How To Heal Your Trauma & Unlock Your True Potential
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About This Episode
Stephanie Hartwell is one of my go-to people for anything personal development.
She's the person you message when you first hear of some new concept and you don't know if its worth digging deeper into. She'll reply in minutes with an insightful reply and a "dig deeper" or "go here instead" answer which ALWAYS leads me to new breakthroughs faster.
In this episode, I wanted the rest of the world to benefit from Steph's wisdom. I spent almost 2 hours asking her every question I thought you'd want to know the answer to.
There's so much gold in this one. If you enjoyed it, let us know on Instagram at @freethewageslave
In This Episode, You'll Learn:
- What are the tools you just keep going back to for healing trauma?
- Why trauma isn't always about something "bad" happening to you
- The most-effective tools to manage day-to-day anxiety
- How to start clearing the trauma you've already accumulated.
- An everyday routine for "mental hygiene"
- Why do we self-sabotage and have limiting beliefs?
- What role do psychedelics like ayahuasca play in healing?
- Can you heal trauma with one big treatment or does healing happen over time?
- How to stay balanced and positive during the storm
- Finding your soul purpose
- Are there any mental exercises that I can use to minimise my insecurities?
- Do you have any advice for planning and then sticking to my plan?
And so much more...
Resource Mentioned In This Episode:
Skye Khilji 0:02
So in today's episode of the podcast, I talked to Stephanie Hartwell from Project Glow, Steph is one of my very, very good friends from back in London, a woman who helped me through some of the hardest times in my life and is somebody that I call a self development ninja. And a self love Goddess is I think, what I would describe her as she teaches women and men how to love themselves and how to basically become the greatest version of themselves seeing things from a completely balanced perspective, not being too positive, not being too negative, perfectly grounded, perfectly centered, perfectly in the center.
And I'm really, really excited to talk to Steph. It's been way too long. We're going to Talk about who Steph is her story, her background, her expertise, how all of this happened and how she's been preparing for so many years to help so many people. We're going to talk about the state of the world right now Coronavirus, and how to manage the fear how to get through this scenario. And then lastly, some questions from you, the wonderful audience.
And Steph is really, really a person to talk to she knows a lot. She's the person that I share books with, she tells me about the latest rabbit hole that she's going in the latest thing that she's studying, I think you're gonna get a lot from this episode. And I really hope you enjoy it. Let's get it. So why don't we start right at the beginning. I want people to know who you are. Obviously, we know each other. We've known each other for a long time. And you're really my go to person for everything personal development. I always want to pick your brains about what you're studying, and you know what's happening in Steph's world. So why don't we start off when you tell everybody who you are, where you're from, and just kind of dig into your story a little bit.
Stephanie Hartwell 1:55
Right. My name is Stephanie. I run a business called Project Glow where I teach people everything about self esteem, self love, self empowerment. I have been on a very, very long personal and professional journey into all things, human behavior, personal development, spirituality.
And I think very deeply in the last couple of years trauma really. So I think I've probably had a very, very wide spectrum of experiences not only professionally but also, about seven years ago, my whole world fell apart.
I was already a coach at that point, but a couple of very intense personal circumstances involving an illness, a divorce, all sorts of other legal problems, all chucked into one great, big tsunami of fear and anxiety and overwhelm, has actually made me peculiarly well placed to help people through what's going on at the moment because Yeah, even though I had all the experience in coaching other people and I had been through a fair amount of stressful times myself, I've never before experienced, like a complete collapse of my world on so many different levels all at once. But yeah, I've come out of it now.
And ironically, I was completely ready to relaunch my business, having added the element of trauma, and I'll tell you more about that later. Why trauma is such a big important part to talk about when it comes to self love and self care and all those self related topics. But yeah, I've decided to delay my launch because I am much, much better, useful now in terms of just supporting my existing clients, but also, I've put it out there that if you are a frontline responder anywhere in the world, you have access to me whenever you need for her much you need because I think these people need all our love and all our support, and I'm more than happy to be there for them.
Skye Khilji 4:09
Absolutely, absolutely. I think I can echo that sentiment. And you know, you definitely helped me a lot at a time in my life where I needed it. And what I love about what you do is yes, you're a coach. And yes, it's a business. There is something beyond that, that sense of contribution that just, you know, comes out of you, you. You did that for me. And I know you've done that for other people. And there's something I just want to highlight.
Stephanie Hartwell 4:32
Thank you. I think my big passion is really showing people that there is so much more to what we've been told is out there, you know, like, for most people, we kind of grow up and we kind of get into a place where we think you know, when bad times come along, basically you just got to zip it up or keep going or, you know, if it does get a bit more intense, you know, the next step is therapy and medication and those two things. have very well earned important places, but there is so much so so very much that you can do for yourself.
And that's really what I'm all about is that we now you know, now, we've moved on in psychology so much, and the coaching and the personal development world has contributed so magnificently to that. And I do believe that, you know, therapy has something that personal development doesn't have and personal moment has something that therapy doesn't have a go so well together.
But still, I do maintain in both of those genres that there is so much that you can do for yourself every day and that you can do for your friends and your family and your kids. And yeah, that industry is just, you know, just at the brink of coming up now that we're being shown a lot more about what we can do ourselves, to manage our minds and master our emotions and read You know, superpower our lives and I just think that's awesome.
Skye Khilji 6:06
Absolutely. It wasn't really like that all those years ago we had to get the books and take ourselves on the train and go to the seminars ourself. We completely blessed today to have the internet.
Stephanie Hartwell 6:16
I know Isn't it amazing? Like, just in the last two years when I really started to realize that I needed to really deeply study and understand trauma. I just went online and started sort of seeing what's out there. And the amount of qualifications and courses and webinars and YouTube videos that are out there, you know, just ready to empower people is just magnificent.
And I think in all the really awful things that are happening right now, that's one of the blessings of this entire scenario is is that I think people will be shown how much there is online, how easy it actually is right now. And That we will get much much more familiar with learning things online and that, especially in the case of personal development, coaching and therapy, that there isn't anything actually lost by not being in the room, you know, that there is still a vast amount of connection and subtlety and consciousness and beauty that is almost heightened when somebody is, you know, online, zoom or a webinar, because you're in the comfort of your own home.
And that means that there's a whole other set of problems in terms of travel and feeling out of place and, you know, being hot or cold or hungry or something like that, that really just gets taken away. And you actually are able to be much, much more present to the learning and the coaching and the transformation.
Skye Khilji 7:51
Agree, Agree completely. I have a question about what set you on this path. I mean, you know, everybody, I know you're somebody who Anything to do with trauma, healing, dealing with that stuff from the past. And I do believe that our past kind of dictates the direction that we go in, you know, with our mission and our values, talked to me about the life of Steph, before you got into this path. What was Steph like, as a child, as a child that far back,
Skye Khilji 8:19
Stephanie Hartwell 8:20
Far back, really ordinary, nothing out of the ordinary at all. And I always say that that's actually one of the gems of my story is that I had on paper, the most ordinary childhood and life ever, you know, like, I was the only child in a family and then there was a divorce, which was, you know, lots of people went through divorces in their childhood when their parents split up. We moved around the world a lot.
So I had to start in new schools and new cultural several times, but you know, there was like, nothing untoward. But by the time I hit My 30s I started to get very, very ill with mysterious things. So aches and pains and fatigue and things like that, that seem to go unexplained by the doctors. And so, for many years, I kind of went backwards and forwards to the doctor with no real answers, then I tried the alternative route that didn't really give me many answers in terms of natural paths and nutritionists. And the first real change in my sort of energy levels and pain levels came along when I from many different travels, landed back in London and I got a ticket to go and see a personal development teacher at that time. And I walked into the seminar with you know, quite a severe amount of pain and I left without it and I'm a very skeptical person and I thought Do if all in all the things that I've tried that something like that can make such a difference, I better pay attention to it. And that really started my journey on becoming a coach. straightaway. I'm like, yep, you know, this is it because it was, it had been in years and years and years, the only thing that made a difference, although at that level at that beginning level when I got into personal development, I didn't yet understand anything at all about the deeper psychological aspects of how the body gets affected by stress and by trauma and how that can develop into a whole host and range of these unexplainable type of illnesses along the way. I got diagnosed with so many different things, but the real big, big sort of second push came along.
That was in 2012, seven, eight years ago, when I went on holiday and came home and I had a tummy bug like a traveler tummy bug that just turned worse and worse and worse by the day. And for a set of about six months, I ended up in the emergency and he regularly like every week or two, with what looked like having a heart attack, but then turned out to be just this very severe stomach problem that then just got worse and worse and worse. And again, nothing worked. And nothing really could give me any relief. And I think that was probably, you know, the second big push for me. So the first big push was, you know, getting ill and not getting the answers in my 30s and then again, in my 40s except then on top of it then through all of this, my marriage broke apart, then there was immediately a divorce. And that was probably it was easily The darkest times of my life, but I can also tell you that it turned out to be the most transformational. The richest time for me. I mean, stomach problems sound like, you know, you eat something and you feel weird for a while, but this was the extreme end of the stuff and for the most of the seven years afterwards, I was house and homebound and couldn't leave the house at all. Then in 2017, it turned into proper agoraphobia, where you have anxiety so before I couldn't leave the house for physical reasons, then I couldn't anymore leave the house because of psychological reasons.
