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Relationship Alive!

Neil Sattin interviews John Gottman, Sue Johnson, Harville Hendrix, Peter Levine, Stan Tatkin, Dick Schwartz, Katherine Woodward Thomas, Diana Richardson, Terry Real, Wendy Maltz - and many others - in his quest to dig deep into all the factors that keep a Relationship Alive and Thriving! Each week Neil brings you an in-depth interview with a relationship expert. Neil is an author and relationship coach who is enthusiastic and passionate about relationships and the nuts and bolts of what makes them last. You can find out more about Neil Sattin and the Relationship Alive podcast at http://www.neilsattin.com
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Now displaying: July, 2019
Jul 24, 2019

When looking to change things in your world, how do you let pleasure be the force that guides you? How do you fulfill desire while you fight for change? How do you take care of yourself while you transform? And how do you allow organic, sustainable change to emerge in your life - without feeling like you have to force things? Today we’re speaking with author, activist, and healer adrienne maree brown. Her most recent book, the New York Times bestseller “Pleasure Activism”, leans into black feminist traditions to challenge you to rethink the groundrules of how to facilitate change in your own life, and in the world around you. In this episode, you’ll hear more about how adrienne came to this work, and her thoughts on how to be imperfect, yet honest, in relationship. You’ll learn how to bring true integrity into your relationships - and ways to ensure that your health and wellbeing aren’t compromised while you grow and transform. 

As always, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this episode and what revelations and questions it creates for you. Please join us in the Relationship Alive Community on Facebook to chat about it!

Sponsors:

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Resources:

Visit adrienne maree brown’s website to learn more about her books and her other projects.

Pick up a copy of Pleasure Activism by adrienne maree brown on Amazon.

Listen to Episode 12 on the Healing Justice podcast for a Somatic Centering practice.

FREE Relationship Communication Secrets Guide - perfect help for handling conflict and shifting the codependent patterns in your relationship

Guide to Understanding Your Needs (and Your Partner's Needs) in Your Relationship (ALSO FREE)

Visit www.neilsattin.com/amb to download the transcript, or text “PASSION” to 33444 and follow the instructions to download the transcript to this episode with adrienne maree brown.

Amazing intro/outro music graciously provided courtesy of: The Railsplitters - Check them Out

Transcript:

Neil Sattin: Hello and welcome to another episode of Relationship Alive. This is your host Neil Sattin. I want to start by saying that I believe in the power of synchronicity. I believe that when synchronicities happen it means something. And so to me it meant a lot when I was walking into a bookstore with a new friend of mine in New York City and she grabbed this book off the shelf and she said, "Given what we've just been talking about how you want to make this huge impact with your work and with the Relationship Alive podcast you need to read this book." And she handed me a book called "Emergent Strategy" by adrienne maree brown. 

adrienne maree brown: Oh wow. 

Neil Sattin: Yeah. And after reading that book and being so moved by what I read there both in terms of the promise that it holds for how our lives can unfold in a way that's really organic and natural and suited to who we are as people and also how that can impact the communities that we form whether it be our micro communities our family, our friends, or our larger communities, the movements that we become a part of and how we create change in this world. It was just super inspiring to me and I was delighted to see that adrienne was coming out with a new book called "Pleasure Activism," which just hit the New York Times Bestseller List and I thought you know what, like, I have to talk to this person and hopefully they'll talk to me. So. So I reached out and fortunately here we are today to talk to adrienne maree brown, who is a social justice facilitator, focused on black liberation, a doula, healer and a pleasure activist and a coach. And the list goes on and on. And honestly I can relate and I love that about... 

adrienne maree brown: Yeah. 

Neil Sattin: About her work. And so we're gonna be here to talk about emergence and pleasure and how this all unfolds in the world of relationship. The relationship you have to yourself, the relationship you have to your beloved or beloveds, and the relationship you have with the world. As usual we will have a detailed transcript of today's episode which you can get if you visit Neil Sattin-dot-com-slash-A-M-B as in adrienne maree brown or you can always text the word "passion" to the number 3 3 4 4 4 and follow the instructions. And that will get you the transcript and the show notes and all that good stuff. 

adrienne maree brown: Oh cool. 

Neil Sattin: I think that's it. So adrienne, thank you so much for being here with us today on Relationship Alive. 

adrienne maree brown: Thanks for having me now. I'm excited that a podcast it's about relationships in this way, exists. So I'm like yay! Let's talk about it. 

Neil Sattin: Awesome. Yeah I've been thinking about a good way to dive in without asking you like a ridiculously broad question, but I might have to start with a ridiculously broad question.:. 

adrienne maree brown: You're like, I tried! I can't. It's ok. What's the  ridiculously broad question. 

Neil Sattin: Well. Yeah. So let's start with this idea about pleasure and activism and what does it mean to have pleasure be the center of how one operates in the world?

adrienne maree brown: For me, you know, I got this terminology, was taught to me and I learned the words from an organizer named Keith Cyler, who was the founder of something called "Housing Works," that's based in New York that raises resources and all kinds of resources like financial resources, but also does trainings and other things like that for people who are dealing with house-lessness, dealing with HIV, AIDS. And I was really moved by his genius and his work. But, one time we were just sitting around having a good time and he talked to me about this terminology "pleasure activism," and it stuck with me over the years so I kept being like "Oh. Like what could that mean? What could that mean? What could that mean?" And especially as I I grew, you know, I've always been very aware that there's a lot in the world that is broken that is hurting that is traumatized, and inside of that reaching for how are we meant to connect with each other? And somewhere in there this idea of pleasure activism kept returning to me as I was doing voter organizing, returning to me as I was learning about harm reduction, returning to me as I was supporting people to do direct action, nonviolent civil disobedience. It just kept coming back. And when I was working on my last book emergent strategy, I had to include it as a concept and I wasn't sure at that point like am I going to flesh this all the way out? Like there's a lot here. But then at some point I was like, "Let me just.... Like what would it look like." You know, what would it look like to actually flesh this out? And I had been reading Audrey Lorde's text "the uses of the erotic:: as power," which I got permission to reprint in this book. And I really loved her use of the erotic. And yet I just kept coming back to this idea of pleasure. Like that pleasure includes the erotic, but also includes a lot of things that may or may not be erotic, and so I was like, what is pleasure. And I looked up and its just like happy, joy and satisfaction. And I was like, "Gosh it seems so simple and yet there's so much resistance to it. There's so much fear of it there's so much control of it. And. And for those of us who are like actively trying to change the world in some way there's a denial of it, right? Like it's like, "We are not allowed to have that. We need to be fighting for this you know future that's off in the future somewhere.". 

Neil Sattin: Right. 

adrienne maree brown: And I just remember landing and like. Wouldn't it be so radical to listen to Audrey Lourde had taught us about engaging the erotic now, engaging our full aliveness, in this moment. And for black women who, you know, that's who is at the front of my mind when I wrote this text, you know, I was like there's a lot that has intentionally cut us off from our relationship with joy and happiness and pleasure and contentment and satisfaction. It's been trained into us that we're not allowed to have those things so I got very... Then I got very light lit up with this idea, that I was like, "Oh what if we could have these things? Like what if it's a measure of our freedom to reclaim pleasure?" And so that kind of sent me off down this path that has been really exciting. And you know it's interesting because activism in general is not where I land right? Like I, I've often been like I'm an organizer! And for me the distinction you know, I think activists or folks who are really like advocating for something like using their public sphere to advocate for something, going and talking to friends. Organizers to me or folks who are like, "I'm actually trying to move a strategy amongst the people." Right? Like I'm going to go find those who are not going to just easily be reached and I'm going to knock on their doors and I'm going to find out what they need and and build an analysis and a vision together. And so you know it's like, "OK is activism OK for this? And it felt like actually for this, it is it is important that as many people in the world as possible begin to come out and advocate for all of our rights to have pleasure to have pleasure be an organizing principle of how we structure our relationships in our society. And then it starts with reclaiming our own, and moves out from that place. So I'm excited that it exists. I'm excited that it came together and then I've been really blown away by the responses. So I'm like, OK this... I really for a while was like, "This is not the time to be putting out right now. We need something about justice or we need something about like you know I kept having this strategic idea around if this current administration is starting fires all over the place. I kept thinking like, how do we conjure up water? How do we vaporize ourselves in some way to come up and over and rain down on them? And I was like, I got to go write that strategy book or whatever. And then I realized I was like, "Oh this is actually it," in a way? 

Neil Sattin: This is that book. 

adrienne maree brown: This is actually that book and that's been clicking to me that I'm like: This is it. This is the way that we become more powerful through pleasure, through what we can release rather than what we can contain. So. Yeah. 

Neil Sattin: I love it. It's to me... What was I mean there are so many threads that came together for me as I was reading the book, and even just in hearing you speak right now. Primarily, that way that people are so.... Many people, I should say are so exhausted right now, with with just the state of affairs and.... 

adrienne maree brown: That's right. 

Neil Sattin: ...that's political, it's environmental it's economic. There is a lot that's taxing us and that's something that regenerates us when we can find the sources of pleasure within us and in how we connect with the world that I think allows us to bring more of ourselves to the world and and also highlights the places where we are denying ourselves or denying others that inalienable right for... 

adrienne maree brown: That's right. 

