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Last Updated on September 14, 2022
What is patriarchy? You may be suprised to hear the answer! It’s time to learn about how this subconscious patriarchal programming affects women ability to thrive and be successful, and what we need to do to heal these patterns of oppression.
You’ve probably heard this word tossed around, but what does ‘the patriarchy’ really mean?
Dr. Valerie Rein defines the patriarchy as a system of oppression, where historically, the power, economic, political, and moral superiority belong to men; in turn, this reflects in how women are perceived, judged, and how we subconsciously do not trust ourselves, each other, and are not trusted by society.
This isn’t the fault of any particular person, or even ‘men’ as a whole. Everyone plays a role in upholding this invisible system. The beautiful thing is, once we can see the invisible, then we can actually liberate ourselves and create a better world.
‘Patriarchy Stress Disorder’ is Dr. Valerie Rein’s science-backed term to explain the invisible system that’s an inner barrier to our happiness and fulfillment as women. It’s that deep trauma where we’re actually collectively, subconsciously protecting each other, since it’s never been safe for a woman to shine and be visible.
This episode is for you if:
We need to heal the intergenerational oppression that the patriarchy has had on us since the beginning of time. We’ve got a big paradigm shift coming up, and I can’t wait for you to see how good it can get!
My guest today, Dr. Valerie Rein, discovered Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) and created the only science-backed system for helping women achieve their ultimate success, happiness, and fulfillment by healing the intergenerational trauma of oppression.
She holds an EdM in Psychological Counseling from Columbia University and a PhD in Psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.
Her bestselling book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Inner Barrier to Women’s Happiness and Fulfillment has been heralded by Amazon reviewers as “the most important body of literary work of our modern times” and “perhaps the most important book of the century for women.”
Her cutting-edge programs have helped thousands of women shift from survival to thriving and master the game of “How good can it get?” in their lives and work in the world.
Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!
If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.
Also, please leave an honest review for The Success with Soul Podcast on Apple Podcasts so we can improve and better serve you in the future. Plus, you could be featured on a future episode during our listener spotlights. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.
And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts to get automatic updates. My goal for this podcast is to inspire those who seek flexibility and freedom in their lives by making something happen with holistic, soulful, step-by-step strategies from me and other experts.
Kate Kordsmeier 0:00
Welcome back to the Success with Soul podcast. I'm your host, Kate Kordsmeier. And this is Episode 26. I am really pumped about today's episode per usual, but this one in particular feels really special to me. And I got to get honest for a minute and tell you that when I first learned of my guest today's book, I kind of rolled my eyes. So Dr. Valerie rain wrote the book called patriarchy, stress disorder. And when I was introduced to this book back in January, I thought, patriarchy stress disorder Come on. It's 2020 right? I kind of had to laugh and channel my inner Phoebe Buffet. I just thought we can drive we can vote we can work. What more do these broads want? Little did I know that patriarchy stress disorder was actually the invisible inner barrier to my happiness. fulfillment as Valerie's book, aptly states, her science backed system for helping women achieve their ultimate success and fulfillment by healing the intergenerational trauma of oppression that the patriarchy has had upon us, since the beginning of time, was absolutely mind blowing. And if you've ever felt like no matter how much success you create, or how much you achieve and accomplish, you still feel like you are not enough or it is not enough, then this book and this episode are for you. Likewise, if you are ready to finally start showing up authentically in your life, work and relationships, vulnerable and empowered, present and open and defenseless. No longer on that cortisol overload of high stress and workaholism, numbing and shying away from your feelings. I think you're gonna get a lot out of today's episode. And don't worry, there are no power through approaches. There's no fake it till you make it the only thing stopping you is you patriarchal model of achievement by what oppression, suppression and domination. No, this overrides our biology and it doesn't work. And then when it doesn't work, we continue to blame ourselves again and again, and feel even more broken. Let's stop the cycle. We've got a big paradigm shift coming up, and I can't wait for you to see how good it can get. Let's do it. You're listening to the Success with Soul podcast with Kate Kordsmeier x journalists turned CEO of a multi six figure blog and online business. But it wasn't that long ago that Kate was a struggling entrepreneur who lacked confidence, clarity, and let's be honest money. But all those failures, experiments and lessons learned helped Kate Create a thriving business that impacts thousands and brings freedom, flexibility and fulfillment to her life. If you're ready to do the same and make something happen with holistic, soulful, step by step strategies from Kate and other experts, you're in the right place. here's your host, writer, educator, mom's recovering perfectionist, bookworm and sushi connoisseur Kate Kordsmeier. Oh my gosh, Dr. Valerie, what a true honor it is to have you on the show today. Thank you.
Dr. Valerie Rein 3:31
Thank you so much for having me. Kade. It's my pleasure to be here.
Kate Kordsmeier 3:35
Yeah, I was just saying before I hit record that I read your book back in January. And as I was reviewing all I mean, I must have highlighted like every other sentence. So when I was going through my notes to prepare for this call, I just was reminded what a good book it was and that I really need to read it again. So anyone listening who hasn't read Valerie's book, I highly recommend it. patriarchy stress disorder and start us off by just telling us I guess I was gonna ask you jump right into patriarchy stress disorder. But before we get into that, I guess I let's talk about you, what's your background? And how did you get to become this beautiful author who's helping so many women now? Mm hmm.
