Hosted by Jodi Hildebrandt.
This is part 1 of a 2-part series. Listen to part 2 >
In this episode, Jodi explains how to recognize if you (or another person) is connected or not. Every one of us is looking for connection and love—we need it like air. Yet, connection is based on particular principles that govern it. Connection cannot be forced, manipulated or bought. The process of checking in gives you the opportunity to know whether or not you are connected, and to shift quickly out of distortion and into connection.
In this episode (part 1), Jodi talks about checking around the acronym PESSS:
PDF Version: Episode 79: Checking-In To Connect (part 1 of 2)
Episode 79: Checking In To Connect (Part 1 of 2)
Welcome to ConneXions Classroom Podcast. We are so excited to introduce to you the opportunity for you to join us in a classroom setting where you will be taught the principles of connection. For those of you who have already joined us on the podcasts, and for those for you who have not, you are now ready to step into an extensive, hands-on, all-star classroom experience to better understand why you are experiencing and interpreting life the way that you do.
You will be introduced to the foundational principles of personal integrity, which are: how to live impeccable honesty, rigorous personal responsibility, humility, vulnerability, openness, willingness, transparency, and boundaries.
This is a 12-week intensive course that consists of meeting one time a week for two hours. You will be given six workbooks. In each workbook, instruction will be given to you on core concepts of how to live your life from a position of emotional honesty, Reality, Truth, boundaries, validation, being able to recognize your distortions, and how choice plays a central role in all of your experiences and emotional outcomes.
Some of the concepts covered inside of the classroom include: what validation and vulnerability are and how to animate those principles your life; how to live in Truth rather than distortion; how to recognize your distraction and your controlling behavior in your relationships; and how to live a life of peace rather than pain. Powerful concepts that change lives, beginning with yours.
Hundreds of people have participated already, and have drastically transformed their lives by living and being in Truthful, emotionally honest relationships. They report experiences of personal empowerment and emotional and mental sophistication being introduced into their relationships.
So, now it’s your turn to come and participate. This classroom experience will change the way you interact with yourself and others in powerful ways, giving you the tools and emotional sophistication to connect deeply inside yourself and invite other in your life to do the same.
Come and experience connection. Go to
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[00:02:49] Checking In To Connect (Part 1 of 2)
Welcome to ConneXions Classroom Podcast. I’m Jodi Hildebrandt. Thank you for joining me today. It is the week of August 5th, 2016. We are going to talk about connection today, and how to actually recognize if you yourself are connected, and then also to be able to recognize the signs, the indicators of other people—if they’re connected. Because my suspicion is that if you are listening to this podcast or these podcasts, that you are looking for the ability to connect, like that somehow must be alluding you, or it’s confusing you, or you feel like you have it then all of a sudden you realize you don’t, or maybe someone has told you that you’re not connected but you felt like you were, and it’s kind of like well, where is it and where can I get it? And who has it? How do I buy it? All those kinds of questions.
And so, my goal is to clean up some of those assumptions or conclusions that I think all of us have had at sometime during the course of our lives, and talk about actual concrete principles that are the stepping stones into a connected relationship, beginning with yourself, beginning with your God or your Higher Power, and then transferring to another person.
So, if that is something that you’re interested in, listen further to this podcast because it is going to be a very clear, linear process of how to create that for yourself.
So, all of us, all of us no matter where we live, who we’re raised around, what type of socio-economic background we come from, we all desire to have connection. We all are looking for the outcome of connection. It’s one of the reasons why we gossip. When we gossip, we are actually desiring to connect. When we live in co-dependency we desire to connect. We are always looking for this ability to connect with another person, so that we can feel seen, and recognized, and heard, and witnessed, and known, and ultimately loved. And that is what every soul on the planet is in search for and literally needs like air. They need to know and feel connected to other people.
Yet connection is based on particular principles that govern it. Let me say that again. The ability to connect is not something that you can buy, or you can coerce, or you can threaten, or you can manipulate to get from another person. You’ll get their counterfeit, the counterfeit that feels like connection, like addiction, and controlling relationships called co-dependent relationships, you’ll get a bunch of manipulation, you’ll get a bunch of denial.
