Anat Peri is an extremely talented coach with over 10 years of experience in innovative developmental work. She joins me to discuss the important skill of emotional resilience. Now is an excellent opportunity to begin to strengthen that skill.
Table of Contents
- Dealing with Too Much Anxiety and Uncertainty
- Your Own Dark Winter and How to Cope with It
- Changing Your Relationship with Money
- For People Experiencing Overwhelm
- The Layer Below Emotion
- A Free Gift from Anat
Dealing with Too Much Anxiety and Uncertainty
Mike: So Anat, in the last two weeks since everyone started quarantining themselves because this whole coronavirus, what have you seen as far as fear has come up?
Anat: Oh yeah. Well for collectively, what I've heard is a lot of anxiety, a lot of doubt, a lot of uncertainty, a lot of people holding on to whatever they have, whatever money they have, because they don't know if they're going to be laid off next month or if they're going to be able to withstand this. We don't know how long this is going to be. The fear is leaking into a lot of areas for people that I personally believe those areas where there beforehand.
Mike: You mentioned uncertainty around finances. There's a bit of that. Where else are people experiencing a fear that you've heard?
Anat: Fear of this changing their life permanently. Fear of getting coronavirus to begin with. Fear for their family, fear for their friends. Stress, anger, anxiety for sure. Them not having the normal things that they can turn to. So again, I think it's just exasperating what has been there under the surface all along that we've always managed to avoid.
How people avoid stress and fear
Mike: What are some common things people turn to when they want to avoid their feelings that may have been taken away from them right now?
Anat: For some of them, it's just even distracting themselves with work. Some people are not working right now and have so much time to sit. Going out to bars, to clubs, to restaurants, getting together with friends to be social in that way, and distract themselves from spending time with themselves and having to hear their own voice. I'd say those are some of the big ones I feel that have been pulled out.
Mike: The two big ones for me that I tend to go to is work and travel, and the travel was taken away, so I doubled down on the work, which was good in a lot of ways because there's a big pivot necessary in messaging and things like that in regard to the business. There was a really great opportunity for us to be of service to our clients. We didn't need to do anything, but I chose to work, and I worked and worked and worked, and then I hit the wall, and I go, okay, I knew I was going to hit the wall. I was curious, because I'd been taking it easy a lot for years.
Hitting the wall
Mike: I was thinking, let's see how far I can take this thing. I got about 10 days in and then I hit the wall, and I go, okay, that's where I'm at. I took a few days off and those few days off, I got really present to a lot of emotions and a lot of places where I was judging myself and all that kind of stuff. Because of the work I've done with you is really enjoyable to work through in a way, there was some sadness and guilt, and all these things I was feeling.
And at the same time going, okay, I know I'm moving through this, and so I just get to sit with it and I got to sit with it for a whole day. On the other side of it is a lot of joy. I want to let people know I'm having things come up for me too. That's totally, totally okay. Have you had stuff come up for you in the last couple of weeks?
Anat: Very little.
Mike: Are you human?
Your Own Dark Winter and How to Cope with It
Anat: I have my support team. I have my mentor. I have someone that I know is holding me through this. Just knowing that I have that lifeline creates that peace.
The other part is that I have two things. One is because I facilitate this type of work, I feel that I'm always in the conversation. So always getting a chance to remind myself of it. Then the biggest thing is seeing this as a season, as winter. Winter is a time we're all like, we're not going out much. That's the experience globally.
My winter was from like last April until about when coronavirus started, about February. What I mean by that is, during that time, I was moving through a lot of emotions. I am very much still human even though I facilitate this work and been doing this for 15 years. I was grateful during that time to have my team to hold down the fort so that I have that time to be with myself, to be in my winter. I feel like I went through mine and then came out just in time to be able to solidly give and support others right now. It was a very long, brutal winter for me. Almost a year I'd say.
Mike: I imagine a lot of people are going, yes, I'm having my winter now. My partner is driving me crazy, or my parents, etc. I'm not sure where money's coming from. What I know for sure is there's a lot of business. Half the businesses I'm talking to are doing the best I've ever done and the other half are doing nothing. So, it really depends on where things are positioned in the market.
Suffering is optional
Mike: So, you have people that all these things are happening. How do you deal with these new things, these new feelings, new fear, new anxiety? Like you were saying, it's not new, but it's now way more noticeable. So, people are having to stop. Our toys have been taken away, and then there's this additional pressure of, by the way, there's this virus out there that's killing, one to three percent of the population.
Anat: Well the suffering is optional, and the suffering only happens if you are arguing with reality. If you are unwilling to accept reality. Reality being what's happening in this present moment. Whether it's external, can you accept what's going on that business may be slow, your gym may be closed, you may have gotten laid off. Coronavirus keeps growing. Can you accept it instead of resist it, because it's creating something inside of you that you don't want to feel? Again, more of not accepting what it is that you are experiencing.
