Episode 80: Checking In To Connect (Part 2 of 2)

Episode 80: Checking In To Connect (Part 2 of 2)

Hosted by Jodi Hildebrandt.

This is part 2 of a 2-part series.  Listen to part 1 >

In this episode, Jodi finishes teaching about the check-in process, which will support you to know “where you are” emotionally throughout the day, so that you can stay connected as often as possible.

In this episode, Jodi talks about checking in around:

  1. Relapses
  2. Triggers
  3. Bottom lines
  4. Slips
  5. Phone calls
  6. Homework
  7. Dailies / selfies
  8. Tracking Victim
  9. Opportunities to be Vulnerable


Full Transcript

PDF Version: Episode 80: Checking In To Connect (Part 2 of 2)

Episode 80: Checking In To Connect (Part 2 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 www.connexionsclassroom.com, and hit the “Go to Academy” button and sign up. I look forward to meeting you and connecting.

[00:02:48] Checking in To Connect (Part 2)

Welcome to the second part of Checking in with oneself. In the first podcast, we talked about the power of connection, why we all need connection and how it’s our responsibility to create connection—initially inside myself, and I am clarifying that I actually am in connection because I am living the actual stepping stones or the principles that actually create connection—it’s not a false connection. I’m not in a false reality where I’m in denial, telling myself something that isn’t really the Truth.

So, as I check that out and I see that I’m living in emotionally honesty, I’m being accountable for my choices, and my feelings, and my behaviors, my reactions. I’m owning all those things, I’m staying open, I’m staying humble. I’m willing to recognize my vulnerability and act in that vulnerability.

Then, I know that I actually am connecting with myself, and so I am now ready to assess where I am as far as my relationships go. So, I have to come to self first and get really centered, really present with myself, and then after I have accomplished that task which is very difficult, I am now ready to look figuratively & literally at my other relationships, especially my intimate relationships, and assess in Truth where I am and invite them to come into connection with me.

The second part of the podcast is actually going through the process or the structure of checking in with myself. So, we went over the acronym PESSS, that stands for physically, emotionally, spiritually, sexually and socially. I was thinking about an image for that, and I thought for those of you who know what a PEZ dispenser is—I know it’s spelt with a Z but you could use this as an image—so, a PEZ dispenser has the little head and you pull the head back on this little candy dispenser and you get your candies out, well you could think of that as like a mnemonic to remember this acronym of PESSS, that you’re pulling your head back and you’re getting out the information just like you’re getting the candies out of the PEZ dispenser, you’re gathering information about yourself, you’re gathering where you are emotionally, spiritually, sexually, physically and socially.

You can use that or you can throw that out. Either way, I thought it was something that might be helpful.

So, another reason why we need to be really aware of where we’re at at any given moment, is because if I am engaged in a relationship where there’s lots of conflict, where there’s lots of stress i.e. I’m on the other side of someone with an addiction, and I keep going into my own addictive behaviors called co-dependency. As I start recognizing that there’s lots of tension between me and this other person, I am going to want to be checking in with myself often, so that I don’t get sucked into—or invited into—this false connection that feels so “loving”, so warm, so understanding, so validating, when really it’s just full of distortion, denial, selfishness and manipulation. That would be called co-dependency.

As I check in with myself, I am also wanting to use this structure of PESSS to hold myself accountable around behaviors that maybe I want to change. So, maybe I have not so much an addiction to something, but maybe I have some behaviors that are not super-compulsive but I go there every once in a while, and I really want to shed light on why I do that or how come I keep biting my nails, or why, when I feel anxious and nervous, I go and get a Coke, or when I feel confused I call my mother and I just start crying and I don’t want her to give me any feedback, I just want her to say that it’s alright dear and everything will be fine. Maybe I have some behaviors that I want more clarification around. Well, this check in around PESSS would be a wonderful way to really hold yourself in some tight, rigorous accountability, to literally stop during the course of your day and say, “Where am I? Where am I physically, emotionally, spiritually, sexually and socially?”

So, this process can be used for anyone. Anyone who is wanting to understand and be more conscious around their own choices and what is motivating those choices, so that you can get into a place of emotional honesty and rigorous personal responsibility, and be open and really pay attention to what is driving you.

Let’s talk about the rest of the check in. So, there’s PESSS and then the rest of the check in is we talked about triggers, bottom lines, slips, phone calls, homework, selfies/dailies, being able to track victim and then opportunities to be vulnerable. And then, the last one is relapse. Like the power of going into some kind of what I call acting out behavior, and why it is that I do that.

