Hello, and welcome to this season one finale of the Leo Yockey show, the show where I Leo Yockey interview guests about how their unique life path led them to define success and fulfillment. Y'all, I can't believe we're here, I cannot believe it's time to close out a season. But hey, if you've been here before, welcome back, if you're new, welcome. And I invite you to also check out the previous episode, the best of season one, to just kind of get a feel for the journey that we've been on together. So far. It's been a lot of fun. Now, I am so excited for this last interview that it honestly I sit halfway through the interview, I said to myself, this has to be my season finale, I had been thinking for a while that maybe I was going to want to close out the season at some point. And as soon as I was in this interview, I knew that this was going to be how I had to close out my season. My guest today is Stephanie somatics. She is a somatic healer. I'll let her explain all that in the interview. She's also a very dear old friend of mine, whom I hadn't had a chance to talk to much before this interview. I mean, we we haven't talked in over a decade. So you're hearing a raw, real catch up between two friends, I purposely made sure that we didn't have any kind of like, pre interview or anything like that we didn't have any calls before the interview, because I wanted you to just hear that authenticity. And I think that she'll enjoy it. Like I said, I'm so I'm so excited about this, I just want to dive straight into it. So I'll talk to you a little bit more on the tail end of this interview. And I'll let you know why there was some significance to this date, and a little bit of what to expect in season two. So here's Stephanie. Stephanie. Hello, hello. Hello. Hello. I'm so excited to be doing this. How are you doing? I'm so good. Leo, I'm so excited to be here with you. I'm so excited to have this conversation. But mostly I'm excited to have it with you because this is like a rekindling, a reuniting of our friendship but also like a very crucial moment of who I was in my life that really correlates to who I am now. And so like this, I'm so excited to be here. Me too. Same, same same. Ditto, ditto, ditto. Just a peek behind the curtain for the listeners real quick. I mean, I'm excited about this, this interview for three different reasons. One, Stephanie has a poppin. Business Online, very excited about that. Congratulations. You're a product of the 21st century. I love it. You have what 15 16,000 followers on Instagram, great reels, you know, a lot of cool stuff going on there. You work it as a somatic healer, which is something which is a topic that I've really been into and if anybody is has felt like they want to get better about like listening to their gut or their intuition or anything like that. That is exactly what we're going to be talking about. You've totally comes to the right place. And three, like Stephanie was just saying, I mean, gosh, I don't even remember the last time we actually chatted face to face like this even virtually, I mean, it could have easily been 10 years at this point, if not more. Absolutely. I mean, we were probably 12 or 13. Last time, maybe 14 last time we saw each other in person. Yeah. It's been a very long time. I mean, we we grew up in the same spiritual community in a hippie ass church. I always used to be how I described, I grew up in a very conservative Christian town, I was like, I go to a hippie church. Like, that's just the easiest way to describe it. And yeah, it's so you know, that's one of the things that we'll be talking about today, too, because you know, there there are some correlations between that community and what Stephanie does now and you know, we've seen it in some episodes I think by the time you This episode will have aired I believe that episode with Valerie Phoenix will have already come out. And she's the one I was telling you before we started recording, there's so many connections between what she does now and her childhood. So there's there's a lot of that. I don't know why I'm wasting interview time saying all these things I could have been saved in the intro, but I'm very excited. And yeah, I mean, so without without further ado, Stephanie. I mean, let's just get right into it. But you know, for people who are unfamiliar, what exactly is somatic healing and and if you can piggyback off that what what do you do specifically in that world? Yeah, absolutely. So, somatic healing is really what I have coined as the phrasing for what I do, because it's based in somatic psychology, which is the blend of the way our psychology and our mind pairs with our bodies experience. So, so much is how we say body in Latin. And so the soma experience with the psychology, we're blending those two together. And then the healing component for me is really about bringing in the intuition and the spiritual aspect as well being able to understand that sometimes, it's not about how much knowledge or information I have, the larger world and the energy outside of me is the thing that will help guide my clients or people who follow me or the collective as a whole through this process. So what I do specifically is I work with people right now one on one, to overcome their past traumas, their current relationship with anxiety, unhealthy coping mechanisms, or unhealthy patterns, to live their life in a more embodied way. And we do that through a really nuanced focus on sensations in the body, and the information that we're getting from your body in real time. And this works, because your body holds memory, in senses, sounds, textures, tastes, auditory components, and we can actually access those memories. If we can drop into areas of your body that it's being held in through either movement, or guided meditation, or even like a sensory practice, like feeling your belly, maybe you've done a guided meditation where they say, okay, breathe into the belly, something just like that, we would do that in session. And we follow those sensations to the memory. And sometimes it can be a literal memory. I've had people say things like, Oh, my gosh, I remember the room I was standing in, I remember what it smelled like and the sound. And sometimes it's actually a little more sensory than that I worked with folks who have really young childhood trauma and have the experience of actually sensing themselves as a very, very young child before they were pre verbal. And having the the physical, tactile sensations, I can feel the blanket I was wrapped in, I can hear people yelling in the background, but I can't, I know I can't talk right now. And that is really like some of the coolest parts of this work is we are using our brain to make the connections to connect the dots so to speak. But really, the breadth of information we're working with is coming from your body. And