Discover Joy Through Mindfulness in Community

Join us on Elements of Community as Lucas Root engages in a transformative conversation with mindfulness coach Brenda Winkle. Dive into techniques for releasing negativity, silencing your inner critic, and embracing your authentic self, all while fostering connections within your community.

Discover how mindfulness can be the key to unlocking happiness and compassion in this enlightening dialogue. Explore the profound impact of self-acceptance and meaningful connections. Learn actionable strategies to build a vibrant community and infuse your life with boundless joy.


EoC - Brenda Winkle

[00:00:00] Lucas Root: Brenda, I am so excited to have you on the show. We've been playing email tag for a little while after being introduced by a mutual friend warm us up and get us ready for this. Welcome to the show. Would you like to tell our audience a little bit about who you are and your connection to community?

[00:00:17] Brenda Winkle: Yes, Lucas. Thank you so much for having me. I am so excited for this conversation and I'm just grateful to be here. And so I'll just introduce myself in a very short way. I'm Brenda Winkle. And I am a healer, educator, speaker, and guide leading people to their yes filled lives. And I do this by helping people determine and discern what's theirs and what's not, helping people set better boundaries, and helping people heal their nervous systems so that they can increase their capacity.

[00:00:54] To live a full bodied, yes, filled life. And I am a [00:01:00] trauma informed breathwork facilitator. I have a master's degree in educational leadership. I'm a Reiki master. I'm working on a somatic coaching certification, and I just love connecting the healing that happens mind, body, spirit, and empowering other people to live their best lives.

[00:01:21] Lucas Root: I love it. What does it mean to live your best life?

[00:01:25] Brenda Winkle: I feel like that answer changes a little bit for everyone, but I will say that there are some commonalities for people that are really, truly living a YES filled life and it is unapologetically meeting their own needs and asking for what they need and prioritizing joy.

[00:01:48] Lucas Root: Prioritizing joy.

[00:01:48] Brenda Winkle: Yes. And when people do that, their relationships grow richer, they deepen because there's something really safe when you're in relationship with somebody and [00:02:00] you know they've got them.

[00:02:02] So when I show up to my relationships and I show up knowing I've got me. Then you don't have to take care of me, you can support me, you can guide me and all those kinds of things that happen inside relationship. But when you know that you've got you and I've got me, then we can really create a beautiful dance where we're each able to flourish in our own unique way.

[00:02:29] Lucas Root: I love that. I spent a lot of time thinking about relationship, obviously and that perspective of I've got me, and I'm not taking that away from the relationship, rather what I'm bringing to the relationship is that confidence. That you can have faith in me to have me and I can have faith in me to have me and that we can then build a relationship together [00:03:00] instead of having to worry about the other.

[00:03:03] It's amazing.

[00:03:04] Brenda Winkle: Yeah, it's freeing.

[00:03:08] Lucas Root: Yeah. My guess is that you went through a journey to get there and arrived at a yes filled life. You want to tell a little story about that?

[00:03:22] Brenda Winkle: Sure. So I've always been sensitive, intuitive, wide open. When I was a child, I was so in tune with what was happening around me, energetically, in conversations, with people around me that it really scared the adults that I was around. Not necessarily my parents, but my other adults, people that I would meet in the community.

[00:03:45] And I learned early on that my intuition was scary for people because they would look at me with one eyebrow raised and say things like how did you know that? And I didn't

[00:03:57] Lucas Root: Can you do one eyebrow raised?

[00:03:59] Brenda Winkle: Can [00:04:00] I do that? I think so.

[00:04:01] Lucas Root: There it is. Yeah.

[00:04:03] Brenda Winkle: Think I can on both sides. Yeah, exactly there listeners, can you do that? It's to

[00:04:11] try

[00:04:13] Lucas Root: Right

[00:04:15] Brenda Winkle: Yes, I love that

[00:04:17] Lucas Root: Okay, so adults were looking at you with one eyebrow raised like this.

[00:04:20] Brenda Winkle: Yeah. Yes. Like that. And so without having someone who I could model after, I internalize that to mean it was a bad thing. And so what I did is I took all my abilities underground and I stopped articulating them and started anticipating needs and desires. And then I would do anything I could to make sure that the people around me all felt good. Their nervous system are regulated.

[00:04:50] And I stopped talking about how I knew they were dysregulated, and I just started to do things to regulate other people's nervous systems. In other words, I became a [00:05:00] people pleaser.

[00:05:01] Lucas Root: Yeah.

[00:05:02] Brenda Winkle: And so I went through most of my childhood, my teenage years, early adulthood, as an award winning people pleaser, and I could people please anybody and I took great pride in it.

[00:05:14] Honestly, it felt good.

[00:05:17] Lucas Root: Jumping in again I'm playing with an idea, and I may actually do a solo episode on this, about people pleasing as and this idea isn't specifically the thing that I'm playing with, but people pleasing as a trauma response.

[00:05:32] Specific the thing I'm playing with is that nice guys are not actually nice guys now I don't want to go down that rabbit hole here, but trauma responses, there are actually four specific stress responses.

[00:05:44] Most people think it's fight or flight, but it's actually fight, flight, freeze, fawn.

[00:05:49] Brenda Winkle: Yes.

[00:05:50] Lucas Root: We've talked about this on the show before, and what you're talking about is that you moved into a stress response of fawn as your base state.[00:06:00]

[00:06:00] Brenda Winkle: Exactly. That's exactly right. So fawning was my base layer, that was my home base and so that became the norm.