Dr. Valerie Rein 4:21
Thank you. That's very generous. My background as I grew up in the Soviet Union, and my journey of writing this book eventually began when I was very little. I didn't know then that I was writing a book. But every experience that I had growing up was a stepping stone to discovering PST and now talking about it and helping women and myself heal this intergenerational and collective trauma. So many experiences that communicated to me Something is wrong with me. And that question became the defining question of my life. What's wrong with me? What's wrong with me? Don't be so smart people won't like you and no one would want to marry you. Don't wear this You look like a slut. Don't wear that you look like a nun. Don't be loud, don't attract attention, or don't do this. This is dangerous. So, you know, girls like you don't do that, etc, etc. So many rules such tightrope to walk, and such a long journey of figuring out what's wrong with me. That, of course, took me to study psychology. What else would I study? To answer this question, and after two graduate degrees in psychology, I was living my dream life. I was doing the work. I loved a thriving private practice and you York, I had a family and home I adored and then one day, I was on the phone with a client when I noticed I was smiling only with the right side of my face, while the left side of my face just hung in there, and so did my left arm. And I ended up in the ER with symptoms of a stroke, which thankfully, turned out to be my official diagnosis quote unquote, just stress, which simultaneously relieved and puzzled me to know and because I actually did not feel stressed, my life was normal. And if you would have asked me before this incident, Valerie, are you happy? I would have said of course, of course. I'm happy I have everything I ever wanted. And the painful truth that I got in touch with lying in that hospital bed, when for the first time I had a few hours of uninterrupted time to myself not answering phones not taking care of anyone. And that time of reflection brought me in touch with what was underneath that security blanket of stress and workaholism. And what was underneath? It was the same old question. What's wrong with me, was alive and well, now covered up with accomplishments and achievements. And all the boxes I checked off to be happy and fulfilled. And the painful truth was that despite having done all that, despite having been in therapy for years, despite having read every self help books and attended workshops, everything I could get my hands on, I still wasn't happy and fulfilled. And that was a very despairing moment when I didn't know what else to do. And what was it that was so wrong with me that nothing worked for me. And thankfully, I had the ray of hope in my own clients who were shifting out Out of these stuck places and unfolding in into their fullest self expression living, authentically thriving, and I was stuck. And so I looked at what was I doing with my clients? What was I doing for them that I wasn't doing for myself? And the answer was that with all of my clients, I was helping them heal trauma, even if they had no big traumatic experiences, but they were all showing this big telltale symptom of trauma, which is disconnection from parts of themselves from parts of their authentic self from parts of their dreams and desires and self expression parts of their body. And the irony as I wasn't healing my own trauma because I didn't think I had any until my body screamed disconnection until my body screamed and begged for me to come home to her and heal her. And that's what I've been begin to wonder what kind of trauma could we all have without realizing it? Is that some kind of trauma we're not even looking for?
That we actually share. And that's when the studies on intergenerational transmission of trauma started popping up, in my view, and that's when the dots connected for me. Okay, so trauma is genetically transmitted. Women have been oppressed for thousands of years, oppression is traumatic. And that's how I discovered patriarchy, stress disorder, and that has changed. everything for me that has finally, at long last got me out of the hamster wheel of chasing this question of what's wrong with me because I saw beyond the shadow of the doubt, through the scientific lens that there was nothing wrong with me and that I carry trauma in my system, the same trauma as All women carry the trauma of oppression that is getting in the way of our fullest expression, happiness and fulfillment. And it's not fixing ourselves that gets us out of this invisible in the present, but it is healing.
Kate Kordsmeier 10:17
Oh, my gosh, I mean, what a story and I have a million questions for you. And I'm probably going to read some of the highlights that I have from your book to just give the listeners a little bit more background too. There's so much to unpack there. So I guess the first thing is, patriarchy, stress disorder, and really just defining it and I have a couple notes here that I think I'll read and then you can kind of comment on afterwards that might be helpful, but to me when I read the book, what I took away from it is that patriarchy stress disorder is for women living under patriarchy. These Survival Instructions include be seen and Heard, don't be too sexy, too loud, too smart, too rich to visible too powerful, powerful women are burned at the stake or as. And this is me quoting you, as my mother used to warn me, no one would want to marry you. And it's talking about the patriarchy, how it's convinced us women that we are worth less than men, and it puts us on a track to earn our worth by achievement. So I have this note here of a woman's body ideas, life contributions, wants, needs and desires are worth less than a man's. And this wound makes itself known and how much we sacrifice how little we give voice to our desires and how we struggle to get in touch with our needs. Oh my gosh, just like Mind blown wide open reading about this, because I'll be honest, when I first read the title of your book, I thought, Oh, I don't know. It's 2020 we've got our Right. Good, you
Dr. Valerie Rein 12:02
know, I mean,
Kate Kordsmeier 12:03
yeah, we're not we don't get paid as much, but we're working on it. And I think something maybe in my conservative upbringing, even that I just was like, I don't know if this is a real thing, and then I read about it. It's just completely transformed.
Dr. Valerie Rein 12:21
I could ask you a question, Kay, yes. What got you from point A of saying, Well, I don't know about this. It's 2022 actually opening the book and reading it.
