EP 55 90 Seconds To A Life You Love With Dr. Joan Rosenberg

Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
EP 55 90 Seconds To A Life You Love With Dr. Joan Rosenberg

When you’re supporting your child through addiction, there are many uncomfortable and even painful experiences. The more capacity you have to tolerate emotional pain, the more capable and confident you feel about yourself and your ability to support your child. A willingness to learn from any experience, openness to change, and the capacity to express unpleasant feelings leads to emotional strength and resilience. Being able to experience your own emotional pain also makes it easier for you to tolerate the discomfort of your child’s emotional pain as well. It also makes it easier to engage in difficult conversations.  Emotional mastery is an essential skill to help you through your journey with your child’s addiction.  

Topics Discussed In This Episode: 

How emotions only last 90 seconds 

Why some emotions seem to last longer than 90 seconds 

How allowing and feeling your unpleasant emotions leads to a life you love 

Why we use distractions to avoid feelings 

Dr. Joan Rosenberg’s website 

Buy 90 Seconds To A Life You Love 

Episodes to listen to next: 

Episode 16 Self Coaching Model 

Episode 17 Processing Feelings = High Quality of Life 

Episode 18 Understanding Buffering Can Help You Understand Addiction 

If his podcast has helped you, please help me reach other parents by leaving a review. Leaving a review is like referring the podcast to someone who needs it. You can also share the podcast directly with someone or share it on social media. 

If you want coaching about your child’s addiction or anything else Sign up for a 45 minute $17 call with me using the link below


Additional resources:

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This transcript has not been formatted or edited.


I’m Heather after many wasted years, trying outdated, approaches to my daughter’s addiction, that felt wrong to me harmed.

Our relationship and didn’t help my daughter.

I finally found an effective evidence-based approach.


That repair my relationship with her helped me.

Create my own peace of mind and made me an ally in my daughter’s recovery.

I teach you a loving and compassionate approach to help you encourage change.

Create connection addiction impacts the entire family system.


Family recovery is the answer.

Opening up to feeling the full spectrum of human emotions is what opened me up to the vulnerability of truly giving and feeling unconditional.

Love, it gave me the ability to experience the emotional depth.


I wanted to experience as a mother, but I really couldn’t feel it for a long time.

I was aware that something kept me from my full capacity to experience emotions, but it didn’t bother me that much until I had my daughter.


For that.

I was aware of it, but preferred the sense of security that it gave me when I was intellectualizing.

My feelings rather than feeling those Sensations in my body.

That means I would talk about feelings but not really feel them.


A great example of that is when I bought the second house that I ever bought, it was this huge deal to me because I wanted to live in this one neighborhood, but I couldn’t afford it all All the houses in that neighborhood were just out of my budget and how Lana was about to start school?


She was going to start kindergarten soon.

I love the elementary school, that was in that neighborhood.

The mature trees, the location, it was very Central to everything.

I love the style of the homes.

I mean, did I mention that?

I loved it there?


Of course, at the time, I wasn’t feeling that love though, that neighborhood just checked all the boxes for me, it, Was the perfect place to have the life that I Envision for my family.

When I was about to give up on that house and put an offer in a house that I’m so glad now that I didn’t put the offer in on because I really didn’t even like it that much but I just got sick of looking.


It was less expensive though and it was affordable.

I got lucky and a couple of things fell into place.

I got a job offer so I was going to be making more money than I expected.

To and the house that I ended up buying one up for sale by owner and it was just so much cheaper than all the other houses in the neighborhood and it needed some updating, but I didn’t mind that.


I was just excited to get into the neighborhood and be able to update the house.

As I had the extra money to do it in the day of closing.

My mom and I were talking to the woman who I was buying the house from, and I was saying how excited It.


I was to buy the house and telling her all the reasons that it was perfect for me.

And my mom says, why don’t you tell your face, how excited you are?

She was teasing me because my expression, my tone of voice, my body language.


Nothing matched, the words that were coming out of my mouth, I was using feeling words, but I wasn’t experiencing the feelings because I was still mimicking.

An Realising feelings.

But this was on purpose, that was my safe Zone because when I was younger, I often felt really out of control with intense emotions.


I especially anger, and I just felt at the effect of my emotions like they would last forever.

I wouldn’t be able to get rid of them because I thought my feelings were caused by other people circumstances and events.


Like I didn’t know.

That my thoughts created my feelings, until I was in my 40s, if you wanted here, exactly how that works, are no more about that.

Listen to episode 16 about the sofa coaching model, that’s where I explain that.


