S3 E4

“…I’m doing all my internal work and I’m healing myself so that I can be strong and do the work in the world that I wanna do and support others to do that work. I have been really wanting to make sure that it’s not just an individual solution, so it’s not just about me. It’s about me doing that because I want there to be collective thriving.”

  • Cristy Chung, Certified NSI Coach, Advocate and Healer

In this week’s episode we’re having a poignant discussion about Cultural Attachments. Recently certified Neuro Somatic Intelligence Coach Cristy Chung joins us to share her unique perspective as a dedicated racial and liberation advocate and Reiki Master.

Did you know that social threat is equal to physical threat in your nervous system? 

Ever wonder if physical pain could be your nervous system trying to protect you from a society that feels unsafe?

What happens to your nervous system if society isn’t safe for you because of where you are on the body hierarchy ladder? 

We examine the staggering science about these questions and more from a NSI perspective based on the article The Neurobiology of Social Stress Resulting from Racism: Implications for Pain Disparities among Racialized Minorities. (link in show notes)

We’re exploring the deep and wide impact that oppression has on our nervous system as individuals and as a society. Cristy is a shining example of using NSI tools to care for her own nervous system so that she can create change in the world by teaching NSI tools to oppressed populations. 

Episode highlights:

  • Jennifer shares a detailed definition of an unsafe relationship
  • Cristy shares how becoming a NSI Coach has positively impacted her work in activism
  • Elisabeth explains how the survival stress of body hierarchy in our society is connected to disorganized attachment 
  • Cristy vulnerably talks about she feels when she goes into spaces with people as a queer Asian cisgender female
  • Jennifer discusses how culture and the patriarchy shapes functional anatomy and how it biases the brain
  • Cristy shares the inspirational story of what led her to NSI Certification and how she’s applying what she’s learned in her personal life and her work 
  • Elisabeth explains how NSI tools can bring people out of burn out and complex trauma so that we can do the good work of dismantling cultural systems that don’t serve people well

Listen to more episodes of Trauma Rewired HERE

[00:00:00] Elisabeth: As human beings our history evidences are tribal nature and co-dependence. Throughout time we’ve had to cooperate to survive. Going it alone led to extinction. Our brains evolved as social organs and our nervous system functions in part to keep us connected to our primary caregivers and development, into our herd as we move into adulthood. Psychoneuroimmunology, the field that studies mind-body disease connections, continues to find the most significant factor in our long-term health is the quality of our relationships and support network. Recent research shows health risks associated with loneliness and social isolation are comparable to the dangers of smoking, increasing mortality risk by up to 30%.

[00:00:41] While staying connected to the herd impacts our health and our nervous system function because of the constructs of society, the herd can also add a tremendous amount of stress, racism, cultural ideals about the standard acceptable body size, skin colors, sexual orientation. The body hierarchy adds constant day in, day out social and survival stress to people that fall outside of the norm. Even the need to constantly work, hustle, perform, can be a big survival stress load, disconnecting us from our bodies and really leading to an abusive relationship between the herd and the individual. So if you think about it, just as a child needs a caregiver in a very real way for regulation, development and survival, we need our tribe to regulate, to have optimal health, to have social support.

[00:01:33] When a primary caregiver is abusive, neglectful and incapable of meeting a child’s needs for secure attachment and authentic expression, connection can become dangerous. Leading to a nervous system that’s wired for protection over connection on a macro level. When maintaining the connection to the herd requires suppression of self and a constant threat to safety it can be dysregulating and increase disease and mortality rates, especially for oppressed populations that are exposed to routine inequalities and disadvantages like stigma, discrimination, financial hardship, limited access to resources. All of this can accelerate decline in physical and mental health.

[00:02:15] Welcome to Trauma Rewired, the podcast that teaches you about your nervous system, how trauma lives in the body, and what you can do to heal. I’m your co-host, Elisabeth Kristof, founder of Neuro Somatic Intelligence Certification, an ICF accredited course that teaches leading edge Neuro Somatic coaching that creates client transformation from the level of the brain and the nervous system out into the world. 