[00:09:18] Relapse

Let’s talk about relapse first, because relapse is a word that focuses on becoming really aware of when I go into some kind of addictive behavior or if I go into some kind of behavior that is unbecoming to me, something that I want to change, it’s, I relapse back into that kind of behavior, and I want to have more consciousness around that because I don’t want to relapse.

So, relapse is like engaging any kind of what I consider destructive behavior. My relapse is deviating from my nutritional plan I’ve created. I relapsed by eating a significant amount of ice cream. So, let’s say I’m trying to be on some kind of a meal plan—some people would call it a diet—and I go right past my markers that I tell myself I’m not going to go past, and I indulge in foods or quantities of foods that I would consider relapse behavior. And so, I’ve eaten a significant amount of ice cream and I have deemed myself in relapse.

And so, being able to be conscious, being able to check in with myself helps me recognize where I’m at emotionally, spiritually, socially and all these areas, and see if I’m connected, because when I’m connected in those areas, it would be really difficult to relapse. Because remember, relapse means I’m engaging in a behavior that is giving me the illusion that I’m connected. You know, when I eat that ice cream, I feel connected. And people really do, they feel satiated, they feel full. And sometimes, it’s full of food but oftentimes, it’s full of not feeling. Or sometimes, it’s full of feeling a particular emotion that they really like. Or it’s full of adrenaline or dopamine, feelings of chemicals that the body releases when we engage in certain behaviors or substances.

But what we’re looking for is full of connection. And remember, connection is built upon principles in every single relationship—whether it’s my relationship with food or my relationship with another person, it’s based on principles of Truth, and so you cannot be in a connected relationship, whether it’s with food, or with money, or with power, or with friends, or my spouse unless you’re living these principles.

So, I want to draw attention to any behavior—any destructive behavior—and it could be addictive behavior or it can just be something that you want to shed a little more light on, that I keep going back to as a way to feel connected.

So, addictive behavior looks like drugs, porn, video games, spending money, gambling, working, eating, chewing your nails. You can be addicted to anger. Co-dependency is a popular one that most of us go into. Self-destructive behavior like cutting, or burning, or pulling your hair. Throwing up, binging, gossiping, Facebooking, social media. Anything you can become addicted to or you could consider it destructive behavior that you want to shine a spotlight on.

And so, those behaviors would be considered acting out behaviors or considered relapse behaviors for you, whatever you identifys as a thing that you want to notice.

Another way to look at relapse is to imagine if I were sitting in front of you, I would draw a line and on one side of the line I would draw a drop off point. And the drop off point would be the actual acting out behavior. It would be the choice to relapse, whether consciously or unconsciously. And so, you and I would look at that and say okay, on this end of the line is the cliff—this is a cliff—and you want to stay to the left of that line because if you keep moving right, you’re going to fall right off the cliff and that is symbolic of your relapsing behaviors that you have identified that you want to one, become conscious of and two, change, stop engaging in them.

So, we want to be able to articulate what the relapse behavior is, so you’d say to yourself, “I’m going to consider relapsing when I chew my nails.” Or, “When I spend more than 20 dollars without talking to my spouse.” Not to get permission from him or her, but just to share that here’s what I want to spend 20 bucks on. It can be anything. And so, that’s what I’ve identified, I’ve languaged it.

Now, I want to set up a structure to identify really concretely if I’m moving towards that cliff to the right or if I’m moving away from the cliff which means going left. So, there are some indicators that will help me very clearly see if I’m moving towards or if moving away from. So, the first thing I want to identify is something called triggers.

[00:15:14] Triggers

So, triggers are things that are connected to my emotions. My emotions are neutral. Emotion is not good or bad, right or wrong, it’s just there. Emotion, feeling, is just there. And so, some people would say there’s certain emotions that are bad emotions or wrong emotions, and that’s just not the case. There’s no such thing as that. Now, there’s certain emotions that are unpleasant or confusing, but they’re not good or bad.

And so, emotion attaches to the experiences that you have, or more deeply saying that, emotion attaches to your interpretation of the experiences that you’re having, your perceptions, your language actually, the meaning you place on your experiences, your perceptions, your words.

So, emotion comes after you have languaged, after you have perceived and put meaning to words that you are choosing to describe your experience. Emotion comes and says, “Oh, you are looking at that experience and saying this is really unfortunate.” So, the emotion of sadness comes.

Or you say to yourself, “I’m really confused why this person keeps swerving in and out of lanes, I’m concerned that they’re going to hit someone.” So, you have the emotion of confusion or fear.