But luckily, and I'm feel so I mean, it sounds ridiculous, but the diagnosis when I eventually got the agoraphobia, then I got the diagnosis of PTSD and complex PTSD. And that's when I stepped away from looking at it just from it. Physical perspective to looking at it from a trauma perspective. And then that has been the journey of the last two years, which have just blown me away so much in terms of, again, coming all the way around is is like, I felt fine in my head my whole life. You know, I've never before getting severely ill if you'd asked me, you know, did I feel traumatized? Certainly not. Did I think that anything severe had happened in my life?
Absolutely not. But it's not what happens to you. It's how your brain manages, records it and stores it. And that is really that is one of the key messages that I want to bring forward is is that there's two parts of your mind. There's the one part which is your conscious mind, the part of you that thinks that you're you and kind of like goes through every day, as the you and then your conscious mind. is only about 5% of who you are. And then there's the 95% unconscious and subconscious mind that has almost been like a computer, downloading everything that's ever happened to you. And that's 95% of who you are. So it's been amazing is from my 30s to my 40s, I went on this beautiful journey into the 5% of the conscious mind through the personal development. And then in my 40s, I then got to do the 95% subconscious mind and really dive deep into what's actually going on underneath the radar of your conscious mind that really drives your actions, your habits, your patterns, what kind of relationships you get into, you know, what kind of capacity you have in business. So, I mean, it's just, yeah, it's been a wild journey. I want
Skye Khilji 14:58
to zoom in on the timeline. ever so slightly. So the personal development seminar that you first walked into the audience so good, I just killed me if I don't ask you. Yeah, it was a seminar and what did you learn?
Stephanie Hartwell 15:10
So I dabbled around in lots of things before then. But this particular one was, it's called the breakthrough by dr. john demartini. He's a speaker and a teacher and a human behavioral specialist. You might recognize him from the secret. And he basically travels around the world and teaches his signature program called the breakthrough in I think, every different country every weekend. So at the moment, he's he's obviously on lockdown somewhere as well. I think he's in LA. But yeah, I've never seen or experienced anything quite like it. And obviously it had a huge effect on me.
Skye Khilji 15:48
Yeah, I mean, that's where we met actually at the breakthrough experience in London. I still remember being in there and sitting down and going through a session with you as the facilitator and I did not know what to think I'd seen His videos, I knew that I like this kind of thing. There was something there maybe my soul was calling me to that. And I did have a breakthrough and I've recommended it to so many people. It is certainly changed my life.
Stephanie Hartwell 16:12
And I think if you ask most people, they will say exactly the same. It's certainly an absolutely had one of the key turning points in my life and I'm deeply grateful for everything that I've learned from, you know, I, I trained as a facilitator and started coaching people in the method as well. And what I just think is so, so profound, and what sets it apart from so many other things is where so many things in personal development are about motivation and inspiration which have their place and are so important in kind of like giving us the energy to change a lot of the very well meaning, you know, systems and teachers don't really have real tools. to effect change that moves you forward on a conscious mind and on a subconscious mind.
And I think what the demartini method certainly did for me it completely rearranged the way that I saw life from a place where I now know was deeply, deeply, deeply tainted by all the things that I'd been through and all the things that I'd been taught to a place of utter empowerment, balance, and the capacity to stay completely centered, and calm and present in the most terrific storms that my life has been through. And for that I will ever be grateful. You know?
Skye Khilji 17:48
Absolutely. That was the biggest gift from breakthrough for me to realize that my one sided perspective of the world was the cause of my unhappiness. And the reason I was holding on to So much resentment, anger, even though I didn't know it, you know, as I walked in those doors,
Stephanie Hartwell 18:04
Yeah, now that I kind of like had so many years to apply to my own life and also to the lives of the people that I've coached, I now viewed as a spiritual tool, rather than a mental tool. To me, it is a mental process that actually brings you deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply close to, to the core of who you are, and the core of your soul. So I always say is, you know, it doesn't from the outside look like the kind of thing that would give you a deep spiritual experience without any of the woowoo if we want to call it that way, and I'm a big fan of fubu. You know, I'll put my hand up to that, but it's like, it's a very grounded, cognitive, structured and rational approach.
Skye Khilji 18:57
I think that's the genius of it. The fact that demartini is such a logical right brain thing. So people like me and the guys who probably resist the spiritual and the more feminine side, we get sucked in by the logic and thinking, you know, demartini is intelligent. And next thing, we're having this highly emotional breakdown in a room with 150 people.
Stephanie Hartwell 19:17
And, you know, all breakthroughs are actually, you know, breakdowns of the old structure and the emergence of the real true you.
Skye Khilji 19:28
I love that.
Stephanie Hartwell 19:29
And I think that's what's happening in the world right now for many, many people, you know, and I'm coaching the whole spectrum of people who, you know, there's a lot of entrepreneurs that are in dire straits because their their incomes dried up overnight to, you know, people on the front line in various countries that are working, you know, 15, 20, 24 hour shifts in hazmat gear and making decisions about who to let live. And who, you know, it's just no matter how severe the challenge is, is in each one of those scenarios, people are saying to me that this is the hardest, the most intense time. But it's also a time of such intense clarity of what's really important, and how to move forward.
And once we're through this most severe as part of this pandemic, the changes that they truly want to make to their lives. And I've seen nothing like that, you know, usually it takes quite a bit of coaching or trauma therapy before somebody goes, I you know, wipe the slate clean, and this is what I want to do with my life. And that seems to have happened overnight.
Skye Khilji 20:50
The interesting thing for me is that, you know, trauma happens on an individual level, but at the moment, we're seeing trauma as a society and as a community and that's a dynamic But I haven't seen play out on this scale before.
Stephanie Hartwell 21:02
Absolutely. And what I love about it, if you can say that, you know, I mean, it's such an equalizer, we're all in this together, and there's nobody is better off or worse off, you know, even if you have a lot of money and connection can get a test, it still doesn't change, you know, that whether you're going to get it or not.
Skye Khilji 21:26
And as we saw, with Mr. Boris Johnson
Stephanie Hartwell 21:29
Yes, you know, that's the world has seen nothing like it, you know, and now, life will never be the same again. And that is awesome, you know, because it wasn't really working very well beforehand in terms of uniting us and really, you know, taking care of the, you know, our resources in terms of global, ecological and food and I mean, you you look everywhere, there's so many problems in the way that my Life is set up. And this is the great big storm that has come in to just unsettled the whole thing. And then there's a new start.
Skye Khilji 22:10
I remember a conversation we had maybe two years ago, when you very eerily predicted, all of the systems are probably going to break down and fail because they're, you know, old systems, and they're not working. And that point, you know, humanity will be in a state of mass panic and confusion. And that's the time that we'll need to work to reassure them to steady them to point them in a new direction. And it does seem that this is that time.
Stephanie Hartwell 22:37
Yeah, this is I mean, 2020 seems to have all the makings of it, you know, political Brexit and, you know, it's so many things and then, I mean, I would have ever thought that it would have been a virus but, you know, it makes so much sense now, you know, something that just affects everybody on the whole world. And yeah, was saying exactly two years ago. It's like, if you look around you, you know, it's like, which element of life is really working?
And I personally couldn't really see one place where you could say, Oh, no, that's going really well, you know, and it's like even things like right now it's just did I heard on the radio that a quarter of the world's population is now in lockdown. And all over the world, scientists are already like, a week or two weeks in reporting how the earth, you know, the atmosphere, everything is healing, not over 20,30,40 years a week of all of us staying at home and these, I mean, this whole climate change topic is just going to be ripped wide open, and you know, who knows, maybe, maybe in the future, we will need to stay home like one day or a weekend or something like I mean, it'll be is it It's just so interesting to see what's going to happen next. You know,
Skye Khilji 24:03
I love that the world in this scenario was seeing both sides. You know, we're both demartini people, if we could label ourselves that we know that there's two sides. Yes. So in any situation, we always ask, you know, what's the benefit? What's the drawbacks to try and find that balance, but I feel like the average Joe and Josefina in the street, and now actually seeing those two perspectives and finding some equilibrium and some balance in their lives.
Stephanie Hartwell 24:27
Yeah, I think the most beautiful aspect of great big disasters and I say that with intense level of humility, an unknowing that I've been to the edge of my life several times in in different ways. And I know that those plays hold a particular potential of transformation. So I don't, you know, talk about this lightly or flippantly or without deep respect for the person and the countries and the people who are in the absolute, darkest, deepest place.
But we're already seeing things like the vast coming together of communities. I don't know if you've seen the news in yesterday, the day before. In the UK, there was a call out for volunteers to come forward to help the National Health Service to do the kind of like little jobs of supporting people that aren't isolation supporting the elderly. And they put forward a kind of like national call out, half a million people responded 500,000 people can you just imagine that? That's incredible. 500,000 people came forward and said, I'm going to help. I've never, ever seen that in my entire life.