[00:02:36] Today we are gonna be diving into all of this- exploring culture, community, and the nervous system. My co-host, Jennifer Wallace, a NSI certified Women’s Embodiment Coach, and I are joined with Cristy Chung, who is a certified Neuro Somatic Intelligence Practitioner and Advocate and a healer. Our next cohort of the NSI certification begins this fall and will be open for enrollment at the end of July.

[00:03:00] To get all the information about that and find out about some free workshops with Melanie Weller, Matt Bush, and myself head over to neurosomaticintelligence.com. Sign up for the email list and keep an eye out for our free workshop coming on July 27th. The link to that will be in the show notes.

[00:03:17] Welcome, Cristy, I’m so glad that you’re here. We are so excited to have this conversation with you. Why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself and the work that you do.

[00:03:27] Cristy: Hi, y’all. I’m so excited to be here. Right now I have two small businesses that I am holding down- Long MA Wellness, which is focused on healing for collective thriving and I’m a Reiki Master. I’m integrating energy work with Neuro Somatic Intelligence after taking your course and cellular regeneration technique. I’m primarily working with activists in that space. Then my wife and I actually have a small business called Collective A, which is a travel event and convening logistics company. The focus is to bring activists together with intention and care, supporting them to really be able to do strategy work and be their most badass selves in the world from a place of wellness and power.

[00:04:29] I come to these particular pieces of work because I was doing activist work for over 30 years in gender-based violence work and racial equity and liberation work. And I just got burnt out and I needed to go on a different path to take care of myself. And I’ll talk a little bit more about that later. But that’s how I’ve come to this particular work and what I’m doing now.

[00:05:03] Jennifer: Thank you so much for that introduction. Cristy, I think your work is so beautiful and you’re the perfect person to have this conversation with about culture and relationships and attachments and cultural societal beliefs that we have all lived in and maybe been programmed by. Elisabeth in your introduction what I thought of immediately was our old brain and our back brain with the perspective of always asking, am I safe? And if the old brain is operating from that foundation, one could see how a societal, cultural, racial, sexual, gender identity perspective might be in question here and how that has wired our brains.

[00:05:57] We talk about in this podcast, back to ‘am I safe’, and unsafe relationships- what this is is an unsafe relationship to our society and culture. What is an unsafe relationship? It’s one where your authentic self doesn’t feel comfortable to be fully self-expressed in fear of being judged, condemned, harmed, abused, like physically assaulted. An unsafe relationship is one where your experience is not acknowledged or validated. And we do experience gaslighting on a societal and cultural level every day. An unsafe relationship is one where your emotions are not received and instead taken as an offense.

[00:06:43] We see that all the time. An unsafe relationship is one where true repair does not occur after a rupture. Avoiding accountability prevents genuine healing and the ability to move forward. An unsafe relationship is one where the other person believes they are superior to you and communicates condescendingly.

[00:07:04] An unsafe relationship is one where there is inconsistent energy, inability to uphold commitments, unreliability or not keeping integrity with their word. An unsafe relationship is one where someone preaches on how you should or shouldn’t be. They do not accept you as you are and seek to change you to fit their expectations.

[00:07:25] An unsafe relationship is one where the truth is avoided, hid or brushed under the rug. This lack of honest communication creates the murkiness that doesn’t allow authentic connection to naturally occur. So I think just by all of those examples of an unsafe relationship, many different ideas or maybe examples in our own lives can be demonstrated.

[00:07:51] I think from our perspective, we look at the nervous system as a threat bucket and everything’s going all day long into our bucket to add to the level of threat. There’s so many different reasons and ways that the nervous system would be dysregulated by adding those threats into the bucket on top of the deficits that our nervous system already has going into the bucket. This is really a lot to unpack and I think it is a really important conversation for the three of us to have today.