That's actually what's causing the suffering. Resisting the suffering causes more suffering, causes the suffering. So I think the first key part for people is to get that this isn't something that we can run away from anymore. Most of our distractions have been taken away from us, most not all, and that it's really an opportunity. There's an opportunity here for us to face something that, like I said, has been there all along.
Seeing other things happening as gifts
Mike: I think it's easy to say. It may be easy to think, Oh, this is a gift. This is a gift. People may hear me say that and throw some bullshit flags and all that mess, and whatever. You can do that. You can say, Hey, Mike's just full of shit. But for me, I've noticed that I've been able to see gifts in this every day. Like you're saying, there's definitely moments where I go, Oh, I wish things were different, and that sneaks in just for a second. I go, yeah, but then I wouldn't be getting all these other gifts. I totally see that. I see so many things that would not have been possible at all had I been on the trajectory I was on.
Anat: Look, the growth happens. We grow the most in discomfort, in uncertainty, in the challenge. So, it's like a double-edged sword. On one hand, our ego doesn't want it, but looking back … When we will look back in this in hindsight 2020, most of us, if we've taken this opportunity to go through it as opposed to avoid it, you're going to … Those of us that do that are going to come out on the other side and say, Holy cow, that was like, that was painful. That was a battle, and I grew so much from it. So ultimately, I think we all do want to grow and knowing what we're capable of. The more we grow, the more our box expands, the more a belief we have in ourselves. Knowing ourselves is powerful.
Changing Your Relationship with Money
Mike: What do you tell people who are really challenged right now where money is their big concern?
Anat: The foundation of it is your relationship with money. If I didn't have the relationship that I do with money, it's not like money's flowing in right now to my business. I'm experiencing that drop as well. When I say experiencing, meaning if you look at the numbers, yes.
How am I experiencing it is very different. It is from knowing that money is abundant and the only thing that's not is time. Can't get time back. We can always make money back and there's a trust. There's a relationship I've developed with it and I feel most people have to first and foremost understand that. What has been your relationship to money? How have you related to it?
It's like saying to that person, you're not giving me enough or you're not enough. Why can't you give me more? What type of relationship, if seeing it as an energy that could at any moment flow in, at any moment it could flow in. For all of us opportunities can come. I know people interviewing right now, getting hired by companies.
Then I know people that didn't have a product and now created one and are selling it. So opportunity can show up, the money can … The switch can flip like that.
Mike: We had quite a few clients that went from they're gym owners and they go, "Oh no, I hope I don't lose any clients", to keeping all their clients. Because they did such a good job of going online, they got more clients, and so they're making more money than ever, when most coaches are seeing a decrease.
The salt and pepper experiment
Anat: Have you heard of the salt and pepper experiment?
Anat: It was a group of people at a dinner table and they've done these many times. Two people decided to play along with this and be like, "Where's the salt and pepper? There's no salt, pepper. I can't believe there's no salt and pepper on the table." They keep saying it. The people listening are listening, and they're buying into it so much that they don't see that the salt and pepper is on the table. So really tying this into whatever it is that you're telling yourself is going to create your reality.
We can control what it is that we are saying to myself, saying to ourselves. What do you choosing to buy into? What are you choosing to feed your mind? Because a lot of you are very good at choosing what you feed your body and how you exercise. Well, how are you exercising your mind and what is it that you're feeding that so that that's what you're seeing.
For People Experiencing Overwhelm
Mike: If someone is experiencing overwhelm, if they're starting to live Groundhog Day, as I imagine that some people are starting to have Groundhog Day because of the quarantine.
Anat: I know that's the reality for a lot of people, especially parents right now that have to juggle maybe working from home and not getting a break from their kids. There's no babysitter. There's no sending them off to school. I know that's a reality. I actually spoke with a dear friend of mine last night that was in breakdown about that.
The importance of experiencing and feeling whatever's coming up for you around that, emotional resiliency. We need to learn how to feel whatever it is that we're experiencing because that's really what you're trapped in. The reality there is I can't get a break. This feels like Groundhog Day. So the way that people are talking about it or that sentence alone is very up here in the head. It can create even more stories and makeup that, "Oh my God, what if this goes on for another five months?" Then you turn on the news and it's even worse.
How much can we get to the root of it? Bring this into the experience that you're actually having because of that, because that's what you're feeling. The rest is a story, that's imagined. I'm in Groundhog Day. Are you fucking really? No, you're not. So, breaking it down to what is it that you're actually experiencing right now? Because that's something that you can tend to and move through.
Trimming the weed of feelings
Mike: You're having feelings and you're tired of having the feelings, and you don't want to have many more. What do you do?