Kate Kordsmeier 12:34
So I'm in a mastermind with Kate Northrup, and she's, she'd gave us this book as our homework assignment.
some of the women didn't read it, but I'm a good student. And so,
and I thought
it sounded interesting and I've am very much into healing the central nervous system. I do suffer myself from anxiety and panic attacks. So I thought maybe there's something in here for me But I wasn't, I wasn't sold on the idea of the patriarchy being responsible for this until I read it. And then like I said, My mind was blown wide open.
Dr. Valerie Rein 13:12
Thank you so much for sharing that and a big shout out to Kate who is such a champion of PST awareness and healing. Thank you, Kate. Thank you for embodying the change you want to see in the world living this work and sharing authentically how and what is showing up for you and inspiring other women and that is actually how we how we spread healing by sharing with another woman Hey, check this out. There's nothing wrong with you. That thing alone I find women finding so hugely liberating and and then yeah, take the next step. Maybe download the first chapter of the book on my website. It's free DrValerie.com/book we also have every season, we have a free Virtual retreat where we gather those who are diving deep into the rabbit hole of Okay, now I have the information from the book. Now I want to take it into transformation and actually change my life and embody the change I want to see in the world. And we Yeah, we have one coming up in just a few days. And if you were listening to it after then the next one is coming up.
Kate Kordsmeier 14:24
Yeah, well, and I'll just a note to about that I was sort of averse to reading this, that it was almost like a triggering term for me page. Yeah, right. And, and then one of the things that caught me I think pretty early on in the book is that you said the patriarchy is not a question of men versus women because both the masculine and feminine are severely traumatized under the patriarchy is oppressive system. And that was really interesting to me thinking about. Yeah, I'll just quote again, your book the cost of membership and patriarchy is that We must fit into very narrow definitions of gender and the roles and expectations that come with it. And this oppresses the authentic expression of everyone. So, while we're going to talk a lot about, you know how women experience this thinking about I mean, especially because, you know, I'm married to a man, I have a father and a brother and a son, and I'm thinking at first you think, well, they're doing this to us. Right? And it's not them and it's not even men as a whole. Really. Yeah. And they're conditioned to repress and disown their own qualities like, you know, you mentioned the feminine qualities of kindness and emotions and empathy and nurturing and having to deny that humanity is also traumatizing as so close that.
Dr. Valerie Rein 15:50
Yeah. costly to everyone. Really, and yes, thank you for bringing this into the conversation. When I say patriarchy. I did not mean Men. And when I say men, I don't mean patriarchy, patriarchy is a system of oppression, where Historically, the power, economic, political and moral superiority belong to men, and how that reflects in how women are perceived and perceive ourselves how we trust or do not trust ourselves, our own judgment how we are not trusted by this society. We can look at the narratives that emerge around powerful women and they're all about around mistrust how a woman cannot be trusted. It's fascinating when we shift from blaming an individual person for being a jerk, a beat a man or a woman or person anywhere on the gender spectrum. When we shift out of that, and we look at, oh my gosh, this is PC This is how that internalized oppression is playing out. It's not personal to nobody his fault. And when we can see the invisible we can do the impossible. We can actually liberate ourselves we can create a better world where everybody has that space where authentic self expression. And it starts with having this conversation like we're having right now. Yeah.
Kate Kordsmeier 17:20
So explain to anybody who's still like, Well wait, so of patriarchy isn't men? Who is it?
Dr. Valerie Rein 17:30
That's gross. Don't get Oh, you're not gonna like my answer. Nobody's going to like my answer. I don't like my answer. I hate it. But in my experience, it's it's tragic truth that women actually uphold patriarchy as much if not more than men. And it's it's tragic, and there may be a lot of follow up questions. Well, exactly how are we doing that? And it again, I'm not blaming women, I'm not blaming men. What I'm saying is that because we carry this trauma in our subconscious, that imprints as we us feeling about ourselves as being as being worth less. We judge ourselves that incessant in the critic judging our bodies, our appearance, what we say how we show up, exhausting, but if we judge ourselves, we're going to judge other women. We're going to police other women, as well, consciously or unconsciously. And for women who are conscious and on this journey of empowering themselves and other women and reclaiming that women supporting women assistant hood it's especially painful because then in the quiet hours crawling through Instagram, you're finding yourself you know, judging other women based on what They say and how they look. And it's so painful because that's not what you want to be doing at all. That's not even what you believe. But that's how trauma operates. That's how we see what's in our subconscious. And our subconscious actually drives the bus. It's not what we think, consciously. It's not what we do. It's that deep trauma where we're actually collectively protecting each other and the collective is it's never been safe for a woman to shine and be visible. So when we judge ourselves and we judge other women, to keep ourselves and other women in line, we actually that's in preparation of everybody. Let's just tone it down sister. And we all know the different ways that women used to do that. Some mild, some some really obnoxious and painful, and we all have a lot of wounding from the feminine that we've experienced growing up, so Starting with our mothers who have a lot of their own wounding. So that wounding runs so, so, so, so, so deep, and to understand that actually by upholding patriarchy in these ways, the subconscious motivation is to keep everybody safe. Let's not rock the boat. Let's not rock the boat, you know. And that again, that's not what we think that's not what we want. We very much want out of this boat completely. And, and the way out is in seeing this invisible not blaming ourselves, not blaming others, but I'm answering your question. Yeah, who is actually upholding patriarchy? It's everybody. We're all in this system. And unless we're conscious, we're participating in upholding it and the only way to not participate in perpetuating it is to do your jailbreak work. I refer to PTSD as the invisible in the prison. jailbreak work consists on uncovering these layers, making them conscious conscious and taking practical steps to own healing.
