Connecting & Healing Painful Emotions
Mark [0:00] I’d like to welcome Susie Caroll, author of a children’s book called “Shadows in the Wall” to the World Heart of Connection podcast. I’m your host, Mark Randall. Susie is a mental health practitioner. I’ve known Susie for a number of months now, in work with a mutual client. Welcome to the podcast, Susie.
Susie [0:18] Thanks, Mark. Thanks for having me.
Mark [0:20] Susie, we’re here today to have a conversation about the connection to Self, Others and ‘All That Is.’ In the heart of connection, how does Suzie work at connecting to her heart and connecting to herself?
Connecting to Being in the Moment
Susie [0:36] Yes, it’s a very wide-ranging topic. What is most salient in my mind when you asked me that, is that ~ I try to be in the moment. Caught up in the beauty of the moment. And then bring my heart to that. I remember when I was studying at Monash and was studying mindfulness. We explored a lot about bringing the heart to it as well, not just the mind. And I think that can be framed in different ways, like not just quieting your mind listening to your heart, within the moment. But also you can feel the ideal or the emotion in your brain and have it there – seated down but then hand it over to your heart, and let your heart explore it and take it in its direction of passion. So that unfolds in an authentic way.
Connecting with Our Hearts
Mark [1:33] It’s interesting taking it into a heart because as we take it into our heart, what happens to the intellectual brain as you’re taking it into the emotional brain?
Susie [1:45] I think it just quietens. And you don’t necessarily have to stand back and make that a real cognitive decision, it just evolves, as you hand it over to the heart because the heart is so powerful. I remember reading that it has more magnetic field than the brain. So, it has the capacity to create more energy. So, that when we hand it to the heart it can manifest the energy that you need to bring to whatever you want to develop in our life. So, that the paths and the outcomes that you want to create for yourself and your well-being – will naturally unfold if you get over to the heart because the heart has more energy than the brain anyway.
Mark [2:33] How do you remind yourself to come into your heart?
Connecting to my Heart Generates Energy
Susie [2:40] I think when you’re in the pockets of a beautiful moment. Like for me, it’s when I’m out in nature, or with my horses. Just immersing yourself at that moment. And then the heart, it greets you there. And it just kind of takes over. It’s like a natural process.
Mark [3:06] When it’s in its natural process, do you notice it flows just naturally?
Susie [3:16] I do. I think it then it generates – once you’ve handed it to the heart it generates even more energy and more intention for you. And I think you become and want better things for yourself.
Connecting to the Beauty of the Moment
Susie [3:29] Because you’re stopping in the moments and you’re realising and appreciating the beauty of the moment and then life itself.
Mark [3:41] When we connect to those moments, they’re quite powerful and very uplifting and very joyous and very peaceful, liberating. Also, in our hearts, there’s the opposite. The pain that we can experience as human beings. How do you connect to that pain? And what does your heart do?
Susie [4:10] I think I’ve had to evolve to be better at not resisting that pain. Because I think when you resist it manifests in ways that can be toxic depression, anxiety.
Connecting to the Pain in my Heart
Susie [4:26] For me, I’ve had to learn to really sit in that pain in the heart, kind of embraced it. It can be really painful space to be in and really, really deep. But there’s a beauty in that. Because your heart – I think it gets stronger, brings more energy and you can push through and try and transcend that real painful space.
Susie [4:57] Because I think ultimately the heart wants happiness. And if you can work through the wounds, but I think that’s I’m not going to say that’s an easy being or happens overnight. It’s definitely evolving and takes time. I think we’re always working on getting better at sitting with our wounds and carrying them. Some of them are such a heavyweight. But I think there’s a beauty when you can sit then within the pain.
Susie [5:31] Because it makes you become who you are. It’s part of your identity, and you’re not pushing that away. And you can learn from it.
Mark [5:40] So, when we’re not pushing it away, we’re not pushing it back down the rabbit hole, so to speak. And yes, sometimes we will push it back down the rabbit hole back into the subconscious mind go away, please run away.