But, most of the clients that I work with, they don’t understand that either or like, they heard me say it on a podcast, but it didn’t really sink in until they started working with me.

A lot of Times.

When I first start coaching someone and I asked them to tell me the emotion, they’re experiencing.


They tell me their thoughts and I was the same way but not understanding feelings and what causes them.

It just leads to such a sense of powerlessness, when we’re afraid of Heart of what makes us human.


I’ve said this in another podcast episode.

It’s like Being afraid of feeling your feelings as like being afraid of breathing, like it’s going to happen and so you’ve just got to lean into it and emotions and your ability to feel them.


They have a major impact on the fullness of your life and how you respond to your child’s addiction.

Like, when I wanted to be really numb, I was not responding well to what I was.

Going through with whole an early in her addiction.


But her diction is also what got me to stop.

Numbing my feelings with distractions or buffers to thaw out and experience.

The Body Sensations, that happened with our emotions, it was definitely a process and that’s another reason that I love the self coaching model.


It was like a bridge for me, a bridge to learn how to feel.

And as I said earlier, feeling my emotions, as part of what helps me to have such a beautiful relationship with Home Anna.

And, of course, I’m more grateful than ever that.


I got to experience giving her and receiving from her unconditional love and that way that I always knew that I could but was unable to for a long time.


I got to experience.


That depth of emotion that I knew was missing in me and I just didn’t know how to get to it.

And I’m so grateful that I had that experience, and I’m also grateful for my ability to navigate feelings because of the intense grief and pain that I experienced now, because of losing her.


I cannot even imagine trying to go through this without the tools that I have or the Confidence in myself to feel really intense emotions and feeling intense emotions is also something we talked about in the free craft workshops, that Beth and I did a month or so ago, because your emotions Drive behaviors.


And if we want to have a response to our child’s addiction that we like and is an intentional response, then we have to be able to navigate all the unpleasant emotions that come up.

Our kids so when I got the chance to have today’s guest dr.


Joan come on the podcast and talk about her book, which talks about experiencing unpleasant emotions.

I was very excited to share it with you and I looked like I was excited because I feel my feelings now.

Not only do I love and agree with all the content in the book, but there’s exercises that go along with it.


I like the exercises because they help you learn and implement New read.

It’s so easy to consume information while you read a book but then put it down and just forget about it.

But if you do the exercises, that’s when you go from, just reading it and consuming it to putting it into use in your life, to getting the benefit from it.


I did some of the exercises and I found them to be really helpful.

So, today’s guest dr.

Joan Rosenberg, PHD psychologist is a best-selling author.

Corporate Wellness, consultant and media expert, who is known globally as an acclaimed speaker and trainer on communication competence resilience, authenticity, and grief is a three-time tedx speaker and member of the association of transformational leaders, she has been recognized for her Innovative, emotional Mastery and confidence, building approach and for her thought leadership and Global influence and personal development.


Dr. Rosenberg has served as a mental health media, consultant for documentaries, print radio television and digital Outlets as an Air Force veteran.

She is a professor of psychology at Pepperdine University.

Her latest book, 90 seconds to a life.


You love how to master your difficult feelings to cultivate lasting confidence, resilience and authenticity.

Did I say that?

Is her latest book.

I will put a link to her website in the show notes so that you can find her book there.


I hope you enjoy our conversation.

So, welcome to the podcast everybody.

Today, we get to talk to dr.

Joan Rosenberg.

The author of the book 90 seconds to a life.

You love this book is about how to master difficult feelings, cultivate lasting confidence, resilience and authenticity, and dr.


John thank you so much for coming on the podcast today.

That’s my pleasure to be here.

Thank you for having me.

So, as I was getting ready for this podcast, which I had the book on, My reading list, I had several people suggest reading it to me but, you know, I have like a million mile, long reading list.


So does it got moved right to the top?

And as I was telling people, you know what, I was reading, I would get two questions and the first one was like that look like, are you kidding me?

The emotions, really only lasts 90 seconds and the second one, was how in the world this feeling your feelings lead to a life, you love.


So let’s start with explaining How a feeling only lasts 90 seconds?

Well this is not my claim if you will.

It was the statement that was made by dr.

Jill bolte Taylor, who is a harvard-trained neuroscientist, who wrote the book, my stroke of insight.


So it really that 90 seconds.

Peace comes from her directly and but what it did for me is help me understand as a psychologist, how to help the people that I was working with lean into unpleasant feelings, Yeah.


So just to kind of back it up.

I was always telling people for years to ride the waves ride the waves right away.

So I cried these feeling waves but is the Neuroscience research began to come out including dr.

