Self-care is essential for our mental and emotional wellbeing. It’s an important tool for enduring personal growth but it gets sidelined due to the many demands on our time but there are ways to seamlessly integrate certain useful practices into our daily life and we’re going to learn about it in this episode.
Our guest, Ryan Weiss, is a life coach and a certified Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Teacher. Ryan is also the creator of morning email called waking up with Ryan. He also shares daily videos on Instagram that are filled with guidance on how best to live a healthy and happy life. He’s like a constant companion on our path to self-discovery and growth. In this episode, Ryan helps us understand the importance of regular self-care, finding self-acceptance, and making space for personal transformation that can take us closer to a better version of ourselves.
Let’s dive in!
Listen to the episode below-
This episode discusses topics like-
- Spirituality and how Ryan likes to introduce related concepts to his clients and students
- Anxiety and what might be causing it
- How to effectively manage anxiety and avoid any incidents that may jeopardise our emotional or mental stability
- How to slow down the pace of life and give take stock of what our body, mind, and soul truly needs
- The role self-acceptance plays in our growth
- How and why we play small to accommodate social and familial expectations
- How to practice self-care without feeling guilty
Links from the episode-
Follow me (mehra_krati) on Instagram for conversations on empowered living with a healthy mind and soul.
How to subscribe and review-
Get Updated when the episodes are released-
Ratings and reviews are important to every show. It helps the creator improve and serve the audience better and the more reviews I have, the easier it will be for others to find this information. So, do me a huge favour, and please leave a review letting me know what you loved about the episode.
Share on Social Media and Spark a Conversation-
If this episode resonated with you and you found the shared content useful or even if it made you think and reconsider your current life choices, share this episode on social media and I’ll be very grateful to you.
When you do, tag me on Instagram @mehra_krati so I can thank and you give you a virtual hug 🙂
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out through the contact page. You can also DM me on Instagram. If there is an issue you would like for me to cover on the show, let me know and I’ll make sure you get the answers you need.
Thank you so much for giving time to this episode. I appreciate you and I’m glad to have you as a companion on this adventure.
Krati: I want to thank you for making time for this conversation.
Ryan: Beautiful. Well, I’m so excited to talk with you and get to know you.
Krati: Okay, before we get into the actual interview stuff, I want to ask you something because I listened to your, videos on Instagram and you do them all week and they’re very simple. You don’t use language that wouldn’t connect to everyone. Even people who are not exactly spiritual. You talk in a way that it would make sense even to people who are not overly spiritual or who are not actually following that path.
But when you want to explain spiritual concepts to someone who is not spiritual at all, how do you go about that? How do you, because I know you are a big on universe and the energy around us and tapping into that, how do you put that forward to someone who just doesn’t believe in energy or the universe playing a role in our life?
Ryan: Yeah, it’s a great question. On one hand, I don’t see that as my job. I don’t see it as my job to try to convince anybody of anything that they don’t want to, or aren’t ready to hear. so that would be the first thing. I’m not trying to convince anybody of anything. you know, universal law, spiritual law is real. And I experience it in my own life. Every single day. There are certain discernible laws of the way the universe works like our thoughts create our reality, like Whatever unprocessed stress and trauma we have stored in our body is influencing our choices that we make every moment of every day and it’s those choices that we make consciously or unconsciously that build our life.
And so when someone comes to me for coaching or a conversation, it honestly, doesn’t really matter whether they consider themselves to be spiritual or unspiritual. I just always do my best to meet them where they’re at. It’s my job to connect heart to heart, to really listen to where someone is at in their life and then meet them where they’re at, and try to get to know their experience. I really listen deeply to the words that they use, and the beliefs that they expose through the conversation which gives me a lot of information, and then I can use the language that they’re using to try to ask questions that may get them to think about something they haven’t thought about yet before, and it’s just in small openings. Right. And so, and then in terms of how can we, maybe encourage someone to realise their spirituality and to recognise who they really are? It’s pretty simple to me. I think there’s a lot of spiritual teachings out there that can be incredibly complex and I’m not interested in that.
It’s very simple. Okay, I’m breathing oxygen that’s being exhaled by the trees and the trees inhale the carbon dioxide that I’m exhaling. So what I don’t use the trees use, what the trees don’t use. We’re in this symbiotic relationship with an earth that grows our food that’s warmed by a sun in the sky.
Inside of a woman’s body, a baby can be created underneath layers of skin and tissues and organs as if the universe is saying like hands-off. I don’t need your opinion. I don’t need you to work hard at this, this is happening. I don’t need you to be in charge of it. And so to me, it’s about maybe pointing people’s focus and their awareness towards the realisation of how miraculous it is to be alive.
Every breath we take, we typically take it for granted. We just assume like that’s some normal thing, or if we are blessed enough to live in an area where we can turn on a faucet or the shower and have clean running water come out of it, that’s a miracle. That’s a miracle that we have access to that water. That’s this is all stuff, that’s incredible.