Neil Sattin: ...the experience of joy. 

adrienne maree brown: That's right.:I mean it blows my mind to really think about, like, what people what people have survived, like often when I stand in a room of people and I'm giving a speech or a talk or a training or something. There's a lot of me that's present with that moment but then there's also a part of me that's kind of thinking about all the lineages of all these human beings and how some of them in this moment have landed in a place of power, or privilege, and some of them haven't ended up in a place that's not that. But that those lineages all include some survival, some fighting to exist some taking a risk, some you know, moving out into the world with an unknown response you know, like we don't know what's going to happen here. We don't know if we're heading the right way. We don't know if we're going to survive and that there have been so many things that have have you know, like so much of our human history has just been about surviving, right? Just like can we make it? And so there's something interesting to me now to be like, I think I think we have shown that like oh we could make it like we could figure this out. We could be on this planet technically. But what is the life worth making it for? Like, what is worth surviving for?:

Neil Sattin: Yeah. 

adrienne maree brown: And now I think we're actively in that question. That is like, all of us deserve this relationship to pleasure. And when you look at like who thinks they deserve it or who is encouraged to have it, it's actually a very narrow small grouping of human beings. And I think that's because of capitalism. You know, I really think that as an economic system, capitalism thrives when we believe that we are not good enough and that we need to buy something outside of ourselves in order to experience pleasure. And I love the trick of it which is like, if you actually just drop down into your own body, which is the only thing in your entire life that you ever truly have, from the beginning to the end, if you just drop down into it, it's wired for pleasure. And those wires may have been crossed, you know, there may be some like dysfunctional parts of it because of trauma, because of pain, because of... which I now, also when I meet everyone, I'm like, 'I know you have some trauma," right? Like, I know you have some. 

Neil Sattin: Yeah no one escapes that. 

adrienne maree brown: Yeah. I don't know what it is. I don't know how severe or central it is to your life, or your life story it is to your life, or your life story. I don't know if you had the resources to recover or not, but I know it's there. And so I think like, "oh." What we're dealing with is like, what is the relationship between that trauma that's everywhere. And this system that's telling us that we can't heal ourselves we shouldn't even feel ourselves. We should just kind of outsource that to something we can purchase. And, and, then how in that do we find a way to be in RIGHT relationship with each other on this planet. Right? So that's the stuff I keep, I keep floating around with us like I want to, I want to leave a world behind me that people like I like I feel very compelled. I want to be here. It feels good, right? And that doesn't mean that I think we will solve the climate crisis in my lifetime because I do think... You know...  I really believe in Gopal Dayaneni, 1who works over at Movement Generation and talks about, like, there's things that we have already set in motion that we are gonna have to face the consequences of as a species. And I don't deny that that's what's coming to us but inside of that I think we also have to be actively fomenting pleasure and actively fomenting like reconnecting ourselves to land and to each other because as the changes happen we're still going to need to be able to feel, feel pleasure, feel satisfaction feel like being here. Otherwise we'll just depress and numb and you know kind of slip away. And I think that would be an unworthy end to our species. 

Neil Sattin: Totally agree with you and a word that popped into my mind that I would like to add to that, is resilience. 

adrienne maree brown: Yeah. 

Neil Sattin: The more that we're embracing our capacity for resilience in terms of how we heal our lineage of trauma. Or present moment traumas in terms of how we make things right when they've gone wrong, and do that in the context where what we're shooting for what we're envisioning is something joyful blissful like that actually has ease and pleasure connected to it. 

adrienne maree brown: Yeah. Yes. 

Neil Sattin: Then that that makes it worth it and gives us kind of a... I hate to use the word technology, but like a technology of continually adjusting to get there. 

adrienne maree brown: Yeah. 

Neil Sattin: You talk in "Emerging Strategy," about adapability... Yeah. 

adrienne maree brown: Exactly. Yeah exactly. Yeah. Well, I was just going to say, I was like, yeah. You know, like, to me emergent strategy and pleasure activism really go together like they're holding hands, dancing across the field of ideas and I really think that this this idea of resilience. You know I have a teacher Alta Starr who's always pushing me to be like you know, resilience is beyond even harm, right? It's sort of like this natural capacity we have to learn to adapt, to like grow, to learn from whatever changes come. And it's hard for me because I'm still like "Well. But also when someone hurts us, you know we had to be resilient." And you know it's hard in a city like Detroit because you know resilience can be weaponized. Like if people like you bounce back from anything, like, we'll just keep doing anything to you. Like you know we'll add an incinerator to your neighborhood or whatever you'll be fine. And so I think there's something about, Oh to me, like how do we have a transformative resilience right. How do we have resilience that is not just like we can recover back to conditions that we weren't very happy with in the first place. And being like oh you know when I look at like what am I recovering? I'm recovering something that's beyond my own origin, you know like I need to recover something that goes back past the many hours that my grandmother overworked, and I need to recover something that goes back past my enslaved ancestors, and recover something that goes back past my kidnapped answers, and you know, ancestors, like I feel this long, long, long arc of the work that I'm in right now where I'm like. Almost everyone that came before me was trying to work towards some joy some freedom some sense of safety for their children themselves. And now I am awakened so like I am aware of all of that and I have an option in front of me to be resilient across time and space right. And that feels very exciting. You know, I think as hard as it is to live in this age of hyper connectedness because I think it is really hard. My friend angel Kyoto Williams talks about this, that like, we we are given access to so much more information than we've ever had access to before but we're not given the tools to handle it all, right? Like we're not taught here's how to meditate. Here's how to pass what's overwhelming back to the earth or back to God or back to whomever you trust with it. We're not given those those technologies, right? So we kind of flailing a lot of the time of like, I'm receiving all this, I'm trying to care about all of it and we find ourselves stretched so far but I also think the really beautiful thing about that is like we can see how many people believe what we believe, how many people are trying to practice what we're trying to practice so we can find each other. You know you and I would have never found each other if it wasn't for this modern state of connection. And to be able to say like, "Oh you're out here in Maine fomenting these ideas and I'm out here in Detroit fomenting these ideas and we have very different lineages. And yet we both have arrived in this place where it's like this is a path. This is a way to move forward it's important. Paying attention to relationship is important." And so that you know, that gives me hope inside of the the struggle of this overwhelming moment where there is so much that is hard. It's also there's so much that is overwhelmingly beautiful and overwhelmingly good and there's so many ways that you know also we live on such a resilient planet. So, I often think about this that I'm like, you know, and I feel like I'm trying to remember whoever first said this idea, because I was a Oh snap! That's a game changer! It's like, the Earth is gonna be OK. 

Neil Sattin: Yeah. 

adrienne maree brown: Right? Like the earth is gonna be OK. Like, it might be, she might go through an Ice Age or something, but like if we're not here she'll still be OK. And like if we're not here she'll recover from whatever we've done. Like how we've remixed her nature into other kinds of things. And, I don't know if you saw this story came out last week about the white-throated rail, did you see that? 

Neil Sattin: I hadn't but I saw you wrote about it on your on your blog. Yeah.

adrienne maree brown: I was so moved by this. So this like little bird...:The debate is basically this bird re-evolved, right. Like it went extinct at 136,000 years ago, roughly. Because like,  these things are hard to track but like... Now this bird has has re-evolved has come back into existence. The same little -- it's a flightless bird. There's something about that that just I, I read it and I really was like moved in a way I was like, I didn't know I needed to know that that was possible. But, I was like, I need to know that that level of resilience is possible, like somewhere down in the programming of this planet. There's there's some code that's just like white throated rail.: And just because we can no longer see the creature, it doesn't mean that it's, it's disappeared like there's some aspect of it that DNA that's in there. And yeah, it made me feel like OK. Like there's mysteries on mysteries on mysteries when it comes to this planet. And there's so much that we can't understand. And so inside of that I'm like, you know, I love thinking really big grandiose thoughts. But then I try to bring them back down into very small tangible practices. Small ways of being with each other because I'm like, I can't imagine how we'll get through the climate catastrophe that we're in right now. But I can imagine being in right relationship with the planet around me and making better choices about this local place that I'm in and being place based and loving. Even though I travel a lot but I'm like rooting myself into the soil in Detroit in all the ways that I can. Like this is where I bury my compost. This is where I play with children. This is where I go find like where's the Detroit grown foods every summer and I am really cautious now. I've made a major shift in my life around how I produce waste. Like what kind of waste I will put out so that I tried to really shrink down my garbage waste to the, like the very very you know, it's like if I can rinse it and I can clean it off and it can be recycled. It's gonna be recycled if it's food if it can go into compost it goes into compost like I used to have a massive garbage bin that I was putting out. And I'm like I live alone. You know all of that with stuff that like other things can be done with. And now it's like you know a huge portion of what comes out of my home is gonna be recycled and reused again. And, I'm aiming at zero waste. I'm constantly trying to figure out where is and where other places where I can... I just bought this new set of like ziplocks reusable kind of Ziploc thingies, that so you know because I'm a, I'm a fan of Ziploc bags like I'm like you've put anything in a Ziploc bag. You can go anywhere you have it I carry like in my suitcase there's always like five Ziploc bags just like folded just in case because you just never know what you're gonna need a Ziploc bag for. And so I'm like, oh that's a next frontier that I need to like, you know, figure out a way to advance through and I'm like, oh I can do this, right. So anyway all of that to say to me I'm trying in my personal life to get in right relationship with nature and my body is a huge part of that. Like if I'm not in right relationship and respecting the miraculous, like, Stardust nature of my body then how can I even begin to be in my relationship with the rest of the living world. 

Neil Sattin: Yeah. 

adrienne maree brown: Yeah. 

Neil Sattin: So, OK. So first, I'm so moved when I hear you talk about not really being able to read the code but seeing the expressions of the code like.. 

adrienne maree brown: Yeah. 

Neil Sattin: ...the bird coming back into existence from extinction and even when you were describing how you and I could be doing different work in different places and yet here we find ourselves together having this conversation. 

adrienne maree brown: Yeah. 

Neil Sattin: To me that is an expression of the power of something that's ineffiable, that like we can't understand but if we're willing to to follow that path and and follow the ways that it's growing and things are emerging then, then at least that inspires hope in me that there's like an antidote to disconnection, to destruction. 

adrienne maree brown: Yes. 

Neil Sattin: To... 

adrienne maree brown: Yeah. 

