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Transcript #20: Loving Kindness and Stress Management During COVID-19 with Janet Logothetti


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allowed podcast transcript header with caneel joyce

Episode #20: Loving Kindness and Stress Management During COVID-19 with Janet Logothetti

Caneel:              This is Caneel Joyce, welcome to Allowed. This episode is going to be a little different in light of the very different circumstances that we find ourselves in all over the world these days. 

 

Joining me on the show will be a remarkable woman, a teacher, coach and leader, Janet Logothetti. 

 

We will be talking about centeredness through COVID-19 and really any crisis and what that looks like, how to get there, and why it’s so very important for our leaders, which includes you. 

 

Yesterday I had coaching calls with a few of my CEO clients and we talked about the importance of calling forth their teams, their employees as leaders of themselves at this time, more than any other time before. It’s really an opportunity for each of us to step into a form of leadership that we may never have embodied before. One that is centered, aware, grounded in reality, open to the many different experiences that each of us is having, even moment to moment, and also to be consciously creative. 

 

So I know that a lot of us have just had our children sent home. And so this is certainly called upon every parent to lead in their own household and their own family in a way that is different than before. And I can’t even find one single adjective to describe it because it’s just such a massive change. 

 

We’re also being asked to lead in consciousness of the collective. So wherever you are listening to this podcast, I think by now it goes without saying, please follow the guidelines of social distancing. If you’ve been asked to stay home, please stay home. If you are in a vulnerable population, this is not the time to be proud. This is the time to be responsible and knowing that caring for yourself is actually caring for others. And it’s very important that each of us recognizes the impact that we have around us simply by just role modeling. 

 

So if I show up out and about going to shops, talking to people, maybe I’m fine, maybe they’re fine, but I’m signaling something. I’m signaling I don’t care. I’m signaling this is okay. And in a time when I want to say so much is allowed, there’s impact, right? There’s impact. 

 

So a friend wrote a blog post recently, “this is not a snow day” and we are allowed when we’re home with our kids, we’re allowed to play with them. We’re allowed to create a schedule, we’re allowed to work in our PJ’s, or our undies or whatever, and do homework in whatever order we want to. And that’s awesome. 

 

There’s so much freedom here within these constraints and there’s a reality. 

 

So the show itself is not heavy at all. I just wanted to make sure that I got to bring those points home to you. I also wanted to share a little bit of the advice that I’ve been giving my CEO’s, and I think this is applicable to anybody who is a leader of people, which is all of you, because each of us is leading the world around us. 

 

We’re leading our own homes, we’re leading ourselves. 

 

It’s a really important time to call people together. Think right now about what is a community or group or a team that you are a part of and just think of all the individual lives right now, people who are operating now physically, independently, and separately from each other who really, really need connection. So I want you to be thinking about how you can bring people together. 

 

And you know, zoom is a great tool. You can talk asynchronously on things like Voxer or WhatsApp. You can certainly text, but I just encourage you to give each other a chance to be heard without being judged and without being fixed or problem solved upon. 

 

Second is connecting to purpose. So what is your purpose here? What is the purpose that you are here to fulfill? And for many of us the clarity is staggering. And then other moments, the confusion and disorientation is dizzying. So returning to that centeredness that is the centeredness of being on purpose is huge. And this is something that as a leader you can point to a specific purpose. You can point to a mission, a set of values, a vision, a short term necessity that just needs to happen and for yourself. 

 

This is an incredible opportunity for you to really dig into your zone of genius and bring your gifts forward to the world without judgment of them. Each of us needs to contribute what we have got here. 

 

I think this episode here with Janet really illustrates the importance of being centered and without further ado, we’ll get right into it. 

 

If you would like to, you can actually watch this interview, we are beginning to offer videos of the podcasts as we are recording them. You can find that on YouTube and we’ll link to it from the podcast page caneel.com/podcast. 

