Embodiment geeks Suzanne & Rebecca talking about the effects
of isolation due to the Corona virus/COVID-19 Shelter in Place
mandates, the age of technology and it's effects on humans and how
to mitigate those effects.
Would you like to help us make this podcast even better? Tell us
what really helped you, what hit home, what surprised you, what
motivated you to do something different in your own life...
[0:25]Well, hello Suzanne, welcome back to Pleasure Central
Hi Rebecca so good to be with you again
we have some really interesting things to talk about today don't
I think so,
Rebecca: Where do you want to start?
Suzanne: well to me with
the pandemic the global pandemic my work has shifted a lot of
people in my kind of profession have shifted to much more work
online so I have
really excited and interested in how embodiment and Technology are
working with each other and dancing with each other and how we as
very embodied ladies, I might say, work with those
[1:14] Rebecca: I'm glad that you bring that up
because it's been really interesting for me watching a lot of my
friends suddenly trying to get used to working from
I've been an entrepreneur for 15 years and I've worked from home on
and off in small and large chunks during that time and
people trying to get used to that and to adjust to the different
ways of being social and different ways of being at home --
suddenly home is just not the place where you relax you have to
work there too and how do you balance,
and doing your laundry and eating and then not working when you're
not supposed to be working. It's been interesting.
Well I'm noticing the amount of rituals like daily rituals are
increasing. So for example my partner and I
been doing yoga pretty much every day and
first day I said honey yoga includes making the bed so the whole
beginning of yoga would actually be us making the bed
preparing the whole house for the next thing so it's almost like
one ritual would feed another one.
[2:38] And that would enhance the sense of these
really only existing through the realm of the mind and behavior if
you're in one space for a longer period of time than you're used to
I love that you call those rituals. It's interesting being in the
high performance work that I've been in for so long I've always
thought of that as habit stacking.
sounds like a much nicer way of wrapping that into your day, you
know. It feels like a much more feminine and inclusive way and I
like that you're talking about you and your partner doing things
these things together because it does seem like it's bringing
family life to a more focused and more present in
most people's environments. If they have family - if they live
alone like me, well, then it's a completely different
Yeah I am interested I am interested in your experience actually
"living alone" because I'm interested in how you're navigating
that. I have noticed that like simple things like
days-- we're talking about being on the 4th Day, by the way, of
when the mayor of San Francisco issued a shelter in place decree...
two days my partner had his desk facing away.
he yes last night he turned his desk towards so he could see me
moving through the space. Not to interact with me but to
around. Like just that alone I think has a
pretty big impact on
his psyche and my psyche and this awareness of interrelationship
even though we are trying our best to maintain some semblance's of
privacy and individuality.
[4:42] Rebecca: That's interesting that you say
that because in feng shui one of the recommended things for where
you place your desk you don't ever want anybody to be at your
[4:53] Don't want doors to be able to open and you
not to be able to see who's there so the fact that he's turned his
desk around so that he can see you I imagine probably has some
psychological & physiological benefit too,
I totally I'm also sensing that what's happened in my home as well
project that was slightly bothering me now is being attended to so
it becomes very clear you know we talked about thankful finish way
ways of organizing the home so that the mind can rest there. it's
much more apparent so you know, we talked about
talking about you know... I mean, an apartment is a kind of
Technology we didn't always have you know these these structures
that would hold us for long periods of
time in one place human species District much from nomadic and
have homes that could be taken apart reassembled and so it's really
interesting in this time also to be feeling,
have these structures that are holding us in place,
we have the internet simultaneously that is connecting us across
the entire world and that's not a thing that's not like a mental
construct, that's something that I feel.
[6:15] You know when I'm online I can actually feel
that in my body, this larger span of connection.