Last night. I know that we've seen videos of Italy and Spain where people are standing outside clapping. We had my whole st was full of people standing at 8pm outside and clapping for several minutes. So in those really difficult times, there's beauty within it. And I think that's what we're all starting to see now that for us to really change this way that we're living this disconnected unconscious consumerism, sort of, I don't know what whatever your words you want to call, you know, this, living at the expense of our connection to each other and our connection to the planet. It wasn't sustainable. We all knew it. And now, we can no longer do it. And that is awesome.
Skye Khilji 26:42
I'm glad you mentioned that I've definitely seen probably in the last 10 years, there's been the rise of the individual as I'd call it, and you know, it's great on many levels, but we are becoming individuals that are disconnected from our families from other people. And you know, sometimes you even see people in relationships Who are disconnected from the other person they live with? is quite fascinating to watch the world coming together, they're spending time together and you know, even those relationships where they've been disconnected, they're now stuck in a house with each other for however long and we don't know how long that is.
Stephanie Hartwell 27:15
Yeah, or or not stuck with each other, you know, like a couples that live in separate houses now they have to, you know, talk to each other, over FaceTime with the other article that I saw was about what has happened to the dating apps. And now that there's a pandemic, and it's like, there was this video online saying that people are actually having to swipe right and then talk to each other for three weeks. Just thought that was really
Skye Khilji 27:42
it makes a change. Right?
Stephanie Hartwell 27:43
Yeah, it's just, you know, I think we'll look back on this and, you know, pay our deepest respects to those who've passed and our deepest gratitude to those who fought for their lives and then when the dust settles, we're going to look and find changes that we could not have affected ourselves willingly. That's what I think.
Skye Khilji 28:11
I agree with you completely. I'm seeing that this trauma that everybody's going through is on a mass level. But there is also of course, trauma within the individual. And I suppose how the individual reacts when you multiply that out becomes how we as a society act. So of all of the things you've done, all of the certifications, all of the books you've read, what are those things that you just keep going back to for healing trauma?
Stephanie Hartwell 28:36
Yeah, healing trauma. That is, I think, what will happen now with what's happening to us right now, but even I said, that's, you know, at the beginning of the year before it was relevant here is is like, trauma is going to be a word, and a concept that you will see more and more and more and more of and it will be you
Whereas, you know, 10 years ago, personal development wasn't maybe something most people all let's say, yoga and meditation was like a fringe thing, you know, now everybody goes to yoga and everybody meditates, you know, trauma will become the same, the same, it's like, we will have to talk about it more. And what is, again, a benefit of what's happening right now is, is that we will be able to be able to talk about it without shame, and without a need to hide it or that it's something, you know, it's something faulty about us. One of the things that I think is really important that when you read about trauma, a lot of these things are this kind of disorder and that kind of a disorder.
And now we're changing the language of that. And we're changing it from having a mental health disorder to having a mental health response, because that's what trauma really is because there's a difference between stress like a lot of people are going a lot A lot of different types of stress now, but that doesn't immediately turn into trauma. Because for stress to turn into trauma, a couple of things need to be there that the person doesn't have the resources to work through it, they don't have the support that can be externally or internally, they feel overwhelmed, and there's no way out, then the brain takes a picture of it and says, This is too big snapshot, I'm gonna pocket in the amygdala. And then, you know, when you layer and layer and layer that that then becomes a trauma. So not everybody that's going through this is going to get trauma out of it.
But I think what is significant that you just touched on is is if you already carrying even unconsciously, like I did for so many years, a rather high level of trauma from childhood and remember, it's not what happens so people always think, oh, drama has to be physical abuse or sexual abuse. That is is not the case for 99% of us. It's not the stuff that happened. It's the stuff that didn't happen. So it's the love and support. We didn't get not because our parents were bad parents, but because they were busy, or they were ill, or they were working five jobs, or you had three different siblings, or they were traumatized from their childhood.
So that's really, you know, super important to remember is, is that this time right now, if you have the tools, and there's so many out there, to manage your stress on an everyday level, it doesn't need to turn into trauma. But the same time if you already have a lot of underlying trauma that you were unaware of and have never resolved, then this can be the straw that breaks the camel's back. And we're seeing so many different coping mechanisms, especially on social media, all the way from people that end up denial, you see them, they're going, Oh, this is just the flu, to complete and utter fear and panic to there's a whole group in the middle that, you know, has, you know, are in various states of looking at conspiracy theories.
These are all coping mechanisms that people have, and they are so unique to us, you know, some people cope by, you know, eating or not eating, or alcohol or games, or there's a whole lot of people that that are just Netflix binge eating at the moment, then there's the people that are now you know, exercising every hour of the day or researching every statistic they can find. I mean, what is true for most of us, is that our coping mechanisms are being triggered, left, right and center
Skye Khilji 32:54
It's so important what you said and I want to make sure that we highlight that it's not always what happened to you is sometimes what didn't happen. I think that's so key because a lot of people probably don't know that they have trauma.
And they're not working on it. And there's maybe some underlying behaviors or anxiety that are just playing out in their life again, and again, as you mentioned, the different tools. So what are those tools to manage that on a day to day basis, so it doesn't turn into trauma or to start clearing the trauma we've already accumulated.
Stephanie Hartwell 33:26
Right? I mean, there's, I generally like to put them into two different categories. They're like internal resources and external resources. The external resources are things like exercising, having a friend to talk to, you know, having an ice bath, or things like that.
So these are external resources, things that you can be doing internal resources are, oh, there's so many beautiful ones that, you know, I'll start with the ones that are easily accessible. So, meditation, you know, there's so much stuff on meditation out there for free even on YouTube. Meditation is one of the things that is just so fantastic at moving your brain from a sympathetic state, which is the stress state, the fight flight freeze state, moving that into the other state, which is the parasympathetic state, which is rest, relax and digest. So these two states happen in your brain and right now, you want to be putting all your effort into shifting that brain from the stress state into the calm, relaxed state.
And you can do so many things right now. For instance, you can limit the media that you consume or the type of media you consume, because a lot of people say to me, oh, but I don't feel stressed. But remember, the thing that you're experiencing is the 5% of your conscious mind. The 95% of your conscious mind is like a database. It's taking in every conversation that you're having about, you know, the end of the world, every piece of news that you're watching every piece in the radio, everything that your neighbors saying. So it's like, become a gatekeeper of what you let into your mind and make sure that what you do consume is as true as possible.
So that's an internal resource. So limit your media, meditation. And again, I really want to highlight that is whether or not you feel stressed is not necessarily a good indication of whether you are stressed. You know, if you are spiraling out into coping mechanisms of, you know, you will know your coping mechanism. You know, it's like, that's your body telling you that you need to take a greater level of self care. Now, the two big ones that I'm such an advocate of is something called havens. I don't know if you've heard of that.
Skye Khilji 36:02
I have. I think you showed it to me at some point, actually. Yeah,
Stephanie Hartwell 36:05
I yes. And another one is called tapping or EFT. And you know, there's so much stuff on these two available on YouTube. Now, both of these are considered psycho sensory therapies.
So they work on the body to affect the mind. And what is so amazing both about havening and tapping is is that you can use them both as an emotional first aid. So in the moment, you're feeling overwhelmed, you've had a shock, Something terrible has happened. You can use those tools, then you can use it also as emotional and mental hygiene, which is a weird word, isn't it?
Because everybody's talking about physical hygiene. You know, wash your hands, social distancing. I am talking about mental and emotional hygiene, in that we all need to be doing things every day just like showering and brushing our teeth to maintain Our emotional health and our mental health. So you can use it regularly like I use it habitually morning, when I get up, I do a meditation while I'm still in bed. And then I will do a couple of rounds of hardening and tapping twice a day or Also, before I go to bed, you can then also use both of those tools in terms of addressing certain emotional states from the past as well as the present. You can use it to unlock trauma. And what's also awesome is that the client or the person that you're working with, even if that is yourself, you don't need to talk about it, which was for so many years, the limitation of standard and it's no longer the case of standard talk therapy is that you had to go and re experience the trauma completely, you know, all over again.
Now, of course, therapy has gone a long way and moved on this beautiful things like some magic Experiencing and comprehensive resource model that, you know, therapy has moved on. And I'm always saying to people is, if you are experiencing and stress and trauma and you do want to go down the therapy route, make sure that your therapist is trauma trained. So going back to the internal resources that you can use is like, again, meditation and breath work. I mean, I Gosh, who hasn't heard of them half by now, you know, there's so much out there. pranayama, which is attached to the old yogic traditions, just breathing, I always say to people is you already have the most powerful tool to calm down your mind.
You know, taking in as many like a breath that completely fills your lungs and then breathing out as long as you can, completely shifts your brain from that stress state to that calm state. So those are kind of like my top ones. Meditation, Havening and EFT and breathwork, I would say are my absolute go to internal resources
Skye Khilji 39:08
for that person who's at home, and perhaps hasn't heard of those three things, or is only lightly heard of meditation and dabbled, what resources or tools if you are going to give them a prescription for everyday go and you know, do these exercises and you can find them here, what would that look like?
