Christiane Wolf MD, Outsmart Your Pain

Episode 23 May 01, 2021 00:48:30
Christiane Wolf MD, Outsmart Your Pain
More Happiness Less Suffering
Christiane Wolf MD, Outsmart Your Pain

Show Notes

Christiane is a physician turned mindfulness and compassion teacher and teacher trainer. She is an authorized Buddhist teacher in the Insight (Vipassana) meditation tradition, teaching classes and retreats worldwide.
She is the co-author of “A Clinician’s Guide to Teaching Mindfulness” and author of the upcoming “Outsmart Your Pain – Mindfulness and Self-Compassion to Help You Leave Chronic Pain Behind”.

More info on her website

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Welcome to the more happiness, less suffering podcast. I'm Casey Howe, senior meditation and Dartmouth Speaker 1 00:00:06 Feature for inside LA. And I'm Dr. Monisha bossa psychiatrist in our little podcasting studio in orange County, California. We bring wisdom from the couch and the cushion to your real life questions and struggles. So grab a cup of tea and join us. We're so glad you're here. I'll come back to the more happiness, less suffering podcast as always. We are so grateful for you to join us today. We are very excited to have a very special guest with us. Uh, we have, uh, Dr. Cristiana Wolf, uh, who, um, is going to be sharing with us, her path to mindfulness as well as, um, some exciting news about her upcoming book, which is about, uh, the intersections of mindfulness and, uh, dealing with pain. Um, and so we are so excited to have Christiana here with us today. I am going to hand it over to Casey. Who's going to tell us a little bit more about how he came to know Christiana and, um, and introduce her. Speaker 0 00:01:12 Yeah. Thank you again for, for, uh, being on the podcast with us Christiana really appreciate it. So happy to be here. Yeah. So Christiana, she is a senior teacher, a meditation teacher for insight LA and that's how we connected. I was trying to think of the date before we jumped on, but somewhere around 2013, I think, um, yeah, something like that. Yeah. She just has a, a special place in my heart because she was, uh, one of my first teachers, um, at inside LA and, and I believe he taught the, the MBSR practicum. Um, yeah. And, uh, it was wonderful because, you know, at the time I had not received a lot of teachings in the more, in a more secular fashion and yeah, Christiana really embodied at such a depth of practice. Um, and it really, really, really came through. And then the way she described, you know, for like more traditional Dharma, she just described it in a way that really landed in, um, in a way that was open to everyone. And before that I had more traditional teachings. And so just seeing this example really inspired me. I was like, wow, this is incredible. This could reach so many different people. And, um, yeah. And she was such a great example of the merging of this kind of secular way to teach with as experiential wisdom. And yeah, I just, I, I love, um, her example of being such a sincere practitioner along with how she teaches. So I'm incredibly excited Speaker 2 00:03:00 To have you here and, um, yeah, thanks again. Speaker 3 00:03:05 Yeah, thank you. I'm so happy to be here. And those are all yeah, just yeah. Topics that are really like close to my heart. So how do we make something that can seem foreign or strange or, um, unrelatable really into like, no, this is really relevant for you and let me explain it this way. And then people go like, Oh yeah, that makes sense. Speaker 1 00:03:35 Oh, Christiana. We always like to start, you know, we joke because I'm a psychiatrist. I always like to start at the very beginning, but, um, I understand that you, you know, are a gynecologist and you actually begin, um, your, uh, both professional path and your, your personal life back in, uh, Berlin, Germany. Uh, so would love to hear just a little bit about, yeah. The overall path, you know, how you, um, how you integrated medicine or how that, uh, eventually came to meet mindfulness for you and also, yeah, just your path to being here in, in, uh, California and the overall journey. How much time do you have, Speaker 2 00:04:21 That'll be the whole podcast. Speaker 3 00:04:27 Um, yeah, I mean, it's interesting. I, um, actually knew I wanted to become a physician or decided I wanted to become a dis uh, physician when I was, I think about 15. And, um, it was very clear to me. I wanted to understand why people do what they do and that should be for, I wanted to become a physician I wanted to become, I actually don't know even know what the word in English is, but somebody who observes the behavior of animals. So that was totally fascinating to me. Um, especially primates. And, uh, then at some point I thought, well, actually human beings that are more fascinating than primates. And then, um, I thought