Susie [5:52] Yep. instinct, I think.
Mark [5:53] Natural instinct. Yep, the conscious brain pushes that out into the subconscious. As it’s resurfacing from the rabbit hole. And you’re allowing it to be just present in your heart, in that present to you then bringing our love to the wound?
Susie [6:11] Yeah, I think you’ve articulated that well. Because I think the heart wants to heal and what’s happiness. And then when we give it-its power, we’re not denying that power. And then that can manifest in us wanting great things for ourselves and I call them projects. And then you give that energy to the projects where your goals and the focus to that. You are putting the intention and the heart brings the energy and the intention. And then I think the universe matches that.
Healing for the Heart wants Happiness
Mark [6:46] It’s really interesting. I’ll use and maybe I’m a bit odd. But I go, ‘peace of heart ~ peace of mind”. Whereas more of the world goes peace of mind peace of heart.
Susie [6:59] Yeah, I think I’d lean more your way? But I think it probably depends on the context, doesn’t it? Sometimes easier to come from the heart because it might be something, you’re really aware that you’re attached to? And then other times, the mind gets in there and complicates it.
Mark [7:19] Is that the intellectual mind that gets in there and complicates it?
The Rational Mind wishes to Control the Heart
Susie [7:24] Yeah, I think so. The rational part of your mind that wants to rationalise, and it’s always seeking an answer and just chatting away all the time. It’s very hard to hear you want to say shut up sometimes.
Mark [7:41] Yep. (Laughter)
Susie [7:44] Sit down! Heel boy!
Mark [7:50] And I’ve been jokingly saying recently, that when I’m meditating, my intellectual brain hates me meditating. It says, what are you doing, stop it?
Susie [8:00] I want to come out to play.
Mark [8:01] And I’m going to sabotage your meditation by – I going to throw in extra thoughts in there.
Deep Aversions to our Hearts Pain
Susie [8:08] That’s when you have to go and blow your head off – yeah.
Mark [8:12] And unfortunately, whilst we’re joking about that yeah, unfortunately, some people do.
Susie [8:18] Yeah or self-medicate.
Susie [8:23] And that can manifest in all different ways can’t it?
Mark [8:25] Yeah it can.
Susie [8:29] Self-sabotaging.
Mark [8:32] And when we’re self-sabotaging. Are we then re-triggering the original wound? Which is ironic, really, isn’t it?
Susie [8:43] That was what I was just thinking. Yeah. Kind of getting in our way.
Mark [8:47] Yeah.
Susie [8:47] Of what we really want. Forget to let the heart get in there and give its energy – the happiness would follow.
Our Hearts Wish to Sing
Mark [8:54] Yeah. And from a Buddhist perspective, happiness is a desire. And when we have desires, we then have suffered because we’re not meeting, we’re not getting the desire. When you’re out in nature, can you describe what that connection is like for you when you’re out in nature?
Susie [9:21] It’s just It’s a feeling of almost being out of your own skin. Like you’re so in the moment. There’s a lightness to your body and the minds quieter. I think the heart, it’s just singing along. I get – might be seeing mother bird feeding her babies or just walking on the earth and picking up energy. Putting some flowers in between your toes. I especially love being out with my horses. Their connection to heart energy is amazing. They say that they can read our heart energy and heartbeats from about a metre away. And they can actually synchronise their heartbeat with ours. Just being lost in that beauty of being vulnerable in the moment and just letting it go and just letting your heart haves some peace and what it loves.
Connecting to my Natural Flow-State
Mark [10:26] Can you describe what happens to your energy, when you’re in that connection?
Susie [10:30] I think there are a natural flow and rhythm to it. It’s not a forced, and then that brings a lightness to your body and you just kind of get lost. That’s probably when the brain catches up with all the endorphins.
Mark [10:46] Is there a flow-state there?
Susie [10:54] Yeah, definitely.