Or you might have the interpretation that someone took something from you off of your desk that wasn’t theirs, and so you feel disappointed or you feel not safe in your workplace.

So, all these experiences that you’re having—and you’re having millions of them—you are placing meaning onto them. And your meaning is inviting emotion to come.

So, inside that emotion you will decide whether you like the emotion or not. So, for a lot of people, the emotions that are uncomfortable like anger is a biggie for people, they don’t like that one. Fear is another biggie, they don’t like that one. Confusion, sadness, loneliness, feelings of disappointment. Those kind of emotions, most people don’t do not enjoy, and so they would call them negative emotions or bad emotions. Or sometimes, even wrong emotions. That is not the Truth. The Truth is, emotions are neutral. Are they pleasant to feel those things? Usually not. And there probably are some circumstances and experiences that people would appreciate those kinds of feelings.

If I had some kind of a tragedy happen, I would want people to come in and feel sad with me. Or maybe, let’s say that someone did something that really triggered me to feel angry, I’d want my good, close, intimate relationships to feel anger with me, so I would appreciate their anger. That’s kind of an example of how you might be okay with uncomfortable emotions.

So, triggers, the word trigger, is connected to emotion. So, as you engage in experiences and circumstances, you have thoughts and perceptions. We just talked about that. Your thoughts and perceptions elicit or trigger emotions and feelings.

We all feel emotions. And with every thought, every experience or situation, a corresponding emotion will follow. These corresponding emotions, whether pleasant or unpleasant, are called triggers. Let me say that again. When an experience happens, emotion will attach to it according to your meaning, and whether it’s pleasant or unpleasant, whether you enjoy the emotion or don’t enjoy the emotion, it will trigger something in you. It will trigger emotion in you.

When you’re doing your check in, you want to focus on the emotions that you would consider unpleasant or uncomfortable, because the pleasant emotions, yes they would trigger feelings of contentment, or pleasantness, and those things are not going to invite you to disconnect. It’s the stuff that’s uncomfortable, it’s the emotions that you don’t enjoy, those are the feelings that are the “culprits” of the invitations to disconnect from Truth, disconnect from being honest, disconnect and go into denial and drama.

So, when you feel an emotion and classify it as uncomfortable or unpleasant, it is termed a trigger because it causes you to become aware and conscious of what you’re feeling and invite you to become curious about what you are thinking. Very important. It triggers you to become aware of what you feel, and remember, feelings just follow your thoughts. And so, if you’re willing to go a step deeper, when you are aware of what you feel, then you can say, “Wow, what is that I’m thinking that then triggered this particular emotion?”

From this position of awareness, you can choose—there’s that power of choice again—you get to choose to make conscious changes to what you think, and therefore to what you feel. Wow, what freedom. I get to make a conscious decision about what I think and therefore what I feel, if I’m only willing to be aware and awake not only to the experience, but what the experience has triggered in me—what emotions the experience has triggered in me.

So, triggers help you connect with the Reality of what your experience is or was, and the ability to choose what you will feel and recognize any kind of destructive behavior that you have considered a relapse for you.

I just explained relapse and I just got done explaining what a trigger is. Triggers are going to “happen” to you on a daily basis, probably on an hourly basis. And so, what I say about triggers is that these are your allies, these are not your enemies or your foes; this awareness around your triggers is an entryway, it’s like a portal, it’s like a window into you. It’s like lifting up the head of the PEZ dispenser and saying, “What you got? What’s in there? What am I feeling? Why am I feeling it? What am I telling myself about these emotions? What language, what words have I used that then have triggered these particular emotions?”

Because when I get triggered into something uncomfortable, it is a very seductive invitation to go into distortion. Very seductive. So, I can have triggering experiences and not distort them. So, I can feel angry, and sad, and lonely, and bored, and tired and all these uncomfortable feelings, and not distort it. But if I get triggered and I don’t tell myself The Truth about the experience, I will go into distortion. It’s not I might. I will. Because there’s only two places to go. I either keep the experience in Truth and feel the uncomfortability of the experience, or I change it. And my trigger is there to invite me into that exploration of, am I going to hold this in Truth or am I going to change it into a distorted reality?

Here’s an example. I was giving a talk the other day and I was up at a retreat for teenage girls, and they had a dog, a big dog, like a Labrador running around. I’m not super-fond of dogs. I don’t mind them, but I like them to stay away from me. You know, they always come up and smell you and put their nose on you, and I just am not super-fond of them. This dog was running around, and it ran through the cords underneath the table and just about knocked off my computer and the projector, and I was triggered. I was triggered. I had on a dress and the dog kept coming up and putting its nose on my dress and I’m like, I really don’t want dog slobber on my dress. And I was triggered.