Anat: See, most people label their feelings. We all do, right? It's what we learned as soon as we got language. So an emotion, if you really look up the definition in Latin, is a energy in motion. I'm sure some of you've heard that before. So really, it's energy. It's a vibration. It's a sensation. But we've all learned to label it. If that label is, "Oh, I'm excited," "Oh, I'm, I'm happy," then we're like, cool, awesome, great.
If it's "I'm sad, I'm anxious, I'm scared," those are quote unquote negative, and I don't want to … Then we'd go to our head. Why do I feel this way? How can I stop feeling this way? The key is, first of all, to relate to it as that middle ground is however we label it. It's like that weed in the garden, and if you take it up to your head, and why and how can I control this, and maybe I'll just go distract myself with this or that, you're really just trimming the weed.
Unlearning the Wrong, Learning the Right
Mike: What do you tell the person who's got that looping thought and they think, no, I have to … My old way of dealing with it was the distraction, which was I will think about something else. I used to think that was having a good mindset, like I have a discipline mindset because, when I have thoughts I don't like coming in, I can direct my mind to be somewhere else and not think about that. Now I deal with it in a completely different way. I thought that I was the master of that, and then I realized that's not the case.
Anat: You end up just bottling it up, bottling up, and then eventually it explodes. Look, this is what we all learned. Most of us had parents, mothers that, as soon as we were old enough for them to communicate with us and understand if we were crying or angry or upset, it wasn't like, "Oh, you're upset. I'm here for you." It was, "Why are you crying? Stop crying. You shouldn't be crying. Stop yelling. Calm down." We were taught that these emotionally wrong.
Anat: Most of us, we were programmed this way. We reprogram that to question, to start to question and doubt, and ask, and stop feeling these negative emotions. The opportunity here is to unlearn that and to get the right learning. Just like some of us who learned the wrong way to do certain exercises. What are some common exercises that people come in the gym and you're just like, Oh geez.
Mike: So same thing happens emotionally.
Anat: Exactly, and you teach them the right way and then they practice is.
The Layer Below Emotion
Anat: The key to go from that middle ground of the labeled emotion. Think of it like the weed in the garden, right where the ground is. Instead of going up with it and trimming it, going up to our heads and finding some way, like you said, to mentally control it, we want to get to the root. Because if you trim it, it grows back. If you get to the root and you pull that weed out, there's room for something new.
What is one layer below emotion? Well, if emotions are energy in motion, it's the energy, and energy is the sensations in the body. All of us right now, if you focus all focus on your feet, whether they're in socks or shoes or just touching the floor or the carpet. If you put your focus there right now, do you feel the sensation?
There may be a temperature, like my feet are cold right now. Texture to how the rug or floor or sock feel. An area that you feel it in. The size or maybe a color, a shape. This is what it is to be with something at the level of sensation. It may have a vibration. It may be moving. Like when we have that stomach ache, we could feel where it is, and is it moving around? Is it still?
Learning to be with something at the sensation. When you cut yourself, you may think that what's doing the healing is the Band-Aid and the ointment. It's not. It's that it hurts so much. You feel it. You can't deny that you're feeling it.
Acknowledging what you're feeling
Anat: I wanted to answer something you asked earlier about overwhelm. Something could be so intense, so scary, so painful, and we usually use the word so before the word, that we make it so big that it's like jumping in that shit pool. It's overwhelming. That's what has people shut down and numb out of it. When you learn to track it, wherever it is in the body, you understand that it's just there. That's where it is. At the same time, you can go focus back to your feet or your hands or your arms or anywhere else that feels grounded. That feels safe. You can see. You can go back and forth between, "Oh right, there is this pain right here in my chest. It's heartbreak, it's fear, it's whatever, and it's so intense. It's so much."
Is it so much because you're feeding it with stories, you're fuelling the fire more? So being aware of that and coming back, or is it just so painful that you think it's going to take over all of you, and that's when there is to tune into other parts of the body and be like, "Oh okay, this actually … Okay, this area feels good and safe. The cushion, the ground holding me, the chair, the couch holding me right now feels super, super good." Then you can come back to it and you can bounce back from that. Just like in exercising. It can hurt. It can be intense. And to know that it's just that one part of the body.
A Free Gift from Anat
Mike: So thanks for joining us today. Where do people, if they want more information from you? And you also have a free gift for people. I don't know if the free gift is ready yet or not, but just tell us about it and where they need to go.
Anat: TrainingCampForTheSoul.com. We're updating the gift, but all the gifts are good. Whether it's the guided meditation or freedom guide, TrainingCampForTheSoul.com. If you want to hop on a discovery call, hear about how we can deep dive and you can come out on the other side, like Mike Bledsoe.
Mike: Be like me. I don't know if you want that or not. Everyone gets something different. They get exactly what they need.
Anat: Become the best version of yourself. We do have a virtual program, and they can follow me on Instagram.
Mike: Awesome. Thanks Anat. Appreciate you.