Susie [10:56] Like a lightness, a floating. I think sometimes you only get those moments intermittently. But, the more you can immerse yourself in those moments and just stop and appreciate. And give yourself that time and that luxury of enjoying the moments, whatever that be for you. It becomes a more natural process, and then you build on it as more and more that comes into your life.
Connecting to the Lightness of my Flow-State
Mark [11:24] And those intermittent moments, if you were to practice ~ the reconnection back to more of those intimate moments, would that then prolong the flow-state?
Susie [11:36] Yeah, I would say definitely, then you can sustain it for longer. But it’s definitely a natural.
Susie [11:45] I was reading an interesting article about heart coherence the other day, and the research that’s being done on that. And it said it was the state when the heart, mind and emotions are in energetic alignment and cooperation. Heart-Math Institute Research Director, Dr Rollin McCraty says it is the state that builds resilience, personal energy is accumulated and not wasted. This leaves more energy to manifest intentions in harmonious outcomes. And I think that really articulates it beautifully.
Connecting to a Flow-State Riding my Horses
Mark [12:25] And when you’re with your horses, and you’re riding the horses, and you’re in that flow state, do you become one with the horses?
Susie [12:39] Yeah, because you’re so in the moment. And also, because he can’t bring the ego when you’re around the horses. Because they’ll sense if you’re egocentric in your own, you’re thinking about things from your own point of view. You have to think through their – because they’re prey animals. And they’re so sensitive, even within the herd they’re sensitive to little cues of emotion, the tiniest, so they can all you know, cohabitate. So, definitely, get immersed, and one with how majestic they are. And there, ironically, so powerful, yet, they’re so vulnerable. And they’ll allow themselves the courage to be in the moment. So, it’s almost like that flows through you and give you self-permission. Or maybe you just subconsciously allow yourself to be caught up in the moment. It’s quite beautiful.
Connecting to the Vulnerability of Prey Animals
Mark [13:38] And I just want to pick up on that moment of vulnerability when the horse is in a moment of vulnerability. How do you notice that ~ how do you connect to their vulnerability and what transpires when you do connect to their vulnerability?
Susie [13:57] Because they are prey animals, they will often shy or something will spook them, but they’ll often keep going. And, because they’re designed by nature to go forward, forward with that energy. If a lion coming, they are going to run. So, that in itself seems so brave to me. They’re so vulnerable, yet they’ll keep going forward. And, I think it’s a subconscious level reminds you that that’s a healthy thing.
Mark [14:29] What a beautiful connection.
Connecting to my Horses as Teachers
Susie [14:31] Think I they most – they’re great teachers, I mean, animals in general. I’m a big animal lover.
Mark [14:39] It’s really interesting with animals. I’ve been using a couple of symbols just lately. I don’t know who they are here, these two, a cat and a puppy dog. And I put them out on the table because when we’re connecting to animals ~ we’re connected to them at a subconscious ~ we’re connected to them at an unconscious/subconscious level because they can’t intellect with us. Then how much do we then tap into the unconditional love that’s there?
Susie [15:21] I think the hearts so capable of that in and of itself, it’s just a natural. And then to get into that energy and dynamic, that animal, it naturally evolves I think – the unconditional love is – just flows.
Connecting to the Unconditional Love of Animals
Mark [15:38] And what happens to your being ~ your human being as it’s connected to that energy of unconditional love that animals seem to naturally give?
Susie [15:54] I think it makes you feel like opening up to that, bracing it and then that opens up your heart. And that unconditional energy that of love that the hearts capable of. So, there’s kind of natural growth in there for you because you get to feel what that feels like.
Mark [16:15] And when you’re in there, what happens to your intellectual mind when you’re in that zone?
Susie [16:21] Well, they bring out such softness in us, I think. Of the heart that – the intellectual mind is just having to quieten.
Mark [16:32] Has to be vacant? And it doesn’t like being vacant, does it?