Kate Kordsmeier 21:10
Yeah, exactly. I think becoming aware is what actually presents the opportunity to heal. And that for me, that was such a big thing because like I said, I didn't even I wasn't even aware that this was happening. This episode is brought to you by my free blogging quiz. Have you been wondering if you can actually make money blogging, maybe you have a blog, but you haven't really earned anything from it yet. Or maybe you have an existing business and you're curious of blogging could create an extra and more passive revenue stream. If you're feeling unsure of blogging as a business is right for you? Take our quiz at Katekordsmeier.com/ready. You'll discover if you have what it takes to turn your blog into a profitable business in less than five minutes. And it's free. Head to Katekordsmeier.com/ready to find out if you're ready.
Let's peel back some of those layers a little bit. You talked about Oh, there's Wim. It's never been safe for women to show up to be visible. What does that mean exactly?
Dr. Valerie Rein 22:30
We can go into ancient history, we can go into very recent history. But even before we do, I invite our listener check in with your body right now, with your body because your body is the most accurate history book out there. Your body remembers and knows what your mind does not. And the story is that you never heard. Such as check in with your body and have your body remember All the moments in time, maybe not all of them, but like, have it have it a little bit like as a slide show those moments when you didn't feel safe when maybe somebody looked at you in this way that objectified you or made a comment that made you shrink and feel like they need to hide I need to shrink. Like I need to dim my light because it's not safe people are commenting on either on your body and how you look. That makes it feel invasive. It makes it feel like a veiled threat. Maybe not so veiled to the criticism, both overt and unspoken criticism whenever you you allow yourself and do you actually Allow yourself to speak your mind to really show up authentically and what experiences have you had growing up around that? When have you tried What have you? When was the last time you played really authentically as you who you truly are? Most women come into this work when they begin realizing all my goodness, I have accomplished so much. And I don't remember who I am. I don't remember who I am. Maybe I don't even know who I am truly, authentically, deeply. What do I want? Yes, I've done everything that I thought I wanted. I checked off all the boxes, I got my education, I got married, I have kids, I excelled in my career and business, etc. But that authentic expression that we're after, that's never been allowed for women was there is nothing more nothing more disruptive. Nothing more dangerous to pay. hierarchy, then the woman who is in touch with her authentic desires. And so when women struggle with Oh, like a lack of clarity, I don't, I don't exactly know. I know there is something more to me to my life to my gifts, but I'm not exactly sure what it is and how to get there and who do I think I am? This is not you at all. These are all direct reflections of how unsafe it has been historically for women showing up in their authentic expression, from witch burnings, to gosh just tuning into social media, any follow any account of a visible woman, any account of a highly visible woman, and look at the comments. And that's all I gotta say about that. Yeah, do your own research. You know, your body knows Yeah.
Kate Kordsmeier 26:01
So this is really interesting too, because this way, especially going back to like not present day, but thinking about women and history and how it hasn't been safe. And so you mentioned this briefly before about generational trauma. Can you explain the different types of trauma going back to generational and collective and, of course, there's personal trauma, but even within that personal, I thought it was, for me this one of the biggest takeaways from your book was that I over associate so much with the word trauma, and that I thought, well, you know, I've never been in a life or death situation or had anything, you know, just so severe and extreme happened to me, I don't have trauma. And I talked about this actually in Episode 16, with Dr. Elizabeth Cohen, if anybody wants to go back and listen to that, but I'd love for you, Dr. Valerie to just explain some of those different types of trauma and how We can become aware of the various ways we have been traumatized maybe even subconsciously.
Dr. Valerie Rein 27:06
Yeah, I'm so glad you brought brought this up Kate. And that was my biggest stuck point through the years in therapy. I kept wondering if there perhaps maybe I have lived through a deeply traumatic event then then I repressed it and I just didn't remember it. Because these are psychological theories when and it does happen, strong experiences, sometimes we dissociate and we don't even remember them. So that was my working hypothesis. May be I, I did have trauma because I knew I had trauma because I had symptoms of, of trauma. But the biggest stumbling block for me was going by the conventional definition of trauma, which is a life threatening event and experience. So we think of combat we think of violence and Most of us have not experienced that. But all of us have experienced trauma. What is trauma, trauma is any experience that made you feel unsafe, physically or emotionally unsafe in your fullest authentic expression and lead to creating trauma adaptations, ways that your system figured out to keep you safe going forward, by dimming your light by not going forward to what feels dangerous, etc. so many ways we can talk about it for a while. Yeah, I think because this is actually what's hurting and harming us now. It's not the trauma. It's the trauma adaptations that are trying to keep us safe, but they actually causing harm. Yeah, so back to where we started with this, um, with with this inquiry, keep remind me where I'm going. I know
Kate Kordsmeier 28:57
there's so much to unpack. So I was asking If you could describe the types of trauma so what does generational trauma Really? Yeah,
Dr. Valerie Rein 29:06
generational trauma is fascinating. A couple of decades ago, it wasn't even or even less than that it wasn't even in the conversation. So I'm so grateful for scientific discoveries that show us a whole different domain of possibility. There is this study that I described in the book, and that to me really summarizes how generational trauma operates. In this study, researchers introduced the smell of cherry blossoms to mice, while simultaneously zapping the feet with mild electric shocks. These mice were then bred and they children and their grandchildren, when exposed to the smell of cherry blossoms showed a strong fear and anxiety reaction.
