blossom, You're awesome podcast episode number 75. Today on the show, Kristen taylor is here with us. Kristin brings over 20 years of clinical and coaching experience to her clients. She has a master's degree in counseling psychology and is a trained therapist through the intersection of mindfulness, neuroscience and psychology. She teaches professionals the secrets of emotional regulation and resilience so that the feelings of anxiety, fear, burnout, loneliness and pressure do not sabotage their full potential. I am so honored and delighted to have Kristen here with us. Kristin, thank you so much for being here. Welcome to the show. Thank you. It's great to be here. Well, I am so excited to have you here and get into this with you. So let's start with a little bit of your background and how you got into this line of work. Yes, so my background is that I was trained as a therapist.
I earned my master's degree at an institute called the California Institute of integral studies. And they bring forth a lot of training and education in what's called trans personal psychology and that is what drew me there and I was in their counseling, integral counseling program. So I was trained to become a therapist. I never actually became licensed and that's another story in and of itself. Just because I felt a little disillusioned was working as a crisis counselor and working with a lot of what are called dual diagnosis um clients and situations which was not what I wanted to do. I wanted to work with more what I would call and many people call the wounded well and people who are interested in personal awareness and personal growth and spiritual evolution and invested in their creative potential and they're healing potential. Um so I segue out of there For quite a while and felt quite lost quite honestly.
Um and then in 2007 joined an organization of coaches and that is where I started my coaching um my coaching profession and in gosh, five years ago I started my own business as a coach. So I work with anywhere from C. E. O. S to artists helping people manage stress anxiety imposter is um all the things I'm working on myself. So I'm drawn to the things that are part of my own healing path. And um I also have a podcast. Excuse me, a podcast called how I made it through and it started as stories and it's still very much in its infancy. But it started as stories of people who have gone through a very challenging circumstances, emotionally, physically medically spiritually and how they find themselves through what they learn who they are as a result of that deep learning.
And then season two is coming And I'm bringing in more of a spiritual element, really examining our impermanence, understanding energy, love near death experiences past life regression. Really how do we still find our way through and hopefully connect to love source meaning whatever that however that is defined for people mm wow, I love this. Okay, I have so many questions. So tell me, have you always been spiritual or um, how did this kind of open up for you? Yeah, I think so. Even as a child, there was always a sense of, I'm not alone in a very comforting way. Even in the midst of some difficult traumatic experiences as a child, there is a sense of hair witnessing or love, feeling supported feeling. I mean there were no words for it.
I remember um, When my grandfather died it must have been like, 545 and I said, well where did he go? I asked my mom, where did he go? And she said, I don't know, he's, he's gone. And I said, well did I know him before and she said you weren't here before. And I remember I looked into the pantry as she was saying that it was just black, it's just dark and it didn't fit. It was like I've always been here. That doesn't make sense to me. Like there was a real cognitive dissidence. Like no, there no. So that's a very long way of saying yes, there's always been a seeking and a sense of being held in some way or another since childhood. Um, wow, I love that. That's kind of similar to, um, you know, I had an out of body experience during a surgery when I was six years old and I remember it so vividly.
So it's just is similar in that way where I kind of knew that, okay, there's something more to this physical, there's something beyond just this physical plane, right? So anyway, I that's so beautiful. I love that story now, Tell me and I love the name of your podcast. I think that's so cool. And you know, it's just it's so amazing how we never really know what we're capable of until like life. Right? So what do you, what are your thoughts on that? Like when we're met with a major kind of, you know, challenge or something? We'll have a lot of thoughts on that. My thoughts personally, and I hadn't been bringing in as much to the podcast, especially because I want to honor other people's stories. But I see what I'm about to share in action my thought and I know many people believe this and it feels just so intuitive for me is that prior to coming here our soul made a contract.
What are we here to learn? How are we here to evolve? How can be how can we be agents of love and change. And it feels like they're always orchestrations beyond the veil. However, we wanted to find that and we are here to learn those lessons so that we can whether it's raising vibration or evolving just our own soul and the souls of the people immediately around us. Um we come to greater truth. It almost feels like the illusion the spell is broken when we face something transformative when we move through things that are difficult and we do? So in a way that we're not just numbing out or giving up. But we face our darkness. We it also enables us to face our strength, our courage, our light and touch. Love doesn't always feel good.
