Holidays to Remember

Holidays are often filled with food, family, and fun! But in all the hustle, setting boundaries and focusing on what matters can be challenging for women. On this special bonus episode, we share a clip from our live discussion with an esteemed panel of women in healthcare: Dr. Chez Leeby Ph.D., LMFT, Dr. Meg Longyear DC, and Aspen Vazquez, BSN, RN, RAC-CT. They share their insightful thoughts on women’s wellness and ways to navigate the holiday season effectively. We discuss how to manage expectations, address isolation, create memories, and find meaning and joy in our everyday lives. A video of the full conversation that was held in Jacksonville Beach, Florida on December 12, 2023, will be shared through YouTube and in the WellStylist Lab Community Platform.

Watch the full panel video!

In this conversation, our panel of experts discusses issues related to women’s wellness, particularly in the context of holiday stress. They explore the impacts of societal pressures, stress, and isolation on women’s mental and physical health. The panelists advocate for self-awareness, self-care, identifying and working on personal triggers, and creating meaningful connections for improved wellness. The conversation also touch on topics such as holistic psychotherapy, hormone imbalances in women, and the use of contemporary techniques like the Neuro Emotional Technique in healing.

Video Time Line

  • 00:00 Introduction and Panelist Backgrounds
  • 04:10 Discussing Women’s Wellness and Holiday Stress
  • 10:18 The Impact of Social Media and Isolation
  • 24:33 Understanding Hormonal Changes and Aging
  • 34:06 The Importance of Self-Care and Joy
  • 37:06 Exploring Neuro Emotional Technique
  • 38:17 The Mind-Body Connection and Emotional Stress
  • 38:50 The Impact of Past Experiences on Present Reactions
  • 39:28 The Power of Unresolved Stress and Subconscious Triggers
  • 40:49 The Importance of Processing and Releasing Old Emotional Baggage
  • 41:06 The Role of Therapy and Self-Work in Healing
  • 41:25 The Interconnectedness of Body and Mind in Healing
  • 42:35 The Rise of Coaching and Self-Healing
  • 44:39 The Dangers of Overmedication and the Need for Alternative Approaches
  • 46:29 The Power of Community and Connection in Healing
  • 48:13 The Importance of Self-Advocacy and Personal Empowerment in Health
  • 51:21 The Problem with Labels and the Need for Personal Identity
  • 59:58 The Joy of the Holidays and Creating New Traditions
  • 01:02:21 The Power of Joy, Connection, and Community in the Holidays
  • 01:04:58 The Importance of Creating Memories and Experiences
  • 01:05:35 The Power of Fun and Laughter in Family Gatherings
  • 01:05:47 Closing Remarks and Acknowledgements

Boosts & Conversations

Introducing the Panelists

Live panel discussion held at The Refinery JAX Beach, Florida on December 12, 2023 with (Left to Right): Aspen Vazquez BSN, Dr. Meg Longyear, Dr. Chez Leeby, and Shannon Vivar.

Dr. Meg Longyear, DC

Dr. Meaghan owns and operates the Brain Optimization Institute with her husband, Dr. Michael Longyear in Jacksonville, Florida.

She dealt with depression and anxiety for as long as she can remember. The sad heart forcing the smile. She was introduced to the healthcare field early in life by her mom, who is a Registered Nurse. She continued her healthcare journey during high school working at the local hospital as a Nurse Assistant. During this experience, she felt a huge pull to work with people! In college, she studied Nursing, Psychology and then Law Enforcement, but none of these careers felt like the right fit. Settling for a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, the depression of not finding a career that felt fulfilling became very overwhelming. She kept trying to find her niche and explored an array of different careers in healthcare over the years.

Then one day she had NeuroEmotional Technique (NET) performed on her by a chiropractor and she had a huge realization of just how debilitating past traumas can be in our day-to-day lives. She knew she needed to learn and share this technique with others as well as continue receiving this therapy for her own healing.

Her passion thrived while in chiropractic school where she was able to help her colleagues and classmates overcome their past traumas. Combined with Medical Intuition, Crystal Healing and the BioGeometric Integration (BGI) approach, Dr. Meaghan has developed a style of her own that has helped guide her patients to release mind/body emotional blocks and experience a deeper level of healing.

Aspen Vazquez, BSN, RN, RAC-CT

Aspen Vazquez is a compassionate advocate for Women’s Wellness, currently serving as a devoted Medical Surgical Registered Nurse at our local UF Health of Jacksonville, a Level 1 Trauma Hospital and the visionary Founder of Infusion Vibe and Wellness.

She has been a nurse for 6 years with a broad range of experience in Surgical Progressive Critical Care Nursing, Women’s Health, Healthcare Quality Improvement, and now Medical Surgical. She is now in graduate school pursuing her Master’s in Nursing to become a professional leader in healthcare as a Family Nurse Practitioner to better serve our community.

With a profound commitment to women’s health forged through personal experience, she strives to be a guiding force in the community through the launch of Infusion Vibe and Wellness by integrating healthcare with personalized wellness solutions.

Dr. Chez Leeby, Ph.D., LFMT

Cheralyn (Chez) Leeby, PhD, LMFT is a holistic psychotherapist, educator, writer, humanitarian, and creator of Soul Life, a platform for community intervention and wellness education.She has a private practice in Ponte Vedra and has over 35 years experience in the field as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Dr. Leeby is an adjunct professor at The University of North Florida and she writes a monthly column for Psychology Today.

Dr. Leeby specializes in creative and expressive therapies. She is regularly featured on local news programs, podcasts, and conferences to share her creative therapies and tools for transformation. She is the founder of Soul Life.

Dr. Leeby also works with The Goodness Tour, a global, non-profit organization bringing music and art to people facing adversity, as a clinical coordinator, researcher, grant writer, and program volunteer. 

She is regularly featured on local news programs, podcasts, and conferences to share her creative therapies and tools for transformation. Dr. Leeby is a podcaast co-host for 7 On Sundays, a platform for college students to discuss sex, relationships and mental wellness. She is a featured author in two internationally best-selling compilation books, “The Courageous Heart: Finding Strength in Difficult Times” (2020) and “The Grateful Soul: The Art and Practice of Gratitude (2020).  Dr. Leeby created many therapeutic games and prototype tools for her clients including, “Going To Court,” an interactive board game used to help children understand the legal system.

Artichoke Alchemy: A Journey to the Heart is her debut self-help book (not yet published). Move over onion, there’s a new metaphor in town for therapeutic self-discovery! No offense to Vadalia and her relatives but, we are so much more than smelly, flimsy skins that lead to nothing. With the artichoke imagery, we can envision uncovering the heart while honoring our armor (the protective, thorny leaves developed from experiences that shape us). Our true essence, like the artichoke heart, lies beneath our armor, graced and crystalized by time, space, circumstance, pressure, and pain. 

Photo credit: Julie Ryan Photography

Shannon Vivar

Shannon Vivar is the host of the Investing in Vitality podcast.

After spending over 17 years in corporate America, she became an entrepreneur with her husband, Jesus Vivar, and has challenged herself to live life to the fullest. She advocates education and awareness of trends related to holistic wellness, active aging, working futures and regenerative living.

Shannon is the founder of WellStylist Lab, a shared online wellness community, and the Chief Operating Officer of Mix Theory Studios, Inc., a music and multimedia production studio located in downtown Jacksonville Florida. She is also the program director of the Vitality Exchange Collective, supporting people and businesses on their wellness journey.

