Listen: Apple | iHeartSpotify

My guest this week is Dr. Nicole LaPera, and she has a huge following on social media that has opened up a whole new world for her. And now she is offering her third book, “How to Be the Love You Seek”. And the impetus behind this book was she’s done other books talking about, hey, we’ve got conditioning.

We have young, childhood traumas, and conditioning. We inherit stuff from our parents and our grandparents, but the last bastion to work on the place where the last of our stuff really shows up when we feel vulnerable, how we attach to people is in our relationships. And so this is not only a deeper exploration into attachment styles and, ways that we react when we’re feeling scared or vulnerable, or someone will reciprocate but also ways that we can show up, not only for our relationship, but ultimately really for ourselves.

And I really appreciated this conversation because. What with Dr. Lupera is by no means is she saying, Hey, everyone, I’ve got it all figured out. She’s saying, Hey, listen, this is really important. I want to write this book because these are the things I’m figuring out. And even though she’s in a long relationship, it’s a constant dance.

And I think a lot of us, I know for me personally I’ve been in a long relationship. It’s oftentimes the opportunity. To really continue to work on the things that are uncomfortable about, either early wounds or again, things that we’ve inherited that we don’t even know because they’re not ours, right?

They’re just shoved in there in our cells and DNA. So I hope you enjoy my conversation with Dr. Nicole.

Resources Mentioned:

Show Sponsors:


  • 00:02:05 – How to Be the Love You Seek
  • 00:05:11 – Conditioned Response
  • 00:10:19 – Stress and the Nervous System
  • 00:24:54 – Four States of Nervous Activation
  • 00:33:15 – Taking the First Step
  • 00:38:24 – When Is Enough Enough?
  • 00:44:56 – Setting Dynamic Boundaries
  • 00:53:09 – Emotional Resilience in a Tech World
  • 01:06:07 – Consciously Detached

Show Transcript:

[00:00:00] Gabby Reece: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the show. My guest today is Dr. Nicole LaPera, and she has had a huge following on social media that has opened up a whole new world for her. And now she is offering her third book, How to Be the Love You Seek. And the impetus behind this book was she’s done other books talking about, hey, we’ve got conditioning.

We have young, childhood traumas, conditioning. We inherit stuff from our parents, our grandparents, but the last bastion to work on the place where the last of our stuff really shows up when we feel vulnerable, how we attach to people is in our relationships. And so this is not only a deeper exploration into attachment styles and, ways that we react when we’re feeling scared or vulnerable, or someone will reciprocate but also ways that we can show up, not only for our relationship, but ultimately really for ourselves.

And I really appreciated this conversation because. What with Dr. Lupera is by no means is she saying, Hey, everyone, I’ve got it all figured out. She’s saying, Hey, listen, this is really important. I want to write this book because these are the things I’m figuring out. And even though she’s in a long relationship, it’s a constant dance.

And I think a lot of us, I know for me personally I’ve been in a long relationship. It’s oftentimes the opportunity. To really continue to work on the things that are uncomfortable about, either early wounds or again, things that we’ve inherited that we don’t even know because they’re not ours, right?

They’re just shoved in there in our cells and DNA. So I hope you enjoy my conversation with Dr. Nicole. Hi everyone.


Welcome to the Gabby Reese show.

[00:01:43] Gabby Reece: What’s funny about doing these. And it’s one of those where I’m like, this is not a personal counseling situation for you, Gabby. Let’s stick to the, all the information. Cause I’m like, Oh, what about this? And what about that? So anyway,

[00:01:56] Dr. Nicole LePera: I welcome all of it. I’m here for whatever direction this conversation goes. Obviously I share a lot of my own counseling and my own journey because it definitely helps.

[00:02:05] Gabby Reece: Yeah. First of all, thank you and welcome to the show and congratulations on your latest book, how to be the love you seek. And I had to think about, I was like, I’m wondering because you’ve written how to meet yourself and how to do the work.

And so what was, you’ve done already some pretty complete books. What was the impetus for, what did you feel was left over that needed to be addressed that’s why you wrote this book? It’s

[00:02:31] Dr. Nicole LePera: It’s so wild to even hear the three books and pieces of work that. That I have put out thus far. I never a decade ago would have imagined that I was, going to be an author, have the opportunity to write one, let alone three, though, when given the opportunity, when I created the account online and started to talk about a lot of these concepts, which were very much informed as jokes aside that we were having beforehand by my own personal journey, my own struggles.

And of course, by the work that I was doing traditionally with clients in a More of a talk therapy type model. And then of course the evolution that I saw through my work, working more holistically. By that point, and I was speaking about those concepts and I was starting to see the universal resonance.

People from all over the world were hitting follow, engaging in the conversation. So when then the offer came Hey, have you ever thought about writing a book? That topic, how to do the work was so intuitive, top of mind. It was essentially everything that. I had been grappling with and working toward in my own personal work and professional work.

And after having put that out, it really just was an intuitive sequence because I think the next big question that came to mind that people that have read that book, how to do the work. So you don’t need to read one book to have read all of them, but people introduced put it this way to the idea that we are not our conditioning, that there are these habitual ways that we act or show up in the world that create.

The environment of the world around us that aren’t necessarily reflective of who we really are. And as I saw many people beginning to grapple with even this concept of who are we? What is this authentic self? How do I find my way back to that space? As I do become aware of all the way conditioning has impacted me, I think next then the workbook was an intuitive kind of stepping stone to give people the really directed places to begin to work on the peeling the onion analogy is what I like to think of a lot of this work of identifying conditioning in different areas and making our way back.

To who we really are. So there was born how to meet yourself the workbook and then the next I get step into relationships was again really intuitive. I think myself included and many of us who are on this version of a journey of healing continue to struggle in our relationships. Those where our deepest root is deepest rooted patterns live.

And those are often the last space for us to change. So then it was just like an intuitive next step. All right, let me think about how to create this work into a book, help a lot of us unlearn even our definitions of what relationships are, what their purpose is, how I show up in them so that ultimately I can find my way to more for fit, more fulfilling and authentic partnerships.

[00:05:11] Gabby Reece: Yeah I looked at the sequence and I thought, Oh, this makes sense. It’s this notion of, let’s just have the conversation now, maybe you can do some of the work, but then now let’s get to the nitty gritty. So you know, the scary stuff, which is love and being vulnerable and asking for what you want. Or I actually find I’m in a long. I’m in a 28 year relationship and I have three daughters. So I’ve gotten banged around emotionally really well. And I, and even being wrong, like knowing, Oh, I, I’m going to have to say sorry on this one. It sounds so stupid. Like why would we be afraid of that?

But that like you’re talking about all these conditionings, maybe you didn’t learn that how, how to safely be wrong when you were a child that you always had to be right. All these little things that. This book brings attention to, oh, I, I see some of my, my, my programming in that. And what I’m curious about is it feels like so few of us get what we need emotionally and even physically when we’re little. And obviously. It’s Hey, great. This is where the work starts. So we all get that specific wound and now we get to do our work while we’re here. But I was just wondering from your point of view, cause you talk to a ton of people. What do you, why do you, you think after all this time and all this information, how are, as parents we’re just, we’re not able. We’re of course we’re well intended, but it’s we’re blowing it all the time.

[00:06:44] Dr. Nicole LePera: I think. Or what I know to be true, even just going back in time decades in terms of thinking about our parents, right? People tasked and we become parents in general. individuals at any time, let me start really globally, are impacted by their environment, their society, their culture, information that’s available, rules in terms of etiquette, and what things should be done, and how they should be done, and all of that.

