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March 22, 2022

Why mindfulness should matter to you. Joree Rose's story.


Joree Rose, MA, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist, mindfulness and meditation teacher, coach, author, speaker, and she also leads mindfulness retreats around the world. Joree has helped thousands of people to live happier and more fulfilling lives through living with greater awareness and compassion, allowing them to decrease their stress, anxiety and shed unhealthy habits, patterns and mindsets. Joree is host of the podcast ‘Journey Forward® with Joree Rose’ and has authored the newly released A Year of Gratitude, Daily Moments of Reflection, Grace and Thanks as well as 2 mindfulness books, Squirmy Learns to be Mindful and Mindfulness, It’s Elementary. Joree has been featured in prominent media outlets such as Oprahmag.com, NBCnews.com, Business Insider, KTLA News, and so many more!

In this episode we discuss:
-Why mindfulness matters
-Ways to start practicing it
-Different ways to cope with anxiety
-Practicing Self Acceptance and compassion

Connect with Joree: https://www.joreerose.com

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Transcript

Joree Rose:

through my practice of stillness and observing what's arising and creating space between my thoughts and my emotions, understanding I am not my thoughts understanding I am not my emotions understanding. I am not my past. I am not my family lineage of trauma.

Melissa Bright:

Welcome to The Bright Side of Life, a podcast where people share their personal stories of struggles, pain and grief. But through all of that, they are still able to find the joys in life. Hello, bright ciders and welcome to this week's episode of the bright side of life. You know me I am your host Melissa bright, and today I am talking to a therapist. No, this is not one of my therapy sessions. But I'm talking to a therapist nonetheless. Jory rose is a licensed Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, mindfulness and meditation teacher, coach, author, speaker and she also leads mindfulness retreats around the world. Joy has helped 1000s of people to live happier and more fulfilling lives through living with greater awareness and compassion, allowing them to decrease their stress, anxiety and shed unhealthy habits, patterns and mindsets. Jory is the host of journey forward with Jory rose and has authored the newly released a year of gratitude daily moments of reflection, grace and thanks, as well as to mindfulness books, squirmy learns to be mindful and mindfulness. I said that wrong. Mindfulness, its Elementary. Joy has been featured in prominent media outlets such as Oprah mag.com, NBC news.com, Business Insider, KTL news, and many more. So before I continue with anything else, we're going to be going over let's go ahead and welcome George to the show. Welcome Jory,

Joree Rose:

so much, Melissa, for having me. I'm so grateful to be here.

Melissa Bright:

Yes. How are you doing today?

Joree Rose:

I'm actually doing really well. Thank you for asking. I'm really embracing the season of spring that just began feeling like it's a perfect time to be shedding and allowing space to create and really getting into alignment. So it's I'm doing really well, this morning, I'm only hearing conversation with you and just look forward to whatever unfolds.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, absolutely. And I just love that answer. And you know, I always want to ask people how they're doing. Will they say if they're having a crappy day? I don't know, maybe. But it's always worth to see how people are doing.

Joree Rose:

You know, it's interesting, I'm going to jump right into just some research, because this is really fascinating. There's a woman named Carol Gilligan who did research on young women back in the 70s. Partly this question of how are you? And how girls have been socialized? had been to answer the question, you know, with this kind of vague, I'm fine. How are you? Because it's so easy for people to say, I'm fine when they're not fine. And and part of the research, what was uncovered was the question of, Do you want to know how I am? Or do you want to know how I really am? Because oftentimes, there's not the availability for vulnerability to say how I really am. Yeah, so I love when there's a space that's being created, which is the honesty and authenticity to say, Today's a shitty day. And that's just how it is. And you know, if that's okay, or I'm actually really good. And I'm also not gonna harness too much attachment to the fact that it's really good right now, because that might change. Yeah, yeah, that's a real present moment answer.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, it really is. And I can see it from both sides of the coin in terms of I have had crappy days where people have asked me how I'm doing. And my thought process was, I don't want to burden burden them with my junk that I have going on right now. So I'm just gonna say I'm fine. And then the other side of the coin is, if I told that person how I was, would they even know what to say? I just made them so uncomfortable. They were just looking for a quick Oh, I'm good. Not for me to be like, Well, I have this, this and this. And so I it's it's a weird question to sometimes ask

Joree Rose:

is well, and I think fundamentally, there's that response of how is the other person going to receive this? And can I not be attached to how they receive it, but really more in a sense of, can I honor myself if I'm carrying a burden to allow myself to just name it for me? This is a burden right now. Yeah. Right. Because we often don't give ourselves I don't own permission.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. And that's very true. And for myself, I really do try to listen to to people's answers. And if they're like, I'm okay. That means usually that they have some stuff going on. And I will try to like ask further, you know, like, well, you know what's going on? I don't know, like, if I necessarily believe you. Um, but yeah, it's interesting that we,

Joree Rose:

you know, it tells me that you really seek authenticity in your relationships, right?

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. And I also want people to know that they, they, that I am a person that literally, you could pour out your whole heart, and I'm not gonna be like, well, that's not what I meant, when I said, How are you? Like, I really don't typically like surface level conversations. Or with you. Yeah, if there's something going on with you lay it on me. Let's talk about it.

