A big thanks to Kate Dalley for interviewing Jodi today on her radio show, on 1450 AM KZNU. This episode is the recording of that interview. Kate publishes her shows at www.KateDalleyRadio.com
PDF Version: Episode 90: Interview On The Kate Dalley Show
Episode 90: Interview with Kate Dalley
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.
Kate: Jodi Hildebrandt, welcome to the show.
Jodi: Thank you.
Kate: I’m glad that you’re here and I’m glad that Jordan told me about you. I’m glad that you have come in. This is kind of a sensitive—a little bit of a serious topic in a way because this has to do with people and their emotions, and behavior, and the things that they’re doing and how to help them through these things. And this touches everybody’s life. Nobody is immune from this, and I thought what an awesome opportunity to have you on the show. You’re a teacher, a coach, a business owner, an author, a podcaster, a therapist. Is there anything you don’t do? Geez, Jodi! And also has been teaching people how to create emotional connection, stability, vulnerability in relationships. And a life coach. And in fact, you were trained as a therapist?
Kate: And then what? How did your career sort of evolve? Just to help people understand a little bit.
Jodi: Sure. So, I had the opportunity to work at an in-patient drug and alcohol treatment center and so I started being trained to specialize in addiction. I went on out on my own—hung my own shingle—and I’ve been doing that for 10 to 12 years.
What I started realizing was that when people were coming in with all sorts of addictions, that addiction is addiction is addiction, and all the commonalities between all of them was this disconnect inside themselves. And when they were disconnected, they were also disconnected with Truth, and each other. And so, it was manifesting with all of these vices and that was—
Kate: Like an escape?
Jodi: Yeah, absolutely, and it distracts them and it distracts their loved ones and their family members. And so, we spend a lot of time as therapists looking at the different vices and trying to stop or having them control, or manage them, or completely satiate their vices. And that really doesn’t heal the addiction.
It’s not uncommon, somebody will come and say, “I don’t drink but I’m smoking compulsively, I’m eating compulsively, but I’m not drinking.” And I’ll say to them, “You have not hit the core of why it is that you’re addicted.”
And what I’ve realized through working with thousands of people is that it’s this disconnect. And so, teaching people how to connect with themselves, and this concept called Truth—and then teaching them what Truth is.
Kate: I love that. That’s our job.
Jodi: That’s right up your alley, right?
Kate: Yeah. On a daily basis. It’s kind of fun. I was quoting a meme, “Truth is the one thing people don’t want to believe.” It’s very, very true. It’s probably really hard to get people to center on that and focus on that, and work on that, right? Their connections with other people.
Jodi: It is.
Kate: Because it’s so rooted emotionally, right?
Jodi: Well, it’s rooted emotionally but it’s also rooted in a willingness to be very humble in oneself and be honest with oneself. And therefore, when they start being honest, they start learning that when they tell themselves what the Truth is, that they then are charged with doing something different. So they have to be willing to be responsible for the information that they come up with when they run into what is the Truth.
Kate: And then apply it.
Jodi: Yeah. And somebody who is an addict, they stay away from anything uncomfortable. So, the very things that they need are the things that they’re staying way away from.
Kate: That’s a good point. Right, Dave?
Dave: It smacks of confession. In a religious sense.
Kate: Sure, I get where you’re going with that. So, you see the end where somebody ends up with the addiction. What kind of signs then would you see in somebody that is routed towards an addiction because this seems to be happening to cause this to get them to turn to that escape? So, do you see certain signs that would say these are probably triggers that something is happening to your relationships or maybe you’re not even conscious, or maybe you’re not even really looking at it, but are there triggers that start the whole process from the very beginning?
Jodi: Yes, there are. So, if you can imagine this paradigm that says, “All the choices that we make are either choices towards connection or towards disconnection.” So, you have to be educated on what those two pathways look like.
Connection means I’m willing to be accountable, I’m willing to be responsible for what I feel, what I think, what I choose, and the outcomes of those choices. I also need to learn how to be impeccably honest with the choices that I make, so I have to know my motives. I’m also willing to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is something that all of us are in 24/7, though if I become an addict, I detest vulnerability because it’s painful. Inside vulnerability, we have experiences, and inside those experiences, there’s pain there. Maybe you go home and you find out that your son or daughter is sick and you have to take them to the doctor. It’s like, but I wanted to go watch a movie tonight, now I’ve got to take care of this sick child and I feel uncomfortable. So, those kinds of experiences create what I would call inevitable pain.
And so, in order to be connected, you have to be willing to be vulnerable, you have to learn how to validate yourself and other people. And as you learn how to live those principles, you’re living inside what you probably would recognize as integrity—your personal integrity. You build character.