like, okay, like physician has this broad range. If you can become, like, you can go in whatever direction you want to go. And then I wanted to become, uh, like, uh, I wanted to go into psychosomatics because psychosomatics is the intersection between how our mind influences the body. Speaker 3 00:05:33 Right. So how we can have physical symptoms that are actually started by something that goes on in the mind that we're not aware of. And that has been quite a big branch in Germany and a tradition in Germany. So that is where I wanted to do my specialty. And so like this interest basically, and I tell them line works and how the mind and body interplay that I don't know for whatever reason has been present for me since like quite a, quite a young age. And then I, um, had the great fortune to stumble across, um, Buddhism, like when I finished high school. And it was really like, like, I've think I've always been like a seeker and a searcher and like very curious and a scientist and what was offered to me when I grew up on a spiritual path was just not what I was content with, because it basically told me what I had to believe, and it just didn't work for my mind. So when I came across the Buddhist teachings, really like the, um, teaching that Sophie over, uh, was that the Buddha said, you don't have to believe it. You just try it out yourself, it come and see for yourself. And it worked for me that worked for me and I'm still practicing that. I'm still practicing that. And I go like, Oh, okay. Yeah. So Buddha taught that I'm sitting here practicing this and yeah, that works. That was right. And, um, I'm still kind of evolving my own path in that way. Speaker 2 00:07:15 And then, um, I Speaker 3 00:07:17 Had this like quite typical thing or like typical, maybe for somebody who's quite ambitious. I ended up in actually staying for, I can't remember, like a month or six weeks in a Buddhist monastery when I was, had just finished high school. So my first summer after high school, when I was, um, basically waiting if I would be accepted into medical school. And that is when I really, um, took the refuges, became a Buddhist and I toyed with the idea of ordaining, but then again, like my, um, striver or my ambitious mind after I got accepted into medical school, um, yeah. Prevented me from just taking a year off, which like at whatever I was like 18 or 19 felt like such a inter turn of time. Speaker 2 00:08:08 Yeah. Right. And so right. Speaker 3 00:08:11 Went into medicine and went into medicine. And then like through this like long winding path. So I don't want to go into all the details, but I finished my residency. I became a gynecologist after all, after doing my dissertation in psychosomatic medicine, I decided I don't want to do that. Like psychosomatic medicine, full time came and gynecologist. And then we had our first child and I was on maternity leave. And my husband who always wanted to go to the U S and work here, because for whatever reason, he loved the U S I didn't in particular. Speaker 2 00:08:47 But I thought like, Hey, why not? Speaker 3 00:08:51 And so when our daughter was five months old, we moved here to LA with two suitcases and the very, very firm intention to come back after one year. And that is like, so my daughter, that five months old baby, she just turned 18 and we're still here. And so that's, that's kind of the, the story. And I teach Buddhism, or I teach mindfulness and really like teaching clinicians and, um, kind of, that's kind of the intersection, um, now full time. And I, if you would've told me that like 20 years ago that I would immigrate, I would not work in a hospital. What, in a clinic, like with hands on it loved the hands-on work. I would have told you, you crazy. And sometimes life paths unfold that way. So here we are. Yeah. Beautiful. Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. Speaker 0 00:09:56 Yeah. Such an inspiring, uh, story. And, um, speaking of that intersection, um, your first book, so you have a book coming out, which we're definitely going to talk about. And then I just want to touch upon your first book for a moment, a clinician's guide to teaching mindfulness, and maybe talk about your inspiration for, for writing that book and, um, Speaker 3 00:10:22 Yeah, yeah, yeah. Thank you. Yeah. So that book, it was kind of funny because so, um, I think, I think in 2011, I started working as a consultant for the VA. So the, um, veterans administration locally here in LA, and I was, um, kind of partner with, um, a dear friend who is a psychologist there, Dr. Greg surfer. And we were kind of tasked with transforming healthcare at the VA, just that small task. So we started doing that. And then we started training clinicians because those slowly, the word about secular mindfulness kind of seeped into mental health care at night, like the physicians came