So saying that to say, the large majority of us, especially us that are adults now, were raised over time by oftentimes very well meaning Other individuals who came through their own childhood experiences some of which were very rooted in suffering and trauma and abuse and neglect, right? And a lot of them very much intend not to recreate that same pattern for their own relationships, especially for their relationships with their children. Quite simply to give someone a childhood that we didn’t have. And in reality, all of us as individuals are impacted by the information that was available by the tools and resources and access to those tools and resources that were available.

And I am so shocked and I cite this often because it is surprising that even in the psychological field where parenting advice, if you will, is often given. It took until the more recent past for psychologists and parenting experts, if you will, to document how important emotional needs are, emotional attunement is, the predominant theory of parenting, if you will, for decades of time that our parents had heard and been taught and oftentimes enacted in their parenting was much more of what we can call a behavioristic model, simply like how we would train an animal with punishments, with rewards and emotions We’re not a point of conversation in addition to, of course, contextual, societal, economic factors that impact it a lot of the resources with parents that we were being raised who didn’t have financial resources who were working so hard to just keep physical needs being met, allowing emotional needs to completely be removed from the table entirely, even if they thought that they were important and so forth.

And so be it. So a lot of us. And while I think it’s so appealing to think and well intentioned, even to think, Do as I say, right? I have this new information and I want you to, have information and not have the experience I had. So I’m imparting this wisdom on you. What a child is going to be so much more greatly impacted by is what is modeled, what is seen.

And this goes back to even beautifully, Gabby, like you were saying, in terms of physical care, the way we will end up physically caring for our body beginning and how connected we will be to the reality that we’re living in a body and how attuned and able we are to meet our own physical needs. is not going to be impacted by what we’re reading in a book that we should do.

It’s going to be more impacted by how our physical bodies were treated, were cared for when we were dependent on someone else. To keep us physically alive and how we saw or witnessed those around us caring for and treating their own bodies. And then this is where I think we enter into with emotions not being part of a conversation with very few of our parents being able to.

Deal with their own emotions, stressful, upsetting and from emotions being emotionally resilient, what then does get passed on as reflected in the subtitle of my book are cycles are habits are ways of being passed on through generations that even incredible insight and awareness can’t change unless those individuals begin to make those new choices to change.

[00:10:19] Gabby Reece: Yeah, it’s, it’s an interesting or sobering reality when, as a parent, you think, okay I’m going to break, I’m going to do my best to break certain cycles. And then you realize, but I also pass down certain things, even just on a cellular level, which is, you just go but it’s also encouraging your kids.

It’s this ebb and flow of Hey, I’m here to care for you. And I’m going to do the best and create security for you. And then simultaneously having to let them know that you’re imperfect and that it’s, it is this work in progress. But on the case of let’s say you, you talk to a lot of people and,This always fascinates me. People, maybe their systems and you mentioned in your book, which I love, The Body Keeps the Scorr that the book where we can be so in our mind, intended, but if the nervous system in the body has collected all of these experiences and all of this information, ours and not ours, right?

If we’ve inherited some from our parents, which is always wild to me, how do you start there? Because I think the mind almost can come. Second, where it’s like, how do you get people that are so deeply behind the eight ball of physical and, stress and nervous system stress? Where do you start them?

[00:11:37] Dr. Nicole LePera: In this conversation, I love how I even heard you say it’s almost like the mind comes, I’m going to use the word next. Yes. So much truth. Yes. I’m highlighting this because that’s the farthest thing from what I had known to be true for a significant part of my individual life and of my clinical practice.

I was taught and what was overemphasized in my training program was the power of the mind was even as Ray Descartes says, I think therefore I am, as if our thoughts are who we are and completely impact The entirety of our experience, which is to be true, which is the case to some extent. And this is where in my field, the gold standard of cognitive behavioral therapy and that kind of being stamped as the gold standard came from, which is overemphasis on the mind, highlighting part of the reality, which is our mind does create and assign meanings to events that then can impact the way we feel our physiology in our body or our emotional experience, Which can then as a byproduct of those thoughts and feelings and that cycle impact what we do right our actions So with the belief being change the way you think, change the way you feel, change who you are. And after, very unsuccessfully in my own life trying to harness the power of my mind, affirm my way into peace and safety and happiness and all the things that I did not feel consistently, after trying to impart that insight and awareness on my clients that I was working with, it was highlighted to me how foundational the body is.

And this even goes back to, I love how you’re beautifully describing the Contradiction or the conflict, if you will, of parents, right? I’m your safety and your security. And at the same time, I’m an imperfect human. What though I can make a case that in showing our imperfections and having a parent who can in their own presence, be who they are, be wrong.

In some occasions, like you offered earlier, I am someone who really struggles to be wrong to do something that I’m not immediately amazing and good at. I don’t like to be seen in those vulnerable states of learning and when faced with or presented with a perspective of me that doesn’t sit well, I argue that they’re wrong and I’m right.

So how much safer though, can we feel to be having a relationship with a parent and be modeled the ability to be fully present to all aspects of who we are, the things that we’re proud of, the things that we’re not proud of to be able to make mistakes. To be able to reconnect or repair after disconnections, which are natural in human relationships, right? To be able to be fully who we are, because what creates disconnection and insecurity in relationships is actually the belief that there are some aspects of the human experience that are shameful, that aren’t worthy, that are to be hidden, that aren’t good enough, that result in a loss of connection or explosive behavior.

And so I think what is so powerful is the unlearning that happens as we gift ourself with the opportunity to fully become present and for parents out there listening, that can begin as you show more and more of your humanity to all of those around you, even your children, because nothing feels more ostracizing.

Then having this idea that we are alone in whatever it is that we’re struggling with or suffering with or finding difficult. And so when we have a parent who’s saying, Hey, I make mistakes. I say things wrong. I do things that I’m not proud of at times. And it doesn’t make me any less worthy or in any less care of you and I can even hear when I’ve harmed you, right?

I think that is the ultimate gift. And a really kind of hope of all of the work is to humanize a lot of the suffering that many of us have been passed on from generations that have come before us and to gift ourself when with the possibility to. Not only create more authentic experiences and relationships with our own self, but then being able to model that to all of those that we’re in relationship with.

[00:15:51] Gabby Reece: And I think it’s for parents to know that it doesn’t mean that, cause I heard a great quote once. I hope I don’t get it wrong. They want you to be like a boat captain. They want you to be in charge, but they don’t want you to be in control. And it’s reminding them Hey, I’m making mistakes, but I’m sober.

Like I’m not going to, put this boat into the rocks. So it’s this weird nuance in between of I might be off course, but I’m always, I’m gonna, I’m paying attention. But if you have someone that comes to see you and they are, their nervous system, they’re wound tight and they’re on full high alert that even when you’re giving them the tools.

In words, they’re not there. Do you have them launch into first things? And I love that you talk about it in the co regulation parts of the book, but to get their system to quiet down with a grounding or a meditation, do you ever have people you go, listen, first, you can talk about all you want, but your homework is going to be X first.

[00:16:49] Dr. Nicole LePera: I think that often is the case. Is when you even spoke it earlier in terms of all of this stuff that’s stuck and suppressed and outside of our awareness in our body, right? Those are the people that are highly wound with racing thoughts, always focus on the next thing. Let me just get the story out, continuously narrate what happened.