Shannon is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps where she served five years as a photojournalist, editor of the base newspaper, and a military police officer. She has also served on nonprofit boards to include Bodiography Contemporary Ballet and the Kansas Society of CPAs.

The full interview is available to Vitality Exchange members. Individual memberships are $30 per year, and business memberships are $300 per year.

The Vitality Exchange Collective is also offering a new Conscious Leader Wellness Program, starting in January 2024. Check out the link to find out more information.

Applications to join our exclusive Vitality Exchange Collective will launch in 2024. Join today as a Vitality Exchange Business and get special updates, insights, and discounts regarding this new and exciting opportunity. business memberships are $300 per year.

This live panel and bonus episode are sponsored by:

Production Credits

Mix Theory Studios, a music and multimedia studio located in downtown Jacksonville, Florida, was responsible for fully producing this episode of Investing in Vitality. This show features original music and sound design by DJ PM, Producer and CEO of Mix Theory Studios.

LIVE Podcast Location

Read the Full Transcripts

Good evening, everybody. Welcome to Vitality Exchange Collective Conversation, Women’s Wellness Holiday Panel. I am super excited to be here at the Refinery Jack’s Beach, um, talking about everything from women’s wellness to navigating the joys and the stresses of the holidays. And I am here joined on stage with my esteemed guest.

Dr. Chez Leeby is a holistic psychotherapist, educator, writer, humanitarian, and the creator of Soul Life. A platform for community intervention and wellness education. She has a private practice in the Ponte Vedra and has over 35 years of experience in the field of licensed marriage and family therapists.

Dr. Leeby is an adjunct professor at the University of North Florida. She specializes in creative and expressive therapies. She writes a monthly column for The Psychology Today and is regularly featured on local news programs, podcasts, and conferences. She leads workshops and retreats for adults, couples, and teens, and also works with The Goodness Tour, a global nonprofit organization bringing music and art to people facing adversity.

She is the podcast co host of Seven on Sundays, a platform for college students to discuss sex, relationships, and mental wellness. And she’s a featured author in two internationally best selling compilation books, The Courageous Heart, Finding Strength in Difficult Times, And the Grateful Soul, the Art and Practice of Gratitude, both published in 2020, and has an upcoming self help book entitled Artichoke Alchemy, A Journey to the Heart.

So, we have to her, uh, next to her is Dr. Megan Longyear, who has dealt with depression and anxiety for as long as she can remember. She kept trying to find her niche and explored an array of different careers in healthcare over the years. Uh, then one day she had a neuro emotional technique, uh, performed on her by a chiropractor and she had a huge realization of just how debilitating past traumas can be in our day to day lives.

So she has needed, she knew she needed to learn and share this technique with others and she continues to receive this therapy of her own healing. She combines the neuro emotional technique with medical intuition, crystal healing, and bio geometric integration approaches. And she’s developed her style to guide her patients to release mind body emotional blocks and experience a deeper level of healing.

Dr. Meg owns and operates Brain Optimization Institute with her husband, Dr. Michael Longyear. Which are, which is located in Ponte Vedra Beach. Aspen Vazquez is a compassionate advocate for women’s wellness. Uh, currently serving as a devoted medical surgical registered nurse at our local UF Health of Jacksonville, a level one trauma hospital, and she is also the co founder of Infusion Vibe and Wellness, which is launching in 2024 a mobile IV infusion business that will be serving the Jacksonville and Northeast Florida area.

She has been a nurse for six years with a broad range of experience in surgical progressive critical care nursing, women’s health care, quality improvement, and now medical surgical. She’s studying, uh, and pursuing her master’s degree in nursing to become a professional leader in health care as a family nurse practitioner.

She has a profound commitment to health, women’s health, forged through personal experience, and she is striving to guide. The force of our community and integrated health care with personalized wellness solutions. So ladies, please. Thank you for joining. Thank you Thank you

And for the audience, in case you don’t know me, I am the host of Investing in Vitality podcast. Um, I’m also the chief operating officer of Mixed Theory Studios and the founder of WellSilas Lab, which is an online shared community for wellness. We look at holistic wellness, active aging, working futures, and regenerative living, which is a trend awareness and bringing all of the people in the community together.

So. Our conversation today is really going to be around women’s wellness and the holidays. So I’m going to kick off the panel by asking each of you to talk about what your one, uh, most important women’s wellness issue is and how you see that in your practices. Who wants to go first?

You’re amazing. So one of the biggest things that I see with women in practice, I work mostly with women, and is the burnout. The managing the family, taking care of a full time job, having the household, doing all the things, and trying to juggle all these things. And how stressful it can be when I can’t juggle all of those things.

Or I feel like I’m failing my kids because I’m not able to spend enough time with them because I just need five minutes to myself to collect my thoughts. Trying to get everything done for the boss that needs to be done, but then still show up and be able to be that amazing mom and that wife to my husband and get the grocery shopping done and all the things.

And that takes its toll. And we’re seeing that. I mean, we all know that there’s a lot of stress going on in the world that’s inevitable, male and female. But women, we tend to take on more responsibilities, even, you know, especially if we’re taking a full time job, we’re working, we’ve got kids, we’ve got the household, all these things.

But what are we doing to take care of ourselves and support ourselves so that we can have normal cycles, so we can have normal sleep routines, all of these things that we, we expect that we should be able to maintain, but we can’t because our bodies are being pulled in so many different directions and we’re not being able to support them in the ways that we need to.

So that’s the biggest thing that I see and how important that is to give these moms, or if they’re not moms, and they’re just wives that are trying to have a career and, you know, you know, Go as high as they can in whatever professional, you know, passion they have to be able to be supported so that their body can respond and keep up and they’re not having that dis ease and that breakdown in their body down the line because they’ve pushed, pushed, pushed without having any kind of support.

So it’s extremely important that the people that, you know, that I work with and that I see to, how do we manage for you? You’re your own unique person. So what is it that you need and how do we find different ways to manage that stress so that you can still do all the things you want to do? You’re not sacrificing your health at the same time.

So you’re talking about Superwoman syndrome? Yeah, I like that. Super. Yes, we need capes. . Great answer. Yeah, great answer. I think that was a great question because the very first question was a little silence, like stumped the panel. You won like that and we were like, okay. We’re starting in strong with a really good question.

I feel like one of the biggest things is, um. That I see is that, do we want to fix it? It’s kind of migrating to its own place, which is nice and sovereign and independent. It just wants to hear your heartbeat a little bit. There you go. Yes. Um, but yeah, what I, what I was thinking as you were talking is, um, self care and support.

Like those words really rang out for me because that is what I see that women Um, and, and people in general really need, I work with a lot of college students, and, um, the, the phrase I find myself saying a lot, or I feel they need to hear, is you’re not alone. And because of social media and all these other things and not wanting to like be real sometimes that people feel like my struggles are not somebody else’s struggles and they actually there’s, I can name like the universal struggles that I hear over and over and over, whether that’s a marital therapy or individual therapy or group therapy.

Um, so I, I really hope people hear that, that they’re not alone. And that there are ways, and obviously a lot of people, that people can get support and feel heard and feel validated and supported in their self care and in their holistic experience. We’re all, I think, pretty much holistic practitioners, and I feel like that’s really important because it’s never one piece of the puzzle, it’s always the whole piece of the pie, or whatever you want to call it.

