Hello beautiful souls! My guest today is Dr. Kristen Lee, author and Professor and Clinician of Behavioral Science and Leadership. We chat how we shouldn’t be afraid to microdose bravery and take those small risks to chip away at something greater than ourselves. Dr. Kris also shares how – as a stand-up comedian – using humor has helped in her own healing.
To learn more about Dr. Kristen Lee and her works:
Her book ‘Worth The Risk’
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JULIE: [00:01:05] Hello, beautiful souls. Welcome back to the Angels and Awakening podcast. I’m your host and author, Julie Jancius, and we have a very special treat for you today. We’re here with Dr. Kristen Lee.
She is the author of this book right here, Worth the Risk. And the subtitle here is ‘How to Microdose Bravery to Grow Resilience, Connect More, and Offer Yourself to the World, which I just love that subtitle. Dr. Kris, thank you so much for being here on the show.
DR. KRIS: Thank you for having me, Julie.
JULIE: [00:01:38] Oh, of course. So I’m going to dive in here. I went through the book and I just wrote down a bunch of questions. The first one is, do you believe a human soul has to know their purpose, direction, vision before they can begin micro dosing bravery?
DR. KRIS: Oh, I love that initial question. [00:01:57] Thank you for that, Julie. I think that we all getting the clarity around our purpose and our values and our alignment of our soul is such an important part because it does help direct us then to discover which kinds of risks are worth taking, what helps us to elevate our values and our purpose and our impact in the world. It really gives a lot of clarity. So I think it’s important. But I would also caution that sometimes we can think in very grand terms of like, it all has to coalesce and be this really big thing.
[00:02:32] So I would just encourage everyone that might not be all the way through and you’re in the process of trying to get greater clarity, that as long as you have a sense oftentimes, then those actions you take can lead you to greater clarity.
JULIE: Of course, yeah. Let me ask you this. In your life, Doctor Chris, how have you stepped more and more into your own intuition, your own inner wisdom and hearing that, what did that look like for you?
DR. KRIS: I think I had to do some unlearning.[00:03:05] And I think specifically what I mean by that is that I’ve often wondered how do you tell the difference between intuition and anxiety? Many of us who are empathic or deeply intuitive or really want to bring our full selves to the world, we’re very conscientious and sometimes that really works well for us on a given day. And other times we can be marinating and anxiety and just feel a lot of trepidation. So I know I have to do some work to discover more around listening to that inner voice and listening to that deeper part of myself versus just sort of like getting pulled along by the strings of the world that tell us we have to be a certain way or fit into a certain mold for the success is so narrowly defined. So I think that for me, I had to just come to terms with some of this anxiety as both a strength and a struggle and one that could allow me to be real with who I am and then bring that forth into the world in a more bold way over time.
JULIE: [00:04:10] Yeah. Now, Doctor Kris, do you work with clients? How do you work one on one with people? Where I’m going with this question is as I work one on one with clients, there are a small handful who will say, but what if I don’t have any purpose? [00:04:33] If they know that they do have purpose, I can’t like, I can’t go out and do this. It’s too much. It’s too big. I love your idea of microdosing bravery because if you take bravery in these miniature bite sized pieces, you’re not looking at your entire life purpose saying, oh my gosh, I got to do this big thing or I have to go out and achieve this. It’s just one step at a time.
[00:05:05] And as I’ve gotten to know business too, and gotten to meet different entrepreneurs and business owners, that’s how business works as well. Yes, that’s right. One step at a time in a focused direction.
DR. KRIS: That’s right. That’s right. [00:05:21] And I think what you’re speaking to, like, we need that measure of agility or fluidity because we could sort of have like an idea coalesce in our minds eye, but then we have to get out and grapple with life and interface with all the fluctuation of life to make those ongoing discoveries. And like, you know, I served clients and patients for many years in psychotherapy. Right now I teach full time. So with my students, they often ask those questions. They’re really working to identify who they are and where they want to bring impact in the world and what their disciplines will be and all those big questions.
