Read the Transcript Below the Bio
James S. Gordon, MD, a Harvard educated psychiatrist, is a world-renowned expert in using mind-body medicine to heal depression, anxiety, and psychological trauma. He is the Founder and Director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, founding Dean of the College of Mind-Body Medicine at Saybrook University, a Clinical Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at Georgetown Medical School, and recently served as Chairman of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy. He also served as the first Chair of the Program Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Alternative Medicine and is a former member of the Cancer Advisory Panel on Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the NIH.
Dr. Gordon has devoted over 40 years to the exploration and practice of mind-body medicine. After graduating from Harvard Medical School, he was for 10 years a research psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health. There he developed the first national program for runaway and homeless youth, edited the first comprehensive studies of alternative and holistic medicine, directed the Special Study on Alternative Services for President Carter’s Commission on Mental Health, and created a nationwide preceptorship program for medical students.
Dr. Gordon has created ground-breaking programs of comprehensive mind-body healing for physicians, medical students, and other health professionals; for people with cancer, depression and other chronic illnesses; and for traumatized children and families in Bosnia, Kosovo, Israel and Gaza, in post-9/11 New York and post-Katrina southern Louisiana, and for U.S Military returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In areas where psychological trauma is widespread, they have created local leadership teams to fully integrate the CMBM model into the ongoing services of the entire community or nation.
Dr. Gordon’s most recent book is Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven Stage Journey Out of Depression (Penguin Press). He’s also the author of Comprehensive Cancer Care: Integrating Alternative, Complementary and Conventional Therapies and Manifesto for a New Medicine: Your Guide to Healing Partnerships and the Wise Use of Alternative Therapies (both Perseus Books). In addition, Dr. Gordon has written or edited 9 other books, including the award-winning Health for the Whole Person, and more than 120 articles in professional journals and general magazines and newspapers, among them the American Journal of Psychiatry, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Journal of Traumatic Stress, Psychiatry, The American Family Physician, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. He also helped develop and write the educational materials to supplement the public television series “Healing and the Mind with Bill Moyers.”
Dr. Gordon’s work has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, CBS Sunday Morning, FOX News and National Public Radio, as well as in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, People, American Medical News, Clinical Psychiatry News, Town and Country, Hippocrates, Psychology Today, Vegetarian Times, Natural Health, Health, and Prevention.
Follow Dr. Gordon’s work around the world on www.cmbm.org and his blog, Healing Ourselves.
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Reena Jadhav: Dr. James S. Gordon. He’s the founder and executive director for the center of mind-body medicine. He’s a Harvard educated psychiatrist, while a renowned expert in using mind-body medicine to heal depression, anxiety, psychological trauma, and he is the clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at Georgetown Medical School. He served as the first chairman of the Advisory Council to NIH office of alternative medicine and as the chairman of the White House Commission on complementary and alternative medicine policy under President Clinton as well as Gw Bush. Now Dr. Wardman has created some groundbreaking programs that are comprehensive mind-body healing or physicians, medical students and other health professionals for people with cancer, depression, chronic illness, and for traumatized children. And to coordinate. Welcome.
Dr. Gordon: Thank you. Nice to be here.
Reena Jadhav: We are so honored to have you here today and this is a masterclass on stuck which is your guide to the seven-stage journey out of depression. Dr. Warren, why did you write this book?
Dr. Gordon: Well, Unstuck is a book that we just kept growing inside of me. I’m one of those people. I am a writer as well as a doctor by profession, but it feels like something that grows in me. The almost like a child, except instead of nine months, it took almost nine years for this one to come to fruition and what I was trying to do is to respond. Initially, the catalyst was responding to a young girl, 15-year-old girl in the Philippines who wrote to me in detail about her being depressed and was wondering what she could do to help herself. She had no money for a psychotherapist and there were no therapists around anyway, and so that girl was very much in my mind as I wrote this book and all the other people who want to learn how to do whatever they can to help themselves when they’re depressed, including perhaps so many people.
Dr. Gordon: Some of the $30 million people here in the United States who are on antidepressants want to find out if there’s another way besides drugs to deal with their depression, so I wanted to write for all those people and eventually it came out on the page and became the book which is, which is unstuck. I’ll show you that. Here’s a copyright here, a paperback copy of it, and it has these dark clouds. I kind of, I’d like to cover somebody else designed it, but I really liked the design and the dark clouds gradually becoming lighter till the sun comes out and I think one of the really important messages in the book is that being depressed for a period of time doesn’t mean you’re sentenced to a life of depression. Depression can come as very much as a part of life and one can learn from it and move through it and come out from the other side stronger and wiser.
Reena Jadhav: When do we start classifying what’s normal life, sadness, life comes at you with days of happiness and days of sadness. When did we start classifying it as depression?
Dr. Gordon: You know, I think there were some reasonably clear definitions and then there’s some blurring of the boundaries that depression, what’s defined as a major depressive disorder, so-called clinical depression usually involves an eating too much or too little, being exhausted, not being able to focus or concentrate, being very pessimistic about the future, having a sense of being preoccupied with what’s gone on in the past. It’s been fortunate, uh, feeling helpless and hopeless as a kind of generality. Now that’s depression and, but see, I’m not as interested in making that distinction between sadness and depression. What I’m saying is that all of us are going to go through periods or most of us, maybe not everybody in our lives when we’re in some state that has some of those characteristics. This one end of the spectrum that we call clinical depression. Maybe we’ve lost a family member and we’re going through grief and or we have an illness that’s overwhelming to us when trying to figure out what to do with it and we feel helpless and hopeless and pessimistic.
Dr. Gordon: That’s all understandable, but none of that means we have a disease that necessarily needs medication. Uh, I see medication, I want to make this clear upfront. I don’t see it as all bad, but I see it as a last resort, not a first choice. So when you’re going through a difficult time, whether it reaches the threshold of clinical depression as according to statistics that do for about 20 million people in the United States, or whether it doesn’t reach that threshold and you’re just feeling kind of discouraged and pessimistic and you don’t really feel like doing things or you’re going through a period of grief. Some of the same principles apply to the ways you could understand yourself and help yourself and learn from this period. Take this period as a painful time of learning and then move forward. Learning about what the imbalances are in you, what the difficulties are, and finding new ways to meet those challenges.
Reena Jadhav: I’m thrilled to hear you say that medication isn’t always the answer. I feel having gone through my journey, that there’s a reason. Sometimes we are meant to feel the pain because we grow from it. We grow from those emotions and I think we’ve come into an existence in a world where it’s almost like we want to duct tape emotions that are negative or that make us feel too much and it’s like, well, let’s just take antidepressants because we don’t want to feel sad or we don’t want to understand sort of what’s happening inside and I’m so thrilled to hear you say that medications should be treated as a last resort because there are so many other so many other ways and you’re going to talk about them. So let’s get started.
Dr. Gordon: Okay.
Reena Jadhav: Introduction. The introduction. Is there some other way? Dr. Is there another way?