 

I also invite you later in the episode to do a check in with us and be a part of the Allowed podcast community on Facebook. You can find the link to that at caneel.com/podcast as well. 

 

And also stay tuned at the end of this episode, Janet offers a 10 minute meditation, which is incredibly healing. It’s called a loving kindness meditation. It’s one you may have heard of before, and if you haven’t, I think you’ll find it extremely simple and very, very effective and powerful. 

 

And this is a meditation that is healing not only for yourself, but truly for the world. And there really is an impact of sending love out in this way. So please stay tuned for that. 

 

We’ll also create a little mini episode and post the meditation on its own without me talking on the front or the back end so that you can just listen to it whenever you like. And it’s something you could be doing every day and you would do the world a lot of good. 

 

So I’m sending love to you. I’m sending love to your family. I want you to be well, I want you to be whole. I want you to know that whatever your experience now is, you are a human and it is just beautiful and you are just perfect. Just how you are in this moment. 

 

I have on the phone with me here today, actually on zoom video, the amazing Janet Logothetti. Janet is a partner in crime of mine. She’s a fellow coach, a woman of incredible depth, intelligence, and heart, and a true leader of leaders. 

 

So I’m really thrilled that here on Wednesday, March 18th, as we’re recording this episode, I know we’re both on day three of homeschooling our kids. We had a different plan initially for this episode, but really this interview could not have come at a more perfect time. So welcome to the show, Janet.      

 

Janet:                 Thank you for having me.

 

Caneel:              For those of you who don’t know, Janet, she is a managing partner at a coaching and consulting firm called Evolution. 

 

Evolution is a company I’ve mentioned a number of times before. We’ve had several guests on the show from Evolution and it’s a community that I’ve been deeply connected with for a number of years. 

 

There Janet provides leadership development, executive coaching and thought partnership to business founders and leaders, especially those working in scaling early stage startups. 

 

Her clients include Facebook, Pinterest, Airbnb, Slack, Uber and Kiva, among others and her work really focuses on building leadership and culture that can sustain innovation and execution through rapid growth and scaling. 

 

She also has deep personal executive and operational expertise. She was a senior consultant at Axelon, a global consulting company. She has operational experience in market analysis, product development, business development and fundraising. 

 

She was a manager of international market analysis and she also worked at international learning systems. She has a master’s degree from Neropa University in transpersonal counseling psychology and she has practiced as a psychotherapist focusing on sensory-motor approaches to healing trauma, executive functioning, and attention. 

 

Lastly, she’s a founding member of the integral Institute and has been a dedicated student of meditation for nearly 20 years in the Tibetan tradition, which she teaches to interested clients and weaves her deep knowledge of the ancient practices of this group into the most modern of workplaces and settings. 

 

So I’m really, really thrilled to have her on the show. Thanks for being here, Janet. So let’s check in.

 

Janet:                 Yeah, that was exactly my thought. This is something we do in our community and with our clients. And so I was kind of hoping  you would prompt that.

 

Caneel:             Yeah, we often check in on this show.

 

Janet:                 It’s a great practice. So I’m checking in, feeling really quite grounded and clear and have been for the past several days. Obviously our world has changed, certainly since the last time you and I spoke. But even in the last three, four, five, six days, I feel like there’s just been a profound shift in how we understand our lives and our world. 

 

And I found myself really feeling grounded and calm and also really grateful for all the years of practice and studies that I’ve done around mindfulness, about staying centered around perspectives on impermanence and the changing nature of things and softening in the face of uncertainty as opposed to contracting. 

 

And so I’m really feeling kind of an openness in my body and also really clear. 

 

I am tracking the news quite a bit. I have not done a digital detox, but I also haven’t felt the need for one. I’ve sort of been finding it meaningful to track what’s happening in the world and it’s changing. 

 

There was a day I had with clients last week where I found myself checking the news every hour in between sessions because things were moving so quickly. 