All of those functions of our mind are reflective of all that stuff that’s in our bodies. So when we have a racing mind, when we’re a mile a minute, endlessly going into action to keep ourself distracted, when we continue to rehash the same issues, whether they happened this morning, yesterday, decades before, when we continue to worry. And predict, endlessly trying to predict the future, right? Anytime we’re in our mind to that extent, and it’s that hyperactive thinking, thoughts are always present, they can help us on our journey, but when we’re all consumed by our mind, that usually is an indicator that there is that stuff, that suppression, that stress in our bodies.

So never, outside of the fact that I think our body and reconnecting with our body and our needs are foundational for all of us. Never is it more important for that person or that client or that individual not to shame. Of course, what’s currently happening? I believe change does happen as a byproduct of becoming aware of what’s happening now So then I can make new choices and the most empowering new choice that we can make in those moments as you notice your mind Or your attention being consumed by your mind is to drop back out, back down into your body.

First, just reconnecting with how does it feel in my body? Even inviting listeners right now, you might be where I’m talking to you, you might be in your mind, right? Constructing, making meaning of what I’m saying, worrying about what it is that I’m saying. Drop into your body right now and notice if you can feel your muscles, your breathing, your heartbeat, right?

Those foundational physiological markers of not only aliveness, markers and sensations that can shift and change as our body becomes stressed or upset or dysregulated. And then in those moments, as we become more connected with our body, a racing mind is usually indicative of a stressed body. So now intentionally we can begin to make choices to release maybe some of the tension.

If it’s in your jaw, a lot of us hold tension in our upper back, maybe our fists are even clenched right now, right? Gently inviting your body to release any areas of tension in your muscles. calming and slowing your breath. Maybe if you’re holding it, inviting a breath in this moment, if your breath is heaving and your chest is You know, heaving, calming and slowing your breath down as a result, maybe feeling your heart rate come back down to normal.

And that’s how we can begin to create a sense of safety in our body. So now not only are we connected, we can start to downregulate some of those signals that outside of our awareness, 24 hours a day, our mind is vetting and helping to determine what is going to happen next in our mind, which is why our thoughts race and they race with stressful and upsetting narratives.

Because that’s reflective of the stress and upset in our body. So that can become an invitation, a marker of something that we can do somatically or with our body through intentional practice and choice. To over time, because of course this does not happen overnight, begin to shift the signals that my mind is receiving from my body.

[00:20:26] Gabby Reece: I always liken it to if you’ve ever had all your necklaces in a ball and like you’re going to sit down and have a patient and you’re going to talk to them about their ego narrative and all this other stuff and it’s okay, you’re not there yet. And I feel this in my own experience. That I really feel that through sport and through kind of physical care, that was like my cheapest therapy I got that really gave me the space to, to talk about those other relationships, whether it’s with my mother or, working on my own drive for safety and all these things, but somehow even just getting a little footing on the body, just the, like you said, that’s the ability to calm yourself down. People don’t, I think they under, I don’t want to say they undervalue the power of that, but It can be pretty amazing what a difference that starting point is when you have the ability to downregulate. And I appreciate like you talk about that in your book, you even talk about Hey, if you’re wound up, it’s like sugar and alcohol, maybe not.Maybe do things that are supportive for that state to help you peel the next layer back. So I really appreciate that.

[00:21:36] Dr. Nicole LePera: I’m very much relating to the extent that sports have been very present in my life from very early on. I played softball, ended up playing softball through college competitively and that for me being endlessly active, whether or not it was practicing softball or just running around playing outside.

I truly believe was such a foundational outlet for all of the dysregulated, overwhelming emotions in my body. And without that, I imagine I would have had other kind of habitual ways that I would have had to adapt to deal with all of those overwhelming sensations. So in a lot of ways, it was a very healthy, adaptive part of my coping journey, though I do want to highlight.

Because I saw this reflected in my own journey similarly to not wanting to be vulnerable or seen as imperfect or not great that same patterning I was using athletics to express the achieved part of myself, the good, the, excellent, successful, celebrate it. And what I would see in that is I would avoid not only physical activities, games, sports that I wasn’t good at, very quickly, I, tried many things and I ended up continuing the one I was good at, not a surprise.

And I would avoid physical activities even within training. And what I’m referencing here, number one, which is now a foundational part of my journey, stretching. Because all of this, and this kind of connects all of this beautifully together, all of the tightness and tension, my body’s nervous system and muscles constricting, overwhelmed by stressful experiences that I didn’t have an attuned parent to help me co regulate with, resulted in really simply tight muscles.

So anytime I would even have trainers, these big men sweating as they’re trying to stretch my tight hamstrings and I’d be crying and if it weren’t for them telling me I had to lay down and get stretched right then, I wouldn’t stretch. I removed stretching. I removed abs. I didn’t like to work my abs. There was certain things that I would avoid even moving my body athletically because of how uncomfortable the emotions and the sensations were that I was becoming present to in that moment.

So I would just stop doing it. I’m bringing this up because another way this looks, especially around activity that I think some people, oh, I’m healthy, I’m active, we can become overactive, pushing ourself past our body’s physical limits. As another kind of remnant of our conditioning, right? If I just keep myself focused on doing and running miles, even if I don’t have the time or energy or I’m sick I don’t have to be present to the discomfort in our body.

So even in a helpful, adaptive, I think, scenario that is athletics that is exercising, I think that there can still be remnants. of our core relationship with our body, our conditioned relationship with our body. And again, that’s how, so for me, foundationally now, it’s not just doing the things that come easy to me athletically.

It’s being grounded in a body, welcoming those uncomfortable sensations, gosh, even stretching through them to release some of that pen up energy, which is only then. began to shift the signals from stress and tension and upset that my mind has been getting all along to doing the thing that feels uncomfortable in the moment that will help release those sensations.

[00:24:54] Gabby Reece: You talk about different ways that we respond to stress and like you said, like some people might Turn to alcohol or drugs and other people might turn to overachieving. And I think it’s so interesting where one is celebrated and one’s Oh, but actually, interestingly, they can be destructive in different ways.

And so you talk about the four ways whether it’s fight, flight, fawn or, Shutting down, but I appreciate that. You also add an additional word to explain each one as a ways that people, at least in, especially in intimate relationships will respond like the erupter, the, distractor, the detacher, maybe we could just talk about that a little bit because I would love to talk about the intimate side of.

Because it’s within the relationships that we get the opportunity to work on our shit. It’s it’s the only way, I’m sure I get on my own nerves, but it’s really being in those interpersonal relationships that really is the great opportunity to go, Oh, I’ve got an, I can really work on myself here.

[00:26:01] Dr. Nicole LePera: So even to speak to those four states that I will go through in just a minute orstates of nervous system activation. And as I’ve been sharing right throughout our nervous system, always even outside of our awareness is endlessly alert, vigilant, scanning, assessing our environment. And each and every time we perceive a threat, whether or not it’s objectively present or not, or whether or not it’s just similar to something that had felt threatening in terms of stress or emotionality in the past, our nervous system outside of our awareness will initiate a certain kind of trajectory. of responses. And so why it is that in our relationships, most of us do meet ourselves, experience these sides of ourself that we can feel very shameful of is because it is in relating to another unique, different individual where we can very easily become threatened, feel stressed, feel upset when we’re met with a new perspective.

When someone’s sharing with us a different emotional experience of events where they’re upset by something, Where they’re expressing a side of themselves that feels challenging to us or maybe similar to someone in our past with whom the dynamic maybe was dysfunctional or abusive or whatever it neglectful or whatever it was, that’s where then our nervous system springs immediately into action thinking it’s, helping ourself secure our safety into the next moment.