Neil Sattin: ...all the forces that were that were working against and in terms of relationship the ways that people are, you know, experience this desire for closeness and connection. You know part of our, our wiring as you were mentioning earlier is to be connected to each other. 

adrienne maree brown: That's right. 

Neil Sattin: And yet, it becomes such a source of pain partly because we either intentionally or unintentionally traumatize each other and then also because of the social structures and their impact on us. When you talk about pleasure and relearning pleasure, getting in touch with your body and and I like that stand that you take for for the personal being political that fractal nature of... 

adrienne maree brown: Yes. Yeah. 

Neil Sattin: ...transformation. I think about how many of us are just kind of following the script of romance and love and sex and pleasure and needing... 

adrienne maree brown: When did you become aware that there was a script? 

Neil Sattin: Oohh. Well that's it's been an unfolding for me, for sure. And I think probably I became most aware of it when I inadvertently hurt someone. And like had no idea that that was happening for them and found out later and then you know, thankfully we've had our moments of amends and talking and all of that. But, in restoring ourselves. That was probably the inception of it. And then all through college. 

adrienne maree brown: Yeah. 

Neil Sattin: And then in my current relationship, I'm so blessed to be with someone who's taken a strong stand for her own boundaries around her own healing, her own trauma. And it forced me to even go even deeper into like, "Well, what am I looking for in relationships?". 

adrienne maree brown: Right. 

Neil Sattin: What am I looking for in sex? Would it like what is this rejection, quote-unquote, that I'm experiencing in this moment and what is that really about? And and so that has forced me to ask deeper questions, and to get progressively more and more honest with myself and with her, to a point where fairly recently I feel like I've hit ground zero. But it's it's a process it's definitely been an unfolding and watching those layers fall away. And then once they do being like, All right well how do I replace this? If I'm going to do sex the way that I thought I should? Or you know I think it was an essay that you wrote where you mentioned a babysitter who was watching Porky's when you were... 

adrienne maree brown: Yes. 

Neil Sattin: Yeah. And the way those things inform our sense of, of what's what's erotic, what turns us on, all of that. Once I peel those things away and come back to, this moment and what's real. Well... 

adrienne maree brown: That's right. 

Neil Sattin: Yeah. That's what my journey has been like and I've, I've certainly tried to surface that a bunch here on the podcast and and I'm really excited to hear your thoughts about that unfolding for yourself and, and you mentioned meditation earlier. Yeah. What are the the pathways into, kind, of breaking down the, the unhealthy learnings? And coming back into right relationship with with ourselves as relational, sexual, erotic, pleasure oriented being? 

adrienne maree brown: Beings, right? I feel like... a couple of things. I mean I think one is, there was a period of time where I was, I was really convinced that sex didn't have anything to do with me or what I was feeling. Like, I was really like what is the other person feeling and like that's that's what's important right now. And like my job is to make sure that that experience is a whole good one. Right? And, and I feel like, I remember like, there's just moments in most of its relational right. Like most of it is like just other people reflecting something back. And it's like "Girl, it doesn't had to be like that." You know? People talking to me, reading stuff. I remember reading the work of Andrea Dworkin. Have you read her? Like she she talks pretty scathingly about marriage and pornography and like, a lot of things that I was just I took for granted, were like those are good things that you try to get to in life. And, I don't agree with everything, you know, I feel like there's a lot of brilliant thinking in what she said and I feel like there's also not a lot offered of like here are other true pleasures, you know, like here's the ways to get them. 

Neil Sattin: Yeah. 

adrienne maree brown: But there was something that blew open for me where I was just like, I want to be able to consider this. I want to be able to consider that everything I was told about where pleasure in my life would come from and, or,  was, was and wasn't allowed. That maybe all that is wrong. Right? And then Audrey Lorde's writing, Octavia Butler's writing. There were just all these different people who were giving me. It was never just about sex. It was never just about the body. It was alway, have a revolution about how you think about how things work in the world. Start to ask questions and get curious about who benefits from these systems. Right? So, I remember, I remember having a quest-, you know, a conversation with a friend about marriage and just being like, who benefits? Who benefits in marriage, right? And, uh, and being pretty like oh my gosh. No one should ever get married. I was like, "No woman should ever get married!" Like I felt very strongly like, Nope it's not, it's just not a good idea. Like you will work forever in a labor that will never ever get acknowledged. You will not be able to pursue passion, work, things that you actually care about. You'll not be respected in the process. And then you know, and then he'll cheat on you. Like this is the arc of  it, right? Because you know he'll need something younger and prettier and he's worked you out, right? And I remember having that conversation as like, NO! You know? Like, and then be like well no that's just one way that's a model that is... The system that benefits from that is patriarchy. And if I can understand that then I can be like let me target patriarchy. Let me... And like I, I'm very lucky that I came across the work of Grace Lee Boggs where she really is like: Transform yourself to transform the world. And this is something I say probably every day of my life. There's some place or some way in which I say this to someone else or to myself. So I was like oh Where is patriarchy in my own practice? Where is patriarchy is showing up in how I'm approaching a relationship? And some of the interesting places were how quickly I would be dishonest for the sake of connection. And I say connection in quotation marks there, right? That I was like Well I don't want to be alone and, like, being alone is a sign of someone who's not a good person or whatever. Right? You have to be like with someone to be like a part of the human experiment or whatever. First you know, that that is...  I no longer believe that, but like you know. But at the time I just like, ok, I don't want to be alone. So I would go out on a date or someone, you know, I feel like I was I feel like I came up like right at the end of dating, also. So it's like right at the end of like when you would actually say, "Let's go on a date to a place and get to know each other." For maybe three or four times we would do that before we are actually alone in either of our places. And you know something else would happen right. I'm like I come from what feels like almost a chaste time before the apps kind of popped off into, just your place or mine. Like what's good? You know? And I talk about apps as if I know what I'm talking about I've never really used that apps to, that's just not how I meet people. But, but, I know that the majority of people in my life that's now how people connect. But so you go out and you're having these initial conversations and my practice was to just kind of listen for what I thought the other person really wanted to hear and then delivered that somehow. And you know, I grew up as a military brat. I moved like roughly every two years, so you get really good at figuring out like what is the, what are the rules here, and how do I adapt to be safe within them? And it can be hard when you get good at that to also be like. And then what is what is fundamental to me like what is the me that I'm also carrying to each place that needs to adapt? And the same thing in dating like what is the me that's showing up? And like might adapt in some relationship but like why am I rushing to not just adapt, but like completely contort into something? Why am I so desperate for being in relationship that I won't even be there? Like I wanted it to be me that shows that. Yeah. So I feel like I had rounds and rounds of that and it never worked. I kept having this heartbreak, that was really almost never about the other person. But it was about facing how much I had contorted to get in the door, and then how little I actually wanted to be inside that house, right? 

Neil Sattin: Yeah, yeah. 

adrienne maree brown: Whatever house it was. And so, I feel like I took... 

Neil Sattin: Which by the way is a super common problem that people have. 

adrienne maree brown: It's every, it's everywhere. You know when, I do a bunch of you know like you said coaching and mediation and stuff like that, and I find like that is the number one thing. That's the number one thing is that people are like you're just not who you've said were. 

Neil Sattin: Right. 

adrienne maree brown: And how could you not be who you said you were? And how could you not uphold the promises that you made? And it's just like I was lying. I was, I wasn't even there. Like I don't even know I'm sorry. You know. 

Neil Sattin: Right. And then there's that additional layer of oh wait a minute. Now we also have to deal with your shame around who you... around your truth. yeah. 

adrienne maree brown: Exactly. And it's the shame and the still absence of yourself. Right? So, so often. Now I've been doing a lot of support for people who are in their mid 30s to 50s and a lot of the folks I'm supporting are going through major breakups of fundamental relationships. And it's interesting because they're like who am I? Like, who am I? You know like so much was defined in relationship to this other person? And that's how so many people get trained to become themselves. It's like now, now I'm ugly, I'm half of something, and now that's who I am. And so much of the work is being like; "You're a whole something. You're a whole something." And I think the thing I'm always watching out for is not to send people all the way to the other side of the pendulum, right.:To me the personal is political only as it relates to being part of a collective effort to be political about what is personal, right? So I feel like this is you know someone was asking me I did an interview yesterday, and they're like what about the GOOP, like what about the like white women taking bathes, or whatever. And I was just like "Yeah. Like you know that so much of self care is about that. It's like white people with privilege go off to the spa and that's when you know, often, I mention to people they're like, I'm not about all that, you know? And I'm just like, "Yeah I I don't think that that's political, necessarily, either right?" I think it becomes political in relationship to your identity. I think it becomes political in relationship to the community you're a part of and how you're making sure that everyone has access to the beautiful good parts of life, right? And so you know I'm part of a community. I'm part of many communities. And there's a particular community I call the goddesses. And it's a bunch of women, we all went to school together. Right now everyone's like slaying dragons in all these different fields of life, and we have started to really, like, have each other's backs and hold each other down in a way that like we didn't know how to necessarily do back then. Right. But we've rediscovered each other and been like we need to like all you know like how about half of us, half of the people are moms. And so it's like we need to go places where like everyone here gets to relax and be taken care of. That we get to be part of something that's close knit and intimate, but that we get to have massages or we get to be in a hot tub or we get to you know just cook for each other or take each other out to the best places we can find to eat. And like, there's so many small pleasures that feel really important, like it wouldn't be great for me if I was just like I'm over here living my best life and all my sisters were out here struggling. Like, I don't think that that's a way towards freedom, right? For me it's very important that as I have access, I increase access for everyone else and I particularly increase access for those who have less access than me. Like that to me as part of the political commitment I'm in for my lifetime.:

Neil Sattin: Yeah. 

adrienne maree brown: Yeah. 

