EFTROU Season 1 Episode 10 is 1 hour, 49 minutes, and 48 seconds long. (1:49:48)
[0:00 Music Plays]
[0:13 Intro plus EFTROU Podcast Disclaimer]
Chavonne (C): Hello there! I’m Chavonne McClay (she/her).
Jenn (J): And I’m Jenn Jackson (she/her).
C: And this is Embodiment for the Rest of Us. A podcast series exploring topics within intersections that exist in fat liberation!
J: In this show, we interview professionals and those with lived experience alike to learn how they are affecting radical change and how we can all make this world a safer place for those living in larger bodies and in marginalized spaces.
C: Captions and content warnings are provided in the show notes for each episode, including specific time stamps, so that you can skip triggering content any time that feels supportive to you! This podcast is a representation of our co-host and guest experiences and may not be reflective of yours. These conversations are not medical advice and are not a substitute for mental health or nutrition support.
J: In addition, the conversations held here are not exhaustive in scope or breadth. These topics, these perspectives are not complete and are always in process. These are just the highlights! Just like posts on social media or any other podcast, this is just a glimpse. We are always interested in any feedback on this process if something needs to be addressed. You can email us at email@example.com And now for today’s episode.
C: Hello and welcome to the final episode of season one of the Embodiment For The Rest of Us podcast. Yay!
J: Woo! [claps] We did! The theme of this first season has been embodiment journeys. It was such a humbling honor to hold space with each other and our incredible guests in witnessing everything that was explored.
C: We are going to answer the remaining questions that we asked our guests for ourselves and share that with you.
J: Ooh, I’m excited, nervous.
C: Me, too. [laughs]
J: I would love for us to explore our daily embodiment practices. That was a really beautiful part of these inquiries. What resonates with you, Chavonne, as a daily devotion to be in harmony with your embodiment. Just pulling from a few guests there, some words that we love. How might it be modified or highlighted to be acceptable to as many people as possible as well.
C: I love this question, so what’s coming to mind and I really learned throughout this process that I love the word devotion more than kind of a ritual. And when I was trying to have embodiment as a ritual, it felt like something else to take off my To Do List, led to a lot of pressure to get it done, led to a lot of…yeah, but if it didn’t get done, so that’s what’s sitting for me, but most prevalent right now. A daily devotion feels very harmonious, and I think it can be modified or highlighted to be as accessible for as many people as possible in that making it a devotion rather than a daily To Do List makes it less pressured and less ritualized. Less routine, so that you can define what will help you feel embodied on a regular basis. How about you, Jen?
J: Ooh, I also love this question and just hearing you say the words that our guest said to us. I was also thinking about awakeness, umm, presence without pressure felt like the summary of what you said. You would give me a little bit of chills. And that, that felt just sitting there. I was and that was making me think like when do I feel awake? When do I feel present without pressure? Uhm, for me that’s sure, anything with nature. Uhm, and to be like to use these words also to be in harmony, nature with nature or to be devoted to nature just to be in it, even if it’s for just a few minutes.
In the process of recording this podcast in 2021, I have realized like first of all, as a dietitian, I was doing an entire hour with my clients. Uhm, and I’m like, oh, you know, therapists have like the standard 50 minutes. But then I realized just very shortly before recording now that, like, I’m the only one of them that does that. And no wonder I can’t find time for a daily embodiment practice where it does not bar devotion. I actually really like the word practice, it reminds me to keep going and that it’s just a journey.
And it doesn’t stop so I, I still, I sit with these new words and I still sit with that because for me it reminds me that I want to go practice something.
J: It’s like learning an instrument feels like practice, like, but this time the instrument is my body and, and being embodied in it right, just being with the instrument, even if I’m like it’s kind of out of tune or like, however, it feels for me. So this space, which I’ve just started creating with my clients, which is wonderful for my clients. Also, I think I think we’re really enjoying this like just knowing this space is there. I find it easier to be more engaged with my body in nature to be awake in the process of things.
Uhm, because 10 minutes here or there can really add up. 1st, and because I have never in my life, I’m 39. I have never given myself that kind of space. 10 minutes of space. And the, the kind of way it’s been framed with our guests, and even you and I in conversation with each other, Chavonne. But it’s like, it’s OK to have space in between things. It doesn’t have to be a big to do so or something, umm, like how it might be modified or accessible for as many people as possible is that it tends to be something that gets co-opted. Like people talk about self care, but they mean self control when it comes to embodiment or body image or body imaging. And I tend to go into that control category. The obligation category that you were talking about earlier, and so no wonder it’s so hard to be embodied. It’s a lot like meditation.
I find it challenging if I’m trying to force myself into a box. I’d rather be walking and meditating. Something you talked about really early on in this season. I resonate with that. So I’m listening to it again. I need to be moved, I need to be moving, to be moved in those ways.
C: Ooh I love that.
J: Like to move my…to move myself, I need to be, I need to be moving and I, I, I thought that for a long time but didn’t really connect that to myself. I just thought about that about other people. So I was, I’m feeling like I’m internalizing things on purpose. And I feel like I’ve been unlearning a bit about that, so it feels like part of my embodiment practice is noticing which things I’m, I am noticing and practicing and engaging in that aren’t really about me or for me. I just think that I should and what would I like to replace it with, I think we can all do that. I think we can do that wherever we are, is this actually for me?
If I designed being embodied, would I be doing any of the things I’m trying to do right now, like what actually shows up for people? There’s no, like, rubric, or what’s another word? That rubric is such, like a teacher word, that’s stuck in my brain from teaching, but like there is no exact protocol for how to do it, it’s up to each of us. Structure is, it feels important to me and also letting it be as flexible and as aligned with my own rhythm as possible might be things that we could all think about. I’m just sort of still noodling that and thinking about it. Uhm, but whatever actually resonates, whatever actually inspires us to do it, even if it’s in the middle of something noticing. Like am I embodied or not and asking ourselves a question. Uhm, something that we really got in, in more than one of these interviews is how people are asking themselves what, how an emotion or a sensation feels like in their body. And sometimes embodiment is just being present and awake to how something shows up without doing anything about it whatsoever, which I think takes away the obligation like not fixing ourselves because we notice something doesn’t feel right, but just noticing. I’m saying that like I have that handled and I absolutely do not [laughs] but I do…I feel, I feel like there’s something there’s something in that I really want to explore, so that’s what is sitting for me. I love that, thanks for asking.
C: Yeah, of course. Do you have a daily or almost daily embodiment practice? What do you think or things that you like to do on a regular basis? Yes I do and this is something that I think is part of eating disorder recovery for me that is rather new to me. I have an incredible trauma informed therapist who really surprises me with what they can get me to think about, but, I’m, like, that’s not accessible for me. It surprises me. They’re like, just try it, like it’s OK if it’s a no, but like just try it. And one of them that they suggested is to sit with myself when I wake up in the morning where I actually used to feel a lot of anxiety. I mean I still do, honestly, but like don’t try to fix it, just sit with it and ask myself what I would like to do next and it turns out something I didn’t realize was a reason for a lot of early morning anxieties. I wake up super hungry, so I have this new daily practice, uhm, I mean it’s weird to say as a dietitian after all this time of being a dietitian, but I never asked myself what I wanted to eat in the morning. But so, for example, this morning this is one of my newer habits is, I’m like, what I want to eat? The answer right now seems to be exclusively quesadillas.
J: [laughs] Like that’s the only answer, but then I’m like OK. So I started having more quesadilla fixings around, and then I’m asking myself like what do I wanna add to it and like what feels good and like today I had a quesadilla with some garlic, roasted garlic cloves that I already had squished inside there. Oh my God, yes for breakfast. I like, I’m still good, weird in a wonderful way. I know they’re pretty unique to me, but I like to eat any kind of food that’s for any time of day. Traditionally at breakfast and I have my salad kit, yeah.
C: It’s so good.
J: And I had a salad kit. I was just like I want a quesadilla and I want a salad. I actually walked towards my office and my partner was like what’s going on? I woke up really hungry and this is exactly what I want. So to be able to, and I feel like I can apply that to many things. It’s just kind of where I’m starting with. It’s not like a really big ask of myself, but I’m really glad that I’m doing it. So, and also right now sitting with not feeling fixed about what I might ask myself in the morning. But it feels important to ask a connecting question ’cause I just like questions, that’s kind of where I’m sitting with that. How about you?
C: I love that. So, let’s see. Not daily, almost daily. I was thinking about this because, you know, I carry a paper planner around. I’m pulling it out right now and I wrote down what I would like to do daily. Let’s see if I actually do these. So I wrote down meditate, drink a gallon of water, practice movement, have good dental hygiene. So brush teeth twice a day and floss once a day. And read tarot cards and journal daily. Do I do those every day? No. [laughs]
J: [laughs] How have we not talked about reading tarot cards? So right now in this episode, I’m telling you that we need to talk about that outside this episode. We do this all the time!
C: Oh my God. We do this all the time. We’ve known each other for like 4 minutes, but I feel like I’ve known you for like 40 years and then you [unintelligible].
J: I feel that way, too!
C: So yeah, I, I got these cards a while ago and this year just started doing that as part of my embodiment practice and it’s been really great. It feels really great to kind of center myself and ask, you know, my ancestors, my spirit guides, guardians, what do I need to learn today? So I’m very new at it, but that’s been really fun for me. Also not a daily practice. What else am I doing? I am honing in on movements. I, I was really active, umm, for a while and then slowed down, which I’ll talk about in terms of the pandemic later, but…So lately I’ve been moving as much as feels comfortable for me instead of pushing myself to move. Umm, my therapist has really encouraged me to meditate more so I’ve been doing that a lot more and I meditate with my kids now, which is hilarious and terrible. [laughs]
C: So they are, again, uh, 17 months and whatever almost three is, so he’s 31 months and…and so we have our timer that goes off after a minute. And it’s like this, the kids, now the boys think now that when the bell goes off, it means, like,let’s do all the things to make our parents start laughing! So we’re gonna start climbing and we’re screaming and we’re throwing, but my husband and I at least sit in silence for a minute while they’re just like wreaking havoc. Our eyes are closed, but at least we’re trying to teach that. It’s, it’s really fun. It is not, it is not calming for anybody, but it’s still really fun. I also have been meditating on a daily basis, almost daily, which has been huge for me so those are the things I try to do the most daily. I feel like for me, pulling those like this list of things I wanted to check up on a daily basis.
I don’t do that as much anymore because it was too much pressure and too much stress. But on a daily basis I will sit in silence and try to hear something I need to know for the day, yeah. And moving has been really fun, too.