later. Right. So when you show, you're probably aware of that, that physicians are quiet or have been quite resistant to the whole idea of mindfulness, but social workers and psychologists, they embrace that kind of insight like, Oh, that makes so much sense. Speaker 3 00:11:30 And in combination with CBT, so cognitive behavioral therapy makes a lot of sense DBT. So they're like these therapy modules act that into have, as components have mindfulness. So we started training clinicians and, um, we heard the most common question that we heard from them was just like, where we read up on that, or have like, have you written that down? Do you have hand outs for that? And we said, no, we don't. No, we don't. And then at some point we said like, okay, okay, we'll write it down. And then we thought like, yeah, if we write it down, we will want to write it down and make it really available for the wider community. And really that's all that that books started and came about. Speaker 1 00:12:18 Yeah. That's wonderful because I think it's so needed and yeah, you're right. I do think historically there has been, um, resistance, you know, especially, um, in the, the area of, you know, pertaining to burnout, you know, in terms of mindfulness as one intervention, because of course, burnout, especially in medicine is so often the result of systemic issues, you know, and there's almost this implication that, you know, when we try to support clinicians with mindfulness skills, that they somehow aren't resourced, which of course isn't the case, you know, where we're always acknowledging that, um, the system always needs to change. And while we're waiting, here are some tools and skills that might, uh, help in the meanwhile. Speaker 3 00:13:07 Yeah. I mean, I can, I can just tell you like a really funny kind of story about that. So we are, so from this like, um, humble beginnings at the local, um, LA VA here, which is already quite a big VA. So like for the last few years, so we have been training clinicians in a year-long mindfulness facilitator training nationally. And we have like huge, huge demand, like crazy in that. And we just had a training last week and I just want to share like one comment, like, um, like a, I think she was a social worker made, which is so typical, we've heard many times is, so why do you think the clinicians are coming to the training? They want to teach mindfulness to the vets because the vets are asking for it. That's why they come. And then what we do you see where that's going right Speaker 1 00:14:04 At the side door? Speaker 3 00:14:06 Yes. Right. We call it like a Trojan horse. Right. So they come because they want to, they are they willing to do anything for their patients? Right. So they come and this is a year long training. And what do we do is we teach, they have to do an MBSR class. We don't teach them to train, uh, to teach MBSR, but that's the gold standard. That's how we started. And we like, for the first half year, we said, you have to make sure you have your own personal practice where you can teach. Right. That's a foundation and people go like, Oh, okay. Right. But since we're saying this, and this is mandatory for them teaching, they do it. And what do they find out? Oh, they noticed they are a better resource. They're nicer to their families. Like they're more present for their patients. Their burnout rates go down. Like their patient engagement goes up. It's just like, Oh, surprise. So like, we were just joking about it last week. It's just like, yeah, you wouldn't have come here if we had told you this was about you. Right. So anyways, so it's just so true. Funny, funny, funny story. Funny, not funny story. Thank you. Speaker 1 00:15:19 It's so interesting. How, if we think that we're going to do something that will benefit other somehow it's a little bit easier to step through the door, you know, then, um, than something that might be just for ourselves, or sometimes we may not realize that we ourselves need it, you know? Um, it could be both, but it's so beautiful that people at least are cognizant of the personal benefit and, and come to see that through the process of training, whatever it is that initially brought them to the training to begin with. Speaker 3 00:15:51 Yeah. Really, there is something that feels, so I don't know if that is just like in the medical field or in the healthcare, but I see that there all the time, this idea, if this, whatever I do feels nourishing to me, right. I can do it because the world is on fire and I need to help other people. And this is really part of my work with clinicians to kind of invite people to question that Speaker 0 00:16:22 That's beautiful. Speaker 1 00:16:25 And I love the way that you phrase that to question it, you know, it's because I think sometimes that's where we have to start, you know, is because that, that concept I