[00:06:08] Lucas Root: May I ask, and you can tell me to F off if you need to. May I ask what kicked off fawning as the base state? Cause it probably wasn't just people raising their eyebrows. It must've been something more.

[00:06:19] Brenda Winkle: I think people raising their eyebrows was the first awareness that I had that I might be different than other people. So there was a feeling of other ness.

[00:06:30] Lucas Root: You mean you have curly hair.

[00:06:31] Brenda Winkle: Exactly. Yeah. And then there was childhood. Let me just say, I'm going to offer a trigger warning. If you feel like your nervous system is activated, I'm going to ask you to turn the volume off for about 15 seconds.

[00:06:47] Lucas Root: Yeah.

[00:06:48] Brenda Winkle: Okay. I was a victim of childhood sexual abuse and that escalated all of the people pleasing behaviors because I didn't [00:07:00] feel safe anywhere. And when we don't feel safe, we're always scanning the room for the person who feels the least safe to us to assess the danger and the threat level. And then we want to come back to find a way to mitigate that stress level, that danger.

[00:07:21] And so that's where people pleasing really comes in and so absolutely people pleasing is a trauma response. It can also be a response to being highly sensitive because if you're highly sensitive, it's like you have an exposed nerve and If you're highly sensitive and you're wide open and you have no discernment, no filter, anything on, and you're literally feeling in your own system, all of the emotions around you, it can be incapacitating.

[00:07:50] It can be like an overload for your system. And so people pleasing also comes from people who are highly sensitive as a way to help their own [00:08:00] nervous systems. So it can be a trauma response.

[00:08:02] But

[00:08:03] Lucas Root: It's still a stress response, and in that case, not related necessarily to trauma.

[00:08:08] Brenda Winkle: Exactly.

[00:08:08] Lucas Root: So if people study things that cause stress coffee is a stressor. And part of the reason why it helps us focus is because it stresses us enough to close down the background chatter in our brains. The same is actually true for music.

[00:08:22] If you play music, music is actually a mild stressor. It closes down the background chatter in our minds. So it turns out noise is a stressor and what you're talking about is emotional noise as a stressor. So you can actually step into this stress response without having been trauma triggered because there's so much emotional noise.

[00:08:45] Brenda Winkle: Yes, exactly.

[00:08:46] They talk about noise pollution and the same thing can be true for emotions. If we don't understand how to come into our own central channel and stop taking on things from other people, it can be like [00:09:00] a version of emotional noise pollution.

[00:09:03] Lucas Root: Yeah. It's like wearing blinders in a way that's healthy.

[00:09:08] Brenda Winkle: Yes, exactly. Exactly.

[00:09:13] Lucas Root: Limit the emotional noise. That's not to say I want to never hear all of the emotional noise. Sometimes that's exactly what I need. I drink coffee. I listen to music. Sometimes I want that background noise. Sometimes I don't.

[00:09:27] Brenda Winkle: Exactly. And there's also some ways that we can be aware of the emotional background noise without taking it on in our systems. And that's a big part of what I teach people how to do so that they don't feel like they have to create a barrier. Although that works too, and I always say in case of emergency, zip it all up, if you really feel like getting inundated with emotions from other people, that's a great solution is to literally zip it up, but it does create a barrier.

[00:09:57] And so in our most, intimate relationships, [00:10:00] if we're always zipping up, then we can start to miss out on important things that are happening within that relationship.

[00:10:14] Lucas Root: Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. I really appreciate you being open and vulnerable with it.

[00:10:20] Brenda Winkle: You're welcome.

[00:10:22] Lucas Root: So you had this trauma.

[00:10:25] Brenda Winkle: Yeah.

[00:10:25] Lucas Root: It moved you into a base state stress response.

[00:10:29] Brenda Winkle: Exactly. And I carried that through for decades and that informed my friendship choices. It informed my first marriage. It informed the people that I chose to be in my life because I was seeking a different ending to that trauma, for one thing. And I was so accustomed to people pleasing that I eventually lost sight of what I liked, what I wanted, what I valued, what I thought was important, and I was [00:11:00] living outside of my own body, both literally and metaphorically where I was living a life for other people.

[00:11:06] And so that all changed in 2007 when I walked away from an unhealthy marriage with two suitcases, my five year old daughter, and 400 and just rebuilt my life.

[00:11:20] Lucas Root: Wow. I have tremendous respect for the courage that must have taken.

[00:11:26] Brenda Winkle: Thank you. It was really scary. It was scarier making the decision.

[00:11:33] Sometimes when we are leading up to a big decision like that. Before we make the decision, we're weighing everything pro and con. What should I do? What should I not do? That part felt really scary. As soon as I had made the decision and we moved into a domestic violence shelter, I was sad because that's a normal response to leaving a relationship. I was sad, but I was not scared anymore.

[00:11:58] And it was just so [00:12:00] interesting. And I look back now and I'm in awe. I don't know how I knew to just do one next step at a time, but that's all I did. I did one step at a time and we left everything, including a car behind, and everything and more came back.

[00:12:20] A friend gave me a car to use until things leveled out. And eventually my parents moved to, it was amazing. It was just, it was breathtaking to be so supported in community. And it was because I was part of a community of Mary Kay sales directors and consultants at the time that, that happened and they eventually came back and furnished a house for my daughter and I, from top to bottom furniture, decorations, lawnmower, washer and dryer, toys for her clothes for both of us, it was mind blowing and wonderful.

[00:12:58] Lucas Root: Wow. All of that [00:13:00] only because one, you had the courage to take the step, one step at a time, but two, you asked. You had a community that you could ask, but you did ask.