[00:06:03] And then I also have the opportunity… My clients are companies around the world who are really looking to try to foster healthy mental health cultures and the kinds of conditions that breed psychological safety and trust and help human beings flourish. So in all of those different ways in which I’m interacting, I do think that there is this sort of notion in our culture, like the ‘more is more’ culture and we have to have all of it figured out all in one felt smooth or that it has to be this, like, poetic, you know, identity. And I think it just takes time to make those discoveries. And I think that’s so much of what I discovered in writing this and living my life during this moment in time where we are marinating in trauma and there’s unprecedented challenges and opportunities.
[00:06:55] It’s a moment of reckoning and I think in that even though it can be uncomfortable. As we get more comfortable with the uncomfortable that’s where the magic happens and that’s where we can unlock a lot of struggles that we face as a species
JULIE: 100%. And really what I got a lot out of your book is we’re all these evolutionary beings.
[00:07:17] We know this, and we’re just kind of unfolding one day, week, month at a time. But microdosing bravery is about keeping yourself, your person, in safety and security in your own truth, allowing yourself to unfold at your own pace instead of maybe this rush timeline.
DR. KRIS: Yes, indeed. I think by the time a child loses their first tooth, they have to know which top tier college they’re going to by the time they’re in third grade. If they’re not reading third grade levels ahead, it’s problematic. [00:07:53] By the time they’re in high school, they must be taking like 17 AP classes and full curriculums. And by the time we’re in our twenties, if we don’t have our own nonprofit or start up, then we’re an epic failure. So I think just even like for all of us to have a more measured approach. To understand that if something makes us sick, like going after these metrics of success. And in the book I talk about the Grueling Treadmill Club and sort of like getting locked in at the steep incline and fast pace and it seems
JULIE: That was, like, my next question. Yes, let’s go here.
DR. KRIS [00:08:31] Our intuition is fully in sync. Yes, I love it.
JULIE: My next question is how do we microdose bravery yet not step on the rat race treadmill of a culture of excessive achievement overdoing hyper competitiveness?
DR. KRIS: I think that’s the question everyone’s trying to figure out, I think, whether individuals or the companies and the institutions in which we participate, how do we seize this moment of opportunity? How do we strive for rigor and excellence? [00:08:59] And like, what’s the difference between being a healthy achiever versus an unhealthy overachiever? And I think that framing, that can be a beginning point of reflection and redirection to say, I want to stay and do well and also contribute in the world. So one of your first questions was about this discovery process of purpose, right? And how that plays out in your support of your clients and all the amazing work you do publicly. I would just say that I think if we know that we want to be conscious citizens in the world and bring about positive influence to share love, let the good things be contagious, right? [00:09:43] So many of the bad things are contagious, right? If we want that, then we can make discoveries around how do we stop thinking we’re human doings not human beings? And how do we also then be the things we want from the world? So I talk a lot about being loved. Like if you are on the search for this romanticized relationship partner and you’re lonely like so many of us are these days, and you feel so like, distraught, the micro dose could be just starting by offering more gesturing, loving offerings to the world.
[00:10:22] Or if you’re looking for, wellbeing, then how do you start nurturing yourself in new ways, right? And so I think that there’s just a lot we have to be aware of in this messaging of so-called success that can oftentimes be an illusion.
JULIE: Well, and I think it’s compounded right now by people seeing folks on social media. Some folks who are just getting into running their own business. They’ve been doing it a year or two and they’re kind of talking their business up bigger than it really is.
[00:10:57] There’s a lot of kind of sneaky egoic mind coming into social media where you could look at somebody or feel like they have it all together, but they really don’t. And they really don’t know exactly what they’re talking about. One of the ways that I see this happening right now is a lot of folks within the spiritual realm on Instagram and different places will say you don’t have to work so hard to get where you’re going. You don’t have to work so hard, don’t even call it work to get where you’re going. And these are the folks who have teams of 15, 20, 40 people who are working for them. [00:11:39] And those teams are their manpower. So those teams are providing 40 hours a week of 40 hours times 10 people or 40 hours times 20 people. And so some folks on Instagram are saying don’t work so hard, yet they worked to get where they are and now they have the funds to hire this manpower behind them. And it’s, like, what lies are we. Bought out here and what unrealistic expectations are we setting up for people? [00:12:13] That’s not fair.
