Tony welcomes Nate Christensen, APCC, back to the podcast to discuss self-care. Nate shares "The Wellness Model" and how the acronym "POSIES" touches on several areas of self-care that can be incredibly effective when dealing with emotionally immature or narcissistic people in your life. POSIES addresses the need for self-care in the following areas: Physical, Occupational/Financial, Social, Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual. Tony gives the origin story of his "Emotional Baseline Theory," which is the first rule of his 5 rules of interacting with the emotionally immature or narcissistic person or organization in your life. Nate and his wife Marla host the podcast "Working Change," https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/working-change/id1582227016
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Tony mentioned a product that he used to take out all of the "uh's" and "um's" that, in his words, "must be created by wizards and magic!" because it's that good! To learn more about Descript, click here https://descript.com?lmref=bSWcEQ
Hey everybody, welcome to episode 42 of Waking Up to Narcissism. I am your host, Tony Overbay. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, host of the Virtual Couch Podcast, and I am joined on his second appearance on waking up to narcissism bye by my pal Nate Associate Intern Nate Christianson.
[00:00:54] Yes, sir. Welcome aboard. Thank you.
[00:00:57] So you are you are an associate professional, so see it. [00:01:00]
[00:01:00] You're a mouthful.
[00:01:01] Yeah, you are a.
[00:01:02] An associate professional clinical counselor. And as if that wasn't enough, the BBS which you know, they handle all our licensing stuff decided that they'd like us to put registered at the front of that to. Okay so.
[00:01:14] Registered associate. Professional clinical counselor. Yeah. Oh that is. It's a lot. Congratulations.
[00:01:19] Thank you.
[00:01:20] And I'm a licensed marriage family therapist. I'm one letter, one word, less right.
[00:01:26] When I get licensed, I can throw registered out at the door.
[00:01:29] Oh yeah. Okay exactly. Was on before we just looked this up and it was episode 25 and it was the neuroscience of narcissism which we were also looking at the stats and it's, it's kind of mind blowing to see the reach of these episodes. And that one was really good. And as a matter of fact, I'm remembering right now, I got a transcription of that one because we just talked about so much that had to do with narcissism and the brain, and I don't think I ever did anything with the transcript. So if anybody is interested in a transcript of Episode [00:02:00] 25, then just reach out to me at Contact@tonyoverbay.com or through my website and I will get you a copy of the transcript. So a tiny bit of business, Nate, is people can still go to Tony over Baker slash workshop and it is a $19 workshop which I will gladly refund somebody's money if they feel like they don't learn something. But I really go into detail on we don't know what we don't know about relationships. And then I take you literally from the womb up until your relationship and talk about attachment and abandonment and differentiation and all those therapist buzzwords. And I lay out my four pillars of a connected conversation. So I feel like it is definitely something to operate. You need a framework to operate from. And I feel like we didn't really get the framework growing up. Most of us didn't where I seeing ideal relationships and so therefore we go into a relationship not knowing what we don't know. Yeah. So Tony Bakam workshop and speaking of workshops, Nate, I did not let you know that I'm going to put us on the spot and let people know that we are working on an anxiety workshop.
[00:02:58] And we don't have a date [00:03:00] yet, but stay tuned for that. So if you like Nate's vibe, so it'll be a lot of smart things and Nate's really good at laying out here some steps and things to do as well as where anxiety comes from. And I will provide the comic relief and the form from which we launch the the nice. Okay, so that'll be coming up soon. So let's get into today's topic. Today's topic, we're talking about what I refer to raising your emotional baseline. It is also the topic of self care and this has a little bit of an origin. It has an origin from something that I like to talk about often on the Waking Up the Narcissism podcast. And also I received an email that I thought was just perfect timing and Nate and I really enjoy doing podcast together, so we were looking for a topic to cover here and let me start by the email and then I'm going to talk about how this fits into something that I refer to as my five rules of interacting with the narcissist in your life. Actually, I realized I don't have a clever title. I've got my four pillars of a connected conversation, but I just have five [00:04:00] things that I often talk about, and that is this thing about narcissism. So we'll get to that in a second. So here's the email. It says, Toni, you mentioned in your Narcissist podcast number 41 that you're planning to do a podcast on what is self care and she has an all capital thank you. So she is yelling, I am married to a narcissist and I have a therapist that tells me I need more self care, but I really don't understand what that is and I don't understand how that will help me.
[00:04:23] And I am so grateful for the honesty because I really feel like so much when people when we say, hey, self care, it is a buzzword and I think a lot of people is that same thing. We're like, Yeah, okay, you're right. I need to. And I feel like they're almost too embarrassed to say, I don't even know what you're talking about and I'll go Google it, that sort of thing. So then she goes on to say, I try to exercise a few times a week because I love it and I think that is self care. But exercise in general helps everyone. So I'm guessing that's what I'm guessing that's what I should do. Anyway, thank you, Tony. Your podcast really helped me sometimes. I'm actually scared to listen to them because I know I don't have the courage to do anything about it. You really helped me feel okay about myself, so thank you. And [00:05:00] the only reason I left the second part of reading that was not so that people would hear some give me validation, right? But I really want to address that. What we're going to talk about today is, sure, you can run marathons, you can get manicures and pedicures, that sort of thing. But even the fact that this person is listening to a podcast and the fact that they read, she sent me an email and said, what is self care, I believe is a form of self care? And that was something that I hadn't really thought about before because I think I was really coming a lot from the, Hey, everybody, just go run a marathon and then that'll do it.
[00:05:29] Yeah, I mean from that standpoint, I've never done self care OC.
[00:05:33] K and I've done 130 of them and I'm none the better. Or for that, maybe some knees are getting a little bit tacky over the years. So we've got that that set it up. And I had forwarded that email to Nate and Nate said, Man, that is perfect for the podcast question. And so then and I told Nate, he's going to have to sit back for a little bit of story time. Okay? So I have a five rules I really do need if somebody maybe if somebody can name these for me, but I have five rules of interacting with the narcissist in your [00:06:00] life and I'm not talking. It doesn't have to be your spouse. It could be the narcissistic employer, the narcissistic entity or institution you're involved with. It could be the child, the parent. But in Nate, I don't know if you know this story. You can act amazed when I say this, okay? So I can get the validation. But a huge part of starting this podcast was, and I do say this probably too often, but in working with the population of people that are trying to navigate relationships with emotionally immature or narcissistic people, if you start reading about narcissism, as soon as you somebody says, Yeah, you're with the narcissist or they've identified these traits, then they say, Don't even read another sentence. Drop the book you're reading and leave. But then I feel like that isn't real life because people have they have commingled finances, they have they have families, they have communities, religious communities, they have kids, and they have their own stuff they bring into the relationship.
[00:06:55] So while they truly may be in an abusive, narcissistic relationship [00:07:00] and it seems like easy to anybody else observing that to to go, I know it's not that easy. So I really wanted to try to work with meet people where they were at. And which is interesting, though, because you're doing more couples counseling as well. And there is somebody brought this up to me the other day that couples counseling, when there is emotional physical verbal abuse is considered does it contra intuitive or the so it's it's it can be a really bad negative thing because the person can leave counseling and then their spouse can even be more angry. So I just want to acknowledge that because a lot of times people will say, okay, maybe, maybe he's narcissistic or maybe she's narcissistic. But I hear these podcasts and I hear some examples of ways to maybe communicate. So we're going to go try therapy. And I understand that that is probably part of the ruling out process, that sort of thing. But just know that it there is a good chance that couples therapy could not go well and then you may even have to advocate for yourself more, which is probably a whole other episode because we could talk about how a therapist [00:08:00] recognizes personality disorders or narcissism, that sort of thing.
[00:08:03] I felt like I came up with these five rules of interacting with a narcissist. And and, you know, this is interesting, too. At one point I was interacting with a book publisher and I shared these five things and I really wanted a book deal. And so they kind of had suggested that what would be good is to lay out these five things. And then at the end of the book say, surprise, if you do these five things, why would you want to be in this marriage? Almost as if like lead the person down to the end and then here's the gotcha. And I said, I can't do that. I want to say, okay, let's do these five things. And then and I want to again meet somebody where they're at. And if they feel like they want some direction in the hopes that their marriage may be salvageable, then I have to meet the person where they're at, because who am I to then say, Well, that's ridiculous. You know, I don't really know who that person is. First one was raise your emotional baseline self care what we're going to talk about today. And that's because I really feel like you need to be in as good of a place as possible to be able to interact with and [00:09:00] deal with what is ahead of you as you start to differentiate, stand up for yourself, that sort of thing.
[00:09:05] And then I'll just breezed through the next one. I say, get your PhD in gaslighting because I'm still almost surprised that people don't understand the concept of gaslighting with how much it is talked about. But then I realize if you are in a pretty healthy relationship, it's not a concern. I say disengage from unproductive conversations because when people start to recognize that they're in an unhealthy relationship. I was shocked when I would hear that some of the conversations that people get roped into or caught up in go hours and hours, and then I say learn to set healthy boundaries. Because if you are going to get out of these unproductive conversations, you recognize gaslighting and you've got your emotional baseline high, then you're in a better position to be able to say, Hey, I'm not. I'm going to leave if you talk to me that way, that sort of thing. And then the fifth one is really the kicker where it says, understand that there's nothing that you will say or do that will cause them to have the aha moment or the epiphany that has to come from their own. I know we've got a lot to cover today. So I was going to say, Nate, your thoughts on the five things? [00:10:00]
[00:10:00] I like.
[00:10:00] Them. Anything stick out and stand out?
[00:10:02] You know, it's interesting, as you were talking about all of these, I was thinking about like the brain and where it comes from and why it's so hard to do some of these things.
[00:10:11] Well, give me a couple thoughts.
[00:10:12] Yeah, well, I think there's one big thought, which is like we come from a tribal environment where we may be one of 100 people. And if we're the number 100 out of 100 people and there's a famine, oh, we're dead. Okay, so so.
[00:10:28] Like, maybe you've been.
[00:10:28] Incentivized to try and cooperate with people because survival was based on that. And so, you know, we can be working with a very difficult. Old person, but because of where our brain comes from, hey, you better work this out or they're going to kick you out and you're going to die because being alone was that. Yes. You couldn't survive. I mean, the. Yeah. And it was over. And so like I think understanding where the brain comes from can kind of help us understand. It doesn't seem like it's being very rational. Well, it's very rational from where it came from.
[00:10:57] From Don't Get Killed device.
[00:10:59] Yeah, that's [00:11:00] okay. I like that because the person who is number one or if you're dealing with that alpha dog, I was his alpha male but could be alpha female either one. That person is not afraid of being booted out of the tribe because they they are exerting so much control that they will control.
[00:11:15] That tribe, their tribe. It's their choice. They decide who goes.
[00:11:18] Wow, whoa. And now we get into the whole the scapegoat child, the golden child. What have you done for me? Man okay, ladies and gentlemen, Nate Christiansen. That's no, I appreciate that, too. And so then when you've got the kind, pathologically kind, maybe more empathetic person that is trying to work things out and it's coming as a survival skill, they're going to do that almost to the death, which is part of a trauma bond. Yeah. Wow. Okay. No, I love that. I mean, it breaks my heart. I feel like I find myself saying that often in in sessions with some of the people that share what they're going through. And I'm like, man, I so appreciate that, but I'm sorry people are going through that. Yeah. So today we're talking about raising your emotional baseline self care. I'm going to give one quick more [00:12:00] story time and then we're going to get into some practical things of Nate's going to talk about a concept that he likes a lot called the wellness model, which I'm excited to hear. So very brief example of where the emotional baseline came from. And I have a couple of podcasts on this over on the virtual couch, and I think I maybe even did one. On waking up to narcissism early on, but long ago I was a fairly new therapist and I'm working at an agency, a nonprofit, and I had a gentleman in my office and he really did seem like one of the kindest people I've ever met. He was involved in the medical industry and his spouse, his wife seemed incredibly narcissistic.
[00:12:33] Now, I had no idea what that meant at the time, and I look back on that now and it breaks my heart because I was doing things like, well, have you tried saying things nicer? You know? And at one point I think we even had him write a letter and I think she literally ripped the letter up in front of him. And and so here was a guy that was doing all that he could in the relationship. He was provider. He was I mean, he was in the medical field. He and he wasn't encouraged to talk about it. He wasn't he just he was a very, very controlled person. And so [00:13:00] one of the things I thought was really cool was he would say I was really getting heavily involved in the ultrarunning world at that time. And so I remember asking him a question one time and he said, Man, I love talking about this stuff. And so he said, Or at least I've tabulated this to be that. He said, I might have asked him, but he said, Hey, every week I would love it. If you have another question and maybe we spend 5 minutes and we just talk about medicine and he would just light up. And so then I really took that seriously and I would try to bring things in. Well, one morning I completely forgot and this is back when I used to listen to the radio. And so anybody.