Kate Kordsmeier 29:52
Fascinating. I mean, yeah, wow.
Dr. Valerie Rein 29:55
Yeah. And that is exactly how generational trauma shows up. mice. My assumption is that the second and third generations of mice did not hear stories of cherry blossoms and electric shocks, but they knew in their bodies in their nervous systems, through the stories inherited through the DNA expression that's so fascinating. From their traumatized ancestors, that that was a dangerous territory. There is nothing inherently dangerous about cherry blossoms just like there is nothing inherently dangerous about a woman being fully expressed in her sexuality and her brilliance and her visibility. However, we experienced this throughout history has taught us that Oh yeah, a woman in her power gets punished for her power. A woman's power is a punishable offense. So PS D is women fearing the cherry blossoms of everything that we authentically desire that has historically been For Ben, and punishable, like, having our own money loving who we love, being in touch with their body, with our bodies with our sexuality. It's crazy to think about it, but it's it's a fact that women did not have ownership of our own bodies. Our bodies didn't belong to us. We were property of men, our children were property of men. I mean, we're still fighting
Kate Kordsmeier 31:28
this fight of oh my goodness aside what happens to our bodies?
Dr. Valerie Rein 31:32
Exactly. We're still being legislated. women's bodies are being legislated, not the case for men's bodies. There's no law in this country that governs anything concerning male body. female body. Yeah. So opt for legislation. And it's not recent history that women didn't have the right to divorce or didn't have the opportunity to own and earn and own their money. So when we look at Oh, my goodness, Like I, I have issues with my body, my body image I don't love my body I have issues with my sexuality. I have issues with money. Oh sister, we we have so much to heal. It's not you It's not your fault. This is that's the cherry blossoms. That's how it shows up. And the good news is that not only the traumatic experiences are genetically transmitted, so is healing and we can literally interrupt and change the destiny of the future generations by doing our own healing. And if you already have children, please don't go into thinking oh my gosh, too late for me. I already passed on the genes. It actually happens. My my daughter was already around when I started doing this work. And the more I the deeper you go into my own healing, the more she goes into her ownership of her body herself. expression. And it's just so precious and
Kate Kordsmeier 33:05
right I'm sure it's like healing through osmosis even just being around you doing this work and I'm sure so powerful. So if somebody's listening and they're still thinking, I don't know, how can I, how could I really know if I, if I had trauma? I just wanted. You mentioned in the book some common adaptations, especially among women have these symptoms, how does how to trauma symptoms show up and it can be some of the things you mentioned, like high stress levels, and workaholism. What what other things kind of go hand in hand with these issues? Hmm.
Dr. Valerie Rein 33:46
Yeah. Well, first, let's just look at this through the lens of science, right. I understand that. I'm thinking that Okay, all right. I have trauma is is a big leap if it's not something you would have even considered before tuning into this conversation. But if we look at the scientific evidence that traumatic experiences are genetically transmitted, even you're like, Oh my gosh, I've never been humiliated in my entire life. I was never betrayed. I was never yelled at I never ever felt emotionally unsafe, let alone physically ever once. Well, congratulations, you're not from this planet, and I honor you. But even even then you have inherited your mother's trauma, you have inherited your ancestors trauma. And we are now in this privileged position to actually understand it and heal it. So to me, sometimes I get asked this question, Well, isn't that like, going a victim mentality to think well, now I have trauma. It's not my fault. To me. This is the most empowering thing victim mentality is running in the same hamster wheel of trying to fix yourself. Get out of pain by getting more certifications and been there done that right? checking off more boxes when the real freedom is in recognizing oh my gosh, there's nothing to fix. But there is something to heal and I have leverage and I have access to this information healing tools, now that that allow me to do that. And trauma adaptations are both telltale signs of trauma. And these are the areas that are the most misunderstood. For example, the inner critic or the so called upper limit problem that shows up so much with women who do step into their visibility, that self censorship there's so much suffering around that 90% of our time, energy and consequently money is is reserved is just consumed by it. adaptations by trying to think our way out of it psych our way into doing something or second guessing ourselves, not trusting ourselves, going back and forth not having the energy to do things. These are all trauma adaptations, even anxiety and depression or trauma adaptation, because the nervous system goes into fight flight freeze response as a defense. So anxiety is a total fight flight response. And if it's not, it doesn't have an opportunity to actually express this fight or flight. In our society, it does not it's not like, oh, you're in a situation that feels unsafe, and you can just run away or you can fight your way out. Like, this doesn't really happen. Your boss is like yelling at you, and you're just sitting there and not right or whatever. Will Yeah, we all have a lot of those experiences and so then anxiety He keeps on accumulating in the system. This is all this energy that has not had the opportunity to get discharged and then it can become a chronic thing but again, this is our nervous system trying to keep us safe staying hyper vigilant. So that's your anxiety for depression. It's going into freeze state that's that's kind of the final trauma defense when when nothing else is available, play dead, everybody will leave you alone. And I, I had both anxiety and depression for many years to major depressive episodes suicidal, the whole nine
anxiety panic attacks, incapacitating couldn't even open my mouth and and speak in meetings in. I was at Columbia at the time and huge auditoriums would raise my hand and then would immediately have this famous response that the words will leave my brain bloodwood flush to my face, ah, all that suffering and I wish I understood at the time that this is a trauma response and these are trauma adaptations and not blamed myself for being quote unquote weak and not being able to quote unquote handle it despite being in therapy, because talking about it doesn't solve the issue. And then you get on medication and yes, it's it's a helpful thing. It can be really helpful and it does not heal, it doesn't resolve the underlying issue. So by me, maybe today, as you're listening to our conversation, consider, well maybe when do I have to lose? Except the invisible in the prison? Maybe try on this lens? What if you're non broken? What is that this inner critic is your trauma adaptations, trauma, adaptation, trying to keep you safe. What if you struggle with your energy or anxiety or addiction? Maybe all of this is a trauma defense and what's underneath That's what actually needs attention and needs healing and you don't need to be beating yourself up for these quote unquote, failures, there is nothing wrong with you. In fact, your nervous system is absolutely right. When you're oppressed, you don't feel safe. And of course you have anxiety, that's an appropriate response. When you're oppressed, being depressed when you're oppressed, that's also an appropriate response. In all these books, diagnostic books were written by white men. So completely out of context. Right, right.
