Ep. 338 ‘How to Be the Love You Seek’: Decoding Self-Love and Beliefs with Dr. Nicole LePera

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Today, I have the privilege of connecting with Dr. Nicole LePera, the Holistic Psychologist. 

Dr. LePera did her clinical psychology training at Cornell University. She has touched the lives of countless individuals seeking growth and transformation through her popular Instagram account and has written several self-help books, including How to Do the Work and How to Be the Love You Seek. 

In our discussion today, we dive into the current impact of our childhood experiences, exploring crises of faith, the dark night of the soul, inner child archetypes, and shame. Dr. LePera sheds light on the dynamics of dysfunctional patterns, triggers, and regression while also examining the role of generational and systemic beliefs, trauma, and the emerging science of heart-brain coherence and heart rate variability, sharing practical tips for cultivating presence in our bodies to assist us in processing our emotions.

Dr. LePera’s work has been profoundly instrumental in my personal development journey, and I know you will find our conversation enlightening and enriching.

“Any belief system that is impacted by the external environment and all the systems at play affects the individual as part of that system.”

– Dr. Nicole LePera


  • How the subconscious mind determines our habits and relationships
  • Dr LePera explains the concept of the dark night of the soul
  • The importance of examining your conditioned behaviors and reconnecting with your true identity 
  • How inner child archetypes impact behavior
  • Why is self-development essential?
  • How our past experiences shape the way we perceive and interpret current events
  • The benefit of embodiment practices for developing emotional tolerance
  • How childhood trauma impacts physical and mental health
  • The impact of intergenerational trauma on mental health
  • How to achieve heart coherence
  • Dr. LePera shares mindfulness practices for stress management and self-awareness

Connect with Cynthia Thurlow

Connect with Dr. Nicole LePera


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:00:03] Welcome to Everyday Wellness podcast. I’m your host, nurse practitioner, Cynthia Thurlow. This podcast is designed to educate, empower and inspire you to achieve your health and wellness goals. My goal and intent is to provide you with the best content and conversations from leaders in the health and wellness industry each week and impact over a million lives. 


[00:00:30] Today, I had the honor of connecting with Dr. Nicole LePera. She is known as the holistic psychologist. She received training in clinical psychology at Cornell and has a hugely popular Instagram account. She is also the author of multiple books in the self-help space, including How To Do The Work, How To Be The Love You Seek, which is her most recent work. And she is a psychologist whose work has really been instrumental in my own self evolution from a personal development space.


[00:01:00] Today, we spoke at length about the impact of dysfunctional patterns we see in childhood, “We accept what we witness,” explanations around the crisis of faith and explaining the dark night of the soul, inner child archetypes, the role of shame, triggers and regression, as well as generational beliefs and systemic beliefs, the role of trauma, the impact of heart-brain coherence and heart rate variability, and tips for being present in our bodies to help process emotions. This is certainly one of my favorite recent conversations. Dr. LePera’s work has been hugely instrumental in my personal development journey, and I know you will enjoy this conversation as much as I did recording it.


[00:01:49] Well, Dr. LePera, it’s such an honor to connect with you. I’m a huge fan of your work, and I’m also a huge fan of personal development. I think that it has been instrumental in my evolution, not just as a clinician, but as a mother, as a wife. And so, I really applaud the fact that you make so much information so accessible. And I literally last week was going through some of your content on Instagram. There was something that you posted on Instagram, you or your team, and you were talking about bare minimum partners, bare minimum fathers.


[00:02:22] I had a distant, disconnected father, and you stated, “We accept what we witness.” Can we start the conversation there? Because I think for so many of us, we spend a lot of our lifetime trying to unravel the lessons, whether they were direct or indirect, that we receive from our family members, and this one hit me really hard because as someone who grew up with a very well meaning, well intentioned, but distant, disconnected parent figure, that really hit me hard because it took me a long time to figure out what I deserved in a relationship and how to interact with men because I didn’t really have a great role model at home. And when you’re working with your patients and talking about these things, what is some of the beginning understanding of how we view our world and how we view our relationships with our significant others? 


Dr. Nicole LePera: [00:03:12] I think just kind of going back to beautiful piece of wisdom that you just spoke, Cynthia, which is right. “We repeat what we witnessed.” I might even add in there, “We repeat what we experience.” And it actually took a more recent, and I say more recent in the past five plus years, evolution in my even understanding of human psychology to truly understand the power of what we mean when we say that. Because again, coming from a very traditionally trained system in clinical psychology, all I had heard, all I learned about, and honestly, much of what I read even in self-help being an ever student, someone who’s always curious in learning, understanding things in different ways. I had come to the realization or what I thought was the realization that, wow, the mind that we have, this very powerful function of our brain is what makes us human. It has all of the power to create all of the change that we want to see.


[00:04:04] For decades in my field, kind of professed as the gold standard cognitive behavioral therapy, which is built on that foundational point exactly change the way we think, change ultimately how we feel and then what we do, which is, of course, when I then had my private practice, what many of the clients were coming into my office to do, to change in some way, to relieve suffering. And several years into my practice, it took me feeling quite disempowered, not really feeling like I was being effective, working with clients who, in my opinion, were speaking of parent figures, not only well meaning, very insightful, yet would continue to repeat dysfunctional patterns that really didn’t serve them. 


[00:04:41] So, for me, it really began starting at a low point, wondering, why am I feeling so disempowered as a clinician? Why am I seeing so many of the same habits and patterns in myself as an individual? Why are we all struggling? And I really landed on huge new information that located now for me, not just the mind as the point of all control and all power, the body foundationally. So even going back to this idea, we repeat what we witnessed. What we’re really talking about here is the whole world of our subconscious mind. And I think many listeners might be familiar, we throw this word around a lot now, which is autopilot. I think many of us are coming to the realization that we have these habits, and they kind of carry us through our day, and much of us aren’t paying much attention really or feel like we have much control or choice really, to change those habits.


[00:05:27] And when we really understand that, “Yes, we are very habitual creatures, we will rely on that subconscious autopilot,” so our body thinks in protection to keep ourself in those familiar habits and patterns so that we can predict what happens next, keep us coping with whatever it is that happens next, and ultimately, it is that power, that subconscious mind, those repeated habits, again, grounded first and foremost in those earliest experiences where we are quite literally a little sponge, learning, learning how to relate to ourselves. I mean, in childhood, is really when we want to talk specifically about the impact, especially in our relationships. Childhood and what we’re made to think directly or indirectly about ourselves, ultimately becomes what we believe in adulthood to be true about ourselves, about our role in relationships, about our place in the world entirely. 