And that’s where you can very easily see this sequence of events. And so quite universally when stress is perceived. The first response or reaction that we’re compelled into is what’s in the scientific world known as a fight or flight response. It’s our sympathetic nervous system. And so simply what our body is doing in this moment, Oh, there’s a threat.

So I need to now mobilize my energy, my attention, and my resources for action. The first actions being in the name I give to fight mode so that we can helpfully reminder what we tend to do in that mood is a rupture. And so in a rupture mood, right? With this mobilized energy. So my muscles are becoming tense.

My heart rate is starting to elevate. My breath is starting to also quicken, right? Getting me ready for action. I might simply erupt. I might start screaming, yelling, domineering the conversation. Saying maybe hurtful things that I don’t mean to say in that moment. On the other side, using that same energy for action, right?

Because our intention there is to overcome the threat, to squash it, right? To become more powerful than that which is threatening me to win the argument. That’s what that usually looks like. That energy can equally go to what I call distractor mode, right? So now I’m in a version of fleeing the situation.

I might try to change the subject away from something that’s upsetting. I might just remember, Oh, in that moment, I have to answer my email. I might start to scroll online. I might leave the room entirely. I’m distracting my attention away. I’m fleeing the scene, if you will, from that, which is upsetting me.

The next step, if we can’t overcome it, if we can’t remove ourselves from it, if it’s too consistently present, we will enter into what is called, what I call detacher mode. It’s that frozen, that shut down response where much like an animal, we’re playing dead in a sense, right? All of our resources now are not mobilized for action.

Our muscles, instead of feeling tense and ready, they, for action, they might feel heavy. They might feel weak. It’s that frozen, that shut We might not be able to perceive our heartbeat. We might be holding our breath or so constricted around our midsection that it’s hard to even get a breath in, in action, right?

We might look as I know, I spent many decades looking a million miles away. We might have a glazed over, we might be staring even often to the distance. We’re physically present, but our attention and our energy is so shut down again as our best attempt at keeping ourselves safe. Humans have a unique other option that we’ve learned how to do, being a social creature, being able to attune to other individuals, not just what we are directly seeing them or hearing them say or do, all of the nonverbal signals that we’re all sending out and receiving.

Each and every moment that we’re interacting with someone else and so the uniquely human option that we’ve evolved into is what is scientifically known as the fawn response. I call it pleaser mode where we go into safety is found through being the first person to identify the possible threat in the room.

Whether it’s something happening in my environment or something happening with another person sensing the shifts and changes in their tone of voice or in their facial expression so that we can then spring into action and neutralize the threat remove the upsetting element of our environment of our interaction with this person please them essentially so that the threat doesn’t even.

And so when we understand that these are universal sequences that happened outside of our awareness or are initiated outside of our awareness, whenever we’re becoming become threatened now, not only can relieve some of the shame that I know I feel when I say and do things that I don’t mean, or when I disconnect myself from a loving supportive relationship that I want to be a part of because I’m too shut down and detached remote to engage with whatever is happening in the moment, right? When we feel shameful, we can relieve that because we can understand Oh, what’s happening is this is my body’s habitual way of trying to find safety.

And this is the impact it’s having on me and my relationship right now. And then we give ourselves the opportunity to make conscious, intentional choices to help shift. our physiological state so that we can then in action show up differently in our relationships and understanding that sequence not only in ourselves, but I go through even a kind of a worksheet or assessment type of scenario where learning how to identify when others are in that mode.

Because when we are in any one of those responses, which is what I would define as survival mode, we’re going to be relying on those habitual patterns of survival. A byproduct of that is. We’re going to struggle to be compassionate or even interested to care about even someone that we’re deeply committed to caring about, which is why we do act in inhumane ways, mean ways, cold, distant ways, even if we don’t mean to.

It’s because quite literally that neurobiology is wired into us. We can be on the receiving end of it as someone who’s acting in those ways toward us. Because that’s the only way either of us have learned. This is why relationships, again, coming full circle are so difficult. You have two individuals relying on these old habitual patterns, oftentimes activating each other, right?

Because if I shut down and that’s how I find safety in my overwhelm, and that set state of shutdown activates someone else’s abandonment wound, and now they crank up. Start yelling and screaming, maybe going into a rupture mode to try to get me to hear them and wake up and where am I and then I feel even more overwhelmed.

So I go running away with an eruptor chasing me and none of us are feeling good. Or having our needs tended to in that interaction.

[00:33:15] Gabby Reece: I think it’s so beautiful and important for people to, to even, read this and hear this because you realize it’s always as complicated as it feels or like I’m bad or it’s bad or we’re not good at this or, whatever the narratives are.

It’s like you realize within it actually. It’s some beautiful kind of patterns and simplicity that if we can do these practices like you’re talking about in the book, it makes, you can make the changes. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. And it’s almost like when you give it a go I have friends that will go to a lot of talk therapy.

And I’ll, and I remember I have this one friend in particular, and we’re very close friends. I said, after 20 years, I go, it’s awesome. Like, when are you going to put it into play? And she’s what do you mean? And I like made the sign of rolling the dice. I’m like, try it, so I guess within that is. Is it taking a chance in the moment? And you do talk about co regulating, like you can see your partners getting agitated or maybe they’re scared and having the empathy or the ability to even get out of your own feelings long enough to go I understand why they’re reacting like that.

I know them well enough to know that this, this is hard for them. How do you encourage people that you are working with to Take that first step or try.

[00:34:44] Dr. Nicole LePera: This question is so important because what I’m hearing you ask right is why maybe is that first step so important is so difficult and more so why are steps three through however, also so difficult like why is change hard if we really want to Simplify because that is the reality. And I think those of us who have those well meaning friends who are that well meaning friend who continue to repeat those same habits and patterns, even after extensive decades of insight based talk therapy, insight and awareness driven, right? All of this, no better, if you will.

Why is it? So very difficult. And why do we end up feeling so shameful when we meet that difficulty? Because again, within our nervous system driven by our body, why, while we have and will maintain the beautiful, incredible, powerful ability to change throughout our lifetime, there is no expiration date.

You are not fixed as a personality or as a being once you’re, beyond 25 or whatever some people might think it is. We can create change. Our mind and body is neuroplastic until the day we are not in a mind and body anymore. Yet at the same time, so that’s reality number one, objective scientific reality.

And at the same time that nervous system that allows us to create all this beautiful change is wired to prefer the habitual, the predictable, the same familiar habits. So I want to normalize that whether you’re the person who has a difficulty taking the first step of action, or maybe you can take a couple of steps, a couple of days of consistent new practices, maybe a couple of weeks of white knuckling it.

And then before you know it, you are right back in those old habits and patterns, understanding that’s a universal human experience. I call it resistance. It’s that natural pull right back into. Even the patterns that we know aren’t serving us. So it’s the embody then action, which has so much of, I think, the kind of foundational journey of learning how to tolerate that stress of change and the newness of it all.

And like you said, is it just taking a chance? That’s even beyond just coaching yourself in your mind and be like, okay, this is going to be hard. I’m going to go do this hard thing. It’s about being present in your body when it is hard, right? When your heart starts to race with fear of what’s going to happen next, because now you’re in that unknown, your mind can’t predict what’s going to come because it’s in a new space.

That’s why we avoid it. So can you really in presence be with those markers of stress, which are sometimes beyond those markers of stress for us when we’re being vulnerable, right? When we’re showing a part of ourself that maybe we carry a lot of shame around. Now there’s gonna be a lot of feelings that are percolating in that moment.

And the real embodied question is can I stay present and grounded while all of this is happening in my body? And the reason why we go back to those habits. It’s because we haven’t learned how to tolerate that stress, that emotional upset, how the way we feel, we haven’t learned a adaptable outlet to be with or to, expand or release those feelings.