Our Hearts Quietens the Intellectual Brain
Susie [16:39] No, I think it might be quite resentful (laughter). That’s why it keeps coming back. Chatting to us.
Mark [16:49] Yeah. And how often do we get caught up in listening to the chatter?
Susie [16:57] Wow, I suppose that’s different for everyone, in different contexts – to different degrees. But for myself, I often find myself bumping into a negative thought in there. Sometimes I – shut up you know. Realise you’re having conversations with yourself.
Reconnecting to our Hearts
Mark [17:21] When you notice, when you realise that you’re having that conversation, can you then notice it and get aware ~ I’m back up into that conversation and then bring awareness with that and then come back to the heart and reconnect?
Susie [17:37] I think I can more so now. I think, struggled with that for a long time. To you know, to quieten the mind, busy mind. I think, with the rewiring of your brain when they talk about every time that happens to try to redirect. And I’m more conscious of that now, just to send it back to the heart.
Mark [18:08] Yeah, I think it was Donald Hebb, the neuroscientists that suggested that “neurons wired together will keep firing together.”
Susie [18:18] Powerful suck.
Connection to Others in my Heart Flow-State
Mark [18:23] In the connection to others, when you’re in that flow-state, you’re in the heart space. What do you observe, and notice happens to your connection to others?
Susie [18:39] Often say becomes purer, in the sense, that would just – we’re flowing. There is a lightness and an absence of expectation. I think we’re just letting people be authentic. It’s a nonjudgmental space. That’s how I would articulate that. They are big concepts, aren’t they?
Mark [19:06] Big concept. And, what happens in our connection to others when something in their personality triggers a reaction in our personality?
Susie [19:18] I think the ego can want to come out and tango in those situations (laughter).
Mark [19:24] So, the ego kicks in and have a reaction and then do we need to notice the reaction and check-in what’s behind or underneath our reaction?
Channelling the Ego & Analytical Mind
Susie [19:36] I think so. Check-in is definitely a good space to go to. So, the analytical mind can come in pretty handy. It’s channelling it, isn’t it? I mean, it’s there for a reason, it’s not always a bad little comment in there.
Mark [19:57] And sometimes when we can with the analytical mind ~ the prefrontal cortex ~ when we can name an emotion, we can tame the emotion. Where’s that emotion coming from? Is that from an old wound? That we’ve pushed into the subconscious that trigger ~ the person’s triggered? Oh, here it is ~ I’m back. It’s more self-development work to do there. And sometimes I imagine we can ~ speaking for myself, it’s oh, here’s the trigger yet again.
Susie [20:35] It is good to own it. I think it’s healthy. But you can often think – then another negative can shoot through – here I am in the same space, I thought I had growth and development. But the context can have a different shade or be more complex. Or sometimes the ego seems to want to come in there and defend you because you feel so vulnerable. Whatever the dynamics might be in this particular context, and the ego is just naturally added to defend. So, it can sometimes serve a protective purpose, but I think it’s about channelling you and quietening it. And then going back to the heart and trying to come from a more spiritual space. I think we like ourselves better when we can do that.
Mark [21:26] Is it okay to raise the subject of the book that you’ve just completed? And the connection to ~ the spiritual connection that you’ve got to that book?
Susie [21:38] Yeah, that’s a great honour to be able to talk about, thank you. Yes, I have a really deep spiritual connection to my children’s illustrated book. It’s called, Shadows in the Walls. And I’m really motivated to start a dialogue about emotional regulation and early intervention level. To invite children to not resist and push away their emotions. That emotions are healthy teachers, and that we can sit within them. Within the moments our deep moments of emotion. They can be channelled to be our friends, and they’re all healthy. Therefor a reason and even anger can serve a purpose to protect, it’s how we channel it and what direction we take it in. Thanks to the illustrator Elida Luciarte Ruiz .