DR. KRIS: No, that can really sabotage someone. I love that you’re illuminating this because I think we all fall prey to it on our feeds. In my book I talk about social comparison unhealthy versus healthy. But if we are comparing ourselves to the like we don’t see everything that goes on behind the scenes or to your point, someone’s real long-term investment in their operations and then they reach a certain plateau and they’re able to then have, like you said, that power behind them. [00:12:48] They can really give a message that can really, I think, lead someone to a lot of inner distress. So I think at that point just everyone that’s listening to really reflect on that what we see is what we get. And that also– in a similar way, just like there can be a lot of unhelpful and erroneous information with spiritual communities and leaders. That can also happen with pop psychology and luckily people are calling it the toxic positivity.
[00:13:21] But even I have kind of wild fascination with the whole entrepreneurial culture like don’t work. It’s almost like taboo to think you have to work or if you’re really spiritual you just let the universe do everything.
[00:13:39] I’m not convinced on that either. So I think it is important for all of us as we remember a feed, think of the word feed. Are we getting our nourishment from that? Are we recognizing with our mind’s eye, with a critical thinking lens, with a deeper sensing that these kinds of things that are coming out of aren’t telling the true story and that they can be harmful. And then also, I’m sure you do this in your amazing work it’s, like, it’s incumbent upon you as a thought leader in this space. [00:14:09] And I think about my own role and my positions in the world and how to not contribute to that. And I think there can be a lot of paradoxes and contradictions any of us can fall into, myself included. When we share of ourselves and we’re trying to get our message out in the world, how do we do it in a way where we’re really showing the duality of our humanity that, on one hand, we can be very successful and accomplished, and you can have all these downloads on the podcast. I think, for myself, I have books and lots of things, but then I also at the same time, feel like a hot mess half the time, and all are true.
[00:14:49] And that’s just shared humanity. It’s not like a moral failing on one’s part when that’s the truth, because that’s just our shared experience.
JULIE: That is. And when you say shared experience, it’s that every single human being who’s going through this journey shares this experience of, to your point, having it feeling like you have it half together the way that you want it to be, and then half is a hot mess. Which is really interesting because I started to awaken to this about seven years ago, where I have a lot of friends who are therapists and counselors, and I’ve seen them work through some imposter syndrome of how am I here helping other people when my life isn’t 100% perfect itself?
[00:15:41] And I’m so glad that as a collective humanity, we’re coming to this point of nobody’s perfect. No person who does spiritual work, no counselor, no therapist, no– even the people who are these amazing presidents and CEOs that I get to work with, they feel the exact same way all the time. I actually saw a TikTok or Instagram Reel the other day that said it was from an Olympic athlete and she said that she learned this from another Olympic athlete that was training her that in your journey of whatever you’re doing. If a third of the time you feel amazing. [00:16:26] Like. This is so fun. You feel so filled with joy. A third of the time you kind of feel like. Okay. [00:16:35] Not bad. Not good. And then a third of the time, you kind of just feel like, I don’t know exactly right. I don’t know what I’m doing. That’s a hot mess sector, and that’s as good as it gets.
[00:16:48] And I was like, that is what we need to be sharing, because that’s 100% spot on, right?
DR. KRIS: Yeah. It’s all about that management of expectations. And again, it’s like everyone can curate themselves and create these illusions of, like, glamour. It’s not like that. [00:17:05] Even I think about relationship propaganda. Call it like wifey propaganda. It’s just like, oh, everything is great and everything’s perfect and our family stuff and it’s like we know that within all these realms, our professional and personal spheres, there’s so much happening all at the same time. Those are the paradoxes of life. So I think just all of us raising our consciousness in this area.
[00:17:31] But then again, how do we challenge that thoughtfully and strategically? And like you said, that’s a rate that’s so sticky, one third. Right. And because otherwise what’s being sold is it’s 100%. It’s all in, it’s all glamorous, it’s all glitter. [00:17:46]
Right? And I think that becomes very erosive.
JULIE: Or that you’re supposed to be happy 100% of the time.
[00:19:00] My listeners know here that as I was kind of coming into accepting my gifts, I had a mental breakdown and did some time in an inpatient and outpatient program. And the very first day– I’ve never talked about this on the podcast, but the very first day that I was in this inpatient program, they said, they said we’re going to show this movie and this movie or documentary was all about how we think that we’re supposed to be happy 100% of the time and that we’re not. Happiness is not 100% of the time. And that was the first time that it clicked for me. I had never thought about that before until seeing that movie or documentary.