The fact that we not own, that the earth doesn’t only grow the food, but that we have an internal digestive system that can bring down that food and let go of what it doesn’t need or what may be toxic and use the minerals and the proteins and the carbohydrates and the fats to heal our body and heal our brain and nourish our muscles and repair our little, our, amino acids.
Right? So this whole thing is a miracle. It’s just that when we were really young, we were socialised, we were trained out of the awareness of how amazing this thing is. And so if you look at a young, young, young baby, and you see how open their eyes are and they see a bird flying in the sky and they don’t know, Oh, that’s a bird.
And this is the mechanics of how that works. That’s not, what’s amazing to them. What’s amazing to them is everything they’re seeing and touching and smelling and hearing and feeling, and that’s how we all come in. And then, just through our education systems and the families in which we’re raised. And this economy, as if the economy is a real thing.
It’s not, it’s something we all made up and we put so much focus on that stuff and lose the connection to how majestic it is to be alive. And so when, and anybody can access that, whether they believe that a god or a creator created it, or if they just purely believe in science. But the thing, the question that I always ask is like, okay, so we believe that, scientifically, that this big bang happened, that created physical life. What happened before the big bang? What was here before that? And so we can get into that another time, but does that kind of touch on what you’re asking?
Krati: Yes, absolutely. You have a very beautiful way of looking at it that makes sense to me because, I sometimes talk to people and they ask me for personal experience of how I manage my anxiety and how I got out of that phase when everything in my life was about my anxiety. I try to explain, create a visualisation and meditation or stepping, you know, away from or having an out of body experience when you’re having an anxiety attack, but it becomes a little challenging for me when somebody has never done any of these things before.
So, I wanted to get your perspective because every morning you share these videos and they present some very profound concepts and, you know, in a very simple way, and you always manage to get your points across. So I thought, you know, why not ask somebody who’s been doing it like an expert.
Ryan: Yeah, and I’d love to touch on that topic of anxiety, because I do think that meditation and visualisation and spiritual practices are absolutely necessary to kind of down-regulate the anxiety, down-regulate the central nervous system. I also think that it’s really important, and I’ve been talking about this a lot lately, and I’m not claiming that I’m right. I’m claiming that this is my experience, and it’s been really helpful with the many, many people that have been in my one-on-one coaching, my group coaching workshops, seminars, retreats. I have a different way of looking at anxiety. So this could be controversial, I recognise that but hopefully just go for the ride here. I actually don’t think that anxiety is a feeling. I think anxiety is a byproduct of not feeling our feelings. And so what happens is as human beings from a very young age, we are trained out of feeling our feelings.
Maybe, because we had parents who were incredibly stressed or avoidant or unable to attune to our needs, or maybe we didn’t have a primary parent that was around or they did those like well-meaning loving things, when we cried out as young children, like don’t cry, don’t cry, or why are you angry? You have nothing to be angry about, or, you know, you have everything you need. Why are you upset? Right? And there’s a, there’s a relatively consistent invalidation of our emotions that happens at a really young age. And that’s understandable because, our parents want what’s best for us. And they also grew up in a world that completely devalued our emotional intelligence. Right? There wasn’t even an idea that our emotions have intelligence.
There’s a cultural belief that our emotions are actually unintelligent, that they’re kind of not worthy of our attention. And instead we grow these cultures around this, hyper focused on building our intellectual intelligence, our psychological, our brain functioning, our work capacity which is a wonderful way to develop a society of a bunch of worker bees who have no freedom to really create a world that they desire.
And if you get people completely out of touch with their emotions, you also get people out of touch with their intuition, and then people become incredibly easy to manipulate to sell things to. Right? You’ll just feel better if you just buy this insert the blank. And so from a very young age, we were socialised.
We were trained out of feeling our emotions and we grow up to become these adult, or if we experienced big trauma. Maybe we were hit when we expressed our emotions, maybe we were ignored when we expressed our emotions. Maybe we were unsafe to express our emotions. And so we grow up to be these, become these human beings who have learned to completely disassociate or disconnect from our deep, profound, emotional life, which is a disconnection from our intuition, our creativity, our love, our ability to connect with each other, right?
The brain does not know how to connect with other human beings. The brain is all about me, me, me and my survival. And that’s wonderful and that’s great, and we have an amazing brain. It’s just that we’ve given it way too much power given the brain way too much focus and way too much power, and it’s not currently balanced with our whole emotional system that lives within our bodies.
And so we become these adults who disassociate, disconnect from our emotions. So what happens is we’re human beings, we’re living life. We have a whole tank in our body filled with unprocessed and unexpressed emotions from all the times in our lives when we’ve been hurt, when we’ve been scared, when we’ve been sad and we didn’t know how to process it, and we didn’t feel comfortable or safe, or we didn’t have someone to support us in really learning how to express our emotions.