Stephanie Hartwell 39:25
So I always say to people, that adding something new to your life is less about what you're adding and more about the habit of getting it into place. So I worked as a personal trainer for a couple of years and I always said to people, you know, it's you've got to hook a new thing to an existing thing. So that's the key thing is number one, you've got to hook it to something you're doing already.
So I would say meditation, if you using that, hook it on to an existing habit like going to bed or waking up in the morning because you're Already know where you're going to be in those moments, then the next thing you need to do is start ridiculously small. And people always say what is ridiculously small? And I said, that is totally up to you. It's like, what do you think is the most doable time to meditate?
They usually say three minutes, I'm like, then start with three minutes. What you have to do is you have to build the habit first, before you add volume. So a lot of people don't end up going to the gym, or don't end up meditating or don't end up whatever other self care thing you want to add is because it's too big. It's too inaccessible. So start ridiculously small. That's my first key thing. So I would say is dabble if you want to dabble in meditation, YouTube is probably the best place to go.
I'm a huge fan of the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza. He has amazing amazing Amazing meditations. He also does big events, week long retreats that are just phenomenal. If you can go, but there's so many others. I think with meditation, the key thing is, is that you really need to like, the person's voice because it's like Marmite, you know, it's like if you're going to listen to some person's voice over and over and over again, you know, it must be something that you find palatable. There's a great app here in the UK. I think it's international called headspace. I mean, literally, you just need to type in meditation and find this so much.
And there's also very out there ones with unicorns and starships, and then there's ones very specific to trauma and PTSD. But I think dispenza is a great place to start.
Skye Khilji 41:52
I have a conflict with him. I love the meditations. I had a kundalini experience complete, you know, like energy in the body. vibration break down in tears, but I also hate his voice in space.
Stephanie Hartwell 42:06
So many people say that is I have a client, we've tried it a couple of times and she just starts laughing. So it is a Marmite story. It's you will either love it or hate it, but don't let that put you off, you know? Find just keep looking and find places, you know, it's like YouTube is such a great resource.
And it is, you know, you can also meditate without somebody's voice, you know, you can just meditate on a flower or you can meditate on a candle. You know, there's some very traditional chanting meditations, just you do need to put a little bit of effort and commitment into it to find what suits you.
Skye Khilji 42:50
Yeah, so whatever suits the individual as opposed to there being any blanket prescription for meditation for me, it's definitely dispenza
Stephanie Hartwell 42:58
Yeah, the key thing just Start ridiculously small and start ridiculously small for a while, like people will say, oh, for how long should I meditate for three minutes. And I said, at least two weeks and they go, What? And I'm like, I guarantee you by the end of the first week, you're going to be so bored that you'll be meditating 20 minutes each. But it's really important that you honor the habit before you start loading the energy in.
Skye Khilji 43:24
Yeah, for the listeners out there. The book, atomic habits by James clear, I'd recommend that if you're struggling to build habits, it's just a wonderful, wonderful resource. Probably the best book. I've read on habits. And meditation for me is Joe dispenza. All the way. Yeah, I haven't found anything else that comes close to that. So what about EFT and hastening where Can somebody start with those two steps?
Stephanie Hartwell 43:47
Also, there is great, great stuff on YouTube. More and more practitioners are building YouTube channels with those ones. Again, there's a huge variety of specialization. Like there's EFT for anxiety, there's EFT for weight loss. There's EFT for all sorts of different things. And I think with EFT and havening, what's really wonderful is if you can experience it through a practitioner, even just for a couple of sessions before you embark on it by yourself, but Likewise, if you want to dip your toes into it, YouTube has awesome stuff in both of those.
And there's a lot of coaches doing pandemic virus specials on at the moment to teach people how to, you know, combat the anxiety and overwhelm. So yeah, type in EFT or happening on YouTube, and you'll find a ton, but it is, and I'm sure you can attest to that. Very different to experience it from a practitioner.
Skye Khilji 44:49
Yeah, it was a very different experience. We did that physically. And I remember I was kind of meditating and you were rubbing my arms in a way that a parent would nurture a child and then tapping on my head. And it was strange, but it was strangely calming and centering. And I guess my question is, do I need a practitioner there? Or can it be done through a virtual video call also,
Stephanie Hartwell 45:10
I find it equal. So you can have it the practitioner there, obviously right now that doesn't work so well. It's just as good when you're doing this consultation of over Skype or zoom, whether the practitioner is mirroring you, so they are doing the movements, you are copying them. And then of course, the whole point of doing these kind of things is that you incorporate them as everyday tools in your resource toolkit, so that eventually you end up using them on everyday things by yourself.
Skye Khilji 45:46
Yeah, I definitely liked EFT and an evening. I didn't get into it too deep. It's something I'd like to revisit. I've heard many things from you. And I've never really heard you so excited about a new technology as you have been about these two and it's been probably for Maybe a year ago that I saw you last year talking about it, then and you're still talking about it. Now that's a good sign.
Stephanie Hartwell 46:05
Well, it's just so many uses, and especially when it comes to trauma, and not only treating the trauma, but actually finding the trauma because that bit I found the hardest in my journey, and also with many of the clients that I was working with is is most people came to me and said, You know, I've done all of this personal development, and I feel fine, but you know, my relationships aren't working out.
I seem to self sabotage in these areas. I still can't get over this amount of money in my business. And it's like, Ah, there we go. Now, you know, and the amount of people that I've heard that say, and I was in exactly the same position is like, Okay, so how can I have done all of this work and know all of this stuff, and some areas in my life, I just, no matter how hard I try, they just don't seem to me really work out. And that's the really awesome part where these, both these tools come into their absolute own, where you could be sitting in therapy for weeks really just going, I feel fine. I feel fine. I feel fine when you use something like EFT or Havening, and you go into the subconscious and all of a sudden, like soda pop, you have these memories and you realize all these different things that have happened to you. The thing that you have to remember is is if you really understand that trauma isn't I mean for some people for sure, they have gone through fantastically huge and horrendous things in their early life.
But these are the kind of people that have will have been seen by therapists and psychiatrists, you know, went by the time your system develops really big problems in terms of dealing with life. You know, they will helped by a much higher level of care in psychology and psychiatry. But I say the rest of us, you know, because society looks at mental health, putting people into boxes, there's people that have mental health problems, and there's people that don't, and that is the furthest from the truth that I've ever heard in my entire life. First of all, we are all traumatized to various levels and varying degrees.
Also, stuff can happen to you along the way that traumatizes you. Also, things can happen along the way that trigger old traumas that haven't been resolved or seen yet. And the key one that like trauma you will hear about more and more and more is something called attachment trauma, and attachment trauma, I would highly recommend to anybody who takes personal development or you know, their empowerment seriously go look up attachment, trauma, it's about how you relate to the caregivers that raised you when you were little. Now again, it's not these big disastrous things that went wrong stuff that didn't happen. It's the nurturing that you didn't get. And I'm not talking about being abandoned in your cart. It's about being emotionally and physically present as a caregiver.
And I think if we look back, most of our parents, were just not able to give that on a consistent level, not because they didn't love us to the moon and back, not because they didn't try their best, but because there were circumstances that prevented them from giving us, you know, getting us what we needed at that time.
Skye Khilji 49:45
I think that's so interesting.
Stephanie Hartwell 49:47
You know, that it's like, most of the trauma that happens with attachment happens before the age of two. You know, it's like there's before we're even verbal before we even cognitively counted. Before we have, so it's like verbal to, before we allow to be able to make memory at five, before we're even able to make reasoning thought at seven. Most of us have some level of trauma before the age of six and seven.
Skye Khilji 50:15
It's just intriguing. My experience, as you know, was one where I didn't have any real significant events. I mean, there were a few, and we could point to those and they were easier to deal with. But there was always that underlying feeling of, well, nothing that bad happened to me in comparison to other people. But why do I still have this feeling? What is that thing there? Why can I not go beyond a certain level in my business? Why do I sabotage myself? And it was so difficult to uncover that stuff, and I guess we're still doing it, you know, as we go on, do we ever get done?
Stephanie Hartwell 50:49
Well, this is just my opinion. I think what you can get to is is where the bulk of it doesn't affect you anymore. You know, like, I've just spent two Use, you know, really deeply digging around in my trauma and sort of, you know, educating myself in that regard. But there was a definite point where, you know, I didn't find memories all day every day anymore and so it shifts so what generally happens it's like a Jenga game, you know, the blocks, you have to find the really big ones at the bottom and they can then collapse other ones.
So what's really awesome about the brain is is if you had to go into every memory and clear every memory up, that would take you a lifetime. Luckily, your brain chunks together metaphors, ideas, parts and personas. So there could be like my bullied self, you know, that might be a lot, you know, a long range of time or my unloved self, or my people pleaser, or my hero or my fixer or my, you know, perfectionist, so the brain clumps together content sets of trauma that you can then clear out quite quickly.
