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In today’s episode, Dr. Alex talks about a state that she and Megan call the spiral of suffering. She also talks about the many ways someone could end up in the spiral of suffering in many categories in life.

Listen to this podcast episode to know how important understanding this concept is in our lives, especially our health.

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Dr. Alex Golden

Hello, Hello, Dr. Alex here with you. Welcome. I’m so glad that you’re here on the podcast. And I’m so happy to be having this conversation with you today we’re going to talk about something incredibly important today. And this was a phenomenon, a state that Megan and I called the spiral of suffering. And specifically, today, we’re going to start by talking about the health spiral of suffering. So as the name implies, you can end up in the spiral of suffering in many categories of Life. And here’s the deal is that once we end up in the spiral of suffering in one area, it often then bleeds into and impacts other areas. So what usually ends up happening is that there are many, many ways to end up in the spiral of suffering, and you’re in on that will be and often one important area of life. And for many of you who are listening, this is health. And it was kind of like, well, life was going okay, or it was going gray, or maybe it wasn’t even going that great. And then something happens and all of a sudden, the health can’t be denied anymore, it’s a problem, it’s a big problem. And now here we are. And then the things that we do, actually, the ways that we think feel, and therefore behave, then continue to create, what then becomes a spiral, right? The concept of a spiral is that one event and one action leads to another, which comes to another one, which comes full circle ish back to where you started making that worse, and, and, you know, up or down the spiral, you go. And in this one, it is obviously distinctly downright, uh, this is the suffering capacity, this is the, the emotional component of pain is suffering. And so, because there are so many ways to end up here, and it is then a way of being a way of living and a way of thinking and feeling that then become somebody’s state. Now, this is not who somebody is at their core level. But you can embody the identity of living in the spiral of suffering. And we can get there in several important ways. And in this episode, I’m going to break all of that down for you. And we’re going to even talk about right how do you know, how do you know that it’s you? How do you know it’s your client, if you see clients that are having this kind of thinking, and experience and all of that. So whether you are dealing with it yourself, or you teach and coach in any capacity, then more than likely you are working with people who are living this. And maybe even when we’re coaches and things like that, sometimes we are still in it. And sometimes we are still in it in certain areas of life. And we’re going to break all of that down today. Before I dig further into it, I wanted to do a little shout out because this episode is actually supported by our friends at full script. Now full script, if you haven’t heard us talk about this before, is an online formulary that allows practitioners to compile and curate supplements at a discounted rate. This is where we along with all of our friends and loved ones get all of our high quality and effective supplements and the supplement options. And this is also happening with keeping budgeting in mind which is so key when we are making practical decisions for ourselves. So by visiting our collection, you can see what we use and have benefited from throughout our health and transformation journeys. And be able to see different categories where we have put those collections in while the physical body is far from the end all be all of healing and transformation and living a life that you love. Of course we talk about that a lot here. We can’t deny that having a toolkit full of physical body resources is a key to feeling safe and supported in the body. Right? That all works together. And that is why we love avenues like this where full script really allows people to curate collections and do it in a budget friendly manner and That is a huge, huge deal. And thank goodness that there are so many options for each of us. So if you go check out our collections, you can do that by going to zesty And you will get an automatic 15% off anything that you see they’re in the formulary. Once you check that out, feel free to pop in to our inbox with questions if you have anything that comes up along the way. But generally speaking, we have grouped all of that stuff that we love to try to make it as easy and as straightforward as possible. So that’s Okay, so let’s get back to the back to the spiral of suffering, and specifically the hell spiral of suffering. So how does one, how does one even know that they are in it, as in let’s let’s zoom in on health, though, we’ll be having lots more conversations about this in the future, because there’s lots to discuss about this pile of suffering, and how to end up there and how to maintain being there and all of that. But the way that you will often know that you or a coaching client, or someone that you’re working with is having this is that they will say I do all of this stuff. And I’m so miserable, and I still don’t get the results. Okay, so let’s break that down. When someone says I do all the things that really is saying, I am viewing this thing that’s happening in my life, this experience that I’m having as working hard. This is something that feels like a challenge and is difficult and requires energy expenditure. And that cost them something right in saying I do all this stuff. It implies a lot about what they think. Because it’s not