[00:13:33] No, I don't think so. Yeah. I feel like I want to make a joke and say, yeah, I used to pay for it with my checkbook, you know. Right. So I'm, I'm driving into work and an antidepressant commercial comes on and they get into all the fine print, small, fast talking at the end, you know, it may cause diarrhea, bloating, gas, whatever, that kind of thing. And then at the end, it says may cause suicidal ideation. And I remember thinking, it's an antidepressant. Why on earth would that cause suicide? Suicidal ideation? And so then I get in there and we go through a session [00:14:00] and he says, Okay, what do you got for me today? And I thought, I don't have anything. But then that just hit me. And I said, Okay, why? When somebody takes an antidepressant, would it cause suicidal ideation if the whole point of it is to get you away from being depressed? And he goes on and it tells me the story about growing up, I think, in Wyoming or Montana. And he talked about a concept of anhedonia in the weather. Do you know of this?
[00:14:20] And again, now I'm so aware, especially on this podcast of confabulation, of remembering things a certain way. And then every time I remember them, then I add my own little flair to them. So I don't know if this was exactly what the story was, but I had to do with that. It was, in essence so cold that it could not snow, I believe. And so it was so cold that that moisture would not come from upper layers of the atmosphere. And I know I've Googled it since and I know there's I know I'm on the right path here. But you can tell that I don't now want to tell the lie, but it had to. And so we talked about anhedonia. And if you look at anhedonia now in the mental health field and if you've dealt with anybody with Anhedonia at this point, but it's like just a flat, flat [00:15:00] affect. But so in this scenario, he said, all right, so he said, you've got a person that it's a state of anhedonia where it's I think he was relating it to the weather was it was so cold that basically nothing could happen. And you couldn't rain, couldn't snow, but it was this freezing cold. And so then he talked about anhedonia in the mental health world. And some person is so flat, they're so down, they're so depressed that they don't even they won't even lift their head out of bed.
[00:15:24] And I've had a couple of clients that talked about periods of time where they went through that, where they just didn't care about even getting up. And so he said, imagine that somebody goes in every day and literally pulls their mouth open, puts an antidepressant. And pours water down their throat. And he said when it kicks in 2 to 3 weeks later, then they're going to slowly and I know we're not doing video today, but with my hand I'm doing this. They go from this flat in bed and they basically lift their head up and kind of look around. And he said at that point, they think, oh, man, I think I want to I think I want to kill myself. And then he said, you've got to work them through that period to get to the part where it's like, okay, life may not be great, [00:16:00] but it's something I just I that hit me so hard of this concept of so flat that nothing matters to then man. Things are really bad to then things are bad, but maybe I can do something about it. And so I looked at that like this baseline of emotions and how it can raise and fall based on the things that you do. And then I would often talk about stories or I would recognize stories where if I was in a good.
[00:16:24] And the family came to me and they wanted to do something, then we're doing it. And I gave this example one night of my son, who now just graduated high school. He was in middle school band, and none of my kids played instruments very much. But so I loved that when we would go to some, we had very specific, unhealthy and healthy snack nights back then with the little kids. You've got little kids. I don't know if you're if you guys are pretty what your snack situation is like.
[00:16:46] Nate it's they hate it. Okay? We don't have unhealthy snacks because I'm fairly certain my children have ADHD and you start putting them in front of screens and putting sugar in them and it can get a little bananas pretty quick.
[00:16:59] And so [00:17:00] therefore you go with bananas. Yeah. So we would have certain days of the week, we would have unhealthy snack in certain days. Healthy snack. The band concert happened to fall in a night of in a healthy snack. But I was so happy that my son had had played this in this concert that then I think one of them said, any chance we can get frozen yogurt tonight? And I'm like, Of course we can, because I'm flying high. So my emotional baseline was high. And so then all of a sudden it's like, everything is great, all know there are no problems. My son can play whatever the instrument was. I've forgotten now since and we're going to eat unhealthy snacks. And so then it was like a couple of days later and it was again an unhealthy snack night. And I think I had come home a little bit crabby for work. I was probably paying some bills, whatever was happening. And then he said, Hey, I think we can get yoga tonight. I'm like, Bro, come on, man, really? It's a healthy snack night. And I just watched his face just go, Oh, and I just felt like, Man, I'm feeling bad. And now that doesn't mean that if I would've been feeling good, we're doing it again. But. But my emotional [00:18:00] baseline, really, the same thing is hitting us on a day to day basis.
[00:18:04] But how we respond, I feel like has a lot to do with where our emotional baseline is. And so when I'm working with somebody, a client that may even be coming in and they are absolutely depressed and they feel like they don't they can't find a job. They don't want to go out and go on dates or interact with people. And then I feel like, man, I want to say all the things like, Well, you should or do it or all those things. But sometimes I feel like with the emotional baseline theory, I'll say, What do you like to do? And I remember one of the first people saying he likes to read and he was also struggling with his faith. And so he said, But if I read, I need to be reading some just deep little tome. And so I said, What do you like to read? And he said, Legal thrillers. And so I said, Do it. And he was like, Yeah, but I got so many other things to do. And then it's basically, Are you doing those things? Well, no. And then this one really is. And he lives happily ever after, a moment where he read a little John Grisham for 30 minutes that that bumped his baseline up enough to go out on a whim and with his dog and he was working from home.
[00:18:56] And then he would come home and then he could jump on his computer and get some things done. So [00:19:00] then I just really feel like all of that solidified. So self care when I talk about it is do something you enjoy. And people will often feel like, Yeah, but I have these other things to do, but are you doing them? So if you do the self care stuff, it'll put you in a position to be able to do the things that maybe are more important to you. Yeah. And so and then the last thing that I want you to talk about, wellness model and then just praise and adore me for this story that I've told you here, I'll probably edit that out, but I feel like I work with so many moms that are overwhelmed with kids and that sort of thing, and so they will feel like I can't put myself first because I got to be there for my kid. But I will often say that, okay, but if you practice self care then that makes you a better. Now fill in the blank. You know, Mom, there's our whole setup today, which is probably taken 20 minutes.
[00:19:43] Perfect. I know, right? Yeah. Nice base. Yeah.
[00:19:46] Yes, exactly. Okay, now, Nate.
[00:19:48] Okay, so do you. That's where you want me to share the wellness model? Yeah.
[00:19:52] Okay, first of all, any and I would honestly say, if you if you feel like there are holes there and the emotional baseline or things that you see could be a challenge [00:20:00] even with that.
[00:20:00] Okay. Okay. We'll start with just laying out. Okay, well, the small. Okay, so I like to use the acronym POSIES, which is like a flower. So it turns out it's not a flower. I thought it was a flower. I was about to google it. Yeah, it's apparently a bundle of flowers, but pocketful of posies. Yeah. It make sense when you realize that. No, no, I. I told my wife, and she's like, you're liar. She looked it up, and she was like, my. My childhood has been ruined. Yeah.
[00:20:28] Okay, so posies.
[00:20:29] Posies. Okay, okay. So that's what I use is as an acronym. And, and so the PE is physical. Okay, so we. Our physical needs. These are needs. These are not wants. And this is really important. Well, one is something that we would like.
[00:20:44] I want ice cream.
[00:20:46] Exactly. Yeah. A need is something that we like. Our survival begins to the chances of our fulfilled survival decreases without these things. So these are needs.
[00:20:58] I don't need ice cream. [00:21:00]
[00:21:00] Unfortunately. I mean, sometimes maybe we do it right. So physical, starting with the physical. I mean, there's obvious things that I think most people have clean water, shelter, things like that. But I usually land on the big three for me are diet, exercise and sleep. Oh, because those can be really challenging for people. Yeah. So sleep. It's looks like about seven and a half hours is what it takes for spinal cortical fluid to wash over our brain. Everybody needs a different amount that helps us.
[00:21:29] Spinal cortical fluid. Yeah, I know. That's okay. Is that. Is that the magic?
[00:21:34] So apparently it your body will push the stuff through your brain and over your brain at night to get impurities out.
[00:21:42] That's something you always hear about. It resets or I did not know that. That's what I assumed.
[00:21:48] That's a this is actually a different process, the process you're talking about. Oh, wow. Okay. So the consolidation of memories and things like that also happens during sleep.
[00:21:55] Oh, yes. Yeah. But I mean, I think I always assumed it's funny the more and [00:22:00] because we're on the Narcissism podcast and I think about confabulation so much now, I was just talking with my family a few nights ago and we were talking about EMDR and we were talking about eye movement, and I was talking about this stuff I had read about moving your eyes back and forth when you're a kid and you're walking and you're moving forward, did that signal you were safe because you're and that's like at the base foundation of the concept of EMDR. And so then I was assuming that then the rapid eye movement while you sleep was then this process of telling your amygdala that you're cool and so that your brain can reset. And I think in the past and I told my family this, I would have said that is what it is, because I was confident that it was and I subconsciously probably assumed I could find the research to back it up, you know. But the truth is, I could not.
[00:22:44] But anyway, so that's just because we're on the narcissism podcast. But so no cortical fluid. Back to you.
[00:22:50] Yeah. So it looks like for most people, like seven and a half hours is a pretty good target. We obviously don't get that all the time. In your cases, you probably rarely [00:23:00] get that.
[00:23:00] Oh, I feel really silly with that much I get.
[00:23:02] Yeah, but I feel like I'm kind of an eight hour sleeper, so that's what I go for. So part of this is just determining what you need. Diet has a lot to do with I mean, our Western diet is terrible. I have a book that I'm reading right now that is pretty interesting called This Is Your Brain on Food, written by a Harvard psychiatrist.
[00:23:18] I think she was you know, I have that in my audible delay or audible library. I am afraid to read it.
[00:23:24] It's really good. It's really good. And so they basically go through all of the challenges that we're facing in our in our Western diet and in how these things are affecting us. And they even break it down by condition. So if you have depression or anxiety or different things, you can go through and it'll tell you avoid these foods, eat these foods. So it's pretty it's a pretty interesting book, but trying to have a healthy diet at bare minimum, you know, fresh fruits and vegetables, if you eat meat like lean meats, if you could do whole grains, you know, things like that, like more of a wholesome diet as opposed to McDonald's and Jack in the Box and Taco Bell or whatever your flavor is. Yeah, [00:24:00] depending on where you live.
[00:24:01] I notice you did not say pizza.
[00:24:03] Well, I love pizza. I'm on keto right now, so I can't eat it, so I choose not to talk about strategy.
[00:24:08] Okay. My bad. It's okay.
[00:24:11] Okay then. Exercise is the other one. And you minute you mentioned marathons. Looks like like you get a benefit if you just exercise two days a week for 20 minutes. Okay? I mean, you, you don't have to kill yourself, but there is there's actually a point where you can overeat. Absolutely.
[00:24:28] And yeah, you probably experienced that.
[00:24:30] I mean, honestly, I have not. But I but in that ultrarunning world, I am shocked thinking everything from adrenal fatigue to hyponatremia to I mean, chronic muscle fatigue. There's so many things that people do for me.
[00:24:42] I feel like my sweet spot is 3 to 5 times a week for 45 minutes to an hour. That's that's what I feel like. I like I prefer strength training over running. But again, you just have to kind of figure out what you need. So that's the, the, the physical.
[00:24:59] So the O [00:25:00] in poses is occupational slash financial. Do you have enough money to pay your bills? Do you have a job? Do you feel valued and that feels fulfilling? Do we all have jobs that we love? No. But do we at least feel like we have input and value and things like that is our boss? Treat us terribly. So these are things to consider and we're talking about like our overall wellness. The first SE is social, and social has more to do with we have friendships, close relationships with people. Maybe you have a relationship that's not working so great if you're listening to this podcast. But do you? Family, other family. And do you have friends and things like that? Quick side note on that. One of the interesting things about close relationships is that releases the what is sometimes called the love hormone. So one of the things that I recently learned about oxytocin is oxytocin actually reduces amygdala functioning. The amygdala is our fear center. Yeah, it's highly associated with [00:26:00] both anxiety and aggression. If it anything you can do to reduce that causes us to feel less anxious, less fearful, less angry. Syria So people that have wide friend networks that have close friendships. I mean, there's so many benefits to it even beyond that. But I thought that'd be helpful.
[00:26:18] That is throughout here. It's funny because I feel like maybe it's because this is the maybe this is because the narcissism podcast. But then I think of ways that people can then almost manipulate through the cuddle hormone and because then someone hugging could then suppress the amygdala. Okay, that's fascinating.
[00:26:36] Yeah, it is really interesting. So the AI is intellectual. Do we read things that are maybe helpful to our life? So it could be like self-help books? Do we maybe occasionally take classes? Do we do things that that that challenge us or stimulate us mentally? Our body is use it or lose it. So we have to do things for ourselves mentally, just like physically. The E [00:27:00] is emotional and that's what we heavily focus on. And we'll talk a little bit more about about what kinds of things are self-care.
[00:27:06] Well, and before you wait for the intellectual letter, give me your thoughts on I mean, do you think those things sometimes you see the apps that say brain games and they do you feel like it's hey, anything is better than nothing or.
[00:27:16] I am a believer that anything is better than nothing. But I'm also a believer and like maybe a, a good better, best scenario. Yeah. And so if you're always settling for, for better than nothing, maybe that's not even up to good. So you try to mix it up if you can. Yeah, maybe you don't love to read, but you know, you get a book and then tell yourself, I'm going to read three days a week and I'll paint a little Sudoku or whatever the other days. And, and it's about finding balance with the with with self care is a totally about balance. One of the interesting things is you can look at some of these things that we need for self care and it can be way out of balance, which prevents us from dedicating time to some other things that we need. And so if someone tells [00:28:00] me like I exercise all the time, so I don't know what my problem is with self care. That's why we have this whole list of the wellness model. Everything on the wellness model is considered self care.
[00:28:10] So what I like about this, and maybe I'm just trying to validate myself, but one of the things that I loved in all of the running that I've done and I've been doing it for a long time, is I listen. That's when I listen to podcasts and books. And so my relational frame is when I am running, I listen to podcasts or books. And it's funny because sometimes I'll try to just do music because every now and again I'll be booked or a podcast out. But then it seems so foreign to then listen to music. But I know that so many people, I, I know all they do is music. And I'm not saying one's better than the other, but I feel like to me that's where I get that I done and I and I will throw a little act umbrella over this as well. So then I would imagine that if somebody is trying to if they say, okay, I want to read, this is where I feel like maybe some socially compliant goal stuff kicks in. So if they are think, okay, I should read kind of like I talked about, I should be reading really [00:29:00] smart books or I should be reading spiritual tomes or but if that isn't what they really feel like, speaks to them and their motivation could be weak and ineffective.
[00:29:09] It could be, yeah.
[00:29:10] And now I do feel like there's room to give a little bit of a challenge to that though.
[00:29:15] Yeah, I agree. That's where our discipline.
[00:29:17] Grows, right? Yeah, exactly. So I'm going to say that probably this could be a good opportunity for that.
[00:29:21] Right. So I think more than anything else, it's finding the thing that works for you and doing the thing that you enjoy if you don't feel like you have the motivation, if it's not something you enjoy with maybe the possibility of leveling up a little and experiment and things that maybe you don't love as much. Yeah, but. But maybe feel like they might be more beneficial.
[00:29:43] To your life. Well, and what I like about that, and I'm just kind of doing this off the cuff, but I feel like as people start to learn more about the wellness model, we're talking about raising your emotional baseline. Self care is not selfish that then I think when this starts to become part of your implicit memory or what it feels like to be you, is that you [00:30:00] do practice self care and that it isn't just a one time thing, that then I think then you are going to be more, more likely to start to experiment with things in the self care realm because it isn't just the all or nothing.
[00:30:14] Right. Okay. Yeah, I agree. So the E. Is it okay to move on to the.
[00:30:19] Oh, absolutely.
[00:30:20] Okay. So the E is emotional and that's that's what we focus on with people. Emotional management at its core. It's do I have hope? That's that's the most basic thing is do I have a sense of hope like that, you know, things will be okay that I'll be able to work through this. But that's a very small piece of a very big puzzle in motion management. And it's hard to even know where to start with any individual person because everyone's emotional challenges are very personal. Yeah. So I think we'll talk a little bit more about that in a few minutes, so I just kind of leave it at that.
[00:30:53] Okay, good. And I mean, not good to leave it there because I feel like, okay, that is a good setting of the table. Then what [00:31:00] can constitute self care? Right, right. I dig it.
[00:31:03] So the last s is spiritual. It could be religious, it doesn't have to be. It's basically connection to something deeper, bigger than ourselves. And so it's a sense of community. It I don't know if you happen to read the book or listen to the book, man search for Me. Oh, yeah. Viktor Frankl. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, you know, for Viktor Frankl, our meaning is so important that our survival is based on it if things get bad enough. And so it's the idea that this that this thing, whatever that is, for some people, it's their career. For some people it might be their children. They usually what you'd want to do is something that's lifelong. You know, most people don't work until the day they die and they don't take care of their kids until the day they die. So some people find a lot of meaning and volunteering, like like they go and they do something at a soup kitchen or or food banks and all of a sudden it feels great. And so they start to do [00:32:00] that more and more and that becomes their community. So it could be different things, but it's something bigger than ourselves ultimately.
[00:32:08] And bigger than yourself. But I like that you point that out because I know that you facilitate facilitated a 12 step meeting before I facilitate and we talk about a higher power at times and that can be for some. For some it can almost be off putting. But then I remember one of the times hearing that it just it meant something, something bigger than yourself or outside. And so I don't know if I've heard that in a while of the way that you put that with bigger than yourself can just be a sense of community. And I feel like that goes back to what we were talking about earlier is ultimately we are creatures that want a sense of community. And this is where I feel like, boy, talk about the body keeps the score or the way trauma works or that if somebody is more of saying, I don't want a sense of community, I feel like that's their body saying I don't feel safe. And maybe in the community that I'm in and I feel like from a self care standpoint, then [00:33:00] that means, okay, let's find you a new community.
[00:33:02] Yeah. So, so it's interesting that you bring that up because that certainly could be one of the options. One of the other options is why do I not feel safe in that community. Yeah. And starting to to dig into that and figure out if, if my belief system about why I may not be safe in that community actually fits rational guidelines.
[00:33:21] Because what does that mean?
[00:33:23] Well, I don't know if you remember when we were talking about Buddha's brain. Yeah, I brought up there was a neuroscientist I was listening to. And when they were looking at perception like what was happening in the brain, when people were looking in identifying things, they realized after after watching people's brains after a while that that people's brains didn't just see a picture and created in the mind. It saw bits and pieces of something. And then once it once it, it was almost like a like a guessing game where you see like more and more of a picture and then you eventually, oh, I know [00:34:00] what that is and you identify it. Yeah. Well, in this fits kind of interestingly with confabulation, which is the way our brain works is we don't see what we think we see and we see bits and pieces and our brain identifies what that is and fills in the rest.
[00:34:14] I mean, in essence, that is the confabulation. Actually, I did an episode last week on the virtual couch about that and I talked about and it's from the Buddha brain and talking about the calls that the mechanics of memory and it's and there's a part of that that so you've got that going on. And then you talked about even then when you assign you bring in to that memory the different things you feeling in that moment. And then when you put that memory away, now it is reconstituted with those those new facts. So it almost was kind of mind blowing. What you can do with the memory.
[00:34:43] Yeah. No, it's it's it's really fascinating. And Buddha's brain is the first time that I had realized that our memory is not nearly as accurate as it wants to think. And our our brain is not as smart as it. It's like telling it's I swear, it tells us that it's got it all figured out. Like sit in this chair [00:35:00] for the next 2 hours and think about this thing that really bothers you, and it'll all be better. Like how many people are worse off after doing that?
[00:35:07] Almost all of them, right? I mean, that's a book I'm being certain says, in essence, how adorable that you think you can find certainty. Right. You know, and the more that you try to ruminate and figure things out, the. Or you're just creating this deeply rooted, narrow pathway that says I will figure things out and did it was kind of saying, once you recognize you're ruminating, then drop the rope of the tug of war on the rumination and just go do right.
[00:35:30] Yeah. 100% agree with that. What? I want to finish my thought. Ultimately, what I was getting out with the story of the neuroscientist with their study is he realized the saying, I'll believe it when I see it is wrong. It's bad. It's bad.
[00:35:46] I remember this, okay?
[00:35:47] When I when I believe it, I will see it. And so and this applies in everything in our life.
[00:35:52] Forgot about.
[00:35:53] That. And it's tied very much to the idea of confirmation bias, which is once I believe something, I accept everything that supports it and reject everything [00:36:00] that doesn't support it. So if my belief is my community is dangerous to me.
[00:36:04] Then I will.
[00:36:05] See. I will see a dangerous community. And so the question is, is, is do we evaluate the community on whether it's actually dangerous to it or do we just go find a new community? And so that's why I'm saying like, I don't know the answer. Yeah, that would be something that would be interesting to talk to somebody about and figure out if they, you know, what are your thoughts about why the community is dangerous and this and that.
[00:36:24] So I like I was about to look up this quote that just I think it's one that I've talked about before where it just says one of the strongest forces in the human, something that I don't want to have ate it up. Was that your return to your home base or in essence, that this is where I talk about if you if you identify yourself as an addict, then you may have not acted out in months, but I'm an addict. So eventually dug on it, found my way back to being an addict. Right. And so it's like how you identify yourself. And so the more that you identify yourself or your implicit memory or what it feels like to be you as somebody that that takes care of themselves, then over time, [00:37:00] that is who you are, right?
[00:37:01] Yeah, right. So I love that. And and I think I feel very strongly that understanding what we believe and how that confirms what the world is and is a really important thing. Back to the E the emotional part, because I think that really dictates our emotions. So to wrap it up, poses. Physical, occupational, financial, social, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. Okay, so that's a wellness model and good. Yeah.
[00:37:35] You were not expecting me to do this, but what a time to plug that. If someone would like to work with Nate. Do you have any?
[00:37:43] I do, yes. But I have opening up.
[00:37:45] Because I just I don't know, I just dig this stuff every time I talk with you. So I'm realizing now, as we put probably 40, 45 minutes into this episode, that it probably is more of an episode of understanding the need for self care and why self [00:38:00] care. And I hope that that starts to feel like what is self care because I think when I was first. Thinking it out in my head. I guess I was assuming that now we're going to go through these laundry list of things you can do. But I feel like that I mean, you can kind of do anything that you would like to do.
[00:38:17] Yeah, well, I would base self care primarily around the wellness model personally that I have done. And just like for anybody that doesn't have any idea who I am, I my background. I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety about 20 years ago and I was on medication for I mean, it was a little over 20 years ago and I was on medication for about 20 years, so I just could not figure some of the stuff out. When I learned of the wellness model and I started making intentional changes, I'm not the most social person. I will own that and I'm an introvert. So I gave myself excuses to not be social. And then I was like, Okay, I'm no more excuses. I'm going to stop doing it. I start doing these things and I started doing these things. I was like, Oh, I feel better. And after a little while, with the help [00:39:00] of my psychiatrist, I got off of everything that I'm taking. The only thing I take is occasional ADHD meds because that's that's a whole different beast. But I feel like a lot of the challenges associated with mental health is what things can we do that we are not doing that would help like kind of our brains natural. I feel good things happening so that that to me is why the wellness model has so much significance and importance in my experience.
[00:39:33] No, I like it and it's so funny. I feel like when you were saying that, I didn't even realize that what you are saying is we need the whole pocket full of poses, I mean, the wellness thing. And in my mind, I'm still it's like I was even still thinking in terms of just one of the like the E, so what do we do? But you're right, it's the self care is any of those things we need at all. So whether you're social and you're going to start reaching out to some friends or you're going to even just go on a walk is great, or you're [00:40:00] going to read a book or even play a little bit of a brain game or any of these things are what are going to raise your emotional baseline. Absolutely. So, okay. And I jotted down a couple of notes. And so I would love for you just to maybe let's just just kind of riff for a few minutes because things that come to mind. So we already talked about, yeah, it's not just running a marathon, but it is absolutely fine if it's running a marathon because I know for me running honestly was so much more than just running and that I realized that running became the place, my happy place, my endorphin rush. It did over time become my sense of self and to the point of where I wrote about running, I got sponsored by a shoe company for a number of years and that was fantastic. And then I did six years of running around a track in my town to raise money for schools and and just, you know, so that really did raise my emotional baseline in so many different ways.
[00:40:54] It's it's also competence.
[00:40:56] Okay. Oh, talk about that.
[00:40:57] Okay. So well, so competence is a fascinating [00:41:00] thing that I've been actually studying a little bit about, which is when we begin to feel like we're good at something, like you want to talk about raising your your self confidence, which is directly correlated to the idea of raising your emotional baseline. The more competent we feel in our in our lives and our hobbies and our professions, like the better we feel about ourselves. It's really fascinating.
[00:41:23] And I think that, boy, that on this podcast I've talked a few times about the concept of healthy ego and that it's based off of real accomplishments that you've put the hard work into. Yeah. And so then that healthy ego is yeah, it's a belief of something that's inside of you. So where that pathological defense of narcissism or the opposite of healthy ego is because of insecurities. I will pretend that I know everything right and I will defend my fragile ego. And my ego is the the width the thickness of a helium balloon, I believe, was what Eleanor Greenberg calls it.
[00:41:55] Oh, again.
[00:41:56] So I did I put out there to a handful of people in some [00:42:00] sessions last few days what their ideas were about self care that weren't running marathons or getting pedicures, or you ever got a manicure pedicure?
[00:42:08] I've gotten a pedicure. It'd be weird to get a manicure. I can't imagine myself. I have ugly nails.
[00:42:15] I got to. I got to. Yeah, I just got my first pedicure a little while ago. Yeah, my wife and one of my daughters say I enjoyed it.
[00:42:22] Yeah, it was very interesting. Get a little foot rub. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:42:25] It made me feel a little bit uncomfortable, but my feet are very ticklish. But I was. I enjoyed it. But. But I had a woman talk about just she realized that self care for her was just being able to say no to things because a lot of the people listening to this podcast are the pathologically kind that feel like they almost. And Ross Rosenberg talks about his self love deficit disorder that we have this I am only as good as the things I do or don't do for others. And so part of raising that baseline also is starting to recognize you. You are of worth. You are if you are a spiritual person, you are a child of God. You are, yeah, you are of [00:43:00] worth, you are of a value. And and it is okay to say no and not feel like you are. In charge of everyone else's emotions or feelings. So I love this. This one mom talked about that and another one talked about she realized that self care to her was telling her son that she couldn't play a game with him at that time. And I get this and I feel like a lot of the listeners will understand this because we want to just say, man, he wants to play a game with me. How long is he going to be this age? And so I need to play this game. I need to take advantage of this time. But if she felt overwhelmed that she would be short with him, that she wouldn't be in the present moment, and that that would have a net negative effect. But then I thought what was really interesting is with that so that self care saying no.
[00:43:40] Then she realized from an accountability standpoint what she really going to go take care of those things that were outstanding. And then she also had a tremendous amount of guilt that kicked in. So it just brought up a lot of other things that then she was able to be aware of. So it was kind of a nice experience. Yeah. And then I was also thinking a lot about I almost feel like I've been doing a podcast series [00:44:00] over on the virtual couch because I talked about implicit and explicit memory, which the explicit memory is what I did or I remember how it felt or an implicit is basically the interior landscape of what it feels to like to be you over this like residue of lived experience. So there are people that are and go back to man's search for meaning and Viktor Frankl and he talks about all he had was the basically the landscape of his mind or his thoughts at times for, I guess you could say from a self care standpoint. I just had to dream in a sense. Yeah. And so I feel like a lot of the people listening to a podcast like this or people that didn't even know that, that their relationship was not healthy, maybe they never saw it modeled, then they are able to start to put names to things. And then a lot of people then go on this just deep dive on listening to every podcast and YouTube video and read every book on narcissism. And so I feel like that is self care. I would fit under your it's like information.
[00:44:57] Intellectual. Yeah, I think that that is self care. And [00:45:00] then one more that I also have a client that is in a position where she's a caregiver in a pretty unhealthy situation. And so she just dreams about where she wants to live someday. And it's funny because we're adults, but for some reason we feel like we can't admit to daydreaming of sorts. And so she has said that she'll spend a lot of time now just looking across the country and looking at home prices and she's enjoying it. Yeah. And so that is, that is self care.
[00:45:30] Yeah. Part of the E.
[00:45:31] Yeah, exactly right. Okay. So what, what comes to mind for you so.
[00:45:34] Well, the first thing I would say is, is self care is probably doing those things that we maybe we know we need to do or maybe we don't know, but we're learning it would be good for us to do. I hate using the word should.
[00:45:46] I know, right? I know. I've got that one no one likes to be shut on. Yeah, but we were talking about the good kind of shooting. Yeah.
[00:45:52] And I want to see. Well, while we're recording, we're doing a live transcription. Oh it's a shooting. Oh I was [00:46:00] like a little worried about lists where. Yeah. I don't know, I don't know if it swears in the transcription. Okay.
[00:46:04] So good. All right. So you're all right. Yes. So ultimately, it's it's doing the things in our self-care routines that were not that good at, again, based around the wellness model. So which things? Some things we've got nailed, other things were struggling with. And usually it's increasing in those areas that will help us.
[00:46:23] What's an example?
[00:46:24] Well, so I think for me, going back to my social problems, like I wasn't doing a very good job of socializing, I was pretty isolated. And, you know, I mean, good grief, we're mental health professionals. Like people are isolating. We know what's going on, but somehow it's okay for me, you know, physician, heal thyself. Yeah, exactly. So that might be an example. It might be fear of finding your community. So you don't ever do that. I mean, you can go on. Oh, my goodness. What's that app where you can go? Fine.
[00:46:55] Oh, just. Sir, no. What do you think?
[00:46:58] There's an app that actually I wrote down, [00:47:00] but I did have it on a different piece of paper because.
[00:47:03] And because you still use paper. Nate, we were talking about this before we hit record. Nate has literal paper and pencils.
[00:47:08] Yeah. Yeah. So there's some apps and websites out there that will connect you with people. Oh, meetup. There you go. Yeah, yeah. And maybe that's your community.
[00:47:18] Absolutely. I've had it's funny before the pandemic and I it took me a while to stop talking about Meetup, but I had a couple meet and fall in love at a meetup board game nights. I've had people do meetups for hikes, meetups for musicians, musicians and yeah, those meetup groups were pretty, pretty cool for yeah, I think they're back.
[00:47:35] Yeah, they are. The other thing that I think would be really helpful to throw out, I'll try to be quick is, is for me. My self care improved a lot once I finally was like, okay, I'm going to have a schedule and I'm going to create routines, get up within an hour at the same time every day. And I know the, you know, the first three things. I already know what I'm doing. And if so, that means if I [00:48:00] have early appointments, then I have to get up just a little bit earlier so I can do those things. But I always do those things and there. All part of the wellness model, and there are all things that I know that I need. I think that there's a lot of value in structuring our life in such a way that we know that we can take care of these things. Now life will happen and try not to kill yourself on the worst because I didn't do this. So you have to give yourself some psychological flexibility for that. Yes, but but that's been a big help for me, because if it comes down to, well, I'd like to do these things today or tomorrow and we'll see how it goes. I was fighting. I wasn't doing.
[00:48:38] Okay. And I would rather have someone start from a place of I can do anything that I want to do because then they'll get to that place of why, then why am I not doing them? As someone recently that was talking about wanting to create more art and then we honestly, we got them in a place where they feel like they can create all the art they want, and now [00:49:00] they're not creating art. And it has been really, really interesting and powerful, too, because now we get to really dig into the what are the why? Why are you not what are the stories your brain is telling you? And I love that because they were operating from this place of the I'll Be Happy win. Oh, yeah, right. And so then if it's like, oh, man, if I could just create art and this isn't me, I'm doing an acting performance. I don't know. I'm not very artistic, but people that say, if I could just that's all I want. I mean, if I could just do art, then I would be happy. But doggone it, I can't. And all of a sudden, hey, well, you can't. And I'm like, Oh, man, but if I could, oh, and it's like, what? Okay. And then they were given all the things they needed and the time and the opportunity. And then it's like, You know what? I'm going to do it. I'm going to do it later. I'm going to do it after I got to get my sleep dialed in. I got to get this. I'm going to I need some more equipment I need. And then we realize, okay, now we're starting to get into the whole fear of failure, self sabotage, which is fascinating.
[00:49:50] Oh, yeah. I was trying to find this place in Driven to Distraction, one of the ADHD, the ADHD books I like, but it just talks about that concept of structure and they had a really neat way [00:50:00] I didn't find it. And so but, but it's a it's one that just talks about they give the example of mercury outside of a thermometer. It's just like running everywhere. But you put it inside of the thermometer and what an amazing tool it can be. And it talked about why we need structure, because I the people can't see anything here. But when you start talking about structure, I lightheartedly rolled my eyes because I know that that's an important thing. And then but then as you were saying it, I also know that when I talk about running on year 25 of getting up every day and so instinctively I got a routine going, listen to a little something. Get ready, go on the run. It's such a and tell me if I'm making this up because I don't know if I really have data behind this. But again, I've assumed that I have data. Okay? And that would be the concept that if you have that kind of structure every morning, that it is going to lead to most likely less anxiety because you just get up. And how many times do you work with clients that they have a hard time getting out of bed? They're not even sure what they want to do. And so they may even go to bed anxious the night before because they don't even really want the day to come tomorrow.
[00:50:58] Yeah. So I couldn't give [00:51:00] you the exact data. I 100% believe that because to me, being someone with generalized anxiety, my anxiety is this fear of the unknown. If I have known things, yeah, it doesn't feel. And especially in the morning you get up. If you do a few things, you feel good about getting things done and like, Oh, I can go do some more things getting up and be like, Well, I don't even know what to do. For me it was like, that would bring anxiety on totally.
[00:51:22] And then if you had a pattern of that, then the night before, I don't even want to go to bed. Yeah. And then people stay up and then it creates this negative sleep cycle and and before you know it, Armageddon. Yeah. Cats and dogs living together. It's a Ghostbusters reference. Okay, Nate, any other things to leave? Because that's.
[00:51:39] Amazing. Yeah, I think I just want to throw this out there for anybody that was hoping they would hear, like, all of the things that they need to do for self care. Yeah. If you want ideas, there is a, there are thousands of ideas online. You can just google self.
[00:51:54] Okay. So you were doing a little self care Googling, right?
[00:51:56] Yeah. Because I wanted to make sure that I had a little bit of research that [00:52:00] I could look at and there's so many. Oh, so if you're looking for specific things, go there. And again, I would try to structure them around the well, this model. Yeah. If they fit into the, the wellness model, these are all things we know, scientifically understand, are good for us, our well-being, their happiness, fulfillment, all that stuff.
[00:52:19] Hey, do you and I can edit this out to but do you have anything about the wellness model that you do you have a worksheet or anything or you're Posey's acronym anywhere?
[00:52:30] I don't. So the wellness model has existed for many years.
[00:52:34] I mean, I like the poses, though. Did you make up poses?
[00:52:36] I did, yeah.
[00:52:37] Do you have that anywhere? This is Nate Christianson IP.
[00:52:40] Well, I just took the letters and arranged them in a way that is brilliant.
[00:52:45] I think this this particular wellness model actually was produced in, like, the sixties, okay? And so I was like, well, okay, these are the letters that I was playing the game to figure out what word I could make out of this.
[00:52:54] But if you if you have questions, if you have examples, feel free to reach out through Tony Macomb. If you're interested in working [00:53:00] with Nate, you can also reach out there and we'll put you in touch with Nate and maybe we'll put something together in the not too distant future that will show Nate's poses. That'll be great. But it will not be a flower. A picture of a flower.
[00:53:13] A bundle of.
[00:53:13] Flowers. Bundle of flowers. Nate Christianson.
[00:53:16] Overbay, thank you so much for coming on as per usual. Absolutely. So I guess we got a flip flop each time. You know, I've never been invited on to your podcast, Working Change. Now I think about it and I think this is your sixth or seventh appearance on my podcast.
[00:53:28] Yeah, but when I get up to as many as you've actually had, I think I still need about 30 more of my podcasts just to get you on one based on that ratio.
[00:53:36] Okay. All right. But go. Oh, I should have said that in the beginning, but go, go. Take a look at Nate's podcast with his wife. It's called Working Change, and then we'll see you next time on waking up the nurses.