think is maybe so, uh, what's the word socialized into us through the process of medical education and training that to start to unravel that, um, and to work with maybe even the, the guilt, you know, maybe even the shame that might come up as a result of taking care of our own mental and emotional wellbeing, you know, sometimes we can only start with a question, you know, so that's, it's a really beautiful way to start the conversation or enter into that, that dialogue. Speaker 0 00:17:10 Yeah. And, um, and now you're working on, or I should say you're finished, you're finished with your second book. And, um, what I hear it's on the way, just in a few weeks. Okay. Speaker 3 00:17:27 Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. So this, the second book is quite similar to the first one. It's just because people ask, so how long did it take you to write that? And I said like maybe six months and they go like, wow. I said, I know I've been like, this book has been working in me like for the last 15 years. Right. So I just voted down what ad's been teaching for a really long time. And then, so like I said, misperception of like, no, I did not come up thinking, I go write about chronic pain and mindfulness. Right. Um, yeah. So, and this is really, and again, it comes out of like this intersection for me, between actually being your physician in a way, being quite comfortable around people who have chronic pain and have emotional pain, because that is that's, that's where I come from. Speaker 3 00:18:17 Right. So that is, I've been trained in that I've had my own course, like levels. I actually have never had, um, like, uh, chronic pain. Thank goodness. Like not one, weren't very grateful, very grateful for every day that my body is not in pain. I'm hyper aware of that. Um, but I've had like, definitely my share of emotional pain. So, which is of course a lot of our mindfulness practice. Right. It's just, how can we would space create space for our own pain and for holding, helping other people be with their pain right. In community. Right. Because the hardest thing is just like, feeling like you're you're alone and you have to do this by yourself and nobody understands you. And so for me, really this, and because I not only serve a gynecologist, but my specialty was actually oncological gynecology. So I've been with like a lot of people who were first diagnosed with cancer pose, like chemo post-surgery pre remission post the mission. Speaker 3 00:19:35 I mean, I, all the way up to when, when, um, for those who, who died in cancer, we did a lot with ovarian cancer who has like very, very high death rates because it's detected soulmate and right. So how would, how would, how do you hold space, two people? Right. And so, so in a way I was very, it's like, Oh yeah, no, this feels so like home for me to do that. And so I started, um, teaching classes for people with chronic illness and chronic pain. And so this book is really kind of Nope. Um, and book. So my intention really was to keep it very short and clear. So coming back to what you said, Casey before, it's just like making things really relatable and clear and not complicated. Right. So that you're like, like having chronic pain is already such a burden and such a time suck. Speaker 3 00:20:40 Um, so that I didn't want to write like a 500 page, but like who, like, who will read that? Nobody, I mean, make people read less and less books anyways. Right. And somebody who might've heard the word mindfulness will not pick up a book that basically you need a PhD to read, which will take you two years to get through. And so this book, actually, my first idea was I just want to create a brochure for my colleagues in the pink clinics, right. To like have patients or like the, maybe the provider knows like, Oh, maybe mindfulness helps. And here's a brochure, like check this out. And then that kind of evolved into, into a book which now really has more like a gift book format, um, which I can tell you that was not an easy sell with a publisher to find a publisher who understood, because I was getting the feedback, that pain is not a gift book topic. Speaker 3 00:21:39 Right. And I get that, I get that. Right. Um, and I really wanted to create something that is coming back to, like you mentioned creativity and beauty earlier. Right. So something that is actually pretty and right. It has nice graphics in it. And it is really, um, so it's the, I know the word is not so common in English, but the haptic, um, experience. So like, what does it feel like when you touch it? That was really important to me. So high quality paper and who feels really nice in your hands. And it's nice when you look at it. And I thought that would be nice for patients who I don't know. Speaker 0 00:22:22 Yeah. Yeah. I think it all goes together Speaker 3 00:22:26 Accessible. Yeah, exactly. Speaker 