Negotiate Your Career Growth

Embodied Equity: Managing Stress and Speaking Up with Amy Babish

April 02, 2024 Jamie Lee, Amy Babish Episode 58
Negotiate Your Career Growth
Embodied Equity: Managing Stress and Speaking Up with Amy Babish
Show Notes Transcript

If speaking up for yourself in your career causes stress or nervous system activation (think increased heartbeat, sweaty palms, shortness of breath, or the urge to hide or run away), you are not alone. 

In this episode, my guest Amy Babish and I discuss practical tools and techniques for managing stress and building nervous system capacity, so you can advocate for yourself as a high-achieving woman. 

Amy Babish, a transformational coach with over 20 years of experience, shares her expertise in embodied equity, which is the impact of trauma on our nervous system. When trauma goes unaddressed, it can hinder our ability to confidently assert our desires and negotiate for ourselves in various aspects of our lives, both personally and professionally. 

Amy explains that embodied equity work helps build resilience and capacity for personal, professional, and collective liberation by addressing historical and intergenerational traumas while fostering connections and helping us identify opportunities to speak up for ourselves. 

You'll learn: 

  • What embodied equity is, and why it matters to high-achieving women who want to speak up, advocate, and negotiate for themselves - 03:39
  • How microaggressions can lead to survivalist reaction - 09:07 
  • Practical tools for discharging stress and regulating the nervous system - 19:09 
  • How to differentiate between freeze response versus fight or flight response, and what to do about it - 28:05
  • What to know when you've experienced burnout because you were in a toxic environment, or you were working with someone who was extremely biased and discriminatory in the workplace - 30:13 
  • Amy's guidance on bringing awareness into the body to manage stress response of fawning, for example in meetings - 34:07 
  • Why abuse of power in the workplace is never the victim's fault - 41:20 


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Jamie Lee  0:01  
Hello, hello. I'm really excited to have today with us, Amy Babish. Am I saying it right? All right. Amy is a transformational leadership and relationship coach and house therapist with over 20 years of expertise as mentor, facilitator, licensed psychotherapist, credentialed art therapist and NLP mindset practitioner. Any What do you not do? A meet guides, global leaders who know there must be more to dissolve intergenerational patterns and build nervous system resilience with humility, pee your pants with laughter. And Jenna c'est quoi. Welcome to the podcast. Amy.

Amy Babish  0:52  
I'm so excited to be here, Jamie. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And

Jamie Lee  0:56  
I am curious, would you tell us I know I had asked you right before we hit recording, tell us about being a house therapist, you you do therapy on a house. So

Amy Babish  1:09  
it does become very therapeutic. Okay. So this comes from my mentor, Amanda Gibby. Peter, she's a wonderful resource, she has tons of resources for grief, I'm certified through her modality, it's informed by wisdom traditions that are worldwide, mainly drawing from Fung Shui. But due to cultural appropriation, we don't just lead with that. The essence of it is that, you know, everything, any science base person knows that everything is matter, everything has energy. And when we notice that our environments are impacting us, we can engineer and CO create a relationship with our environments to empower us. So many people, I'm sure that CEU that see me are really go getters and like when they put their mind to it, go go, go, go go. And so this is an under tap resource to have like another support system for you. And a collaborator. And it can be anything from your, if you just earn a small Manhattan place like it can be your, literally your desk, could be your couch sharing, it's not dependent on income, on position on status on privilege, it is really comprehensive and very supportive. And it also works with land. So if you have anything from like a flower box, to any kind of land that you steward, these are all ways to get support.

Jamie Lee  2:40  
What comes to my mind is how our mutual mentor Simone has talked about, we have a relationship with everything, including land, environments, flower box, your desk, and every relationship can be repaired. And I think that could be a theme of our conversation today. Because you're somebody who really understands the impact of trauma on our nervous system and how it can impact career driven type a women from being able to confidently assert what they want, and negotiate or advocate for what they want in their careers and in their lives. So to get us started, you know, you taught me this concept that I was like, Whoa, kind of like blew my mind. And would you explain to us how you define embodied equity?