[00:13:11] Brenda Winkle: Yes. And, we were talking about this on my podcast yesterday, which is there's a vulnerability that happens when we're in community where, when we show up with our whole selves. And sometimes that whole self needs support and needs help. And being willing to say, I need help, is very, it can be very humbling.

[00:13:35] It can also be triggering in a way, if you have lived a life where your needs are not met. Asking and seeing and feeling your needs being met is one of the most healing experiences we can have.

[00:13:48] Lucas Root: Yeah. Amazing. Wow. Is the Mary Kay community the one that you want to talk about today?

[00:13:57] Brenda Winkle: I love the Mary Kay community and I was a part of it [00:14:00] for many years, but I left that behind. I would love to talk about the community inside of one of my programs called Yes Academy. And so my brand is Your Yes Filled Life. That's my podcast name. And Yes Academy is the way in which we can find our yes filled lives.

[00:14:19] And this community is, mostly people identifying as women, not exclusively, but mostly, and they come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but a couple of things that they all have in common, they're really good at what they do. whatever that is, whether that's being an at home mom or a nurse practitioner or a writer or literally any kind of things.

[00:14:45] We've got doctors and all different kinds of vocations, but they're all good at what they do. They're all sensitive and rather intuitive and looking to develop those skills.

[00:14:57] They're all willing to be [00:15:00] vulnerable and say, I need support in this.

[00:15:03] Lucas Root: I have an idea about supporting. And I've said this before and I probably will say it again. In my opinion, anything that you want to be great at, anything at all, anything that you want to be great at, you need support in, anything. LeBron James never stopped having private coaches ever.

[00:15:27] Brenda Winkle: I agree with this completely. And, to your point, I have my own coaches that I work with. And I feel like when we show up for ourselves, we empower everyone in our ecosystem to do the same. And so if I want my clients to move forward, I have to be willing to do the work I'm asking them to do. And yes, I totally agree. We can go fast alone, but we can't go far alone [00:16:00] as the African proverb teaches.

[00:16:05] Lucas Root: Yeah yeah. And, I go back to this in my own life as well. Everything that I want to be great at, I need support in. I talk about this in my coaching practice. Everything you want to be great at, you need support in. And it's not necessarily just the things that I'm coaching. If you want to be great with finances, you need support.

[00:16:23] And an amazing financial advisor could be the support that you need, but it might not be, but, start there. If you want to be great at being the CEO of your business, you need an executive coach. If you want to be great at your relationship it's okay if you're happy and you're inside your relationship with your spouse, you're happy with good.

[00:16:44] But if you want great, you're going to need coaching to get to great. You just aren't going to be able to do great on your own. LeBron James never stopped having private coaches ever. To me, this is such a core theme to [00:17:00] being great at being human.

[00:17:03] Brenda Winkle: Absolutely. I couldn't agree more. I think that it's easy to, and again, it comes back to being vulnerable because I had a little perfectionism. I was a music teacher for many years. And as a classically trained musician.

[00:17:21] Lucas Root: Cool. I didn't know that.

[00:17:22] Brenda Winkle: Oh yeah, I may not have told you that I was a choir director for 26 years and I loved it, but there's no room for an A minus in music. There's no such thing. It has to be perfect. And so for a lot of classically trained musicians, we carry that over into lots of different places in our lives because perfection is the only standard in a lot of classical music. And when we try to that.

[00:17:51] Lucas Root: Supposed John Coltrane would feel about hearing that?

[00:17:54] Brenda Winkle: Well, John Coltrane was a jazz musician. And in [00:18:00] jazz, perfection shows up in a different way. Perfection shows up as being willing to try the next thing. And so there's this experimenting thing that's very much a part of jazz music because you have to be able to do that in order to improvise.

[00:18:18] And so John Coltrane would probably challenge a lot of the classical musicians and saying, being a little too serious right now, have some more fun. I have a feeling that's what he would say.

[00:18:31] That perfectionism can keep us from asking for help. Because if we think that we have to be perfect, asking for help is admitting that we're not perfect and we don't have it all figured out. And so there's a humility that comes from saying, I need support in this area. But there's also so much relief that comes as soon as you say that.

[00:18:55] Lucas Root: Here's an interesting question. What is perfection?[00:19:00]

[00:19:00] Brenda Winkle: I'm going to give you my current answer. Not my classically trained musician answer.

[00:19:05] Lucas Root: No. Give me the classically trained musician answer.

[00:19:08] Brenda Winkle: Oh, okay. So the classically trained musician answer is perfect is expertly executed. Without any errors and...

[00:19:20] cool.

[00:19:20] Lucas Root: That's actually an attainable perfection.

[00:19:24] Brenda Winkle: Yeah, I think it is.

[00:19:27] Lucas Root: Okay.

[00:19:28] Brenda Winkle: But keep us stuck.

[00:19:29] Lucas Root: Can be improved on?

[00:19:31] Brenda Winkle: Could that definition be improved on?

[00:19:33] Lucas Root: No could you achieve perfection, expertly executed without any errors, and still have room for improvement?

[00:19:42] Brenda Winkle: Absolutely, because if you're not expressing, if we're talking about music or really anything, if there's no expression, then it's robotic. And so the interesting part about perfectionism, especially for musicians or really anyone is that [00:20:00] when we perceive something as perfect that somebody else has done, it's often rooted in some type of expression.

[00:20:09] You feel something from it. And so when we.

[00:20:14] Lucas Root: Okay, slingshot that into your current version of Perfection.

