668: Rewiring the Subconscious Mind, Learning Self Love & Finding Peace With Stephanie Kwong

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Rewiring the Subconscious Mind, Learning Self Love & Finding Peace with Stephanie Kwong
Wellness Mama » Episode » 668: Rewiring the Subconscious Mind, Learning Self Love & Finding Peace With Stephanie Kwong
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The Wellness Mama Podcast
668: Rewiring the Subconscious Mind, Learning Self Love & Finding Peace With Stephanie Kwong
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Today’s episode is on a topic that I think will be helpful to a lot of you. Our conversation today is all about letting go of trauma fast, rewiring our subconscious mind, learning self-love, and finding peace.

I’m here with Stephanie Kwong who has spent over 13 years in the personal development industry. She’s trained and worked as a subconscious rewiring coach and is now the Co-founder and CEO of the Rapid Rewire Method. Stephanie has made it her mission to show the world how these tools can help us cultivate joy, find fulfillment and liberation, and end cycles of suffering.

And I’m really excited about this because our subconscious brain and past trauma can really impact not only our thoughts, feelings, and relationships, but our physical health as well. Stephanie introduces us to a groundbreaking and radically effective method that guarantees rapid integrative healing, change, and transformation. Many of us are conditioned to think we need years of therapy before seeing progress, but Stephanie is here to show us that isn’t the case.

It’s also a bit more of a vulnerable episode for me because she does an exercise with me while we’re on the podcast together. And we go over a recent frustration I’ve been having and help me to let it go and overcome it. So let’s jump right in!

Episode Highlights With Stephanie

  • How a very difficult adult experience led her to the work she does today and how it profoundly impacted her too
  • What a stuck identity is and how they can get in the way of achieving what we want
  • An identity is when we take on a point of view to help achieve something and why the stuck identities are the issue
  • What happens when we have two conflicting identities at the same time
  • The brain doesn’t know the difference between something that has actually happened and an imagined experience of the same thing
  • How to use the fact that the brain doesn’t know the difference between doing an imagining to your advantage
  • Things we can do to help our children avoid stuck identities by allowing them to speak authentically without judgement
  • The key to integration is to de-identify with individual ones
  • A live demo on me of one of her processes on something vulnerable happening in my life and how you can use this same system with journaling to work through something
  • Why self talk is so important and how to learn how to shift it if this is something that is a struggle for you
  • Three tools that helped her shift her inner self talk
  • What mirror work is and how it can be helpful
  • Why play is important and how it means that your inner child feels safe – a lightning bolt moment for me… was my resistance to play and games for many years because my inner child didn’t feel safe?

Resources We Mention

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Child: Welcome to my Mommy’s podcast.

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Katie: Hello and welcome to the Wellness Mama Podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com, and this episode is all about letting go of trauma fast, rewiring the subconscious mind, learning self love, and finding peace. And I’m here with Stephanie Kwong, who I got to connect with recently, and she has spent over 13 years in the personal development industry, having trained and worked as a subconscious rewiring coach and is now serving as the Co-Founder and CEO of the Rapid Rewire Method. She’s deeply obsessed with this method because it is a groundbreaking and radically effective mental, emotional, and spiritual process that guarantees rapid integrative, healing, change, and transformation. And she feels it’s her mission to show the world how these tools are so capable of cultivating joy, fulfillment and liberation and ending cycles of suffering. And she shares some of the specifics about this today. I’ll also include links to her website where you can actually try out part of the process for free and do it at home.

And she does a live demonstration on me during the episodes. I actually get a little bit vulnerable about some stress going on in my house right now and with my kids, so I don’t normally get that vulnerable in a podcast. But you can see how the method works on me during the course of this episode. But we talk about how a very difficult adult experience in her life led to the work that she does today and how it’s impacted her. We talk about what a stuck identity is and how it can get in the way of achieving what we want in life. How an identity is when we take on a point of view to help achieve something, and why stuck identities are actually the issue. What happens when we have two conflicting identities at the same time. How the brain doesn’t know the difference between something that is actually happening and an imagined experience of the same thing, and how we can actually use this to our advantage.

We talk about things we can do to help our children avoid stuck identities by allowing them to speak and speak authentically and without judgment from us. We talk about the key to integration is actually to de-identify with the individual identities that are going on. Like I said, she does a live demo on me, and then we talk about why self-talk is so important and how to learn how to shift it. She shares three tools that helped her shift her inner self talk, what mirror work is and how it’s helpful and why play is so important. And this was a light bulb moment for me because she explained how play is a signal that your inner child feels safe. And if you don’t feel comfortable with play or dancing or anything, it can sometimes signal that inner child doesn’t feel safe. So, very fascinating, wide ranging episode that, like I said, got a little vulnerable for me as well. I hope that you enjoy as much as I did. And let’s join Stephanie. Stephanie. Welcome. Thank you so much for being here.

Stephanie: Thank you so much, Katie, for having me on your show.

Katie: Well, I’m going to just jump into the real depths of it today with you because I know that you have so much to share that I think can really profoundly help a lot of the people listening, and I want to make sure we get into as much of that as possible. So to start with a really tough first question. I know that you got into the work that you do because of very personal experience as an adult. And I would love for you, if you’re willing to share that very personal story as some background for people to understand your story of how you got here and the work that you do.

Stephanie: Yeah, happy to share that. So I have been a, call it a subconscious rewiring coach for over 14 years, but also as a student and seeker for over 20 of my own healing and integration and consciousness evolution, and highly trained in many different modalities, like hypnosis, NLP, breath work, somatic experiencing tre, etc. And on February 20, 2021, I experienced a miscarriage. I got pregnant without trying, and I deeply desire to be a mom. So when I got pregnant without trying at all, we weren’t planning. I was on a high. I was like, this is meant to be. It’s a divine gift. What a little miracle. And at nine and a half weeks, I miscarried. And so, needless to say, I went into a dark hole because I was thinking meant to be. And then why would it be so cruel that I could get pregnant and then have it so painfully be taken away? Not just physically, but obviously mentally and emotionally.

And I know that there’s no timeline for grieving, but after five months, I was still stuck in cycles where I would go into deep grief loops, where I couldn’t even get out of bed, and I wasn’t functioning. If I would see a pregnancy announcement on social media, and I feel like everybody in 2021 was having their COVID babies, I would open up Facebook or Instagram, I would see it, and I would go into a downward spiral once again, I couldn’t even see people holding babies, sometimes even when I was out and about. So I was having a difficult time just functioning day to day because of this trauma of the miscarriage. And like I said, there’s no timeline for grieving, right? You can grieve for a while, but when it actually gets in the way of your ability to function, then it becomes a problem.

And so at that five month mark, fortunately, I got introduced to Wesley, my co-founder of the Rapid Rewire Method, and in 60 minutes, he processed the trauma and drained the emotional charge. That when I was like a crying, snotting mess. At the beginning, I could not find sadness or grief in my body. And I literally was like searching for it. I said some cuss words like what did you do to me? And so continued on working with these tools that are the Rapid VR method, cleared things at rapid speed and at the seven week mark got the download that I’m meant to bring these tools into the world, but that’s how these came into my consciousness. And even with everything I’d been trained with before, everything that I learned, I still couldn’t help myself. And even all my friends, I have tons of friends who are coaches, healers, etc, around me. And this was the thing that really supported and that’s what brought me to this work.

Katie: Yeah, this is new to me and I’m very excited to learn from you about it today because this is a thing I noticed in myself and I noticed in others who share their stories with me because of me sharing my story is that when you’ve been through something difficult or even when you’ve had an illness or something that impacts your life a lot, it’s easy to let that become part of your identity. And one of the things I learned the hard way in my own journey was to be very careful about anything I put after the words I am. So I stopped saying I am sick because that’s not my identity. And to start really just paying attention to that inner dialogue. And it seems like that you are touching on that and really getting to the root of it and helping to not even just integrate it. Not all of these things we hear in therapy, but to actually entirely integrate, let it go and let it integrate the experience in a much more profound way. But can you touch on that? Like what is stuck identity? What happens when we make these things part of our identity and how get in the way of our progress?

Stephanie: Yeah, so good question. So an identity, we have tons of identities, right? And in like ifs internal family systems, you can call them parts, different parts of us or identities when we talk about it in our work, an identity is when we take on a point of view in order to achieve something. So it’s a point of view plus a goal. And in order to achieve that goal, we need to step into that identity. Right? Now, identities are not a problem. It’s the stuck identities that become the issue. And the problem occurs when we have two conflicting identities that have two conflicting goals happening at the same time and then we don’t know what to do. So then we’re unable to take action and we can get up all caught up in that and feel stuck.

When we have integrated identities, that’s when now we have the power to choose who we want to be or how we want to be in order to achieve something. And we have the freedom to truly access all parts of ourselves. So I’ll give it an example because this might be a little heady for people like, what do you mean, a role and a goal and all that.

But let’s say that you’re in a really good relationship, right? You most likely in a good relationship have the identity of an open person. So that identity of an open person, the goal is to be in a loving relationship and everything is okay. And then once you come home one day and the person that you’re with says, I don’t want to be with you anymore, I found someone else and I’m going to leave. Well, now what happens is there’s a defeat of my goal and I can’t have the relationship anymore. So now I have a missing pattern for this life event. And now I need to create a coping identity on the spot to preserve some sort of ego identity. So what would I most likely do if I get hurt is probably take on the identity to cope as a closed person, right? So I was an open person, but now in order to cope from the hurt, I’ve created an identity as a closed person. And as a closed person in that identity, that point of view, what is my goal? I don’t want to get hurt. And that coping identity, of course it works, right? I don’t get into a relationship right away. I become less trusting. It helps me from getting hurt to be a closed person.

However, if you still have the dream and the desire to be in a loving relationship at some point, it becomes a problem when these two identities start conflicting, where it’s like you want to be open. But now, to cope, you form the closed identity and you’re so afraid of getting hurt, you want to protect yourself so much that that closed identity keeps getting in the way. And now you’re kind of on a seesaw or a yoyo and this vacillation is what causes the problems because on the one hand you want to be an open person and being a loving relationship and on the other hand you think, maybe I should be a closed person to protect myself. And then this is what has you become categorically stuck.

And now when an opportunity comes along and there’s this person that is wanting to shower you with love and you don’t know which identity to embody, you don’t actually have choice because it’s stuck. And you start to go back and forth where you’re closed, you’re open, you’re closed, you’re open and you’re basically sending out a mixed bag of signals and someone thinks, well, this person’s a hot mess now you’re going to be in dumpster fire to be in a relationship with. And so then they leave and then single again and on continues a cycle. But really your desire to be with a partner gets thwarted because of this stuck identity that’s happening inside. So again, you get these two conflicting identities with two different goals that you’re trying to achieve at the same time and you don’t know what to do.

And you see this a lot. Even when people are trying to achieve a goal with business and maybe they have the identity of a worthless person or an undeserving person or an incapable person and it’s stuck there. And they created that because of something that occurred to them maybe when they were young, right, or even as an adult, because they can get in these stuck identity patterns as an adult. And you keep saying, well, I want to take action on my dream or towards my business. And if this identity is stuck there, it keeps thwarting that or sabotaging your ability to actually move forward. So that’s kind of how identities are formed and what their intention is. And the problem really is when you get stuck there and you don’t have the freedom to choose who you want to be in which moment.

And so our work really is about untangling that and allowing you to know the difference and to have an integration means both are available. You can have love and fear at the same time. And you hear people out there saying, well, become fearless, or f fear, get rid of it. And in my mind and through our work, we’re like, well, no, you don’t want to get rid of fear because fear, when necessary, can help protect you. If you see an issue happening, you don’t want to run into it because you’re fearless. You have no fear. You want fear to be able to stop you in the right way. But in most of society, we see people stuck in fear, right? They’re stuck in that identity of a fearful person and then again, it gets in their way. So I hope that explains what identities are and where they can create problems when they become stuck.

Katie: Yeah, absolutely. And it seems like that pattern of having a stuck identity actually then sort of subconsciously creates that thing that you’re afraid is going to happen and it just kind of creates a loop where that keeps going. And I relate to that when I had a pretty severe trauma happen when I was in high school and I remember that feeling of helplessness in that moment was so terrifying and everything in me rallied against it. And so I became probably what you would call like a closed person after where I vowed I was never going to get hurt again. And I just didn’t even let emotions happen because I wasn’t going to be hurt. And I didn’t cry for over a decade, I didn’t yell, nothing like I just locked down. Which obviously is not a healthy, probably coping response for that situation. But it brings the question, if a person does have these conflicting identities, how does a person get unstuck?

Stephanie: Yeah, so the beautiful thing is the brain doesn’t know the difference between something that’s actually happening or something that you’re imagining. The limbic system response doesn’t actually differentiate between the two of an actual reality or an imagined experience of something. How do we know that that’s true? Well, if you go to any sports bar on any game night, you see a bunch of people just excited as if they were on the field or if they’re just watching. And so that same part of the brain, it lights up when you can actually be in that activity and experience as if it’s happening. So we exploit that principle that the brain doesn’t know the difference between doing something and imagining something.

So that means if we can complete the actual satisfaction of that across all four elements in the mind and body. So that’s what differentiates our work, is the four elements of how we store something in our brain and our body through images, thoughts, emotions and body sensations. If we can satisfy that those are complete and versus stuck, then we can actually let it go. And then if a next layer comes up, we also allow ourselves to experience that and let it go. So a lot of our work is about finding out what is this goal, right? What is this stuck identity that we’ve now identified? What is its goal? And we’re able to articulate that. And the moment we articulate the goal, the charge around that identity that’s holding it in place begins to drop out and you start to feel like you’re okay.

And so inside of our work, we actually articulate not just the goal, but the emotion that’s tethered to it. And then the need and the intention of why we’re holding on to this identity. And then even the belief structures and the declarations and the decisions that you’ve made. And as we’re able to pinpoint them clearly and articulate them, they begin to break apart and fade away. And that’s how someone can untangle it. But most times, we don’t spend the time to even see what’s having this in place. We just keep acting on automatic from that Stuck identity, having the same thought patterns, having the same exact actions, which then keeps leading to the same results. And most of the time for people, it’s the results that we don’t want versus what we do want. So that’s a simplistic way of doing it. And following a process to be able to actually articulate what’s happening is what allows us to alleviate and let go of the charge that’s keeping that identity stuck.

Katie: And as a person goes through that process, is there a way to learn? Or can a person do things that help them become less likely to get stuck again in conflicting identities in the future and or for moms listening? Are there things we can do to help our kids have a foundation that might help them avoid some of these getting stuck experiences?

Stephanie: Yeah. So I think a big key first is we have tools that help literally integrate stuck identities. And again, the integration is when we allow we do a process where both of them are okay, one’s not better than the other, one is not in charge or the other is in charge. They’re literally both available and you’re deidentifying fully with both. So then now you can choose instead of being fully identified with one. Something that you could do really to help your kiddos is and we actually did this with my partner’s daughter, my stepdaughter is we realized for her with the divorce, it wasn’t spoken about. And so all of these coping mechanisms, these identities she created in order to cope with that experience and so what’s really profound and beautiful to do with your children. Look, we all are on a soul path, so we’re all going to get messed up in some way and then it’s going to be our life’s journey to untangle those for ourselves. So it’s not like any parent can fully stop their children from having traumas or interpretations that we equate to traumas or having stuck identities.

But really enabling your child to speak truly and authentically and speaking about what happened, what does it mean to them, what are the emotions that come up for them? What are they trying to achieve or what would they want instead? And really allowing that time for them to articulate what’s present, you can start to rewrite and support them in recreating a new meaning, a new story, and a new way of dealing with a situation like that that comes up that doesn’t have to be a coping identity to protect and preserve. And that takes work for the mother first or for the parent, mother or father to be able to do that. Because if we’re not okay with our own emotions, we’re going to have a tough time speaking to our children about their emotions. If we have a hard time articulating what it is that we want or need or what was hurtful, our children are going to have a hard time with that too and we’re not going to be able to support them in that. So really it starts with the parent first to do the work and then really being able to create that space for your child to articulate all of that as well.

Katie: That makes sense. A common theme when I have parenting podcast is about how what we model is so much more impactful than what we say. And so it makes sense that especially in this world, us actually going through that process and doing the work ourselves and showing them how it can be done gives them the permission and the freedom to be able to do it more easily themselves. So I love that as a starting point. And it also brings up the idea that I think when we talk of moms mom is a big identity for a lot of women who have kids. And I would argue maybe the biggest identity that a lot of us associate with when we have kids, but also certainly not the only one. So does this come into play with kind of, like, life roles as well? And any advice for women who are trying to navigate that identity as a mom, but also identity as someone in business or an identity as a wife or partner or all of the many identities that we carry throughout our lives?

Stephanie: Yeah, well, the key to integration is actually to deidentify with it. And I know that sounds counterintuitive, right? But if you identify too much as a mom, you lose those other pieces. It’s the ability to flex and move in and out of those identities is what creates a true liberation, freedom, and power for somebody that in this moment. I remember hearing this, and it’s so relevant, but Lucille Ball, when people said, I don’t know if people even know who she is. It was still past generation for me when I was growing up. But I remember Lucille Ball. But people asked her, what has you become so successful? You are a producer, you direct, you’re an actress, and you’re a mom. And she said, well, what supports me is whatever I’m doing, I’m there fully 100%, and then I can shift. And whatever that next thing I’m doing, I’m there fully 100%. The challenge is, again, we’re not able to move fluidly through all of these. And if you identify too much with mom, and especially if you have beliefs and conclusions and decisions about what it means to be a mom, that’s usually where people can get stuck.

So let’s say for a mom, and I see so many of them, and even it’s a little bit different for me as a step mom. But when I see a lot of my friends who have kids, you got to self sacrifice. They’re in the identity of a self person or as a non prioritized person, right. Or that there’s so many different things that moms can get stuck in. And when they’re stuck in that identity as a mom, the sub identities, this is when it can become a problem. And many times when we’re in that, it bleeds into other areas of our life.

So if you or someone, as a sub identity think that you’re not worthy or you’re not capable or you have to prioritize other people over you, what do you think you do in your work? What do you think you do in your romantic relationships? What do you think you do in your friendships? And so it’s really key to be able to see, where do I feel stuck? Where do I feel limited? Where is it that I don’t have the freedom to move and shift and actually achieve the things that I say that I want or to show up fully myself? And I’m pulling back or showing ways that are not authentically me. That’s where you need to start doing the work to uncover and to do the shifting of, again, those identities or those personifications of things that you feel are going to get you what you want that are not working for you.

Katie: Yeah, I was nodding along as you were talking because I can resonate with that. And I would guess these things get probably programmed early or from all kinds of sources early in life. But I had that mentality of self sacrificing mom, and I think I had what some therapists would call that kind of caretaker thing where I had to make sure everybody else was happy all the time or I didn’t feel safe. And again, back to realizing that’s what I was actually modeling. So even if I was saying something different to my kids, that’s what they were seeing, and the data is very clear on that, of, like, what we model is what they really pay attention to. And so it’s something I’ve been very actively working on the last few years. It seems like maybe this is also a skill of sorts to learn that process of deidentifying, but what are some of the steps? And I know you have a whole process around this, and I’ll make sure that linked in the show notes, but that seems like such a valuable point, is that concept of deidentifying with these parts of an identity that might not be serving?

Stephanie: Yeah. So again, it’s really about the ability to take the time to identify and articulate what’s actually happening. So with these identities, there are different things that you can start to extract when you go, oh, I see that I’m in the role of a self sacrificing person. For some way, some reason, whatever happened in my history, and we don’t always have to go digging to when was the genesis of this? We just know that it’s a problem right now, right? That’s what we deal with is, like, what’s actually happening right now versus, like, let’s go.

I remember an old mentor said to me, she’s like, Stephanie, you don’t always need to know why the trash stinks to know that you want to throw it out. Just throw it out. And I think in so many different modalities as well, we’re always trying to dig, dig to find the genesis. But once you do, it’s like, then what? And so our work is like, how is it impacting you now and again? Let’s come back to the self sacrificing person. Right. Some way, somehow, we chose that as a coping mechanism, a way to feel like it’s going to help us survive, to protect us in some way, and then start to break it down. What is the goal? What are you trying to achieve by being a self sacrificing person? Maybe it’s to get love. Maybe it’s to not get hurt. Maybe it’s to seem valuable. Maybe it’s because you aren’t worthy anyway, and it’s to reinforce that. So start to really identify what that is, what is the goal.

And then also what’s the emotion? So when you’re in this state of self sacrificing person, what’s the emotional charge that arises for you, what’s present? And if you can articulate that, most people don’t. All of this stuff is just tethered together. And what we’re doing is we’re breaking it apart, looking at it for what it is, and that actually starts to have that identity come apart and to integrate in. Right. Also, what is the need or the intention similar to what is the goal, what is the need for this? And then what are some beliefs that a self sacrificing person has? And then you extract all of those. What are some conclusions that I’ve made as a self sacrificing person? That I’m not deserving, that I shouldn’t go first, that if I do, people won’t love me or I’ll be rejected by those that I love, that I won’t seem like a good mom if I’m not self sacrificing, that people will think that I am not a good person, whatever that might be. And as you start to again, really dive in and extract it and give it a voice and give it a space, it starts to all break apart. Now, our tools again are a little bit more complicated, but even merely just by articulating those things, it will support someone in being able to break apart that identity.

Katie: That makes so much sense. And it seems like this would also help avoid the pitfalls that I’ve seen in myself and in others, of getting stuck in the identity or the space of a person who has trauma or even a person who’s healing from trauma and letting that become what is your life at that point. And also to your point, it seems like having done a lot of therapy in the last ten years, finding the source doesn’t necessarily fix the problem. So I love that idea of you don’t have to know why the trash stinks sometimes to let go of it. It just seems like often for people maybe that seems not even possible to be able to just let go of it.

And it seems like often people maybe even just anticipate that it’s going to be a very difficult process, or that therapy has to be very hard or very long, or it’s going to take many, many years. Which is why I was so intrigued by the method that you have. Because I think it seems almost too good to be true to some people that can actually just when you integrate this, you can rewrite that pretty quickly, it seems like. Can you give some examples of how long this process often takes or what that experience looks like for people?

Stephanie: Yeah, so, I mean, it really doesn’t have to take that long. For me, that process of integrating that trauma right, where it became information versus I was identifying with that trauma and made up that I wasn’t enough of a woman that I can never have. I mean, there’s all these things that then kept me stuck in that grief and sad loop, right. That I couldn’t deidentify myself with a problem. What we do in our work again is a lot of just when we deidentify with it, it becomes information versus who you are. And that took gosh, I wasn’t checking the time. It was probably like 60 minutes. But now whenever I process people, I become a little crazy about seeing how fast I can do it.

So I have things on record where I had actually a family member who felt really stuck about putting his music out on Spotify and finishing songs and was feeling really scared to do that. And in twelve minutes shifted that identity of the person of a scared person and boom. He was able to finish his songs and create a Spotify account, literally right after our session. Twelve minutes I had shared with you before we started recording one of our students. She actually witnessed a death at the beach. She lives in Florida in Cocoa Beach, and she saw a surfer get hit with coral or actually the aftermath. She didn’t see the actual accident, but he was on the beach and was injured. And then she and her boyfriend ran over and watched the process of him passing. And she kept having flashbacks, couldn’t even go back to a beach. And with one of our trauma integration tool in 18 minutes she was good again and even went back to the beach. We zoomed with her just to show that this works. And she was at the site of the accident, was fine. She saw memorial for him. His name is Kevin Moon. He’s a pro surfer, actually, and who had injured himself or passed. And she was like, all I think is or feel is nothing but gratitude and peace. She goes, oh, and I forgot to tell you, I’m going to take up surfing. And like, what? That’s when you show that something has been integrated where she’s no longer scared or avoiding something or not able to function, but now she’s actually able to make a choice for herself from pure power and freedom that she wasn’t able to before because of the trauma and where she felt stuck in her fear.

So, anywhere from many times I see things occur in less than 45 minutes at very much less than 60 minutes. If it’s a huge issue and then it depends on the processee, it could take maybe two sessions, so two 60 minutes, but for the most part it can happen pretty quickly. And I don’t even know if you’re up for it, Katie, but if we worked on something really mild for you, I could take you through a quick process and show how fast this can work. Hopefully you’re an easy processee, but I’m happy to even run a demo if that’s beneficial or if you have more questions that you’d rather ask, we could do that too.

Katie: I do have more questions, but I’m totally willing to be the guinea pig for you so people can actually kind of get a feel for it.

Stephanie: Okay, perfect. I’m going to use a tool that’s a little bit more simplistic versus our identity integration tool. But choose something right now for the sake of just because we have limited time that’s not like at a ten out of ten on high emotional charge. So is there something that just frustrates you or irritates you right now or that you wish wasn’t happening but isn’t like a massive life issue for you, but something that’s just there that’s bugging you?

Katie: Yeah, let’s see. Maybe this I don’t know if this will be applicable. I could think of another one if it’s not, but my two youngest have been sort of struggling with bedtime routine lately and resisting it. And so every night it’s like a stress point of bedtime. And then I feel like a failure as a mom, and it never escalates to ever me, like, getting mad or yelling, but I definitely feel like my frustration rise, which I suspect is also kind of energetically contributing to the difficulty with bedtime. That’s the first kind of recurring thing that comes to mind. That’s been a recent stress.

Stephanie: All right, let’s do it. So the problem when you put your attention to it is you’re two little struggling to get to sleep. Is that correct?

Katie: Yes. And having like 10 million questions and bedtime taking 2 hours.

Stephanie: Okay, perfect. And then when you put your attention to that, you named it. But I just want you to be able to articulate again what’s the emotion that comes up for you when you’re with your kiddos who can’t sleep, aren’t willing to go to sleep.

Katie: I would say frustration and then probably also feeling like I’m not a good mom because I’m not able to help them get through that process more easily.

Stephanie: Okay, so let’s start with frustration as just our opening point. And so I’m just going to have you this is going to be a journaling exercise, so I’m giving a more simplistic tool so those who are listening can actually do this at home if they wanted to. It’s what I love. Our tools are quite simple, but all you’re going to be doing is you’re going to be writing a series of sentences, concise sentences and free flow. Not judging, not trying to find the right thing, but sentences about how you feel about that current issue right now.

And then what we’re going to do is that’s bringing unconscious content conscious, most of us don’t ever think, like, why does this bother me so much? Right? It just bothers you. You have frustration, but you’re like but what is it about your two kids struggling to go to bed? That’s actually causing the issue. And then after we bring the unconscious content conscious, we’re going to now start to do the cleanup on the mind and the body, so through images, thoughts, emotions, and body sensations.

So I’m just going to ask you to tell me what’s the first image that comes up? What’s the first automatic thought? What’s the emotion you’re feeling now? And then where do you feel it in your body? And that’s when we’re going to clean up. And eventually, you might witness the content shift from frustration to something that’s more empowering, that will enable you to find more solutions to help your kiddos go to bed. And also let go of that weird, silly, silly belief that you’re not a good mom, because I know that you are super mom Katie. Go ahead and if you have a piece of paper and pen, you can grab that. Okay, perfect. So when you think about the original problem, which is your two little struggling with sleeping, go ahead and write down four concise sentences about how you feel about that emotion or about that problem right now. So what are four concise sentences? Just write those down. Stream of consciousness. How do you feel about the problem? Could it be like, I’m sick of this, I wish they would just go to sleep? Do you have them?

Katie: I think so. Yeah.

Stephanie: Okay. What are they?

Katie: I feel frustrated. I feel inadequate. It makes me impatient, and I’m also just tired.

Stephanie: Thank you. So go ahead and look at those four sentences right now. Just review those in your mind. Okay. Go ahead and close your eyes, and what’s the first image that you see?

Katie: Their bedroom.

Stephanie: Okay, great. And then what’s the first thought that you have.

Katie: I’m kind of, like, dreading going into the room every night at bedtime.

Stephanie: Okay, thank you. And what’s the emotion that you feel now?

Katie: Probably frustration would be the top one. Or even, like, a little bit of anger or annoyance.

Stephanie: Okay. And where do you feel that anger or annoyance in your body? Just notice.

Katie: I got kind of a rush of just feeling warm all over, but also kind of like, on my shoulders especially.

Stephanie: Okay, thank you. And then take a deep breath in and out. Good. You can open up your eyes to something I forgot to ask you in the beginning. On a scale of one to ten, how intense is that frustration for you?

Katie: Probably like a five or six. Not super, super intense.

Stephanie: Perfect. We don’t want something super intense right now. And then how do you want to feel instead? So that’s the goal we’re going to achieve for you. How do you want to feel instead of frustration or feeling like, not a good mom? How do you want to feel instead about your two little struggling with sleep?

Katie: Probably calm and present.

Stephanie: So go ahead and cross out those four sentences since they’re a little bit negative. We’ll just cross those right out. And then I want you to go ahead and write three concise sentences about how you feel about the original problem now. So three concise sentences about your two little struggling with sleep. And go ahead and write that down. Stream of consciousness.

Katie: About the feelings themselves?

Stephanie: No, just about the problem. So when you think about your two little struggling to go to sleep, how do you feel about that right now? And just write three sentences. Just trust what comes up. Don’t overthink it or change it. Run, honest with yourself. And you write that down.

Katie: Okay.

Stephanie: What do you have?

Katie: I feel calmer, but I still feel overwhelmed and a little exhausted.

Stephanie: Thank you. So look at those three sentences. And we’re going to do that same thing of clearing it. Right. So go ahead and review those three sentences that you wrote down. Close your eyes. What’s the first image that you see in your mind?

Katie: Now, it’s me reading them a story.

Stephanie: Thank you. What’s the first private thought that crosses your mind?

Katie: I don’t know what the words for it would be, but just more of like a presence, like hugging them. Snuggling.

Stephanie: Okay. Thank you. And what’s the emotion that you feel now? What do you feel now?

Katie: Definitely calmer.

Stephanie: And where do you feel that calm in your body?

Katie: Kind of solar plexus, center of chest area. Okay.

Stephanie: What does it feel like? Can you describe it?

Katie: Kind of like cool air.

Stephanie: Okay. Thank you. So this is a really incredibly important part, again, that clearing it’s in the experiencing of what’s happening, that we’re able to let it go or just let it shift. Okay, so go ahead and take a deep breath in and out. You’re doing great. And it’s already starting to shift. But go ahead and write down two concise sentences about how you feel about that original problem now. So about your two little struggling to sleep. How do you feel about that problem right now? And trusting whatever comes up, not overthinking it or changing it. There’s no perfect or right answer. We’re just dumping it out and bringing the unconscious content conscious. Got it. All right. What do you have, Katie?

Katie: This time it was I feel peaceful and I feel loving.

Stephanie: Great. So looking at those two sentences, I feel peaceful and I feel loving. Close your eyes. What image do you see now?

Katie: Just me, like, cuddled into the younger one’s bed with all of the stuffed animals everywhere and just, like, hugging both of them.

Stephanie: And what’s the first private thought that crosses your mind?

Katie: Just that it would probably, like, if I just sat in that moment, it would probably be a much quicker process than if I was trying to make it go faster because I was stressed about it.

Stephanie: Beautiful. What’s the emotion that you’re experiencing right now?

Katie: Peacefulness.

Stephanie: Thank you. And where do you feel that peacefulness in your body?

Katie: In my shoulders.

Stephanie: What’s different about where you feel in your shoulders?

Katie: Instead of being like a flush of warm, it’s just kind of like a flush of relaxation. And my shoulders are always where I typically hold tension.

Stephanie: Beautiful. Okay, so for the sake of time, because I’m sure you’re like, we also got more to go. What I would do then is go ahead and just close your eyes for a moment and feel that peace, feel that calm. This is a goal that we wanted to get you to. And I want you literally to dive into this feeling, allowing yourself to be fully immersed with it, become one with it. And it’s flooding you so much that you have so much of this peace and calm within that you literally feel it emanating out of you infinitely. Out through the front of your heart, through the back of your heart, out through the top of your head and down through your feet, to the left and to the right of you. Sending this love, this peace, this calm out. And go ahead and actually send it out in the direction of your two littles whatever direction you think they might be. Just send it to them right now, knowing that you did this work for you today. You have a bit left over for them, and you’re just sending this peace and this calm their way. Taking a deep breath in and out. You can open your eyes whenever you feel right and ready. And now, Katie, when you think about your two little struggling to go to sleep, how’s that for you now?

Katie: Much, much calmer. Feels like very diffused.

Stephanie: Yeah. Okay, great. It’s on a scale of one to ten, you’re out of five, six. Where is it now?

Katie: Like a one or a two?

Stephanie: Okay. And then we’ll see what happens tonight at bedtime. Please report back and let me know how it goes. But you went super fast. Sometimes, whoever’s listening, you could go four sentences, three, two, one word. If the one word is still negative, then go back up the chain, do one sentence, two sentence, three sentence, four. You just keep going until the content changes to positive, and then that’s when you know you’re pretty much complete with the process. So this is something, again, you could do at home. You write those sentences, focus on them, clear it through image, thought, emotion, body, sensation, articulate it out loud, what’s happening? Then the next set and the next set and the next set. So super simple, but there you go.

Katie: I love that. It seems like that would be an incredible journal prompt for people who want to journal but maybe struggle with, like, what do I write? It seems like this would be an incredible tool. And even when I would guess we could verbally talk through with our kids sometimes, even if they’re like, pre-writing.

Stephanie: Oh, yeah. They’re good at feeling. And what’s neat about this is most of us aren’t trained on how to articulate how we’re feeling or what thought is causing the feeling. Right. So this enables you to start to build some mastery around that. And then it does work with kids. We actually have many of our students. One of them reported that his eleven year old bullied another boy. And the two dads had a conversation and said, okay, well, my son’s going to apologize to your son. And the boy who bullied was so terrified because he’s like, they’re going to be so mad at me, I’m not going to have any friends anymore. I’m so scared. And they did this exact process, our reduction expansion with him. And in a very short time, I think it was like nine minutes, he was good and was like, daddy, can we go apologize now? And now the two little boys are like best friends. And another one of our students too, she worked with her daughter who was nine, who was bullied at school. And she talked about it. She did like different, she’s a reiki healer, so she did like energy worker and nothing really shifted and same tool she used. And she said her daughter shifted in eleven minutes to the point where her roommate noticed a difference in her daughter and didn’t know that she had processed her daughter. So this does work with kiddos too, which is a good thing. But as we said, parents first and then your kids or simultaneously. Yeah.

Katie: Well, that’s awesome to hear it. And that one story also illustrates sometimes when there’s something difficult that can actually lead to an even stronger, more beautiful relationship after, if you’re both willing to be there and meet each other.

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And I think also even my story just now kind of reminded me of that tendency, even having done so much therapy, to fall into that idea of feeling like a failure as a mom. And I would guess this is an almost universal experience that everybody feels a failure at something some time. So I’d love to, if possible, talk about how we can separate our failures from our self worth. Because it seems like that is one that just tends to become an identity pretty quickly.

Stephanie: Oh yeah. So this was really powerful for me. I had so much of my, like what I achieved equals my self worth. It’s very much embedded in the Chinese culture. And I know that it’s not just in my culture. It seems like an epidemic where most people feel like there’s something wrong with me or I’m not good enough if I don’t achieve something or I’m not a certain way. And especially if we fail at something. Right?

We start to say that I am a failure and we identify with the failure. When we’re able now to extract what happened versus who I am, that’s already a powerful first step that our worthiness isn’t contingent on what we achieve or how we show up or what we do. And if there’s a failure in the ability to achieve something or do something right in our mind, it still has nothing to do with our self worth. It becomes like if you could separate it as the action versus who I am. So there was a failure in the act of trying to achieve something or be a certain way for maybe your kids or at your job or for yourself. And we can always pivot and rework the action, but that still has nothing to do with who I am. So again, just extracting that piece of who I am doesn’t define or what I do, doesn’t define who I am or how worthy I am. And we just separate out the act with the self.

So that was a huge distinction that when I took that on and I would see something that I wasn’t achieving or that I failed to get or that I didn’t show up as my best self, that it had nothing to do with who I am and how worthy I was. But there was something in the act that just needed to be adjusted that then could support me in what I desired, but it still didn’t hinge upon how worthy or unworthy I was. There’s a lot of limiting beliefs that are tethered there that have to be unwound and healed and rewritten too. So that’s another way to be able to do that because we get these weird beliefs. Again, when we were supporting my partner’s daughter around the divorce, we realized that she was taking on so much of well, if I would have done this instead, maybe mommy and daddy would still be together. She took it on as her responsibility and there was all these beliefs that then held it in place. And when we’re able to unwind that and say, no, sweetheart, it wasn’t you. And you are worthy of love, and you’re valuable just as you are, regardless of what’s happening around you or what you do or don’t do. I think it was really big for her, and it was, I think, really big for people to unwind those two.

Katie: That’s beautiful. And I’d love to also loop back and touch on something we talked a little bit about earlier, which is self talk and the voice that we use and the way we speak to ourselves, because that was a thing. I realized in therapy was that I would not talk to my best friend or my child in the way that I was talking to myself at that time. And I wasn’t even aware of it. Sometimes it was just like a thing that ran kind of on autopilot so often. So can we talk about why it’s important for people to be conscious of their self talk and how to maybe start to shift that if that’s something that someone is struggling with?

Stephanie: Oh, yeah, so this is huge. This is something that is literally a game changer. If you can get this one, give it a lot of love. And deliberate action is shifting your self talk. Our self talk, our thoughts impact our emotions and our emotions then feed back into our thoughts. It becomes this loop and many times we’re feeling ways that we don’t want to and why it’s mainly because of the words that we tell ourselves or that we keep on loop. And there are studies that have been done that show that you’re able to have more resilience, more joy, more peace based on your self talk as well. Right? It really impacts our capability and also our level of fulfillment in life.

Most of the time, this was a huge thing for me to realize was when I was afraid of putting myself out there or really being seen, I would blame it on I was afraid of what people would say about me. But really the piece that was the worst was what I was saying to myself about what I think people would say about me because it doesn’t even matter and most people aren’t even saying things. But the loop that I had that was so cruel and harmful, it kept me in fear. It wasn’t what other people were doing. It was really the way that I connected to myself and spoke to myself that either enabled me to be empowered and free or stuck in cycles of fear and smallness. And that actually infiltrated in all areas of my life, even in my relationships.

So really the act of shifting the way that you speak to yourself will shift the way you feel, will shift even your health. Because when we are saying words that are highly stressful, it releases a whole bunch of chemicals into our body. Stress and cortisol that we don’t want to feel that then impacts our health. And so it all starts with the words that we use with ourselves, to ourselves, about ourselves. That has a huge impact. And even for you, right when you were sharing about your two little struggling to go to bed, you were saying gosh, I must be a bad mom. Is that really true? And then how does that feel when you say that? How does it impact your fulfillment and how does that impact you to have the ability to have more resourcefulness, to manage your kids in that moment. You can’t when you’re saying all this negative stuff, you’re actually putting yourself into fight, flight or freeze and you’re not able to be resourceful.

So the self talk is so huge and it literally impacts every area of your life when it comes to your health, your mood and just overall fulfillment in life. So that’s why I’m massive on telling people to be mindful of that. And even for myself, that was a big, big practice that made a huge difference. And something else you can do is not only just identify those moments. So you have to slow down a little bit, start to notice sometimes, too, when you’re not feeling your best, go, how am I talking to myself right now? What am I saying? And being an observer of that and then being willing to shift. When I first started that practice, I would actually have three things I would say to combat the negative thing I was saying to try to now when my brain wants to zig, I’m going, no, we’re going to zag. And eventually you do it enough that your brain is like, okay, she’s just going to zag. Let’s just start saying nice things more often than we’re doing the negative.

And then another way to imprint, which is Louise Hay shares about this. This was probably originating from her, but is mirror work is like actually being with yourself and first of all, just taking the time to be with yourself. Most people don’t look into your own eyes and just feel love as you’re seeing you and having that presence and then being willing to shift the way that you speak to yourself intentionally in that moment.

I remember when I first did that, it was waterworks. It was so foreign to me on what it meant to be kind. A lot of it too talk about modeling, right? My parents did the best they could and there was a lot of judgment, a lot of shaming. They didn’t mean to, but I picked up that voice and I carried it on, on their behalf. And a lot of times, too, this negative self talk, it’s there to protect us. What do they call it? It has a positive intent, even though the outcome is negative. And so when we actually see what it’s there for and we begin to befriend that voice as well because, again, people want to think, I should get rid of it. It’s bad, it’s wrong. And it’s like, no, it’s many times the little part of us that just needs to have a voice and to be loved. And then two, is it’s giving us information that we should pay attention to and then see what information is there in that. And then being able to be our higher selves, the parent, to support ourselves through it, and then to say the more loving things that will encourage us and put us back into action instead of holding us back.

Katie: Yeah, three things really stood out to me about that. First of, you speaking about how you are imagining the things that people would say and how earlier we talked about, like, your brain and body don’t know the difference between that actually happening and you imagining that happening. So it makes sense that that would have impacted you a lot. But then the idea of that self talk, being there to protect us, that was a game changer for me to understand that instead of trying to fight it, to realize, oh, this was here like my brain, my body, my mind, they’re actually always all on my side. They’re always trying to move towards whatever’s going to be best. My body’s always trying to heal, whatever the thing is, and to actually go inside and thank them for keeping me safe, thank them for being there. And then that made it so much easier to shift and to let go.

And then as you spoke of the mirror work and saying kind things early on in therapy for me, I had a therapist, we were just tapping and she was having me tap and then say, even though whatever it was, I love and accept myself. And I couldn’t even say the words the first time. And then once I could, it was like waterworks. And it’s amazing how those things that seem like very small practices can have such a profound impact on you when you actually make the time to make them part of your life and then, like you said, they become more automatic reactions. It’s not like you’re going to have to consciously train this over and over and over every day for the rest of your life. You adapt, actually, and it gets so much easier.

But another thing, I want to make sure we have a little time to talk about that. You mentioned that one of your step kids said that you are like a child and that you loved that. And I want to talk a little bit about play and how important this is because this is something that was missing in my life for many, many years. And I know that you’ve talked a little about this. I would love to hear your take on it.

Stephanie: Oh my gosh. I was not as much of a playful person when I was younger. And I think because there was so much rigidity and seriousness and everything brought into me and there’s a part this was what’s profound about play is especially inside of your relationship with your partner. When I was doing relationship work was realizing that when you’re able to be playful, it means that your inner children or inner child feel safe. And so when we start to animate these parts of ourself of play, of joy, there’s an essence that emerges that allows us to feel a deeper sense of safety.

When my stepdaughter was like, you’re such a kid, I was like, thank you. It just showed how far I’ve come that I feel safe to fully be me and to be in a state of joy and to be fully self expressed. And I feel like many times we thwart that in order to have those other identities show up to feel safe and to protect. And we don’t create that safety within so that we can be fully expressed. And so when we’re in a state of play, that starts to heal. And that’s what I noticed for myself when we’re playing and when we’re in our joy, we’re in our creative mind. That’s first and foremost, which is so important too, especially when we’re living our day to day, but it keeps that essence of our true selves alive and it also reveal, it creates safety in the body and it also shows that we are feeling safe when we’re able to animate that level of play.

So it’s neat when I’ve even been around people who are so serious and then I start to be silly, but I’m always in a state of reassurance and really encouraging them to be their best selves. And then slowly you start to see this play emerge as they’re feeling safer and safer because their confidence is being built, because they’re feeling worthy again, because they’re feeling deserving. So to me it’s an indicator, but as an access point to get into that feeling of safety too, play is definitely a pathway to get there. So play is huge for people to access and to remember as part of their day to day. Like, if we’re not having fun, what are we doing this for? Right?

Katie: I love that. And that actually was like a mini Lightning bolt moment for me because I realized for a lot of years I was super resistant to playing board games, to playing and I couldn’t pinpoint why. It always felt very high stakes, though. And now I’m more open to those things. And it makes complete sense that that would be tied to your inner child and that perhaps letting go of some of those things has been helpful for me in that. I also feel like there’s, like, a million more things we could talk about. So maybe we can do a round two one day. But in the interest in respecting your time and the listeners time, I have a few last wrap up questions. The first being for people who are listening, who want to find out more about this and want to potentially try it and work through some of their own things. Where can they find you?

Stephanie: So could go to our website, rapidrewiremethod.com. Say that sometimes super fast is the tongue twister. We actually have a freebie on our website, so if you want to test this out, I know that people, because you process so fast, it might be hard for people to follow along from today’s, but you can actually download another one of our tools on our homepage and experience it for yourself. Or you could just go straight to rapidrewiremethod.com/alternator. That’s the name of that tool. That’s where they can go. We are on Instagram at Rapid Rewire Method and mine is @Stephanie Kwong and I love to show silly videos on there to play and just give words of wisdom as well.

Katie: Awesome. I’ll put all those links in the show notes for you guys listening on the go. That’ll be at wellnessmama.fm. And last two questions, the first being if there’s a book or number of books. That have really profoundly impacted your life, and if so, what they are and why. Oh, yeah.

Stephanie: So I love the book Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender by David Hawkins. Are you familiar with it? I see your head shaking. Yeah, it’s so good. And really, in that book he talks about the underlying power of emotions and their relationships to thoughts. And I remember when I first read that book, this is a while back, but it really struck me when he described all the desperate things that people do to try to avoid their feelings. And I was like, that’s me. That was kind of an entry point to say, hey, it’s important work to do. And then it actually ties very beautifully to what we’re doing with Rapid Rewire and also what I did before as a subconscious rewiring coach to really honor our feelings and know how to work with them. But really, just the concept of surrender and letting go is so powerful.

I was such a hardcore controller because I didn’t feel very safe as a kid, and so I created all these identities and mechanisms to control my environment myself. And I feel like it’s been my sole path to surrender and truly let go. And that book has been a powerful source of that.

And then just classics like The Untethered Soul, I gave that book to everybody. I love it. It just shows you how your mind works in a very simplistic way. It’s not woo at all, it steps you through that and how to also manage that self talk when it arises, Four Agreements. Such a beautiful classic as well. So good. Simple. I love things that are simple but profound. And those are kind of I have many, many more I could say, but those are three that come to mind right away.

Katie: Yeah, I will link to those as well. And completely second your recommendation on all of those. I love them all, especially Letting Go has been really helpful to me as well. Lastly, any parting advice for everyone listening today that could be related to everything we’ve talked about or entirely unrelated life advice?

Stephanie: Yeah, it’s just that we evolve developmentally from waking up to growing up to showing up, and all along that continuum we need to clean up. And so as we ascend through these different levels, there’s always an opportunity to healthily evolve or change or transform. And we kind of touched on this before, but if you want to transform anything in your outer world, it starts from within. So make it a priority to get to know yourself, to become more self aware, to know where your limitations are and that are holding you back from what you desire, and to begin the evolution, like do the work so you can wake up, show up and grow up fully as yourself. Fortunately, our work does that quickly and easily. But it’s important. I know that we have all these other roles that we think are important as well, which they are. But what supports all that is really just diving in. And I know that everybody who listens, this is what you share, Katie. So we know that your audience, they care about this and they do the work, but it’s the most important piece, I think, for evolving our souls and living our best, most empowered selves.

Katie: Well, I love it. I think that’s a beautiful place to wrap up for today. Stephanie, thank you so much for your time, for taking me through the process and for everything you shared today.

Stephanie: Yeah, thank you.

Katie: And thanks, as always, to all of you for listening and sharing your most valuable resources, your time, your energy and your attention with us today. We’re both so grateful that you did, and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of The Wellness Mama Podcast.

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

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About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

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