I remember as I was standing there talking about this very thing to the girls, being very aware that I myself was in the act of being triggered. And so, inside my head, I kept working at holding it in the Truth. And the Truth was this for me: there’s a dog running around, no one seems to be too concerned about it running around, it keeps coming up to the front of the room. It seems pretty docile, it’s very unaware of its body and its tail and what it keeps hitting, it has no concept of expenses, or my irritation, or my unwillingness to be friendly with it. It appeared anyway that that was the Truth. The Truth was also I didn’t like it. The Truth was, I needed to advocate for myself and hold a boundary with someone in that room to have the dog managed.

And so, there were all these Truths. It was my responsibility to stay in Reality with it. And I kept slipping in and out of reality because at that point, I wasn’t willing, at that point, to hold a boundary and advocate for what I needed.

So, finally after the dog came up several times and about knocked the computer off, I asked that they take the dog outside or they somehow take care of it so it doesn’t come up the front of the room anymore. I don’t know what they did with the dog but they did something, and so my trigger inside my own body went away. Part of the reason the trigger went away is because I was willing to acknowledge it, not distort it, and boundary myself so that I could have an experience with this trigger and not take it into a distorted position.

So, that’s what our responsibility is, is to understand the issues, the experiences, the situations, the circumstances and when you get triggered by them, when you feel an emotion—and for this particular podcast we’re going to talk about unpleasant emotions—and then understand why you’re feeling that unpleasant emotions, because you’re going to figure out what you’re saying about it, and then you’re going to keep it in the Truth. And the Truth may be unpleasant, I mean, I did not like the dog coming up and putting its cold nose on my leg, it was unpleasant, I didn’t like it. And I had the power to do something about that, which I eventually did.

If I don’t take care of myself and I don’t advocate for myself, then those kind of experiences that trigger uncomfortable emotions, that’s where the invitation comes in where I can go right into distortion, right into drama, right into denial, right into manipulation, and disconnect from Reality, change the reality in my mind, go into a victim spot and you’re off to the races with being in distortion, which is really not wise to do that.

[00:28:25] Tracking

So, you’re going to track triggers. You’re not only going to do PESSS, but then you’re going to say, “Okay, I want to track my triggers. How many triggers did I have today?” And that’s a lot of work because it means you have to pay attention to wow, what am I feeling?

Triggers aren’t right or wrong, they’re just saying, “I feel something uncomfortable.” Okay? You’re going to track those.

The second thing that you’re going to track is you’re trying to be conscious about relapsing is something called bottom lines. Remember that line that I talked about around relapse where on the far right side of the line we called it a cliff? Well, bottom lines are markers or lines that you put to the left of the cliff that draw attention to the fact that you’re making choices that are moving towards the cliff, so they are boundaries that you set prior to your acting our behavior of relapse.

So, if you have this image of this line and on the far right side of the line is the cliff, you can say the cliff. The cliff of compulsive eating. The cliff of Facebooking 10 times a day. Whatever you want to draw your attention to and change. You make these bottom lines, or like hash marks, that you set prior to the acting out behavior or the relapse behavior.

So, you realize that you typically or consistently engage in these particular behaviors before you relapse, so you need to clearly articulate these behaviors and make them measurable or quantifiable, so you’re very clear as you approach them and you’re very clear that you’re choosing to cross them.

Here’s an example. Depending on what your relapse behavior is, you’re going to make bottom lines that sound like this.

If I’m trying to track my alcohol or my cocaine use, I am going to make bottom lines that say, “I will not associate with Larry, and Susie and Janessa again. I’m going to block them from my phone, block them from all my social media and I will not interact with those three people again.” That is a bottom line.

There’s that hash mark, there’s that boundary that’s ahead of the relapse. So, if I’m living my life and all of a sudden one of those people call me or I see them in the grocery store and I feel nervous about seeing them and so I feel this desire to go up and talk to them and I do so, I’ve just crossed a bottom line. Now, does that mean that I’ve engaged in marijuana use or cocaine use—drug use—no? I haven’t relapsed but I just crossed a line that I’ve told myself I would not cross. And so, it tells me that I’m moving closer to my acting out behavior.