Dr. Gordon: Yes there is. And that, you know, it took me. I’ve been working with this other way since the early 19 seventies and adding different elements to it and so they are there. They all came together in unstuck, but the basic idea is to look at depression as and this gets into the next chapter as a wake-up call. It’s letting you know that something is out of balance because he logic please, psychologically, spiritually, socially, all these different ways in one or more of those ways and the ways to work with that are through all those avenues. If you’re in a job where you can’t stand you and you can stand your boss and you feel you have to stay and every day going into work as torture and the way to address your depression is by addressing your job, and I’ve had plenty of patients work here in Washington DC and plenty of people who have come in have come in to see me with the job as the major issue.
Dr. Gordon: Second, so you need to look at the whole picture and then you need to address the areas of imbalance. Also, what we can do is that the physiological imbalance that may be there and also it’s not there and everybody, whether it’s a, you know, deficiencies of cortisone or dopamine or endorphins that those can be addressed in other ways besides medication. Just very simple meditation with at and not a sea change. Those levels of brain neurotransmitters so can exercise, so can eating in a healthy way. So there are many, many avenues that we can use to help ourselves and then there are other, most of them have to do with self-help. Things that we can learn to do for ourselves. Reaching out to other people can be helpful. There had been studies comparing psychotherapy with antidepressants and the psychotherapy comes out in many of those studies at least as well as the antidepressants and that’s just psychotherapy without adding nutrition and exercise and meditation. Other techniques of stress reduction, so there are other ways. There are individual ways that can make a difference and there is a comprehensive or holistic or integrated approach which is really what unstuck describes and shows you how to. How to use that, get to make it even bigger difference. So yes, there are. There not only is another way. There are many other ways,
Reena Jadhav: and how does someone who is suffering from depression or just deepened sadness for extended time decide which of those methods might work the best in your experience with thousands of patients? Have you found some kind of a quick trick or a secret need saying, hey, for Rena, meditation will work, but for Joe, finding a group of friends or psychotherapy will work better?
Dr. Gordon: Well, the first thing is you typically have to listen to people. Number one has to pay attention to what they tell you. So I always ask people, and this comes into the first chapter of the book. Once somebody realizes and you’re describing somebody who has heard the call, somebody who’s come to understand that there’s something, something’s not right. I’m feeling down and I’m feeling helpless and hopeless, pessimistic about the things I used to love, don’t please me anymore. So once you’re in that state, the question that I would ask and the question I would urge people to ask themselves is, what’s going on? What? What, what are the things that are really troubling to me, and the second part of that question is what’s helpful. Everybody needs to be looked to individually in terms of thinking about what can be best for them, but what I’m always focusing on for everybody is I’m teaching them some form of meditation, some way to quiet their body and mind and come into balance.
Dr. Gordon: I’m always working with physical exercise, finding a kind of movement or exercise at somebody, a patient person likes to do. I’m always working with nutrition and looking for what’s most appropriate and individualizing that as well. In fact, all of these have to be individualized. So for example, even if the research shows that jogging is fantastic for depression, if you hate jogging, going to help move your body. Um, so dealing with stress, with the meditation of some kind, some kind of movement of the body, working with nutrition, nutrition and working with finding some kind of social support either formally with a clinician or informally and slash or informally from other people. Those four are always important to look at. The fifth ingredient, if you will, is helping people find meaning and purpose. What? Because so many people when they’re depressed, it’s because they’ve come to a point in their life when what gave them pleasure and satisfaction before is no longer doing it, and this may mean may mean they need to simply renew themselves internally and balance out the physiology and psychology, but it often means they need to look for some other way to work, to live, to connect with people, some new chapter in their lives.
Dr. Gordon: So all those five. I’m always paying attention to
Reena Jadhav: chapter one, the call. Finding the right way. Dr. Gordon, what is the essence of this chapter and how do we find the right way?
Dr. Gordon: Well, I, my chapters, I borrowed some and adapted from Joseph Campbell for his book called the hero with a thousand faces and it’s sort of important, very readable book about the journey of the hero and the heroine can be a woman as well as a man of course. And what those stages of self-realization or, and to me in a modified form, those stages are the same ones that we need to move through as we’re dealing with depression. And the first one is the call, the call to the journey, which means, okay, I, I guess I’m depressed. I’m not feeling so good. I, um, you know, I don’t enjoy getting up in the morning. I don’t, I’m not thrilled to go into work. My, uh, uh, my husband doesn’t look so good or irritable with my kids or something. Something’s not right. And rather than dismiss that temptation to particularly perhaps in our society where we say, get over it fast, suck it up, move on, move ahead, take a pill to make yourself feel better or just ignore it. What I’m saying is pay attention to the coal. The coal is letting you know that something is out of balance in your life. And then what you need to do is to find ways to reestablish that balance, which really important. If you don’t pay attention to the call, nothing is ever going to jail.
Reena Jadhav: It’s that acceptance, that recognition that I need help me hating my kids or my family isn’t a normal experience and it’s, it’s not a normal emotion I should be feeling because I think you’re right. A lot of us, when we go through that time period, not gone through it, we think that that’s actually how life really is as opposed to the fact that it’s actually imbalanced that is making me feel that way and that separation of the way I’m feeling is not how I should be feeling comes. I think from learning to separate yourself from your mind and that comes from meditation or it comes from, I think in a reflection. So, um, yeah,
Dr. Gordon: exactly. Becoming aware of it and you may need a little time and little space to become aware of it. Writing down in a journal what’s going on can be very helpful too because all of a sudden you start seeing things on the page that come out are coming out of your unconscious or your imagination or your intuition that may not come easily when you’re just trying to make a base. So you just write down what’s going on with you and all of a sudden you start discovering, oh, you know, I, I find that I’m really most unhappy at this particular time of day when this is happening, or it’s this particular kind of interaction, or I’m really craving something more in my work situation. Whatever it might be. I think that that. But the more you can recognize what’s going on and in the beginning, the better. But if you don’t, that’s okay too. As long as you have a sense that you need to do something about parts of your life that are not working for you,
Reena Jadhav: and for those of you listening or watching the video, please note are going to put in a link to the health journal, which is, as some of you know, the Free Health Journal that I wrote and used myself to heal. It has sections in it where you can put in a word of gratitude tracker modes on a daily basis and start to see patterns. So if you’re watching or listening, don’t forget to go to health bootcamps. Look at the show notes and we’ll put a link in for a free 30 day journal and you can download because I think Dr. Gordon journaling is scientifically proven, am I right in terms of the incredible value and benefit in tracking your nodes and coming to some kind of an understanding of how your inner being feeling.
Dr. Gordon: There’s wonderful research if some of the viewers want to check it out by by James Pennebaker and his colleagues at University of Texas showing that if you write in a journal as little as 20 minutes on three successive days about things that you’re feeling that emotional importance, you can decrease your level of anxiety, improve your mood, decrease stress hormones. This is very powerful medicine and if you do it regularly, you know pretty much every day the difference can really be quite important over time. So it’s important for realizing what’s going on and just the act of writing is itself therapeutic.