Amy Babish  3:39  
Yes. And thank you for that wonderful like, weaving of the red thread into this into this next layer. So there are different mentors of this model. So it's not my model, just so that I always give, I always give credit. The mentor that I'm going to drop most today, her name is Dr. Nikki Elliot, not Dr. Nikki Elliot, and she is a black woman and a professor. And this is this is part of her model, but also there are many somatic abolitionist so people can get get a lot of resources that they start to use Google University, how I how I describe it is that when we have been living a life, we are going to experience overwhelm. And the more complex our life has been, the more traumas that we've experienced, the more historical intergenerational and collective traumas that we carry, the more complex it is for us to access equity. And so embodied equity work allows us to build our capacity and our resilience, so that we're able to navigate the world with more resourcing so that we can not just do like, make mindfulness which is like, oh, everything's great if I know how to meditate. That's not what this is. You As a way to experience roads towards liberation, both personally, professionally and collectively, because when we're in overwhelm, because we get triggered, or because we think we're in a story about ourselves or someone else, we oftentimes miss opportunities to build connections, build relationships, and also to advocate and keep up, sometimes lifelong work towards just causes and things that we really value or towards promotion, or towards salary negotiations, because we feel stuck. And it feels kind of immovable, or just like, it's never going to change. So this work really helps us physically, emotionally, spiritually, to live a bigger life, for ourselves and for the collective. Thank

Jamie Lee  5:50  
you for sharing that. And what this reminds me of is something that I learned from my mentor, Cara lo Antheil. She has a podcast called on for unfuck your brain. And what she has taught me in the feminist coaching certification that I did is that women, particularly women of color experience something called a survivalist reaction. And what this means is that in in a work setting, when no one is actually pointing a gun to your head, women of color, black women have told me that they have felt hyper vigilant, they have felt psychologically unsafe, and they felt on alert, extremely anxious, because it was as if their own survival, their very survival was at threat. And I think that's sort of what you're talking about when you talk about intergenerational trauma. Right? Because it is true that in the past, in a recent past, when a person who was not white person was not privileged, when they spoke up, they were literally cut down. And I think that's what you're talking about, is that is that more or less in line with what you mean?

Amy Babish  7:06  
So that's part of it. And what we also know from lots of lived experience loss research is that, you know, depending on your gender, depending on your ethnicity, depending on your ability, depending on religious experience, views, your naturalization or immigration status, like all those different factors, so many people in the workplace, especially high achieving women experience microaggressions, macro aggressions, micro insults, just so many things, they're actually intangible to people who hold the power and the privilege, but that is like, you know, death by 1000 cuts when you're constantly being imposed upon? Yeah, it's not, it's not like a gun being held to your head. But that constant power dynamic power differential is, in our nervous systems, we don't actually know the difference between, like, what we used to call trauma work, capital T trauma and little T trauma, like, it doesn't matter if it's in the moment, violence or if it's just emotional or employment based aggressions.

Jamie Lee  8:19  
Right, right. And in fact, there are lots of research McKinsey just put out there 2023 Women at Work Research and microaggressions. It's documented, it's a real experience that a lot of women marched people have marginalized identities experience and it negatively impacts their mental emotional well being. And so how do we work towards that? When you say equity, right, I think you mean equity in a different sense of the word, not just pay equity, not just leadership equity, but how can we all have a sense of belonging and safety? In the workplace? Is that what you mean when you say embodied equity,

Amy Babish  9:07  
especially in the workplace, like women, especially women of color, global majority, women don't have to work? Sometimes four and five and 10 times harder than their peer, their peer group.