Here’s another bottom line. “I only buy what is on my grocery list.” So, if I’ve identified relapse as I’m not going to eat any kind of white flour, or processed sugar, or chocolate or whatever it may be, anything that has more than 100 mgs of salt—whatever it is—then I say, “I’m going to write a grocery list and I will only buy what is on my grocery list,”, that’s a boundary. But then, I walk by the ding dongs, or I walk by the white bread, or I walk by homemade sandwiches that are being baked in the deli, and I smell that, and I think, I’ve been really good on my diet thus far so I’m just going to get one of those. Well, bam, I just walked right by my bottom line.

Now, have I eaten that yet? No, I haven’t. But I’ve got it in my grocery cart and I’m getting ready to buy it. Or maybe I’ve already bought it and I’ve got it in the car and I’m taking it home, I have crossed my bottom line and I’m getting ready to go relapse.

Another bottom line could be, “Go to bed by 10.30.”

Another one could be, “Only go to specific websites.”

“Don’t drive down a particular street.”

“Call your spouse when you leave work.”

“Call an accountability person to account for your day.”

“Don’t purchase (fill in the blank).”

“Make lunches for your work week from your own house.”

“Share with your accountability person or your sponsor the amount of times you went into victim that day.”

Those could all be bottom lines. You could have a bottom line around anything. You can be super creative.

So, you get to decide what activities, or attitudes, or substances or whatever you engage in, before you go into acting out behavior. And write those down. I would start off with making two. Two bottom lines. You don’t want a bunch of these because if you start getting four or five, six, ten of them and you’ll chuck all of them. You won’t follow any of them.

So, bottom lines are boundaries that alert you that you are approaching your acting out behavior. That’s what they are. So, you want to account for those. So, in your check in, as you check in with yourself, this helps you create consciousness. As you start doing that, you start becoming aware of wow, I’ve crossed my bottom lines five times today.

So, as I recognize that, I can be really conscientious, really awake to the fact that I’m moving to the right, I’m moving towards the cliff. I am not moving away from the cliff, I’m moving towards the cliff, and now I have real tangible evidence that I’m doing that because I’ve made these markers, these bottom lines, these boundaries saying, when I do these kinds of behaviors, they typically lead me to acting out, I will not do them, and then I see that I’m doing them, so I need to take some accountability for that.

Now, remember, everything that I’m talking about as strategies for checking in with oneself is moving you towards the outcome of connection. You want to be connected, and so you’ve got to know when you’re in distortion, you’ve got to know when you’re lying to yourself. You must know how you feel and if you are keeping those emotions inside of a container of the Reality—of the Truth. That’s the only way that you can create connection for yourself.

[00:35:53] Phone Calls

So, the next thing that I want you to check in around is phone calls. I’m very aware that people who are listening to this may not have anybody that they can call. And, you need to find at least one person that you feel safe with that knows how to live Truthfully and live in their integrity, they know how to be honest with themselves, they know how to hold themselves accountable. You need to find someone like that.

If you can’t find anybody like that, you’re welcome to call me, email me, and get connected to one of our classrooms because we have hundreds of people now who know how to live in this kind of rigor, and soon there will be thousands and soon there will be millions of people who will know how to live this kind of tight integrity position.

So, don’t say to yourself, “Oh, I don’t have anybody.” You get on the phone and call me, email me, and get connected to the classroom and we will get you connected with other people.

Phone calls are very, very important. You need others. I need others. We need other people who are willing to live in this kind of tight honesty and accountability. So, when you call them, you say, “Ugh, I just went to the store and I crossed my bottom line, I’ve not eaten the ding dongs or the chocolate donut yet, and I really want to.”

And the person on the phone says to you, “Oh my dear, I’m so sorry. This is so difficult. I understand. That is so triggering. I get it. I’ve been there. How are you feeling? Go put the ding doing in the trash can and I’ll sit on the phone with you while you do it.”

Or they might even validate you and then they say, “What do you want to do that with? What do you want to do with that ding dong?”

So, they give you a whole lot of validation and understanding of why you’re where you are, and that they get it, and then they say, “Would you like some help?” And that’s the whole reason you’re calling, is because you need some help.

So, they will walk you back into the Reality, because you have clearly distorted it. And so, phone calls are absolutely necessary in order to be conscientious and check in with oneself in Truth. You must have other people help you with that, because if I’m in a distorted spot, I usually can’t see it, so I need another set of eyes.

So, when people come into my groups, I tell them, “I have an expectation that you will make three phone calls a day. Three.” So, if you’re brand new in group and you’re working with me, consider yourself warned, consider that that’s my request of you: three phone calls a day checking in with people around PESSS and around these areas of triggers, bottom lines, slips, relapses, etc.

