Episode 010 – Strong Coffee Strong Women™ with Dr. Gladys Ato
“All of this is about perspective. We are all being asked to choose what we want to believe.”
Dr. Gladys Ato is a clinical psychologist, award-winning educator, and author of The Good Goodbye: How to Navigate Change in Life, Love, and Work.
Gladys is a public speaker and host of the Time Out Podcast. She’s been featured everywhere from Forbes Magazine and Tedx to NPR and NBC.
This episode is all about the power of story and discuss how what we tell ourselves shapes our reality. We talked about gentleness and I get her thoughts on alternative plant medicines like Ibogaine, DMT, and Ayahuasca.
“All of this is about perspective. We are all being asked to choose what we want to believe.”
It’s a beautiful conversation and the perfect mid-week reset.
If you like what you’re hearing, subscribe and share this show with your friends because it doesn’t go anywhere without you.
Until next time, be nice and do good stuff.
- Gladys’s Book: The Good Goodbye: How to Navigate Change and Loss in Life, Love, and Work
- Gladys’s Podcast: Time Out! with Gladys and Ulla
Follow Dr. Gladys Ato
About Dr. Gladys Ato
Dr. Gladys Ato is a clinical psychologist, grief and loss expert, public speaker, and author of The Good Goodbye: How to Navigate Change and Loss in Life, Love, and Work.
In addition to co-hosting the internationally-ranked podcast, Time Out! with Gladys and Ulla, Dr. Ato shares her thought leadership in several top publications and podcasts including BBC News, Forbes, TEDx Lincoln Square, NPR, NBC News, and The Unmistakable Creative.
Meet Dr. Ato and receive The Reset Remedy, your free gift to find inner peace in triggering moments, at gladysato.com/gift.
[00:00:11] Welcome to The Mind Unset in our once a month segment called Strong Coffee, Strong Women™, where I get to share a cup of fantastic Java with some badass women. I say it every time, but it’s true. I’m super excited about my guest today. She’s a clinical psychologist, award-winning educator and speaker.
[00:00:28] She’s been everywhere from Forbes magazine and TEDx to NPR and NBC. She’s the host of the timeout podcast and author of the good goodbye. How to navigate, change and loss in life. Love and work top off your coffee and enjoy the amazing doctor Gladys ATO. Hi Gladys. Good morning. Welcome to The Mind Unset and our Strong Coffee, Strong Women™ segment. Thanks for being here. How you doing?
[00:00:51] Dr. Gladys Ato: I’m doing great, Chris. Thank you. I’ve got my strong Kaka with me, so I’m already for our dialogue.
[00:00:58] Chris: Cool, cool. I am drinking a cup of the mocha stuff as well. Mocha theme today from Cafe Mam while they’re outta Eugene, Oregon. And they they don’t sponsor the show or anything, but they’re a really cool company. They’re indigenous growers from Chiapas and it’s all a hundred percent organic fair trade. Yeah, it’s cool. Cool. Little company. So how you doing down there? We’re both in Baja and it’s what like a hundred degrees.
[00:01:24] Dr. Gladys Ato: well, I imagine for you, it is down here. It’s, it’s warming up every single day, but we have had a couple of days of just respite from the heat with a couple storms that I think have been out in the ocean, but we’re acclimating.
[00:01:37] Chris: For those listening and who don’t know you or may not be familiar with you, give us a quick rundown of your background and what you do.
[00:01:45] Dr. Gladys Ato: For my background, I have done many things. I am a clinical psychologist. I am an author. I’m a public speaker. I was an executive for almost 15 years. And in the midst of all of that, I really have maintained this thread of curiosity about how I can live my best life. And I know it feels a little cliche to say that because what is your best life? As if it’s a destination that we get to. But rather for me, it’s been about how do I weave my life tapestry in a way that really allows me to experience the best right now. And to have that really step away from the accomplishments, the successes that are usually outward, that focus so much on doing and rather embodying.
[00:02:34] Chris: So you took off and made a big drastic change in your life. What spurred that
[00:02:39] Dr. Gladys Ato: on? Well, I think to my conscious awareness, what it was just a knowing that I had in 2019 I had spent three months traveling through mainland Mexico.
[00:02:50] And when I got back to San Francisco where I had been living for the last 20 years, I just had this, knowing that my time in San Francisco was done. And, and it was. So clear that I didn’t need to question it. And I said, okay, it’s time to move out, but I didn’t know where home was gonna be next. And that is what became a almost two year journey where I.
[00:03:16] Lived in, I think a little over 17 different places in those two years of searching for home only to get to that place where I realize that there is no home that I’m searching for. What I’m really looking for is within. And the Baja drive became part of that, that moment of me letting go of. Agenda that I, that didn’t even mean anything.