Jamie Lee  9:21  
And you know, what's coming up for me right now? It's what's in the headline. It was, we're recording this in the first week of January and the news that Dr. Claudine gay, resigned from her posts at Harvard University. And there are so there's so many critics. And there's so many naysayers, you know, people who are saying that, you know, she should have resigned earlier. And there are also people, people of color, mostly we're saying yet again, right, somebody who was extremely talented, somebody who worked really hard. Somebody whose dissertations have been approved by the institution is being pilloried, criticized, scrutinized, and you know, she had to step down for her health. Right this is this is

Amy Babish  10:12  
exactly the example. And when you when you go further into it, she's the only person that was questioned about her credentials by the committee hearing. And I think what also weaves into this is like, we're never going to get anywhere, if we only cancel people and pressure them to the place of having to like, I have to self preserve, and I have to step down. So part of embodied equity work is building capacity to have really hard conversations and do repair. And it doesn't mean like count to 10. And take a deep breath. That's not what this is either. Being able to, like, you know, go through and grounded in your body and regulate in a way that nobody taught me growing up. Nobody taught me my first 10 years as being a psychotherapist. And most workplaces are still relying on cognitive behavioral therapy, which gets into the body. And the body is what holds all of the reactivity. And so to be able to choose to move to choosing from reactivity to have, you know, in her case would have been like, a miracle, but having a platform for her to net navigate, like, a different outcome for her. Yeah, in a big, big, big cultural shift. And,

Jamie Lee  11:37  
and thank you so much for that. So with that in mind, what I also learned from you is that there is a difference between shame and guilt. And in the reason why I'm going there is because everything that we talked about, I've coached several really smart women of color, who experience more shame, experience more guilt, right? When they think about speaking up, or when they think about, really, you know, being an owner of their careers, or having their voice heard there is that fear of backlash? There's also the shame and the guilt that they experience it. And so I'm curious, how how, how should people How should women differentiate one from the other? Why should we?

Amy Babish  12:26  
So I was an early adopter of Brene Brown's work, or, you know, long, long time ago, and this was something long time ago, people would talk about, like, self competence, or different words that really were thought based. And one of the biggest things around shame is it's a full bodied experience. So shame usually has, like a temperature to it. Real physicality to it. Sometimes there's not just sometimes there's sweating, sometimes there's tunnel vision. And that, over time, takes a massive toll on your mind and body and your performance. And the way that Bernays research kind of illustrates it is shamed thrives in silence and secrecy. So this is something where it's like I am the problem. It's me. Like, it's, it's so not worth talking about because it's the capital T truth. Whereas guilt is, oh, that's my behavior, I might not be proud of myself about my behavior or might have massive regret. But I know it's not about my sense of self, or about my innate personhood. And what the research shows is that when shame is in the driver's seat, people who have more complex identities, so a white bodied, cisgendered, male, even, even those men experienced this. But the more more challenges that you have to being an oppressed person, the more to carry, that are in the power differential. And you're not willing to have the conversation to say this is what's happening for me, this is my struggle, you're less likely to ask for help. You're less likely to self advocate, you're less likely to confide in somebody that you trust. So it might be your mentor at work or your supervisor, but a coach or a therapist or a person of faith, if you're a faith person, or a close, trusted friend, you're internalizing the shame, and it's compounding oftentimes we see health struggles. We see a lot of long term challenges with the body that show up massively for people of color because they have had more complex challenges of oppression throughout their lives, not just in the work context.

Jamie Lee  14:54  
Obviously, I'm not a black person, but I am an immigrant. I am a woman. I am Hi Lisa. Instead of, and I have the experience of having been the only woman only woman of color at either a trading desk or a tech startup leadership table. And so when you're the only person and people just sort of, you know, behave in a way that, you know, can't help but feel feel excluded, right? They're talking about women's bodies, for example, that's just sexual harassment. But when you experience that, it is, it is really hard to not internalize that as like, oh, they don't like me, or I'm the problem, or I'm not good enough. Right? And so then I'm curious. Tell us more. Because we do know that this is a problem. This is something that so many, smart, so many competent women of color, who rightfully deserve more promotions and investment that they experience viscerally. So some people are just like, they're nodding their heads, like, yeah, we know, right? I know, I feel it every day. And so would you offer us what what is the step that comes after self awareness that like, Oh, I'm experiencing that nervous system activation or the feeling of shame in my body? Right, I don't feel comfortable, I don't feel safe. Like, what do we do then after that?