[00:39:08] Homework

So, the next section is homework. It is very important, if you are going to live a lifestyle of being impeccably honest and accountable for you, you must learn new information of how to do that. And so, I tell people, “Listen, you need other people who live like this and then you also need to be studying correct information. Find something in your life. Some people use the podcast, some people will get my workbooks, some people will buy other self-help books that have Truth in them around how to live inside your integrity. Some people use their religious scriptures. Find something that will continue to invite you into the rigor of being honest with yourself and study it. Study it. Find something that speaks to you, that invites you into living compassionately, and honestly, and being accountable, and study that stuff, because you need this new information, so that you start thinking differently.” And I would make some kind of time commitment that you will study X amount of time every day, or at a minimum every other day, and that will be something that you’ll check in around.

So, notice, all of the things that you’re checking in with, they are measurable. They have time. They have space. They have quantity, so that you know exactly whether you’ve done them or not.

[00:40:49] Dailies or Selfies

The next section that you’re going to check in around is called dailies or selfies. Some people call them dailies, it doesn’t really matter, they’re the same thing. Other people call them selfies. This is about being able to take care of oneself.

So, selfies, again, are things that you are going to make measurable. So, selfies are commitments to love and respect, honor, nurture and nourish yourself daily and consistently in specific, concrete, quantifiable ways.

For example, a selfie might be something as commonplace as brushing your teeth or grooming your hair every day. So, you would make a selfie that says, “I will be up between 6 and 7.30 and I will wash my hair and I will groom it for at least 10 minutes.” See how measurable that is?

Many of us perform these kind of simple acts every day but do we know what our motives are behind are these actions? Do I groom my hair because I fear judgments of others and I do not want to them to think that I’m unkempt or inept? Do I use the gym four times a week because I crave acceptance amongst the people that are there? Or do I eat healthy foods to support my body or to control my appearance? These are all really honest questions, and the whole goal is to be doing selfies from a Truthful, honest position. A compassionate position of I’m doing it because I love myself.

So, as you begin to perform these selfies each day or begin doing your selfies more consistently, your motives will be either loving or not loving towards self. So, basically, they’ll either be in Truth or distortion, and that will depend upon the level of love or distortion or loathing you already feel towards yourself.

If your motives are not purely loving, perform your selfies every day anyways. Your selfies are outward signs of your intention to love yourself more completely. Selfies meet your physical, emotional, spiritual needs, and therefore as you meet your own needs through consistent selfies, you will feel gratitude towards yourself and begin to feel safe with yourself as you show up physically, and emotionally and spiritually for you through consistent daily selfies.

Overtime, you will create love within and for yourself. Combat distorted thoughts and false beliefs, and your motives will become more powerfully loving towards self.

Here’s some examples physically doing some selfies.

“I’ll exercise 30 to 60 minutes at the gym every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, right after work between 5 and 6.” That’s measurable, that’s clear.

“I will go to sleep between 9 and 9.15 every night. Going to bed means I already have completed my selfies, I’ve brushed my teeth, I’ve written in my journal and I physically get in bed and turn off the lights.” That’s what going to bed means. It doesn’t mean start walking up the steps. It means I’ve already gotten ready and I am in bed with the lights off.

[00:44:12] Victim

Another area that I want you to track is called victim. So, I’m not going to go into a great deal of victim because it takes a lot to explain this. But I would you like to listen to podcast 24 and 25, that talks about the victim and what the victim is. But what I can tell you about victim and why it’s so important to track it, is because victim is the entry point. You have to go into victim before you act out/relapse. There’s no way to act out or relapse, go to the far right of that line and jump off the cliff, unless you’re in victim, because victim says things like this: I don’t matter, it doesn’t count, I can’t do it, I’ve tried, I’m not enough, nobody cares, these things don’t work anyways, I’ve done all this and nothing’s changing. That flavor, that theme, that feeling is called victim.

I could talk for 2,700 hours about victim because there’s so much to say about it, but I want you to track that voice inside you. And so, when you make your phone calls and you account for your PESSS, and you account for your slips, your triggers, your relapses, you are also accounting for how many times you went into victim and when you go into victim, you also are responsible to make a phone call or say to yourself, “I’ve got to get out of this.”

And you’ve got to shift and get into the Truth of what the victim or the distortion is telling you is real. You’ve got to get into the Truth. You’ve got to change it back into the Truth.

