Hi, I’m Dr. Valerie Baker and you’re watching my vlog. Thank you so much for being here, for watching, reading, and commenting. I encourage you to go back to the previous vlogs where you might have left a comment and read my response and also read other people’s comments and my responses to them. I appreciate you sharing and asking questions. It’s such a beautiful, enlightening conversation that’s unfolding. It’s all about taking charge of your life, so you that you can reclaim your birthright of happiness, fulfillment, and abundance, regardless of your life’s circumstance.
Thank you for following along with the circumstances of my life unfolding. I so appreciate your support and I’m here today to share exciting updates. First of all, we moved back into the house after over four months of being away. Many of you asked how come we had to move out. It was from medical reasons: we had to complete a remediation, a restoration, that had to do with environmental factors affecting my husband’s health. Those factors are very widespread and present in 50% of dwellings in the United States, but they’re very little talked about, even in the medical field. Especially in the medical field, unfortunately.
If you would like to know more, just ask me in the comments and I will share with you about these environmental factors, what we now know. We now know a lot more than I ever wanted to know about this, but we’re back in the house, and this is exciting, I’m recording this in my office, in my studio. Another exciting update is that according to my six year old daughter, I am famous. The reason for this is that my new podcast called #InChargeShow is live and you can access it on my website, but the best place to listen is iTunes or Stitcher, depending on if you use Apple or Android products. The reason being is that you can subscribe, so that the episodes get delivered automatically and it’s free, of course.
I interview women from different walks of life and the theme uniting them all, the theme of the podcast is women who won’t settle. They won’t settle for anything less than the happy fulfilled and abundant life they were born to live. In order to not settle for less, they overcome really challenging circumstances regarding relationships and health and career and business and they candidly share on the show. I’m so grateful to have these amazing fantastic guests and from what I’m hearing from our early listeners, the show is really resonating with people who are finding inspiration and useful tools in our conversations.
To listen, you can go to www.inchargeshow.com. There’s also a link right here on my site. If you like the show, please leave us a five start review and share, most importantly. Share with other women who won’t settle, so that we can create this high tide that lifts all boats.
Today I will share with you more about what begins to happen when you refuse to settle. I’ll talk a little bit more about how our society conditions us to settle and how that becomes the status quo and how that becomes really an addiction that we need to break. It becomes a spell that we need to break. I shared in the last two weeks’ vlogs about the first of such spells that our society casts on us and this spell is stress. And the way I define stress, is resisting reality.
Today I’ll talk to you about what happens when you start to break the spell of stress. What magic becomes accessible and what traps to look out for on the other side.
All right, so as usual I’m reporting from my own inner lab. As I’ve been sharing these tools with you, I have been using them as well. If you need a refresher on the tools, please visit my last week’s vlog. I talked about the tools for your mind, your body, your breathing, and behavior.
As I might have mentioned before, I don’t like to work uphill. I don’t see the reason to work harder than we need to. I’m looking for the most bang for my buck, for the easiest entry point that will create the biggest change.
For me, in terms of combating stress, and for most people I know, breathing is the most powerful and the most accessible, the most immediate tool you can use. Once your breathing is steady, your nervous gets a signal that all is well. All is well. You don’t need to say that affirmation, though you can. More powerful than the words is the direct message of your nervous system that all is well on the cellular level, the body level.
Because what happens when we just say the affirmation without shifting the nervous system, it creates this cognitive dissonance. The mind is saying one thing, but the body’s saying another thing and guess which one wins. The body always wins. The body always wins.
Unless we have developed these very advanced yogic techniques that completely override the functioning of the body, such as, advanced yogis said to be able to control the work of their liver and their heart and their metabolism. If you’re there, by all means. I’m not.
For me, shifting the body into a more relaxed state translates instantaneously into a more relaxed thinking, by which I mean not lazy thinking, but thinking that’s creative and open to possibilities. It translates into behaviors that promote staying present. Staying present with my life, with what’s happening. You might have heard me define happiness this way before. Happiness is being fully present with what’s happening.
For me, regulating my breathing and relaxing my body create happiness most immediately. The mind and behavior follow. Just to give you an example of kind of the magical events that have become possible when I go from stressed and closed to relaxed and open.
When we were staying at the hotel, we had a pretty tight space and every time I would try to get a bigger room, they would always be sold out and it just wasn’t working out. I was really stressed. I was really trying, but the moment I relaxed, the moment I did this, I picked up the phone in a very relaxed state, I said “Hey, what’s the room situation?” Immediately I got somebody who was so willing to help and said, “Yeah, we can move you to this room. It’s much bigger. It has a full kitchen and a Jacuzzi tub and we’re not going to charge you anything extra for the upgrade.” I’m like, “Okay, thank you.”