So, we’ve got all this stuff trapped in our body, and then something happens in our life. What we call like a trigger or a stressor or an event where someone says something to us that’s maybe unkind or the job opportunity doesn’t come through that we were waiting for. Or, our partner tells us that they don’t love us anymore or whatever.
Right? There’s a stressor. That triggers, not just the emotion of the event, but also a lifetime of unprocessed emotions that live inside of our body. And that causes an explosion of emotions like a volcano erupts inside of our body. But what we’ve been trained to do is ignore it, not feel it. And go right up into our head.
We go into a story. I can’t believe this is happening to me. Why is this happening to me? Why does this always happen to me? Why doesn’t it happen to her? What am I going to do about this? What if this happens? What if that happens? I’m freaking out, right? So here’s what I want to understand. There’s an explosion of emotion.
We ignore it. We avoid it. We go up into our thoughts, which is a way that we try to push those emotions down. And it’s that tension between the emotions rising up and our trained unconscious desire to push the emotions down. So emotions are rising up, we’re pushing them down and that tension is anxiety.
It causes anxiety in the body. I also like to look at anxiety as a way that our body is speaking to us, telling us there’s something we need to pay attention to that we’re not yet paying attention to. And so the healing of anxiety, to me, is directly correlated to learning, instead of an unconscious system of, or process of avoiding our emotions to learning a conscious process of dropping into and feeling our feelings.
And this can be really hard for every human being. It is really hard for every human being. It’s a challenge because it’s very different from what we’re used to.
Krati: Right. That’s true because I think everybody has their life set up in a way so that it goes from task to task all day long so that you don’t really ever have to stop and really think about the things that are not working in your life.
I mean, we start our mornings by checking our phone. We don’t even check in with our body. We don’t check in with the quality of sleep we have. The phone is the first thing we go to which is so toxic, if you think about it, and then we go to the social media channels, right? We go to Instagram and then there’s all kinds, you can’t control the content you see on social media.
And you’re letting that in at a time when your brain is absorbing information. So, I agree with your point. I mean, I also think that there are sometimes physiological reasons also for anxiety and sometimes your life is set up in such a crazy way that anxiety is really all you’re going to get out of it. But I agree with what you said, that we don’t feel our feelings. We keep repressing things till it ends with a breakdown or something even more tragic. And then we end up in a therapist’s office or at the doctor’s and then we’re forced to deal with it. I think your, the 30 minutes videos that you create, I think they give people the time to pause, but not everybody listens to these videos or really does any active self care.
So, if you were to give people some ideas to slow down the pace, and as you said to pay attention to what’s going on before you’re forced to do so, what would you suggest? How would someone who is super busy or is used to that crazy lifestyle would, where do they start? How do they begin the process of maybe slowing the pace down one thing at a time?
Ryan: Great question. I think everyone has their own journey to it. and there’s a list of things that if you do my group coatings or that there are absolute requirements, they’re foundational work to what I call real self care, which as you said, I define as anything you can do every day to slow down.
We have a fear around slowing down, because again, we’ve been trained that if we go fast and we go hard that we’ll succeed. That’s not true. That is actually not true. The truth is that, that really fast pace actually disconnects us from our creativity and our intuition, which is where we get into a sense of flow, truly flow and sync with the rhythm of nature. With the rhythm of life, with the rhythm of the universe. Life is alive. Life is real. Life is intelligent. We’re not separate from life itself, from creativity, from the universe. This is a real living everything, we are it, it is us. It’s just that for whatever reason, through human evolution, we developed the capacity to imagine that we’re separate from life. We developed an ego which is the belief that we are separate from life itself. And when you believe you’re separate, when I believe I’m separate then, I then have to figure it out all by myself. And so therefore, I better go hard. I better go fast. I better exhaust myself and fill my schedule and right? But when we actually recognise and start to remember who we really are, that there’s actually a disconnection or the separation from the universe, from life is nothing more than imaginary.
It’s an illusion. How can you be separate from life? What’s breathing you right now? What’s feeding us right now? What’s securing us to the earth right now? Like we cannot ever be separate from life. If we want to get into that connection, if we want to get into that flow, if we want to get into a relationship with ourselves, if we want to be in loving relationships with each other, we have to slow down.
Out of the speed of the go, go, do, do, go, go, do, do, make, make, go, go, go, go, go. We have to slow down out of that and drop into more of the rhythm of nature of slower speed. Like the speed of a legato cello in a beautiful symphony but meanwhile, our brain has been trained to work at this really, really fast pace, kind of like EDM house music beat that’s just going really, really, really, really fast.
So, self care is any practice in which we practice slowing down. I am not saying this is easy. The first thing people say is, but I don’t have time for that. And I say, Oh, well you clearly have enough time to spend everyday completely stressed, worried, in doubt, in fear, anxious.
