In this episode of the Dad Edge Podcast, our guest is Dr. Nicole LePera. She was trained in clinical psychology at Cornell University and the New School for Social Research. She also studied at the Philadelphia School of Psychoanalysis.
As a clinical psychologist in private practice, she often found herself frustrated by traditional psychotherapy’s limitations. She began a journey to develop a united philosophy of mental, physical, and spiritual health that equips people with the tools necessary to heal themselves.
Nothing short of a paradigm shift, her teachings empower individuals to break free from trauma cycles and create who they want to become.
Today, she talks with us about how to do the work when it comes to resolving childhood traumas, dealing with anxiety, building resiliency, and becoming a greater example for our children.
How to Do the Work
From Dr. Nicole LePera, creator of “the holistic psychologist”—the online phenomenon with more than two million Instagram followers—comes a revolutionary approach to healing that harnesses the power of the self to produce lasting change.
Now, Dr. LePera is ready to share her much-requested protocol with the world. In How to Do the Work, she offers both a manifesto for SelfHealing as well as an essential guide to creating a more vibrant, authentic, and joyful life. Drawing on the latest research from a diversity of scientific fields and healing modalities, Dr. LePera helps us recognize how adverse experiences and trauma in childhood live with us, resulting in whole body dysfunction—activating harmful stress responses that keep us stuck engaging in patterns of codependency, emotional immaturity, and trauma bonds. Unless addressed, these self-sabotaging behaviors can quickly become cyclical, leaving people feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, and unwell.
In How to Do the Work, Dr. LePera offers readers the support and tools that will allow them to break free from destructive behaviors to reclaim and recreate their lives. Nothing short of a paradigm shift, this is a celebration of empowerment that will forever change the way we approach mental wellness and self-care.
What You’ll Learn
What Brings Dr. Nicole Joy and Happiness?
Being really present in her life is what brings Dr. LePera joy and happiness. Little did she know how she wasn’t present in her life for the better part of 30 years. Receiving, seeing, experiencing, and feeling how it translates into her work is what lights her up.
Dr. Nicole’s Favorite Quote
“Life is lived in moments.” Dr. LePera understood it as a concept, yet she didn’t understand how to practice it. She later realized that she’s now embodying the quote and learning to be present in her moments.
Advice to her Past Self
Gear up for the challenge of growing—challenging personal beliefs embedded in the subconscious and challenging herself to show up differently in the world.
Nicole was born into a family with a lot of anxiety. A lot of worry was present whether it was medical concerns or issues. Anxiety was an implicit part of her childhood experience. It became a large motivator in her desire to understand people.
Dr. Nicole says that a lot of us consider ourselves wounded healers. The way she understands her desire to go into the healing profession is really from that understanding to relieve the symptoms of others.
Anxiety and tension
Anxiety and tension in her family weren’t talked about. It was this inner experience that they were all sharing without labeling it or speaking about it.
Her mother and father’s relationship
Dr. Nicole doesn’t know if she thought about it because it was her normal. This happens to a lot of us. We just see, and we’re modeled relationships which becomes a format for our own personal relationships.
Dr. Nicole would have thought everything was fine and great and close in her parents’ relationship until she realized that she was repeating the same patterns in her relationships. She didn’t necessarily feel that depth of connection.
Relationship with her Father
Her dad was very active in her life. She has many memories of her dad playing with her, and they spent a lot of time together. They had points of connection, but not necessarily in terms of depth and emotion.
Dr. Nicole’s goal for everyone is to hold space and to acknowledge that some of us might come to the realization that our relationship a parent is one in which we need to stop engaging. She can see both sides of understanding and a parent’s limitations because they are humans, too. They were impacted by what they were taught.
Writing her book
Writing a book wasn’t something Dr. Nicole necessarily thought was a need. After the evolution of working as a traditional therapist, she came by this new holistic method that she now uses through her own healing and then began sharing it with others. She was considering the theory and beginning to put it out on Instagram.
Dr. Nicole had an office where people and clients would come week after week. They would have incredibly insightful conversations about all the things that aren’t working in life and all the things they will do differently to manage the symptoms or make their relationships more fulfilling. She had many people who had all of this insight but could not create change in their life.
Many of us are operating from a deeper part of our mind called the subconscious. We are running on almost a blind autopilot. What we’re doing in that unconscious state is repeating all of these habits and patterns that aren’t serving us.
We must gain the tools to begin to create a more conscious, intentional experience of creating a future that’s different from the past.
Bridging the Gap between the subconscious and conscious mind
We need to check and identify how unconscious we are. At that moment, we want to begin to fire up a new part of our brain. We want to teach ourselves how to be present in our given moment. We can access our senses. We can tune in to what’s actually here and hook our attention on that instead of where it typically is for many of us lost in our mind somewhere else.
When something external inflicts a change upon us, we have a chance to go into a new space, a pattern-interrupt where we can become conscious and make new choices in that moment, or we can slide right back into autopilot.
Being Present and Intentional
Outside of using what’s present in our environment, we always have access to our senses. If you are at dinner, instead of focusing on what happens after dinner, you’re focusing on the taste of the food. We can always access the present moment, and it’s a practice.
Emotions feel unsafe for a lot of males in general.
We sit in judgment of our feelings. Some of us have a general belief that feelings, whatever they are, are bad. And that’s not the reality. Feelings are a natural human occurrence.
We can teach ourselves and show ourselves through living the experience of regulating our emotional body through our breath.
We have to practice breath before we really need it. We have to build it into our day. For Dr. Nicole, it begins every morning where she created the intention of just practicing how to breathe from her belly.
Gratitude for many of us is what’s present, and that is often what’s right in front of us.
We now know that our heart is incredibly powerful. Our heart energy not only affects our whole system but communicates with our brain. It affects everyone around us. When we begin embodying these feelings, we can become really powerful in creating our future.
The Inner Child
The deepest part of our subconscious that impacts us into adulthood is the area called our inner child.
We all have childlike parts of ourselves, even though we’re running around in different aged adult bodies. The inner child accumulates things that have happened in such a distant past that they feel so far, yet because we house all of these patterns in our subconscious, and we operate largely through them. Many of us find ourselves into adulthood, repeating some of these older habits and patterns that don’t serve us.
Children are much more receptive to how they’re watching us. Navigating our feelings is going to be so impactful for them. Our brain actually has something called mirror neurons that fire when we’re watching people around us. This includes our emotional experiences.
Modeling into your emotional experiences and expressing them, and letting them out for your children to see usually is going to be the much more impactful way to teach children emotional resilience.
Our brains and our whole bodies really are neuroplastic and are changeable. All of us, whoever we are, as we change, all of the relationships around us change. The beautiful endpoint of this conversation is so much change as possible. Even if you’re a parent with older children, as you begin to do differently, it has so much more of an impact than we realize.
Dr. Nicole LePera’s Links
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