I do some of this stuff. Right? That is Yeah, I do good stuff. When someone says all usually what they’re talking about is that they are doing all the things that they know what how to do, or what to do. That is never actually true. Megan and I have been at this for a really long time and the grand scheme of things. And we still haven’t tried everything right. So it’s actually not true at all. But that’s not what they’re saying. They’re saying, I’m not talking about everything available. I’m saying everything that I know, which could be very limited, to be honest, I’m doing it all right. And that interpretation of I’m doing all that I can then, you know, just knowing humans, what does that lead to? If you’re doing all you can and not getting results, then of course, frustration is a very appropriate response to that, right? So do it all the stuff, plus minus on whether that’s true, usually no 99.9 No. And I’m so miserable, so then that’s tacking on they’re doing something that they perceive as good, or you perceive as good. And the experience is miserable. So I’m doing the FODMAP diet, I’m doing the elimination diet, I’m going low carb, I am taking 37 supplements, I am forcing myself to not go out to eat and go to bed early, and therefore I have no connection in my life, right? I’m doing all these things that cost me something. And I have feelings about that is the subtext. And the takeaway from that combination, and the flurry of feeling someone would have, which is of course unique to each situation is then they’re saying I’m so miserable, right? I’m unhappy. I don’t like this, my life is not my own, I don’t feel connected, I feel different from everybody, I feel lonely, when in my sickness and everybody else’s healthy, right? There’s subjects underneath there too. I do all the things and I’m miserable. So I’m doing a lot and I hate it is and and I still don’t get the results. And so that’s the conclusion of those things. And there’s the things to do and the cost of it. The current experience which is miserable, and the continuation of something unwanted. While something that is wanted continues to move away from them or from you. Of course then from these things is where all of the negative emotions, the frustrations, the guilt and shame the giving up the Nothing ever works for me the Why would I even invest in this because it’s just another thing that’s going to fail. All of that then is a smooth extension of everything that we just said in that sentence. Right? Because once you state that the only way that you could be congruent and feel after that It is bad. Because why would you do a bunch of work, not like the process and not like where it’s going, that is never going to yield, you’re not going to wake up one day being like, I feel great. I’m so high vibe, look at my positive emotions, right? That is the wrong narrative to have those emotions be to attach to it. And in fact, most people would say like, it’s not very practical to expect yourself to live this narrative and believe it and then experience a completely different emotional state as a result of it. Really the appropriate response to this statement is a negative interpretation and therefore, negative feeling emotions in it right. Now, could could someone get to this congruent state? Yes, but I would argue that most people aren’t out there. Most people are actually congruent. They think that thing and they feel correspondingly, right. And so on any given day, if you’re like, gosh, I’m just, I’m down, I’m sad. It’s important to notice that is the emotions do match up. And that is actually less gas lady and crazy making to really think, well, I’m actually congruent with myself, even if it’s not where I want to be, often feels better than I am gaslighting, I’m lying to myself, and I’m not even congruent within myself, right? I’m not happy, and I’m pretending that I am. So that is a really that’s kind of statement. If you are a coach, that is something I would kind of commit to being a bit of a red flag kind of that when people say stuff like nothing ever works for me, or I always mess it up in the those level like statements, we always start to get our ears on. And even if you’re not a practitioner, you’re listening, these are the mental Gremlins that you will hear in yourself. And it’s important to flag them. Because once we begin to identify it and not sweep it under the rug, then at that point we can get out of this spiral of suffering. So you can kind of see how this spiral is, is represented within that statement. It’s a lot of commotion, and a lot of negative experiences to process heal from and do mindset work around. But it’s actually just digging the hole further, because every time you don’t get the results, then then you’re trying to do more stuff. And then you feel more resentful that you do this stuff and are hating it and are miserable. And then you still feel bad and don’t get the results. So that is exactly how it becomes a spiral. And from that, we have to understand what we’re dealing with in that way. And really what has happened here, so that we can backtrack out of it. So often what has happened to get us here is that many of us have had negative experiences with our body that prime that pump, right, you didn’t just get to having those thoughts or your client didn’t have get to having those thoughts just out of the blue, they probably had things happen to them that reinforced they tried stuff, they didn’t like it, and they didn’t get the results, right. And you do that long enough, your brain starts noticing a pattern, and then it makes interpretations that become beliefs. So generally speaking, what has happened along the way, and this can be in healthcare, and it is often set up much earlier in life with parents and authority figures schools for it’s all sorts of stuff is that we lose