Reena Jadhav: And that you said it is really a medicine. I wrote an article called why this is my number one medicine because it is a medicine. It’s just doesn’t come in a
Dr. Gordon: box and a pill, but it certainly isn’t medicine. All right. Chapter two, guides on the journey. What is the essence of that chapter? Dr. Borden, for most of us necessarily needs a guide, but most of us, when we’re depressed, when we’re down and pessimistic and feeling hopeless and hopeless, it’s enormously important to have somebody there with us who can help us take the next steps on our journey, hopeless. Look at what’s going on. Help us figure out what the different dimensions might be of our suffering at that time. So, uh, and this comes this a very ancient notion. If you look at all the, you know, if you look at the epics, for example, the Odyssey, Odysseus has Athena, the goddess of wisdom. She’s a very good guide. She’s with him all the time. She’s helping him feel better, look better, understand things that he can’t grasp, but she’s been a model for modern guides.
Dr. Gordon: We need somebody. Most of us, I certainly did when I was going through a period of depression in medical school. And I found someone who I felt could understand me, who would respond to me, who respected me, who was kind, not indulgent, particularly, it could be kind of tough and kind of humorous and getting me to understand the joke about myself as well, but he got who I was and he was somebody I felt connected to. And I think this. This is so important that one of the problems with a lot of the therapists who serve as guides is that people go see them, but they may not feel it’s really the appropriate person. You need somebody who’s got good credentials, who knows how to be a guide to people who are depressed, who is a psychotherapist or a nurse practitioner in psychiatry or pastoral counselor or a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Dr. Gordon: You need somebody with the training, but you also need somebody who you feel treats you with. What the great psychologist Carl Rogers called unconditional positive regard. Such a beautiful phrase and that’s what I would suggest that you look for when you’re finding a guide. Guides can have all kinds of different theoretical perspectives, but for the professional guide, I mean they can be more involved in behavior therapy or more involved in, um, guide using guided imagery or psychodynamics or fraud inside. All of those can be helpful, but you need somebody who’s going to treat me with kind of loving respect. But the other thing of horses, the guides don’t only come in, the person of professionals that are friends can be very helpful to us as well. Not The friend who is, um, you know, thinks there’s something so wrong with us that she’s got fix us and tell us exactly how to do it.
Dr. Gordon: The friend who was really there who is really present for us, willing to listen to us, willing to share her own experience of course, but, but who we feel is there with us no matter what and doesn’t have any particular ax to grind. You’ve got to do x therapy or you got to see my therapist. It’s worth looking at those things. But then it’s up to each of us to make the decision. Is this the right way for me to go? So, friends, family can help us, guides, professional guide can be very important and the other part of guidance that’s really crucial that I talk about and show people how to do in that chapter on guides is how to access the inner guide, the wise guide inside us or imagination or intuition cold what you want. Call it the unconscious, Carl Young, the great Swiss psychiatrist, cold collective unconscious.
Dr. Gordon: People in some societies, think of it as spirits that are outside rather than inside. You can think of it however you want, but if you do the kind of an exercise that I described it unstuck. When you relax and you breathe deeply and you go into a relaxed state and you imagine yourself in a calm, safe place and then you invite a guide to appear, you can begin to have a guy with a sorry, a dialogue with that guide and the guide who appears, as I describe in some detail and also people can look on our website, cmd m.org for some of these experiments as I call them. Some of these experiences that are therapeutic that you can use for yourself and you can find out more information about them on the website as well as in unstuck, but these are, these are devices, experiments, and help each of us get in touch with our inner guide and once that inner guide appears, who may appear as a wise old man or wise old woman or figure from scripture or family member, you can begin to ask that guide question, why am I so depressed?
Dr. Gordon: What should I do about it? How do I deal with my husband? Whatever, whatever the questions are, this is a way of beginning to exercise those muscles of intuition and imagination that unfortunately in our modern society have atrophy for so many of us were not used to consulting ourselves. Inside. We just want to look to the outside expert and the quick fix. So the. The message of this chapter is yes, outside guides are fantastic and we all need to develop that internal capacity to use our intuition and our imagination.
Reena Jadhav: How frequently should we be contacting or guides whether physical or spiritual when we’re feeling sad, depressed? Is this something you recommend doing daily, weekly? What’s the frequency? Adoptive
Dr. Gordon: as often as you need it. So what I recommend for people, uh, as we sort of look at the whole program is doing some kind of quiet meditation every day. Maybe just breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth with your belly, soft and relaxed, focusing on the word soft and belly, focusing on the breath, focusing on the feeling and your building. Doing that for five or 10 minutes. And again, there’s a video of that on the cmb m.org website. You can follow that video, doing that, doing something active every day to release stress, release tension, to build up the energy to build up those neurotransmitters. The very same ones. The drugs are aimed at increasing serotonin and norepinephrine and then consulting your imagination. And I’m, I’m being a little vague. I say whenever you need to. So sometimes it may be every day, sometimes it may be once every week, once every couple of weeks.
Dr. Gordon: While I do it now, I’m not feeling depressed, but I do it when I come up against a problem that you know that doesn’t. The answer does come to me immediately. What should I do about this relationship? How do I address a problem in my writing? I’m working on a new book. How do I. How do I address the problem in this chapter? What is this physical symptom that I’m having mean to me? So whenever something comes up that feels important to know more about and the answer is not coming to you right away, I consult my wife Guide and if my wife God is not interested in talking to me about it, she’ll tell them, hey buddy, no bother.
Speaker 4: Yeah,
Dr. Gordon: so it’s a process and there are many other techniques for accessing the imagination, which I described in unstuck with a wise guide is a very beautiful, very direct one and it works so well. I’ve seen it work so well for so many people.
Reena Jadhav: Beautiful. Chapter three, surrender to change. What is the essence of that chapter?
Dr. Gordon: Well, when you’re depressed, one of the characteristics is nothing much is changing, right? You’re so you’re kind of sunk like this. You’re feeling I’m going to be like this forever. It’s never going to get better. I’ve been in that state. I understand. I’m laughing about it now. I’m not a bad thing to laugh about it even when you’re in the middle of it, if you can, but it’s not so easy, but the idea is if you’re in the state where change is not happening and the natural, the natural state for humans, for all organisms is to be changing all the time. So what depression is doing is it’s getting you fixed or to quote what the title of my book. It’s getting you stuck. That’s why I called the book unstuck because people who are depressed kept coming to me and saying to me, I’m stuck.