0 00:22:29 And I like the term you use handbook, like that's always, uh, my favorite type of, uh, books, like Dharma books and everything more like just manuals instructional. Like how do I actually do it? I don't like the fluff, you know, that, that, that's what I liked about your first, your first book too. It's just like right. To the point, essentially, this is exactly how it's done. There's not a lot of fluff in there or, you know, um, sometimes you get the books with just one research study after the next or something. You're just like, okay, that's cool. But how do I actually do it? Like, what's, hands-on something that I could take away right here right now. Um, yeah. So I'm excited to, to look at that and I know it's such a huge need, and I think you mentioned the different types of pain. Speaker 0 00:23:17 That's one great thing about more, um, mindfulness meditation practices is that it's very versatile, um, that you can use it on, on different types of, um, um, issues obviously. And, um, I haven't seen your book, but just talking generally speaking and, um, yeah. Wonderful. I'm so I'm so happy to hear that coming out. I don't know if we, if we said the name, but it's outsmart your pain and if we said it out loud yet, but yeah. Outsmart your pain. What a great title too. It's almost like going back full circle to your initial interest in psychosomatics, you know, the intersection between the mind and the body. Speaker 3 00:24:03 Yeah. Yeah. And that is really something that, um, I mean, it just is so obvious. So for any meditator se go in, it's just the body and the mind are not separate. Right. They have this constant feedback loops and if we're not aware of it, like we're, I mean, we make life so much harder for ourselves and, and mindfulness and also really like compassion practice. So that's really important too. Especially if we are, have such high levels of suffering. I mean, and sometimes there's nothing really that can be done about it. I mean, if you have just like high levels of chronic physical pain, it's horrible. And so in a way, I don't want to give the impression that you can meditate that away. It's just, I know you can't right. And sometimes, really, um, and there are like the book actually it's a book has 20 chapters, short chapters, and every chapter has a guided meditation, which people can also download, so to listen to recorded those. Speaker 3 00:25:04 Right. But of course they are not a quick fix and at the same time. Right. So, but you can learn, I mean, like one of the core tenants that we keep repeating in mindfulness practices, it's not about what you're aware of and how you relate to it. Right. Because then you start to see how you add these extra layers of resistance and, and, um, pain on top of what's already painful. And, and with that, so like, and then to see, like, when are you, like when I'm using something more mindfulness space and when is it more appropriate to have really more self-compassion and said, I, well, this is so hard right now. Right. And just the softening towards what's here instead of the constant fighting that can really make a big difference. Speaker 0 00:26:00 Absolutely. Yeah. Um, Oh, I was just thinking, just to put you on the spot here for a moment, uh, I really like stories and I was wondering if you maybe have a story of one of your, um, one of your clients or meditation students that, um, was working with pain live with mindfulness. Do you have any maybe stories that stand out for you? Um, where that was? Speaker 3 00:26:29 Yeah. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. Um, so one like really like core understanding, that's been like super, super helpful for people is an essay. We'll share this story. You can really relate to it with like a lot of emotional pain as well is so, um, what I call like the, the pain story. So for people who have had chronic pain, which is basically definition as you've had, like, and payment, hasn't like gone away for more than six months. Um, and, uh, that means like you have a story that's attached to that pain, like how you got this pain and what your fears are about what's going in going to happen with that pain. Right. Will it go away? Will not go away, will get worse. What does that mean for your future? All of that. Right. And so, um, like the way that our mind works is right. Speaker 3 00:27:29 So we have this, um, concept in mindfulness that our experience happens kind of in three areas. So it's the physical area. So what comes in through the senses, then we have the emotional area, which of course has some overlap with what we feel like in the body and then the, the, the payment of the content. And then we have thoughts and just like, do you know, like we can break our experience down. And this three parts is super helpful for people which like, whether you have chronic pain. So