J: Ooh, I loved all of that so much and I, I had a thought and then I’m trying to see if I can pull it back from, you know my brain will fast forward and I have to rewind it. [laughs]
C: [laughs] Same.
J: Oh and in meditating with your kids, which actually sounds really incredible that whatever shows up in that space is what shows up. If it’s like trying to make you laugh, like, I’d like to meditate while trying to laugh. My oldest nibling, who’s like 4 1/2 years old, she loves yoga. My sister loves yoga so she’s loved yoga for a long time. Like even we just talked on the phone or on FaceTime the other day and she said, oh Auntie Jenn tree pose, you take one leg and you stick it up against the other leg, and then you’re a tree! And she was just so excited. Uhm, the power of little ones, little humans to break something up into its simplest parts and like just notice those things so I, I can’t see her, like, meditating. I just thought that was very, very cool. They help us notice little things, including, like, the way we normally say words in the sentence and how maybe when we’re learning to put sentences together, we might put them in any order we want. And like just noticing these different things feels really powerful. So I got a lot of that, how meditation can be not traditional. Yeah and what I mean by that is that there is no one right way to do it. I don’t care. Who says that there is? I don’t care if the originator of meditation itself says it would not be right. There is no one right way. There isn’t, and it feels really expensive to sit in that space and I feel really embodied sitting in that space, so I was loving it.
C: Yay! I love it. I love it. Let’s talk about the pandemic. Thinking about the realities of the current moment in history and as a human being, how has being in this pandemic affected your embodiment practices? Alternatively, when are you feeling most embodied?
J: I love this question. I’m gonna say that every time just like you were probably going to say this every time I love that question. I love these questions.
C: Well, you wrote them. You should like them.
J: I write a little script to help us keep track of all going all over the place. So yes. I love this question that I wrote earlier.
J: I love this question I wrote earlier today. I love that there’s some I actually feel more embodied in the pandemic than I did before.
J: Or, UM, considering as really early on in the pandemic, a lot of my friends who are dietitians got COVID and were in the hospital. And it happened all at once. Like everyone I know all over the country, it felt like, like it was just like they were very vulnerable and uhm, I had like it would be what would be the third month of the pandemic or so was really hard to like notice anything inside or around my body?
No interoception, no proprioception. I always say that word wrong. Proprioception, like noticing how it feels to be a body in the world. I really didn’t have access to that because I was busy worrying about how everyone was doing and there was a lot of silence at that time. I couldn’t really find out what was happening with anyone and so uh, days, weeks, sometimes more than a month and, and it was just a hard set of sensations to sit in and they were often ones that I ignored. I’m like, oh, just shut that down no no, no, thank you, anger or no, thank you really strong feelings of mortality like No no thank you to all these things and like because you guys can’t because all of you listening can’t see us. I want you to know that I’m, like, showing myself like shoving them back down into myself and, and it was really just really hard. And, and it took a long time for me to come out of that, and I didn’t want to live the pandemic that way. It kind of, like, brought about some really clarifying moment, uhm, to not have any kind of embodiment for a little bit of time. It made me realize how I already have a lot of it ’cause it was just like God, who am I? How could I do that while supporting other people, which is my job in health and nutrition and just like holding space with each other with things that are really tough. Uhm, it’s what led to my ADHD diagnosis. Also my diabetes diagnosis ’cause I was sitting in my body going, something isn’t right here. What’s going on? I feel really anxious all the time actually, not just that one month, umm, and sitting in a place of umm, I don’t want to continue in this way. It feels like things are much more important than keeping myself busy all the time. I’d like more space in my life. These kinds of thought processes and revelations. My partner is also very much like a way more patient than myself about me. [laughs] Very specifically about me and and and he’s all in a stage of life of wanting to relax more and have more space and so I just leaned into that with him and in that space, I’ve realized like I need to fidget when I’m talking to clients. It’s how I stay present. It’s how I stayed embodied, being active in my body is how I stay most embodied, Umm, smaller movements, right? Messing with something with my hands or tapping. My foot or, or, or doing some other kind of somatic tapping anything like that helps me stay present and engaging with my body as like the way in which I can be embodied. Which sounds like it just, like, that is just the only way to make sense using my body to be embodied feels like what makes sense, but the non dualism of mind and body is something that I didn’t really get for myself. You know, I’m talking about it for a very long time, like, really for myself, until the pandemic. I’m like wait, my mind is my body and my body is my mind, so it’s I have to be connected with my body to have these conversations with my mind about my body like this kind of loop. That’s like always there and, and so it feels, it feels really strange to say in a pandemic and this is a lot because of my privileges that I have and identities that I have up even in their intersections. And even with the things that are difficult that I could find space in a pandemic, feels like a really big compilation of my privileges. So I’m feeling really grateful for that, but also acknowledging that and and in terms of when I feel most embodied. It’s probably going to be nature again, very specifically when the sun is on my skin. Feeling the way that only the sun can warm up our skins, I’ve never really tried a sun lamp ’cause I haven’t had to before. I’ve been around them though actually, but I haven’t used them to, like, lay and warm my skin. [laughs] Uhm, but there’s just something really connecting about that another person who gets hot really easily. I sweat when I’m nervous. Like I don’t generally like to be warm, so I find that, like, there’s something in that for me that it is a warm thing that makes me feel most embodied. That’s kind of where I’m sitting with those, and hopefully I made sense ’cause I really went deep into my body to ask myself my question. I was like, I wonder what I’m sounding like out loud right now.
C: [laughs] You sound great and you practiced embodiment to answer this question about embodiment! I really love that, thank you. I mean, obviously the pandemic’s terrible, clearly, uhm, it gave you a chance to slow down enough to have that conversation between my body to recognize what you needed, what you had. I think that’s, it’s such a gift and you’re right, it is a privilege that you’ve had the opportunity to recognize that for yourself, but I’m also really glad that you have that privilege to do so.
J: Thank you, me too, and that feels important to making it accessible for other people to leverage that kind of privilege. It’s mainly…
C: Absolutely, absolutely.
J: No idea in my head right now, specifically like how I might do that, but just feeling the possibility of that, I think, is well, how about you, Chavonne?
C: No, no. I love this question, but you know I’ve been thinking about it a lot because obviously we are living in the midst of a global pandemic, so you can’t help but think about it on a regular basis. So at least when the pandemic started for me, obviously it was going on earlier, but then I kind of hit home for me because I think we, New MExico, we didn’t know exactly what was going on as fast as other places maybe, because we’re a more rural state, I think, but when it hit for me I was seven months pregnant with my second and so I wasn’t feeling super embodied anyway because I was super uncomfortable and that kid was living on my bladder already. So I just wasn’t wasn’t feeling very within my body, you said the pandemic hit in that way I, I also agree that I’ve never felt so embodied in my work, so embodied until the pandemic, I don’t know if that’s, uh, a life stage thing, a pandemic thing, I’m, I’m not sure. Honestly I’ve been sitting with that, like, if we hadn’t endured a global pandemic, would I still be in the same place that I am now? I don’t know. I don’t think anybody can know that. It’s just an interesting question.
J: Beautiful question.
C: Yeah, yeah, one thing that did happen for me and my family is that we got COVID in August of this year. I’m going to say it, and if you don’t want to listen to our podcast, I don’t care. Please get fucking vaccinated and wear your masks outside, inside…
C: Both! It is infuriating that there are people who still believe that they don’t have to do those things and people are dying. And people like my tiny children can’t get vaccinated and that’s horrible and…but you’re OK with putting them at risk. My family and I got COVID. And, and fortunately, you know we rallied really well from it and by family I mean my husband and my two sons. You know, like my itty bitties, my kids rallied super well and that’s such a gift. My husband and I did, too, because we were vaccinated. I truly think that if we hadn’t been, one of us would have ended up in the hospital and that made me think about, a lot about, uhm, weight stigma and how people are treated in healthcare with medical staff phobia and that we live in fat bodies. And my fear was that one of us would end up there and end up dying ’cause we won’t be taken seriously. So that was played aligned to my embodiment of being a person who talks a lot about this and it coming home to me in a different way. Anyway, so we all got COVID and that has changed my relationship with food. I started this podcast saying that I’m a vegan and I’m definitely not. [laughs] I made a decision to start letting myself and I don’t think it was an orthorexia thing, but I also realized that I was having a harder time with my relationship with food when there were certain things that I wasn’t eating. Umm, so giving myself permission to just eat whatever feels good for me. Sometimes that’s cheese, even though it’s not gonna sit well. It’s, it’s not…I feel like I’m babbling…
J: Not at all.
C: But my relationship with my body really changed in that I have had a pretty successful, I guess, for lack of a better term, experience with COVID. But I still get short of breath, I’m still tired. I, you know, it’s harder to kind of get up and go or to get up and keep going. So that made me have a lot more, have to have a lot more patience with my body, had to have more of a conversation with my body, like, what can you do right now? Which helped me embrace yoga because I feel like yoga is something that helps me listen to my body and only do so much. I’m not going to push too hard and it embraces me where I am and that’s the kind of yoga that I am able to do right now. Also, walking has always been something that I’ve really loved. After hurting myself when I used to run, and that’s been really hard to try to find my way back with. So having more conversation like you said with my body, between body and mind. It’s also changed my friendships and that there, you know it helps you realize who, what, who you want to, what relationships you want to put the effort into. To nurture because we feel like we don’t have the same availability. Anyway, all that to say, when do I feel most embodied? I feel most embodied when I’m talking about, doing, listening to this podcast. Honestly, I feel most embodied when I’m slowing down enough to listen to myself, which the pandemic has definitely taught me to do. I feel a lot more aware of my body because we don’t get to leave the house as often, and when I do I’m very aware of what’s going on within my body with, you know, outside of my body, keeping myself safe. Being outside I love the sun. I ,I mean I love New Mexico. There’s nothing like seeing the sun come up or go down in New Mexico and so being outside and being able to embrace that is really incredible for me to being outside, doing things with my hands, you know you hear a lot of people who started baking. I was one of those people. [laughs] There’s something that feels very good about doing something tangible with the quick, you know a quick outcome, and then it’s something that I can give to people because I bake more than we can eat because I just want to bake every single day. So I’m just handing out loaves of bread and cakes and all kinds of shit. So I feel really embodied when I’m creating, which has been something I’ve never been able to say until this year and enjoying nature. And just being present with my kids. Like you said they’re really grounded, they’re, they’re not, I don’t want to say they’re grounded, they’re grounding. Their needs are so very immediate. I need animal crackers, I pooped. You know? So very immediate. These things are very immediate needs and that helps me stay grounded and feel really embodied and taking care of them and spending time with them and just playing and reading. And yeah, that’s kind of where I am.