Amy Babish  16:30  
So a lot of what happens is, if you experienced tension in your body, or extra energy, that's when we that's what's called for a discharge practice. And so our practice, yeah, so when you read about anxiety, or work stress, a lot of it is focused on breathing. And in the nervous and nervous and deeper nervous system work, we can't go into deep breathing, or coherent breathing, or box breathing, or any of the briefings until we've let's like, think about a two liter soda bottle it up and it has all this extra extra

Jamie Lee  17:09  
energy. Yeah, for

Amy Babish  17:10  
sure. If we just let the bottle stay there by itself, which would be kind of mimicking breathing, it takes quite a long time for that, that fizz and that pressure to go down, you're discharging a titrated. And pacing discharging, which would be the equivalent of opening a little little bit, letting a little bit of that fish come out, closing it, opening a little bit, again, letting a little bit out closing it, that amount of stress, stress and pressure is gonna go way down much more quickly. So discharge work, I have a lot of my blog, I have a lot, a lot of free resources. It can look like success of shaking, it can look like tapping, not necessarily EFT tapping, but somatic tapping, it can look like some people, a lot of people that are high achieving women love music, it can look like putting on like a really hard hitting song like heartbeat, heartbeat hitting song, and for one to five minutes, just literally dancing the tension out. And the difference between exercise because a lot of high achieving women love to exercise. That's one of their stress relievers. Exercise is for that the intention of exercise is for stress relief and health. Whereas the intention of discharge work is to focus on getting out the overwhelm in the body. It's a different a different intentionality, different awareness, and you get a lot more return on advancement for that kind of discharge work which takes once you kind of get into the practice and Build Your Capacity, you can you can discharge per minute and then go into the soothing work, which would be box breathing, coherent breathing, different kinds of breathing, that is down regulating your system. When you have discharge and then soothing you get a lot more and starting to release the layers of shame in that way is is a maximized benefit that you can practice on your own and I recommend doing it anytime before dinner because it can be kind of activating for people systems if they do it closer to bedtime.

Jamie Lee  19:09  
What can you say that again? So it's more activating if you do it before the time or so it's better right before is that which means

Amy Babish  19:17  
if you can do it first thing in the morning, but I know a lot of people have their hardcore routines in the morning, anytime during the day before dinner. It's good to do this practice

Jamie Lee  19:26  
anytime during the day before dinner before you go to bed. You when you feel activated, or maybe like maybe your system feels frozen, or would you recommend something different if your system feels frozen, if

Amy Babish  19:40  
your system feel frozen, so this practice of discharge and soothing is we're kind of all of us have a lot of residual stress and overwhelmed that is built up in our nervous systems

Jamie Lee  19:50  
overwhelmed got it. So if you're feeling overwhelmed, got it. So it's like something different that you would recommend if you felt just frozen and stuck.

Amy Babish  19:56  
Yes. So this is like when we talked about Shane like the heaviness that were caring, like, I'm not good enough, I'm not worthy, I don't belong, it's not safe here, even if those are, are true, because of what you the example, you gave up being on the trading floor, and you're the only woman or the only woman of color, those things are real, but our body doesn't have to continue to carry the physicality of it. Hmm. So this is great for any kind of overwhelmed. It's also great for any kind of shame you're carrying to start, not just when you're activated, but as a daily practice.

Jamie Lee  20:28  
So first step was become aware, second step was discharge. Dancing, for example, is a good example. And then you soothe with something like box breathing. And for those of us who don't know what it is, can you give us a quick overview, a description of what box breathing is and how you can do it. So box breathing,

Amy Babish  20:54  
it's also called coherent breathing, successively, depending on your lung capacity, and there's no right or wrong here. Well, I'll give an example of a if you have not so much lung capacity. So you breathe in for three, you hold for four, you breathe out for five, and then you hold for six. And you want to do that for a few rounds, like mini rounds. And if you have like, if you're someone who does a lot of long, long, long distance exercise, you might have bigger lung capacity, or if you live in the mountains, then you might start with five as your starting number. So breathe in for five, hold for six, breathe out for seven, hold for eight.