It really is the, the whole mind, body, soul, and, you know, I often say to people, I became a family therapist because at first I was working with individual kids. I’m a child play therapist, art therapist, and I was working with kids and people are like, fix my kid, fix my kid. And I’m like, that’s one part of the bicycle.

Like if we don’t fix and work with the whole system and the whole bicycle. We’re really doing a disservice almost, um, because we’re asking this kid to go back to this system that it’s, it’s not supported and it’s not going to help the self care. So we’re the same way that our system and the holistic picture is something I know we, we share that view.

But, um, I feel like that’s a really important message too that, that all of it is important. Thank you. And I feel like, um, just to piggyback off of what you both said, like from. In my practice, my experience in my practice, but then also personal experience, when we talk about pressure, um, we assume that the holidays are a happy time for everybody, and that’s not always the case.

So, I would say in my practice, I experience a lot of, um, exacerbations of mental illness that come up, be that depression. Um, anxiety, uh, which manic could be another form of those, you know, conditions. Um, because again, we think that as women, we’re living up to these certain standards. Oh, I should be married by this time.

I should have children by this time. I’m not, um, or I didn’t spend enough time with the kids or I didn’t, I haven’t done my Christmas shopping, or I still don’t know what I’m making for Thanksgiving dinner. Um, and, you know, people. They feel they’ve missed their taking their medications and then we see these people coming into the hospital all the time, um, suicidal ideations, Baker acts, um, and then from personal experience, you guys brought up social media and I was thinking, you know, you see so many different influencers.

In, uh, promoting different things. You can see one influencer that’s promoting decorating their house the most beautiful way they can for Christmas. And then you see another influencer that’s promoting, you know, the best cooked meals for the holidays. And another influencer of, uh, spending time with their kids.

And then you think you’re this one person and you have to do all of those things as one person. So, um, you know, that’s the personal experience of things. And I think we can all relate to that sometimes. And I think my biggest message to that would be to just take time for yourself, take a break and it’s okay to, you know, um, you know, if you have a day where you’re just like, you know what, I’m not getting everything done.

We were talking about checklists. If you’re not getting everything done on the checklist today, that’s okay. And self care can be. It doesn’t have to be what somebody else thinks self care looks like. It could be whatever it is to you. You know, I’m gonna take the day to myself, you know, to lay in bed and binge watch, you know, my favorite Netflix show or, you know, and then also prioritizing what’s important around this time of year.

You know, because what’s important to one person is not always important to another person. It can literally be, you know, okay, I don’t want to do gifts this year, but it’s really about the memories that we make together and just remembering what your values are. I think what is important and interesting to me is how you all basically touched on the fact that we have these societal pressures and these biases and these, these concepts in our head.

And whether it is us being the spoke, you know, the woman being the spoke of the family or even a child, because I know that I have a son who’s 14 and he is dealing with all of those pressures himself too, as, as a young male. And, um, there’s just all these conceptions of what you want, how you want to show up, how you think people perceive you.

And, you know, half of the battle, if not more, is internal in how you’re perceiving it. So I want to, I want to go into, how do you think the holidays, is it because the holidays are like breaking your, your routines that, that cause people to kind of spin out of control a little bit more than normal? Or Does it break some wellness cycles, like you, you change your eating habits and your sleeping patterns, and, um, or do you believe it’s just mostly the stress, the internal stress of, of, you know, showing up in extra ways?

I think it could be, sorry. No, go ahead. I think it’d be a little bit of a combination of all of them, you know, just depending, because you do feel the pressure to meet the status quo. And so that alone throws you off of your normal patterns all year, you know, you could have been following a certain, um, nutritional plan or diet and doing well, maintaining your weight.

Um, if you do have a comorbid condition, uh, managing that well, but then around the time of the year. Um, this time of the year, you know, not eating because you want to satisfy, um, you know, the family or who all the events that you go to per se, oh, we’re having a Christmas party or a Thanksgiving party. And then you kind of fall off of your, you know, regimen because you are at these functions and trying to.

Um, keep up with everything that’s going on. So, you know, setting boundaries. And again, it’s okay to kind of create that leeway for yourself, but also it’s okay to create boundaries and say no sometimes as well, but. Boundaries are hard. Yeah. That, that ability to say no, thank you. Yeah. Especially to Thanksgiving dinner.

Yeah. I think that. For me, my experience with the holiday, um, stressors for people is around what you’re saying around expectations. Like I think people have really kind of off kilter expectations of being, you know, all these things that we see on social media, the perfectionism or the, what it’s supposed to look like.

And so those expectations lead people down a rough road. And then what I noticed as a family therapist is that. The unhealed family dynamics, because there’s stress and expectations, those unhealed family dynamics and the interpersonal dynamics and individual dynamics get amplified because of stress. So, um, that’s where, again, I think everybody thinks it’s supposed to be this Norman Rockwell kind of holiday thing.

And then when it’s not. And, or we have all these other pressures from the unhealed old stuff, which everybody’s got, including me, you know, all of us, um, so that really plays into it. And I see that as an opportunity to really do good assessment and be like, what’s really triggering me in this situation?

And where’s that stem from? What’s the old, old, old, you know, root cause analysis? , um, and use that as information to make changes or to start, you know, therapy or all these other kind of alternative, um, op, you know, options that we have to kind of heal the old stuff. But it, it resurfaces a lot and people get nervous.

I hear a lot of people like, oh, I’m so worried about, is this gonna be okay? What’s gonna happen? You know? And, um. I think that’s all, you know, in the mind, so that also plays into it. So there’s projection and then there’s all these expectations and just a whole mix of stuff. But, but interestingly, the suicide rate is not the highest at the holidays, so it, it, you know, that’s important to kind of think about, but, but it’s a great time to intervene and to self assess.

Mm hmm. Mm hmm. I, I do know that, um, isolation is such a, a health detriment to people. They don’t even realize when they’re isolating themselves how impactful it can be on their health. And I was actually, the surgeon general just came out with a warning that said that isolation is the equivalent of smoking a half a pack of cigarettes a day or drinking six alcoholic beverages a day.

Yeah. So if you think about it, it’s such a profound impact to our health. And there are so many people, uh, that have a isolated since COVID, but then, you know, being, you know, in a, in a fight with your family and the holidays of being alone, I mean, that has to amplify that isolation even further because of our expectations for that Rockwell Christmas or holiday or Hanukkah or whatever your, your family tradition is.

Um, If you’re separated from your family, um, and, and not being able to socialize in the way that you think you should be socializing, um, do you see a lot of isolation of Yes. Has that worsened or is it getting better? Here’s No, it’s an epidemic. As the Surgeon General said, um, loneliness is at an epidemic level.

And I see that because Again, is so interesting ’cause we’re so connected through our phones and different things. But we are lonelier lonelier than ever because it’s not meaning filled. Mm-Hmm. . It’s not a meaning filled connections. A lot of these things, it’s not across the board, but a lot of them. So I find with the women that I work with, the women’s groups that I do, when they feel seen, heard, and uh, can share their meaningful purpose.

That is like eons worth of therapy because that’s something that we’re all craving is to, to find that meaning. And I think that’s the root of loneliness and isolation because it feels like a, a different world where we’re not making meaning and we’re not making purpose. My husband’s company hasn’t been all together in this brand new, beautiful office with like a cafe and a yoga room and all this stuff.