when we're paying attention to the pain and this moment, like what, what people start to notice that they're layering, like the past team story and the future pain story on top of the pain of this moment. And I, I remember very clearly, and I've written about that before, uh, a, um, like a, uh, actually like a student, um, with IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, which is like chronic, chronic terrible disease, like, can be really debilitating of just like muscle spasms, follow spasms, like feeling really, um, high levels of pain, um, that are often quite unpredictable. Speaker 3 00:28:46 And so I had a student in a, in a, in an eight week class and then like one day she came in and you could just see in her face, she was not doing well. And, um, so we sat down and meditated and she relaxed a little bit, or if she was able to just let go of, um, just what, what was going on for her a little bit. And then I asked her, um, so, uh, what was going on? She said, Oh, she had a flare up the night before, and I was just horrible. And, and then she said, Oh God, the last time that happened, um, I actually had to go to the ER and then with a medication that had so many side effects and I lost like a couple of weeks of work. And I'm afraid if that happens again, I will lose my job. Speaker 3 00:29:34 I've already lost so much time. And then I felt so horrible. So what, you could see it, the story, right. Which is very real, that really happened. Right. And you could feel her fear. And so, and then we were sitting together and I, I kind of asked her, so, um, so about her, her physical discomfort in that moment. And I said, so right now, if somebody who had never had, um, what you have before and they had your symptoms, can you just feel into them and tell me what that feels like, what would they think they have? Um, there's a, so she closed her eyes and she said for a moment, and then she had this puzzled look on her face. And then she said, they would think they have an upset stomach. Speaker 3 00:30:25 Right. And in that moment, I could just see like, something clicked in her mind, like putting of course, something that she had heard before, but never really understood in this visceral way. Right. Then her suffering was what happened before and what she was afraid would happen again. Right. And what happened right now in that moment in her body was not pleasant by all means, but it was actually tolerable. Right. And so, and then that was, for me, such a, like that always stuck with me this idea, it's just like, Oh yeah, this is how the mind creates these extra layers of pain that once we can see through that, we can hold with a lot of compassion and say, of course, the mind tries to protect us and learn from the past and plan for the future. Right. There's no bad intention in there. And if we fall into these stories, right. It makes us so much more miserable. Speaker 0 00:31:32 Yeah. It's incredibly powerful. Like, um, what we heap on top of the moment to moment experience. I still remember my teacher VIN voltons and Shogi talking about it. She has got these, she's this big, these large arms, you know, and she talks about heaping on top, you know, just like these motions with their hands. It's like, globbing things on, you know, and it's still remember that first time I heard it. It's like, Oh my gosh. And they were just heaping on top of reality, this moment, just all this stuff. And, but I also like how you mentioned that it's real, you know, that, I mean, that's, that was a real thing. And it really happened. Yeah. And the story is real too. Like the, yeah. And, and that, uh, you know, as a possibility that that's there and the reality also in the very moment is like an upset stomach. So, you know, holding both of those, um, in a way in like in a wise way, like, yeah, the possibility is there, but it's not here. And also this sensation is real ed here and I'm present with that in, in its authenticity. It's like, this is true. Um, yeah, just, yeah, such, such a wise view to look at things in, in that way and kind of clearly right. Speaker 3 00:32:58 Yeah. And really important. So one really important message is because like sometimes, um, people who have suffered from chronic pain and they're kind of recommended to learn mindfulness or they, they get the impression that like, they are not believed that their pain is real. Right. Oh, you can meditate that away. And then no, like your pain is real. Right. So the pain that that student was experiencing, like that fear, that anticipation, that memories, that creates real pain that is not fake pain. And I think that is so important and we have to be so careful about that. So I mean, just the fact that it's like, it's not just in your mind, right. Because you could say, well, all pain is kind of in the mind, meaning it's in your nervous system. Right. Speaker 