Whatever with Heather - Mindset, Parenting & Personal Growth

13. Navigating Life Mindfully: Everything We Consume Must Be Processed

September 28, 2023 Heather Evans Season 1 Episode 13
Whatever with Heather - Mindset, Parenting & Personal Growth
13. Navigating Life Mindfully: Everything We Consume Must Be Processed
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Everything we consume requires processing. Not just the food we eat, but the air we breathe, the sun's rays against our skin, and even the content we consume online. It's a fascinating concept that we will unravel in this chat.

We take a deep look at intentional consumption - how to be mindful of what we consume and how to process it effectively. We'll also explore how we process experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Listen in to discover some ways to navigate life more mindfully and meaningfully.

Speaker 0:

Hey, welcome back to another episode of Whatever with Heather. Today we're just going to jump right on in, and today we're talking about the notion that everything we consume must be processed. To hit that idea home, here are some examples. Let's take food. Our body has a system of processing the foods that we eat. Our body has a process of using the foods and discarding what doesn't serve us. We could think of when we sit out in the sun. The sun is a good source of vitamin D, and our bodies have to take the sun and process it in order for us to have the vitamin D from the sun. The same is true with any supplement we take. They must be processed by our body in order for them to be usable. That's why sometimes taking some supplements together is not as effective, and sometimes you can take other supplements together. Vitamins and they help each other be more effective. It is due to how they are processed in the body. Everything we consume must be processed, and this is not just true of our bodies and the things we consume, but also our lives and the things we consume in our lives, including the experiences we experience, must be processed. Anything that comes our way we have to process and our body and brain process an endless amount of things every day. If we just take social media, for example, and we're just scrolling and we see something funny, we laugh. The laughter is the process of what we consumed. We consume something funny and laughter was our body's way of processing that. If we see a news story that is heavy, we feel that our body processes that. That shifts our mood. It may shift our energy, it may even shift our focus for the day. Or if we get stuck scrolling mindlessly on the phone, we may begin to feel stuck. Our body processes the stuckness of scrolling and scrolling and scrolling as feeling stuck because we're not finding anything we truly like and it just feels endless and monotonous. The things we consume, we must process which is very true for social media, news and other media sources. The things we consume with our eyes and our ears, we must process. The experiences in our life we must process. So the initial notion is everything we consume must be processed and, as a byproduct of that, every experience we consume or experience must be processed. Let's take an example that I'm sure we've all been through is someone cuts you off when you're driving. When someone cuts you off, you're going to have some sort of reaction. Your reaction is your process. What has happened? This thing happened to you and now you processed it and you're having your reaction. You may yell, you may flip them off, you may tailgate them, may honk, you may just like take a deep breath and let them go on their way. You process the experience. Sometimes this processing might even linger and you may have experienced this too where someone does something to you mean it could even be someone cutting you off and that anger like continues for a little bit. You're frustrated and you're still trying to process it. Maybe you verbally process it with someone you love or a friend, or you're telling people about it. This is still you processing the experience. Every experience we consume or experience we must process. And if the processing takes longer, like, I like to equate that to just like slower digestion For some reason it's taking you a little longer to process through what happened to you. This can happen in like little events or huge events. Processing time can be all over the place there's. Sometimes you'll be able to like process something quickly, move it through you, it's done, and other times it can take years and years and years. Everything we consume must be processed. There are two main takeaways for today that you can start to apply in your life. The first thing is, when we can, we must be intentional and mindful of what we are consuming and therefore, what we are forcing ourselves to process. So we break that down, since we must process everything we consume. We need to be intentional about what we are consuming. This may be social media, news, other forms of media. This may be the people you surround yourself with, the places you go and where you spend your time. It can also be the mindsets replaying in your head. Those are all areas in which we can begin to be intentional and mindful about what we are consuming and what experiences we are making our self-process. This has two main parts One, choosing not to consume things, and two, we can choose what we'd like to consume more of. If we start with the choosing not to consume, what that may