In fact, sometimes it feels like hell. But then there is a story ideally that we can own and to say this is not just something that happened to me, It happened for me and my organizing principle of self is elevated. Do not just mind and body, but spirit and I can elevate inspiration and hope for others. Um Yeah, I think that's how I would say it. So my belief is difficult relationships, difficult circumstances. Of course our earthly sentient beings don't want these things to be happening. We don't want to suffer. But it is often in the suffering that we find greater connection and greater love. Mm I love that. That is so beautiful Kristen. Um so tell me for you as a coach because we all go through these, you know, have these moments of suffering or where we're just kind of uh you know, find ourselves stuck right?
Like it's just you don't even know where to start. So what is that guidance or advice? Like initially to start kind of shifting because some I find that people either kind of hold on to suffering too long and can't move out of it or not enough right? They don't do that healing work. So what is that kind of balance? And where do you begin when something like that happens? Well the work that I do is around mindfulness. So it's through the lessons of mindfulness that I help people to slow down and to tune in to become aware of their thoughts, to touch their feelings to connect with their bodies. And so I Sprinkle it in a little bit of neuroscience for legitimacy to understand what is happening in terms of the nervous system that it's the operating system so that they can be embodied. You don't want to bypass the physical experience and you don't want to over identify with your feelings.
And I teach them ideally through different practices around mindfulness to be at choice. So once we regulate the body, let's say were activated. And I teach a little bit of what's called poly bagel theory. If we're having any sort of sympathetic activation, feeling in fight or flight or if you're feeling and shut down, we can identify so much about awareness as well as meta cognition. What am I thinking, What am I believing? And then once you create safety in the body saying, what do I want to believe, who do I want to be? What connects me with my highest ideals. And I say that so simply this is hard. This is really, really, really hard. But it's teaching people how to become grounded simply teaching people how to breathe and so people can become regulated. So much of us are dis regulated. So why whether we stay too much in something or we try to move out of it too quickly. It's often a reflection of how regulated or dis regulated.
We are so ideally I'm teaching them through mindfulness, understanding the body, some neuroscience, nervous system regulation, how to create stillness so that it can be a choice in their life. So now Kristin I'm gonna have you repeat some of that because I think was there a little doggie in the back? There's a dog that was barking. Yes. Yes. Would you like me to repeat that? I'm hoping he stops husband just left the building the house, leave soon so he doesn't bark. Okay so can you Yeah, I'll ask it again just and then I'm going to end up cutting that out just because of you. But it was like so amazing what you were saying. Okay so so kristen tell me you know I find people things happen and then we get stuck right? And I find that people either stay in that space for far too long or not long enough, they're not able to heal. So what how do we begin to kind of turn that corner and have a mindset shift to start leaning towards coming out of that powerfully.
Yes. Yes. It's a great question. So in my work I do that through teaching mindfulness. I do that through teaching nervous system regulation. I do that through helping them understand at a very base level because that's the level of my understanding neuroscience. It's called poly bagel theory. So one of the most important things in mindfulness and emotional regulation is to build self awareness. And I help people to slow things down simply through the practice of breathing. Because if we are activated in our nervous system and we are dis regulated. You will often see people either staying in things too long or moving out of them too quickly. Because the level of this regulation nervous system hijacks like Amygdala hijacks. It feels horrible who would want to stay there. And so in the work that I do around mindfulness anxiety management it allows people to create safety so that they can be at choice and how they want to be and who they want to be in the face of whatever it is that they are facing.
Mm Okay. And now talk to us about emotional regulation right? What is what's the balance there? Because again I find people her and I don't believe in anyone being too emotional. Right? I just think that's such a beautiful thing. But I have seen people that I feel are just guarded and not maybe not expressing emotion enough. Yeah. Yeah that goes back. It's so interesting. So emotional regulation. I could talk about academically but I want to slow it down a little bit and I want to talk about going back to our souls contracts that maybe we chose someone who is more predisposed to emotionality and very connected. I'm a highly sensitive person which is both a beautiful thing and incredibly challenging thing. It makes stress resilience difficult because I feel so deeply versus someone else. Maybe they chose a contract where it's difficult to feel or if there's a history of trauma feeling is not safe.
There may have been no co co regulation in their family of origin. So emotions are incredibly threatening and it is a trauma response. So it feels a lot like the answer that I just gave most importantly we want to create safety. So let's take those two examples let's say you have someone who like myself is more emotional. The lessons for someone like me, the lessons I have is to say yes name the feeling, acknowledge why you're feeling it but don't stay in the UAE too long why matters. But I think we can per separate there. I think we can stay there and it keeps that stuck nous it's then to say okay now breathe again and what do I want to feel because it can be like I want to be congruent, I want to be in my integrity if this is what I'm feeling. But then if we stay too long with the feelings recognizing that feelings are just energy and they can become locked in our body for different reasons, even epigenetic li they may not even be our feelings that moment we get to say, how do I want to be?