 

So I’m plugged in for sure. But I’m also finding, in the midst of that, a kind of open relaxedness and the importance of that for me, for my family, for my communities of being able to stay present. So I’m checking in with that.

 

Caneel:              A lot of what you shared resonates with me. I was very surprised by how thrilled I was at the opportunity to homeschool my kids. And they’re four years apart in age and very, very different personalities and learning styles. We set up a little classroom and in my home office. And I’ve just been so filled with joy and clarity. 

 

Like you, I’ve been checking the news often and really doing my best to understand what is understandable from the data that we do have available. Understanding what impact can I make right now that would be of service. And certainly me showing up for my family is a big one and my attitude is going to be what creates the culture of the whole entire house. 

 

So the importance of self care is very much on my mind and finding ways to be cared for in moments that are not about me. To just receive the gift of giving and just stay really tuned into the needs that I have that are really essential and that I need to create boundaries and make requests. 

 

So also, on the business side, last night governor Newsome announced that, here in California, we should not be expecting our children to return to school until next school year in the fall. 

 

This news was the first that really hit me pretty hard. 

 

I was grieving, I was just grieving. I didn’t realize how attached I had become to an idea of how my own year was going to play out, which wasn’t terribly specific, honestly. But it wasn’t this. And I felt myself really just accepting the role that I’m going to be playing here in my house and in my family. 

 

My husband’s job is in full swing and he’s in high demand and he’s up in my son’s bedroom all day, locked in there and on meetings and that’s where I want him to be and I want him to be supported and so I’m going to be holding the rest of it. And that means that things are not going to look the same in my business. 

 

So it was like, “Oh, here’s attachment. Okay, great. Let this go.” So that felt really good for my husband to just be in the present with me. I cried and thought about how, for me, there’s a gendered element to this and just the shift in power, in the public sphere, at least in the business sense. 

 

I think for many of us who are entrepreneurial, that’s been on my mind. But then, supporting clients is “wow”. I feel really fortunate to be able to have that access point to be able to spend one hour with one CEO because it can really help support so many people by coaching them through the way that they’re showing up and how they’re navigating this. 

 

So I’m feeling really grateful for that too. Yeah, it’s so full. A little bit dizzying. So that’s what I’m checking in with. 

 

So, Janet, what would be of service to discuss today together?

 

Janet:                 Well, there’s so many things that come to mind. I think we’re all adjusting to this new normal, especially here in California with school and what you said of all our kids are at home now. In Northern California we are basically in lockdown and have been asked to stay in our homes and not even socialize with people outside of our households. And I’m just adjusting to that. 

 

Like you said, we’re on day three. And, I don’t know of course, but my guess is this’ll be impacting all people across the country at some point. 

 

So there’s that, you know? What does it mean to be a working parent with children at home? 

 

So certainly that’s resonating with me a lot and related to that, of course, is the positions of privilege that we are in and a lot of our clients are in, in terms of being able to work from home and in terms of knowing they have job security etc. 

 

And comparing that to many of our members of our communities that don’t have that privilege and how that might look for them. 

 

And what, from a public policy perspective, can we do or encourage our clients who are in the private sector for the most part? 

 

What can they do to support the broader communities beyond just their employee base?

 

Caneel:              Well, Janet, for context for our listeners, what kinds of clients do you serve?

 

Janet:                 I serve leadership. So often founders are C-suite level in what we like to call rapidly scaling organizations. But also some larger companies as well, VP level and director level. So people in positions of considerable power and influence in terms of the decisions they make or how they show up. It impacts a lot of people, organizations, and of course, their families and the broader world.

 

Caneel:              I’m curious about what you’ve been noticing in your clients as these changes have unfolded and of course each day is very different. Are there any patterns or even single instances that stand out to you as meaningful?