that doesn't need the same kind of cognitive stream of thought that our brain works with. And that's what makes this so intuitive and quite frankly, really neat. Yeah. No, that sounds really cool. I mean, the way that you're talking about some of these memories that people can, like, feel and hear, you know, I know you're setting up environments so that people can eat your words really deliberate. And you're kind of trying to to bring these sensations to light. But I think I think what you're talking about sounds like something that can kind of happen accidentally. Sometimes when you like, smell something that smells like just like your grandma's house, now you feel like you're at Grandma's or, you know what I actually had this otter recently, to break to incorporate the past again, I was listening to a bunch of music that I hadn't listened to since high school, and the song snap your fingers by little john, do you remember? With this Still, he did. So we used to do that at Asilomar that, that that is associated with us specifically amongst some other people. Yeah, you know, I think all of us can relate to that. There's certain smells, there's especially certain like music and movies where it's like, it always brings you back. And it does almost feel like in a way like you're, you're putting on a blanket, it just really feels like you're being transported back to that time. So what you're saying is you you make that happen, almost kind of like deliberately in your sessions, right? Right, right, we are going towards that direction, but that your body is going to bring to the session exactly what needs to be worked on. And that's part of the intuitive component of the healing is, it's not really about me as the facilitator. It's about creating a space and a container where your body can do what it's meant to do naturally. I think we, in this culture, have a tendency to put the brain on a pedestal that thinking our way through things is paramount that that that's what tells us when so Somebody is like really powerful and strong when they're a good thinker. Yeah. But what it does is it cuts off, you know, like the 90% of us that doesn't hold our brain. It's really just like a very small part of our body. And when we can add in all the information that we're getting from the rest of our body, we're letting it do what it's meant to do. And honoring the wisdom that is naturally in there, your body is a functioning organism. And it's always trying to return itself to homeostasis, which is like a safe neutral middle zone. And in order to do that your body knows exactly what it needs to do to get there. And so it will bring up the memories, it'll give us the information. And I've learned typically what the path is that we're going to go just from repetition, having done it myself, still practicing it daily with myself sometimes, yeah, but that really, I think of it almost like a, like bowling. Like, your body knows that it's going to roll the ball down the track. And once it's rolling, it's going to keep rolling. And I'm only here to be the bumpers. When it starts to kind of veer to one side, whether that's from unhealthy coping mechanisms, past traumas, current family situations, whatever it is, I'm kind of your bumpers to go, let's come back to the middle, come back to the middle, so that it can keep doing what it's meant to do. And then really, it's about you and I getting out of the way. Yeah, I love that. That's so interesting, because that that was gonna be one of my questions, too, is like, if the whole point of this is like, I'm trying to listen to my body, and I'm trying to listen to my intuition. Why do I need somebody at all right? Like, why? Why are you here? Like, yeah, like, it's, it's my life. It's my body. But that totally makes sense. Because, yeah, like, like, it's so easy, I think, I think especially to it's so easy to let the mind kind of want to take over because listen, you don't have to tell me twice. Thinking centered our society is because I'm an Aquarius. I'm a Ravenclaw I, you know, I used to be an engineer, like anything that's analytical, like I was it like, period, like, math was my favorite subjects in school, like all of it all, literally, all of the enneagram type five, like, like, you name it, I got it, you know, and it really does. It feels like, I think the way that I've heard it recently that I really like is, you know, you have the mind, the body and the spirit. All of these things are important, and letting any of them kind of take over and get out of control. Could be a bad thing. And, you know, like for In my case, you know, like, I tend to overthink so like I might have something that I think is my intuition, or I think is a gut reaction, but then I overthink it, right? I mean, that's something that I hear from people all the time is like, Oh, well, I think this might be my gut. But like, what if I'm wrong, or like, in hindsight, they're like, Oh, I should have listened to my gut. But like, I don't know, I don't really trust myself. Like, what? What exactly do you say to people like that? So I imagine that's probably where a lot of people are at when they start working with you. Right? Totally. I can't tell you how many times I've heard that is like, how do I trust my gut? What am I listening for? Exactly? Like, how do I know when it's actually talking to me? And it's not me tricking myself into thinking it's talking to me? Yeah, like, just tell me what to do. So I can do. Exactly instructions to follow. Yes, we so badly want somebody just to write a script, ABC, I can do these things, and then I'll feel better. But we're all a little different. Like, sure. There's some rough steps. And I think the number one is learning how to listen to your body. And that is hard. That that how piece is going to be uniquely for you, but is most likely going to involve having to slow down and intentionally make that connection with your body. I think folks who have the hardest time with this work are people who are under the perception that they already listen to their body. Oh, I already do that. I already know I already know how to do that. No, I I exercise I do yoga. No, no, I'm breathing. I'm fine. Actually, therapists sometimes really struggle with somatic work even because this is not I think I know what I'm doing right? I think this is how I feel. It's sitting in the feeling of discomfort. Not I I know what discomfort is. I know what the problems are. I know what happened when I was a kid. It's feeling what happened as a kid and that's uncomfortable, no matter how many times You've got, yeah, because really the biggest thing that I find myself, you know, teaching folks, and helping them learn is that this work isn't about feeling better. This work is about learning to be okay in discomfort. I'm not here to heal your soul or to fix your problems. I'm here to