« Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

#198: Meditation And Loss, Dean Valoras

2019-07-31
On March 19th of last year, Dean Valoras' life changed forever. That is the day he lost his teenage daughter Alexandra to suicide. Alexandra was an intelligent, successful, highly-motivated high school student. Externally she appeared happy and excited for the future, but that did not match how she felt internally. Alexandra kept secret journals where she wrote about feeling like a failure. In this episode, Dean shares the story of Alexandra in hopes of helping others and he discusses his meditation practice and other tools he’s using to help him move forward. Suicide Prevention Resources: http://www.bethe1to.com/ If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or worried about a friend or loved one help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 [TALK], or text TALK to 741-741 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org - for free confidential emotional support 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Even if it feels like it – you are not alone. If a person says they are considering suicide: Take the person seriously Stay with them Help them remove lethal means Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) Text TALK to 741741 to text with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free, 24/7 Escort them to mental health services or an emergency room Plug Zone Dean Valoras Blog: https://rocktherisingblue.wordpress.com/ CBS Sunday Morning Special: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-lost-girls-diary-alexandra-valoras/ Ten Percent Happier Meditation Joseph Goldstein's Self Compassion: https://10percenthappier.app.link/rl7xRtFOiX ***VOICEMAILS*** Have a question for Dan? Leave us a voicemail: 646-883-8326
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Six, forty five march, nineteen, it's about fifteen degrees, I'm on my knees on the Massachusetts Turnpike and I'm cradling Alexander in my arms, the rush hour traffic is going to work. It's really cope, it's it's not necessarily processing, but I think I get it. I lost my daughter here. She is gone. I can tell she's got and then from that point on trying to make sense of it. That is our guest. This week, Dean Valorous, as you can tell from from that clip. This is gonna, be a heavy episode, but it is also. I promise you
aside from being really moving quite inspirational on reassuring on some profound levels. Dean is father of three and in every day, meditate her who started practicing back in two thousand fifteen. As you'll hear in two thousand a teen, he lost his daughter Alexandra to suicide and I heard about dean story after I saw. I got an email from my friend, Jim Axelrod, whose along time anchor and correspondent over it CBS News and a friend he sent me a story. He had done on dean. His family mention that dean was a meditate her and that had a he had read my book and did I want to talk to him and not only did I want to touch you I thought actually maybe the rest of you would want to hear from dean.
Though, in this interview we talk today about something I think is incorrect. the important and and and really gets the reason why one to have man, I think they really to two things. Actually one is, we're in the middle of a mental health crisis in this country, especially as a pretence to young people where the ray. Depression, anxiety and suicide have escalated quite dramatically and other issues I think Dean is a fantastic example of how meditation can help in really extreme circumstances, and if he, can stick with it and derive value from it in in situation. I think the rest of us can really draw some inspiration from that One thing is a very good story, which is that, on the back end, we're gonna have a whole list of resources. If you wanna learn more about this subject before now. Here is in Belarus.
I always throw in question, which is how to disturb meditating. So what's your story, uttered meditating unfair on two thousand fifteen early, two thousand fifteen. I still Well, the cross your book, ten percent, happier than as I think it was inaudible sort of pops up as I came in, I try This and I thought to myself, while eleventh eleven. Ninety five. Or one credit. I think it is, if you're an audible subscriber, whether how would I want to be spent eleven box toolbox to be ten percent, have never wrong laughed and why I found was it took about four five chapters before I think like around the card totally aha moment. You know when you you can. I hit a point where you like It took me a while to get there, but you carried me for it because this the skip. That you were aren't. You already had me at hello, so I had to
my aunt, my like somebody get there and then an ice. but it's like ok, I it's about now me and then that's been the journey. What you mean now I am in the now or am I await thinking can all tomorrow? What are they to yesterday? in all whatever I'm spinning on you now, which is all the time, Spencer, that journey of that was the starting sort of stamp on the grounds. Ok, there's something here did you actually start meditating that point. I think I downloaded I had space out because I like beyond the graphics were so stupid, simple, you know, you'll get answers. Watch these cars go by o the cars. Are your thoughts watching them go by earlier corps. all I think I got it visually now. You settle in, and I thought I was a good for. Did everybody think about a year and a half and did it at that point or,
no. It was on. I think that answer me into the same: Harris's waking up the walk. The walk yeah which I'm still I would come on, my fifth or sixth time and eventually all too through it to actually get the arm in all the the essence of because it's it's it's a lot. So funny said it is sound as you know, is a buddy of mine and met really huge form but a force in my life as it, because he was one the people who really got me over the competent to take this network meditation. They more seriously I have read that book at least three times, maybe maybe four times and every time I get something out of it. The great book, right as it is, So if I come, it's just a chuckle and not suited.
You can keep going back to something you in put out in Korea and then you still stepped back and say still very simple. You know what is this first line? The mind is all hell. It's all about in my career. I can start there dont there. What can I do today and then I get caught up in the day you now in its say from two thousand fifteen to now, especially in this past year, I think I've I've earned. I'll, give myself a pat on the back for saying at least it's more present throughout the day. There's moments within every hour of the day, where I say he meant where you right now. I stay here in what matters in trying to take a breath performing at work performing at home.