[00:06:15] In childhood the lack or presence of attunement and the actual ability of those caregivers to not only be physically present, but to be emotionally present to us, that directly will impact in adulthood how we navigate our own emotional worlds, how able we are to self-soothe, to gain soothing support or comfort in our relationships, to even share with other people aspects of our emotional world. And then finally, but absolutely not lastly, though, I think most impactfully, the way in which we had to show up in those earliest relationships to fit into the environments, to keep ourself as safe as possible. 


[00:06:47] And I know listeners might be like, “Well, my environments weren’t safe in childhood.” We began to adapt to those circumstances, and ultimately, that becomes how we show up in adulthood, how we show up for ourselves, and ultimately, how we show up in our relationships. So, again, simplifying it, understanding that the subconscious mind is playing a role, that’s why many of us are feeling stuck. That’s why many of us in our relationships are recreating or repeating, maybe habits and patterns or dysfunctional hurt that absolutely didn’t serve us, and ultimately understanding or having that awareness is in my opinion, what allows us to actually begin to create change, including the body on our journey, showing up, learning how to embody new choices in terms of how we show up in the world, and actually, I think, begin to become unstuck in the way so many of us are looking to. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:07:35] Yeah, it’s really interesting. I always say that five years ago, I am not the person I was prior to this lengthy hospitalization that I had five years ago. And you speak about in your work, the dark night of the soul. And so that really for me typifies there was a Cynthia before this hospitalization and a Cynthia after this crisis of faith, this disruption, and why this is relevant to what you just said is that for me I think I was on autopilot for a long time in my life. A long, long time, I was successful from the exterior. I do have a healthy marriage. I have an even better marriage now. I have a healthy relationship with my kids, it’s even better now, but that impetus of what happened in February of 2019 changed everything for me because it’s almost like it ripped everything away and I was in a position as a human being where I had to deal with my stuff that I was ignoring. 


[00:08:27] And I think this is so powerful that for many of us, we just continue to subjugate kind of trying to come up and erupt and force us to move, force us to make changes, forced us to deal with things. And I jokingly, but not jokingly, say “I’m not the person I was before February 17, 2019.” And what came after that hospitalization has changed everything for me. It really was the phoenix rising from the ashes, that’s my perception. My husband would say the same thing. My close friends understand that. 


[00:09:00] But let’s spend some time talking about when we have these moments in our lives. I know you had one as well and you probably look back and you’re like, this is the old Nicole, this is the new Nicole. But these pivotal moments in our lives, if we take advantage of the opportunity to really be circumspect, to really consider are we in a position where we’re truly happy, is our adaption to our environment, is it really healthy? Is it serving us well? And how do you go about kind of explaining this dark night of the soul. When you talk about you’ve experienced it? And I always say that I am a mere person compared to where I was before to where I am now, like, now I’m fully living the way that I was supposed to live. And creating a lot of boundaries and a lot of changes in my personal life that have really affirmed for me that I’m stepping into a different role in my life and what I would consider to be, this is the authentic person I was always meant to be but didn’t realize it.


Dr. Nicole LePera: [00:09:54] Thank you, Cynthia, for sharing. I think that really beautifully illustrates in my opinion kind of what we mean when we, again, another common word I think has been throwing around, which is dark night of the soul, what is that? What does that mean? And I think really, that is moments in time, and I’m wording it that way because I think some of us have this pathway where there is the thing that happens, the hospitalization, the accident, the sickness, the loss, the ending of a relationship, the death of someone, there’s a million more. Like something cataclysmic happens and my life kind of becomes an upheaval. 


[00:10:24] Because what a dark night really is, whether it’s that moment in time where the thing happened or as was the case for me, more of many moments in time. What really symbolizes the dark night of the soul is the beginning, because for many of us, it is a process of questioning of kind of snapping out of that autopilot, whether because something happened and snapped us out of it, or whether or not things that autopilot kind of contributed to an accumulation of feelings that then got to the point of erupting outwards similarly, like the way you described kind of the hospitalization for me. 


[00:10:58] And falling into that kind of latter category, just to describe what I mean externally, for all intents and purposes, anyone in my life would think, even small voice in my own mind would have wondered as I was nearing my 30s, when for me, it was a lot of low energy, a lot of deep sadness, a lack of fulfillment, just generally overall to the point that I would spend time fantasizing even, running away, leaving. And at the timing, it happened, it was not so surprising now that I understand my own conditioning. It not so shockingly happened when I had reached kind of the completion for me what had been a lifelong list of achievements.


[00:11:34] Achievements that, again, based on my own childhood experiences, I had gained such a sense of value in succeeding. For me, it was academic. First it was athletically, then it became academically, I marched on, I got my doctorate. I opened up a successful practice. I had a relationship. I was living very near to my family, which was important to me at the time. So, I had achieved all of the things. Internally, here I was fantasizing about running away from what I just spent decades of my life trying to create. 


[00:12:02] And I share my aspect of the journey because I didn’t have that thing from the outside kind of shake me awake, and I spent a period of time before I understood what was actually happening. Feeling not empowered or even curious about this new shedding, evolution kind of stage I’m going to move into. Actually, feeling shameful of how I was feeling until I understood again what was happening was a byproduct of all of this conditioned way I was functioning in the world, driving myself toward achievement. And what I was doing was living very disconnected from my deeper self, my authentic wants, my authentic needs. Quite often I was surpassing my energetic limits, my emotional limits, just to keep myself pushing forward in the to-do list or to achieve that next milestone. 


[00:12:48] So again, dark night of the soul, I think happens, looks different, happens at a different time contextually for each of us, but again, if we really understand what it is, it’s when we start to become aware of that disconnect. Because the reality of it was, I was marching along in that very conditioned way seeking achievement, so I thought, trying to seek some sense of worthiness, until I did get to that point of exhaustion. Because as we all know, when we’re looking to define ourself based on external things, to rely solely on external things, even other people to meet our needs and not show up as a participant or a co-creator in our life experience, we are going to end up feeling to some extent disempowered and disconnected ultimately from who we are, and then ultimately, it just takes some time before, again, whether it’s the thing outside of us or just all of the overwhelming feelings inside of us come bubbling to the surface and ultimately cause us to question, or at least begin by seeing a little bit clearly how conditioned ultimately that were operating, which invites us then on a journey to begin to reconnect with who we really are, what we really want.