Neil Sattin: Yeah. There's... I'm just thinking here about the, uh, the commodification of self care and I think that's part of what you're talking about, right? Is that like... 

adrienne maree brown: Yes. Capitalism!

Neil Sattin: You actually have to... Yeah. There it is again. There it is again.

adrienne maree brown: it's always there. Yeah. 

Neil Sattin: One thing that popped up for me when you were talking about structures and like, I would never get married! And you know and then and then that sense of like well OK. It's just the system and who does it benefit and maybe there's a time and a place. What popped up for me was this question around the dance between safety and I think it was because you mentioned, you know, when going out on a date, like part of what's happening there is deciding, Am I safe with this person? 

adrienne maree brown: Exactly. Yeah. 

Neil Sattin: And. And then that because safety is right up there with connection in terms of something that we, that we require in order to function as humans. That's right. So and that's interesting as you start pulling apart the structures because one thing that marriage can be really good at... 

adrienne maree brown: Is safety. 

Neil Sattin: ...is supporting safety. Exactly. And so how do you start to loosen those tethers in a way that still supports people being held. Because if you're not feeling safe, you're not growing in a way that's probably generative for you you're just like scrambling back to safety for the most part. 

adrienne maree brown: That's right. You know I think I love this question, Neil. I think this is like, this is an essential one. To me it's like, OK how do we balance these things. And a couple of thoughts leap to mind. One is that I think people feel like they have to choose between safety and like, being their whole selves or being their, being in their dignity, like all of it. And that first part, that feels like it's not true. Right, I'm like that's part of the lie that we've been told is that you have to choose. So you can either be safe in a marriage where you don't get to be fully realized as yourself or you can be fully realized as yourself. But like, you know, without that stability and I've seen it, I've seen the case more often than not be that you find that deep safety within yourself. It's a feeling not a story that you're telling about your life, right. Or a projection you're giving for someone else but it's actually like some, a felt sense, like I feel it in my life. Most of my life now, I feel safe right? And I can feel when that changes. Like sometimes I'll be in a space where there's just too many people, too much energy, something's off, you know? And I can feel it and it heightens my senses, it heightens my awareness, it makes me pay attention to what's happening around me. But then I think something like marriage, it's that kind of commitment, what I see so often happening is that people get into it and then they're like, "This isn't the safety that I thought it was going to be," right? Maybe it is for the first month or the first year or even until the first child or whatever, you know. But then there's some moment where that falls away because what you, what you thought you had, was like, I know you and you know me. And what's really happening is you're changing and I'm also changing and so I've officiated a few weddings and one of things that's been exciting is that the people asked me to officiate are like we want to commit to changing together, right. That to me is the kind of commitment that I can get behind where people are like I know this person again and I'm not going to change but I'm so curious about who they are and who they will become and I want to be there for that ride. And so it's not about marriage as entrapment and like catching you into one single identity, or any relationship, because now I'm like, you know I had to get married to be trying to trap someone in your web and I really like the model which I'm sure you've heard of of relationship anarchy. I don't think anything is perfect perfect thing that I really like it because so much of it is like, you know safety. You know, I think you were talking about with safety to me so much of that is rooted in trust. 

Neil Sattin: Mm hmm. 

adrienne maree brown: Right. It's like, Oh I trust that you're gonna do what you say you do. You say you're gonna do. And I trust that I can tell you my truth or whatever it is. And in relationship anarchy, which I think is like someone in Sweden, Andie Nordgren or something like that. 

Neil Sattin: Yeah I forget. 

adrienne maree brown: Yeah I have to go look at her name but there's you can look a bit like a "relationship anarchy manifesto." Right. And I love it because it's like trust is something that we build together over time, and like we start out with a default of trust like rather than starting out with the default of like, you've got it, you know like your trust is at zero and you have to like somehow bring it up to a hundred and never let your stuff like, never fuck up like never ever break my trust in anyway, or I'm gonna hold that against you for the rest of time. And I'm like instead you start from a place of like I have an abundant sense of trust for like my place in the world, for what I'm up to in the world, for like the work that I'm here to do, my purpose and then I meet you. And I'm just gonna offer you trust as a human being and what I am counting on is that if you break my trust, then we'll figure out how to recover together. Right? And sometimes that breaking of trust might be, we're not supposed to recover together. You know, like we're sometimes, the breaking of trust will expose something like, you're more committed to... uh... Like I see this happen sometimes where people are like in an open relationship, but still do cheating type behaviors. And I'm like, Oh, OK like great. That's good information, right? Like you're still very committed to a certain kind of secrecy. Maybe that's what turns you on is the forbidden. Something along those lines. And that's not compatible, right, with the kind of relationship that I'm trying to build or whatever kind of relationship this person is trying to build. And so I get really excited about stuff like that, because I like then you in a, you know, then it's like we just got clear about it and like we can trust each other to take the step back and transition into some other form of relationship. Versus, I think what happens now which is like, I offered you a false trust that you could never live up to that I was waiting for you to somehow live up to, you broke it and now I don't, I never want to see your face again. Right? Like you let me down so thoroughly, that I just I don't even want you to exist and I'm like I don't think we have enough people for that way of being with each other. Right? That we can just keep being like if you're not perfect, perfectly trustworthy then I kick you out of my community forever. And I say that you know the same thing you said is that you learn some of this from causing harm. And I'm like I learned from breaking people's trust. Right? 

Neil Sattin: Yeah. 

adrienne maree brown: There are people who I love and care about and I, I broke their trust and I have, I've had to do like a lot of work, a lot of work around like, Am I a trustworthy person? If the answer is No. How would I become a trustworthy person? Right. And again so much of that initial line of inquiry was just like about other people. Like how can I let them know how can I show how can I prove that I'm trustworthy? And of course the answer is I have to be trustworthy. Like I have to be able to feel in myself. And I'll tell you I'll tell you a little example of this. 

Neil Sattin: Sure. 

adrienne maree brown: I was in the airport like last week and I was running through and a lot had been happening and I went and sat down on a bench and there was this coat next to me and I asked around like, "Hey anybody is this your coat." And everybody was like no, you know whoever this coat is they just left this coat here. There's no bag there's nothing else around it. So I let it sit there for a little while and then I'm like Oh the nice coat. It's a nice coat. And so I picked it up to look at it and it's like a designer coat and it happens to be my size, right? So I'm like, This is a very nice gorgeous designer coat that someone just left here on this bench and like who knows if they're ever going to make it back, right? 

Neil Sattin: For you! 

adrienne maree brown: But, that, yeah part of my brain was like a gift from the universe! And I was like. And I picked it up and I looked at it and was like that would not be a trustworthy behavior to just take this coat and move on with life. Right. Like there's a chance that that person is still in this airport and that they're like running back here to get their very expensive, nice coat. Right? Or and, right. They'll call Delta. Like do you know where my coat is? Or whatever it is. So I took it over to the, um, you know where they check you in for the plane. I took it over to one of the guys there and I was like this was left over there. They're like, oh my goodness. You know like that's so sweet, you know. And it was just like, I felt the burden lift off my system that I'm like oh I was about to really just take someone's coat. But I didn't. And it is a small thing, like it's a really small thing that like no one would have known if I had done the wrong thing... 

Neil Sattin: Except you. 

adrienne maree brown: But I would have known. And like trying to get to that place in my life where like I don't make the mistake because it would hurt my integrity and my wholeness and my dignity outside of anyone else's. And even if I know it, that creates a shadow. Like how do I turned to my lover and tell this story? How do I walk into a room where I'm offering people, like let's be trustworthy people, and I'm standing there in a coat that I stole from some poor stranger, right? So to me it's that. It's like is my relationship with myself intact? And then from that place can I be in contact with another person and say, now this is intact? And if it gets harmed I commit to helping us get to intactness and sometimes that looks like a boundary. I keep repeating these words my friend, Prentis Hemphill, made this, made this, had this thought last week and then spread it all over the world basically, but its boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me, simultaneously. 

Neil Sattin: Mm hmm. I love that. 

adrienne maree brown: And I keep thinking about that that I'm like sometimes... Right? Isn't it beautiful. And sometimes it's like that. It's like sometimes in tactness is at a great distance. It's like we're good as long as you're two thousand miles away from me. We're fine. It's good. Like don't cross that boundary and it's all good. 

Neil Sattin: Right. 

adrienne maree brown: And so I think about that I'm like, you know that's one of the things I talk about in "Pleasure Activism" is like our "No,"  makes a way for our "Yes." Like the good boundaries are actually so crucial for the good relationships. 

Neil Sattin: Yeah. What seems contained too, and what you're offering, is the necessity for healing, like, to recognize like, OK if we're not in right relationship we're all each on a healing journey to getting there. 

adrienne maree brown: Yes. 

Neil Sattin: It's probably rare, the person who's learned, who's reached their 30s or 40s or more, you know, and hasn't experience some sort of disruption of their integrity. 

adrienne maree brown: That's right. 

Neil Sattin: So there's the healing component. There's also the compassion component. Like if I, if I expect you to be perfect and you fail me, and then that becomes this huge breach, then that's a much different problem than I'm trusting you. And I'm also wanting you. Like I'm, I'm willing to be okay with where you and I aren't perfect as long as we can be in full disclosure about that together. 

adrienne maree brown: Yeah. That's right. 

Neil Sattin: That's the honesty piece. 

adrienne maree brown: I like that. I like that. I feel like that', you know, because I also think about this. Like for people who are like, "Oh no you know I'm sure they're someone's not me I'm good. You know like I know what you're talking about. I don't lie to myself or whatever." Or like, so often the people who seem to be, who have it all together, who have it altogether. Are are in some ways damaging themselves the most like I feel like now I have stopped doing to myself the harm of trying to pretend I am perfect, right? 