And what energy do I want to invite? And what energy do I want to have flow through me so that we're not creating this energetic stuck nous or over identifying with the feeling. I mean you think about buddhism, it's the sense of or over identifying or we're shutting down or we're pushing away rather than just being with what is and again like leaves and the breeze waves in the ocean. This feeling is here now and now it is coming up and what is next and what is next. So that's one side of the coin that not over because that sounds like a judgment because emotions are so important or when they hijack us, one would feel stuck. The other is when people don't feel to lean into the compassion of why don't they feel. And then even playing with things like inter reception which is just the felt experience of being inside the body, teaching people to feel and honoring the wisdom, the adaptation that the child needed to make, perhaps not to feel.
It wasn't safe. So creating the safety to create new neural networks to feel like close your eyes, tune into a body part. Maybe it's your foot, maybe it's your hand, maybe it's your throat stay silent and just what sensations do you feel? And they, and if people are really struggling, I said don't give me words because then they get right into the talking brain just, you know, cues, is it prickly, is it warm? Is it slippery? Is it whatever it is, just feel as they start to build out those neural networks that eventually will move into emotion if they are motivated to do so, wow, this is so, I mean we could go so deep with this, so tell me you know, what is how for someone who is very feeling, you know, to their detriment, right? Where it's just your, you know, again, not no judgment here with someone who feels a lot, I'm that way, but where it's like you're okay feeling too much maybe and other people are around, you may not be sensitive to that.
What's the practical kind of guidance or tip there for that person you're talking about my life here? Um yeah, this is, I feel like my personal life's work in my relationship with my mother who now has dementia and, and I'm a caregiver for um she, as I believe it has a very different souls contract, but we were meant to be together because we have lessons to learn from one another and I am highly sensitive and she struggles with empathy and awareness and of course with the dementia, it's only being exacerbated. So when in her presence, I often feel hurt, my feelings are hurt or I feel triggered and I feel really angry or I feel like crying or I feel like screaming like there's so much that is coming up, what I'm learning, I have my own coach and I'll just plug her right now, jennifer Wallace and she teaches me nervous system drills because what can happen when emotion is especially triggered is to understand that we can often go right into the limbic system, the amygdala where it is the emotion center, the fear center, but we are not connected to the prefrontal cortex where we are expansive in our thinking, compassionate and loving, right?
And so to your question, I feel like it's really important if you know that you're going to be around someone like that, to put an energetic shield, to set loving intention to yourself and to them and to yourself is really important because when we become overly emotional and we get invested in narratives that we repeat over and over again, whether it's about victimhood or anger, whatever it is, we can stay stuck there and there's truth there, but the starkness keeps us from growing and then again breathing, then breathing and to be able to acknowledge the wound and say someone says something that is hurtful or the emotions get really, really high to be able to say what I say often this is the mindfulness piece, it's happening. If the emotions get really, really high, I will literally say it loud to myself, let's say I'm driving and someone cuts me off and I'm just feeling angry, that's one big emotion and the heart rate is going and the beliefs are going and I feel like this seductive pole into either anger or whatever it is like oh I'm really lit up right now, I will interrupt the pattern by saying it's happening, which to me is my signal to breathe and when I say breathe, I don't mean inhaling as much as I mean exhaling, engaging, parasympathetic rest and digest soothing and calming the body and then back to what I said before once the body is soothed and calmed.
Once you're out of the primitive limbic system you can get your prefrontal cortex online say thank you emotion, you protected me well what do I want to believe, Who do I want to be, What emotions do I want to connect with now? Mm wow, I love that, that is such powerful guidance. Um now talk to us about one of the things, one of your titles, narrative coaching, can you tell us about this? And then let's get into that narrative coaching. There is a I've shifted it, it comes from narrative therapy so is trained as a narrative therapy therapist and it's really understanding that the language we use really abuse powerful meaning into who we are and contextualize is how we see the world which gives us choice. So even when you think about when someone says um always or never in any simple sentence that there is a belief system that then creates a reality, so we can find what are called if people find themselves really um it's called being caught in a problem saturated story.