It's in on getting better stick it allow it's definitely practice guy, but what I hear there is really good practice. But I hear there is, if you're one of the original I've been talking about this on the show in recent interviews. Alot one of the original translations of the word mindfulness is recovered. King or remembering and that is, for some reason, is one of the things I've heard for ten years in its never really landed with. Maybe now is starting to become more more powerful for me, because Well you're describing is it's your memory to wake up every sure twice and our but that's a huge are the more you actually the better. You get here my spirit, I will say this in others. The little bit of an urgency there, because once you sort of tasted Waking up portion. You yeah. I go into these sort of spins
what the hell are they doing for the last fifty years my guys you know fifty one, ok, but I know what I find that savings to be very powerful without I'm forty, seven and you're thinking Ok, you're! Looking at I don't know how many years left right How have I wasted amount to time- and I know how much time I have left- and I have a little kid and around this time my parents have left and I want to be here, for it right and the whole thing is now. I don't want to get up tight about it in stress too much about maximizing every moment because, kind of doing the opposite of how I should be just living. Relaxing into it. That's what I you know the classic hindrance to meditation MS desire, if you're, clamping down to heart s, desire for clarity as control, yeah or just entering too you know have those the feeling of secure you bet you built over the years-
whatever your definition of successes and you're trying to just stay with keep those no one's known when they're they're variables set the table from relations by a graphically on you, circa, two thousand fifteen young guy, a hurry, kids, you live in suburban Boston. What's going on in your life that this idea of below that happier would be attractive to all sides. It was probably on my second or third year not Pesticides are my line right. Where does that? like. Where are you going with that, and it was just looking like one: we do what we do. Why does the lawn have to be cut in an ancient half cause? I live in a suburban neighborhood in it's a nice neighborhood and am very proud to raise my kids there and its safe neighbourhood and and like, but do like this? What I need you need like an acre
Do you need a house? That's we dont fill up that space and I just started to question why part of that journey as well as you know with, Children Alexander and why Nicholas Alexandra was my my wonderful intellectual beam If I could just keep pounding those questions at her MIKE. What do we do that? We must not? Let's not put pesticides in the London let's ensure the daily life tat stream. So two thousand fifteen for some reason it was maybe that was probably you can have a doctor here telling us like. Oh, yes, yes, two new. How will do you, forty, seven middle aged men go through this Alai, where they re evaluate their lives, or it could be something along those lines. I want that vein as well. So I just started to say:
you know. What can I learn? What can I read in in know? Alexander was a part of that journey from hey. I just read this book temper. And happier is that guy only BC hey, I just don t I seem heresies first chapter: did the meditation Malik had tried in and I had treated as well and she's like dad, doesn't work why he goes well. I was thinking about what to wear tomorrow what I'm gonna do after school at the robotics when she had all these things that she was working towards an out it's crazy, and then you know and it was hard in that sense, cause were trained to be stories but think were but not realizing that you have to step out and say we are not our thoughts. She was. She had been part of that since then I'll two thousand and fifteen two thousand and sixteen
and then more so me. I think I just continue that, because I found value in trying to car about fifteen minutes a day which is hard when your brain is in I gear. Fifty minutes was going to do. I stick fifty minutes because you promised yourself right in that spent enough to help. I don't know just maybe keep questioning thinking men breathing. You know I'm just trying to I feel like a dog. I don't current dockers. Sometimes I'm good, sometimes some bad. Yet it's the question, it's interesting what you mean by good or bad or hunger for go by the old rules in her or I feel,
that it's a little bit of a new me because I haven't. I keep trying to relax into the present our land in trying to figure out all right, to do this- to infiltrate. Do this at work? How do I bring this to work in just not be stress ball? Was it helping? Oh yeah? I am I I had introduced last fall, my my one of my first day coming back into a syllable assignment for a few months off, and I stress than it was feeling not as confident as I would have liked to, and I said you know what just bring it to show up just dress up, show up and hey guys. I gotta say you don't get worked him into a team and sat with the teams. Hillis must take three breath
Why should we got so much stuff to do over the next six months? Let's we already know it's coming. So, let's just know where team and was just starting. So I started my daily stand. Ups, we call him for. Joe methodology doesn't even travelling that's the name of the methodology used in the sort of consulting worth. That idea, and so was I been helpful. We do a ten percent happier we have ours. We have stand ups, Yannick, meeting, every morning, I think, at an odd demagogy, and if you ll see minutes and you d, you know cover ground will be doing today. What he had done with tomorrow and anything blocking yes I haven't been one because our corporate headquarters, Boston and I'm here on the part of the stand up at it better
so it sounds similar to what you're doing right. I think what was interesting thing would probably should you know, stepped back and talk a little bit about Alexander S right and coming back to work. You know buildable. That September first was a challenge from me: just mental given my getting sort of back in the game is apt. Ember first was the day went back to work when I went back to work so now doesn't eighty of two thousand eighteen, so if we re wind one year when you know it's alive, over a year ago, you know my wife LISA Nicholson. When will we lost we lost an awesome friend, a daughter or sister Alexandra, and we lost her march nineteenth two thousand eighty analysis was was really
quite a shocker because nothing really stood out is fine. There anything I mean six hundred and forty five march 19th it's about fifteen, I'm on my knees on the Massachusetts Turnpike and I'm cradling Alexander in my arms, the rush hour traffic is going to work, it's really cold and it's not necessarily processing, but I think I get it. I lost my daughter right here. She is gone. I can tell she,
and then from that point on it's trying a little bit to make sense of it not to go crazy about it, but it's hard, I'm trying. I think what we're trying to do is put tools and place that allow honestly selfishly music human to continue to operate. Your family needs you. I mean you go right on the less oil you ve got your you. Ve got your kids I ve got you in your family and yeah, but I'm not if I can processes. In my mind, if Alexander couldn't speak up and felt tat, she was the burden. and felt that that was the solution to her pain or one. I wish I could have been there and had a conversation, but to why couldn t we
Well, I don't have to say why doesn't happen to other people. Could I think we learn from Jennifer asked in a couple weeks ago that the states are pretty. I missed the mean it's an yeah in that opened our eyes, because then you start looking and ridden really Little more about the stats new, like a man, lot of people are dying by suicide, forget about suicide for a SEC and you got people who aren't mentally was so you all have that resilient. So maybe they dance and depression you know or their anxiety. I know I have felt more, not depression, more anxiety and stress that I'm trying to figure out how to process the heck through so that I talk not all the time. Some days and really good at some days, I'm not so good at it, but I'm trying
Is it anxiety and stress, grief, in trouble, putting a name on I've gotta first label. I saw it. It's grief its. I'm really really really sad, and then I say again too What I learned a couple weeks ago from just you haven't Jennifer on she talked, I think, about multiple truth. It's about the end. You can feel sadness and I can swim in this God awful. I miss Alexander, so much At the same time, I'm laughing with my son Nicholas cause we're watching the latest Marvel comic Spiderman, same time. It's like this. It's like to me, maybe the definition of bitter, in a way that this is like two emotions at once. We like, while leaving a fun time in its almost