 

Janet:                 Yeah, it’s interesting you asked that because as we’re speaking, it’s Wednesday, March 18th and Mondays and Tuesdays, I don’t see clients. The last time I spoke to my clients was actually last Friday and I will speak to most of them tomorrow and the following Friday. And a lot has happened since then. 

 

But what I will say that I’ve observed is a very deep sense of disorientation. I know you’ve had David Shechtman on and talked about the hero’s journey and those initial stages of the journey are so disorienting. 

 

Our world is disrupted. 

 

Whatever was the normal is no longer the case. 

 

We don’t know what the new normal is. So it’s, you said it, it’s kind of dizzying. 

 

And so I’ve definitely felt and heard the sense of disorientation and just a kind of not knowing 

There’s this acronym that I’ve introduced with clients who didn’t know it before “VUCA”. And it’s for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. And there are huge challenges of leading or even just existing in VUCA-type situations. They [my clients] all related to that and this is the time that we’re in. 

 

I would also say that another thing that I’ve heard or observed is that each of us have our different way of responding to this situation that we’re in that is ambiguous and complex and very, very uncertain. People who have trauma backgrounds, feelings of safety are coming up.  On a deeper emotional level. Some things can be stirring there for people who have unsafe backgrounds and histories.

 

Caneel:              Yeah, I mean we’re all experiencing this. A lot of the things that are most threatening to the core as children; isolation, refusal, denial and total dependence. 

 

We are recognizing how deeply dependent we are upon this e-commerce driven system and global system of having our own food and the things we think we need delivered to us. And when that all breaks down it is very triggering to a trauma background and stirs up feelings of, once again, I’m being denied the things I need to survive. 

 

It’s an important lens to bring forward. 

 

I’m wondering for those in leadership, Is there any advice that you plan to give or that you think might be helpful for our listeners?

 

Janet:                 I think any of us who are in positions of leadership have a responsibility. And depending on our positions or the organizations we are leaders of, even if it’s our family. 

 

Certainly if we are the adults in a family, we are all leaders.

 

And I feel pretty strongly that when we’re in these kinds of positions, we have a responsibility to the greater community to be centered and grounded, to be clear-seeing and to be regulated. 

 

And what I mean by that is on a nervous system level to keep our heart rate in a tolerable zone, to keep all musculature relaxed, to keep our breathing even. These are signs in the body that we are in a state of regulation and we know that has an effect on those around us that we can, to the extent that we can keep ourselves centered and regulated, we will help others regulate.

 

Caneel:              That’ so important. As a leader, my responsibility is to keep my body and my nervous system regulated. That’s actually the fundamental basis of my leadership at this point.

 

Janet:                 Absolutely. And I think it is all the time, but it becomes even more obvious in times when people are dysregulated and disoriented like we are. 

 

People are now, and probably will be for some time. 

 

And the reason that it’s so important and so fundamental is that it’s only from that state of being that we can access all of our intelligences, that we can actually think rationally and clearly and that we can plan and foresee consequences so that we can activate our executive functioning or problem solving or even memory and knowledge. 

 

And we know that when when our bodies are dysregulated, the higher order processes in our minds – in our brains – go offline a bit. 

 

So the most fundamental thing for all of us, but especially those in positions of leadership, is to practice and contemplate in ways that help us keep ourselves self-regulated. 

 

And you mentioned this in terms of self care. So there’s, there’s many ways to explore that.

 

Caneel:              I happened to be on the phone with a client today and I am a big standing desk advocate. They’ve changed my life. 

 

I was talking to a client who was saying “I’m now on day three of working, sitting down and I can’t believe I feel like I’m going to explode. I’m not used to this. My energy is all stuck everywhere. I’m feeling tension and pain”. 

 

I just want to tell everyone who is working at home, you’re allowed to take a couple of hours or a couple of days to get your space set up in a way that supports you being comfortable and uplifted and clutter-free. 

 

I know for myself, once I have a clean, clear workspace, it just helps me so much in staying focused and self regulated. But I think when we’re in that dysregulated zone we often deny ourselves things like that.

