In this podcast Dr. Margaret Paul talks about both physical and emotional vitality and how connected they are.
Hi everyone. This is Dr. Margaret Paul with the Inner Bonding Podcast. And today I want to talk about both physical and emotional vitality and how connected they are.
Again, Dr. Erika Chopich, the co-creator of Inner Bonding, and I had a conversation about this topic. For those of you new to Inner Bonding, Erika and I have been best friends for 38 years, and now in our elder years we share a Colorado home and ranch as Golden Girls.
To give you some background, Erika came from a very abusive childhood, and like so many people with abusive background, her immune system was compromised, and she suffered with autoimmune disease for many years, which is now in remission. But both of us got COVID before anyone knew about COVID, and Erika has been struggling with long COVID. Yet , with all this, she maintains incredible vitality and lightness of being. I’m often in awe of how she does this, so of course, given that this is today’s topic, I wanted to talk with her about it. I want her to join me in doing these podcasts and maybe she will, but until she does, I will speak for her. I asked Erika her thoughts about healthy vitality, and this what she said.
“I think when people think of their own vitality, they don’t always trust it – like they’re being tricked into believing things are that good and they feel some lightness of being, but it won’t last. They worry that the other shoe is about to drop, or something will go wrong, so they don’t fully embrace it because of this lack trust. They think, ‘Things are fine now but it won’t last, and bad things will happen.’ But it’s not true that just because life can be challenging, you can’t maintain your lightness of being and your vitality all the way through the challenges. But we’re not taught to see it that way. We’re taught that the external controls the internal, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve had such challenges recently and I try to maintain my vitality and keep my physical health, first with a solid healthy diet and everything I can do to support my physical health, and then when I open to my lightness of being and my spiritual connection, everything follows and I’m able to maintain a higher level of vitality than I should be able to at my age and with the challenges I have.”
“But,” I asked her, “how do you do that? How do you maintain the emotional vitality through physical challenges and emotional challenges?” I’ve always been in awe of Erika’s ability to maintain her sense of vitality.
“The first thing I do is notice the beauty around me and the beauty of other people and the beauty of the animals and where we live. I just notice the beauty and just noticing something that catches your eye like that or maybe a beautiful sky like we had the other morning opens the heart. It just opens the heart and with an open heart that sort of morphs into my sense of humor and my lightness of being, and as long as I embrace that and hang on to that, there’s little that can disturb it. The only way it goes downhill is if I disconnect spiritually. If I disconnect spiritually everything falls apart and everything starts looking dark and ugly and alone, so it’s clearly that you’re the pilot in command of your own aircraft and you really do get to decide whether you soar or crash just based on your own internal intention in that moment. If things are getting really tough and it’s hurting my body and I’m getting very tired and annoyed because it’s not going right, so now what do I do? Do I crash along with it or do I go, ‘OK that’s sort of stinks, but that’s funny over here,’ and I find the humor in it, the joke in it. I see how wonderful it is that I have those two choices right in front of me and that I can make either choice and make it go up or down – fill it with light or fill it with darkness. I realize there’s choice. I see the wonder in that and how I could easily just get irritated and discouraged and go down, or I can see the power in the fact that it’s entirely up to me and choose the lightness and laugh it off.
“I can do that and so can everyone, but they don’t think to. If the task is too tough and too taxing, let your inner child help with it.”
I asked her, “How do you let your inner child help with it?”
“My inner child knows how to make a task fun how, to make it be a game. My child comes out to help me with a really difficult task I’m struggling with. I just see it through different eyes. I see it through the eyes of youth, the eyes of that childlike quality that says, ‘You know what? There’s something fun here,’ and you go right towards it and everything shifts.
“I could not do any of that if I eat MacDonald’s. I wouldn’t have the energy flow in my body. It would all be blocked. You know if I was eating processed foods or a high sugar diet, or if you’re using things like recreational drugs or alcohol, you’re not going to be able to do that. The flow will be blocked. So the physical vitality has to be there. It’s the foundation for the house and without it everything else just falls. The walls will fall away from the house without a solid foundation. The healthy diet is the foundation of your house the rest that we’re talking about follows.