Neil Sattin: Yeah. 

adrienne maree brown: And I see it. I mean I feel like that you know when people watch Beyonce's Homecoming, right? Like what was intriguing to me is that she was like I was pushing for perfection and it meant having to like learn all the stuff that I would never do this again. It wasn't perfect it was actually too much that I harmed myself. And but, I pulled this off, but I harmed myself and didn't... Like, there's even stuff like that. Right? I'm like, "Yeah, what are you denying of yourself. That's where you're creating a prison, right, for yourself. You're containing that part of you that wants to be alive and free and moving around. And I'll say I'm part of the generative somatics teaching body. And for me, Somatics has been the healing pathway that has opened so much. And there's a really beautiful episode of The Healing Justice podcast, that has a woman named Sumitra on it, as it was that, they basically the Healing Justice podcast, they do an offer and then they do a practice to follow up on that. And so it's a 30 minute practice something less than that but it's basically this, the core practice of Somatics which is just centering learning how to actually drop into your body and feel and center in real time. And the idea is that you don't center to feel calm or better you center to feel more. that if you can feel more... 

Neil Sattin: Yeah. To feel what is. 

: That if you can feel more, feel what is and feel more of it then you start to have actual agency in real time over the choices you make, over the connections you move towards, over the connections you can start to set real boundaries around, like I can feel when someone is not a good energy to have around me, right. That doesn't mean they don't deserve to have people around them. But it's not going to happen here, right. 

Neil Sattin: Right. 

adrienne maree brown: I'm gonna move towards those people who are like the right energy for me for, for me growing them. And for them growing me. Yeah. Yeah. So I want to offer that because when it comes to healing, I think it helps to be fairly tangible. Like, there's, there's some you know, I feel like that for me. Like I went to talk therapy for a decade or whateve, right? And I've been able to move so much more through being able to feel, because I feel like talk therapy I was still able to stay in my head and tell my stories and tell my lies. And like you know you know, you can do it if your therapist has to be on to you just move on to the next one like, here's my, here's my story, right, or whatever it is. And I just think there's something so beautiful about dropping in and being like I'm feeling, I'm in a community of people who hold me accountable to being able to feel myself. And even now like I've been touring this book I land in a new city, and I run into someone who's also a Somatic practitioner and they hold me and they're like Are you good? Are you centering? Are you good? How are you feeling? You know and I know that they really care and they want to know. And in that moment I can feel the connection and my aliveness just expand. 

Neil Sattin: So important. 

adrienne maree brown: Yeah. 

Neil Sattin: adrienne maree brown thank you so much for your words today for joining us. I know we could talk for easy another hour. You don't have the time, at least not today. Hopefully we can chat again at some point. That would be special. 

adrienne maree brown: Yay. Thank you so much for having me on. I really appreciate being a guest on the show and I hope it's of use to people. 

Neil Sattin: It is my pleasure and I just want to encourage everyone who's listening to check out all your work but especially your latest book: Pleasure Activism, Emergent Strategy. They're both written with such care and and I really felt them speaking to me and my unfolding and I know it would be a gift to any reader who's here with us. And it feels like a fun footnote that the friend that I met who introduced me to you and your work. 

adrienne maree brown: Yeah. 

Neil Sattin: We were actually both attending a somatic experiencing workshop with Peter Levine. 

adrienne maree brown: Yay. That's awesome!

Neil Sattin: So I love how it came back into Somatics here at the end. 

adrienne maree brown: Full circle. 

Neil Sattin: So far so important to find that truth of who you are and your experience in your body in this moment, and so much aliveness comes from there. 

Neil Sattin: Thank you Neil. 

adrienne maree brown: adrienne, if people want to find out more about your work, what can they do? 

adrienne maree brown: They can go to the website: allied-media-dot-org-slash-ESII. That's where you can get trainings, workshop, stuff like that. And then I'm on Instagram  @adriennemareebrown, and I, that's where I mostly post things into the world. 

Neil Sattin: Great. Well we will make sure there are links in all our stuff. And thank you so much for being with us today. And with me. 

adrienne maree brown: Thank you. Have a good one. 

Neil Sattin: Take care, adrienne. 

adrienne maree brown: All right. Peace. 

Neil Sattin: Same to you. 

Neil Sattin: And just as a reminder if you want a detailed transcript of today's episode, you can get that by visiting Neil-Sattin-dot-com-slash-AMB, adrienne maree brown, or you can text the word passion to the number of 3 3 4 4 4 and follow the instructions. And we will have links to everything that we mentioned here in today's episode as well as to The Healing Justice I think is what adrienne said the The Healing Justice podcast episode that she mentioned, as a gift for you. 

Neil Sattin: All right, take care. 

 

Jul 18, 2019

When things get challenging in your relationship, what's the best way to ensure that you and your partner can make it through? How do you avoid the losing strategies that come naturally in a moment of crisis - and, instead, choose ways of dealing that are more likely to lead to a positive outcome? Whether it's something small, or something that feels more apocalyptic, this week we'll talk about how to weather the storm successfully, with strategies that will help you navigate a painful moment without doing something destructive.

As always, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this episode and what revelations and questions it creates for you. Please join us in the Relationship Alive Community on Facebook to chat about it! Or email YOUR recorded questions to questions (at) relationshipalive dot com.

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Jul 10, 2019

How would you know if there were experiences from the earliest moments of your life affecting you here and now? And if you are indeed being impacted by the distant past - what can you do to heal those early traumas so that you’re more free and connected in your current life? Our guest today is Peter Levine, creator of Somatic Experiencing, and author of many bestselling books on healing trauma - “Waking the Tiger”, “In an Unspoken Voice”, and “Trauma and Memory” - just to name a few! Today you’ll learn how to recognize the signs of these deep emotions, and what to do to regulate them, as well as how to help our co-regulate with your partner, to build a stronger, more resilient foundation for your relationship (and within yourself). 

As always, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this episode and what revelations and questions it creates for you. Please join us in the Relationship Alive Community on Facebook to chat about it!

Check out my other episodes with Peter Levine:

Episode 127 of Relationship Alive on Building Resilience

Episode 29 on Healing Your Triggers and Trauma

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Visit www.neilsattin.com/levine2 to download the transcript, or text “PASSION” to 33444 and follow the instructions to download the transcript to this episode with Peter Levine.

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Transcript:

Neil Sattin  Hello and welcome to another episode of Relationship Alive. This is your host Neil Sattin. As always we are exploring both the relational skills and the inner healing that's required in order to show up fully in your life and in your relationships. Today, we are fortunate to have a return visit from none other than Peter Levine -- one of the world's experts on healing trauma and also the creator of somatic experiencing one of the world's foremost modalities on healing trauma of all kinds. This can be the big kinds of traumas that people think of, you know, with war, and assault, and things like that. Or, it can be the smaller traumas that that still have a huge impact on us, things that happen in our childhood things that happen in our day to day lives. So, today in our conversation with Peter Levine we're going to be talking about how our early attachment traumas affect us in our adult lives and what we can do about that to bring more presence to our relationships. As always we will have a detailed transcript of today's conversation which you can get if you visit Neil-Sattin-dot-com-slash-Levine-2. That's L-E-V-I-N-E, as in Peter Levine and then the number two. Peter has also been on the show a couple other times, so if you, if you check out Episode 127 you can listen to us talking about resilience. Or I used the kind of funny form of that word resiliency, and uh, way back in Episode 29 we were talking about the again the effects of trauma on our lives and how to heal it. So we're building a comprehensive library here for you to help you get present and free your cells as and your physiology as well as your mind and your emotions -- your mind body spirit from the pernicious effects of trauma on our lives. 

Neil Sattin  So as always Peter thank you so much for joining us here today. It's great to have you again. 

Peter Levine  Sure, sure. 

  So let's just without having to give the full picture because I definitely think that our listeners can, can go and check out those other episodes that the two of us have done together. Let's talk about what might constitute an early attachment trauma or an early attachment wounding. What kinds of things would be the kind of thing that might stick with someone into their adult lives? 

Peter Levine  Yeah. Well you know, I mean, so many things from our past from our deep deep long past do affect us. They don't affect, they don't affect us in ways that we're conscious of, I mean that's part of the problem. And. I think of attachment, probably a little bit different than than most people do. I look more along a developmental arc about what happens to us from womb to, to adolescence and and the memories we carry. Now I said the memories are not conscious. But what are they? Well, we have to just take a couple of minutes to understand, at least comprehend, the different types of memory. Basically that some memories are conscious, are explicit. Other memories are much more unconscious and those are called implicit memories. And our basic attachments have to do with implicit memories. It has very little to do with explicit memories. That's one of the reasons why I think probably therapists often struggle in working with the early attachment wounds because they're so deeply ingrained in the, in the body experience and and can only really be accessed through the vehicle of sensations and these sensations are very primitive sensations very old, very raw. So, if we look at an implicit memories there are basically two types. One type is emotional. And so for example if you're introduced to somebody for the first time and all of a sudden you feel anger or fear or revulsion or just wanting to avoid them. There's a good chance that this stems from earlier experience with somebody who had some of those same qualities, so they get triggered and then they explode in an emotional way. I mean we all experience something like that at different times. You know, as an example, uh, a couple that's riding in their car and the wife is driving and they make a wrong turn. And her husband starts yelling at her: "Don't you know where you're going?" And then of course he starts laughing and they both died laughing. But from that moment something in him something in not being to the party at time or being lost, triggered some kind of a.. an old engram, an old memory trace. I sometimes am a little hesitant to use the word memory because the memories are so different than the conscious explicit memories. Ok, then even deeper than the emotional memories, which again do have to do with our early experiences as well as our development over the lifespan, that the other type of memory is called procedural memory. And these are memories that happen in our bodies and they can be both positive and negative, depending a lot on what our early experiences were in the womb at birth and during the bonding process. 