So, okay. What I would say is, it’s not true that you don’t have time. It’s just that your brain doesn’t believe that you have time because the brain can’t really understand. Remember, that ego mind is all about I’m separate from nature. So the brain can’t really understand how slowing down is going to be beneficial.
So the brain says, no, I don’t want to meditate. No, it’s not going to be helpful to take a bath. No, I need to do the work instead of going for a walk around the yard. No, I don’t have financial resources for therapy, which by the way is true for many, many, many, many people and maybe some of your listeners but to me, real self care is free.
As long as you have a space that you can be by yourself or with another person who’s willing to do the practice with you. And so to me, there’s a network of practices that in my work are non-negotiable that I do every single day. I do a 20 minute silent meditation when I wake up in the morning, once I like brush my teeth, wash my face, use the restroom, drink some water. I sit down to do my meditation, no phone, no distractions. Right? The first, as soon as I grab that phone, like you mentioned, or I start engaging in other activities, my likelihood of getting in my meditation at all during the day drops by 99.9%. Right? So the non negotiables for me are 20 minute meditation in the morning, 30 minutes of some kind of exercise every day.
What I call goddess time, which is a 20 minute practice moving from the afternoon into the evening. So, moving from whether I’m in school and I’m going into the evening, or if I’m at work and I’m going into the evening, I wash-off the stress of the day. So my preferred place to do that is in a bathtub. I actually don’t have a bathtub in my home.
So, I’ll get creative. I’ll take a shower. I’ll imagine the stress of the day washing off my body. Maybe I’ll put on a mindfulness practice and, or maybe I’ll put on some beautiful music and just relax. Just slow down. Remember it’s about slowing down and then the other two things are, clean eating and drinking lots of water, whatever that means to you, clean eating. Eating food that comes from the earth because food that comes from the earth is intelligent and knows how to heal our bodies and ourselves. And, and then the last thing is getting eight hours of sleep a night. Now, for somebody listening to this, they may go, well, all those five things, there’s no way I have time for that. I would say, yes, you do. You absolutely do. Your happiness, your creativity, your relationship, your love, your intimacy, your intuition relies upon it. So notice the thought that says, I don’t have time for that and recognise that maybe we can change the thought to, I’m in the habit of believing that I don’t have time for that.
And if those five things sound too much to you. That’s okay. Choose two. And then maybe the next week, add the third and maybe the following week, add the fourth. The other thing that’s really important is that we develop communities of accountability because if we could hold ourselves accountable to doing these practices on our own, we’ll be doing them already. Do you know what I mean? And so to have a person or a group of people that you start a text chat with, or a WhatsApp chat with, or a Facebook group with, or whatever, we have so many platforms for connection. Let’s use those platforms for actual connection. So you can jump into a platform and say, here’s what I’m committed to doing today. Thank you for holding me accountable. And just even communicating that with others increases our likelihood. When I know that someone is going to check in with me and say, how were your practices today? I’m far more likely to do it.
Krati: Right, I agree. Okay, but do you think having a routine would help, like having a daily routine.
Ryan: Not only do I believe it’ll help, I believe it’s absolutely necessary, especially right now in a pandemic world where many of us aren’t going to work, we don’t have the same routines like we used to. We don’t have access to maybe our yoga studios, if we’re blessed enough to have access to a yoga studio, or the restaurant that we used to pop in and pick up food for whatever, if we’re blessed enough to have access to that and the finances to pay for that, et cetera.
So in this moment of history, it’s really important that we build consistent, consistent routine. If we, it, you said it earlier. If we don’t, then we will wait till something bad happens in our life because here’s the thing, what most people do is we wake up in the morning and we go, Oh, everything’s kind of good. Everything’s fine. Maybe, it’s not great. Maybe it’s not even good, but it’s fine. So, I’m good. I’m just going to start my day. And the moment we do that in the morning, we might as well be staying to the ego. Hey, Ego which is fear, which is belief in separation, which is not enoughness, which is lack, which is a belief that I lack power, I’m cool with you being in charge of my thoughts, today. You make the choices for me, ego. If I don’t do a practice, I’m saying, I’m willing to think with the mind that I thought with yesterday, but if I’m not happy with the life that I built yesterday or last year, why do I keep thinking with that same mind?
So we have to build routine to make sure we do the practices. And I’ll say to you as well and to all your listeners, it’s never going to feel like a good time to do your practice. It’s very rarely do I go, ah, it’s right now, it’s a great time for my meditation. It’s more like, Oh God, I have so much to do today.
I really, you know what, maybe I’ll just do my meditation later, right? Because the mind premeditated cannot see the value of the meditation. Right?
Krati: I think another reason why people go so fast and they refuse to slow down is because everyone is afraid of getting left behind. So we’re, we’re keeping up with this, this invisible entity that lives on, you know, on the internet or in your television or everywhere around you, maybe.