 

Janet:                 Exactly and I would take that and run with it further, which is you are allowed to do that. You’re also allowed to go outside for an hour. 

 

Homeschooling my son, we have built in recess. Our recess has been to get on our bikes and go for a bike ride for half an hour. But if you’re working from home, especially if you’re not used to it, you’re allowed to set up your home office, you’re allowed to go outside and take breaks.

 

Caneel:              You’re allowed to ignore the dishes during the work day. You’re allowed to have structure. That’s so huge. 

 

Now, the leaders coming in, ideally they are accessing this way of being, this self regulated, present, attuned, clear, accessible, open way of being. So from there, we look at “the doing” and what are some things that, in a situation like this, a leader would be well served to do? And what are some things maybe they might not do?

 

Janet:                 Well, the second thing that I was thinking when you first posed the question is, I also think that anyone in a position of leadership in a way has responsibility to encourage others to adopt a mental model of caring for the whole, rather than just oneself. 

 

And very specifically, as of today, March 18th, 2020, practice social distancing. And that is how we can help flatten the curve so that our other healthcare systems don’t get overrun as much and people don’t suffer needlessly. So that is something that I would ask my clients, and any listeners, and anyone in a position of leadership to encourage as a call to action. 

 

So that’s definitely a top of mind for me because the timing for this is really important. And by the time this podcast drops, it might be a week later and every day counts. So that’s very relevant today and it will be relevant when listeners hear this. 

 

Caneel:              And it will be relevant probably for a few months ahead of us. 

 

When we’re social distancing, there are some needs that feel more distant from being met. 

 

And I’ve seen people asking about social connection and how to overcome isolation in this time where the physical space between us needs to be six feet or more. 

 

You’re a practicing Buddhist, correct? 

 

I’m wondering, does Buddhism offer us any insight or guidance about this lack of connection that many people are feeling?

 

Janet:                 Well, Buddhism offers useful things for just about every situation. 

 

IIt’s very practical and pragmatic, which is why it doesn’t require a kind of magical thinking because it is applicable. 

 

I think one of the most core tenets of Buddhism is this idea of Bodhi Chita, which “Bodhi” means awaken and “Chita” means heart and mind. 

 

Very central to the practices of Buddhism is the cultivation and the recognition of Bodhi, Chita. This awakened heart has been likened to the tender heart of sadness and the open tender heart. And when we feel that, we literally feel it in our chests and on our bodies, like something softens. 

 

There are many wonderful practices like the loving kindness practice. We did one in our community the other day where you bring to mind someone you care for deeply and in your mind kind of silently you hold the contemplation, “may you be held in loving kindness”, “may you be safe and protected”.

 

Caneel:              Actually I was going to ask you if you’d guide our listeners through a loving kindness meditation at the end of this episode?

 

Janet:                 Yes. I think it’s just so important for all of us to be doing.

 

Caneel:              Yeah. And so healing.

 

Janet:                 Yeah. And when you do it, I mean, even as you’re just hearing about the practice, you can feel your own heart. And so even when we’re remote or even if we’re speaking across the fence or across the street to a neighbor, we can have this sort of running in the background. 

 

Many of our clients are in technology and software. So it’s this idea of “background processing”,  or something running in the background. I used that analogy this weekend, having loving kindness kind of running in the background of our operating systems all the time. 

 

So even when we’re remote or we miss someone or like you and I are on video right now, we can access that awakened tenderness, which can feel like joy and happiness. 

 

Sometimes it can feel just so sensitive that anything that touched it would send ripples and a tinge of sadness. 

 

All of those are indicators that your Bodhi Chita’s alive and well. I think that’s really helpful when we’re working remotely and aren’t able to have those social needs met as much.

 

Caneel:              Oh, it’s beautiful. I’m so happy to have that word for it. 