They have not been together since 2020 and they just were this past weekend for a holiday party. And I was like, you know, it’s great that COVID gave us so many options to meet, to do things in different ways, but there’s something about connecting at a water cooler, connecting each day and feeling that, you know, More meaningful connection.

So I think we have to find ways to build that in. And especially for the people that you know are lonely and isolated, even more so than ever, because they’re in a, you know, um, you know, different, uh, retirement community or whatever, and they’re really isolated. We really have to find ways, I think, to help, uh, people with that and to help kids, teens, um, with finding more meaningful connections, ways to do that.

Kind of was very interesting, Matt, when you guys brought up COVID, because COVID really did add another layer to that, you know, isolation, because that’s what we had to do was isolate. And it really altered a lot of family traditions. So you already kind of seen that downfall with the cell phones and the social media, but then you add that layer.

Of, you know, COVID and, you know, people were not wanting to really be around, you know, big groups of people for obvious reasons. And so families weren’t getting together like they were. So you really lost that connectedness, like you were saying, like with other people. So trying to find that again and build that again and, you know, uh, build the family traditions again, if that, if that is the case.

So yeah. For my clients that have anxiety, they loved COVID. Because they didn’t have to be around anybody. Like, so it was wonderful. For people with anxiety, they were like, yay, I don’t have to be around anybody. But for people that are more prone to loneliness or depression, um, that’s been really hard.

Like that, that, and, and we’re not back yet. We’re not back to you know, the, it’s almost worse because of the social media uptake of all the Influencing kind of expectational pressures, you know, because you don’t have to connect in person, right? I can connect with you behind a screen, right? Yeah, right. And it’s a lot easier to say things when you’re not.

And that’s what I’ve been telling my son at 14. It’s very easy to spread rumors using a chat group, right? It’s very hard to be face to face and have a conversation with somebody and so when you have that kind of internal struggle and you’re You have all this drama in high school, he’s a high school freshman.

You need to either, you either have to ignore it because it’s nonsense or you have to address it and it’s much, much better to go and address it face to face. But that generate, I even say the older generations too, phones have enabled us to stop having those conversations. Yeah. And I, I, this is beautiful because that opening up conversations.

The more of these kind of forums, the better to share ideas and to feel connected. And, and I get that it will be broadcast in a different way, but the more that there’s those live interactions together, you know, think tank type stuff. I used to hold a monthly think tank and that’s like really important to share ideas because there’s an energy that we’re missing when we’re not together.

We’re missing the energy. And, um, and the like, let’s get jazzed up about something. So, I hope that, that we find ways to bring that up. Which we are. Build camaraderie within, you know, our community. And, yeah. Yes. Yeah, I mean, I, I feel like I used to feel like I could do it all by myself. I didn’t need anybody.

I was all like, you know, superwoman syndrome again. Yeah. Um, but actually the older I get, the more I realize I need that community. I need people that. are like minded that want to have the interactions. I mean, obviously you can’t rely on everybody to do everything, but if you don’t have that camaraderie or that sense of community, it’s like it, it, it’s a chunk of your life that’s missing.

There’s something missing. That’s true. We’re one of two species that has to have that interaction. Like we have to. We thrive on a healthy brain through that. So if we’re not. Doing that and we’re holding ourselves off behind a computer screen or, you know, distancing ourselves from people. We’re keeping ourselves in a much more limbic place.

That’s the subconscious mind. That’s keeping us a fight or flight more in that scared space that, you know, bad things happen, that loneliness increases, all of that. But when we’re in that space, and especially like around the holidays and stuff, then it starts bringing up those old memories and bringing in those fears and bad things that happen.

And so then people are struggling even more, and now we’re driving that part of the brain even more instead of being able to realize that things are going to be okay. We can, I can go out and yeah, I may feel kind of silly that, you know, maybe I don’t have the, you know, the latest clothes on or something that, you know, I saw these influencers.

I didn’t have the perfect dinner or whatever, but healthier brain showing us that, you know, but I’m doing okay. I am doing all these things and focusing more on those positive things instead of keeping us more in that survival place. I’m going to go into a really challenging topic for women because this is making me think about as we age and hormones.

And I also think about the, we have an aging population in the United States, and there’s so many older, uh, citizens and females, females, we, we, we have longer lives than the average male, um, and I had a few people in my family who lost their husband and, and never even balanced a checkbook, and so there’s, there’s this real, Aspect of, you know, women and aging and hormones and hormone health.

And I feel like I had this conversation with my best friend. She’s like, I hit 50 and I feel like Mrs. Cratchit, I don’t want to go out anymore. And I don’t, I’m more fearful to go out. And I wonder if, obviously though, she hit COVID, she hit 50 in COVID, but I don’t, so I don’t know if it was that, but it was also the changing in the hormones.

Do you see a difference in the way women as they age perceive risks and fears and isolation? Definitely. Yeah. Go ahead. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, for one, when we’re, our bodies are obviously changing, I, I love how like we as women can relate that we’re a different person every week of the month, like, and I love that that is becoming so like out there.

To explain to our husbands and our boyfriends and all the men in our lives that no, we’re not crazy, but our hormones dominate exactly how we are. And it’s important that we’re taking care of ourselves in different ways to make sure that, you know, we’re not going, you know, completely crazy with those certain weeks of the month, you know.

But as we get older, obviously our bodies aren’t producing, you know, in the way that they, that they should be. But also what a big thing that we, especially in our office that we see is people driving that stress. Driving that stress. We know what that does to our body and that shuts down a lot of our hormones From being able to function and produce the way that they’re supposed to so if you’re living your whole life Just driving yourself driving yourself.

Yeah, you feel great in the moment But then when it catches up to you eventually and so you start to see that you start to see where you know Perimenopausal you start to see a lot of these, you know feeling a little bit more like exhaustion and all these But we need to start doing some self care.

There’s ways that we can, again, support the system, bringing that stress level down, getting us out of that fearful part of our brain. Like you’re saying with that fear, that’s our limbic brain. And if that’s what’s dominating the show, everything’s going to fall apart. It thinks it’s running from danger.

If it thinks it’s running from a tiger, it’s not thinking about creating a child or even digesting. Our whole hormonal imbalance goes out the window because of thinking that something perceived danger, being in that fear place. So That self care that you were talking about, like definitely needing to find ways to, but doing it the younger that we can do it, getting ourselves out there so we’re interacting with people, getting this generation to understand we’ve got to connect, we’ve got to.

Drive a healthier pattern so that we’re not struggling with these things when we get, you know, into our forties and fifties and so on and why not supporting that body. I see people with elevated cortisol for a long time, like we’re talking years. And that does a number on your mental health like that.

Living with that for that length of time really does a number to people. And, um. So I feel like, I feel like it’s two pronged, I feel like understanding how the brain works and how hormones work and, and then really taking, you know, um, ownership over how, what you’re feeding your body and what you’re doing, you know, mind, body and soul, the food that you’re eating, but everything else environmentally and mental health wise to really, you know, kind of assess and be your own experimenter of how to help your hormone, um, situation, whatever that is.

And then also, um, to know that sometimes it, it really helps for women to know that it’s not their fault. Like you saying about being crazy, you know, outside people feel that, but then I know a lot of women. So like, I think I’m going crazy, you know, and it is medically because their hormones are completely up whack and their cortisol is elevated and their thyroid and all these other things are messed up.