look like is releasing or limiting social media, news and other media sources consumption. It may be releasing or setting boundaries around relationships that drain you. It may be not residing or continuing to go places or be in places that make you feel off. It may be letting go of the replaying broken record thoughts in your head and mindsets that keep you stuck. Those are ways we can release things that we are consuming that are not serving us, that are not helping us, and we just keep having to process things that are keeping us really stuck. Now the other part of this is, since we're being intentional and mindful about what we're consuming, we can be intentional about what we're adding in. If we go back to the social media, news and media outlets, we may not get rid of them all together, but we can build a relationship that is one that we want. With these media resources, we can spend more time with people that lift us up. You can spend more time with people you love and truly care about. You can even spend more time alone and see how that feels. If we're being intentional and mindful about things we add in, we can begin to start showing up to places that make us feel more alive, even if we're nervous. Maybe that's a gym, maybe that's a new social group, maybe that's trying yoga or some other activity Going places where we get to process things in a new way. We are consuming new experiences, therefore, getting to process new things. You can also add in and practice mindsets and thoughts that help you move through life with more ease and joy and peace. So the first main takeaway is that we can be intentional and mindful about what we're consuming, and we do this by releasing things we no longer want to consume and adding in things we'd like to consume more of All right. The second main takeaway is this since everything we consume needs to be processed, there are and will be things from your past that need to move through you, things that you shove down to be dealt with at another time and no judgment on the version of you that needed to shove those down to deal with later. But no, the experiences you have gone through need to be processed at some point, not all at once, but they must be. Everything we consume must be processed and more often than not, we have pushed a lot of things down and that can be a huge reason why we're feeling really anxious and stuck. It may not even be our environment around us. It may be the things that we haven't processed. Imagine like consuming a bunch of food and your body doesn't process it right. It gets stuck. You do not feel well, you do not feel okay when we do that with experiences and we consume these experiences, we experience them and we just shove them down. We can be left feeling very unsettled, very not well. The other thing is that there may be things that you're going through right now or that you have gone through recently that you haven't processed yet, and that's okay because you may still be in survival mode. It is okay to not process everything immediately. Sometimes time heals and helps you with the processing down the road. We will talk a little bit more about survival mode in like a minute or two, so stay with me if you feel like that's where you're at right now. Processing things may look and feel like simply releasing and intentionally choosing to discard what no longer serves you. Some things are as easy as that Now. That's not always the case and probably not usually the case, but sometimes things will be like that. Processing things may also look and feel like crying frequently, feeling like you process something and then having more show up and need to be processed. It could be anger for things that you just had to handle and deal with in the moment and never had time or space to feel anger around or towards. It may be gratitude and a sense of awe at past you and how she navigated and handled things and maybe you've never acknowledged a sense of pride in past you and all that she went through and all that she moved through. It may be heartbreak over something you were heartbroken over but you didn't have the time and space to feel the feeling of being heartbroken. It may be grief over loss, loss of people, loss of places, loss of chapters in your life, the ending of chapters in your life, the closing of doors, maybe grief of loss of yourself. It can also be letting yourself feel joy and excitement about things in your life that have gone well or that you're proud of, that you haven't ever allowed yourself to feel joy over this processing of the things we consume and the experiences we have can be for a range of things, things we would typically label positive and negative in our life, but all things must be processed. It is helpful to remember these few things while processing things from your past or even currently. Be patient with yourself while processing. Be patient with yourself as you start to be intentional about what you consume. Start to learn what things you no longer want to consume because of how they make you feel, in other words, how you have to process them. This one is big for me lately. Remember that there may be waves of processing. I feel even bold enough to say that there will be waves of processing, meaning the feeling comes in or the experience comes in and you process it and it goes back out to see and you felt like you've dealt with it, and then it comes back in again and you might feel like what? I've processed this, but then it goes back out to see