Skye Khilji 52:04
I'm checking each one of those mentally as you're talking.
Stephanie Hartwell 52:06
Well, there's such a, you know, trauma is so fascinating because what happens is, is when the brain gets overwhelmed, it takes a snapshot, it then stores it in your brain in your subconscious. And then it adds to it like a like a library. And out of that, you will then have the trauma itself, you know, like I was bullied, but from then your brain develops ideas and meanings. So it goes, basically beliefs, it forms beliefs, like I'm not good enough, the world isn't safe.
So that's the second part of it. And then the third part as a result of these beliefs, the brain then builds coping, personas and parts. So you know, so you have the trauma of being bullied. The belief is I'm not worthy, or I'm not good enough. And then the persona becomes the kind of like life insult Have the party or have to get everything right or, you know, it's like, that fascinates me more than anything is is like, it's not just the event. It's not just the memory of the event. But you also then almost like the root, you know, this very deep root that has grown and really rooted itself into the ground, you need to follow it all the way down to the beliefs, and then all the way down to the coping mechanisms and the coping habits and patterns.
Because even when we take out the trauma pictures out of your mind, and we access and reframe the trauma beliefs, some of these coping habits and patterns you've done for most of your life, and that's where the coaching part really comes into power, helping you really steer yourself away from these kinds of things. So a lot of the times people say to me, after doing some work, then they'll go, you know, I'm finally noticing that I'm doing that but I'm still doing Unlike Yeah, you know, it'll take a couple more times because being aware of you doing it, then is almost the thing that then changes it around.
Skye Khilji 54:09
That's interesting. The awareness from a mental and cognitive level brings that perspective and can change behavior. We then have the emotional level where we have breakthroughs through, you know, the different methodologies, what role does psychedelics and things like ayahuasca play in that?
Stephanie Hartwell 54:28
So I'm probably not the right person to talk to it because I've not explored those realms, but I certainly have had clients who have had gone down those avenues. And I think it's a very, very personal choice. Like, I personally believe that we have a whole range of tools that we can access the subconscious and if you like the superconscious, but of course, there is also a lot of research that shows that particularly ayahuasca can help with, you know, very severe addiction issues.
And, you know, there's research into micro dosing, LSD and things like that that can help with relationship counseling. So I've read all sorts of wonderful things. I think we need a lot more research. And I personally, this is just completely my perspective on those more plant based and ancient medicines. I think we need to be very, very careful when we take them out of the context and surroundings that they were intended in. So I think doing ayahuasca, with a native shaman in Peru in the jungle somewhere is very different than doing it in a suburban setting in somebody's basement.
Skye Khilji 55:46
I'm so glad you touched upon that. And I was interested in your perspective, as you know, I went and did I was gay in Mexico in the jungle and I remember you sitting me down and making me watch the Dr. Gabor Marty Tim Ferriss interview, which was A wonderful, wonderful primer.
Stephanie Hartwell 56:02
And I just think if you are like considering doing Iosco, that would be my first go to video on YouTube. watch that video, Gabor Ma Tei. And Tim Ferriss. I mean, it's just brilliant, isn't it?
Skye Khilji 56:16
Absolutely. It was just the perfect primer for me. My experience with it was it allowed me to feel emotions that my mother felt my father, the people who I had perhaps somewhat fractured relationships with, and because I could feel how they felt, I became soft towards them. I empathized and it healed things from that perspective, and it did change my life, but it wasn't a complete root and branch. wake up tomorrow when you're done. And I'm asking this question because I feel some responsibility.
I've published and talked about my experience and people come to me, and you know what I was gonna like, and I'm trying to caution them that hey, maybe this is not the first thing you should do and exactly what you said. Maybe be doing it in a basement. Him in you know, London or in a city isn't the best place for you. There definitely seems to be a context and a timing aspect to when these things become relevant for the individual.
Stephanie Hartwell 57:12
Yeah. And I also think that, you know, we're still in modern culture in modern society stuck in a place where for most people, we think that if you know things get emotionally difficult, you suck it up. And then if it gets bad, you can go to the doctor, they might give you medication, and then you go to therapy and talk about it for years and years. And nothing could be further from the truth. And I think we still need a lot of education.
And I think that's why things like psychedelics and Iowa ska are currently trendy, and, you know, sort of a little bit fueled by influences or just, you know, it's like the hip and the cool thing to do just as drugs were in, you know, in the 60s and 70s. But I think What has happened in the meantime is you know, psychology and personal development hasn't stood still, they've kept developing forwards and what you will see now as and ironically, I think, you know, trauma will be much more talked about as a result of this pandemic now, and that it will become something that's okay to have an okay to be with and okay to work through, you know, you know, it will no longer be this thing that is relegated to the dark corners.
And with it will come out that actually, we know so much about trauma now. And we know so much about how to work with both in the therapeutic practices of psychotherapy and counseling. I mean, there's a particular model out there called comprehensive resource model when you look at that, it takes from so many elements breathwork shamanism, you know, it's like, psychology has not been stuck in the Union. And Freud in closet anymore. And I think also personal development has moved a little on from sort of like the 80s and 90s of just having these big gurus that stand on a stage and you jump about and you get riled up with then going home and although being incredibly inspired, not really having the tools to change your life, you know,
Skye Khilji 59:25
We know who you're talking about.
Stephanie Hartwell 59:26
No, I think there's many, you know, I think, I think still, especially with social media, like Instagram and Facebook and Twitter as well, I think a lot of personal development is being sold as just the how, rather than also give you know, it's like, how can I say this is a perfect example in the self love genre and community. A lot of people are telling you to love yourself. A lot of people are telling you to set boundaries. A lot of people are telling you, you know that you must self care better. Very few People are telling you how to actually do that, how to remove the trauma that is blocking you from doing that, how to actually get into the habits that allow you to maintain it, you know, there's a lot of the what and the motivation and the inspiration out there. And now we're finally seeing that the how the actual nuts and bolts and tools are coming through as well.
Skye Khilji 1:00:26
I see those as entry points that they meet people wherever they are, and they get them thinking about that stuff. And Gary Vee always talks about he's giving you the tactical how but he had to shift towards motivation to capture people's attention.
Stephanie Hartwell 1:00:40
Absolutely. Yeah, we need that you know, in the beginning you need that rush that boost that wow of energy and I am not down talking it or in any way judging at all. It's like, you need both you know, you need the initial wow and life. be different. And you can do it. And there's brilliance inside of you. And now let's go into the trenches and actually make that happen.
Skye Khilji 1:01:08
Agreed. I think the important thing here is people recognize that they have trauma at some point. So they may come in through motivation or through business. And those speakers, they are starting to talk about more spiritual type stuff and trauma type stuff. And it's wonderful.
Stephanie Hartwell 1:01:24
It's so wild and exciting. And I'm so thrilled. And yeah, like I said, is, is I think you might find that as a result where what's happening right now, that will be, you know, a much more commonplace conversation.
Skye Khilji 1:01:39
Yeah. And what I love about what Stephanie sharing here and it's important to say, Stephanie is not somebody that sells EFT or any of these specific methodologies. This is someone who is focused on healing people and looks across every domain. You know, she's not a doctor. She's not a psychologist, so she's not tied to any institution. So the recommendations she makes actually what works in the real world, I think that's an important position to be in being completely non biased.
Stephanie Hartwell 1:02:08
And also, you know, I never know what works with an individual client. You know, it's like, some of my clients can't meditate won't meditate, you know, because somebody just doesn't like it or their nervous system is so on fire from what they've been through that sitting down and being quiet is just impossible. You know, we might go through more physical things like there's a beautiful resource called tiare trauma release exercises. So you do exercises, they look really normal like exercises you would do in like a gym class, and then you lie down and by moving your body into a specific position where you fatigue the major muscles, especially the psoas muscle that connects your upper body to your lower body. It holds
A lot of trauma, your body starts to vibrate and buzz and literally shake loose the trauma. And what's so amazing about it is is when you actually commit to doing this regularly, like the one day I was lying down and my body was starting to vibrate, and then my jaw started to go. It was the most bizarre thing and in that moment, I'd remembered a dental surgery that I had. And then the next time I went, all of a sudden my legs started to just shake like a fish on a hook. And then all of a sudden, I remembered that I'd actually sprained my ankle roller skating when I was six, like a memory had completely forgotten about. My body was actually still storing
Skye Khilji 1:03:47
is fascinating. The trauma is stored in the body and my sister recommended a book to me, I didn't read it yet. It's called your body keeps the score. And just that headline summed up to me that actually this stuff is physical, physical issues. You know, can come from that emotional baggage and that trauma that we saw.
Stephanie Hartwell 1:04:04
Absolutely. And I mean, that book is phenomenal. The body keeps the score is Bessel Vander kolk. And what we now know is is that there is no division between body mind, mind body, it's same thing you know, you can't. For so many eons, we've kind of like, Well, you know, for the body problem, you go over here and form the head problem, you go, it's ridiculous. You know, it's like, the mind and the body are one and trauma is stored and affects all parts of you. And that's actually brilliant because then we can use the body to unhook the mind from the trauma, we can then reparent the system, we can reframe the beliefs we can re engineer the whole thing. It's like you are not doomed to walk around with this for ever.