Joree Rose:

It's just, it's just part of being human. Yep. Yeah. But most people answer with the whole, you know, I'll let you know who I am. But not how I really am. Because either I haven't been able to give myself the permission to be who I really am. Or I'm gonna fear judgment, or not No, like you what you like what you said, someone else may feel burdened with that information or not know what to do with it. And ultimately, I think it's about you know, self honesty. Can I just be honest with myself, this is how I am right now.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. And that's so important to remember. I need to remember that sometimes. Yeah. For myself.

Joree Rose:

It's, it's a constant practice.

Melissa Bright:

It is it is. Yeah. Alright. So before we get started, a couple things that we are going to be talking about today is I know Jory, really wants to talk about why mindfulness matters, and how we can begin to practice. So we're gonna be going over that today. And I also asked my audience to submit some of their own questions that if they had the opportunity to talk to a therapist, what they would ask them, oh, yeah, so we're gonna go over that. And then, to get started, I would just really like to hear some of your personal story, and what that your life experience and how that ultimately led you to being a therapist, and all the other amazing things. I know a little bit of your story. But I guess the biggest one being, you know, have you experienced trauma in your life? And did that play a leading role into you becoming a therapist? So you can share as much or as little about this?

Joree Rose:

Yes, well, I know, we are on somewhat of a time frames. Unfortunately, or fortunately, this could be like a three hour conversation, which would be fantastic, Melissa, and I think you and I would both get a ton out of that. And, um, that the authentic and short version of the story is there was a lot of trauma in my family growing up. There's been a lot of transgenerational trauma. And also in my core family of origin. So the quick version of that answer is what I used to think people used to have to know about me if they really knew me, like, this is what I would have thought, like, help them understand who I was, yeah. My mom's parents were killed in a car accident when my mom was 16. They were hit head on by a drunk driver. My mom was the only survivor of that accident. Both of her parents were instantly killed. And they were actually on their way home. From taking some of my mom's friends who had surprised her for the weekend, and stayed at their house, they were on the way back from taking those kids to the train station. Wow. And her dad wanted to wait just an extra minute to make sure they got into the train station. And on the way home. They were, like I said head on by a drunk driver. My mom instantly became caretaker to her two younger brothers who were 13 and seven at the time, and her immigrant Western grandparents moved in. But you know that that level of trauma in which the worst case scenario happens was very much informed of my growing up. As far as seeing the world is a scary place. Bad things do happen. A lot of dependency and codependency fear and anxiety. Because it's really hard to not be feared and full of anxiety when it's understandable why I was fearful and anxious. It wasn't like a what if, right, and I'm not disparaging people whose fears are based on what ifs because in your mind, it's very real. But my fear was so justifiable. It felt like how could I not embody that as what the world really is? Yeah. And so you we start there, from a point of trauma, and my I'm the youngest of three, and when my parents were, I guess when I was three, my parents divorced, be about three four years old. And my siblings were much older so they had a very different experience growing up than I did. My brother is seven years older my sister's 10 years older, so they grew up mom, dad, two kids, but that time I you know, really was aware of growing up at that point. It was really my mom and my brother and I, my sister had, you know, moved out when I was seven to go to college. And then when I was 10, my dad committed suicide. And so again, fear reality based, what ifs weren't a what if you know, people leave? Yeah. And whether by accident or by choice, abandonment is real. And that was all, you know, under 10 years old my core beliefs of the road of my core understanding of relationship. And that was all I knew. And I started dating my ex husband when I was 13 years old. But we met when I was 13. I started dating when I was 14. And it was all about safety and security. You know, I had never individuated I took all the dependency that I had on my mom growing up, and I transferred that directly to him when I was 13. I think he represented something safe and secure. And very much was a father to me at a young age, and the terms of guidance, financial wisdom, buying me things, because my mom couldn't afford to buy me being driven to do better in high school to get into a four year college. Like all the things you would think that like a father or even, you know, a secure adult parents should be able to guide him that my mom didn't really hold the space for that. And yet, at the core of it, I knew how deeply I was loved. Like that was never in question. My mom was always there always present. But to a point where I was taught, it wasn't safe. It wasn't okay to be alone. You know, I was ever even allowed in my bedroom as a teenager with the door closed because my mom felt shut out. So I had a lot of opportunity for Korean narratives to really seep themselves into my understanding of myself for who I thought I was. Yeah. And I was always searching for that elusive. What's next, what's next? What's next. Because if I get to what's next, then I'll be happy, then I'll be secure. And as we started dating, when I was 14, he was a year ahead of me in school. So he went off to college, I was still a senior in high school, that was devastating for me, because it felt like loss and abandonment and fear. And then, when I got into college, we were a year and a half a year, year, an hour and a half away from each other. So I go there every single weekend, I don't even really cultivate my own life too much. And then I ended up graduating college a year early to catch up to him. And I just again, want to I mean, I finished college in three years, like who does that? Why would you do that? Like, I went to UC Santa Barbara, like, it was beautiful. Why was I rushing my way out of there. Like I regret that. But I was chasing safety and security. And the irony is, while it was safe and secure, it wasn't actually fulfilling. And I think I intuitively knew that. But I was too fearful to give up. What was known. Yeah, and I just wanted what was next. And I got to what was next, like we got engaged, we got married, I had my first daughter, I always wanted two girls. And I got my two girls. And I had a Master's in Counseling Psychology. And actually, before I had my first daughter, I was working on my hours to become a therapist, I always knew I wanted to be a therapist, partly because it shared the values of i could be a stay at home mom at the same time. Like that was really, really, really important to me that I could do something in which I was always going to be there for my kids and that I could never just have like a career in which I had to go to an office or have a boss like I need to be able to be my own to be able to be available. But I also knew I wanted to help people. And I was always fascinated by relationships, why some people work and why