authority and self trust, right? If your experience of the world is then invalidated by somebody else, or you, then there, you’re always having to be the vert, the part of you that has the experience, and also be the party that judges and you know, begins to look ghastly they experience. Now you are inherently split. And that’s why when we talk about fragmentation, that is how fragmentation happens. And then those two parts of you can become at odds with each other one says give up and the other says no, do the thing. Invest in that program. Maybe this will work. And now you’re going around in circles. I don’t know what to do. And so the oftentimes what has happened is that because other people have invalidated our experience, then we also begin to take that on and often we will invalidate our experience so it is very, very common and health for people to have the experience that, oh, my labs are normal, they fine. I shouldn’t be feeling this way. And because of that, they really start to get into the place where it’s like, maybe it’s me, maybe I’m just crazy man, maybe I’m the weird one, maybe there’s just something inherently broken about me. And then those two things begin to play off each other. Because often then we allow ourselves to be in situations where people mistreat us. And then because we have given over our authority, and last the self trust that says, hey, no, what you just said, isn’t actually me. That’s not right, that doesn’t feel good, that doesn’t align with it, and I’m going to disagree with you on that one, then we really start to wonder more and more, there’s probably something wrong with us. And therefore, you know, what does that mean? And we start placing ourselves in compromising positions, and or not taking ourselves out of situations and scenarios, people and environments that are damaging to us. And that’s the spiral of suffering, right, the in you can hear that someone that started with a health smile is suffering is then potentially living in relationship dynamics that are similar to this. And that’s why I said one avenue into this route of suffering will often impact multiple parts of life. And, man, did I get into that one, right? The the lack of authority that I felt to really say, I’m standing in my power, and I’m going to decide what works for me, it doesn’t matter if that person says red meats, bad for endo or FODMAP. You can’t heal SIBO with FODMAPs, what is my actual experience? Do I feel better with this? What is going on here? What are the other viewpoints here? Who do I respect as an expert? And what is their viewpoint that I know I’m more aligned with? And what do they have to say? And how do I integrate that into the greater picture of what I know works and doesn’t work for me? Right? This is a very, very different way of thinking than, Oh, gosh, here’s a laundry list of different things that people have said, they are all different. There’s a bunch of discrepancies. And somehow I have to feel like I’m going to do them, but not do them. Because they contradict each other, right? We get into these really goofy situations where there’s kind of a no win, right? Because if one says, Eat low carb for hormones, and someone else says going low carb will damage your hormones, there is no way you can do both. At some point, you’ll feel guilty about one or the other, and you can bounce between them for years or lifetime, and still not really come to the determination, right? It’s only when we stop and get out of this spiral, that we then get the allowance to even say, Hey, what is happening here. And so often, it’s the losing of the authority on that autonomy. And it becomes superseded by meeting expectations, right? If I could prove to the practitioner or to the doctor, or even to my coaching client, then I am worthy. And then I am putting enough work, then I can prove that, yes, I deserve to heal, I deserve to feel good. But that is not the actual state of healing. There’s no one else you have to prove anything to. And in fact, we’re all so different that no one person can predict everything that your is going to work for you, no matter how great of a provider they are. Or if you are a provider, there’s no way you can do that for someone, right? If you can’t do it for yourself, you can’t predict all of it. So we have to try it on. And we actually have to say, I did the low carb thing that didn’t work, I’m actually just gonna go do the eating the carb thing. And go see how that works. Because I have my own authority to decide that. And I have already vetted that experience. It didn’t go well to do low carb at that point. Let me get another data point by doing something differently. How do I break out of this so that I can come to a new and greater perspective of the bigger picture. We get very tunnel visioned when we are in this viral suffering because usually then we just double down on more of what we’re doing. Or we just say if I could do it more perfect, then it will work out for me but that’s not how that works. The is actually the expansion of resources. It’s lifting our head up elevating our perspective, looking at things from a more holistic picture and saying Ah, here is a resource avenue that I have not tried before, this is a new way of doing things. And I’m going to be courageous enough to actually just try it on and see what happens and be responsible for taking on the consequences, right. And those consequences could be amazing. And you get to take responsibility for those where they could be not so amazing. And we get to take responsibility for that to the difference though, in that thing, right? How do we where are we actually getting to? Is this is why people want empowerment is actually much harder to do than most people think. So when they get there, they’re like, oh, shoot, I have to take responsibility for all this. Dang, I