[00:03:41] I had picked Loretto as a, a destination thinking, oh, maybe my home is there. And I spent almost a month and a half in Loreto fell in love with it. But one thing that has continually guided me in my life that I’m so blessed to be aware of is that I, I really am connected on the spiritual path and I pay attention to synchronicities.
[00:04:01] So some. Just luck, some call it magic, some call it being blessed. But when synchronicities happen, we get a choice as to whether or not we’ll attend to them or not. And more and more, I was noticing that these synchronicities were guiding me to. To hang out here in Baja and really get accustomed to a different pace of life.
[00:04:26] It’s a lot slower here, which is what I had been asking for. There’s a lot of nature here, which is what I had been asking for. There’s the beauty of the ocean contrasted with the mountains and the desert, which is something new that I hadn’t experienced and allowing myself to slow down enough to receive.
[00:04:45] All the beauty and the messages and the guidance surrounding me always was the big turning point for me. Whereas previously the contrast had been me being a corporate exec me, you know, running ragged from the moment I woke up in the morning with my cell phone in my hand, checking all the emails in my inbox, getting to take a shower with super inks, just knots in my stomach, not ending work until 10:00 PM.
[00:05:08] So 14 hour days at work coming home, eating dinner, continuing my work on my phone. That was my. And even when I burned out in 2010, I still continued that kinda life for five years more until finally circumstances led me to be able to walk away from the corporate path and really start to design my own life.
[00:05:31] And so coming here has been a big part of that, that redesign.
[00:05:35] Chris: And that’s the perfect segue into change. And you talk about in the good goodbye, the process of telling ourselves stories. How our stories, they become templates for the future stories that we tell. And I find it interesting that you were just ahead of the curve in 2019, you split, but in 2020, it’s almost like we all hit the midlife crisis called COVID.
[00:05:59] We, we were all pushed into this existential crisis, if you will, where even people that worked for the same job for 20 years were now. Forced into this incredible change of a working from home or B losing their job or their partner losing their job, or just waking up saying, what the hell am I doing with my time in my life?
[00:06:22] Do you feel in doing what you’re doing now? Do you still feel a connection to that? Have you noticed that around and this whole great pause of people this, do you think. That a lot of people are still doing what you’re doing. I mean, I know there are people doing, working jobs that they hate, but I found it really interesting in the good goodbye that you talk about changing that narrative, how even the baby steps, how does somebody change this narrative to, to do what you did?
[00:06:51] I mean, we broke free. In 2012, we did it, but it was scary as hell in the book that I wrote. I said that home became a state of mind rather than a place. What would you say to somebody who’s, especially as a solo female traveler, you did this solo. Yeah. People looking to break out away. What, aside from reading your book, which is a great manual for that, what would in our discussion today of people listening?
[00:07:18] How do you, how do you encourage that? What’s the first.
[00:07:21] Dr. Gladys Ato: Yeah. Well, one thing that comes to mind, I, I was actually interviewed for an article in the BBC news. God, this was a year ago, I think. And, and what came up was really looking at People who had a successful career, people who were very skilled and accomplished and being in this pause that you, you speak of and not feeling that there are many options available to them because they don’t know what direction to take next.
[00:07:50] And just how so much of the. Natural reactions to that of anxiety and doubt and depression and, and just feeling lost can come. And, and that’s the fog. That’s the fog of where, where we have all been placed into, through a lot of global upheaval and. , you know, it’s, I, I love how you keep saying break free because I feel that in my journey and, and obviously this is what I talk about in my book.
[00:08:22] What we’re really breaking free of. Isn’t a place it’s not a culture. It’s not status quo. What we’re breaking free of are, are limiting beliefs about what is possible. And those are the stories. Those are the narratives that we continue to play in the background of our lives that we are often unconscious of.
[00:08:43] And I have, instead of looking at these moments of my life, where I’ve made big changes, I. And seeing them as existential crises. I, I think I’ve consistently had throughout my life in existential curiosity and, and looking at both what is happening in front of us, right. Kind of the nearsighted view, but also zooming out and taking an Eagle light perspective.
[00:09:08] And when you can do both, you start to find a little bit more room to get out of the tendency of fear and doubt and worry. And. What the hell is gonna happen to me to then the other side, which is the curiosity, the, the intrigue, the awe, the wonder, the confidence, the excitement, all of that is possible.
[00:09:32] And in, in any moment for us, And when we start to practice getting to both ends of the emotional spectrum, that’s where we can start to notice our thoughts, pause, to recognize their influence on us, and then make a decision if we wanna be able to change them. You know, I was just talking to my sister actually before very, before I jumped on this call and she’s in the midst of selling a house and.