quite guilt, but it's just you feel, on the other end No more of these types with Alexander Alexander of which there are so many I'd, be grateful. I'm happy for you know what Of course. Of course, I remember reading a article and the new Yorker by a father who had lost a child to disease, he said aren't whose lost the child has a new. organ whose only job is to secrete sadness. And you don't know when it's pumping out ex produce it comes one wants when it wants to And I could be driving home, of course, of all the triggers song triggers play
Is that you ve been sure those are gonna come? Why wanted there? There such good times there such good memories, but they put you in the face or do Do you have to drive under the bridge we're drive over that bridge multiple times a day? My wife does, ah the kids to practice. just like we do in some days are nothing there. Absolutely nothing describe over and then there are times where they just I'm gonna, go different way. or you drive over. It hits you because you like town it all so happened fire in it. You just keep catching yourself. We like yeah,
Now accent was gone and if someone she's gone on vacation she's gone away Scot forever, I don't get to have another conversation with her. Ok yeah yeah ethics, because we were good friends. She was a great daughter, really really good person thoughtful kind. Now, just fun to be around carry. I wanna take a deep dive into how you're doing and what the various techniques you're using to cope with. I think that's inexhaustibly interesting, but I Think it makes sense, maybe now to step back, and tell us a little bit about Alexandra you just in but maybe sailor with more and also the events leading up to It was a knight nighttime, a night sure sure, wool, six, forty five pm me some of those six, forty five air. So let me give you an idea had happened and yet how it, how it, how it have
and so We have the Google location on for all the kids family? So we know where everyone is, in the morning when we woke up on a normal, otherwise normal Monday morning, right Alicia got up to wake up the kids, I'm a guy sleep as late as I possibly how you can get up in the morning and dumb Alisha was weary alexanders, not there. I'm thinking she went on for IRAN to note with some friends what they can. Maybe she's broke rule, maybe something but it's just not in the sphere of possibilities. At this anything. Alexander, would have done it seemed out of I don't know something I want otherwise be proud of
don't know how else to say other than that. So it was I worried now, but by that six, a dot m till six hundred and forty five. You know we on find myself on the Mass Pike and Alicia's on top you're right, you're down through the herself with, so that not at the time we looked back later to Tracker events. Thank second probably clarify, so the act, what actually happened was he left the house at around one thousand two hundred and forty five one, a dot m, went to the bridge and took her life and the mass pike is a major highway and message right, just clarify books how did you locator in the morning came over just sort of driving around. I I had my phone on seventy in telling my wife, I she must have dropped the phone, but that was going up and down north stream.
not realizing I'm driving over the Freaking mass pike realizing analysed, There is another one of those but anyway, Alicia took Emily to go to school cuz. It was getting late, Blackstone Valley, Tech and on the way there they took track the patterns in I dont know if, with Emily Alisha, who saw her boots, her water bottle her jacket and her journal and stack neatly on the pile on the end. the bridge they pulled over. They called me and I had a lot of a girl on the current head back then I was by this three four or five times so he stood there and then it looks so stupid to be stand. Sign of a bridge. Reading your daughter's journal getting a sense tread. You know something's wrong when I nothing
processing? Quite yet other then well, why don't you look so I leaned over the embankment sire Alexander, so I jump the fence and ran down, and I was hoping that maybe with recent, maybe she was warm. There was nothing we lost it and it was just on. I mean at least it was done. Emily was just sitting in the car not moving to stunt. When I come back up and. we had waited around for. I don't even know how long I was down there. Honestly, it's a blur. I think the thing one of the thing that hits me as I was talking to Nicholas up, maybe a few weeks ago Nicholas what were you doing when we were at the bridge? This is my son,
our ten years old we set out the children are younger. Yes, so Emily's sixty now Nicholas's thirteen in iniquitous. I was waiting viewed as come on, but he knew the dread and I mean he was definitely can I knew something bad happened, a MAC, How hard is that. To sit there and empty house. You are going to school. You know you like waiting for your parents to come on to find out what happened to your sister in owns on those outside, we miss her Well, I I guess we'll have a million questions. My mind is like how, Pressed- I am I mean As a father, I worry about this ever some bad happen to my son all the time
have you. I am. I am alone, bears to admit how often it goes through my head, but it's it's really frequent and If I am imagine how I would be if I lost him, I don't think I would be you know you have a beer light in your eyes, rightness in your eyes, You're alive there, it's very me sitting here, looking at you and your speech, you so well and you're upright and not fetal, and I just I can't imagine how I would be able to do that so that was June July August into September. yeah. That was that panic. That was the things that were just closing in me. I in army of rules chains. Things are changing of like ok. Is this house this? How what is it
I mean how do you lose Alexander was brilliant mark, you know just don't, just dives into the subject. Very she was pining for MIT. He was really going for in the big schools. What can you do in pushing yourself and love that about? I love that self. driving push we'd, love that we never saw the double edged or we didn't even sense. That that was a ay one that could cut me. Away meaning, I would recommend everybody impractical, put in the show notes we will put in the show. Not, I would recommend everybody watch Jim acts or ads from my friend from CBS his peace, spirits civically, the one that was unsavoury Sunday morning, the longer version which is really a love letter to your daughter,
and you will see a phenomenally ferociously impressive young woman who's in robotics clubs, today, students Marilla, you two years to one of our teachers, said of my old career she's one. for two years number, one or number, two of the smartest. Yes humans, I've taught said and she is just a very impressive person and you're saying what I just heard. You says something about the devil edge You think there was something in the strive striving for excellence that, by all appearances, was their net was she was this. The other edge of that was. She was cut yourself. Think so I think there's something to that where, if, when we learned through going, the journals, and I haven't gone through every page, because it's not constructive for me. I got an idea. I've got a lot of help from Jim Axelrod Windy grants produce her eyes,
the correct mark Arsenal who's, the globe writer who took the time to sit with us for you. No six german eight. I can remember the sittings. He got to sit with me in very angry Ray stun state in with them. We build a relation. We built a relationship of is like you guys to stay where money. This is a Boston glow reporter Yang in what he give us was a construction because we had we trusted. We decided to trust. So when you do, that We can do it over the journal and what he gave us was a heartfelt reconstruction of the the day hanging out with her that night, going to with Alexandra to defeat Clyro Concert in the Paradise in Boston, but that night or writing some the journal was so office