make you feel comfortable with the fact that you have problems. Yeah. And that's tough. That's hard. And so this question of, how do I know when to listen to my body? How do I do that? We can look at it from this intuitive side of the, you know, wisdom traditions that tell us that your body naturally knows, we can also look at it from a sciency side, there's quite a bit of neuroscience and anatomical information that tells us that your gut is literally thinking, the lining of your gut has over a million neurons that are the same ones that we find in the brain for when you think about feelings. Oh, I didn't know that. Well, I think so your gut is literally thinking about how you feel it's feeling. And it's telling you like, here's the feeling, here's what I think about it. But because our gut doesn't have that same train of thought it doesn't say like, Leo, this is a bad idea. It just kind of like squeezes and it feels like a pit in your stomach. Yeah, we go, Well, my stomach's just weird and queasy today, I'm fine. And we keep moving. Yeah. But there's those sensations. That's like the way that our body communicates with us. Like the memories, they're stored through. tactile, our five senses touch, sound, smell, taste, it's the same way that our bodies gonna communicate to us. It makes you feel nauseous, it will taste bile in our mouth, our stomach will contract and will feel sick. It's saying, don't do that thing. That thing makes me feel sick. And we go, Oh, I just must have eaten something weird today. I'm fine. Let's go do that. And that as a somatic, healer, and then somatically living person now. I look at it every time. And I'm like, well, well, you look at look at what you're doing. Of course, you don't feel good. Your body is saying listen to me, listen to me, listen to me, and you keep pushing it aside. And so when we ask this question of how do I know how to listen to it, that's where the slowing down comes in. That's where the practices get tough. Because you have to make the time to do that. You got to be intentional about that. It's like having a friendship or a relationship, especially like a relationship with a kid. Our bodies typically reaching out to us from like, our inner child place. And that isn't always like 789. Sometimes my inner child is my 20 year old self. Oh, no. It can be all these different ages that I very firmly believe that all the ages we've been are in there. Because in each of those different stages and phases and ages, that rhymed. I love that. You had different life experiences, we learn different things, we saw the world from a different perspective, how I experienced myself at 15 is different than I how I experienced myself at 20. And we know that your prefrontal cortex, which is part of the brain that is what in the front, but also really helps you make decisions and understand consequences. Doesn't really finish developing until you're 25. Yeah. And that tells me Oh, my gosh, I wasn't really fully developed until 25. Of course, I was a kid when I was 20. I had no idea what I was doing, right? And so when we ask this question, how do I listen, we have to slow down, we have to acknowledge that whatever's coming up is valid is real is important. And having the patience to make that connection is really tough. We want to take a magic pill and just get to the answer like this. Yeah, we don't really want to sit down for 20 minutes and be like, okay, body having a feeling Tell me what's wrong. Why do you feel this way? Can you give me more information like that would mean you would have to stop what you were doing and take the time to maintain that relationship? Right? Why we see like you think about when you see kids throwing a tantrum, and they don't want to put their shoes on. This is a great one. They don't want to put their shoes on. But we need to leave the house and I need I need you to put your shoes on. I need you to put your shoes on right now. We could just shove the shoes on the little feet and put them in a car seat. We could do that. Sure. It would be faster. Or we can sit down on the floor. Or you can say what's going on? What's happening right now. Yeah. Do you not like the shoes? Do they feel too tight? Do you hate your socks? Are you hungry? What's happening? But it takes more time and is probably going to be a little uncomfortable sitting on the floor with a screaming toddler. Not exactly like a pleasant afternoon. But that's what we're doing to our body is every time We just shoved the shoes on there and get out the door, we're saying, I am going to choose convenience, over your health over your feelings, your feelings come secondary to my time management, my job, my need to be productive, whatever it is, what is the thing you're communicating to your body when you don't take the time to listen to it. And that's actually when people end up coming to somatic therapy. All of a sudden realize, Oh my God, I've been living my whole life ignoring my body. I gotta, I gotta get back on track, I gotta listen to this thing again. And that's when they're gonna start asking that question that you're posing, how do I do this, we do it by putting that relationship as a priority. And by taking the time to go slow enough, so that the priority is consistent. Oh, my gosh, there's so much stuff that you said that just like, it's like, I already told you that, you know, like, I was sick for most of 2019. I already know that, you know, from from the work that I've done that a lot of this was like, my body trying to talk to me, but so much of it now just like, makes so much more sense. You know, like, I Oh, I got to start with this. But it makes sense that I actually I love that analogy of I mean, I guess not analogy. It's a real example of with the, with the toddler with the shoes, because kind of like what we were talking about before we started recording, you know, we're the first generation to really experience a paradox of choice when it comes to our careers. And one of the reasons why we have that Paradox of Choice is because, you know, it's not that if you want to do something, you have to you know, go to school for a million years, and then you know, do this that yet, like a lot of times, you can learn a lot of stuff really quickly, and kind of pivot and make that change really fast. That's what I did. When I got into tech, I had been in casino security in Vegas, and I had done all these things. And just hope like swerved right into, you know, doing tech without really taking into account the traumatic stuff that I've seen in that tribe. I mean, I have someone die right in front of me at one point during that job, you know what I mean by suicide, you know, so it's like, and I never took the time to process any of that. And sorry, to like, dump it right out of nowhere, but but you know, but it kind of just, you know, and I was only like 20 to 23 at that time. So like you were saying to like, you know, our brains aren't fully developed yet. Like I was a child. And I was like, this is fine swerve into this thing about and I started transitioning my medical transition writer, and this same month that I started that my first tech job, so I had all of these changes, without taking the time to process them. And then by the time I was about a year deep into those changes in 2019, I'm telling you, Stephanie, it was a flip of a switch. I was in Vegas, I was visiting, I was going to a Super Bowl party, I was in my hotel, waiting for my friends to pick me up. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, I started feeling sick. And I basically stayed sick for the rest of the year. Like it was just like, all of a sudden, my body was just like, nope, we are done. You have done too much like this is it and like you're saying like that feeling of the stomach contracting. Like, I just I had so much inflammation, and the doctors were like, yeah, we see that there's inflammation, but like, we don't know what's causing it, you must be stressed. And I was like, Oh my god, you know, it feels a little bit like a blessing and a curse. Like it felt really crappy. kind of realize, like, Oh, I had done this to myself. It's just stress. Like, if I had done X, Y and Z differently in the past, maybe I wouldn't have gotten here. But at the same time, I was like, Oh, it was just stress. It was just me like, I can change this. Like, that's really great. And it has been a process like I'm still you know, this was 2019 you know, two years later, I'm still learning, you're still learning like this is a lifelong thing. And it makes sense that, you know, the more we live life, the more experiences we have, the more memories we're creating, the more stuff that's kind of stacking on top of, you know, all the different memories. And so the the way that our body responds to things, I'm guessing that mean that changes over time, right? Like, I can't just like learn this today, and then expect that like, you know, if I feel my stomach tighten up that that means this, you know, five years from now, right? Like it evolves as we grow and experience things, right. Absolutely. And I think I love this piece you spoke to about, we're lifelong learners in this that where you and I are in our journeys is great, because look at where we were two years ago, oh my gosh, I have so much more new knowledge. But I'm also so excited for two years from now when I'm going to have more knowledge and I know that it's going to be new hurdles, new experiences, the feeling in my gut. I could think that's about my seven year old inner child but the way this work works is it kind of takes us to deeper and deeper layers. I think I I am absolutely a huge sucker for this. I'll go into see my therapist, and I'll be like, yeah, I feel really good. I've figured it out. I've got my skills, I know how to use the tools. And she'll be like, hmm, how important is it for you to feel in control? And I'm like, you even though I can? No, I have a relationship with the need for control. Even though I've worked through experiences of that I have had sensations in my body that have helped me learn how to manage that, sometimes. Or not. Sometimes Actually, it's more like, perpetually, we're going to be getting to deeper and deeper layers. And there's always more unfolding, because we're always continuing with life. What we experienced today, we might need to work through tomorrow. And so the skills that I have from yesterday are really great. That gives me a really good jumping off point. Yeah, biggest skill is what I what I mentioned before, is knowing that I'm going to be okay, even though I'm uncomfortable while I feel this. It's not how do I fix it? How do I get past it? Well, my old tool don't work anymore. Sure you built those tools for an old experience, you're going to need to build tools for this new experience. But the one that we can take with us throughout them is I'm going to be okay. Even though I'm uncomfortable right now. And even as I say that, I still struggle with that, because who wants to feel uncomfortable? That doesn't sound good at all. It sounds like getting the short end of the stick forever in life. Yeah, but it's, it's such a freeing freeing moment. And I recently started doing ice baths, like fully submerging in freezing cold water, and doing breath work while in there. And that was not something I was interested in doing a month ago. Not even remotely, I was like, that sounds terrible. You want me to sit in peak discomfort, and like, chill out literally. Right? I'm gonna take a hard pass on that. And through a conversation with my partner, I realized, Oh, this is just another version of the thing that I actually strive to practice. I want to learn how to be comfortable in discomfort. And I'm not saying that means we should be putting ourselves in dangerous situations, discomfort, and unsafe are very different things, right. But I can go sit and submerge myself in that ice bath, know that there's somebody here who's going to make sure I don't have hypothermia. And I can learn how to be there and be okay with it. And I think that like that's really the crux of why somatic work is so powerful for us. Because we learn that even though my body is like losing its marbles in whatever way it is. I can be with it. I can be friends with my body and sit down with her and look at her and be like, I get it, and I've got your back. It's gonna be okay, we're gonna figure this out together. And that unity that connecting of the relationship with your body. Like I don't even have words for how powerful that is. Yeah. I love that and I love I love that it's like layers and I love that you know, you recognize that the the ice baths are something that even like a month ago, you would have been like No, absolutely not get out of here with that ice. That's all the way baby but it reminds you of like, you know, like life really is like like a video game like an RPG specifically because it's like you can you can be in this you know world and you can be at the level that you're at, and have fun and go on experiences and do adventures and things like that, you know, and it would be great. But then once you you know, kind of go into a deeper level and kind of accomplish the specific tasks that it takes to move on to the next level. Then it's like all of a sudden you have all these different tools, but then you also seemingly have bigger challenges and again, it's like you can fill in this spot and just be okay and kind of just do the side missions or whatever you know kind of live live and yeah, I mean cuz I'm kind of the same way I've started to run and I just got to the point where I'm like i mean it's it's more of a jog let's be real but in this like non walking state for the entirety of a mile