Skye Khilji 1:04:56
Absolutely. One thing that I see a lot of people asking me about his things like Iosco. So these things that they put in their mind as do it once and it's done. It's that old adage of, you know, people think success in anything is an event and not a process. is healing trauma, more like peeling an onion than doing one big retreat or one big fast and you know, everything just gets healed?
Stephanie Hartwell 1:05:20
I certainly believe so. I mean, if your time and your resources are very limited, and you're not comfortable to work on your own, which you can completely do, let's say you've only got enough money or time for like, four or five sessions with a practitioner or a therapist, that is still worth its weight in gold because you don't know what big boulders you're shifting out of the way. But I think in an ideal scenario, this is a journey that you need to go on for yourself. Certainly you will work with a practitioner that will help you go through the big things because Things will just be stuck in places that you had no idea. And certainly when you start talking about birth trauma, or trauma in the womb, I mean, that is so in the blind spot of the mind that it's more favorable to work with somebody to go to that.
I mean, I, you know, I knew nothing about my birth. And when we went into it, there was so many things that I'd never, ever thought of before, but made so much sense when I looked at the problem that they then formed further down the line in my adult life, in relationships and connection, you know, so, ideally, this is a journey that you go on. And what is awesome and beautiful is is your body will know exactly what aspect to bring up at what moment you know, a lot of people think, oh, I don't want to go do that because then you know, the really big stuff will come up straight away, and that's not the case at all. Your body knows exactly What thing to bring up at a safe time. And so it is like, you know, peeling an onion, although, you know, thought about it so much for me, it's almost like the true you is in the core.
And then these layers of trauma around you, and you're actually stripping the parts of you that have beautifully, beautifully held the trauma for you. So they're not wrong or erroneous. People a lot often say, you know, I'm so upset at my people pleasing, or your people pleasing, held your trauma, and, you know, prevented it from affecting other parts of your life. It's a part that carried you until you were ready to then carry it and open it up. So I always say, Be grateful to those parts of you that have carried you.
And so as we peel those, you know, layers from you the personas, the coping habits, the code patterns, you know, and then get through the beliefs of, I'm not enough, I'm not good enough, the world isn't safe. And then we get to the pictures of the initial traumas. And we clear that there you are the true soul self in the middle. And I can tell you that that is a glorious journey. And obviously, I'm biased. You know, I would say, it's like, I can't believe that, that everybody doesn't want to go there.
But the level of clarity and calm and knowing that you're the right person at the right place at the right time, and really being in a place of truly trusting life around you and understanding, you know, in the words of Dr. Demartini, that things are happening for you, not to you, which is a very hard spiritual concept to understand if you you know, you haven't done any other work, but it's, yeah, it's just a profound place of certainty. Calm And, and self.
Skye Khilji 1:09:03
It is, I can definitely echo the gratitude for what happened to me was something that I had to embrace and go through before I could let things go. And those concepts from Dr. demartini of it's not in the way it's on the way. It's not happening to me, it's happening for me.
There's a breakthrough after a break down. They are things that anchor me in my day to day, and I still use those, you know, every single day. I want to just go into some listener q&a, and it's interesting. You mentioned Dr. Demartini. Because our first question is from somebody who's been watching Dr. D. And she's a little bit confused. I'd love to read you that question and get your take on this there.
So this person says, I've been thinking and trying to stay in balance these last couple of weeks, I heard one of Dr. De martinis talks about being positive all the time. He says being positive all the time is not realistic. I'm a very positive person without even trying the last three months I've entered one of the most during times of my life as I become a digital nomad, between trying to be realistic in finding a remote job to make money and think of my future, but I'm facing daily challenges I never thought I'd be facing, I'm trying to stay positive, and at the same time realistic, and sometimes I get a little bit off, what do you say?
Stephanie Hartwell 1:10:18
So I think this idea of being balanced is a really difficult concept to wrap your head around when you haven't had experience of doing it. So the easiest way to explain this is that seeing the world through a balanced lens is like a muscle that needs to be built.
So that's not something that is, you know, you can't just easily decide that you're going to see the world in a balanced place it actually it's a thing that you have to build over and over and over again. So unless you've had a lot of opportunity either to go to the breakthrough or very habitually act sit down and write out the benefits and the drawbacks. This idea of a balanced mind can be very confusing. That's my first point. My second point is, is that there's a difference between being positive or staying positive and feeling true joy. So, what I found is that as you do this work more and more and more, seeing the world in a balanced place, isn't actually a kind of like high or a happiness or like bounciness it for me, at least it's more in the pit of my stomach.
When I understand that actually, any situation I am in, I'm always given exactly the right amount of support in exactly the right amount of way from exactly the right amount of people. But even the things that are difficult, are actually there to grow and guide me to my greatness. potential. And I think that's missing for a lot of people. It's like, We're not trying to make you into a robot or expecting you to never have another moment of joy ever again. But there's a difference between being positive or being high. And having a true deep joy and trust in knowing that both the beneficial part of what's going on is there to soothe you and support you. But also the difficult and tough parts are actually there. Even in their difficult moments.
They're making you face something there making you grow something even that that joy comes along that really kind of like the sinking into that balance and to the real joy comes when you realize and I still to this day have to write it out when really big stuff happens to me is that I'm being forced to face and being forced to grow in areas that are not Less this difficult thing had come along, I would have never ever, ever gotten, like I will say to people is like the last seven years of my life have been nothing short of utter hell, and I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. Were there moments where I was in deep fear, deep anxiety, edging to suicidal places.
Absolutely. Thank my stars and the universe that I had tools around me to help me in those places. But it's like it has brought me it. It's like a fire storm of seven years has just stripped from me, everything that wasn't Truly Me on an internal level, but it's also literally stripped away, you know, external friends and relationships and things that weren't true for me that I now stand in a place in my life where I can look back and I go, Wow, that was unbelievably difficult. And I did Always have the balance. And some days I had to work incredibly hard. And there were days where I couldn't do it by myself. And I had to ask for help.
And I used a multitude of different tools. But coming back is like, I look back at what happened with a sense of balance and joy. But I also am now in a position where I look at myself right now, in a place of there are difficulties for sure. But I can see that those difficult things are pushing me and are guiding me into a direction that I wouldn't necessarily have taken myself. And that gives me a sense of balance and joy. Does that make sense?
Skye Khilji 1:14:45
It absolutely makes sense. I have a clarification question. The finding the balance years after I think people generally find easier. They have the perspective and that benefit of hindsight. But when they're in that moment where they're in the storm, they're broke. Rain is on fire. Sometimes I'll tell people, okay, you know, try and find that other side. What's the benefit? How does this bad situation serve you? And then they're not even able to find a way to think about those. So do you use question stems? How do you get somebody thinking about the other side, so their list can be equal on both sides.
Stephanie Hartwell 1:15:20
Yeah, so I have a practical thing that I say to people, as soon as difficulty hits your life, you need to take three pieces of paper, three A4 pieces of paper, you need to use sticky tape or whatever and stick it next to your bed on your bedroom wall. The first one, you write at the top gratitude. The second one you write benefits and blessings.
The third one you write mission, vision and purpose. And every single day, you add three things in the morning and three things at night. And you need to see those things again and again and again. On the first piece of paper. You need to prove to your mind that even though things are good Wrong, there are still a lot of things that your brain is currently discounting that are still going right. Sometimes that's having a nice warm bed. Sometimes that's having a safe place to be. Sometimes that's a friend, sometimes that's a mentor.
Sometimes, you know, it's an inspiration that you've had. So gratitude is incredible. A lot of people completely discount gratitude as a kind of like a little childish exercise. It is so important to do that. Then Then second piece of paper, you write down the benefits and the blessing of what's happening to you right now. Now, that's sometimes difficult to see.
And the way that I say getting into it is stand in front of the piece of paper that says benefits and blessings. And just in your mind's eye, keep repeating. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. That's one way to go into it. Another way is to say, What wouldn't have happened if I hadn't experienced this. That's Kind of like flipping the coin and looking at from the other perspective, the key thing is the third piece of paper which ties it all together, if you don't have a clear view in your mind about what you want to achieve with your life, and I'm not talking about the stuff you want to achieve from a trauma driven place, like who I want to be rich or I want to be popular, it's the things that once you strip the trauma that are really true to you to the core self of you, and how you want to express that in a mission and a vision and a purpose.
Then what you can do is on that second piece of paper, say, okay, so things are really hard for me right now, could it possibly be that I am experiencing this as a stepping stone towards what I really want to be doing and experiencing and having in my life, and when you start looking at through that filter, you kind of have to be Little detective. And that's what I did in my scenario. It's like, right, my life has gone upside down. Why is this happening to me?
