Podcast 951: Conscious Bravery: Caring For Someone with Addiction with Pamela Brinker

My guest for this podcast is an integrative psychotherapist & advocate for people affected by addiction and mental health challenges, Pamela Brinker. She is also the author of Amazon’s bestseller Conscious Bravery: Caring for Someone with Addiction.

Pamela Brinker has married her life experience with her life’s work, having guided clients on their journeys through pain into bravery for over twenty years. She knows firsthand how overwhelming it is to support someone you care about in the wilderness of recovery and relapse. Hence, provides direction and healing as you attempt to manage your life and protect your happiness while you assist a loved one who suffers with addiction and mental health issues.

As dedicated as she is, Pamela has also come up with a book entitled Conscious Bravery: Caring For Someone with Addiction. It’s basically for everyone who loves and cares for someone who is struggling with addiction. In this inspiring book, Pamela offers personal and gripping stories, sharing concepts and techniques that work for cultivating tenacious love, resilience, and strength.

Know more about Pamela and her book by clicking here to access her website.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview with Pamela Brinker. Happy listening!

THE BOOK

Finally, here is the lifeline so desperately needed when caring about or loving someone struggling with addiction. From shocking crises to harrowing devastations, read and learn how to handle every situation by activating your strength and tenderness. These practices blend guidance with compassion, inspiring readers into action. Pamela offers personal and gripping stories, sharing concepts and techniques that work for cultivating tenacious love, resilience, and strength.

THE AUTHOR

As a well-respected and experienced psychotherapist for 31 years, Pamela has treated thousands of clients and has developed over 20 tools and practices to teach conscious bravery. Also a speaker and trainer, Pamela has taught and led groups and workshops on a variety of themes including: motivation, grief, mental health, conscious bravery while supporting loved ones with addiction, and dreamwork. 

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and all my listeners know me but you don't know the beautiful woman on the other side of the screen and if you don't have your YouTube well, I'll just tell you she's beautiful. So it's Pamela Brinker and Pamela is joining us from Colorado. And she has a new book out called Conscious bravery caring for someone with addiction. And we were speaking just a few minutes ago about the book and the challenges that people have. And today, you're in for a treat, because you're in for a treat for somebody who's actually dealt with it, wrote about it as a psychotherapist counseled people. So she's got a plethora of background about this. So, Pamela, how are you that lovely day in Golden Colorado?

Pamela Brinker
I am doing wonderfully, thank you so much. And I just have to say it's a joy to be here with you, Greg, truly, you provide so much value to your listeners and have for so many years. So, I'm delighted to talk with you and to your listeners.

Greg Voisen
Well, and I know they're going to be delighted to learn a little bit more, not only about you, which I'm going to tell them but really about the subject matter called Conscious bravery. And, and this book, so then let me tell them Pamela Brinker is an LCSW she's well perspective respected, and experienced psychotherapist for 31 years, she's treated 1000s of clients is developed over 20 tools and practices to reach conscious bravery. Also, a speaker and trainer Pamela has taught and led groups and workshops on a variety of themes, including motivation, grief, mental health, conscious bravery, while supporting loved ones with addiction, and dream work. Her first book is conscious bravery, it's on Amazon, we're gonna put a link. And she is writing the second book in a three-part series. So, we'll probably have her back on again. But we will see how she's doing after she gets through the second book, because I've written to myself, so I know what it's like. So, Pamela, we might as well just dig right in. You speak about conscious bravery as a result of your two sons having challenges with addiction. And, you know, there's all kinds of addiction, you know, we there's people that are addicted to work, there's people that are addicted to sex, there's people that are addicted that drugs, addiction period, I think your book really crosses all realms, but in particular, your sons were have addiction problems with drugs. The introduction of your book opens up with a story, would you be willing to tell the listeners the story? And really why you decided to write this book and why you call this conscious bravery.