And you’re trying to keep up with these people, but do you think that if we found more self-acceptance, would that help? And if you, you know, find self-acceptance to be a valuable asset in this sort of endeavour, how can we help people attain that.
Ryan: If we’re always trying to keep up, I understand the fear of being left behind, but the always trying to keep up is actually a way that we leave ourselves behind. It’s a way that we abandon ourselves. It’s a way we abandoned our needs, our creativity, our emotional life, running the rat race of life. It’s by the way, it’s an illusion. It’s an illusion and, it’s a way that we avoid taking care of ourselves. So it’s, it’s actually, we’re leaving ourselves behind.
Now, let me ask you the same question. How would you look at that?
Krati: Okay, I think, you know, this is something that I said when I was building this podcast. This was the idea that we have this hustle culture, I think is based on this idea that we need certain things because someone else made them look so tempting to us, and now we’re, we’re fighting this battle to get that lifestyle, which may not even be, and that need may not even be coming from within ourselves. It may be just something that we’ve picked up from someone else who made it sound and look really, really good. So you need to stop and you need to check in with yourself and assess, do you really need that?
And I quit my nine to five, I was in finance, and now I’m doing something something so completely different from that. And I did all of these things and they made me so unhappy. I had a breakdown and then all of this happened, which is not something I recommend for everyone, it’s, it’s a great way to slow down because then, you would have no other option.
And then you find yourself on a very different path, but not, not a great way to do it, but I think you need to check in with yourself because a lot of the time we’re living a life that’s not even our own. And we’ve…Am I answering your question? Or am I on a completely different tangent?
Ryan: One hundred percent. You’re so right, and you know, the notion that other people have created an image of what we’re supposed to want and what we’re supposed to need; I think it’s really important to remember that marketing companies around the world are paid so much money and hire brilliant neurologists, psychologists who understand basic human needs and speak to those basic human needs.
You know, there’s a saying that each one of the social networks represents one of the seven deadly sins. So like Instagram, for example, represents lust, right? That, that the best way they’ve recognised to build something is to get into our most base emotions and influence us to take action based on our fear.
And we’re seeing a world that has been informed and an economy that has been built on fear and lack, the haves, the have-nots caste systems. We’ve been living like this for centuries, if not millennia. And right now, there’s this moment that has been predicted through the ages, that this time, right now, this year, this moment on the planet would be a time of great awakening, would be a time of great transformation.
And what we’re seeing is this old thought system, this very Piscean thought system, right? The age of Pisces, which is the last 1200 years, which is the yin and the yong, right? The black and the white fish. In order to know the black, you have to know the white. In order to know good, you have to know bad.
There have to be opposites, in order to know, and now we’re entering into the age of Aquarius, which is the dawning of this age of harmony and understanding and connection and art and enoughness. There’s enough for everyone. Yo, we are living in an illusion that there’s not enough for everyone. The reason we believe there’s not enough food for everyone is not because there’s not enough food for everyone. It’s because our farming practices are killing the earth, because we are killing the earth with how we farm the earth. That’s why we’re having limitations of food. There’s plenty to go around for everyone if we lived in a society that was informed by oneness, informed by equanimity and equality and justice. It’s just that our systems currently, at their foundation are rotten.
And we grew up in those systems, believing that we need to, in order to survive, that we need to continue to perpetuate those systems. And now this is a time where people like you, people like myself are trying to tell a new story. We’re trying to tell a more divine story, a story that reflects a world of love and oneness, as opposed to a world that is defined by fear and separation.
Krati: Right. If you were to, you know, continuing on this subject, if you were to suggest some tools that would help people assess that situation, like, you know, the fact that you need to take stock of what, where your life is going, how much of it is, you know, suggested to you and how much of that you have absorbed, and now much of it is coming from within you. Checking in with your body, your soul, your mind, what it needs and to feed it what it really needs, instead of just, you know, what people expect you to be doing every day.
Ryan: So those five practices that I mentioned earlier, that’s it because it’s the changing of the pace and the slowing down that starts opening us to start to have these realisations and these insights and increased awareness.
Again, if I’m always going at that really fast fear pace, or that really fast paced, motivated, mostly if I really check in by fear, right? If I really notice that I’m going really, really fast, cause I’m afraid that if I don’t, I won’t have enough. And that’s being really motivated by fear which I understand is very real in our reality, but because I’m so used to going so fast all the time, I don’t realise, I don’t even give myself a break, ask questions.
And so if I’d start to slow down through those self care practices that I mentioned earlier- meditation, goddess time, eating clean, drinking lots of water, eight hours of sleep, and 30 minutes of working-out every day. If I slowed down enough, then I start to create some space to start to see some things differently.
I start to create some space to maybe start to recognise where in my earlier life, I started to move away from myself and try to create myself to be something that the world needed me to be, or the world told me I should be as opposed to who I really am. There’s a beautiful new book out by Glennon Doyle called, Untamed, and she writes a whole book about how she was so incredibly trained by the world to be a good girl, a good Christian, a good person, quote unquote, which was a training in how to make herself fit into the world, but I’ve never seen a flower try to make itself fit into the world. I’ve never seen a lion try to make itself fit into the world.