[00:20:18] Brenda Winkle: Okay, beautiful. So my current version of perfection is this. When we allow ourselves to show up and experience and express and to have fun and be in relationship with not only ourselves, but with the world around us, then perfection is the byproduct of that.

[00:20:41] And perfection is perfectly imperfect. It's not going to be perfectly artic executed. It's, there might be a margin of error, but as long as there's expression, I feel like the expression to [00:21:00] me is more important than the expert execution.

[00:21:05] Lucas Root: How do you suppose John Coltrane would feel about that?

[00:21:08] Brenda Winkle: I think he'd be all over that because he absolutely emoted. There was a ton of expression in his music.

[00:21:18] Lucas Root: One of the first albums of jazz that I ever purchased was was a live recording of him, and it was 18 minutes long, and the first 11 minutes was purely him. Just wandering musically, like really 11 minutes of John Coltrane musically wandering. Now I wasn't there. It was a live recording at a stage.

[00:21:44] I wasn't there. So I didn't unfortunately get to buy it then live at the stage. But I knew someone who was there. And apparently the curtain opened to an empty stage with just one chair sitting there. And he walked out [00:22:00] and he sat down and he started. And from this point on was the recording which I got to really appreciate.

[00:22:07] He started playing and wandering and the audience had no idea where he was going and they were just along for the journey as was I as a listener You know all those years later

[00:22:18] And while he was playing the rest of his band started to set up behind him. And you could hear it in the recording occasionally, there was a chair being put there, you know. The drum was being attached to the drum setup it wasn't loud. It wasn't disruptive. But if you didn't know the story, you'd hear these sounds and wonder as to how that informed and impacted the journey that he was taking us on.

[00:22:45] Eleven minutes of this journey while his band set up behind him, and then the song kicked off.

[00:22:53] Brenda Winkle: Yes.

[00:22:54] Lucas Root: There was no break. It just was a journey that led us to the beginning of the song, and then the song [00:23:00] played. And the entire album was that one song.

[00:23:05] Brenda Winkle: And that's perfection, right? See if he would have waited, yes, agreed. If he could have done it a lot of different ways. He could have waited until the band was all in place, but then he would have missed whatever was coming through him, whatever he was channeling in that moment. It wouldn't have been the same.

[00:23:23] Lucas Root: I would have missed it.

[00:23:24] Brenda Winkle: Yeah. Yeah. Sometimes our human, I always think of myself as two beings. I have my inner being and I have my human being and my human is the one that you see before you and my inner being is my higher self. And sometimes our humans or my human wants the external situation and circumstances to be perfect before I really start something and my inner being reminds me that's not necessary, that's a very human, a human [00:24:00] qualification that when the emotion and in my case, I feel like it's always a version of love whenever that love is ready to flow, that's the moment regardless of whatever's going on around us.

[00:24:15] Lucas Root: That's the moment.

[00:24:18] Brenda Winkle: Yeah.

[00:24:20] Lucas Root: Amazing. That was quite a journey, and it took us away from your community. Can we cycle back to your community?

[00:24:27] Brenda Winkle: Yeah. Let's cycle back. Let's cycle back.

[00:24:31] Lucas Root: We're talking about the Academy of Yes.

[00:24:34] Brenda Winkle: Yeah. Yes Academy. So because I've experienced trauma in my life in a couple of different ways, and I think most of us have, and I just love to unpack the term trauma because I think that there can be some ways in which we might hold ourselves back from the healing we really deserve if we're hung up on a definition.

[00:24:51] And so to me, trauma is anything that comes too fast, too much in a way that exceeds [00:25:00] our nervous system's capacity to deal with it. And so by that definition, we've all experienced trauma and our nervous systems do not care if there's a capital T in front of that trauma or a lowercase T in front of that trauma.

[00:25:16] Our nervous system views trauma as trauma, and If we can eliminate the hierarchy of trauma and think this trauma is really trauma and this trauma is not as serious of trauma, it really empowers us all to embrace our own healing.

[00:25:31] Lucas Root: Yeah.

[00:25:32] Brenda Winkle: Yeah. So with that in mind

[00:25:34] Lucas Root: so all trauma is lowercase t. That's what I'm hearing.

[00:25:38] Brenda Winkle: Yeah, all trauma is trauma. And yeah, exactly. And it all deserves and can be healed.

[00:25:45] Lucas Root: My mother came to it, my older sister and I both live here in California, which is a very large state. So that doesn't narrow it down a whole lot. But within reasonable driving distance. And my parents still live in the house that they bought the week after I was born in [00:26:00] Vermont. They still live there.

[00:26:02] My mother came to visit my older sister and I both live here in California which is a very large state. So that doesn't narrow it down a whole lot. But within reasonable driving distance. And my parents still live in the house that they bought the week after I was born in Vermont. They still live there.

[00:26:18] My mother came to visit and this is a little bit of a personal story. So sorry, mom, but I'm telling it. She came to visit this spring and had a conversation with my older sister. And in that conversation, my older sister shared that and had a conversation with my older sister. And in that conversation, my older sister shared that she had trauma from her childhood and this was triggering to my mother.

[00:26:41] And fortunately I was spending some time with them, of course. If mom's in town, I'm going to go spend time with her. And my mother shared that she was triggered by this. And I turned to her and I said every single childhood, every single one, there is no such thing as a childhood that doesn't have trauma.

[00:26:57] Every single childhood has trauma. You [00:27:00] cannot escape childhood without trauma and you shouldn't take it personally that Ann, my sister, had trauma. This is not personal to you. This is not a commentary on you as a mother. This is a fact of life.