So inevitably, we do return right back to the old habitual way that we’ve learned to deal with stress and to deal with upset. So I continue to emphasize how embodied this practice is. It’s in those very real moments of even positive change where you think it should be easy and you think things are only going to feel good and saying no.

This is not easy. This does not feel good. I have worry in my mind, I have fear in my body and I’m going to show up anyway. And then consistently, cause what we’re doing and the beautiful part of what we’re doing is we are expanding that ability to tolerate stress. So then consistently we’re able to continue to carve into the unknown and actually create that change that we’re looking for.

[00:38:24] Gabby Reece: And listen, I think that people get sick and tired of something and they finally go, okay, I’m going to do it because this is just. who wants to live like this. And I would imagine if you lived with somebody who was either going to give you the silent treatment or was physically maybe scary that it puts a different onus around it.

So I totally not, acknowledge that, but I have, it was a very difficult lesson. And as somebody who wants to will things, work things, do it. I was, when I was looking for help for some parenting skills that I certainly didn’t possess, it was like, if you would like to change your environment, change yourself and.

It is such a hard thing to believe and I would just like to encourage people sometimes almost play. I made it like a game okay, this sucks. I don’t like this. I’m going to try it this other way. So I was like having this weird narrative with myself. Like I was keeping myself company during this really uncomfortable thing I was doing differently than I normally did.

And Cause I do think sometimes a sense of humor of okay, here we go. But it is amazing when we, and it isn’t for the sake of manipulation, right? I’m not going to do this to make you do that. That’s not what I’m talking about. It’s okay, I’m going to respond differently. And then you’re going to do whatever you do, whoever the you is a relationship, a kid, a friend, whatever.

And it’s oh, wow, that’s. That really is amazing. And you give a lot of scenarios in the book about being a partner who can help another partner downregulate and things like that. So there’s a lot of tools and opportunities and conversations around starting. Now, if people are in a partnership and one is Hey, I’m doing the work.

Does there come a point where it’s if the other person on their own, cause we just can’t make people do anything. I don’t know why we think we can, we can’t, it’s the way it is. I can, I can’t get my dog to behave. It’s come on. Like it’s not happening is there are times where it’s like I got to go. Obviously not a parent, but in the relationship, I think that’s another thing we’re scared of because you go, Hey, if I really do this work and change, this whole thing might actually just end.

[00:40:39] Dr. Nicole LePera: So much wisdom in that last part of that statement. And going back to even, Relationship, right? And dynamic. We have become and beholden and some of our identity hinges on the habitual way that we’ve known ourself to be. And the reason why I think some of us so desperately try to change people is because we lack the way we’ve learned to be isn’t connected in safety and security and trust of self and confidence and emotional resilience, the ability to tolerate the unknown, right?

Because if we had all of that, we wouldn’t naturally feel like we have to orchestrate or control or dictate. Someone else’s behaviors because that really simply is a byproduct of some version of belief that you impact. what I think, how I feel, what I do, who I am, right? When it’s really embedded.

And so we then naturally try to get the signals back from someone so that we can feel worthy. We can feel connected. We can feel safe. We can feel secure and we can feel confident. And instead when we stop looking for someone to play a role or be a certain way so that we can fall into our role or patterned way of being, or, feel comfortable and tolerable with how things are.

And when we instead, Go through the entire journey that we’ve been talking about, becoming conscious to our habits and patterns, realizing that a lot of them are mapped onto our body and our physiology and these states of dysregulation and learning how to peel back the layer of conditioning and create safety and security in ourself and stressing ourself out just enough by going into this new space so that we’re developing confidence that, hey, we’re I can tolerate the unknown.

I can tolerate things happening up there, out there. You doing or not doing something. I can tolerate how I feel about it, the meaning I’ve made of it. I can show up an intentional action and choice to determine what I need to have happen next so I can make sure my needs and my wants and desires are being factored in.

Now while I’ve done all of that, which surely is not an overnight journey, what I’ve been creating and developing along the journey Is confidence in myself is a sense of safety and security and my ability to not only attune to what I need to happen next to confidently then walk in that direction. Then the simple answer becomes, as I become more grounded, safe, secure in myself and confident where my boundaries are, where my wants or my needs are, as I practice vulnerably expressing that, especially for us, people, please, or so we’re worried more about how it’s going to impact you then.

I come in true contact with that deeper space of intuition. So then I do get more attuned to when I am approaching enough, when there are things that continue to happen, boundaries that continue to be crossed. And when my best choice and my best new boundary to create for myself is then space removing, changing the dynamic of the relationship or relieving it, leaving it entirely, then I can sit comfortably.

In that confidence, because again, I think another area we look for intuition outside of ourself, right? We look for an indicator in our relationship. Oh, there’s too many arguments. This means intuitively. This is not meant to be. We don’t look inside for those signals, those markers, those pings, those shifts, those changes, those moments of ease and safety that come with yes, this is yes a path for you to go on versus those moments of constriction that come from within and that only we only develop the ability again to come in contact with our intuition when we’re grounded in our body where those signals are living and then when we become really confident that even if you think you want this relationship to continue, right?

I might know for me intuitively that I have reached A fork in the road, and I do need to show up differently and or remove myself from this relationship. And I think that’s the most empowering byproduct of any of this kind of inner journey, which is returning home to that confident space. Because, again, another reality we love to hate as humans.

We don’t know what comes next. We can’t predict the future right alongside right hand in hand with trying to control people is trying to predict what happens next. What’s the right? What’s the right path? And again, we only have that guidance or that compass, not from outside of ourself, but from within us.

[00:44:56] Gabby Reece: And I really appreciate that because that instinct and that gut does give you that calm of it’s a funny compounding element when we can, because the other we’re spinning around because we’re not connecting to our instincts and to our gut. I think it’s, there’s a dynamic and I can speak again. I’ll speak to this personally. See, I’m still trying to make this a therapy. I’ve had to, I’ve put loving boundaries up with my dynamic with my own mother where I do it in the way that works for me. And if, sometimes that’s really I, cause I want to be, I’m putting it in quotes, a good person, a kind person, a compassionate person and understanding person, but then there’s things in dynamics That go on and you go either this relationship can work this way specifically for me, and maybe for some people, not at all. So I think that, especially either maybe to a sibling or to a parent, it must be really, it’s just an interesting other dance when you’re just, maybe you have to create more space.

Those are always really interesting to be still ensuring those,

[00:46:04] Dr. Nicole LePera: I 100 percent agree. And I thought, I think also what complicates the conversation around those kind of core family relationships is culture. I know a lot of cultural beliefs that get passed down with this idea and the mantra and my family growing up was.

Family is everything. It might as well have been a plaque right above my fireplace like family is everything with this idea that it is the family’s wants best interest needs usually of the driven by the parents that is above or beyond our own individual sense of self, our own perspectives, our own wants and our own needs.

I do believe even from, the many of us that come from like a collectivist right culture, I believe truly that humans as a species are collectivist. We have the ability to be aware of a separate different individual and we have the capacity to be compassionate and to join together in action for the best interest of both or our community or our group of people.

That’s how we have evolved. I think what is problematic. Are the many occasions and beliefs that get conditioned into us where we believe that our individual sense of self doesn’t have a place. At that collective table or that in moments and this isn’t to say that relationships aren’t an energetic exchange that might not be equal in any given moment, meaning right?