Bull Taylor’s observation, it helped me put together kind of a method if you will for people to lean into unpleasant feelings and that that 90 seconds piece was part of it.


So the her observation specifically was that, when a feeling gets triggered, That there’s a rush about chemicals into the bloodstream that activate bodily Sensations and that that’s those same biochemicals flush out of the bloodstream in an upper limit of roughly 90 seconds.


So that’s where the 90 seconds comes from.

But if I back it up a little bit more, the thing to understand here is that most of us come to know what we’re feeling emotionally through bodily sensation.

So for instance, the one I like to use all the time is embarrassment.


If you were to look at me, you might see my face turn red or my chest or neck or whatever, turn flush.

And that if you will, is all the my chemicals rushing into the bloodstream, it’s causing that kind of a reaction.

Now, you would see the redness, but I would feel the heat of the bodily sensation.


They heat rushing into my face is my cue that I’m embarrassed.

Now all that from a mental standpoint happens really like in nanoseconds the awareness but it’s our awareness of the feeling that helps us General.

The awareness of the bodily sensation if you will, that helps us understand what we’re feeling emotionally.


So you got a downward feeling in your chest maybe and maybe that’s sadness for some.

I have clients that will say they get their arms get heated or the back of the neck gets heated and that’s their cue for anger.

It’s different for all of us but what I realized is that what I was telling people to do then was to ride those whose bodily waves, if you will, of Sensations are probably some good waves of bodily.


Ins and if I could say they’re short-lived, they’re up to 90 seconds.

I’m saying one or more, not just one way.

Yeah, it’s one or more waves of these short-lived bodily Sensations.

Then that’s the thing that actually helps people lean into unpleasant feeling so that they can.


And the other piece that I realized that’s really important here is that it wasn’t that we didn’t want to feel the full range of what we felt is that we didn’t want to feel the bodily Sensation that helped us.

What we were feeling emotionally and that most of us would try to escape that bodily sensation because that’s what was so uncomfortable.


That’s what we wanted to distract from and tied to a kind of addiction.

We’re wanting to distract from the bodily Sensations.

That help us know what we’re feeling and then that keeps us away from feelings.

Yeah, I want to go back to that one in a second, but I like that concept of the waves of feelings like just like waves, come in, summer title.


Waves and some small waves.




The notion of an ocean be walking along the ocean shore and seeing the varying intensities of waves makes perfect sense, because they come in, they might come crashing in like your title way.



And then, but they always subside and the key is that they only subside and then so what perpetuates multiple waves of emotion?

Because I have experienced that before where I have a Of emotion come in and I allow it and it does pass right through.



What perpetuates more waves?

Oh, there’s lots of different things that will perpetuate it trauma or sudden trauma can perpetuate a but that encodes in the brain differently trauma and codes in the brain differently.

If it’s everyday kind of feelings which is really what my work is, more centered on than it would be us thinking about something could repeat the web.


As everything that’s attached to a thought.

Or a given memory is going to come up when you’re thinking about the particular thought or that particular memory.

So it’s going to bring the feeling’s right with it.

And so if I keep on repeating the memory, I’m going to keep on repeating the experience of the feeling.

So if we’re ruminating, especially when it comes to like we’re in fear things that, you know, with our kids addiction, where fear what’s going to happen or we’re going over past events like at what happened then?


Before the argument or something, we’re going to keep our self in that state of that, feeling that we don’t like the bodily sensation of.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.


So then how does allowing yourself to experience?


Those bodily Sensations and experience those feelings lead to loving your life.

So here’s the interesting thing.

So my work is centered around this, body of my work is centered around, eight difficult feelings, The a feelings are sadness.


Shame, helplessness, anger, vulnerability, embarrassment, disappointment, and frustration.

And again, it kind of why these eight, because the most common everyday, spontaneous reactions to things not turning out the way that we want or the way we believe, they need to be.


So it’s the every danis of why I chose these feelings.

So how does that?

What kind of what?

France is that make it makes a huge difference.

The first thing is, if we cut off, if we try to disconnect distract or cut off or ignore a half of our feeling experience, then we’re not really living an authentic life and I would suggest we’re not even living a fully Alive Life.


Mmm are unpleasant feelings are really designed to protect us.

So they’re not bad, they’re not – but if we try to shut them down, like I said, we’re only trying to live a pleasantly oriented life and that’s not authentic and it’s deadening.


And now we’re without a lot of useful information that can actually help us.

So like if we’re in a dangerous situation and we get angry, or we get concerned and we dismiss it now, we’re not making use of the very thing that helps us protect ourselves.