[00:27:15] Brenda Winkle: Exactly. Thank you for sharing that. And I think just normalizing that experience and taking away the emotionality we have about the trauma is that's really the root of where we can begin healing. That's foundational is just taking away the emotionality around trauma and taking away any sense of blame and just being like, okay, so how is this showing up in my body today?

[00:27:40] How is this showing up in my behaviors? Am I getting in my own way? Am I self sabotaging? Am I constantly hitting the same cap? And so in Yes Academy, we do healing of trauma and we do this through breathwork. I'm an advanced trauma informed breathwork facilitator.

[00:27:58] Lucas Root: Let's pause again for a [00:28:00] second because this is an important conversation. When you cut yourself, that's trauma.

[00:28:05] Brenda Winkle: Yep, it's true.

[00:28:07] Lucas Root: Now it's not necessarily emotional trauma. It might be entirely free of emotional trauma, but it's still trauma and your body will then heal it. And so I'm bringing this up because I want people to know that healing from trauma is natural.

[00:28:18] It's something we do.

[00:28:20] Brenda Winkle: Yes.

[00:28:20] Lucas Root: we want to do. Our body wants to do it. Our body does not want to hold onto trauma. It does not want to be unhealed. It does not want to stay in a trauma state, in a stress state. That's not what we want.

[00:28:34] Brenda Winkle: Exactly. Thank you for saying that.

[00:28:36] Lucas Root: Thank you for letting me Interrupt you.

[00:28:37] Brenda Winkle: Oh no, thank you for saying that. I think it's so important. And there are some wellness spaces that make us think that the only way to heal from trauma is through talk therapy and talk therapy is important and it's also insufficient. Yeah, it, so to really heal trauma, we want to get into the body.[00:29:00]

[00:29:00] Lucas Root: So pausing again a scalpel is a very useful tool and it's useful in the healing process some of the time. But if you have a cut and all you need is a band aid or even stitches, let's say it's a really severe cut, a scalpel is not useful in that case. So when I say a scalpel isn't useful for healing this Trauma.

[00:29:22] It doesn't mean that scalpel is not a useful tool. Talk therapy is a useful tool. But just like actual physical wounds, there are times when talk therapy is useful and times when it is not, and times when it needs to be used as a part of the overall picture.

[00:29:40] Brenda Winkle: Absolutely. In fact, if you are in crisis, that is a time when you need talk therapy. If you're going through something really difficult in your life, in your family, and you feel that sense of, I'm in crisis, That's a great time for talk therapy. And there are beautiful, incredible talk [00:30:00] therapists that I have on my referral list that are trauma informed and do really good work.

[00:30:05] And so I do believe in talk therapy and it's not enough tool.

[00:30:10] Yeah. And so my work is, I don't offer talk therapy. I'm not a therapist. I am a breathwork facilitator and an energy healer. And so we have one to one calls and breathwork sessions. So literally we have an hour long breathwork session, and then we dive into our call with content and hot seats and the hot seats rotate each time and their spotlight healing sessions, where we get into the body and we release the trauma and it's just amazing and inspiring to see what these members are doing and how they're supporting each other and how they champion each other's healings and in the ways that they're showing up to make all of the members feel like they're not the only one going through that thing.

[00:30:59] [00:31:00] So while the hot seat might be really specific to Susie or Deborah or whoever, everyone on the call experiences a level of healing because that's how healing works. We heal each other. We heal in community with co nourishing each other. And so that's a big part of the way that my community functions.

[00:31:20] Lucas Root: I love that. Amazing. So, I love the way that you're doing this and the service you're bringing into the world. I do breath work as well. I never do breath work online. I never do it over Zoom. I will only do breath work in person. Not because I don't believe breath work can be conducted over the internet.

[00:31:41] I believe the opposite, but when I do breath work, the people that I do it with have a tendency to journey. And I can anchor people physically, but I personally don't have the skill to anchor people over Zoom. And so [00:32:00] if people are journeying and they don't have anchors already set for themselves and I can't provide it for them then that becomes a challenge.

[00:32:10] Brenda Winkle: Yes.

[00:32:10] Lucas Root: Just the way that when I conduct breath work, that's the way it plays. People have a tendency to journey. And when you're journeying, you need to have an anchor and when I'm not physically present with you, I can't be the anchor for you.

[00:32:24] Brenda Winkle: And that's one of the things that I'm skilled at is I can provide the anchor non locally.

[00:32:29] Lucas Root: That's amazing.

[00:32:30] Brenda Winkle: so I offer remote and in person breath work because that's one of my skills as an energy healer. It's one of those things that in childhood made me a little bit weird that now is coming in really handy where I can provide that anchor and even provide a sense of physical touch that people can feel.

[00:32:49] Even if they're non local.

[00:32:51] Lucas Root: Oh, lovely. Distance hugs.

[00:32:53] Brenda Winkle: Yes. Yes.

[00:32:56] Lucas Root: I love it. [00:33:00] Yeah. If you don't mind me asking, how do the elements of community show up in your community?

[00:33:07] Brenda Winkle: I was thinking about this overnight, and I was thinking about.

[00:33:11] Lucas Root: I hope you got some sleep.

[00:33:12] Brenda Winkle: I did, I slept really well. I had been out of town the previous week and I was really missing my dog. And so the first night I got home late, and I picked up my dog from the dog center and then we just came home and went to bed and he woke up at three in the morning and was like, Hey, let's play, let's go for a walk.