now which before I would have never been able to do but it's that same thing I'm to me I see it not so much as being okay with being uncomfortable as much as it is like learning to like trust my body learning that my body knows what it needs to do to be able to get me through that and that even if it hurts that it's going to be able to like recover so I guess that is still it's another wording of being okay in the discomfort but I love that. I love that so much. This is yes. And there's something about I even though I'm uncommitted Trouble right now, even in this run, even if I'm like tired, and I'm hot, and I'm not enjoying it right now, I know that I'm going to feel good at the end of the run. I know that even though I'm freezing my literal toes off in this ice water, when I get out, I'm going to feel more alive than I ever have before. And so I will sit in this cold water. Because I know on some level, we're gonna be okay. Yeah, I love that. So I, I feel like I could talk about this with you forever. But like, What? What brought you down this path? So like, did you? Did you already, like, you know, because like I said, like, there there are, you know, some of the things that we've talked about, like, you know, some of how we were brought up spiritually, like there, there's some overlap in intersection. And so like, did you want to be like a somatic therapist or somatic healer? So then you kind of went to school? Or did you kind of want to study psychology and become a therapist, and then somewhere along your journey, learn about somatic and kind of switched lanes? Like how? How did Stephanie specifically get here? Absolutely. It's such a good question. And I think this is I love, I love the journey. I love hearing about how people got to where they are, because it gives us so much rich information about why they're here now. Right? Yeah. So I, I've always been a feeler, I've always been an emotional little bug, I was one of those kids that if somebody else cried, I was crying too, like that was very early on. I was like, Oh, you feel a thing. I'll feel it with you. Let's do it. And that was great in some ways, because it was like a very natural inclination towards empathy, which is awesome, because it makes me very good at my job. But in some other ways, it was a hindrance. It's hard to feel what everyone around you is feeling. Because when do you feel your own stuff? When do I feel my own feelings. And I had really become so overwhelmed and frustrated. And looking back now I can know this is what's happening. But in my younger years, I had no clue that this is what was going on. When somebody else in my close proximity, my parents, my siblings, close friends would have a bad feeling sad, angry, scared, frustrated, whatever it was, I would feel that with them. But I wouldn't necessarily know. I was feeling it with them. And oftentimes as a feeler, I would feel like it was my job to fix it for them. I want to fix your anger, let me help you not be angry, I want to fix your sadness, I want to help you not be sad. And there was a little cartoon like stick figure drawing I'd seen a long time ago that feels like a really good analogy for an empath. There's like a little person. And they're sitting on a park bench and someone comes over with like a cloud above their head. And they sit next to the bench on next to this person. And as they're talking, you watch that little rain cloud shift over to the empath, and the other person ends up standing up and smiling and being like, thanks and walks away. The empath is sitting there with somebody else's rain cloud. Yeah. And that is like a really heavy experience. And it really was challenging. It was scary, it was overwhelming. And so what my body did to cope with the intensity with the pain with the confusion was dissociate. And I would energetically and literally like my little Stephanie spirit would lift up and out of her body. And a lot of people experience this as like a feeling of floating, or in an intense dramatic moment, people will have a memory of being above themselves and being able to look at themselves going through the thing. Yeah, and that that dissociation is a natural, like escape tool that we use as a survival mechanism. But what happens is, if we are only doing that as our only tool of coping, then we're not really hear, we're not on Earth. We're not present, we're not being able to meet our expectations and duties as humans, we got to feed ourselves, we got to eat, and walk through the world and sleep and things like that, and I wasn't taking care of myself. And that looks like drinking too much getting into reckless behavior, not being able to have future decision making skills. And there were a series of events, essentially, where my family had the wherewithal to sit down and say we think we think something's wrong. We're not sure what's going on, but we don't know what it is, but we don't think you know what it is either. Yeah, and my family. My mom in particular helped me find a somatic therapist. And it was By literal happenstance that she happened to be a somatic therapist, I have seen other therapists over the years to try to help me with this experience. But the semantics of it was radically shifting. For me, that was the most powerful thing because she, right away was like, you're not in your body at all, are you? And I was like, What are you talking about? Of course, I'm sitting in front of you, aren't I? Right? He was like, well, you're, you're physically sitting in front of me, but energetically, you're not here at all. Where are you right now? And it was the first time that somebody was able to identify, oh, this is what's wrong, you don't feel like you can be on the ground right now. Yeah, you know, a good two years of like, hard work. I mean, I saw her sometimes three times a week, because I was I really struggled to feel like I could be in my body and tolerate the human experience. And we see that be very similar for other people who are sensitive for empaths. Yeah, it's hard. It's painful. And it's hard to human for them. It is. Yeah, it is hard to human, it's intense down here. bad stuff happens. People are mean people get hurt, people hurt you so much down here, it feels much safer, to up and away. Yeah, for me working with a somatic therapist was so powerful. And it led me to a particular kind of facilitation called relational family constellations, where you're working with the family system, or with an individual's internal family system. And you're the way I was taught you really are using less verbal cues, and a lot more sensory information. And the more that I learned this practice, the more that I helped facilitate and participate, the more I found that I just loved this work. And by happenstance, I also happened to be an artist and was introduced to a group called tribal markers back