[00:13:51] And for a lot of us, that begins with not shaming ourself for not knowing, first just becoming curious, because I think anytime we understand the word that keeps coming up is adaptation. Adaptations have happened for a reason, there’s nothing to be shameful about what for many of us are becoming present to all of these conditioned ways that we are reacting, being in the world, they are not shameful, they at one time served a purpose, a survival-based purpose, actually. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:14:13] Well, I think it’s so important as someone, you know we both share this overachieve and inner child archetypes that you talk about in work. And I think for many of us and correct me if I’m wrong, it derives from our experiences as a child. And for me, I grew up in a very chaotic, verbally, physically abusive environment. And for me, if I was achieving, then I was left alone. And that’s what I learned, to be invisible, achieve, and then I could exist in a fairly, I want to use the term fairly because I had both my parents, although they were divorced when I was seven. Gosh, I’m sharing a lot in this podcast today. Even though I grew up with my parents being divorced, they were both very eruptive. And so, for me, I learned very early on how did I manage and mitigate their behavior was to achieve, so they left me alone, and then a lot of my behavior, which I’m now realizing is a byproduct of wanting to keep things as calm and level headed as possible. 


[00:15:14] So, when we talk about this inner child archetype, this is a byproduct of the environment we grow up in and in order to find ways, as you mentioned to be safe, to be able to navigate our way in a way that allows us to be functional. And do you see, for individuals that are kind of aligned with this inner child archetype, can you be both an overachiever and a rescuer? Can you be multiple types of these archetypes? But it feels like for me, when I was reading your work, that was the one that stood out. I was like, “Oh, my gosh,” this makes so much sense as to why I turned out, personality wise the way that I am, and how freeing it is to not be as much in alignment with that overachieving. It’s like now I do things because it’s what I enjoy as opposed to the external validation. 


Dr. Nicole LePera: [00:15:56] So, when we kind of think about childhood. Just kind of going back, really generally, humans are born in a state of complete dependency. We are born developmentally immature. Our brain and our body is growing. Our nervous system is actually developing up through our 20s, and so that is so significant because that means that we are totally reliant on that environment to keep us physiologically surviving, which is where all of these adaptations begin. Because we quite literally can’t leave, we can’t keep ourself alive on our own, we’re too immature. Our only option in those moments is to do two things, attune, because we are very attuned, energetically sensitive creatures from childhood, we can attune to our environment. And all this is happening outside of our awareness, even in childhood. We attune to our environment, and then we can find the ways in which we can fit in. 


[00:16:50] And so, I really appreciate you sharing, because when we think about these kind of archetypal ways of being, exampled ways of being, and I give several in the book, mentioned two, overachiever, caretaker. There’s an underachiever, there’s a yes person, there’s several others in there. And a couple of things I think are important to understand because, very interestingly, there’s different pathways in creation of the archetype, right? Thank you for sharing your example. Having this kind of explosive, emotionally explosive, those are just my words, environment around you in childhood, if you were able to just kind of keep in line, keep succeeding, keep your head down, you were able to keep yourself safe, you become an overachiever as a result of it, right? That’s how you created safety, security, and probably even a sense of worthiness, feeling good about yourself because you’re not now on the receiving end of this explosive behavior, emotionally explosive behavior. 


[00:17:37] My relationship though, just kind of using an example. I mean, my childhood relationships, there wasn’t a lot of emotional overwhelm outside of just being stressed and fearful of life in general. But there wasn’t explosive anger or anything like that in my home that I was avoiding. For me, there was an absence of connection, almost an absence of feeling, unless we’re joined and shared worry about something. So that I learned different environment, similar adaptation. I saw very early on that I was gifted naturally, academically and athletically, and I saw that from a very young age, and those were the moments where my mom was able to be most present, able to cheer me on, able to validate me, so I became an overachiever, not in presence of all this emotional overwhelm, actually in absence, because those were the moments where I got some version of connection where you’re trying to avoid being in the spotlight to some extent, right? I’m trying to get the spotlight and we both still become. 


[00:18:34] So then, to answer your question, I just want to use as an example, because the common questions I do get are, is there only one pathway? What leads to becoming an overachiever? And I just use that as an example, you and I, as an illustration, because different circumstance stances lead to this archetypal way of coping. And then to specifically answer your question, yes, we can see different aspects of these different conditioned ways of being. So maybe in some moments you’re an overachiever, in other relationship or other contexts, you go into more of a hyper– You use that hypervigilance, now what can I achieve? How can I show myself worthy in that way? You might channel that to who can I take care of? Who needs me? How can I define my worthiness based on showing up now in service of someone else?


[00:19:13] So, archetypes are typically given and why I offer them are just for general examples, I think many of us can see aspects of our conditioned ways of being in several, if not more of these conditioned archetypes, but they are by no means mutually exclusive. And then to answer a question, if anyone has it running in their heads, can they change? Can we change? Absolutely. The goal of all of my work is to first become present to what is this impact of our conditioning. How is it that we’re defining our worthiness or feeling like we have to habitually show up to secure these connections? Because that’s what’s still going on in our mind, as if we’re back in childhood. 


[00:19:49] However, can I create space in my current moment now as an adult to unlearn some of that conditioning? I kind of think of peeling the onion back and to create some maybe exploratory, curious space, like I mentioned earlier, to begin to discover what it is that we want, how it is that we feel, what it is that we need. And again, I’m intentionally focusing time here because I think a lot of us, especially as adults, we shame ourselves when we don’t immediately know, “Oh, my gosh, I’m so conditioned. I’m aware of this now. I am the overachiever who’s always seeking the goalpost, or I am the caretaker who was always looking for the person in need. Okay, well, I don’t want to be that anymore, so now what?”


[00:20:20] And that’s where I think another wash of shame comes in. Because the reality for a lot of us is we don’t yet know now what. We spent so much time operating in this conditioned way. I know when I started to explore, well, what do you want, Nicole? If it was something as simple as to eat for dinner or to spend the entirety of your Saturday or to do for the next six months of your life in terms of your career, I was at a loss initially to answer those questions because I had spent all of my time and focus not on myself for so long. So just emphasizing, as always, the process of what I can so quickly kind of shares, “Oh, here are the steps, A and B and become conscious and break those habits,” but I always just like to give a little bit more transparently of the behind the scenes of what that actually looks like, why it is so difficult, and ultimately, the work, if you will, this embodiment practice of keeping ourselves committed to making new choices, even when it goes against these deep-rooted beliefs. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:21:15] Well, and I think that word a practice is so important because even though I am very committed to personal development and doing the work, and my husband and I are very much on the same page, he’s an engineer, so he’s very left brained. So sometimes when we’re talking about feelings, it kind of puts him outside his comfort zone. But I always say, “This is what’s so important.” But I think that word practice, it helps people understand it’s not like you just always move forward. Sometimes I will get triggered or I will get upset about something, and there’s nothing more powerful than spending time with your extended family to get you triggered. You think you’ve done the work. And I love my family, I have a wonderful family, let me be very clear, but there are opportunities every time that we’re together,, I sometimes say to my husband, “I think I took 20 steps forward and 10 back in like an hour, how is that possible?” So how do we go from moving forward in terms of investing in our personal development? And then you have that moment that will just bring you back to being 10 years old. It happened to me at Christmas with my brother, and my kids got to witness me getting triggered in front of my whole family with my brother. And it was just so interesting, I was trying to look outwardly at what was going on, to say, like, “What’s going on here for you? Because it’s really not your brother teasing you, it’s something deeper than that.” So how does that happen for us, where in an instant we almost regress? I hate to use that word. We regress in our personal development journey, our practice, by one instantaneous trigger or instance or comment someone makes. 