[6:23] Rebecca: That is pretty interesting
remember if I mentioned but I have just been on a trip, kind of a
reunion with a bunch of my friends and met a bunch of new friends
too and its a global thing so I have friends from all over the
world and met new friends from all over the world
coming back and having all these shelter-in-place ordinances all
over, more and more people are connecting by phone instead of just
really neat. it's really lovely for me. Pou'd asked about my
experience as a single person working from home. it's
not that different from my normal with a couple
of exceptions I'm seeing less people coming to coach with me here
but even more,
[7:10] a lot of my friends who normally would be
at work all day long and I wouldn't even think about contacting
they wouldn't think about me
they're working from home and they're trying to figure out how to
adjust so they're wanting to connect they wanting to have zoom
calls or have phone calls or you know, just just have some time
with another human connection
has been really lovely I think that's been probably the best thing
about this for me is I'm getting more connection from people who I
what do you feel you know right now we are you have these various
luxuries you have a beautiful recording studio, we have computers,
we have zoom. I've always experienced you
while living in the same town as you and was able to see you in
person as someone that would feel and register the world through
though you have a lot of intellect. And I'm curious
how we have these technological advances that allow us to connect
but then also embodiment practices that help us feel and sometimes
those used to feel antithetical,
do two different things that can actually distract each other and
curious about how you as someone who is...
[8:33] ...You know what I would see as deeply in the
body how you seen this deeper dependence on technology.
[8:44] Rebecca: What an interesting question I
feel like in some ways that technology versus embodiment is a false
[8:59] Technology is more of an
advancement of embodiment.
Then and yes certainly some
people will sit in front of technology and use it as an excuse to
leave their body but I don't think that's necessary. I don't think
that's a requirement and as somebody who's worked from home and
with my computer for many many years, maybe I've just
figured out how to adjust but I don't think that's it. I think it's
more like you still have to be paying attention to your body you
still have to get up and move when you feel tightness showing up
you still want to be able to find positions that are comfortable
for you and maybe that's part of my secret is that I do
tend to move around a lot sometimes I'll have my laptop on my lap
while I'm laying on the couch and kind of propped up so I have
good posture, sometimes I'll be sitting in front of my desk
because I'll be editing something and I really want to have the big
screen and the touch pad. Sometimes I'll be downstairs in a dark
room where I'm just sitting there and brainstorming and paying
attention so recognizing that technology doesn't have to suck
you in and make you hunched over and just forget about everything
in your physicalness.
that's an important piece of it. And then setting up your space for
Right I mean I feel the example the other day I was finished a
woman's group we had to finish it online.
[10:27] And I was uploading the zoom call on to a
private Channel on YouTube and I was so excited about it that I
noticed my body was slumped over more and I noticed I was turning
to ignore the cues of my body to get up because I so want to
complete the project and this is something I've
noticed as a body worker for years, that
people will override the desire to get up because I want to
finish a project.
[11:03] But at the same time I don't know how
different that is than setting your timer to sit in
hour and having various physical tensions come up while you're
sitting and meditating in your body.
that is a little different because while you're sitting and
an awareness of attention and when you're focused on a project and
you're trying to get a project done there's usually not an
awareness of the tension there's an awareness of trying, you
know of striving. The way that I've worked with that
my high performance coach is actually giving giving me
some tips and one of them is I have a timer that has it's just a
cube and I can turn the cube in any direction and
On top of
the cube when you set it down that's how.
[11:57] So I have a 45-minute timer on that and I will
set the 45 minute timer on my counter or someplace where I can't
I'll go and I'll sit and do all my work. and it's a really
obnoxious timer so I don't want to let it go once it starts going
off. I have to get up move over and turn it off and then once I'm
up I'm usually like okay,
I do need
a short break, run downstairs, go to the bathroom get a good drink
or something like that so it helps me have this rhythm of moving
and in my experience, even when I really really want
to finish a project, that feeling of really wanting to finish
it, still means it's going to take 20 minutes or 30 minutes
to finish so unless I'm truly at the last click,
web page, the last upload, I just remind myself, "yeah, just keep
going don't worry you'll come back to in just a second and when I
do come back to it a more refreshed I have more oxygen in my system
my brain is working better my eyes are working better"
and that sort of reinforcement of knowing that that's going
to happen means that I don't put it off as long as I would
have normally. it's a little bit of a life hack.