from the fun I thought she had had. It is interesting that video of her that night I want in Jim outwards, Ps his story, this video that I didn't want to eat? Maybe you were somebody shot of her at a concert? She looked happy. Yes, but then you see your journal entry from that night. If he said all I want, I would want to do. I myself I just want to be in. She was just and enter the cover or what's he gave us a sense of ice was having a good time and again probable, definitely stressed AP courses junior in high school what's going on, but it didn't feel is apparent. Omission ocean. I didn't feel it was out of the norms or it didn't feel like it was extreme, just felt like I'd something we just keep muslin through threw away OECD. The way I felt, and only she was working towards you know you know: hey Alexander, is everything Ok, you know an offence were more quiet unless quiet and and
in hindsight I have about a dozen things run like dean. Why don't you see that? When did you see this, but honestly was nothing that have to be honest to myself and give myself and I feel a little credit in not gonna beat. I haven't been myself because I can go down this rattle of. Why am I to this? I do I do that and I just stop look at them and say: ok, visa again. These are fond of my thoughts, Raider written. In part. If I want to go there, we are good parents. I know we're she's awesome can I think she got caught in a little warm whole thought there was to come out of when you don't feel like you want to share it in on you, don't want to at least be vulnerable Is it when you read those or when you became aware of it? intensive of the I read all of it. Youtube really didn't have it
any visibility to the depth of the anguish here now no, it was a shocker to find that my daughter would be constructing sentences like you are worth. Without you are a burden, you are a burden and it goes and a go. It's this Self loathing Nicholls really deep, I think, and we did a good Emily, whose sixteen my my second much out she said she had been sent in looking at the looking at the journey, About three days after the event, I is a dead end like oh, no, I dont want Emily. Reading out and was journalists as always to freshen. I think
just held up her hands is don't give me a minute, then she's cancer, my cookie too met, and then she looks he closes it and she just pushed aside goes. This is not the Alex Andrew. This is not an ex. This is not my sister understanding who I'm reading here and that helped me to say she was in a different place, five time that journal progress through the fall into the winter into March. What would you say to other parents releasing ministers? Terrified me here great question that says: will you see where my wife, at least you'll, have a more maybe eloquent answer to that? I don't know. The answer is I don't know I have to. I don't want to try to throw things out there to say talk to your kid
you know open up with your kids. You know- or you were doing it, read this but yeah. We were doing that this Isn T Rudy, open family. We have great conversations at the dinner table. I mean all the time so if this can get to, someone like Alexander does scare me, because I think it step back into a mentor resilience, and this might maybe this is a little bit of a subway to where we go back. If you can recognise that you're, not your thoughts or lease stepped back to say, look go at least have a capacity say. I'm spinning. Like reason, I need help. This doesn't feel right, then you should at least maybe make it a point to talk to three people talk to three people. You close to this is weird my mind, spinning right now you know. Actually I'm thinking
This world doesn't need me or you don't you think. Maybe in Ghana out, have occurred precision with someone you trust into that. It's gonna start from you, the parents are outside going. In its your mind, it's the person in the mind like yeah, I think that's, I would say it starts from within How do you build a mental resilience from within and honestly, I would say. Childhood meditation, maybe or starting early enough so a kid Well, who look at me go We can all right now aren't I still want to freak out They I have and visibility into their own inner processes so that their not sure So that they recognise oh, this is our usual. I need to talk to them and went on an expert on like each other. Manner when concrete goes too far,
draft reasoning, I notice that whole p She talks about how you can kind of look at things a little differently in your mind develops, but I've got to think that constant, pretty dined early were kids can just go, and that has wait till it. That means something, as opposed to it, doesnt quite that gravitas today, I feel it in the schools today that that's that important we spend more time doing teaching about other things, then getting a good base of operations. In our mind, do you think we are at it abbot, where unprecedented levels of anxiety and depression among young people these days? So the answer if I'm here, you correctly is onward talk about what has become an epidemic of umpteen suicide is as well is less about what
visual parents can do, especially because kids, don't always show signs, but it may be or of a systematic approach to teach all young people to have I have some sort of inner visibility to have some sort of inner resilience so that they can park when they need help right. very scenario, I think so something along those lines in its more that becomes more reprogram. Moreover, in our culture the investment, but even if it's just you know, mom and dad
two kids anything. What can I do to help with depression? Maybe had something to say: let's start with a little bit of slowing things down and had so you have space to observe, still gonna be anxious. You still made be depressed, but I think that's a starting point and then you can re the modalities and the tools and all the things you want to build. On top of that, but start with an idea that you are not your thoughts, I think that's probably why I'm I feel like this is still fairly new to me. I'm trying to practice it because I don't really. I don't really have only feel like there's another option. For me anyway stage and more of our conversation, is on the way after this better help offers licensed, professional councillors specialised in a week
array of issues like depression, anxiety and grief, conduct with their profession. counselor and a safe private online environment, it's a truly affordable option and listeners can get ten percent off your first month by going to better help dot com, slash happier fill out a questionnaire to help them assess your needs and get matched with the counselor you'll love oh you ve been through what I would imagine to be the worst thing anybody could go through what
are you doing to keep yourself up right? I have the great question so, first of all, I promise they think I promised my wife that I would stay open. First thing you want to do is closer in orbit of an f you to the world a little bit like. Ah, you know, I've lost control. How did this happened so then I say: ok, what's the opposite of that, it would be being remaining open and try. new things so step. One is to keep try new things. You know you you shot me lying to say you have an interesting story. You wanna come down. My first instinct was like ah well he's in the stomach like why why? Why would I want to put myself out there in on this,
isn't necessarily my style, and then I say why not? Why wouldn't I want to try, and why would I want to do something, but I otherwise like and then, and then that's been sort of my mantra led me into meditating in the morning so it doesn't matter, have on I think this morning was often suffer, orange overrun sulphur on that terrorists have your on the ten percent have your at, so that was fifteen minute, pull down, get it just in and start, and I think that was around just coming in just coming from an anxious performance in fatty stuff like that, every day grab something into us will have on. I have the waking up podcast from some Harris. I use his. He changed in the other. He changes. Pack has to making sense also has an apt that teaches them met people meditate, which is called waking up
It'll take a year or two before he gets his channels the upcoming children? That's ok in a tired when you he got such a good groove with the waking up yeah, it's a communal, so I use that and the idea is anything and everything I tend to need, guided, because that keeps me focused as opposed to an unguided. Ah, in my pocket, I have three days for a ten day retreat, but I'm scared crap to do, but I'm just got three dates: attendee retreat, maybe I'll, try that Sunday at all I've guys I've entertained meditation with gratitude that house, because, when you think gratitude and from what I have read if you're feeling, really happy to be here and think of the joy that we're getting being in New York for the first time as a family. Yet we should say