J: It felt very connected, the thread that I was hearing in what you were saying, particularly when you said embodiment was– those weren’t your exact words, this is just me trying to say it again and it’s going to be a little different–but embodiment is coming home to yourself. And then you then went and described what coming home to yourself looks like and, like, how you get there, that’s what I was hearing. And you also said slowing down enough to listen to yourself. I would think that that’s pretty universal, that that’s an opportunity of the pandemic. I’m, I’m saying that alongside also realizing that increased anxious feelings and sensations can feel like the only way to cope when we have to be at home and we don’t have access throughout this pandemic is good. To things we normally do, I’m just also sitting with how hard it feels to want to go to the open space next to the mountains in Albuquerque and have to consider what time of day it is so that I’m not around people who aren’t wearing masks so that I can actually enjoy where I am and have it not be another anxious experience so I can have some relief from like navigating. A thing I just saw on TikTok yesterday was, like, when I’m home I, Like, look out into the world like I love people and then I go out in the world and, like, I fucking hate people. [laughs]
J: I like being, it feels good to be really honest about that because that’s, that I feel the difference between those two spaces so much more viscerally. Now I feel it in my body. But the difference of being home and observing and the, and the difference of going out and trying to explore or it does not feel wholly comfortable. When you were also talking about immediate needs when it comes to your children that, being in a space like, that very much feels front and center in a pandemic. Immediate needs as a collective. We’ve had to shift very quickly. We all need to stay home. I, I guess it, it turns into many, uhm, mushy kind of, like, overlapping areas when we all don’t do the same thing for the collective. But just thinking about, uhm, being like a collective, I actually feel really embodied with like minded people.
I feel really you’re talking about friendships earlier, like even on a professional level.
I have found that I’ve really thought out training, like you and I are doing together that actually matches the growth that I would like to have and includes voices where we can grow together and have it be a shared experience. While we’re locking down, if that’s what your country or place is doing while it’s opening up, but we still have to wear masks indoors, where it’s like, everything seems to be getting better. Oh, now there’s a Delta variant. Let’s close down again, are we not going to be able to get what we need grocery wise for a month again, because people are gonna start buying a lot of it because they’re scared understandably so, uhm, yeah. And also in traveling in the pandemic, which I’ve only, I’ve only done in a car, because that’s where I felt that it was OK. Uhm, but still going through different states where things are totally different compared to New Mexico makes me feel super grateful for New Mexico.
C: Yes, yes. Thank you. Michelle Lujan Grishan.
J: Seriously, and it’s also, there’s, like, there’s also a very special community mindedness to New Mexico, even if it feels contentious. But it’s just, I don’t experience anywhere else. I really honed in on that New Mexico. It feels like I feel home. At home, in my body and New Mexico feels like home to me in a different way. So being able to feel at home while at home with this double layer of that, it’s been really important to me. It’s just there’s something about that that’s really lovely even with all the tension that what I just said hold it. Just feels like really lovely. So I got a lot of what you said, like a lot a lot. And I’m curious when you feel most embodied from that of the things that you were describing, what feels like the most embodied.
C: It’s a hard question. I feel really embodied in this conversation, which is really nice. That’s not when I’m most embodied, but I wanted to say that.
J: Me, too. Super tuned in
C: I wanted to say that out loud, I’m super tuned in right now. So I think, yeah, meditating has been really good for me, moving my body in a way that feels joyful and functional. I’m going to give myself a lot of grace, give my body a lot of gratitude for keeping me alive during a fucking pandemic, even if it’s not moving the way I’m used to, it’s moving. Yeah, sunshine, air on my body. Yeah, being away from a screen has been huge for me and getting outside now makes me feel most embodied.
J: Ah, and you’re reminding me of–I take daily walks with my mom. Uhm, not every day ’cause I don’t always wake up wanting to go. [laughs] Uhm she does, I don’t.
J: I mean, uh, text, no, thank you. We started in the open space that I was mentioning earlier, this area that’s just protected space right next to the mountains where it’s like, flatter trails, uhm. But when that felt less comfortable like we would literally go up into the mountains to avoid people sometimes, like I don’t know he’s gonna be running towards cactus, I don’t always want to be doing that. I walked in our neighborhood and my parents live across the street from me, so we walked in our neighborhood. I’m just realizing it’s not just sun, I just I’m so much more embodied when I’m moving, like no matter how slow it is, no matter what we stopped to talk about or look at or whatever, it’s still…it’s still there for me. But we’ve been just getting to know our neighborhood that my parents have owned this house since the very late 70s. And like just exploring it as it is now, we found a fig tree with things that we picked and ate at one point. All this, all the cats in the neighborhood, we’ve named them. Once we’ve learned some of their names from their owners, but like, just like, and we started painting rocks and putting them like at the houses of the people who have the cats, like whatever name we’d come up with for them.
And if someone did that, like, in the pandemic, there was, like, put a teddy bear in your window to let kids know it’s safe when they couldn’t go to school.
C: I love that.
J: At first a bunch of people in my neighborhood did that, and then it was paint rocks and leave them around. It was a way to be connected without ever being in the same air together at the same time. Uhm, and also just, like, oh let’s explore houses that are for sale. Let’s, like, just see how this house is being built. Like watching things come, develop as they’re happening, like less milestones, not more. More noticing, less expecting, like, feels like what walking brings. And so, like, really exploring the neighborhood really gave me an appreciation for how wonderful the neighborhood is, and how much I really, really like it and also as the seasons change, which parts of it I, umm, really, like, feel like I want to be here and those kinds of things, but just kind of an evolution of being in a neighborhood. How it feels both and also which boundaries I’d like. I would like to never go on this street again that has a Trump sign on every house. I would never like to go on this street again, like any kind of, like, that just being present. So thank you for your reflection, because I’m sitting here feeling really embodied and also finding my definition of my own embodiment expanding as I…
C: Yeah yeah, yeah.
J: Was listening to you which is very very cool.
C: [laughs] I loved it. That’s funny, it makes me think of something, like, that a friend of mine ’cause she listens to this. Hi Kimberly. She came over and it’s a quite a few weeks ago, she decluttered my garage ’cause she’s amazing, that’s what she does.
J: Oh, she’s amazing.
C: I mean, it was magical. She’s magical in a lot of ways, but she listens to this podcast and she’s like I have been sitting with, like, can you define embodiment. I I don’t know what you mean and she said because everyone has a different, a different definition of it, and I’ve really been sitting with that since she asked me. I think that I don’t know if I have an answer. I think we can in some ways but I also think that maybe you can and you can define embodiment, but everyone has a different definition. Does that make sense, like you have it, you can define it, but everyone has a different embodiment? I don’t know, just something you just said made me think about. Though, but I love that our definition has expanded and contracted as we’ve been doing this podcast together, I really do. And–and I didn’t realize when we started this that it would be an invitation to not just use my cognitive side of my brain to think about embodiment, which is really the level that I was at, at the beginning, but I can feel my way through this process and see how embodied I am during the conversation itself, which can feel really sticky and on the edges of my comfort at times and sometimes really anxious, which must make other sticky things to do it like it can get really like intense in that. Like yeah but it’s not, but, and it always feels it’s important to be inside of this conversation.
J: I feel like I carry this podcast around with me outside of the time. I mean you and I are always talking. I also just like feel things shift in me that I don’t even have words for yet. I just, like, feel the sensations change or I feel myself relaxed. I feel my instincts becoming a little sharper and not so hijacked by my emotions about my body and responsive to the world around me and its stigmas and biases and harm.
And traumas and all of those things. And it feels like something I was noticing earlier is I’m always like, oh, I was really surprised in this process. Like how much I got out of it. That’s just how I tend to conclude and think about things as I’m like let’s talk about all the things I got. I’m so excited, but I just talk about that aspect, but I’m really finding that I’m discovering in myself that there’s more to explore about, like, what still feels elusive. I have trouble defining that for myself. What feels like a barrier to me which may be hidden, right? Privileges can hide things, identities and things. Oppression and marginalization can hide things for me and, and also like language that I have not yet explored for even myself, or discovered. However, it’s going to come to me, umm, that may give me more access to that is a really interesting place to sit that, it doesn’t feel concluded by any means like I feel like I may never conclude this conversation because it’s so interesting. I don’t want to and that there’s enough to discover about that like within myself is a really cool thing and I want to witness it in other people, whatever they’d like to share with me. The transparency on the, in the gifts that we were given in transparency with our guests this season and with each other makes you want to lean towards transparency. I used to never disclose anything going on with me healthwise to anyone, especially if a client could hear it. It felt, I don’t know why, but it felt like it wasn’t ethically OK, but that’s ’cause I had an idea that I was supposed to have a certain persona that would make them want to come towards me and that I should make sure that I maintain that so it doesn’t seem unsafe over here, but I’ve completely changed how I think about this.
There’s something really safe in disclosure in boundaried disclosure. Perhaps like transparency is not like a violent kind of honesty. It’s really authentic and, and it feels good to sit in an authentic space. Why would I ever want it to end? It just feels even, even when it doesn’t feel “Good”, right? It feels like something worth being present. Yeah, even if it’s hard.
C: Absolutely, absolutely. I was really sitting with that too. I’m feeling really emotional sitting here.
In a good way, like, like, who’s like, uhm, the idea that we may never come to an answer, but I just love this process of seeking this answer or going moving toward and away and toward and away. It’s just, it’s really, a really big gift, yeah.
J: Yes, and it feels really important and we’ve talked about this before. You and I have talked about this before, Chavonne. It’s important that this is a conversation. Yes, there are questions, there’s an inquiry, but what I have really found in this process is that really is just a conversation we’re just in meeting it, giving ourselves some kind of structure. We’re just inviting this conversation and I love talking and listening.
C: Me too, me too.
J: You know, at the beginning it was, like, I like to listen. That might be surprising, but it turns out when you listen to yourself on a podcast, it’s not so surprising ’cause you’re figuring out this yourself listening. And that, and, and like, it’s yeah, it’s just really special. It really is. I wanna hug you.
C: I want to hug you too. Air hug! We’re air hugging on Zoom right now! This is such a gift. I love this whole process so much.