[00:08:27] Cristy: I totally agree. I love this conversation. Throughout the NSI course I felt like this was a part of how I was interpreting the nervous system work that we were doing. And I was also learning to take care of myself and regulate my own nervous system. As you are talking, Jennifer, there was one thing that was really coming up for me. Some colleagues and I were really trying to understand how to deal with conflict, especially when you’re doing racial equity work, there’s always conflict, right? And when we’re dealing with inequities, there’s gonna be misunderstandings and you’re talking about our relationships and how important they are with each other. When harm happens we have to be able to do repair work and harm will happen.

[00:09:17] That’s just the truth of it, right? I know one of the things you have said in our class, Elisabeth, was that we’re not trying to flatline ourselves. There’s always gonna be this stress and so there is the threat bucket. So part of what we’re trying to do is to really be able to understand our own systems and be able to regulate so that we can show up to those conversations in a way that we can take care of each other and grow and learn.

[00:09:45] When we were doing this work around conflict, we were trying to shift it to generative tension and learning and growth and centering love in how we work with each other so that as we’re working on issues where harm happens we’re doing it from a place of connectedness, care, learning and growth.

[00:10:10] I think I just see where the application of nervous system work is so important to how we show up and our relationships and the way in which we move through, change the world and change the inequities that we are constantly faced with.

[00:10:37] Elisabeth: As I was doing some of the research for this episode, I was looking at how important having a strong social network and a tie into society is to our health and to our nervous system health. We know under that get into stress reduction, which we know is at the root of so much disease. Also looking at how stressful the constructs of society can be, especially to people who fall in different places on the ladder, the body hierarchy. So I think about Sonya Renee Taylor’s work and how we have different bodies that have different levels of privilege and acceptance in our society. When you’re at a lower place on that ladder, you’re under more stress all of the time.

[00:11:27] Just having to try to change yourself or protect yourself in a society where that is just not accepted at the same level and where maybe even your safety is threatened because you’re not at that same place on the ladder, even as survival stress. I kept thinking about disorganized detachment and how that develops in kids when they both really, really need the social connection to their caregiver.

[00:11:54] And it’s also dangerous. You know how Gabor Mate talks about how we have this need for both authenticity and attachment, and there’s always this balance between the two and how much authenticity and self-expression and safety of self do I have to give up in order to also maintain those attachment needs. So when we think about this big social connection, social network attachment need and also how dysregulating and stressful maintaining that attachment need can be you end up with something that really looks like disorganized attachment and that’s gonna be more severe for people who don’t fit in to the social fabric inherently as well.

[00:12:38] So you can really see why there would be a discrepancy in health outcomes and why the stress load would be higher if you don’t fit into the standard. And then why doing the advocacy work that you do that’s so important can also be really stressful because on top of that overall social stress that’s happening all of the time, you’re also creating the stress of using your voice, speaking out against something where you might have been punished or harmed or your freedom might be threatened and having really difficult inherently dysregulating conversations on a regular basis, and so that’s a big stress load for the population that you’re working with.

[00:13:20] Cristy: Absolutely. I did a lot of work in schools around bias based bullying and LGBTQ inclusive curriculum. I would go out into the world and I would work in with teachers and community members and parents and in every space there would be these moments where there’d be someone in the room who just couldn’t understand why they had to talk about LGBTQ inclusive curriculum and so something homophobic or something racist would show up and I’d have to deal with it right in the moment or invite other folks in the room to deal with it. So there was just this constant like stepping into the room going, okay, what’s gonna happen?

[00:14:08] How am I gonna deal with that? How am I gonna stay grounded and centered? It didn’t just impact me, it didn’t just impact the person who was saying it out loud, but the entire room. I think about now with what I know- the dysregulation that was happening in the room. Also the triggers! People were showing up with all kinds of triggers and pain. So then there would be this way that you had to bring people back together and hold the group and help the community work through it and help folks talk through what just happened and move through it.