you're, here, wife and and two children have come down made the trip, I'm looking right now through the glass. Yes, that is it waving back like I can stick, and I can honestly say this is cool right. This is fine, I'm doing something with the family all right and then you can feel the good. So you can take that feeling of gratitude and apply to as part of my conditioning with its fifteen or twenty minutes a day, I'll try to meditate with gratitude. I try to stay some. What are they montresor I'll just say like I'm worthy and intention? My intention, I am enough. I am loved, boils simple things to say. Now? Two guys, I'm fifty one you're, forty, seven yeah, hey, let's talk Let's go get a beer and talk about how you are worthy, how you loved it? How does that Go down? You know in hang it
with the guys rule to get a grip on this earth MACHO Boston rights situation, but I have the same kind of exposed, my underbelly of criminals. something to you not feeling worthy that you feel, like you ve Dr Dr Argon, you aren't enough- that you drive dry and you postboy strikes me that those montresor intentions were slogans when everyone a calm, those collect the opposite of your daughter's journal. Here I am haven't thought about. That I mean I'm can often selfish journey selfish journey or simply feel like. I don't get my game together I really felt like this past summer. I dont want to read PETE the panic attacks. I don't wanna, so I feel like this and you are having actual panic attacks yeah
crying waiting till someone would come home. You know- and I remember doing that a couple times it was pretty strong of not feeling just feeling very tense and anxious so getting a regular habit or practice of meditation making, through your feeling that that a power whether you wanna think shock rose. What you want, I just hate in you know energy or grounding or visualizing. White, lighter in others, something too that in any that, turning them into a self in applying it to where you feel you needed the moss or projecting it out to you in just wrap in you up with white light of love in not practice at that. I don't have use of that, but I sure, as hell keep their own because it does put me in a state of being more compassionate. I go through the day just
a little more little more animal tooled up with with town and on our side. don't want anything that comes on your way to China to get wrapped up in her thoughts. The charcoal white light thing? Who who were you get enough from? He also so my sort o my influences on Dawson Church the book mind to matter Dawson, Turkey does ensure tat. I thought that was helpful because that's one say sort of camped out on the meditations. Has ok, ten percent happier my foot in the door. in the door and there's something I want Would you go from here in the internet? to hear like we. Your journey is because I got five six ten, but ten years now you're into it. So
how you know. Where are you from that practice from for me? I think I got a foot in the door and I still need to honor that, because I can't ever assume I am, I don't know not that I don't want to assume that I'm still, one. I've got everything gone, they dont. When I lose, I lose it and that's. Ok, I'm trying to process, but the grief come let wash over me but don't hold onto it. It's about the the impertinence of things it's about. I think The gentleman by the name of Joe denying, oh, you had on gas without what I asked his wife, but yet is king in processing through it, he seemed to have game around meditation and a good place out we ve been doing for decades. In my car? I didn't quite feel that
like I don't feel like, I can just camp out, I'm just gonna go meditate now am I gonna, I'm gonna grieve like a mother I'm going to grieve hard and I'm going to say that's okay and grieving hard, meaning. Lately it's been writing in a blog and a friend suggested put it out. There exposed your under belly button and I'll just if it feels right. Let it go so that's been. Another method I've been using. It is writing it down. My friend, you merely to word press, which is a way to blog. Some kind of this too, and I. just created this thing called a facebook account. I had passed Mr Alexander Weedin Africa. There will never go to the dark side, but I did created and because I wanted to send links us. Someone could look at my named in Belarus on Facebook and I'll
readily, except and I'm not doing it necessarily for personal connections. I've already agreed set my intentions that I would like to share my stories because this other people out there who feeling, when I'm feeling and through that you get a link to the word press, The proper url will be in the show notes for this progress. So would you say you know he returned before about impermanence in likeness, and another thing anything about recently is impaired this can be deeply inconvenient and then incredibly convenient its deeply angry when you realise that you and everybody. You know we're all impermanent that's hard. right and then the committee inside is when you drowning in a hard emotion, if you wake up in the middle of an say. If I lean into this thing or not a thing all actually violin into this set of feelings. They will pass. have, you is really can read and they in his how
So I think I know I know what you just said is true, drawing a blank from where I read this from, but it's really heard it might be seen dams, coming up here. It's hard to sustain your anger late. If I'm angry at something or whether I'm really sad or am, I think, about Alexander. I can stay there if it's a little bit easier. I think you know, but Alexander, but just on the surface, if you angry at something you almost drift away from, and after three five minutes and then it's like. I was a piss guy cut me off. He must took off my front bumper. What the hell was. He thinking people travelling these days and then I M just working back into that state of Whatever it is like getting in just whatever worked me are in, I just I get the spoon and I just
There are the heart of what I am getting along this, as I just want to talk more about this as such. To four. You guess, that's for me to you ever get area, and if we do that, SAM, I think the riff you referred to and I've. I love this thing. He said, which is that the half life of anger, or of any emotion is like to. right so, but the problem is we re up it voluntarily. We we take the spoon as to use your analogy. We stir it up yet, as the we don't know any better, and so anger gets extended from two minutes to an hour to a lifetime and his His argument, I love this is that the differ the amount of damage you can do in an hour of anger or grief or whatever it is jealousy or whatever it is, and two minutes, but that difference the delta there is incalculable yes and ate up by that, so that sort of like something that I had read, two thousand fifteen slash, two thousand went up in it
still holds true. So when I'm driving and I have a trigger a team- seems to happen, in different. I never know when something reminds me of Alexandra that hits management, usually a song that we loved or even like into a new album, comes out that we would have shared. I can share with her and then like really sad and I'm ok, you're gonna cry, I even a ball. Aren't you gonna probably punch the dashboard, I put you Blenkiron get over in IRAN and sometimes I lately I've been blogging or not. Thirdly, by images writing down in, like a note exactly what I'm feeling, how hard is it called there go there and let it read the ones I can't say that I am argue seems half life of two minutes
when you're in this this happiness. I guy it's. Actually the gravitational pull, but there still is So I know it may not be too in for this ample, I'm thinking of an Westboro Centre going home from work. Where I pulled over to write down. I think it was my Sunday reflections la it was fifteen minutes pure ball crying and then some thing it. It evaporates adjust distance. Where I say you know it is time for dinner. If you now, you do have Nicholas to bring telegraph at seven thirty or you do have a micro, and then you can choose to feel guilty and say, look at you forgetting how important Alex and who has a new should you should live in this house
stir that part I miss her. But what's the damp what's that damage I'm doing in so those there's a tool bars are told to say you're, not my thoughts, just a good one I have shown it is. Saving face, is incredible practice of his when SAM's talking about the half life of angry is talking about garden, variety, annoyance, right, you're, talkin about something sooner me right, assume not me! It's not in the airport, and so the ability to wake up out of that again, I can't imagine it. I can't imagine it, but it sounds to me to my ears unbelievably impressive into practice, though of course cause you know it doesn't doesn't necessarily come naturally, but some but its. But it's coming up more than the noise