Dr. Nicole LePera: [00:22:44] Perhaps if we define regress as a return to earlier development, maybe that might make that word a little more palpable, because I actually wholeheartedly agree, even physiologically, neurobiologically, I should say that is exactly what it is that happens. And even kind of bringing this beautifully full circle. When I learned about the body and the subconscious and kind of everything I described earlier, I was now invited into the possibility that the reason why we can’t just affirm our way, think our way to new ways of feeling and ultimately being is because of how neurobiologically wired these habits and patterns are. They’re not just neural networks. I think that’s maybe a common word that listeners have heard in our mind anymore, right? Those kind of pathways of neurons firing together and wiring together enough over time that it becomes a network, it’s beyond that. What we are talking about, our habitual ways of physiologically feeling in our body and then ultimately habitual ways of coping with those physiological emotions in our body. Because for me, truly understanding– emotions is a word.


[00:23:45] Of course, as a clinical psychologist, how do you feel? Tell me how you feel? I mean, all we did was talk about feelings and emotions, and I didn’t really understand scientifically what we were talking about. And I especially didn’t locate what we were talking about yet again in the body. That emotions and the ability tolerate emotions, to become emotionally mature, emotionally resilient whatever the language it is, to be able to deal with the emotionality of life means being present, not just will powering, willing our emotions away, trying to think our way past the way we’re feeling, it actually means, physiologically, our nervous system being able tolerate those emotional energies. 


[00:24:24] And again, so the reason why I say it is kind of a regression in reality, as we’re now going about life in adulthood, we are not objective witnesses, if you will, of the environment around us. We couldn’t get a group of people in a room to agree on the objectivity of it happening, because what will happen is everyone you’ll hear will share their subjective experience, because we’re all filtering, coloring the world, seeing even certain aspects, right? What might be highlighted to me about a certain experience might not even come across your attention. You might be noticing a different aspect of the experience, because all of it again is colored by our past experiences. 


[00:25:06] We are almost anticipating and seeing similarity, that’s what projection or transference, these words that we use in the field are really what that means is, in what’s happening now, something is activating a feeling, a physiological sensation inside of me that’s quite similar, if not exactly the same as an earlier experience, right? Maybe when I was abandoned physically or emotionally by mom or dad, or maybe when there was that too much emotion and I was feeling completely overwhelmed, and it’s bringing me back in time. And so, the reason why we do act then so regressed, sometimes even immature. And again, I’m not saying this prerogatively, I’m saying this in terms of earlier emotional state, is because in that moment, we are reacting as if we are back in time, similarly overwhelmed and at the same time under supported, because the large majority of us didn’t have, even those of us who had well-meaning caregivers. If in their bodies, in their nervous systems, they weren’t able to deal with their own stressful or upsetting emotions, then they weren’t going to be able to give us the safety and the security that we need to eventually over time learn how to regulate, self-regulate, or to reach out for the support that we need to co-regulate with others when we’re upset. So, without that level of attunement in childhood, what I now see is a large majority of adults who lack stress or emotional resilience. 


[00:26:26] So, in those emotionally overwhelming moments where something brings us back in time to a hurtful, traumatizing, overwhelming past experience, I’m going to rely on at that time what worked, which for a lot of us looks like screaming and yelling and throwing an adult-sized temper tantrum, often saying and doing things, hurtful things that we don’t mean. For others, it might look like ignoring, kind of fleeing the stress, ignoring it, putting your head in the sand, maybe actually picking up your phone and ignoring someone who’s trying to share something upsetting with you, kind of distracting yourself away. It might look like as I spent decades of my life just shutting down completely, you’re there physically, you’re mentally– I call it my spaceship, you’re a million miles away, you’re shut down, you’re numb, you’re there in body, but not much else.


[00:27:14] This is, again, the power of the subconscious that I was describing earlier I think in a beautiful real-life example. And the reality of is we do go back in time. So, two things are important, how do we navigate that? First, we don’t shame it. The reason why I went into this behind-the-scenes physiological kind of acknowledgment of what’s happening, so that hopefully in the next moment where that happens and you tune back in, whether you’re mid saying or doing the thing that you want to avoid doing is, I know I can be in my mind’s eye and things are coming out of my mouth, and I’m like, “Why are you saying this, Nicole? This is not what you mean right now.” All right [Cynthia laughs] or sometimes it happens a little later where after the fact, you’re like, “Oh, gosh, what just happened? Why did all of that just happen?” And I think if we have the understanding of why it happened, we can maybe relieve some of that shame and hurt. 


[00:27:58] And to speak to your point about family, when we go back to family, the environment for a lot of us, maybe even the same home where these habits and patterns were created, or at least these same dynamics with the people, the ways that we interact, that for a lot of us is why it’s so easy on holidays, on visits home, that we do return to that more regressed state, because the similarity of what’s happening now, chances are it is quite similar, there probably are the same dynamics at play. 


[00:28:21] And to speak to your point, it’s probably not about the teasing or the mess that’s left out or all of the things on the surface, someone not giving you a welcome hello when you arrive, whatever it is that we think it is. What it really is something deeper and typically from much earlier in our childhood, which is again, why it’s important not to shame it, because those emotions and physiologies are very real in the moment, which is why we can’t just shame away that reaction in the future, which is why again, bringing back the body, we have to in those moments learn, increase our window for stress tolerance, learn how to be with our upset without becoming reactive in the habitual way that we always are, so that we can remain responsive. 