So, I would encourage you to listen to the podcast, I believe it’s number 70, called Truth Declarations—that is how you reframe distortions back into Truth. So, I want you to make a number of how many times you go into victim and when you call your person and say, “I was in victim 27 times today.” And they’re going to say to you, “Okay, and how many of those times did you actually reframe it back into Truth?” And you might say, “None.” And they’ll go, “Well, that ain’t good because that means that you’re moving to the right and you want to be moving to the left on that line.”

[00:46:46] Opportunities to be Vulnerable

The last thing I want you to track is something called opportunities to be vulnerable. Two other podcasts that would be helpful for you to listen to are 12 and 13, because 12 and 13 talk about empathy, validation, vulnerability and risk, and they talk about why it’s so important to be vulnerable. So, I would invite you to listen to those.

So, opportunities to be vulnerable means, because we are human, we are vulnerable. Being vulnerable is a 24/7 state of being. We are always susceptible, always, to hurt, pain, sorrow, confusion, sickness, disappointments, injuries and so forth and so on. Vulnerability is our state of existence in this world. Therefore, we must learn to accept that this is a Truth. It is The Truth. There’s no way around it, you are going to feel pain. Yet, you don’t need to stay in pain. The paradox for many of us is when we refuse to feel pain, we will be stuck in pain. And we can stay stuck there in pain for a whole lifetime when we deceive ourselves and say we’re not vulnerable and the pain is not present.

This position of feeling pain but not being willing to acknowledge pain is called denial, or distortion, or dishonesty, okay? Denying pain, discomfort, disappointment, sorrow, etc. is in essence denying your humanness, your vulnerability, your ability and opportunity to mature and grow.

Humanness, which is the state of vulnerability, is a beautiful gift because it allows us to experience things. Experiences bring us opportunities to perceive and have new awarenesses. My perceptions and new awarenesses—or my interpretation of my experiences—is where I choose the emotions I will experience and I will respond or react to my emotions by choosing my behaviors. My behavior coupled with my perception—which is my thoughts—and my emotions, gives me and others evidence of whether or not I’m accepting my vulnerability.

Very important, let me say that again. My perceptions and my awareness is what causes me to choose the emotions I experience, and I will respond or react to my emotions by choosing behaviors, and my behavior coupled with my perception—my thoughts—and my emotions will give me and others evidence of whether or not I’m accepting my vulnerability, accepting my humanity. Whether or not I’m willing to acknowledge mentally and emotionally that I’m human and therefore I’m vulnerable to experience. Whether I’m conscious or not, I am choosing how I perceive my experience and consequentially how I feel about my experience, and how I will choose to behave inside those experiences.

Accepting vulnerability means accepting that every perception and feeling is an outcome of my choices. Wow. That’s super powerful. It’s like awesome. That means that I get to say, I get to change if I want, anything, anything that I perceive, anything I feel, I have the power to do that through this beautiful gift called choice.

And so, when you are checking in around opportunities to be vulnerable, what you’re doing is you’re calling your person and you’re saying, “Okay, I was aware of five times today when I was conscious of my vulnerability.”

Like, one time I saw a baby fall out of a grocery cart and he was probably two or three years old and he fell on the floor of the grocery story. And the mom swopped him up and I felt vulnerable for the mother, because I remember when my child fell out of the grocery cart. So, I became aware of my humanness, I became aware of my own personal experience. It’s not that all of a sudden I was vulnerable out of nowhere; I was vulnerable the whole entire time. It’s just that now I became aware of it.

So, that’s what tracking your vulnerability means. Tracking the opportunities to acknowledge your vulnerability. Why is that important? Is it important because being willing to accept your vulnerability, accept your humanness, accept that there is pain and discomfort and disappointment in this world. Accept that your feelings can be hurt, accept that you can be fired, accept that you don’t always get what you want. I mean, accept. Accept your nail breaks. Accept these things.

If you will accept them, then you won’t go into distortion around them. You won’t try to change it. You won’t try to deny it away. You won’t attempt to lie to yourself and go into drama, and then try to suck other people into drama with you. Like, “Can you believe it? My boss fired me today. I can’t even believe it. I was like a stellar employee.”

And then, the real Truth about it is I intermittently came to work and would sit around and listen to my iPod and Facebook, so basically I’m lying. I wasn’t a stellar employee, I was a crappy employee. But because I don’t want to accept my vulnerability that says, “I was lazy. I exploited my boss and his or her goodness of giving me the opportunity to get on Facebook 10 minutes every day, I took advantage of that.”

That’s what being willing to acknowledge our vulnerability would look like.

So, track how many times you’re aware of your humanness that day, and see how often you kept it in the Truth.