J: So of course, in asking what felt like small questions and like a mini inquiry and how should we start, we asked really big questions. Uhm, and I’m sitting, I’m sitting with some of them together right now so I’m gonna try to like say them at once and we’ll see how this feels. They feel super connected to me, these, these different things. Uhm, one of them, Chavonne, is how do you support someone’s goal of managing their health without veering into healthism? Uhm, which if I was to maybe elucidate that, go into the details of that a little further, how do you navigate the biases and stigmas inherent in your education and continuing education and supervised practice in all those places as well as the power dynamics of letters, right? The letters after someone’s name when they get credentialed, also known as credentialism. And what are ways in which conversations about embodiment missed the mark by letting systems those in power and those with these letters we just talked about off the hook. First of all, how does it feel to ask them together?
C: Holy shit, it feels great and it also feels like, uh, where do I start? That’s, that’s massive. As for me, well, I’m a social worker by education, I’ve got my masters degree. I did a bunch of supervision and training after that to be a licensed clinical social worker and some other letters behind my name. So I’ll start with the power dynamics. There is definitely a power dynamic when you enter a setting with people who have lived experience or clients who are seeking some support. Even people in your life, right? Who you’re interacting with but don’t have the same kind of credentials as you, there’s a power dynamic. There’s this, and I’m gonna say hey, if I go to, you know to the doctor or whatever, there’s this expectation that they know more than you or they know what’s right. So, so there’s, there’s a bias in both directions. I think on that, on that front, so navigating the bias, I would say I like to name what’s in a room as much as possible. I have this degree. I have this education but you’re the expert in your life.
I tell my clients this every time I start with someone, you are the expert, I am here to be your advocate to, kind of walk this journey with you and to be your biggest hype girl but also you know hold you loving accountable. So I think that’s a big one, but I also think conversations about embodiment missed the mark by letting systems, those in power, those with credentials off the hook because there is this inherent belief that we know all the answers and we don’t. Those you know, systems are created because we’re a, a species that categorizes, it’s just what we do by nature. Uhm, so we can create these systems, to navigate the world that are inherently oppressive that are inherently divisive and it’s hard to have conversations about embodiment if, you know, it’s kind of set in stone for the most part on how people are supposed to interact with the world. How people are supposed to exist in this world. That lets us off the hook because…Jenn’s snapping on video! [laughs]
C: That lets those of us, not just me, other people off the hook because that’s the way it’s always been, right? So we don’t need to fix anything, we don’t need to learn anything. If you are trying to learn, you’re radical or you’re rocking the boat and there’s, it’s this idea in biology, homeostasis, that…and I tell my clients this all the time… when you’re changing the people around you will try to push you to change back the other way. If they’re not willing to change with you, so there’s that resistance, you know? They’re continuously pushing you back into this, into this box, in my opinion. How do I support someone’s goal of managing their health without veering into healthism? Oh, I love this question. I hate this question because I have no idea what my answer is, ’cause it’s like how much time we got?
C and J: [laugh]
C: But I support someone’s goal of managing their health. I think the first question is, what does health mean to you, right? Is that something…where did you get these ideas from? Who, who helped you–what helped you learn what health looks like and what does it look like if you don’t meet that goal? Umm, if health you know, because health is used in ways that isn’t always true, you know, like health…So, “I just want to be healthy” is just another term for “I just want to lose weight”, right? But like is real health your goal? And if you can’t meet that, what does it mean for you? Does that lower your value as a person? No. Well, so like, let’s see what your version of health can look like without health being the most important thing in your, in your development, I guess or in your, in your life. I like him. I feel like that’s my answer for now. But I really want to hear what you say.
J: Oh my gosh, that was so good. I was, like, furiously taking notes. Why is that a phrase? I was very quickly taking, yeah, and and really relating to–
C: Just angry. [laughs]
J: [laughs] To what you were saying, I find that these questions, even in asking other people, feel really, really, sticky, edgy, spiky to my mind because I’m very keenly aware that I have not fully unlearned the parts of these questions that I’ve combined here. That unknowing to me right where I haven’t yet noticed that I’m causing harm. As I was listening to what I was sitting with is the phrase do no harm.
C: Yeah, yeah.
J: You cannot not do harm, you’re a human being. We do harm. We harm each other. We don’t notice things. We have really quick-working brains and mouths and we like it. We’re taught to be in action and not be, and like everything is really fast and speed up. Of course we’re gonna make mistakes. Of course, we’re gonna do harm. The really important thing to me, which I’ve already been kind of honing in on but is really sitting with me in this particular conversation is the restorative nature of repairing with each other, uhm. There’s something, uhm, it is. So as a dietician and I was thinking also as a social worker there is something in our education and also what becomes expectations of us as providers in these realms is that we should become an every person for someone. Like, because I know about nutrition in the body that I can help with anything that might possibly come up in every intersection, right? So it’s, like, both, like, I want to make sure that I humbly get that I don’t know everything like for myself, and also that my clients get or anyone who might listen to this podcast. Anyone might get that. They also don’t have to be an every person. People who come to see me don’t have to become a dietitian by the time that we’re done working together. Whenever that is, in fact that, so I’m totally unrealistic and really not possible. They don’t have to become a social worker when they come to meet with you, and I think it’s important that that’s not true because I have so much fun learning. Even in my current, I’m learning so much to unlearn, I probably don’t even fathom what I’m going to end up on learning. But it would be really harmful to expect them to be every person and for me to be every person that’s like, but let’s get that kind of magical thinking. That’s the kind of, like, magical pill even our magical person or whatever. That is where it’s like the fantasy of uhm, I would like this to be the answer. The one answer is really similar to what you were saying about being the expert of something like, I am not an expert in another person’s life. It’s also like thinking about language. There’s a term that’s used in dietetics, that’s cultural competence. Which sometimes gets changed to cultural humility, but it’s still primarily cultural competence. Even if, like, some of the ethics language is changing, it’s still how people talk about, uhm, I have an aging profession and they learned this a long time ago. So they talk about this cultural competence a lot. But you can’t be competent in another person’s culture. You can only, like, unless you become part of that culture and then it would take a really long time. It reminds me of the joke that people who come to New York think they’re New Yorkers. After one year they get, like, really snobby.
They’re like tourists, right? They all get this kind of attitude, but they’ve only, they’ve been there for like no time like we really tend to take on identities. We were talking about categorizing. We tend to, like, take on these identities. When we go to a new place, but they’re not ours, we don’t know very much about that like it’s just surface level stuff that we kind of take on. And so I was also thinking that like for there to be an expert for us to be expected to be that, like the credentials, also very specifically the last part of these questions. Like being let off the hook. Uhm, do no harm. Makes it seem like that we get to be superior to people who hire us, to have the most clients and patients because we’re the experts. So how could we do wrong? I find that there’s a lot of, like, confusion, cloaking of things inside of that language, pretty nefarious. It can be really hard to get through, and so I think, thinking and not the opposite. It’s like anti diet or non diet. My brain doesn’t work with anti diet because I’m not anti dieting. I know that it can work sometimes, but that’s part of the problem. Even the language of diets don’t work, I mean, but sometimes they do, and that’s actually the problem. It’s not that they don’t ever work, no–
C: Correct, correct?
J: –one would do them if they never worked, but like anti diet or non diet which I’m not like a real stickler for this particular like distinction. But what resonates with me is non diet because I just know that I’m not doing that. I’m not against, like, I don’t feel like I’m over here, like, how can I get them, how can I be? Like I’m not in, like, this constant antagonist battle with them, or we’re just, like, against each other? Whoever them is, whoever that is, that kind of space. I don’t think about it over there that often, except when my clients bring it up. And I’m just finding compassion for the space that they’re in. And I, and I would hope that our shared space together can be looking towards non diet even if we have to talk about diets to get there.
C: Yeah, no.
J: And also, there’s not a lot of cross talk, even among dietitians in different areas, like people who work in…this came up in a group that Chavonne and I are in…ike people who get bariatric surgery are not talking to people in the eating disorder area of the field. Like there are two different worlds, but it’s the same. People can be in that conversation and no one’s really talking, so it’s kind of sitting with that.
Umm, another way of thinking about intersections perhaps, or even the phrase like multi disciplinary, but it’s but it’s also like within the same discipline, there’s still a complete lack of conversation because there’s, like, I’m the expert, why do I have to talk to my peers? Why do I have to get supervision? I’m the expert. Right? It’s just a really dangerous way of thinking, I think, yeah. Uhm, in, in thinking about healthism and, and, uhm, someone managing health goals. Though I really sit with one thing really, this, like, always comes up for me is that the word health is treated like a moral judgment at almost every turn, even, like, whatever is internalized in this what we’ve been conditioned with. Who does the conditioning, what they benefit from having conditioned us. It’s all about morals. And I, I’m gonna get the language not right now, but thinking about the way in research that words have been replaced with each other and the final one being health, it started it with racist connotations and I’m trying it’s, like, but now who is healthy? Aligns with who is white, who are the people doing the research and in positions of power, right? They have a lot of financial privilege to be able to do this. And so the word health is like inherent in that or many layers of, like, the word motivation, which is a moral judgment. Lazy, which is a moral judgment, right? They just all kind of lumped together, and so I, I sometimes reframe this as if we were to consider healing over health. What would change about this conversation for you? Umm, what do you want to heal? Is it something in your body? Is it like a big concept, is it, like, confusion, like, what comes up in the word healing for you? Also, non dualism. Our bodies, “ health” is not distinct from our mental health and mental health is left out of my training. For example, I’ve had to learn it all after my formal. Uhm, the overlap between those two things because they’re always connected it just, it feels, like, like embodiment, it feels like a never ending exploration is possible there and people need to be able to have agency and autonomy to have these conversations. And it’s really hard to do it talking to someone with credentials. That’s something I’m aware of constantly and I name constantly. It’s… I know it’s hard to talk to me about this. How does it feel to talk to me about this? Uh, was that unexpected, what I just said, that I didn’t tell you what to do immediately? Like, how does it feel to just hold space together? Something again, not taught as a dietician. Even in motivational interviewing, to leave space for the answer is very different than just holding space, so they’re two totally different. I’m like wagging my finger, getting all passionate here because I’m, I’m just, like,right now…yeah, yeah. I think I’m realizing that there’s a real denial of dietetics. Getting letters, getting credentialed, becoming an expert. All these things in the importance of nervous system regulation and that people are just coping, yeah. And there is no expertise outside of their bodies, that is really, truly needed to be able to notice that distinction, or to normalize coping. Yeah, or to make it really understandable in conversation when someone has a really tough week and they go back to “ behaviors” if we’re talking about eating disorders. For example, it’s just, normal life is hard, it was extra hard this week. It’s not. It’s a pandemic. It’s hard all the time, right, relying on coping mechanisms that get you through till the next day is not something to fault ourselves for. It’s something to hold space for it, it, it has to be able to expand and so just thinking about biases and stigmas, and all of these, right, things, they’re all shortcuts. I have actually never realized this until right now and I will see if I agree with myself at the end.