[00:14:54] There was an article in Neurobiology of Pain Journal called The Neurobiology of Social Stress Resulting from Racism: Implications for Pain Disparities among Racialized Minorities by Joanna Hopson, Miles Moody, Robert E. Scorge, and Burl Gooden.

[00:15:18] This is me being the science and healer geek. (laughter) I just love how they work together and it feels really powerful to actually go down that path of how science is supporting what we’re talking about. A couple things that they say in there are about minority stress theory which is a conceptual theory that explains how inequities and disadvantages like stigma and discrimination, financial hardship, limited access to resources- like you were talking about Elisabeth- body image and body size and ableism. So I think all of those can lead to accelerated decline in physical and mental health.

[00:16:19] Then it talks very specifically about how racism and racial discrimination are experienced as social threats, very real threats to our bodies, our beings. And they share the social safety theory connected to social threat, the social threat of racism and other inequities.

[00:16:46] What they’re connecting is the relationship between the human brain and the immune system. They have one parallel goal, Which is to keep us safe. You know, it’s all about safety. Am I safe? Am I safe? Am I safe? So you think about the social threat of racism and discrimination and equities that we’re constantly bombarded with and you see how there’s this huge risk of social threats that we’re constantly paying attention to.

[00:17:16] So we are always remaining, internally and externally, vigilant about where those threats are gonna happen and how we’re gonna experience them and when are they gonna show up. So it just increases our fear of, and the risk of, actual harm. Folks are being harmed for the color of their skin. I think about how even the news reports impact, especially the black community. So when there’s a police incident and a black person is murdered  you just think about how that whole entire thing wraps around all of us, but especially the black community and the constant threat that they experience.

[00:18:08] So in this social safety theory we’re all being very, very vigilant and the brain is receiving or perceiving social threat. So we’re constantly activating on multiple levels- our sympathetic nervous system which leads to flight, fight, freeze, and fawn. On a constant level, all the time. Maybe in the short term, it protects us. So it keeps us safe. I’m testing and sensing like, am I safe? Is this safe? Can I go out now? How do I go out? How do I behave when I’m out? What happens when this happen? But on the long term when it’s constant overactivation of our parasympathetic system and our sympathetic nervous system kicks into gear constantly.

[00:19:05] It’s a huge cost to our health and it leaves us really vulnerable to many negative health outcomes on lots and lots of different levels: anxiety, pain, depression, inflammatory diseases, infection, accelerated aging, death. When I read this, I was like, oh my gosh, this is it right here.

[00:19:30] This is what we’re looking at. This is what we’re talking about. This is what I want to be dealing with in my work- supporting folks to take care of themselves with the stress. I think in the constant stress of racism on an individual, institutional, cultural, political basis we have to look at how it leads to negative health outcomes. I know for myself, as a queer Asian, cisgender female, I’m walking around in the world constantly vigilant. I walk into a room- even in the video rooms, even virtually- I walk in or I step in and I’m like, okay, who’s in the room?

[00:20:17] Am I gonna be safe? Will I be heard? How will what I have to say be interpreted? Will it be okay? Until you get to a place where you feel safe, your nervous system is way up high, on high alert. I really felt like this article lays out some really important points about how inequities impact, and this racism in particular, impacts our health in a really deep way.

[00:20:53] Elisabeth: Yeah, absolutely. Another thing that the article was talking about that I thought was interesting to look at from a NeuroSomatic perspective was the experience of pain in oppressed populations that were under more stress all of the time.

[00:21:15] When you put this under the lens of NeuroSomatic Intelligence, it really makes a lot of sense. Obviously, people who are under more chronic stress are gonna experience more pain because pain is an output of a nervous system that has been under too much stress for too long. Right? So when they talk about the heavy allostatic load for people who are in minority populations that do not have much access to resources, and just live under that high stress state. And when we talk about allostatic load in society, it’s just the cumulative burden of chronic stress and life events. So it’s the interaction of different physiological systems, varying degrees of activity.