to say, hey heating. You feel like stepping back from this one cause you're about to go, deepen This might go just it's just an gifts to an ugly place, I'm like yeah. I want to dance or a little bit. I think I want to be a little bit ugly right and I had something to say: give myself permission boy, it's can feel the third. The slippery slope of sadness serve like ok. Let me just make a cheap keep trying to carve some lines there, because again I have to negotiate this. In my mind, right archives, and only one talk about mine. Sadness for Jeremy Richmond just another and another tangible boy. When I heard about his passing germ either. I am, I think, he's a was heading the Aerial Foundation Aviano his daughter, Jeremy,
Jeremy stouter, ideal hobby. He called her died in at the massacred Newton and he was on the show he was in the chair on the show and he was an incredible human being, madam you, madam, and we the same. We got to see on aid brown staring greatly. He gave us vip tickets and sin can imagine which went through yeah. Can you since Donna it's just does bad again and he was he was already hook up to get my I Felicia reached out she reached out there they'll foundation, and they responded and they said, Commander keep going, keep going to try new things come on. If there's a talk that you think might get on out, so we drove down on a Tuesday night. I thought he was the coca I was in two hours for a car. I had a lot of them. after all, many say: hi. How are you I'm great?
As the food over there, I need something I can't I felt like I felt like a deck at my wife. Of course, you know how wives can be, hi Germany. This is my husband dean among our dearest then it dawned on me I'm like okay, so she knows the guy's name and then to the course of that night. I got to see a dad who stood up on stage who didn't look. Guy would stand up and state who spoke very well, who spoke with a passion about something he believes in- and I just finished- Bernay Browns during greatly in new book daring to Lee Writ lead. We were reading now my wife and I, but soon rest with turn in his courage. Look at him after six years, so back to the slippery slope. Widow
that right As it is a guy who, I thought was negotiating it as a dad, as someone is trying to negotiate, is way through this thicket. If I went and he's gone. yeah chose as a solution or away to end his pain to take his own life. yeah very recently, and we in our own But all ten percent world here that obviously through us for a loop- and I I can only imagine what is done to his family and people in his immediate circle and yes, oh, which is you, mention Jan Ashton. Recently, my colleague after generation medical here too. As you know, we had her on Dakota help us process that has she lost her husbands, who said Sandy very hopeful. Yes, she she is very helpful So I dont know what am I still don't know what to make of it. It's hard. So he heard the soul you can start each day these days, trying to find the time to just give a little pause.
the day, is gonna get ahead of me, work and stuff and then say how you doing today. What's my mind like I I'm gonna be here, and I want to be one of the things I can do and went in open, keep moving, it's on trying things like doing things. I've never done before just saying yes, it's a little bit more and that Bernay Brown daring greatly, which is being vulnerable, Meaning into your fear, Simon, leaning, into an ok, it's kinda hard when you have the stress and anxiety rising, but I'm ok, let that come where it come and see. If you can see, if you can do and each time I do. I I'm finding that expressing myself would say. Two people Lizzie this? Who.
have gone through horrible things or know that life we all go through horrible things in are worried about folks, maybe. worried about their own ability to to handle it sounds like your overall messages. Actually, maybe for stronger than we think we're. I hope so here's what I've been getting, or when you're, when you lose the daughter to suicide. You hear a lot of stories. I think people need to share a lot of times. You find yourself listening in its Sorry about your story, Alexander about it's. It's about person sharing what they ve gone through, and I think everyone s story, I'm learning very quickly that everyone's gonna story Well, I'm not so sure about in an hour. I hope I am wrong, but what I'm is resonating, as I fear I feel
I fear I see a lot of people who are nervous and and not sure how to carry forward. Clothing by being tight, hold it together. You got family there come on by on. You know how to compete, toughen up toughen up at work for, like forty nine years, throw anything at me. I'm going to come back at you twice as hard something's changed with tools of saying toughening top turn up muscle through it. I can handle anything on thinking of parents in this is how it is. I don't know, I think if you slow down and have a little bit of faith, I don't know how to use that word in the sense that I'm using like
in two things you otherwise what an upturn! I think we atrophy ass, we get older with less and less. Unless we get warm, was slowly get a nice good shared a watch. Our show on reassuring recline and where do I put my drink, all hello. Eighty five may reckon make it that long and just sort of settle into him. Let me put on D in the news that the channels that work for me- and I actually think we need to turn all of that on its head- And if one you're not listening to again, you can listen to whatever amount of news you want, but it should be from all sources. It has to be from all sources. You should talk to people, you don't agree with. You should do all these. things in its real easy to know what you don't want to do good. You know
start shying away from. It starts by lack of eye contact. Put it down. I don't have a conversation with someone Ah, it starts when my son Nicholas tells me he. Hadith on parents night. If you want to play bass, seventh grade basketball quiz, he tells me at seven hundred and twenty two on a seven hundred and thirty practice But I've got my Jim back in the back seat. I drop him, often I drive away. I don't want to make him. I can still durable abbess almost twelve fifteen years. I think I have the capacity to run up and down the court. This is all ism driving away, but
Look at me. I'm smart enough to put on that Brenner Brown, audible, audible, book, an icon and just hit me I'm like to stop not. Why not try something. Do things keep breaking out? Keep testing the edges, so I turned around, went back and play basketball, Hopefully showed him and his friends, I got a little game, it elsewhere. Look at him, he's Marquis like giving you tomorrow, as a matter of wheat night everything I thought about that night: beef from that seven, twenty two
seven thirty. Those eight minutes was a non apposite thought. It was a girl only how I could screw it up or how I could maybe not look cool as dead to a seventh greater with his friends. Now thinking just go play so these these are examples of my gun. When I would say to parent is, do something think of love be creative, the open screw it. Everyone thinks lean into it and try something how be downright. Who cares what people think we started from a good place. I love that then it seems to me you were set it in the wake of this disaster, where you could have done what I would imagine more. The institutional move from most of us would be fatal. I've, no a ball, create a shell find a local pub
export he used to get to own yes to anesthetize, tough and you're saying no, no, I'm gonna do the counter intuitive thing and I'm sure to open up to the whole world. people disagree, maybe will agree with me experiences that scare me etc, etc. That's your account intuitive approach to this horrible event? Yeah it doesn't naturally cause you wanna go you gonna, stick with your safety and comfort, and I salute that's. Ok I recognise and gave her. You don't have to be out there all the time but question every time enough, I'm not at least. maybe my real now is only the no once a week every couple days- I'm not saying yes, I'm not risk. Bonding to I'm probably more social than I've ever been. I don't like to text. I don't necessarily like to call people on the phones on I'm a little bit like my grandfather,