bit of a strategy I've set up for myself.
but it it brings me to the use of tools like the cube.
on the phone I have the aura ring now that records your
[13:27] And the phases of sleep which is like it almost an extra
Write an addition
to a human body that.
interesting to to imagine you working with that timer because it's
still not an attention to your body in the moment it is using a
[13:57] Can forget the body and then come back to the body except
it develops attention to the body this is this is the interesting
Nuance yeah so,
in my experience
with the timer I don't use the timer every time I sit down and he
more I also have had this,
called the upright go it's something that you you did okay yeah I
was that it's very neat so it's a little device that you put on
your shoulders and
yourself to whatever is up right for you and thanks to my Pilates
experience with you I have a good idea of what actually is a break
for me having that nice arch in my spine the balance
and then it will
track your hunching over and everything so the thing about that and
about a lot of this biofeedback,
is that you use it
on a regular basis at first and then it tapers off because at some
point you and your body developed this awareness.
Hey this is how
it's supposed to feel and when you're not doing that you feel
awkward so once your body is trained to the point of this is what
upright feels like
while I'm editing this is what I prayed feels like well I'm doing
this over here this is what upgrade feels like all I'm doing dishes
you don't have
that need to to have the outside feedback anymore because you've
developed the feedback inside.
[15:25] This is so great.
[15:26] So great that you articulated it because that has been a
very similar experience that I've had as well like.
When I use this
ring I was at first so shocked about how little REM sleep I
and then I
realized you know after I started changing some of my sleeping
habits I could feel when I was getting better REM sleep,
and other so when
I first went to the.
[15:54] Informational technology conference with my partner three
years ago I met a man who was making a very cool device called The
Clean called the
leaf and it was a heart rate monitor heart rate sensor and what it
would do is if,
your heart rate
variability got to into a interval that would integrate that you
were anxious it would Buzz,
and it was one of
[16:24] The experiences I've had.
[16:25] Because it actually felt like it helped regulate the
nervous system if it was very it created a lot of.
Calmness in the
body because you are aware right away of how to bring attention
back to your breath and calm yourself down.
But I studied I
said to him you know is this going to create a dependence and he
looked at me he's like no this is a temporary tattoo.
This is a
removable and I wasn't sure until now wearing the ring that I
Yes I can feel
that I can feel the truth in that.
Yeah and I related
to very similar when you and I were working in Pilates together you
would give me body cues and you say oh yeah okay now you've got it
and I would be able to feel in my body when,
you were affirming
that I had figured it out so I could feel that difference but until
I had the.
The q's and your
[17:24] From the visual experience of my body.
[17:27] Body I didn't really know where I was supposed to go but
once I knew that I was able to do it on my own repeat
I could do doming
on myself in front of my mirror but I had to have that feedback
first feedback as a learning tool an awareness to.
And you know I am
really curious about your thoughts about all of the touch
professionals in this.
[17:53] Particular time of an undetermined.
[17:56] And amount of time of very reduced touching touch
professionals but also humans are mammals and we're touching lasts
You know what what
do you feel will be the,
the support to
people trying to get their touch needs not.
It's kind of like
a jump but you know I felt I felt you make this really incredible
bridge between you know the technology and the body and then how
another person helps a person come into a body and then I said oh
wow that's really changing now,
yeah it is and I
think it's worth noting that.
People who live
alone like me or just people that are not getting very much touch I
think a lot of adult men in our society have had this problem for a
long time and it's not really been noticed
is if you're an
adult man and you're not in some kind of relationship how often do
you get touched by a.
Mmm it's very rare
and it's kind of awkward especially when you realize
touch they have done studies about babies if babies aren't touched
and held they grow up differently they have different,
problems they have different effects they just don't seem to be as
healthy and just being touched just being held is incredibly
healing so I think.