[00:09:57] Four months ago, three months ago, it was prime time to sell a house in the bay area offers were coming out from the woodwork, right. She was gonna have bidding wars. That was the reality quote, unquote reality. And. Right now, when, as soon as she listed it, the week after she listed it, that’s when the big scare happened and the bubble has bursts and interest rates are going up and it’s had a really big impact on her belief about what’s possible in terms of selling the house.
[00:10:28] And she said, you know, I have to look at reality. And I told her reality is only a reflection of what you believe. Reality is interesting. Only a reflection of what you believe. So if you believe that doom and gloom is your only option to focus on, and you’re not practicing ways to focus on the other end of the emotional spectrum, you will invite more of that doom and gloom in.
[00:10:53] And I think for a lot of us, we are in the midst of being able to make this really, really important decision. What do I choose to believe? That question is the question that’s on the table
[00:11:09] Chris: right now. I was gonna say, why do you think it’s so hard for people to see the 30,000 foot view versus the, the macro view?
[00:11:19] We look at everything so closely and I. I too have been guilty of this because of the way I was brought up. I’m older. So my father was you the back in the day, when you worked for the same company for 25, 30 years, you retired. All of that stuff is gone now, but the, the notion was this is how you do it.
[00:11:38] And this is how everyone else does it. And I grew up this Arti artistic kid who moved out when he was young and went to play music, but I always had this fearful thing in the back of my head. Right. Mm-hmm I always saw. Here’s what could happen instead of here’s what’s possible. Yeah. That’s the difference.
[00:11:56] It’s really become it’s rev. It’s transitional actually, because transformational is the word I’m looking for, but people we’ve been, so it’s, it’s been such a crushing few years. What do you say to someone who is just. Basically to survive, right? Can they really, is there energy there to change their mindset and their outlook when like, cuz it’s it’s easy.
[00:12:21] I find a lot of people talk about. You just have to change your mindset. Especially if you look on social media, you have all of these quote unquote influencers, which is a word I really hate, but they’re like, just change your mindset and you’ll change your life. Right. And I, I, I say that too, but two people who are struggling and suffering and working three jobs and all that stuff, what’s the baby step.
[00:12:44] Because there has to be a way to start. There has to be a way to encourage someone, but as someone who’s just trying to survive every day saying for them to change their mindset seems a little UN unplugged. Totally. You
[00:12:57] Dr. Gladys Ato: know what I mean? Totally. I, and I appreciate that because I, I have said the same thing on the podcast that I had with my friend ULA Godan and we talk about this all the time on our timeout with Gladys and ULA is.
[00:13:09] Yeah, time on podcast. Mm-hmm I mean, it feels so flippant and you know, like how easy for you to say, just change your fucking mindset. Like if I could change my mindset, just like that I would, where I think one thing to remember is exactly we’re not, none of us are here. Looking to suffer. Okay. And, and I, and I believe that, you know, as a psychologist, I understand that we’ve got a whole spectrum of, of challenges that can come into our way that can feel debilitating.
[00:13:38] That can make it hard to see what is actually possible for us. My, my disdain, for that message of just change your mindset, change your life is that it doesn’t. It doesn’t translate well to the person that is genuinely seeking to figure out what they can do differently to better their lives. They are dedicated to personal development.
[00:14:01] They are on the self-awareness path. They are doing all the things. They’re reading, all the books. They’re great people they’re invested, they’re service oriented, and yet they get in that place where they don’t believe. That they can, that, that another way is possible for them. And so what I often go to here is you can’t change your mindset.
[00:14:22] If your nervous system is in a state of agitation. okay. It’s it’s not possible because your nervous system is that, that thermometer, that temperature gauge that is assessing. Am I in a state of rest or ease enough to allow my brain to stop focusing on what’s not working exactly because your brain is always gonna be looking for.
[00:14:48] Are you safe? Are you not safe? Your brain is also what, where your mindset is gonna shift. So you can’t try shifting your mindset and then feeling like your nervous system is gonna follow suit. So what I teach is start with your nervous system first. And I developed a very simple practice. It called the reset remedy, and this is something that I offer for folks as a gift to enter into my world and experience.
[00:15:15] something that helped me in my days of graduate school. When I was succumbed by depression, when I was overwhelmed with debilitating thoughts of self doubt judgment, all the stuff that just plagues your mind and the nonstop chatter in your brain never stops. So in the world of clinical psychology, this is called a thought stopping T.
[00:15:42] and that’s what it does. It stops your thoughts. It stops all that rumination. It stops the doubt, all the worry. That dialogue gets a chance to be put on pause so that your nervous system can be like, oh my God, I can freaking breathe. Yeah. And that’s all we want your nervous system to do in these moments.