my prepare to just put around in the backyard. Do things and just be little home body than I realize now saw about networks tall about so the networks, not in the sense of media in the sense of connecting with people in community. So that you grow and you have a place and you love and while you're here you share that and that's the simple is going to breakfast every month with a bunch of guys. I go with it, keeping that up and what you're saying yes to something like sitting in talking on a podcast, very glad you did. I think it's old enemy Orton, and I value it immensely and before we close, let me just ask you: is there anything I should have asked you would fail to boy
now. I would think there's I feel like I have the luxury of listening to you for several years and I love what you do because I think, what you bring is a a survey and you're more readily acceptable to a larger channel. people who need, I think, special interest in age needed entrance to a different way to go about things. Oh I do have thousands of questions, but they come from. Like proof, conversations that you have. That would be out of context so step. One is The reason why They too says you got game over SAM because you are approachable, you know
I think what I would say is that the Jonathan Jonathan Height reference in the righteous mind of the? U can reason the crap out of everything and really have game and SAM nails. But it's like he's trying to send all these elephants over to the left. Heads you're not listening to us, because everyone here all gone by our intuitions are God's our feelings and that's hard to change I think the platform that you bring maybe a little bit at your welcome its in its nice entrance, I don't know what the channels are, but I think what you guys do is, I think, more hopeful. You see it as you and your foreign and other sea is so important.
Because I think we are starting to think a dilution of information. This is my. I think it also to this day and age more information coming in the wicked. So I guess we not so with Cancun summit, all you have to choose a chance. I, if tv channels gotta make sure that ones bring me the right stuff, I think you're bringing that right stuff. So I would just say thank you for having me on. I do appreciate what you're doing and you gotta keep this I every intention to give a gun. I really appreciate doing this. I can't read the minds of our listeners: have not developed that capacity, we hear from all the time and I have a strong sense if you find this incredibly valuable. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you great job, big thanks to deal for coming. In quite brief, what I want to give you some some resources. For
dealing with this subject before I dive into that big thanks to one of the producers on the show grace Livingston who did a bunch of research. I was going to read to you from what she wrote after it the episode we did a few months ago with Doktor John Ashton, my colleague, we heard from a lot of you that you you'd like to hear more practical information about how to relate compassionately to the topic of suicide. So, before we had into our voice miles a close out, the show we're gonna share some resources and information that should help us all flex. Our compassion muscles on this incredibly important subject is that if the following information. from a few key sources that I would recommend that you check out a good place to start is a website called, be the one to dot com. So that's b e t never won t o dot. Com will put this in the show notes
be the one to dotcom. It was created by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which offers tangible action plans for helping to prevent suicide. You can check out their resources page which will link you straight to many other sources, for the information we're gonna share here once jumping off point on this subject is to think about the language we use around suicide. It is best to use the phrase death by. Suicide or someone died by suicide rather than the phrase com suicides is the word committing has sinful stigma that may actually deter somebody from looking for help for going out and getting help. If they in fact are experiencing, saddle thoughts that that was a new learning from and I'm making? That's which, as of now, be the one to dot com offers a tangible plan for helping prevent suicide with at risk individuals. I would recommend you check out the full details yourself, but here's a brief overview. Five steps according to them step number one.
to ask so literally asking the question: are you thinking about suicide, contrary to popular belief, asking and at risk individual deny, increase their likelihood of adapting suicide, but rather open and non judgmental communication about suicide may, in fact, decrease, suicidal ideation, an important part of this is also listening to the persons response in a compassionate way. Step too, is keeping them safe by asking questions, finding out more about their thoughts or plans, taking steps to reduce access to things like fire, her arms if they're in immediate danger. This may also include driving them to the e r set. Three is be, their dismay include being physically present. Talk on the phone on or finding another way to show support. You are be careful not to overcome it, but letting the person know that you're there with them can be a huge source of connection and support step for is to help,
then connect, this might mean ensuring they have access to the lifeline. Witches eight hundred to seven three, eight to five five, eight hundred to seven three, eighty five again will put that in the end, the show notes or you might connect Two other support systems within their community might also set up a safety plan using the my three app or are other crisis intervention tools and the final steps at five is whether it is following up whether in person, by phone or by text following up after the initial conversation, helped build connection and ongoing support. So again, the website is be the one to dot com and if you personally are struggling with thoughts of suicide of you worried about a friend or a loved one, there is help available. You can call the National suicide Prevention Lifeline at one hundred to seven three, eight to five five, one, eight hundred to seven three talk
or you can text talk de L K to seven for one seven for one or you can visit suicide prevention, lifeline dot, Org and that's free confidential emotional support, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. So even if it feels like it, you are not alone, big thanks again to gain floors for coming on and for Grace Livingston for putting together that information. Ok, let's do some voice mouse, here's number one there Brian gone from what I've been medicated bore, often on by two years now tat bottle out while ago in came pressure, but about two months ago
there have been sending out earlier our gas by everyday guy. I appreciate all that had a couple working for your first ball. How do you I'm hoping? Maybe you can help me on it? I find myself getting more frustrating then I might use my gave the go ahead to form an eight year old kid. I try to steady mindful when they put but sometimes my best me and I dont be mindful and then later on. I regret Furthermore, there is no way to really think about how I took them things differently. This was wondering, if maybe had
on how to handle that maybe embedded meditations or maybe a couple second retort like Duke- can help me with deputy, secondly, think about going to some meditation, glided, primarily sure which one I should look into another bad variety out there, but I do know- maybe you are familiar with that Iowa area and maybe you gotta pointing in the right direction, but I brigade everything you do. I really really can help me out so keep up the good work. Thank you You great great set of questions here. I'm gonna do the second one first and I'll just do it really quickly. We talked about this kind of thing about how to find a meditation resources before, but I dont know the Iowa super well, but I think if you just search, you know insight or
Fulness Meditation Iowa on Google, you ve, you probably come on. You can come up with something it if you're not finding anything locally. There are teachers who will teach vs Skype. Also, there are apps. Let's can sound a little self interested since I have one or we have one, but there are many tapped out there into my cat just from the noodling around that I've done. They all seem quite good. So that's that, on the on the on the stuff about kids, look, I would give yourself a break speaking as a parent. It is basically if your kid it's your job, to figure out your parents weaknesses and exploit them relentlessly. So they're going to be pushing your buttons and you're not going to be perfect. Maybe some days, and maybe a you're, enlightened you're, going be perfect, but I don't know anybody's perfect.