in, oh, gosh, maybe late 2015 2016. And what they do is, you know, at first glance is its body painting, they have markers, and they paint on it. I remember seeing this stuff on social media. Yeah, that was cool. And that's what it you know, again, at face value, it's pretty, it's fun. It looks like a fun hippie activity, which was just right in line with me in my life. But what the deeper layer of this practice that tribal markers teaches, is about witnessing, it's about connecting. And they taught me how to be able to stand with somebody feel their feelings, and not be swallowed by it. Yeah, that was radically powerful. And I found that I had this innate skill to feel with somebody without even hearing their story. I was having experiences with folks of holding them while they cried, I had a woman Tell me about her son's passing. And I was just painting her I was just being present with whatever I felt. And through tribal markers and the relational constellations, I really started to practice. Okay, what is mine? And what is yours? How do I be in this space with you without taking on every single rain cloud? And really like that, that I don't think I could do what I do, I couldn't see 567 people a day sometimes, if I didn't know how to say it, okay? And close it and be like, okay, we're done. And that you take that with you. I can hear it, I can hold space for you. But that was yours now. Yeah. And through these practices, I realized I wanted to do somatic work with people, I wanted to help people be in their bodies, because that was what was so radical for me, I wouldn't, I wouldn't be as alive as I am right now, if I didn't have that practice. And so I started looking at different graduate programs and ended up going to Naropa University out in Colorado, which is a contemplative program. So that means it's, it's taught under a different paradigm, I guess, I would say, than a classical academic institution, your teachers are, they're not as the all saying power. They're like the top information source. The teachers are there to say, this is what we've learned so far. You recognize that you also have wisdom and knowledge coming into this program. And we're just here to share the information that we have together. The goal isn't for you to shove all the information in and eat it and then regurgitate it out back onto a test. The goal is for you to eat the information digested and enjoy corporated into your essence into your being. And that way of learning for me again, was right in line with the why the somatic had been so revolutionary for me was not just like, here's the thing you should know about it. lalala It was like, here's the thing. Can you feel it? Can you sit with it? Okay, now can you digest it? Okay, now what's left? What do you still have here? Do it again? What's here? What do you feel? How do you eat it? How do you digest it? Okay, now what's left? And it was that over and over through that program, and it really, I mean, I can't fangirl enough about it. But it was three years. And then I moved back to California and started the Instagram as like a side. fun thing. I was just wanting to talk about somatics. And I didn't have the same somatic community out in California, as I did in Colorado, because the graduate program was. So it literally was like a fun thing that I did sometimes. And maybe a little over six months ago, Instagram introduced reels, onto their platform. And I made a couple of them just giving basic somatic information. And it blew people's minds. Yeah, where it got shared and went viral. I had multiple videos go viral, and I was sitting there watching these numbers tick up going, what is happening right now what do I do? Am I supposed to do something with this? And at the time, I was working with teen boys and addiction, which was so much fun, which I know is gonna shock people. Because that sounds like a very challenging group age group to work with and a challenging experience. But I, I honestly loved working with them, because I find that teenagers keep it very real. Yeah, they will. Not if you're bullshitting them, they'll pick it up. But if you're just you, if you're just honest, and frank with them, it's much easier, and they can level with that. Yeah. And adults have sometimes learned to not listen to their bullshit meter. They've started to say, What am I right? Am I wrong? Is this good? Is this bad? But teenagers are still young enough to go on? That doesn't feel good. So I don't like it. Yeah. And there's such power in that. And when the Instagram took off, I found that I had client or not client, excuse me, followers reaching out from all over the states all over the world, actually, you know, outside of the US included and saying, Can I work with you? Can I work with you. And I have been building a private practice slowly, pre COVID to work with people in person and therapists in the US can only work within their state. And so I was like, Okay, I'm going to be a therapist, I'm going to get licensed. This is where I'm going, I'm gonna work with teen boys, this is our plan. And then suddenly, Instagram was offering me a client basis outside of California, outside of the person to person range. And then COVID happened. And all of a sudden, I couldn't leave my house anyways, I couldn't go see my clients at all, even though they were 15 minutes from my house. Yeah, I was just me and my computer, and whoever was on the other end. And so I kind of shifted, and I have become a somatic healer and coach, rather than a somatic therapist. I don't know if I'll get licensed in California, because I'm able to offer this work to a wider range of people if I'm not licensed. Yeah, and, and that, for me is really why I'm in this work is to bring this information to people. It's not to guide their bowling ball down the lane for them, it's just to bumper it, so that they can do what they're naturally meant to do. And that is how I got to where I am. I was very long, sorry. No, I love it. That that's so cool. Because I you know, I, I was thinking, you know, at one point as you're talking about this, what kept coming up to me was, man, you really live this like this really is your life and everything that I'm learning about social media branding, and the way to be successful in branding is two things. One, you have to be fully authentically you, you got to be real. And also you have to really know your audience. And the way that it's been taught to me is the best niche audience to reach out to is like a younger version of yourself, right? So when you're making these reels, you know exactly what people need to hear and those beginning stages because you went through it, you know what it feels like to have someone say, hey, it doesn't even seem like you're in your body at all. So you know exactly the The exact language that would take for someone going through that stage