[00:15:56] We just want your nervous system to feel like it can uncoil for a little bit. So that you can take that deep exhalation, which sends a message to your brain like, oh, okay. We’re actually in a moment of neutrality. And then you can enter into the mindset shifts. But I think in the absence of tending to our nervous systems, we force ourselves into meditation.
[00:16:18] We force ourselves into positive talk. We force ourselves into vision boarding and inspirational, all that, all this stuff that. Ultimately leads us feeling more like shit about ourselves when it quote unquote doesn’t work, because the reason it’s not working isn’t because we’re reinforces the negative.
[00:16:38] It does. because you’re not in a neutral state. Right. And Stephen Koler talks about this all the time. Right. He talks about flow state. The only way you can enter into flow state is when your nervous system is at ease. Yeah. So this is what we’re shooting
[00:16:50] Chris: for first. Yeah. And that’s thank you so much for saying, because.
[00:16:56] The the, the, the thermometer and the, and the thermostat Jim quick, you know, Jim quick, he wrote the book limitless. He talks and it was brilliant. And the thought blocking I’ll get back to that because the thought blocking works I years and years and years ago, I learned I was in therapy for a little bit.
[00:17:13] And I learned about thought blocking, because it all ties into your whole story. The whole thing about story you talk about, like I just said, we all tell ourselves these stories, and then when we get stressed, we kind of go back to the negative story that we’re telling ourselves. And then it just is, it’s a self.
[00:17:29] Defeating prophecy. You’re trying, you get all your productivity journals. You’re writing every day. You’re reading all your affirmations yet. You’re still telling yourself the same story. So you’re, you’re castrating all of this positivity with that. So then Jim quick says, thermometers, take the temperatures and thermostats set the tempera.
[00:17:52] So when you wake up in the morning, you, if you start telling yourself this narrative that you, you already start the day with this story, this negative story for yourself, you are now reacting to that story. So you are the thermometer rather than waking up and trying to just set the temperature by telling yourself, even in that moment that you have the smallest moment.
[00:18:14] When your nervous system, as you say is if you can quiet your nervous system, you feed something positive in there. And, and not this pie in the sky. I’m gonna be, I’m gonna run a marathon at the end of the month, but like baby steps, right. It starts with the thought blocking and then take a baby step. Like if you had four cops of coffee in the morning, every day and it jacks you up have two that’s a baby step.
[00:18:38] Like that’s a win, right. like, that’s totally, that’s kind of the micro level that I’m on. Am I, am I just you know,
[00:18:45] Dr. Gladys Ato: yeah. I love it. And you know, the word that comes to mind so strongly right now is gentleness. And I am in the midst right now of getting a big dose of practicing, being gentle with ourselves and, and Ula talks about this all the time on our podcast.
[00:19:01] That, and with me personally, I’m so grateful for, for a friend that can do this. We’re so fucking hard on ourselves. Exactly. And the amount of. Self talk, all that nonstop chatter. If we get quiet enough to listen to what we’re really saying inside, it’s gonna connect back to things that you’re saying to yourself that are just so mean.
[00:19:30] And so. Resultant of a lifetime, right? Yes. Of having tough moments where you felt defeated, you didn’t feel, things worked out your way. You’ve had losses, you’ve had traumas, but the more that we can be gentle with ourselves and actually Chris, I think, you know, so much of us that are on this path of, of bettering ourselves because we want to.
[00:19:52] We want to experience our full potential. We tend to be perfectionist and we tend to be more of type a kind of personality. So there is this, this knee, this drive for validation. Am I doing it right? Am I doing it right? Can I look for evidence to show me that I’m on the right path and all that is all that is, is a little child saying, just please tell me I’m safe.
[00:20:18] Please hold me and let me feel secure. remind me that I’m protected. Yeah. And show me that I’m loved. And this is the reset remedy. Yeah. I am safe. I am secure. I am protected.
[00:20:32] Chris: And that’s what you teach in the reset REM remedy. That’s what, that’s what people get
[00:20:36] Dr. Gladys Ato: in there. Yeah, that’s the, that’s the thought stopping technique right there is repeating that over and over and over to get the thoughts.
[00:20:44] Chris: David Cho. Do you know the artist David Cho he’s mm-hmm and he is so open and vulnerable and he was on the ritual podcast talking about the stories that he, this internal story that we tell. Right. And you, you mentioned in your book, you said unresolved endings take up space. I love that because even if you’re not conscious of him, you said that yeah.
[00:21:06] And David Cho said, and it was, I think it was shortly after Anthony Bourdain passed away and he’s, it was a very close friend. And I mean, Cho was so choked up. I’m getting choked up thinking about it, but he said he has a story. He tells himself he has two stories. One story on a podcast. And I tell one story when I’m doing public interviews and it’s so full of bullshit.
[00:21:28] I don’t, it’s not even true anymore. Wow. And he said, I have another story that I tell myself when I go home. And it’s all about being a little kid. And I trying to keep myself safe. It’s exactly what you just said. Yeah. And that’s what triggered that memory for me of that podcast, because he said, I am just trying to keep that little kid inside, safe from getting hurt again.
[00:21:49] And I mean, this is a guy I he’s, he’s got tens of millions of dollars. He’s stopped selling his paintings because he’s so he said, I don’t even sell my art anymore. It was too taxing and stressful for me to be in that bullshit world. I made enough money and I’m lucky. And now I’m just trying to fix myself, but mm-hmm , I mean, this is that whole outward reward you’re talking about rather than the inward reward.
[00:22:12] And then the dialogue that we keep telling ourselves that keeps us from making any progress is mm-hmm , it’s the bullshit. We feed ourselves. It’s not the bullshit that the guy down the. You know, someone says, I don’t like your art. Great. I don’t care by somebody else’s art. It’s not that, it’s the only, it’s the thing.
[00:22:29] When we tell ourselves your art sucks, you’re a terrible artist. Yeah. And I was talking to Dustin Klein in episode two, we talked about the word failure. You know, kids, we, we, when we started grading tests and stuff, it’s like, we tell kids, you fail a test. Therefore you’re a failure. Mm-hmm and it’s like, It’s just, it’s just pro it’s just a process, right?
[00:22:51] Isn’t it all. Just a process to see how well we can manage the bullshit that we get thrust upon us every day. And then you throw COVID in there and you throw people that are, you know, we talked about decision fatigue. How do they, where do you even start? So you don’t start at all.
[00:23:06] Dr. Gladys Ato: Mm-hmm and that’s, I think that’s another way to, to revisit what I feel is the, the ultimate question being posed to all of us, which is what do you choose to believe?
[00:23:18] All of this is about perspective and whether you are. working three jobs to make ends, meet and panicked about how you’re gonna pay the rent, or you are comfortably living in a home that’s already paid for. But you’re feeling burned out by the executive track that brought you all this success and everything in between every scenario in between, we are all being asked to choose what we want to believe.
[00:23:48] That to me is the Eagle eyed perspective of COVID of our economy, failing of culture wars happening of injustices coming out, everything that we have been comfortable. Turning our backs towards everything that we put up with, right. We’re not comfortable with anymore. And that that’s actually a beautiful thing.
[00:24:12] We are being given absolute clarity right on what, what are we open to? And again, this all goes back to, what do you choose to believe? If you choose to believe that you’re gonna be best staying. What’s comfortable for you, which is just repeating everything that you’ve done to get to this point in your life.
[00:24:31] That’s your choice own it. And you will continue to stay in that place of what’s comfortable, but what we’re all being given a chance to step into is this amazing threshold of newness, of possibility of expansion. And in order to do that, our belief systems that have limited us that we’ve maybe ignored or gotten by with they’re up for.
[00:24:55] Because this new threshold that we are all being invited to will require a new way of believing. And that new way of belief is that magic is possible. Ease is possible pursuing your joy is possible, and that we can actually live with a lot more balance and harmony than we have done previously over several generations.
[00:25:20] Chris: And some of the narratives that we’ve been fed for the several generations are all bullshit. They’re bullshit when it’s now, like now when you, if you question the norm, like we’ve been fed this whole thing, that this is how it’s done and you just, and nobody’s happy at work, you just need to work and you just, you’re just paying the bills, but your subconscious knows better because you’re drinking 10 cups of coffee. You’re smoking more. You’re doing all this stuff because your subconscious, you’re miserable and you’re telling yourself, you can fake it till you make it. And then your body and your mind and everything else is screaming at you. So you’re just, you’re handling it in different ways, manifesting itself in different ways, but we’re not paying attention because should we question?
[00:26:04] The doctrine of society, like you, we jumped in a car, we took off. We said, there’s a better way. We’re not sure what that better way is, but this way is no longer working for us. So this is what we’re gonna do. When you question the conventions, then instead of people saying, well, that’s awesome, they get threatened.
[00:26:21] And then they think that you are a danger, right? Because you’ve done this you’ve questioned the norm. God forbid mm-hmm, , you’ve, you’ve questioned the way it should be. So. You’re crazy for doing that rather than seeking this enlightenment that I don’t know what it looks like, but I know it didn’t look like that.
[00:26:40] So yeah, we’re, I’m still trying to find my way. No one, I don’t have the answers. I’m I love speaking to people like you, not because I think you have an answer, but because you have a different idea mm-hmm and you have experience in all of this you’ve written books on it. You’ve studied. It you’ve been 20, 20 years, more than 20 years as a psychologist.
[00:26:59] And so. . I just think people need to be encouraged to find that baby step, whatever that first baby step is. If you’re not happy, you, you, the quote in your book that I love is Victor Frankel’s quote between the stimulus and the response there’s space. And in that space is our power to choose our response.
[00:27:21] Mm-hmm so. And I think that’s really the key to everything is how we respond to what happens to us. But like we talked about earlier, if your nervous system is jacked and you’re freaking out about paying your rent, you don’t have that luxury to have the clarity of what that space looks like. It’s all influenced by this outside stimulus.
[00:27:43] I have kids in school, my kids getting bullied. I’m a single mom. My job, my boss is, is harassing me like all of this stuff. The the, it is, I think we’re getting into this like tipping point of the social, all of the pressure, social economic, everything that it’s it’s prime. We need an enlightenment wave to happen.
[00:28:05] We need people to start saying. This shit’s not working anymore.
[00:28:09] Gladys: We can get intellectual about it, or we can actually get playful about it. And I think some of the people on this earth right now that are showing us the new way that’s available to us, this new threshold that we’re all being asked to cross into.
[00:28:27] The children, you know, our younger generation right now. I know the adults. And it’s so funny because when I was a kid, I remember the, you know, that our elders having the same thing, like, oh my God, your generation is gonna be like really fucked up. The that’s the, the viewpoint that the, a lot of older people have of our youngest generation.
[00:28:47] But if you look at what kids are doing today, kids are doing what they love. And this is what I love, cuz I, I notice that one little thread that we’ve been talking about is around money and how money becomes one of these sources of like what we call reality. That then brings a lot of angst. Kids are pursuing what they love.
[00:29:07] And what they love might feel really stupid. Like last night I was at dinner with a family and the 14 year old was showing me all these TikTok videos and photos that her group of friends send to each other. And it’s all about making the dumbest face possible. That’s it? How can we catch each other, making the dumbest face possible, but that lit her up and that lights up her group of friends when kids are in a place of doing what they love.
[00:29:30] And then this is what I find fascinating. They are receiving money. Because the whole social media wave is now allowing them to earn income from doing what they love. They have a choice. Now, do I want to go to college or do I wanna do what I love and get. 60 to $80,000 comfortably, which for me, wherever I live in the us might be a really great way to start.
[00:29:59] And I’m 14 doing this, right? So the message is not to drop your career and make dumb faces on TikTok to start getting money. Okay. The message is go back to what feels light and playful to you. And if you can make a tiny bit more space for that in your days. Just a tiny bit more space that is going to allow you to shift your energy, to be more in alignment with where your desire is at because desires energetically are more of a higher vibration.
[00:30:34] They feel good. They expand you. They make your body feel open. You feel creative, you feel positive. That’s what we’re all wanting. That is the, the state of a happy life, a best life, right? To feel that kind of ease the way to get there is to. Allow your energy to shift there. And one of the beautiful ways that our younger generations will teach us is to do it through play, to do it through silliness, to do it through things that are not about you using your brain so much, because we are over intellectualized.
[00:31:08] And that’s where part of the personal imbalance has come from is that we’ve detached from our true source of creative power, which is within us. And that is your body. That’s your heart. And ultimately all of that is creating the energy of you and that energy that you admit out is actually what is attracting back your reality.
[00:31:31] Chris: Gladys before we end today. I just wanna ask you, I’m curious, in addition to all the conventional therapies that are out there, that you go in and you sit down and you talk to someone, what do you think about where do you stand on the alternative treatments that are out there such as DMT, IGA, and to the lesser extent IASA, you know, that kind of stuff.
[00:31:49] What, what, what’s your take on that?
[00:31:50] Dr. Gladys Ato: Yeah. Well, you know, as a clinical psychologist, I have an interesting perspective because I’ve been trained in a more traditional route of therapy and all the various forms of therapy that are out there are pretty powerful. But interestingly, just in my own personal spiritual journey, what I have found is sometimes what a person needs. Isn’t so much going back to the past and rehashing what happened and trying to rewrite the narrative. Sometimes what they need is more of a visceral, a physical experience that allows them to also move any blocked energies that are in their body because. Our minds aren’t the only parts of us that hold on to traumas, hold on to limiting patterns and, and absorb it. Our bodies also have that cellular memory. So alternative approaches I think are incredibly powerful for this because. When you enter into an experience and I’m gonna focus specifically on plant medicines, right?
[00:32:53] When you enter into an experience of connecting with a plant and allowing that plant to work with your own ecosystem, it becomes a sacred process. That really is less about what happened to me. 15, 25 years ago and more about expanding our minds to see possibility. And it can happen very fast. And I think, especially right now, there’s been a big resurgence of research around the positive benefits of using plant medicines, alternative therapies.
[00:33:26] And I’m not surprised if you look at where we’re at right now in this time in humanity people. Need to be reminded of what’s possible. And I, I have personally also found that working with plant medicine has given me a chance to ask that question that we talked about earlier. What do you choose to believe in?
[00:33:46] And when you have the assistance of, of a plant spirit, you’re able to see beyond what your mind is accustomed to.
[00:33:54] Chris: Wow. That’s interesting. So you’ve done it. Have you done it yourself? Mm-hmm wow. I’m I’m I’m so intrigued by it. I have a friend, very close friend, who they had a really incredible decade of trauma and they went and did it.
[00:34:07] And I, it was one of the. I would’ve never expected them to do it a first and second, the results at the end of it were astonishing. So it makes me just, I’m so curious to do it and, and I, to talk to someone like you that has actually done it and actually has the clinical experience surrounding it. I was, I was very intrigued to get your thoughts on that.
[00:34:28] Dr. Gladys Ato: Yeah. Well, you know, one thing that I tell people when they ask me, is this something that I should do is you usually will be invited. To, to connect with that, with that plant medicine. So the fact that you’re curious is the invitation and let yourself respond to that invitation through the lens of curiosity, because I think sometimes we can and it’s just because we’re so fucking brilliant with our brains.
[00:34:55] We can put so much expectation into what the process is gonna be like, and yet. We have no freaking idea what the process is gonna be like. And so the more that you can go in with a, with a childlike, openness, you’re able to receive whatever is meant for you in that moment. The experience of, for example, if you’re going to work with IASA or DMT, any of them, there is a ceremonial process that’s usually involved with it.
[00:35:21] It’s not just you sitting alone in your living room and, and you take a dose of something that I think for me, For the folks that are able to do that, they’ve already kind of gone through some sort of Rite of passage of knowing how to work with the medicine. Right? So, but people who are new when you enter with the not knowing.
[00:35:42] State and you have a ceremony around you. You actually are stepping into more of a sacred container. And it’s really important that you are working with somebody or somebody that you feel connected to because that container is a container of energy. So the energetic realm that you’re stepping into is a hundred percent what you’re stepping into with plant medicine.
[00:36:03] It is not about. Intellectualizing it it is not about processing anything. It is about you going on an energetic plane and meeting the energy of that medicine. And through that, that the medicine will guide you to whatever will be beneficial for you. What I also tell folks is the ceremony in itself is very powerful and can be life changing.
[00:36:28] You know, one of the ceremonies I’m actually hosting a ceremony tonight. But one of the ceremonies that I was in several months ago, it was such a beautiful experience. And the next day, everything changes because you have stepped out of. Of what we call reality, which is actually an illusion of who you truly are.
[00:36:48] It’s a projection of who you believe the world to be. When you step out of that and you connect to what we call often source God, spirit, whatever you are reminded of your infinite self. And so the next day you are awakened into remembering who you are, the real ceremony. is how you integrate that experience into the rest of your life.
[00:37:13] And this is something that I have found, unfortunately, a lot of folks that do. Create ceremony. Don’t do the integration part as, as beautifully as a ceremony part as you kind of go to the ceremony, you go to a retreat the weekend, the week, whatever it is. And then you go back to quote unquote real life, which is actually you returning to the illusion.
[00:37:37] So you step
[00:37:38] Chris: right back into, it’s just like coming back from vacation. Exactly. You, you go on vacation, you detach, but you come back and you step right back into your own reality, your old reality that. And then you, you’ve only had this ceremony, as you say, for whatever it is a weekend or a few days. It’s not like you’re gonna, well, I guess I’m not gonna say that because you can recondition yourself in three days.
[00:38:00] So when it comes to this, this therapy in this manner the person that I knew was not someone that would’ve connected with it either and they did. And so it blows my mind. It’s like, okay, if they can do. Then there’s, there’s, there’s absolutely something to it. And I just, I think it’s fascinating. That, I mean, you talk about the reintegration back into your, your old life or whatever you wanna say it.
[00:38:29] I mean, it’s gotta be difficult for people that go through this ceremony that realize these things, they reattach to themselves, and then they still have to go back and earn a living and work at their gig, and they’re gonna do it in this whole new, you know, Sh this whole new shell that they have outside or whatever.
[00:38:48] And it’s, I guess it would be like showing up with a, to pay. Hey Bob. what what’d you do this weekend?
[00:38:57] Dr. Gladys Ato: oh, nice. I got an amazing
[00:38:59] Chris: to pay. Oh yeah. I, I just, I went, I went and I shaved my beard. That’s it? mm-hmm yeah,
[00:39:05] Dr. Gladys Ato: no it’s no, I love that analogy and I. You know, what it reminds me of Chris is that it’s important to, to check in with yourself and ask, why do you want to step into this experience? And, and that’s, I mean, that’s like a good, you know, meter for anything, but exactly the intention that the.
[00:39:22] Yeah. The intention that you go into connecting with alternative medicines is super important. And if you’re not clear, if it’s just like, oh, I don’t know. I just wanna try it out. That’s the experience that you’re gonna have is an experience of trying it out. But if you feel that there’s a part of you, that is.
[00:39:39] Is there’s something missing. There’s something that you want filled. There’s a, there’s a burst of an experience that you want, or you’re just the longing. There’s a longing, that’s there. Get clear on what the longing is. And that way, when you go into that experience, your intention becomes the anchor. For the integration after the ceremony, because then that intention you can go back to and be like, that’s why I did this now that I’m back to my everyday life.
[00:40:06] This is where my focus is at mm-hmm and it doesn’t matter whether you are hustling to make ends meet. That intention is gonna allow you to dissolve the old narratives that felt limiting to you and be able to allow in a brand new perspective. And this is why, again, I think so much of the resurgence of plant medicine is coming in strong right now because all our belief systems around the world are CR.
[00:40:33] Yeah, all our
[00:40:34] Chris: paradigms are crumbling makes it makes so much sense and we’re all connected to the earth. Anyway, this is what, when we forget that, which we’ve done, we’ve, we’ve completely forgotten that we are nature. We’re all, we’re all just. Animals. And for some where conventional therapy might not work, the why is because it didn’t work enough or maybe it worked, it didn’t, but I’m looking for more.
[00:40:58] And so it just makes sense that the, the cure or the remedy might be something natural and plant based and something not synthetic that is, you know, which does, which has never made sense to. Fabulous stuff, Gladys fabulous stuff. What are you working on now that excites you and where can people find you?
[00:41:19] To get your book and your courses and your
[00:41:21] Dr. Gladys Ato: wisdom. Yeah, well my new website should be coming out in the next handful of weeks. So gladysato.com is where people can learn more about me. And actually for folks that wanna scoop up the reset remedy, you can go there now and and sign up for it and receive it immediately in your inbox.
[00:41:39] And then what I’m creating right now. So exciting and it is, it is a virtual world where everything that I’ve shared today actually will be available for, for you to step into, to practice, to be able to immerse yourself in this new way of navigating life. Ula and I have done so much over the past year without realizing it in terms of laying the foundation for what we’re inviting people into.
[00:42:08] And this is not going to be so much of a program, or course that requires intellectual prowess, as much as it’s going to be, how to integrate all the amazing tools that you’ve already gotten throughout your life journey. But make the process of transformation, a stupid, easy, fun process, which is our business mantra.
[00:42:28] So everything that we’re doing right now is stupid, easy, fun. It has been a saving grace for me because it’s allowed me to really drop a lot of narratives around how to build a thriving business. I’ve let go of a lot of old models that just don’t work anymore and really stepped into more ease and flow through a childlike curiosity about what’s possible.
[00:42:48] So that virtual world is we’re just starting that big project. So it’s not gonna be available probably for a couple months, but I would encourage folks that are interested in staying. In the loop check out our podcast, time out with Gladys and, and then I’m always on Instagram where I’ll give little tidbits there. Cool.
[00:43:06] Chris: And the Time Out podcast is available of course, on all the major platforms. And we’ll have all that in the show notes. If anyone is listening, just visit themindunset.com and we’ll have all of Gladys’s stuff in the show notes. And I just want to thank you so much for your time. It’s so great to see your face.
[00:43:24] Of course, no one else is gonna see your face. Other on my video, too bad for them. That’s
[00:43:30] Dr. Gladys Ato: OK. Too bad for them. Go to Instagram, you’ll see my face.
[00:43:33] Chris: You’ll see Gladys’ beautiful face there, smiling. And every thanks for being here, Gladys. And we’ll talk to you shortly. I’m sure.
[00:43:40] Dr. Gladys Ato: Thank you, Chris, sending my love to you and to melody.
[00:43:44] Chris: Hey, thanks for listening. If you like what you’re hearing, jump on over to the mindunset.com and get on the email list. Follow us on your favorite podcast app and on Instagram @themindunsetpodcast. Until next time, be nice. Do good stuff.
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