Dr. Gordon: How do you get unstuck with the most direct route to getting unstuck, which is not the only route, but the most direct route is to shake things up that are stuck. So one of the techniques is to shake your body, to move your body in order to surrender. And surrender means somehow bringing yourself into the current of life. Bringing yourself back into this process of continuous change, which is what it is to be human. We’re always changing and growing and learning and new things are happening. If we’re fully alive when we’re depressed, that process slows down or shuts down, so in order to remove that process, we need to put out some effort and the effort will help us to surrender to that lively lifelong process of change and that in order to do that surrender, which is really saying, okay, I’m gonna, take part in life, I’m going to accept what’s coming.
Dr. Gordon: I’m going to move with it. I’m gonna. Learn from it. Some people are able just to do that. There’s a guy who might write about in that chapter called Milton who was an airplane mechanic and a former Army master sergeant, gritty, rigid guy, very angry, very depressed, very angry at his ex-wife and angry at his kid. They moved away and he just can’t deal with it and he’s feeling worse and worse and one of them, one of the doctors who’s playing, he was servicing as a mechanic, referred them to me and I saw them. I said, you know, I think what you should do is that you should read this book called the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, a Chinese great Chinese class, like it’s the, it’s a book about how life is always changing and how you need to surrender to the change to the way that’s what the Dallas understood.
Dr. Gordon: The Chinese, the Chinese sort of practical and spiritual natural perspective was learned to surrender, to change. So he read the book. He spent a whole weekend, is very conscientious. He spent a whole weekend reading the book. I’m looking at all, you know, he read it in the translation. I suggested Steven Mitchell Stevens, a friend. His translation is great, but then Milton said I was an all day. He came back to me a few days later. He spent all day reading this translation and it was great and I think at first it didn’t make sense and then it started making sense and then I got interested and I read other translations. Well, the bottom line is he spent a three day weekend reading, half a dozen different translation, walking around, reading, sitting on park benches when he called up his wife and kid on Sunday, uh, after the end of the weekend as he always, you know, good coal up on Sunday, usually he was angry as hell, but this time is ex-wife answered the phone. He told me and he said, hey baby, how you doing? And she said, what are you been smoking?
Dr. Gordon: And he said he had a very nice conversation with her and then he talked with his 11-year-old son and he said, instead of belittling my boy and making him feel small, I was just asking him, you know, how’s school going, are now, you know, you haven’t any difficulties in any way I can help you. He said it was a totally different kind of conversation. He said, so doc, this is on the second visit. He said, so doc, I’m really happy I met you. And uh, helped me change my life around. But between you and Lao Tzu and me, I don’t think I need to see you anymore.
Dr. Gordon: So he was able to surrender. Most of us are not like that. Most of us have to do something very active physically to get out of this mindset in which everything looks gloomy and do me a negative to get out of this body when we’re depressed. I don’t know if you noticed that. I certainly did. My body is kind of shut down. I don’t feel like moving. If you look at depressed people or when you’re depressed, it’s sort of like this head, shoulders slump. So you need to do something very active to get out of that. And I, and uh, in that chapter I recommend somewhat are called expressive meditation. And one of the easiest is shaking your body, just getting up, standing up your knees, bent and shaking your body from the feet up through the knees, hips, shoulders, and head for five or 10 minutes and standing for a couple of minutes.
Dr. Gordon: And then letting your body move to some music. And again, people can read it in Unstuck. They can look on our website and see, see people shaking and dancing and see my instructions for doing this expressive meditation. This, these expressive meditations and shaking and dancing is only one of the hundreds. These are the oldest forms of meditation on the planet and they’re beautiful. These are the ones that allow us to free ourselves from these constrictions and help us surrender to life again, so I recommend that people who are depressed do one or another of those every day and yes, it will feel like a total pain in the butt and I can’t do this and it’s too much fine. Say thank you for sharing and get up and do it and do as much as you can. If you can’t do five or 10 minutes of first, start with a minute or two, just get started moving your body and what I’ve seen working literally training and doing workshops for tens of thousands of people all over the world and the people we’ve trained at the center for mind, body medicine have in turn worked with many hundreds of thousands, is that this kind of expressive meditation is often the beginning of healing for people who were depressed, really anxious.
Dr. Gordon: People who’ve been traumatized, people with chronic illness and it seems a little strange. It’s not part of conventional medicine or conventional psychotherapy, and yet this is what our ancestors knew and know how crucial this was for all of us and just do it. Not a question of your viewers taking my word. Just check out how to do it again and on stock or on the website and do it. You decide for yourself. See the difference it makes when we do. It was just, we’re just down at, we were talking before we got on the air about work we’re doing in Broward County, Florida. Uh, the community that survived the school shootings down and people were very traumatized. Many of them quite depressed after the shootings. And yet so many of them felt revived as they would do these expressive meditation’s not just once, twice, three, four, half a dozen times. Sometimes even the first time said, oh my God, I’m starting to feel a little bit alive. So that’s, that’s the key to surrender. In order to surrender, in order to let go and be part of life, we need to begin usually by putting out some real active effort.
Reena Jadhav: It’s so true. You know, I think of it also as acceptance. It’s when something terrible has happened to you, just accept that. That’s just to your point, the way of life, that’s just how life flows. So what I was going through with a horrific health crisis, second time I had to get to the point of accepting what was happening to me and saying, okay, there is something in this that I’m supposed to grow from, learn from, and I’m just going to accept what’s happening to me. I’m not going to fight it anymore. I’m not going to swim. I’m going to float through it, and I think that’s what you’re calling surrender is in my visualization that I would do is that I’m just floating.
Dr. Gordon: Beautiful. And that’s exactly right. The acceptance is another word for surrender
Reena Jadhav: and so it was something terrible has happened where there’s been a shooting and God forbid you’ve lost a child, you know the. The second part of it is to your point, is to say, because we started asking questions, why me? Why this horrible tragedy? There is no god help. How could a god exist? How horrible things happen to beautiful innocent souls and what I realized, you can’t go there because there’s no answer to that so that
Dr. Gordon: yeah, but people have to do that. We will. We have to go through a certain period. Most of us, we can’t accept it. Why is this happening? Why me all this thing. This actually comes. This moves into the next, the next chapter, which is really dealing with the demon.
Reena Jadhav: The other thing that I’ve noticed as I interviewed Dr. Jeffrey Thompson last week and we were talking about sound healing and sound vibration, and I’m connecting the dots and tell me if I’m wrong. I think to some extent, when you put on music and you move, you’re probably recalibrating the vibration. You’re probably rejiggering your brain waves were. Has there been any research done into where do our brainwaves sick when we’re depressed and the fact that sound and movement starts to maybe elevate those?
Dr. Gordon: I don’t know if there’s been research on know the research specifically done on changes in brain waves. There’s certainly has been researched on showing that, you know, deep breathing and use helps people. It helps people with depression and there certainly researched one of that movement, uh, is extremely useful for depression. There’s a whole bunch of studies that have been done. Again, comparing movement, active exercise with a variety of antidepressants, showing that exercise, those just as well or better than antidepressants without the negative side effects there has not been researched on that I know of on these express that meditation. We use them as part of the comprehensive program in unstuck, in what we train people to do at the center for mind-body medicine, and we have research showing the effect of our comprehensive program. Would you very much includes these techniques on depression, on anxiety, on posttraumatic stress disorder?
Dr. Gordon: So I think I would say the specific research hasn’t been done, but there’s been enough done that it is, as the scientists would say, suggestive so that you’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose by. Fortunately, more and more research is being on the kinds of approaches that we’re discussing now on the effect of exercise on depression. The effect of meditation on decreasing the size of areas of the brain that are responsible for fear and anger, for example, the Amygdala and the emotional brain and increasing activity in the frontal cortex, areas of the brain, responsible for judgment and self-awareness and compassion. So the research researchers are getting more and more interested in the kinds of approaches we’re talking about and that research is beginning to appear and the research on our model, which is the one I’m teaching in unstuck, the research is quite good on the use of our model to treat people who have been traumatized who are also depressed.
Dr. Gordon: So I’m, you know, don’t worship the research but look at it, look at it critically and I think it will encourage many people. And then also keep looking at your own experience. What is making a difference for you? Chapter four, dealing with demons. How do we deal with those demons? Dr. Gordon will, first of all, demon the word demon comes from the Greek word Diamond d a I, m o, n which was not just something negative, but it was also the kind of a genius. It was there inside us that could, that we could consult, that could help us be and become who we’re meant to be. Over time it got narrowed down to the demon to something threatening, uh, you know, unpleasant and dark and horrible. What I would say is we need to recover some of that ancient meaning and we need to understand that these dark and painful and horrible to us aspects of our lives also have something to teach us, so we need to work with them rather than just to try to lead them to get away from them or to drug them into submission.
Dr. Gordon: So if we are angry, for example, you know, why did this happen to me? How could this have happened to me? I’d been such a good boy. You’re such a good girl. Or how could, how could I help in this terrible thing had happened? What I might say is you’ve got to work with that team and you got to work with that anger. Don’t pretend it’s not there. Don’t just wallow in it. Don’t drag yourself up so you don’t feel it. Hit a punching bag, scream and shout. Get out the anger, start becoming aware, full, fully experienced, all that frustration and what will happen often as you begin to work with this particular demon of rage and outrage really is it’s something else will open up. Sadness will come, the deeper sadness the anger may have been protecting us against and they will soften up and change will be possible again, or the demon may be procrastination a, that’s one of mine.
Dr. Gordon: I don’t know if you’ve experienced that and writing, but I do at times. I’ve got to put it all I’ve got. I can’t do it. Okay. So this is me, this is a demon that I’ve had around me on and off over the years. What do I do about it? Do I just beat myself up for once again, putting off, doing something? Uh, do I keep trying to do something that I just can’t do or maybe I shift gears. Maybe I start doing something else. So I take the, um, the injunction to do something productive and I generalize it and so I stopped doing the writing on the book and maybe I write emails to people and if I can’t do that, that maybe I straightened out my desk something else. So, you know, again, I’m, I’m recognizing this particular demon. I’m not pretending that it’s not there, I’m not going to war with it, but I’m trying to figure out a way to learn from it and to move through it.
Dr. Gordon: And I don’t know how many times I’ve found that if I back away for a moment from procrastination and I either start working on some other kinds of writing or I do something a practical, right, even I moved my body and I just take a walk. I then come back refreshed. So we need to do, we need to become aware of the demons and we need to find a strategy and it’s going to be different for each one and an unstuck. I outlined ways of working with 10 or a dozen different kinds of demons. Each of us has different payments. And so there are different strategies and what you can ask your wise guide. Also what you should do if your demons, anger, you’re angry all the time. Okay. What do I do about the sanger with your intuition has to say,
Reena Jadhav: could you share what those demons are? You mentioned in the book that you outline a few demons and some strategies. So anger is one. What are some of the other demons?
Dr. Gordon: Well, resentment, which is a much nastier form of anger, you know, sitting around, stewing about, no, how could she have done this to me or how could he be like this? And another one is envy. Oh, he’s so much better at doing his job. I wish I could be like in another one is jealousy. Oh, my husband, he keeps looking at that other woman. I’m all that I mean, all the spiritual traditions including a new test. And they’re very clear about that. I can’t do anything at all last. Well it’s good to be lost four in a way, but if you’re going around, you know, constantly preoccupied with, you know, who am I going to sleep with next? And just driving your self and everybody else crazy. That’s a demon. That becomes a demon for everything and oh know it may. Maybe impatience. That’s another one I know about which is slightly different. So all, all of them we’ve. We’ve all got just about all of us have one or another. Even the Shane said their demons and they had to work a lot of the pictures of the saints in the desert. They’re there by themselves. They’re wrestling with their demons.
Reena Jadhav: Let’s talk about a specific demon just because I know so many people who are dealing with us, which is that of the emotion that emerges when you lose something really important. Whether that’s loss of a child. We’ve got some friends that have lost a child to cancer or another lost in a car accident. So losing something that you love tremendously. Losing a spouse, losing a parent. That’s something that every single one of us is going to experience at some point, you know, losing someone you love. And of course, that creates a demon within. Could you just share one or two quick tips on how can someone deal with that? Because that can take over your life.
Dr. Gordon: I’m not sure that that’s a demon so much. I think the demon would be if you continue to be disabled by that loss. The demon might be inertia or slow or. No, I can’t. I can’t move. Or the demon might be the anger that we discussed. I’m so angry. How could this happen? I think grief has to be honored. You really need to traditional societies and you know, even our modern religions understand that it’s going to take the first severe bowl. So it’s gonna take a year. So the first thing is being patient with yourself.
Reena Jadhav: Thank you for saying that. I feel like we live in a society that doesn’t give us permission to feel sad without labeling it and then trying to put pills in her mouth. Thank you for saying that. It can take a year and it’s okay. Right. To take a year to process those emotions.
Dr. Gordon: And so it’s really important to understand that and to accept it. And one of the things where people get in trouble that I’ve seen is that they’re, they’re told, well, get your act together, move on. Suck it up and it’s just not helpful. I know we do need to function to some degree, but it may take us time and we may not be functioning optimally. The other thing is we need people to talk to about what’s going on. This is where the whole idea of a guide even even more important that as we’ve seen in working with psychological trauma here in the US and around the world and there are other people who’ve looked at work with trauma has been the single most important factor in healing is the support and connection to other people. So reach out to other people. One of the problems with weight loss is we feel like we’re the only one who’s experiencing it now.
Dr. Gordon: Maybe the only one who’s ever experienced it, and this is partly physiological because certain parts of our brain get disabled by trauma or at least become somewhat dysfunctional. So understand and connect with other people who can share with you who can be there for you as you’re going through what you’re going through and whole still don’t understand that they either have been or will be traumatized. So those, those are really probably the two most important places to start. And then the men. It’s a whole process where you can begin to use all the other tools that we’re talking about in unstuck to help you keep moving through this period.