And for the moment, that feels super connecting but it’s because you aren’t awake, and aware, and emotionally and0 spiritually sophisticated yet, to know really what the principles that govern connection look like, because once you understand those, you will recognize the counterfeit very quickly, and it will not have any energy or power in you. You’ll see it and you’ll feel it, and you’ll go no thank you, I do not want to drink from that fountain that is very much contaminated because it doesn’t last, it’s not real. You can’t trust it. It’s not safe. It doesn’t have principles of Honesty inside of it. It’s very temporary, it’s very immediate, it’s very impulsive. It feels really powerful, it comes with its own set of really powerful chemical reactions that happen inside my brain, yet it is not stable or steady, this type of “connection”—it’s not the authentic connection that you really are looking for because connection, like I said, is based upon particular principles that govern it. And connection cannot be controlled.
Trying to connect with yourself or someone else cannot be controlled.
That is really important that you understand that. When I’ve engaged in controlling behavior, or someone else that I’m with is engaging in controlling behavior, connection will not be the outcome.
It may feel like we’re connecting, but when I am engaged in controlling behavior, whether I’m enabling it—which is also control—or I’m the one who is being very overt about it, it has distortion, it has lies, it has dishonesty, it has manipulation and denial in it. And so, therefore those principles do not support the ability to connect. And so, connection will always elude me. It can be really frustrating.
So, connection must be invited into. So, it must be something that the principles that I live are how I invite myself into choosing connection. And so, those principles are principles of Truth. Truth.
[00:09:08] The Principles of Truth
So, here are the Principles of Truth—and these are the three biggies. You’ve heard me talk about this many, many times.
You learn how to be impeccably honest with yourself.
You also learn how to be rigorous around being accountable and responsible for your thoughts, your feelings, and your choices.
And in order to do those two things—be impeccably honest and be rigorous around your responsibility—you must be open. You must be transparent. You must be flexible, you must be willing, you must be humble as you make choices—every single choice you make. Your choices will be the indicators of whether you choose to be honest with yourself and others.
They also—these choices—are the invitation to act responsible for yourself by being responsible for your own feelings, your own thoughts, your perceptions, and choices, and behaviors. In order to choose these types of caliber of choices, a person must be open, must be humble.
This exercise of checking in with oneself is an opportunity to quickly connect with oneself through repeated acts of honest and responsibility for my own feelings, my own thoughts, and my own choices. And it is an exercise or an opportunity to become aware, through the check-in, where I am at any given time of the day. If I don’t know or if I’m not conscious or awake about what I’m choosing or why I’m choosing, then I can become in a dangerous spot, and I can be I in a spot where I feel like it’s pretty risky to make certain decisions or choices, because with every choice there is either distortion in the choice or there is honesty in the choice. Every decision.
And if you were to slow yourself down and be able to kind of move through life at a slower pace and check-in with yourself and say, “Okay, am I in honesty or am I in distortion and denial?” every time you choose, that would more so ensure you living in a place of honesty or a place of Truth more so than living in a place of distortion, because when I choose from a place of unawareness—unawareness, it just means unconscious—he likelihood of me being in distortion thinking, or false beliefs, or distortion, or denial, or drama is high. The likelihood of me choosing from a place of unconsciousness, of being in one of those places: denial, false beliefs, distorted thinking, drama, is high.
And when I choose from this distorted spot, this false belief spot, I will be choosing from a place of disconnect, because remember, in order to be connected you have to be honest. The second you make choices from a place of dishonesty, disconnection happens.
Let me say that again, it’s really important. Connection is based upon particular principles of being honest, being responsible for the choices that you make, every choice you make, being responsible. Responsible means that you look at what is the Truth for you and what’s honest for you. And I’m not talking about like what you feel, I’m talking about what is honest? You’ve got to go to your principles, you’ve got to go to the core of you, like what you actually believe in, what you know to be the Truth.
Like, back to when you were two, or three, or five years old and you knew that it was wrong to hit your neighbor, or you knew it was wrong to steal, or those core characteristics that say don’t say mean words to your friend. Those core characteristics that every single spirit is aware of, those things. You’ve got to go there and say, “Is my choice at 32 years old in Truth according to what I core believe in?” Because a lot of people will go to what they feel, and they’ll say, “Well, I feel angry and so I’m going to choose to act angry, and so that’s the Truth.”
But I’ve got to look behind that anger and say, “Why am I angry?” Well, I’m angry because I had an expectation and so-and-so they didn’t bring me pizza, instead they brought me a burrito, and I didn’t want a burrito, so my expectation wasn’t met, so therefore I get to be angry, so therefore that’s the Truth; it’s justified. And I would say to that person, “No, it is not. It is not justified. You having an expectation that you were going to get pizza and you got a burrito does not justify you to become angry. And it doesn’t justify you to become angry and then lash out at someone else.”