[00:33:32] I've missed you. And so last night we both. Yeah, exactly. We slept through the night. So I did sleep even though I was thinking about elements of community. And the reason I was talking about trauma is because I was thinking about vulnerability. And so when you were talking about the elements of community, I was thinking about ways in which sometimes we hold ourselves apart from [00:34:00] community because we fear being rejected, we fear being totally seen and showing up as ourselves because we wonder if there's love for us. And so I was thinking about the ways in which I run my community. And so, I acknowledge that because that was my experience. I feared showing up in community because I was rehearsing being rejected before I ever joined a community.

[00:34:31] And I think that for me The first thing is creating inclusive spaces by creating safety in every time we come together and safety can come in a lot of different ways. For example, you could do a safety check right now by just looking at the walls around you. And just rating on a scale of 10, how safe do I feel right now in this space?

[00:34:58] And is there anything I could do that [00:35:00] could make me feel safer? Could I close the door? Could I lower the lights? Could I add a blanket over my lap? Could I put a pillow behind my back? How could I feel more safe? And so taking that through line of creating safety and then naming it helps create safety because if we don't acknowledge Safety, there can be this low level static in our communities that keeps people from being able to fully engage. And so I loved thinking about that and I don't have the language around the six elements, but one of the elements that you talked about was the expectation that someone's going to connect with you if you don't attend some community gathering where we've agreed to meet with a purposeful intent.

[00:35:55] And I think that's one of the ways that it shows up in my community is we [00:36:00] reach out to each other and say, Hey, we missed you on the call. Or someone will say, I'm coming, but I'm coming late. Don't worry. Don't worry, I'm coming late. And so those ways in which we're showing up for each other and noticing each other's presences feels really nourishing.

[00:36:17] And then we also were developed, this is in development, and so it's not totally dialed in yet. Just want to name that, but we're creating a feelers system. And what I mean by a feeler is we know through a lot of research that even the toughest emotions last around 90 seconds when we study human biology. And so if we can fully allow ourselves to experience all of our emotions, the total range of emotions, it flows through our body and then it can shift without getting stuck.

[00:36:50] And so we're creating a feeler system inside of my community where people are sharing phone numbers and they're jumping into calls that last between five and 10 [00:37:00] minutes, and they're witnessing each other.

[00:37:02] Experience emotions, and there's no fixing that needs to happen. There's no advice that needs to come. In fact, we ask that it not be given and the healing and the relationship building as they witness each other, as we witness each other is so beautiful.

[00:37:24] Lucas Root: Wow. I love that. 90 seconds is a magic number for us. It turns out you may not know this, but it's a thing I study. Minimum effective dose for things that happen inside our bodies runs somewhere between 60 and 120 seconds, which could be about 90. If you want to really maximize the impact of a workout, make sure that the impact of the workout lasts for between 60 and 120 seconds, and if you shoot for about 90, you're gonna get there.

[00:37:56] And by that imagine doing just one pushup, but have it [00:38:00] take you 90 seconds to do. That's going to be an extraordinarily impactful workout. Now do just one squat, but make it take 90 seconds. Now do just one sit up, but make it take 90 seconds. Minimum effective dose. The same is true for if you're in an emotional groove and you need to move out of it.

[00:38:25] If you do 90 seconds of physical movement as somatic exercise, you pop yourself out of that emotional groove. Now, maybe the emotional groove is extraordinary joy, but for some reason extraordinary joy isn't serving you in that moment, right? 90 seconds of dance or shadow boxing will pop you up out of that groove.

[00:38:52] Maybe the emotional groove that you're in is anger or dissatisfaction or[00:39:00] maybe even depression it will pop you up, but it takes somewhere between 60 and 120 seconds of physical somatic movement to be able to bump you up out of that groove and then you need to do something about it.

[00:39:14] So it turns out 60 to 120 seconds of mantra work whether you're doing it in the morning in the mirror, or you're doing it to reset your direction after you've popped yourself out of a groove or you're doing it to get yourself settled into a hard work session that's going to last 30 to 60 minutes or a hard study session if you're working on studying something or a meditation session if you want to go do some transcendental meditation and you're going to use the mantra to set the direction to move you into that with really high degree of focus and Input and output it takes somewhere between 60 to 120 seconds. Again, [00:40:00] shoot for 90 of that mantra work to be able to set your tone for that next period of work.

[00:40:07] Brenda Winkle: That's amazing. I knew that about the mantra work and the emotionality. I did not know that about physical workouts and putting things into the body. So that's amazing. Thank you. That's so cool. So my podcast name used to be Waves of Joy Podcast, which is How I came up with the question that I asked you yesterday, which was, if you're ever in a funk, what do you do to flip the switch to access joy?

[00:40:36] And so I've asked around 50 people this question, and all of them say a version of three things, movement, some kind of silence or changing the sound, adding music, listening to birds. So movement, silence, and sound are basically what everyone says. And I started to [00:41:00] think of it as a disruptor and a disruptor in a most positive way, a disruptor in changing the pattern we're going to disrupt this unhealthy or unpleasant trajectory into something better.

[00:41:14] Lucas Root: to be disrupting something that's unhealthy or unpleasant. You might be just so filled with giddy joy, and what a wonderful thing, and you're stepping into a board meeting, and that's just not useful for this next 30 or 60 minutes.

[00:41:30] Brenda Winkle: I love this 92nd thing.

[00:41:32] Lucas Root: You know, It's not unhealthy, it's not unwelcome, it's not unsatisfying.