Whether it's a story of anorexia, whether it's a story of addiction, whether it's a story of codependency, whether it's a story of what have you any place where you're like, it's becoming an organizing principle of who I am, this story. I feel caught in. It's looking through another lens to say, where are the exceptions to the problem saturated story. So let's say someone is caught in the trance or the spell of people placing and they find their self worth and their safety comes from pleasing others. You would then as a coach or a therapist ask questions to find times where they felt solid colon integrated because a person isn't people pleasing in every moment of their life. And so it's to capitalize on those moments where they did feel fully capable, fully lovable, fully safe. And you start to expand that storyline through curiosity and questions so that the client can start to identify with greater resourcefulness, creativity and wholeness within them.
That's narrative coaching a narrative therapy and I'm not sure there's so much more. So let's get into that a little Tell me kristen now, you know, like you say, we all have these narratives, right? These stories that we tell ourselves? So if something is not powerful or you know empowering? How do we like something really practical? Whereas some you know a place someone can start with changing that narrative are beginning to see it in a different way. Like some really practical tips for beginning. Mm hmm Again, I feel like I'm being redundant. But I feel like it's the same theme. It's the mindfulness to recognize you are caught in the story. If you find yourself repeating a story over and over again and often it comes when we are caught in the ego when we have this enormous scoreboard, Who's right, who's wrong? Who's the perpetrator? Who's the victim? Which is not to say there's not legitimacy that there may not there may be a perpetrator and a victim.
But if you find, let's say relational e that it's not just happening with one person that's happening with more people and you keep assuming the same rule role. Excuse me whether it's codependent or avoidant or whatever it is that these themes are happening, it's really important as those stories. We're talking to ourselves all day long. And if you're experiencing distress and you're experiencing certain themes in terms of the story, the mindfulness piece with narrative coaching Because that's an integral part of it is to be able to recognize am I the thinker or are am I the thoughts to recognize am I having thoughts or am I being had by these thoughts? What am I believing? And that's why I say when I feel myself really lulled or lured into a belief that is harmful or repetitious or I can't seem to let go of to say it's happening now. What do I do to take care of myself?
Number 1? It's so simple. But we need to change our biochemistry, we need to change our nervous system. Regulation, breathe ratio breathing in through the nose for a shorter period of time, out through the mouth through a longer period of time, like blowing through a straw slow and pressure so that we can go okay and pausing and pushing the pause button because often in these stories it's almost like the fear, the anger whatever button gets jammed, the narrative gets jammed and we want to unjam that button so that we can actually see what are the choices we can make, we can show up differently should we choose to and now, you know, for people, so we hear people sometimes and I very much believe that we can choose right? It's it's a choice. But I hear people who don't believe that or have found a way to convince themselves that it's not a choice but they're rather this victim and they can't get out of this what is going on there and um you know, let's just start there.
Like what is that? So number one, I don't know, I mean that's the biggest question ever because that is also a spiritual question back to the idea of um, spiritual contracts, maybe they entered into a very, very hefty contract where there was a lot for them to learn and maybe they've gotten into habits that are standing in their way of their spiritual evolution. And so the first thing is for them to want to change if they are hurting and they come to someone like me, there is motivation to say what I'm doing is not working. You have to want to change, you have to recognize that this is a problem. But if it's either externalized, it's everyone else's problem. And that's what I'm hearing you say with victimhood, then I think the people around them can have compassion and show guidance and boundaries, but until they say I I need to change this is a problem.
Um, there's a lot of complexity to that and there's not much you can do, right? And now, um, you know, how, what do you find with people who are holding this narrative? Like is there kind of, I'm assuming it's different for everybody, right? Each person is different? Of course. Yeah. So is it a lot of times because I find, you know, adults, we don't realize on many, you know, many times that we're carrying baggage unresolved stuff. Right? That you just, you don't really think about it, it happened 30 years ago and you kind of go about your business, but it formed some part of who you are today. Yes, agree. Right. And then without that being acknowledged or healed or worked on, we just kind of continue to carry that.
Yes. Yes. What I hear you talking about is the choice to become conscious and it's a courageous choice. And so even if I'm working with someone and they, when people make bold statements about beliefs, especially if they're harmful to themselves, the question is, whose voice is that? Where did you learn that? Who taught you that? And almost without fail, they can immediately go there. My stepfather, my mother, my grandmother, my aunt, my teacher. Let's go there. Let's go there. What did they share? So that is a route to consciousness to recognize that in our brilliance as a child we had to adapt. This is called an intra object. We all know about projections, Right? Let's say there's someone who's very dishonest in the world and they see people doing good things in the world, they will project. Oh, they're just being manipulative which says more about them than it does about the situation. And interjection is when a child is trying to find love and safety in a world that doesn't always feel loving or safe and they find the way where they can be loved and be safe.