So, it’s reasonable that you’d be disappointed, it’s reasonable that you might even feel a tinge of anger like, “Dang, I didn’t want this.” And then, you have a conversation with that person. But to behave in an angry manner is what is not justifiable.
So, when I choose from this distorted thoughts, false beliefs, denial, drama perspective, I become disconnected. So, disconnected from what? Well, the answer is I become disconnected from the Truth. The Truth. And the Truth are these core characteristics that I was just talking about, like what you learned when you were a child, of what you believe in. So, you become disconnected from Truth which is actually you, you become disconnected from you.
So, you disconnect from those core characteristics that make you, you. And because it’s happening to you as a being, you become disconnected from what you think, sometimes what you feel, and consequently from what and how you choose to behave. So, it’s kind of like, when I’m disconnected, I’m pretty much cleared in hot to do whatever I want because my thought is distorted, that’s the disconnect, the evidence of the disconnect.
And so, therefore my feelings are going to reinforce that disconnected thought, and when I start feeling something, boy, does that ever give me carte blanche permission to do whatever it is that I feel I am entitled to do. So, that position right there is incredibly dangerous. From that spot, trying to make decisions from that place, a place of mental and emotional disconnect, oh my goodness, very dangerous. And then, to act responsible for the choices you’re making even though you are unconscious.
Let me say that again. So, from that position, you are in a dangerous spot because you’ll be making choices from a place of emotional, mental, spiritual disconnection, but you will be responsible for the choices you’re making even though you’re unconscious. If you’re going to be responsible for your choices, I don’t know about you but I’d want to be aware of what it is that I’m choosing, if I’m going to end up being responsible for them anyway.
So, this platform, this process of checking in with oneself is an opportunity that you can use at any time during the course of the day to see where you’re at, to see if you’re connected, to see if you’re disconnected, to see what types of choices you’re actually making. Are they coming from a place distortion or are they coming from a place of Truth? Are you coming from a place of compassion for oneself, compassion for others? Are you coming from a place of boundaries for oneself, boundaries that you’re sharing with other people? Are you coming from a place of honesty? If so, then you’re making choices in a connected place.
So, I want to know where I’m at during the course of the day, and so I personally do this all the time, I check-in with myself, I’ll say, “Jodi, how do you feel emotionally? Where are you mentally?” And I’ll ask myself those kinds of questions.
So, checking in with yourself will invite you at any time to be aware of what you’re thinking, and therefore feeling. And understand what is driving your choosing. Then, from that spot, it will be easier to take responsibility—be responsible—for the choices you make because you’re aware of your choices. All the way along, you’re aware of your choices.
So, you don’t wake up figuratively, literally one day and go oh my gosh, I’m shocked by something I’m feeling or something I’ve chosen because I was unconscious when I was choosing it. You don’t want that. You want to be aware. You want to be aware of when and why and how you thought it, and then how you chose to manifest it or respond to it by the choices you made.
So, checking in with yourself is a gift, to be able to connect with yourself and nurture yourself by being honest with yourself, and accepting accountability for the things that you feel, the things that you think, the choices that you make. It’s a gift.
So, the goal is to stay present in Reality, that’s the goal. Now, can you do that all the time? No. No, you can’t. There’s no way to be aware 24/7, all the time. However, you can develop the skills of living as consciously as possible and staying there as often as you possibly can, and when you disconnect for whatever reason, you develop your spirit so that you feel that hit. I was just talking to a woman about, she went against her integrity and she said, “I felt this hit in my gut and it just turned.” And I said, “It sounds like you had a torpedo hit you right in your stomach saying don’t do that.” And she’s like, “Yes, I did. And I ignored it.” I’m like, “Oh, doggone, you just disconnected.”
So, you know, it wasn’t like a bad thing she disconnected, it’s that she felt the torpedo hit and then she ignored it. And so, she stayed in that disconnected spot for days. And consequently she suffered because she’s a pretty conscious person, and because of her consciousness, her soul was in conflict with itself. She knew what she had done violated her integrity. And until she was willing to get back into the Truth and be honest—impeccably honest—with herself and take responsibility for the choices, and the feelings, and the thoughts that she had, was she ready to enter back into connection.