J and C: [laugh]
J: I think that’s what I’m just, uhm, but it’s a shortcut to get a credential versus just talking to people, it’s a, it’s a short, I know. I’m like, I’m like…should I have been a coach the whole time? I could have just been talking to people this whole time, like it’s giving me like those kind of, like good but bad chills like I feel both. Like doing what is expected of us in, like, a capitalist, colonialist way, like, I am the expert, I have reached the top of my pyramid or my tier. I’m at the highest tier or caste. If we were to look at some other cultures in the world. Actually it always makes yoga come to mind which you brought up earlier in the conversation that it was originally made for the Brahmin caste in India. The highest caste who are naturally slender and you know the original yoga is like bending yourself into these like like I’m gonna make myself into a pretzel. I, I hope I did not sound insensitive. I just mean it’s like, really, I see, uh.
Butoh dancing in East Asia that it’s like being animal, like, instead of people, like, when you’re dancing, it’s just, yeah again…it’s not very personal, like the original way that it was done. And, and you know, I’ve done a lot of unlearning about this, but there are people talking about Yoga Is Dead and also probably how do we decolonize yoga.
C: Yes, I was just going to bring that up.
J: Susanna, oh man, I cannot remember her last name, I’m so sorry I can’t remember your last name, I’ve done such important unlearning, umm, just listening to them about who, who is yoga made for? In the past, like how it started like, how inherently privileged was it? Ummm, and therefore because accommodating people in session comes with recognizing that we’re not the expert in them. We don’t know what they need. They know what they need and it’s hard to be embodied in…
C: Yeah, yeah.
J: The modern world. It’s really hard. So they may not know what they need straight off the bat. Is that how the phrase goes? Anyway, like from the beginning…
C: Right off the bat, yeah. [laughs]
J: OK, thank you. I know I said straight off the bat, I’m good at saying a phrase almost right. [laughs]
So swimming in a, in, in, this kind of…man, I feel like I could go on and on about this forever, but what I’m gonna…I think, uhm, it is a shortcut to say I am the best or I am the expert or I have the moral high ground here or this was made for my body, but accommodation, like, actually getting to know people and giving them what they need as support that they have determined through their agency, autonomy and the space they have been given to have those things and practice them. And be with them is not something you can write in a textbook. But all those things at the end of that inquiry are valid answers.
Normal answers. And credentials get really narrow, narrowly focused, and they get blinders on and it’s, uh, it’s, it’s just like the difference between the phrase food desert and food apartheid. Although I say food apartheid carefully, I do understand apartheid, but I want to be careful in using that ’cause it can feel like trying to combine 2 situations that aren’t felated and what I really mean is the intentionality. The difference in desert and apartheid is the the intentionality, like a desert just exists. There’s just an ecosystem like it’s just there, but apartheid is people in power oppressing and marginalizing other people for their benefit. It feels very related here that people it takes a lot to come out, out of that, and that, includes interrogating in ourselves what we want to let go of. It brings up things like, do I want to be a dietitian in this way forever? What really resonates with me, even, do I want to be an intuitive eating counselor forever? You know what resonates with me? That’s the kind of stuff that comes up. In these, like really honest conversations, and I think I’m just sitting with now. What is actually fast tracking something that needs a lot of time and also that it’s OK to just hold space and that returning to a space that’s held with clients when conversation like a podcast are really important spaces to me.
J: Really circular and, uhm, process driven. Very devotional to everyone. Getting to be a human being.
Something I don’t think is considered enough, and one thing that’s sitting on my mind right now, something that always comes up. I said I was concluding, but I just remembered, umm, is talking about isms and we haven’t named some things here, but always what comes up for me is ableism. Both about things that are seen and also unseen. People don’t have to disclose what’s going on inside of themselves to everyone to be worthy of accommodation. The fast track to something, like, for the people who immediately benefit from the fast track, then white people, white men in power, the kyriarchy, the cis heteronormative patriarchy, all these different things we could say, yeah, categories and labels that feel useful that we’re, I guess, I’ll just say, I really get that we’re listening to the wrong people. Something I’m learning in practice that I did not get in preparing to be in practice is I’m not the one who needs to be listened to, like, I, I’m not. And all the fast tracks were like oh, look at me, look at me. Look how fast I did this, look how quickly I became a billionaire because of my father’s emerald mine. Elon Musk, right? His mom is a dietician, he comes to mind for me a lot, a lot. I think you say her name Maya Musk, but it’s not lost on me that even in the dietetics field, but people got here for a particular reason. I was able to live in my parents house during my internship when I could not work because I had too much to do that I was paying for in like the other direction, but that’s not always accessible. But that’s actually a shortcut because I have the privilege to be at home, some people have to work a really long time for the same thing because they don’t have shortcuts available, but their experience is so valuable and so needed. It’s real. It’s, it’s in reality, whereas shortcuts are not right, they’re rather in a vacuum. Yes, OK, so that’s where I’m sitting with that. I just gave myself like 100 journal topics [laughs] and my own answer. Yeah, I’m showing my journal and it’s, it’s like, half full of notes like I just wrote and I have all these things I want to say, I’m gonna try to narrow it down.
C: Oh my God, that was such a good answer.
J: That was fun. That was really fun to explore, actually. Thank you for holding that space for me. I can feel you, I can see you holding it.
C: As I’m, like, furiously, again or not furiously [laughs] pleasantly writing notes quickly. I don’t know. Yeah, I mean well, to start one thing that I did write down while you were talking about that is, how do you navigate devices and stuff and stabilize? The word that I wrote down, like, three times was non-compliant. So, like, when you write our clinical notes. When, you know, when I was coming up in group homes and whatnot, “client is not compliant as evidenced by” and that is a huge way that our biases and stigmas come up. Our education teaches us that if they’re not willing to do this, then they’re not compliant, but they are wrong in some way. I think that credentials are shortcuts, things like….I’m like shaking in my boots. I’m not very good, but you know, today’s all about metaphors apparently. [laughs] Shaking in my boots thinking about that.
J: I’m shaking in my, in my crop top and headphones. [laughs]
C: Yes! [laughs] Totally just thinking about that like…
J: That’s what we’re both wearing, just so people know. It’s like, it’s like I’m going to be sweaty, be nervous.
C: Yes! Just sweating in my crop top.
C: So I’m thinking about that and I, I’m, I’m sitting with this, like, is this my own fear of not feeling like I can be heard when I’m thinking about letting go with my own credentials or is it me thinking? Like, I don’t have an answer like…so we’re listening to the wrong people. I absolutely agree with that. The idea of not having my credentials, am I afraid of not being heard? Because if I were to give them up or am I, like, thinking well, thinking if some people have credentials who are in the room who actually want to, you know, fuck some shit up. Yeah, I feel really stretched in both ways. Like I’m grateful for people like basically all the people that we interviewed, who have these credentials, so they can get in there and get in the thick of it and have these things to say because they might not get the platforms if they don’t. I don’t know. I’m just, just kind of playing with that in my head. Umm, something that you actually asked in the, in the group training that we were in yesterday I think plays into what you’re just talking about right now. Like you’re asking, I’m, I’m gonna paraphrase because I’m sure I have it wrong, like, umm, I guess there’s I’m looking for the answer to what am I asking versus what am I not asking me and I think that’s kind of that, like, trauma informed and I think that’s a way that we can acknowledge the biases acknowledged the stigmas, but also hold space for like you said, hold space for the answer. Not just holding space of what do they need? What are they looking for, what is correct for them. Trauma informed, I’m all about trauma informed care, but I also feel like that’s a buzzword sometimes too, so I’m just I really need to just go furiously, write for next, like four hours.
C: Last note, I won’t go over all of them, but you’re saying that there’s no such thing as doing no harm the first time. You taught me that, I say that to myself all the time. So because I, in my head, I thought that that was possible, but it’s not possible I can. But maybe my, my change needs to be, always repair where you can, always repair when you notice what’s going on, and I think that’s a really important way to keep ourselves on the hook. You know, in terms of conversations about embodiment.
J: Oooh. What are we, what are we hooked by is such an important inquiry. That if we’re hooked by being right, being seen as the expert, being valued for all the time and money and energy we spent on getting these credentials in some sort of strange, inauthentic validation loop. We’re going to be hooked by things that continue to cause significant harm. We have to get unhooked from them, something I would tell a client. Like what, what do we want to be hooked by, right? And when you’re talking about clinical notes and non compliant and lacking motivation is some things that a lot in dietetics I mentioned also in our group training yesterday. Like the counseling class that I was offered was applied behavior analysis, ABA, which is incredibly harmful to autistic people to my former clients, umm, I just say my former clients just because I’ve moved to a different place. I didn’t fire them or anything. It’s just, and it’s also in a previous version of myself as a dietician. Uhm, where it’s like, how can you manipulate yourself into doing this? Because you don’t have motivation, like, how can you manipulate yourself into being motivated? The answers are really simple. Like you need a break. Sounds like you need a break, but the answers in that modality are, you do it because you have to and you deal with the consequences later. This is the hour where we deal with this, like, that those kinds of constraints. And, and also like, let’s find a way to logically measure together how wrong what you’re doing right now. And what happens in those is I was writing clinical notes at that time that I would never want my clients to see in, in the environment that I was in. They’re probably never going to see them, but I was just sitting with what you were saying that I think. A really important way to be on the hook is that my clinical notes, which is how I write them now, is something I don’t mind my client seeing. I’m not going to trigger my client. I have their permission to write these things and engage in this conversation. And also sitting with the other thing that I wrote, like talking about credentials. You know, some of the conversations, not that they stick with me more than the others from this season, but that I really found surprising and uhm, just incredible are the things that we’re talking about outside of people credentials, their own embodiment journeys as well as people we talked to who don’t have traditional credentials. Umm, and probably feel really left out of this kind of conversation usually because they don’t ’cause it’s like a punch card. You get quick access. The thing and I really love that we’re exploring that you don’t always need that, it can just be a person and have this conversation, but that’s kind of what we’re normalizing. Uhm, that’s my, like, summary of our answers to these.
C: [laughs] I love that. That is…wow.