So maybe they're the clown, maybe they're the academic, maybe they're silent. Maybe they're whatever it is, they have adapted to survive. And those lessons, like you said, those become inherited inherited and almost like on a cellular level unexamined until those beliefs no longer fit authentically who they are the direction they want to grow or they get in their way often they don't though because maybe they became a brilliant academic and they became a brilliant whatever it is. So thank you adaptation. Always thank you adaptation. But where does the adaptation? The interjection become maladaptive to your own personal and spiritual growth. Mm And now so it sounds like really the first step just is to get to do that in our work and get conscious, become aware when anything comes up when we're feeling stuff. It's to pause and say, hey, okay, what am I feeling? What just happened? Yes. Yes. Yes. And one thing I will add. So we go really easily too, Why am I feeling this way?
Which is important. I don't want to negate that. But what I want to shift is we're going, okay, I'm feeling this, it's happening. I'm going to call this feeling um fear, anxiety, whatever it means. So many feelings and get as nuanced as possible. Maybe it's a number of feelings all at once tune into the body. Why is it happening? What is the story? I'm telling myself? What am I believing? But if people walk away from this podcast, here's what I want them to walk away with, What do I need, What do I need in this moment to self soothe to be grounded to be in compassion to be whatever you hold as an ideal to be safe. So maybe yes, I'm suggesting breathing, maybe it's talking to yourself in the third person person. Kristen I love you. It's okay. Maybe it's touching the earth. Maybe it's a drink of water. Maybe it's a walk, It could be anything but tuning in and saying in this moment, what do I need to return to a place of safety? It's almost like spiritually re parenting. How can I be my own best friend, my own best parent in this moment?
What do I need? We can stay obsessive in the spiral of why is this happening in Boy Queen create narratives. But if we stay there, we're stuck. The shift is what do I need? Mm I love that. That is so beautiful. Um so tell me kristen for you personally, on a spiritual level doing this work with people really helping them to go deeper with themselves and learn to kind of self regulate and all of this. What is this doing for you personally? On a spiritual level, it's helping to evolve me. It's helping me move closer to what I committed to learning, helping to heal me. It's helping me to spread loud. I think we're all here to be connected to what I would call source, other people call the divine God and energy of love. This is my way of learning to love myself and teaching others to do the same. And I intuitively feel that's what I'm here to do.
So it's my spiritual course and spreading off mm I love that. That is so beautiful. And now for you personally, what are some spiritual practices if you're open to sharing that just some of your spiritual routine or things that you do to kind of stay grounded and centered. Uh well before we started recording, we're talking about the redwoods. Um, nature is really important. Nature quiet in the morning before I wake I say a prayer. So I talked to my spirit guides. I believe we have a committee of spirit guides orchestrating from the other side to our highest good. So I talked with them from a place of gratitude and I asked for the places I need help. I said a prayer about this conversation. Right? Um, and then it is meditation or even mindfulness everything matters. So sometimes I'm really great with meditation and sometimes I go through periods where I'm not as good but the mindfulness, the pausing and I think that is the ability to listen to spirit and that the messages of spirit will show up as signs, symbols intuition but we need to be available and awake to receive.
So it's the quiet, the alone time. Mindfulness and the meditation. I love that. That is right up my alley. I love that so much. Um, so now Kristin. So a couple of things. First of all you have been so amazing And this conversation has been so insightful and I just want to thank you for your time and your wisdom and your insights today. I mean so much to me, thank you for saying that it's such a pleasure to be here. Thank you for asking amazing questions and creating this opportunity for me to share. Oh, I loved every minute of it. I would love to circle back and you know, do it again and go deeper next time. Have another conversation in the coming weeks or months. So I would love that. But now in closing in, I will say I'm gonna have links to all of your stuff to your website and all of that for people to be able to get in touch with you. But in closing if there were one message that you would like to leave us with your you know, wisdom, hope for the world, what would that message be?
There's so many messages but I'm gonna say start with self compassion because when we can learn to be kind to ourselves, we become a greater well sourced more abundant in our ability to share it and practice Grace and forgiveness were appropriate with others. Self forgiveness. Self love so that we can practice self forgiveness. Self love with others. Mm I love that Kristin, thank you so much. You've been so awesome. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you so much. Thank you