and then it may come back in again and then it may go back out to see. And it wasn't until I wrote the outline for this podcast that I realized what a gift the waves actually are. The waves provide a breather. The coming in and the going of the waves is a built-in breather. Imagine a wave coming in and staying in. What happens if water comes over you and doesn't go back out? You drown, you do not survive. And so the waves coming in and going back out allow us time and space to be ready to handle the next wave, and it might be the wave for the same thing, but the waves stop us from drowning, they give us moments of peace so that we can deal with and process the next wave. Remember that you are not crazy if you process things in bits and pieces. You are handling what you can handle and it's okay if it takes a while. There is no rush. It's also okay to not process everything immediately. This goes back to survival mode. Sometimes we are in survival mode and survival mode does not allow for processing, because surviving comes first. It is deeply rooted in us we want to survive, and so your brain and your body are most likely going to push processing or dealing with processing the circumstances you're in, the situation you're in for a later time and that is okay. Do not guilt yourself. If you're in survival mode right now, with very limited processing, if that is the mode you are in right now, then your survival is paramount. I care that you survive more than anything, and so does your brain and your body, and that is why you're in survival mode. And at some point you will have time and space to process, and it's okay. If it's not right now, be okay with that. Be okay with that. You are doing your best right now and it may just be surviving, but just surviving is literally the most important thing that you can do If you are in survival mode. On the other hand of survival mode, if you have been in survival mode for years. Like you don't remember the last time you were not in survival mode, then we need to start figuring out how to move you out of survival mode. Our bodies and our brains, while they protect us in survival mode, are not meant to be in survival mode forever. This will show up as anxiety, depression, very high stress, and those things may appear in your life without being in survival mode, but oftentimes being in survival mode will drive us to those states because our bodies and our brains cannot be in survival mode forever. We are not built that way. So if you've been in survival mode for a really long time, it's time for us to get to like the root cause and how to get you some traction to move forward and out of survival mode so that you can begin to live life on purpose, you can begin to be intentional and you can begin to process. I have a few other podcast episodes that may just help you there. Of course, like working one on one with someone to help you out a therapist to coach is always helpful as well, but I know some of y'all are just self starters and ready to get at it. I have a podcast episode on feeling. I have a podcast episode on the next level of you, or if you just scroll through the episodes, I guarantee there is one there that will help get your wheels spinning, maybe help you figure out how to get some traction and start to move out of survival mode. So definitely check those out. Remember that everything we consume must be processed. Even this podcast for listening to. You're going to have to process it. How does it make you feel? What do you gain from it? How are you different because of it? And that's like anything we consume in life. How does it make you feel? How does it change you? How does it shift your mood? And that reminds us of the two things. Number one be intentional with what you are consuming. Number two be patient with yourself while you process things from your past. Everything we consume must be processed. This is a great gift. It's very empowering because we can start to work on being intentional about what we're consuming, and it also allows us to just feel, to not have to be so balanced in an equilibrium all the time. We are going to feel the waves of life and it's okay. We have to process the things we've been through, the things we've consumed, the experiences we've had. It is okay to process them and you are safe to process them and you are not weird If you cry and you are not weird if you experience waves of emotion that subside and then come back again. This is all processing. This is all normal. It's like that time where you experience a really good cry and feel a sense of peace and relaxation. After it's because you process something, you finally moved it through you and it was happy to go. That is what processing is. It is allowing and trusting ourselves to move through the hard stuff of life, the things we've experienced that we didn't deal with, and then also being intentional with what we continue to consume, where we continue to go, who we continue to hang out with. That is how we create a beautiful life that is filled with experiences and emotions and connections. And, as a final note, just remember you are not broken, you are human and all of this, all the range of emotions, all the things of processing, is just part of being human. It is normal and you are capable of handling the waves of life. See y'all next week and talk to you soon. Bye.

The Process of Consuming and Processing
Intentional Consumption and Processing Experiences
Processing Emotions and Life Experiences