This was my
[19:25] Learning about the shelter in place I shall isolation is
that the people that live alone and don't have anybody to be
touching and connecting with are going to find it to be even harder
than normal especially in a mountain mental health
Going to mental
health level and having been through some of that myself I feel
like I've developed enough strategies to know how I can help and
one of them is just being outside and getting a lot of oxygen that
[19:55] Even when you're not being.
[19:55] In touch but also I think that there's a
[20:04] I got to be careful what I say here right I think that
this is a good reason to find some way of having some touch in your
life one way or another you still are going to have to mitigate
risk however you see fit.
touch for an indeterminate period of time not really an
Remembering to one
of the reasons I became a Pilates teacher was I felt like it was
the best solution I could find.
[20:39] To working with the mind for my for me I was a psycho as
I was a Psychology major I wanted to be a psychotherapist but
actually I found more peace in in moving the.
Not just moving
the body it was moving the body with an integration of thought and
how the mind was used but then later on,
I think around the
time I met you and Seattle there was a deepening of that process
it wasn't just
about focusing the mind and the body and tried to control the body
it was a self responsibility that every single cell in the body I
could attend to.
[21:23] Awareness through visualization,
but also through
sensation and UCSF I met a had done some studies and met a
Who would help
with this research on the insular cortex of the insular cortex they
found along the it on the late 90s,
is a part of the
brain that's responsible for self referencing and self referencing
is crucial for human being able to feel autonomy but also
interestingly in the flip side empathy.
And one of the
things that mind-body exercise does is it increases the amount of
energy that goes to that part of the brain.
[22:10] So it's interesting in a time of less touch I think mind
body movement will actually be a opportunity and a place for people
to feel more.
themselves by their own system.
And maybe a
crucial supplement and a complement to other needs that we have as
So I love that you
brought up self-referencing being the key to empathy because for me
That makes so much
sense being able to identify my own.
[22:57] My own space it's more like my the things that I'm
Which is my energy
my thoughts my body my feelings my connection that stuff and
separate it from other people's when I get it mixed up with other
I don't do it very
often but I think we all do sometimes especially in times of stress
someone might be freaking out and.
[23:21] Like oh gosh I have.
[23:22] Have to freak out too because they're freaking out and
then we realized I know it's okay I can I can be in my own space
and have empathy for them but not have to go into that,
something that's been coming in really handy in the world recently
with people having all kinds of responses to what's going
Yeah I think
that's one of the most important things and we talked about this
and the last podcast we did too.
[23:53] Together but I think it's worth.
[23:55] Repeating that another really curious thing about the
Human mammal is
that we are actually less immune and less able to detect places in
the environment where we're safe,
when we're afraid
so it's a really interesting time to somehow.
A sense of safety
and peace amid an environment that doesn't seem safer peaceful it's
an interesting Paradox and you know actually.
[24:38] I was talking with some friends about this recently and
the fact that I've been polyamorous for 20 years and have had to
think about safety and,
fluid exchange and
what that means and what the risks are and know all about that in
order to feel safe and comfortable in the relationships that I men
I have to know all that that my partners have to know about that we
have to agree on certain things and,
that takes a lot
of work and a lot of effort and often times people that aren't
Polly will ask me,
how do you deal
with that sounds so stressful and it really it isn't it's about
education and about making choices.
Risk and deciding
how much risk you're willing to take and how much risk you're not
willing to take and then,
your boundaries so it's it's not easy but it is simple
I think my
experience of doing that for 20 years has given me a leg up in this
the general public
is realizing they have to start thinking about this stuff too and
talking about it and communicating and figuring out how they can
live with risk and what kind of risk and how much risk they are
willing to live with.
[25:50] I mean that's so well put I've noticed the other day I
went for a walk with a friend and we walked 10 feet apart in
and we did it
intentionally for a reason I wanted to see.
If this is
possibly what we may need to do for some time what it would feel
like how close could we feel without getting close.
I noticed that
when people want to connect with me and asked if I want to hang out
I have to actually assess.