“One of the skills we both have is being able to pull order from chaos, and part of being able to do this is my lightness of being. If you’re in your lightness of being and you’re connected with your inner child and your spiritual guidance, and you’re confronted with chaos, you’ll see the order and be able to pull it out and extract it, without being overwhelmed by it. Even in my relationships, if I get annoyed or if a relationship starts to become chaotic and disjointed, if I’m in my lightness of being and I’m in the right alignment in my life, I can see the order within that chaos within that mixture of goo and pull the order out of the chaos and make things right again. It’s like saying, ‘wait a minute you’re not really annoying me, I’m just tired, it’s mine. Or the chaos could be you let me down and disappointed me, and then I realize, no, actually I probably did that myself. It’s what I’m assigning to it and the order starts to come into clarity and now I can address whatever the issue is. It’s like if there’s a huge storm brewing over the mountains, I can either see the dark clouds and panic or I can see the wonderful animals or other interesting shapes in the clouds as they emerge where I am, and where my intention is allows me to see the beauty in the clouds, not the storm.
“This morning in the barn when Leia was terrified by herd of elk, she turned the whole barn into chaos. The other horses were spooked. we couldn’t even groom her, and it was just pandemonium, and what I did was stop a minute and think, ‘wait a minute, this isn’t normal for my horse.’ So what is her issue and I realized as I connected to her heart that she was so terrified that she couldn’t even control the adrenaline in her body. She wasn’t trying to act out. She was just terrified even though she was being very very careful not to step on me or get too close to me. You could see in her eyes that she was just terrified. So I thought what does she need? My soothing her won’t work when she’s running that high in adrenaline. So I took her outside and I took her halter off and she immediately ran and ran and ran and ran till she ran all that adrenaline down and then she came up to me with her head down, and she sort of said thanks mom and I slipped her halter back on I put her through a few paces to see if she was centered. I had her walk, stop, and back with me to see if she was centered again and she was. Then it was safe to walk her back in the barn, but it was my lightness of being that enabled me to pull the order out of that chaos and to see what she really needed at that moment – to see what was causing so much pandemonium – that allowed us to get through that whole event safely for people and horses.”
“And it was also your being able to be present enough with your connection to your feelings and your guidance to be able to tune into her,” I said. I had been in the barn in the morning and saw exactly what happened. I was amazed at Erika’s skill in tuning into Leia and knowing exactly what she was feeling and what she needed.”
Yes,” she said. “I couldn’t have known what to do without my connection with my feelings and my guidance. I didn’t go to fear. I think a lot of horse owners would have panicked at that moment and or tried to control the horse, snapped the line and discipline the horse, but no, this horse was terrified and had more energy in her body than she could possibly manage, and what she was saying to me was, ‘I gotta move my feet I gotta move my feet I gotta move my feet,’ and so I listened.”
“Because I was connected with myself, I could connect with her. I was able to hear my guidance in my ear saying, ‘she’s terrified, and I looked in her eyes and I could see it in her eyes, so I realized she’s telling me right in front of me what I need by moving left and moving right and moving left and moving right. She was saying to me ‘I need to move my feet real bad. I can’t stand here and be groomed,’ so I listened.
“When I had the structural failure in the glider when I was still a student pilot – when the spoiler wouldn’t deploy and I couldn’t control the rate of descent, I couldn’t control my approach on final – it’s the same process. I stayed connected to my guidance, I dealt with each emergency, I separated the emergencies and dealt with them one at a time by staying connected and then I landed safely on the ground without a scratch on the plane or me. It’s the same intention, the same flow, but think about that when I was in the aircraft and it wasn’t functioning, if I had had McDonald’s for breakfast that morning, I would have crashed because I would not have been able to maintain the connection and the flow. If I had panicked or disconnected within myself and with my guidance, I would have crashed the plane.
“And my teacher on the ground got panicked and told me the wrong instructions, but I stayed true to me and what I needed to do. It was really good landing even though I was just newly soloed and was still a student but staying connected is everything. Staying connected to your emotional vitality and your spiritual connection will lead you through those things. When I was a young paramedic and I would come upon a violent accident, I did the same thing. I stayed connected and assessed the triage – who needs treatment first, how do I extricate this person, what is their first and primary need? I can’t do that if I’m disconnecting from me and my own vitality. I need to be in my own flow, my own center. I can’t function if I can’t hear my guidance or theirs and if I’m in a panic when I walk up to that situation. It’s staying as grounded as you possibly can be, which you can only do if your diet is right and your spiritual connection is right, and you’re functioning from your loving adult and not any wounded part of you.”
“And” I said, “the amazing thing about the situation with the glider is that you did not give your authority away to your flight instructor.”
“No,” she said. “I knew he radioed up the wrong instructions, so I decided to not listen to a word he told me. I just completely ignored the radio and did what I knew to do. I listened to my own inner knowing and my own higher guidance.”