Pamela Brinker
Sure. I wrote this book, because I needed it. 11 years ago, there wasn't a bravery protocol available for me. And I had gone through some tremendous struggles. So, 11 years ago, my, my second husband died from grade four glioblastoma, brain cancer. And as challenging, devastating the grief was for me, it was just as hard for my two teenage sons. And I didn't know it, Greg, I didn't know how much they were struggling because even though we had open communication, they didn't talk about it much. They were protecting me. They told me later, they didn't want me to worry about them. But what they did within a month, a few months, in their own grief, they sought answers not just through each other in the bond that they started developing. But they sought answers through drugs and alcohol. And they sought answers to their pain. You know, that was where they found their relief. And I didn't know it. But within a few months, they became dependent upon stimulants and hallucinogens and weed and alcohol, whatever they could find. They were poly substance users, and they have mental health challenges that I didn't realize that I came to over the course of the year. And within three, four years, they became addicted to methamphetamines. And so, the devastations that that they were encountering started becoming apparent with some of their the trouble that got in with the law with school. My youngest son was expelled from high school because of an incident where he took in an entire bottle of Jack Daniels. And on live on camera, he didn't know it but he got himself in another high school, young woman drunk so drunk that she had to go to the emergency room she had to be taken to the moon. And I didn't know that I was called by the school and I rushed You know, over because they told me that he was being expelled and I rushed over to meet, meet them. And anyway, long story short, his, his challenges were so great for him and for both of my sons, because they had these mental health issues too. They had ADHD, really severe ADHD, which makes them more impulsive. And then their brain starts becoming affected, and they can't make good choices. So anyway, what happened really was that I had to develop bravery skills that were based on what I knew and had taught clients, and people in my workshops for years, but I had to refine them, and revise them, modify them. So, they worked for me, because like I said, I didn't have one book to read, I was pulling from all different resources, I was meeting with my therapist, we were doing family therapy, and so forth. And it just really wasn't enough. And so, I started writing and keeping track of what was working for me and what wasn't, and bringing to my clients, what I did know worked and trying new things. And so, I kind of developed this body of knowledge and practices around bravery, and being more conscious and being more aware because bravery can mean any number of things in any given situation, right? But being consciously brave means we have a deep level of awareness, to be able to choose what's ever needed in any given moment. And then do that. Take action. And that's what I found that I had to do. I didn't have the luxury of despair, which I write about in the book. You know, there were a few days, when I was hopeless, suicidal, I said to myself, things like this was in the beginning, after my husband first died, I said things to myself, like, I can't do this. I can't do this. And then I remembered what Cheryl Strayed had said in her book, tiny, beautiful things. And of course, Cheryl Strayed is the wonderful author of wild. But she said, parents don't have the luxury of despair. Hmm, somehow, Grace hit me with that. And I said, Alright, I can, I will do this, I'll figure out how. And I started embodying some of the things I taught, I got more into my body and more out of my head, we can talk about that more later. But I really began to care for myself much better, because I'm kind of thin already. But my adrenals were firing constantly when my husband was ill. And then after he died, and some of my friends said, hey, honey, are you anorexic? And I said, no, I eat voraciously. I'm just not able to keep it on, you know, so I started eating an avocado every day, and supplementing with a lot more greens and vegetables and high protein food and just practicing some of the things I had taught my clients, making sure I went outside for a walk, you know, and took in nature, that sort of thing. And so, my sons did better when I was doing better. And that's part of conscious bravery, too.

Greg Voisen
I think Mind Body Spirit is so important, and you're speaking about it. And it's important because it's a balancing act. And I think the fact that you said parents don't have the luxury of despair. I would say that's true, you know, I have two boys myself. And we went through our own challenges. One of them with leukemia, and the other one with the same kind of challenges that you dealt with. So, I understand. And I think every parent, you know, there's no child that's born perfect. They're being made perfect as they go along. And so, the reality is, it's like us when we were born, our parents could have said some of the similar things, you know. So, Pam, you write that people with addiction and substance abuse, perceive that their pain is unmanageable, and long for authentic connection with others. I would agree with you. I also would agree that there's almost like something that takes them over. You know, I'm not going to call it the deep dark devil or whatever some people would, but they turn into can turn into monsters. Monsters in the sense that they're emotionally vetting on you. Or they're, they're taking it out on you that you say that our loved ones turn into people that we don't recognize because of the severe personality transformation. That's what we had occur with our younger son. How would you advise people listening to develop conscious bravery and getting helped help for their loved ones? And really, you know, interesting help for themselves?

Pamela Brinker
Absolutely, well, first and foremost, we do have the benefit of having known that since they were babies or little ones, if they're our sons or daughters, if they're our mothers or fathers, similarly, we've known them throughout our entire lives. And so, we have this benefit of knowing who they are when they're not using, or they're not having mental health challenges. And so, we want to not just remember that, but embody it. We want to see our Beloved's beyond their circumstances in their situations, right, Greg, and to remember them, and that's a beautiful part of the Mind Body Spirit piece that you bring in. We we truly see another being when we don't just see what they're presenting. At this moment, we remember who they have been. And so for me, the second part, the second answer to your question is, we try to help them get into treatment, even if their personalities are in a transformed state, even if they don't want it because I'm a big believer in what David Sheff presented in his research in the book claim when he says, our loved ones can die if they don't get treatment. And for most people, that means some container with community because they're longing for community and connection. You know, most people can't get clean in isolation, just getting a hotel room and, and getting clean and dry in three days. You know, most, most people can't do that. And they need support, and they longed for support. And so even just a detox can be super helpful. If we can tuck them into Hey, just for a few days, just see what happens if you get off of this, you know, and then then they don't have that danger of hitting a rock bottom that will kill them. And I get DMS from people all the time. My next-door neighbor this morning told me that she bought the book for a friend today, because her friend just lost her son. Hmm. I mean, it's just heartbreaking. The truth is statistics. Over 107,000 people died in 2021 alone, just from drug overdoses, that's not even from suicides, and from other mental health challenges and drug related issues. So, there's a crisis going on. And we've got to take this seriously and help our people our Beloved's get into a community where they can get cleaned safely or get off alcohol safely. And then they can make choices about longer term treatment, which I do believe in as well. I've seen my son's do well, when they can be in treatment for say, three months, you know, or in some supported program, even if it's kind of dual diet, diagnosis, sober house, you know, that's been tremendously helpful. And then they can find meaning. You know, that's really what people are seeking. This is a pleasure drug use and substance use are a pleasure problem, a desire issue, it's a brain disorder, they want other answers and other solutions besides the substances, but they beat themselves up that they can't maintain that sobriety and that they keep having these relapses. And so, they need to find meaning, just like we do, just like you and I, as parents had to refine our own meaning. They want to they need to decide what really matters in my life. Because part of why they were seeking out drugs is those were the solutions. Those were the answers.

Greg Voisen
Well, that was the relief from the reality in which they existed, or their perceived reality of the pain that they had in their way to cope with that. I think that, you know, in, in a lot of cases, I'll say this, it's just a self-esteem problem in and it's also a way to self-kind of medicate. To find some way to escape. You know, I think every one of these addictions we talk about is an escape. Gambling is an escape. Sex addiction is an escape. Drugs are an escape. They're there. And I always say, and I take this from a pro Rennie. What are they running from too? Right. So that's, that's an interesting thing, because they're running from something. And they're running to something and what you just said was, they're running to a way to basically find a way that chemically within their body, in this case, find relief, because they think that is and then once they get it, the reason it's an addiction, is because they want to do it again and again and again and again and again and again. You invited the listeners to live with wonder and joy rather than despair. With con Just bravery. How does one cultivate these new skills and the capacity to be consciously brave? Because, you know, when you're in the moment, and you're fighting with a son because he comes home drunk, or is addicted is on some drug? And is so defiant of everything you're asking him or her to do? You, it's hard to muster the strength. to, to, I mean, this, I was gonna say this earlier, but it's kind of a, how do we shift our perspective about love? You know, we see these kids at four or 5678 years old. And we just loved him. And you see him at 16 1718 years old. And it wasn't the same kind of love, even close to the same kind of love, or compassion. So, matter of fact, I think, the compassion that you thought you had completely dissipates. Because you, yourself, do not know how to deal with this. So, this conscious bravery is a big deal. So, I think this part about the skills is a big part of this book.