Teaching Children Healthy Emotional Regulation
Susie [22.40] So yeah, I’m hoping the children will turn the pages and be intrigued by the great illustrations, and done by my illustrator, Elena. But on a deep, subconscious level. There are some wonderful messages about healthy emotional regulation, having the ability to modulate or some sense of control over your emotional experience and expression. There’s also a thread in there about healthy individuation or becoming your own authentic person to your own values that lie your heart and your own unique path in life. As opposed to just going with the crowd and denying your own authentic path, which can manifest in toxic ways against your own wellness.
Mark [23:31] And can we push those toxic ways down into our shadow side?
Susie [23:37] Definitely.
Connecting & Integrating our Shadow
Mark [23:40] And then they’ll find you. They’ll come back and find you. And it’s how do we then integrate what’s underneath that shadow? And the more we integrate our shadow, release it, clear it and heal what’s underneath it. We’ve then integrated the shadow.
Susie [24:05] I think integrated and almost befriended it because our shadows, as I said before our emotions our teachers and we can learn more about our sense of self, I thin. To help us see more deeply into our own identity. And then sometimes we might not understand immediately, it might be down the track, we might understand the context of your emotions in any given moment. And why that might have evolved in a certain way. I think the most important element is to embrace and not to resist.
Mark [24:45] To accept?
Connecting & Holding Hands with our Shadow
Susie [24:46] The emotion. Almost hold hands with the shadows.
Mark [24:53] When we hold hands with a shadow and come into an acceptance Does that release the energy which then can facilitate us connecting deeper within ourselves and open our hearts to the connection to the ‘All That Is”?
Susie [25:14] I think so because I think the acceptance almost like softens the moment and then that allows the heart energy to come into the moment and create intention and get us onto pathways that connect with our greatest desires I think. What we ultimately would love for ourselves.
Mark [25:46] Moving the conversation to the ‘All That Is,’ when I use that concept, what does that raise in your consciousness ~ the concept of ‘All That Is’?
Connecting to the ‘All That Is’
Susie [25:59] Wow. That’s very open-ended. The concept of ‘All That Is’ for me and my interpretation – ‘All That Is.’ Wow, I’d ask you what is for you. Maybe you can lead to it.
Mark [26:25] For me, the ‘All That Is’ ~ is connecting beyond the self, If I go into the deepest part of my heart. The deeper I go into my heart ~ I can connect to the deepest point of love there is ‘no space’ ‘no – thing.’ I’m connected to whatever there is ~ the interconnection to the universe, the oneness of the universe, the oneness of nature, the essence beyond self.I can connect to the deepest point of love there is 'no space' 'no - thing.' I'm connected to whatever there is ~ the interconnection to the universe, the oneness of the universe, the oneness of nature, the essence beyond self. Click To Tweet
Susie [26:58] Yeah, I think I would, I can identify with that I would. I would say that it’s almost ironically a leaving of yourself. So, you surrendered to that heart energy and there’s a lightness and you’re into the depth of it, and it becomes so much but yet you feel like it’s a loss of yourself. Like almost can’t feel yourself in the weightlessness. Yet, you’re so ironically immersed at the moment. Hmm, it’s quite beautiful.
Mark [27:33] Nothing matters.
Susie [27:35] Yeah.
Connecting to Deep Freedom Within
Mark [27:36] There’s a freedom in the emptiness but it’s not empty ~ there’s a fullness in the emptiness.
Susie [27:47] That’s what I meant by the irony it’s like – get the depth. But then there’s such a lightness to it and you almost lost yourself but yet you found yourself.
Mark [27:57] I’m wondering whether in that ‘All That Is’ when you’re riding the horses and you’ve merged ~ with you and the horse, have become the one and you’re in flow in nature is that like an ‘All That Is’?
Susie [28:19] Yeah, it’s almost like the death of yourself in the sense but in a good way if that sounds like an oxymoron.
Mark [28:28] Ego death?