to feel like someone connects with them and gets them. So it totally makes sense to me that it just took off. Because you're being new, you're being real. And you know exactly how to reach out to because you're basically just reaching out to your past self in a way. Spot on. Absolutely. And I think that's what makes this, like 10 multiplied tenfold is, every time I talk about this to a person, they go, Oh, my body has a feeling, I should check in with it. And we'll who, who is the best client for this kind of work. Every client, everybody has a body, everybody could benefit from somatic work. And that there's different kinds of therapy, you know, the talk therapy, CBT, EMDR, there's all these different varieties, which is great. But I find that somatics overlays beautifully with all of them. Yeah, we got to know how your brain works. We should understand what your thought patterns are. You should also know what's happening in your body. When those thought patterns are firing. How often do you have anxious thoughts, but don't feel your body experience of anxiety? Well, I'm anxious. Okay, well, how's your breath? Oh, I'm not even breathing. Like that. That is like, I hear that one all the time. I know I'm anxious. But I don't know. I'm anxious. Yeah, we're thinking it. We're not feeling it. And then the thing I tell my clients all the time, is they're called feelings. Not things like that. Is this catchy? Oh, my God. Okay, so we're just about ready out of time. I do have one question that came up. It's kind of a curveball. It's not on the list. But you said you wanted to challenge this is this is some that I keep thinking that I feel like the listeners are probably thinking, you know, those who are who still might be a little bit skeptical about the the cymatics. And the their ability to heal in general, is like, we got to get real, right. Okay. So like the the toddler shoes, of course, it makes more sense to sit with the kids and to, but like, we got to get to a doctor's appointment in 30 minutes. I don't have time to do that. That sounds great. But we both essentially said it took two years to really get out of a really bad state into a better place. Who has two years. So what do you say to people that say like, great for you must be nice to have the time? What would you say to people like? Absolutely. Leo, such a good question. Two things. The first one. Time is a privilege? Absolutely. I think it is a privilege to get to slow down to listen to our bodies. And if you don't make time for your body, oh, it'll make you slow down. We see people with suddenly getting violently ill, and they can't recover. We see people developing chronic illnesses and are going I don't know what's happening. People. I think eating disorders are another one. People are going Oh, well. They just need cognitive behavioral therapy. Their relationship with their body is telling us something. There's something going on there. And so if you don't make time for your body, it'll make time it'll make you make time for it. We see stress being like the number one cause of illness, right? Yeah, actually, I'm pulling that statistic out of the air. I don't know that. But we see that stress can make you sick, tangibly. Yeah. And that. I mean, your experience spot on 100 problem was that I was sick. And you know, we can even look at your experience of like, okay, you went back to the place that area, you were in town, and then you were sick. That was the area that the trauma happened. And so your body said, Okay, here's the place. Here's the memory. Have you looked at this trauma yet? And suddenly we're sick? Wow, quote unquote. Yeah, that's that's a very good point. I actually never even made that connection. Yes. Going back to Vegas. Absolutely. And being in a casino most spending most of my time in a casino. Yes, sounds your body was like oh, I've been here before I have a memory here like it's gonna happen. It's here now and stuff and everything started happening. Down. Boom somatics Seriously? Oh, my goodness. That's great. And I will say to that, you know, for time isn't privileged but this this kind of goes back to what former guests the show, Megan q Barrett was saying, like, take five minutes, find a way to find five minutes to start, you know, working on yourself focusing on yourself. You know, she she's a she's a mother and she helps other moms kind of take their time back and she her big thing is start waking up five minutes before your kids and she said she started doing that and within a week she started feeling a difference and five minutes is something I believe time is a privilege 100%. But everybody can find five minutes in their day, I believe. I agree. And I think you know what the kids thing. I think that brings me to my second point. Yeah, we don't always have time to sit down and do the whole shoe dance. And I'm gonna be honest, I sometimes have done this little thing to my nephew. That's where this story comes from. His name is also Leo. And I've been like, Leo, I know you hate this. I know you hate it right now. I'm gonna put your shoes on, we're gonna get in the car, we're gonna go. Like he's screaming, he's thrashing. We're getting in the car anyways. And then at some point, if I can come back and repair, I can sit down with him and say, Leo, I'm really sorry, I put your shoes on for you. Hmm, I know that that you didn't like that. Sometimes, you know, sometimes that inner child, we're literally the child can be like, okay, I don't know what you're talking about. But a lot of times your inner child, it does remember that. And we know that secure attachment comes from rupture, and repair, we need to build security is to know that even if things go wrong, you're going to come back and repair with me. So even though I am making you eat carrots right now, like I did with my niece, this last weekend, you are going to eat those, if you try to eat that cookie, I'm gonna slap it out your hand. She didn't like that. And that's fine. You can be mad at me about that. But you will eat that carrot. And then later, when the cookies are there, I can sit down with her and be like, Hey, I'm really sorry, I was kind of mean about the carrots. I want to make sure that you you had food in your belly. We can't just eat sugar all the time. I know you didn't like it. And I'm sorry that it happened that way. I'm not saying I'm not going to do it again. I'm not saying that I'm going to fix it or that she can throw the carrots up. I'm not changing anything about what happened. I'm acknowledging her feelings she didn't like I'm recognizing, yeah, I could have been nicer about that. I'm sorry that I did it that way. And that's the repair. And then I gave her okay. And she I help I be with her. And the thing that she's excited about, we can frost the cookies, we can crumble them and throw them in the air, whatever. It's