[00:41:36] It's just not useful.

[00:41:38] Brenda Winkle: Oh, I could have used that when I was a little kid in church, when I got the church giggles, I could have really used that.

[00:41:46] Lucas Root: Yes, great example. Yeah.

[00:41:51] Brenda Winkle: Yeah.

[00:41:52] Lucas Root: We accept that we live in a life that has a social contract around circumstances. When you're in the boardroom, when [00:42:00] you're in church, there are rules about our behavior. And it's not that I don't want to have giddy joy. I just don't want it right now.

[00:42:09] Brenda Winkle: Exactly. And so your social contracts that we talked about yesterday was something that was on my mind overnight. And I was thinking about social contracts. And you talked about the difference between going to a family's house and a family member's house and getting a glass of water, going to a friend's house with a slightly more formal kind of setting and needing to maybe be offered a glass of water.

[00:42:35] And I was wondering if you've noticed, and I have a feeling what you're going to say, but I can't wait to actually ask you this question. I was wondering if different cultures in different parts of the world also have social contracts that are discernible to people who are visiting or how that kind of shows up in social contracts [00:43:00] globally.

[00:43:00] Lucas Root: Yeah, absolutely. They definitely do. For better or worse, and in a lot of ways I think it's worse, we call this culture. I have come up with a working definition for culture that's different from what other people have. My working definition for culture is that it is the memory of community. Here's what that means in this context. For example, if you go to Japan, it is considered polite to have gastronomic noises while you eat. We think of that as the culture of Japan, but it's not actually the culture of Japan. Unless it's within the context of my definition, the memory of community.

[00:43:44] It is a social contract inside the community of the people who live there. And the social contract is, when you're satisfied with your food, you express it with burping, and with eating loudly and smacking your [00:44:00] lips, and slurping. Which here in the United States would be, not just rude, but get smacked rude.

[00:44:07] Horribly rude. Like, how dare you slurp? And in Japan, the social contract of that action is literally the opposite.

[00:44:19] Brenda Winkle: Yes. I love that. My dad always talked about, in the United States, that he believed there to be vertical strips that went from north to south across the country of social norms and we grew up in the Midwest, we meaning my parents and I, and my sister, we grew up in the Midwest. My parents grew up in South Dakota and my sister and I grew up in Nebraska and there were very similar social norms between South Dakota and Nebraska.

[00:44:49] Not the same, but similar. And when I moved to Boise, Idaho, there was a different sense of what was appropriate socially. And now that I live in [00:45:00] Portland, Oregon it's another one again. And so I'm thinking, I think my dad's right. I think there are like vertical lines in the United States around social contracts, especially regarding how you interact with someone you don't know.

[00:45:13] Lucas Root: Yeah. And it goes deeper even than that. So if you go into a Hasidic Jew community, men can't shake hands with women. It's not acceptable. The first time I did that I was dumbfounded. I was like, why are these women not willing to shake hands with me? What's going on? What's the problem? I had to get pulled aside by a man and then explained that these are the rules here.

[00:45:37] I didn't know.

[00:45:39] Brenda Winkle: I grew up just below Pine Ridge in South Dakota, which is a Native American reservation. And in Native culture of the Oglala Sioux, making direct eye contact is a form of challenge. And so when we were teaching students in that part of the [00:46:00] country, if a student did not make eye contact with their teacher, the student was showing respect.

[00:46:06] And if the teacher didn't understand that, then it could be perceived as disrespect because so many teachers that were inculcated by the dominant white society felt like eye contact was the most important show of respect. So there could be some dissonance there too.

[00:46:26] Lucas Root: Yeah, there's definitely dissonance there. And those are examples of the social contract. Now, in popular language, we call that culture, but it's not culture, except in that it is the memory of community as community plays out in the present progressive.

[00:46:45] Brenda Winkle: Yeah, I love that. The memory of community. And so as we go and build communities, do you find that social contracts are malleable?

[00:46:58] Lucas Root: Absolutely. And very [00:47:00] important. One of the ways that I use the social contract, this is so important to us, why shouldn't we use it? Why shouldn't we lean into that a little bit? One of the ways that I use the social contract to build deeper community faster is by including a pledge.

[00:47:16] Brenda Winkle: I love this. Okay. Tell me more about the pledge.

[00:47:20] Lucas Root: You can use a pledge to take people into a different special place. Weirdly, and we don't even think about it, but every single time we step into the house as a guest of somebody, we're actually making a pledge inside our hearts, inside our minds, to abide by the social contract that we believe reigns in that situation.

[00:47:45] Now, if you take that pledge and you make it overt, Now you can play with it. You can use that pledge to move from These rules that nobody's talking about but all play And move [00:48:00] into rules that make it fun and make it easy for us to flow Into and within that space and you can actually take it even steps beyond that you could make it oriented around an idea that's not even connected to the earth.

[00:48:16] For example, you could have your pledge written in the language of fantasy. You could have your pledge written in the language of energy workers, which is very much grounded in this earth, but it's One layer removed from the standard American culture.

[00:48:36] Brenda Winkle: I love this and I love it because as somebody who teaches discernment and communication and boundaries, I think the more overt and open we are in any form of communication, it's cleaner energy. Just is another tool to keep the energy really squeaky clean.

[00:48:56] Lucas Root: Yeah, and look I know a [00:49:00] lot of people push against the idea that boundaries are useful. But I'd like to invite you into a different version of this How many of us play games? How many of the games that we play have no rules? If you're holding up a zero finger, then you have the right answer. All games have rules.