Reena Jadhav: Wonderful. Chapter Five, the dark night of the soul, who that sounds heavy. What is the essence of that chapter?
Dr. Gordon: It is heavy. The phrases from John of the Cross, the 16th-century Spanish mystic, and the idea is that some of us, not all of us to go through a period of despair. Despair means without hope. We’re. We’re quite literally without hope, and this is often. This is the time when people feel suicidal and act on those suicidal impulses. So if you’re feeling in that state, in that dark night of the soul, you’re feeling I, nothing is ever going to change. I don’t know if it’s worth living anymore. I’m thinking maybe I should end it for sure. That’s the time when you need to reach out for a guide and for a professional guide. That’s the time when you need somebody there with you who understands and is not terrified by what you’re going through. I want to repeat that. This is really important. There are professionals who are beautiful at working with people who are suicidal.
Dr. Gordon: They were others who were made intolerably anxious by it, and so they rushed to the prescription pad. They don’t want to hear from you. They start getting agitated. They may cut you off. Don’t talk to those people. Find someone who really, who really understands what you’re going through, accepts it and understands that you can come out on the other side. One of the things to keep in mind is the phrase, the dark night of the soul, the darkness it becomes to use that other phrase, it becomes darkest before dawn. So often that darkness is the beginning of the turning around to the light coming back on. Now, one of what I’ve found over the years that that’s really important is people need an experience of hope and experience of change to believe that hope is justified as change as possible. So we’ve seen working with many, many people who were going through this dark night that simply doing some of the techniques we discussed earlier, soft belly breathing or shaking and dancing and seeing the little change that may happen.
Dr. Gordon: You’re breathing slowly and deeply with your ability, soft and relaxed muscles in your body are beginning to relax. Doing that for five or 10 minutes and feeling the difference. That experience is a direct antidote to the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness because you actually have helped yourself. You’ve made a difference. And if you can make one difference, this is what our brain understands. You can make more than one different. So having some kind of experience of change becomes critically important in this stage. The other thing that’s important that we need to do is if we’re in an insert of intractable depression, it’s not changing. We’re feeling in despair. Part of that consultation with a guide, if we haven’t done it earlier, may mean looking at all the potential biological as well as psychological, social and spiritual reasons why we may be so depressed. So sometimes people get stuck and go into this deep state when there’s a lack of nutrients in your body, they’re missing one or another vital nutrient or when their gut is not where their intestinal tract is not working well and there are substances leaking across the intestinal tract that are causing inflammatory reactions perhaps in our brain that are contributing to our depression that are not relieved just by meditation or by, um, by you know, moving the body.
Dr. Gordon: They may need a specific and not even just by good ed, but that may need a very specific nutritional program. So that’s an important time to go to see somebody who practices integrative medicine or functional medicine who can help you look at those biological possibilities. And then this dark night is also the time and this comes to the next stage when many of us feel the need for some kind of spiritual counsel for some perspective that’s larger than the one that we have now. And that a direction in which we need to be looking.
Reena Jadhav: Thank you for talking about nutrition. I’m convinced having done over 52 interviews at this point and having talked to hundreds of people who’ve gone through different chronic illness issues themselves, that if someone starts to feel sad, depressed without a trigger, so it trigger could be the loss of someone or a horrible boss that’s making your life miserable, like there’s no real trigger and the triggers are made up and that’s what’s making you feel hopeless and depressed. Nutrition is probably a huge underlying factor and then so is lack of sleep. Dr. Gordon, have you done any research into what sleep disruption does to creating that sense of depression, anger, anxiety, all of those negative emotions.
Dr. Gordon: Let me just say one more word about nutritional. Come back to sleep in and unstuck. In the chapter on the call, I talk about a basic nutritional assessment and the basic nutritional changes. I think that’s really important too, for people to follow those recommendations on a basic program supplementation. A very significant portion of our population, for example, is deficient in vitamin D, b vitamins and chromium and selenium and others. We need to replenish our system to deal with the stress that we are experiencing and you deal with those deficiencies so there’s a basic program for it. If that basic program is not enough, then I would suggest consulting an expert in nutrition, functional medicine or integrative medicine and I would do that if you’ve been depressed for a long time and slash or if you have a lot of other physical symptoms and certainly if you’re in this dark night of the soul, if you haven’t done it before, done that consultation before I would do with that.
Dr. Gordon: Sleep is also very important when really it’s a kind of a kind of a renaissance of interest in sleep and there’s a lot of research going on showing that sleep disturbance can contribute to a whole variety of conditions that cause us trouble including anxiety and depression and sometimes sleep disturbance is caused by sleep apnea. A particular condition where we stopped breathing. Dirt Wall were sleeping and you may need to be tested by that and your partner can tell you whether he or she is at various moments in the night was terrified you were going to stop breathing altogether, but even aside from sleep apnea, so many of us are so anxious that we have trouble getting to sleep or we’re so worried about what’s going to happen tomorrow or the day after that. We wake up early in the morning with our minds full of ideas. We wake up at 3:00 instead of six or 7:00, so we really need to look at what’s causing the sleep disturbance and I also need to use remedies that are at least for a period of time that is helpful for us going to sleep.
Dr. Gordon: Some of it can be dietary, changing what we eat, getting rid of processed food, getting rid of the stimulants of various kinds. Maybe important to use herbal remedies that are helpful for sleep at least for a period of time like Valerian, skullcap and passion flower. Some people use Melatonin can be helpful. Small dose of Melatonin, three or five milligrams can be very helpful for sleep, so it is important to get sleep and balance, but doing all the other things, doing meditation, doing exercise, um, connecting with other people, sharing what’s going on with you, with other people, eating in a way that’s in conformity with our biological programming. All of those will contribute to good sleep.
Dr. Gordon: Chapter six, what is the essence of who we are? Whether we think we are or not, we are spiritual beings. We’re, we’re connected. And I’m defining that in a way that’s really very general spirit, uh, is a word that has, that also means breath in many languages. So there’s a deep understanding at the earliest stages of humanities languages that there’s a connection between our breath and what we’ve come to call the spiritual world. It is a connection between what is within us, the breath we take in and the outer world into which we breathe, the much larger world, and that when we breathe, we can use breath as a way to connect with what is so much larger than ourselves. We are creatures who need meaning and purpose in our lives is not that we can’t survive without meaning and purpose. People do, but it’s very hard to thrive and that meaning and purpose really is as and especially the older, the older we become, we find that it’s not just about basic survival needs, having enough food or having shelter and having a sexual partner, that there’s much more, there’s much more to life, there’s much more depth in a relationship, is much more, um, value and importance and we can contribute to the world around us to not only to the people who are closest to us in our family but to the larger world that we are in fact connected to the larger world.
Dr. Gordon: Whether we call it a natural, whether we call it other people, whether we call it the universe or great spirit or God, that there is a connection that’s there. If we pay attention and then if we treasure that connection and make it an intimate part of our lives, it can make all the difference in. It gives us a reason to live. It gives us a reason not just to survive, but to live and to thrive and to celebrate life, and there are many, many ways to experience the spiritual. There are thousands and thousands of pathways, some of which have to do with religions, some of which had nothing to do with religion, but the meditation, whether it’s the quiet soft belly breathing or expressive meditations like shaking and dancing, the more we do them, the more we find ourselves opening up to a realm of peace, a realm of a sort of exist. The word you used was beautiful. The acceptance of what’s going on, the world of connection to something larger than ourselves. So these are pathways toward the spiritual. Another is being in nature. There’s nothing like, you know, going for a walk. I’m looking out my window. I got this house. The house was a perfectly nice house, but not that remarkable except I’ve got trees out back. Just looking at those trees every day just helps to renew me and helps me.
Dr. Gordon: It helps me to feel that connection to that, that larger world. And for those who have been. I live in the city, I’m very fortunate, but I’ve worked a lot with people who don’t have views of trees as I do from their home, just going to the park, walking around the park for 15, 20 minutes or half an hour, just changes the day. All of a sudden, the people feel recalled to who they really are. We grew up in nature. We are a part of nature. If we can reaffirm it. That’s a way of experiencing ourselves as spiritual beings. So all these are routes to the spiritual. All are important. The more we can realize ourselves. Um, and one of the ways I kind of look at this is through the lens of the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you or don’t do to other people what you don’t want them to do to you said differently in different religious traditions.
Dr. Gordon: That’s a beautiful way to be spiritual, to really sort of see a shake yourself out. I’m not so interested in Highfalutin ideas about, oh, I’m so spiritual. I’m interested in how do people treat me, what do they like and how do I treat other people? That’s how I, you know, that’s, that’s the way both the old and the new testament and then also it’s the in Islam and Sarah in the yoga tradition. Not to have that as fundamental. If that’s not there, everything else I think not so seriously. I don’t see it as being loving with other people, treat them with respect and that’s the way you realize the spiritual and it feels so good to do that.
Reena Jadhav: Absolutely. Like you know, I have been meditating now for over two years and I do pretty intensive meditation every day and I’ve had some pretty remarkable experiences during my meditations and one of them has been feeling like we’re actually in most and Dr. Gordon. He is the most overwhelming experience to realize that actually were immersed in love. We are surrounded with love. I know it’s called dark matter. We don’t know what it is. There’s all this stuff around us, but it’s music and it’s love and knowing that you’re actually based in love changes your perspective sometimes when you’re really depressed, are you really down? You feel like, you know, you get into those waves of nobody loves me, nobody cares. I’m all alone. And then to realize actually no, I am so loved
Dr. Gordon: and they’ll be more in touch with it. For some people that’s big, that’s a huge leap and if they can just feel that sense of acceptance or peace for a moment or connection between their own breathing and the world around them, that’s the first step. And then perhaps they’ll come to that place that you’re describing or maybe in listening to a piece of music that will help them to hear the music that maybe all around us all the time, but it’s a stepwise process for some people it’s dramatic. Uh, and you know, very, uh, all-pervasive for other people, it’s just a little bit at a time. And again, patience, be patient with yourself.
Reena Jadhav: Yes, took me two years to get here. So certainly it didn’t happen overnight.
Dr. Gordon: Some people, it may take 20 years or two hundred.
Reena Jadhav: That’s why you need guidance. That’s why you need people that can accelerate that process, whether that’s from a sound healing, binaural beats or whether that’s finding a group, which is how I got to accelerate my experiences and release my Kundalini is it’s, it’s, you know because it’s.
Dr. Gordon: It was really important. There are many different pathways and many, many different ways to experience the spiritual non, in my opinion, and experience [inaudible] better known as worse necessarily human beings that have devised thousands and thousands of different ways. Find one that suits you and some something doesn’t suit you. No matter how many experts and Gurus told you. Find another way.
Reena Jadhav: Yeah, don’t keep doing it if it’s not working. That’s right. So true. And I’m going to say another kind of thing. As they say, watch for signs. I feel the universe is always presenting us with the right option. We just have lost the art of observation or noticing and if you start to keep a journal, the health journal again is one way you can do it. If you start to make notes of what’s showing up in your life over and over again, you might be surprised that that’s actually the right thing for you at this point in time,
Dr. Gordon: either the right thing for you where it’s telling you got to, at any rate, just telling you have to deal with it.
Reena Jadhav: Yes, exactly. Exactly, and deal with it. I think the worst thing people can do is when they get depressed as not deal with it, just a wallet when at an accepted as that. That’s kind of like fate. This is it. This is how I’m going to be, and I think that’s what it needs to. What we’ve seen lately, unfortunately, we’ve lost some really famous people. It leads to that level of-of extreme reaction where you ended up committing suicide and Dr. Gordon, I want to thank you again. Your book is so timely because it seems like there’s a lot of that going around and so my goal is to raise awareness with everyone who’s feeling that way right now to kind of buy your book, listened to this masterclass, so if you’re listening or watching, please share this. Share this with everyone out there because you never know who’s going through what and what thoughts that they’re feeling.
Dr. Gordon: So a couple other things I want to say kind of in conclusion. One is, and this is one more chapter by the way. Okay, that chapter seven. Let’s do chapter seven because it put it all together. You.
Reena Jadhav: All right, chapter seven, the return. Dr. Donna, where are we returning back to?
Dr. Gordon: Well, we’re returning back to ourselves, but as all the tales that we read about-about the journey of the hero or heroine who’s gone on this journey of self-discovery, you come back to the same place, but with different eyes, you see it differently. So at the end of this journey, what we have is a program that we’ve put together from all of the different tools and techniques we learned in the other six stages and that we’re developing a daily program of working with meditation. We’re both quiet, meditation and active proactive expressive meditation using our imagination, using guided imagery, guided imagery, maybe using drawings or written exercises to access imagination are all things I described. And unstuck. We’re seeing people somewhat differently. We’re seeing that person who we thought was, um, we really didn’t like. We come back and we said, oh, she’s not so bad. Very interesting.
Dr. Gordon: One of the things that we see in our training, and I want to talk a little bit more at the end about our training at the center for mind-body medicine is people sit in the same small group of 10 people over the course of five days, 16 hours over five days. And they watch not only themselves, they learned about themselves, but they also see the other people in the group. We don’t let people argue or interrupt or analyze or interpret everybody’s there to work on themselves, but what happens is by the second or third or fourth or fifth day, that person who you were envious of in the beginning, you know he’s, you know, he’s got his thing. I’ve got me and he’s got his issues. I got mine and that one you thought was a total idiot. Turns out actually not to be so dumb after all.