[00:19:46] I just always thought I was bad or wrong for not being happy 100% of the time.
DR. KRIS: I just want to applaud your courage and your candor too. And I think it’s an example of microdosing bravery because you obviously have such a beautiful community that you’ve co created, right, and you’ve shared so much of yourself and then to take that next step. And I think that is so healing for anyone listening who’s had similar experiences. You know from my writing that I speak very candidly as a therapist and as a behavioral science expert, that I also have a deep lived experience with anxiety and depression.
[00:20:30] And what I would say in your specific example to watch that powerful documentary and to have that epiphany of we’re not necessarily supposed to be happy all the time because in our culture and cultures across the world, really, there’s just a lot of misinformation and so it’s not wrong to have dark emotions or to experience proportionate reactions to the world. I think anyone in human work and healing work, right. The reason we’re drawn to it is because of our own grapplings and our own desires, to our recognition of intervening and wanting to bring our full selves in and in that, our empathy often came through our own pain and our own distress and trauma. So I think it’s really beautiful that you reveal that. And I think for anyone listening, [00:21:23] just remembering. You know. And so much amazing researchers out there like around happiness and it really comes back around to your initial question around purpose. Research really shows that when we are striving to live a life of meaning– so it’s like personal growth. But also for the sake of social change and social impact.
[00:21:44] Not just to evolve and elevate ourselves and be enlightened. It’s not for that. It’s about then how do we liberate ourselves and one another from all these things that hold us hostage? When we look at the rates of anxiety and depression and distress, escalating and escalating and I think again, if we can come back to ourselves and know we as a species are wired for healing and for resilience, but it doesn’t happen magically. It happens through conscious community and honest conversation.
JULIE: [00:22:21] If you had time to talk to somebody else who is suffering from anxiety and depression, what would you say are the few things, the biggest AHA moments for you that liberated you from maybe your own anxiety and depression?
DR. KRIS: I would say to anyone listening who’s having this experience or has someone that they love is having this experience, is that the biggest lie that anxiety, depression, trauma, mental health issues tells us is that we’re the only ones in to hide, that somehow there should be an element of shame. And what I would say after doing so many years of outpatient clinical work, my fantasy would be like to get everybody together and be like, that’s exactly how I’m feeling. And maybe it’s a different fill in the blank, but this is our shared humanity.
[00:23:15] It’s not old school stigmatized mental health condition, it’s human condition. So I think that discovery that it was okay not to be okay, but I didn’t have to stay stuck, I didn’t have to be in hiding. And that was the thing, Julie. I was like, not the textbook version of anxiety and depression. In one of my worst episodes, it was my undergrad year, and I wrote for the school newspaper. [00:23:42] I worked four jobs, I had loads of friends. I was hyperactive and very outgoing. And yet there was a measure of suffering that people would have never known. I was the classic overfunction or the perfectionist. Like, it just wasn’t clear to anyone on the outside.
[00:24:02] And what helped me turn was actually I had a professor who kind of like saw through the facade and asked, and I was completely embarrassed. And then it made me reflect, like, why do I– it’s okay for me to get help. And I think when it comes back to microdosing bravery, for anyone that’s listening and you’re like, I don’t know where to turn to. I don’t know who to tell. If you have someone you trust, tell them there are crisis hotlines galore, like in the US. [00:24:33] I think they just announced the 980 mental health crisis line. I think it replaces the suicide hotline. Or like in conjunction with it, it’s just like an easier path. So we have a lot we can tap into.
[00:24:47] So I think the first step is finding a trusted person or place to go and say, you’re not okay. I think that’s the beginning. And that was for me, the beginning. And then it led, like, speaking of purpose and impact, me going to therapy and going through my recovery process was so pivotal in discovering how amazing that process can be. And that led to my life’s work in this whole bank.
[00:25:17] And so I think that just people knowing that it’s human to struggle. If we look at the data right now, like, just taking it back around, social comparison and perfectionism over the last ten years, we’ve seen perfectionism skyrocket by 33%, and we’ve seen the driving force be social comparison and social anxiety disorders before the pandemic were already very escalated. And I think about a lot now, this reintegration of society, the world has changed so dramatically. Everything is new. It’s very provocative to kind of come back into space with people and reimagine ourselves and not be triggered.
[00:26:02] And so micro dosing bravery offers one of the most important, essential components of exposure therapy. It’s one of the most evidence-based treatments for anxiety, which is getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. I recommend doing it with a therapist, but it’s that exposure, and you feel kind of provoked, and you step back and you realize you’re okay, and then you build momentum. And so that, for me, it wasn’t like I just had this massive moment. I was like, I’m free and I’m fine.
[00:26:34] It was like back breaking work. But the first piece was so important to know I wasn’t a failure, that I wasn’t here to perform for everybody. Right? We’re not here to perform. And at the end of the day, I think it’s better to risk looking foolish than to forego feeling good.
JULIE: [00:26:57] Yeah. Let’s go back to a couple of things that you said when you were talking about your anxiety in undergrad and what did anxiety look like to you or feel like to you?
DR. KRIS: So it felt like I had to hyper perform. And it was a horrendous proposition to think that I could let anyone down or that someone wouldn’t like me. So there was a lot of that. There was a lot of panic attacks.
[00:27:30] And I think the key thing too, I will say this, never underestimate the power of emotional regulation through lifestyle medicine. So that’s just a fancy way of saying, like, I wasn’t sleeping great at that time, and I wasn’t necessarily overworking and all those things and not really grounded in a lot of the practices that I’ve discovered now in my life and in my work that keep me anchored. So it was that haunting feeling of not being enough. It was like anxiety attacks. It was total emotional dysregulation.
JULIE: [00:28:07] What do you mean?
DR. KRIS: Like highs and lows, just not feeling steady, not feeling okay, not feeling in control, so to speak, but wanting to be in control. And again, a lot of it was just hidden. And I think that I had gone through trauma before my undergrad years and years. I don’t think that I properly– I know I didn’t deal with that until I went to therapy and I was able to put those pieces together and even some of the messaging of my family of origin and community of origin, I think it was easy for me to take the bait and feel like I had to be the perfect person, allegedly, right?
JULIE: [00:28:48] This is like the biggest AHA moment because I’ve never heard anybody relate anxiety to feeling like, the need for overworking or not being enough for the highs and lows and not feeling in control, but wanting to be in control. So how did you step out of that? And what does life feel like or how is it different from before?
DR. KRIS: I think it’s still a little bit of a circus. [00:29:20] What I’ll say about that is that I stepped out over time by learning, I think, one of the hardest things in life to learn, which is to ask for help. Again, I think so many of your audience is likely to be healers and folks who really want to elevate the human condition and really break through things and then use that in the world in a positive way. And I think, again, there was just so much hindering me from like just I felt like I had to, like, just perform for other people or be a certain way. So I think going to therapy, and I’m learning a lot of that, and then I think now I really have, again, many anchoring practices in my life that nourish me. And I think among the most important are the relationships we choose, that we have relationships with reciprocity, we have each other’s backs, we hold space, we see each other in all of our duality and embrace that and encourage and not compete or cut down.
[00:30:23] So I think those who I surround myself with and then I would say, like, specifically for practices, writing is very sacred to me. I see it as such a spiritual practice. And then related to that is my comedy and my performing that I do. Those are added things through the past years that have really just– they’re kind of nontraditional, I think, especially the comedy. But I see it as a spiritual practice in my life.
JULIE: [00:30:48] So you do improv?
DR. KRIS: No, I started with some improv training, but I do stand up comedy.
JULIE: That’s amazing because that’s so funny. Now how has that added value to your life? Because we have an improv comedy club in our downtown little town square, whatever it is.[00:31:11] And every time I pass it, it always says, come just like, try improv. And I always feel this heart calling, but I’m like, okay, I don’t have enough time. How has this added value to your life?
DR. KRIS: It’s everything I’ll say from day one. My whole life, I’ve always valued humor. [00:31:31] I’ve always been quirky. I’ve never necessarily fit in or wanted to fit in. So I’ve always been like a bit of a ham, I guess. And I think too, with humor, you’re critically thinking about society and you’re kind of blowing the whistle on and saying like, this is ridiculous. So specifically with anxiety as a point of healing, it’s like, oh, of course my stomach’s in knots right now. [00:31:52] Or of course this wild thing happens. The sooner you can laugh about something, you get a flat tire. The sooner you can laugh. I think the sooner you can laugh has been such a mantra for me. And then I was going through a very difficult period, and maybe some of your listeners know Kripalu. It’s a beautiful yoga retreat center in western Massachusetts, and a friend of mine asked me to go.