So, if I either do not know those things or I’m unwilling to live that way, then every choice I make—because it goes either into connection or disconnection—my default will be disconnect. And inside disconnect, there are all sorts of what I call distortions or deceptions, or a word that’s been used in our vernacular over the last probably five years with Brené Brown is shame.
So, shame and disconnect are the same. I just use that word (disconnect) because it describes a little bit better my paradigm of how I created this. And so, as I begin to choose, I’m really setting up a pathway. Which way am I going? And so, I need adults, I need mentors that keep inviting me to come into the connection pathway, so that I’m choosing more this Truth paradigm.
But if I don’t have that around me, then I will default into disconnect. And so, when people come in, they finally have enough pain, they come in to see me and I can hear their lives, they’re just full of either unawareness, of choices that they’ve made that have had horrendous outcomes that they have no idea that they’re responsible for. Or they’ve had experiences that have been done unto them that they don’t know how to heal because they have all of this pain and they think okay, this happened and so therefore I have to drag this around the rest of my life. And that is not the Truth. They don’t.
And they have to be willing to learn to be vulnerable and learn how to surrender—or another word we could use if we were talking spiritually—forgive. Forgive does not mean forget. Forgive does not mean that you hang out with your perpetrator, it means you’ve got to be willing to let that go and reframe it inside of a paradigm of what is the Truth: that I wasn’t responsible for that.
And so, as people start learning these principles, they start moving their lives from a disconnect or an addicted pattern, over into connection and into freedom. So, the patterns that I see with people who have become addicted is that they are loaded with distortion or shame, they do not know that they have that. They think that that is—
Kate: Normal? They’ve lived with it for so long.
Jodi: Yeah. That the way that they think is a reasonable way to think. So, when I say to them that right there is a distorted thought. When I hear somebody say, “Oh, I can’t do that.” And I’ll say, “Well, stop. You don’t even know how to do that. so, you can say, ‘I don’t know how to do that.” But not, ‘I can’t do that.’”
Kate: I taught a lesson once where I was talking about this sort of thing and I said, it’s a bit like wearing a backpack and just continually filling it with rocks and not realizing you’re walking around with this backpack full of rocks until you take it off, then you feel free and lighter. But most of the time, we do this with the things that have happened in our life, right? And we just walk around with this huge backpack of rocks and it’s weighing us down and sometimes, we don’t even realize maybe what an effect it has.
Jodi: This has become very evident to me, that as people learning these principles, they start feeling that freedom. Then, they go home and say, “I feel so good.” And they tell their spouses and their friends.
We just started a podcast two years ago, and we now have thousands of listeners.
Kate: What’s it called?
Jodi: ConneXions Classroom Podcast. There are 89 episodes. Every week, I record a new podcast. The core principles are how to live inside your integrity. So, how to shift from addiction by using integrity. How to manage and engage in anger. A lot of people think anger is bad. In this area of the country, some people think it’s evil. And it’s actually a very important gift that we’ve been given if we will use it appropriately, if we’ll use it inside Truth where we’re willing to take responsibility for what we’re feeling, willing to choose in a way that does not harm another person, like intentionally blame them or attack them but be very honest about hey, you just scratched my car and I’m not okay with that, you need to take care of it. Feel that anger well up and be able to direct it appropriately.
Kate: I can understand that. You’ve been on the other side of this as a cop, Dave, dealing with addictions and I know that you are against placing them in jail for 20 years for an addiction, right?
Dave: At all.
Kate: Yeah, at all. And I can certainly see how that wouldn’t help anyone get through all of these steps.
Dave: You’re talking about drug addiction or alcohol addiction.
Kate: Any addiction that would lead you down that road.
Dave: But you do get all these other addictions, the cycle of a marriage. You know, you’ve got a control freak.
Kate: Picking the wrong guy.
Dave: Or whatever, picking the wrong guy.
Kate: Or eating, how many people are there suffering from eating addictions, too? All kinds of stuff.
Dave: What you do with this? What’s the percentage? Because you know, just listening to you, I’m thinking well, I have addictions. There’s certain things that I really like to do and right now, recently it’s this iPhone right in front me. Sometimes, I’m drawn even in a conversation to just pick it up and start looking at it while they’re talking to me.
Kate: I know, we’ve all become ADD.
Dave: You start getting these things that you really, really like, or there’s something that takes hold of you.
Kate: So, when does it go from like to addiction?
Jodi: When you are willing to be honest with yourself and be accountable for what it is that you’re actually doing. So, for you to have that kind of consciousness, like wow, I keep picking up my phone, keep picking up my phone—
Dave: I recognize it.