Dr. Gordon: So this is a process. As you become more self-aware, you start seeing other people and your relationships differently. You start, you know you and your partner have been in a pattern for years, which may not have been. You know, may have been okay when you first got together, but it’s not working anymore. You’ve fallen into a cotter and not work and all of a sudden you’re seeing not only that it’s not working, but you’re seeing, oh, here’s the way I can make a change. Here’s something I can do. I can say, come on honey, let’s go out for a walk. Something simple or let’s take another look at the way we’re dealing with our problems. Let’s I’m going to try to get out of the fixed ideas iPad before I wanna invite both of us to really put our heads together in a different way so you’re coming back with fresh eyes, with a hole, if you will, the whole toolbox of tools to use to keep yourself in balance, to keep yourself in the process of change, to deal with the demons, to reach out to other people, to connect with the larger world, to have some kind of spiritual practice.
Dr. Gordon: All these things you now put together in a program that is at that is right for you and each of them is going to be somewhat different for each of us and that’s the return. And then life feels different, feels a little lighter, feel a little more competent, feel a little more hopeful or maybe a little more about what you can do. So that’s, that’s the return and that’s coming back home. And there are all these wonderful pictures. I mean, if you think of Odysseus’s homecoming, you know he’s gotta to slay the suitors. You know that who was trying to get his wife to leave him and marry them, but once he’s done that, he’s home. He’s with his, with his family and he’s, he’s. But the same thing happens to all of us want as we come through this kind of a journey, which is sometimes an ordeal and sometimes simply an adventure that we come back stronger. We come back more flexible, we come back more able to live our lives fully and that’s what I would. That’s what I hope for him, for myself and for everyone. You know, everyone I work with and everyone who’s reading unstuck.
Reena Jadhav: I definitely want to share a little bit more on the return Dr. Gordon because I think when you go so far into being sad or depressed or just kind of living our lives, we forget what the original place feels like. We forget how to feel amazing sort of jumping out of bed with joy and I didn’t know you could feel this way until a year out of having sort of done everything. In fact, we must be sold sisters from from a previous life because our health through Kansas structured very similarly and having put myself through all of that sort of the nature walks and it heals on activities and have gotten to a point where I am just always happy and I hadn’t felt that way for decades. I mean starting from Undergrad, you know, there’s the stress of getting grades and there’s relationship drama and there are all kinds of stuff that goes on. We get so mired in our day to day life that’s full of serious ups and downs. We forget that there is an original place that’s calm and joyful and bless, blissed out. Share a little bit about that if you will please. People don’t even know where they’re returning to. Like we are like coming back to,
Dr. Gordon: well, I think there is in all of us that possibility for that joy. There are some people though who really, um, may not even remember that they’ve ever experienced that. People who’ve been down and out for so much of their lives. So it’s a bit unfamiliar to them. And the idea is often there, and I’ve seen this with people who’ve been depressed for a very long time because I’m not sure I trust this, you know, I feel good about what’s going to happen next. When is the other shogun a fall of when am I going to go back again? So I think this is where the continuing practice is really important and we’re meditation helps you see those thoughts that threatened to drag you back down on the one hand and helps you appreciate bringing, having the meditative mind, the mind that’s more capable of being there in the present helps you appreciate exactly that joy that you’re talking about that Oh yeah, I’m drinking a little ice coffee here.
Dr. Gordon: This is so delicious. And not just drinking it as a matter of habit, but really enjoying it and all, you know, I feel my body feels kind of sitting in this chair. I’ve kind of been ignoring my body, but now I’m paying attention. Oh yeah. It feels pretty good and I got to shift my position a little. That feels even better. So it’s really like a continual awakening and that’s what we need to come to. And, and even as we do that, there will be moments when we’re not happy all the time that we’re anxious and angry and envious.
Dr. Gordon: But it’ll also if you allow it to, it will go. And that’s again, that’s the whole message of this on stock approach is that um, issues will come. Um, there’s a, uh, I like to use a lot of reggae and training and workshops just happened like reggae, Jimmy, cliff, uh, one of the songs he says, the opposition will come your way. The opposition’s going to come our way, who we are. And the idea is how do you relax with it? How do you not get totally thrown by it? And if you’re thrown for a while, and he said, okay, I was thrown for a while. It’s not that I’m an idiot or a bad person or this approach hasn’t worked is just the weekend and now we need to come back. So it’s an ongoing process of coming up against difficulties and then coming back to this moment and accepting and appreciating what’s going on in this moment.
Reena Jadhav: Absolutely. There is a beautiful place to return to everyone who’s listening or watching this. No that, no that there is a beautiful place. Even if you may not have experienced it for a long, long time, fight for it, you know, strive for it. You will get there. Don’t, don’t accept a place of sadness, a place of depression as the defacto state of mind for the rest of your life because it’s not true.
Dr. Gordon: If I accept it and move through it and beyond paradox, you have it to begin with and then you can move through it.
Reena Jadhav: Yes. Yes.
Dr. Gordon: Not either or.
Reena Jadhav: That’s right. That’s very true. That’s very true. And there is this beautiful place that you will come to where you’ll be just joyful and happy to be alive. So with that said, Dr Gordon. Thank you so much. One last step for anyone who’s listening to this, what is the one thing you want them to do right now to get back on the journey to being on stuff?
Dr. Gordon: Get up from watching this, listening to this and do something you enjoy doing. Find something you really, really give you a little bit of pleasure. The other thing that I wanted to mention to people is, aside from reading on stock, um, which I hope you’ll all read and it’s out in paper, you can order it on Amazon, is those who are interested in not only using this method for themselves but for others should take a firstname.lastname@example.org. Www dot c, m, b, m, Charlie, Mary, Betty married.org, and if you want to use it with others, come to our training. We’re training people. You don’t have to be a health professional is a professional training, but it’s open to those people. Water. Learn this method in depth Waterloo, the science water experience, the techniques, and the small groups and wanting to share it with other people. So we have health professionals, many different times, educators, community organizers.
Dr. Gordon: Peer Counselors, leaders of women’s groups, people who want to share the work with their friends and their churches, synagogues, mosques, we’ve trained about 6,000 people around the world and I just want to welcome anyone who’s seeing or hearing this to take a look at the website, look at the videos, look at the work that we’ve done all over the world with people who are depressed and traumatized. Look at it as a really nice video from 60 minutes that features our work with traumatized kids in Gaza and Israel. You get a feeling for other videos too. You get a feeling for what this can do and please come to join us and if you’re working with people who are underserved or you yourself have a low income and you’d like to do this, we will do our best to give you at least a partial scholarship to come to the training you want you to be there.
Reena Jadhav: What a great opportunity. Thank you so much for sharing that and your kindness and generosity in making it available. For those who are underprivileged as well. We are going to be putting all the links on the show notes, so make sure you guys were listening and watching. Please check out the show notes for the link to the website, to the programs and I hope you’ll take advantage of some of these great opportunities. I, I believe I will be flying out as well. So Dr. Gordon. Thank you so much again. And so the rest of you, what else? The music and go dance. Go for a walk in nature and I will see you on another podcast.
James S. Gordon, MD
Address: 5225 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite #414,
Washington, DC. 20015
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