[00:49:24] And part of what makes the game fun is the rules that are in it.

[00:49:29] Brenda Winkle: I call boundaries the how to guide for you. Yeah, I love that. They do make it fun. And it's one of the ways that if we circle back to creating a yes filled life, it's one of the ways that we can do that because if we can protect our joy, a lot of protecting our joy is setting healthy boundaries. So that we're not doing things that are draining us or that [00:50:00] are costing us joy.

[00:50:01] And a lot of it just comes to simple communication and setting boundaries. And I love this idea of a pledge for any kind of community, whether it's a family or an online group or an organization. I love it. I'm taking that with me from this conversation.

[00:50:19] Lucas Root: Here's another piece you can take with you. Anytime I have somebody do a pledge inside my communities, I charge them at least one dollar.

[00:50:28] Brenda Winkle: Say more.

[00:50:30] Lucas Root: When you charge somebody a dollar. It's not about making money, and everybody knows that. What it's about is being energetically bound into that pledge.

[00:50:42] The dollar is a piece of that energetic binding.

[00:50:45] Brenda Winkle: Yes. I love that the energy exchange is so important and it plays back into the reciprocity where we're talking about showing up for people. How are you contributing to the community? What are you getting from the community? [00:51:00] And that energy exchange is such a beautiful way to tie that up.

[00:51:05] Lucas Root: On my monthly open goddess nights, I'm open, so I do goddess nights every Thursday. Forever. It's weekly, but once a month, I open it up so that the public can attend. And I always charge a dollar to people who are coming in. And this is part of why it's the energetic binding into the boundaries of the community and the pledge that you make as you step into it.

[00:51:31] It's again. It's a dollar. Nobody's getting rich at a dollar. I need Hundreds of thousands of people to show up to my open night for that to be meaningful to me except that it's energetic binding into that space.

[00:51:45] Brenda Winkle: I love it. I love it. And there's a time and place for free. And there's a time and place for something in the game, because we show up differently when we've invested anything, [00:52:00] whether it's a dollar or any amount. I love that.

[00:52:06] Lucas Root: So yeah, the I charge a dollar thing is a repeating theme in The way that I interact with the world and if you want free I'm down with that find me on instagram. There's lots of free stuff there. When you're showing up to spaces that have a meaningful framing then you're also going to be paying a dollar, at least.

[00:52:28] Brenda Winkle: You're right. I'm taking that with me. You're right. That's juicy.

[00:52:35] Lucas Root: Fun. I like to wrap up my interviews with three questions. And the second and third question are really big curveballs. Now, obviously my audience is familiar with this and they're excited about where this is going. And my guess is, Brenda, that you don't know where this is going.

[00:52:58] Brenda Winkle: I'm excited. I'm here for it.[00:53:00]

[00:53:00] Lucas Root: So the first one, very simply, for the people who've been inspired and love what you've shared, what's the one best way that they can find you?

[00:53:08] Brenda Winkle: The hub of everything is my website, which is Winkle is W I N K L E. And there you can find links to all my socials, whatever thing I'm working on and information, links to the podcast. So if there's one place I would send people, it would be to the website.

[00:53:27] Lucas Root: The hub of everything.

[00:53:29] Brenda Winkle: Yeah.

[00:53:30] Lucas Root: Now there's a statement.

[00:53:34] Brenda Winkle: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:53:36] Lucas Root: I'm just gonna let that fly. The hub of everything.

[00:53:39] Brenda Winkle: Yeah. And I'm on all the social channels, my website is where I'm most active.[00:54:16] Lucas Root: Ooh. Oh you've got me dragged in. Please do tell.

[00:54:26] Brenda Winkle: This is one of those weird questions and I get this one all the time. It's in my inbox almost weekly, I would say. And here's the answer. We don't set boundaries to avoid conflict. We set boundaries to tell our truth. And the part of a boundary that we are responsible for, Oh, thank you. The part of a boundary we're responsible for is the setting of it.

[00:54:51] We are not responsible for how it lands with someone else.

[00:54:55] Lucas Root: Yeah. Setting it and holding it.

[00:53:46] Lucas Root:

[00:53:47] Brenda Winkle: Yeah.

[00:53:48] Lucas Root: Second question. This is where the curveballs start. What is the one question that you wish I had asked you but have not?

[00:53:57] Brenda Winkle: Ooh. The one question [00:54:00] I wish you would have asked me I think the question that I would love to have been asked would be. around how do you set a boundary without creating conflict?

[00:54:57] Brenda Winkle: Yes. Absolutely.

[00:54:58] Lucas Root: Be responsible for holding it.[00:55:00]

[00:55:00] Brenda Winkle: Absolutely. We're responsible for holding it. And there's some, a really easy way that you can do that with just a framework. If you're interested that's just simple and loving. And I truly believe that if we come from a loving place, any boundary we set is for the highest good, even if someone's mad.

[00:55:23] Lucas Root: Love that. What a great question. Why didn't I ask that? Final question is, do you have any parting thoughts for us, Brenda?

[00:55:36] Brenda Winkle: I'm just so grateful for this time. And I feel really inspired by our conversations and you bring this level of intellectualism that's merged with a heart centeredness that I really respect and appreciate. Just so grateful. Thank you for having me.[00:56:00]

[00:56:01] Lucas Root: Ah, what a lovely way to end. Wow. I so appreciate you, Brenda.

[00:56:07] Brenda Winkle: Thank you. The feeling is mutual, Lucas.

[00:56:10] Lucas Root: Thank you.

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