Peter Levine  And procedural memories very often are long, longlasting, and I divide them into two categories. One are basic things that the body learns such as for example, teaching a child how to ride a bike. So the parent or an older sibling by the side of the child and has their hands on the bicycle and they walk together and then run together, run and then bikes goes a little bit faster and then just at that right moment the parent lets go of the bike because they sense that the child is being able to balance themselves and then the child rides off on the bicycle and wants to go on the bicycle every day for the next six months. Because they're thrilled at that accomplishment. They now have a new memory, a new procedural memory, a new body memory and that involves a lot of different things that the body does. So if the parent trying to explain to the child: "Well, if you, if you, if you bend over this way your center of gravity will go off that way. So you'll have to turn the bicycle in that direction." It's just impossible. 

Neil Sattin  Right. 

Peter Levine  The body learns that quick, quick, quick, and once it's there even with a memory like that a positive memory like that the child is - you never forget how to ride a bicycle. That adage is largely true. It really is. So let me give you an example -- and again those memories can be positive like learning to ride a bike or learning dance steps or they can be highly negative. But let me give you an example and it does affect - It does introduce the relationship between attachment and these memories. 

Neil Sattin  Ok. 

Peter Levine  God, I don't know. Twenty, twenty-five years ago or so I was visiting my parents in New York City, in the Bronx. And so I spent the day down in Manhattan going to museums and it was coming back in the train the D train and train was packed with men in similar suits with newspapers folded under their arms. And so. But there was one particular person I just I didn't even see his face. There was just something about his posture that had a strange effect on me and I felt a slight slight expansion of my chest and a little bit of a warmth in my belly as I paid attention to my body sensations. So unbeknownst to me in a way I was having a memory but certainly not a conscious memory because you know I hadn't been the type, who knows why I was having this attachment. So anyhow, he, we both got off at the last stop. The crowds thinned out. Two-hundred-and-fifth street and I walked up to him and the fact, the words came out of my mouth out of my lips. I wasn't even consciously aware of saying them. I touched his arm and I said, "Arnold." And he looked at me utterly perplexed and puzzled. And we just stayed there for a moment. And then I said, "Arnold, you were in my first grade class with Ms. Campini. And well I would say, I would say, he was astonished, we were both astonished. There is something that I knew him in this class many decades before several decades before. Yet there was some attraction to that person because I obviously I don't remember everybody who was in the class. He's probably the only person I do remember that was in my in my first grade class. I mean I do remember bullies and I was very bullied at the time because I came in I was younger I came in in the middle of the class time, middle of the semester, and I had my ears were the same size then as they are now. So kids tease me about and call me Dumbo. And so I was bullied a lot. And Arnold was the one child that seemed to support me that seemed to care about me and it wasn't even verbal support. It was some, I just felt him someway, somehow on my side. So that implicit procedural memory is something that I've carried forth, for the rest of my life. Hopefully our early attachment figures have something like that so that when we are meeting another person, for, in terms of cultivating or being in a relationship or navigating the vicissitudes relationship that we have these positive memories, which have to do with approach. OK. Keep that word in mind. Approach. 

Neil Sattin  Ok. 

Peter Levine  If on the other hand we have had neglect, abuse, confusion, in our early experiences, we have procedural memories that are primary avoidance. Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, the positive experiences, the approach experiences are much greater than the avoidance experiences because that's what we need for a healthy relationship. So. OK. So, anyhow let's look at some of the kinds of things that happened early in our experience of the world. 

Peter Levine  So. So as I was saying hopefully they approach procedural memories outweigh the they avoidance one. But again starting way way back our experiences in utero. You know, if the mother is in a relaxed state, which again is a good reason why hopefully, mothers are able to spend it. Certainly the later part of their pregnancy at home doing things they enjoy to do settling, resting, preparing, that, so, however if the mother is under a lot of stress, accumulated stress during that period particularly the later part of gestation, that stress through different channels is actually passed on to the fetus. It does this by certain chemicals that are released when the mother is under stress but also direct neural mechanisms that, that, that, that increase or decrease the blood flow to the placent-placenta itself. So the placenta increases level of carbon dioxide, less oxygen, which stresses the fetal nervous system and overstimulated it. And then, what often happens in these studies were done in animals of course, is that you have this tremendously increase in the activity of the whole brain. But then after a certain point it just shuts down. And so again here already, we're hopefully having positive implicit experiences, but we also might be having negative ones. 

Peter Levine  Then birth of course is the next stage here in development and my sense is that the, the utilization of midwives and doulas is a little bit starting to come back taking the birth process out of the realm of a, of a disease that needs to be dealt with medically. 

Neil Sattin  Right. 

Peter Levine  To part of a natural process. But anyhow. And so during that time again the fetus the newborn can be extremely stressed. But, here's the, here's the, the, the hopeful part because eh, that the parents, the caregivers can also soothe the distress of the infant after it's born, can really hold it, rock it, soothe it, patiently. So again it's getting a positive imprint a positive memory of being able to be helped out of the distressed state into a state of settling, of a relaxation because remember an infant can not regulate itself. If it's distressed, it has precious little in the way of being able to, to, to come down from that activation and that will -- and calm itself. It needs to be, the term used often is, co-regulated by the caregiver. So by holding, soothing, singing, gently rocking all of those kinds of things helps the newborn regulate. 

Neil Sattin  So. 

Peter Levine  And again. Yeah go ahead, anytime you want. 

Neil Sattin  So there are a couple things that are jumping out at me. One of them being that from the youngest moments of our existence, we're creating memories that are that are not the kind of memory that you would typically think about, you know, where you can picture a story in your head of something happening. These are actual body memories and emotional experiences that just live within us and can be evoked in the present. But they don't necessarily, they're not necessarily something that have a story attached to them that you would consciously remember. 

Peter Levine  Yes. 

Neil Sattin  And then the second piece that's popping into place for me is around how, so there are all these things that are just kind of happening to us when we're in the womb. And then when we come out and are born there's this additional component where we're associating these really intense visceral experiences in our neurobiology with our primary caregiver so with our primary attachment figures, and I can already see this kind of setting up what plays out in, in our future selves when we are actually entering partnership with others, so we create attachments as adults with the people who are, who we can be most vulnerable with, most cared for most caring to, et cetera. But it's like --. 

Peter Levine  Or the opposite. 

Neil Sattin  Exactly. Good point, good point. And memory being what it is, just the presence of these people will naturally evoke some of these early memories. And then if we're not aware that that's happening, it's clear that that could create all sorts of problems because you might think that it's something specifically about your partner that is evoking this particular sensation, you might not know you're having a memory you might think whatever they just did is absolutely disgusting, and revolting and whereas you're really actually having a memory and I'm wondering as an adult how do we begin to tease apart the two or is it not even really important to do that? Maybe it's more important to just think about how we process those experiences so that they're not impacting us quite so profoundly?

Peter Levine  All right. Well actually let me go back to, to baby time. 

Neil Sattin  Yeah. Let's go back. 

Peter Levine  Before we go to adult. And this is and this is actually an example of work with a 14 month old and the session is all, is described and along with photographs in, in my most recent book, "Trauma And Memory: Brain And Body In A Search For The Living Past." So again it's how the past lives within us. Anyhow Baby Jack was born of an extremely traumatic birth. The cord was three ti-- it was around his neck three times, at the last minute he turned breech and he had the more mother tried to push, the more that Jack tried to propel against the uterine wall. He became more and more wedged at the apex of the uterus. In other words, oh! Maybe some people don't know that actually the birth process itself is not just about the mother pushing the baby out, but the baby actually pushing itself out. So the more Jack pushed the more he got wedged, the more he got stuck in, you know in the new apex of the uterus, and so they did an emergency caesarean his, his heart rate was starting to go down significantly. And even so they still couldn't pull him out. So they use suction to pull him out. And use it -- this is a very traumatic birth. And he was suffering from some physical symptoms which would have required that they do endoscopes and also looking into his lung, uh, a procedure which would have certainly really add a tremendous amount of traumatization to this fourteen, to this infant which has already been highly traumatized. So the baby has been highly traumatized. So I start to work with him. And again and you'll see that the pictures in the book. But I take some wrapped rattles that were made for me by a Hopi person and I wrap them a little bit to get his attention and he's he's an alert person but his mother says he never will, you know, uh, stay still. Never just stay her lap and mold into her. She never had that experience of him. So she say "He'll maybe come over. But then he is off to the next thing again." And she says, "Oh and he can be okay when he is alone." So again you see this thing in relationships, when we're alone where we do we perceive ourselves to be OK, but then when we're in a relations with somebody, we can lose all of that. So anyhow he reaches for the rattle as I hand it towards him. And then he retracts his hand his arm and just, it goes limp. And so he is now having a memory. He cannot talk about this memory because he doesn't really have words and even if he could they wouldn't be the words that could, would work. So then I give the rattle to him again and this time he pushes against the rattle. And I say "Yeah that's great, Jack." You know because he had all, he was taken away. All these tubes all these procedures that were done, and he felt, he was helpless. He was this little teeny baby and all of these, you know, giants were doing these things towards him. So anyhow we continue with this and at one point I put my hand on his middle back, because I see that's where he stiffens when his mother starts talking about needing to, the doctors wanting to do an endoscopy. So anyhow this time he pushes against her leg really pushes any propelled, as though it was propelling himself through the birth canal as though it really was. Anyhow after that he just starts crying and crying and crying. It's just birth cry sounds. And his mother is just astonished. She said, "I've almost never heard him cry and I've never seen tears coming down." His tears coming from his eyes. And you can see it's both a combination of amazement and relief and she doesn't even quite know what that relief is about. 

Peter Levine  Then at, at the end of this crying there is deep spontaneous breaths, deep spontaneous breaths and he just positions himself so he can mold into the mother's shoulder and then she knows exactly what to do now. 