others didn't. Yeah. And I even though I thought my relationship worked, it worked at the time, it definitely worked for what I needed it to work for. I one day, before I got pregnant with my oldest I ended up stopping my hours. And in California you need 3000 hours to become qualified to take the state licensing exams. And I got about 1500 hours in and decided I'm not cut out for this partly because my breaking point was I was working with a family whose daughter attempted suicide. And the dad literally sat there in a family session and pointed to his wrist and he was like, she's not bleeding. She's fine. And I was like, I'm done. I was like, I had no space to be guiding someone who didn't want to see what was in front of them. Right. And I just I couldn't do it. And I thought you know, I am 24 years old I've got no business. Being anyone's therapist, I have a lot of life experience and yet no life experience all at the same time, right? Yep. And so I decided to stop, which was hard for me because I don't quit things. And I got pregnant with my daughter, and for the next eight years was blessed to be a stay at home mom. And I woke up one day in my early 30s, and said to myself, How did I get here? I don't remember making the conscious choices. I just kept doing what was next. What was next? What was next? And I had no more what was next like, this was it? No, like, we weren't having more kids. Like, we weren't moving. Like, I even remember thinking to myself, the people I know right now. At 32 years old, we're gonna be the people I knew forever. Because where would I ever have a reason? To expand who I knew, like, I felt like my life was done. Yeah. And I was going through what I call it my 1/3 life crisis, I was too young for it to be midlife. So you know, 1/3 life because I was only in my 30s. And I got myself into therapy, and had a fantastic therapist. But my very first session with him, I remember sitting on the couch, he used to always welcome me into the room and then leave. And I used to get annoyed being like, I'm paying for like every minute of this, why aren't you in here? Yeah, and he was getting to you're going to the bathroom or whatever. But I realized I didn't know how to sit alone. And those moments was so uncomfortable for me because I was used to filling every moment. And it felt unproductive to just be. And that was a practice for me to embrace that stillness in that silence. And part of what I realized that very first session was I want to be back in this space, but I want to be on the other side of the couch also. Yeah. So the next handful of years were a series of very serendipitous synchronicity. Synchronicity, synchronicity is not what the right word is there, don't ask me a lot of synchronicity. Long story short, I got back into my hours. And my supervisor I work with eight years earlier happened to have an opening mid year, which was kind of shocking, because this was January, and I was thinking I'd have to wait till September because I had worked in schools, which is what I wanted, because of my kids schedule. And I could do that and still after school. But a school had an opening mid year, the therapist who was lined up or the intern, she dropped out last minute. And then I called out of nowhere after eight years. And what was amazing was the school placement really allowed me to make the internship my own. And I knew I was never going to be a traditional therapist because it felt really, really inauthentic to me to be in any sort of relationship professional or otherwise, in which there was supposed to be this wall between us. Yeah, that traditional therapist has that blank slate, right has that wall in which you don't know me, as a human. I'm just here to help you understand yourself as a human, which I feel is the most inauthentic, backwards way of self discovery, when the very inherent design of the relationship is to be one sided. And so what I was able to uncover through this internship process was how to make it my own. And part of that, or a big piece of that was through I discovered what mindfulness practice was, I had never known the word or practice mindfulness. I had never meditated a day in my life, but I feel like it found me. And I took I took the journey. And I heated the call of the universe because it was what was here. And I delved into mindfulness and meditation, both in a professional way, and in a personal way. And I got certified and I, you know, went on retreats, and really did a deep dive into how to teach these tools, but it's such an authentic practice that it's about embodiment. Right? So becoming a mindfulness based therapist really allowed me the space to conceptualize how I could show up as a whole person. And it's been a beautiful journey. So I got into that. I mean, that was a huge piece of how I got to where I am was by really authentically, allowing myself to be where I was every step of the way. And my own mindfulness practice has literally changed my life. I mean, I like I said fear and anxiety was handed to me on a silver platter. I thought that's just who I was always gonna be. And I have been able to through my practice of stillness and observing what's arising and creating space between my thoughts and my emotions, understanding I am not my thoughts, understanding I am not my emotions understanding. I am not my past, I am not my family lineage of trauma. I am not a failure for having a marriage that didn't work like all these things, right? I had to separate out myself and be able to observe it and decide how I wanted to interact with these pieces of me. But like, even how I defined myself of, you know, my mom's parents got killed in a car accident, my dad commit suicide, I married my high school sweetheart. Oh, another big piece was I was also pretty overweight, like I've lost over 70 pounds. And I've kept the weight off the majority, like, of course, natural aging, but like, my I never gained the weight back. But like, I used to think that people needed to know that to know who I was. It's like, actually, that's not my story. Most of those things, right? Like, I had to realize that my mom's parents accident. That was my mom's parents story. And that was more of my mom's story. But I used to carry it as my own, or my dad's suicide. That's actually his story. Yes, I am impacted by it. And my cousin recently said to me that I am a survivor of gun violence, which was shocking to me to hear. But he shot himself. So I guess I am a survivor of gun violence. But like all these labels, just, they're not me. Yeah. And when I was able to through mindfulness and meditation, to be able to observe these thoughts, my emotions, my journey, and be able to get out of my head, and the shoulds, and the expectations and the judgments of who I thought I was supposed to be, or how others wanted me to be, and allowed myself to get really present. And it allowed me to truly let go of what no longer was serving me and cultivate the life that I really wanted to be living. And as a result, I got divorced, I completed my hours, I opened a private practice that has been thriving. I have written books I've, like, I've manifested more than I not more, I've manifested some, not all, because I knew I could do it. But I had to push past what was holding me back. Yeah. And so much of what was holding me back was self doubt. And I had amazing life transforming moment, on a retreat in which I broke through. It was like my most single life defining moment. And it allowed me to harness that energy moving forward.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. Oh, my gosh. Okay. So first thing I want to say is the way