So, the goal is to stay present in reality as often as possible, and by being present, that means you stay inside the Truth. The Truth. And when you live in the Truth or you come into the Truth which means being honest, responsible, humble, you will have connection. So, it’s kind of like stepping stones to walk towards connection and then you can actually walk away from connection depending on what you choose in your life.
When I’m connected, I’m aware of myself. I’m aware of my thoughts, my feelings, my motives, my fears, agendas, expectations, wants, desires, needs. I’m aware. I’m aware. Now, does that mean every time I say, “What do I think?” I know exactly in that very second? No. But I know how to look at myself and say, “Okay, what’s going on? Why do I feel this way? How come I’m reacting? What does this mean?”
So, this is about a skill, and it starts with checking in with one’s self, being able to check-in with one’s self at any time during the course of your day. You stop mentally and emotionally and say, “Okay, where am I?” Checking in is all about creating consciousness. Not only for your own wellbeing. It also is to support you to be clear about whether you are moving into controlling, addictive, distorted, dramatic behavior. Does that make sense? You want to be aware if you’re starting to go into distortion.
So, it’s here to help you be conscious of your own wellbeing. It’s also here to help you know if you’re in a disconnected spot, because if you are acting out in disconnect, it is going in the opposite direction of what it is that you claim to want which is living in a life of connection.
[00:23:50] Checking in With Myself – PESSS
So, let’s go through the format of checking on with myself. The acronym that I want you to learn is called PESSS. That’s the acronym. It stands for Physically, Emotionally, Spiritually, Sexually, and Socially. Those are the five areas that you’re going to check-in, and you’re going to give yourself a couple of adjectives of where you’re at any given time of the day.
So, physically, I check in with myself physically, and I say, “Physically.” And I look at my body and my mind, and I go, “Where am I physically? Well, I have a bit of a headache. I’m hungry. I’ve got a bump on my tongue. I feel tired. Or I feel refreshed. Where am I physically? How does my body feel? How do I feel inside my body?” This is really powerful because it invites us to really focus on these very specific areas. So, the first one is physically. Give an adjective or two describing where you’re at in the moment physically.
The next one is emotionally. How do I feel about myself, my emotions? Like, have I just been manipulated and so I’m feeling confused? Am I feeling angry, or bothered, or bored, or lonely? Where am I in this moment emotionally? Do I feel scared because I’m getting ready to give a presentation? Like, where am I?
The next letter of PESSS is spiritually. So, spiritually is about your relationship with either God or a Higher Power, or something that you realize has more authority, clout, than you do.
Now, some people will say, “Well, I’m kind of the end-all be-all, there’s nothing greater than me.” And if that’s the case, you probably want to take another look at that. But for most of us, we’re willing to acknowledge that we need additional support and help. And so, spiritually is my ability to recognize that there’s something more than me in the world. And without being able to explain it, things go on in my benefit that I cannot explain.
I’ll tell you a story that happened to me just yesterday. So, I drive my car a lot. A lot, a lot. I’ve probably put I don’t know, 75,000 miles in the last two years on my car. And probably two weeks ago I had this thought, kind of random thought, “What’s going to happen if one day I’m out in the middle of one of these little towns that I do a lot of speaking at, and my car doesn’t start?”
So, I thought about my insurance and made sure that I had towing insurance and things like that. And then, the thought kind of went away. And then, yesterday I was out in a secluded area, which I am often, and I went to turn my car on and it didn’t start. And I called some of my family and they came over and helped me. And my car got jumped, and as I was driving the car that was broken, I felt super grateful that the car was able to be jumped. I didn’t have to tow it someplace.
So, as I was driving it to the mechanic, I felt this sense of, wow, it’s not coincidental that my car broke down when I was in an area where a family member could come 10 minutes away and help me out. Because most of the time, I’m not in that kind of situation. I’m really out in the middle of nowhere or I live in a spot where I don’t have a lot of help.
And so, my car could have broken down at any point. The night before, I had been out probably 200 miles away from anyone that I knew, and it was late at night. And I started driving back to my destination at about 10 o’clock. I mean, it could have broken down then and it didn’t.
So, I just looked at all of the “coincidences,” right? When you’re a spiritual person, you don’t see them as coincidence, you seem them as organized, as scheduled, as possibly planned—depending on your spiritual ideologies. But I thanked God for the fact that my car broke down in a place where I could get help and it was quite easy to fix it.