 

I’m thinking also about how, in organizations, there’s a real importance for our leaders to recognize that need for connection. And you and I are so fortunate, Janet, that we have consciously created communities to be in where we can be listened to without judgment or crosstalk with no one trying to fix us or solve our problems when we’re sharing our truth. 

 

Each of us has such different truths here. 

 

I think the foundation for how leaders can help keep their employees connected, it’s important for us to lead from consciousness. 

 

We are in reality. We are in awareness of what is present here and now. And that involves all of our senses and the ability to watch our minds and to observe. 

 

But another part of reality is this concept that thoughts are passing by. So we need to recognize that there are infinite realities that are also presently true, some of which don’t seem to align with each other. 

 

But then the third thing is actually creating reality. The awareness that we can create our own reality and we can take action. We can take steps. We can reframe. 

 

So I’ve been advising leaders to think about these three layers as things that we want to be running in the background and encouraging our employees to do rather than getting swept up in stories about the future. 

 

We do need to be thinking about the future more than ever before. At the same time, we only know what we do know. There’s a lot that is quite uncertain. 

 

So how can we keep bringing people back to the present day reality? 

 

But how can we then create a current reality where we are connected to each other even if we’re not physically present with each other? 

 

And how can, in that connection, we recognize that there are all of these different realities without making any of them wrong? 

 

For so many of us, it’s just up and down. I’m up and down, you know. Some time I’m great. Sometimes I’m not. And in my community we show up to talk to each other on zoom, and who knows where we’re going to be at that time? 

 

So I’ve really been trying to encourage leaders to be thinking about these things and to really bring their people together for just checking in, and asking “where are you now?” 

 

“Where are you now?” 

 

And there are going to be such diverse answers to that in a group of any size. And I know that a lot of the leaders I’ve been sharing this with have felt a lot of burden of, “I don’t know what to say to them.” 

 

And the burden is not on you to have anything to say. 

 

There’s a massive opportunity for you to not say anything and for you to create a space where everyone can just listen.

 

Janet:                 Exactly. And this goes back to what we were talking about earlier about the state of being and how important that is. 

 

So just today actually I was noticing in one of our Slack channels, one of the partners at Evolution posted that a client had reached out to him in this case and asked if he could lead some coaching circles, which really function just as check-ins. 

 

And so whether you ask an outside facilitator to do that or you do it internally, both can work. 

 

The protocol is very simple. The mindset is that, as the leader, you don’t have to say or do anything. You create the context and the opportunity. 

 

So set up the call that people could dial into. Then, you open it up with some sentiments of this as a place simply to check in. 

 

That’s it. 

 

And then the protocol is very simple, where each person has an opportunity to simply say, “this is where I am at in this moment” and the rest of us listen. And when the person is done, we can welcome whatever’s there. 

 

And knowing also, implicit in that, is the mindset that you pointed out, which is the mindset of non-judgment. Because that person may be checking in completely freaking out, but that doesn’t mean they’re always freaking out. It means in that particular moment they’re freaking out. 

 

They might be checking in, feeling cool and calm. That’s another feeling in that moment. 

 

So we create a space, a big enough container, to hold all of it without judgment, without it needing to be a problem to solve. 

 

And certainly in business there’s always a sense we should be solving problems and doing things right. So, you know, further advice, especially as everyone’s adjusting to working remotely, is to give it a little breathing room. 

 

Let people settle in and that can include introducing new protocols like check in circles or check in meetings. 

 

But there’s no problem to solve. 

 

Caneel:              The power of being witnessed cannot be understated. It’s almost always completely just surprising how extremely powerful it is to be heard. 

 

There’s one leader that I work with who shared that in a recent check-in. He cried for the first time in 20 years and it completely took him by surprise; and it was in a work environment. It’s just so moving to be heard, and it’s extremely healing. 