J: Very, very big in the room. Heady questions that I asked about, but it feels–
C: Yeah, I was gonna say very meaty ’cause we always use that and it made me think of that. [laughs]
J: Yeah, very meaty. We love our food puns over here. We’re noodling, it’s very meaty.
C: We are noodling.
J: Yeah, I use those all the time. I apologize every time I think I’m gonna start saying thank you for allowing my puns because I’m just not gonna stop saying. I love, I love them.
C: Speaking of food puns, “lettuce”, I’m sorry, that’s so bad.
C: Let’s move on to the next question. I’m sorry I had to do it. I’m feeling goofy and punchy. [laughs] Let’s talk about what your take is on Intuitive Eating and or Health At Every Size. How do you think they fall short?
J: Two things that I really love for my own embodiment journey or Health at Every Size and Intuitive Eating as well as a phrase like body image or body imaging before I really came to this term of embodiment and really thought about differences for myself. Uhm, there’s such a change from the way things are normally done in both of our fields. I’m just talking about people and bodies and, and health and access and all those things. In general, it’s, they’re quite a departure. And something that was really pointed out and people we’ve referenced and people we’ve interviewed this season is that it all operates within the medical industrial complex as it currently exists. It’s not outside of it, it’s inside of it. And we’ve already talked about that a lot, but there is, I think that’s a really important thing to name because when we come in contact with people who are looking to us for conversation and holding space. If we seem like a disciple of either of these things, if we feel like we haven’t unlearned that there is not only one answer, including titles like this. I mean, I’m a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and I do not feel like a disciple of Intuitive Eating. Maybe that’s because that’s just how my brain works now that I’m in a process of unlearning and I did that. While I was unlearning other things is actually how that training showed up for me, uhm, is, we, we are allowed to take what we need out of something. We’re allowed to look at Intuitive Eating and say something like this is a conversation I have quite often with clients. For example, the phrase honeymoon phase does not resonate with my clients in larger bodies in disabled bodies, because how it’s not a honeymoon to be in pain. It’s not a honeymoon to be perceived while eating and trying to be free while doing it but having everyone’s moral judgments on you. When it comes to habituation, taking one foot and getting used to it, right, having, letting our nervous systems adjust to it and regulate to that one food can also be linked with really orthorexic behaviors. It’s a really fine line just eating one thing, only allowing one food into your house. I don’t think they mean it so literally, but it tends to be taken really, really literally.
J: Right, it’s supposed to be an avenue to something else and, and also the connection with emotional eating, treating ourselves with kindness that they say now and intuitive eating and they change the way that they describe that particular principle. Also, to my recollection the word trauma is not talked about in Intuitive Eating. I, I don’t think that either of the authors would shy away from that topic. In fact, I know they would not. And also the book written like for everyone to start taking the pieces for themselves that might work, doesn’t acknowledge that. The relationship between trauma and eating disorder, trauma and dieting, trauma and disordered eating with trauma and any kind of label there is so inherent in what’s happening and the way we live our lives now, and the way we’re all treated. Depending on the intersections of our different identities, so to not say them and have them at the forefront of the conversation, like in the year 2021, when we’re recording, this right now feels, it just does not resonate with me. And I’m really finding that naming those things is really important to my clients. Like just like on a 101 level. OK. No problem. Because they’re like,OK, oh OK, good ’cause it wasn’t working for me. I’m like, it just doesn’t feel right, does it? And, and to pretend that we like, in other words, a floodgate does open. Yes, you could perceive part of that as feeling like it matches what a honeymoon might feel like, but we don’t just selectively let loose everything that’s only in a positive direction in a warm direction. We let out these other things that have been suppressed in there, too, right? Classical shadow work. Like for dietitians, like, it’s called Woo Woo, first of all and there’s also, so like shadow work is our dark side, right? It’s like the motivation, lazy stuff. We were just talking about earlier when it’s actually what is suppressed, is suppressed in us, right? The things we haven’t touched, yet, it’s hiding in the shadow, but it’s there and, and we’re allowed to have opinions about things that are hard, we’re allowed to disagree with a book. We’re allowed to disagree with people talking about the book from their own perspective, which is what it is to be an Intuitive Eating counselor? Uhm, and it’s a framework that I find, I find really helpful for me, and I’ve also divested from some of it because I find it not helpful for me. I tend to be super honest about those parts because someone really wants to go into them, I may not be the right person for that, because I don’t know if I can hold back my perspective, my bias. I don’t know if I could I, I think? Especially my face, I can’t do a poker face it would, it would never happen, [laughs] but if they’d like to explore what I might think and see how that feels to them, that would be fine. Uhm, but I did learn how to hold space through that training in a really special way and that’s because of who the authors are. So I’m kind of sitting with…it’s not perfect and you don’t have to take on everything. I think I’m gonna say something a little controversial here because it’s really sitting with me which, and I think it’s really important to talk about this, is that sometimes Intuitive Eating is described as a privilege and in the next breath Intuitive Eating is described as Eating if we didn’t have diet culture and purity culture and all these other things influencing us, so it’s a privilege. And it’s something that we should all have access to, because it’s just inherent in being a person that’s two different directions that this goes in. So one of those is true and one isn’t or like it’s a lot more nuanced than that, I think a better way of saying that or it’s not both or there’s something else there, such as trauma, such as individual perspectives and lives, and the expert of being a, being an expert in your own body and writing a modality like Intuitive Eating cannot acknowledge that, right? Even if it’s trying to imitate what we do anyway and that feels, it doesn’t feel like controversial now that I said it, it just made sense to me. But I, the first part of Intuitive Eating is a privilege, I couldn’t quite understand why that really bothered me at first and then I realized it’s because it’s like saying that you can be…you can also be oppressed and marginalized through Intuitive Eating. It is heavily, heavily co-opted as a weight loss diet even though it is not. A lot of people come to me for the first time that, that’s their belief, and we have to really unpack that together. And the language in the book of putting weight loss on the back burner doesn’t really resonate with my clients or myself in a larger body because the pressure to do that externally to us is going to be always present. So the, it’s always on, yeah, it’s just that fire is always lit. It’s really hot over there in that corner of the stove, it’s hard to ignore. In other words, and I think all I’ll really say, I think about Health At Every Size, there’s a lot of the same things, actually. I mean, I was making it really related to Intuitive Eating, umm, but I think of a space beyond both of them, like touching on it, seeing what works. But, umm, I feel like liberation is beyond that ’cause the system has to change and we have to do it collectively and I’m really interested and focused. I used to say the word justice here, but justice is often after the fact and that doesn’t feel very justice oriented to me.
J: Like how can we go somewhere else together is probably going to be taking from the inspirations of modalities like this and figuring out what generally works. What works for one person in one moment doesn’t work for someone else in another moment, and being super honest about that, straightforward, uh, full disclosure. Those things say to me we can’t fail and that feels, that feels important and, and in that kind of beyond space. You can still have critical thinking and you can think for yourself in a beyond space. If you’re just, like, inside of Intuitive Eating all the time or inside of Health At Every Size all the time. You can’t always think critically, so you’re gonna miss things and you’re gonna do more harm, so it. feels really important to be like on the edge of it or beyond as much as possible. That feels important because, again, that book is not an expert on me or anyone else, and that book is like any other book.
It’s not an expert on me or anyone else, or even the system. Right? So the system is and also people just are. There is no expertise about that necessarily, so there’s always going to be something that’s missed in the book, written for everyone or something trying to eternal something inside of the same system.
Any recourse? I mean, I could go on forever, but I’m gonna stop myself ’cause, I really I’m just gonna go on forever. [laughs]
C: Oh no, that is such a great answer. I , I feel like actually I wanna say one quick thing in response to what you just said, like, intuitive eating is a privilege and also it’s something that everyone should have.
So I guess when I hear it, like, those are kind of diametrically opposed, right? So maybe it’s because it shouldn’t be a privilege, it should just be what everyone deserves. So kind of meets in the middle. I don’t know, I’m just, yeah, it’s, it’s a problem. But I don’t know I’m just kind of playing with that in my head.
J: Oh, that’s, that resonated, that really resonated. The convergence I saw it. [laughs]
C: Thank you, yes. You know, I…I kind of feel like I was led into this whole arena through into Intuitive Eating, I think I mentioned that. In our own embodiment journey episode. And it was. It was a great start. I feel that way still, I feel like it gave me what I needed in the, in the moment. I just recently listened to the 4th edition and there’s all these vignettes and you know things like that into a little bit more inclusive, a little bit more inclusive, and then I swear there’s like a two sentence line that says there should be more social justice, the end, and that was kind of the end of it. I was like, oh! I appreciate this as a beginning place for me personally and I, I think it’s a great place to start. I feel the same way about Health At Every Size. I feel like, you know, I, I came up as a social worker in the drug and alcohol recovery realm, so I find myself using T12-step language all the tim, so like take what you need and leave the rest, and that’s exactly how I feel about Health at Every Size and Intuitive Eating. I have struggled with that because I am very much black and white. It is something you and I have talked about. I work on the Gray every single day of my life. So the idea of, like, taking little pieces is really hard for me, but I think that’s the best way to do this for anybody. I think there’s not enough focus on the grief that can come out of eating intuitively, respecting, and we’ve talked about this and, I believe that, like the grief of acknowledging, like going along with these two paradigms, that there is a grief to it, there’s grief of, uhm, not buying into diet culture. There’s the grief of the loss of relationships, like all that stuff, I think there’s not enough mental health and and social components to either of them. Honestly, I think that HAES goes a step beyond which I appreciate for sure. I think, I like what you said, the idea going beyond those even more, I don’t know what that looks like and….
J: Me either. [laughs]
C: No clue. I don’t want to be the one that writes it. I just want to be, like, yes, this is great work. ‘Cause I don’t even know where to start. Umm [laughs] I was just editing Tiana Dodson’s episode, something that she said is that neither of these books were written by people who live in fat bodies. And I wonder how that would look different if someone had…wrote this big paradigm that everybody talks about lived in a fat body and experienced weight stigma, experience fat phobia, how that would change the work, I guess that’s my question.
J: Oh, I just had another controversial thought.
C: Do it. [laughs]
J: I was actually like fast forwarding through two books in my mind as you were saying that Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison and What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon. I was, like, this is what my brain does. I, like, fast forward and like, like, look at all the snapshots I’ve made of these two. They’re both wonderfully radical, beyond books honestly, and there is a distinct difference between them, specifically that Aubrey Gordon lives in a larger body.
C: Yes, absolutely.
J: And, and I’m just really sitting with that right now and I’m like wow it would be so interesting to look at them side by side. Not just in this fast forward, like glossing over look that I just did but just really sit with that. Uhm, kind of earlier how you said oh, you said this question yesterday about what am I listening for or what am I not listening for? I just realized that, like, I really know what I was listening for an Anti Diet, it’s like confirmation. And I really know what I was listening for in What We Talk About What When We Don’t Talk About Fat, which is I’m looking…I’m, I know I need to unlearn. I know that I have some experiences of stigma and bias. However, I am pretty privileged in these, in areas about body, like even in this moment, right now and like I, I–It makes me want to read them both and look at them for both of those questions right now.
C: Yeah, uh-huh.
J: Some wonderful books and also like, I think I actually didn’t read them to see what I would take out of it. HAES and IE, ‘cause they’re like 101 books and it was much earlier in my experience, but I’m just realizing that I need to read books for myself too. I’m just, like, sitting with that, but in, who needs to be listened to that, I need to read books for myself, not just to share with other people but for myself. I have no idea how to do that. [laughs] That’s not really how my brain works when I read a book. And it feels really uncomfortable to even say I need to read books for me that are, that are like not just, like, Outlander. Fantasy time travel!
C: Same! sometimes we need those, like, I need my murder. I love my cozy British murder mysteries like you need those, too. So that’s OK.
J: Yeah, and you know, I’m really realizing how much harm self help books have done to me in the past and how I’ve grabbed onto them in the past and how challenging it has been to unhook. And, and so it feels like an important place to go ’cause I, what I just said is really scary to me, so that [unintelligible]. Yeah, I feel like I interrupted you, but I was just jumping over you with enthusiasm.
C: No, it’s great and I don’t know where I was going, I lost it and that’s OK. It’ll probably come back, it’s fine. Uh, it’s a great start. I think it has saved lives. I know that they can save lives. I think there can be more. I just don’t know exactly what that is and how to go about it. That’s kind of where I am. I’m, I’m reading Body Respect and I think that I’ve heard that that’s, that’s another step forward. I just don’t have an answer for that.
J: Lindo Bacon, the Co author of body respect and the author of Health At Every Size, has said that they prefer that we read Body Respect, because they have evolved so much in their thinking from the first to the next, that it’s really what resonates with how they feel now, and I know that they’ve already made it.
Like they already had some blog posts, I think it was, or Medium articles where they talked a little bit about body respect and how they’re still evolving. So it feels we should be allowed to evolve.
C: Oh God, yeah.
J: Books should be allowed to evolve and not just line edit, right, really, evolve build feels important, so I appreciate that very much. Thank you. Thanks for pointing that out. That’s a really important point.
Yeah, being allowed to evolve about that is important.
C: Yes, absolutely. That’s, that’s where I am. I don’t have any I, I feel like more will pop up, but I don’t know what it looks like. [laughs]
J: Totally fine.
C: It’s kind of like the, the lens of body positivity, it’s body neutrality and body acceptance, to body liberation, body sovereignty. Like I’ve been playing with these words in my head. And, like, I was thinking, like, I can’t body, body positive myself into getting on an airplane. I can’t really go like that. You know, etc, etc. I feel like body sovereignty has been really sitting with me, but I don’t know if that plays enough into the liberation piece, so I don’t, I don’t know, just kind all these things are kind of swimming around right now, but that is where I am right now, yeah?
J: Oh, Oh my gosh. I, I love how much space you’re giving yourself, to have time to think about it. I always get that from you, the way you ask questions and then all the space you give yourself to think about it.
C: You do the same thing since, like, if we weren’t talking right now, I probably wouldn’t be doing this.
J: Well, I love that we bring that out in each other. That’s important to me. It is important. Shared values, that’s important to me.
C: Absolutely, absolutely.
J: Yeah, Oh my goodness. OK, as I mentioned, we’ve talked about big and small picture perspectives in this entire season. So, Chavonne, what do you think we can all do to make a difference with what we’ve learned over the past nine episodes? If it feels helpful to summarize or anything that really resonates in that way.
C: These questions are so big and I love it.
J: My talent! [laughs]
C: It really is! [laughs] Let’s see. To make a difference, I think the first thing that came to mind is keep asking questions. Keep learning, keep unlearning. Remain open to changing your perspectives, changing the way you interact with people. I can’t narrow it down to a specific person that we talked to, but I think all of them in some way they said, like, take this with you in the way that you treat other people in the way that you treat yourselves. I’m gonna stick with that. I’m going to keep learning. Keep educating myself. I feel like, like you just said about the books have the right to evolve. It is so easy for me to like, be like, well I read Intuitive Eating 17 years ago. Oh my God, that’s probably true, no, it’s not that old, maybe 10. That’s probably it.
C: Oh my God! I definitely didn’t read it in elementary, but I read it when I was in grad school.
C: I think this is in any profession, honestly, to learn what you learn and stick with it and go with it. But I feel very expansive toward continuing to educate myself up there. If you’d asked me a year ago what embodiment looks like, this wouldn’t be the answer. Umm, if you asked me what Intuitive Eating was, like, 5 years ago, or if I was eating intuitively, you know, like, everything is evolving and I think that this podcast is giving me the space to continue to do that. Giving me the space to continue to make conversations with people in my life that I love about their bodies, they interact with food and weight and themselves in the world. That’s where I find the biggest, the biggest space for continuing to make a difference, yeah? Your turn, Jen.
J: I love that so much because I found myself getting really calm and grounded listening to you. Uhm, that, uhm, we don’t have to have just learned one thing and we don’t have to only learn it for right now or unlearn it for right now. Uhm, that it’s part of that devotion and practice we were talking about earlier that it can be a process and there is a journey. It doesn’t have to be like a stopping point. I…it’s kind of reminding me about our conversation we just had about Intuitive Eating and Health At Every Size. That I think no matter what the modality is, we are all in danger of causing a specific kind of harm, which is, this is the one right way and what I’m really sitting with from this season is there is not just one right way like there’s infinite ways. In fact they all have validity. Uhm, and there’s something I want one of my favorite things ever in conversation is some kind of assumption or expectation or attachment to those two things that I have not yet realized. I have just, like, come crashing down in front of me, but like with no notice that’s one of my favorite favorite favorite things in conversation, particularly podcasts. I love listening [unintelligible] whatever like, OK, it’s a 33:41 mark or whatever it is. It’s a random, that’s a random number, but like.
C: I loved it.
J: At that moment I want you to listen to that and tell me, what you think ’cause it blew my mind, I don’t know what to do now. Like I think, like, these kinds of, like, transformations and epiphany kind of moments, none of those actually happen without boundaries like Care is about boundaries, Kindness is about boundaries, Niceness really lacks boundaries. I’m just really honest, is like something I used to say. It comes to mind, but there is, uh, divesting. Dismantling the idea of expert. Just period. Although I don’t think we should go into the “I’ll be a thought leader” now or we give ourself a new label but we don’t have to do any work anymore. No thank you. Right? Like, but like, we don’t have to be an expert. We don’t have to hold ourselves that there’s so much value in being unhooked from so many things that–my voice is like cracking with passion– like so many things that we talked about this season, which I feel I’m, I’m realizing that, like, we’re just scratching the surface of things and I’m so excited to like dig in a little bit and I feel like we could do this for the rest of our lives and just not even dig that far. Because that’s how, like, far reaching and how many things it touches to like have this conversation. And having this kind of conversation is a big difference maker.
C: Yeah, yeah.
J: Just listening to things in really open conversation or being present to open conversation. However, people are feeling, uh, genuinely feels world expanding and I was talking about boundaries because even like a title, like, Embodiment For The Rest of Us is a boundary like what are we talking about and around and through. What are we listening for? What are we not listening for and all these things we can discuss, uhm? Feels important because I think we should be really kind and the reason I was making me think of Intuitive Eating and HAES is because it doesn’t matter what the credentials are. How much I’m learning. It’s like the intention is to be the one who’s correct? Oh hello. There’s always an element of inauthenticity, I want to say. But that doesn’t quite feel like the right word there, but it’s a real inability to unlearn because it’s not fully [unintelligible]. And so something we can do is be honest with ourselves. I feel like as soon as I ever say something like that, the next thing I say and be kind to ourselves don’t don’t invalidate our own boundaries. But be actually kind to ourselves. Something my therapist would say is Jenn, the world is not going to fucking end if you don’t do all the things [laughs] Like, we don’t have to do all the things in our exploration, we can just be in our exploration, feels like a really important thing to say and and be around that. It’s not just something else to be busy doing.
C: Oh yeah, what we talked about before? Yeah, human being versus human doing, absolutely.
Oh, I got chills. I need to dance for a second!
J: Yeah, yeah. Aww, is this our last question?
C: It is, it is. It’s okay, we’ll be back.
J: Also, we’ve been talking for a long time and I don’t know how long, so I’m also feeling it’s probably good. [laughs]
C: Right? [laughs] As we finish up this episode and season today, Jenn, what would you like everyone listening to know about what you’re up to. What direction do you see your career and or your work taking in the future. I am really excited to know ’cause I don’t actually know if I know so tell me. [laughs]
J: OK, I could talk for the same amount of time we already talked about this so I will summarize myself in advance as best as I am capable of. I’m interested in creating and holding literal space with people. This is probably like a post pandemic reality and who knows who will actually be there? But, uh, fat affirming in fat positive space. Also queer and trans affirming, disability affirming, actually accessible and and using the word from earlier, trauma sensitive or trauma informed. I don’t know which one feels like the right term for me, but, like, something like that and a place to be in community. Like the actual space feels really, really important, and it’s something I’m really getting out of this podcast, so I have, like, a yearning for continued shared space in an expensive way. Chavonne and I are part of a group in New Mexico who meets and shares with each other, like, virtually at this time and I’m feeling a real yearning for being in the same room with those people, too. And, like, I have a private practice, it’s really wonderfully full, like it’s just the right amount of full for me and and also like giving myself self space as I talked about earlier in this record. It feels really important, so I’m feeling a yearning for training other people, even supervising other people. Like I like, I wanted, like, I really feel like I should name those for myself. I feel that and also bringing clinicians you know letters, but people who feel like they can get unhooked and can unlearn to come to New Mexico because there is a serious need for people to be holding space for one another and also people who don’t have credentials to hold space, whatever that might look like. I’m really gonna start noodling that too. It doesn’t have to be more dietitians. I want there to be options for people to get the support that they need. If that’s outside the credentialing, it’s outside the credentialing system. Umm, I also want that kind of space for myself, not just to hold it for other people, but I, I want to be there to the place that I described, and I love working with clients, so I’m definitely gonna keep doing that no matter what happens. There will always be some aspect of that because I adore it. I adore my clients. I, I see the direction of my career in the future being expansive. I want to use the word inclusive here very carefully. I really feel strongly about that, but I mean really specifically in any way that I can manage, but it does not also feel exclusive, but it’s inclusive, but only for certain people. And what I mean by that is that I don’t like there’s not just one person deciding what that means like such as me. That there’s more input than just my input. So inclusive of even in creation and expansion and what it might look like in dreaming together, I’m actually really interested in that part that feels important. That’s kind of where I’m sitting. And more podcasting. [laughs]
C: [laughs] As I’m sitting here thinking like I want to ask this question at the end of every season and I wonder what it’s gonna look like each time we have this conversation.
J: How about you?
C: I’m going to say in a second but right now, I need to say I’m really excited and really emotional about a lot of things that you just said. So I love the idea of you opening this fat affirming space for you and for other people, I think it’s so necessary. That you would be an excellent supervisor and trainer, so if you do training they would be so lucky.
J: Thank you my love.
C: Yeah, of course. I just, I am so hopeful and already excited for the people who are going to work under you who don’t even exist yet. Like they’re just such that they have so much goodness coming toward them. I’m so excited about that and podcasting ’cause I, I love this so thank you.
J: With you, with you, with you.
C: Forever! So, for me, I am closing my private practice. By the time this airs I will have not seen a client for three months. So I’m really sad, that’s really bittersweet. It is time. I’m incredibly burnt out and I know it’s time for me to stop, but I’m also really sad. And I feel a bit at loose ends. I don’t know what’s next, I know I will continue this podcast as long as you allow me to with you like. I’m just gonna hang on forever.
J: Yep, Yep
C: And so when I think about what’s next, I’ve been playing, noodling that as you said for the last month. Probably I, I had a dream years ago, but still kind of umm, popping around in my head of opening a group mental health practice, in which I, I love the back end work. I love my clients, but like I could do billing and schedule like I could do all that back end shit forever. By helping people, other clinicians start their private practices. Maybe having a group practice in which they work, you know, with me and before they branch out on their own. I don’t know. That kind of plays around. I’ve thought about starting a second podcast. I have no idea what I would be talking about. Maybe I’ll have a second one by then but I can’t even imagine what it would be. [laughs] But I love, I love the idea of opening up a space for other mental health clinicians to do the work. of seeing clients and being supportive in that realm. I really enjoy supervision. I enjoy, umm, supporting other people doing the work, but that’s where I, I am.
I feel a lot of joy. I don’t know how that looks with two incredibly tiny children, so I just don’t know how that works with the schedule, but we’ll see, I don’t know. I am feeling scared and sad about not knowing what’s coming next, but also feel feeling really expensive at the same time so…
C: We shall see. Yeah, maybe next time I’m on here I will have done something that helps other clinicians in this state because New Mexico means a lot–I think we both talked about this–New Mexico means a lot to me I want it to, you know, continue to grow in a way that gives people access to mental health care that’s not always available, especially by clinicians of color. So that’s really, I feel really, really passionate about that here. I’m also queer and trans affirming. Inclusive, inclusive, inclusive! Disability, all of that. No clue what that looks like.
J: Oh, and I realize I didn’t name neurodivergence affirming, which involves more on learning on my part. I have lived almost 39 years without really looking at that.
C: Oh gosh, yes!
J: It’s been left out of my disability affirming conversation in a lot of really significant ways, I’ve realized and, uh, a deeper look at that too. And, and as we were both talking about supervising, I was just, like, wanted to affirm to both of us. But I feel like we cosupervise each other all the time.
C: We really do. [laughs]
J: I feel really validated in realizing that, so I wanted to share that with you, but that’s, that’s how I feel like in my bones, which is, which is the main thing uhm. And just sitting with, like, the New Mexico part of this, people who are listening like it’s a really special place and a really community connected and oriented, uhm, population environment of clinicians, of clients, of everything and it feels like something worth expanding, like absolutely worth expanding and and making it more accessible, even beyond insurance. I’m not sure what that means either, but that’s on my mind. And I told Chavonne earlier this is a dream that I have had. Since before I got my master’s degree, Public Health degree is a kind of insurance that is affirming and actually covers things and I have no idea how I would do that. But just like putting it out there and wanting to have any kind of conversation about it.
C: Really cool, yeah.
J: I found people in my public health degree who had that conversation, but our first look was really defeating for all of us because we were in a public health policy class. It was really defeating like it was, just not the right place to have that conversation. And for me, umm, but an expensive place would be. So that’s something that’s, although, on my mind, and it feels important to, like, have it recorded on this podcast so that I can like, hold myself accountable. And exploring that actually feels really important. I have no idea what that would look like. Like would I become like an insurance kingpin or whatever you call that, like I don’t even know that, I don’t, I don’t want to become another place that harms so that I can be called that? Like maybe it doesn’t even need to be called insurance and I don’t know why I called myself a kingpin.
C: I loved it. It was just so surprising.
J: [unintelligible] Like this is the fear, I think that I’m making is like, I don’t, I don’t want it to be the way that, it’s already being done.
C: So, if we don’t get to universal health care you would be great at that. That’s a whole other conversation.
J: It’s important that all the parts of humanity brains being instinctive, being emotional, being cognitively aware and intention and logical, feels really important in exploring something that is so far left to be really technical. Like what does it bring to it to consider it a creative endeavor like creating something and also looking for a creative blends or a beyond kind of lens, what does that look like? I don’t know. Just sitting with it.
C: Yeah, yeah. Umm, my mental health practice would also be fat affirming. I didn’t say that, sorry, but I just figured it was instinctual. But I just feel like I need to say it out loud, I don’t know. So next time we talk about this I’m gonna listen and be like where are you, what’s your plan?
J: Yeah. It’s, it’s like this podcast has become the dictation of our ideas, which I think, like, as I’m captioning it, I can’t wait for that part of it.
C: I also need to say that I love you and this season.
J: I love you!
C: Has been amazing and I’m going to cry and trying not to, but actually crying is fine.
C: This podcast has been more than I could have ever dreamed, thought it would be sincerely.
J: Oh yeah.
C: I had no idea where my career or where my life was taking in. This is exactly where I need to be inseparable or and so grateful for you sincerely.
J: Yes, and you know you were talking in earlier episodes of this season about how this is what you feel like you should be doing, and this is where you feel like you should be and I’ve actually never had those thoughts about my own self in my life ever. And I just reflected to my therapist just last week that I actually feel that way, right? No, but I, I feel exactly when, how, like all these other kind of things, like it all feels like a match, which tells me how authentic, uhm, how from myself and for myself this feels like a real duality of the inner and outer things matching. The opposite of. It feels extremely congruent like the lines are just, like, parallel and flying along together like our lines, the lines when a guest joins us and that’s parallel the conversation. I mean what it stirs in me when it has led us to, in terms of training already like, it’s just like a really incredible experience. It’s very affirming and in this process I have learned and reflected to myself that I already AM the person I hoped I would be and the dietitian I hoped I would be.
J: Uhm, because I didn’t really have an idea of what that might mean. I just knew that I wanted to be those things, so, like, feeling, being the embodiment of the, like, these can sound like humblebrags, but what I need is like I feel embodied in those things that I just said, and that’s because we’re talking about, we’re talking the shit out of embodiment, journeys and all these things. Where we’re really going into it, how can I help? But interrogate these things in myself, so of course this is where I should be and you should be the person I’m having this conversation with them. We should be holding space, and the reason I hesitate or, like take things back in this kind of conversation, it feels so purity culture aligned that it like rubs me kind of the wrong way, even in what I’m saying, yeah?
C: Yeah, yeah.
J: Just the language I have for it is feeling that way, but it’s, it’s really sitting with me. And then it’s not just validating and it’s not just affirming and it’s not just inclusive of me. I don’t have a word for it, it’s something beyond that. Maybe this is what a little bit of liberation feels like.
C: Oh yeah.
J: Uhm, and maybe I’ve never felt that before, yeah? That’s gonna make me emotional.
C: There you go. The work that’s coming up for me is settled, and normally I don’t like that word ’cause it makes me think like I’m settling for whatever, but instead it’s like no, I’m settling into what feels right and that is like I said, I’m scared and sad about what’s coming next, but also like have no doubt that it’s the right change for me. Like absolutely no doubt, and that is very. It is very new. It’s so very…it feels like such a gift because like I, I can’t imagine November 18th, I will wake up and be like I will.
I can do whatever I want with work? Like I can just see what work looks like. I’m just, I’m so excited, I’m really excited and it feels like I’m settling into rather than settling for settling into so.
J: Yeah, like you said earlier, you’re coming home to yourself and you’re also recognizing what home is within yourself.
C: Yeah, it’s it’s pretty remarkable.
J: Your clients have been lucky to have you.
C: Ooh! Yeah, I’ve been lucky to have them, I learned just as much if not more from them. Which is why it’s so hard to say goodbye! But also really great, so. [laughs]
J: I’m sitting in a feeling of I never want this to end right now, but like we’re just gonna stop the recording and you’re just gonna still right be right here with me, so that’s fine.
C: And also as I was sitting here thinking about the first episode we did and like it was as loosely scripted as this one, I still felt like I was like bunched up and like I couldn’t like I was… like, like… I’m like making robot moves right now and like this, you know just like looks kind of see how it goes? And it just feels really cool, just feels really comfortable and fun, and that’s really awesome.
J: Yeah, the, the fun joy like those floodgates we were talking about earlier. Sometimes we also only think of them as negative opening the floodgates, like here comes the emotions I don’t want to deal with, but what I’ve really sat with and realized is in those same things comes positive emotions and warm and genuine feeling emotions that I also keep for myself when I keep that dam or however, we’d like to look at this analogy in front of between myself. Ahh!
C: Ooh! Yeah! OK, Okay, there’s nothing else to say, like, we’re done. Just screaming and screaming and looking at each other and holding our faces.
C: Yeah. Well, this has been so much fun.
J: Yes, yup.
C: We’ve learned and unlearned so much and we cannot wait for season 2.
J: Yes! Thank you for listening and we look forward to seeing you next season.
J: Thank you for listening to season 1 of the Embodiment for the Rest of Us podcast. Episodes will be published every two weeks wherever you listen to podcasts.
C: You can also find the podcast at our website, embodimentfortherestofus.com and follow us on social media, on Twitter @embodimentus.
J:: And on Instagram @embodimentfortherestofus. We look forward to being with you again next time in conversation.