[00:32:17] We always do like, the mindfulness sessions and the metal. We’re all into it. We’re all in. And then I saw that there was an improv workshop, and I’m like, it was the only one of its time. It was with Katie Goodman. [00:32:30] Amazing, improv New York comedian. And I’m like, let’s do this. And then it was so deep. Like, you’d think, oh, this is just like a lot of hoopla. But she drew the lines between improv skills and life skills in such a beautiful way.
[00:32:46] And then that’s when I really went all in. And then I got some training and stand up, started to perform. Of course, the pandemic happened, or like, just not the greatest, but a year ago, I launched a live show in Boston called Cracking Up with Dr. Kris, where Therapy Meets Comedy. And remember to Julie. [00:33:05] For 20 years, I’ve been giving talks, mental health talks, resilience talks for schools and companies around the world. I’ve always used humor. It’s like a serious mess of humor. Now I split my model and it’s humor. But we actually raised money for mental health nonprofit, so it’s a very community endeavor.
[00:33:25] And basically most of my comedy, I talk about human issues, but I talk about my own lived experience with anxiety. You know, like my therapist told me, I had clinically significant anxiety, which made me feel kind of special. It’s just like riffing on all the pieces. And it’s very therapeutic for me as an artist, but I hope also for those who are part of the whole thing too.
JULIE: That’s amazing. [00:33:52] And just to clarify for my audience, I don’t think that I want to go into comedy. I don’t think I would be like a good comedian. I would just do it to kind of break free of– this is going to sound stupid to people because I got the podcast and it’s hard for me to get on stage in front of a lot of people. It’s easy to do podcasts because I don’t think about thousands of people listening to it. I just [00:34:19] am here with you having this one on one beautiful conversation that other people get to listen to. But then you put me on stage in front of a lot of people and I totally clam up. So I’m trying to work that out a little bit.
DR. KRIS: I love it. Going to be, like, Julie at improv. Yay!
[00:34:37] I think the thing is though, it’s the actual like, the skills that come with it. So it’s like loosing it up and just like it’s the quick, agile thinking. And so even like a lot of corporations are interested in these applications. And I even wrote a professional development for social workers on integrating humor into practice. So it’s really about integrating humor into our lives as a protective factor and then like these different skills, like improv.
[00:35:07] One of the most noteworthy is the ‘yes and.’ So it’s in our relationships rather than just being closed off and shut down, it’s like, how do we add, contribute and co inspire one another? And like for stand up, to me, stand up is an interesting world because there’s so much controversial and all that. But also it really does help us take a step back and look at issues in the world, whether racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism ableism. It can have such a teaching value.
[00:35:41] And so that’s what I’m obsessed with and why I say I take humor seriously, because it really can elevate us and call us to different levels of awareness. And it’s fun. I think we almost have to explain like having fun. And I think for me too, like my work is so serious, it’s rigorous, it’s intense. There’s a level of acuity in the world right now.
[00:36:05] I don’t want to minimize or oversimplify that for anyone listening, the level of acuity is just heart wrenching.
JULIE: Can you tell everybody what acuity is.
DR. KRIS: Yeah. So it’s just the level of magnitude or intensity of suffering. So let’s say, for example, you’re a person who had anxiety prepandemic. [00:36:27] And now we’ve gone through all this trauma, marination all the events, the ongoing anxiety is just a lot. So say like, before you’re at like a four. Acuity means you can be like at an eight now and we see this level of deep suffering. Worldwide economies are collapsing. We look at what’s happening in Sri Lanka right now, many nations, everything has collapsed.
[00:36:54] And here in the US, there’s so much to grapple with. And so I think that it just is creating a level of distress that bears our collective attention. It really causes us to say, what are the many creative ways we can discover that life of meaning? And what are the risks that are worth taking that can help us not live in a place of fear that we just want to kind of like, I would say like, it would be completely acceptable if all of us were in fetal position all day, like texting our therapist with Costco supply tissues that is okay. But also, there are ways we can maneuver through and get ourselves back into a place of connection and functioning.