You can spend days, months and years in that question, but when you ask from the perspective of what's truly important to me and the service I want to give to this world, why would I be going through that? It literally immediately made sense. I couldn't be serving people at the depth that I wanted to serve without understanding divorce without understanding fear without understanding trauma, without understanding all those aspects. And then when you have a reason and a meaning, and you know what you can call it, whatever you like, you can call it reframing, you know, there's many different words is is is meaning is such a powerful aspect in getting your brain to come on board to see
There are opportunities inside the disaster and the most profound book you can ever read on that is Victor Frankel's Man's Search for Meaning. It's about a psychotherapist. He was in a Nazi concentration camp, he was captured. And he then spent years looking at the different roles that people took on. And he realized that actually, the most powerful modulator to energy and resilience is having a purpose and a meaning.
Skye Khilji 1:19:32
Absolutely. In fact, we just reread that book for a second time and it coincided with my visit to Auschwitz Birkenau. So I really got to understand from a physical level also, as well as reading that book, you know, just how terrible and traumatic that must have been. And it's a book I recommend.
Stephanie Hartwell 1:19:48
Yeah, I struggle for words when I talk about that book, because it is just the respect I have and the Yeah, it's just, I mean, profound.
Skye Khilji 1:19:59
I'm glad You touched on meeting so these three pieces of paper, the person has them by the bed, they've got gratitude on one, they've got benefits and blessings on the second one. Now, the third one meaning I think this is where many people can get stuck. There's so many people were me, who tell me Well, I don't know what the meaning of my life is. I don't know what my mission is. How do they overcome that so they can fill out that third piece of paper? Yeah.
Stephanie Hartwell 1:20:22
So in the beginning, I would just start to ask simple questions like, have you ever done anything in your life where you've completely lost track of time, where you forgot to eat where you didn't necessarily need to sleep and you just felt really on fire? A lot of people will say, Oh, yes, I was at this event, or I was doing this job or I was working with these people.
Generally, there will be some particular thing. So that's my first question. The second question I ask is, is, has there been like a golden thread of something that repeatedly in your life you've just been naturally good at. And people will say, Oh, yes, I'm really good at connecting people or perhaps I'm an incredible artists, I mean, people generally immediately, you know, find something and I say, and then the third thing I'd like to ask you is, is, is there anything that on a repeated level people have told you that you're good at. So other people noticing things about you?
And so we start to pull together, this kind of like, puzzle of who you are and why you are here. Part of that is also looking at your life history. It's like, what has life taught you? You know, it's like, if I stand in my life right now is like I could have never ever ever imagined in a million years when I left school, that I would be ending up doing this, but my life has pushed me into this direction.
And so you also need to look at what life has taught you you know, even though You probably didn't, you know, want to hear it or maybe like me, it's like, I had no interest in personal development or behavioral sciences or let alone spirituality until I got ill in my 30s, which then, you know, set me on this path and it's like, I would have never gotten there. So it's also important that you look at that life has continuously given you obstacles and difficulties to overcome, like a training ground for your greatness and your purpose. So those were would be a couple of places that I would start looking.
Skye Khilji 1:22:37
Yeah, Viktor Frankl talks about meaning can come from your trauma from those negative, quote unquote, things that happened to us. For me, I think the things that made a big difference was Dr. demartini. three values assessment to figure out my values, wealth dynamics, that test was great and probably Iki guy the Japanese concept of Kind of hard to describe it, but what you're good at what your natural talents are, what you enjoy, where that all overlaps. That's definitely a good exercise.
Stephanie Hartwell 1:23:08
I think one of the things that I would add to that is, is always dig deeper when you've done vision and mission and things like that, because I'd like to encourage people to really look for their sole purpose, because I kind of distinguish it a little bit between life purpose and sole purpose.
For instance, my life purpose is to empower people, support them, educate them about self love and trauma, but my sole purpose is, you know, to help the world really, I mean, it sounds you know, that sounds a bit too big. But what I realized is, is the reason why I'm so so passionate about helping people truly fall in love with themselves, is is because only and that's in my opinion, only when we truly learn to completely embrace ourselves for who we are.
Can we really see others around us and embrace them for who we are. And when that happens, that's when we can then together help the planet sustain a place for us to all live together in harmony.
Skye Khilji 1:24:15
Stephanie Hartwell 1:24:17
Because I don't realistically think that people are going to be able, and that's not you know, as a judgment or a blame to be able to stop consuming or, you know, stop being at war with each other when we haven't yet really, you know, resolve the traumas and the pains within ourselves.
Skye Khilji 1:24:38
Yeah, I agree. I think the soul purpose thing is really intriguing. The thing that helped me clarify mine was, you know, how would I like to make the world different, and I discovered mine was to protect the vulnerable and that can be in so many different ways. It's not connected to a business. It's not even connected to who I am in this lifetime. It's something far beyond that.
Stephanie Hartwell 1:25:00
And what's so powerful about the sole purpose as well as is that you realize that, you know, things like viruses come along, and you might completely lose a business, but you might build a completely other one. And it's still in line with your sole purpose.
You know, it's like, one of the things that I realized is that I've been on this journey of helping people see the light within themselves for so long, you know, like, I certainly did it school with friends, then at university in certain groups. Then even when I had a corporate job, I was a trainer in financial markets. I was doing it there. It's like, when you realize your sole purpose, you actually start to have a little giggle about when have you not done it?
Skye Khilji 1:25:43
Right. It's literally there every single moment of your life,
Stephanie Hartwell 1:25:46
every single breath that you're taking.
Skye Khilji 1:25:51
The funny thing is everybody else can see it, but we can't we just too close to the trees, I guess.
Stephanie Hartwell 1:25:56
But that's where the question is about, you know, when you ask what if people always commented on at you do really well.
Skye Khilji 1:26:02
I remember texting like 50 people in my phone book because I knew probably 10% would reply. And I literally asked like, what am I good at? And you know what two people come to me for advice with and the, there was a consistency in the responses that was eye opening.
Stephanie Hartwell 1:26:17
And certainly, you know, it's like, I'm so grateful that through this journey, I did actually manage to really get clear on my vision and my purpose because it has been the little pilot light in some dark, dark places for me where it was somedays, the only thing that really got me back up is like, I don't know how I'm going to do this. I don't know when I'm going to do this, but I'm going to take one step closer to this every single day. And, yeah, I'm finally getting there eight years later.
Skye Khilji 1:26:53
The mission is definitely the anchor. For so many people are anchors as as we work through that trauma. Not the case, in my experience where you deal with your trauma and then start working on the mission, the two goes side by side.
Stephanie Hartwell 1:27:07
No, no, no. And also, you know, life will bring up stuff. You know, it's like, I think that's a very good point. It's like, you know, you don't do personal development, and then tomorrow, the world is okay, you know, it's like, stuff will still come along. exactly the right stuff will still come along, and it will open you up further and further and further.
Skye Khilji 1:27:29
Absolutely agree. So let's wrap up with a couple more listener questions. We've got two more of those. So the next one is, are there any mental exercises that I can use to minimize my insecurities?
Stephanie Hartwell 1:27:43
Ooh, nice one. So I think in society, at the moment, we have a sort of distorted view of what being confident is, so I always say be careful of the con of confidence. I say that because I've seen it in myself and my clients confidence is easily something that you can put on. Some I know some of the most confident people I've ever met were deeply traumatized and insecure on an internal level.
So I think, first of all, let's take confidence off the table and look at self esteem and self belief, which I think is a better way of looking at it. And really, what we need to know is is that a place of being comfortable with yourself and being okay with yourself is knowing that almost like a yin and yang sign, you have things that you're really good at, and you have things that you're not so good at. I think the idea is, is that if you are continuously trying to negate one side of yourself, you will just be like a hamster in a wheel. You will never get anywhere.
But when you start to look At the perspective of while the things that I'm good at are actually here, lining me up giving me exactly the right things that I need to be able to express my purpose and my vision and my mission. And the things that I'm not so good at, actually also perfectly placed, so that I don't run around going doing things that I'm not good at. And I can bring in people that are good at the things that I'm not good at, and then interact with them to build a great thing. So for instance, in a business, I'm really really good at course, and content creating, I am not so good at marketing, you know, but if I constantly look at myself and go, I'm really awful at marketing, I'm going to feel absolutely awful about myself.
But if I say I'm really good at content, creating, researching and course creation, and marketing is something I'm out going to outsource to somebody who's really good at it. Then I can see that I'm actually like, And dark in equal measures, and they are both in exactly the right place. And you can apply that to, you know, I'm a good singer or I'm a friend or this idea of not being good enough is rooted in a trauma, really, because somewhere along the way, your environment communicated to you that you weren't enough. Now, that might be nobody's fault.
It might be that, you know, your mom had three jobs or five kids or there was a lot of poverty in your surroundings, and people didn't have the right kind of time for you to really sit down and give you the emotional presence that you needed. And your brain interpreted that as I'm not good enough. So on some level, you know, that's the journey that you need to go on. And that's the journey that you need to dig up. You know, havening is particularly good at that. And then we re instill the beliefs with things like EFT or psych K is lovely as well. to implant the positive beliefs, but in the conscious mind, you need to understand that you're never going to be perfect at everything and that you're actually good and bad at exactly the right things and they're completely balanced.