[00:21:58] When environmental challenges exceed the individual ability to cope, then you get allostatic overload. Too much stress. We’re really just talking about chronic stress, too much stress for too long. They talk in the article about two different types of threat, physical threat and social threat.

[00:22:19] And throughout this whole season, we’re really talking about social threat as being completely equal to physical threat- that our relational experience is as important to our health, to our nervous system regulation as our physical safety is and that our brain and our nervous system really interpret that threat the same way.

[00:22:43] So if you think all the way back to the threat bucket that we talk about so much in NeuroSomatic Intelligence, all of our life stress is going into that bucket and our system is intelligent- it knows that too much stress for too long is dangerous and it causes disease. And so it will start to generate outputs that get us to make our world smaller and keep us safe.

[00:23:07] And pain is a great output of the nervous system to get you to reduce your interaction with the world, to take smaller steps, to engage less, to maybe stay inside your house, block everything else out. And in that moment, that’s what your nervous system, your survival brain feels like is safe. And so, of course, populations that experience more stress are going to have more protective outputs of the nervous system, including pain, but also including chronic fatigue, burnout, mental health issues like depression. All of these are protective outputs of a nervous system that’s been under too much stress for too long. 

[00:23:57] Jennifer: Thank you for sharing that really intimate experience of what you feel when you go into spaces, even what it’s like on an online space where you’re not actually even in the community. We are always feeling each other’s nervous systems even though we might have a great distance between each other in something like a Zoom room. Many thoughts came to mind when you were speaking.

[00:24:28] I was thinking of like the fast food alley in lower socioeconomic neighborhoods or that red line of fitness that exists that we don’t talk about and what may seem to some people as, oh, you have access to all of this stuff in America’, but actually you do not. There’s a lot of things that just are not really ever attainable for some people in our country. We’ll cite that article that you just mentioned in the show notes as well as all the other articles that we’re gonna reference today. Culture shapes our functional anatomy. It biases our brains, it affects our neural activity and even influences the way we represent the self and others in our brains.

[00:25:17] There was something interesting that came up. Elisabeth and I recorded on the Neurobiology of Human Relationships by Luis Cozolino and he says that all visual stimuli are not created equal. And there’s involuntary readouts of our internal states when we receive and send social signals through the visual system. And he says that the direction of eye gaze will change depending on the person in front of you. So there’s interracial amygdala activation. And African-American faces bring more amygdala activation with direct or averted gazes in Caucasian people. So this is something back to programming and what we’ve all grown into.

[00:26:08] The way that your brain interprets information is a direct reflection of societal and cultural programming of the US patriarchy. And I caveat US because this is the country we happen to live in, and that is going to be different in other countries. Eye gaze, for instance, might look completely different in other cultures depending on what they are used to experiencing. And we learn to modify what we do, how we feel, and what we say based on facial expressions that are based on the way that we’ve been taught by our early experiences. They are going to activate regions of the brain that will construct our social synapse. Identifying people and predicting their moves is something that we are just as humans are doing all the time.

[00:27:02] The amygdala can get damaged very early on from childhood experiences and seek and rapidly scan faces to make those predictions. And so for people who are always feeling under threat, especially if you’ve been under that threat and it’s almost a learned behavior to hide, to play small, to not use your voice- it becomes this inherent neural activation with this direct connection to the society. That goes directly to the back brain, back to the survival of what we’re feeling. It’s very deeply layered what we have all come into. Some of us are being called to really speak up with and for- maybe against even- to make these changes.

[00:28:04]  I also hear what we’re speaking to as a social anxiety disorder, right? We talk about complex trauma and social anxiety being one of the elements of complex trauma and our very country that we live in is a social anxiety disorder.

[00:28:28] I said a moment ago about the US because there is this wealth of evidence that experiences sculpt both brain and behavior. So when you’re traveling to a foreign country that really gets illustrated in a different way for values, behaviors, and environments could be very different. Each culture has its systemic biases.