When something, when someone is screwing with a lion’s child, that mother lion stands up and defends her child and says, not on my watch, and no one ever calls that motherly lion a bitch. No one ever degrades her for her anger for how she attacks somebody. Right, but meanwhile, we live in this world where it’s like, okay, let me just stay small and quiet, and that’s what humility looks like. No, no, no, no. We’ve got it backwards. Humility is actually recognising who we are. Recognising I’m born as a miracle. I am born as the universe. I am born with an incredible power and incredible voice and incredible creativity, and it’s not arrogant for me to know that because I don’t have to take credit for it.
I didn’t create myself to be a miracle, and by the way, I’m not the only miracle. Every single being on the planet is special which means no one is special because everyone is special. So no one is more special than anybody else. It’s actually a real sickness that we degrade ourselves into believing that we’re something that we’re not, that we believe that we’re powerless, that we believe that we don’t have a voice, that we believe we have to just fit the mold, the systems into which we were born. That is a sure fire way, as you said, to find yourself in a nervous breakdown, major anxiety, deep, debilitating depression, and those things are symbols of the spirit within us. The, even just our body saying, hey, you’ve forgotten who you are. It’s time to remember.
Krati: True, that’s true. If, you know, if people really took in what you just shared, they’ll realise how unnatural our way of life is. The way we live every day, it’s so unnatural. And I think if people would just stop breaking little pieces of themselves to, you know, fit in, as you said, they’ll find like this whole other tribe people who love them for exactly who they are.
Maybe the current people in your life won’t love you for this changed or for the more natural version of you but you’ll find others who do.
Ryan: I think you’re hitting on a really big point, which is that as we walk our spiritual path and as we start transforming, and transformation really means, I don’t know who I was yesterday anymore, because I’m somebody different today.
And that can be incredibly threatening to the people who have been around us the longest, our best friends, our siblings, our parents, they may look at us and be like, I don’t know who you are anymore. To which we get scared that we’re going to lose them, as opposed to going, you know what? You’re right. I’m changing and I’m happy. about it, and I hope that you can come on board and if you can’t, I totally understand, because I recognise that as I change, our relationship changes and that can threaten our relationship, and I just want you to know, I love you. I don’t need you to change I’m here, and yeah, I hope you can get on board with supporting me.
This is really important to me, but that’s not typically, it’s not typically that easy. We have to go, as part of transforming is, is the solid foundation of relationships, that at one point we believed we had, it gets rocked. And so that’s where we need even more self care. That’s where we even more need to spend that time in that bathtub and literally treat ourselves like a goddess.
Right? Like literally treat ourselves that, like we matter.
Krati: Yes, again, going back to the previous point we discussed. Self-acceptance, I think, if you accepted yourself for who you are before, you can expect anyone else to accept you for who you really are, I think you have to start accepting yourself. Your flaws, loving, maybe not loving your flaws, but learning to live with them and being okay with them but again, what do you, how can somebody do that?
Ryan: Yeah, well being human is being flawed, right? Being human, part of being human is living in a, in a body that has a part of our brain that is completely focused on fear at all times. Right? That fear center in our brain where our fight or flight lives, we have an entire limbic system that’s informed, always looking out on the world- am I safe? Am I not? Am I safe? Am I not? Am I safe? Am I not? Okay? And we bring that style of thinking or that level of thinking everywhere we go, and so, of course we’re going to make mistakes because we want to defend ourselves because we don’t feel safe. Right? And we all experienced trauma when we were young. We all experienced times when we weren’t being nurtured.
We develop beliefs about ourselves that we’re not deserving of love that we’re not deserving of intimacy that we can’t, you know, quote, get what we want, that we are flawed. I mean, this is part of the great human experience. Part of coming into a human body is coming into a world where we have a flawed sense of self and a flawed identity.
Right? And that’s why we have this, god-willing, long life to explore transformation to realise who we really, really are, and so what we societally do is we go, ignore the flaws, ignore the pains, ignore the wounds, just create yourself to be something who doesn’t have any of that, but that’s 50% of us, right?
Our, quote negative emotions, our uncomfortable emotions. We go, don’t feel that, don’t feel that, don’t feel that, don’t feel but that’s 50% of us. And then we literally only allow ourselves to be 50% of ourselves when we go out into the world. You know what that looks like? You know, when you’re feeling crappy and down and depressed and scared and sad, and someone says, hey, how are you?