the being with that so much of what the somatic work is about is not fixing it, we're not going to go back and change that the trauma happened. We're going to go back and help your body. No, it's not alone. Know that you are here for it. You understand? And I'm so sorry. That happened. And that's, that's what we all really want. I know I'm going to I want to know that I'm going to be okay, even though bad things happen. Because they're going to happen. We're going to have to be uncomfortable. Life is not always pretty. And I want to know that when it's not pretty. I'm not alone. And then it's going to be okay at some point. I'm not saying I never want bad things to happen. I want to know that when they happen. I'm not alone, and it's gonna be okay. Eventually, you'll be able to turn to return to normal. This too shall pass one of my favorite sayings. This too shall pass. And this is what makes our body feel like home. Yeah. Back to ourselves that needing that relationship. That's when this feels like home. Yeah. Cool. I love that. Oh, my God, man. That's so cool. Stephanie. We are met. Like I said I could I say this to almost every guest. But I really mean it this time, I could talk to you for hours. Do you have anything that you'd like to add before before we close out? Um, I think one of the biggest ways to get started with this people that are like, Where do I begin is by creating a reflective and intentional practice with yourself, whether that's journaling or meditating or doing something like really basic and sensory, like doing a body scan. And you can do those, you know, whenever, however, however often, but the goal is to start talking to your body, start showing your body that you're listening, and start doing that on a consistent basis. That consistency is what builds the trust. It's what builds the relationship, just like with people, when you show up for your friends. That's how they know they can trust you. Same thing with your body. That's so cool. I love that man. Stephanie, thank you so much. This has been Wow, this has been a very powerful episode. I think, at least for me. I don't know about my listeners, but I definitely got a lot out of this. I'm sure they will too. Holy moly. So yeah, I am sure that a bunch of people have already paused and looked at the show notes to figure out where they could find you because they already knew they wanted to be following you. But if people want to work with you, people just want to see some of these reels that you've been talking about, you know, where where can you be found on the internet? Absolutely. So my website is Stephanie somatics with an s.com But I'm also on Instagram, Stephanie somatics again, and somatics is s o m a t ICS. Um, I have a link in my Instagram and on my website where we can book a consultation. I think it's really important for us to like, have a quick check in before we start working together. And so folks are absolutely welcome to do that. Right now I work with people just through zoom, as I get ready to transition to a new home and a new space, hoping to be able to invite people to work in person in like the next six to eight months. So for right now we're on zoom. And that is where folks can find me. That's awesome. That's great. Because I have listeners I I won't shut up about it. I'm raking in Tanzania, my dad's home country. I'm in Canada. Free. Yeah. Exciting. Exciting. I feel very fortunate. But yeah, so So I love that you're on zoom. I love that people can connect with you from anywhere. And yeah, definitely give Stephanie a follow up. All those links you just mentioned are gonna be in the show notes. Ah, Stephanie, this was fantastic. Thank you so much for coming on. It was so good to see you. It was so good to see you in a chat with you. And I can't wait to do it again. Some time, we will have to do an AEG live or something to follow up on this. I would love that. It's been such a pleasure and an honor to be here. Leo, I'm so happy to have gotten this chance to share with you to hear your story and your journey with your body. This just wove in so beautifully together. And a part of me would love to end the show with and so it is you have right yes. To our to our for our spiritual upbringing. I'm I'm down with it. And so it is a whole thing. Thank you. Thank you. Oh, my God wasn't it wasn't that amazing? You see why that had to be my season finale. Once again, that was Stephanie somatics. Stephanie, thank you again, I really appreciate everything that Stephanie had to say about healing and how what we need and what our how our bodies respond, it all changes over time. I said in last week's episode that there was some significance behind the date of this season finale, August 31. On this date, in 2014, I actually got sober for the first time, I learned a lot during my time in a 12 step program, a lot of principles that I still carry with me to this day. But I didn't stay sober. I was sober for a little under three years, and then started drinking and smoking weed again for another four years. And I just got sober again about three months ago. Now. This experience really exemplifies for me, one of my favorite sayings, which is progress, not perfection. You and I mean, you know, there were just some things that I think I had to experience before I was really ready to get sober. But the date August 31, still holds a lot of significance to me, I think it always will. So I'm really glad that I got to end the season today. And that that was just kind of a coincidence. I didn't realize it until after I planned everything out. So yeah, paint. Thank you all for being on this journey with me. I hope that you've enjoyed this first season as much as I have. And hey, if you have enjoyed it, share it with a friend, take a screenshot and make it your Instagram story. You can tag me at LEOYOCKEY we also have Stephanie both mine and Stephanie's links in the show notes. So next season, we're going to be taking things in a slightly different direction. for season two, it's going to be a little bit more of a conversation. I mean, I know these are conversations, but it's going to be a little bit less guided by my guests career path, and a little bit more about who they are as a person. The conversations are going to be a little bit more raw. Because if I've learned anything in this first season, is that the best antidote to existential dread is to talk to each other to share our stories. Thank you again for being on this journey with me. Next week. I'll be releasing the trailer for season two. Then in two weeks on September 14, we'll be diving right in. Have a Have a great day. Just just have a great time have Have a great week, have a great day would have a great holiday, whatever is coming for you. I hope that it's wonderful. I'll see you with the trailer next week in season two in two weeks. Stay evolving.