It’s not transactional. I gave this and you give me this right back immediately, right? I think over time, relationships have an ebb and a flow. You might go through seasons where you are more available to support you. through acts of service physically or emotionally, our loved ones around us, then you might go through a season where you’re needing the support from other people.

If though, over the consistent hole, and this happens I think a lot in our families of origin, if never once is there any space for you to be on the receiving end or to take up space even that having different opinions, wants or needs in any given moment. Then I think that can be really problematic because developmentally, one of our number one tasks as an individual is to differentiate, to become who we are, because then that allows us to be in a truly interdependent relationship where all of our unique strengths and weaknesses can come together.

And that very cohesive group where all of our best interests can be factored in. But I do think, and I came from very much a family that for a long time validated, right? This idea that I’m being selfless and good by putting everyone else before me only to come crashing down in my thirties, realizing that I have overstepped my physical, my energetic boundaries.

I’ve kept all of my emotions so suppressed in fear of being too vulnerable that the impact was not only me continuing to live in dysregulation and as this conditioned self. The impact is a natural impact that will happen over time was within my relationships, me becoming so resentful of other people that I have no space, where are my needs?

And some of us project that resentment to the world, right? And we feel powerless. We feel a victim to everything that’s happening. And that resentment is real because the reality is we haven’t had any space for ourselves and the natural direction that will then be sent to, unfortunately, is to our relationships in the form of contempt.

And then before we know it, they do become destabilized or they implode or they explode. So if that, for me, was a case to begin this very uncomfortable journey of, yes, relationships are everything. I will attest to that part of family is everything, the mantra, though relationships are everything when we can be our authentic self and we feel safe and secure enough to allow someone else to be who they are while we’re joining together in support and in action.

[00:49:52] Gabby Reece: It’s a really, it’s a long, I don’t, it’s not that it’s a long lesson and I’m not going to assume I’m made, this might be an overgeneralization. I think also women bleed was mush in there a little bit more sometimes that’s why I liken it to if somebody’s decided to have a family and then every, the kids leave and the husband’s been business as usual, if it, if they, if it’s a heterosexual couple, the woman is wait a second, what about me?

And everyone else is gone. And it’s. It is an interesting thing where within whatever role you’re playing in your relationship, in your family, whatever that looks like. It’s like how I always say I am ma’am with this a bit of real estate that is mine. I’m going to fortify that because. It’s like I’m no good to anybody else and it’s so counterintuitive of what we’re taught to just put everyone and every everything else first, which you will anyway, you’re going to be of service to the relationship and to the family and all of that.

But I also want to encourage people if it’s Uber destructive and no one else is willing to do the work. I, it’s okay. And it’s really hard to give yourself permission to go, right now this isn’t working for me. Something really funny I always think about too is, if people who have kids and then they become grandparents, but they learn a bunch of stuff and they’re much Better people. And their kids are like, what the hell? It’s not, it’s hard to even give them the opportunity that, cause you said, Hey, we can change forever. So here you have the 75 year old that all of a sudden has somehow stumbled on doing some work and they’re like really better grandparents.

And they’re, it’s hard for their children to accept Oh, wait a second. This is a different person that was a parent to me when I was a kid. I always find that really interesting.

[00:51:44] Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, I think there’s so many complicated aspects of healing in relationship, really, when it comes down to it, especially relationships that will continue to be active presences in our lives.

As we change, we challenge the dynamic many of which, especially when they’re in our family of origin that have been repeated dynamics and cycles and roles that both of us have now played for so long. And now we’re violating expectation by showing up differently. A lot of times what has created the change in our life is insight and awareness of what happened or didn’t happen in our childhood that had lasting impact.

And now many of us have the desire to bring to the attention of our caregivers what that impact was to hear an apology. Some of us may or may not get that. Then we have the complicated aspect that you’re describing now very beautifully when change does happen and that wounded part of us is hey, what about me?

There’s just so many complicated dynamics. Even as dynamics are moving in a direction that is helpful, especially when we’re changing dynamics within those core relationships, because there’s been just such a validation of roles that for many of us is where we’ve even developed these core beliefs about ourself.

And many of us will continue to, of course, engage with those and family for a lot of us is still a priority and, so the question is how do we navigate all of it when it’s happening at the same time, if and when they change, and if and when they don’t change.

[00:53:09] Gabby Reece: Yeah, no, it’s just it’s an interesting thing. And I think it’s almost this opportunity each day where we can wake up and be different, but also whether it’s even children, sometimes I’ve done this. I’m so guilty of this. I create this narrative like, Oh, that’s the stubborn kid. That’s the empathetic kid. That’s the, it’s okay, today is today.

And I’ll just take it as a. As you, as we have it today, and that makes it a little easier in, in, in starting to wrap this up, because I, again, I could talk to you about all of these things forever. I’m just curious, I do feel like we’re in a more talking time, especially maybe parent people who are becoming parents right now or young couples right now and from my ears, and this could be.

This is something I’m trying to self govern and not be get out of touch. If you will. It’s Oh my God, all the feelings, it’s come on people. So I think I’m just curious if sometimes when people go, is there such a thing as it’s too much, it’s too far. And it’s, is there a line?

Because then you see people where it’s like, life is hard. Relationships is hard. Things go up and down. We do have to get some emotional resilience to navigate this life. Are you, do you see a shift with technology and kind of now we’re really conscious about our words and all these things? I’m curious about that.

[00:54:34] Dr. Nicole LePera: Our emotions, right? How we feel. Yeah. Is a natural part of our human experience, right? That’s not going anywhere. Technology or not, right? That, and I’m sharing this cause I do think some of us have this expectation that the goal is to remove. Our upset, our stress, our emotions, and we cannot, we do not want to, they are important pieces of information.

The question, like you’re beautifully even wording, when I hear you say the word like is stress and emotional resilience, I like, where does that factor in? Our goal is not to eradicate, nor is it possible to eradicate our emotions. Our goal is to become just that, stress and emotionally resilient.

The ability to be present to our emotions without them overwhelming us, consuming us. Without us just reacting purely from the feeling or becoming the feeling and embodiment of it and being able to be in awareness of them use them for the value the guidance when they are valuable when they can guide us from that intuitive place and to still all the while show up an intentional action or to be response Instead of reacting. So saying that to then say with information and endless points in which to become activated, right? Reading something that upsets us online or whatever it might be talking about how we feel online through post after post, right? The question then is, right? Feelings, technology, right?

They’re things. How are we utilizing technology or what are we doing with our feelings when they’re happening? And I think technology does then offer us an outlet for it, validation for it, activators, when we’re stuck in cycles of upset, because this even beautifully brings it full circle.

When we’ve become habitual and familiar with certain ways of being, and I’ll use myself as an example to illustrate this. being stressed consistently in childhood with things happening outside of the home, things happening inside of the home, and not having the attunement I needed to co regulate with Left a lot of the stuck emotion in my being stress being upset and stuck in that cycle with those signals Right sending my mind. Oh, you’re tense. You’re upset. You’re constricted, right? There’s something stressful happening what I would then do to stay in that familiar zone, even though I would proclaim from the rooftops I’m a hippie. I want peace. I want love. I just want to be calm, calm down in reality All of those signals were contributing to me creating or engaging In cycles of my own upset. And what I mean by that is agitating my relationships, bringing up things that are looking into looks or gestures or reading into things, rehashing something that upset me yesterday.