So, check-in spiritually with yourself, like where are you spiritually, what do you believe in? What are you grateful for spiritually? How do you angle your spirit so that you can feel humble to all the majesty of what’s going on around you? The fact that you’re breathing air, the fact that your body, your heart is pumping, that you’re living on this planet. How do you think about that spiritually?
The next category of PESSS is sexually. Now, sometimes when I ask people to check-in sexually, they’re like, “Uh, I don’t know how to do that.” But really, what this is about, is, well it’s not about how you feel inside your body as a sexual being, it’s more about your roles.
We all have roles, so we’re either a male or a female in these roles. And so, you are a sex, so how do you feel like you’re showing up inside your roles as a man or a woman, as a girl or a boy? That’s what sexually is.
Look at all your roles, so you might be a mother, you might be a father, you’re a cousin possibly, a male friend, a female friend, maybe you’re a boyfriend, a girlfriend. Look at all your roles. You might be a teacher, a male teacher, a female teacher. Look at your roles and see how you feel in the moment around how you show up inside those roles. That’s sexually.
And socially is the last one. Look at yourself and say, “Right here in this moment, how do I feel I’m connecting, or not, to others?” Maybe to your family, to your friends, to your extended family, to other drivers on the road, to people that you go into their stores, you patron their stores. How are you showing up in a social way?
I know I went to the store this morning, just a convenience store, and asked the woman how her morning was going, and she’s like, “I wish I were in bed.” I chuckled at her and grinned, I said, “It is early.” I said, “You’ll get going.” She goes, “Yeah, I will. 10 o’clock after my cup of coffee I’ll get going.” I’m like, “Have a great day.” So, a little social interaction, I felt good, I felt she gave something to me, I gave something to her. I think that something was connection. That’s what I hope that she felt. I know I felt it.
So, those five areas: physically, emotionally, spiritually, sexually, socially. PESSS. It’s just a quick acronym for you to remember how to check-in.
There are some other areas that I want to talk about for a check-in, so those are the five where you say your adjectives. Now, these are some other things that I want to explain to you, but I want you to make them part of your check-in, and they’re called triggers, bottom lines, slips, phone calls, homework, selfies or dailies—some people know them as dailies, selfies and dailies—and then I want you to track your victim, and I want you to look for the opportunities that you have to be vulnerable.
Let me read those again. You can write them down. This is what a thorough check-in looks like. You start with the acronym PESSS. And you check-in physically, emotionally, spiritually, sexually, socially. Give two adjectives, so it’s pretty quick. That should take you 30 seconds. Well, unless you’re not connected, then it may take you longer, but as you get better at it, you’ll be faster at checking in.
And then, you’re going to report on your triggers, your bottom lines, your slips, your calls (your phone calls), homework that you’re going to commit to do. You’re going to give a percentage around your dailies and selfies, and you’re going to give a percentage around how many times you went into victim. You’re going to track victim. And the amount of times that had to be vulnerable, that you became aware of. So, those are the areas of a check-in. And as you check-in around those pieces, you will become very connected to yourself. Like, if you’ll be honest, you’ve got to be honest with yourself about this.
So, if you’re not willing to be vulnerable and tell yourself the Truth about really where you are, then you cannot have the outcome of connection. Remember, connection is based upon principles, and the principles are learning to be impeccably honest, emotionally honest, how to be responsible for that honesty, how to be honest about how you feel and what you think, and what you want to choose. And then be responsible for those things, be responsible for the fact that you feel this certain thing, that you thought this certain thing. Be accountable for that. Don’t say, “Well, somebody made me do it.” Or, “Because of you I thought.” Or, “If you wouldn’t have said this, then I wouldn’t have thought that.” Be responsible and say, “You know what? When you said that it caused me to think this. I got triggered to think this. But it’s mine, it’s not yours. You didn’t do it to me.” And then, you’re accountable for the things that you choose. And being able to do that means that you’re going to live a life where you’re really open, you’re really willing. You’re humble.
So, I’m going to break this podcast up into two different ones, so we’re going to stop right there, and on the next podcast, we’re going to pick up and start talking about triggers, and what a trigger is. We’ll go over triggers, bottom lines, slips, calls, homework, selfies, tracking your victim and opportunities to be vulnerable.
And then, the last one is, we’ll talk about relapse.
I’ll see you in a few minutes. Bye bye.
See the following materials for more in-depth study of the topics in this podcast: