By: Leo Yockey
Hey, Leo Yockey here. Before we get into the episode, I just have a quick Editor's Note of sorts. I mentioned in the outro that I'm going to be in Boston and I, my guests and I are probably going to like do something live on social media. There's been a change in plans. I am no longer going to be in Boston. Well, I will be but not right now. My TrueCar postponed however, I would like to announce that I will be going live on Tik Tok, Wednesday, December 8 at 7pm Pacific Time 10pm Eastern time. That is my four year T anniversary the anniversary of when I started taking testosterone and officially began my medical transition. So I'll be on there just kind of talking about that and answering questions if anybody has them. So if you're not already following me on Tik Tok, please do so. I would really appreciate your support. Alright, so yeah, so just if you hear me talking about being in Boston, the day that this episode drops just ignore all that it was recorded before my trip got postponed. Anyway, here we go. Hello, and welcome to another episode of Leo Yockey. Show the show where I Leo Yockey interview guests about their unique life path. Okay, there is so much that I want to say in both the intro and the outro. The interview is a little bit long. So I'm I'm going to try to keep this as brief as possible. There's just so much happening over here, y'all. Okay, first, a little bit of housekeeping from last week's episode, or I guess the previous episode two weeks ago, we're bi weekly now, right? First of all, in the land acknowledgement that I did. I mispronounce the name of one of the nation's it's Tanga. Tanga is whose land I'm on here in this place, known as Los Angeles, shout out and thank you, to my friend in future guests to the show on twit net for teaching me how to say that name. Second of all, if you listen to my previous episode with my friend, Stephanie, you may you might have noticed that I said in the interview that I was going to explain the book club that her and I were a part of, and then I just didn't. So it's a little bit relevant in this episode, too. So I just want to touch on it very briefly. So earlier this year, Stephanie and I participated in this book club for people of color. And we read a book called my grandmother's hands. It's a great book a great introduction, for me, at least to some addicts, and some practical exercises in that modality. It taught me how to look at my personal history as a mixed person. And the generational trauma that both the white and black sides of me have experienced and might be carrying in and that might be carried in my body. You know, one one of the reasons why that book was so powerful for me was because it was really the first practical guide that I got in developing a relationship with my body. And really learning how to listen to it and feel comfortable in at home in my body is a very important piece in me being able to identify my emotions. We talked about that a little bit in my interview in today's episode. I know I say this all the time, but I'm really excited about this episode. I love this episode, I ended up making a bunch of different video clips from Instagram because I just, I love so many different parts of this interview. And the way that we met is just so random. I get into that in the interview. So I won't get into that here. I have a lot of changes coming up in my life. And I feel like I talk about that a lot without really giving a lot of information but I will get into some of it in the outro But right off the top I just want to thank Reina for setting an example of what it really looks like to be real and authentic. I really do feel like we ended up in each other's lives for a reason you can hear in the interview, like just how much fun we're having talking to each other. There's a delightful interruption in the middle that I just had to leave in it's it's a good time. So like I said, I have some I have some pretty big announcements. At the end of this interview, there's going to be a major change to the show. So please stick around for that. And without further ado, here's Reina. recording in progress, I go you know what the very first time that ever happened because that's a relatively new update. It's a like went right into like, hello, guests name I forget who it was that it's a recording of progress this way, why is zoom yelling at me? It's a very strict voice. I can't. It's like, I feel like I'm doing something wrong. I feel like I'm breaking something. Yeah, I think it could use some softness. But anyways, we'll just zoom, if you're listening, we have thoughts and feedback. Raina, thank you so much for coming onto the show, I'm probably gonna leave all that. Thank you so much. Leave it all in, I say thank you for having me. It's a pleasure to be here and to be talking with you. In real time, face to face as best we can. And circumstances. Indeed, indeed. And you know, very excited to be talking to you. Very excited to know you. I was thinking about this before we started recording and of all of the internet friends I have, you know, people that I've met online that I may or may not have ever seen in real life. The way that we came together is the most unique, I think so like, you know, pull to peek behind the curtain for the listeners. I met Rayna in some sort of workshop thing about, you know, making money in podcasting, something like that, you know, I was I was attending a lot of those things really early on my journey with this show. And rain here was yeah, it was one of those events where you can be in the comments as the webinars going. And Reina was all up in the comments, you know, just kind of entertaining everybody. And I was like this, this seems like a really cool person. And a bunch of us exchanged Instagram handles. And a few I don't know, weeks months, something go by time passes. And Raina, you post something about feeling like there's just kind of just struggling, I don't, I don't want to put words in your mouth. But you're basically talking about how in a lot of these life coaching spaces, I'll say specifically, there's a lot of inauthenticity. And a lot of what you were seeing, you're putting a lot of language to things that I've been hearing feeling for a while. And so I was like, oh my god, can you talk to it? Can we have it? Can we have a chat. And so we ended up talking on the phone, like a real, like old fashioned traditional telephone call. I love old school telephone calls, the phone is my friend. That's great. Yeah. I just love conversation. So whether it's on a zoom, or in person, or on the phone, I'm all for it. That's why I have a podcast and like, hey, person, I'm gonna make you have a conversation with me, and we're gonna document it. But in having that conversation on the phone, you know, we got to share a little bit about our own individual paths, and how we both kind of got to this particular chapter in our lives. And I don't know, we really clicked we really connected. And since then, you know, you've kind of continued your journey of really exploring what your truth is, and how to express that in a way that I feel like is very relevant to I think a lot of people you know, a lot of us are soul searching right now. But it's also very relevant to the conversations that have been had on this podcast. So that's a little bit of a backstory of how we know each other. And again, thank you for coming on. If you were to, if someone if you were to, but if you if you're meeting someone in there, and they're asking you about yourself, what would you say like how do you describe yourself? How would you like to describe yourself to my listeners? This is one of those million dollar questions. I do not know how to describe myself because I feel like I'm constantly getting to know myself in better, different deeper, more nuanced ways. And I'm finding and learning language, more and more to describe myself So it's pretty, it depends was asking, I guess, usually, you know, in our culture, our culture meaning here in the west at least I have many cultures also in me, in Western culture that the question often is, what do you do? Which means translates to what do you do for work? translates to how do you earn money translates to what skills? Do you barter in exchange for your time? Or cash, etc? I have a hard time answering that question. I have had a hard time answering that question, because I've done so many things, not all of which have been in exchange directly for cash or money. Often, very few of which I have any, you know, a piece of paper in a framed certificate on the wall for but I have a lot of lived life experience. So there's, that's one way to answer that question is, this is what I currently do to pay my bills, I find that a little less interesting, then describing myself, for example, as a musician, or an artist, or a television chef, people get excited to hear that, then they think I do it 24/7 365 days a year. And then I break them the news that TV does not work like this. I'm on set only a few days out of any given season of the show. And for the rest of the time, I do lots of other stuff, I make art, I make music. None of those things currently be 100% of my life tuition as it were. And I also do executive leadership coaching, I do that with an agency. I do that with a nonprofit as well, that works for more underserved and marginalized populations. And I'm growing my own coaching practice, which is what I'm most excited about right now. And it's an a specific therapeutic modality that's kind of cutting edge, it's very deep, it's very holistic, it is very non hierarchical, and non pathologizing. And it's, I love it. It's very creative, and intuitive, and it feels like this is my jam. This is my thing. Being with people having the kinds of deep conversations you seem to enjoy also around identity around emotions, especially. My my story, and therefore my expertise. And my own lived experience comes from some specific emotions and behaviors associated with those emotions. I now I understand myself to be a highly sensitive human being. I'm neurodiverse intersectional queer as I mean, I don't show up in segments and this hairstyle if you can't see it, but anyway, whatever all this migrants Jones I try to do like, check the Instagram clip. Yes, Rihanna came looking fly today. Every day, even in my bathroom. Hey guy would be great because it's from the inside out. So anyway, these are some things I know about myself. I am not white. Identify South Asian I'm a single parent. I'm in my 40s so that some demographic gender identity stuff a femme a lot of people I've recently learned people, some people assume I'm uh, I didn't even know this word earlier, uh, powerless. Ah, I had to google that. I think I would also need to Google exactly what that means. Because I'm not sure that I could define it. offhand. I feel like it feels like time for me where I'm like, I feel like I would know it if I but maybe not. I don't know. Definition. Community. I don't identify as a lesbian. Queer is very different. And I'm just starting to kind of understand what that means for me. Especially coming into that identity in my 40s. I also identify as polyamorous This is also a new identity. So I have lots and lots of newness in my life, lots of exploration. And it doesn't it's not so much newness. I feel like it's, you know, somebody else. I have a lot of very nice internet friends. And people say that, you know, you got to be friends with people on the internet. I firmly disagree some of the people are closest to for the longest period of time in my life. I know somebody had met once in person 20 plus years ago. And we still feel very close and it'd be nice to talk every day. And we don't have to know what is up in each other's lives. I'm an intense person. This is another thing I've learned about myself is a book called Living with intensity. gifted individuals and intense individuals and highly sensitive individuals. I swear I could run a whole thing of just like, just read all these books, or write learn about all these concepts, attachment theory, rage, shame, trauma, although trauma is so overused and right now but I'm glad the conversations are happening. Doing work of being present in the body, especially for people with traumatic histories, highly sensitive people with traumatic histories, highly sensitive people with traumatic histories manifesting as rage, rooted in shame, manifesting as overdrinking, over eating, conflict and relationships. Identity, conflict, internal conflict. So I'm really interested in inner conflict resolution, I suppose. Oh, that's a great way of wording it I like that. No, I have not said it. I have not set it as such yet. And so it's happening right now. That is really what I'm interested in, in a conflict resolution. Yeah, that's boom, I love that. That might be the episode title. That's great. Um, that's what I do. So if you ask me what I do, and how I identify myself, like all those labels, and all those things, although I don't read any of them have any, because I'm very fluid. And I'm extremely fluid person. I'm extremely curious. And expiratory in my nature, but the nature of the Corps route work that I'm deeply interested in continuing, and I'm doing a lot of learning right now. I'm doing a lot of practicing RIGHT NOW Institute, which is the best way to learn. But yes, it is for inner conflict resolution. And when that happens, inevitably, there's a ripple effect on the outside. Inevitably, I'm seeing this because I'm believing it right now. Yeah, I'm doing the work myself, I do it on myself, I do it on people with their consent, as paid or unpaid clients. I talk about it constantly. I use a language, there's this linguistic nuance to it, that's extremely potent. And I use that every day, in my own my own language is changing because of it. In a good way. It's very helpful. And allows me not to get overwhelmed as easily with big, big, big feelings. And I'm someone who has a lot of big feelings. And I want to be able to experience those big feelings and not shut them down or try and control them in kind of a squeezy way you know, with a whip. So I'm, I'm at the point of learning, teaching myself how to re rewire reroute some brain chemistry, body chemistry, to bring safety and expensiveness into my system, and that of anyone else who's interested in doing that, in a particular way, that I find extremely beautiful. And we use puppets, and we use our and we use, we use other creative tools and toys, if that's what's called for we also use imagination, which is an extremely powerful to guess. And we can imagine ourselves into absolute states of, you know, chronic heartbeat, paralyzing anxiety and depression. And we can also imagine Yeah, it's amazing. As I'm, as I'm listening to you talk, it's like, what what I'm what's coming to mind for me, you know, it's you're bringing, you're, you're talking about all these different facets of yourself, getting the language for it. attachment theory, you know, sent sensitivity, rage, fear, imagination, you know, all the different labels that we use to describe ourselves. And to me, it's like, how, and and what I think you know, what, what has drawn me to and is probably what has drawn a lot of people to you is is I feel like your position on this is like how deep down the rabbit hole Do you want to go? And you'll go as deep as you can get, you know what I mean? Like there's just there's, there's never there's never, there's never like a finish line. There's never an endpoint and so the more that you dig, the more that there is, and all of these things are so interconnected. I was just thinking yesterday I had, I'm just now after, I don't know, 11 or 12 consistent years of having a really rough time, energetically and emotionally around this time of year. Really starting to understand for the first time this year that it's a combination of Oh, is that your FedEx? Yes. Please, I have to hear the energy thing one second. Okay. Yeah, no worries, no worries. Oh my gosh, her face her face the way that it lit up. when that doorbell rang. She's been waiting for this package. Okay. Leo, we're lucky charm. You said it would happen in the short window of time that we're going to record. And it did. I knew I manifested it. Mike ITAR. So whatever you were saying about being at a low point energetically at this time of year is no longer the case. Well, I just made a keytar appear across the other side. Right? Are you in your way? California? Yeah. Yeah, a giant instrument. CHADD instrument is now sitting at the bottom of the stairs that I'm not going to bring up yet. So we're done. I'm gonna have to cut a clip. Even if it doesn't end up on the Instagram clip. I want to send you the clip of your face when the doorbell rang. Because the pure just delight enjoy that moment was, I feel like you need to be able to see that. That was That was fantastic. I'm very happy just for that moment. That just happened during the recording. We should make. We can make a little just a looping boomerang video. Yeah. Yeah. A great delight to give. Yeah. So I want to hear what you were saying. So you said this time of year, typically, for 11 or 12 years now? Yeah, have this thing happen? Or something like that is what I understood. Yeah. And I think a lot of it for me, I think, you know, we, we all have seasons, and then there's the literal actual seasons going on. In the world, you know, because our understanding of the self that we get just through osmosis in school, in this culture is so limited to just a few different subjects and ways of thinking, and leaves a lot of other stuff on the table. And I'm learning, you know, for the first time ever, this season, I'm starting to understand that there might be something to me being sensitive to the changes in the astrological seasons. And so there's like a one two punch at this time of year of it being Scorpio season, which is a season that's very, you know, in your feelings very deep, very emotional. And then the time change, and all of a sudden, the days are getting significantly shorter yesterday, just so for the listeners, we're recording this on Monday, November 8. So yesterday was the first day that you know, we had the time go back. And I found myself I was like, I feel kind of depressed. And I think it's because I feel that like the seasons shifted, and I feel that in my body. But if you had asked me, you know, even just a year or two ago, I'd be like, I don't know, October, November just kind of suck for me. I don't know why, like, you know what I mean? And so, because I was able to kind of recognize, regardless of what the cause is just kind of being able to recognize that there might be something greater than myself, kind of adding to this energy that I'm feeling, it allowed me the grace to be able to say, you know, maybe, maybe there's a couple things on my to do list, they don't need to get done today. Or maybe, you know, maybe today is not going to go exactly how I planned or maybe I need to do something I you know, what actually ended up doing I started to do a bunch of like creative stuff, and that helped me feel better. You know, and I was like, you know, I need to channel this energy into something as opposed to just be like, I just got to go Go, go, go go. And I feel like in our culture a lot of the times it's like no excuses JUST GO GO GO GO GO and it's like, I actually get a lot more done when I listen to those ebbs and flow of my energy and give my body what it needs in the moment so that on the times when I do feel on top of the world and I can just go go go I'm equipped to do it because I'm not all battle wounded from trying to force it when it when I just didn't have the energy when during those low, low periods, you know, I still hear you and I'm very I'm excited for the fact that you are able to tune in and connect to your body feeling and then attend to the needs. energetic and physical. Right, especially knowing what I know of your journey, specifically with physicality. It's the very specifically, not just obviously, obviously, but it has a very specific physical component to it. Yeah. And what I'm learning myself about trauma and dissociation like somatic dissociation. For someone like me, for example, I spent most of my life not understanding what people meant when they said, Just feel it in your body or feel your feeling just feel your feelings and then let them go. And I would want to flip them, you know, just the middle finger of the eye. What are you talking about? There's a lot of thoughts in my head. I'm in my head a lot. Yeah, but I thought everyone was I didn't know what it meant to be in your head a lot. I'm like, this is just how I know it to be. It's like you don't know what you don't know. You only know the experience of the wild you have is from your experience of it. And then from people describing their experience, but you can't really be inside their head, which is funny because I'm a super Empath and I can really, I can pick up on other people's feelings emotions very easily. But I was so good or bad that I kind of I didn't know how to feel my own feelings. I didn't know you know, when they weren't for the longest time. My previous therapist and I worked together for three years and I remember noticing she she was trained in somatic and dance therapy, specifically sexual use expressive arts and dance therapy. And she we've we came to a point where I realized that I don't know how to sense somewhere between like, somewhere halfway through my chest and like, the my torso like my belly region. I couldn't, I was like, I don't know, how does it Can you sense the feeling of there's no, there's like blank spots. There's blank spots in my memory from my childhood and there's blank spots in my ability to feel sensations in my body, not like physical numbness, it's like an emotional numbness of sorts. And it's starting to come back. online now. So I'm, as I do the work more as I am developing internal, self worth, self compassion, self love, and in relationship to myself or parts of myself and in relationship to all parts of others. Because I work in a relational system now I understand my internal self as a system of thoughts that are all in harmony or relative harmony or some disharmony or sometimes it polarized and fighting against each other. Right. Like we have a critic and a judge and a cheerleader. And, and so many, right, and like the, the nosy anti Biden, there's many, right and anxious by it, and I'm worried by it and like a high performer by the creative part of these. So they all kind of they have their own little system of functioning. As I learn to work with my own system. holistically, I'm able to physically send sensing signals from my body, like what when people say, listen to your body, and I didn't understand what that meant, either. But I don't know what you're talking about. I literally meant. And so I'm applauding your clear progress and be able to hear and then listen to your body in a way that might not have been the case for you previously. Thank you. Yeah, I appreciate that. And you test a little bit on ifs the different parts. Oh, yeah, yeah, we yeah, we talked about in that. That's remember, out of all the books that I read, I read like 50 books in 2020. And the one that I like, recommend the most out of all those books is Jonathan Van SS memoir, where they talk about AI well, okay, so here's the thing, so, and maybe some of the listeners can relate to so, you know, I didn't go to college. And even if I did, I would have only studied certain, you know, a certain subject, right. There's so many things that like, all experience it or I'll kind of hear about it through like a stories such as, you know, John Jimenez, his life story, something like that. And I'll be like, Oh, this really, you know, like resonates with me, this makes a lot of sense to me. And then way down the line. I'll kind of hear about like the academic side, you have the real textbook definition. I'll be like, Oh, well, this is something that I've been doing all along, but I learned From this, I did it. I learned it from that. Another, you know, when I learned about attachment theory, they talked about like an attachment, like a relationship inventory that you could do to kind of understand your attachment patterns better. And I'm meeting this just a couple months ago, and I'm like, Well, I've known how to do this since I was 22. And I was in a 12 step program, because that's the exact same thing that they have you do in your fourth step, but except apply it to all of your life. The only difference with the attachment thing is that it was, you know, hyper focused on just your relationships, but it was the exact same like the instructions were like word for word the same, they probably stole it from a actually, maybe, you know, what I stole is a strong word. But you know, that's probably like where they got, you know, some of that inspiration from. So when we're talking on the phone a few months ago, any and you were explaining ifs this internal family system, and you're explaining the different parts, just as you explain it, right now, I remember being like, Oh, this is this reminds me of Jonathan Van Ness. And when Jonathan Van Ness said in their book really resonated with me a lot and really helped me a lot. And you're like, they're they're in this they're part of this they like wrote like an introduction to like, one of the like, the newest eating books on it or something. Yeah, this book by the founder, which is gone no bad parts by Dick Schwarz, Richard Schwartz, name is the introduction has GB ns, like a little box of freight, it's a little highlight box of their experience with this modality. And I think in the previous book, the kind of the seminal book, I think, has an introduction by Alanis Morissette, who also was profoundly impacted by this work. So it is a model that tends to be particularly effective. I, in my opinion with it, I think it works for a lot of people, I'm not going to say it's the best thing for everyone how to say that about any one thing. But I get the sense for artistic, creative, sensitive, intuitive, emotional people with, you know, big hearts, big feelings, maybe who don't fit in easily into neat little boxes in the world. And maybe have felt like at least maybe I'm echoing some of my own experience. But I felt like edge dwellers, right? They don't belong anywhere, or maybe even had like a decent enough upbringing. And I like what's the big deal? What is my big problem, and everyone's around is like, you know, you were fed clothed, house educated, like, what's the big deal? Our systems are particularly sensitive in a way that often can get judged, like you have too many feelings, you're too emotional, etc, etc. Just, you know, zip it, control it, clamp it down and go 95 or living just right. And it doesn't work. It's like, some people are designed to be hammers hammers are great in the world. And some people like me are design, and possibly you I'm guessing, are designed like Geiger counters. And if you're asking, right with that kind of sensitivity, like I will, I may not be able to build you a house, but I can let you know when it's about to collapse. Right? Since I can sense the trauma coming. Yeah, so each have each has its place. But if you're asking a Geiger counter to become a hammer, because there's just lots of hammers in the world, it's not helpful. It's very isolating, it's very separating, and we're trying to now find space for other kinds of people. There's diversity, natural diversity exists in the world. And so this is a way of us integrating our own diverse parts and being able to first be okay with ourselves as we are. Because God knows we've goodness knows that we've been socialized culturally and otherwise, to not be okay with ourselves with a lot of internalized all kinds of, right. Oh, yes. So the the amount of shame, low self worth, queer phobia, misogyny, like all of these internalized homophobia, all of these things. If we are not able to, I just say, you know, I'm a walking, I'm a walking laboratory, I can always do this on the inside, like other things, and other people may not be with me all the time and outside of my control, but I can always go in inside this lab and play inside here. And if I do the play, I don't even think of it as work anymore. It's it is my pleasure. It's difficult. It's not it's, it's juicy. It's meaty, and it's challenging, but I like a good challenge. I like a hard question and I like a good Human challenge. And the people responding to this work, in my view, these kinds of people sensitive, marginalized, often struggling a lot invisibly. And so I think there is great value to the doing this, okay, there is for me anyways, and I have really good teachers. Right now I'm very grateful for my way to this also, just like you very intuitively, I had a spontaneous experience of talking to my rageful dragon Part A few years ago, which completely changed the course of my life. And many people who come upon this word come upon it like this, because it's so intuitive. I didn't know what it was then. And later, just like you, someone was like, Oh, that's a thing. That's a It's a framework. And there's other frameworks. There are other such frameworks. And that seems to me, but some, it's not dissimilar in some ways to distort therapy, for example. And there's a couple other models that, you know, there's some overlap. So none of these things, I think, you know, where's like, the crown of the best and the only and all of that, but we find, I feel like we find our way to the thing that that is there for us eventually. And I'm kind of getting there. Right now, in my way. Yeah, I think I think that makes a lot of sense. Like, we're, we're so conditioned to fit ourselves into these boxes, where it's almost, it's almost like, at least for me, my experience has been like really understood, like, really internalizing and understanding the vastness of the diversity in humanity, in contrast to what we were taught, is the experience of humanity. And like really understanding that I fit some, you know, somewhere in, in all that, like, I am a human, but what it means to be human is so much bigger than what I understand it, it's really helped me a lot. I don't know if you've ever heard of it, the one thing I've been thinking about a lot to kind of, like, contextualize it is. There's people, usually people on the more conservative side who will say, you know, oh, there's too many letters and LGBTQI. Like, you know, there's too much. Yeah. And my, my response to that is that they're, they're kind of right, there are too many letters. But the reason why isn't because of anything going on with the queer community. The reason why there's too many letters is because as a culture, we're so insistent that the default is this completely cisgendered, completely heterosexual normative, that is so insufficient to really capture the wide variety that is human expression. And when it comes to things as close to home as gender and sexuality, that of course, if you're insistent that this is going to be the default, it is going to take a lot of what will probably feel like over explaining to try to fit the other, because it's like they're straight. And then there's other and so many things are getting piled into that other because the reality is that really being cisgendered being heterosexual and completely, you know, far on the far end of the Kinsey scale in that direction is a variation. It's not the default. It's a variation. You know, and so let's say a rainforest only has grass in it. Exactly. The grass and everything else. And like, look around you, there's a lot happening in this rainforest. Exactly. All those things are interconnected. They all depend on each other and feed each other and to each other and exist coexist with each other in what might seem like messy, imperfect, yet harmonious coexistence. You take away one and you you know, it's like the butterfly effect. You take away one and there's a ripple effect on the whole system. And maybe some people want just like, you know, clear square of astroturf in their backyard, and that's the that that's how they want to live. Yeah. And that's, and that's your choice because, like you said, you know, it's it's, it is how it feels, it feels like play, I think just because Because I agree, it feels like play it's really fun. I enjoy digging into those parts of myself learning about myself, being able to be more okay with myself. Excuse me, um, but it is hard and it is scary. And the other thing I think, too, that I'm like learning is that there's no there is no like rule that says that you must do this work like there. is no, there is it is all completely optional. You can live a life without doing any of this. It's completely, like extra credit for lack of a better term. And and, you know, I don't know, well, okay. I don't know, this is a great segue. But let me let me ask you this because I've looked back on my life. And I can see how certain circumstances led me towards a path where doing all this stuff, feels easier feels not not easy, but it feels like the obvious choice, I guess. You know, like, I got outed as a member of the LGBT community when I was 13. In a small town. That was a very horrible experience at the time. But the reality is that it gave me an experience really early on in life, of embodying my truth and being okay, doing that, which I think is, you know, one of many experiences that helps lay down a foundation being able to do this work now. What do you think it was for you? That was kind of that tipping point, even if it wasn't a tipping point, but But have you thought about, like, why? How you came about, you know, doing this work and finding it to be in your experience the obvious choice as opposed to not doing the work? This is a great question. I love a good question. I mean, on one hand, I feel like I was born to do this. Yeah. I've been curious about people, since as long as I can remember. Yeah, I've been curious about people and observant about, like, I observe people in great detail. I'm a detail oriented person. So I listen to the words I listen to the tone, I will see body language, I will notice what shows someone is hurting, and I often will compliment them on that game. I'm very observant. You know, I really liked mystery stories and Detective kind of stuff Sherlock Holmes and the good detective stuff growing up, I read a lot of British literature, having grown up in India, so we were exposed to a lot of British literature for the English stuff that we read. And I was always drawn to mysteries, and especially human mysteries, where like someone would do something that was kind of outside of their norms, you're observing like variations from some radio observing a pattern and then breaks in the pattern. So I'm really good at finding what might be a pattern, and then what might be an anomaly to the pattern, for example, and that always gives me a clue. So I've always got like a little Sherlock Holmes brain going on. I'm an extremely curious individual. And I'm a very creative individual. I like that the creativity is like it, a lot of its centers. It's either, you know, making music, making art or understanding and being curious about human beings. So in one sense, on one hand, as I was saying, I feel like my personality is designed for this. I also love talking to strangers. That's a curious part of me, I most days, I will talk to at least a couple of strangers a day, either on the internet or in person right on the street, and get into deep conversations. So I also love conversation. And so that's one part of it. And I think the other part, I mean, getting specifically to the AFS work is probably my journey with rage, my personal journey with rage has been instrumental, which was tied to my marriage, which ended up not working out, largely due to the fact that I was experiencing such tremendous amounts of rage, and I didn't know what to do about it. And I didn't feel good when I experienced it. And I didn't feel good about the judgment that comes with being someone like that, because it's so misunderstood. And at the time, I didn't know anything. If you had talked to me about shame at the time, I would not I would have punched you in the face. I would have said not us. I would have said I don't even know what you're talking about. This has nothing to do with me or shame or anything. This is like the other person's fault because that this this this I was so focused on my own stuckness in this relationship, and it was a relationship that was a problem and it was also the other person that was a problem and it was a lot of that and it was it was uncontrollable. It eventually became chronic, uncontrollable and completely we at that point, it felt like the work was not Shall I Yeah. I have made desperate phone calls to professional places asking for help, in the worst of it saying, I don't know if I'm going to make it through the night. And I'm not exaggerating. So there comes a point for people sometimes. And I hope. I'm also wanting to talk about this a lot so that folks know that it doesn't have to get like that I'm not anyone to dictate anyone's journey or story, because mine involves getting to an really not good place. And others go to that place and don't come back. Or they go further. And then they come back, right, everyone has a different story. But part of my work in being vocal and open about my journey now that I don't experience the flooding of emotions when I talk about it, because when I first started talking about my rage, journey, people wouldn't believe me, just like, they don't believe that I'm Indian, because I'm too light skinned, or your hair is too short, or your English is too good. I'm like, what stereotype do you have in your mind? Okay, so what it means every I have spent so much time explaining my existence in the world to people. Yeah. And then take it as an opportunity now to have conversations rather than be upset about it. Like if they don't know, then they're curious. And now I can help you know, like, there are also people like me in the world who don't fit any need box. And we can have a conversation about that, and what stereotypes you might be bringing to that, and what your experience might be, and how you might expand the experience, if you're willing to if you wish to. So my rage journey was a big kind of more pointed focus, even though it's taken many, many, many, many, many years. And a lot of inner searching work to bring me to the point of like, okay, there's a, there's a model and a framework, and there's language around it that I can use, that helps me and that helps the people that I'm looking to serve. And so that's kind of on the other hand, one hand I was born to do this, I've been doing this all my life, and then the rage, shame and unhealed trauma journey, I mean, it's all kind of unhealed is like presumes that you're broken in some way. And then one day, you'll be fixed completely. And I don't buy that either. And really, my work is like, I don't give anyone that here's some tips and tricks and hacks and some neat little solutions in a box and follow this seven step strategy to get to a from A to B, my work is creating a safe space for people to lead by example, to share openly my experience and what I know, to be very open to who they are and be able to witness and hear and see them as they are. And often people have not been given a space to fully explore and express themselves without judgment, without being labeled with some illness or disorder or defect in any way to simply be viewed as they are for the humanity that is in them. And something magical happens when there's that safe space created. When people can put down and put words to the burdens that they're carrying, the shame that they carry, the struggles that they're having. And these are very hidden things that you're not allowed to talk to talk about, even some often to your spouse, hidden behaviors, compulsive behaviors, voices in their head that say you're not okay. Because if they want to number out or check out, right, even if they're there, they're, you know, the body's going but the rest of them is kind of offline. And so really my work is that, like certain people, I'm not the only one doing this work. But certain people will resonate, either with the way I speak, or the experience that I've had. It's similar to a right like, why is it that they're not it's not a roomful of licensed therapists and counselors, it's people who've had the lived experience and have lived through the transformation are continuing to live through the transformation. And there's some legitimacy hugely legitimacy and being in those rooms with people who are going through it or have gone through and walk away you have balked. Absolutely. And offer you the respect of your own journey being yours. I'm not going to foist my, my journey on you. Yours may take twists and turns and we can hold her I will just hold my light for you as you walk and find your own light until it is strong enough to like somebody else's path and yours as well. I love I love that analogy. I gotta I gotta tell you something about that line analogy but I'm going to save that for me once we stop the recording. Sorry listeners. I But yeah, I love that. Thank you for sharing that. I love everything that you have to say. And I think, you know, kind of what comes to me a little bit is, you know, when you're really first I think you're right, that does get to a point I think where it's, you know, if you get to do the work and choose to do the work beforehand, gray or if your life never yes is point great, but I think there are a lot of situations where it's like this or die, which sounds like was the position that you were in. But I think if you're if you're really curious about other people, it becomes really fun to realize that you can take that same curiosity about other people and turn that inward. That's exactly what it is. In fact, I just realized, even though this is a podcast and they will not be able to see but I have here behind me, you'll be able to see it. I have here behind me a little golden fabric egg. And inside this fabric golden egg with scales on it, Nibs, Dragon puppet, golden and Black Dragon puppet that comes out of the egg. This is my this is my rage dragon. All the Rage that burned through a lot of my life. That is not it was protected in nature. I know this now. It was well intended in nature, but was judged otherwise. I've understood now its fears and its motivations and its hopes and desires for me. And now it is a puppet and it is always near me. And we have a very good relationship. We have a very good relationship my rage and I have very close, my rage has now become an extremely powerful creative force rather than a destructive force. And allows me to create the music that I make, I have two bands one is I'm a punk band about punk trio. And I get to be my completely unrated crazy Rayji self. And there's a whole other look to it and everything. And it's like there's like a goddess energy that flows right through me I don't even know where it comes from. It is completely channeled is completely channeled, instead of positive dissociation like my rage used to be a destructive negative dissociation back in the day. And now it is similar but it's like a state of flow like pure creative flow. And just the same is the same energy. I've just been able to flip the switch I think just like it's an easy thing like point to a shutdown of work. And understanding and self forgiveness also understand understanding and compassion and forgiveness and people talk about self love. And people talk about compassion. And people talk about forgiveness and surrender and letting go and nobody showed me how and now I feel like I have a way and be kind to yourself but how love yourself but how Be compassionate yourself forgiving yourself but How about how about how I'm a process person and when you said right the digging is infinite. You can keep digging and digging and there's no end. I am a process person I fall in love with process. And when you're in love with the process, the end goal ceases to matter because you are just in love with the doing of it at the being a bit. Yeah. And that's my breathing in and out as I breathe in and out. I am doing the play and doing work. That's it. Yeah, it just becomes part of life. Hey, thank you so much for showing me your your dragon puppet. That's a cool little puppet. Puppet Yeah, that's great. I yeah, thank you so much. I think I think we're pretty much at a time Gosh, this was this went by super quickly even with the even with you adding a little bit more time to compensate for the FedEx interruption. This was I just I love talking to you Rana. I'm so you know, there's just certain people that you meet and it feels like especially because the wild circumstances that it takes to meet it just feels like certain people are in your life for a reason. There's no accident in meeting and you definitely feel like one of those people to me. I love watching your journey. I love seeing what you're doing. And another thing to talk about after recording I may be spending more time in Boston. So we'll we'll talk we'll talk about that. We'll see but my excited face again. Oh yeah. It's very exciting. I will say you were definitely more excited for the guitar but it's okay. It's okay. I understand. You can see me and talk to me online. You can't like play a guitar online. So I understand. I'm not I'm not offended but yeah. I would be very excited to see you in the area and also I'm this close to setting my own podcast again. I did one last year. And we met on a podcast, umbrella of doing podcast, you know, making a podcast and I've been putting that off for a while. For good reason. It's okay. I'm not gonna have any pressure. But I'm inspired to just kind of push the button and go with that. And you I invited to be on that. Yes, I'm so excited. I absolutely whenever that's up and running again. Yeah, no pressure, but whenever it's up and running, I'm down. I'm down. Awesome. Raina, thank you so much again, where would you like listeners to find you or follow you on the internet? I think at this point, since I still have no website and I don't know if I will. Instagram is my favorite platform at the moment. Right? It lets me post and write and make art and comics and and reptile stories. So I am at the punk monk Pu and Kn O and K on Instagram. So come find me there and we can play. Awesome. And the link link is in the show notes for that listeners. Raina again, thank you so much. And I will tell I guess Ricky I made it very clear. I've always liked by even though we're just on the recording, but this time, it's like very obvious that the calls not ending, you know, ruining the magic here for those. Thank you for having me. You're the best. I really enjoy your company and your presence. Thank you so much. All right now I'm gonna press stop by Raina Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming on to the show. having this conversation with me. Oh, my gosh, what a wonderful time. And it's an amazing, y'all, you know, peek behind the curtain. I you know, I record these ahead of time, obviously. And at the time of recording this interview in the beginning of November, I knew that I wanted it to likely be the first episode that comes out in December, right. And during the interview, as you heard, I was telling Raina that I was probably going to hopefully be spending more time in Boston. That is 100%. What's happening. The the winds of change are blowing me Eastern bound. We'll just put it like that for now. But what's amazing is that I planned a trip to Boston, and then realized after the fact that I would actually be in Boston today, if you're listening to this when the episode drops on on Tuesday, December 7. And I told us to rain on like, Hey, I'm going to be in Boston, like when this episode drops. And Raina says, Oh my gosh, that evening has just opened up for me. Like let's do something, let's get on live like, you know, all of these ideas kind of start floating around. So be on the lookout on both Instagram and Tik Tok. If you're listening to this, the day the show comes out, I'm sure I'll announce some stuff on Instagram as well. Or maybe not, maybe it'll be something spontaneous. But I just love how all of that lined up, I was already going to be in Boston anyway, I was already going to post this episode anyway. And the fact that these two things kind of happen at the same time. It's just I don't know, I love stuff like that. As, as always, thank you so much for being on this journey with me. You know, when I started this podcast, what's seven months ago now, I had no idea really what I was trying to do. I just knew that I had no idea what direction my life was gonna go. And I had to do something. And the connections that I've made as a result of this podcast have been literally life changing. I mean, gosh, I have, there's so many people that I've had on this show that I just I really really look up to. Rain is one of them. I mean, just about everybody that's come onto this show is someone that I really look up to, you know, at the end of every episode we'll do I always say, Stay evolving. I've never really gotten into why I say that. You know, I started saying stay evolving, because to me, I feel like that's what life is all about. We're constantly growing into more and more authentic versions of ourselves, or at least hopefully, right like, that's hopefully what we're doing. That's what I tried to do at least. And part of that is really trusting that still small voice inside of me. You know, and that was the voice that told me to start this podcast to begin with. Don't worry about what direction it's going to take you and like just do it. Just trust the process. And at this point, it's that same voice. It's telling telling me that this podcast is just about served its purpose. And I have one more episode already recorded ready to go. I'm not quite sure what's going to happen from there. I might go on a hiatus immediately after that podcast, or immediately after that episode, I might record a couple more things before going on hiatus. But there's so much change happening in my life, I'm going to start spending time on the East Coast, I'm starting a full time job in tech that I'm actually really excited about. I can't, I'm not quite ready to announce exactly where I'm going. But I will say that I'll be working very closely with a former guest of the show. So I'm super, super excited about that. My tic toc is growing into this amazing space for me to be able to have a creative outlet, while also connecting to the queer and trans community there. And my values are becoming clearer and the the ways that I want to spend my time are shifting, I've become very aware of the energy that I'm putting out into the world, and really wanting to be deliberate with how and where I spend that energy. And all that being said, if this podcast is to continue, it's going to need to be a new season with a completely different direction. Where that direction will be exactly I don't know. I know it's going to be more closely involved with the LGBTQIA community that much I can say for sure. The influences of capitalism that motivated this podcast in the beginning need to be dismantled, there's just there's a lot of change that would need to happen. But that's kind of the whole point of it. Right? You know, it This podcast was never meant to be the exact same thing carbon copied over and over again, I named this podcast the Leo Yockey show, because I didn't want it to be tied to any kind of purpose or point or format. I wanted it to be able to grow and evolve as I grow and evolve. So while I'm taking this break, however long that may be, it's really important to me that when I come back, this feels like an authentic expression of who I am at this point, and not, you know who I was earlier this year. So anyway, like I said, I have I definitely have at least one more episode coming out. That'll be a really special one, too. This will be my first time having multiple guests on a single episode. Some of the folks that I volunteer with at Noho home alliance will be talking about the housing crisis in LA and some of the things that we're doing to to address it, and some of the challenges and rewards that come with that. It'll be the last episode of 2021 possibly the last episode of the season, possibly the last episode ever. I'm again, I'm not 100% Sure. There's a lot of change in the air in my world. And again, just thank you so much for being on this journey with me. Shout out to all of the friends that have just helped me and supported me on this journey. Old and New Reina Of course, being one of them. And yeah, I'm really excited for the direction that my life is heading in. I'm really, really excited for the direction that a lot of my friends lives are heading in. It's been an incredible journey. I really appreciate all of the love that I've gotten from all of you both in and outside of the context of this podcast. I could ramble on forever. I don't really know how to wrap this up other than again, just saying thank you. I hope you stick around for this next episode coming out in two weeks, which is December 21. Just in time for the holidays. Keep an eye out on social media for stuff that I'll be doing with Reina today, December 7. If you're listening to this on December 7, please follow me on Tik Tok. If you're on there, I'm having a blast there. Stay safe. Protect your energy. Take care of yourself. Stay evolving.