 

And so one of the things that I often do when I’m facilitating a group, and I’m going to be facilitating circles for a few of my clients for the same reason, but one of the things I often do is to give instead of needing to solve. 

 

When we hear where someone’s at, we have an opportunity at the end of the circle to reflect back on some common themes. 

 

And it could be as simple as I heard family, I heard sadness, I heard opportunity. It could be just one word. It could be a few words of a phrase that you literally heard someone say like, “I heard you say heart is tender.” And it could also be a little bit more of an explanation of a pattern. 

 

Imagine you’re kind of weaving through the fabric of all of these different individuals’ lives and find what’s that common thread that they all share. 

 

More than any time, today, in this current reality, we face the opportunity to experience connection as we never have before despite physical distance. 

 

I think in our very solution oriented professional environment, we can give people a place for it to go “clunk” and say, “Oh good, there’s closure here. There’s a some sort of a feeling of resolution.” 

 

Even though we’re not trying to solve anything, we’re simply witnessing what’s here. 

 

Now listeners, if this is something that you’re interested in us talking about more or offering some tools around, please get in touch with me at caneel.com/podcast, but I think that learning facilitation skills, in this time in particular, is just so, so important. S

 

o we can definitely provide more content on this if you’re interested. 

 

Janet, I want to switch directions and I want to talk about sex.

 

Janet:                 Oh good. Yes. It was already crossing my mind earlier. 

 

A few minutes ago, we were talking about navigating this very volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous time that we’re in, which can be really disorienting and scary at times. And I was thinking about a favorite teacher of mine, Esther Perril. And I believe her parents were survivors of the Holocaust and when she was growing up, she witnessed their love and she talks about this kind of passion for life that they had. 

 

And so in her teachings she talks about pleasure being the antidote to death and that’s part of what she learned. The pleasure itself is such an important tool for facing death or facing stress. 

 

So my partner and I we have taken that phrase and adapted it. We say that pleasure is the antidote to stress. 

 

And there’s many types of pleasure of course. But that was the context in which my mind went there. 

 

And I think certainly in a business context, we almost never talk about this. And of course there’s inappropriateness to avoid. But talking about pleasure, I think, especially in these kinds of times, is very healthy and good.

 

Caneel:              Yeah. There is a spiritual element to it as well. 

 

Janet:                 The piece that comes up for me around that immediately when you put those two words together is the energetics in the body. 

 

That there’s a way that our nervous systems react when in great pleasure and ecstasy, but also achieved through many different methods. It’s almost like our minds open up and consciousness shifts. Consciousness shifts in ecstasy. 

 

I mean we’ve all experienced that on a basic physical level, but consciousness shifts and opens and can really expand so that our perspective gets bigger. 

 

So it’s very pragmatic and useful. I know we have a very pragmatic and action oriented audience here so I want to connect it to that. This isn’t just new agey, magical thinking, but it also can be quite grounded in applicability.

 

Caneel:              Absolutely. It’s connected to the creative life force and that’s such an important thing for us to bring forward right now and to allow ourselves access to pleasure seems so deeply connected to allowing ourselves to approach the world in a different way. 

 

It’s partly this broadening of perspective and increased interest in the unknown and the types of solutions that each of us is called upon right now to do in this window of crisis. 

 

It seems like every minute I’m being faced with a new opportunity to be creative. 

 

Speaking of neurodiversity, I know with my kids, who have extremely different brains and ways of processing and ways of focusing or not focusing and very different nervous system regulations and I’m teaching both of them at the same time. So the amount of creativity that is being called forth doesn’t feel like problem solving so much as it feels like experimenting in a very attuned way. 

 

Like I wonder what will happen if I present it this way? I wonder what will happen if we do this? How do we combine these two things? How do I serve you and serve you simultaneously and have you serve each other? 

 

But if I didn’t allow access to the pleasure of that for myself or for them, or like letting it be fun, letting it be inefficient, it would be so much less efficient.