Kate Kordsmeier 39:35
So okay, a couple of follow up questions. So that and first I just want any for anybody listening if you have any of these kind of symptoms, like we've talked about, could be issues with sleep or weight or your adrenals and thyroid, your reproductive system or parenting problems, like even just dead or unsatisfying slides or perscription medications like you mentioned, if you feel like in work, you know, you deal with the pain of rejection or criticism or feeling unwanted procrastination and self sabotage. You know, these are all as Dr. Valerie's explaining, these are all trauma adaptations and you may not even you may be just like like her were you were saying in the beginning that you didn't even feel stressed because it was your normal like using them. We were born into this prison. And so I think I love the way that you framed that of, of saying, try on this lens and just see, you know, what do you have to lose at this point? Why not just try it? quick update y'all. You already know on some level that doing all the things isn't the best way to grow your business right? But between the Instagram ads and the enticing master classes. And those always promising digital courses, it's nearly impossible for your intellect alone to know what to focus on to get the best results with the most ease. The thing is giving all the power to your shiny object prone mind to decide what's best for you and your business is the surest path to overwhelm this I know. So you have two choices The way I see it. One, keep floating in your sea of half finished projects and half baked ideas, or to save yourself massive amounts of time, energy and money by learning how to unequivocally know you're doing the right thing at the right time, using a tool that you've always had, but you just never knew how to use before. I'm talking about your body and your menstrual cycle. Yes, really. I couldn't be more excited about my friend and mentor Kate Northrop's upcoming free 20 eight day experience called right thing right time, you'll learn how to let your body lead your business. So you'll never worry about making a wrong decision. Again, if you're feeling relieved at the thought that this is actually possible to be a part of a community of business owners choosing to operate in this new paradigm that's using metrics of ease sustainability, fulfillment and flow at the forefront of their strategic plans and execution. Then I invite you to join us in this powerful circle where you'll learn how to grow your business while doing less. Go to Katekordsmeier.com/rightthing to sign up today. And don't delay if you want in on this because the experience kicked off a few days ago and will actually only be available for a few more weeks. Again, that's Katekordsmeier.com/rightthing to participate. I'll see you there.
To follow up with some of the other things you mentioned, I know that especially women, our body image, the way we feel about, you know, how we look and how we talk to ourselves even and we have unhealthy relationships with food and exercise. And one of the things that was so interesting to me in your book was thinking about, maybe your relationship to food is affected, because you have depression era grandparents, and their trauma during that, that period of time, you know, causes you to chronically overeat and like, Whoa, what if it was that and then we know now and we'll get into this in a minute, how to actually heal that trauma instead of trying to get another diet or punishing yourself on the elliptical or whatever, you know, your method of self hatred is
Dr. Valerie Rein 43:54
Yeah, so much of what passes as self help and is marketed as such. Self Help or self care is actually self punishment. Boys, a very patriarchal way. Very patriarchal tool of oppression, sell women on the idea that something's wrong with them. They never look right. They never, they're never in the right size, body, etc, etc. And then we were caught, it's an unwinnable game. And we need we must call this out. The area of our relationship with the body is one of the core areas where we help our women heal. And there are four, four key areas where we take this healing work into it's our relationship with money reclaiming and healing our relationship with money. The body relationship with the feminine and the masculine because in relationships, PSD shows up the trauma adaptation show up big time, every conflict has unresolved trauma at its core. That's what's driving it and lack of intimacy and travel will vote with vulnerability, etc. And finally, our visibility and mission in the world that is also driven by trauma. And in our programs, we have a longer program that goes into all of these areas. And then in our live virtual retreats, which we offer seasonally each retreat dives deeply into one of these areas. So we have one coming up in in a few days, that would be in August, that it's a deep dive into reclaiming our relationship with money and then the next one in the fall will be healing the relationship with the body. And it's this thriving experience. We call this event the thriving experience.com. If you're resonating, you can learn more there.