[00:28:57] Cristy: Oh my gosh, It’s so true and so many things came up for me thinking about the social anxiety. I have a lot of young people in my life, young adults, and I just see how they’re being impacted by all of this. Social anxiety is high for all of ’em and they’re struggling in a way that’s just complicated.

[00:29:23] I know for my own daughter, it was really hard. She was always being questioned about having two moms and being a young Asian woman- just start to kind of shut down her nervous system is like, ‘I don’t need this. I’m gonna stay in, I’m not gonna interact’. I know she struggles with it a lot. She’s very politically aware so she’s taking it all in, she is seeing it. And, yeah, it has really serious consequences for our lives and our bodies for sure.

[00:30:11] Our partner AG1, the daily foundational nutrition supplement that supports whole body health. I drink it literally every day. I gave AG1 a try because I heard about it through Jennifer, here on Trauma Rewired, and I was really tired of taking a bunch of supplements. I don’t love to take supplements, and I wanted to cover all my nutritional bases every day. Having better gut health was really important to me as someone with Celiac and as I started taking it, I did feel like my energy levels became more sustained and my immune system was functioning better. I drink AG1 in the morning before anything else, even before I have my coffee, and it’s actually become an important part of my morning routine. I do it when I’m doing my neuro drills, when I’m doing my daily nervous system training, so that I’m getting the nutrition my body craves while I’m also giving my nervous system the input and the stimulus that it craves to feel safe and regulated. And I’ve made that a very grounded habit for myself. So if you wanna take ownership of your health, it starts with AG1. Try AG1 and get a free one year supply of vitamin D and five free AG1 travel packets with your first purchase. Go to drinkag1.com/rewired. Check it out.

[00:31:37] Elisabeth: Cristy, would you tell us a little bit about how you use NSI tools in the work so that people can hear and even in your own life or with your daughter or how that has like made a difference in coming up against some of this stuff.

[00:31:52] Cristy: Yeah, I was thinking about the folks that I work with and also my own story. I came to land in this space with NeuroSomatic Intelligence work from a place of just being completely burnt out. I was deeply immersed in racial equity work and liberation work, and I found myself in complete burnout mode. I was getting sick. I was shutting down, I was stepping back. I couldn’t speak into spaces. I was becoming immobilized. I didn’t wanna be in spaces with people. And my body was saying ‘no, this is not good for you anymore’. And yet, I knew the work was so important and I was very passionate about it.

[00:32:42] I knew I needed to find a way to be stronger. I knew I needed to figure out what my body needed in order to be able to continue to do the work, but I didn’t know what that looked like. I didn’t know what it meant. So I headed out on this path of healing and that’s when I became a Reiki Master.

[00:33:05] That’s when I found you all. I listened to lots of Trauma Rewired as I started to understand, ‘oh my God, I’m going into Flight mode. Oh shit, that’s Freeze’ then ‘oh, I’m ready to Fight’. You can be just constantly in this fight mode when you’re trying to change the world.

[00:33:28] You just feel this sense of righteous Fight, which there is and it’s not a place you wanna do your work from for an extended period of time cuz it’s very harmful. As I started to understand what was happening in my body and what it would take, I started to ask more questions like: how might I get stronger, how might I show up with all my strength and all my power, how might I show up with my full voice and fully who I am and how might I show up well and healthy and happy and feeling joy in the work that I’m doing? When I started to do the Neuro Somatic work it literally changed my life.

[00:34:21] I actually don’t think I could have done even a podcast like this a year ago. I did all my tools before we started. I would do them every day. I understand it’s like I built a communication system with my nervous system. I understand what my nervous system needs. I’m able to hear my body say, ‘oh, you need some rest now’. I am able to hear when I’m shifting into a sympathetic mode so Fight, Flight, Freeze are especially Fawn. (laughing) I’m such a people pleaser, hello. I’m gonna try and make everything right and also a fixer. I gotta fix everything. So like checking in with myself about, ‘okay, that’s not actually how I want to do my work or where I wanna be.’