Joree Rose:

that's the short version, Melissa.

Melissa Bright:

I love it. You the way it was.

Joree Rose:

We have the same color nail polish right now look at that, like,

Melissa Bright:

yours is like green minds. But I love yours. I love that.

Joree Rose:

I'm like, Oh, we're like, oh, like bright and vibrant together. Sorry to cut you off. But look at that, like that. I know, that's empowerment. But you know, bold nail polish?

Melissa Bright:

Yes, I'm all like, I always have bold colors on all the time. I just love the way that you describe things. Like, just the way that you talk. And I was very present in listening and just hearing everything that you were saying. You just make things like really beautiful and like, almost to a point where I, like haven't heard that before. And I'm like, oh, that's an interesting way to see that. And to understand that. So many things. You said that were just amazing. So thank you for sharing that

Joree Rose:

feedback. By the way, I love hearing that even just in the way I shared my story meant something to you on whatever level that touched you. So thank you for sharing that feedback.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. Another thing I want to say is that envy is not the word. Maybe more admiration, because you have been through a lot of things. Some things that you said you're you know, these other people's stories like your grandparents and your father, they weren't you. But you always felt the need to tell people so they could understand how you are and why you are the way you are. And I feel like currently I'm kind of stuck in that of what defines me as a person. Like there's a couple things like me having my daughter at 16 me losing my mom at 25 me losing my dad at 35 And I guess there is much more and because I don't want myself to always be attached to that because it's always going to remind me of negative and almost feels like negative and I don't want to live in that space anymore. I want to see how I have overcame and persevered. And so it's very interesting that you say that. It seems that I mean we have to talk about mindfulness in You're and how that I mean, you're so self aware. It's crazy, which is what I am getting to, I'm getting very self aware. But I know that there is even more and more levels that you can get is that you said mindfulness. So let's start talking about mindfulness. Do you feel that that is how you became so self aware of everything?

Joree Rose:

The short answer is I'm going to say yes. Okay. The long answer is mindfulness is simply a set of tools. I could teach the tools to anyone, but it's how you harness someone what you do with them that's going to allow them to impact you. Yeah. So mindfulness really is the journey, not the destination. But it's the journey. It's the train I've written on my journey to get me to where I am, if that makes sense. Yeah. It's not an end goal. It's an ongoing practice. And for me, it actually took a long time to really understand what mindfulness was and understand how to integrate it into my daily life in a tangible way. How to understand and I'll talk a bit about what the difference is between mindfulness and meditation, because they're very different practices, but most people use them interchangeably. But how to stay in practice. So maybe if I can just like kind of delve into some of those

Melissa Bright:

differentiations. Absolutely. So

Joree Rose:

let me ask you, it's let's let's let's just see. Yeah, so how, I'm just curious, how would you separate out what you might think meditation versus mindfulness is?

Melissa Bright:

So when I think of it, I think mindfulness as being being in the presence tricky. Meditation, I feel is sometimes involves you've envisioning yourself, maybe somewhere else, somewhere else you'd like to be, you want to envision the Melissa, the Melissa 2.0, as Jen Gottlieb says, of like, oh, I want to be up on stage doing public speaking. It is tricky.

Joree Rose:

It's really hard. So let me first say, as a basis, that meditation is considered to be the formal practice, it's actually something you sit and do. Okay, mindfulness is not something you add to your to do list. Mindfulness is something that I say is what is on your to be list. How do I want to be in the world? What's the quality of presence, I want to show up to myself and others? What's the quality of presence I want to bring to each moment? Mindfulness is not something you add to your to do list. So people who say I don't have time to be mindful? Well, you don't have time to be angry or stressed. But you've given that a lot of space and your energy and time and attention, but you didn't give that permission to show up. It's just what's here. So mindfulness is really how were you engaging with whatever's arising in each moment. Now think of mindfulness as having strong muscles that you've built by going to the gym and exercising, meditation is going to the gym and exercising, to give you the strong muscles to live your life the way you want to be living it. So before we even describe how I define meditation, there's often a lot of myths, assumptions, misconceptions, preconceptions judgments of what meditation isn't, is not many people believe that, they have to be good at it to do it. They, they believe that they're going to feel Zen and peace, like, they believe that their thoughts are just going to slow down, they're just going to be able to relax, they're going to be able to not be distracted, they're not going to have to feel restlessness in their body. So there's all these like beliefs that to meditate, it has to look a certain way. Yeah. And part of what I teach is like, let that shit go. Like, you know, to me, the best meditation is simply the one you show up for. It doesn't have to look clean, or pretty or easy. It just is. And what it is the way I define meditation is creating the space for stillness and silence. Stillness can actually be walking and movement, but like energetic stillness, like I'm creating this space that this is what I'm doing right now. It's the to do list item. I've created the space right now. For stillness and silence, to observe whatever is arising. So what is arising, you have thoughts, you've got emotions, you've got sensations in your body, you've got distractions in your environment. So I'm just observing whatever's arising. And then I'm coming back to focus on some object of attention. Usually the object of attention you focus on your breath, breathe in you breathe out, you get distracted, you're like, oh, look, I got distracted. Okay, let me just come back and breathe. Yeah, every time you notice, oh, look, I got distracted. And you choose to just observe that distracting. Oh, look, I got distracted. And look how I said that self compassionately. Versus Oh, There I go again, I can't do this. That's judgmental, distract I, judgmental awareness. Yep. So if you can observe it with compassion, and you just simply invite your attention back. I think of it as our brain. Usually we hear like in meditation worlds, like our brain is like a monkey, a monkey mind. Yeah. I prefer to actually think of it like a hyper puppy. Because a puppy is just going to wander all over the place, right? Yeah, we don't get mad at the puppy for being a puppy, we have to decide, am I going to train this puppy. So if my puppies wandered off, and I need to train them to be able to come back, that's all I ever doing. Oh, look, my mind just wandered off. That's my awareness. And the leash to bring the puppy back is your breath. Because your breath is going to be the thing that's going to calm your brain calm your body, get you back to the present moment. So meditation Prime's, your brain to be more mindful in your everyday life, because the mindfulness is just harnessing that awareness that you learned on the cushion, so to speak, right? Yeah. And putting that into your everyday moments, because now you're in an everyday moment in which you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed. And you can observe it Oh, wow. I'm like really stressed and overwhelmed right now. Okay, let me just take a few deep breaths reset my brain because the brain here's the thing. There's so much I want to say our breath activates the calming part of our brain, our brain is wired to look for the threats, our brain is wired to focus on the negative. So we're fighting an uphill battle for battle from how we've been wired. Since we were cavemen, it was about survival. But we don't need to be hyper vigilant for survival. But our brain is wired to look for the things that keep us on high alert. The breath literally activates a part of our brain says here, okay. And the problem with the design of our brain is that if we're a caveman, right cave woman, we see a bear in the cave, our brain has been designed in such a way that it's going to release a whole bunch of hormones and chemicals to prepare us to run our fight, the bear has to fight flight freeze, right? The problem with our brain is that we could see a shadow that we perceive as a barrier. And our brain produces a same physiological response, which goes to say, a thought, produces the same reaction in our brain as a real threat, which is to go on to say, when you believe your thoughts, you're in constant activation mode. And how many of us and who's listening raise your hand get stuck in our thoughts. When we can interrupt the pattern of believing our thoughts are seeing our thoughts as our truth and just observing them, oh, that that's just a thought. And that you have a choice in how you engage with that thought. That's mindfulness.

Melissa Bright:

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Joree Rose:

is all about responding and not reacting. Mindfulness is about being present. And the reason of being present matters is because what the Buddha discovered when he went to go figure out how do I be happy forever business. That's what the Buddha really wanted to know. And my quick like, you know, Buddhism 101 Think of the movie Aladdin. Okay. Yep. The Buddha was like Princess Jasmine. He was born into palatial kingdom. His mother had died as an all Disney movies right mother had died. And his father was a king. And his father kept inside the palatial walls to help prevent him from singles on the other side of the palace walls. Well, just like Jasmine, one day got really curious. I wanted to jump the palace walls, so did the Buddha because they must Siddhartha, and he goes into the village, and what does he find people who had disease who are old and who were dying, all of which he didn't know existed? And he's like, Oh, well, if that's what we're all faded for, how do I get happy now? So he went into all sorts of different monastic life to try to, you know, fast and all these things to help figure out how to be happy and he sighed himself under the Bodhi tree and says, I'm not getting up. It's like got this all figured out. And what he realized is that suffering In his part of life, suffering exists as the first Noble Truth suffering exists. He believed that there's a cost to our suffering, if there's a cause there must be a way to end it. And then he developed the ways in the tools to end it. Mindfulness is one of the ways to end our suffering. So we realize all of the tools are designed to help reduce our own suffering. One of the ways in which we increase our suffering is when we ruminate to the past, or we fear into the future, that when we're in the present moment, even if the worst case scenario is happening, as long as you're breathing, you're already getting through it. So present moment is key. So it's the awareness of oh, look there, my mind has wandered like that hyper puppy, let me just, if I if I allow it to stay where it landed, my suffering is going to increase if I can simply bring it back. I'm decreasing my own suffering. That's an act of self compassion. Yeah, so mindfulness is how do I respond versus react to whatever is arising in this present moment reaction is automatic, it's knee jerk. It's unintentional. Mindfulness is intentional. It's pausing, it's slowing down, it's observing, it's creating space. It's about being present. It's about compassion, rather than judgment. Right? We're gonna go to judgment, having judgments as part of being human acting on that judgment as a choice. And it's an ongoing practice. It's never a one and done. No. And so, you know, you say, How did my mindfulness journey helped me get to where I am, it's because it is a constant practice, at the hardest moments in my life, when I ultimately decided to get divorced, and my husband didn't want it. I did. And I had never dated, I had never been alone, I had never lived alone, nothing. Yeah. And if I didn't have my mindfulness practice, I would have felt really, really lost. Because my mindfulness practice was the ability for me to be able to just observe and say to myself out loud, this is what fear feels like, can I just let it be okay to feel fear right now and just breathe through it. This is what anxiety feels like. This is what sadness This is what loneliness, this is what fear is, whatever it is, and observing it, and allowing myself to sit with it. And ironically, when you allow yourself to sit with it, the quicker it passes, when you try to find it, you hold on to it longer. It's a big irony of the world. And yet, that's where our power lies. And when I was able to get out of my head and into my body, meaning through the practice of meditation by slowing down, and allowing myself to trust my inner wisdom, to get out of the cognitive dissonance of feeling one thing, but thinking another, and realizing that I had been fighting, but my internal body was telling me all along, because I was over analyzing or over justifying, or overthinking, because on paper, it all looked right, but in my body, it wasn't. So the meditation was allowing me to slow down to actually tune into my body, versus believe what I thought was the truth, which is actually not the truth, which is my thoughts. And so now, you know, I'm so passionate about teaching these tools in a way that's relatable and attainable. And in bite sized ways that people can understand their patterns. Because it's, you know, to me, the end goal isn't to be more mindful, the end goal is, are you living the life you want to be living? And if you're not, it's likely because you're stuck in patterns that served you at one point, whether out of self protection, or whatever the pattern was developed for served you at some point in time, and it's just no longer serving you. But you're operating out of these old patterns without awareness that you have a choice in how you engage with them. Yeah.

Melissa Bright:

I love it. That's what I do.

Joree Rose:

That's how that's how I live. And that's how I invite others to be on the journey as well.

Melissa Bright:

Yes. And I loved everything in the way that you explained it and the analogies and painting the pictures, you know, like the puppy dog on the leash that helps like, oh my gosh, thank you. Yes, I'm just gonna rope them back in. What are some ways if people have never practice mindfulness, or we're going to be doing this like the to be list not the to do list, but they have never done this before? What? What? What are some simple ways that they can just start doing this today?

Joree Rose:

Breeze? Breeze, honestly, I used to have I want to, I wanted to have a sign on my door that said, Don't bother me. I'm breathing. I love it. If you can take a minute and just breathe, that is almost enough. When I first got started, I taught mindfulness in schools for four years, I was teaching mindfulness to young kids, kindergarten through eighth grade. And the program I was trained and was really effective at teaching me that how like, how do I teach it? What do I teach, like the how and the what? But they missed a major component of the why. Yeah, to help understand, why bother practicing? I can teach you the how on the web great. But if you don't understand and connect to the Why am I doing what I'm doing, then it's not going to matter. So I once went around to every single classroom, and I asked these kids of all ages. If you've been breathing from the moment you're born until the moment you die, why should we practice breathing? Now I was teaching them quote, meditation, but I couldn't use the word in schools because it was too charged as a practice tied to Buddhism. So I simply call it meditation practice mindful breathing, which is all that we were actually doing was breathing with awareness. Yeah. So I asked these kids, if you've been breathing from the moment you're born to the moment you die, why should we practice and this one little girl, brilliant nine year old third grader, she said, the reason we practice she goes, I imagine the waist. The reason we practice breathing, is for the same reason we have a fire drill. She said, we have a fire drill. So we know what to do in case of an emergency. And I imagine that we practice our breathing, so we know how to use it when we need it.

Melissa Bright:

Wow, I was in

Joree Rose:

tears, Melissa. Yeah, she's nine, like holy cow. But the reason why breathing is it is because every time you consciously practice breathing, and using your breath as a focal point of your attention to come back to when you get distracted, you are literally rewiring your brain to create a new habit for greater focus greater control over your thoughts, greater presence, greater ability to respond and not react like the breath is almost enough. Mm hmm. It's almost enough. Yeah, calm your brain, calm your body getting the present moment. Like, that's kind of it. Because so much of what we fear are the thoughts about what we fear. Yep. Not the actual right. The only thing we fear is fear itself. Right, kind of old adage, but true. I think it's Mark Twain, who also has a quote that says I, you know, fear to great. I've suffered a great many things in my life, most of which never happened. Like, yeah, I think I butchered the exact quote, but you know what I'm saying? Yeah, so for people who want to start right now, brief, and practice it. easy task, I say facetiously, have self compassionate awareness, self compassionate awareness assistance, simply notice the patterns that you're doing on autopilot and get curious around. Oh, look at that I immediately reacted that way. That's interesting. I wonder if there's another response I could do next time? Or can I have compassion for myself that this is how I reacted? Because that's what felt safe in that moment? How can I maybe be kind to myself, next time a similar situation arises. I mean, there's, there's so so many things. I have a book I wrote on gratitude that came out during COVID. So I think gratitude is a great antidote to our negativity bias. For those who are interested in the book, you mentioned the beginning, but it's called a year of gratitude.