[00:37:39] So for anyone listening that feels like that’s insurmountable, it would be if you try to tackle it all in one day. But if you tackle it by this chip-away approach, slowly but surely, you will find your path towards healing.
JULIE: That’s incredible. Dr. Kris, I want everybody to know your book is called Worth the Risk, and we’ll put in the show notes below where they can find that and purchase that. [00:38:06] As I read it, I had this vision kind of going back in my life where I realized that that’s how and what got me to where I am today is taking those micro mini steps of bravery. Because even when I was learning how to do this work, I come from a very Christian household, and I was so nervous to tell my mum that I was doing this work or hearing from the other side that I just told her I was doing reiki, right? I was just energy healer. And even with that, she would call every month on the dot and say, so I’m going to heaven, and I want you to go to heaven too, and I don’t think that you should be doing this. From that to– even it was a year until I told my husband, and just taking one step at a time, one class at a time to get my certification and then just taking that step to get your business. [00:39:11] And it took me eight months to have the courage to put up the first podcast episode. You know what I mean? I really feel like I had this beautiful AHA moment as I was reading your book that micro dosing bravery has been my entire life of one big step. Keeping myself in safety and security while taking a little step forward has made me feel safe as I’m evolving.
DR. KRIS: [00:39:48] That is so beautiful. And I have goosebumps. I’m just so touched. And I also came from a family of origin where it was very precise and strict, like the laws of behavior and what would– So that’s something that resonates for me and many that I’ve taught and served across the world, this common human element of you’re breaking the mold and you’re, like, taking a different path. [00:40:15] And you talked earlier about coming into your gifts in such a beautiful way, but like you said, it took that much time to drop that first episode or tell the people you’re close with, and then even, I would say, and you know, the first session of the book I call my chapter session is you Are Not Your Fear. And it’s all about family of origin stuff and being the architect of your own experience. And I share in there a story of a close friend of mine who was actually raised in the Jehovah Witness tradition, and she had to break away entirely. And she was actually ultimately like, I don’t want to oversimplify this kind of stuff because it can be very painful, but she came out of it and it took her years to break away and to forge her own identity in her own life and not without a lot of trauma and peril. And so for anyone out there in the book, I talk a lot about liberation, but that it’s not glamorous.
[00:41:15] It doesn’t happen, flip a switch or snap a finger. So I really applaud you, Julie, because that is the beauty like we talked about. Maybe happiness isn’t always like a thing, but meaning and standing strong and your gifts and your strengths and your talents and your identity and your contribution in the world, that’s everything. No one can take that away.
[00:41:39] And again, what I think is so lovely is how you doing that and you showing that and you explaining it even more explicitly today, that is going to strike someone else’s mind’s eye. Like, okay, I don’t have to be like this Mufasa, like courage when I feel like a cowardly lion, but I could do one tiny thing, one tiny thing. And I know for myself– in the book I talk, there’s two things I’ve come out with very publicly. One is my own mental health story and the other is my queer identity. And I remember with that, I didn’t tell everybody– with my queer identity, it wasn’t safe.
[00:42:22] Speaking of safety, it wouldn’t have been safe because there’s a lot going on for me. But I told other queer friends, first people that I knew would like completely the first person I told was trans, and they were like, so gentle and kind of funny and irreverent, too, and it was so healing for me. Yeah, it’s not a big deal. You’re fine and you’re beautiful and all that. So I just feel like for anybody that, again, might be hiding parts of their identities in any form or you might have questioned those frameworks that came from, it’s hard to get unhooked from that. [00:43:01] You can face a lot of penalty, but you also are liberating yourself and those that you influence, and that is what we’re here for.
JULIE: That’s amazing. Dr. Kris, I feel like I could talk to you for forever. I love you and everything you’re saying, I’m like, oh, my gosh, like, such a similar experience with so many things, and your book Worth the Risk, is just amazing. [00:43:24] Thank you for breathing that into the world. And thank you for taking time to be on the show today.
DR. KRIS: What an honor and what a joy. Thank you so much, Julie.
JULIE: You too.