So, there are some very specific things. We started off this podcast talking about how to connect. We want to be able to connect 24/7 if we can, (which you can’t). But you want to get there as often as possible and stay there as long as you can, and recognize when you’ve disconnected, so you’re not disconnected for long, and get back into connection.

And so, being able to do that, you’ve got to understand the Principles of Connection which I have been through, I’ve been really thorough about that. And, you’ve got to look at the behaviors that you engage in, whether they’re addictive behaviors, whether they’re just unpleasant behaviors that you want to change, you’ve got to become aware of them. And so, this checking in with yourself is the way to become aware of it.

So, you’re going to do PESSS, physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, sexually. You’re going to check in. Two adjectives around those.

Then, you’re going to identify what your acting out/relapse behavior is or behaviors are. I wouldn’t make more than two at a time because that’s a lot to track.

Then, as you identify what that line is to the right of the solid line that you’re making as you go all the way to the right, there’s your cliff, there’s your relapse. After you identify that and put language to it, then you’re going to start tracking your triggers and you’re going to make some bottom lines.

And then, you’re going to count how many times you slip past those bottom lines, and you’re going to make three phone calls a day at a minimum, to help you become really conscious of what you’re doing, and how often you go into distortion, and how to refraime that distortion by making Truth declarations.

And then, you’re going to create some homework for yourself and spend every day studying some kind of literature or listening to some kind of message whether it’s on CD, or podcast, or over the Internet, something that will support you to live inside your integrity and why that is so important.

You’re also going to create dailies or selfies for yourself, and I would only make two of those for right now. And you’re going to track those, if you followed through with those, if you were willing during the course of the day to show up for yourself, and nurture yourself and take care of yourself.

Then, you’re also going to track your victim. Like, how often did I go into victim? Oh my gosh, I got up the other morning and by 5 o’clock I was in victim! and so I have to hold myself accountable around that. I could feel it the second I went in it, I felt it, got into the Truth, I did a Truth declaration and I said to myself, ”Jodi, stop! That’s not the Truth. Here’s the Truth.” And I was able to flip it around.

Then, you want to track how many opportunities you became aware of to be vulnerable.

That’s a lot of things to check in around. But I’ll tell you, if you choose to live in this kind of rigor, it will be dang hard to go into distortion. It will be so hard. You will live more of your 24 hours that you are given during each day in connection than not. And as you live like that, you will develop a lifestyle. It will be second nature, it will be like breathing to you, to tell yourself the Truth and to accept your vulnerability, and to be compassionate, and to be loving and to give to others. You will naturally be wanting to be vulnerable with other people.

I talked to a girl today, and she’s like, “I just get so nervous when I talk to people.” And as I got to know her a little bit, I found out that she’s on her phone from sun-up to sun-down. She’s a 14-year-old girl and she’s just on her phone all the time. And so, she doesn’t even know how to interact with a human being. And I said, “Well, of course you’re anxious, of course you’re nervous. You don’t know how to deal with emotions. You don’t know how to deal with life, with Reality. I’m in Reality, you’re not, so you need opportunities to practice what it feels like to be inside your skin.”

So, this process will support anyone with anything—anything that you want to create consciousness around, this process of PESSS and then these other five, six areas of check in will help you become aware around the areas in your life that you want more honesty, more accountability around.

This process is not just for someone who has a devastating addiction. Anyone who wants awareness around a habit or a compulsion, any kind of behavior that they just want to experience, to change, something that’s bothersome, place this structure around the undesirable behavior, and hold yourself accountable and be honest with yourself, and then participate and watch this change happen.

This is a rigorous structure. This is rigorous. It’s a rigorous pattern of behavior where anyone can change anything if they’re willing to apply the Principles of Honesty, Responsibility and Humility, you will begin to engage these principles and not only heal your undesirable behavior or unwanted behavior, but you will create connection with yourself and others, and God or your Higher Power.

So, I invite you, I implore you, I use these principles in my life on a daily basis. They work, they’re not magical, it is hard work. You just start trying to practice being emotionally honest. That will take up most of your day trying to figure out what’s honest and what’s not.

And as you’re doing that, enjoy this pathway to connection.

Thank you so much for listening to ConneXions Classroom Podcast. If this episode has been insightful or meaningful to you, don’t forget to leave a comment on this episode’s podcast page or like, share and tweet about it on social media.

Emotional honesty and personal responsibility are the only ways to create true connection inside your relationships and we need your help to share this vital message. Please sign up to be a part of our social media team. Go to www.connexionsclassroom.com/smteam and find out there how you can be a part of connecting.


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