Jodi: That would suggest oftentimes that you probably don’t have an addiction towards it, you don’t have this compulsion towards it, because you’re willing to be honest about what you’re doing. Now, I don’t know that you don’t, but that’s the first step, Dave, is being able to recognize that this is causing distraction in my life, I’m using it to take my attention away from maybe family or relationships—
Dave: Yeah, there’s inter-personal relationships.
Kate: When we come back, let’s talk more about that. It’s very interesting. We’ll come right back with Jodi Hildebrandt. What is the podcast again?
Kate: Okay, we will be right back. Do not go anywhere. Do not leave. We have more and this is the Kate Dalley show.[MUSIC, ADVERTS]
Kate: Hi there, welcome back to the Kate Dalley show. So glad that you’re tuning in. Dave’s loving this song, aren’t you, Dave? Admit it.
Dave: Hey, you’re embarrassing me.
Kate: I know, right? Welcome back. By the way, go to CoxTrucking.com. They’re hiring right now. They’re looking for CDLs and you can work in a great environment and have a great staff.
Dave: What a great job. They pay you to just drive down the road and listen to the radio.
Kate: Oh my gosh, I mean, come on, CoxTrucking.com. And make sure you go to What Women Want and go see Dr. Jeanette Watts, tell her I sent you because she’s amazing and she’s done amazing things.
We’re back with Jodi Hildebrandt, welcome to the show. I want to talk about one thing that is just huge right now in our society and I really am scared about what our society will look like in 10 years. I took the kids to Disney Land last year, I take them every year (and Knott’s and stuff). We were in line and every single person was on a phone. Not one person was having a conversation. It almost scared me. I was in line for Space Mountain and you know how it’s like all wrapped around so you can see everybody standing in line? There wasn’t one person having a conversation and I thought oh my gosh, what are we doing in our society? We are forming kids or we’re teaching and training our kids to have a total disconnect with everybody around them, aren’t we, Jodi? What are we going to do to solve this problem?
Jodi: Absolutely. That is our main message at www.connexionsclassroom.com. We want to teach people that the ability to connect is something as important as food and air is to the body. We need connection and we are raising children and we as adults are doing the same thing, we are distracting ourselves and there are a billion ways to distract, because it’s uncomfortable for me to look at you and have a conversation and be vulnerable. We don’t have time to talk about what vulnerability is, but if you go to the podcast, I have episodes about it.
So, vulnerability means that I’m willing to experience the Reality, like if you start crying, then I get to stay connected with you and experience through being empathic with you, what you’re feeling. That’s connected.
Kate: And we’ve got to do that. Let’s take a caller and then we’ll come right back to that point. Hi, caller, welcome to the show.
Caller: Hey Kate, that same thing happened to me last time I was at Disney Land and I thought to myself at first like this is ridiculous, we’re in big trouble, what are we going to do? But then I thought also that the lines represented maybe tens of thousands of conversations that were happening through text message, social media, and those things. And I started wondering maybe the connections that we’re dealing with today are much like us moving from the LP record player to cassette tapes to CDs. A different way of connecting.
Kate: I don’t know. There’s no personal connecting and you have to. I really do think Jodi is right on this, you have to connect one-on-one personally and feel something. In text, you have to interpret and try and read what somebody’s saying and how they’re saying it, and I don’t think it conveys any messages that are real. I so appreciate the call. Thank you. It’s a point, but I just don’t agree with that because I think that you have to have this, right, Jodi?
Jodi: You do. You have to feel what the other person is experiencing. So, what the caller said is we’re having these conversations, but if I don’t see and experience your emotion and get curious about your emotion, then I just project what I think you mean onto what you said. So, I’m having a conversation with myself, like my own interpretation of what you mean. I don’t go, “Kate, what did you mean by that, and how did you feel about that?” I don’t get vulnerable with you. That is the piece that we’re missing, we are not getting vulnerable with each other. And when we don’t get vulnerable and we’re not connecting, we are becoming increasingly more psychologically and emotionally sick. People are like, “Why are people so much more depressed and anxious?”
Kate: Isn’t that a great observation right there?
Jodi: Very much so.
Kate: Because in our lives, you’re still going to be married, and have kids, and be part of let’s say an LDS ward or a congregation at the Catholic church, you’re still going to have all these— So, if you can’t connect with those people and you’re so used to texting them…
I remember my son had somebody over and they were sitting on the couch texting, and I was like, “No! Talk! No, converse! You invited a friend over, talk to them.” I can understand what you’re saying because we still have to deal with all these relationships and all we’re doing is handicapping ourselves.