So I think it’s really important to, um, To, you know, your body best and to ask for those kind of tests and really be your own advocate and then really look into in your own way to, okay, how can I help this? I went through menopause. I’ll share with anybody. And it was really easy. I mean, knock on wood, it was much easier than before.

It was really nothing. So, um, perimenopause was a lot worse for me, but, um, but it was really easy and nothing. And I think it’s because I really took. Ownership over what I was doing, what I was feeding myself, you know, what I was interacting with, you know, in my mind and my heart, my soul, what I, you know, all those things.

And I was really aware of my hormones of where they were. So I think knowledge is power and then support, self care, all of those things go into, go into that. But, um, good question. And stress, stress is like. Yeah, talk about packs of cigarettes. I mean, stress is, is, does the body, you know, no good, really. So, finding ways to manage that and, um, And to, you know, really be aware to ways to lower that.

Well, I know that thyroid is one of the big diagnoses for females and also females seem to suffer from autoimmune disease more, which I don’t know if there, there’s some controversy over even what is autoimmune disease and sometimes I think it’s just because we don’t know what it is that, that label gets there.

And I do believe that there’s not a lot of clinical trials or research studies that, that really focus on females historically. I don’t know in the medical profession if you’re seeing a change in that area. Um, are there more studies and more research at clinical trials being done from, from a female perspective?

Uh, because I, I feel like all of the health regiments and exercise programs, they’re all geared towards men and then male physiology. And I don’t know, and we as women try to like emulate that and just, and it’s like an epic fail. Oh, yeah. And it like, it’s like, I feel like it’s like, we’re not men. Yeah.

We’re very different. I think that the information is there, um, and like I myself struggled with endometriosis Which is a major, you know, I feel like a big, major contributor of that is, you know, imbalance of hormones and it starts with the onset of, you know, your menstrual cycle. So, I feel like it’s really being self aware.

You have to be in tune with your body. Like, I’m very, like, if I feel a change. You know, like I’m like, Oh, like I’m just, I know my cycle. I know. And I don’t, I don’t mean my menstrual cycle. I mean, my cycle as you know, as a person. So if I, if I feel like, Oh, I’m feeling more fatigue now, I really try to hone in on that.

Why am I feeling fatigue? Am I stressed out? Am I not getting enough sleep? And then I try to find ways to kind of combat that. Like I said earlier, whether that’s giving myself a break or doing some breath work or some shadow work, what may have triggered me. You know, into feeling that way. So, like you said, being accountable, being self aware, and then really seeking the knowledge.

Because I do feel like the knowledge is out there. Um, I don’t feel like, uh, and I can say from my personal experience that there are, um, A lot of, uh, healthcare leaders, which is my, my goal of, you know, going back to school and having the knowledge that I have now, but a lot of healthcare leaders that are advocates for us and for women’s health and that are aware of how those imbalances of hormones and, you know, the stress levels.

Can really contribute to some of what they call the autoimmune, you know, disorders, our body really attacking themselves and the blockages that that can create because and that’s what really got me into holistic wellness was I needed to find. Uh, cure or not a cure, but more, uh, something to kind of help with the symptoms that I was feeling from my condition.

And that’s when I found acupuncture, which was an amazing thing. And then that led me to dig more and find more knowledge and then educate other girls. Like, you know, your cycle is really not supposed to feel like this because we, we grow up thinking that that’s supposed to be a painful experience. It’s, you know, and, you know, there’s.

Certain things with that that, you know, your doctor should definitely be questioning if you come in and you’re saying, Hey, like I’m having a call out from school. Um, or, or call out from work or miss events because of this or that. Like that should kind of warrant, you know, somewhere digging some more, you know.

But, um. So I, I was personally touched by that and I think that it makes, it leads to you just kind of digging for more knowledge so that you can share the knowledge with others and make other people aware and raise their self awareness and so forth. For sure. Mm hmm. I, I think this just reminded me of this whole other topic that I’ll, I’ll, I think is, is interesting to talk about, um, just cause of my own work that I, that I’m doing for myself.

Um, I feel like a missing piece too is we’re really good as a society and maybe a world, but really good as a society at numbing, like we know how to numb. We know how to, how to numb whatever’s going on, right? Whether it be through food, alcohol, drugs, all other kinds of things. But, um, I, I was doing kind of a self assessment about joy of what the opposite of numbing is to be like vibrant and alive and vital, you know, and like, what brings me joy?

And for years, forever, I think until this year, service to others is what truly brings me joy. Like I would say the goodness tour brings me joy. And then I was like, but we, that is again about, and service is great. So like, I’m all for that. But what brings me my vital joy? Like what in me do I get really excited about a really, you know, and so that too, I think is missing.

I think that we’re great in society at, at recognizing how to, how to kind of numb things, but we’re not talking about the ways to be vital, vibrant, out of pain, out of, you know, um, boredom out of. Looking at social media, like what brings our vibrancy alive? And especially as women, I don’t think we’re, we’re equipped well to know how and what we do because we’re so ready to be in service to others.

Like we know how to do that too. So anyway, I think that’s another piece of it is like finding your vibrancy and, and your. Your thing that you’re like lost in the moment because you’re, you’re in such a space of joy. Um, and I think that affects our hormones or I know that affects our hormones and I know that affects our mental health for sure.

But that’s also a very conscious everyday decision. Every minute really. Yes. And it’s important to, I love that you’re saying that because so many people it is all about Well, I get that acceptance from somebody, you know, and I think with women, I think we do that even more so that, you know, I want to please my boss.

I want to please my husband. I want my kids to be happy, but what is it that pleases you and like to your core? And that being said, both of you keep saying my almost. Favorite word in the entire world triggers, what is triggering you? Those are blocks that are standing in your way that you can figure out.

Well, what’s keeping me from doing my joy? I mean, in my own experience, that was one of the biggest things that used to drive me crazy and put me into the deepest depressions is I didn’t feel like I had a purpose and everybody has a purpose. Everybody has a purpose. I couldn’t find my purpose. And the more that I would just keep serving people and doing things, but I didn’t feel.

That fullness inside and then started doing the work and started finding that, okay, peeling away these layers. What are these triggers? Why am I feeling so low on myself? Why don’t I feel like I’m worth anything? And that’s what I hear in practice every day. Most people, the biggest thing is, I don’t feel worthy, right?

You know, interestingly, the technique that you practice, I think that People don’t realize that just because you’re not thinking it doesn’t mean it’s not somewhere trapped in your body. Do you want to explain a little bit about the neuro Emotional technique because I didn’t I wasn’t aware of it until I met you.

Yeah, it’s it’s insane how the body holds on to Emotional stresses. So like you keep referring to like our mental health and you’ve said it a couple of times too. And it’s true. Our mental health is crack. We know that it is an, it is an epidemic. People are struggling more now than they ever have before.

We don’t know how to release these things. Like the biggest thing that people will comment about and they come into the office is that I don’t want to feel this way, but I don’t know how to do anything about it. And I’m trying to do my self work, I’m trying to sit there quietly by myself, I’m trying to do these things, but then all these thoughts come and start taking over.

And again, that’s in that subconscious mind that, that, you know, so with neuromotional technique, what I loved about it is it’s a quick technique. It’s, it’s, we’re getting to where are you holding a stress from your past that was unprocessed. So you were bullied on the playground at eight years old and, okay, well, yeah, that happened when you were eight years old and, you know, we moved on.