 

Janet:                 Yeah. It is very practical. And you know, I was just thinking about erotic energy and the root of the word erotic isgGrounded in love. And there’s a way that when that energy is flowing through the body and mind, it is very fluid and creative and nonlinear and has nothing to do with sex necessarily. 

 

It’s just this life force energy that is moving and I couldn’t agree more. 

 

I also have a neurodiverse son, and yeah, I try to be in this different flow state of creativity that comes from love and that moves through the body and allows you to experiment and find creative ways of expression with joy.

 

Caneel:              Yeah. Such an opportune time. 

 

So I want to also acknowledge that you know, here we are today on, on Wednesday, again, we’re recording this on March 18th we are in a time of tremendous uncertainty. We are in VUCA time. I don’t know where we’ll be when this episode airs and how all of our lives will be effected. 

 

So we do want to hear from you about how this crisis is affecting you. Just do a little bit of a virtual check-in and be heard. 

 

So we really do encourage you to come to caneel.com/podcast where you can get a link to our Facebook community. It’s a group, so you just fill out a couple of questions and then I will approve you to join. And we do it that way so that it stays a really rich and deep container for conversation. 

 

So we do want to hear from you about how this is all shaken out in your world and acknowledge the tremendous mix that is here because, as much as there is opportunity, and we’re discussing some of that, there’s loss and there’s sadness, there’s struggle and there are challenging choices. 

 

And so wherever you are with that is beautiful, and important, and fine. 

 

Janet, I wonder if we might move into a loving kindness meditation and give our listeners that true gift?

 

Janet:         Certainly. Okay. So I will invite you to come into a comfortable sitting position. So you might be in a chair, you might be on the floor and allowing your body to remain upright but relaxed. So if you’re in a chair, you may want to place your feet flat on the ground, which might mean adjusting forward or backward in the seat. And just start by resting your hands gently, maybe in your lap, bringing your awareness to your feet and legs, your seat, feeling your torso, the natural dignity of your body’s posture and structure. Bring your awareness to your shoulders and arms, your awareness too, neck and head, your face. You can gently close your eyes or have them open, but gently gazing down. Just allowing your body to relax. Bring your awareness to your breath without needing to change it in any way. Noticing any thoughts where emotions or sensations that might be arising without any judgment or interpretation. Still allowing them to arise in your awareness, feeling how your body naturally breathes. Even in these uncertain times and a way to touch into this awakened heart that we spoke of earlier. It’s a practice of loving kindness. So I invite you to bring to mind someone you care deeply about. Allow the image of them to come to your mind. Perhaps it’s someone you’re particularly concerned about noticing there. Face no body, and as you hold the image of this being in your mind, bite you to quietly wish them these four lines. May you be held in loving kindness. May you be safe and protected. May you be well and healed. May you be at ease. You can repeat that in your mind as you hold the image of this being. May you be held in loving kindness even if I can’t be with you and you’d be safe and protected. You’d be well and healed. May you be at ease. You can just allow those lines to repeat in your mind as you hold the image of this person. Maybe you’d be held in loving kindness. May you be safe and protected. May you be well and healed. Can you be at ease?

 

Caneel:              Thank you so much, Janet. That was great.

 

Janet:                 You’re welcome.

 

Caneel:              Ah, so moving towards close. I’m excited to have you back on the show. We have a lot to talk about, and I’m sure our listeners are already getting really curious about you. If they want to get in touch with you, what’s the best way for them to do that?

 

Janet:                 You can get in touch with me through our website, evolution.team, or via email, [email protected]

 

Caneel:              Great. And we’ll give links to all of that in our show notes. 

 

Again, really encourage you to come and check in with us on our Allowed Facebook community. You can search that on Facebook or you can get a link at caneel.com/podcast and I hope that you are all well, learning, loving, receiving, creative, and savoring each moment as we go through this crisis together. We will see you next time on Allowed.

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