And you are so Goldilocks perfect for your particular vision and mission that you probably right now can't comprehend. But I will add one other thing. There's a lot to be said about some a topic that's very close to my heart called spiritual bypassing. I don't know if you know much about it, but there is a fair amount written and talked about how people use certain personal development and spiritual concepts to ignore stuff about themselves. So trauma can really wreck with your system on many different levels. You know, it can give you fear, it can give you anxiety. Giving you flashbacks, it can do all sorts of things. I want to be really mindful of people going into personal development and spirituality going, I'm perfect the way I am.
So there, I'm just going to be the way I am. And that is actually a type of, in my opinion, spiritual bypassing because it's not really understanding the components that actually, there is always something that you can be empowering. It's not about improving. We're not improving ourselves. This is not self improvement. This is about empowering. But I think there's a lot to be said for using personal development and spirituality, just to excuse your traumatically driven behaviors.
Skye Khilji 1:32:52
Yeah, that's something we see a lot of it's going from one extreme to another and just completely covering up and I guess it's a coping mechanism like you mentioned?
Stephanie Hartwell 1:33:01
Of course it is, you know, of course it is.
Skye Khilji 1:33:04
Yeah, I love that you're talking about to that person who has those insecurities that again, it's bringing balanced seeing what is So, and not seeing what your mind is telling you is so you know, that unbalanced perspective they're bringing balance to,
Stephanie Hartwell 1:33:18
and it's so hard, you know, in the world of social media, perfection, and, you know, even in, you know, entrepreneurial business, it's like, everybody seems to be bright and shiny and making a million dollars. And then it's like,
Skye Khilji 1:33:38
yeah, that's something that for me for a long time, I thought, you know, why am I not good at running the projects and the details. And I used to beat myself up about that. And funnily enough, one of the other questions we had was advice on planning and sticking to it. And I think from what you're saying, it sounds like we are trying to do things that are not meant for us and you know, My business certainly changed when I just hired a project manager and said, let me do the stuff I'm great at, and I'm gonna let you do the stuff you're greater.
Stephanie Hartwell 1:34:08
Well, I think that's in the book, The E Myth, isn't it? It's like really identifying what you're good at what you're not good at. And so just making plans and sticking to them. Is that the question?
Skye Khilji 1:34:20
Yeah, so the question was advice on planning and sticking to it,
Stephanie Hartwell 1:34:25
So we need to pick apart those two things because there's planning and those sticking to it. So let's take planning for the first one. You can plan things until the cows come home. If they are not true to your true self, and meaningful, your brain is just going to stand next to you yawn and chew some gum.
So, you have two options here, you can either choose something that is truly meaningful to you or you can make it meaningful to you by Linking and this is one of the demartini exercises that's very powerful. linking it to something that is important to you. So I could pick something that is completely not important to me. Oh, great. My front garden at the moment is a little bit shabby. I have not paid attention to it because I've spent all my time doing stuff on my business. So if I plan that I need to put time in to do my front garden.
Right now if I think about it, I'm not motivated at all. But if I start looking at is how would spending time on my front garden, mean and matter to the things that are important to me? Like for instance, I could be outdoors more and I could listen to podcasts while I'm gardening. I could be getting the front of my house you know more ready that then when this pandemic is over and I really have to launch my business. I don't have to take care of that.
Can you see it's like like a Lawyer, I'm building a case for getting the garden and every time I add one more piece, linking into something that's truly important to me, I feel more energized and I feel more ready to actually get involved in that task. There's also a lot to be said in planning about really chunking it down into doable steps, like, okay, so to get my garden done is I need to, you know, make sure I have these tools, I need to have these things.
So, like, map it out, write it out. I mean, this is just basic, you know, human behavior, map it out, write it out, put reasonable timestamps on it, and you know, then there's all sorts of other things that you can do is you can kind of like, tell another person you're doing it, you can kind of draw yourself a reward chart, but for me, I found in my own life and with my clients, it's actually the mindset that's the hardest thing to overcome. If this isn't really something that matters to you, then you have to make it matter to you.
Skye Khilji 1:37:05
Does that cover the sticking to it part also? Or is that no planning side? That's a whole nother topic, right? Let's go for it.
Stephanie Hartwell 1:37:10
So sticking to it, so sticking to it has a whole other set of elements to it. So sticking to it. Number one, I would say, you really need to make sure that you have smashed all your unrealistic expectations about how it's going to go and how long it's going to take.
So, you know, like we all get really, really, you know, excited about a project and then it takes twice as long and then you just don't have the energy for it or you think nothing is going to ever, for instance, I wonder how many people decided on a nomad lifestyle and then it was just full of issues and problems they hadn't anticipated,you know, guilty. I think we all are right.
And so these things have the potential to derail you and to stop you In your tracks, and this is where this idea of finding the blessing and the message in it is so powerful. So first of all, smash your unrealistic expectations about how it's going to go, how long it's going to take, and also make a plan, make a plan for it going wrong. I remember years ago when I was in personal training, I used to work together with a doctor and to get people to really embrace the nutrition side of it as well.
And it's like, I always said to my clients, it's like it's not if something is going to come your way something is going to come your way. So plan for it before it happens. Like for instance, you know, it's like, what are you going to do if you have to go to a birthday party if you have to go to a friend's dinner, if you have to get on a plane, you know, things like that. So plan for the unforeseen before it happens.
And then sticking to it. The big one we've talked about it before is having the bigger overarching Mission meaning vision and purpose. It's the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning that keeps you going. That really needs to be clear. I
Skye Khilji 1:39:09
Cmpletely agree. Completely agree. I just think those responses are just incredible. There's so much information in this podcast and you know, steffes businesses project glow, gratitude, love, ownership, wisdom. And I think you can just hear those things emanating from there. You can see why she's one of those people who I just consistently check in with when I go back to the UK because she's just a wealth of information.
So Steph, for that person who's out there who is on their path, they're, you know, starting to work through their trauma. They're finding their meaning and their vision and their goals. What would What advice would you give them what would you say to them?
Stephanie Hartwell 1:39:47
I would want to be like your cheerleader at the side and go over, yay, keep going and I just have so much respect and I'm so in awe of people that really embrace this idea of empowering themselves to a greater level than they were the day before.
And you know what, it takes a lot of effort and it takes grit and it takes persistence. But it's it is also one of the most rewarding things that I think people can go on, not only for themselves, for their relationships, for their partners, for their businesses, for their communities, because that's what we really need is people who shine their light.
And together we will, you know, hopefully illuminate those dark spots in the worlds and you know, in the world and in people's hearts that we can really pull together and create a world where each and every one of us is loved and cared for and respected for who we are and and if you are alive right now, and you're on on this road of personal development, make no mistake, you're here for a reason. And you're here to be that light within your setting and your community and your space, no matter how big or small that is.
Skye Khilji 1:41:14
There are people listening to this right now that are going to be looking to you, based on everything you've shared in this podcast, they're looking to you for that light. And, you know, your message is gonna resonate with many of them on some level. So where can they find you? Where can they connect with you? How do they get more stuff?
Stephanie Hartwell 1:41:32
Yeah, so I've just completely parked my website, because I actually think that this time at the moment is, I mean, in the UK, I'm in lockdown. I don't know where you are, if there's locked down there, but this is a time to go inwards and restructure and reform and repattern.
And that's what I'm doing with my website. So, website is down at the moment if we'll be back up, but right now I'm on social media on Facebook, on Instagram, and on YouTube. Project glow or project Glow UK is where I'm at. Right now I'm doing daily videos on little tips and tricks and hacks to get you through, you know all the difficult and weird and changing emotions that are coming up right now. So you'll find a lot of different stuff about breath work and EFT and hardening and all those things on all those platforms.
Skye Khilji 1:42:24
Yeah, I recommend everybody go and follow Steph on the socials at Project Glow in this time where we're getting a diet of negativity, this is your balance. This is your benefit and your blessing.
So everybody, go and follow Steph at Project Glow on all of the socials and stuff. I just really want to say thank you so much for sharing your gratitude, love, ownership and wisdom with us.
Stephanie Hartwell 1:42:45
Thank you and thank you so much. It's you know, we're all in this together and never it's more meaningful now than ever before. But you know, it's like, things are tough right now and they are really, really awfully tough.
For some people on the planet, and you know, it's time to rise and shine, if you're in a place where you are able to and support those around you, because this is a great big opportunity for all of us to really connect deeply into ourselves, I'm getting texts and emails every single day of people telling me, I've just realized that and I want to change my life.
And this is really important to me. So this is a time to reconnect inwards to yourself, and get clarity in that and then connect outwards to really be part of your community, of your family of your group of, you know, you shine your light. That's all I have to say. Shine your light because you're here and you're important and you're perfectly made for that if there's a couple of things in your life that don't quite work that's probably because You need to have a look at your trauma. And even the journey of going and looking at that will be the making of you.
Skye Khilji 1:44:08
Shine your light people. I can't add anything to that. Steph, thank you so much.
Stephanie Hartwell 1:44:13
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I deeply appreciate it.
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