because my father was an entrepreneur and that’s kind of like what he learned. And so I then develop that work so hard, it hurts. And then the other core belief I developed was, you’ve got to be perfect. You’ve got to be perfect because you’re so mediocre right now. You’re not enough right now. You need to be perfect. You need to be better for people to like you. And so I remember like, you know, when I was little thinking to myself, I’ve got no superpower. I felt like every other child around me had a superpower. 

You know, Jim was great at swimming. You know, like Carrie had a great ponytail. And I just had no obvious superpower to attract friends. So I just tell them, well, if I’m better than maybe people will like me. 

Then the other the third belief was well I, you know to be happy you’ve got to be really successful. And so when you put all of those toxic core beliefs in, in a colder and together that obviously is unsurprising that a very anxious perfection like perfectionist can driven person, young girl was, you know was created and that was me and so for the age of 14 I worked I mean my timetables for revision, I don’t know if you call the word religion in the States, but you know, I would study for hours and hours and hours a day, I would wake up at six and, and go to bed at kind of 10 and the stage at the age of 14, and I see this, I see the same trends happening right now in students because everyone has so much pressure to get these LSAT results to get to the right school, because if you don’t go to the right school, then God forbid what you’re going to do in life. And it is this deep pressure for all these young people, which I went through as well. Like, you’ve got to be the best. And if you’re not the best, then you’re insignificant basically, is what the world is telling everybody at the moment. 

This is something that I truly bought into. And so you look I on paper had, you know straight, stars, that’s I’m not sure what your kind of grading system is in the States. But I got straight top marks. I went to the London School of Economics from one of the best schools in the world. I did everything I possibly could to ensure I had the perfect resume. And I found no happiness there. 

And suddenly I’m like, hold on a minute. This very watertight plan I thought I had is not giving me the results. I thought it was gonna give me I thought I was gonna have no problems. I’m over I’m on television, I’m inverted commas “successful”. Why is my life not fixed yet? And, and so Oh, well, I’ve got to work harder than or maybe I just haven’t reached yet I’ve got to work harder. And I’ve got to be more perfect, I could look better, I’ve got it. And as a consequence, the crash happened and great anxiety took over my life. And subtly in this recovery. And this is why, you know, I think we fear breakdown so much, you know this, we fear, failure, the fear, the loss of the job, we fear, the breakdown, the relationship we fear, change, because when the unknown, fills terrifying for our brain that loves to predict and predict protect everything. But this breakdown actually was one of the greatest moments ever happened to me because it allowed me to go half my life and the way I’m living it isn’t really working. And it was really not working out. I need to create a new set of rules to live by.

 And what does that look like? And so that’s why I developed The Flex method. But what I have I exchanged them with, I think our early childhood beliefs and that never truly leave us. You know, that would be a myth that we can totally reprogram our brains and have a complete, you know, emotional health transplant. It’s not the case. But what I think we can do is stretch our thoughts and bend our minds to be living a life that feels good. And we know when it feels good. It has that sensation of “Yeah, I think things are things are things are okay.” And things are exciting. And, and I really, really now rely on these four steps of connection, curiosity, choice and commitment to my values. And living a life driven by values, I think is, you know, one of the best techniques I’ve learned.

Ryan Wakefield

Wonderful. So, reading from the book here, quick, quick quote. It’s my journey from perpetually thinking I was not good enough to where I am now. accepting that I’m not there that I’m never going to have it all together. But the train is the fun part. And that my destination is forever changing. For so long. I fixated on trying to be perfect. But as this story shows, I found a more enjoyable path living a life of flexibility. Poppy, tell us about “The Flex”.

Poppy Jamie

Thank you for reading that. It’s it gives me such a tingle to like hearing your book being read, folks. As I said, this is, you know, one of my first interviews about the books, it’s really exciting. And so, flexibility is about the fact that we always have the ability to bend our mind because of neuroplasticity. And I think I should start by saying ‘what is a stiff thinker?’ 