In my body and a
appropriate relative to myself and relative to the environment that
I meant relative to the what's happening culturally and politically
and socially and so,
I think the one of
And benefits that
we could experience in this time there's a potential is that an
increase of self-evaluation,
if fear isn't a
part of it if fear is somehow for if we're not doing these things
because we were afraid but we're doing these things because we're
Given potential to
cultivate more intuition.
[27:15] Yeah and you mean discriminating as in paying attention
and being aware of what is important to you not discriminating as
and saying you know.
against Racers isn't it funny how that can be used that is that is
true yeah well I'm glad you pointed that out because yeah I'll
maybe not discriminating you can use discriminating but that
usually has Discerning is a better,
necessarily a bad context it does that does not sure no I think
it's just discrimination now has that.
[27:52] That the near of racial.
[27:54] Or something it has a negative connotation in our culture
now but Discerning I think is a much better and more accurate word
I can I read you
the I had to just look up,
so everyone knows
what the definition is discrimination can be the number one
definition is unjust or prejudicial treatment.
interesting but then the second is recognition and
of the difference
between one thing and another yeah so it is both when you were
right the the first way of using it as the way most people most
people may associate with it.
[28:36] And I felt one other thing I wanted to say Discerning
right yeah so if discernment is a thing that we
their guts right interesting because.
With Corona virus
people talk a lot about drinking more water because as soon as you
drink more you can flush the virus down into your gut and it's
killed in your gut right,
and the gut
following gut instinct following intuition is something that each
person has to cultivate relative,
understanding of their own body as just a really interesting thing
how the virus can be digested in the gut but simultaneously
use like knowing
how to follow your gut is the is another way that we are going to
like having a good
microbiome is actually one of the most important things for
immunity so just kind of an interesting like.
those two yeah I'd agree.
[29:47] And I love the kissing parallel not quite I love that she
To feel in your
body and discern for each situation for each person for each moment
how you want to interact and what feels most comfortable for
Because I think
that really is the key and when we,
learn how our
intuition talks to us I don't think everybody has that gut feeling
I think everybody has some way of listening to their intuition but
it doesn't always feel the same to other people but once you learn
how your body is talking to.
And what it's
saying and how to learn how to trust that then following
Is an important
key to being able to move throughout the world and feel comfortable
and feel safe.
I would that
brings me to is something that some of you may resonate with but
that in this current environment also I'm curious.
Have you ever
noticed the feeling of fear that doesn't feel like
[30:57] Like it feels like it's in the air but it doesn't quite
feel like it's in your body.
Yeah that's fair
yeah yes I've been really curious about this because I would one of
the things also I think that's worth can were thinking about as in
terms of embodiment is,
interdependent species you know humans depend for mammals we depend
on each other I think,
we will feel each
other and feel the tone of a collective like an expression of a
body you know,
but it won't
actually be personal sometimes,
and to be able to
distinguish what is a personal experience from what is a collective
experience is also an embodiment practice I think you're right I
had an experience recently so I was flying through the Fort
and it happened to
be the day that paranoia was starting to really hit people were
trying to get home they had just come one day cruises it was before
then but yeah.
The atmosphere in
the airport was pretty crazy I wouldn't say it was high-level panic
but it was medium to medium high level Panic with a large majority
of people however.
[32:22] Being who I am and having come from where I had just come
from there just come off and Abraham picks Cruz lots of time in the
everybody on our
ship was happy and healthy so I know there was no worry within me
and so I'm moving through this air.
And I'm observing
what's going on and just kind of.
know okay people are where they are and that's cool and I'm going
to do what I want to do I'm going to be over here and do this and
chat on the phone with some friends.
[32:50] Chat on the phone with some friends I ended
[32:52] Getting the line at Starbucks and there was this person
in front of me.
Who was talking
really calmly and just really appreciating her cruise and sharing
how the you know the first couple of days they were a little bit
nervous but then after that I relaxed and everything felt super
safe I felt like the boat was
but really taking
care of them the staff was great and they were not worried at all
the rest of their vacation was amazing and I ended up asking her
what ship she was on,
out of curiosity
because she had such a.