It can look like bringing technology and social media into it. Me scrolling, upsetting pieces of information about myself, about the world, right? And keeping myself in that cycle of upset. So quote unquote, the problem, if you will, was looking right back. At me that information is gonna be online people are gonna do what they want post what they want say what they want I was playing in all of this the more passive role of engaging with it and not having enough stress and emotional resilience to cope. Or to regulate my own body and in continuing to cycle through stress myself. So I do believe to again answer this in another simplistic way. I think that most of us adults really do lack stress and emotional resilience. We can’t. And this is why so many of us are. utilizing the tools, if you will, or the resource that is social media as our outlet, as our continuous point of activation, right?

Always scrolling the things that end up being upsetting to us versus neutral or even positive, adaptive on our journey. And it’s because again, we struggle to cope very well intentioned people. I’m sure even listening to this have so much insight and awareness, yet we did not learn in our body, the tools to do that. Because passed through our generations was lack of information, lack of resources. We weren’t modeled. We weren’t given that safe space. So we continue to habitually repeat the things that we think are going to give us safety and security, but really just keep us stuck in these cycles. So when we realize that now we can become a more conscious, intentional user of that, which is social media, right?

We can have our feelings, but not become overwhelmed by them. We can give ourselves the ability to even. Stop having our feelings because another reality about emotions that I had a when I stopped engaging with those stress cycles I came to experience an end point emotions do go away Our body really does want to return to peace and to calm.

We don’t want to be always stressed out We don’t want to be always angry and if and when we’re feeling that way it’s because of all of these pent up emotions coupled with our narratives in our mind and then our non intentional behaviors that are keeping us stuck in that we really do want and emotions do come to an end when we allow them to.

[00:59:34] Gabby Reece: And I love that. And you talk deeply in the book about our ego story and then beginning able, being able to recognize that. And I think this, that’s an important part of what you’re saying as somebody who, this playing sports and being good at sports, you got a version of attention.

So you’ve dealt with it. You’ve won, you’ve lost, But now you’re in this new phase and you enter into this career. And, but now you’re, you have this new adjunct to your career, which we’re talking, you get a lot of attention. You have a lot of followers. I’m just curious how you, and I hear how you say it, but you, did you learn Oh, I have to, I do.

This is something I really have got to navigate the, even the good end that. Negative of kind of all this attention because it is new. It isn’t something I’m sure you planned for. And so I just wonder if you have like active skills Hey, I put my phone away or I don’t look at comments, or whatever it is, if you have active things that you do, because I imagine you’re navigating this more and more.

[01:00:35] Dr. Nicole LePera: My active practice and really the embodiment of my healing journey is so exemplified in the holistic psychologist account where it all began and now all these opportunities and what I mean when I say that is while I was, as I shared earlier, good at being good at the things I’m good at and good at being seen and feel safe and secure.

There is a desperate part of me that isn’t within each of us that wants to be seen as just who we are, wants to be valued for my perspective on certain things, for my journey, for my experience, for sharing just who I am. And that part of me is not familiar with having eyes on it because I was used to channeling only a part of myself in this performance way, not just, and I was the person who didn’t know what my perspectives are on certain things.

[01:01:24] Dr. Nicole LePera: Thanks. My, my partner, Lolly, who have I, and now I’ve been together for about a decade when we first started dating, she really threw me because she’s very curious and loves to learn about other people and their perspective. So very early on in the relationship, she would just bring out a topic, a concept, maybe a, a current event happening and she’d look at me and say, what do you think about that?

And I was almost dumbfounded. I never had anyone ask me. What I thought about it and the truth of the matter was I didn’t know I was so used to hearing what other people thought their opinions. If I had an inkling of an opinion and I ran it through a hypothetical. If I say this, how will this be received?

And if any part of me was like, oh, they won’t like it. They might think you’re weird. They might not agree. I wouldn’t say it. So I was so used to not sharing authentically, that as I came to the awareness that I had the habit of not doing that, it was more affirmed to me how important it was.

Because the information I was learning was greatly impactful in my own journey, healing from a lifetime of anxiety and all this conditioned way and achievement driven exhaustion that I, collapsed into. And I knew it would be helpful information for others to have. And I also knew that part of my own healing was about me creating a space to be heard, regardless of what people thought about it.

So I have been challenged from the moment I hung that virtual shingle, if you will, Sharing my perspectives because there was a worry and still is a worry of what will people think of and in the beginning, I would water down. I would, in a very therapist style, I would dance myself around saying the thing in the most neutral way possible.

Not really saying what I meant in that moment to try to avoid saying what I really meant. And this is giving me a continuous opportunity to be more clear and say what it is that I think what it is that I feel embodied in this journey to is learning how to do something that I’m not immediately good at the camera.

In and of itself. I don’t care if you tell me a million times that you’re just talking to a friend, the person holding the camera. No, you’re not when the camera goes on. Something happens in my mind and I become a nervous wreck. I talk a million miles a minute and then having to publicly put out these videos because I knew they had important information and doing so in a way that I knew all my imperfections people would even tell me in the comments.

You’re talking too fast. You’re doing this. You’re making me nervous, right? Highlighting almost my worst nightmare, which is you’re seeing me not be perfect at something. What a gift that has been to continue to add new skills, writing a book, never wrote a book, never thought I would write a book.

And now I have to learn how to write a book and then put a book out for public consumption and then hear opinions on how I wrote the book and whether or not it was perfect, right? All of these little mini moments. To this moment in this current time are an endless practice and then the reality that as I continue to speak my piece in my perspective, you do open yourself up for interpretation and I do know exactly where to go online to hear other people’s differing perspectives.

Sometimes outright misinterpretations, putting words in my mouth that I never said to then become upset and reactive and write their opinion on what it is that I have never said. And I still now in face with two options, right? How much time and attention am I giving to all of these different opinions?

And of course, I do give some attention. I’m interested in how I’m being perceived by others. It helps me continue to hone my craft of communication. If that’s not what I meant and everyone’s getting something from a message that I said in this way, then there is value in me saying, okay let me reword it because that’s not what I meant when we open ourselves so publicly, not all of the opinions that we’re getting are unanimous and are helpful.

So then that means in moments and I see it in particular when I’m under resource, when I’m stressed out, when I’m overwhelmed, one might say when I’m upset already internally, those are the moments where my phone comes out and I’m not scrolling the empowering messages. I’m going to go check those pages that I know are really going to stir me up.

Why? Because I’m already stirred up. So now that becomes for me an invitation as always an opportunity to say, Oh, Nicole, you’re stressed. You’re under resource. This is not the time to be reading this information. Can you make another choice? And practically, yes, I’ve turned off all notifications. I don’t get any ding from a social media account to an email account so that I have to intentionally or a phone call, even a text message.

I have to intentionally choose to pick up my phone and then I give myself all of the opportunities to be really conscious as to what I’m doing on that phone and when I don’t have the resources to tolerate. Whatever stressful might be presented to me, then I make a new choice sometimes. No.

[01:06:07] Gabby Reece: And this is, that’s why I feel like the physical practice, the M the mental and emotional choices, it is an upcycle.The more you can practice it, you do get better at it. Hey, this isn’t good for me. I’m going to stop doing this. So I really appreciate that. So in, in our, in a final question, and this is really a selfish question. And. And before I ask it, I just want to remind people that we are not stuck in our childhood trauma, in our programming and all of these things that there.

And also I want to, I also feel that there’s also our superpower comes from that same place. So I just think there’s a way to work it out that it’s not destructive. And your book really gives a lot of tools How to manage that. So thank you. But in my last question, and again, I said it was selfish.

A lot of times I’m a thinker, right? If you say, how do you feel? I go, I can tell you what I’m thinking. I’m even a person who could be like, Oh, I think I might be getting angry. Like I’m, because that’s a protective mechanism of for whatever reason I have, there’s several, but I’ve gotten better.