We are biologically wired to be stiff, and it’s then our choice to become flexible. And so what I mean by being a stiff thinker is jumping to think illusions, you know, fixated on being right. Jumping to assumptions, or ignoring the feelings we’re having, because you want to be a certain way fixed in cultural conditioning of who you ought to be or who should be. And this only ends up in like, deep emotional pain, which you will have to address at some point, our issues are in our tissues. And the more we suppress how we feel, the more it comes out in our physical health. And before my mother was a psychotherapist, she was a physiotherapist. And she and this was like 25 years ago, and I remember her saying to us always, you know, as soon as I’m treating someone’s back, I’ll ask them, ‘when did that back pain start?’ And they’ll always say, yes, ‘when I went through my divorce’, or ‘Oh, when I lost my job’, and, and so stiffness has no benefits, really. And it also prevents us from really living authentically, when we’re flexible. We and I’ll tell you how to get flexible, we’re able to know that we don’t need to constantly like relentlessly go through life in a way that you know, bashing against the store, just thinking if we try harder, it’s finally going to open and we exhaust ourselves in the process. Being bendy is like how determined I’m going to pause. I’m going to sidestep and I’ve just noticed a window is open over there. I can fly through that. 

Instead, it’s being able to move through life with ease. And how do we do this? Well, “The Flex” is based on four steps: connection, curiosity, choice, and commitment. So connection is about accepting whatever you’re going through. And I think our world of being busy is just a great way for us to numb out of kind of what we’re feeling. And sometimes it’s really uncomfortable to actually dive deep and have that introspective moment. And so we kind of like feel that uncomfortable emotion coming. And we’re like, Alright, I’m going to go into go do some work or go online or go to my emails. And connections aren’t really connecting to ourselves. And using a sentence like today, my mind feels, today, you’re reminding yourself, emotions are always temporary. You’re saying my mind, you’re not your emotion that just sits dissociation technique from acceptance, Commitment Therapy. And then you’re labeling your emotion because research shows as soon as we just label our emotion and could be as simple as writing it down, or verbalizing it or speaking to a loved one. We accept that feeling this way, and it’s okay. And actually research proves we alleviate ourselves of that negative emotion in a much better way than if then we would if we just suppress it or ignore it. And then I always say you can’t move your way out of it, you can’t think your way out of a problem, you move your way out of a problem. And often when we’re feeling stressed, we just stay at our desks and type harder, try to get another email done. While we are while we feel that our anxiety rising and rising. But when we feel uncomfortable emotions, all it is an energy influx into the body. So if you get into the habit of moving or going for a quick walk, going for a quick run, just stepping outside even a micro FX which I write about in the book, relaxing your shoulders down and clenching your jaw just breathing into the belly and exhaling, you change your energy you reconnect with yourself in a different way. And as Einstein says the same, the same consciousness that created the problem can’t solve it. So change your energy to be able to relook at the problems that are stressing you out. Step two curiosity.

Is this true? We torment ourselves with thoughts that are not true, usually, like 99% of the time. And so rather than jumping to conclusion, or I know they mean this, when probably they don’t, we sit down and go, Hmm, interesting. I’m going to before I react, I’m going to wait for more information. And this is where our power lives when we get out of stiff autopilot mode. And research has proven 95% of our day we’re working out from the subconscious mind, which is a product of our past memories. But when we work out from the past, it means that we’re just constantly, as I said, using Einstein again, kind of living out his definition of insanity, doing the same thing expecting a different result. The only way we can change anything, is if we take that pause to be curious, we take that pause to not react and choose how we respond. Because that’s how things change and the person that says it, we use the example of not reacting to somebody actually pausing. We then change somebody else’s reaction to us. Step three choice. Often we don’t have the choice to be happy. Sometimes we are going through just really really tough situations in life. But we do have the choice to be self compassionate. We do have the choice to be kind to ourselves, and ask and ask ourselves questions like that. What would I advise a friend experiencing what I am now? What would I advise a friend experiencing what I am now? And by asking ourselves that question, we tap into the wise part of our brain, when we are in autopilot mode, our emotional center is guiding us, it’s controlling us and our amygdala is overactive. And, and we are and some people would describe this as the monkey brain, our monkey brain is in control. When we ask a question like, Hmm, what would I advise a friend like experiencing what I am now, we start activating the prefrontal cortex, the computer side of the brain, the Wise part of the brain. And suddenly, we are responding to life when moving through life with our wisdom intact, and not like crazy, headless monkeys. And then lastly, commitment. Rather than Why is this always happening to me, we also cells, what can I learn from this, where’s the gift, where’s the opportunity for me to grow, and what is the next action I can do that’s aligned with what I want my future to look like. And suddenly, you start using the present as a way to build your co create the greatest future that you want for yourself, and not letting your past memories dictate it. And that is the flex In summary,

Transcribed by https://otter.ai