Episode 32: How Mindfulness Awakens Our True Selves with Julie Seibt

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Julie Seibt is a yoga teacher with plenty of credentials under her belt - IAYT Yoga Therapist, Anahata Yoga Teacher and iRest Teacher to name a few. But it’s probably more accurate to just describe her as an ocean of knowledge.  This is one lady who is well versed in the matters of the heart and her unshakable truth shines through the entire conversation.  In this episode, we dive into a rich conversation about mindfulness and how you can apply it to live a life of freedom and of course more joy.  Julie provides clear examples and tools that can be simply applied for more peaceful living starting right now.  We hear her insights on how to create better relationships with ourselves (because one thing I’m learning is that it all comes back to self love folks!) and touch on my favourite topic – how to tap into that inner wisdom.  We begin and end with a beautiful meditation so if you’re able to set yourself up in a comfortable position, please do so and join in.  Alright, plug those earplugs in and let’s let the good vibes roll.

Key Nuggets:

  • We can’t stop the difficulties in our lives but we can change the relationship with it.  We can come to a point where we surf the waves and almost welcome it.  Finding the lessons that are to be found.
  • Once again we are reminded that yoga is more than the asanas (poses).  It in essence is a heart practice.
    • With that said, yes there’s more than just the body but also, while we’re in these bodies, we should learn how to take the best care of it.  After all, this is our vehicle for this life. 
  • The mind body connection: tuning into it helps you see if you’re driving yourself for something that’s lacking.
    • For example, sometimes we force our bodies into what it “should” be like.  I'm "old" or "young" or "a yoga junkie" so it should work this way or that.
    • The mind body connection allows you to come back, moment to moment and hear what your body needs now.  Listen to its messages. As Julie says, to “heed the wisdom of our body”
  • Listen to your body and ask kind questions:
    • Put your hand on your heart and ask “what do you need today”
      • You might not hear words, but maybe just a feeling.  The feeling is your answer, you should sit with it.
    • When you come into a challenging pose and you’re stretching yourself to find your edge, ask yourself “is kindness here?”.  And then take this question to the rest of your life – in meetings, at the grocery store….
  • Mindfulness
    • Through the many definitions, as long as your intention for mindfulness is heart based, side by side with compassion and aligned with joy and equanimity, you are on the right track.
    • To Julie, mindfulness is also about seeing more clearly.  We’re all in a trance due to our conditioned minds – what happens to us in our childhoods all the way to what happened to us yesterday conditions our reactions and responses.
      • Mindfulness helps us see our conditioning more clearly and breaks us from the trance with our habitual self. It buys us space between reactivity and a wise response. 
    • An empowering realization is that we don’t have to act the way we were before.  We don’t even have to believe our thoughts.
    •  When we become less reactive, we are able to expose ourselves to our deepest truths, deepest yearnings
    • This is hard work!  Working on mindfulness means needing to sit with uncomfortable feelings, you need to make space in your mind to what the raw truths are and become vulnerable to what your heart’s true desires.
  • Thoughts: 
    • We are not our thoughts.  We can’t control our thoughts, we don’t need to listen to it!
    • Mindfulness is when we can see the thoughts but not judge it.  If we take action on it then it’s a different story.
    • Julie shares an acronym from her teacher Michelle McDonald
      •  RAIN (a tool for anything that you're noticing - thoughts, emotions, feelings...)
        • R: recognition of the thoughts
        • A: acceptance that the thought happened (not necessarily that we condone or endorse the thought)
        • I: Investigation.  See what is going on there.
        • N: Non identification.  Don’t personalize the thought as yourself.  See it as a movement in awareness and in the mind but remember that the home ground of who we are is a form of wholeness, untainted.
    • We aren't our thoughts but what we can look at is how the thought feels, b/c behind every thought there’s a feeling. It could be something that needs to healed and once that’s paid attention to then the thoughts that you’re not happy with will come up less and less
    • Tip: You can make a date to investigate the thought if you can’t attend to it right away.  Put your hand where you feel it and sit with it.
  • We want to be able to feel the most uncomfortable feelings like shame
    • Shame only thrives in secrecy.  Empathy is the antidote.
    • The Buddha taught about healthy shame and unhealthy shame.
      • Healthy shame comes with self-compassion.  
      • Unhealthy shame is one that you get stuck with and identify with.  You get hooked into thinking that, that bad thing is what you are.
  • Our attachment to an outcome results in burnout.  When we accept and let go we are able to care for ourselves and loved ones much more.
  • Awakening is waking up to the truth that we are not our thoughts, we are not our conditioned selves and that we are way more than that.  Waking up to these little truths.

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Soften into the inherent grace that’s within you from moment to moment.  It’s when you soften that you allow ease and well being to come through.  Rather than trying to fix something or force something, sit with the not knowing.  Allow and release.                                     


If you have any questions for Julie or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website:  www.bodymindease.com

Email:  julie@bodymindease.com