[00:29:04] And I think this again goes to a question/concern I often get when people are on their healing journeys and they’re like, “Oh gosh, these habits are still there, why? Why am I still acting in this way? Why am I still screaming and yelling, acting shamefully or whatever it is?” And again, going back to when I started this script, because they’re neurobiologically wired is why. Because they’re absolutely not going to go away overnight. And they’re not going to go away until you lay down some new neural networks of new habits so that you don’t have to rely on those anymore. And again, I think we have that awareness, we can be a little more compassionate to ourselves and also then remain committed to doing that more somatic or body-based work. Because developing that stress and emotional tolerance that I just acknowledge, in my belief at least, we all need to means embodying, teaching ourself how to deal with slightly more and more stress and then how to calm our body or allow our body to come back into calm, it is an embodiment practice. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:29:57] Well, I think it’s as important as saying that as we’re getting older, we need to maintain and build muscle. We need to think about it as a skill that’s equally important, so that we are weathering the challenges that come up, and I don’t care how great someone’s life is, we all have them. And for many of us, maybe we’re more quiet about it. But what I find interesting is that this practice of personal development and working on our stuff, sometimes that’s how eloquently I refer to it I need to work on my stuff, it’s that validation like when I went home for Christmas, that I was like, “Oh, clearly there’s something here I need to be working on.” And I love that you are really cautioning people like don’t shame yourself, like, understanding that there’s this neurobiologic imprinting on us as individuals that can get triggered over something that’s seemingly benign but really speaks to a larger issue.


[00:30:50] Do you think that there’s generational perspectives? And the reason why I say this, I very close to my grandmothers and my great aunts, and they used to talk openly about in their generation that you married who you married, and you were stuck with them till death do you part, and so I recall saying to my grandmother and my great aunt, “Do you ever think you’ll get remarried?” They were both widowed in their late 60s, early 70s, and they were like, “Heck no.” And just to hear their explanation of– generationally, weren’t allowed to complain. There was a societal expectation, whomever you married, whatever happened, you were there till the end. And then looking at my parents’ generation, obviously they got divorced, which was a good decision for them to make and for my brother and I. 


[00:31:32] But generationally, do you see, I know you can have intergenerational trauma, which that’s a whole separate topic, but do you see differing perspectives based on the time frame in which people were raised? Because I feel like maybe my kids’ generation might be more aware of these things because we’re speaking so openly about it, but yet even my generation, and I’m in my early 50s, I feel like there’s still a lot of people that are really uncomfortable talking about their stuff or what’s gone on in their family or certainly not speaking about it publicly. Did you find that in your clinical practice that there were a lot of generational shifts? 


Dr. Nicole LePera: [00:32:05] Yeah, I mean, generational beliefs, cultural beliefs, political beliefs, belief system that is impacted by the external environment. And all of the systems that are at play absolutely affect the individuals then as part of that system or as part of that generation. And the common thing I like to bring up here, because it’s still mind blowing to me. 


[00:32:30] I come from two– My mom is no longer with me, I think she would be– My dad is what? My dad was born in 1937, so he’s 86 now, I think 87 the last we saw each other. 87, so my mom would have been 85. So, sharing that to say they were of– for me in my generation, my mom had me when she was 42 years old, so they were of a generation where a lot of beliefs. I did see a different degree of impact in myself than my peers who had parents that were slightly younger. Again, sharing that to say beliefs, what’s happening in the environment, in society and culture at large. Absolutely, then play a role in terms of how those individuals show up. 


[00:33:08] And the reason why I brought up my parents is they are of the generation because it was recent, I don’t know the exact years, but even in the field of parenting, which had a lot of clinical psychologists at the head of it, up until more recent than not, predominant parenting beliefs, how you would have heard parenting experts even speaking, writing books for parents and how to parent their children would not have had much if any of a discussion about a child’s emotional world. It would have sounded and taken the path much like we train animals in what is known as a behavioristic kind of model, where you reward. If I really want to simplify it, you reward positive behaviors or behaviors that you want to continue, this is now for our children. And then you punish behaviors that for whatever reason, you want to go away to extinguish, and that was how we believed was the best. And it’s even maybe in the 90s, what was 80s, 90s, when was it kind of like let your baby cry it out, cry your baby to sleep, kind of put them in a room,-


Cynthia Thurlow: Ferberizing. [laughs] 


Dr. Nicole LePera: -the Ferberize, just quickly coming to mind. But that surprises me, Cynthia, is that in my field. So, it’s no surprise as you heard me attest a couple of minutes ago that I didn’t really know much, not realistically about emotions, and well no surprise. My field is still in a lot of ways. Now, of course, there’s been a great shift in parenting. You will hear a lot about emotional attunement and emotional regulation and co-regulation, everything that I’ve even been talking throughout. But imagining all of the parenting generations who were directly told, of course it’s going to impact then how these individuals show up. I mean, generational cultural beliefs impact how we believe we need to operate in relationships, what’s appropriate, what’s not appropriate in terms of relationship type? There’s a lot of beliefs in terms around self-expression, how it’s even appropriate to look, what clothing, let alone jobs, and things like that.


[00:34:52] I mean, culture and all of those kinds of external spheres of influence if you will have such a great impact on then what individuals believe to be true. Because again, theme I continue to talk about. We’re dependent in childhood. We need these other people. We are interpersonal creatures. Us and our individual state of self-expression is impacted by all of the others around us. And of course, predominantly I’ve been talking about our core caregivers. But this is beautiful because it really does expand the conversation now beyond what was happening in our home to acknowledging all of the influence outside of our home, because we are in interaction with culture even. So, all of the different beliefs that not only are applicable now, and I think this is where generational disconnection, confusion, and sometimes conflict can happen because as culture changes and children right now have different ways of being.


[00:35:44] I mean, you and I were joking about Zoom and technology. I mean, having my nephew, who’s now 17 years old. So, years ago, when he first picked up his first phone and his little fingers were barely three years old, and he’s zooming around, and I remember leaving the home without a phone and having to find directions and be okay and ask other people if I’m lost and find a payphone, right? And I think a lot of times that causes not only individual beliefs, but it causes conflict within generations as other generations are more comfortable or are taught certain things are more socially acceptable. 


[00:36:17] And again, just continue to emphasize all of those external influences will impact, because we are all seeking to belong, whether it’s in our family unit or whether or not we’re seeking to belong in the greater culture or community outside of our homes, we are attentive and assessing how we fit in. And again, especially in childhood, we’re going to prioritize our need to fit in beyond even our need for self-expression. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:36:38] Well, and it’s interesting to me. I’m the parent of two teenagers now, but I know for myself because of the way that I grew up. Again, not being pejorative, just observational, my kids have grown up very differently, and my older son gets it, he’s an introvert. My husband and I are both introverts. We like a quiet house. And my younger son’s an extrovert, never understands why we’re so quiet. But helping them understand that they’ve grown up in the benefit of what I would say more regulated environment, more emotional regulation of the parents who are able to kind of be attuned to their needs. And I think in many ways, a lot of parents are just in survival mode, they’re just trying to get from day to day. 