[00:35:18] So being able to really use the tools in my work. I am starting to work with folks on a regular basis, one-on-one and in group sessions with folks. I’m starting to integrate it even into my Reiki classes with folks. As I’m doing Reiki with them, I’m also telling ’em about the electromagnetic field of their heart and the impact that they have on everyone.

[00:35:48] We’re doing body mapping and breathing and heart breathing. There’s so many ways in which I’m just starting to integrate it into the work that I do with activists. And starting to look at when I’m in large group spaces, how might I teach folks some really basic tools of breathing, but breathing in particular into parts of their body or really being able to body map and sense where their body parts are like, to get them into their feet cuz they’re always in their head.

[00:36:24] The thing that I think has been really important for me to pay attention to though, is while I’m doing all my internal work and I’m healing myself so that I can be strong and do the work in the world that I wanna do and support others to do that work- I have been really wanting to make sure that it’s not just an individual solution, so it’s not just about me.

[00:36:50] It’s about me doing that because I want there to be collective thriving. It’s because I want everyone to be able to be healthy and well and do their work from a strong place. And one of the things that I think happens with especially the self-care movement, is that it gets very individualistic.

[00:37:12] So it’s just about myself and me. Then if there’s this sort of assumption or belief that gets stuck out there that somehow if you fix yourself, the social ills will all be gone. Right? So if I take care of myself, I will no longer have to live in poverty. But there’s still this society, this context, in which we’re living in where there is structural inequity, where there is political inequity.

So I think there’s a both-and that we have to pay attention to where I’m doing my work. It’s for the good of this whole society and for collective thriving. And that I want to do my work passionately and I wanna help others do this work from a passionate place of being strong and being in their own power and not from a place of depletion, which I think is too common for a lot of activists who are doing it from a place of complete depletion and burnout. I think we don’t wanna make ourselves stronger so that we can better endure the social ills of the world or social inequities. Actually what we really want to be doing is to be stronger so that we can create the change in the world without ourselves getting sick.

[00:38:41] That’s feels really critical to me. That’s why I feel like, you know what this NeuroSomatic work is so important for all of us and other healing modalities for sure. Since learning about the nervous system, I see everything in the nervous system, right? (laughing)

[00:39:02] It’s like, oh, that’s a nervous system thing. Oh, that’s dysregulation. Oh wait, that person needs some support to help them breathe into their diaphragm, you know? It’s just constant.

[00:39:16] Elisabeth: Cristy, as you were talking about making sure that we’re not using Neuro Somatic tools to just regulate ourselves into being okay with a really unhealthy dysfunctional system- and that is really, really important to me that there’s an understanding that we are not teaching these tools so that we can maintain the status quo of a system that is harmful to many, many people.

[00:39:45] Like, ‘oh, you’ll be okay to endure this as long as you vibrate your tongue and train your visual system and jump up and down and get some vestibular activation, like not at all. These tools are here to help the people who are experiencing dysregulation whether that’s through complex trauma, the constructs of our society, or any ways that this society is really dysregulating to help people regulate and maintain health so that they can: one, not have to suffer the consequences of living under that stress and dysregulation.

[00:40:26] It’s not fair, it sucks. It’s not good that certain portions of the population have to experience more disease. It sucks that people with a high ACE score have a 20 to 30 year truncated lifespan. This is why we regulate so that we can combat some of that and give health and longevity to people who are inherently under more stress than others.

Then also so that those of us wanting to use our voice and create change in the system can stay healthy and strong and go out there and do the good work of dismantling a system because that is dysregulating too-  to have to go up against the system and try to bring it apart. So we need to have tools to care for ourselves and our nervous system so that that work becomes possible. And you don’t end up really burnt out like what you were talking about in the beginning for yourself. You wanna do this work, you wanna make a change. And so we’re not trying to regulate out of doing the work and making the change, but so that doing the work and making the change is possible.