Peter Levine  She put her arm around him and gently holds him and you see them attaching. So it wasn't that she was a bad mother that prevented the attachment. That wasn't the case. It was that they got disconnected at birth. She was definitely a, in Winnicott's terms, a good enough mother, very caring mother. But again you see in youth, and you can see it in the pictures, her complete delight at him doing this and then they come in the next week for a checkup. And his mother says, "Oh, when, when we got home Jack went to sleep, and then at one o'clock in the morning he called out, 'Mama! Mama!' And she she came in and picked him up and he molded again right into her arm, right into her shoulders."

Peter Levine  So this here is a, is a definitely implicit memory. And it turned out to be positive. But what if nothing had been done at that, had been done at that time. Then you can certainly project ahead and probably have a pretty good guess that he is going to have difficulties in relationships, that he's going to have difficulty in getting really close and bonding and attachment. So I'd be able to change that memory from the timeframe of this birth that really made it much more possible for him to have secure attachments in other later relationships. There's one thing I like to say about that. Oh OK. So even in this case, in a case, like this where there has been trauma, er, around the birth and around early attachment, we are still able to work with those memories. They may not be as accessible as they were with Baby Jack. But, but at the same time we can use language and imagery to help the person connect with those procedural memories and to transform them, to transmute them, from negative ones which were dominating Jack to positive ones of approach. And again we want a relationship -- a relationship is not going to be able to really survive, unless there is much more approach memories than avoidance memories. But again these things can be shifted even in our adult life, but they will come up in close relationships. And if we have had those difficulties experienced negative experience if we were neglected... You know, when I was born, the medical wisdom at the time was, first of all, give the mother all kinds of drugs and then do not breastfeed because breast-feeding was unsanitary. I mean, can you imagine how archaic that was? 

Neil Sattin  Oh my god. 

Peter Levine  And to add insult to injury they also instructed parents not to pick, not to pick up their babies when the babies were crying because the babies would just use that to manipulate them. 

Neil Sattin  Right. 

Peter Levine  I mean think about that, that, that's abuse. Frankly, as we understand today. But that was the that, was the that was the understanding of the time the wisdom at the time. 

Peter Levine  So anyhow when people from my generation were crying and upset we weren't held. And so that's the memory that we carry, that when we're upset we will not be able to calm. So we're, if we're upset in adult relationship we do not expect to be calmed, and we won't even allow ourselves to be calmed. So we either avoid the relationship or become over dependent in the relationship to soothe us because we're unable to be soothed. And again one of the things that we teach in somatic experiencing, is to help people learn this is part of working with these procedural memories, to have people learn to be able to regulate themselves. And for couples to learn how to regulate each other, because there's a pretty good chance that if you you're dysregulated you find a dysregulated person to, to be in relationship with or, or opposite. 

Neil Sattin  Yeah. So, wow, there are so many things jumping out at me right now and I definitely obviously we're not going to go through the whole body of work of somatic experiencing right now. I do hope that we can offer our listeners a few things they can do when they notice these things coming out. All your books that I've read have been such a revelation to me and in particular when it comes to applying your work, there is a rather thin book called "Healing Trauma," that we've spoken about before, that I think is just so great because it offers like a whole sequence of exercises that people can work through that, that take you on this journey of of uncovering these implicit memories and and unearthing them and being able to resolve them in the moment like you were describing resolving or the resolution of your work with that with baby Jack. When you were describing the ways that your generation was or that your parents were taught to to care for your generation when you were born. It made me also think about the way that trauma is passed from generation to generation because what I think happened to a lot of people in my generation was that their parents were, you know, the product of this whole you know don't, don't breastfeed the baby, don't pick up the baby, and then when when they were presented with a baby that was crying or inconsolable, even if they had a different sense maybe of like, "Oh I'm supposed to be doing this differently or differently than my parents did." It's evoking all of these implicit memories for my parents. Um, and which makes it much more challenging for them to show up as a regulating force for their children. 

Peter Levine  Yeah yeah yeah. Or sometimes the parents will try to do the opposite of what they had experienced. And so there's another key feature here which is also important is, that absolutely you know for the first several some months after birth the child basically has to be held and rocked, eh, when it's upset. But then you know starting after several months like nine months or so, it's also important that, because once the child has had enough solid procedural m-memories, experience of being calm, being settled then it is important to at least allow for the child to be upset for some amount of time, so that they can also bring in their capacity, their gradually learned capacity to self regulate. And often parents who come, where they were not picked up, and where they were just left in this, this, this swamp of distress, they may have trouble to not immediately pick up their baby when it's crying and then immediately hold it. 

Peter Levine  So, sometimes those children don't develop a full enough capacity for self regulation, which can also can be problematic in later relationships, because of course we're going to be upset with things that our, that our spouses do, our partners do. And... But the question is do we have tools so that we don't just go into profound distress and despair every time something happens that upsets us. So we do need to have both, I think, I just mentioned this, the capacity to regulate and to co-regulate and to get some of these skills that the book that you mentioned, book-CD, actually by "sounds true" called "Healing Trauma," something like, "A pioneering program for healing trauma." I don't know but anyhow... 

Neil Sattin  "A Pioneering Program For Restoring The Wisdom of Your Body."

Peter Levine  Ah. That's it. OK thank you. So again, some of the exercises where we learn to regulate states of arousal, of fear, of anger -- so that we don't have to constantly rely on the other person. But at the same time a healthy relationship also involves co-regulation. Particularly, hopefully, when we're able to say and this may this is, a kind of a higher state, "Dear. I'm really feeling so unsettled and anxious. Could you please just hold me for a little bit?" And, then if the other, if the other partner is in a relatively grounded, calm place themselves then they most likely will want to offer that. 

Peter Levine  So again it's a combination of co-regulation, transmuting into or developing into the capacity to self regulate. And then as adolescents and adults to be able to switch between self-regulation and co regulation. So again we are in a sense transforming these procedural memories where we did not have positive experience of being co regulated or we didn't develop the capacity to self regulate, to self regulate. 

Neil Sattin  So, how would I know if I'm having an experience where, where it would make sense for me to check in with my partner let's say and ask for some co regulation? What kinds of experiences would I be having within me that might be an indication of like, "Oh wait. That's..." So when when someone hears this, they'll be like, "Oh that's the thing that Peter Levine was talking about. And look I'm experiencing that right now. Maybe I should go ask my my partner if they'll hold me for a minute and see what happens."

Peter Levine  Right. Well guess what. It's absolutely not... It's not going to happen at once, at once. It's a skill that one has to really, really build. But the basic idea is that when we become upset, become emotional, become angry, become fearful, become sad, that's out of proportion to what's happening here in the present, then that's a almost certain guarantee. It's a certain guarantee that we're dealing with some kind of imprinted procedural memory a negative, in a word, memory. And so while we're in the midst of it it's going to be harder to ask for help. But if we know how to co-reg, uh, how to self regulate ourselves, even a little bit then we can realize, "OK, I'm upset but I'm upset so much more than you know then my partner saying “you know I'm not going to be able to get together tomorrow because I have to work, for dinner. I have to work later at work." OK. So really upset. But if that child had been abandoned as an, as as a baby, then all of a sudden that abandonment comes in, and for an infant being abandoned would cause death. If if the baby is abandoned for enough time. 

Neil Sattin  Right. 

Peter Levine  And so we will experience this, this perceived rejection as a life threat. OK, so again if we know enough about our implicit memories we can then be able to kind of soothe ourselves, and I give exercises for that, to soothe ourselves and then to be able to enter back into the relationship. But it's a skill that really needs to be developed and good therapy, both couples and individual therapy, can really help to facilitate this kind of cooperation, between, between our relationships, our primary relationships as adults. 

Neil Sattin  Yeah, no, I've mentioned it on the on the show before and I think when when you were on... Maybe the first time you were on, we, we went over the "Voo" exercise and that's something that Chloe and I we do together all the time when we notice one or the other being in a dysregulated state to help us come back into balance with each other. It's super helpful. 

Peter Levine  Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean there are a number of exercises like the Voo exercise, like the self holding exercise, where it is bringing one's awareness to the parts of our body which are not feeling horrifically. And so that could be our, our hands or our feet even. So again there's a number of different exercises that we can learn from and learn how to self regulate enough. You know there's a Motown song that goes something like: "It takes one to stand in the dark alone. It takes two to let the light shine through." So I think again it's this combination of being responsible for our own implicit memories, our own emotional and procedural memories. But also to be, to be cognizant about them enough so that we can enter into co-regulation and that co-regulation really enhances the attachment, the adult attachment and secures that relationship, solidifies that relationship, build it into a positive experience. So you know, again a lot of times all these things that happened to us can have these different effects that really will disrupt the relationship. Let me give you one example. I was working with this woman, young woman, who was abused by a sports coach when she was 13 years old, and because she is a teenager, she thought that he was in love with her. She certainly was in love, whatever that means, with him. And then she was rejected by him. Anyhow, those were really, eh, procedural memories and so when her husband would try to touch her. She would go into anger or revulsion and just want to push him away. So. And of course he was deeply deeply upset cuz he had no idea what to do. So I had worked with her to do a few sessions and then suggested that they would come in together. And they were sitting as far away as possible from each other and they talked about their resentments. That he never gives me eye contact, she never gives me eye contact. So they were talking about wanting to make contact but they couldn't do it. So after this went on for 30 minutes where they were basically blaming each other I asked if they would be willing to try an experiment. And I said, "This is, there's a risk at this. I mean hopefully this will help but it might not. Are you willing to take that risk?" And they both said yes. So then, he, I had him where he was sitting and then I had her going to explain this both to them sit with her back towards him and kind of having his knee a little bit like touching her shoulder. So she could feel this contact but it didn't demand eye contact and it was touching in a relatively, in a relatively safe way. And so at first I could see they you know they felt very awkward and I encouraged them just to keep noticing their body sensations and maybe just report them out loud and they did that for a while and then for the first time she could say that she felt some safety with her husband. But otherwise it was all threat and confusion the confusion of this 13 year old adolescent. So, again all of these things will affect our attachments profoundly. But the good news is there are things that we can do about that. So, again I hope I'm not pitching too much, but I, I really do recommend that people, even if they're not therapists, read "Trauma and Memory," because it really helps to explain the nature of all of these memories that we have a better idea of the map of where we are, and also the understanding of when we're hyper activated or when we're shut down, which I cover deeply in, "An Unspoken Voice." So. And then of course the one that you mentioned. So all of these really talk about a map to know where we are. What is it, if we're, if we're angry with a person, there's energy in that we can more easily work with that. But what happens if when with the person our whole organism shuts down and goes into a protective shell, where we can't easily be reached then we have to help the person come out of that shutdown into a more activated state, and then learn to regulate... co-regulate that state and then to learn to self regulate that state. I know that's a mouthful. I'm putting in it at the end but... 