But you’re still holding on to the emotional stress to it and it’s hanging out in your body somewhere. So that mind body connection that it’s, it’ll keep coming up when something triggers you in your environment. So something triggers you and now you’re feeling like that eight year old that just got bullied on the playground, but that was 40 years ago, but you’re still carrying that stress and that emotion.

So the issues are in the tissues. If you’re holding on to that in your liver, you’re holding on to it in your stomach. I mean, you’ve got to let that go. You’ve got to finish processing that. And when you can start processing some of these old things, then holidays aren’t so bad. Because the things that dad did back in the day, we love dad, dad’s great, and we, but there was stuff that happened, maybe yelled at me because I got a D on my, on my report card, but then I got an A the next time.

But I got that D and that’s what my brain’s remembering and that’s what my body’s reacting to when I did something now in the office and I get reprimanded, I’m thinking of that time dad yelled at me when I was in the office or when I was, and I got that D and my body, my physiology now is changing. So I’m putting myself into that limbic space, that subconscious.

I’m running from a tiger. There’s something, there’s danger ahead. My body’s going to respond that way. But you, sometimes that people think the trigger is outside of them. Sure, so like a situation might make them angry or whatever and they don’t really even know that it could be the eight year old Experience on the playground.

Exactly. Yeah, because I would never think about things that happened that long ago That’s the fun with doing this technique, is the things that you come back to and they’re like, I’ve done that forever. My God, I completely forgot that happened. Yeah, but your brain didn’t. So maybe the teacher that was, you know, upset with you because you did something wrong in the class had a yellow t shirt on, and you see somebody that has a yellow t shirt on now that invokes that same memory.

You’re not thinking about that. But your body remembers it, so now you’re reacting in an, in an, in a way that you may not react to the yellow shirt because you didn’t have a memory that’s trapped in your, you know, subconscious mind, in your limbic brain. But now I’m triggered, and now my heart’s racing, and I’m having a panic attack, and I’m upset, but I’m looking now outside of my world to see, well, why am I responding this way?

Oh, because, you know, she said something, and now that’s why I’m upset. But it’s just unresolved stress. It’s just a pattern that’s been playing to keep you protected because that’s what that part of the brain does and it does it well and we want it to do it, but we don’t need it to be triggered in all of these, you know, responses.

So you had a bad breakup with a boyfriend when you were 17. That doesn’t mean that every man is going to be like that, but we can get ourselves programmed into these things and our body holds on to that stress. So, it’s that mind body connection of being able to release that. So, that’s, that’s what the technique and using, you know, acupuncture, meridian points, and then, that’s why it’s great as a chiropractor.

I don’t do the therapy part of it, but most of my patients want to go talk about the event that happened. I want to talk through it because it was really hard for me. Now that we’ve released it and unlocked it, now let’s go talk about it, clear it. So, now family dinner might be a little bit more of a joyous time than remembering these stresses that happened.

Are trapped and I can’t seem to get beyond feeling this way every time mom says this or dad says this or my brother does that Kind of that’s beautiful. And that’s really cool that you have all of us on this panel because it is all Interconnected and the body does know like a technique that I do that I wonder if it’s similar but I start with the body wherever the the body pain is And then ask the client, how old were you when you first, um, felt that?

And I mean, I could do it here. It like takes two seconds, but anyway, and, and automatically it’s so fascinating to me every single time they don’t even think about it and they’ll go eight. And I’m like, well, what happened at eight? But they, and they know they immediately have an event and because it’s stored in the self conscious, it’s stored in the body and they know what it is that needs healing.

So it’s fascinating how much our body knows how to heal itself. I’d be like, how much time do you have? Yeah, no, it’s, it’s, it’s quick. And I think we’re, I mean, it’s really actually quick because we are the best healers of ourselves. So we know what happened, when, where it’s stored, even if we haven’t thought about it in 30, 40 years, we actually know, like it comes up so fast that it’s.

Fascinating. So, um, yeah, I, I think there’s a lot of cool tools out there now, which is beautiful because we’re rising to the need. Like all the coaches that are coming up now is a beautiful thing for my profession because it’s meeting the need. Like we have such a big need now that it’s going to take all of us.

It’s going to take teamwork to, to help what’s going on these days. And I think, sorry, I’m sorry. I was going to say, and I do feel like you were, we’re equipped. We’re equipped with everything that we need to heal ourselves from within. Sometimes we do need that um, extra resource to help identify those triggers.

Um, but like you were saying earlier, like, if you don’t kind of dive deep and deal with those things, and, um, kind of unravel whatever is inside that may have triggered you 6 or 8 years old, that’s showing up in your everyday life. It’s eventually going to come to a head. And like you were saying, it could be, um, in your later years when you, you, you hit menopause, that could be a very painful experience as it is for some.

And again, it’s just because of you had all these physiological, physiological symptoms that you didn’t even realize were stemming from internal trauma. So I actually think it’s. Going to the coaching, I do believe that that is something that can really empower people. And I, I wonder, is it because we don’t feel empowered on our own health or because we’ve booked accountability to health professionals to tell us what our problem is or to give us a pill to fix it?

But where, where does the courage come to be like, no, I’m the expert in my body. Not. Because I’ve had doctors are like, oh you should take this pill and when I say well The pill is not doing what you told me the pill was supposed to do It’s having the complete opposite effect on me and the doctor would be like, uh, no, that’s not possible I’m like, I’m just telling you what it is.

Okay. I can’t take this pill. I’m not going to I This is like one of my soapbox things. I feel like the over Uh, medicated, you know, the, the way that we are over medicating and immediately handing out pharmaceuticals to young kids like eight years old on antidepressants, I’m not okay with that. You know, it may be some, like, but there are just way too many.

And I’m not okay with pediatricians and family doctors giving psychiatric medications. That’s not okay. Like, they’re not trained in, you know? They may know a few drugs that have worked for people, but it is way too many people and we’re not trying all these other things. We’re not looking at where our food is sourced.

We’re not looking at all these other environmental toxins and all these other things that are so much easier than trying to get off a psychiatric medication. I see people when they’re like, Oh my God, I’ve tried five different things. Now I just want to get off them, but I can’t, like I’m having such a hard time and I, I really gets it.

That is really not okay. Or people can’t afford the medication or a kid is like, I’m fine now. So I’m going to go off it. And then he becomes psychotic, you know, because he, he isn’t monitored enough to, or doesn’t know, you know, the side effects. So there’s so many things around that issue. But what I want to say on a really positive note is that the coaching profession that has really come to rise lately, I believe, and this is like woo woo out there stuff, but I believe that it’s like a spiritual.

Thing of like, Hey, women want to help, like we help people. So there are a lot of female coaches out there that want to help because they see the need. And they’re like, I have something to give. And I have something that I can offer in my profession. Most of the people were talking about this earlier. Too many people have like huge waiting lists.

I mean, I’m not taking anybody new. You know, people don’t aren’t seeing somebody till now, February, maybe. So we need all that we can get to, to help support where people are. And you’re right that we need to educate ourselves and be our own best advocate. I also feel like people are going into the fields of mental health and, and coaching and things because we need to heal ourselves.

And when we, I mean, I did this cause I, I wanted to understand psychology. Like I, I needed help, you know? So we do what we mostly need to learn. So I feel like that’s out there too. Like there’s a lot of great reasons. And we’re, we’re helping each other and we’re educating each other because it is a lot of education, but we also have to be really careful with going that route of just let me take a magic pill because I’m here to tell you after 35 years, I have not seen a magic pill that works.