Jamie Lee  21:31  
So the number grows with each as your capacity builds. Yeah, okay, this one, why is this something similar that I learned to help me fall asleep relaxing, go to bed, what I do is something slightly different. I would breathe in for three counts for slow, three counts, and then I would exhale for six counts, same pace, and then I would hold for two counts. And then I would repeat that pattern. So breathe in for three, exhale for six, hold for two, and then continue to just mindfully do that. And then before I know it, I'm I'm obviously

Amy Babish  22:18  
this is activating the vagal nerve to come into the rest of digestate. It helps us to be able to listen and learn more and also rest more deeply and digest more deeply.

Jamie Lee  22:30  
Yeah. And I think I think it's important to sort of take a pause here and address that what we're talking about is what are practical tools that you can put put in your toolbox when you have a stress reaction. Right? And for those of you who aren't aware of what those are, there is the freeze reaction, the fight reaction, the flight reaction, and now researchers, trauma experts are also saying there is the fawning reaction, right. So there's the four F's, when you get stressed out and this is really relevant if you have trouble with conflict, or you know, just the thought of negotiating or advocating anything has you feeling like oh, so stressed out, right? You either freeze up you fight flight are fun. Did I miss anything? Amy's

Amy Babish  23:24  
those are so so fun is actually probably the most misunderstood and the most complicated one so I think people understand fight flight and freeze. Yeah, like you want to lead the conversation. You want to check out like daydreamed associate, you want to leave the job? Yeah. That's all all different kinds of forms of flight. I'm, I'm not gonna I want to stay where I am. I don't want to It's too scary to go up to the next position. Fight is I'm gonna yell at myself or I'm gonna judge judge myself a judge with the people. And then freeze is is the one of the hardest ones to work with. Because it is an immobilization of sensation and of kind of being able to even be in touch with the body and your thoughts. Yeah. Fawn is a combination of shutdown of freeze. And so that's one kind of process. And then you either have, it's usually kind of anxiety driven. So it's, it's, it's a checking out, or you're showing up so some people would equivocate have the equivalent of people pleasing? Or reflexively saying yes. And when those things are driven by shame, it feels like you did. You don't really remember what you said or you you said it and didn't really think about it.

Jamie Lee  24:51  
I have totally experienced this. I have experienced this fawning reaction, especially in like interpersonal conflict. And, you know, I teach my clients how to speak up for this, but I experienced it to where, like, my mind goes blank, and I can't, I don't want to smile, but like a smile comes on my face. And I'm like, I'm doing this really awkward smile. And so now I'm sending out the wrong signal. Like, I'm aware that my, my physical reaction, and my cognitive processing is incorrect. It's like, it doesn't make sense. They're sort of at odds with each other. Because a part of me is like, No, I'm kind of upset and what's happening, but I can't stop but like, smile in this weird, please don't kill me kind of way. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And then, and then I lose the ability to, to articulate in a very clear and logical way and almost feels like, like an almost like an out of body experience. Yes.

Amy Babish  25:57  
Yeah, that's Yeah. And, and there's, you know, there's all these responses are on a continuum. So it's very subtle, and some of them are very exaggerated. And with each each way of protecting ourselves. Yeah. And when, like, you have so much depth of awareness, Shamy. So, you know, you can notice yourself, noticing that you're doing it, right. Yeah, many people who have a strong Quan response, they go through a kind of a period, when they start to do personal work, or the deep change work, that they have a lot of grief that comes up because sometimes, especially around codependence or people pleasing, or more intimate relationships. There's a lot of grief around. I didn't want this. Right.

Jamie Lee  26:43  
It's like I said yes to something I didn't really want. And I wasn't, I wasn't fully embodied. I wasn't fully present. My, my mental wherewithal wasn't fully with me to be like, No, I don't really want this. Yeah, I know what you're talking about. Yeah. So tell us about it. Tell us about like, would you recommend different techniques, different ways of approaching this if you do get stuck in a fawn response? Because I mean, I have experienced that in the workplace, in my personal relationships, where I'm just like nodding my head and awkwardly smiling when inside, I'm like dying, you know?