didn’t want that I it’s so much easier for someone who’s just telling me I’m not I can blame them when it doesn’t work out. But empowerment is when when you can get to the place where that sentence of I do all this stuff, and I’m so miserable, and still don’t get results. From a place of empowerment while you’re making your own calls. That sentence doesn’t even make sense anymore. You can’t even get to that sentence, because what all stuff that you’re miserable and resentful about, are you still doing that? And why? Right? And then you’re still not getting results? Well, then why would you be doing that? That line of thinking, you see you have to elevate to a greater perspective, to even see that that is problematic. And that is where really standing in the experience of. And a lot of times this means having people role model it for you. But what does it look like to through intentional and small steps, begin to make decisions for yourself, or helping your client make decisions for yourself, right? And this looks like, Hey, if you’re a coach, right? If I’m coaching somebody, I’m always saying, What is a safe environment for someone to practice thinking like this? Right? If I know that there are three T’s, that would be great for somebody that could fit their picture. Right? And I, I could make the call. Or I could say, hey, these three are both fitting for you now from what you feel, from what you know, from what the tastes that you like the things that you have read, which one would you like to start with? Right? What those are the kinds of things that as coaches and as leaders, we are, we are functioning as thought leaders for people, we are helping them become more empowered, because you’re getting empowerment, and then making people dependent on you as, as a coach is not it. That’s not empowerment, right? empowered people, empower others. And therefore, that’s what happens when we empower ourselves. When we teach when we coach when we lead when we parent, when we partner, we come from a place of, I’m going to help you be the greatest that you can be the greatest perspective, the greatest of illusion, the greatest growth that you can have. And of course, that always includes empowerment, authority, self trust, and the capacity to decide who someone wants to be, and how they’re going to get there. And this becomes so crucial, and so motivating. Because as we go through it ourselves, and we begin to step through these little things, how do I want to drive to work? Do I really want to wear those clothes? Why do I keep the silverware in this drawer? Do I like this over here? We’re not talking about should you write the book? Should you get divorced, should you marry the guy? We’re talking about small bite size ways of saying this situation is safe for me to practice standing my own authority, because it makes sense to be logical about this in some capacity to say, hey, if if this is an area where I can’t really make a wrong choice, then that is comforting to me and allows me to practice in a way that my brain my central nervous system, feel safe to do that I have the reassurance that my conscious mind has already reached the conclusion. Hey, this was all cool. I’m just picking the best one for right now. I’m just picking the one I like the most. That is the kind of stuff that is the most empowering to actually didn’t mean to reuse that word is, I suppose the most fun and the most safe and the most cultivating of evidence for the central nervous system that you are safe and supported to step wise through decision making capacity like that. And then with that evidence, this is where there plenty of options and resources for continue. You’re going to build those neural pathways. And really hard wire, that identity of being the inner authority for yourself for really trusting yourself for knowing that you are making the best decisions that you can at the time given what you know, and with the information that you have. This is really what it looks like. Right? So I am so excited to hear about how this goes, I would love to hear from you. Same thing, shoot us a shoot us an email and this support is SD Now if this all sounds very intriguing, you’re like, I I want more of this right? What does this actually look like to crawl out of the whole spiral of suffering, and help lead other people on doing so we are doing connection calls. So you’ve probably noticed if you’ve been around for a while that Megan and I will as we begin to focus on new areas and teach new things. We will generally open up spots to connect with you all that are actively working on this and investing in yourselves starting businesses starting podcast right those of you who are taking action on all this stuff, we want to talk to you because we’re always tailoring our stuff to fit what you all are dealing with. So we have a lot that is in the works. And we would love to connect with you. So if you are jiving with this level of conversation and there’s going to be more coming then please shoot us an email and just put podcast either in the subject or in the body of the email just a you know I came from the podcast and interested in a connection call and then our team will get you set you’ll you’ll be chatting with me so come chat with me. And I basically we’re just going to be connecting I want to ask questions and then we always do support my What are you stuck with what’s going on next steps what you know what’s up. It’s all fairly open ended but we love connecting with you also so excited to do that. Alrighty, that’s it for this episode. Go check out full scripts and then to hop on the phone with me just shoot an email zesty or support@zestyginger rather. And just put podcast somewhere in it so we know where you’re coming from and where to set you up with. I am sending you lots of love. I’ll talk to you soon.