And you go, I’m good. There, the voice goes up there, and you have this like smile on your face, and meanwhile, you’re so upset inside, but you don’t express, we don’t express it. Sure, because we learned that we’re not safe to express it, that it would be an inconvenience, that we would be too much. And so there’s this, these uncomfortable emotions, are 50% of our experience internally, but we’ve disassociated from them. We’ve disconnected from them which means we’ve disconnected from 50% of ourselves and we wonder why we go out into the world and we don’t feel whole. We look for people to complete us. We question whether we’re lovable, we can’t focus at work it’s because we’re only bringing 50% of ourselves everywhere.
So, it goes beyond just kind of being okay with our flaws. It goes into embracing our flaws. You know, my, my godmother, Susan, who’s also an incredible coach. She says that, ‘when we’re going through challenging times, it’s either, we’re either confronting a bleeding edge or a leading edge.’ That edge, that, that wall that we’re hitting, that challenge that we’re facing either, we let the mind believe, the fear mind believe that it’s here to hurt us. It’s here to destroy us. It’s here to, to take us down, which will then inform how we act or don’t act. Or we can choose to believe it’s a leading edge. The situation, the challenge is here as an opportunity to look at ourselves, how did I get into this?
What was it that I was believing that allowed me to make the choices that led me to get into this situation so that I can reflect on those and go, maybe there’s some thinking here that’s no longer helping me, maybe there’s beliefs in here, maybe there’s some unprocessed trauma in me that needs some reworking so that I don’t continue to recreate the same pattern in relationship, the same pattern with money, the same pattern with work, et cetera.
So all that’s to be said is our flaws are actually our best teachers.
Krati: Right and I think maybe the five practices that you’ve suggested to do on a daily basis, I think, maybe they can also help to, you know, find more self acceptance.
They’re necessary. They’re non-negotiables. They’re not, I’ll do it when I’m ready. They’re not, I’ll do it when I have time. They’re not, I’ll do it when I have a boyfriend or a girlfriend or a partner who I love and then I’ll sort of take it. It’s a non-negotiable every single day, no matter what, if whether you’re having a great day or whether you’re having a horrendous day. They’re non-negotiables.
Krati: Okay, and what’s your take on all the guilt we feel when we are, you know, practicing active self care, because like for a mom or for a person that’s struggling financially, they think, you know, like the day has to be all about fixing everything that’s wrong in my life or fixing everything that’s wrong in the life of the person I love. Especially moms, they feel so much guilt whenever they take time just for themselves. What would you say to someone like that?
Ryan: Yeah, so I would invite that mom to actually look back at their early childhood and look at how their mom probably was believing all of that too, and how their mom or so like the grandmother of their children, their mother was go, go, going all the time and never slowed down and didn’t meditate and didn’t take a bath and didn’t, you know, really take slow, intentional time herself to see that, that mom got a message from her mom who got a message from her mom who got a message from her mom and so on and so forth.
The guilt is a symbol of an inability to recognise the value of taking care of ourselves. And what’s so counterintuitive about this is the mother who does take time, right? The mother who does say to a friend, ‘Hey, will you please come over at 4:00 PM today? Cause I really need a break to jump into a bath or just take some time for myself’ or the mother who says if, if she has a co-parent, ‘Hey, can you please handle the kids for 20 minutes this morning? I really need to meditate this morning.’ The mother who’s in those practices every day, she’s letting go of the daily accumulation of stress that happens as a result of being a mother and all the responsibilities, the emotional stress, psychological stress, the running around. That mom is letting go of that stress that’s been accumulated in her system which then allows her to actually be present with her children. It also means that she becomes a mother who whether her kids are too young to recognise this or not, this, they’ll notice, they can read energy and they will see a mother or a father who prioritises their own self care and that young child will start to prioritise their own self care because their parents are serving as a demonstration.
So I totally understand the guilt. I totally understand the idea of like taking care of yourself is selfish as if that word selfish has a negative or bad connotation, but in a world where we’re always trained to go outside ourselves and do all this other stuff, of course the word selfish has a negative connotation.
But when we’re talking about our growth and our recognition, our understanding and our enfolding of who we really are, we need to be selfish. We need to self-centred, centred within ourself.
Krati: Right, you know, I can honestly transcribe this interview and cut-off pieces and gift it to people. Your philosophy is, is lovely, the way you, your perspective on things, it’s lovely. But I want to ask you one practical question, like you suggest meditation as the very starting point of a great day, or a day that’s dedicated to self care while taking care of everything else in your life.
But I’ve noticed that a lot of people who have active anxiety, the mental setup is so chaotic that meditation, often doesn’t work for people like that, because it instantly focuses your attention on things that are not working for you, and suddenly, the anxiety is heightened. So I like to come up with alternatives to that, but I would like to know if you have any alternatives to the conventional meditation.
Ryan: It’s a great question. So yes, people with extreme anxiety, people who’ve experienced extreme physical trauma, abuse. It’s really hard to close your eyes and sit because it’s understandable that you don’t feel safe, and so anything you can do to slow down, and that does not mean going on social media and scrolling.