Jodi: That’s exactly right. And it goes back to that, I have a choice. I can either go down this road of disconnect or connection, but I’m not conscious of that. And so, it feels more comfortable and it’s enabled in our society to disconnect. Like, if you and I were all sitting on our electronics, nobody would come up and say hey there’s a human being sitting next to you, why don’t you talk to them? Nobody would do that.
And so, we are inadvertently, because we are 1) not educated, and 2) we don’t understand the need for connection, though we all do need it. Nobody has taught us that you have got to talk to talk to each other. You’ve got to look at somebody, feel what they’re feeling, ask them questions, get vulnerable with them, and understand what their life is really like not just from a logical standpoint, but from an emotional standpoint. That is what protects us. It really is protection.
If you want to heal an addiction, you learn how to live inside emotionally honesty, being rigorously responsible, stay vulnerable, and validate, you won’t have an issue with any kind of compulsive behavior. You won’t. Because you as a human being will be the most important thing to me, not these trinkets and not these electronics.
Kate: Distractions. Everything from TV to, “Get out of my way, I’m watching a show,” which I’ve said to my kids, I mean, come on, I’m honest. But the phone too, you know, “I’m on an important message right now.”
We do that a lot. I remember my son was asking somebody to a dance and he’s like Well, I’ll just text her and I just about had a heart attack. I’m like, what? My brain wanted to implode and of course we had to sit down, no, no, no, you will call this person and you will talk to this person because you need to have that awkward conversation where you’re both feeling super-awkward, so you can work through it. Be vulnerable and then you’re closer.
Jodi: Your son is uncomfortable with being vulnerable. That is a telltale sign. You asked me a question at the beginning and said, “What are the characteristics of becoming addicted?” Well, there’s one of them, is that I don’t want to be uncomfortable. That is a pathway right to distraction and distraction, if you become compulsed around distraction, is addiction.
Kate: And here we are in a society which this caller is probably like a lot of people, where they think, Well, this is just a new evolution of where we’re going in the future and I get why he’s saying, I really do, caller. But I think that this one is different. This one could cause more problems.
Dave: Do you find that the more that you practice this, the easier it gets?
Jodi: To be vulnerable?
Dave: To open up?
Jodi: Very much so. I mean, we were just sitting outside talking to the wife of Trevor Loudon, she turned us and said, “Oh, you guys are on next.” We’re like, “Yeah.” And we kicked up this conversation. I feel super connected to her. I only met her for 15 minutes and we talked about all sorts of very intimate things. She was open, I was open. It was lovely. I’m like, I want to stay connected to you. And she’s like great, me too. And we shared information. We can do that with anyone.
Like, when I go to the store, people have their little name tags on—I know how important it is to validate somebody and say, “I see you.” That’s what validation is. I see you. So, I will call them by name and say, “Hey, Kate. Good to see you. Thank you for helping me.” And they kind of jerk—
Kate: Like they don’t know what to do.
Jodi: Like, that felt really good.
Kate: And then they’re like “Hey, let me tell you my life story.” That’s my experience.
Dave: That’s the problem. Once in a while, you get one that just won’t stop talking.
Jodi: That is evidence of somebody who needs validation.
Dave: I know but you’ve people to see and schedules to meet.
Kate: I love this though because I worry. I worry about our youth. I worry about us quite frankly. My husband gets an award for putting up with me because I’m always studying, I am always reading, I am always answering emails or talking with guests. The poor guy has to sit and wait till I’m done and I really have to be conscious of that, because it can take over and we can let these distractions just take over our lives, and then what?
So, our relationships are huge. We just didn’t have this growing up. I told my kids, I had a beeper. When I was in my twenties, we had a beeper and you called it, and you had to go find a pay-phone. You just didn’t have this constant…where texting has now taken over a conversation. People just—and I’m guilty of it, too—I would rather text than have a conversation to be quite honest with you. And I can answer when I want. And I really can’t do that, I think this show is reminding me that I really need to stay one-on-one with people.
Jodi: You do. They need you and you need them. I mean, need, that is an underscored word. We need to learn how to connect and I keep running in people that say, “I want to connect but I don’t know how to do it.” And so, my whole focus is to teach people these principles of connection, because connection is an outcome. It’s not something that you say I want connection and boom it shows up. You have to live it. You have to live in honesty and being accountable.
Kate: So, here you were a therapist, do you feel like this is really hitting home now with people?
Jodi: Oh, my goodness, yes.
Kate: Because this can transform, this can change people.