[33:21] To be on the same ship as I was and she wasn't part of
the Abraham group.
We had enough of a
calm Vibe between the two of us that in this sea of near Panic we
were able to find each other and have this lovely lovely
conversation because we weren't participating in it it was around
us but it wasn't,
in US I felt that
I could feel chills as you were describing that right how you were
Because you felt
[33:57] And one of the most interesting contemplations of this
I spent my
afternoon yesterday with one of my movement teachers whose a
Continuum movement teacher and the most important part about
I finally learned
yesterday which I've spent three years with this woman almost 3
years with her.
And she said that
there wasn't she didn't,
she wasn't afraid
and I didn't really quite understand why she wasn't afraid and then
I did a little deeper Research into the fundamental,
Continuum and the most important part is that every movement that
one does in this movement form is done with curiosity.
I was just
starting to teach Pilates that I was kept thinking about this word
curiosity but that would be probably the most important
To cultivate in a
practice of moving and it felt like,
perhaps that being
curious about what's going to happen in our environment.
And being curious
about what's going to happen through my day as I'm working on my
[35:23] Is actually one of the most crucial ways of becoming
inside a body because it's very hard to be fearful and curious at
the same time,
I think it's
impossible actually yeah just try doing it was I couldn't do it I
think it's one or the other and I'm glad that you brought that up
because curiosity is something that some of my teachers talk about
I think it Kelly
LaRue is the one I've heard it from the most but if you have an
attitude of cure,
impossible to be afraid and if you have an attitude of curiosity it
means that whatever you're looking at you're more likely to be
seeing it as an adventure than something that you're.
[36:17] This helps me a lot a couple of years ago I had when I
was getting divorced.
[36:20] Getting divorced and didn't know where I was.
[36:21] I was going to be living or what I was going to be doing
or what my work was going to be one of my Abe friends said well you
can look at this as something really scary or you can look at it as
an adventure and it's up to you.
completely changed the way that I was approaching it so yeah I
Feels it was just
about a perfect place to take a pause what do you think
[36:53] Miss reveling in this in this curiosity because I feel
like I actually came into this podcast today in,
like a question
like how am I going to sell my computer all day,
and actually feel
like I'm in my body and now that we brought up curiosity and really
started marinating in it I'm like I can feel the cells,
like I can feel
this tingling under the surface of my skin I feel this aliveness
and it feels like this almost like taking a first
Course if I'm
actually curious while I'm interacting,
environment whether it's a computer or phone if that curiosity
inside of my body
and not just outside my body if it's both places if I'm toggling
between being curious about you looking at your beautiful face
through this zoom and then I'm feeling into my body and curious
about that I feel like I'm
this kind of river
of experience and change that actually doesn't end and.
[37:59] That feels very life-giving that's beautiful
And actually I
love that you're bringing it up that way what how can I be curious
about this how much curiosity can I Infuse in my day especially
because as you're saying that I'm realizing,
see technology as this thing that sucks Us in and takes us out of
our body or we could see it as a bionic,
Improvement to the senses we already have right and I
bionic Improvement and not,
an end because you
know these devices when the devices we use externally improve and
that just that takes another human curious about how to Improvement
I love that we have people that.
In our work
[38:51] Our work environment you know are.
[38:55] In charge of user experiences they look at how does a
human experience this thing in a better way and there are ways that
people who create technology try to get humans obsessed and
addicted and that's an interesting thing I think as a human to try
when you have an
obsession with your losing contact,
with your physical
experience or when you're in contact with a technology with you can
that will pull yourself away.
And still find the
inhabiting of your Selma the inhabiting of your flesh your own
movement your own connection to a tree.
As engaging as
and maybe that's
the mark that we engage it at can I actually be as engaged in my
computer as I am with a book if I cannot if I can't toggle between
those two things I may be less adaptable and these time.
[39:54] But you can you can toggle now that you know it'll be
easier exactly yeah what an exciting life,
educating the fear
out of our bodies I love it well thank you very much for this
conversation this is from lovely
thank you so much
darling always ever done there like to.