Kate Kordsmeier 45:51
Okay, I love that. Yeah, thank you. One of the things you mentioned, which I thought was so interesting, and I could certainly relate to is that talk therapy and talking through something does not always work for healing trauma, it's not actually working through and sometimes there's nothing you can say
get out of this. So I talked to us then about Alright, so I'm done wasting, you know, years and lots of money and everything spent talking What can I do instead?
Dr. Valerie Rein 46:27
Hmm. And this is such a patriarchal trap. Because again, like I said, all the diagnostic books were written by men and and that's the ruling paradigm. And this is the acceptable way of working with everything. But when we look at how, how come, you've been in therapy for years, I have to and most women who come to work with us, so they've, they've done that too, and how come we've done this for years with a lot of commitment show up through these sessions and paying for them and doing the work in, and then we still have all this trauma in the bodies. Well, it's just the tools don't work talking talking about it doesn't get into the embodied experience of trauma, it involves working with the body and the nervous system directly to tap into it and release it. And unless we understand that we're kind of at the mercy of of this, the approach, it doesn't work. And the unfortunate outcome is that women again, blame themselves. It's not nothing's working for me, I'm so broke and nothing's working for me, or they have this full disclosure. If they come to work with us, and they say, well, this doesn't affect me anymore. Because it happened a long time ago and I and I talked about it in therapy, and yet they're completely gripped by that experience. Still, sometimes it's unprocessed grief. Most people in our society have unprocessed grief that they carrying their bodies, most people in our society have unprocessed joy that has been repressed for years has never had space to express. There are so many wonders that the body carries that talk therapy does not have access to it can be really helpful at some point when especially you're just starting to get into like that self inquiry, how things work. It's helpful, it's helpful to be with a safe person who holds space for you doesn't judge you best case scenario, some therapists are pretty judgy. But let me not go off that that tangent. It's helpful at some point and yet, it does not heal, embodied trauma and when you know that, you have the leverage of seeking out the tools that do Right, right. Yeah, I thought
Kate Kordsmeier 48:56
this was so interesting to me. And another thing I learned, you know, from Your book about how consciously we might know okay there's nothing to be afraid of, you know when I would always try to think my way out of a panic attack and it was just like the subconscious my subconscious did not realize that and my body for whatever reason remembered feeling unsafe, and every time that trauma would get triggered, I would have an episode and you know, realizing that it's because this trauma is living in my body and I've got all this unprocessed like stuck emotional energy. And no wonder I was overanalyzing and worrying about everything because it was still stuck in there. So I know you mentioned in your book and I'm sure in your retreats and stuff, how to work some of this stuff out of our bodies Could you give us maybe just like the cliff notes version here of some of your your top three tips for working out of your body. I love this.
Dr. Valerie Rein 49:59
You can actually download some practices that come with the book. So but even before you get into the book, you'll you'll you can use some of them there at DrValerie.com/book, look for your book resources and the first chapter of the book is there to for your free download and the link to purchase the book on Amazon if you want to continue this journey, the tools that create safety and begin to allow us to return into our body. These are one kind of trauma healing tools and another kind of the tools that allow us to discharge that stuck energy and both kinds of tools are best used in a safe container. That is To be held for you by another person or a group of people who are also cultivating these skills in their nervous systems who have the ability to do that. Yes, there are things you can absolutely start doing by yourself. That's why I'm sharing these started tools with you in the book and in the free downloads. And it's important to recognize that to heal deeper layers of trauma, and actually set yourself free. We need the capacity that exceeds our own traumatic experiences imprinted as such because at the time, we did not have capacity to process them. That emotional impact overwhelmed our capacity and to end so they won't allow us those traumas won't allow us to even approach them the prison guards, how I refer to the trauma defenses in my system. They are staying on guard and in order to learn to even approach These areas to open that this up. We teach in our programs, we teach women to cultivate that capacity and create safety in the community and their environment, so that they can actually go there. So, know that there's a lot that you can learn and there's a lot that you can do to start the journey and ultimately, you do need support. This is not a do it yourself project. Yeah, yeah.
Kate Kordsmeier 52:32
That's such a such a good point. And just really helpful. I really connected with the advice from the book about focusing on gravity, your breath and your five senses to kind of bring yourself you know, to embody, get into that embodiment. I thought that was really, really powerful and it's
Dr. Valerie Rein 52:53
simple to it's very simple and this I call it a repower tool. And that's available for download. At Dr. Valerie calm look for a repower and it gives you a little neuroscience schpeel on how and why that works and why trying to talk your way out of a panic attack or another experience when you feeling triggered does not work and it's not your fault so it's it's fun it's fun for for the curious minds and it's definitely a helpful for the body, your body will do.
Kate Kordsmeier 53:27
So I know we I mean it's obviously this. Everything we've been talking about applies to business and entrepreneurship. Now ya know who this who my audience is. So what are some common patterns you see holding women back specifically and business that are part of PSD?