So in order that To live a more Fully Alive and a happier life or a feel more at peace, even feel more at peace inside.

It means allowing ourselves to feel the fullness of what we feel.

Because it again, if I use another example in relationship, if I’m disappointed or sad about something and I don’t communicate that to the person, I’m in relationship with now, being inauthentic and that relationship.


It’s not going to be as happy, but if I can experience it and I can express it now.

It’s a game changer.

Now, I have the possibility of living authentically.

I have the possibility of living cognitive a fully Alive Life, fully expressed.


And I’m happier and more peace because I’ve done that.

So it makes a huge huge difference.

Yeah, for me when I was, because I was the, I did not like feeling those bodily Sensations where nobody goes, I was doing a lot of things to numb them and I describe it like being asleep.


We live my life like I wasn’t fully experiencing like I like that.

You said the way you put that that full experience.

It’s interesting how trying to shut down those unwanted feelings, those unpleasant feelings also shut down.


My ability to feel the excitement and joy and love and happiness.

All those feelings were you know I just was this kind of numb.

Yes no wasn’t experiencing much of anything anymore, right?

And And I would suggest that when we muffle one side of our feelings, we actually muffle the other side just as you described it.


Everything becomes muted.



And now I experienced so much more.

I’m like able to go into the painful stomach and I experience more joy than I ever did before too.

But it’s so interesting that fear how much it holds us back.




And I would, I would my thinking on that is that it’s not necessarily fear it The not wanting to feel vulnerable.

Yeah, and I also didn’t know what to do with it.

Like I was especially I can remember a time where I was really angry, right?

I felt stuck with the anger like before I end, I felt like it came from outside of me, I didn’t understand that, like my thoughts that I was thinking over and over again.


We’re creating that feeling over and over again.

But it was this powerlessness that came from thinking others, controlled how I felt or circumstances controlled how I felt versus my thinking.

Correct, right.

It’s not Ins or circumstances or situations or events?

Its internal.



And knowing that is very empowering because then I don’t have to change anybody else to feel better correct wheat.

And and it’s when we change ourselves that everything around us can change.


So true.

So and it’s interesting because like that’s what makes us human.


Is the emotional experience.

Why do you think it is so uncomfortable to feel like When you think about it and you just explain, it’s just a bodily sensation, but it feels visceral.

Sometimes, especially like people who have anxiety, like, they literally feel like they’re going to die.


Somebody who’s having a panic attack or something like that, like why do we feel so uncomfortable with these bodily Sensations?

Well, you know, I will go back to what I said earlier.

I just, I think the two things two or three things, one is that we don’t have any control over them.


So that they have this.

It’s a spontaneous reaction to something that’s happened.

Either inside of us, are outside of us.

Something we’ve got and we’re having a reaction to it, or would something just happened to us and we’re having a reaction to it.

But the way I think about that is that we’re not in control that we feel and we’re not a control.


What we feel.

Hmm, until it’s in our conscious awareness and at that’s the point at, which we can manage what we’re feeling.

But and by managing it We’re kind of in quotes, controlling it, but we don’t control the intensity.

We don’t control that we feel his it might start and we might think it’ll never stop right?


Or that the and the so that the intensity feels like it’s going to overwhelm or it’s never going to stop or we can’t control or and so we just back off and don’t want to have any part of it.

And so for me, it’s against learning that once were aware of it, we can manage it and we will actually then have some semblance of control.


Roll over it, but those are some of the reasons, I think we really back away.

And they bodily Sensations themselves are really, really uncomfortable.

And as people don’t want to feel them, you know, when you’re flooded with a helpless rageful reaction, it doesn’t feel good at the body.


No just doesn’t right.

But we have to get used to it and be able to Bear it and ride the waves and then go.

All right.

How do I want to make use of what I’m feeling?

So because we really can make use of What we’re feeling?



And there was one part of the book and I’m just going to paraphrase where you talked about, like, when we put what we’re feeling into words.


And we change our response.

So we go from feeling to thinking and we move out of the fight or flight part of our brain, right into the thinking and reasoning part of our brain and that you can change your experience just by describing it.


Which I remember when I used to started, Feeling anxiety, wasn’t something I ever felt before because I was shutting down my emotions.

So then when I started to feel it, then I would panic.

And then one day I realized, oh my gosh, I’m panicking when I feel anxiety, so I’m making it worse on myself and it’s like, I’m like talking to myself did going through like why am I responding this way?


Like, but being curious about it really changed my experience.

I didn’t realize that was what I was doing at the time, but as I was reading this, I’m like, yeah, that change how I felt.

Absolutely, so two things there, one when we can step away and notice what we’re experiencing, that’s a first step towards change and that there’s layers to that, because we can then notice that we’re noticing.


Yeah, and that’s another layer of being able to step back from it and then, even make even more sense of what’s going on.

So you getting cure, you know, you noticed your experience and then you getting curious about your own experience was like that second level.


Okay, well, I’m going to notice what I’m noticing.


About this.

And but that allowed you to step away even further and then make better sense and then have a be better able to manage your own experience.

So for me, that’s a really important part of it.

And the other part has to do with when we put words to our experience, what ends up happening to dr.


Dan Siegel talks about this and from the standpoint of integration that, when we put words, which tend to be located in one hemisphere of our brain.

More, broadly speaking.

And we put those words to experience and feeling which is tends to be in the other side of the brain for most of its left for the words.


And and right for that experience of feeling that when we are engaging words, to describe our experience and our feelings, and we’re integrating the brain because we’re doing a left-to-right, kind of crosstalk.

If you will the brain and the an integrated brain is a healthier brain.


So we actually have a greater experience of integration and a better ability to modulate what we’re Feeling by just thinking we using words for it or speaking talking about it or even writing journal.

That’s why journaling is also.

So helpful is because we’re basically doing the same kind of thing.


We’re putting words to experience so even describing how the sensation fields in your body works for that as well.

Absolutely can make a difference.


Okay that’s helpful.


And I guess I had imagined, I mean for me it’s like when I’m talking about it, Then I’m not feeling so helpless, correct, nor overwhelmed.


Yeah, and that’s a word that I hear a lot though, that I experienced a lot was feeling overwhelmed.

You know, when I was dealing with things with my daughter and a lot of parents, it’s probably one of the number one words that I hear is that feeling of overwhelm that they’re experiencing about their child’s addiction.


And I’d imagine I was just thinking you could apply that same thing to what they’re feeling.

Just Even there’s so much shame along with it, that there’s the secrecy and nobody, they’re not talking about it, right?

So just that even talking about it.


Like you were with this emotional having using putting words to what you’re experiencing, I don’t work in the same way for the experience of your child’s addiction.


Once you break the secret then you can get help.



And also getting support is something that will also help, we’ll help you modulate your own stay.

So and I my hunches, it’s interesting.

I’m not a big fan of what I would call vague words.

So like the word overwhelmed for me is a big word.


The word anxiety is for me and big word.

Even fear.

Sometimes X is a big word and because when we allow it to be like that, it’s actually harder.

I think it’s harder to move through to Perience.

A move through but if I described overwhelm the parents, you were just describing.


Then that state of overwhelm what I might put instead.

If I use the ape that I use, I might put in that they were feeling vulnerable, not only for themselves, but they didn’t feel like they couldn’t protect their child from harm, right?

So there’s a vulnerability this sense that I could be heard.


So, there’s vulnerability on for not themselves and for the child, there’s also an experience of helplessness.

Oh my God.

What do I do?

I’m going to impact this.

How do I influence?

It’s not working that kind of thing and because there’s helplessness and there’s an experience of little impact.


Now, I’m angry and I’m disappointed, and I’m sad, but I’m frustrated because I’m not experiencing all of that.

But if we break it down, then overwhelms, filled with a whole range of feelings that if we actually describe the feelings, more specifically, we might even feel a little bit more able to contain the experience.



Yeah, and able to do something.

Yes, yes.

Yeah, like knowing what you need, like all the things you were just describing.

There is needs it.

That need to be met.

Like I need to feel safe.


You feel like my child is safe, correct?



So, yes, so breaking it.

Down can lead you to the next steps that if it’s just left in these vague States like overwhelming anxiety.

Then it, I think it actually makes it harder to respond to So when you talked about that in the book with the specifically with anxiety that there’s always something there’s more, can you talk about that a little bit?



Again this like I said I’m just not a big fan of horse that keep things fag but you know what I what I realized is as a psychologist when I was working with people and that they say that they were anxious actually, didn’t know what that meant.

And so what I like to say is that, if I were to ask 10 people, when anxiety meant to them, I would typically get eight to ten different answers.


So for me, it’s so vague, it’s not a useful concept.

And what I found is that a high percentage of the time when people use that word, they’re actually describing feeling vulnerable.

Meaning that they have, this sense that they could get hurt.


What’s hurt going to look like?

It’s going to look like the other seven feelings.

I describe.

Typically, they might get say, they might be sad, they might be embarrassed.

They might get angry, whatever, but it’s but it’s one or more of the other.

Then when they’re feeling vulnerable.

And if anxiety is not vulnerability, then it’s often one or more of the other feelings.


So, I disinfect, I describe a story in the book where I was talking to two students that I was working with in a group setting.

And one said that both of them describe feeling very anxious and when I said, I’m going to take all the words that relate to anxiety away from you.


So I can’t use a Hansa view.

Can’t you scared?

You can’t use any day.

I ended up one ended up saying that they were angry and the other one ended up saying that she was sad is like, okay.

So now go back to the situation that you said was making exercise in the first place and replace it with sadness and anger respectively.


So they did, I said, is the anxiety.

They’re like No.

And I said did happen that there was another person involved in this, that if you could have, you would have expressed either the anger, the sadness.

And they both kind of smiled.

And both said yes.


That they hadn’t expressed that.

So, again, the thing to think about here is that not only does anxiety in this vague word act, as a cover for the eight unpleasant feelings that it also can be thought of as unexperienced, an unexpressed feeling.


And if you just play with the eight feeling states that I named and replace, don’t let yourself use word.

The word.


I think you’ll find that in most cases one or more of those feelings will actually be much more accurate and the interesting thing here is that when you let yourself feel the more accurate experience, you calm down.



Here’s the first part I hear about anxieties the helplessness and the feeling of being at the effect of it.

And then the way you’re just describing going deeper into what the feeling actually is.

Then you suddenly again, have a way to solve for it.



Yes, yeah, yeah.

So my thing is, don’t let yourself use the words like anxiety and fear and overwhelm and instead, use one or more of the eight feelings and see where that takes you.

Yeah, I can totally see how helpful that would be.

Because, like, when my daughter experienced anxiety, course, I wasn’t feeling anything.


So I didn’t understand it, but I can see how helpful that would have been to her to be able.

All to be really detailed about what she was experiencing and so let’s talk about distracting and that’s one of the thing the word.


Do you use to describe a lot of activities that we use to avoid feeling those bodily sensation.

Oh yeah.

Oh yeah.

And I like that you used you talked about like compulsive and addictive behaviors together because I think like we all do it in some form or another and I Seeing the similarities because it helps us drop the judgments.


Just some, we distract or more socially acceptable than others.

And I know like mine, one of my big ones was over working.

That was socially acceptable to do that but I had a lot of judgment about what my daughter was, how she was distracting.

So do you want to give some examples of what distracting is and why we’ve got to overcome distractions again for me?


Distractions, are the thing that That keep you away from your feeling States.

So, and I think I talked about it as anything that disconnects distracts kind of allows you to ignore or suppress or it kind of your experience.

And, I mean, I think it was in the book.


I think it looks like 35, at least 35 different ways, so it sounds like things like shopping use of shopping food, could be any substance use because it would be alcohol or other kinds of drugs vaping.


Cetera could be sex could be porn.

Thus, any kind of screen use social media at, you know, getting lost in your phone and texting and the whole thing, all of those would be kind of more compulsive or addictive, kinds of distractions.


Then there are things like having feelings about having feelings, though, if I’m angry that, I’m sad or I’m disappointed, that I’m angry, then that’s a distraction, I think of anxieties distraction.

I think of Harsh self-criticism, as a distraction.


So I think that we can have what I call default reactions.

So that I might be feeling sad or disappointed, but the only thing I showed as is anger.

So the list is pretty endless.

In terms of all the creative ways we behave in order to not feel and not be in touch and not be aware of what’s really going on in our moment-to-moment experience.


So, I feel discomfort and I To eating to change.

How I feel correct.



Or I stopped eating in an effort to not feel and now I’m putting the focus on because my work started with people who had eating challenges Eating Disorders or eating related problems, and it goes both directions.


So if I’m putting if I’m restricting and going more of an anorectic around and starving, now I’m putting my focus on food weight and appearance.

As opposed to the thoughts, feelings needs and perceptions that are really occurring underneath, so that’s a distraction to.


So it’s it’s both sides of it, whether I’m compulsively overeating to try to shut down my experience or whether I’m restricting and putting the focus elsewhere to try to shut down on my experience.

At either way, we’re not meeting our need that that feeling is trying to signal that is absolutely true.



And I think one of the most important One of the first, I guess tools, I had to build.

And I think a lot of parents that I work with have to build as the tolerance to the discomfort about their child’s discomfort that they’re struggling.


Yes, yes.


And we do one of the things that becomes really important here is to, for any of us to be able to have those really heart-to-heart authentically, open, genuine conversations with our children.


It takes Us willing not only to be in touch with our own emotional state and emotional discomfort.

If you will it’s what I call the discomfort of our own emotional discomfort.

We also have to simultaneously be in touch with that in order to have a conversation which means involving ourselves with the discomfort of someone else’s emotional discomfort.


And but that’s how we have conversations that are really important and really important again going, both directions.

Not just unpleasant ones, but I watched people shut down on the pleasant stuff too because they might want to say, hey, I really like you.

I want to spend more time with you or I love you but they don’t get those words out either because they feel vulnerable and don’t want to be embarrassed and deal with the discomfort of their own emotional discomfort.


Yeah there is the word vulnerability again, you’ve mentioned it.


A few times.

Well I’m a fan of vulnerability.

Yeah I think I watched Renee Browns vulnerability to.

Ted Talk.

At least 100 times.

We think of it probably.

There’s parallels.


We think about it.

And I think to the way we think about it, I think there’s also some differences in how we talk about it.

So yeah.


But it does take that like, we have to be willing to feel the possible unpleasant feelings because we’re just guaranteeing unpleasant feelings if we aren’t willing to be vulnerable like with, to feel it, no matter what.


That’s absolutely true.

That’s absolutely true.

It’ll and it’s going to show up sometime, right?

We don’t escape it.

So how does being able to feel those uncomfortable emotions and have like emotional Mastery?


Create confidence well, for me, the foundational.

Element or the foundation of confidence is being able to handle the 8mm Pleasant feelings.

I talked about the absolute Foundation of confidence.

In fact, I the way I Define confidence is that it’s the Deep sense that you can handle the emotional outcome.


So think those eight unpleasant feelings of whatever your face, or whatever your pursue.

So, the foundation for me is to be able to handle the 8mm, Pleasant feelings, and what ended up happening, and why I kind of Will lay claim to that.

Definition of confidence is that I found over time that if the people that I was working with, did not feel like they could handle those eight unpleasant feelings.


They also didn’t feel like they could handle what life threw at them.

So they didn’t feel capable of dealing with life.

And so, for me, it, the being able to experience a move through those 8mm Pleasant feelings, really is the foundation of confidence.

Yeah, I totally agree.


My experience, you know, I hear parents say a lot like I can’t do it anymore.

I said that myself a lot because I didn’t have the tall.

I didn’t want to feel the discomfort.

I didn’t have the tolerance for it.

I didn’t know how to move through an emotion or just sit with the bodily sensation or even feel like I was thinking about feelings more than I was actually feeling.


And like, once I allow Myself to start feeling those things.

I was able to lean into just my discomfort more and then, you know, I went through last year, I went through breast cancer and I really started feeling all the feelings and leaning.


I leaned into it though because I was like, I could do this because I had been open to feeling instead of distracting and numbing and then last year, when my daughter died, I was like I know that I can handle this grief.

No want to MMM, but I have the emotional, I guess skill set to be.


I have the tools to do this.

I just kept saying that to myself over and over again.

I have the tools to get through this.

And so I didn’t necessarily think of it as competence before but I immediately like as I was reading, you know what you wrote about it?

I yeah.

That is the I had the confidence in myself, too.


Get through this, I can feel any emotion.



Well, I’m sorry for the things you’ve faced when You Face them are recently for the breast cancer.

But, but and I also hear that you having that sense of yourself as being able to deal with the emotional stuff has made a big difference in making it through and move it making the next steps, whatever.


They might be, absolutely it creates the I know that when I’m ready, D, right?

That I can go through the discomfort of like, what’s next for me, creating a life that I love.


There’s a resistance to it right now.

Like how am I supposed to create a life?

I love without my daughter, but I know it’s possible, right?

And I want to relate, to her through love, instead of grief, most of the time.

But it is a sense of confidence.

It’s that ability to handle whatever.


Like, that’s our fear, like, if something bad happens, we can’t handle it.


Yep, it’s so important and then also we can be an example of that for our kids to do.

You notice that like people you’re working with when they’re able to experience more emotions that they’re able to, I guess hold that space for their kids to oh, absolutely.



Some of the time what ends up happening with parenting is that unfortunately parents haven’t worked through some of their own Challenges.


You know what I like to say is that a child will grow to the emotional range of what the parent expresses.


So if you are witnessing a shutdown in the family environment, well then the child can learn shut down.

If the child is witnessing explosive rage, well then the child can go expand to explosive rage but so the goal then is to be able to have a parent.


Be able to not go to the Dreams of shutdown or explosive rage, but be able to kind of go to whatever this is hard.

That doesn’t quite shut down, right?

And whatever is hard on the other side, that might be angering but doesn’t get explosive.


So with the child, then learns is to be able to be in that.

Modulated range or again?

What dr.


And others might call it window of Tolerance without it.

Leading into the more extreme kind of reactions.

But the challenges that sometimes parents have Haven’t worked through that stuff for themselves and it shows up in ways that are less adaptive and less effective.


And then child either grows into that or shuts down in similar ways or behaves in similar ways.

So it’s really important that parents do their own work.

Yes, I agree 100% because I like my daughter’s addiction was like a mirror to me like these are all the things in your life you need to work on.


Out and instead initially, I did blame the discomfort about those things on her addiction.

But then I started looking inside of myself and seeing, okay?

These are all the areas that I need to grow.

And the biggest one was feeling my feelings and understanding them, and being able to articulate them and just tolerating her feelings.


Like if she was mad at me being like, yeah, I get it, it’s okay.

Be mad at me, right?


Right before I be like, now you, you don’t get to be mad.

You know?



Well, then that takes away someone for life this and her.

Humanness, yeah, yeah, exactly.


And so, you can have so much.

Even your like you said earlier, so much Fuller of a relationship when you can tolerate somebody else’s emotions to, right?

Right, well, that to me is the essence of the relationship in conversation.

The only way we can have deep conversations is to be able to be Open it up.


IE vulnerable.

If I use that word again, open enough to whatever the feeling outcome might be.

Yeah, as indoor unpleasant and because that’s what it will take to engage in those deeper conversations, it’s being okay with the emotional outcome, no matter what it is, and by being able to have those feelings that you mentioned.


Those eight feelings.

And I like that you called them everyday feelings.

Yeah, they do.

The other day normalizes, it we’re supposed to feel these feelings.

I don’t know why we think we shouldn’t.

Yeah, absolutely.

It’s like how many times in a given week, but we feel sad or disappointed or irritated or angry about something is common?


Yeah, it’s really common.

So it’s like okay this is why I focused on those because what I also found is that it’s not an activity or some particular action that we get preto taking, it’s not the actual thing that I To put things, people are afraid of.


It’s the anticipated undesired emotional outcome that holds people back.

So I’m not going to go take this risk to learn how to play tennis in front of my peers because I don’t want to be embarrassed.

It’s not the tennis.


It’s the embarrassment.

So it seems It’s the feeling outcome that’s holding people back.

Not the activity and then you totally miss out.


I don’t want to go talk to my friend and tell him I really like them.

And I want to hang out more because I don’t want to be embarrassed or I don’t want to get hurt and have a person go.


No sorry not interested.

Just point it and then have to deal with disappointment so it’s not going and talking to the person that’s hard.

I can get the words out.

It’s dealing with the emotional outcome.


That’s I always like to say that a difficulty.


Speaking up is not a speaking problem.

Difficulty speaking up as a difficulty, with unpleasant, feeling problem.

We have so many of those difficulty with, with unpleasant, feeling problems, right?



But, and that’s why, for me, being able to experience a move through the eight feelings is really the magic of solving, a whole array of psychological challenges.

Yeah, I absolutely agree.

So I really appreciate this conversation because I think it will be really.


Really helpful too, because I feel like there’s this resistance to feelings, really?

They’re really that important.

Yes, it is really, is, is there anything that we missed that you think is important that we need to talk about?


Oh, and there’s lots of topics, I could, but it depends on what’s important to you.

So again, I did, my thing is the bottom line is be open to your own experience and the better you are able Experiencing move through again.


The whole range of what you’re feeling, but especially the unpleasant feelings because they tend to be the ones that are more difficult for us.

The or not only will you start to feel more capable in life.

You’ll start to have a greater sense of inner peace and the more you line that up with actually speaking your truth speaking, what you feel from a kind and well-intentioned place.


Yeah, so that’s my emphasis there, the more congruent you feel and the more congruent feel the more Peaceful you feel, the more confident, you feel?

It just keeps on going in the same positive upward Loop.

That’s what people would call a virtuous cycle as opposed to a vicious cycle.


So I’ve never heard that.

I love that.


So that you get into a nice virtuous cycle.

I think that’s a great kind of upward spiral.


Since data because it is so easy to get in that vicious, ruminating downward spiral it into a virtuous.




Well thank you so much for coming on today.

I’m going to put a link to your website and the book in the show notes.

So if anybody wants to find out more and I really appreciate your time coming on talking about this today you bet thanks for having me.


Thank you for listening to this episode.

If you want to learn more about my work, go to Heather.

Ross coaching.com if you want to help other parents who are struggling with a child’s addiction, you can do it two different ways.

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