Melissa Bright:

There, yes, I'm interested in the book.

Joree Rose:

And there's 365 different prompts for how to be grateful every day of the year, except for leap year. So you know, you're on your own. You know, but every day of the year is a different prompt, whether it is a positive affirmation, whether it's a journal reflection, or journal, prompt or reflection, whether it's a mindfulness practice, whether it's meditation, or inspirational quote, usually, we think of being grateful. It's just what am I grateful for right now. But I come up with 364 other ways to be grateful. And anytime we can consciously choose a new response, we're rewiring our brain and it becomes easier to access over time.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, I will say that, where are we? At? What time is it? How much time do you got?

Joree Rose:

I got Let's go. Let's go about eight more minutes. Eight more minutes. Fair

Melissa Bright:

enough. Um, I will just like to say that I have been practicing mindfulness a lot lately in terms of making my gratitude journal, meditating. I have been so guilty of the way that I respond to my boyfriend when he tells me things or he'll say something. And I have my own insecurities about whatever fill in the blank. And so it could be I was sad, I disappointed him. So then I react to him and anger because I thought I disappointed where now I can be mindful, I can be in the present moment and say, most of that's not what he meant at all. Like, you don't need to end. It's just been so seeing

Joree Rose:

it through a lens of an old narrative.

Melissa Bright:

Exactly. And it's been so helpful in our relationship that I don't always just react just immediately because I'm scared of something that I'm like, this is not this is not what's really happening. It's been so so huge.

Joree Rose:

Let me just stay present for a minute and breathe. And observe what's coming up for me have compassion for what's coming up in him. Yep, be able to openly receive without defensiveness. That's hard work to do. But that's really hard work. Yeah. And the mindfulness piece really is, can I stay present and just observe? Yeah, that's all. Because that's almost enough. Yeah. Because it's anytime we can be present and observe. We're interrupting the patterns of reactivity period. Yep. And then once we realize we've got greater abilities or agency, then we can really focus on okay, how do I want to respond right now? What would be in alignment with my values or my intentions or this partnership, or naming or honoring my fears or my insecurities and giving that room but not letting it take over?

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. I love it. I love it. Okay, since I know we are on a time crunch, I do want to get to at least a couple questions that some of my listeners asked. And I feel like one might be repetitive, because I want to make sure that I ask it though, because I feel like it can be really helpful. But one, somebody asked, what are some natural ways to help deal with anxiety besides exercise,

Joree Rose:

natural ways to deal with anxiety? Well, obviously the breath I love a practice that gets you tuned into your five senses. Sometimes however, one reason I'm bringing up the five senses is because when we're really anxious, sometimes it's really hard to take a deep breath, and not being able to breathe actually becomes anxiety provoking. And so if you're feeling a lot of anxiety, it's not really wise to necessarily go in to your body. Because then it we're kind of poking the bear at times depending on the strength of the anxiety. So externalizing, your focus of awareness would be to tune into your five senses. Focus on something that you can see one of my favorites is light a candle and stare at the flame because it's hard to get it all set this way, it's really easy to zone in on a flame, because it's kind of mesmerizing, and you can easily let like kind of the background fade away. So something you smell, something that you see something you can taste, you can touch you can hear. But one of the things that I like to do is ground my feet into the floor. So like really feel the earth beneath me wiggle my toes feel like the ground is there supporting me. Another thing is pressing your thumbs to each of your fingertips. So this does a couple of things. One is if you're focusing on if I say you know, index finger, middle finger, ring finger, pinky, your mind can't have a thought while saying other words at the same time. So even if you say the words Breathing in breathing out, you can't be like, Oh my God. Now what as you're saying, breathing and breathing out. So I like having words to say along with a task. Because your brain can't think more than one thought at a time. Yeah. But when you press your thumb to your fingertips, it's also activating with the meridian lines and in our bodies. So it's a little bit of like emotional acupressure, yeah, but it's also giving our task our mind a task to focus on. Another one of my favorites is give yourself a hug. Research shows that the brain doesn't know the difference between someone hugging you and you hugging yourself. So you can actually get the same oxytocin release if someone else comforting you. So give yourself a hug, kind of pat on the back rub on the shoulder, tune into gratitude. What can I be grateful for in this moment, but another thing if you're feeling really anxious, it might be hard to feel like you're grateful for anything. So I like to look for your successes. What have I accomplished today already? What can I be proud of? So I hope that those are some helpful tips besides breathing because again, the breath can activate anxiety if you don't have a good practice with your breath.

Melissa Bright:

Right? That makes sense. All right. Um, okay, so I guess my question to you is what kind of do you teach a specific type of therapy in terms of like CBT EMDR? What do you teach?

Joree Rose:

I am a client centered therapist, based on the work of Carl Rogers would be how I would most identify which is the beliefs that when we show up authentically, and I am able to provide authenticity and unconditional positive regard for my client, then through that acceptance of how I see them, they're able to change. And so it is I think, if I had to give a modality, it's client centered. I do say I'm a mindfulness based therapist, I would say if there was something to link that closely to it would be either Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and or CBT CBT therapy CBT

Melissa Bright:

nuggets. But,

Joree Rose:

really, but I think it's really client centered that if I hold the space for you with the belief that growth and change is possible that that in and of itself allows the tools, but I'm very tool driven. And so I don't dwell on the past. I'm fascinated with people's stories. But I'm really focused on the here and now. Because what people really want is to know is what do I do when the shit hits the fan? And the moment when I'm in an argument with my spouse a fight with my child, my inner critic is taken over. I'm in grief, I'm in trauma. What do I do right now? Yep. Like, we all know how we got here. What do I do about it is what people really want to know.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. And you're so right. And that's something that I have read recently or saw, and I was like, wow, that is so true. And I know that. That's a lot to do with CBT, right? Because that's the type of therapy I did. And I feel like we talked so much about the now and not so much about, like, what happened, and then somebody said something, and I was like, that makes sense.

Joree Rose:

So one of my little caveats where I don't subscribe fully to CBT is CBT is about replacing the thoughts. And the mindfulness person in me would say, I'm not here to replace them. I've got to accept them. Yeah. I'm not trying to create new thoughts. I'm here to really honor the thoughts that are coming in. And then choosing a thought that then serves me better. So it, there's a step in between the replacing of it, which to me is the biggest part of mindfulness, which is acceptance. Because if I'm just trying to fix it, I'm not actually changing anything other than how to be better when I only have better thoughts. Yeah. And I want to be able to say I can be better despite the thoughts that arise. Yeah, that makes sense.

Melissa Bright:

Yes. 100%. I love it. I'm all for it. I'm all for acceptance, for sure. Okay, so if everybody absolutely loves what you are saying right now, and they might want to do a session with you, because you do. Family and individual. I do couples and individual. Yeah, yes. That's what I meant. How can people connect with you?

Joree Rose:

The best way to find me is my website, jewelry. rose.com. So just my first and last name, J o r e r o s e.com. On Instagram, I post almost daily at the same Jory rose. And I'm also starting the next cohort of my journey forward method on Thursday, March 24th, I believe is the date. And so that's no, that this week,

Melissa Bright:

that is this week. Yep, three days.

Joree Rose:

But I also so that's kind of tight for this one. But I do offer a course every couple of months. So if you want to go on the journey of really delving into your own narratives and your patterns, and really looking at where you're really stuck. That's, that's my sweet spot. But I really love working with people who are ready for the accountability of their own way of showing up in the world. And really harnessing that I want to live fully. Yeah, versus I'll be happy when other things change in my life, right? Because there's always going to be stuff

Melissa Bright:

Always. Always. I love that. All right, I just have one last question for you. In your own words, what does the bright side of life mean to you?

Joree Rose:

The Bright Side of Life, living intentionally? Yep. Because again, I lived too long with the belief of I'll be happy when I get something that I thought would give me that peace and joy and common ease. And I now know it's when I intentionally choose how to engage with each moment that's going to give me that peace, common joy and ease and I'm seeking.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, I love that. Jory. Thank you so much for coming on here to share all of your knowledge. This has been so beautiful. Thank you.

Joree Rose:

Thank you so much for having me. My absolute pleasure. Such a gift. I look forward to continue with our conversation on an offline

Melissa Bright:

Yes, absolutely. All right. Thank you. Wow, wow, wow, that episode was so good. I am so happy. She Jory just like literally blew my mind. I always love to hear people's ideas and how they interpret meditation and mindfulness. You know, just as soon as I think I know what it is I talked to somebody else and they just give such a great definition that helps me really understand it. And I hope that's what Jory did today for you guys because I loved all the analogies that she gave. And if you guys would like to work with her you guys know you can always go directly to my website and on this episode page it will have her contact information as well as on the show notes also. So if you guys know anyone that may need to hear stories episode, please please share this episode with them. Because you never know if this is the one that puts hope back in their heart.

Joree Rose Profile Photo

Joree Rose

Marriage and Family Therapist, Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher, Author

Joree Rose, MA, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist, mindfulness and meditation teacher, coach, author, speaker, and she also leads mindfulness retreats around the world. Joree has helped thousands of people to live happier and more fulfilling lives through living with greater awareness and compassion, allowing them to decrease their stress, anxiety and shed unhealthy habits, patterns and mindsets. Joree is host of the podcast ‘Journey Forward® with Joree Rose’ and has authored the newly released A Year of Gratitude, Daily Moments of Reflection, Grace and Thanks as well as 2 mindfulness books, Squirmy Learns to be Mindful and Mindfulness, It’s Elementary. Joree has been featured in prominent media outlets such as Oprahmag.com, NBCnews.com, Business Insider, KTLA News, and so many more!