I'm gonna mangled this quote, but Joseph Goldstein, my meditation teacher once quoted the Dalai Lama to me. So this is a second hand quote that I'm trying to reproduce from memory something about somebody asked the dollar I'm a once. How do you know if you are succeeding in meditation in me, said well, if you lose useful, lose a temper eight times a day and now you're losing your temper six times a day than your succeeding. So look. I think that you know you can take it from a print from a pretty good sort. Their perfection is not on the menu and you're gonna. Is your temper once in awhile, maybe frequently it's it's really but marginal improvement over time, in my view, but here's one practice from my friend Diana Winston.
Meditation teacher? Who is on a few weeks ago? That may be useful in those acute moments? When sums go out, your kids, it's a little acronym s, tee o p stop. So if and when rank try to reproduce. This from memory is well said the s is for stop, so you just stop and paused. First Second, as Diana says, with she got a nine year old daughter and limiting tv during the summer is a place of conflict so which you find yourself frustrated, she's, finds it stopping and pausing is really powerful. The tea for taking a breath there. There is a lot of sites that indicates that deep breathing can have a positive physiological impacts of creating com and reducing emotional reactivity, o is observe, observe what's happening. Is your: are racing? Is your stomach, turning refilling, irritated, angry, etc, etc, and simply knowing that you have these feelings can help you not be so blindly yanked around by them in their region.
This shows that in naming your emotions can turn now the volume on the fear circuitry in your branches, basic mindfulness and then p is proceed. Hopefully, with a little bit more common awareness and so s tee, o p, you at first it you're gonna forget do it or when you do it, you urge struggled to remember what what is it s in what's tee in what's up, but if you just keep added over time, develop the mental muscle memories so that eventually you'll get to a situation where some reasonable presented a time you'll be able to put it to use and not blow your stack every time your kids push your buttons, but again, don't don't aim for perfection cause. I think that's gonna be pretty dispiriting. Thanks to the questions. Let's do voicemail number to hide them. Greeting problem
George calling from often agree congratulation love your uncle love your books. I've been following you everything, Sir Burglars day, one quick motion for What it comes down to medication for non native english speakers. Do you see a benefit and are there any studies for changing and translating the meditation into our native language, for example, when it comes down to MECCA, I always find it easier and slightly more effective to translate Met upgraded in Greek or may be the same for the pain and any other things that required noting
are there any studies, and what do you think about that? Should we stick to English or other the benefits of going straight to the native language? Thank you. I haven't seen any studies, and all I can answer is from my own personal experience of perspective, like what I would do, which is that I would put it in your native tongue yours. I say that, is it really? out about the power of any specific language, its power. What's happening in your own mind, and so, if it's easier for you to generate the awareness or the feelings of matter friendliness in your native tongue then go for it. Why not? Even if the guided medicine You're using is in English if it's not creating too much cognitive load. then doing the translation in using the words in your native tongue seems to me. If I were in your position, I certainly would do that
now being said, you know, they're, there are little words and Polly. You know the ancient indian language that I've been taught overtime that are useful for me, like the word propaganda, which means its technically the imperialistic tendency of minded. When used in something bad happened to you, and all of a sudden, you know you you get out, you get an email from your bossing any to talk to you and then all of a sudden. You create this quickly, quick and and horrifying movie in your mind, of all the terrible things are about to have an EU getting fired and live under a bridge, and it happens really quickly. You're imperialistic leisured colonizing the future. With these negative thoughts, fantasies imaginings, I find that that word punches. a good mental note when I notice it happening in my meditation practice as propulsion. Or in my life noted,
and then that allows me to kind of loosen my grip on it not be so attached to it, not be so own by it. So there are times when obviously Polly It's not my mother tongue using another lie which can be useful, but in an don't take what I'm saying as gospel, but for just my gut is that using your mother tongue would be more useful, so called again call for Greece. That's great, thank you for following what I've been doing for so long, George Bush, that another note and other George with greek roots, George definite plus previous guest, on the show shadow. To George shut out to my views running the boards, as I record this on a Sunday morning and to the producers of the show the or mention grace. Livingston, Samuel, Johnson and a heavy rain has her boss around here. Big thanks to our pike. Has an insider should give us feedback every week. We look at it closely
and in a forms are we do what we do and of course, thanks to everybody, listen dishevelled, vat! Next Wednesday, with another one. There's not a person in Amerika who hasn't been impact it in some way by the corona. I was pandemic, but it every community. There are pockets of people who were soon
every day. This is my last day of the cylinder stretch to drive off about photos from one of our Visa or America's essential workers, the people who are keeping moving. I turn into a home school mom and now in a new programmes. From eighty see news you gonna hear from damage. I she went back to my office and so unkind because he is not here, and I can assure you that our community has found faintly worrying. This is essentially inside the from the emergency room. The police cruiser to the Czech outline Yuki one. This pandemic sounds like the people putting themselves no one's way, there's always a risk. Brain is home to re. Kids are my husband or maybe errands, listen to the essentials inside the curve on Apple podcast, river, pod, costume.