Amy Babish  27:24  
I'm gonna name one of the nuances. So it's officially researched fully, but it is a response. So they haven't been to the trauma literature yet, but it is being researched, which is appeasement, appeasement. So appeasement versus fawn, because this is shame versus guilt. Hmm. So appeasement is oftentimes used to survive things. But there's a difference is, I know that I know who I am. And this is some BS, or I need to pay my bills, and I need to keep my job. And I have to swallow this. But there's not a sense like you deserve it, you deserve any kind of treatment, or you know, that you're highly competent, you know, you know, your why. And so the price, you're paying a price, but you your, your sense of self is intact, versus fine, which is more trauma based, and more shame based. It becomes quite complex. So the discharge and soothing sequence that I named is really helpful to disentangle from Vaughn. When you go into that, freeze it, it's a shutdown. So we're going to we're going to go and add an extra step for freeze work into reminding us about the discharge and the soothing work. So when we're in freeze, you named it like so great, like you, you see that you're smiling. But then, you inside are like, I don't want to do this. So oftentimes with fawn, and 100% of the time with Freeze submission is involved. So we submit because of a power differential, and this is our best way to survive. Oh, when there's a freeze, it's literally called freeze because we feel like an iceberg. Like we can't find our true self inside. And so one of the ways to get out of freeze, is I'll give two different two different options is to take your fingertips. Okay, I'm going to show you gently up here, but I know we're going to be taped but this is I'm going to talk it through for the people who just are on the podcast part. You come down to your abdomen. Okay,

Jamie Lee  29:45  
so I'm just going to describe for the for the podcast listeners. What Amy did was she took her hands up, right. And then she showed us she's going to direct them towards her abdomen. right under her her chest, right? What is that is that the

Amy Babish  30:06  
finger up top. So around your belly button around right below your ribs.

Jamie Lee  30:09  
Right below your where you can feel the opening of your your ribcage is

Amy Babish  30:15  
the diaphragm. Yeah, the diaphragm anyway, from there into like kind of like your bikini line. So this midsection, like, kind of like some people might call that the tire section. That's another way to talk. We got it, we just got to keep it real, because people are like, my abdomen is long, or you know, everyone's bodies are shaped differently and beautifully. Yeah. But this is where that you'd see that. You can experiment with the intensity of it, the pace of it, and the pressure of it. So some people like more intensity, some people like less intensity, you get to experiment with this. So we're going to start with just tapping our abdomen because this is where we especially for highly sensitive people, you mentioned that a lot of high achieving women don't know they're highly sensitive people, but they're highly sensitive. This is where we pick up other people's emotions. Mm hmm. And also, when we have a lot of freeze, we're very sensitive to the power dynamics coming towards us because we've had to submit to survive. Because I carry a lot of freeze to and I used to carry a lot of fun, but I still I'm getting through the freeze part of it. My body already knows just with this gentle tapping because we have a relationship. I can start to feel a little bit of like, it's like a defrost, almost like there's like little sensations of lifeforce going through I can feel my blood flowing. My body reacts really quickly to this so I can feel I'm in a cold place right now. It's very cold today. I can feel the coldness running through my knees. I can feel the air on my face again. So my body is starting to speak to me again. So some people touch feel safe in this way. It feels like comforting or it feels like this is good enough as the safe enough. So that's one way. I'm going to check in what is it like for you to do a Jamie, what did you notice?

Jamie Lee  32:06  
I felt first of all, it was very unusual. For me to talk myself. I have done EFT Emotional Freedom Technique where you tap meridian points around your face as well as your wrist. But so right here, your tire portion. Yeah, this it feels new. And so I was thinking about the high achieving women who are listening to this, they might, they might think about okay, well, this might look weird, if I do it in the middle of a conference meeting, but you can take yourself to the bathroom for a moment and you don't you don't have to be heard. It's your style, you're inside the stall and you're just gently sort of directing some nurturing care to yourself. And what I do notice is that it centers your attention away from being frozen in your nervous system to uh, what am I what am I actually feeling like on my skin, right or under the skin around my, my abdomen? My midsection? Yeah,

Amy Babish  33:13  
a lot of high achieving women also carry a lot of adrenal fatigue working like the kidneys are maxed out, because we use that we kind of overdo it. Yes, overdoing it over does it so when you if you carry that if you know that from going to acupuncture or Chinese medicine specialist, or from regular Western medicine testing, you can also in that midsection, tap the back of your kidney points with everybody's responses to protection kind of are like a layer cake, like a beautiful layer cake have many different options like today I'm using this, this combo tomorrow, I'm using this combo. So depending on how your nervous system responds, you might carry other layers, which are specifically freeze but are involved in the in the mix. So you can experiment with all of all of that when you're doing that when you're doing this kind of tapping. If you can't leave that I'm going to go ahead, Jamie.

Jamie Lee  34:07  
So I'm curious for you. You think freeze is on the on the extreme end of that spectrum. In terms of the stress reaction. Do you feel like it's, you know, fight flight, freeze and then wait. Yeah, I'm just curious if you feel this is going to be helpful for people who find themselves funny as well. Yes. So

Amy Babish  34:31  
so the fawn, this is this is the first step. So freeze is a dorsal vagal response. Okay, the dorsal vagal response doesn't respond well to breathe like you're already shut down. So to breathe slowly. We're like there's nothing getting in here. Oftentimes, it's really hard to move like mobilize your thoughts mobilize your body. And so the discharge work also doesn't affect this well. is the first step. So doing something really gentle mean something with a lot of attunement, like a lot of like specificity to you. So how Jamie and I talked about it, you might find your own way you can expect I encourage experimenting is the best way. So freeze is very different working with Freeze is very different than working with fight or flight. So fight or flight, discharge and soothing, work super well. Well, so if you just exhaustion, breathe, breath work is really helpful, like gentle breath work, any great tension in your body and exhaustion, you need both because part of you is shut down and Adyen like I'm more or less severe freeze probably. And having that the nuanced approach will really help you start to rebuild your nervous system. So with the fine, it's, it's both freeze and either fight or flight or you could, you could do all three, if you're really you know, your systems really creative. Sometimes it's, you know, first I'm scared, then I shut down, then I'm shut down and wanting to yell but I can't. So it can be it can be all of those, it can be very complex, like a pinball machine, kind of where you manage it. So with fawn and freeze, we want to get into into that midsection, because that's where the submission happens in the nervous system. So if you can't tap, because you can't leave the meeting, you can't go, you can't step out the other way, which takes a bit of practice, I liken it to yoga. So when you go to a yoga class, and the yoga teacher says like notice your left ankle, you're like, how the heck do I bring my attention from my brain down to my left ankle, but I'm guessing many of the women that that are listening have done some kind of yoga before, or some kind of mind body class where they've had to learn how to bring their intention of awareness or the flashlight of their awareness down in in. So this one that comes from that kind of that's a next example of how you would do this. So you bring your awareness, if I call into the elevator, if you have people in other parts of the world, the lift of awareness, you bring it down into that same midsection, that same tire place, and you ride that elevator down, it's helpful to either pick a spot on the floor, if you can't close your eyes in the meeting, pick a spot like just pick something to focus your awareness on. So single point awareness. But you're bringing your awareness into your body. And then with the metaphor of the freeze like an iceberg, you want to see if you can create a little movement inside of your belly. So when I started to learn this technique, it's like literally as big as my pinky finger, fingernail bed, it can be that small. So you just, it's like, see if there's a little wiggle or a little movement that that you can invite in. And when you practice that over time, not just when you're triggered, you want to practice this when you're not triggered, you're going to be able to reignite your lifeforce into your body and get out of the freeze or the fawn, even in a meeting.

Jamie Lee  38:05  
So when you say wiggle, it's like the attention, you want to you want to see if you can experience a wiggle of attention or literally wiggling or belly buttons. So

Amy Babish  38:15  
it would be like inside, so it'd be some part of the organ system. Or however, everybody experiences their internal life differently. So think about wiggling part of your, your fascia inside, like so it's not the outer layer, it's really going in. So so as is in there, I'm sure a lot of a lot of women are going to Google this, like you don't have to know the the any of the body's specificity, but it might be the psoas like you're wanting to go deeper within will have to literally know any names of the body parts going inside, because when we're in a dorsal vagal response, the body is shutting down.

Jamie Lee  38:56  
Got it? Okay. So what I'm hearing is that there are so many techniques, there's, there's a lot of very specific nuanced techniques that are available, depending on your stress reaction to hope you come out, and we'll come out maybe it's the maybe it's the opposite as they come back into right and bodied, right, embodied. Presence, embodied awareness, so that you have your mental faculties to be able to say, No, you know, that's not what I want. Actually, you know, that's not what happened. Actually, can we can we talk about something different? Actually, here's something that I do want, right? So so that you can help yourself to be to be the person who speaks up for you.

Amy Babish  39:46  
120%? Yes. Excellent.

Jamie Lee  39:50  
Excellent. So, I mean, I could I could just tell from this conversation that your knowledge is encyclopedic. Like there's so many nuances like very specific things, you know, understand about the physiology and the stress reaction? Is there anything else that I've not asked so far that you want to make sure that we do share with the audience?

Amy Babish  40:13  
I think, you know, sometimes when high achieving women are so successful, in some ways, like, they make a gold bucket list that it's to the moon, it's done. So when we have that, you know, five to 20% part of our life, or our part of our work life that we struggle in that we haven't had the same success, and I want to instill, like, I've worked with 1000s of women, there is hope, no matter how complex your system is, there's another way through, no matter what you've seen, modeled in your workplace or in around you and your culture and your lineage, there is a way through. And that's, sometimes it's because of the shame, or because it's just like, I've tried so many things, and nothing has worked. Sometimes these women carry like a hopelessness. Like it's just not, it's just not going to happen. And having, having a sense of, however you call on hope, or like, distrust, that, it's, it's figure out double this, these are the practices to help rewire your nervous system, which will then rewire your brain to give you a way forward. So

Jamie Lee  41:20  
I'm thinking about women who have experienced burnout, because they were in a toxic work environment, or they were working with somebody who was extremely biased and discriminatory and got away with it. I mean, these are stories I do hear on a regular basis. And it is easy to, as we talked about earlier in this conversation, to internalize and to think, oh, there's something wrong with me, there is something I have to fix in myself, or something that I have to do something that I have to take on externally, you know, prove myself over work, get somebody else to acknowledge and give me that sense of worthiness. But what I have learned from you in this conversation is that actually, you know, there were resources inside of us that we can access to help us come out to unfreeze so to speak on fawn, right, so that we can be more centered, grounded, self assured, in these situations, and

Amy Babish  42:28  
I think for the people who've experienced extreme burnout, or that or the story that their ego has made sense of, it was my fault. I should have done better. When you are more in touch with what's happening from a grounded, resourced, really steady place. You have the clarity that when people abuse power, it's never your fault.

Jamie Lee  42:51  
Yeah. Yeah. And unfortunately, we do see abuse of power pretty regularly. So we have to constantly remind ourselves, it's not her fault. Yeah. So tell us, Amy, for those for the people who are listening, and they were like, Okay, where can I go to learn more, tell us where they can go to learn more about you, your work, and anything else that you want to share.

Amy Babish  43:12  
So, my website is my name, Amy babish.com. And then I have a substack, which is just my name, Amy Babish. And I have Instagram. And I offer equity based pricing, my groups and my retreats that are in person and virtual. And I also offer one to one work that can be short term or long term. So my community is filled with global women who are changing the world, which I'm very grateful for.

Jamie Lee  43:43  
Amazing. Well, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and insights. And I will talk to everyone soon. Hey, do you know what your leadership superpowers are? Want to know how others see you as a woman leader so you can improve how you lead advocate and negotiate in your career? You're in luck because I just put together a fun and quick quiz that will give you custom tips and scripts based on your leadership archetype. Come on over to Jamie Lee coach.com JAMIELEECOACH.COM to uncover your leadership archetype in about two minutes or less. Talk soon