But now that I’ve, I try to do more of this work of work, trying to work on these things. Sometimes the ability to make space, and I just wonder about this in your own relationship, this ability to make space and not really to react to something that your partner’s doing or your child’s doing.

I’m always trying to find this sweet spot of not being detached. Because there’s times you can almost, it’s like you go just a little too far. And so I was just wondering for you, as somebody who has a lot of information and skills and is in a long romantic relationship, how do hold that space, but you’re still emotionally in there and vested? Because it is, it’s, it is for me always been a really interesting balance.

[01:08:01] Dr. Nicole LePera: I think what’s important to and this even goes back to This idea of understanding that our past happened, we don’t have to be beholden or stuck within it. However, I want to go back to emphasizing again, the part that it happened, right?

The present, becoming present to the impact that it continues to have on us. As a result of it having happened, right? And what I mean when I say that is because we are always in any given moment navigating not just what’s happening, right? So many of us get stuck navigating what’s happening in the context of its similarity to what once happened.

And then in the form of quite literally what can be thought of as like an emotional memory, right? It comes back in real time, which can explain, I think for a lot of us, the intensity that we’re feeling. And a lot of times we shame and minimize whatever happened, wasn’t that big of a deal.

Why is it coming out and feeling, and we might even have a partner saying it’s not that big of a deal. And it is that big. That is a part of us. That’s real. That’s activated more often than not was left alone in this feeling so that it had to find this habitual way to deal with it. And the reason why I’m emphasizing that, that piece of it, that it is a part of us. Because even as we heal and get more centered and regulated and more aware and more able to then return back to centered regulation, it doesn’t mean that it will remove entirely the moments where we naturally become more detached, become more explosive, become more agitated.

Because life is stressful and emotions do typically happen because we do have this subconscious supercomputer, if you will, who has a living memory artifact of everything that’s happened. That’s always trying to test, its reference point. Oh this is very similar. So I’m going to categorize it and make this that. Even if it’s not that in the moment, and unless the one thing that I see really consistently in my membership self healer circle, every time we have a new enrollment, we open three times a year and there’s a library of resources. We always direct new members to the first course that I ever released now four years ago.

And it’s called awaken consciousness, which is becoming present to all of these different reactions, the modes, even that we were talking about earlier, right? I have to become present to what’s going on and the number one feedback I get. We just had an enrollment, which is why this is very top of mind.

The number one feedback I get from people engaging with this new practice is it’s Exhausting. I’m tired. I’m tired being conscious. I’m present to really upsetting emotions that are taking a lot of my energy. And of course there’s a reason why we’ve been operating on autopilot, staying in our mind, staying distracted, putting our attention on being the selfless, right?

Care, caretaker, parent, whatever. There’s a reason. In addition to the reality that calorically, our brain, when it’s in that state of consciousness, needs more calories. There’s a energetic reason our system loves to coast on autopilot because it can divert calories elsewhere. It can divert attention to the endless overwhelming stimulation that all of us have to deal with on a day to day basis.

So it is exhausting and I’m highlighting and emphasizing that because there will be natural moments where we can’t be attuned. We are shut down. We do need a moment to take ourself away. We do need a moment to scream and yell on a pillow, interrupt their mood, but in a safe contained way to do it, to discharge that energy.

We do need to normalize that stressful reactions will happen and we will come. To a limit of our resources, and I’m sharing that backed on scientific or research based evidence in terms of attachment, especially when we’re thinking about this in the context of what happens if I’m detached or shut down.

And I have a child to develop a secure attachment in childhood. A child needs what is called a good enough parent, which means a parent who is available and this might surprise some listeners. and consistently attuned and able to be present to the child’s upset, meet the child’s needs, co regulate and calm them down if it’s something stressful or emotionally upsetting that’s happening 30 percent of the time.

So perfection is not necessary. So I think the simple way I want to answer this is giving yourself the grace in those moments that you will not show up in the, as the most attuned parent, because it’s virtually impossible. That applies to our children, applies to our romantic partners. It applies to our parents.

It applies to every individual. We will reach a capacity. Can we show up though, attuned some of the time, beginning with some moments, not shaming ourself and understanding what is happening in those moments is a physiological protection, incorporating then those somatic practices to help our body feel more safely grounded so that we then can actualize that connection that we want to offer someone else.

[01:13:10] Gabby Reece: I really, yeah, I appreciate that. You played softball, batting 300 is pretty good. And so How to Be the Love You Seek is your latest book. I do encourage people to see the other books. You said they don’t have to be in order. And can you share with people all the ways that they can find you if in case they want to go even deeper?

[01:13:31] Dr. Nicole LePera: Absolutely. I have a website, the holisticpsychologist. com. I have a book website, That definitely highlights some book retailers, though the book is in most major book retailers and a lot of local stores. So I suggest you checking out wherever you’d like to buy books for all of you on social media at this point, pretty much across every platform.

There is some presence of the handle, the holistic psychologist come join us on social media. Bye. However, it is that you like to consume your social media content. We have these conversations on the daily. We have incredible communities across all the different platforms that are everyday sharing their own relatability, their own journey in the comments section.

[01:14:10] Dr. Nicole LePera: So definitely come follow along and join the incredible community in that way as well.

[01:14:15] Gabby Reece: Dr. Nicole, I just have to ask, I’m always fascinated by people like you who have this much information and training. Are you able to take off that hat when you’re in your relationship and not analyze or fix, but just go be, I’d be curious if Lolly’s Oh yeah, don’t be, I’m not on the couch right now.

Like I’m, just as somebody who’s. Showing up and in the relationship versus, Oh I see what’s going on here.

[01:14:43] Dr. Nicole LePera: I would have to say, of course I can’t speak for anyone who’s been in relationship with me past or present, though I have the idea that I only shift into that, what I could call all knowing psychologist mode when the perspective I’m being offered Is challenging to the reality that I’ve created, usually the perspective being of great help for me to eventually take in as a possibility, though, no, I think more often than not, when in any type of relationship with me I am operating in the embodiment of the individual that I am. And I don’t think, I think I use the kind of intellectualization, hyper analysis, psychologist defense if you will, only in those moments where I’m of course feeling threatened, feeling challenged, hearing something that I don’t like or want to hear about myself.

And more often than not occasion that information when delivered respectfully by a safe, supportive other, while begrudging at the first and me trying to argue that it is inaccurate, usually has had some accuracy and been helpful on my journey. Yeah.

[01:15:52] Gabby Reece: I really appreciate that and thank you for your time and just your thoughtful answers and I appreciate this book and I look forward to seeing where you go next. Thank you.

[01:16:01] Dr. Nicole LePera: Of course. Thank you, Gabby, for taking the time out, of course, to have this chat with me and thank you everyone in your beautiful community for listening. Thanks.

About Dr. Nicole LePera

Dr. Nicole LePera was trained in clinical psychology at Cornell University and The New School for Social Research and also studied at the Philadelphia School of Psychoanalysis. As a clinical psychologist in private practice, Dr. Nicole found herself frustrated by the limitations of traditional psychotherapy. Wanting more for her patients—and for herself—she began a journey to create a unified philosophy of mental, physical and spiritual health that equips people with the tools to heal themselves.

Offering a true paradigm shift in mental wellbeing, Dr. Nicole’s teachings empower the individual to break free from inherited beliefs and uncover their authentic Selves. She is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Do the Work and is the creator of the #SelfHealers movement, an international community of people joining together to take healing into their own hands.