[00:41:40] Cristy: Yes. I love that so much. It’s so important. I think that’s why we do this work. There was one other thing I was thinking of when you were saying that we impact each other. And I think you all talked about that a little bit earlier on. When I’m regulated, I’m actually helping everyone that I’m in connection to also come to a place where they can find some regulation or some calm or get grounded and centered. And so I think when I’m dysregulated, I’m impacting everyone else. Right? (laughing) There’s a word in Hawaiian that feels really important in this moment, Kuleana which is about your sacred responsibility.

[00:42:33] There’s just a way I feel in my heart and my my gut that part of what I am responsible for as I am this human being, living in this world with lots of other beings, human and otherwise, that I am responsible for making sure I am doing what I need to do to be healthy and well, and strong and powerful and regulated so that everyone else can also be that. That just feels really deeply ingrained in my soul and my spirit.

[00:43:18] Jennifer: I feel that too. Very resonant and a beautiful mantra to live by too- to know that my regulation affects the world around me. We say that a lot with NSI, we’ll be affected first and then that begins to move into our households, into our neighborhoods, into our communities, into the greater world at large.

[00:43:40] And to know that our nervous systems are so powerful that they support other nervous systems without the nervous system that’s being affected even knowing. We’ve even felt it out there in the world. Wow, that person really feels calming for me. And it’s a great gift that we can give to each other when we move from places of regulation and safety.

[00:44:15] Elisabeth: this is such a layered topic and there’s so many components of this, right? And there are parts of culture and connection that are really beautiful and really positive for our nervous system. And there are parts that we wanna examine and question and use the tools so that we can regulate around examining that, questioning it, deconstructing it. There’s so many things that I would love to talk about today- emotional expression and culture, hustle and workaholism and the way that our culture rewards running ourselves into the ground. All of these things I think are really important to look at, but I think that we’re gonna have to have you back again, Cristy, so that we can take a deeper dive into all of this, because there’s just so much.

[00:45:04] I love just in general looking at how all of this work helps the collective to regulate and also makes it possible to create change, which is inherently threatening to our brain and to our nervous system, so that if we can bring these tools to more people then collectively we have a greater capacity for change.

[00:45:35] Jennifer: I’m really excited for the continued conversation that’s going to come from this. There has to be this mutual symbiotic relationship between caring for ourselves and tending to the collective wellbeing, and that the solutions that we’re looking for are not this or that, they’re both-and. And that we can have the capacity to hold all of this in a healthy, well regulated nervous system and move from that place to not be solely focused on our individual needs and solutions, but so that we know that there may be an individual issue, but that individual issue exists on a huge level, a societal level and a cultural level.

[00:46:18] And like we didn’t even touch on food and diet cultures or activist culture, body image, and all these are really important things that are programmed at a really deep level from a very, very young age.

[00:46:31] Elisabeth: Absolutely, Jennifer, you were just talking about the programming. I thought about how we often refer to our nervous system as our operating system, and it’s like our operating system has been programmed and what we are doing with our NeuroSomatic tools is reprogramming our operating system to react differently.

[00:46:51] That has a huge implication for the way that we move through the world and the way that we move through these constructs. And I will say, if you’re somebody who needs some tools, we do offer two free weeks of nervous system training on the site. If you go to rewiretrial.com you can come check it out, you can learn plenty of tools and get to work with us, live with me and Jennifer and our facilitators live on the site. We hang out, we answer your questions. So come join us. Get yourself some tools at rewiretrial.com.

[00:47:21] Jennifer: Yes. And thank you for joining us today. Thank you again, Cristy. Thank you, Elisabeth. And don’t hesitate to reach out and join this conversation with us, y’all. We’re really deeply grateful to be here with you today, Cristy.

[00:47:34] Cristy: Thank you so much for having me. Such a great conversation y’all.