Dr. Valerie Rein 53:47
Oh, so many. There is one that pushes women to embody and perpetrate patriarchy in their own businesses. And the cruel irony is that we leave the patriarchal corporate world to do our own thing. But then we set up our business in a punishing way, where we keep on working all hours and our nervous system is in constant overdrive. And we don't even realize we're doing it we perpetrating that same system of oppression. And this woman recently asked me on, on an interview, she said, you know, is there a connection between my time and my money? Like I'm working all the time, and I'm wondering if there is a connection with how I relate with money as well as it 100%? Absolutely. Historically, a woman's time or a woman's money did not belong to her. Women worked for free forever and ever under patriarchy, and all hours of the day belonged to, not to us. So start examining these patterns, look at your schedule. Look at your schedule. And I know Kate Northrup, also, you know, to teach us about doing less and being in sync with the feminine cycles. start examining what what are you doing? What does your time belong to you to start asking these uncomfortable questions? What are you tolerating? What are you doing every day? That is not in your ultimate pleasure and joy you wouldn't choose but you're doing it because you quote unquote, have to and do you have to? And how are these disruptive questions and open up to a whole new business model? And the revenues increase and the pleasure increases exponentially? But of course to the patriarchal PhD condition mine It's like, No, I have to work harder to make more. It's actually the is actually completely untrue. And we see with ourselves and with our clients every day that when we shift out of that grind and into pleasure and allowing and removing the barriers of PSD to actually receiving, having and being fully expressed. Magic magic happens. And what if? And what if this is how it's actually designed? What if reality is easy? What if it's magic? What if you get to have exactly what you desire or something even better?
Kate Kordsmeier 56:26
I love this question in this reframe of what if, and and another one similar that you provide in the book is like, How good can it get and that of always coming from this place of lack and scarcity and fear? Just how good could it be? And what if it was easy? I love that too. Yeah, that's, it takes a lot of unlearning to start thinking that way, but so powerful, and I just Yeah, I love that so much. I think there are a couple other questions that you and cluded two that I thought were really good, they just thinking about what thoughts and structures, behaviors and choices are just are you doing just to keep your business, you know, quote unquote, safe? And maybe you just keep making choices because you've had success with them in the past or because everyone else does it this way. Like I'm thinking, the lot like an online business, the launch formula is like, everybody does it this way. We all know that in order to have a successful online business, you have to follow this webinar or video series into this crazy funnel, and it's super stressful, and it's non stop work. But we think, are we doing it just because it feels safe? Because Well look, you know, so and so does it and she's clearly successful or he's clearly successful, so I'm gonna do that too.
Dr. Valerie Rein 57:51
Yeah. And also, how do we define successful to me working 100 hour weeks and crashing out in adrenal Fatigue and not having sex in your relationship or being chronically single and not and not by conscious choice, you know, is not success, right? That is not success. That is no, no, no, no thank you. No thing. Not at all. So yeah, there's so much to unpack and we are here to create new paradigms of success. That is authentic. That is true. That is easy. That is not oppressive and abusive to ourselves where we're not perpetrating patriarchal oppression against ourselves. And that's what we're exploring in our community. If you join if this resonates if you join us for the thriving experience retreat, whichever one is coming up at the point where you're hearing it the thriving, experienced calm will tell you everything you need to know. You will meet women on this journey. from all over the world who are shifting this paradigm wherever they are, and it's truly world changing as well as life changing? Yeah,
Kate Kordsmeier 59:09
okay, well, I'll include the links to all of this stuff in the show notes too, so everyone can easily find it. And Dr. Valerie has been such a pleasure chatting with you. I have a few just lightning round questions that we ask everybody at the end. But before I do that, I just have to say thank you so much. Your work is so powerful and it's helping so many people and I know everyone listening, I'm sure probably just had their mind blown wide open Hill.
Dr. Valerie Rein 59:38
Thank you, Kate. It's been a pleasure.
Kate Kordsmeier 59:40
Yeah. Okay. So you've kind of answered some of these actually, but we'll just go real quick. So what's your favorite way to make time for self care?
Dr. Valerie Rein 59:54
Self What did we say self practices is
self care story. With it, putting it in my schedule first,
Kate Kordsmeier 1:00:03
huh? Yes, I love that. Okay. Do you have a tool or a strategy that you use to help you with time management so that you're not just on that hamster wheel all the time? My partner Jeffrey. Okay, great. Um, what is one of your favorite mindset or entrepreneurial books that you've ever read? Hmm.
Dr. Valerie Rein 1:00:29
I could have say is Seth Golden's books? Like this is marketing is one of my favorites.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:00:36
Yeah. Okay, great. Do you have a mantra that you are telling yourself lately?
Dr. Valerie Rein 1:00:44
Um, they change very rapidly, depending on what I'm working with. And now in the energy of the retreat, that's going to be all about money reclamation, our relationship with money. It's been money is Everything money is the energy of creation.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:01:04
Beautiful. And you I mean, you did just answer this but you know our podcast is called Success with Soul. So if you had to sum it up What does Success with Soul mean to you?
Dr. Valerie Rein 1:01:16
is being deeply happy not just in the mind but in the body in all the delicious ways that matter to you. And yeah, keeping on expanding that through every interaction through every experience, you know everything you touch, having that sprinkle of your, your magic juice. And yeah, that to me is success spreading that.
How good can it get for everyone?
Kate Kordsmeier 1:01:54
Yes, I love that. Thank you again.
Dr. Valerie Rein 1:01:58
My pleasure, Kate.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:02:05
Thanks for listening
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We are an LGBTQIA-affirming, interfaith-oriented, diverse organization. We are committed to social and environmental justice, including civil rights, dismantling systems of oppression like the Patriarchy, White Supremacy and Diet Culture. We believe Black Lives Matter.
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