Neil Sattin  Yeah way to drop the bomb, Peter! You know I'm curious when maybe you could offer something then. So because I think it's so common for a partner when they feel their beloved shutting down in some sense to not really know what to do in that moment to not know how to how to speak to them or how to respond in a way. So, what would the invitation be there? 

Peter Levine  So sometimes you know instead of like being like confronting each other, uh, indoors, to, or at least I mean even indoors but hopefully outdoors if the weather is clement, is to just walk together, side by side and talk instead of trying to face each other, which is bringing up a lot of those difficult emotions. And when you're walking you're less likely to shut down. So, that's the first thing I would recommend. Don't, if you, if if things are stuck just walk together side by side because there's something just in that gesture side by side which is supportive which is caring. And caring that the person can actually experience. 

Peter Levine  Then I'll suggest doing some of the exercises like the "Voo exercise", you know the long easy sustain "voo" directing it from the belly. And that's one way of helping people both come out of shutdown or if they're in a hyper state, to calm the hyper state. So, I would suggest that they do the exercise and maybe especially do them together so that they feel more settled and in this more settled place they're able to engage each other, much more in the here and now, rather than in there and then. So, again that's why I use the term brain and body in the search for the living past, how the past lives within us and what we can do about it - how we can change the past so that we can be in the present. 

Peter Levine  And when two people are in the present with each other who care about each other that solidifies the bond and takes that out of the realm of things like adaptations, like codependency. 

Neil Sattin  Right and gets them into that space where, they can, they can re-experience those memories but metabolize them into something positive, where they're feeling like, "Oh I'm experiencing that, but my partner is here to support me like now I know what it's like to actually feel supported in this... 

Peter Levine  Exactly. Exactly. And again when we're able to cultivate in the relationship to the degree that we're able to do that, we're solidifying the relationship. Because difficult times will happen. I mean there is no -- I don't know of any relationships where, where crises have never occurred. Some kind -- it can be a small crisis but it can also be a really big crisis. So the question, is are we fortified enough have we built the foundation of our relationship somatically, so that when these things do occur we're able to weather them and co regulate each other. And I'm thinking sometimes of something that's really devastating. Like when a child dies or gets seriously ill, that's the time really that the parents need to co-regulate each other. 

Neil Sattin  Mm hmm. 

Peter Levine  But that's also the time where there's a tendency to distance. Or to blame. Rather than to connect. 

Neil Sattin  Right. Right. Those are the moments where you need each other more than ever really. 

Peter Levine  More than ever. But again if we've solidified that, up to that point then the chances of us getting through that are greatly enhanced. 

Neil Sattin  Yeah. It makes perfect sense. Makes perfect sense. And, and I could see you know, for instance even just with something as simple as taking a walk and doing the "Voo” together. That doing that in times that aren't dysregulated. That it's setting the stage for that just becoming something that you can rely on in a challenging moment. 

Peter Levine  Yeah yeah. You know many people, many couples, many individuals are reported when they did that with their partner, did the walking, the "Voo"ing that kind of thing -- they were really angry and fearful and blaming and they just walked for a while did the "VU" and then both of them started spontaneously laughing and laughing and laughing and crying and laughing. And then just kind of both seeing the ridiculousness of those, of that reaction but also their appreciation for the other. 

Neil Sattin  So yeah I can relate. And it's so important too, I think because when you're stuck in an old memory, that translates often into thoughts, the kinds of thoughts like that, "You're not safe with this person or that they're out to get you." And, and but the feelings actually precede the thoughts. So if you're able to tackle your somatic experience that feeling in your body, then the thought shifts. 

Peter Levine  Yeah. Right. The emotions precede the thoughts and the procedural memories come... uh, procedural memories are what's also evoking their emotional memories. 

Neil Sattin  Yeah. 

Peter Levine  So again and in somatic experiencing, we do a lot of work from the bottom up from sensations then to affects, then to new meanings. And so that couple had the new meaning like, "Oh my gosh. I don't have to feel so alone when I'm feeling angry or fearful I just need to ask for some kind of connection such as what we were just mentioning. Yeah. So again these are tools I hope that couples all know and practice a bit so that when they really, when it's really called upon that it'll be there. And again, my experience is that can really determine in a crisis time whether people, whether couples stay together, work together, stay together cooperate together, or where they split. 

Neil Sattin  Right. Yeah. Well, Peter thank you again for all your time and wisdom and you know, the years and years of dedication to unearthing ways to heal from traumas that happened to us before we even were aware of them. And your work is so important, I think to finding ourselves again and again in the present, especially when we're in partnership and you know evoking each other's deep emotional experience all over the place and hopefully, hopefully healing together as well. 

Peter Levine  Yes, yep, that's the idea. 

Neil Sattin  Before I go there's some work that's a little tangential to this conversation but I just wanted to give you an opportunity to mention it because it's so important that has to do with the ways that the effects of stored trauma, unprocessed trauma, in our bodies results in chronic illness and I know, I know you've been hard at work on ways to help people through that. 

Peter Levine  Yes. 

Neil Sattin  Would you mind taking a moment to just talk about what that is and...? 

Peter Levine  Oh yeah yeah yeah. No, gladly because that's something that really really excites me really turns me on. It over the years some 40 plus years. Um, I've probably worked with thousands of people who have had what would now be called conditions like fibromyalgia, irritable bowel, chronic fatigue, severe PMS, migraines, urinary problems and so forth. And working with them, with SE, has been quite effective. And these are conditions that don't have a medical diagnosis. There are now calls sometimes in medicine MUS, medically unexplained symptoms. MUS. And there's no help for many of them, some people do have something organically wrong of course and that has to be eliminated. But many of these people are just thrown from doctor to doctor, specialist to specialist, with you know, with no help. And you know even after the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, I think in 1980 to 94, 84... Still very very few physicians understood that but certainly almost nobody understood that it was not something that was just in a person's head. But these are functional disorders involving our stress responses basically. So you know thinking about that. There are probably at least 10 or 20 million people suffering in the US alone with those kind of symptoms and there's no amount of therapists. I mean that could really help all of these people and many people can't really afford therapists and so forth and they really need something that they can use even if they are doing therapy to be an adjunct of supportive therapy. So along with, uh, a project manager, an entrepreneur and an M.I.T. specialist in computer human interaction affective communication. And then three other programmers, we've been working in the last two and a half years on this program, be a program or an app, that people can use at home to help them heal those kinds of sick, uh, symptoms. And we'll be finally testing the first version of that in the next couple of months. So I'm both also I'm excited but I'm also a little bit, like, anxious... A little trepidation you know like putting in all this work. And I bet and I know it's going to help. I mean we did a proof of concept at the very beginning. And, it had very powerful effect but anyhow that's that's really where my a lot of my energy is right now. It's in, in, in continuing to develop that as we start getting feedback from the first... or, actually the second test group. So if you want to be glad to let you know when we're up and about. 

Neil Sattin  Definitely and we can we can send a blast out to everyone on our email list about that. And, and your assistant Melissa who is such a blessing, she also wanted me to mention that if if you send an email to Ergos-Levine-at-gmail-dot-com and that's spelled E R G O S L E V I N E at gmail-dot-com then then they can let you know and there's maybe even a chance that that those people can get involved in the testing of that app as well it sounds like. 

Peter Levine  Yeah. 

Neil Sattin  So. And of course you're always out teaching and people can participate in your public courses. There are some on the East Coast in the fall. There's a course in London in June. And if they visit is it, Somatic-Experiencing-dot-com? Then they can sort of see everything that you’r e doing. 

Peter Levine  I believe so. I believe so. Yeah some of the stuff I'm doing yeah.

Neil Sattin  Well Peter. Peter it's always a pleasure to chat with you. And I've so enjoyed your generosity of time and wisdom over the years. And thanks so much again for dropping in with us here on Relationship Alive. 

Peter Levine  OK. Take good care. 

Neil Sattin  You too Peter. Take care. 

Neil Sattin  And as just a reminder if you want a transcript of this conversation and also the relevant links and things you can visit Neil-Sattin-dot-com slash-Levine-2. That's L E V I N E, and the number two or you can text the word passion to the number 3 3 4 4 4 and follow the instructions where you'll be able to download the complete transcript of our conversation. All right thanks again. 

 

Jul 3, 2019

Do you want one surefire way to know if the way you're interacting with your partner is something that they're into? Get their consent! Is there a place for getting consent even in a long-term relationship where you're pretty sure you know what your partner wants (and doesn't want)? Absolutely! It turns out that getting consent is a pathway to deeper intimacy and presence - for ALL relationships. In today's episode, you'll learn how to re-introduce the language of consent into your relationship in a way that's empowering for both you and your partner, and you'll discover exactly why your "no" creates even more relationship health than your "yes". Along the way, you'll strengthen the trust and fuel the passion in your connection. 

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