0 00:33:56 Thank you so much. Yeah. Yeah. That's such a powerful clarification. Yeah. Thank you so much because we see this a lot, like on social media and stuff like, like you could just melt it away in your mind or something it's like, come on Speaker 3 00:34:14 Only be a good meditator. Right. And then meditation becomes this next thing that you said, Speaker 0 00:34:20 Right, exactly. Speaker 3 00:34:22 It's just like, no, no, no, no, no. Speaker 1 00:34:26 Yeah. Disempowering message. You know, that people are somehow creating this negative experience for themselves, you know? And, um, and I really appreciate that clarification because I think especially, yeah, with some of the messages we get about mindfulness, um, like Casey said on social media or kind of, you know, but even sort of, I think this is where kind of some of that toxic positivity can come into that positively think your way out of some of these experiences. And, um, and yeah, like I said, that can feel very, uh, invalidating, um, invalidating to people who are actually living with, with both emotional and physical pain. Speaker 3 00:35:10 Yeah. Which of course is so closely interwoven as we now. Right. So, um, that we know that people had a lot of like adverse events slash trauma as children have a much higher likelihood to experience chronic pain as adults. Right. And so, because again, the body and the mind are not separate and which again is like wide for me, the whole idea of compassion and self-compassion is so important. Um, and it's, it's such a tricky topic because often people feel that if they're kind to themselves or compassionate, it's like, it's the sign of giving up and accepting the pain. And there's this huge fear of just like, if I say, well, this is here, right. Then I'm kind of waving the white flag. Speaker 0 00:36:04 Oh, interesting. Yeah. I can see that. Yeah. It's always interesting when we bring up compassion, these different little pitfalls say, okay, yeah. Be compassionate. But it doesn't mean if you're compassionate to somebody who is, um, doing wrong, you know, it's not giving them a free pass for example, but, um, yeah. In the sense of chronic pain, that's an interesting one. Yeah. That you're not giving up. Um, yeah. I could just imagine how beneficial that is, uh, working with chronic pain to bringing in that compassion and that there's so much self-judgment that I've seen come in, um, almost like it's your fault. It's about, it's like, it's not your fault to chronic pain. Um, or you're less than, um, you know, a friend of mine, Speaker 3 00:36:54 You blame yourself that you can fix it. Right. So that's, that's another really big one. Like if I would only try hard enough or if I would only look for the right solution or the right practitioner or the right method or the right food or the right exercise, the right. I mean, the list is endless. Right. And to just, and, and to remember that, um, like compassion as a response to pain period, and it doesn't matter whose pain it is. And so what we're doing when we're learning self-compassion in general is, um, we, I mean, it has really like for me, and I've seen this in so many people, really this physiological response of things coming down, because in a way we've been fighting with ourselves before, like we're fighting against parts of ourself. And if we said, I, God, this is so hard, so hard right. To this, or just this moment is so hard. Wow. And then I, instead of saying like, it shouldn't be that way. I shouldn't feel that way. What did I do wrong? Like, why can't I fix this? So all of that brings so much like activation and fight into our nervous system and compassion, beauty concept, um, we're human beings, right. We have bodies that hurt. We have, we love people who hurt us or who get hurt themselves. And then we heard, I mean, it's just like, that's just woven into our being. Speaker 0 00:38:36 Yeah. I think you have to put that on a shirt that compassion is a response to pain doesn't matter whose love that. Yeah. Just getting right to the heart of the matter. Right. Just being with it, just, just that. Um, so as we wrap up, we want to give you an opportunity just to let people know where to find you and how to connect with you and maybe, um, also where they could find the book when it comes out in a few weeks. Speaker 3 00:39:08 Oh, thank you. Thank you. Yeah. Um, so easiest way to kind of connect with me and kind of be in the loop is to go to my website, which is my name. So www Christiana, one word and sign up for my list. Um, very, um, rarely send out messages though. Usually just to give people an update of what I'm teaching. So don't worry. I will not inundate Speaker 1 00:39:41 Anybody with email. It's just like, Speaker 3 00:39:43 No, I don't like getting emails myself. So I'm just like very careful about that. Um, and so, and I have my classes up there and, uh, also retreats, I teach quite a bit of like silent meditation retreats where people are into that. Um, and I teach through mint. Casey mentioned that like we both teach for inside LA. Um, so, um, yeah, you can look on insight Las website for my teachings as well. And then the book, the easiest way is just so it's for pre-order, it's open, it's on Amazon. And, um, right now it's just been told today that a pump date has been pushed back a couple of weeks and it will be out, um, May 25th or 26 right now. Wonderful. Speaker 0 00:40:32 And I know you're on Instagram. Just your name, right? Speaker 3 00:40:37 John Wolf mindfulness actually. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Instagram. I like Instagram. So that's a good word. And doing social media, like it, time to be there. Yeah, yeah, Speaker 0 00:40:50 Yeah. Wonderful. So yeah, we usually end with a short little meditation. We'd be honored if you want to lead us in a little meditation to end our time together and just, um, really, really appreciate the wisdom. Wonderful having you on. Speaker 1 00:41:08 We really appreciate all you shared. And I personally am really looking forward to having your book as a resource to offer my patients and friends and family. I think we all know somebody who suffers. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:41:22 Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. Beautiful. So like what, like how long? Like Speaker 0 00:41:29 10 minutes. Yes. Speaker 3 00:41:31 Right? Yeah. That sounds good. I'm thinking. So what I feel like once in the field is, um, compassion practice. So yeah. So I'm inviting us all to just lean back into your seats for this short pause or invitation to rest closing the eyes, if that feels comfortable and just starting to connect with the present moment through the body right now, and maybe starting with just feeling the feet on the ground. If you're sitting on a chair and where the body is touching the chair legs, you seat your back and just seeing if you can allow the ground and the chair to just hold the weight of the body right now, and maybe taking a few longer deeper breath, The breath is a good anchor for you and letting yourself feel it doesn't matter if the mind gets busy and ends up somewhere else. And when you notice you can just gently bring it back. Um, no, this thing, if there's anything in your experience right now that is painful, it could be physical pain or discomfort. Maybe your heart is aching. Be, you've been feeling like these last few weeks and months, what happens here in society. Speaker 4 00:44:08 Okay. Speaker 3 00:44:18 Seeing if it's okay to just bring this into awareness and allowing it to be here, maybe using the breath as a anchor or a handrail that, yeah, this is here. Yeah. This hurts. This is painful. And if you find it supportive, if it's physical pain, but also emotional pain, it's physical thing. See if you want to place a hand on that area that is tired or painful, if it's more emotional pain, let me try placing a hand on the chest and Valley or wherever this shows up for you right now. And really, uh, um, seeing if you can allow this to be here because it already is. And of course there might be a part that things that should go away. I don't want this. I don't want to feel this and we can invite that part or that aspect, that voice also into this circle, that idea you're welcome to, of course you want this to be gone. And so, in a way it's, as if we were sitting down in a circle with the pain, the discomfort, and also the resistance to the pain. Yeah, of course, of course. And again, just using the breath, Speaker 3 00:46:22 Using your kind or loving presence there, you hear my dog in the background and just holding space, the no agenda, just being here, allowing things to be as they are. And that actually is a compassion practice, creating this invitation for things to be exactly as they are right now. And for the sake of time, I'll be ending this and just need to know that this is always available. What was available for you just to pause, create space, allow, and I'll end this with the thing of the bell, Really taking another deep breath or doing whatever you know you need to do to, and a short practice. Speaker 2 00:47:45 Thank you. Uh, thank you again so much. That was so beautiful. Let's keep going. I was wrong with the five minutes. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:48:04 Thank you so much again for joining us. We're so grateful to have had you have had this time with you and we appreciate all the wisdom that you shared with us today, and hopefully we can continue the conversation for sure. Speaker 3 00:48:20 I'd love, I'd love that so much to talk about. Yeah. Thank you both so much and think, thank you for having me. Absolutely.

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