“Part of supporting your vitality and being about to see order out of chaos is exercising your brain. A neurologist said to me, ‘You’ve got to exercise the brain like a muscle. You need to start playing computer games, problem solving and word games to keep the neurotransmitters vital. The brain has neuroplasticity, and you’d need to keep rewiring more cells to keep the brain youthful and vital, and to stave off aging and injury.’ So that was when I got the idea of playing word games in the evening. I said to you, ‘Why don’t we play them and then your response was, ‘I’ve never been able to play word games. I’m really bad with word games but I will try.’ At the beginning, we started with three and four and five letter games, and you couldn’t see the four and five letter words, but I could. But you could see three letter words so you went right for the three letter words and started putting them up, and then I was coaching you a little bit on the four and five letter words – how to put the diphthongs together, and how to look for TH or ING or SP or St. As your eyes started to get trained to do that, you started to see four letter words and then five letter words and now you see a seven-letter word in a millisecond, as fast as I do. Your brain immediately pulls the word out of the chaos.”
“Right,” I said, “and I’m still amazed that I can do this – that my older brain can still learn so much!”
Erika went on to talk about something she learned about on the Internet, called ‘pareidolia.’ Wikipedia defines pareidolia as “…the tendency for perception to impose a meaningful interpretation on a nebulous stimulus, usually visual, so that one sees an object, pattern, or meaning where there is none.”
“It’s like when people are seeing faces or animals in clouds,” Erika said, “they are pulling order out of chaos. Some people do it visually and then there’s also auditory pareidolia, where I hear chaos in a fan running, but my brain morphs it into chatter or background noise, party noise, dinner noise. I often hear people singing or chorus singing. My brain will pull order out of that chaos automatically. It’s the same thing in a relationship when you’re having difficulty and you’re trying so hard to pull order out of total chaos in the relationship. This is actually where Inner Bonding comes in, because recognizing that there’s only two intentions helps you learn to pull order out of the chaos. Then you start to really see and understand what’s happening. They couldn’t make heads or tails of it before and now they can understand it on the level of intention.”
“Right,” I said, “you can see that the chaos is coming from the intent to control – that both of you are in your wounded self and trying to control rather than learn.”
“Right,” Erika said, “and that’s the upper left-brain part of understanding what’s happening in the relationship. The left side of the upper brain recognizes chaos, the right opens to creativity and guidance, and eventually then you pull the order out of the chaos. It’s the functioning of both sides of the brain, the wholeness, the balance in the brain like the balance in Inner Bonding which help makes sense of things.”
“I want to go back to our word games,” I said. “Now, when we’re playing, more often than not, I hear a word before I even know if the letters for the words are there. Or I hear a word being spelled out. My guidance is giving me the words! My guidance is playing the word game with me! So playing the word games is not only developing new neural pathways in my brain, but it’s also developing my higher spiritual connection. We’ve both had the experience of both hearing the word or seeing the word. Sometimes it’s one sometimes it’s the other. Lots of times you’ll say to me, ‘Did you hear it or did you see it?’ And often I’m not sure because I might be hearing it and seeing it at the same time. And the other thing that’s happened is sometimes you’ll see the word and you’ll start to spell it out in your mind, and I actually hear you spelling it out. I think people do understand that there is a level of telepathy that when people are open to their intuition and open to learning, a level of telepathy is possible. And it’s also about connection. We’re connected because we’re playing together and it’s very exciting that we notice we are hearing each other’s words.”
I want to talk a bit more about how important the physical vitality is for the emotional vitality, and how loving yourself in all areas of your life is so important for emotional vitality.
Loving yourself means many different things, and it’s especially important with all of our current challenges to learn to love yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, organizationally, and relationally. Actually, all these different ways of caring for yourself interact to create overall health and vitality:
- When you take care of finances as best as you can, you lower your stress, which contributes to emotional health.
- When you are organized regarding time and space – being on time to things and keeping your space clutter-free, you also lower your stress, which again contributes to emotional health.
- When you take the time to meditate, pray, and open to the love, compassion, and wisdom that are always here for all of us, you contribute to your emotional and physical health.
- When you focus on sharing your love and kindness, rather than trying to have control over getting love and approval, you contribute to your emotional, physical, and relationship health.
- When, instead of abandoning your feelings with various addictions – such as substance addictions or addictive activities, or judging your feelings, or making others responsible for your happiness and safety – you attend to your feelings with compassion and a desire to learn what they are telling you, you contribute to all levels of vitality.
- When you care about your physical health, eating clean healthy organic food, getting enough exercise and sleep, and eating gut-healthy probiotic fermented foods and prebiotic foods – fruits and veggies – you also contribute to both physical and emotional vitality. An imbalanced gut, filled with toxic, opportunistic bacteria, has a dramatic effect on both physical and emotional vitality. The toxins from the bad bacteria not only create holes in the intestine and allow the toxins into the organs, but the toxins travel up the vagus nerve into the brain, often creating anxiety, depression, and numerous brain disorders.