It’s short term. Sure. You know, like if you lost a loved one in a horrible car accident, you can knock it out of bed. Absolutely. Like there’s a time and a place. But we’re giving these medications for way too long and way too many that are not researched with your particular chemistry too. So anyway, that’s my, my bias and my soap, Uxbud.

And there’s many other alternative things that, you know, yoga and, and acupuncture and all kinds of other alternative things. I mean that my preference would be try all of that first, you know, try all of that. And then, um, And then move on to other things. And I don’t know how you feel about that being in the medical profession, but I just see it so much that I, I, I have a hard time with it.

No, I totally agree. I agree. And I think that, like we were saying earlier, um, people have to also, you know, take accountability for their own mental health as well. Yeah, you can’t think, I’m going to get on this pill and it’s going to fix everything. Or I’m going to go to this therapist and my life is, they’re going to do all the work for me and my life is going to be great.

We know that that’s not the role of a therapist that, you know, or even a life coach. These are all resources and aids to help us identify things in our life that we can alter to help make things, you know, easier for a lack of better words. Um, so really taking, um, control of your own life and saying, what can I do to make my life a better experience for me, to make my life enjoyable, to make my life meaningful?

So yeah, I, I totally agree with you, even from, you know, being at the bedside, you know, as a nurse, because We see patients come in all the time and they’re taking all these medications, but there’s no lifestyle modifications behind that. So, yeah. I, I know that my, my father has had lots of different medical issues and has always has been on medication and, um, has struggled with medication and then finding the right prescription and he had some problems with his teeth.

And so he went to the doctor and he said, so are you going to give me some more medicine? Because again, all of these pills that he was, that he’s taking, they all counter each other as well. So if you go to this doctor, they give you this and this doctor gives you this. There’s no like continuity of, yeah, exactly.

And so this dentist tells my father, he goes, well, you know, that’s just life. You’re going to get a pill. And I said, dad, I’m so sorry. That’s so unfortunate that he said that to you, because that’s not my life. But, you know, when you’re a mother and you have a child, you get that desperation feeling. And I’ve had a lot of friends that have said food has actually helped, um, eliminating certain dyes in food has cured, cured ADHD.

Which I think ADHD seems to be more prevalent now than it was. Yeah. Uh, it’s a label. A label. Yeah. So, you know, so those are the things that I feel like, you know, as a woman. Whether you’re caring for an elderly parent or, you know, um, we’ve had some experiences with hospitals lately as well on, you know, from a, from an elder care perspective that you just wonder like, why, why are the, the treatments being offered this way?

Like, is it just because they’re trying to make money? I hate to say that, but I believe that’s the case in my heart. Most things are kind of motivated by. The financial gain in the end, I think. I don’t know, but seems like it. That there is being. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think so. I, I, uh, I have, I can talk all night, but I want to open it up to the audience.

Is there any questions that you’d like to ask the panel?

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, that’s a great advice for women. When you’re tired of being tired, there’s things that you can actually do. Yeah. Yeah. One of the things with that too is you’re not broken. A lot of people I feel like slap that label, and I know I did too, I’m broken. You’re not. And I love that you said that about just like you were, you were just referencing, you have to do the work and it’s uncomfortable and it sucks sometimes, but it’s so empowering when you realize that you are your best doctor, you know what your body needs.

The doctors will give you medications and stuff to help, and I agree that there’s a time and a place for medication. Definitely. But just to keep throwing meds on things, you’re not getting to the root. Is the root some trauma you had when you were a child? Well, a pill’s not going to fix that. Your therapist isn’t.

They’ll hold your hand and help you through it. You know, the chiropractor, we’re going to adjust you, we’re going to turn areas of your brain on through that adjustment. But you have to do the work. You have to go to the icky dark place and you’ve got to work through that. But you’re not broken. Everybody on the face of this earth is walking around with a bunch of sets of different traumas that they’ve gone through, and we all can work through them and we can all get better, but you have to have that willingness to put the work in.

And finding that team of people, that group of people to be around to keep you supported and keep you accountable, that’s important too. So, I think all of us getting out and doing more things like this so that we can be more interactive and we can have that socialization and to realize that no, you’re not broken and you’re not alone.

You’re not the only lonely one. You’re not the only one that had a deadbeat dad or a mom that was a drug addict. There’s a lot of people out there that have a lot of circumstances that you might find somebody at one of these groups that you can talk to and now you have some hope. And now you, you can take bigger steps.

To heal that and break through that and then watch yourself. I mean, I’m sure you’ve got stories. All over the place of people as they’re able to break through that and realize that yeah, I can heal. I can be fixed. My body was showing me these symptoms trying to scream at me. Pay attention. Something’s wrong.

The reason you have stomach or IBS or whatever, something’s wrong. And it’s trying to communicate that. It’s your job to figure it out. And if you don’t feel like the doctor that’s helping you is the right doctor for you, great, let’s find somebody else. Connect with people. I mean, we have the social media stuff.

Yeah, I think it is, it can cripple us if we let it. Or you can use it to connect with people out there. I have tons of people that bring in information to me. That are like, this is what I found about mold exposure and this is what I dealt with and I found this group and they have been so helpful to me and now we’re a community and we get together and we do walks on the beach and awesome.

We can use that kind of stuff. Find resources. They’re everywhere. But do your self work and do the stuff that you need to do to let go of that stuff so that you can be as healthy as you want to. And I love that you used the, when you said. You’re not broken because a lot of people do identify themselves as being broken.

And when we talk about financial gain, there’s a huge financial gain out there targeted towards people who think that they’re broken. You need all the pills. Exactly. I love that you said that too because, um, I feel like, um, yes, people profit off of us being broken. But I also feel like In my past practice, I was dictated by insurance and I had to diagnose, right?

I no longer do that because I don’t like, when you talked about labels, I don’t like giving somebody a broken label. We’re not that. We struggle with things and sure we can meet these symptoms, you know, these 10 things that we struggle with, but that doesn’t mean that’s a lifelong thing and it also doesn’t mean it needs a pill necessarily.

And it also doesn’t mean that, um, that that’s identifying of who we are. And that’s what has happened is it becomes. Oh, I’m this. I, not, it’s not I struggle with, but I am this. I am depressed or I am ADD or I am whatever. And that’s just not true. You might struggle with the feelings of feeling broken or having those symptoms.

But, um, I no longer do that. I, I’m so glad that I don’t have to operate under insurance because I don’t like that. Like nobody should be giving anybody a label of who you are, what you, what you have, unless you really want that. There are some people that are like, please tell me what, what would I, you know, where am I?

And that’s fine. But for the most part, I feel like our old stuff. Yeah. Yes. Yes.

You’re right. You’re right.

Right. Right. Good for you.


You’re so right.

No. So wrong. Agreed. Agreed.

And through talking about it and standing up to it because it is not okay. I had a college kid tell me the other day that he is biracial. This is a whole nother topic, but this is so important. He is biracial. And on the, on the SAT or for other testing, he has to either put, I’m black or I’m Caucasian. And he’s like, why does it matter?

That’s not who I am. And what. It’s just what does it matter for a test and it’s because it’s normed that way so and and those other Testing things are normed that way to the psychological testing. So I’m like, this is so messed up This is still not okay like canal Like we have another category or ten or whatever or what does it even matter?