Immersion with the Sense of Nature
Susie [28:30] Yeah. And just you might exist to the eye or if someone was watching or existing the moment there’s so much lightness and immersion with the sense of nature and spiritual sense or essence that – kind of lost in the moment but there’s so much lightness.
Mark [28:58] Nice place to be in. And that too will pass. But how do we keep practising to come back to that point? And how would life be different in that space? What would happen to your mental health and emotional health and well-being in that space?
Susie [29:24] Oh, is it well, it thrives in that space. It’s allowed its authentic energy. And then it brings more energy I think once you allow it. And then I think things around you if you bring in that heart energy. More things that you desire from the heart come to you. This is that natural flow without the obstruction that’s how it feels to me.
Mark [29:53] Like the law of attraction so to speak.
Susie [29:55] Yeah, equals mc squared, I think.
Susie [29:59] Mm-hmm. Notice that my life journey. When I can quiet the ego and the mind and give it over to the heart. The heart brings more energy because it’s capable of manifesting more energy, physiologically and then spiritually. It just gives it out to the universe, and you can want. I think if you want it, like it’s almost like an ache in the heart if you want a bad the heart just manifests that.
Mark [30:25] Hmm, what a gift?
Susie [30:27] Yeah, I think I’ve got to those spaces a few times recently with my book.
Mark [30:32] And if we broaden that to a macro sense, the more we human beings connect into that space. What would that do for Mother Earth do you believe?
Connectivity to Mother Earth as our Great Mother
Susie [30:52] That it would give us more connectivity to Mother Earth as our great mother. I like the way the Indigenous Australian say, we don’t own Earth, it doesn’t belong to us. We belong to it. I think that would manifest more and to a greater extent. That’s a great direction and vision isn’t?
Mark [31:17] It is. Well done. Susie, in drawing to a close, is there anything else that you’d like to share in your connection to Self, Others and ‘All That Is’?
Susie [31:37] I – what’s coming to my mind is the Beatles song. Oh, all you need is love. I think we if we all give ourselves that. Almost permission to have unconditional love for ourselves and bring our heart to anything we want to achieve or to the dynamics of our relationships. We can manifest that we have that power. And I think we all need to love ourselves enough to do that. And each other. And then like you say, it will radiate to Mother Earth we’ll have more connectivity. And because I think we’re all interdependent. I think sometimes I reflect on learning the song at school about you know, hip bones connected to the thigh bone. Now, I have more appreciation of how deep that runs and how interconnected we all are.
Healing our Interconnectedness with Mother Earth
Mark [32:38] And the more we heal ourselves, I’m wondering then do we then open the opportunity for us to stop pillaging Mother Earth and start healing Mother Earth through a deeper interconnectedness with her?
Susie [32:49] I think so. That love abounds more in that dynamic. And just spreads to the earth and to others and you come to anything with that energy, then the universal makes that energy. I’m not saying I’m brilliant at it, but I’m getting better.
Mark [33:09] We’re all on the journey. And as we journey through, we’re becoming more evolved. And in that evolvement are we then intensifying and deepening the connection to self, others and Mother Earth?
Susie [33:24] Indeed, and that’s why I wanted to go with my children’s book and early intervention level. That early platform is so crucial to our socialisation and our self-esteem. I’d like to promote that for children. It’s such an early age.
Mark [33:43] Happy to put a link on it on the show notes in the podcast.
Susie [33:46] You can buy at Olympia publishes on Amazon. I just hope it does some good out there in the world. We can learn some of these skills and nearly age.
Susie [34:00] I can invite great beauty and allow ourselves to achieve amazing things that we want for ourselves and be in the wonderment of the moment more and more. The great thing to work for children and future generations.
Mark [34:17] Susie, thank you for the opportunity to listen to your story and to connect with you and appreciate the work you’ve done for people that I’ve worked with. Your support, your heartfelt support that you’ve given them, and help them in their journey. Namaste.
Susie [34:37] Namaste I would say the same. Same to you. Thanks Mark.
Mark [34:41] Cheers.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai