Host: Welcome to the Lifelong Wellness podcast where we talk to wellness professionals from so many walks of life from around the world and get their insight to living healthier. I’m your host Wes Malik. Today's guest is Joi Madison who is an international speaker, formerly a fitness trainer, she’s also an athlete, a marriage counselor and family therapist. Her practice includes not only the body but also the mind and spirit. Joi, welcome to the Lifelong Wellness podcast. How are you doing today?
Joi: I'm doing so well, thanks for having me.
Host: So, I want to jump into the thick of things and start off the discussion of the podcast with the very important question and that is, what does living well mean to you?
Joi: That is good. I would say living well is, first and foremost, being clear and confident in who you are and then choosing day by day to move in the direction of what feels true for you. So in your relationships, in your work, even in what you choose to eat, right? Like what it was true for you from moment to moment and how can you most consciously and intentionally move in that direction and that is what living well means to me.
Host: And how do you accomplish that and how you managed to live well with that in mind?
Joi: Yeah, every day I have quiet time. I am very, very serious about making sure I have the time to connect with myself, tune in to what's happening in my body, checking with my thoughts, what is my inner dialogue saying to me, and how is that impacting the choices I'm making and the outcome that I'm experiencing. So it’s just being very aware of how my internal dialogue and choices impact the world around me and constantly making adjustments to create the experiences that I want for myself.
Host: As a personal trainer or is it former trainer, how do you incorporate your quiet time? What do you do during your quiet time and how does that relate to, you know, physical health?
Joi: So, couple of things. Usually, I will start with what I call a “brain dump” where I'm just writing a stream of consciousness, clearing my thoughts, getting them out, making room..
Joi: And then my quiet time. Like I said I usually do like a body scan, right? So when I'm inhaling, I imagine myself sort of scanning the front part of my body, checking in with how it feels, you know? Am I holding any tension, do I feel any aches, pains and things like that. And when I’m exhaling, I'm scanning the back part of my body and I'm doing the same thing, right? I’m checking in with where I might be holding tension or energy may be blocked or things like that and I'm just always aware of what my body is sort of telling me it needs from, sometimes mobility, sometimes a bit hard cardio, sometimes it's strength training, sometimes is just to rest, you know? So just constantly checking in and allowing my body to say, “Hey! Here's what I'm needing in this particular space or area”, right?
Host: Does everyone bodies tell them what the body needs?
Joi: Absolutely. Ab-so-lute-ly!
Host: Some people might not be as in-tune to their bodies as you are. You've trained yourself over many many years. How can we be thoughtful of it and how can we get to that level of being in-tune and listening to our body?
Joi: That's a great question, too. So, yes I am practiced at it and so what I would say is respond. So everything, every sound, every feeling that your body gives, right, so you eat something then your stomach rumbles a little bit, be curious about that. Wonder, “Does it always do that when I eat dairy?” or you know, “What’s going on?” So there’s always information, right, and you turn to certain ways like, “Oh, I thought that in my neck”. Don't ignore it, don't pretend it didn't happen, don't write it off. Be curious about, “I wonder what that was about?” you know, and slow down and listen to what your body is telling you. So, yes I am well practiced, but I think it's been a matter of really honoring that my body does have a voice. When it rumbles when I eat certain things, when it feels tight when I’m carrying tension, and I feel injuries, aches and pains, that’s my body saying something you’ve done has been too much. Something you’ve eaten doesn't agree and it's an opportunity to be checked in and scan, “What have I eat today?”, “Why am I feeling that way?” or things like that. Does that make sense?
Host: Yeah, it does. In fact, I think about it now and your body does tell you, you just ignore it. I ignore it or a lot like people ignore it.
Host: I never thought to just remain aware of, you know, if I pulled a muscle or, you know, especially listening to your stomach. Your stomach does tell you a lot.
Joi: It tells you so much. It tells you so much and I'm an athlete, right, and so I come from the error of like you might be injuring and suck it up, you know, and then there’s this very sort of tough mentality to push through.
Host: Yeah. Yeah.
Joi: And we have praised that as like, you know, we think about like, “Oh, remember when Michael Jordan had the flu and he was sick and he played anyway. He scored all of those points” and we like celebrate that, right? It was like this sign of like heroism, “I’m going to put my team on my back and carry them”. And while that makes for great stories, you know, I can imagine he must've felt terrible, right? He must've felt terrible. So just taking those opportunities to check in with so and rewrite the narrative that your body knows what it means and there's no need for you to push it beyond limits that can be dangerous, right? So you push it to gain strength, you push it to build endurance, you push it right in those ways. But then there are signals when the body is not okay. Enough is enough. And there’s no glory in ignoring that.
Host: You guide other people to live well.
Host: What started your career? You had a career in physical fitness.
Host: And you changed it to the mind and the spirit or combination of all three. Why did you do that?
Joi: So, again I grew up as an athlete and for years, for decades, my jeering was to have my own fitness facilities so I could work with other athletes to support them in injury prevention and optimal performance, right? And so I got my undergraduate degree in Kinesiology Exercise Science and I moved on and moved up to China, eventually opened up my studio. And what happened because again I like to invite my clients to live consciously and be aware of the choices they're making and how I say all the time, you make your choices and ultimately your choices make you, right? And so I talk to my clients when we would first start, “Tell me your daily living”, “Are you doing any exercise now?”, “What’s your nutrition like?” And I would find that they knew, “Oh, I should be eating this”, “I should be doing that”, but they weren’t committing. Something is stopping them from actually applying what they knew. And so I will get curious about I wonder what it is, why do people struggle, they have the information, they have the access, what's happening? And there's one story in particular that I was credit as that, the one that took me over and crossed me over to the mind, body, spirit realm, right? And it’s the story of a woman who came to me, she wanted to lose weight and of course I’m asking her the questions about what she was currently doing and she ended up disclosing to me that she makes a fresh dessert for her family every night. And I'm like, okay you make a fresh dessert from scratch. You’re talking about cakes, cookies, pies, all that from scratch every night. Of course you have a weight to lose. You’re eating the sugar before you go to bed and all that. And so I’m talking to her about it and of course she understood, “Oh, I know I shouldn’t be doing that”. So I’m asking her what's stopping you from not doing that? Like why do you keep doing it? And it was, “When my mom cooked dessert for us every night and my grandmother did that and this is what we do in our family”. So doing that for her was a large part of her understanding and definition of what it meant to be a good wife and a good mother. And so as her trainer although she had this goal of losing weight, I couldn’t just go in and say, “Well, you can't do that anymore” and dismantle not only what family traditions but her identity in a lot of ways. And so with that I understood if I’m going to really appeal to her and make this relevant and make this important enough for her to actually make this change, I need to understand what's going on with the story about her role as wife and mom and how this making dessert every night is contributing to that. And I knew that I wasn't equipped for that so I started a psychology program, and once I got into it about a year and it was like, oh this feels like home. This feels like something that I am drawn to and I’m going to lean into even more. So this goes back to what I was saying earlier about being in present with yourself and going with what feels true in and right for you and it did. And so after a year, I started my coaching. I started the Clarity coaching and I added that into what I was doing with my fitness clients. And I started doing online sort of like psychological and emotional courses with my clients and I just continue to grow and grow and grow until now I’m in my fourth year, the doctorate program, I’m almost done and I’m fully doing the mind, body, spirit thing.
Host: We’re looking forward to calling you Dr. Joi Madison very soon. So congratulations in advance in completing your PhD and your doctorate.
Joi: Thank you.
Host: All that knowledge and information, you know, from a physical fitness, Kinesiology. These are very specific subjects about the body and now psychology in the mind. It’s a wonderful combination. Putting it together, do your client benefits, how do you make sure they benefit from it from these two things?
Joi: Right, so I kind of approach it very differently. So we got the people who come to me for psycho-emotional issues and in our incorporating movements into their therapy process, right? And so there's that approach and then there’s people who come to me for the physical fitness element and a large part that I understand about being consistent with that is the mindset. So we often do a lot of talking about how this fitness become your blueprint for how you approach life, how does it become the foundation and your understanding of you need to be whole and healthy in order to do whatever other things you have planned for your life. Be there for your family, show up for your job, all those things. And so it's incorporating and changing the mindset around “I got to go to the gym”, to “I get to go to the gym”. So it varies very much according to who I’m, you know, working with and what their intentions and goals are in coming to me.
Host: Your statement sounded like “I have to go to the gym” sounds like a punishment. “I get to go to the gym” sounds like a reward.
Joi: Exactly and I would always say working out is about celebrating all the things your body can do, right? It's about being curious about and challenging your body to try new things and it’s not about dragging yourself there because the doctor said, because you have to do it, because you're beating yourself because you don't like your body, right? You’re working out because you love your body and you wanted to perform at its best and you want to feed it the best food, you know? Those are ways that you show yourself love, right, as opposed to beat yourself up because, look “I think I should”, right, very different perspective, very different approach and therefore very different experience.
Host: What kind of reaction or benefit do your clients tell you that they've benefited by working on, you know, psychologically and physically?
Joi: Yeah. So they find out how clients tell me that they’re fine that they are more present and aware throughout the days so they're constantly going like checking their posture or things like that because now it's become a part of their life, as opposed to something they do first thing in the morning to check off their list, right? And incorporating these conversations about how health is the foundation of everything as we do makes people more aware of their health as they’re choosing throughout the day. And the flipside of that is for the people who come to me for the psychotherapy element and we include the movement, it is almost, well I like to do these create postures and movements that will be physical symbols of the work they were doing, right? So, if we’re talking about opening up after heartbreak then we’ll do a lot of like chest opening, heart opening movement to signify like physically this is what we’re attending to do in our minds, right?
Host: I See.
Joi: Until it kind of gives that solidifying effect of like I have in my body now this feeling of what it feels like to do what I'm coming to do, with what I’m learning as a cognitive activity, right, or exercise.
Host: Can you give us more examples of movement that you mentioned?
Joi: Yeah, so I'm thinking specifically about a young woman who has like some money blockages, right? And so she's got some ideas around money that really we have heard from the financial abundance that she wants for herself and so we talked about that. What we learned is that she stopped herself often from aligning with opportunities to make more money because then in her family she’s the Go-To person, right? People come to her for money so she's like if I don't have it, I don’t have to say no.
Joi: And so she literally will, “I’m not going to get a job where I get a lot of opportunities because if I don’t get the money, I don’t have to say No when my family comes in to ask me for some money because I really don’t have it”. And so it becomes all about her inability to set boundaries and so what we've created in movement is this idea that…And so one thing I said about boundaries is that they're not walls that you build to keep people out. They’re doors that help you determine who to let in, right? So that's like how I conceptualize boundaries. And so what I've done for her is created this flow of movement where she can understand that there's a way for you to set boundaries that are not rigid but that you decide how they show up so that you're creating the relationships and experiences that you want instead of we created this sort of flow of movement where it's to show her that boundaries are malleable and adaptable and they are adjustable because she would be afraid like if I say No I’m going to shut the family out it’s going to change the dynamics. There’s this big snowball story that she was telling herself about what would happen if she said no. So creating in her body this sense of fluidity that were tying to her concept of boundaries that helps her understand you're not locked into this. You can say no today and yes tomorrow or yes today and no tomorrow. You have that fluidity to change in that way and by locking it into her body through movement it can solidifies the idea.
Host: It’s such an interesting way to approach someone's personal problem. It's very interesting combining your therapy, if I may call it. Is that correct?
Host: And movement which you’ve mentioned several times and that's, you know, putting a physical side or two to a problem with psychological problem, an emotional problem, a relationship problem. It’s so interesting. I would never thought to make a connection that way because one of the questions I wanted to talk to you about and what I wanted to know was why is being aware of and understanding the mind-body connection so important? It is. It is very important.
Joi: Yes it is very important because number one, it was never meant to be separate, right? Like we have been on hand just of thinking of mental health as separate from health in general, right? You notice we’re talking about mental health, which I think is great, but we very much talk about it as if it is not a part of your whole being. Like if your mind is some separate entity of floating off in the distance and it's not. It isn't. And our mind and bodies are inextricably linked because often what we’re feeling in our physical bodies is something that starts in our mind. And what I mean about that is we literally release, biochemically release, neurotransmitters and hormones and things that change. Like when we have a stressful situation, we have…We’re feeling the stress psychologically, right? We’re overwhelmed but then physiologically, there's cortisol that's being released from our brain into our bodies. That’s a physiological effect of a psychological stressor.
Host: I see.
Joi: So they’re inextricably linked. Whether we know it or not, and so bringing that to the awareness and then using that to our advantage helps us to live well on a broader, more comprehensive perspective, right? Does that make sense?
Host: How I feel will affect my body physically?
Joi: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Host: Happiness, sadness, frustration will have a different effect?
Joi: Yes and think about how we talk about cycle emotional states of being, right? We’ll say like I'm nervous and talk about having knots in our stomach, right? Or I’m sad, I have a lump in my throat, right? Or I’m annoyed, you’re a pain in the neck, right? And so we have these sort of idioms that we use that tie our cycle emotional state of being to our physiological bodies, right? But we don't…Again, it's about making that tie more conscious because we’ll say sort of flippantly like these are these little phrases that we use, but like these are real symptoms, these are real things that actually happened. When you get upset you feel your heart rate pounding or when you get nervous you feel your palms sweating. These are psychological responses that you're having to cycle emotional states of being and so our mind and body is already inextricably linked. It's about bringing that to our consciousness and awareness and using it more intentionally to solidify some of the messages and beliefs that we want to carry around to our lives.
Host: Do we try to suppress those emotions to be physically healthy or how do we manage, you know, in case we have stress? And how do we manage these things then?
Joi: Sure, there's all kinds of deep breathing exercises and I do one thing it's called progressive muscle relaxation. And essentially what you do, you can start from the ground up. So, you’re seated or standing, most likely seated, and you start by like contracting the muscles in your toes and feet, right, as much as you can, holding it there for about five seconds and then releasing. And you do that…You go up to your body, so you go up to your calves, you go up to your quads, you go up to your abdomen, you go up to your chest and shoulders and back, your face, your neck and you move up your body and then back down your body. And what you're essentially doing is noticing the difference between when your body is tensed and contracted?
Joi: …versus one is relaxed and released.
Host: I see.
Joi: And when you’re talking about stress specifically we’ll notice that when we’re stressed out we carried it on our shoulders and our neck
Host: That’s the first thing to go, right here. Yeah.
Joi: Absolutely. Absolutely. And if we’re chronically stressed, we have a stressful job or stressful things are going on in our lives, we’ll hold that tension and tightness for a long time and not even realize it. It becomes the new norm, right? And so by doing exercises like a progressive muscle relaxation, it makes you aware when you consciously choose like,”I’m going to tense up and then I’m going to release” and you feel the difference, you’ll immediately notice like, “Oh, I've been tensed up this entire time”. And until I took the moment to breathe and release, I didn’t even realize it that I've been carrying this weight, this stress in my shoulders, in my neck, in everything else, right? You don't even realize it. So doing things like that and mindfulness exercises, meditation and things like that to bring you quiet yourself from the hustle and bustle of the world and bring your attention to what you're feeling, your breathing pattern, what's going on in your body, you know, all that when you slow yourself down. It’s like, okay there's a world of information here that I can get to tap into so I can check in and address something that may be stopping me from showing up at my optimal self. Whether that's in my relationships, in my work, in my workout even. Is there something holding me back from performing at my maximum effort? And if there is, I need to be aware of that and I need to address it.
Host: Progressive muscle relaxation, is that a difficult thing to do?
Joi: Not at all, it’s a simple exercise. It doesn't require any equipment. You just need to go somewhere, get seated comfortably and there's a script that you get if you Google progressive muscle relaxation, you can find a script. And what I would encourage your listeners to do is maybe find that script online, record yourself reading it, speaking it and then listen to it. And passively, listen to your voice walk you through the steps so that you can relax, close your eyes and do it, right?
Host: Speaking of feelings and speaking of all these things, I think you helped the community and you helped your people come to you through something called the Club of Hearts. What is the Club of Hearts?
Joi: The Club of Hearts is my online Emotional Intelligence Academy. So I host live courses and I also post self-guided courses around topics like understanding which your emotions come to teach you, right? And so we talked earlier about boundaries. Anger is usually coming to teach you when somebody cross the boundary in your life and offer you that opportunity to become more clear about and to more explicitly express what that boundary is, right? Sadness comes to teach you how to let go. So of all of our emotions come to teach us something and instead of you alluded to earlier, running from those emotions, being with those emotions and then getting curious about what they come to teach you, right? So a lot of the work that I do are centered around curiosity asking questions. Other courses in the Academy include the Power of the Pause, which is talking about how to stretch that moment between a stimulus and your response so that your response is an accurate reflection of how you want to show up in the world, right? There's also my signature course, which is called the “F Word”.
Host: What? (laughing)
Joi: The “F Word”. Yes, it is my signature course, it’s the very first course that I created. It's called the “F Word” and it's all about how to approach, manage and overcome your fears. So the F word is Fear.
Joi: And we talk all about the development of fear, why it's necessary but how it gets out of control, how to manage it, how to rewrite narratives. We do things like cognitive restrict training and neurolinguistic programming. And that's all about like just changing your mindset, changing the language that you speak about yourself, looking at things from a different perspective, revisiting past experiences that planted old beliefs that you're still living by that no longer serve you. I mean we did the whole comprehensive thing. It's a six module program and that's my signature course but I have currently about five or six courses of my Academy right now.
Host: And they can be found at joikmadison.com?
Host: You mentioned this is an online and you meet with clients over digitally, Skype, FaceTime, is that it?
Joi: Yes. Some of the courses are self-guide. You can just purchase it, download it. It come with worksheets and workbooks and you can do it on your own. And then I have, occasionally I do live courses where I just post and I say,”Hey, I’m going to do live course. Hop on” and I would do it via Zoom or something like that so they can be a big group of us in there. And then sometimes I will record like a webinar and then just post a recording of the webinars like that. So, there's all kind of ways that I gather the content but yes, they’re self-guided and then there’s the option to do with coaching where we work on either one-on-one or in a group once a week for the duration of the program. Usually, they’re between six to eight weeks long.
Host: How do you manage all of these stuff, your fitness center and your online coaching, the Club of Hearts, and you’re studying full time as well at the same time. Do you get stressed out?
Joi: I don’t. I don’t. One of the courses in my Academy is called “Reclaiming Your Time”, it’s a time management course. It’s a skill that I developed in college as an athlete juggling, you know, games and tournaments and practice and classes. It was a lot but I developed some pretty solid time management skills. I don’t watch a lot of TV, probably one hour a week, maybe. I’m just pretty efficient, you know, with my time everyday. And I manage myself, I spend at least five hours a week in natures. They help me stay grounded, it helps me stay balanced and in harmony and clear go how to prioritize things. So, I’m pretty good.
Host: You’re , just walking?
Joi: Camping, hiking sometimes I go run, I go to therapy once a week so after the therapy I go to the park and run. There’s a beautiful pond at this particular park where I go so I’ll just sit by the pond and let my revelations and my therapy sink in. Sometimes I journal, do yoga. I’ve got into coloring again just recently so I take my coloring book and just go in the park and color. The beach is my favorite place. So really, whatever. I do camp, I do all of that but I’m committed to the name of the five hours a week in nature. That’s my minimum. I got to do at least five hours.
Host: Brilliant. That’s fantastic. (It) Gives you a good connection, grounds you and recharges you, right? It refreshes you.
Joi: Absolutely and it reminds me so many lessons in nature. Currently, we’re on fall, right, so we see what’s happening to the tress and leaves and they’re shedding and they’re preparing for what we ultimately be a barren season for little while. To then go back into rebirth. And so, it’s just a reminder that our life just like nature goes through the cycles. We’re not always in bloom but that’s okay, it’s normal, it’s part of the process. And we get to be patient and we get to use that mean time wisely. So prepare for the harvest. That's also important for me.
Host: You meet a lot of people every day, every week, every month, every year. And they come to you with their problems and they’re based on these three areas, of course. Do you see a common pattern in people? What’s the most common problem people tell you about?
Joi: Fear, which is why when I started coaching that felt like the most pressing topic because usually all issues that they come in, whether they’re relational issues, whether it’s, you know, career issues, there's some level of fear that’s at the foundation of the choices they've made that has created all the turmoil that they may be experiencing. So we can get to the root of that fear and start to redefine or reframe the experiences that planted those seeds, people are on their way to more fulfilling lives.
Host: Is the process about making them braver or what do you do with the person who comes out that has a problem that is based on a fear of something?
Joi: Yeah I don't necessarily make them braver. I think the first thing that I do is bring into their awareness because often we’re not aware of the fear, so bring into awareness is the first step. And then we work on acceptance because once you uncover a fear, for a lot of people that becomes difficult. We think when we admit that we’re afraid of something that it means that what we are weak, that we are inadequate or inferior in some way. So we have to be able to integrate that fear into their identity, not because we're saying you are a fearful person but because we’re saying you have a set of beliefs that are informing your choices and so if you don't incorporate that you're going to have blind spots. Basically in about how your decision-making process goes, you need to be aware that you have a tendency to function and fear in these ways. So when you integrate that it offers you the opportunity to be aware of that and address it whenever it shows up. And then the last part is to manage it, right? So it's fun and personal development to talk about being fearless and going after your dreams, but fearlessness is not real. it's also quite dangerous because we need fear. Fear has a very important role in our lives to alert us of heart harm and danger that is potential or looming, so we need to be tapped in. I would say if a bear walked in this room right now I need to be a little bit afraid or it’s going to be a problem. (laughing) Right? So we need fear. We don't want to be without fear. We don’t want to be fearless, but we do want to manage our fear and make sure that we are keeping in its place and it’s not paralyzing us or that we’re not being overly afraid of something that is really only in our mind, rather than the stories we’re telling ourselves. And so it's about being aware of it, accepting it and integrating it and then learning how to manage it. So maybe you're always afraid of it, right? So you talk about making them braver, maybe not because maybe you're always afraid of this thing, maybe this fear never goes away. Maybe it's something that you are functioning with for the rest of your life but when you're aware of it and you have now the power and authority to choose to move towards it, that's empowering. Yes. So maybe you’re not brave but you are empowered.
Host: So, from awareness to management of it that's the process and all the things in between. You just said beliefs and people's belief systems. Everyone has their own belief system and the things that everyone pretty much has the same belief system but they're different, in different people because there's different cultures and different ways of people are brought up and different education systems. We’re around the world, globally and we’re talking to a global audience not only in the United States. You know about this and you've talked about this many times. How do beliefs translate into behaviors that impact one's fitness journey?
Joi: Oh man, that it is a power packed question. So what you believe is going to inform what you see or how you experience things. So you mentioned people being from different cultures, religions, backgrounds, race, things like that. So the example I gave, right you’re in Toronto, so we talk about weather.
Joi: And me being a Southern California girl, right, if I walk outside and it’s 50° I’m like, “Oh, it’s freezing” and I need my boots and I need my scarf and I need my coat and I need my gloves. It’s freezing, right?
Host: It’s relative, right? Yeah. The weather is relative, yeah.
Joi: Exactly and so my experience of that 50° what I believe to be true in this moment is that it's cold, right? So that's going to inform how I choose to dress, if I don’t want to go outside or not, you know? So all of those things, all of my choices and my behavior are going to be informed by what I believe and how I’m defining my experience, right? Which is why it's so important when I talked again about the fear work that I do is going back and saying, like for instance, I’ve identified, I will share to you my personal story, I’ve identified that I have a fear of rejection, right? I have a fear of rejection that stems from early childhood experiences. And so when I’m able to go back to those early childhood experiences and understand that, “Oh,I wasn't being rejected and have nothing to do with me”. That was something that my parents were dealing from their own stories, right, their own experiences. And I’m able to reframe that experience as not being rejected by my parents at a young age then that I’m able to then look at how the fear of rejection shows up in other areas in my life and question those experiences as well. Instead of being afraid of being rejected and therefore avoiding connection and avoiding things where rejection might come up, I’m able to lean into and step into those opportunities because I’m questioning and reframing the experiences that planted the seed about the fear of rejection in the first place. Does that make sense?
Host: It does. It really does. I want to try something unorthodox which I’ve never done before, ever.
Joi: Okay. (laughing)
Host: And that is share a fear with you.
Host: And see what kind of advice you would give to a person like me. I have a fear of not being liked or not being appreciated or not being loved.
Joi: Okay. Okay. And so what I like to say and this is part of the program but through research and personal experience and observation, I’ve shortened the list down to four, what I call the Four Flavors of Fear.
Joi: The first flavor is the Fear of Loss.
Joi: Second is where the Fear of Failure.
Joi: The third is the Fear of the Unknown.
Joi: And then the last is the Fear of Rejection.
Joi: And so when you say I have a fear that people won't like me or that I won't have love or things like that, I would reckon that we could trace that back to a fear of rejection and then look at early childhood experiences where you have, may have been given the message that you weren’t liked or loved, right? And then we would look at what family where you were raised in, what friendships did you have, what was your sibling position. And if you have siblings, we look at those kind of things and determine what were some of the early experiences that may have planted the seed that you’re unlovable, that you’re unlikable, that people would some way make fun of or not accept you. And once we’ve identified those experiences, we would work on challenging what I call either challenging or there is an exercise that we do on cognitive behavior in therapy where we’re putting your thoughts on trial.
Host: Okay. Interesting.
Joi: Yeah and it's essentially thinking about a child, right, where you are in a courtroom, and there’s prosecutor, there's defense and there's a judge except in this case, you are all three, right? So you have a thought, “People don’t like me”, right? So maybe you walk into a room and everybody started laughing and you thought, “See, they’re laughing at me”, right? And that's going to be your thought based on the belief that people don't like you or that they’re making fun of you. So then we would say, “Let's put that thought on trial”. So you walked into the room. What are the facts? You walked in and at the moment you walked in a group of people started laughing. That is what actually happened. Now let's put those thoughts on trial. The thought that you develop is they are laughing at me. Could there have been something else that they are laughing at? Could they have been having a conversation before you walked in they were laughing at that? Could they have been looking at a photo on the phone that you were unaware and they were laughing at that? Could there have been other things that they were laughing and if you find that the answer is, yeah maybe they could have been laughing at something else even if you cannot identify what that something else was? Once you identify like, you know what there could be another reason, there could be another explanation for what they are laughing and they may not be laughing at me, which you’ve essentially done there is you're not able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they were laughing at you, this is the trial part where the trial language comes in because you're not able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they were in fact laughing at you. Then you cannot convict yourself to beliefs that that was what was happening. Therefore, as the judge, you have to throw this case out. And you keep doing that, you keep doing that, you keep challenging your thoughts, you keep challenging. Is there another perspective that I’m not considering because I’m blinded by the beliefs that I already hold, right? Because that would be called, essentially this idea of like looking for something to co-sign which you are a believer. So we are looking for evidence to prove, but are already believed to be true and therefore blinding myself to evidence that says something otherwise because that challenges my belief and then I have to start from scratch.
Host: What a perfect example you just gave. Thank you so much for that. It was thoughtful of information and it really describes why it's so important if you want to live a healthy and well life and if you're concerned about your well-being, you've really got to talk about your emotions with somebody and you've got to figure out your mental health as well as your physical health and your combination of the two is fantastic. I would continue further and ask you okay now but then again it would take us hours and hours and of course, this is what you do with your clients. You’d probably when we get to a movement, perhaps for the fourth type of fear that I have which is a fear of rejection. I’m glad that I brought that up. And the process is wonderful, it gives you clarity and it really, really does help. A lot of people don't approach other people for help. You probably know the reasons why.
Host: There are lots of people who don't go to therapy. If they have any kind of a problem in their life, what would you say to those people? How would you encourage them to talk to somebody like you?
Joi: I would encourage them by saying nothing is new under the sun. Whatever you're experiencing there is likely someone out there, a lot of someones out there who have gone through a similar thing. I would say, be gentle with yourself, be gracious with yourself and start by finding someone that you trust to share and know that your process of sharing is yours and yours alone and you can do it at whatever rates, meaning how much you share, how quickly you share, with whom you share, feels right and true for you that you don't have to struggle or suffer alone and that there are plenty of people like myself were waiting with open arms to receive and support and uplift you through this season of your life and whatever other things you may be faced with that are challenging you, ultimately inviting you to be your best and higher self.
Host: Such wise words. Thank you so much, Joi, for being with us on the Lifelong Wellness podcast. You can be reached at joikmadison.com. You have over 40 episodes of your own podcasts speaking about many different subjects. And the archive can be found at anchor.FM. You just have to search for Joi K. Madison. Hope that’s correct.
Joi: Yeah, Real Madison of the Heart is the podcast. RMOH.
Host: And you’re also available on types of social media, Instagram, and such, and people can follow you and get in touch with you. And also it required to sign up for your courses as well.
Joi: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Host: Thank you so much, Joi, for being with us on the show today.
Joi: Thank you. I appreciate you.