But we the whole system so many systems. Well, I Yeah, I’ve actually heard from mental health coaches as well, that they say that the kids will come and say, Oh, I’m bipolar. Right. They just want that like validation. So we’re actually seeking the labels, like it’s some kind of a cosmetology test that, you know, we scored and like, look, look at me.

Right. Um, and I, I mean, I even had a conversation with a fellow worker who was LGBTQ plus. And, and she was saying how she felt she liked the labels because it really allowed her to identify who thought what. And I, I found, because I was a different generation, I found that odd. I don’t want to be labeled, um, but it just seems like a weird.

Kids that are growing up by getting likes on Facebook, like, that’s their whole identity. Right. Like, they need those likes. Like, I need to be accepted. So, tell me what I am. And then I can be. No. You want to empower them to be who you want to be. What makes you, going back to the joy, what brings you joy at your core?

What fills you up inside? And I don’t think a lot of kids these days really know. No. They’re not taught to even assess that. Or they’re not. We’re no longer doing like the recess, like recess ends after middle school, like it is even in middle school, really. So we’re not experiencing joy in that free way or creative play or creative play.

We have to, they have to sit in a seat for eight hours. And yeah, that’s just not, I mean, no, that’s not, well, so that’s a great way to, to end the podcast is because I want to know what, what brings you joy about the holidays personally. Um, because there is joy in the holidays and we should be celebrating that and so yeah, so we’re almost out of time.

And yeah, I want everybody to answer them. I’m dying to hear what you guys have to say. But, um, you know, I feel like it’s not just a holiday thing. If we, if we, like there’s certain parts of the holidays I love. Like I do love decorating because it’s memories. Every ornament is a little memory or whatever.

But, and I do love that my kids come home and I get to be with them as adults in a different way. Um, and create new memories. Like we did Thanksgiving totally different this year because of a lot of reasons. But, um, But I feel like it’s, it’s an everyday thing. I feel like if we extend it beyond just the holidays and start there, cause we’re right upon it, but then extend that every day of bringing those momentary joys with the people you love, the memories and creating new memories, creating experiences, that’s, that’s to me the, the joy of being a family and, and not worrying about, do I have the right gifts, food.

Decorations and all those other nonsense things. And I love, my favorite thing about it is, um, creating new traditions, creating new ways of, you know, doing things. Like this year we said, um, because all my parents children are grown obviously, we said, So, you know, we’re gonna do, let’s just do Secret Santa this year.

Let’s, you know, let’s make it fun. Um, you know, every year we go pick out the Christmas tree on my mom’s birthday. Uh, we might go to dinner. She might say, okay, we’re not going to do the traditional dinner. Let’s try, uh, you know, cuisine from another country or something like that. Just like you said, experiences, creating new memories.

Um, and just remember, I get what I said earlier, remembering what’s important to you for the holidays. I’m not feeling like you have to live up to the status quo or what you see on social media. My, honestly, my favorite thing about the holidays is Christmas lights. I just get lit up walking around and seeing them.

It, I don’t know, it’s got to be some good childhood memory. My heart just wants to explode. I love it. It fills me up. I like, I like seeing how people get excited when they’re looking at the lights and I was raised up in Michigan, so it was a lot different seeing the snow covered on the lights and stuff.

I won’t go back there, but I, or those memories were wonderful. The warmer weather here is much more of a blessing, but I love, and I’ve always been, I’ve been the opposite of the traditions. I’ve never been like, I like how you said, make new traditions. I am not a traditional person. I don’t like doing like the, I have to kinds of things.

And that was something that through my own self work, I realized. Just wasn’t for me. I don’t like doing what’s expected. I like doing what’s exciting right now Right, so we started doing donations to our favorite charities instead of giving gifts And I think we were all talking about this before we started tonight memories or doing like an event or something or going on a vacation or doing something like that and I love that we’ve kind of Just we don’t need anything don’t buy me another sweater when I’m just gonna end up probably donating it but let’s donate to You know, a shelter that really brings, you know, joy to my heart that we might go volunteer.

We do, um, especially this, since we’ve moved down here, um, we’ve started doing things for the homeless. We got involved in a group in, uh, Texas when my husband was in school, and they had, this guy had a huge event where the homeless would be put up in a whole bunch of different rooms that they had in, like, the Omni, and they would spend Christmas Eve, wake up Christmas morning in the hotel, and we would have, they’d have backpacks, clothes, different things for them.

So we’ve tried to do that and impact the community here, togetherness. How can we all come together to help people that are maybe less fortunate, that don’t have families or things that they can do? So trying to kind of find different ways and, you know, then obnoxiously dress myself in Christmas lights so that I can spread that little joy to people too.

Well, I mean, you do have the, the, the hair strands that are glittery, which I, I, I, I, I want to touch them. I mean, for me, I love entertaining. So Uh, you know, making kind of more extravagant meals and really sitting around the table and not eating quickly and having conversation and, and that interaction, we to try to do that throughout the year.

It’s not just a holiday thing, um, but that’s my favorite parts of the holidays. Um, I used to do Christmas cookies all the time. I don’t do that anymore. Um, I probably would, my son probably would like that, but I, I have got away from the baking. Well, But is it, I want to say one quick thing, you know, it is a cool, um, thing that I’ve appreciated on social media is the, um, like minute to win it games.

Like I’m literally engrossed in these, like. Candy cane and hand hungry hippo with the cups on the hands. Like it’s family games that you can do. Oh yes. I’m, we’re totally doing those. Like we’re gonna the money one with the little, um, have you seen the one with the mousetraps and you’re blindfolded and they have all this money all over the table and they have mousetraps and they’re, they’ll snap.

That would hurt. Oh my gosh. It was hilarious. Like no mouses. Real mousetraps. Yeah. And you’re watching this strategy. This one woman kept like tapping and we’re like, what are you doing? Slide your hand in there. Don’t speak your hand. She kept getting whacked every time. But you get all the collect as much money.

Yeah. You gotta look it up. I gotta look it up. But like, that’s cool. Those are really bonding, creating memories, good, clean, fun, like, Laughter. Fun things to do as, as families and, and so, you know. So, anyway, I appreciate that. Well, I, uh, I want to call out our sponsors for this event. Uh, podcast, Investing in Vitality.

If you haven’t checked it out, it’s on all of the major platforms. And we do have. Videos out on YouTube, um, Wellstylist Lab, the on online platform that I have founded. It’s a shared wellness platform. And then we have with us Radiate Wellness, um, products, which is a company that has transdermal creams, Clean Beauty.

that supports women, uh, through perimenopause and menopause. They’re also the sponsor of our season one for investing in vitality, as well as the women’s wellness fest, which I think is one of those wonderful events that happens in this year, it’s going to be in the 2024 is going to be, um, April 20th.

Down in Jax Beach, uh, at the SeaWalk Pavilion, that is really an area that, uh, women can gather and share that sense of community and, and exchange ideas. And move and just be part of the community. So I think if you haven’t checked out women’s wellness and Jack’s beach, uh, please go to women’s wellness And then there’s also another event that’s in February called wake her up. If you are in more of the hormone space. Um, so I, I really would encourage you to talk with Mary Beth Perroni. She’s here. Um, and, uh, women’s wellness fest this year is a 5 0 1 3 C. So. If you want to donate, there’s a lot of opportunities and sponsor it.

So thank you so much to our panelists for joining us this evening. And I hope that the audience enjoyed the conversations as much as I did. So thank you. Happy, happy holiday.