In my vlog a couple weeks ago, when I shared with you about this stressful situation that got us ultimately to move out of the home and live in the hotel and having to do with my husband’s health. I shared about the straw that broke the camel’s back. For me, it was the interest that was charged on my credit card overnight in the amount of over $6,000, which was completely out of the norm for me and not at all aligned with how I roll financially. From a very stressed out state, as you might imagine, I tried to solve the issue, calling, demanding, complaining, and nothing, nothing, nothing was happening at all. I was hitting a wall.
Once I started using the tools to step into the fullness of my life in the moment and relax, this new solution became available to me. I came across the explanation of the law that had to do with issuing credit that this particular company did not abide by and I connected with an agency that oversees these regulations. I didn’t have to fight, I didn’t have to plead, I didn’t have to do any pushing. I just explained the situation to them and they went back to the company and the company issued me full credit. I didn’t have to fight at all.
This is the magic of opening and unfolding. I can go on and on, but I would love to hear from you.
When you start relaxing and when you shift from this state, the closed stressed state when you resist reality, to this state of opening and surrendering, allowing life to take you by the hand. What happens in your life? I would love to know. What miracles, what opportunities? How is your life different?
For me, the biggest miracle is really life itself. That becomes accessible to me when I’m open and present. A mindfulness teacher Thich Nhat Hanh once said, and I heard him say that at a retreat that I attended with him in 2009, he said, “The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on Earth.”
When it really hits home with you, at least for me, it brings up so much joy, so much ecstasy. In the recent days, weeks, since I started remembering to use the tools that I’m teaching you in my own life, I’ve been ecstatically enjoying the simple moments of everyday life, no matter what’s going on. Being around my family, just doing grocery shopping, just looking at people and connecting with people and being so open and feeling so much warmth from everybody, including you.
What it brought up for me, something to look out for that might be happening for you, too, is the sense of regret or grieving for all this time that I was not present, was not 100%. It’s not that I’m at 100% now, but I’m much more there than before. With this regret, there is this newfound motivation to keep going and to keep using the tools.
What also comes up very clearly is how strong this addiction to stress really is. It is created by our culture that is telling us, “Do, do, do, more, more, more,” and the more you’re doing, the more you’re going to be loved and accepted and successful. We just don’t give ourselves permission to relax, because there is this underlying, overarching cultural belief that relaxing is not productive and not being productive is not good and if you’re not good, guess what? You’re not lovable and you’re not worthy.
This is terrible. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The truth is when we’re closed and tense and stressed, no matter how productive and how much we may be doing, the value of that contribution may be so much less, because we’re not in touch with the source of our creativity, we’re not being the clear channel to receive this inspiration. When we are, we don’t need to stress, we don’t need to work so hard, because things flow so much more easily.
Please let me know what you think about it and what you notice from being stressed to being relaxed when you’re more productive and when you’re more creative and when you feel more joy.
I look forward to sharing more with you about these cultural spells or addictions that we all fall under. Stress is only one of them.
The second one I’ve alluded to just now. I call this spell conditional love–this currency that is traded in our society from the moment we begin to understand what’s going on and it really never goes away. We’re told how to be and how not to be and we’re made to feel that if we’re being too much or not enough, or we have a wrong body type, or wrong clothes, or wrong friends, or wrong income, or live in the wrong neighborhood, or aspire to wrong things–that we’re not lovable.
We’re not validated for who we truly are and then what starts happening to us is that we start departing from who we truly are. We start departing from our life that’s happening for us. That is just waiting for us to step in. Waiting to take us by the hand, so that it can become most joyful, happy, fulfilled and abundant for us. But this cultural spell of conditional love is keeping us from accessing that current of happiness, fulfillment and abundance.
Please let me know what you think about that and if you’d like to hear more. I am planning to share with you more about this spell and other spells. I have uncovered seven of them in the course of my work as a therapist and spiritual seeker and a yoga teacher and also through my research, my doctoral research on transformation. I can share that with you as well, but in the meanwhile I would like to know what questions you need answered right now.
Where do you feel you may be settling for less than your most fulfilled, happy and abundant life? What kind of support you sense you might need for breaking those spells or using those tools and stepping into your true destiny?
I hope my podcast #InChargeShow will inspire you and offer you some tools and we will definitely continue this conversation via vlogs. I look forward to reading and responding to your comments.
Talk to you next week.
Stay in your heart.