Jodi: Very much so. Like I said, we started these podcasts two years ago, and we had one listener and that was Jordan. And now, we have hundreds of thousands of listeners in two years, and those are all word of mouth. There has been no advertising for this. So, people are hearing it, I get emails and all sorts of different mediums of correspondence saying thank you and this is so powerful, and I’ve shared it with my friends and my family, and people that I love because I want I want to have these kinds of relationships with them. And it’s just spreading like wildfire, these principles. Because they’re all based in Truth. They’re not difficult, it’s just a matter of putting it inside of a paradigm that people can start understanding, and that’s when we created this classroom.
Kate: Well, I like this because depression, we’ve had shows on this lately because we had September, which was National Suicide Prevention Month and also, we have so much depression going on. I’m seeing it in a lot of the youth. And this would be a very good explanation for a lot of this happening right now, if everybody’s wondering why this epidemic is going on right now.
Jodi: That is exactly right.
Kate: We’ve got to solve this problem.
Jodi: Yes. And we can. We can. These kids don’t need to be dying. And they don’t know how to connect. Their environment doesn’t know how to connect them. Parents are learning, waking up to being able to say, “Put all your phones in the basket when you come over to my house.”
I raised two kids and when kids would come over to our house, it’s like “Okay, here’s the phone basket, stick your phone in there.” And we did not put on movies or video games. Our house was one of connection and kids loved coming to our home.
Kate: I’ll bet, because they left feeling fulfilled.
Jodi: That’s right. We talk about lust, and distortion, and we’d all sit around the bar at the kitchen table and I’d have my son’s teenage friends, and we’d discuss—
Kate: Right, this is why you can’t have electronics and TV on while you’re eating dinner around the dinner table. This is the only time you really—
Dave: You gotta have the ball game on.
Kate: Oh, whatever, Dave. Don’t kill my buzz. We’re solving problems here, we’re not contributing to them. I think that dinner table conversation—and I know at my house, all the kids come home with their marrieds and we all talk. We just talk a lot at my house as you can imagine—I talk for a living—but we all talk. At night, we put the phones away, but we need to do that earlier. We need to do it more often. I think parents are just saying “Oh, whatever, I don’t want the fight.” But we need the fight.
Jodi: You need the fight because you’ve got to get your kids back.
Kate: I talked to somebody about a lot of kids going on missions for the LDS church and their inability to deal with it because they’re without their electronics. They can’t handle being away from cellphones and that constant, did somebody like my picture? Am I feeling this teeny bit of validation that’s not really real but am I feeling that right now so I can see whether somebody likes me, or likes my photo, or likes what I said, or what have you and they can’t peel themselves away, and they come home depressed.
Jodi: That’s exactly right. Those examples you just gave are examples of distortion. And we if had more time, I could give you example.
Kate: I know, darn it. We have a couple of minutes. Let me take a caller. Caller, make it quick, we’ve got about 30 seconds.
Caller: Okay. I just want to know if it’s anything like the 12-step program?
Kate: Is it anything like the 12-step?
Jodi: Yes, there are absolutely components about the 12-step program. It’s more rigorous than the 12-step program as far as just the principles. So, depending on who is walking you through that 12-step; but yes, learn how to be honest, responsible, humble.
Kate: I like this. Can teenagers go through this?
Jodi: We are creating a parenting class right now and starting in January, we’re going to be teaching parents how to teach their children how to stay connected. Because children come to this planet connected, and we systematically over a period of time and in their environment, they start disconnecting.
Kate: Train them not to be.
Jodi: Exactly right. Parents are saying help me, help me get my kids reconnected because I know what it feels like to be connected now, I’ve learned the principles and I don’t know how to teach it to my kids.
Kate: You know what? When I look back on my family memories, the one fond memory I have is driving somewhere with the family as we discussed family, as we talked about things. Now, everybody shoves a video in their face and says, “Watch a movie while we travel because I don’t want to be bothered by you.” But I loved the conversations we used to have. That’s where we learned about the family tree, the weird uncle and the weird aunt. That’s where we learned about all this stuff, right? And talked. So, when you look back on your fond memories, think about that. Think about the fond memories. They involve a connection.
Jodi: Yes, all of them.
Kate: I don’t remember the best time I was on the phone. I mean, come on.
Jodi: You’re exactly right. There’s emotions. I remember being in the family car with no air conditioning and I was raised in Arizona, so I remember how hot I was. I remember it because it was a visceral experience, it was an emotional experience. That’s what connection is.
Kate: www.connexionsclassroom.com. Thank you, Jodi Hildebrandt. I appreciate you.
Jodi: Thank you.
Kate: And also Dave. Investigator Dave.
Dave: Thank you.
Kate: Everybody have a great weekend. Go to www.katedalleyradio.com for podcasts. Be faithful, be fearless. And see you Monday.
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