Pamela Brinker
Absolutely, yeah. And there are multiple skills they talked about to develop in the book. But in answering your question, how do we cultivate them, we begin, we just start, we practice one or two things, and then we embed them into our being during the calm moments, so that they're available for us during the devastations. And so, I practice all the time. And I began practicing all the time, even though I was doing it kind of on a you know, in a bumpy way, I was very imperfect as I went, as I developed some of the things that I taught my clients and really cultivated them so that they became more innate. And that's really what I think is what has to happen, how does it happen, I teach that we need a triad of connection, we need to have a connection with ourselves. And we've got to learn how to ask for help and turn to connections with authentic others. And then thirdly, we have to resource from something greater than ourselves. So, with this triad of connection, we can have an awareness on any given day, maybe from God or the universe, okay, I've got to do my yoga today, I've got to go for a hike, I've got to sit and breathe consciously. Today, I'll do those things. And so I practice all the time. And I encourage any of any of the listeners to begin, just begin somewhere to start cultivating conscious bravery because everyone's born with the seeds of bravery. But they don't just pop out whenever we need them. They're like, they're always gonna

Greg Voisen
I was gonna ask you, what did your journals look like if you journaled at the time you were journaling about your son's? Because, you know, I think about writing, you know, I've written you've now written a book, I speak with authors all the time. And I find it cathartic. In the setting of some people, they'll say, no, it's just not, it's not what they're ever going to do. So, then it's okay, so mindfulness practice, or meditation practices, or, you know, go ride your bike or walk in the forest, or, you know, hike a mountain, or whatever it might be. Those are all ways, and they're not escapism, they're literally connection to. And what I say is that, you know, in that moment when that you have 53 peaks there in Colorado, that people could go to 14,000 feet on, you know, the climb to the top, is the release from the bottom. You know, and I'm, and I'm asking you, if you were to give them these skills, what particular skills might somebody listening right now? Say, okay, Pamela, I'm dealing with an alcoholic teenager. I'm at my wit's end. We're not in counseling yet. But I need to be calm, to try and get this person to counseling. And I haven't been so calm so far. Okay. You know, I've been more of a tyrant. You know, people will say Tough luck, you know, just let it happen to him again, and again and again. And again. I know you're gonna shake your head, but I know that that's a big theory that's out there. There's a lot of people that practice that. They say, okay, just let that kid go. And he's gonna have to find his own way. And I know what the, the challenge with that is, is those kids could die without somebody being there. So, what would you say to those people that are not going along with what we're talking about? And they're using the tough love theory. And they're having a hard time finding compassion. To keep doing this

Pamela Brinker
great question. Compassion begins within. And so, I encourage everyone and I practice myself a diligent self-love, practice, self-love is not it's not selfish. It's actually a manifestation of our humaneness. When we love ourselves, we're manifesting who we are and practicing, connecting with who we are as a being. And so, then we can extend that to those we care about. Instead of with tough love, we can offer unconditional love with boundaries, which is what absolutely works across the board much better. And we know because we know better what our boundaries are, because we learn and practice these, these tools that I teach, like pausing, and getting, getting not just centered, but grounded, and not just calming our minds, but being aware of what's happening in our whole beings. Even if we're still feeling highly anxious, we might allow that. So we practice in the calm moments, so that we can learn to be present with whatever is. And then all along the continuum, we can handle discomfort, or, or frustration or escalation or even, you know, shocking, horrific harrowing experiences as they arise, because we have a capacity to be with difficulty. And that's what a lot of parents who want the tough love approach, I think that it is so overwhelming, those of you who are listening, if that's your approach, you have my whole heart. And I did try that, but it didn't work. My son was assaulted and raped when he was homeless, partly because I allowed a tough love approach for about a month in my life. And I've regretted that. And so, I came up with a practice and a protocol that I'll talk about another time, but it's called the pendulum, or I call it now the seesaw of regret. We manage our regret by challenging those regrets. And that guilt, we have in that shame into motivation to change and to be different. And so, I'm highly motivated to practice everything I teach, every day, because I live with so much joy, and wonder, like you were saying, at the beginning, you're quoting me, my friends say I'm really joyous. But I get, I'm able to do that, because I can also cry my heart out and do everything in between, I am able to handle all of my emotions. And it's taken years to be able to do that. But that's a skill that if we can develop, we can role model that for our loved ones, they can see oh, wow, my friend, my best friend can do that. Ah, that's, that's pretty, that's pretty amazing. And they store that they remember that we're role models for them. As we walk alongside them, they're in a wilderness of addiction, mental health, but they're not in their lung, we're in there with them. And that's another thing I would speak to around about our culture is that we think it's them that have the experience of substance use or mental health challenges. But we're a collective, like I was saying with this triad of connection, your experience is mine.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, you know, what you say? The words resonate so much, and I hope the listeners are getting that, that this is about your own self-love. This is about your ability to be compassionate with you. This is about your ability to be a role model. This is about your ability to take care of yourself, and then have the ability to take care of others, you know, is going to read a really quick little story, you know, my sister in law's son, who was in his 30s kind of disappeared, and they knew to do he had some drug issues, but got a detectives called the police said, you know, you know, try and find out where he is what he's doing. And months past, they couldn't find him for months. And then this past December, she gets a call that they found him in a burnt-out car. He had been tied up with drug guys doing drugs, dealing drugs, doing the whole thing, and he was really, really when I say burned out, meaning he was dead. So, you know, the thing is, is that you know, these people can disappear. They literally can just walk away and it's kind of easy for them to disappear into this world. And you certainly don't want to lose them there because that's not the place you want them to go. So, heart wrenching story, but at the same time. She's probably not the only one dealing with that. There's a lot of people that have dealt with that. So, you write about missing your son when he went on the wilderness program for three months. And I get that I know there's a lot of people that have their kids go on these wilderness programs. What was it like sending your son off on this adventure? And how did this experience strengthen your own bravery in the process? And how did he return to you?

Pamela Brinker
It was more than three months initially, my youngest son went away to wilderness program here in Durango, Colorado, Open Sky wilderness, an amazing program. He went there for three months, then he came home because we as parents as a parent collective, his dad and his stepmom, and myself and my new boyfriend, we thought we could kind of be the aftercare he needed after wilderness, they usually recommend that you go on to an aftercare program, but we thought, oh, you know, we can do it, he can come home, and he can go back and forth between our two homes. But that didn't work out. That's when he got expelled from high school. And so the, the agreement we'd all made is if it didn't work out for him, and for us, at our home, that he would go back to wilderness. So, I actually when I, when I took him after he had gotten expelled from high school, I didn't realize it, but he drank that whole night, I thought, Oh, you're home, you're safe. You know, we're going to go back to go do some different things. And anyway, he, he just drank on that long, and I went down into his bedroom, the next morning in the whole room smelled like alcohol, and I said, Honey, we're gonna go get a breathalyzer. And at the breathalyzer, location, the test location. They said, He's so drunk, he would get a DUI. And I actually fell to the floor crying. And I just lost it because I thought he's not just going to go back to wilderness for three months. This is this means he's going to need to go to a school, a therapeutic school for a year. And so that's why I really fell apart because I knew I was not going to be able to raise my son, other people were going to do it. But I knew it was the most important thing, it was a hard choice. But it was absolutely a better choice among hard choices, to have other people who could provide for him the safety he needed. And what you talk about with the story you just told, harrowing, those of us who love someone who struggles with mental health and substance use issues, we want them to be safe. And my son to be safe more than I wanted him to be with me. And so he went to us to the wilderness. And he had this really kind of amazing experience. It was really a rite of passage of sorts for him. You know, he learned how to, he didn't have any screens for three months again, you know, like I said, he went two times he didn't have any screens, we wrote letters back and forth. We did family therapy over the phone, our family went down, all of us, both sets of parents went down and camped together within just a few feet of each other for a three-day parent intensive with him. And we did all of this amazing work. And so it ended up being really a hard year because he did go on to a therapeutic school after that. But it was an amazing year too. We learned things that we would not have, be get been able to embed into ourselves as individuals and into our, our collective as a family during that year. And so it strengthened my bravery amazingly.

Greg Voisen
And well it takes conscious bravery to do that, you know, there's many families that have a hard time with that. And what I would say is that, you know, you take a deeper look, because in many cases it works. Sometimes it never works. They come back, you know, not that much better, and they fall off the wagon again. And those recurring problems, I think until I don't know this is sounds cliche, but until they get it you know, you state this this ingrained emotional discipline in insight you develop the necessary skills and operating on a continuous sequence of options. You said you state that you can tap into your innate abilities for vulnerable vulnerability and strength, grace and grit. I like that tenderness and toughness. When we are seeing a loved one suffer what advice would you give the listeners about tapping into the emotional discipline because in essence, you know, we're kind of juxtaposing it, but that emotional discipline is conscious bravery. It is. Yeah, but

Pamela Brinker
you got it. But a lot of people do sort of want it bullet pointed. And so, for the benefit of our listeners, I can bullet point, a list of exactly what I think you're asking about. And the first thing is to feel all of our feelings and to be able to hope that our loved ones learn that as well. But not just the happy emotions or even the sadness, but the tough things like shame and fear, and to be able to allow opposites as you were quoting me, allow ourselves to feel that vulnerability, but also to find our strength to know that grace is at play, but we've also got to be gritty, and tenderness goes with toughness, I call this flip sides of the same coin. And when we can, can do that, when we can hit manage flip sides of the same coin, that's the first bullet point of how we tap into the emotional discipline. A second one is that we notice Our fear and our overwhelm Greg, and we see fear as an advisor, rather than something to kill off as an anniversary, we see that fear is just warning us. And we want to be curious about our fear, like, hmm, I wonder if I'm just afraid he's going to get injured at this moment, or if I'm picking up on some manipulation. And so fear can be an informant and an advisor if we listen to it. So, we want to notice our fear and overwhelm and pause. And that's where the conscious piece comes in, we become braver when we're actually able to pause instead of just react and launch into doing something, it's brave to pause. And it's brave to pause and try to reset. You know, none of us can stay balanced all the time, we have to rebalance over and over. And so we take that pause in that moment, to notice feel our experience. Notice if we're regretting something and get grounded. And I don't know any other way to do this, but to actually embody it. So, I say stand, take off your shoes, stand barefoot on the floor and feel your feet on the ground, and then experience your whole being and maybe even reach your arms up to what's greater. And I teach a practice called earth and sky where I do both, I reach up to whatever's greater, you know, the dowel God, the universe, and the other hand is reaching down to the earth. And I stand barefoot, like this. And then I'm in my hands through my heart and through all the chakras, and opposite hand up to what's greater, and bottom hand reaching down to the center of the earth. And that takes 30 seconds. And that's a practice anyone can do anytime that helps us to tap into this emotional discipline you're talking about. Because we can't just change what's going on in our heads in our heads. Our minds don't solve the problems of the mind.

Greg Voisen
And I like the Colin, its ITP integrative transformative practice, you know, you, you're basically have taken movement, along with, I'm gonna say even a mantra, whatever you're saying to yourself, the affirmation that you're giving yourself about what it is to give you strength. And I think that's so important. And, you know, you mentioned that our emotions don't always make sense. That's true. And at times, our brains connect the dots from what's been happening in the present moment to something that was stored in our minds, as a similar from past years. And we respond with bigger emotions than the fresh situation deserves. I get that. And I think our listeners would get that. You speak about giving our minds less power, and to operate with heart while permeating our discomfort? All right, while permitting our discomfort, I'm sorry. How would you advise one to cultivate this less power? Mindset is kind of what I'm calling it. Because look, it's we say this, certain cultures, even people, you know, are more emotional. Other cultures aren't as emotional. You know, you can get into road rage and shake your hand and tell somebody, hey, you know, you just cut me off and then use all the cuss words that you want. But the reality is, is that you're the only one being hurt by that situation, because you've allowed the emotion to take over. And what you're saying, is this less power mindset, you know, less power. Well, we've allowed that, because that's what it is to take over. How do you negotiate that? Pamela?

Pamela Brinker
It's a great question. There are several pieces to that answer. First, I believe that we have to know our own process. You are hinting to this? Are we a person that gets stuck in our minds? And do we ruminate over things? If so, we want to notice that and say, oh, this is that part of my process where I just start fixating and feeling frantic and I'm playing the same tape over and over in my mind. Other people get stuck in their hearts, and they just feel overwhelmed and devastation and they get depressed and they get immobile or they become anxious and frenetic. And so, we've got to know who we are and What our tendencies or our kind of preferences are, and then to use that awareness to notice if we're ruminating or if we're feeling this overwhelmed discomfort, and drink in a radical acceptance of what our ever is kind of practice. And you know, I call that now there's this, so we say, okay, this is happening in me, this is happening in my experience my situation, okay? Hmm. Now, there's this. And that is that's consciously brave, true to because we're radically accepting what has been presented to us. But it doesn't mean that our worst fears are going to happen, or what we're experiencing in our hearts is gonna be played out. Right. And so, we notice these moments, and we begin to allow them without fighting them. And that takes us into a different place of whole being awareness, which I don't know if this is an Okay, time to talk about that. Briefly. That was

Greg Voisen
gonna be my next question. And why don't I say that? Sure. You know, you've got a chapter on whole being awareness. And, and then it's dot, dot beyond mindfulness, you state that the mind is often the very source of human troubles, perpetuating inner suffering and preventing the fullness of awareness sought. So, if you would speak with us about the six zones associated with whole being awareness, because I think that's where we're going here. Right.

Pamela Brinker
Mike about that? Absolutely. Because that answers the question prior to, for you. People use the word mindfulness, as if it is the solution. But that word conjures for most of us, going to our minds. Be mindful? Well, okay, getting my mind, right. That's what I think of at least. And I think it's time to, to use a different phrase, and get beyond mindfulness get beyond mindset, because our minds are already too full mindfulness, they're already too full. So, what I believe is that we can come into our whole beings with whole being awareness. And our whole beings are basically just six zones, six sons of experience, our hearts, our bodies, our minds, our essence, which is the more elegant word I prefer, rather than soul or self. So, hearts bodies, minds essence, and our intuition, we want to tap into our intuition, and then be aware of the energy or the space or the Chi around us. And so, we can do a quick whole Bing scan. Anytime that we actually want to be mindful. We can check in with each of these six months of experience. So even right now, you and I, and listeners can do this quickly. We can say, okay, what's going on in my heart? What am I feeling? Usually, we're feeling many things at once. But if you can just zero in and find one word, like, maybe I'm feeling focused, okay, what's going on in my body, maybe I'm feeling tense, what's happening in my essence, maybe in feeling fearful or hopeless? What's happening in my intuition, my intuition, somehow maybe has the opposite experience, maybe it's saying, hey, everything's gonna be okay. And then what's going on in my, let's see, heart body mind, in my mind, maybe my mind is frenetic, running, play a tape play, you know, if like, this is going to pan out badly, just be aware of that, with no judgment, no story, we do the scan, just noticing. And then we tap into that energetic space around us. And it might be vibing, with just a lot of energy, and we need to kind of zero in on a few things. So, to get beyond Mindfulness means actually, we begin to become more fully aware of ourselves and our whole beings. And then we can take that into our situation or experience and say, okay, what will I do now? What are my options? What are my best choices? Well, typically,

Greg Voisen
one of the things that, you know, you tell people who allow these emotions to take over is to take a breath, you know, you know, conscious breathing could be with conscious bravery. The reality is, is that it's the only thing that brings us back. It's one of the only things when you think about it, is the essence of life of all it sustains all these other things within your body that you just spoke about. And so, with that, I would like to draw our, our podcasts to a conclusion here with conscious bravery provides the reader with ideas, stories, resources that they can draw upon to face the elements associated with their loved ones with addiction. Um, this this book, and I'm going to hold it up for all of my listeners. There you go. We'll put a link to Amazon for this as well. I'll put it over here too. as well, it is a book really designed for anybody dealing with any addiction. I don't think it has to be addiction to drugs or addiction to this or that or the other thing. It's like, okay, why is it that i What is it that I can do? Like you said, really big point is being present, being aware being there for them. Look at those elements associated with your body in every sense. Now, what are three things? Do you believe that our most important takeaways from your book that can be applied to the life and the listeners can take action on today? If they're dealing with this issue, when they're dealing with an addiction issue? What three big things would you tell them?

Pamela Brinker
First, begin practicing conscious breathing, because anyone can take a deep breath. But bringing awareness into our breathing is absolutely foundational, I teach that conscious breathing is the doorway into almost everything we want. And so, if we can pause during calm moments and practice consciously breathing into all of the six islands of our experience, we're going to bring a wealth of information into our into our worlds because there's so much data available from our bodies and intuition. So consciously breathing into all those successions is absolutely foundational. Secondly, I would say we want to find our own meaning. Not let our loved ones define our experience, not wait until they're happy. For us to be happy, we have got to protect our happiness by finding our own meaning. And then live thirdly, with self-care practices that work for you. Everybody's different, you know, just get to know yourself as, as a being, and find what really resources you what sustains you, and what makes you have a vibrant life. Because I believe in, in finding something joyful in ever in every day, finding something to be joyful about. And so, I try to you and I were laughing before this show started, Greg and I loved that. Because we sometimes almost believe that we shouldn't be happy that we shouldn't find laughter if our son or daughter is going through something harrowing, harrowing but, but really we can we can experience life more vibrantly if we can really experience all of it and be able to handle all of it.

Greg Voisen
Well, Pamela, I think that for the listeners, they have a lot to take away from this today, from your stories, from the examples that you gave, from the skills that they could cultivate, I think it was a great opportunity and a great interview. And for my listeners go to be brave.us. That's be brave, be br a v.us. There, you can learn more about Pamela, about the book, you can just learn more look at the media, the stories. They're all there. It's a beautiful website. And more importantly, we'll put a link to Amazon, where you can purchase this, you can get again in a Kindle version, or you can get it in this version. Correct. You've got it in both versions. All right. Thanks. So, we appreciate having you take the time to be on inside personal growth, to speak with me and the 1000s of listeners about conscious bravery. And if you if you're out there and you're listening and you are dealing with some of these challenges, this would be a great resource for you. So go to be brave dot U S. Thanks, Pamela. Namaste to you.

Pamela Brinker
Thank you, Craig, it's been a joy and an honor and you bring so much vibrancy and light to everyone. I'm grateful.

Greg Voisen
I am grateful for you as well to for bringing all these stories about and having the bravery to tell them. A lot of people don't want to talk about them. So just to bring it to light and to make it public. That's even in other bigger things. So, thank you for that.

Pamela Brinker
Thank you.

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