That doesn’t mean putting on a movie, that doesn’t really even mean opening up a book. Anything you can do to slow, slow down and spend time with yourself. There’s a certain amount of, you know, in meditation, I think there’s a misnomer that we’ve gotten this message from the gurus on high that says meditation is about getting to a place of not thinking, and we’ve come to think that meditation is a practice in not thinking, but to get the brain to stop thinking is like trying to get the heart to stop beating. The brain thinks, the heart beats. The lungs breathe. That’s what happens. And so when we sit down to practice meditation or even to get into the bath, if we have a lot of stored trauma, it makes sense that the brain just keeps going.
Or if you just live a stressful life, it makes sense that the brain just thinks a lot, and then we start to think, Oh shoot, I’m not meditating. I don’t know how to meditate. I can’t meditate. My encouragement is to recognise that those thoughts are totally normal. The brain doesn’t really want us to meditate. It wants us to just keep going with its hamster wheel, and so the first thing I want to say is, and there’s a great teacher on meditation and he has like a three part audio that I think is maybe free on like YouTube or something, or you can buy it. His name is Adya Shanti, a D Y a S H a N T I, Adya Shanti.
And he has a program called true meditation and he defines meditation as a practice in letting everything be as it is without trying to change it. So anything you can do to just observe, maybe that means you need some visual stimulation and you live near a natural place or an, an ocean or a mountain or a river and you can just go and be, and leave your phone behind and just sit and be, and let things be as they are and pay attention to things as they are.
The other thing is, I recommend that bath time for people who have more anxiety, that might feel a little easier than just sitting down to meditate first. I think, you know, self massage is really good. I think, giving yourself a focus so this is now moving from meditation more into a mindfulness practice, right?
Mindfulness is giving the mind a direct focus. Meditation is actually taking away all focus. So, to go into maybe a more mindfulness practice, if it’s really hard for you to sit and meditate and just sit and be, then another option would be maybe to point your attention to inhaling for a count of four, exhaling for a count of four, inhaling for a count of four.
If 20 minutes is too much, start with one minute, start with two minutes. You know, start today with one minute of inhaling. If you can feel safe and comfortable to close your eyes. Inhale for a count of four, exhale for a count of four. Set a timer and then tomorrow, try two minutes, and then the next day try three.
And the next day, try four and just see what happens.
Krati: So yeah, so maybe instead of meditation, nature walks, more bath time, self massage and breath work, right? Breathing exercises. Those are good, I think.
Ryan: Those are a few.
Krati: Those are a few, right, and any resources that, like I consider your Instagram account to be an awesome resource for people but other than that, what other resources would you suggest people use to enrich their lives?
Ryan: So, Adya Shanti, I mentioned, all of his books are really beautiful. There is an incredible teacher named, Trach Brock, T R a C H. She has a book called, Radical Compassion that outlines the four steps to developing our emotional intelligence which is an acronym she created called RAIN, which is recognise, allow, investigate, or inquire, and nurture. When we’re in a moment of a trigger to go into a conscious process, which is the opposite of what we spoke about, I don’t know maybe 40 minutes ago about how we avoid our emotional lives. Yes, I recommend Tara Brock, T R A C H.
She has a book called, Radical Compassion. She also has a beautiful podcast, if you don’t want to buy a book, totally free where she just gives her satsang every week, and she talks about ‘RAIN’ in every session.
Every book Marianne Williamson has ever written. If you’re experiencing, you know, health issues, debilitating anxieties, her book, From tears to triumph is really, really beautiful.
Her book, A return to love is the, the, the cliff notes to a course in miracles, which is the metaphysical text that I’ve studied. The work of Byron Katie, B Y R O N and then Katie, K a T I E. She has something called, The work. I would highly recommend her work as well, and any of her books, Loving What Is, is a great book. I’d say we could, why don’t we start there?
Krati: Yeah, that’s, that’s a good list of resources but if someone wants to get in touch with you or maybe have a session with you, how can they go about that?
Ryan: Yeah, so if someone wants to get in touch, they can jump on Instagram. My handle is @wakingupwithryan, and then, I don’t actually do one off sessions anymore. I work with people for three to six months. It’s a really large time commitment. It’s a hefty financial commitment but so I do make group coaching available. So that’s a five week program. We meet on zoom once a week for 90 minutes for five weeks, which is a real training in developing our emotional intelligence, everything we’ve talked about today, but just starting to really put it to work. So if people want that information, they can just send me a DM on Instagram and I can send them that information. Every time six people sign up, I start a new group. So, it’s just kind of a rolling sign-up thing.
Krati: That’s good and there’s one question that I ask all my guests, but I think that I, I kind of already know the answer to this, but if you were to give just one tip to people, one change that they should all make in their life, regardless of what they do, who they are, what would that one tip be?
Ryan: There’s nothing to fix. There’s just a lot to feel. Slow down and feel your feelings.