[00:37:21] Single mom, my mom was a single mom, had a stressful job. My dad lived 4 hours away. The reason why I’m sharing this is that I think it’s important to acknowledge that our parents do the best that they can. And I am at peace for the way that I grew up, although occasionally I get triggered and I’m human. But I think for many people, helping them understand that when you grow up in a household where there’s not a lot of emotional regulation, even if you don’t get exposed to. So, I’ll date myself and say, in the 1990s, when I was in Baltimore and both in my nursing program and my nurse practitioner program, when we talked about trauma, it was in the context of Big T, murder, rape, suicide, big things, traumatic things. So, in my mind, I was taught– I didn’t experience trauma. 


[00:38:07] Well, bring me fast forward 25 years, and I realized I did experience quite a bit of trauma and the significance of adverse childhood events, and the scoring, can we speak about this? Because I think for a lot of individuals, myself included, I didn’t realize that the little t traumas I was experiencing had a huge net impact on my susceptibility to autoimmune conditions. I’ve had three, they’re all in remission. Certainly, had a lot to do with my overactivation of my autonomic nervous system. Is it any surprise I ended up in healthcare? Because I love serving others that brings me great peace, but I was constantly that duck. When you look at a duck and the duck looks calm on the water, and then underneath the water, they’re paddling furiously. And so that, for many years is how I mitigated what I grew up as a child. 


[00:38:54] And these adverse childhood events, I think that certainly your work, others work, are kind of bringing this to the forefront to helping people understand that the things we experience as a child definitely do influence us and the trajectory of our health span throughout our lifetime more substantially than perhaps we first realized or certainly more substantially than I even realized as a clinician myself.


Dr. Nicole LePera: [00:39:13] Historically just so we all are kind of speaking the same language here. Big T trauma really was under the definition that trauma happens when we live an experience in which our physical or physiological body is under threat, which is why then as you kind of suggest it, we have kind of rape, war, illness, physical violence, accidents, all of the above. When I could possibly lose life, then we would say that you would get the after effect of that, you’ve experienced trauma, and then you would typically get posttraumatic stress type disorder. 


[00:39:49] And so learning, very similar, taking a scale, myself, not scoring very highly, having worked with clients who scored very highly in that I excluded myself as well similar to the way you did, Cynthia, and said, “Oh, I didn’t have trauma,” even though I did try on for size, because something I became aware of in myself from a very young age, around high school I think is where it became really clear when it was a point of teasing in my friend group that I couldn’t remember or I couldn’t recall a lot of my childhood. 


[00:40:16] So when I would hear my friends’ sharing stories of their early childhood, even stories of things we did together, you know three months ago, I would struggle to recall, to say, “Oh, well, this is what my earliest Christmas looked like,” or “Oh, yeah, I remember that night, being there at that thing,” and it became a running joke for a long time. And when I then was in a clinical program and I was met with the information that, oh, sometimes people don’t recall things because the enormity of what had happened. So, I did try, I went down a pathway of, “Okay, Nicole, maybe something like a big T trauma event did happen to you, and maybe this is now why you can’t remember and why you’re seeing all these patterns, maybe you’d had a big T trauma.” And when I couldn’t, like nothing that wasn’t seeming in alignment with what happened, again, I was left to feel like shamed, like, well, “Okay, you shouldn’t be struggling the way that you are.” 


[00:41:04] And I thank all of the kind of theorists in the trauma realm now that are professing and the shift that is happening in the definition of trauma itself, where we no longer categorize an event as being traumatic, we don’t put the label out there. We put the label on the impact that an event or multiple events kind of maybe even these traditionally call, “smaller things” that are happening typically on a day-to-day basis, if and when the stress from the event overwhelms our resources to cope, you heard me use that language earlier, then what we say happened is a trauma has happened to the mind body system, if you will. So now I had a new lens to look at my past experiences, because what I was becoming more and more aware of is how emotionally shut down, disconnected, and not attuned my family was and bringing back survival mode in here as well, because of no ill intent, I too, as many of you listening, had very well meaning parents who in a lot of ways, committed to showing up differently than they had experienced in their own childhood, to create new environments for myself and for my sibling, though the reality of it is going back to, again, your very wise observation. 


[00:42:11] If the caregivers, my parents, whoever right out there, isn’t able to feel calm and grounded and safe and secure in themselves, in their existence. If they’re living in that survival mode where they feel unsafe for whatever reason, then they’re not going to be able to fully attune to or even care about a separate individual, even if it’s their child. Because in survival mode, we are at the mercy of our physiology, which becomes completely self-focused, which becomes completely self-prioritized. So, in a lot of those moments when we think we’re showing up in service of someone else, caring for them, if we’re not in that calm, grounded state, the reality of it is, we struggle to actually shift our focus of attention, we struggle to put maybe our own desires in that moment to the back burner to show up in service of someone else. 


[00:43:09] And again, a lot of us are living in that survival mode. A lot of us can’t kind of give the attunement that we need from other people. And so, a lot of us did grow up with that caregiver or in that caregiving environment, let me word it that way where we were under resource, we were under supported, so trauma did happen, not only just when physically we were at risk, though, when emotionally we were at risk. And what it looks like to be emotionally at risk is when we’re emotionally under supported, when we don’t have that caregiver who for whatever reason can’t show up as that safe and that secure base, because the impact on the body is the same. 


[00:43:50] We have an individual who is overwhelmed and under resourced to cope which until that individual develops the ability, like we were talking about earlier through the embodied practice of teaching their body how to deal with more and more stressful, upsetting events, emotions, they will continue themselves and this is how intergenerational patterns get passed on. They will remain locked in their survival mode, probably living the autopilot of all of those adaptations that they believe are keeping themselves safe. Some of them might even think they’re caretaking the world around them. 


[00:44:26] Though, again, one of my big hopes for this new book in particular about love and relationships. Until in our bodies, we’re in that grounded state of presence and attunement, we actually can’t be emotionally connected authentically, and we can’t be that base of safety and the security, and we can’t support people in the way that we want to. And this brings me then to really a space of hope. I mean, even sitting here having conversation with you, knowing all of your community listening into this, the amount even watching the self-help kind of world, if you will expand including information, this more expanded definition of trauma, this foundational role of the body, giving so freely as these conversations do, the resources to begin to create that change. 


[00:45:14] Quite honestly, Cynthia, I’m feeling hopeful that what we will continue to see are these cycles being broken and ultimately not only change happening for all of us as individuals who I think many of us have been desperately seeking and trying to create change for some of us for our lifetime, though, this is really then the opportunity to impact. Even those of us who don’t have children ourselves, though, to impact the world around us by impacting all of the people with whom we’re going to relate around us. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:45:46] Well, and I think it’s so important for people to entertain the possibility that because you grew up a certain way that does not then mean that you are imprinted for the rest of your life. You talk about the role of hope, of which I’m a huge proponent of. And for full transparency, I actively work, that’s why it’s a practice. I actively, consistently work to break those intergenerational trauma bonds and be able to observe family members. I won’t just pick on my parents to observe family members and observe them from a place of compassion, because in some instances, some people are willing to do the work, they’re willing to change behavior patterns, they’re willing to consider that they need to shift some perspectives to do that inner work. It’s hard. 


[00:46:32] I mean, I think for a lot of people, in many ways, it may be too hard. They may not be in a position where they’re ready. Talk about being in a position to receive. And if you’re in survival mode, if your amygdala, which is your kind of lizard brain, has overridden your prefrontal cortex, for many people that’s what happened during the pandemic, you can’t expect to do the work because you’re not in a position where your body feels safe, and I think that’s a significant distinction to make. 


[00:47:00] I would love to start on, to pivot just a little bit. I would love to talk about heart-brain coherence. Prior to leaving clinical medicine eight years ago, I was working in Cardiology as an NP, and I love everything about the heart, but there’s a lot of interrelationship between our autonomic nervous system and our heart. And I think you do such a beautiful job describing this in the book. And I really think that helping people understand that our heart is really the hub of our emotions. We talk about being heart centered, but there’s so much more to it. And I think you do such a beautiful job in the book discussing this. 


Dr. Nicole LePera: [00:47:33] Learning about the heart for me, which, again, was in the more recent past, was really groundbreaking. It was at a time where I had started to lean into the foundational presence and power of the body and the nervous system, and I was feeling really empowered by that piece of information. And then when I discovered, and I’m so grateful for HeartMath Institute in particular, that I know is such at the forefront of even scientifically measuring a lot of these kind of heart-based signals. But when I kind of expanded my focus to include the heart in the body and was met with even just the logistical information of how much more powerful our heart is in terms of how much more of a reach outside of our body that those signals travel compared to even that of our nervous system. And then similarly, how much our heart is registering at a greater distance, shifts and changes in sensations happening from outside of ourselves. And then all of that information is being filtered up to our brain. 


[00:48:26] So again, back to this powerful mind that we thought was sending all of the top-down messaging at the control. Now, not only do we have our nervous system, we really have our heart really kind of localized in the middle of all of these messages that are going upwards. And so not only is kind of our heart our most sensitive sensor at the greatest distance in terms of around us, our heart also has the capacity to synchronize all of the different systems, organs in our body, because that’s the thing. We have this kind of whole body, think of like holistic any moment I get, so we have this whole body, but in reality, we have all of these different cells and organs and systems that kind of work in an integrated fashion. 


[00:49:09] And again, now that we know that our body is just as equal if not a stronger component in terms of that integration, we now know as well that our heart can be at the center of that. And when we are in a state of heart coherence, which again, this kind of is another opportunity to illustrate the process nature if you will of this journey. Because for our heart to be coherent, and you’ve heard us already talk about these words, we need to be safe and grounded in our nervous system. 


[00:49:37] So again, continuing to go back to that foundational body safety, security. Can I actually feel safe and at ease in my muscles, in my breathing? Can I be present and in a safe, grounded body? And when I then am, and my heart rhythm is not reacting to stress, it’s not elevating, I’m not reacting to stress, I’m not in kind of any of that survival mode, now I have the possibility, like I was sharing earlier to feel those heart-based emotions, to feel caring, to feel compassionate, to feel loving, to feel connected. And when I’m in that state of connection, caring, compassion, then my heart can really begin to take that integrated kind of organizational, helps all of my systems move toward more coherence.


[00:50:24] And where this becomes specifically important, I believe, and this is why I think that– And I do truly believe we are marching toward an integrated health system. And what I mean by that is all health is one health. There’s not body health over here and mind health over here, it is the health of the whole system, because it is in our body and our mind and our emotion and all of those are just so interconnected. 


[00:50:50] And again, when we learn about the power of the heart and we localize it within our bodies, and we learn how to create that safety in ourselves, and then we become more compassionate, caring individuals, and then physically, we become more healthy, then our nervous– our immune system, excuse me, and I know all of, you know, yourself included, everyone who’s experienced autoimmune right, now, our body is physically healthier. Now, emotionally, we have more of that expanded stress resilience that I’ve been talking about throughout. We have the ability to become stressed and to become calm, and then we have the ability to turn inward and to begin to explore. Again, we’ve been talking about those deeper aspects of ourselves. So again, the heart, in my opinion, is truly, as science is now confirming, much like you agree, it is the heart of our emotions. It is the seat of our intuition. 


[00:51:38] And again, the process of tapping into that begins with becoming more connected to our body, which for a lot of us includes learning how to be in a body that has a lot of stress, that has a lot of trauma, that has a lot of upsetting and dysregulated emotions, that does tend to regress and go back in time and become overwhelmed by those emotions, and then building that resilience in our body so that we can then become more coherent, not only for ourselves, but that’s when the science, in my opinion, gets even more mind blowing. Then we could send those signals of not only safety, of coherence out to then impact all of the others and really all of the world around us. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:52:11] No. And it’s so important. I had a physician friend a few years ago who introduced me to HeartMath, and obviously I wear a tracker, so I have an Oura Ring, and so I’m always tracking my HRV, and it’s amazing to me to see the fluctuations in heart rate variability just related to the compounding effects of stress or not, depending on what’s going on. I would love to kind of end the conversation. Now, obviously, individuals that are listening to this podcast can get your amazing books and work and follow you on social media. And you’re one of my favorite people to follow because there’s always so much value. What would be a couple easy things if someone is listening and they’re inspired to start making some changes, what are some fairly easy things, tangible things that they could be doing today or tomorrow to become more present in their body so that they can get forward on this trajectory to more health-related behaviors, more autonomic regulation, being physically present in their bodies because so many of us are really disconnected.


Dr. Nicole LePera: [00:53:14] The first step, again, going back foundationally to the body. The first step to create change is to first become present. Now we have some choices, right? We can become present. I like to think of consciousness or this kind of state of presence, like the overhead lights on in a room right. We’re illuminating what’s there. So, again, we can become present. This is, I think, what a lot of us spend a lot of time being maybe over present too which is the thoughts in our mind. We can kind of drop inward. This is what I mean when I say kind of turn inward. A lot of us maybe are benefited. 


[00:53:41] Traditionally, I think when we think of meditation, we think of eyes closed in a quiet room. Again, logistically, the reason why I think many of us think of that is because when we close our eyes, when we quiet the room or put headphones on, simply what we’re doing is we’re turning down the volume of distraction of the world around us by shutting our eyes, by closing it off with sound so that we can turn inward. We can turn our focus from being distracted outside of ourselves, as many of us spend the large majority of our day and illuminate what’s going on inside. So, again, we have the thoughts in our mind we can become present to. 


[00:54:11] And then, if I really want to simplify it, we could drop down that attention, unhook it from what for some of us are racing, overwhelming, upsetting, stressful thoughts, and then I can drop down and start to sense or become present to all of the sensations in my body. And specifically, there’s three areas that we can begin to notice. I’ve already mentioned those because three systems shift and change as our body becomes elevated in stress. And those systems are the tension in our muscles, the breathing, our breathing pattern, whether it’s calm and deep from the belly or whether it’s really quick and shallow from our chest. Maybe some of you, if I even invite you right now to drop in and notice how it is that you’re breathing, maybe you’re holding your breath, as I mentioned, for the muscles, maybe dropping in right now, just doing a scan from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, do you notice tension in any muscles? Is there ease? 


[00:55:03] I know for me, I carry a lot of tension in my jaw, my upper back. Then we can begin to notice that, as I’ve mentioned, throughout our heart rate. The heart is very powerful. Is our heart rate at its normal rhythm? Is it beating out of our chest? Is it so imperceptible we can barely even feel our heart? And so, the reason I’m specifically focusing on our body. So, first and foremost, we begin to pay attention by noticing what’s there, because the first thing many of us might notice, even right now, are the racing thoughts in our head so we want to know. What we can’t control is the presence of those thoughts, right? Because that’s where all that firing and wiring, all those neural networks, all that has happened behind the scenes so long, that’s what’s now present in your mind. What we can do, though, is from that state of presence, remove the focus of our attention from our thoughts and begin to notice those three areas of our body. 


[00:55:53] And so, of course, I invited everyone to do that, listening right here, right now, but that, really simplistically and foundationally is the practice. Now, this doesn’t mean that like a light switch, you’ve done it once, we’ve done it here together, and now you’re conscious, aware, and off you go to intentionally create the rest of your moments of this today, what will happen is we’ll drop right back into autopilot, become overwhelmed by our thoughts, distracted by them, so we want to build the commitment and the consistency of this practice. 


[00:56:19] A suggestion I give, I believe I gave it in this book. I know I give it in self-healer circle, my international, my virtual membership, because every new member. We have a whole library at this point of all different courses, and members join for content in different areas, so every new member, we suggest the first course that we ever put out some four years ago now, which is called awakening consciousness, where the practice is exactly as I shared with everyone here. It’s called a consciousness check in. And the suggestion we give is to utilize maybe the technology in our pocket, set an alarm on our phones for maybe starting with one, increasing it to two times a day, where when that alarm goes off, we will be reminded of this check in practice. 


[00:56:55] Now, again, the alarm is not magic, what is magic? That was taking that one moment to pause, to first notice, “Where was my attention?” “Oh, my gosh, I was reliving an argument that I had five hours ago, and I’m still upset by it,” Or “Oh my gosh, I was worrying about what’s coming tomorrow, and I’m worrying about it.” Well, now I can unhook, that’s an invitation to remove the focus from my mind and to practice being present to my body. Because chances are, if the thoughts we’re noticing are stressful, there probably are going to be some of those indicators of stress coming from our body. There probably will be tension. There might be an elevated heart rate or quickened breath, because the thoughts in our mind reflect those sensations that our body is sharing with our mind. So, whether it’s an alarm, whether it’s setting post-it notes, whether it’s finding a friend or a partner who wants to check in with you a couple of times a day, whether it’s committing to it in a journaling practice in the morning, where you set that daily reminder for yourself that somewhere in your day you’re going to create that moment for a check in, and then it is the power of embodying, that’s what I mean when I continue to say embody throughout this conversation. That is the practice of embodiment.


[00:57:54] When that alarm goes off, taking that moment to shift physiologically, not only your focus of attention, but that’s where now in that new space as we notice, “Oh my gosh, my body is really sending signals of stress to my mind. No wonder I can’t stop thinking stressful thoughts. I’m tense. I can’t release my muscles. My breath is quick. I can slow it and deepen it, and then I can notice, as a result, my heart rate begin to slow back into its normal rhythm.” So now this is what I’ve been meaning throughout when I talk about embodiment and creating the ability tolerate more stress or to simply shift ourselves out of survival mode. Because when we’re in that calm ground at presence, not only are we less likely to return to those old habitual reactions, that subconscious autopilot that’s been calling the shots, we become more likely to make choices that allow us to create that heart-brain coherence, and then to greatly impact how we’re showing up. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:58:48] Well, Dr. LePera, thank you so much for your time today. It was a perfect way to end our conversation. Please let my listeners know how to connect with you on social media, how to join your books and purchase your books. 


Dr. Nicole LePera: [00:59:00] Absolutely. So, thank you all, of course for listening. I’m so inspired. Like I said, when I talk to communities like yours, Cynthia, people who are really interested in doing the work, especially the body focus, I just love it. 


[00:59:11] And so anyone who is interested in this book and any book, I have a website, theholisticpsychologist.com. Each of my books, I have three. One is a workbook. Have a separate website so you can click on it. This website is howtobetheloveyouseek.com and you can see a whole bunch of retailers that I have highlighted, though I do know that a lot of local bookstores are carrying this book. So, if you do have a local book retailer, I suggest giving them a call. Also suggest following along across, at this point, any of the social media platforms. So however it is that you like to consume your social media content, the holistic psychologist or some version of that handle will have a presence, whether it’s on Instagram, where it all started @the.holistic.psychologist. There’s a YouTube channel now, a TikTok, an X account. So, lots of different ways to consume content and of course, to interact with the community who are having these conversations on this journey each and every day. 


Cynthia Thurlow: [01:00:03] Amazing. Thank you. 


[01:00:05] If you love this podcast episode, please leave a rating and review, subscribe and tell a friend.