Obviously, what you put into your body can have a major effect on both your physical and your emotional vitality and overall health.
I’ve spent many years studying health and nutrition, as well as experimenting with myself.
At my older age, I’m very healthy with a high level of energy. Even though I’m extremely busy with my work, I always take the time to prepare my healthy food and it makes me feel very loved inside.
In order to have time to make the delicious food that I enjoy – everything I eat I make from scratch, and much of it I buy at local farms – I have to be very organized, so you can see that all these levels of self-love intersect.
An important question to ask yourself is, is it important to you to have vitality and health? What might be more important to you?
Most people will say that they really want to be healthy and vital, but what are you willing to DO to be vital and healthy? And what are you willing to NOT DO? In other words, what is more important to you?
- Is it more important to eat fast food, or packaged, frozen and processed food, than take the time to cook healthy meals with fresh, organic healthy ingredients?
- Is it more important to spend money on clothes and toys and other “stuff,” than on fresh, organic healthy food?
- Is it more important to go along with what others say about what creates health and vitality, rather than take the time to do your own learning?
- Is it more important to sleep in, watch TV, play video games, gamble, work, stay on the phone, constantly text, or do other addictive activities, rather than get exercise?
- Is it more important to take drugs for anxiety, depression or insomnia, rather than learn how to take responsibility for your feelings?
- Is it more important to turn to substance addictions, rather than take responsibility for your feelings? To continue to act out addictively with alcohol, cigarettes, sugar, caffeine or drugs, rather than learn to take loving care of yourself?
- Is it more important to neglect your spiritual practice, rather than take the time to create inner peace?
- Is it more important to be “one of the gang,” eating like everyone else is eating, drinking like everyone else, or taking drugs like everyone else, rather than support your own health and vitality?
How are you rationalizing your unhealthy choices?
- I don’t have the time
- I don’t believe that food has much to do with health.
- So and so smoked his whole life and never got lung cancer.
- Why bother? My genes are against me.
- I’ll get around to it when I have some time.
- Food is the only reward I have. I’m not giving up sweets and other so called “junk food”.
- I’m still young. I don’t have to worry about it for years.
- I have too much pain in my life, and I won’t be able to handle it if I get off drugs or give up my addictions.
- What’s the point in living if I can’t do what I want?
- I won’t have any friends if I don’t do what they do.
A question you might want to ask yourself is: “How do I want to live my later years? Do I want to be vital, clear-headed and energetic as long as I live, or do I want to suffer with cancer, heart disease, arthritis and other degenerative diseases?”
While there are many factors that influence our health, such as genetics, the environment, accidents, trauma from childhood, and currently long COVID, we each have much power to create health and vitality – when it is important to us.
If health is very important to you, then I encourage you to start to take responsibility for yourself in three major areas:
- Food – if people didn’t eat it 500 years ago, then don’t eat it now
- Exercise – find exercise you love and do it consistently
- State of mind – practice Inner Bonding
All three are equally important and affect each other. If you are judging yourself and ignoring your own feelings – rather than practicing Inner Bonding and taking responsibility for your feelings – then your self-abandonment will be creating stress in your body. When we go into stress, the body goes into fight or flight, which means that the blood leaves the brain and organs and goes into the arms and legs for fighting or fleeing. When this happens often, the immune system is compromised, leaving you open for illness. In addition, the stress may lead you to act out addictively in an effort to relieve it, further fostering poor health and low vitality. Exercise not only helps your state of mind, it helps your body function well. Poor food affects your state of mind and your energy, making it more difficult to exercise and create inner peace.
Today, ask yourself, “How important is my health and vitality to me?” Then be honest with yourself. If you are not willing to take loving care of yourself in all three areas, then you need to accept that your health and vitality is not that important to you.
And, without the intent to love yourself physically and emotionally, you might not be able to connect with your higher guidance. Maybe that’s the thing that will most motivate you to learn to take loving care of yourself!
I hope you join me in my 30-Day at-home Course: “Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships”
My recent books will also be a big help to you:
The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting With Your Divine Guidance
Diet for Divine Connection: Beyond Junk Foods and Junk Thoughts to At-Will Spiritual Connection
6 Steps to Total Self-Healing: The Inner Bonding Process.
And, of course, we have much to offer you at our website at https:www.innerbonding.com.
I’m sending you my love and my blessings.